Current Trends in Islamist Ideology

“Why We Are Waging Jihad”: A Critical Translation of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba’s Foundational Document

Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor, Security Studies Program, Georgetown University
People stand on the debris of the house which was razed to ground during the gunfight between militants and Indian security forces in Drangbal area of Pampore in south Kashmir on October 16, 2021. (Faisal Khan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (“Army of the Pure,” also known as Jamaat-ud-Dawa, meaning “Society for Proselytization”) remains one of the most formidable militant proxies in the arsenal of the Pakistani state.1 It is also the only significant militant organization operating in Pakistan that is salafist, or more accurately ghair muqallid (those who do not follow a particular Sunni Imam’s jurisprudence), indicating that the organization rejects all schools of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh).2 Therefore, it is useful to understand how the organization justifies the violence it perpetrates on behalf of the Pakistani state as well as the violence within Pakistan that it categorically proscribes.  

One of the clearest expositions of why the group engages in violence is given in the organization’s foundational document, Hum Jihad Kyon Kar Rahe Hain (“Why We Are Waging Jihad”), written by Abdulsalam bin Mohammad, a close aide to Lashkar-e-Tayyaba founder Hafiz Mohammed Saeed.3 This document has been republished countless times, but its original publication date is not known, although references to the Balkans conflict suggests that it was written sometime in the mid- to late-1990s. Notably, no version of the pamphlet indicates a date of publication, which is somewhat anomalous as most of the group’s publications provide dates. This may be purposeful, perhaps a means to indicate that the contents of the pamphlet are invariant with respect to time.

In this essay, I present my translation of this Urdu-language document in its entirety in order to make it more widely accessible to scholars. This document is instructive for several reasons. First, it clarifies who is responsible for waging jihad and under what conditions. In this discussion, the organization takes aim at those Muslims who argue that armed jihad is not legitimate unless waged by an Islamic state (Islami Riyasat). Second, the document also specifies who are justifiable targets for violence and, just as importantly, who must be spared. According to the pamphlet’s author, irrespective of what a particular Pakistani does to inflame one’s sentiments, if the individual in question is kalima-go (those who accept the Islamic profession of faith),4 he or she should be rehabilitated through dawah (proselytization) rather than be subjected to violence. This position in particular is in direct conflict with myriad Deobandi militant groups in Pakistan as well as the Islamic State, all of which practice takfir (declaring somebody an unbeliever).5 In this way, the organization puts itself into direct conflict with Pakistan’s other domestic terrorist organizations that target citizens in the belief that violence against wayward leaders and other citizens deemed to be apostate is defensible.

Finally, the pamphlet’s author avers that any kind of disorder—much less violence—within Pakistan is verboten. In other words, no Pakistani should engage in any disruptive activities within Pakistan, whether targeting the government, particular individuals within the government, or ordinary Pakistanis of any ethnic or religious persuasion. The only recourse for reforming any Pakistani is to invite them to embrace the organization’s interpretation of Islam and educate them accordingly. Presumably, this is one of the reasons why the organization is an asset of the state. In fact, Tabish Qayyum, a member of the organization, argued in his MA thesis conducted at Pakistan’s National Defense University that Lashkar-e-Tayyaba is uniquely positioned to defeat the Islamic State in Pakistan,6 while other leaders in the group also argue that it alone can resolve Pakistan’s outstanding ethnic conflicts, such as that in Balochistan.7 This document also offers a stern warning to the Pakistani state that the group’s decision to not wage jihad in the country is contingent upon the state not confronting it.

In recent decades, the groups conducting Islamist violence in Pakistan have subscribed to the Deobandi interpretive tradition,8 and they often target Shi’a, Barelvi shrines,9 the Ahmadiyya,10and non-Muslims.11 More recently, Barelvis, in the guise of Tehreek-e-Labaik,12have spearheaded violence against anyone they believe to have blasphemed, and their precarious definitions of blasphemy include persons who wish to reform Pakistan’s blasphemy law.13 While Lashkar-e-Tayyaba is at odds with such groups, its focus being on tawheed (oneness of Allah), it has allied with other groups in Pakistan over the so-called “defense of the prophet,” campaigns that largely target Pakistan’s Ahmadiyya as well as secular and left-of-center Pakistanis who criticize the state’s appropriation of jihad, especially that of the army.14

Abdulsalam bin Muhammad wrote this pamphlet in a Socratic style in which a questioner poses a query to the author who responds in turn, mobilizing a selective recounting of events in the Qur’an, Sunnat, and Hadees (Hadith15) as well as historical and contemporary events that give salience to the textual references he uses. In this translation, I retain the structure of the original document throughout.

Why Are We Waging Jihad?

Question: Is jihad currently farz-i-ayn [compulsory for every individual]? If so, what are the reasons given that no prophet waged jihad bil saif [jihad by the sword] until taking practical steps to establish an Islamic state? Currently, an Islamic state does not exist. If we assume that jihad is compulsory, given that the barbarism and cruelty in Kashmir and other countries also exists in Pakistan, why don’t we wage jihad in Pakistan? What is the reason, providing evidence? Even if we strengthen our Islamic state by waging jihad internationally, what good is it if we are hollow from within? Please clarify.

Answer: As long as the prophet lived in Mecca, he lacked permission to fight the infidels. Upon migrating to Medina, the infidels continued harassing him. Allah gave him permission to wage war.

“Sanction is given unto those who fight because they have been wronged; and Allah is indeed Able to give them victory.” (Surat al-Hajj [22:39])16

After this, Allah made fighting compulsory.

“Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you.” (Surat al-Baqarah [2:216])

Thus, fighting infidels was made compulsory until the following objectives are achieved:

First Objective – Ending Civil Strife among Muslims (Fitna)

As long as disbelievers anywhere in this world have the power and interest to prevent a person from accepting Islam through fear of pain or persecution, as long as anyone hesitates to accept Islam due to fear of punishment or harassment, or a long as a person who accepts Islam is targeted for cruelty or torture, it is compulsory to fight them until all obstacles to accepting Islam are eliminated. Allah says:

“And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers.” (Surat al-Baqarah [2:193])

Second Objective – Dominance of Islam

Fighting infidels is compulsory until Islam dominates the entire world and Allah’s law is in force everywhere. 

“And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers.” (Surat al-Anfal [8:39])

The prophet himself said:

“I have been commanded to fight them until they bear witness that none other than Allah is worthy of worship and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and [until] they establish prayer and pay zakat;17 when they do this, their property and lives are safe from me while in matters of faith in Islam, their reckoning is with Allah.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Third Objective – Jizya Collection

Continuous fighting is mandatory until all of the world’s infidels—who do not want Islam to be brought—are humiliated and voluntarily offer jizya [a tax paid by non-Muslims living in an Islamic state] to Muslims.

“Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.” (Surat at-Tawbah [9:29])

Fourth Objective – Defending the Defenseless

As long as anyone in the world is being persecuted, continued fighting is compulsory until they are delivered from persecution. 

“How should ye not fight for the cause of Allah and of the feeble among men and of the women and the children who are crying: Our Lord! Bring us forth from out this town of which the people are oppressors! Oh, give us from Thy presence some protecting friend! Oh, give us from Thy presence some defender!” (Surat an-Nisa [4:75])

Fifth Objective – Avenging the Murdered

If an infidel murders a Muslim, taking revenge is compulsory. Should a Muslim murder a fellow Muslim, due to Islam’s brotherhood, the crime may be forgiven or compensated with blood money. But murder at the hands of an infidel must be avenged unless the infidel converts to Islam. Allah says: 

“O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered.” (Surat al-Baqarah [2:178])

In 6 A.H. [628 A.D.], the prophet travelled to Mecca to satisfy the obligation of Umrah.18 It was not his intention to fight. Even after the infidels tried to stop him, he did not fight them. Instead, he sent Hazrat Usman19 to Mecca as an envoy. The Meccans refused to permit Hazrat Usman to return and the Muslims believed him to be dead. When the prophet heard of this, he declared that we will not go without a fight and he took a pledge of allegiance from 1,400 companions. When the infidels heard of this, they returned Hazrat Usman. (Brief Seerat20 of the prophet and Seerat of Ibn Hisham.)

It is obvious this pledge was taken with the prospect of retributive justice for Hazrat Usman. Allah announced his approval of this pledge as revealed in the Quran: 

“Allah was well pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance unto thee beneath the tree.” (Surat al-Fath [48:18])

In 8 A.H. [630 A.D.] the prophet dispatched Haris bin Umair Azadi21 with a letter for the ruler of Basra. On the way, Haris was captured and killed by Sharhabeel bin Amr al-Ghassani, who served as the governor of Balqa, Syria on behalf of Caesar. When news of this reached the prophet, he was deeply shocked. He readied an army of 3,000. Apart from the Battle of Khandaq,22 no army of this size had ever been mustered. Zayd bin Harisa23 was declared the emir of the army and he was commanded to proceed to the place where Haris bin Umair was murdered, where he was to invite the people embrace Islam. If they accepted Islam, they would be left alone. However, if they rejected the message, they were commanded by Allah to wage war. This became the Battle of Mu’tah24 in which 3,000 Muslim soldiers battled 200,000 infidels. The Muslims lost three emirs, one after the other, after which Saifullah Khalid took command and led the Muslim forces to victory (Al-Rahiqul Makhtum).

To teach the people of that area an additional lesson, as his death neared, the prophet made Arjumand Usama,25 the son of Zayd bin Harisa, the emir of the army and ordered them to depart. Ultimately, it was Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq who fulfilled the prophet’s commands.26

Sixth Objective – Punishment for Breaking a Treaty

If any nation breaks a treaty made with Muslims, fighting is compulsory. 

“And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief. Lo! They have no binding oaths in order that they may desist.” (Surat at-Tawbah [9:12])

In the circumstances of fighting a nation which has broken a treaty with Muslims, Allah gave to Muslims six revelations:

“Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your hands, and He will lay them low and give you victory over them, and He will heal the breasts of folk who are believers. And He will remove the anger of their hearts. Allah repenteth toward whom He will. Allah is Knower, Wise.” (Surat at-Tawbah [9:14-15])       

In 6 A.H. the prophet made a ten-year truce with the Quraysh27 of Mecca. In this truce, several strict conditions had been accepted which were repugnant to the Muslims. But in 8 A.H., the Quraysh participated in a military campaign against a tribe allied with the prophet, the Banu Khaza’ah,28 in breach of the peace treaty. The prophet attacked and conquered Mecca with 10,000 brave hearts.

In Medina, the prophet concluded treaties with the Jewish tribes living in Medina. When they broke these agreements, the prophet besieged the Banu Qaynuqa and Banu Nazir29 and exiled them. After besieging the Banu Qurayza,30 their adult men were slaughtered and their women and children were taken as concubines and slaves.

Seventh Objective – Fighting in Self-Defense 

When a nation attacks Muslims, fighting in self-defense is compulsory. 

“Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not, aggressors.”(Surat al-Baqarah [2:190])

On the occasion of the Battle of Khandaq, when the infidels attacked Medina, the prophet ordered all Muslims to participate in the war. On the occasion of the Battle of Tabuk, when he heard that the enemy was about to attack, he commanded all able-bodied men to come out from Arab lands to combat the enemy even though, at that time, the circumstances were dire. 

Eighth Objective – Freeing Occupied Lands

If infidels occupy any Muslim territory, it is compulsory to expel them and restore Muslim control. Allah says:

“And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out.” (Surat al-Baqarah [2:191])

In Surat al-Baqarah, there is mention of a battle against the Bani Israel31 under the command of Talut,32 in order to regain Muslim territory. Allah quotes these mujahideen:

“Why should we not fight in Allah's way when we have been driven from our dwellings with our children?” (Surat al-Baqarah [2:246])

Despite being massively outnumbered, Allah provided special assistance. The prophet David killed Talut, the infidel commander, and the infidels were defeated. Mecca was conquered not only due to a breach of treaty but also because Muslims were cast out from Mecca. 

Consider your question: has jihad been made compulsory in these times; if so, what is the proof? Whether jihad is farz-i-ayn [compulsory for every individual] or farz-i-kifayah [an obligation that a few can fulfil on behalf of the entire community] is discussed further on, but first we must determine if jihad is even obligatory at present.

Have We Achieved Our Objectives?

I have written eight objectives from the Qur’anAllah has commanded us to fight the infidels until they have been achieved. Look at the list. Have Muslims been able to achieve even one of them? 

1. Fighting is mandatory as long as Muslims are prosecuted. Is there any place in the world at this time where those who wish to adopt Islam can do so without the infidels trying to prevent them from doing so? Can the oppressed untouchables of India find refuge in Islamic social justice and become Muslims without fear? Do you not know that they have declared their intention of converting to Islam en masse on several occasions but due to fear of oppression and torture from the Hindu community cannot accept Islam? Can Muslims living in China, Russia, and other communist countries practice their faith? Can they proselytize? Is there any allowance for any communist becoming a Muslim? Are Muslims in countries of infidels not anxious about being oppressed because of their faith? If the answers to these questions are in the negative—and they surely are—then is there any doubt about jihad being compulsory at present?

2. Fighting is compulsory until Allah’s religion dominates the world over. At this time, is the only religion that dominates the world that of Allah? Does the current world order operate according to Islam or the infidels? Do the economic systems throughout the world operate in accordance with Allah’s command to be free of usury or are even Muslim countries pressed by infidels into this system of usury? Have Allah’s restrictive ordinances been established throughout the world? Islam has not dominated the infidels anywhere in the world. Is there any doubt that jihadis compulsory to establish Islam’s domination throughout the world? 

3. Until every infidel government is destroyed and every infidel pays jizya, fighting is compulsory. Is there any place in the world at present where infidels who live in Muslim countries pay the requisite tax, jizya? Have they presented themselves to Muslims, declared themselves to be inferior and paid jizya? If you scrutinize the current situation, you’ll see quite the opposite scenario. Muslims present themselves to infidels and announce their inferiority and offer jizya. Through the World Bank, IMF, and other similar organizations, infidels are looting Muslims’ wealth. Is jihad not compulsory both to end this humiliation and to debase the infidels? 

4. As long as there is any place in the world where the weak are oppressed, fighting is compulsory to deliver them from this maltreatment. Is there any place in the world at present in which Muslims are not tyrannized? Are the innocent Muslim men, women, and children in Hindustan, Indian-administered Kashmir, the Philippines, Chechnya, Muslim states in Russia and China as well as Bosnia not begging for help? In these circumstances, given the Qur’an’s clear explication, what further proof is necessary for the compulsory nature of jihad?

5. If an infidel murders a Muslim, jihadis obligatory to avenge the murder. Has no Muslim been murdered in Hindustan?33 How many Muslims have been raped and killed in Kashmir? We are obliged to avenge the murder of five million Muslim deaths from 1947. Who will requite the Muslim women who, right now, are birthing Hindu and Sikh children? How many millions of Muslims have been butchered in China, Russia, Albania, Yugoslavia among other countries in the name of revolution while the countless survivors were forced to become communists? Only a few months ago, 23,000 Muslims were slaughtered every single day in Bosnia.

6. If any nation breaks treaty with Muslims, it is compulsory to fight that nation. Is there any nation on earth that, at present, has not reneged on a treaty with Muslims? After the establishment of Pakistan, has Hindustan protected the lives and property of Muslims as well as mosques in accordance with Liaquat-Nehru Pact?34 Come day, under the veneer of sectarian violence, Holi35 was played with the blood of Muslims. Their factories and shops are burnt. How many times has Pakistan’s embassy been attacked? In addition to Babri Mosque, hundreds of mosques have been martyred. Did Hindustan honor its pledge to let Kashmiri Muslims exercise their right of expressing their opinions?36

7. Fighting in self-defense is compulsory when a nation attacks Muslims. At present in Kashmir, 750,000 Hindus are assailing Muslims with the support of India’s entire army. In Burma, Buddhists are attacking Muslims and driving them out of their homes. In Bosnia, the barbaric Serbs slaughter Muslims with impunity and they are supported by all of the Christians and communists of the world. Russians are attacking Chechen Muslims who are fighting for their survival. Israel has plunged the dagger of its existence into the heart of the Arab world. In the Philippines, Christians harass Muslims for their entire lifespans. Even animals will not shrink from a fight to save their young even though it may endanger their own lives. If some dog or cat attacks a hen’s chick, she does not seek a fatwa37 from a mufti38 to defend her chicks and become befuddled by the dog or cat. Rather she will fight that dog or cat despite her weakness. We, on the other hand, are still caught up the minutia, debating the arguments about the compulsory nature of jihad at present. 

8. When infidels occupy Muslim lands, jihad is compulsory to oust the infidels and re-instate Muslim control.

  1. Muslims ruled Andalusia [Spain] for 800 years after which the very last Muslim was done away with and Christians established complete control. Taking back this land is our responsibility.
  2. All of Hindustan, Northern Kashmir, Hyderabad, Assam, Nepal, Burma, Bihar, and Junagadh were Muslim sultanates. They fell to foreigners because jihad was abandoned.
  3. Jews have seized control of Palestine as well as Bayt-ul-Muqaddis.39 Additionally, some 20 or so other countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Cyprus, Sicily, Africa, Russian Turkistan, and Chinese Turkistan, up to Kashghar, were controlled by Muslims. We are obligated to free these lands from the infidels. Once the mountains and forests of Switzerland as well as the territory a mere 90 kilometers from Paris were the abodes of the mujahideen [holy warriors]. Today, the infidels control this territory. 

Hopefully after all of these details, I have dispelled all doubts about the compulsory nature of jihad at present.

Jihadin the Absence of an Islamic State?

Now I shall analyze the second part of your question. You wrote that up to now, no prophet waged jihad with the sword before establishing an Islamic state. As of now, no Islamic state exists. 

We do not have sufficient information about the earlier prophets and their communities. So, we cannot make credible assertions about their lives. And even if we had such information, we are not concerned about other prophets because we belong to the ummat [community] of the Prophet Muhammad. For us, he is to be emulated. 

There is no doubt that Islam was revealed over 23 years. Muslims followed the commandments as they were revealed. Some of those commandments were revealed in Mecca, others in Medina. After Islam was revealed in entirety, its commandments must be obeyed in their entirety until the Day of Judgment. Allah alone can allow for exceptions: 

“Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope.” (Surat al-Baqarah [2:286])


“So keep your duty to Allah as best ye can” (Surat at-Taghabun [64:16])

But this exception cannot be used to excuse oneself from fulfilling certain obligations simply because they were mandated after the creation of the Islamic state. According to your reasoning, it could be said that the call to prayer as well as congregational prayers are not necessary because they were mandated after an Islamic state was created. 

The 2.5% charity tax on assets, the sacrificial obligations of cattle, and the 10% tax on land revenues were also mandated only after the creation of the Islamic state. 

Fasting in the month of Ramadan was mandated until a year and a half after the creation of the Islamic state. Alcohol was not prohibited until the sixth or eighth year after the Islamic state was established (Fatah-ul-Bari; Kitab-ul-Ashraba). The prophet prohibited temporary marriages on the occasion of the battle for Khaybar some six years after the creation of the Islamic state. The ban on consuming the meat of the domestic mule was made around the same time (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim).

The Quranic verse that prohibited usury was not revealed until the Islamic state had been established and all other commandments had been revealed. This occurred sometime around 10 A.H. Sahih Bukhari quotes Ibn Abbas: “The last verse to be revealed to the prophet was regarding usury.”

According to your arguments, it is absolutely clear that until the Islamic state comes into existence, the call to prayer [‘azan], praying, and congregational prayer are not compulsory. 

We do not pay the charity tax according to our wealth until the Islamic state comes into being.

Fasting during Ramadan is not compulsory until there is an Islamic state. 

Until the Islamic state comes into being, alcohol is permitted without any restrictions. 

We should enjoy the pleasures of temporary marriages without restriction and consume the flesh of domestic mules until there is an Islamic state.

As long as there is no Islamic state, usury should be permitted.

And if we expand upon your understanding, alcohol should be legal for at least six years after the Islamic state is formed. And for the same period of time, temporary marriages and consuming mule meat should be permitted while usury should be allowed for some additional 10 years. The prohibitions on extra-marital sex, theft, slander, etc. should also be enforced after the creation of the prophet’s Islamic state in accordance with the time they were prohibited after the Islamic state was formed.

These are the kinds of arguments of those who suggest that extra-marital sex should not be a punishable offence before our economy reflects moral values or who suggest that it is a form of cruelty to amputate the hand of a thief until the wealth disparity in our economy is eliminated. 

No, brother, this reasoning is wrong. Whether something is compulsory before the Islamic state is formed or after, it is compulsory until the Day of Judgement. One must carry out these duties as soon as one can afford to do so. Similarly, if something was prohibited before the Islamic state formed or after, they are prohibited until the end of time. 

This also applies to jihad. Initially, there was no permission for this and the order called for staying one’s hand. Even before reaching Medina, not only was permission granted but it was declared to be compulsory. Now jihad will continue until the Day of Judgement.

Those who seek to extricate themselves from these obligations proffer several excuses. Sometimes they say jihad by the sword is not permitted until the Islamic state is formed. Sometimes they say that jihad is not permitted in the absence of a Khalifa.40 Sometimes they say that jihad is not permitted if we are weak in numbers.

However, not one of these excuses is valid.

Jihad is Mandated till the Day of Judgment

According to the account of Jabir bin Samrah, the prophet proclaimed that “This religion will perdure forever; one group [Asba] of Muslims will continue fighting for it until the end of times.” 

It is written in the Kitab-ul-Qamus, the authoritative Arabic dictionary, that “Asba refers to a group of men, horses, or birds ranging from 10 to 40 members. Asaba has the same meaning.” 

Whether an Islamic state exists or not, jihad will continue no matter what happens.

This obligation will be carried out, whether by a large standing army of Muslims or by a small group of 10 to 20 men. If waging jihad requires the existence of an Islamic state or Khalifa, then according to you since there is neither a Khalifa nor Islamic state, it is absolutely clear that jihad cannot be waged. Now tell me, should the prophet’s predictions be understood as true or something else?

Leave aside the existence of an Islamic state or Khalifa, if no one supports you, you can fight alone. Allah has said: “So fight (O Muhammad) in the way of Allah. Thou art not taxed (with the responsibility for anyone) except for thyself and urge on the believers.” (Surat an-Nisa [4:84])

In 6 A.H. the prophet signed a 10-year peace treaty with the Meccan infidels. According to one of the terms of this peace accord, if a Meccan converted to Islam and defected to Medina to be near the prophet, he had to be returned to Mecca. Once all the terms of the treaty were agreed to, the prophet returned to Medina. A Meccan by the name of Abu Basir, of the Quraysh tribe, had already converted to Islam and managed to escape to Medina to be near the prophet. 

The Meccans sent two men to Medina to bring him back. The prophet handed him over to them. The two of them headed back to Medina with him. Once they reached a place called Zul Halifa, they got down from their horses and began to eat dates. Abu Basir said to one of them, “I swear by Allah, your sword seems so magnificent. Can you just hand it over so that I can examine it?” He handed it over. Abu Basir beat him to death. The second panicked and fled to Medina. He ran into the mosque. The prophet asked him if he had seen something horrible. He told the prophet that his companion had been murdered and that he was about to be murdered. 

Abu Basir had just reached the prophet as well. Upon seeing him, the prophet said, “May he be the ruination of his mother. And if anyone is around him, he will start a fight.” Upon hearing this, Abu Basir understood that the prophet was going to return him to Mecca. He left and set off for the seacoast. Meanwhile, in Mecca, a person by the name of Abu Jandal ibn Suhayl saving his own life,41 he fled to meet Abu Basir. 

Thereafter, every convert from the Quraysh who skipped Mecca went straight to Abu Basir. Now every member of the Quraysh that converted to Islam joined Abu Basir. Their numbers swelled and grew into a sizable group [asaba]. I swear upon Allah, upon hearing about the Quraysh’s caravans leaving for Syria, they attacked the caravans on the road, killed them, and stole whatever they had. The Quraysh sent a message to the prophet through family members requesting the prophet to send a message to them telling them that whoever comes, the prophet in Medina can do so peacefully. The prophet subsequently messaged them (Sahih Bukhari with reference to Mashkawa Kitab-ul-Sulah). 

This Hadees makes evident that:

1. Abu Basir started fighting the infidels independently, without waiting for assistance. When he was joined by other men, they sustained guerrilla operations and this initiative was in accord with Allah’s command. At first, Abu Basir operations against the infidels were in self-defense. However, he later began attacking them using peoples’ warfare. 

2. Abu Basir did not execute his operations under the command of a Khalifa. In fact, the prophet agreed to dispatch him to Mecca and, in fact, he ordered him back. In the initial operation (when he slaughtered his captor), Abu Basir was his own emir [commander]. In subsequent operations, he was the emir for himself and his companions. 

3. He did not make an Islamic state a sanctuary from which to wage his operations. The first Islamic state had already refused to help him due to its treaty with the infidels. Abu Basir could not bring an Islamic state into being. But despite this, he kept on fighting and he was not only able to save his own life from the infidels, but he also created a sanctuary for other oppressed Muslims. And he humiliated the infidels to the point that they abandoned their unjust condition in the treaty with the prophet.

4. The prophet did not condemn any of Abu Basir’s operations. In fact, the prophet, by remaining quiet, gave his tacit approval. It is unfortunate that recently an elderly philosopher tried to deprecate Abu Basir and decry his noble actions as the acts of troublemaker.

In summary, this account of Abu Basir is proof that there are no conditions for fighting infidels, especially fighting in self-defense. There is no conditionality whether on the number of fighters, the establishment of an Islamic state or the presence of a Khalifa. In the absence of an emir, while defending oneself, every person is his own emir. And those persons or groups who keep on waiting for certain conditions to be fulfilled, will end up with their freedom, their honor, their life and wealth snatched from them. 

The Islamic State and Khalifa are Created through Jihad

In Muharram 656 A.H.,42 the Tartars dismantled Baghdad brick by brick and assassinated Khalifa Musta’sim Billah. For the next three-and-a-half years, until Rajab 659 A.H.,43 Muslims were without a Khalifa. Had Muslims terminated jihad during this period, then all traces of Islam would have been erased. But they, howsoever possible, kept on fighting in small factions. 

Through successive defeats of the Tartars, they were successful in protecting Islam and Muslims. And, once again, a Khalifa of the Muslims was declared. Shaikh Ibn Taymiyya says those who fought the Tartars are an example of the prophet’s prophecy in which he predicted that his one group from among his ummat would prevail and that whosoever would oppose them or abandon support for them will never be able to harm them until the Last Day (Compilation of Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya, pgs. 414 and 531). 

The truth of the matter is that in the absence of a Khalifa and, God forbid, that every Islamic state is destroyed, instead thinking that jihad should be ended, it is crucial to understand that jihad is the very blessing that gives hope of restoring the Khalifate and reestablishing an Islamic state.

Currently, Is Jihad Farz-i-Ayn or Farz-i-Kifayah?

In the beginning of this, I described eight objectives from the Qur’an that make it clear that jihad is an obligation. Then you asked whether, at present, jihadis farz-i-ayn. And if so, you asked me to provide evidence for this claim. 

First, we need to understand the meanings of farz-i-ayn and farz-i-kifayahIbn Qadamah states:

Farz-i-ayn are obligations that are incumbent upon every single Muslim, e.g., prayer, fasting. Farz-i-kifayah are obligations that can be performed by a requisite number of Muslims and the remaining will be freed of this obligation. However, if the required number of Muslims do not carry out these obligations, then the entire community has sinned. Initially, all Muslims are commanded to perform these obligations, like farz-i-ayn. After some time, the difference between the two obligations is that a certain number of Muslims can perform the farz-i-kifayah, absolving the others of this obligation whereas each and every person is obliged to carry out farz-i-ayn. (Wa-al Sharah-al-Kabir Ibn Qadamah Kitab-al-jihad)

Religious scholars cite the funeral prayer and funerary rites as examples of farz-i-kifayah; every Muslim is obligated to perform these for the deceased. However, if a few men can fulfil this obligation, the rest of the community is freed of this duty. However, if no one performs these last rites or if there are not enough people to fulfill this obligation, then the entire community is considered to be sinners for failing to execute this obligation. 

It is absolutely clear that jihad is an obligation for all Muslims. In the beginning of this essay, I described several verses in the Qur’an which state that fighting the infidels must continue until eight objectives are fulfilled. 

The question, however, remains whether jihad is farz-i-ayn, which, like prayer and fasting, must be performed by every single Muslim or if it is farz-i-kifayah, which can be fulfilled by a certain number of Muslims thereby absolving the rest of the community from this obligation. 

Some scholars posit that jihadis farz-i-ayn. To support this claim, they use the very Qur’anic verses quoted above. The Quranic interpretation offered by Qurtabi states: “Burdi claims that Saeed bin Musaib said, ‘jihad is farz-i-ayn for each and every Muslim eternally.’” (al-Jama-al-Ahkam-al-Quran-al-Qurtabi 38/3 and 201/2)

On the other hand, many scholars claim jihad is farz-i-kifayah. If some Muslims are waging jihad, others are relieved of their obligation. There are several robust arguments for this perspective.

1. Allah states:

It is not the case that all believers should go out to fight. So why is it not the case that from every gathering of Muslims, one contingent goes out such they would gain the understanding of Islam in the battlefields of jihad. Upon their return, they would terrify their people such that they would be saved. (Surat at-Tawbah [9:29- 9:122])

This makes it clear that not every Muslim is obligated go out and fight. Even if only one contingent goes into battle, then the obligation is fulfilled for the rest of the community.

2. Allah states:

“Those of the believers who sit still, other than those who have a (disabling) hurt, are not on an equality with those who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and lives. Allah hath conferred on those who strive with their wealth and lives a rank above the sedentary. Unto each Allah hath promised good, but He hath bestowed on those who strive a great reward above the sedentary.” (Surat an-Nisa [4:95])

From this verse we learn that the believers who stayed back in their homes were promised blessings even though they had a lower status. If jihad was farz-i-ayn, how could the ones who remained at home be promised blessings?

Abu Huraira claims that the prophet said, “Those who believe in Allah and His prophet, pray, and fast during Ramadan are entitled to enter paradise, whether he wages jihad in Allah’s cause or remains in the spot where he was born.” People asked if they should tell others about this good news. The prophet said, “Absolutely. Paradise has 100 levels which Allah has prepared for those who wage jihadwith the sword for Allah. The distance between each level is equivalent to the distance between the earth and the sky. So, when you ask Allah, ask about firdous [paradise], for that is the highest and best level. And above it lies the realm of God and from it the rivers of paradise burst forth.” 

From this Hadees, we know that if a Muslim does not go forth for jihad and instead remains in at home fulfilling their other obligations, he can still enter paradise. If jihad was farz-i-ayn, how are such good tidings possible?

If we look carefully at the evidence for both arguments, then it is obvious that both are correct in their own way. There is no contradiction between them because both have their own meanings.          

Waging jihad against and killing the infidel is a broad undertaking. This cannot be completed until all sections of Muslims within the emirate system are engaged in this enterprise. Although the most prominent among these sections are the mujahideen who fight the enemy in the battlefield—and for sure their status is higher than others—do not think that the mujahideen are the only ones fighting the enemy or that the mujahideen have no proper part in this fight. 

In fact, they prepare and deliver weapons to the embattled mujahideen, deliver food and other necessities. They protect the homes of those fighting. They sustain the intention to participate in all aspects of the fight against the enemy, remain ready at all times to do so. They motivate others for battle. They obtain weapons training and they train others in the use of weapons. These are all foundational stones in the edifice of jihad. In this context, consider a few Hadees:

1. According to Zayd bin Khalid,44 the prophet said, “Whoever prepares a warrior on his way to fight in Allah’s cause or takes care of a fighter’s family also participates in the fight.”

2. According to Abu Saeed,45 the prophet sent an army to Bani Al-Hayyan and declared that for every two men, one should go out and fight, but both will share the reward.

3. Anas46 recounts that the prophet said, “Fight the idolaters with your wealth, your lives, and your tongues.”

4. According to Sahal bin Hanif,47 the prophet proclaimed, “Whoever sincerely asks Allah for martyrdom will be given the status of martyr even if he dies in his bed.”

5. According to Ibn Abbas,48 on the day Mecca was won, the prophet said, “After the conquest of Mecca there is no hijrat49 but there is jihad and its intention. When you are called to come out and fight, head out.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

These Hadees are evidence that the one who prepares a person who is going to fight in Allah’s cause is also a participant in the war. He who provides for the families of those in the battlefield and keeps them safe also participates in the battle. If there are two brothers and one is sent off, the one who stays back and takes care of the affairs of the one going off to war is essentially a colleague of the other who also participates in the fight.

One can fight idolaters with one’s wealth, life, and tongue. One can participate in the fight with mere sincere intentions of fighting and becoming a martyr and obtain the bliss of martyrdom.

To summarize these various arguments, the meaning of jihad is if one must go out and confront the enemy then jihad is farz-i-ayn when the emir commands everyone to come out to fight. In these circumstances, the only ones who can stay back are those whom the emir explicitly ordered to stay back and these people should also be understood as participants in the jihad.

Apart from them, everyone who is able must come out to fight as was the case during the Battle of Tabuk when everyone was ordered to come out and fight and only a few were ordered to stay behind and take care of Medina. Allah harshly repudiated those Muslims who stayed back out of laziness. If the emir does not order everyone or even some particular men to come out and fight, jihad is farz-i-kifayah because, in ordinary circumstances, it is impossible that every Muslim can go. Nor does the wisdom of battle command every Muslim to come out and fight. 

Ultimately, without some arrangement to keep their cities and homes safe from the enemy, how can the battle continue? If there are enough people present in Medina to fight the enemy, then it is not mandatory that everyone in Medina come out to fight. Certainly, if in spite of this, someone in Medina heads out to fight, he will be entitled to the 100 levels of paradise that Allah has maintained for those who wage jihad.

This is what لاَّ يَسْتَوِي الْقَاعِدُونَ (“not equal are those who sit at home50”) and مَا كَانَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لِيَنفِرُواْ كَآفَّةً (“and the believers should not all go out to fight51”) refer to, as does the Hadees about staying in the place one was born. 

But if jihad refers to maintaining the intention of fighting; obtaining training; securing as many weapons and other equipment as possible; preparing the mujahideen for battle; caring for and protecting the households of those in the battlefield; or being involved in the war in some way or another, then this jihad is farz-i-ayn for each and every Muslim and avoiding it is malice.

This is also the meaning of amr bil-maruf an ahi an-al-munkar (“enjoining good and forbidding evil”). According to Abu Saeed Khadri, the prophet said: 

 “If among you, should anyone witness any evil, then stop it with your own hands. And if you lack the strength to do this, speak up against it and if you lack the ability to do that, then at least try to prevent it with your heart as this is this is the weakest faith.”

Scholars have declared forbidding evil to be farz-i-kifayah. If some people prevent evil, then the others’ obligations are satisfied. But everyone is obligated to continue discouraging one another from committing evil. And at the very least, each and every Muslim is obligated to remain fully committed to preventing evil because if even this is not possible, then what will happen to this faith? Similarly, jihad against the infidels is mandatory for all Muslims in some form or another. If someone cannot maintain even the intention or objective of fighting the infidel, then his faith is not free of hypocrisy.

Abu Umamah52 reports the prophet said, “If someone does not take part in jihad, does not prepare someone to wage jihad, or does look after the household of someone participating in a war, then before the last day, Allah will ensure that person suffers grievously.” (Abu Dawood)

According to Abu Hurayra,53 the prophet proclaimed, “If someone who dies without fighting in battle or without even the intention of fighting, then he has died upon a branch of hypocrisy.” (Sahih Muslim)

Indicating the Intention to Fight

            From the above-given Hadees, we know that every Muslim is obligated to fight infidels in some form or another, or at least maintain the intention and objective of waging jihad. Allah himself has described the clear indication of this intent. In Surat at-Tawbah, Allah says of the hypocrites:

“And if they had wished to go forth they would assuredly have made ready some equipment.” (Surat at-Tawbah [9:46])

Thus, it is clear that the person who makes absolutely no preparations to fight the infidels, who does not train his body to fight, who has not learned how to use weapons and who has not tried to stockpile weapons nor has learned how to ride a horse, nor learns anything useful for war nor dares to provide weapons for war is disobeying Allah and is snared in hypocrisy. 

Farz-i-Kifayah is Farz-i-Ayn until It Is Fulfilled

Some brothers try to satisfy themselves and others by arguing that going out for jihad is not farz-i-ayn rather farz-i-kifayah and hence it is not necessary for all of us to head out for jihad.  And having made this excuse, the Muslim ummat has stopped waging jihad everywhere despite being humiliated at the hands of the infidels. Even farz-i-kifayah falls upon every able-bodied person as long as there is an insufficient number of persons to fulfill the obligation. 

For example, if in every city there are only a few doctors present, then it is the duty of all to treat the sick and injured. However, if some of the doctors are fulfilling this responsibility, the obligation will be fulfilled for others, and if not, all are sinners.

If someone is drowning, then every swimmer present is obliged to save him. If even one person gets up and saves him then then the obligation is fulfilled for all. On the other hand, it is not acceptable to excuse oneself from acting by arguing that this obligation was farz-i-kifayah. Nor can one excuse himself because their parents forbade him from saving a life. According to Imam Shokafi, the Qur’an and Sunnat provide so many arguments about the compulsory nature of jihad that it is impossible to detail them here. However, jihad is only obligatory as in farz-i-kifayah. When adequate persons fulfill this obligation, the obligation upon others is voided. However, it remains farz-i-ayn until enough people fulfill the obligation.

Now, read again the eight objectives and their Qur’anic references at the start of this essay. Are enough Muslims fighting to obtain these objectives? Have the obligations of all Muslims been satisfied? 

Is there a single mujahideen contingent that is adequate to extinguish perfidy throughout the world?

Is there any such group of mujahedeen engaged in jihad that is able to create an Islamic world order all by itself?

Is there any such group that is able to collect jizya by force from all the infidels throughout world?

Is there any such group that can adequately save the weak and oppressed singlehandedly? 

Is there any such group of mujahideen that can take revenge for all of the deaths of the millions of innocent Muslims who have been killed in various countries over the various centuries? 

Is there a single Muslim group that can confront the infidels throughout the world about all the pacts and treaties that they have broken with Muslims? 

Are sufficient numbers of mujahideen busy taking back all of the land which the infidels have snatched from the Muslims? Are there enough mujahideen engaged in a war to win back Andalusia, Hindustan, Russia, Chinese Turkestan, Bayt-ul-Muqaddis [Dome of the Rock] etc.?

Infidels are attacking Muslims in various locations throughout the world. Are there adequate numbers defending these Muslims? 

If not, and certainly there are not, is there any doubt about the accountability of every single able-bodied Muslim who is not fighting the infidels according to their abilities? We must all redress our negligence and we need to stop using the debate over farz-i-kifayah and farz-i-ayn as a means to escape our obligations.

Why Do We Not Wage Jihad in Pakistan?

You have asked a question pertaining to jihad. Namely, if waging jihad is an important obligation, then why do we not wage jihad in Pakistan given that all of the cruelty and barbarity that is rampant in Kashmir and other countries is also present in Pakistan. What are the arguments and evidence for this position?

It is unfortunate that you do not see the difference between the cruelty in Hindustan and Pakistan. Pakistan was founded on the principle of La ilaha il la-Allah54 while Hindustan’s flag bears the veer chakr,55which is a symbol of the Hindu faith.

We can demand of Pakistan’s leaders to implement Islam per their various promises and statements. They do not flatly deny the supremacy of Islam. Yes, they are hypocritical about Islam. In contrast, the leaders of Hind are openly infidels. Do you not know the difference between a Muslim hypocrite and an infidel? During the prophet’s time, even when the hypocrites were increasingly disobedient and the prophet’s companions sought permission to kill them, the prophet told them to let them be otherwise people will say that Muhammad kills his own companions. Do you want us to abandon our fight against the infidels and begin fighting our own Muslim brothers?

If there are instances of unrest in Pakistan, they are struggles among Muslim groups contending for power. This is not a fight between disbelief and Islam. And, in truth, India is instigating them. In Hindustan, Muslims are killed for being Muslims. Their properties are looted and their honor is trampled. Do you not see any difference between oppressing someone for the crime of being Muslim on the one hand and more general oppression on the other?

Do you not know that Bal Thackeray56 stated clearly that Muslims in Hindustan have three options? There is no fourth option. First, leave the subcontinent and go somewhere else. Second, they can become Hindus. Third, be prepared to be murdered. Are Muslims in Pakistan presented with these three options? The Babri Mosque, a symbol of Islam in India, was razed to the ground, and at the same time, hundreds of other mosques have been similarly demolished. In Pakistan, are mosques destroyed so that temples can be built? Muslims in Hindustan do not dare slaughter a cow because it is a god of Hindus. Do these conditions exist in Pakistan?

In Hindustan Hindus and Sikhs riot when the call to prayer is made loudly. There is no permission to make the call to prayer on a loudspeaker. Is this the situation in Pakistan?

In Hindustan and Kashmir, the Hindu Army attacks Muslims. In Kashmir, 650,000 soldiers dominate. In Pakistan is there an Indian army or any other army attacking us for the crime of being a Muslim? And yet you do understand the obvious. To free the Muslims who are in the grip of infidels, Muslims must come together irrespective of what disagreements may exist. While plundering Muslims’ lives and wealth and trashing their honor, the infidels will care whether you are Hanafi or Ahl-e-Hadees57 or whether you support the Muslim League58 or the Peoples’ Party.59 They will not stop until there is no person remaining who is not Hindu. Allah says:

“And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed.” (Surat al-Baqarah [2:120])

Do you not know that only by fighting the infidels can we stop fighting amongst ourselves and oppressing each other? Because if we do not fight the infidels, we will never stop fighting amongst ourselves or oppressing one and another.

Hopefully the difference between waging jihad against fellow Muslims in Pakistan (where we live, by Allah’s grace, in peace) and waging jihad against Hindus in Hindustan (where Muslims are butchered for being Muslims; where we have yet taken revenge for the atrocities and plunder of 1947 and 1971) is now obvious to you.

I am deeply saddened when I hear a Muslim brother declare that Pakistan and Hindustan are equally legitimate for jihad. I see clearly that he is thinking what Hindus want him to think and is saying what Hindus want him to say. May Allah reward all brothers with understanding.

And now, regarding your last statement: “If we strengthen the Islamic state through waging jihad abroad, what is the point if we are hollow from within? Please clarify.”

My brother, our Islamic state will be stronger from within through waging jihad against the enemy. Those who wage jihad against the infidels are those have a sense of Islamic dignity. See for yourself; when Muslim rulers lack Islamic dignity, they do not fight the infidels. Those who do fight the infidels because of their disbelief, they are true men of faith. And it is through such men that Allah will grant the state with stability. Therefore, make every attempt to continue jihad in some form or another against infidels and inspire others to participate in the divine duty. 

Excuses for Absconding from the Path of Jihad

Esteemed brothers! When one does not act or cannot act, instead of admitting the truth to himself, his ego deceives him into believing that he is not a failure. The intentions of those who object to the compulsory nature of jihad in Kashmir and elsewhere in the world are suspect. These people, to spare their lives from practical jihad, claim that they do not refuse jihad and are even convinced about the need for it. However, when someone asks them why they do not wage jihad or otherwise participate in the struggle, they proffer various excuses while feigning their ostensible support for militancy.

My explanation for their behavior is that their stated intentions are bad. In the Qur’an, Allah offers the following words about them:

“And if they had wished to go forth they would assuredly have made ready some equipment, but Allah was averse to their being sent forth and held them back and (it was said unto them): Sit ye with the sedentary!”(Surat at-Tawbah [9:46])

Tell me, do these esteemed people know how to disassemble a Kalashnikov? If they are given a weapon, can they hit their target with it? It is clear that they are all talk. They are insincere. What Allah says is true and what the others say is false. As Allah says, if they actually had such an intention to fight, they would be at training camp preparing themselves for battle. It is possible that they have an excuse for not going into the battlefield. However, if they are not even training, then it is clear that they are lying and they are insincere about their intentions. 

No Jihad in the Absence of a Khalifa

First Excuse 

It is asked how jihad can be waged without an emir. If there is no Khalifa how is jihad possible in his absence?

In this answer, there is one simple thing that any ordinary man can remember: in Sahih Muslim, Jabir bin Samrah reports in Mashkawa’s book Al-Jihad, that the prophet said: 

“This faith will perdure forever […] one contingent of Muslims will continue fighting for it…”

The word used here was not jihad; rather yaqatul was used, which literally means, “the fight will continue […] until the Last Day is established.”

Allah’s prophet said that fighting will continue until Judgement Day, and it is because of the aforementioned contingent’s militancy that Islam will endure forever. The Khalifate was abolished sometime in 1924. If we accept the logic of those Muslim brothers, there is never any need to lift a hand. We should just straight away begin licking the boots of the infidels. We can sleep in comfort and security under their rule. There is no need to raise a finger against them. You have all of your arguments ready to go: as long as there is no Khalifaone need not bother heading out to the battlefield. You can sit around and whistle knowing that Allah has not made jihad a binding obligation for us.

My brothers. This is wrong! In fact, in these circumstances, we must fight in order to re-establish the Khalifate. His religion, Islam, demands this of us. The prophet predicted that one contingent will always fight for righteousness. Those who have enmity towards them will not be able to harm them. Those who desert them and flee will be unable to harm them. 

Jihad with the Assistance of Polytheists: Second Excuse 

One incident is often cited which was observed during the prophet’s own life. During the Battle of Badr,60 a person approached the prophet and offered his assistance in the battle. When the prophet queried him about his faith, he said that he was not a Muslim. Upon hearing this response, the prophet said: “Return. You are a polytheist and I will never take help from polytheists.”

My brothers! If we carefully study the conditions of the prophet’s life, we understand that when a polytheist cannot be trusted, or when he is not an ally, or when you have adequate strength, or when you have no need of his help; his assistance must be rebuffed. However, if this polytheist is an ally and when you both have a common objective, then he can cooperate with you. The prophet’s entire life attests to the fact that Allah consistently provided him with collaborators among the polytheists.

1. Consider Abu Talib. He was a polytheist who said to the prophet: “I swear to Allah, until they bury me in theearth, I will not let anyone harm you.” Did the prophet tell him, “Uncle, you are a polytheist so step back. I do not want your assistance”?

2. The infidels boycotted the prophet. He was besieged in the Valley of Abu Talib. At that time, Banu Hashim and Banu Mutalib61 aided him. While helping the prophet, they too were besieged in the valley. Did the prophet say to the polytheists, “Go away brother, I do not need your help… get out of here as I will not accept the support of any polytheist”? He did no such thing.

3. Disappointed by the Meccans, the prophet approached the people of Taif in hopes of getting assistance even though they were also polytheists.

4. While returning to Mecca, he discovered that there was no way of entering Mecca. Everyone in Mecca wanted his blood. The prophet’s companion Zayd asked him how they were going to return to the city. The prophet told him Allah would make it happen. The prophet sent Muta’am,62 a polytheist, a message asking him for safe passage into Mecca. Muta’am had several sons, all of whom he took with him. With several sons, he made a line on one side of the prophet and with the remaining, he made another. While escorting the prophet like this, he kept on announcing, “I tell you people, remember that from today the prophet is under my protections. No harm should be done to him.” Abu Sufyan63 approached and began to ask whether Muta’am had become a Muslim. Muta’am began to say, “No, I am not a Muslim. I am merely giving him sanctuary.” Abu Sufyan replied, “Fine, we honor your protection. No harm will befall him.”

5. When the prophet was migrating from Mecca to Medina, he paid someone who could tell him the way. Sahih Bukhari claims that while he was a polytheist, he was an expert. Had a fight broken out along the way and had this polytheist sided with the prophet against the enemy; do you think the prophet would have said, “Get out of here. I have no need of your help because you are a polytheist”?

Even After the Battle of Badr, the Prophet Sought Help from Polytheists: Third Excuse

Some people say all of this was germane prior to the Battle of Badr, not afterwards. However, per one clause specified in the conditions of the Treaty of Hudaibiya, anyone can become an ally of the Muslims or an ally of Quraysh. Subsequently, the Banu Khaza’ah allied with the prophet while the Banu Bakr64 allied with the infidel Quraysh. When the Banu Bakr attacked the Banu Khaza’ah, the Quraysh sided with the Banu Bakr. The prophet struck in revenge. According to a Hadees in Masnad Ahmed, at this time the Banu Khaza’ah participated in the battle in support of the prophet. Even though most members of the Banu Khaza’ah were infidels apart from a few who had become Muslim, they were still allies. Had they all been Muslims then there would have been no need to create allies. Despite being infidels, they fought alongside the prophet. 

In Masnad Ahmed (Vol.1; p.179), there is a Hadees of Abdullah bin Amir according to which the prophet announced a ban on the use of weapons while conquering Mecca. However, the Banu Khaza’ah had permission to take off the head of any man from the Banu Bakr because they were traitors and broke agreements. By the time of ‘Asr,65 the prophet is reported to have said, “Enough, Banu Khaza’ah have calmed down. No one—not even the Banu Khaza’ah—is permitted to use their weapons to kill or attack the Banu Bakr.” 

Observe when this event took place. Did it take place at the time of the Battle of Badr or after? It is absolutely obvious that it was after the Battle of Badr. This is proof that the prophet took assistance from infidels even after the Battle of Badr.

Why Is Jihad Not Waged in Pakistan Instead of Kashmir? Fourth Excuse

Some ask, “Why do you people not fight in Pakistan? You people are fighting in Kashmir. You are cooperating with the Pakistani government, which is diabolical, and a supporter of infidels while infidelity and polytheism is spreading through Pakistan. Why are you not waging jihad here? Is jihadin Kashmir so important? Is there no need for jihadin Pakistan?” This is a summary of numerous objections. Let us consider them thoroughly.

Oh, my brothers, let me explain in detail. There are so many kinds of infidels. One kind is the infidel who has never uttered the kalima [profession of faith]Then there is the infidel who made this declaration of faith. There is a difference between the two kinds of infidels. We fight the infidel who has never said the kalimabecause we have affirmed the supremacy of Allah and Muhammad his prophet. It is on this basis that the infidel fights us. In contrast, those who have uttered the kalimawill never break with us because of our faith. Because they have uttered the kalimathey are our brothers, they partake in our faith. Now, if they go astray, we will educate them, invite them back to the fold of Islam. As long as they do not raise a hand against us, we will not raise a hand against them. We will view them as being wrong, as having gone astray. We will also tell them they are committing acts of paganism and infidelity. But we will not wage war against them. Because if we wage war against those who, like us, have professed the kalima, then we will not be able to wage war against those who have not done so. 

According to a Hadees in Sahih Bukhari, while the prophet was distributing wealth, a man who had declared his Islamic faith approached him and told him to be fair. According to Fath al-Bari and several other traditions, he uttered various inappropriate things. For example, he said “I swear to Allah, the prophet has been unfair.” Is this person a Muslim? He has declared his faith by stating the kalimaSome of the prophet’s companions sought permission to behead him. The prophet told them to let him be otherwise people will ask whether the prophet kills his own companions. If we are allowed to kill our own, how will we be able to kill our enemies?

Some people are baffled by this reasoning and counter, “According to this logic, you consider everyone to be a Muslim whether he worships graves66 or insults the prophet’s companions.67 All of this is acceptable to you.” Brothers! When did we think this was acceptable? We claim that those who have enmity against the companions of the prophet are infidels. In fact, it is polytheism to equate anyone else with Allah with the hope that this person can fulfill one’s needs.68 But if we were to present the Qur’an to those who have said the kalima, they will not tell us “Get away! We do not accept the Qur’an.” It is possible that their clerics may say such things, but they would never say such things publicly. 

The Khawarij69 came out to confront Hazrat Ali.70 The Khawarij declared both Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Usman to be infidels even though the prophet himself declared that Hazrat Ali would enter paradise. Is it not the case that anyone who rejects the prophet’s commands is an infidel? So even the Khawarij were infidels, even though they had professed their faith through the kalima. For this reason, Hazrat Ali told the Khawarij, “You will get your pensions and your portion of loot. We will not stop you if you come to our mosques. But if you create any mischief, we will not spare you.” Then, when they killed Hazrat Khabbab71 and his concubine, Hazrat Ali commanded them to hand over Hazrat Khabbab’s murderer. They began to say that they were all involved in the murder. So Hazrat Ali readied himself to fight them all and proceeded to slaughter them all. Only 10 men of that group survived.  

If we can live peacefully in a truce even with infidels, then we will respect both the treaty and the peace. If there is one of our Muslim brothers who has professed the kalima and we are at peace with him, you ask us why we do not fight him. My brothers! Those of you advising us to fight them, if you think it appropriate to fight those have professed their faith as Islam, go ahead and fight them. So why are you not fighting? We are already mired in one battlefield. With Allah’s blessings, you take care of that front. We do not consider taking up arms against fellow Muslims here to be appropriate. Moreover, we consider this to be categorically wrong. We are obligated to counsel them. It is our fault that they have gone so long without fully understanding the Qur’an because we are busy chanting slogans, “Long Live So-and-So… Death to So-and-So…!” 

If the Government Helps the Oppressed, We Need Not Wage Jihad: Fifth Excuse

If the government of Pakistan is helping the oppressed, should we then abandon helping [the oppressed] just because the Pakistani government is doing so? What kind of nonsense is this? On one occasion, a foreign fighter who was suffering from some problem was speaking with Hafiz Saeed Sahib. He began to ask, “Do you fight with the aid of the devil?” Hafiz Sahib asked, “If your house catches fire and the devil’s fire brigade shows up to extinguish the fire in your house, will you throw away the buckets of sand or water you have picked up just because the satanic government is involved in the effort? What will you do?” I swear to Allah; the fellow could not utter a single word in response.

If the government wants to extinguish the fire in our house, let it do so. We should help the government. If the government of Pakistan wages war with Hindustan because mosques are being destroyed and Muslims are being slaughtered, should we not help the government just because it has not yet fully implemented Islamic law in Pakistan?

Mujahideen Provoke Hindus to Rape and Plunder: Sixth Excuse

Additionally, some offer this disheartening excuse that women are being raped in Kashmir because of the mujahideen. If the mujahideen did not go there, would nothing happen to Muslim girls? The mujahideen execute their operations and return to Pakistan. After which, there are crackdowns during which innocent civilians are vulnerable to rape, murder, and plunder. 

My brothers! This is where we must use the aphorism “more Catholic than the Pope.” For if this claim were true, Kashmiris would have been the most hostile to the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. On the contrary, we have their utmost love and support. They love our mujahideen more than their own children. (There are numerous such testimonials in the pages of Majalla-ul-Dawa.72) Brothers, rapes indeed can happen, but only in those areas where our fighters lack sanctuary. In the various places where sanctuaries exist, outrageous brutality can occur. Crackdowns can also occur. But no one is raped because Hindus know that should they dare rape a woman, the mujahideen will extract full revenge. Civilians obviously suffer brutal crackdowns in the areas where we are embedded but no one dares rape a woman there because Hindus know that the minute they attempt such barbarism, mujahideen will avenge the crime before it’s culmination. 

First Wage Jihad against the Self, then against Satan, then against the World, and Finally, when These Campaigns Have Succeeded, Wage Jihad against The Enemy: Seventh Excuse

Many people impose various kinds of preconditions upon waging deadly jihad. They say that first, one must wage jihad against the self, then against Satan, then against the world, and then finally against the enemy. This means that first you have to succeed in your jihad with yourself and when you succeed, then move on to fighting Satan, and when you have succeeded in that jihad, then continue on to fight the world. When you succeed in that jihad (and how can one ever really know if they have succeeded?) only then, can you take up arms against the enemy.

Oh, servants of Allah! The men who were with the prophet were Muslims. Did you also put those conditions for waging jihad on them? Absolutely not. Take the victory over Mecca. On the occasion of the conquest of Mecca, 10 men had come out to fight. Then within a few hours, there were 12,000 men. They could not even say namaz [prayer] correctly. Nonetheless, they were told to wage war. Did they first wage jihad against the self, then against Satan, or against the world? What silliness is this?

The truth of the matter is that the monastic system [of Sufism] was established to put an end to jihadThis is why the government’s curriculum focuses upon Sufism more than anything else. This is what the poet Iqbal sarcastically refers to when he says:

Keep them engrossed in their chanting,

So they never leave their monasteries73

Servants of Allah! When it is time to fight, you say that you should keep on waging jihad against the self. Iqbal says:

Some dandy scrawled on the mosque’s wall,

“Idiots prostrate when it is time to stand” 74

If it is time to stand up, you are just prostrating yourself. When it is time to get up, get up! When it is time to prostrate yourself, do it.

Satan has really duped those people who think those who wage militant jihad do not also wage jihad against the self, Satan, and the world or that such jihad happens in some place where people are chanting incessantly about righteousness. 

With Allah as my witness, I have never seen anyone sob in a hut like the young men in the Umm-al-Qura training camp.75 Among these “youths” are huge landowners, “youths” who have done their master’s degree. Men with all sorts of desires and hopes, resources, opportunities for leisure, families and loved ones. They have abandoned it all and are prepared to sacrifice themselves. Do you think they have waged jihad against the self, or against Satan, or against the world? No! (And these mujahideen have full grown beards, wear their shalwars76 above their ankles, have fulfilled each and every Sunnat. You do not think they have not waged jihad against the self as well?) If you want to wage war against the self or against Satan, then you must do so on the battlefield.

In a Hadees in an-Nasa'i,77 when the Son of Adam was about to convert to Islam, Satan told him that he was abandoning the religion of his forefathers. He responded, “Go away! I reject your arguments!” After converting, when it came time to leave his faith and migrate in Allah’s cause, Satan appeared in his path and began to say “Servant of Allah! You used to play in these streets. This is your community. Your well-wishers are here. So, you will leave all of this behind? You will be without a country.” He responded “Go away. I do not care what you say.” Once migrating, he began to head out for jihad. Satan sat down, blocking his path and reminded him that he would be killed. According to the prophet, this man ignored Satan and continued on his way to wage jihadThe prophet declared that Allah is responsible for opening the gates of paradise for anyone who behaves in this way irrespective of whether he dies in battle or from illness en route, whether he drowns, or dies in an accident. 

So, brothers! We should stop making excuses and join the jihad without further delay. If it is not possible for you to wage jihad, at least help the mujahideen. Ignore Satan’s whispering. Do not ruin your afterlife for this world. May Allah guide us all. Amen.

And the conclusion of my prayer: Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.