Sharia Insights: The Fiqh Standpoint on Jihad Discouragers Featured

By Dr. Masoud Sabry January 24, 2024 1733


At a time when the mujahideen (fighters) in Palestine are sacrificing their lives and all their possessions for the sake of Allah against the oppressive Zionist occupation, some voices have emerged in the name of religion and jurisprudence. They view the actions of the mujahideen as forbidden, believing that they have thrown themselves and their people into destruction and that they have not been granted the permission of the legitimate authority. They argue that the mujahideen are acting for partisan interests and that seeking refuge in tunnels is prohibited, contradicting the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). They claim that the fighters have brought calamities upon the people of Gaza and therefore are sinful in the sight of Allah for waging war for political and partisan goals, not for the sake of religion or defending their homelands, and other such misconceptions from those treacherous discouragers.

These are baseless misconceptions from empty minds, imprisoned in what they have memorized from texts without understanding or realizing the purpose, assuming, of course, they have “good intentions.” These discouragers have fallen into a repulsive partisanship trap while claiming to combat it, and if the mujahideen had followed their thinking, these fatwas (rulings) would not have emerged; their animosity is evident in their words.

It is truly shameful for those who associate themselves with knowledge and jurisprudence to spew such nonsense during times of crisis. Instead of being supporters of the mujahideen for the sake of Allah, they intercept their path without taking a stand against the Zionist entity or explicitly addressing the necessity of liberating homelands under occupation. It is as if they are saying, by their actions: the enemy is greater than you; accept its rule; respect your limitations; and be content with your situation. This is only ignorant speaking, if not hypocrites.

Abandoning jihad for the sake of Allah and choosing to live in the pleasures and adornments of this world is the destruction of oneself

However, they, for the most part, do not address the mujahideen and the people of Palestine as much as they address those who fear their oppression, even if they are not asked to say anything. Yet, you find them, as mentioned in the Quran, hastening to say, “'We are afraid a misfortune may strike us.' But perhaps Allah will bring conquest or a decision from Him, and they will become, over what they have been concealing within themselves, regretful.” (Al-Ma'idah: 52).

Allah the Almighty has taken a covenant from the people of knowledge to speak the truth and not fear the blame of anyone but Allah in such situations where decisive action is needed. As Allah says, “And [mention, O Muhammad], when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture, [saying], 'You must make it clear to the people and not conceal it.' But they threw it away behind their backs and exchanged it for a small price. And wretched is that which they purchased.” (Aal-Imran: 187).

As for the Sharia basis for these misconceptions, it is as follows:

Fighting Zionists Leads to Destruction

From the discourse of discouragers, it is evident that they view what the mujahideen did for the sake of Allah in Gaza against the Zionist enemy on October 7, 2023, as subjecting lives to destruction. This superficial and incorrect understanding is not a product of today but of ancient history. This mentality existed during the time of the honored companion Abu Ayyub al-Ansari when he went out for jihad for the sake of Allah to conquer Constantinople, which is jihad al-Talab (offensive jihad) in a lesser form than jihad ad-Daf' (defensive jihad).

In this context, Abu Dawood, in his wording, narrated from Aslam Abu Imran, who said: “We went out on an expedition from Medina with the intention of (attacking) Constantinople. Abd-ur-Rahman ibn Khalid ibn al-Walid was the leader of the company. The Romans were just keeping their backs to the walls of the city. A man (suddenly) attacked the enemy. Thereupon the people said: Stop! Stop! There is no God but Allah. He is putting himself into danger. Abu Ayyub said: This ayah was revealed about us, the group of the Ansar (the Helpers). When Allah helped His Prophet, peace be upon him, and gave Islam dominance, we said (i.e. thought): Come on! Let us stay in our property and improve it. Thereupon Allah, the Exalted, revealed, 'And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your hands contribute to (your destruction).' To put oneself into danger means that we stay in our property and commit ourselves to its improvement, and abandon fighting (i.e. jihad). Abu Imran said: Abu Ayyub continued to strive in the cause of Allah until he (died and) was buried in Constantinople.”

In another narration in al-Tirmithi, “A man from among the Muslim army marched out by himself, attacked the Romans first row, and worked his way inside the army. The people shouted, 'He has thrown himself into destruction!'”

The jurists state that in “defensive jihad,” everyone should participate to the best of their ability, and there is no requirement for capability or equality in this regard

There were three attempts by the Umayyad Caliphate alone to conquer Constantinople. The first, during the reign of the companion Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, was led by Yazid ibn Muawiyah in the year 668 CE, with a force of one hundred thousand mujahid. The siege lasted for a year. The second attempt took place during the Caliphate of Sulaiman ibn Abd al-Malik in 716 CE, led by Muslimah ibn Abd al-Malik, with a force of two hundred thousand mujahid. The siege lasted for two years. The third attempt occurred during the time of Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz, led by Abu Ayyub al-Ansari in 718 CE, with eighty thousand mujahid, and the siege lasted for a year.
Despite these attempts, with sieges ranging from one to two years and a combined force of 380,000 warriors, all ended in failure and the martyrdom of thousands of mujahideen in these attempts. However, during the times of Muawiyah, Sulaiman ibn Abd al-Malik, and Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz, no scholars or intellectuals were heard criticizing these campaigns as acts of self-destruction, despite being known to fear no one but Allah. Instead, in the narration of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, which recounts the storming of an individual from the mujahideen, throwing himself into the ranks of the enemy and knowing without a doubt that he’s dead, people assumed that he had thrown himself to destruction, but the companion Abu Ayyub clarified the situation. He pointed out that destruction is characterized by abandoning jihad for the sake of Allah and that engaging in jihad against the invading enemy is a means of preserving lives from destruction. Because their dominance would result in more casualties, injuries, arrests, destruction, and devastation.
Those mujahideen from the time of Muawiyah to the time of Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz did not experience occupation of their lands, violation of their women's honor, or the seizure of their homes. Instead, they fought to spread Islam in what’s known as “jihad al-Talab” (offensive jihad). On the other hand, the mujahideen in Palestine today are engaged in “jihad ad-Daf'” (defensive jihad), defending themselves and their sanctities. This is an obligatory duty not only upon them but also on their neighboring communities and all Muslims.
Throwing oneself into destruction is to abandon jihad for the sake of Allah and to live in the luxuries of the world under the domination of the Zionists and the Western powers in Muslim lands. This leads to the destruction of the soul by exposing it to the punishment of Allah. If Muslims are not actively supporting the mujahideen, the least they can do is refrain from speaking ill of their brethren. Otherwise, they would be committing a sin in the eyes of their Lord.

Sharia Basis of the “Al-Aqsa Flood”

It is evident to any rational person, let alone a jurist, that the Zionist occupation has usurped Palestinian land, which, from a Sharia perspective, is a subject of consensus. Scholars agree that jihad for the sake of Allah is obligatory in three cases: when two armies meet, when ordered by the ruler, and when non-Muslims invade a land, its inhabitants must fight against them, as mentioned by jurists (refer to “Al-Mughni” by Ibn Qudamah, Cairo Library Edition, 9/197).

The Imam's PermissionTop of Form

As for the argument used in the discouragers' discourse, claiming that the jihad conducted by the mujahideen in Palestine contradicts a legal command, meaning the permission of the Imam, referring to the Palestinian authority's approval, and to respond to this, we say the following:

It is well known that free and fair elections were held, won by “Hamas,” which formed the government and had the majority in the legislative council of the Palestinian Authority. At the same time, Mahmoud Abbas remained the president of the authority. No elections were held, neither for the presidency nor for legislative elections. The situation remains unchanged. Therefore, the presence of “Hamas” in authority is legitimate. They rule Gaza, and they are the ones with the authority to determine interests. It is not hidden from anyone with any form of logic that the authority in the West Bank is working to serve the Zionist entity. Its actions, including arresting mujahideen and handing over some to the occupation, are evident to everyone. Who are the rightful leaders of the Muslims in Palestine: the elected mujahideen or those kneeling to the Zionist occupation?!

Those who condemn jihad must refrain and repent before Allah for discouraging jihad and tarnishing the image of the mujahideen

In the view of the Sharia, as explicitly stated by jurists, in such a situation of “defensive jihad,” everyone should participate to the best of their ability, and capability and equality are not required. Otherwise, no army of Muslims, since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and throughout history, would have been able to engage in jihad because it leads to self-destruction, but we heard of nothing of the sort from the jurists.

Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that they went against the Imam—which is not the case—it would not be considered forbidden; rather, it would be makruh (disliked), as many scholars have concluded. In Al-Muhaddhab by Al-Shirazi (2/229), it is mentioned: “It is disliked to engage in warfare without the permission of the Imam or the appointed leader, as warfare depends on the circumstances, and the Imam or leader is more aware of the need for it. It is not prohibited because it involves no more than endangering oneself, and endangering oneself is permissible in jihad.”

 The jurists, therefore, deem the Imam more knowledgeable about interests than the common people, preventing disorder. However, in the case of the mujahideen in Gaza and Palestine, the situation is entirely different. The one referred to as the leader is an agent for the Zionist entity, a traitor to his people. In fact, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) permitted going out without the permission of the Imam in certain circumstances. Ibn Qudamah stated: “They do not go out except with the permission of the leader because the authority over matters of war is delegated to him, and he is more knowledgeable about the abundance of the enemy, their strongholds, and their schemes. Therefore, it is appropriate to seek his opinion because it is more beneficial for Muslims. However, if seeking permission becomes impractical due to the enemy raiding surprisingly, then it is not obligatory to seek permission at that moment. This is because the interest lies in fighting them and confronting them, and it is not in the Muslims' interest to leave them. When the disbelievers raided the Prophet's milch she-camels, Salamah ibn al-Akwa encountered them outside the Madinah, followed them, and fought them without permission. The Prophet praised him, saying, “Our best infantryman is Salamah ibn al-Akwa,” and he rewarded him with a Persian arrow. (Al-Sharh al-Kabeer, al-Muqni' text, validated by Al-Turki (10/172)).

Jihad Despite the Small Number

Among the issues the waverers have raised is the notion that Muslims should not engage in jihad when they are few. This legal ruling mentioned in the books of jurisprudence is based on the assessment of interests. Some scholars have said that one Muslim should not be deterred if facing two disbelievers, citing the ayah: “Now Allah has lightened [the hardship] for you, and He knows that among you is weakness. So if there are from you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you a thousand, they will overcome two thousand by permission of Allah. And Allah is with the steadfast.” (Al-Anfal: 66).

This is the minimum, but it is not necessary to retreat if the mujahideen are few in number. The matter is subject to the expectation of victory. They may stand firm regardless of their small numbers if they believe, based on estimations, that they will achieve victory with the permission of Allah. As Allah says, “How many a small company has overcome a large company by permission of Allah. And Allah is with the patient.” (Al-Baqarah: 249).

It is understood from the ayah that when the fight is one-on-one, allows an individual to engage in combat using modern war machinery such as airplanes, tanks, and missiles. Thus, one person can fight against a hundred, a thousand, or more, as the nature of warfare has evolved beyond direct combat. The determination of such matters rests with the military commander and those managing the affairs of war with him for the liberation of homelands and jihad for the sake of Allah.

Those who advocate the discouragement of jihad must stop their damaging speech and repent to Allah for what they say, as it leads to discouraging people from jihad and tarnishing the image of the mujahideen. Such behavior causes hostility towards jihad and Muslims, inflicting harm upon them. Allah says, “And those who harm believing men and believing women for [something] other than what they have earned have certainly born upon themselves a slander and manifest sin.” (Al-Ahzab: 58). Let alone, who harms the mujahideen while remaining silent about the disbelievers? Let the oblivious, ignorant, and envious, and those who betray the mujahideen, beware of the dire consequences in this world and the accountability in the Hereafter!


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