Shaheed Abdullah Azzam
An excerpt from the book "Defence of the Muslim Lands"
The First Obligation After Iman
"The first obligation after Iman is the repulsion of the enemy aggressor who assaults the religion and the worldly affairs". Ibn Taymiyyah
All praise be to Allah, we praise Allah, we seek His refuge, and we seek His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Him from the evil of our own selves and the evil of our deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides there is none to send him astray and whomsoever Allah sends astray there is none to guide him and I bear witness that there is no Diety but Allah and Mohammed (saw) is His servant and messenger. May His blessings be upon him, his family and companions.
And what follows;
Allah has chosen this religion to be a mercy for the worlds. He sent the most blessed of the messengers to be the last Prophet for this religion. To bring it victory by the sword and the spear, after He had clearly expounded it with evidences and arguments. The Prophet (saw) said in a sahih hadith narrated by Ahmad and Tabarani: "I have been raised between the hands of the Hour with the sword, until Allah the Exalted is worshipped alone with no associates. He has provided sustenance from beneath the shadow of spears and has decreed humiliation and belittlement for those who oppose my order. And whoever resembles a people, he is of them."
Allah the Exalted, in His wisdom, established the salvation of humanity by this rule of fighting, for the Exalted said: "...and if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief But Allah is full of bounty to the Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)" (Surah al Baqarah:Verse 251.)
Hence, Allah the Almighty the Majestic has bestowed this judgement as a favour upon mankind, and made it unambiguous. In other words, the battle between truth and falsehood is for the reformation of mankind, that the truth may be made dominant and good propagated. Also, that their practices and places of worship may be safeguarded. Allah the Exalted said: "... for had it not been that Allah checks one set of people by means of another, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is mentioned much would surely have been pulled down. Verily Allah will help those who help His (cause). Truly, Allah is Strong, All Mighty." (Surah al Hajj: Verse 40).
This rule of DEFENCE or jihad has occupied many pages in the Book of Allah the Almighty , the Majestic, to make clear that the truth must have a power to protect it. For how many times has truth been defeated because of neglect of its possessors, and how many falsehoods have been raised by its allies and men willing to sacrifice. Jihad is built on two main pillars. Patience which reveals bravery of the heart and generosity , by which one spends ones wealth and spirit. Yet, the sacrifice of one's person is the greatest generosity , and in the sahih hadith, reported by Ahmad: "Iman is patience and generosity".
Ibn Taymiyyah says: "The amendments of the children of Adam in their religion and worldly affairs would not be complete without bravery and generosity". And Allah has made it clear that whoever turned away from Jihad by their person, that He would replace them with a people who would perform it. "If you march not forth, He will punish you with a painful torment and will replace you with another people, and you cannot harm Him at all, and Allah is able to do all things." (Surah at Tauba: Verse 39).
The Prophet (saw) also underlined two of the most evil of faults: miserliness and cowardice. These faults lead to the corruption of the soul and deterioration of the society .In a sahih hadith-: "The most evil of what is in a man is niggardliness and cowardice". Narrated by Abu Daud and it is sahih. There have passed ages when the pious predecessors held fast to this rule of fighting and became masters of this world and the teachers of mankind. The Exalted said: "And we made from among them (Children of Israel), leaders, giving guidance under Our command, when they were patient and used to believe with certainty on Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.)." (Surah as Sajdah:Verse 24).
As the Prophet (saw) has stated in a sahih hadith-: "the first of this Ummah was reformed with abstinence and certainty of belief, and the last of this Ummah will be destroyed by miserliness and longing." Narrated by Ahmad and Tabarani in AI Awsat and AI Baihaqi. Unfortunately, there were generations that succeeded the early Muslims who neglected the rules of Allah. They forsook their Lord, so He forsook them. They deserted His rules, and so they were lost. "Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up prayers (i. e. made their prayers to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly, or by not offering them in their proper fixed times, etc.) and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell." (Surah Maryam:Verse 59). They followed their desires and evil of their deeds was made appealing to them.
In a sahih hadith: "Allah hates every selfish arrogant, rambling in the market places, a corpse by night and an ass by day, knowledgeable in worldly affairs yet ignorant of the after world." One of the most important lost obligations is the forgotten obligation of fighting. Because it is absent from the present condition of the Muslims, they have become as rubbish of the flood waters. Just as the Prophet (saw) said: "It is expected that the nations will call each other from all horizons, as diners calling each other to feast from a platter of food in front of them." A person asked the Prophet (saw) would that be because of our small number that day. The Prophet (saw) said, "No, but you will be rubbish like the rubbish of flood water. Allah will put Wahn into your hearts and remove the fear from the hearts of your enemies because of your love for the world and your hate of death". In another narration it was said: "and what is the Wahn, O messenger of Allah?" He (saw) said: "love of the world and the hate for fighting." Narrated by Ahmad with a good chain. Narrated by Abu Daud with the words "hate for death", and it is a sahih hadith.
Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah says on this topic: "About the defensive jihad, which is repelling an aggressor, is the most tasking type of jihad. As agreed upon by everyone, it is obligatory to protect the religion and what is sacred. The fIrst obligation after Iman is the repulsion of the enemy aggressor who assaults the religion and the worldly affairs. There are no conditional requirements such as supplies or transport, rather he is fought with all immediate capability .The Ulama, our peers and others have spoken about this."
Opinions of the Mathhabs
Hanafi Fiqh Ibn Abidin said: " Jihad becomes Fard Ayn if the enemy attacks one of the borders of the Muslims, and it becomes Fard Ayn upon those close by. For those who are far away, it is Fard Kifaya, if their assistance is not required. If they are needed, perhaps because those nearby the attack cannot resist the enemy, or are indolent and do not fight jihad, then it becomes Fard Ayn upon those behind them, like the obligation to pray and fast. There is no room for them to leave it. If they too are unable, then it becomes Fard Ayn upon those behind them, and so on in the same manner until the jihad becomes Fard Ayn upon the whole Ummah of Islam from East to the West". And the following have like Fatwa: AI Kassani, lbn Najim and lbn Hammam.
Maliki Fiqh In Hashiyat ad Dussuqi it is stated: Jihad becomes Fard Ayn upon a surprise attack by the enemy. Dussuqi said: "Wherever this happens, jihad immediately becomes Fard Ayn upon everybody, even women, slaves, and children, and they march out even if their guardians, husbands and creditors forbid them to." Shaffie Fiqh In the Nihayat al Mahtaj by Ramli it is stated: "If they approach one of our lands and the distance between them and us becomes less than the distance permitting the shortening of prayers, then the people of that territory must defend it and it becomes Fard Ayn even upon the people for whom there is usually no jihad; the poor, the children, the slaves, the debtor and the women."
Hanbali Fiqh In al Mughni by Ibn al Qadamah it is stated: " Jihad becomes Fard Ayn in three situations: 1) If the two sides meet in battle and they approach each other. 2) If the Kuffar enter a land, jihad becomes Fard Ayn upon its people. 3) If the Imam calls a people to march forward it is obligatory upon them to march forward."
And Ibn Taymiyyah remarked: "If the enemy enters a Muslim land, there is no doubt that it is obligatory for the closest and then the next closest to repel him, because the Muslim lands are like one land. It is obligatory to march to the territory even without the permission of parents or creditor, and the narration's reported by Ahmad are clear on this." ~ This situation is known as the General March.
Evidence for The General March and its Justification
Allah the Almighty the Majestic says: "March forth, whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor), strive hard with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah. This is better for you if you but knew." (Surah at Tauba:Verse 41). In a preceding verse the arrangement of punishment and the replacement by a people who carry Islam, has been mentioned as a recompense for those who do not march forward. Allah does not punish except those who leave an obligation or perform forbidden acts. "If you march not forth, He will punish you with a painful torment and will replace you by another people, and you cannot harm Him at all and Allah is able to do all things." (Surah at Tauba: Verse 39).
Ibn Kathir said: "Allah the Exalted ordered that everybody march forward with the Messenger of Allah (saw), (the General March) in the expedition of Tabuk to fight the enemies of Allah, the unbelieving Romans of the People of the Book". Bukhari has written a chapter in Sahih Bukhari (entitled: The Chapter On The Obligation of Marching Forward and What is Required from Jihad and Intention for It) and quoted this verse. It was a general call because it became known to the Muslims that the Romans were gathering on the borders of the Arabian Peninsula and were preparing to invade Medina. So what is the situation when the Kuffar enter a Muslim country, does not the march forward become the ultimate priority?
Abu Talha (ra) said about the Exalted's words: "...light or heavy...old or young" (Surah at Tauba:Verse 41), Allah did not listen to anyone's excuse". And Hasan al Basri said: "in hardship and in ease." Ibn Taymiyyah said in Majmua al Fatawa 28/358: "If the enemy intends an attack upon the Muslims, then repelling him becomes obligatory upon the population under attack as well as the population not under attack.
The Exalted has said: "...But if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them..." (Surah al Anfal:Verse 72). As well, the Prophet (saw) ordered the assisting of a Muslim in need. Whether or not one is a salaried soldier, and no matter what his capabilities, it is an obligation upon everybody with their persons and wealth, little or much, riding or on foot. As it was when the enemy attacked Medina in the Battle of the Trench, Allah allowed no one to be exempted."
Az Zuhri said: "Saeed Bin al Mussayb went on a military expedition and he lost one of his eyes. It was said to him: "you are injured". He replied, " Allah has ordered the light and heavy to march forward, therefore if it is not possible for me to fight, I will make your numbers seem greater by my presence and I can watch over your things."
Allah the Almighty and Majestic says: "...and fight the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers, in the Oneness of Allah) collectively, as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allah is with those who are AI Muttaqun." (Surah at Tauba: Verse 36). Ibn Arabi said: "collectively means besieging them from every side and in all possible circumstances." Allah the Almighty and Majestic says: "And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i. e. worshipping others beside Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah alone (in the whole world)... " (Surah al Anfal:Verse 39).
The Fitnah means Shirk as Ibn Abbas and As Siddi said: "When the Kuffar attack and control a country, the Ummah is endangered in its religion and it becomes susceptible to doubt in its belief. Fighting then becomes an obligation to protect the religion, lives, 'Ard and wealth." Mohammed (saw) has said: "There is no Hijr after the Opening (of Mecca) but there is Jihad and the intention for it. So if you are called to march forth then march forth". Reported by Bukhari. It is an obligation to march forth if the Ummah is called to do so, and in the situation of an enemy attack. The Ummah is called to march forward to protect its religion. The extent of the obligation is related to the need of the Muslims or demand of the Imam. As Ibn Hajr has clarified in the explanation of this hadith.
Al Qurtubi said: "Anyone who is aware of the weakness of the Muslims in the face of their enemy, knows that he can reach them and can assist them, it is also upon him to march forward." Every religion which Allah has revealed safeguards five essential aspects: the religion, life, 'Ard, the mind and property. Consequently, there must be measures to safeguard these five by any means. So, Islam orders repelling the aggressor. The aggressor is one who imposes himself with violence upon others, seeking their life, their wealth or their' 'Ard. "And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of Allah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help." (Surah an Nisa:Verse 75).
Finally we say, the case is not settled by long lists of quotations or the bringing forward of witnesses. Rather, the matter is referred to the heart. If Allah gives it light it will see the truth, in which everything is apparent. Otherwise, if the hearts are darkened they will not see. "... Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind." (Surah al Hajj :Verse 46).
The vision of the heart is for evidences, and the signs of Allah are for cultivating Taqwa, obedience and enthusiasm for acts of worship. " Verily, proofs have come to you from your Lord, so whoever sees, will do so for (the good of) his own self; and whosoever blinds himself; will do so to his own harm, and I (Mohammed s.a. w.) am not a watcher over you." (Surah al Anam:Verse 104). This vision opens forth in the heart the springs of perception. A perception not earned by studying. Verily, it is an understanding given by Allah to His servant for His Book and His religion according to the capacity of the heart's vision. This vision grows in the field of the heart, that he may discern truth from falsehood, the honest from the liar.
The Exalted said: "Surely! Therein is indeed a sign for the believers." (Surah al Hijr:Verse 77). Mujahid said: "In at Tirmidhi, Abi Said al Khudri (ra) reported that the Prophet (saw) said: "Fear the perception of the believer for he sees with the light of Allah the Almighty the Majestic." Then he read: "Surely! Therein is indeed a sign for the believers." (Surah al Hijr:Verse 77).
Everyone who prefers the life of this world from among the scholars, he must lie concerning Allah in his Fatwa and rulings, in his lectures and his commands, because many of the Rules of Allah conflict with the desires of the people, especially those endowed with authority. Those who serve their lusts, their desires will not be satisfied except by contradicting the truth or rejecting a great part of it. If the scholars and those who govern love, power and pursue their desires, they will not find fulfilment unless they oppose the truth. Especially when the doubtful coincides with their lusts, thus tempting his lower nature. What is right becomes hidden and the face of truth is covered. If the truth is evident and without doubt, he chooses the controversial and excuses himself by saying that he will find an exit in repentance.
About those, and those like them the Exalted said: "Then, there has succeeded a posterity who have given up prayers (i. e. made their prayers to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times. etc.) and have followed lusts..." (Surah Maryam:Verse 59). The Exalted also said about them: "Then after them succeeded them an (evil) generation, which inherited the Book, but they chose (for themselves) the good of this low life (evil pleasures of this world) saying (as an excuse): (Everything) will be forgiven to us. And if (again) the offer of the like (evil pleasures of this world) came their way, they would (again) seize them (would commit those sins). Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them that they would not say about Allah anything but the truth? And they studied what is in it (the Book). And the home of the hereafter is better for those who are AI Muttaqun. Do not you then understand?" (Surah al A'araf:Verse 169).
To follow vain desires blinds the eye of the heart, until it can no longer differentiate between Sunnah and Bid'ah, or it inevitably reverses them, that it perceives the Bid'ah as Sunnah. This is the plague the scholars suffer when they prefer the life of this world and pursue lusts and follow after leaders. The following verses refer to them: "And recite (0 Mohammed) to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) but he threw them away, so Satan followed him up, and he became of those who went astray. And had We willea: We would surely have elevated him therewith but he clung to the earth and followed his own vain desire. So his description is the description of a dog: If you drive him away, he lolls his tongue out, or if you leave alone he (still) lolls his tongue out... " (Surah al A'araf:Verse 175-176).
Quotations will not suffice, because the perception of the truth relies on the enlightenment of the heart. When the heart has a strong attachment to the life of this world, and the bearer of this heart is immersed in sin, Ran (black covering) overcomes the heart. Because, every sin is a black stain on the heart. These black stains accumulate until the Ran is total and prevents the penetration of light to the heart. When the heart is darkened, things no longer appear as they truly are, for truth is confused and its face no longer apparent. The heart is inverted and sees truth as falsehood and falsehood as truth. There must be Taqwa that the capacity for discernment is developed, the heart cleansed, that it may accord things their proper order: "O you who believe! If you obey and fear Allah, He will grant you Furqan a criterion (to judge between right and wrong of Makhraj, i. e. making a way for you to get out from every difficulty), and will expiate for you your sins, and forgive you, and Allah is the owner of the great bounty. " (Surah al Anfal:Verse 29). When they were in confusion over difficult questions they would say, " Ask the people of the battle fronts because they are nearest to Allah". They asked Ahrnad Bin Hanbal: "Who do we ask after you?" He said, "Ask Aba Bakr al Waraq for he possesses Taqwa as it ought to be, and I hope he will be successful in answering. " In Bukhari and Muslim a hadith Marfu:"In the past among the nations before you there were inspired men and if there was one in my nation it would be Umar Bin Khattab." And Umar was true to this.
Muslim narrates in his sahih from Aisha (r.a), who said: "The Messenger of Allah (saw) would open his prayer when he stood at night with: Our Lord of Jibraeel and Mikaeel, Originator of the heavens and the earth, Knower of the unseen and the seen, You judge between Your slaves in that which they are at difference. Guide me from that in which they differ to the truth by Your leave. You guide whom You will to the straight path." Finally we supplicate by the blessed verse: "...O Lord! Judge between us and our people in truth, for You are the best of those who give judgement." (Surah al A'araf:Verse 89).
We repeat the supplication of the Messenger of Allah (saw) as reported in sahih Muslim: "O Allah guide us from that in which they differ to the truth by Your permission. You guide whom You will to the straight path. Our Lord forgive us and our brethren who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts any hatred towards those who have believed. Our Lord You are indeed full of Kindness, Most Merciful. O Allah make us live in contentment and die as Shaheed and gather us among the group of Mustafa (saw). Glory be to You O Allah and Praise, I bear witness that there is no God but You. I seek Your forgiveness and to You I repent."