Abu Basīr was bound by the Pact of
Hudaybiyyah to remain in Makkah, but he defected to the Muslims in Madīnah. The
Prophet (sws), in accordance with the terms of the pact, returned him to the
Quraysh by handing him over to two representatives from their side. Abu Basīr
killed one of them on the way back; the other ran away and came to the Prophet (sws).
Abu Basīr also returned to the Prophet (sws) and told him that by handing Abu
Basīr over to the Quraysh the Prophet (sws) had fulfilled his promise and that
thenceforth Abu Basīr was himself responsible for all his actions. Thereafter,
Abu Basīr left Madīnah and went to ‘īs near Dhul’l Marwah. Soon a number of
other defectors joined him and began ambushing the trade caravans of the Quraysh.
Finally, the Quraysh relaxed the conditions of the pact for him, and he, along
with his companions, settled down in Madīnah.
If the moral of Abu Basīr’s story is
that ambushes -- or guerrilla warfare as you prefer to call the skirmishes in
question -- without the authority of the State are justified in Islam, then it
also follows from Abu Basīr’s episode that a Muslim may break a promise that the
Prophet (sws) makes on behalf of all the Muslims and that a Muslim may also kill
a mu‘āhid (a non-Muslim with whom a treaty -- especially of peace -- has been
made by the Islamic State).
One can only extol the brilliance of
those who find, in what Abu Basīr did, justification for Qitāl without the
authority of the State. It is amazing that they simply choose to ignore the fact
that Abu Basīr, after killing one man, told the Prophet (sws) that Abu Basīr was
then responsible for his own actions and that the Prophet (sws) had fulfilled
his promise by handing Abu Basīr over to the Quraysh. The only thing that went
in favour of Abu Basīr was that he got lucky enough to get a relaxation from the
Quraysh, who had become tired of his ambushes.
It is obvious from Abu Basīr’s statement
to the Prophet (sws) that the Prophet (sws) would not have demanded Qisas from
the Quraysh if they had later killed Abu Basīr for killing a man and violating
the terms of the treaty.
The chance that God afforded to Abu
Basīr in the form of pardon by the Quraysh might be indicative of His mercy for
a convert to Islam, but it does not in any way negate a principle emanating from
the Qur’ān and the Sunnah for Qitāl.
ii) ‘No Qitāl without the authority of
the State’ is not ‘my idea’. It is a deduction from the Qur’ān for which
deduction detailed arguments were given in the editorial. Calling this deduction
‘your idea’ does not prove it wrong. You can call it anything that pleases you:
your idea, your imagination, your trickery, but only sound counter arguments
from the Qur’ān and the Sunnah can negate what is presented on these bases.
Regarding the struggle in Kashmir, I
should like to ask you if you regard all what Muslims do as truly Islamic. Isn’t
it possible -- as has been the case many a time in our history -- that a Muslim
or a group of Muslims -- despite our emotional attachment to that person or
group -- may be doing something against the Qur’ān without realising it? What
are the criteria? That is the question. Are the criteria the Qur’ān and the
Sunnah or actions and emotions of the Muslims? If actions and emotions are the
criteria, ‘Umar (raa) should not have submitted to Abu Bakr’s argument (raa)
when he recited the Qur’ān on the death of our Prophet (sws).
In Kashmir, different factions fighting
Indian hegemony have different objectives and strategies. Which objectives and
strategies are right and which are wrong? Is Kashmir another Afghanistan in the
making (where Muslims fought and killed Muslims)? These questions should be of
interest to every patriotic Pakistani Muslim. However, the question here is not
Kashmir. It is the Qur’ān and the Sunnah. What are the arguments from within the
Qur’ān and on the basis of the Sunnah which negate the principle of No Qitāl
without the Authority of the State?
I do not deny the plight of the Kashmiri
Muslims or the atrocities of the Indians. Indeed, if it were my choice alone, I
should like to bomb all the Indians out of Kashmir -- may be even out of India.
But again the question is: How do the Qur’ān and the Sunnah want me to go about
If you look at the editorial from this
angle, you’ll find that it does not negate Jihād in Kashmir. It merely spells
out the right way to do it.
My article does not stop Pakistan or any
other Muslim State -- from Morocco to Indonesia -- to wage an armed Jihād
against India. Indeed, that, according to the article, would absolutely be in
accordance with the dictates of Islam provided that the Jihād is morally and
tactically justified. If, in that Jihād, my country or ‘the United Muslim
States’ asked for my services as an individual, I should regard it as a matter
of my faith to render them. In the existing circumstances, however, we must ask
ourselves whether or not we are deceiving our conscience with insignificant
measures as slogans, seminars and rallies to cover up for the lack of courage
and of tactical ability at the level of our State -- and even at the level of
the Ummah -- to wage an all out Jihād for our Kashmiri brethren.
iii) Regarding Hadrat Husayn’s stand
against Yazīd, again the first question is related to the criteria?
It is evident from the Qur’ān that the
Qur’ān and the Sunnah are the actual sources of Divine guidance, not history.
Not only has the veracity of various historical records been a subject of
continual debate, the contexts in which events have been reported are also not
always clear. Why then should one rely on a human source of knowledge for
deriving religious principles when two indubitable sources of Divine guidance --
the Qur’ān and the Sunnah -- are available?
As Muslims, we can assume that Hadrat
Husayn did what he thought was correct. But what exactly was it that he did?
What actually happened? Much has been written on these issues and much needs to
be written. Research on this aspect of our history, it seems, will continue. We,
however, have to decide about religion on the basis of the Qur’ān and the Sunnah.
As far as history is concerned, who
knows further research might reveal that Hadrat Husayn decided to go to Kūfa
just to form an independent State for fulfilling a condition for Khurūj and that
on finding out that the people of Kūfa had backed out from supporting him, he
offered to pledge allegiance to Yazīd (one of the three propositions he made)
not as a compromise but as an acceptance of the Qur’ānic principle of government
by the majority-vote of the Muslims (see the Qur’ān 42:38).