New Age Islam Special Correspondent
20 February 2019
Note: As articles on NewAgeIslam.com have pointed out again
and again, instructions given in any war lapse with the end of the war. The
war-time verses in the holy Quran not only instruct Muslims to kill, but also
motivate them, announcing rewards for fighting and punishment for not fighting,
i.e., sitting at home, without any valid excuse.
All this is quire natural. But at the same time Muslims must
also understand that these verses were meant for those wars in the7th century
CE and cannot be applicable to us today in the 21st century, 14 centuries after
the wars that gave the Prophet and his companions victory, establishing Islam
on the face of earth.
Now our job is simply to see that God’s universal and
eternal messages in Quran are available to all the people in their own
languages, so they can comprehend it and learn from it. The contextual verses
are a part of our glorious history and should be left there, so that we learn
from them how near-insurmountable obstacles the Prophet (saw) faced in establishing
Islam and leaving us his magnificent legacy. Violent extremists among us have
and will continue to use and misuse these contextual verses for their own ends.
Let us Muslims not fall in the trap. -- Editor
The Pakistan-based terror outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammad was
formed in January 2000 by the jihadist cleric and now the UN-designated
terrorist Maulana Muhammad Mas‘udAzhar after he was released in Kandahar,
Afghanistan in 1999, following the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC-814.
With his release, the insurgency in Jammu & Kashmir saw a paradigm shift.
Instead of Kalashnikov-wielding men, the Jaish started fidayeen squads rattling
the Indian state and its military installations in the valley.
To the jihadists in this subcontinent, Mas‘udAzhar is not only
the founder and leader of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) but is rather glorified with
the great epithet of Fazilat al-Shaikh which means “anhonourable Islamic
cleric”. Therefore, they suffix “Hafizahu Allah” (“May Allah keep him safe”)
with his name as is seen in this jihadist poster of an extremist lecture
delivered by Mas‘udAzhar:
The topic of the
lecture which took place in Karachi is advertised as “Introduction to the
Jaish-e-Muhammad.” On the top right, the poster captures the group’s slogan
which is a partial quote from the Quranic verse 2:261: “kutiba ‘alaykum
al-qital” (fighting is ordained for you).
The white banner in this image, with three black stripes and
the word “jihad” in a black circle, is the logo of Jaish-e-Muhammad. The sword
below the globe suggests a desire to go back to the earliest Islamic history.
In the jihadist imagery, swords embody the religious purity, nobility and
righteousness. In fact, swords also depict the current jihadi activities as
modern extensions of those campaigns and lend them an aura of legitimacy.
There is no denying the fact that the brutal attack on over
40 CRPF jawans in South Kashmir’s Pulwama was orchestrated by the
Jaish-e-Muhammad masterminded byMas‘udAzhar. But while the Jaish has claimed
the responsibility so openly, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan rejects
India's accusation of Pak base in the Pulwama terror attack and seeks
‘actionable intelligence’. Thus, one wonders why Khan needs some actionable or
remote intelligence for counter-terrorism in this case, while the handlers have
admitted to the offence. In fact, the evidence is in their home, so clear and
self-evident that no one can overlook it.
In the first week of February 2019, JeM's weekly online Urdu
magazine Al-Qalam published its regular column titled, Hafta-e-Kashmir (The
week in Kashmir) with provocative and aggressive news reports such as these:
• 30 January,
occupied Kashmir, severe protest against the Indian army on the martyrdom of an
Indian Muslim officer as result of the collision with an Indian military
• January 31,
strike in Pulwama on the third day too, no life normalcy.
• February 1,
the so-called search operation before Modi's visit to Kashmir, fear among the
people of Kashmir.
• February 2,
two more people became martyrs (shaheed) during the operation in Darbagam, one
girl killed in Kulgam.
• February 3,
strike and demonstrations on the arrival of [PM] Modi, fear among the people
due to search operation in their homes.
February 4, Pakistani women married to Kashmiris demand for
• February 5, 10
Kashmiris arrested on the day of unity in Jammu and Kashmir
(yaum-e-yakjahti-e-Kashmir) in Pulwama, Barhamulla and other districts.
٭30 جنوری مقبوضہ
فروری مودی کی آمد
This news bulletin in the main mouthpiece of the Jaish, with
their particular coverage of Pulwama, makes it patently clear that the terror
outfit was gearing up for the strike on the Indian security forces in Jammu
& Kashmir. This was an obvious indication by the Jaish, though this may
have come in form of muscle-flexing.
But while the origin of Pulwama terror attack is evidently
seen and confessed, Imran Khan’s demand from India to 'provide actionable
intelligence' is rather more ruthless. A man of even a shallow logic can fathom
Khan’s willful oblivion to the Pulwama attackers. This is precisely why there
is not even a pretext of outright condemnation of the terror attack. Let alone
sympathy for the bereaved families, not even lip sympathy for them. This is the
audacity of a state which provides more lethality and boldness to the violent
jihadist outfits like Jaish-e-Mohammad.
In March 2018, Jaish-e-Mohammad recruited Adil Ahmad Dar,
the 18-year student who turned into a suicide bomber in the Pulwama attack
which killed at least 43 Indian soldiers. According to one of his friends, who
didn’t wish to be named, Adil was an ‘introvert’ and shy student who remained
aloof in the classroom and dropped out after Class 12. But before he rammed the
SUV vehicle laden with over 300 kg explosives into the CRPF convoy, he had
recorded a chilling video in which hecastigated the worldly pleasures and
glorified the religious battles. The content in the video symbolises the
brutality with which JeM operates and how it can turn a shy village boy into a
human bomb. It goes like this:
“Salute to my people
who have not surrendered before the Indian might and have not let down the flag
of honour, dignity, valour and Islam,” Dar, 18, said in a pre-recorded video
that went viral on social media after the attack. “We are not begging you to
stop your oppression but we will break those arms which have come to suppress
us. This action is revenge against the killing of Masu’d Azhar’s nephew.”
The reason why the Pulwama attack was planned and executed
is also crystal clear in the pictorial message given in an article titled
“Afzal Guru, AssalamAlaikum!” written by
Talha As-Saif, a regular columnist for al-Qalam.
The first paragraph
in this piece reads: “We recall Afzal Guru every time when we launch an attack
with rifles or grenades, every time when we spill the blood of a Hindu
soldier”. While Jaish-e-Muhammad gave a clear indication of the recent attack
in this article, oblivion to this merely as usual propaganda was the biggest
security lapse on part of Indian security agencies, as the J&K Governor
Satya Pal Malik also admitted.
Another article authored by some QariNavedMasu’d Hashmi in
the JeM’s mouthpiece al-Qalam, refers to Afzal Guru’s book in Urdu
“Tahrik-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir”. The article cites the book as a roadmap for the
jihadists in Kashmir which should be part of the educational curriculum for the
youth. In the end of 2013 when Jaish-e-Mohammad made a comeback, its chief
Maulana Masu’d Azhar released Afzal Guru’s auto-biography titled “Aina”. In
this 240-page book, the JeMchief bated for Guru and guns on New Delhi for
presenting him as an “unemployed, chain-smoking young man whose loyalties can
be bought for peanuts”.
In fact, Pulwama was the biggest terror attack carried out
by Jaish-e-Mohammad’s Afzal Guru Squad in terms of security forces’ casualties.
After the incident, security forces launched a massive crackdown and carried
out the door to door search operations in many villages of south Kashmir. But
the damage was already done. The second such suicide attack carried out by the
outfit in the last three decades of insurgency has turned out to be the
According to the media reports, Indian army has eliminated
the top leadership of Jaish-e-Muhammad in Kashmir in less than 100 hours of the
Pulwama terror attack. The commander of the 15th Corps, Lt General K S Dhillon
who briefed media in Srinagar, said that the top commander of the JeM which carried
out the attack on the CRPF convoy in Lethpora area of Pulwama on the 14th of
this month has been eliminated. He also warned those picking up arms in Kashmir
of elimination unless they surrender.
Having said all this, we must also study the very foundation
on which JeM erects its edifice of what it considers Jihad, the verse 2: 261.
Let us examine in some detail how misleading the use of this verse is in the
eyes of classical jurists and exegetes too. The full verse is:
كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ
Kutiba ʿAlaykumul Qitālu Wahuwa Kurhun
Lakum Wa ʿAsāʾ Antakrahū ShayʾAn Wahuwa Kḫayrun
Lakum WaʿAsā ʾAntuḥibbū
ŠhayʾAn Wahuwa Šharrun Lakum
W-Allāhu YaʿLamu WāʾAntum LātaʿLāmūn
Taken in isolation, the verse 2:261(كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ
الْقِتَالُ) appears to
suggest that qital or fighting is ordained for every Muslim for eternity as an
obligation to attain salvation. Every person who believes in Allah and the Day
of Judgment aims at attaining the salvation through all forms of worship. But
the correct message of this verse is not what the Jaish ideologues attempt to
The detailed discussion on this verse in the books of
tafseer (Qur’anic exegesis) has reviewed a few points and some guidelines about
understanding the message of this verse. Tafseer al-Tabri, the popular Sunni
tafsir by Imam ibn Jarir al-Tabari who is held in high esteem by all Islamic
schools, quotes Ata’a ibn Abi Rabah, a prominent Muhaddith (transmitter of
hadith) and Tabi'i who lived during the caliphate of Hazrat Uthman, and who was
the first Mufti of Mecca. Tabri has quoted him as saying this in his commentary
on the verse 2:216:
واختلف أهل العلم
، فقال بعضهم: عني
حدثنا القاسم، قال:
" كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ
have differing opinions on the obligation of fighting. Some of them state that
it was only ordained for the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) and not for
others. When Imam Ata’a was asked whether Ghazwa (battle) was Wajib
(obligatory) for every individual because of this verse, he replied: No, it was
only for the people of those times”.
This should give us an understanding of the Quranic verses
like this in terms of their applicability to Muslims today. Another commentator
on the Quran of universal recognition, Abu Hayyan al-Andalusi wrote these words
on the verse 2:261: “wahuwamakrūhunlakum bit-tabī'ah” (Human beings don’t
favour war by their instincts).
(Source: Tafsīr al-bahr al-muhīth volume 2, page 152,
publisher Dār al-Kutub al- 'Ilmiyah, Beirut, 1993)