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Jihaad is Behind the Ruler
[Shaykh Sâlih Al-Fauzân - may Allâh preserve him - said why commenting on Shar'h Sunnah of Al-Imâm Bar'bahâree wherein the Imaam said one of the aspects of Aqeedah (creed) of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal Jama'ah is that Hajj and Battles are Observed behind the Ruler.]:

Observance of Jihâd on the path of Allâh is among the prerogatives of the ruler; it is the ruler that issues command thereof, he is the one that orders the flags of battle, he chooses the soldiers and fighters, he appoints the commanders, assembles the small army and the large ones, he arms the mujahedeen, he directs them which enemy to fight and where they will find them.

Thus, Jihâd is the prerogative of the ruler; Jihâd is not a show of anarchy. Whoever wants to bear the arm, fight and attack and say: 'I am a mujâhid on the path of Allâh.' That is not Jihâd in the path of Allâh; Jihâd on the path of Allâh is guided by the principles of the Shariah. When anarchy comes into Jihâd, it becomes a despoliation and therefore its harms will become greater than its benefit. The harms that will come from such a Jihâd will be greater.

Affairs (in Islam) have principles that guide them. The issue of Jihâd is a great one; it requires discipline and respect for the specifications of the Shariah that are mentioned in the Qur'ân and Sunnah, so also in the words of the people of knowledge. It should not be a show of anarchy such that it will be promoted by one of the callers to Fitnah.

Those people who are extremists or fanatics, or at best ignoramuses, who do not know, do say: 'We fight in the path of Allâh.' Rather this their Jihâd is of harm to Islam and the Muslims; this is not Jihâd because it is not guided by the rules of Jihâd which absence of those (rules) makes the activity a corruption (in the land). Every act (in Islam) whereby its bounds are exceeded will come to have a negative effect. They do say to whoever decries their act: 'You prevent Jihâd in the path of Allâh.' We will reply them: 'We do not prevent Jihâd in the path of Allâh but (what we say is) that Jihâd should be guided by the rules of the Shariah. What you carry out is anarchy not Jihâd; Allâh never commanded this.'

[Shar'hu Sunnah of Bar'bahâree pp. 108-109].


From the foregoing, it can be understood that Islam is a comprehensive religion. It covers simple acts of worship such as ablution for the ritual prayers, to the bigger acts such as the pilgrimage to the House of Allâh. These acts of worship - minor and major - have rules guiding them which if not followed the acts may become a nullity.

Therefore noble as the cause of Jihâd is, in Islam, it has rules guiding it too which if not adhered to make a person's striving a wasted effort. The Messenger of Allâh - SallaLlâhu alahy wa sallam - indeed warned the Muslims to shun baseless practices in Islam. He - SallaLlâhu alahy wa sallam - said, on the authority of Al-Ir'bâdh bn Sâriyah - may Allâh be pleased with him,

'Every innovation (in Islam) is misguidance.'

Also on the authority of Aaisha - may Allâh be pleased with her - he - SallaLlâhu alahy wa sallam - said:

'Whoever does an act devoid of our authority will have it rejected.'

Just like other acts of worship, Jihâd comes within what can be improperly carried out. In other words, bida', as innovations are technically referred to, can make a Jihâd activity an effort in futility.

There is no doubt that Jihâd - in the world today - has been improperly handled by those who say they have enthusiasm for the Islamic growth.

Jihâd is never instituted in Islam to cause chaos and anarchy rather it is made permissible to effect the contrary of both. Allâh the Mighty said:

And if Allâh did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief. But Allâh is full of bounty to the 'Alamîn. [Al-Baqarah: 251].

In another Verse, Allâh the Majestic said:

For had it not been that Allâh checks one set of people by means of another, monasteries, churches, synagogues (that is, in the time of Mûsa and Eesa respectively), and mosques (in the time of the Muslims), wherein the Name of Allâh is mentioned much would surely have been pulled down. Verily, Allâh will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allâh is All-Strong, All-Mighty. [Hajj: 40].

Said Al-Imâm Al-Qurutubî - may Allâh bestow mercy on him - in his Tafsîr of the Verse:

'That is, had Allâh not legislated for His Prophets and the believers fighting of the enemy, the people of Shir'k (polytheism) would have taken control, and would have destroyed what the devout people had built as places of worship. But, Allâh checked that by legislating fighting so that the devout people would be able to concentrate in their acts of worship. Thus Jihâd had been a matter present in the gone nations; through it, the laws (of Allâh) became beneficial.'

In another Verse Allâh the Majestic said:

Indeed, We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the scripture and the balance (justice) that mankind may keep up justice. And We brought forth iron wherein is mighty power (in matters of war), as well as many benefits for mankind, that Allâh may test who it is that will help Him (His Religion), and his Messengers in the unseen. Verily, Allâh is All-Strong, All-Mighty. [Hadîd: 25].

Ibn Kathîr - may Allâh bestow mercy on him - said, commenting on the meaning of the statement:

'And We brought forth iron wherein is mighty power,' that is, 'We made the steel a corrective tool for whoever rejects the truth; whoever opposes it after the proof had been made clear to him.


Jihâd of today has fallen in the wrong hands. Jihâd - the actual fighting of the enemy, is not basically the business of individuals rather the Muslim state, it is in some rare cases where the individuals may go ahead fighting it even without the state support. Scholars of the Deen have said such cases include a situation where a Muslim land comes under attack of the enemy. Jihâd at that point will be regarded as Jihâd Difâ' (Defensive Jihâd) unlike if it were Jihâd Talab (Offensive Jihâd) where it is the Muslim state that must wage it for some of the purposes that have been mentioned earlier on.

The statement of the Messenger of Allâh - SallaLlâhu alahy wa sallam - :

'The ruler is a shield; fighting takes place behind him, and he is used as a barrier (from attack).' [Bukhâri and Muslim].

The statement illustrates that Jihâd is usually from the command of the ruler of the Muslims. Said Ash-Shaykh Al-Albâni - may Allâh bestow mercy on him: 'Jihâd is not the duty of individuals rather rulers of the Muslims.' [Silisilatul-huda wa Nûr: Tape 80].

Also declared Ash-Shaykh Al-Albâni - may Allâh bestow mercy on him: 'Every Jihâd carried out by individuals or groups will never yield the fruits of the (real) Jihâd.' [Silisilatul-huda wa Nûr: Tape 720].

Said Shaykhul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah - may Allâh bestow mercy on him: 'It will be very hard to see a group of persons who carried out a rebellion against the ruler except that the harm therewith will be greater than the evil they wanted to remove.' [Majmû'u Fatâwâ 28/179 as quoted in al-fâidah min fatâwal-ulamâ fee mudda'ee al-Islâh wa tandheem al-qâidah].

Said Ibn Qayyim Al-Jauziyyah - may Allâh bestow mercy on him: 'Indeed the Prophet - SallaLlâhu alahy wa sallam - legislated for his Ummah the obligation of forbidding evil to effect peace and harmony as loved by Allâh and His Messenger - SallaLlâhu alahy wa sallam. But if the act of denouncing the evil will bring what is greater in evil and what might be more displeasing to Allâh and His Messenger - SallaLlâhu alahy wa sallam -, it is not imperative to denounce such evil even if Allâh might detest the act and its people.

'An example of that is when the kings and rulers are denounced by carrying out a rebellion against them. That is the basis of every harm and trial till the end of time . whoever therefore ponders over what happened to Islam in terms of major and minor trials will come to know that they were due to non-compliance with this basis, and failure to show restraint over an evil which (some) people sought to change at all cost from which greater harm set in. Indeed the Messenger of Allâh - SallaLlâhu alahy wa sallam -, used to see a lot of major evils in Makkah and he was not able to change them.' [I'lâmul-Wuwaqqi'een 3/15-16 as quoted in al-fâidah min fatâwal-ulamâ fee mudda'ee al-Islâh wa tandheem al-qâidah].

Said Al-Muallimee - may Allâh bestow mercy on him: 'Muslims have put rebellion into practice; they saw nothing but (greater) harm from it.' [Tankeel 1/93-94 as quoted in al-fâidah min fatâwal-ulamâ fee mudda'ee al-Islâh wa tandheem al-qâidah].

Shaykh Al-Albâni - may Allâh bestow mercy on him - variously stated in his speeches on Jihâd that there must be proper understanding of Jihâd by those who partake in it. He often advised on At-Taribiyyah (proper Islamic education) and At-Tasfiyyah (purifying the Deen from the dirt that has entered it such as shirk and innovations) upon all the members of the Ummah.


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