No Jihad Without The State: View Of The Jurists

Question

According to Ghamidi's view, only a state has the right to wage war and no group or organization is allowed to do so. What is the opinion of other scholars in this matter?


Answer

There is a consensus among all authorities of Islam that only an Islamic State has the authority to wage Jihad. This condition is so explicit and categorical that all the scholars of this ummah unanimously uphold it. Sayyid Sābiq, while referring to this consensus, writes:

من الفروض الكفائية ما يشترط فيه الحاكم مثل: الجهاد وإقامة الحدود

Among collective obligations, there is a category for which the existence of a ruler is necessary e.g., Jihad and administering punishments.2

'Uthmānī, a Hanafite jurist writes:

ولا يخفى أن الأمير الذي يجب الجهاد معه كما صرح به حديث مكحول إنما هو من كان مسلما ثبتت له الإمارة بالتقليد إما باستخلاف الخليفة إياه كما نقل أبو بكر رضي الله عنه ' وإما ببيعة من العلماء أو جماعة من أهل الرأي والتدبير …قلت: فلو بايع العلماء أو جماعة من المسلمين رجلا لا يقدر على سد الثغور وحماية البيضة وجر العساكر و تنفيذ الأحكام بشوكته و بأسه ولا على إنصاف المظلوم من الظالم بقدرته وسطوته لا يكون ذلك أميرا ولا إماما ' وإنما هو بمنـزلة الحكم ومبايعة الناس له منـزلة التحكيم ولا يجدي تسميته إماما أو أميرا في القراطيس وأفواه الناس فإن مدار الإمارة والإمامة على القوة والقدرة دون التسمية والشهرة فقط ' فلا يجب على عامة المسلمين مبايعته ولا إطاعة أحكامه ' ولا الجهاد معه

It is obvious from the Hadīth narrated by Makhūl3 that Jihad becomes obligatory only in the presence of a ruler who is a Muslim and whose political authority has been established either through nomination by the previous ruler similar to how Abū Bakr transferred the reins [of his khilāfah to 'Umar] or through pledging of allegiance by the ulema or a group of the elite …in my opinion, if the oath of allegiance is pledged by ulema or by a group of the elite to a person who is not able to guard the frontiers or defend the honour [of the people] or organize armies or implement his directives by political force nor is he able to provide justice to the oppressed by exercising force and power, then such a person cannot be called "Amīr" (leader) or "Imām" (ruler). He, at best, is an arbitrator and the oath of allegiance is at best of the nature of arbitration and it is not at all proper to call him "Amīr" (leader) or a "Imām" (ruler) in any [official] documents nor should the people address him by these designations. The reason for this is that the basis of leadership and rulership is power and authority and it does not hinge only on the fact that he gets famous by this name. It is not imperative for the citizens to pledge allegiance to him or obey his directives, and no Jihad can be waged alongside him.4

Ibn Qudāmah, a Hambalite jurist, writes:

وأمر الجهاد موكول إلى الإمام واجتهاده ويلزم الرعية طاعته فيما يراه من ذلك

The matter of Jihad rests with the ruler [of a state] and his ijtihād. The opinion he forms in this regard must be obeyed by the citizens of his country.5

Māwardī, a Shafi'īte authority, while enumerating the obligations of a Muslim ruler says:

والسادس: جهاد من عاند الإسلام

His sixth obligation is to conduct Jihad against those who show hostility against Islam.6

In the words of Farāhī:

In one's own country, without migrating to an independent piece of land, Jihad is not allowed. The tale of Abraham (sws) and other verses pertaining to migration testify to this. The Prophet's life (sws) also supports this view. The reason for this is that if Jihad is not waged by a person who holds political authority, it amounts to anarchy and disorder.7

While commenting on the underlying reasons that form the basis of state authority for Jihad, Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, writes:

The first reason [for this condition] is that God Almighty does not like the dissolution and disintegration of even an evil system until a strong probability exists that those who are out to disintegrate the system will provide people with an alternative and a righteous system. Anarchy and disorder are unnatural conditions. In fact, they are so contrary to human nature that even an unjust system is preferable to them....this confidence [that a group will be able to harmonize a disintegrated system and integrate it into a united whole] can be reposed in such a group only as has actually formed a political government and has such control and discipline within the confines of its authority that the group can be termed as al-jamā'ah [the State]. Until a group attains this position, it may strive [by religiously allowable means] to become al-jamā'ah – and that endeavour would be its Jihad for that time – but it does not have the right to wage an "armed" Jihad.

The second reason is that the import of power that a group engaged in war acquires over the life and property of human beings is so great that the sanction to wield this power cannot be given to a group the control of whose leader over his followers is based merely on his spiritual and religious influence on them [rather than being based on legal authority]. When the control of a leader is based merely on his spiritual and religious influence, there is not sufficient guarantee that the leader will be able to stop his followers from fasād fi al-ard [creating disorder in the society]. Therefore, a religious leader does not have the right to allow his followers to take out their swords [that is to wage an armed struggle] merely on the basis of his spiritual influence over them, for once the sword is unsheathed there is great danger that it will not care for right and wrong and that those who drew it will end up doing all [the wrong which] they had sought to end. Such radical groups as desire revolution and the object of whom is nothing more than disruption of the existing system and deposition of the ruling party to seize power for themselves play such games – and they can, for in their eyes disruption of a system is no calamity, nor is cruelty of any kind an evil. Everything is right to them [as long as it serves their purpose]. However, the leaders of a just and righteous party must see whether they are in a position to provide people with a system better than the one they seek to change and whether they will be able to stop their followers from doing such wrong as they themselves had sought to root out. If they are not in that position, they do not have the right to play games with the life and property of people on the basis of their confidence in mere chances and to create greater disorder than the one they had sought to end.8

2. Sayyid Sābiq, Fiqh Al-Sunnah, 2nd ed., vol. 3 (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1980), 30.

3. The complete text of the Hadīth is:عَنْ مَكْحُولٍ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الْجِهَادُ وَاجِبٌ عَلَيْكُمْ مَعَ كُلِّ أَمِيرٍ بَرًّا كَانَ أَوْ فَاجِرًا وَالصَّلَاةُ وَاجِبَةٌ عَلَيْكُمْ خَلْفَ كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ بَرًّا كَانَ أَوْ فَاجِرًا وَإِنْ عَمِلَ الْكَبَائِرَ وَالصَّلَاةُ وَاجِبَةٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ بَرًّا كَانَ أَوْ فَاجِرًا وَإِنْ عَمِلَ الْكَبَائِرَ (ابو داؤد، رقم: 2533)

Makhūl narrates from Abū Hurayrah who narrates from the Prophet: Jihad is obligatory on you only in the presence of a Muslim ruler whether he is pious or impious, and the prayer is obligatory upon you behind every Muslim whether he is pious or impious even if he is guilty of the major sins and the prayer is obligatory on every Muslim whether he is pious or impious even if he is guilty of the major sins. (Abū Dā'ūd, No: 2533)

4. Zafar Ahmad 'Uthmānī, Ii'lā al-Sunan, 3rd ed., vol. 12 (Karachi: Idarāt Al-Qur'an wa 'Ulūm Al-Islāmiyyah, 1415 AH), 15-16.

5.Ibn Qudāmah, al-Mughnī, vol. 8 (Riyād: Maktabah al-Riyād al-Hadīthah, 1981), 352.

6. Abu'l-Hasan 'Alī Māwardī, al-Ahkām al-Sultāniyyah, 1st ed. (Beirut: Dār al-Kitāb al-'Arabī, 1990), 52.

7. Farāhī, Majmū'ah Tafāsīr-i-Farāhī, 1st ed. (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1991), 56.

8. Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Da'wat-i Dīn awr us ka Tarīqah kār,trans. Asif Iftikhar, 1st ed. (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1989), 241-242.

About the Author

Dr. Shehzad Saleem


Born in 1966 Shehzad Saleem has been under the tutelage of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi since 1988 and is currently a Research Fellow and one of the Vice Presidents of Al-Mawrid. He has a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from UET Lahore, Pakistan and holds a PhD in the History of the Qur’an from the University of Wales, UK.

Special Area of Interest
  He recently (2014) completed a fifteen year research work on the History of the Qur’an, a part of which constituted his doctoral thesis (the thesis portion is available at: http://www.al-mawrid.org/index.php/books/view/collection-of-the-quran-a-critical-and-historical-study-of-al-farahis-view).  The work addresses some nagging questions related to the revelation, collection and transmission of the Qur’an. These questions include narratives found in our legacy on the alleged incompleteness of the Qur’an, scribal errors found in it,  its variant readings, chronology of its compilation, order of the surahs, and manuscript studies.

Books Authored
  1. Common Misconceptions about Islam
  2. Playing God: Misreading a Divine Practice
  3. Islam and Women: Misconceptions and Misperceptions
  4. Essays on Character Building, Lessons on Character Building
  5. Qur’an Workshops on Character Building (including a separate Teacher’s Guide)
  6. Lessons on Character Building
  7. Selections from the Qur’an
  8. Selections from the Bible
  9. Selections from the Hadith

He has also compiled a modular textbook on Qur’anic Studies, which was taught by him to graduate students (1999-2001). The textbook is available in course format at
  www.studying-islam.org. It comprises course topics as: Revelation of the Qur’an, Theme of the Qur’an, History of the Qur’an, Arrangement of the Qur’an, Language of the Qur’an, Interpreting the Qur’an.

Translations
  He has translated some works of Amin Ahsan Islahi (d. 1997) and Javed Ahmad Ghamidi into English. These include:

1. Volumes 6, 7,  8 and 9 of Tadabbur Qur’an 
  2. Mizan (Islam: A Comprehensive Introduction)
  3. Al-Islam (Islam: A Concise Introduction)
  4. Selected Essays of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
  5. Volumes 1 and 5 of Al-Bayan 

QnAs
His answers to various questions received about Islam can also be accessed at the Renaissance website at: http://monthly-renaissance.com/issue/writers.aspx?option=queries&id=1

Websites
He is the Founding Editor of the monthly research journal, Renaissance which was initiated in 1991. In 1999, its website www.monthly-renaissance.com was launched.

He launched the Studying Islam www.studying-islam.org website in 2003, which offers online courses on Islam. Through technical help, he has developed an online software (Qur’an for All) at the Studying Islam website to teach the translation of the Qur’an to those who can read the Arabic text but cannot comprehend its meaning.

He also set up websites about the life and works of the Qur’anic scholars Hamid Uddin Farahi (www.hamid-uddin-farahi.org)  and Amin Ahsan Islahi (www.amin-ahsan-islahi.org)  in 2010 and 2013 respectively

He has also built a text based website on the exegesis Tadabbur i Qur’an (www.tadabbur-i-quran.org)  in 2013.

He also founded a website on the life and works of the biblical scholar Abdus Sattar Ghauri (www.abdus-sattar-ghauri.org)  in 2014

He uses his personal facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=562019607)  to write on personality development issues.

Lectures
  He is a guest speaker at various public forums. Some of the topics he regularly speaks on include:

1. Misconceptions about Women in Islam
  2. Pardah and Gender Interaction
  3. Non-Muslims and the Qur’an
  4. Question on the Qur’an by Serious
  5. Misconceptions about Islam
  6. Muhammad (sws): The Misunderstood Prophet of Islam
  7. Marriage and Married Life
  8. Fast and Fasting
  9. Basic Morality
  10. Islam and Islamic Welfare State
  11. Misconceptions about Divorce in Islam
  12. Misconceptions regarding Jihad of the Companions of the Prophet (sws)
  13 Imbalanced Religious Attitudes

He conducts activity-based Qur’anic Workshops for adults and sessions on Character Building and Personality Development for teenagers. Topics include:

1. Spending in the Way of God 
  2. Pride and Arrogance
  3. Remembering God  
  4. Civic Sense
  5. Kindness to Parents
  6. Gratitude
  7. Forgiveness
  8. Moral Courage
  9. Truthfulness 
  10. Showing Off
  11. Humility
  12. Sympathy
  13. Sinful Speech 
  14. Honesty
  15. Justice

Some of his talks and lectures on or about Islam can be viewed at:
  www.youtube.com/shehzadsaleem         www.dailymotion.com/drshehzadsaleem
  www.youtube.com/shehzadsaleemurdu, www.dailymotion.com/drshehzadsaleemurdu

A facebook page, Dr Shehzad Saleem’s Video Talks (https://www.facebook.com/Dr-Shehzad-Saleems-Video-Talks-309627932402929/?ref=br_rs)  also displays his talks

Answered by this author