Unfortunately, Jihād has
become one of the most misunderstood doctrines of Islam. To many Muslims,
Jihād is the answer to all their sufferings, but to non-Muslims it is
perhaps become the primary reason to dread Muslims. In a world that is
populated by almost 1.5 billion Muslims, this issue assumes phenomenal
importance. In the opinion of this writer, in addition to other factors,
world peace is threatened by a handful of Muslims because of some erroneous
concepts about Jihād. In an effort to remove these misconceptions and to
clarify the stance of Islam regarding Jihād, this issue of the journal has
been dedicated to what we think is the true concept of Jihād in Islam.
Following are some
important points that are discussed in the articles which appear in this
First and foremost, only an
Islamic state has the authority to wage Jihād. No independent group or
organization has the right to launch an armed struggle in any way.
Secondly, after the
departure of the Prophet (sws) and his Companions (rta), the only legitimate
reason for an Islamic State to wage Jihād is to curb oppression and
persecution in another country – whether Muslim or non-Muslim.
Thirdly, Jihād is or was
never carried out for territorial aggrandizement or for forcibly converting
people to Islam. People who erroneously justify either or both of these two
bases draw their arguments from the Jihād carried out by the Prophet (sws)
and his Companions (rta). It needs to be appreciated that the Jihād carried
out by the Prophet (sws) and his Companions (rta) after him was governed by
a specific law meant only for the Prophets of Allah and their immediate
addressees, and has nothing to do with later Muslims. A study of the Qur’an
reveals that the purpose of their Jihād was neither territorial
aggrandizement nor forcible conversion of people to Islam: contrary to both,
it was Divine punishment meted out to people who had arrogantly denied the
truth in spite of being convinced about it.
Fourthly, Muslims can rise
against their rulers only in certain circumstances. In case, they intend to
resort to armed warfare to dislodge them, then the following conditions must
necessarily be fulfilled:
a. Muslim rulers are guilty
of openly and knowingly denying Islam or any of its directives.
b. The government should be
a despotic one, which neither came into existence through the opinion of the
people nor is it possible to change it through their opinion.
c. The person who leads
this uprising should have a clear majority of the nation behind him and they
are willing to accept him as their future ruler in favour of the existing
d. The rebels are able to
establish their authority in an independent piece of land.
It is hoped that this issue
of the journal is able to provide some food for thought for our readers.