By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
10 April 2018
One of the intriguing questions that the modern jihadists have asked Ulema was posed by Eisa Fazili, the slain militant who was allegedly an ISIS sympathizer in Kashmir. In a video which he probably recorded just before his encounter, Fazili criticised the Indian Ulema for refusing to issue the Jihad decree to trigger the militants’ demand for ‘holy war’ on Kashmir. Fazili questioned the Indian Ulema: “Why don’t they issue a fatwa for jihad against 'non-Muslim oppressors'?
A young and gullible student of the B Tech (IT), who joined militant ranks, warned the Ulema:
"One day they have to show their faces to Allah who will punish them for failing in their duties to give a call for Jihad fi Sabilillah (armed struggle in the path of Allah)".
Let alone the established Islamic scholars in India, even the Pakistani ulema have refuted the legitimacy of any such self-declared jihad. This came in a recent Anti-terror Fatwa popularly known as “Paigham-e-Pakistan” signed by 1,800 Ulama of almost every Islamic school of thought. It has categorically stated two important things: (1) that ‘only the state can announce a jihad’ and (2) that any decree (fatwa) or move to enforce the Sharia’h law cannot be legitimized without the legal statutes. It reads:
Based on several verses of the Qur’an like the above, authoritative ulema and muftis (Islamic jurists)—both in India and Pakistan—have delegitimized any kind of self-declared jihad or armed struggle. They have specifically decreed against waging war against the state. Thus, what the militants in Kashmir are doing is Fasad (mischief), not Jihad. Their untenable theological justifications and farfetched religious arguments cannot be the Islamic basis of support for their acts of terror and violence.
According to the reports, the slain Kashmiri militant also made a plea for the armed struggle or jihad against what he called the reign of Kufr (Dar al-Kufr). In his war-cry, his argument was that it is the religious duty of every Muslim to fight against the Darul Kufr and Kafirs. Thus, he sought to legitimize the terror attacks not just against the Indian government but also against those in power within Kashmir.
However, the extremists’ theological justification for combat against the non-Muslim majority countries calling them ‘Darul Kufr’ (land of disbelief) is completely erroneous and untenable. They are twisting the early Islamic terms and concepts which the ulema have mentioned in a historical background. But the present-day fanatics misperceive them and consider every country where the Islamic Shariah is not enforced as Darul Kufr or Darul Harb (land of war). Thus, jihadist extremists believe that the people of these countries may be fought by an Islamic expedition (Ghazwa) in order to conquer their territories.
But this jihadist argument has been refuted by the fact that the classification of territories made by early Islamic jurists was not intended to justify a wanton war against the non-Muslim lands. Rather, it served as a basis upon which certain jurisprudential (fiqhi) rulings were implemented on Muslims. It was just like the classification of the globe into political territories today.
As for the medieval Islamic terms like Dar ul-Islam, Dar ul-Kufr and Dar ul-Harb, they are null and void today; abrogated by the new world order, constitution, international covenants, peace treaties and international relations. They might have been relevant during the third and fourth Islamic centuries. Even then, they did not serve as the basis for wanton killing of the non-Muslims or Muslims. Imam al-Kasani (r.a)—the 6th century renowned Islamic jurist who authored one of the most colossal reference works on the Hanafi law “al-Bada’e al-Sana’e”, wrote in his classical work:
“What is meant by designating the word “Dar” (abode) with Islam and Kufr (disbelief) is not Islam and disbelief per se, but the state of security or insecurity. Moreover, the relative juristic rulings are not based on Islam itself or Kufr (in this case), but on the security or insecurity.”
This position was reinforced by Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah revered as an important Imam in the Sunni Islamic tradition. He clearly stated in support of the above traditional Islamic position: “This is the opinion held by the majority of scholars [Ulema]. It is crystal clear that Muslims jurists made their opinions according to Fiqh al-Ma’alat (the Islamic law which takes into consideration the outcomes of actions).” [Ibn Qayyem Al-Jawziyyah, Ahkam Ahl Al-Dhimmah 2/873].
As an eminent medieval Islamic jurist of the Hanbali School of jurisprudence, the decrees on the religious rights of non-Muslims in the writings of Imam Ibn al-Qayyim compiled in “Ahkam Ahl al-Dhimmah” are noteworthy. They indicate that the early Islamic jurists applied Maslahah (public interest) as the basis of the Shariah rulings on the contemporary issues. As a result, the religious rights of non-Muslims were guaranteed in the authoritative views based on the rightly guided Islamic principles, rather than the misguiding opinions of the political theologians who served the ulterior motives and imperialist designs of the different Muslim dynasties.
In fact, the entire extremist jihadist rhetoric in Kashmir which is underfoot to agitate Muslims on social media and YouTube videos is run of the mill and has no substance or support from any of the four established Islamic thought resources—Qur’an, Hadith, Ijm’a (consensus) or Qiyas (analogy). Those who are critical of the Indian Alims and Fazils accusing them of ‘siding with the government’ and refusing to issue the ‘jihad decree on Kashmir’ should worry as to how they would show their faces to Allah in the hereafter (Akhirah). In fact, Allah will punish them for failing in their duties to pay heed to this clear commandment of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
“Whosoever kills a person who has a truce with the Muslims will never smell the fragrance of Paradise”. (Reported by Sahih Muslim)
The non-Muslims, not only Muslims, enjoyed the protective status, safety of life and security of faith in the Madina state where the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) announced:
“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment”. (Reported by Abu Dawud)
Regular Columnist with Newageislam.com, Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi is a classical Islamic scholar and English-Arabic-Urdu writer. He has graduated from a leading Islamic seminary of India, acquired Diploma in Qur'anic sciences and Certificate in Uloom ul Hadith from Al-Azhar Institute of Islamic Studies. Presently, he is pursuing his PhD in Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.