In Pursuit Of Allah's Pleasure
Part Five: Our Path
- Carrying out Da'wah.
- Enjoining good and forbidding evil (Hisbah).
- Waging Jihad in the way of Allah within the framework of a Jama 'ah whose actions are regulated by the True Shari 'ah, and which refuses compromises out of courtesy to the disbelievers and inclination towards them, and which draws lessons from past experiences.
We have mentioned in the chapter entitled `Our Understanding' that we understand Islam as the Ulama of our Ummah understood it. We also said that understanding Islam in its entirety is a vital prerequisite for practicing it entirely without any omissions, inventions or transgressions. A wrong understanding of Islam will certainly lead, in the course of action, to either a restricted movement, leaving aside part of Islam's commands, or a movement transcending Allah's limits and allowing free rein to whims and desires. Therefore, understanding Islam in its entirety is the sure guarantee against transgression of the limits and the neglect of parts of the Islamic fundamentals.
Now, in the context of discussing the way the Islamic movement should follow in order to deal with the world around it, we say that we will find along the way some people who agree with us in our `Aqeedah, our understanding of Islam and our objectives. To these we must extend our hands in co-operation, in order that we may all work together as one Jama'ah. At the same time, we will find other) people who lack the understanding of Islam through negligence or ignorance of some of its facts and laws. To such people we will spare to effort to offer Da'wah. We will also find some people who neglect good conduct and practise vice, in which case it is our duty to enjoin them "to do good and avoid evil". We will also face people who are too stubborn and arrogant to follow the truth and Jihad will be our means to deal with them.
People must belong to one of the above mentioned categories despite their various types and circumstances. This is why we have stated that our way is as follows:
- Carrying out Da'wah,
- Enjoining good and forbidding evil (Hisbah),
- Waging Jihad in the way of Allah within the framework of a Jama'ah whose actions are regulated by the True Shari'ah, and which refuses compromises out of courtesy to the disbelievers and inclination towards them, and which draws lessons of past experiences.
Anyone who reflects on the ways and means laid down by Islam as formulae for dealing with reality, with all its demands, challenges and complexities, at any time and in any place, will find that hey are incorporated in the three practices: Da'wah, Hisbah and Jihad. Each of these three activities has its own regulations and rulings, its limits and domain, which we will discuss in more detail, later. In addition, we will also explain that, in order that our dealing with reality will yield fruit, it must be carried out within the framework of a Jama'ah. We will also demonstrate why collective work which is regulated by Shari 'ah and conducted within a movement has become a necessity dictated by our religion and also by the reality with all its challenges and circumstances. A detailed discussion of the requirements, reasons and motivations that have necessitated the adoption of collective work will also be presented in due course.
But before we go any further it is perhaps important to outline some important issues that demand attention and consideration.
The first issue is that Islam, in its greatness and comprehensiveness, incorporates many different ways of dealing with the world around us. These `means of change' start with a gentle Da'wah which employs kind exhortation and meets insult with good conduct up to that which reaches the stage of smiting with the sword. Between these two extremes are many levels which are all included under the three methods mentioned above, namely Da'wah, Hisbah, and Jihad. This flexibility is clear evidence of the practicality of Islam in dealing with people who hold different attitudes towards it, in closeness or distance, acceptance or rejection, submission or arrogance, peace or war. This is why it has different methods to deal with reality in order to assimilate all the attitudes held towards it whether by individuals, groups, sects or regimes. Thus Islam can succeed in changing any situation, whatever the circumstances, and cause it to conform to its regulations and surrender to its tenets.
Da'wah serves as an efficient tool of changing people's conceptions, by addressing their minds and hearts through reasoning and good counsel in the hope of dispelling the wrong convictions which are rooted in the hearts and minds of the people and changing them in order to bring the disbeliever out of the darkness of ignorance into the light of faith, the heretic from the darkness of heresy to the light of the Sunnah, and the sinner from the darkness of desires into the light of obedience.
Those who favorably respond to Da'wah are welcomed and appreciated. As for those who reject it, they vary in the degree of their rejection. Some tend to reject the truth on an individual basis, by abandoning commands and practicing prohibitions. This is the area of Hisbah, with its successive stages as an effective weapon which serves the purpose of bringing the sinner back to the right path, or at least restraining him and protecting the Muslim community against his evil.
There are also those who reject the way of Allah and refuse to give Da'wah a chance to reach the hearts of other people. They use their power and influence to prevent people from receiving it and force them to comply with their own laws, following the example of Pharaoh, who said (which means):
"O Chiefs! I know of no god for you other than myself." 
"I am your lord, the most high." [Surah An-Naazi'at (79), Ayah 24.]
The sword is the only weapon to deal with such people and Jihad serves as the only means of change in this regard. For Da'wah will not suffice to change the concepts guiding their actions and Hisbah will not be enough to restraint them and eradicate their evil. The only way left open with this category of people is to rally the troops and wield the sword:
"Verily Allah loves those who fight in His cause arrayed in [solid] ranks, as though they are [strong] structure cemented with [molten] lead." 
We must never confuse the fields of Da'wah, Hisbah and Jihad. Each of these has its areas of action, rulings and circumstances which make one the only means to be used and not the others. It is a pity that many of those who work for Islam do not make a distinction between these areas. As a result of this, they employ harshness when the situation calls for kindness, or kindness when harshness is required. Some of them would engage in preaching on the Battlefield while others would wield the sword instead of practicing Da'wah. While doing this, they are either prompted by ignorance or motivated by personal desires. If they are prompted by ignorance, then this is a catastrophe; and if they are motivated by personal desires, this is a greater catastrophe.
The second issue concerns those who actively work for the Islamic movement. They should be well aware of their duty in this world, their Da'wah and the grave responsibility which they alone carry. They should prepare themselves to practise Da'wah with all its requirements, namely knowledge, wisdom, clear argument, shrewdness, intelligence and understanding of the human self, its whims, diseases and remedies. They should also prepare themselves to practise Hisbah with all its requirements, namely knowledge, patience, endurance, determination and courage to stand up for the truth. They must also prepare themselves to undertake Jihad and arm themselves with everything this course requires: strength, fortitude, courage, sacrifice, training, preparation and expertise.
The Islamic movement will surely fail to establish the religion of Allah on earth if it neglects to provide its members with this comprehensive education and contents itself with some aspects of Islam at the cost of others. To put it clearly, it is not enough that we become a group of preachers, good only at practicing Da'wah, forgetting, or trying to forget, that there are people who can be dissuaded from sin only by force, and regimes and sects which can only be swayed by the sword. At the same time, it is not enough that we should all turn into an army, taking up arms on every occasion and unable to practice Da'wah or undertake the religious education of the people, incapable of gentle persuasion, forgetting that with some people it suffices to merely caution or chide. It is utterly wrong to take up the sword where Da'wah and gentle persuasion is required and to undertake admonition and good counsel on the Battlefield. May Allah's peace and blessings be upon the Prophet who observed all these commands. Allah says (which means):
"O Prophet! Verily, We have sent you as a witness and a bearer of glad tidings; a warner and a summoner unto Allah by His command, and as a lamp that gives light." [Surah Al-Ahzaab (33), Ayat 45-46.]
"He enjoins on them good and forbids them evil." [Surah Al-A'raaf (7), Ayah 157.]
"Fight, therefore, in the cause of Allah." [Surah An-Nisa (4), Ayah 84.]
"Verily you have in the Prophet of Allah a beautiful example to follow for him who hopes in [the Meeting with] Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah much." [Surah Al-Ahzaab (33), Ayah 21.]
The third, and last, issue which we want to stress here is that putting forward Da'wah, Hisbah, and Jihad as means to deal with reality with a view to changing it in accordance with Islamic instructions obviously means rejecting all the other means of which Allah does not approve. We reject all innovated means not introduced by Islam and not pleasing to Allah. We reject all `means of change' introduced by Jahiliyyah through its institutions and systems and in accordance with its laws and principles. We renounce and disdain them and refuse to sully ourselves by participating in the profanity they: represent. We reject them because they are ignorant means. The Prophet said, in the farewell sermon (Hajjatul-Wadaa'): "Everything belonging to Jahiliyyah is placed under my feet." 
How could we possibly take something from under the feet of the Prophet and use it as our path and direction?
Devils from among Mankind and jinn will try to lure us into the adoption of these ignorant ways. They will attempt to persuade us that these ways serve the religion of Allah and will bring us victory and dominion on earth. May Allah curse Iblis, for it was he who made Adam's sin "seem fair unto him" and whispered evil to him until he caused him to be expelled from the Garden:
"Then Satan whispered to him, saying: `O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away?" [Surah Ta-Ha (20), Ayah 120.]
"O you children of Adam! Let not Satan deceive you, as he got your parents [Adam and Eve] out of the Garden." [Surah Al-A'raaf (7), Ayah 27.]
"And do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Verily, he is to you an open enemy." [Surah Al-Baqarah (2). Ayah 168.]
It is imperative, therefore, that we hold fast onto our religion with certainty that it is sufficient for us as guidance and that anything other than it, is but error and delusion.
Indeed, Jahiliyyah attempted in the past to persuade the Prophet off the true path by offering him its own alternatives and ways. The heads of Qur'aish tried to tempt him with wealth to become the richest among them, with authority that they would decide nothing without him, and even with sovereignty and kingship. Some even proposed to him to worship their idols for one year in return for their worshipping Allah for one year. The offers continued,
"Verily, they were about to tempt you away from that which We have revealed to you to fabricate something other than it against Us, and then they would certainly have taken you a friend! And had We not made you stand firm, you would nearly have inclined to them a little. In that case, We would have made you taste a double portion [of punishment] in this life, and a double portion [of punishment] after death. And then you would have found none to help you against Us." [Surah Al-Israa' (17), Ayat 73-75.]
"They wish that you should compromise [in religion out of courtesy] with them, so they [too] would compromise with you." [Surah Al-Qalam (68), Ayah 9.]
Allah, however, protected His Messenger against treading the path of Jahiliyyah.
All those who assume responsibility of bearing the trust of this religion should know that it is a complete and perfect religion which can dispense with Jahiliyyah ways and means:
"This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." [Surah Al-Ma'idah (5), Ayah 3.]
Islam is complete in its creed, laws and rituals. It came with many things, including the outlining of the way its followers must tread in order to bring about its triumph and dominion. It also outlined the means which its followers should utilize with regard to all the different types of people around them.
In its treatment of the various cases, Islam adopts distinctive means and methods which are in line with its aims and objectives. Therefore, we should by no means employ ignorant means and methods and then claim that we intend to bring victory to our religion and to attain our aims and objectives. As a matter of fact, in so doing we will only assist Jahiliyyah to reach its own goals, whether we like it or not. Besides, if we choose to tread the path of Jahiliyyah, our aims and objectives will certainly deviate from the path of Islam in order to meet or come closer to those of Jahiliyyah, whether we like it or not.
Indeed, the ways and means of Islam are by no means independent of its laws; they are not a new invention, nor are they a secondary issue, as it were, which could be disregarded or replaced while upholding the rest of the traits of our way of life. In fact, this is pure illusion. It is impossible to retain Islam if we choose to change its set of beliefs or practices. It is also impossible to think of the survival of Islam if we tend to change its own ways and means. In fact, Islam haughtily rejects the creeds and practices of Jahiliyyah and prohibits its followers from utilizing its ways and means; it also warns them against getting closer to them in any manner:
"And incline not towards those who do wrong, lest the Fire should touch you, and you shall have no protectors other than Allah, nor will you be helped." [Surah Hud (11), Ayah 113.]
Finally, this is not an appropriate place to make a comparison between Islam's modes of action and means of change together with those of other Jahiliyyah ideologies such as capitalism and communism. The dignity and glory of Islam prevents us from comparing our religion with doctrines of man's own creation. For how can man-made laws rise to a status closer to that of Islam to deserve being compared to, even in the minutes of details?
"Not alike are the blind and the seeing; nor are [alike] the darkness and the light; nor are [alike] the shade and the [sun's] heat." [Surah Faatir (35), Ayat 19-21.]
Allah's command came to the Prophet to engage in Da'wah: "O you enveloped (in garments)! Arise and warn!" [Surah Al-Muddathir (74), Ayat 1-2.]
The Prophet obeyed the command and began to call people to his Lord, secretly for three years until Allah ( SWT ) revealed the verse (which means) :
"Therefore proclaim openly that which you are commanded, and turn away from those who join false gods with Allah." [Surah Al-Hijr (15), Ayah 94.]
It was then that the Prophet Muhammad ascended Mount As-Safaa and collected upon the clans of Qur'aish: "I have come to you with a warning against a severe punishment." For the following twenty-three years, Da'wah became the preoccupation of the Prophet and the pivot of his life until his death.
The Messenger of Allah called the people of Makkah, freemen and slaves, young and old, to the worship of Allah. He extended the Da'wah to visitors who came to Makkah on pilgrimage or for trade. He went to Taa'if to deliver Da'wah to the tribe of Thaqeef. Following the pledge of allegiance at al-'Aqabah, he sent Musa'b bin `Umair to Madeenah in order to call its people to the worship of Allah. Later, he himself emigrated to Madeenah and set up his mosque where he preached to the newly formed community "as a witness, a bearer of glad tidings, a warner, and as one who invites to Allah by His leave." . He frequented the assemblies of the Ansaar tribe, preaching and teaching. He sent his preachers throughout the Arabian Peninsula: Mu'adh bin Jabal went to Yemen to call upon the 'People of the Book' there to Islam; 'Urwah bin Mas'ood went to Thaqeef to call his own people to the new religion; `Alaa' bin al-Hadhramee was sent to Bahrain. Even the Prophet himself stood by the gate of Ka'bah after the Conquest of f Makkah, calling the Makkans to Islam. On his return to Madeenah, tribal delegations flocked to him from all over Arabia (in a year that came to be known as the `Year of Delegations'), whereupon they responded to his call by embracing the new religion and returning to their homes to call upon their tribes and kin to follow in their footsteps.
With the entire land of Arabia now entered into the Islamic faith, the Prophet now sent his emissaries with the message of Islam to the kings and emperors around the Arabian Peninsula:
"In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Heraclius, the Emperor of the Romans. Peace be upon him who follows the true guidance. To proceed, I extend to you the invitation to accept Islam. Embrace Islam and you will be safe. Accept Islam and Allah will give you a double reward. And if you turn away, upon you will be the sins of your subjects:
"Say: `O People of the Book, come to the word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us take others as lords besides Allah.' Then, if they turn away, say: 'Bear witness that we are Muslims.' " 
And in the farewell pilgrimage (Hajjatul-Wadaa'), thousands upon thousands of Muslims stood listening to the call of the Prophet :
"Verily, everything related to Jahiliyyah is now under my feet..." and "I have left you with something which, if you hold on to, You will never go astray: the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger." 
During his last illness which led to his demise, the Prophet entered the mosque with his head bandaged, and sat on his mimbar and said, "...By Allah, I have no fear that you might revert to polytheism after my death. What I fear for you is the life of this world and your rivalry therein." 
On the twelfth of Rabi' al-Awwal, in the eleventh year of Hijrah, when the Muslims were praying in the mosque, being led by Abu-Bakr, the Prophet raised the curtain in 'Aisha's apartment and took a final look at his Ummah satisfied and pleased with the fruit of his Da'wah. Then he returned to his deathbed to meet his Lord.
Our Prophet passed away after he had conveyed the message, fulfilled the trust and counselled the Ummah. We stand witness to this, as have countless millions of people before us, and as more countless millions will after us. What remains for us to do is to safeguard the trust handed down to us through generations of the Muslim Ummah. We are duty-bound to live as the Prophet lived, and carry on with calling people unto Allah for as long as we are on this earth. All our going and coming, morning and evening, speech and action must be directed towards the fulfillment of Da'wah. Following the example of the Prophet , harassment, persecution and hostilities should not deter us from calling people to the religion of Allah.
To actively discharge the obligation of Da'wah is a great honour and excellent station:
"Who is better in speech than one who calls [men] to Allah, works righteousness, and says: `I am one of the Muslims?' "[Surah Fussilaat (41), Ayah 33.]
It suffices us that by doing so we follow in the footsteps of the Messenger of Allah who said,
"May Allah bless a man who hears my sayings and commits them to memory, then faithfully communicates them (to others)." 
"By Allah, if Allah guides a man [to Islam] through you, it is much better for you than being blessed with the best pleasures of this world." [Bukhari.]
And may Allah have mercy upon 'Umar bin Al-Khattab who said, "Praise be to Allah who blessed the people by giving, after a break in the series of Messengers, a remnant of the people of knowledge (Ahlul'Ilm) who call those who have gone astray to the Guidance [of Islam], endure the harm they inflict upon them, and who show the Book of Allah to those who have become blind [in their hearts]. How many victims of Iblis have they rescued and how many misguided have they guided! They sacrificed their blood and their wealth to prevent the destruction of the slaves (of Allah). How great is their good impression upon people! So, do not fail to follow in their footsteps, for they are in a lofty standing."
To shun this obligation is in fact to renounce Allah and His Messenger and to reject of those whom they have guided [to the truth]. They have sacrificed their blood and money in the duty that has been placed upon our shoulders. The Ulama of our Ummah, past and present. have made it clear that Da'wah is Fard Kifaayah, when it is undertaken by those who fulfil its purpose relating to statements, preaching, excuses, warnings, and refuting doubts with proof; and if not then everyone capable of undertaking it is sinful. The obligation of Da'wah has become more critical today than ever before. The need for it increases with the increase of the destructive, false creeds which make every effort to turn people away from their religion and their Lord.
The Jahiliyyah around us has succeeded in preparing and formulating its principles, theories, ideologies, rites, slogans, ideal values and cultures. It has also succeeded in exercising its control on practically all countries of the world. It has also managed to subject our Islamic countries and made them "move in orbit around it", propagating its ideologies and lifestyles, imbibing its customs and traditions, and contenting themselves with its values and ideals. It has successfully turned them into trumpeters, calling to its falsehood. And wherever you go this call follows you: at home, at school, on the street, at work, in the parliament, in court-rooms, on the newspaper pages and in the broadcasting stations. It is an explicit and wicked call to Jahiliyyah which has succeeded in tearing people from their Fitrah (pure nature) and hurling them into the darkness of disbelief, hypocrisy, heresy and wrongdoing. Only those very few blessed with Allah's mercy have been spared this terrible fate.
It has now become vital for the Islamic Da'wah to play its role, namely to confront all this decay, stop people from falling any lower into the darkness of Jahiliyyah, retrieve all the masses that have fallen victims to false ideologies and introduce them to Islam, which is "a right religion, the religion of Abraham, the upright who was not of the Mushrikoon (those who worshipped others with Allah)." [Surah Al-An'am (6), Ayah 162.]
It remains the role of the Islamic Da'wah to expose the falsehood of all these fake calls that reverberate all around us day and night. It must expose them and show the people that all these false calls are like scum upon the banks which in no time passes away, and give them instead the good which remains in the earth: "As for the foam it passes away as scum upon the banks, while that which is for the good of Mankind remains in the earth." [Surah Ar-Ra'd (13), Ayah 17.]
It is the duty of the Islamic Da'wah to give Mankind this religion in its complete form, starting from the attestation that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah, all the way to removing the harmful things from the road.
It is its duty to teach the ignorant so that they may understand, to alert the negligent so that they may wake up, to advise the proud so that they may submit to the will of Allah, to lead the disbeliever to faith, the polytheist to monotheism, the heretic to the Sunnah, and the disobedient to obedience. It must establish evidence against those who reject the Truth "in order to be free from guilt before your Lord [Allah], and perhaps they may fear Allah." [Surah Al-A'raaf (7), Ayah 164.]
It remains the duty of the Islamic Da'wah to stand in the face of this sweeping tide of false calls that are destructive to every truth and leading to every falsehood. Who else can assume this responsibility? Who will call upon a billion Christians and Jews to believe in Allah alone? Who is going to call two billion idolaters and atheists to believe in Allah? Who is going to bring a billion Muslims back to their Lord and Religion? Who is going to assist the youth of today who have immersed themselves in disobedience and dedicated themselves to the satisfaction of their own desires, in negligence of their religion? Who is going to extend a helping hand to the aged who are at death's door and have not yet repented? Who is going to challenge the false, wicked designs surrounding our religion today like shackles surrounding a prisoner's wrists?
There is no doubt that this is our duty, which is surely too great to be carried out by scattered and individual efforts. Furthermore, if this obligation is not discharged, all those capable of undertaking it have sinned even for their failure to communicate a single Qur'anic verse.
Falsehood has had no shame or hesitation in propagating its claims and advertising its beliefs. On the contrary, it has done so with arrogance and pride, and has gone so far as looking down with disdain upon us Muslims and preachers of Islam. It expects us, the callers to Truth, to be ashamed of our Da'wah and of spreading it amongst the people. It wants us to hide our Da'wah in our chests and walk timidly in the midst of the creation because we are Muslims. This is how falsehood wishes to change criteria and standards.
But we stand firm in our refusal to accept this reversal of roles and succumb to this twisted logic. It is we who are on the side of Truth. We are the ones who shout our call at the top of our voices. We stand high to be seen by those who know us and those who do not, saying: "Here we are, the carriers of the true Da'wah; and this is the faith we offer all Mankind." We will achieve our calling by the honor and glory of Islam and the gentleness and mercy of its preachers. Islam, as an ideology and a way of life, is greater than any falsehood. Islam is merciful towards people, even the disobedient among them; we take them by the hand and help them through their difficulties.
There is no contradiction whatsoever between the might of Islam above all other creeds and ideologies, and its gentleness towards those we call upon to reject all these falsehoods and enter into the fold of the faithful. The might of Islam prevents weakness and defeatism from setting foot in our hearts. It puts us in the position of the triumphant over falsehood, in obedience to Allah's command:
"So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: for you must gain mastery if you are true in faith." [Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 139.]
The might of Islam compels us to put forth our Da'wah: clearly, forcefully and honestly, in its pure form in the face of falsehood in order to smother and obliterate it. The might and dignity of Islam makes our Da'wah dearer to people's hearts and obliges us to hold fast to it, to be proud of it, never to neglect a single aspect of it or be ashamed of openly proclaiming it among the people.
The might and dignity of Islam prevents us from inclining towards falsehood. It makes us haughtily reject mixing the Truth we have, with the falsehood of Jahiliyyah as this might puts us among those "who preach the Message of Allah, and fear Him, and fear none but Allah." [Surah Al-Ahzaab (33), Ayah 39.]
This might is unfortunately lacking among many of Islam's preachers today. They lost it when they were defeated by the calls of falsehood which made them feel ashamed of the Truth they have. This loss has resulted in the watering down of their call, to such an extent that it now pleads with falsehood and even seeks its pleasure and acceptance, begging falsehood thus: "Please sir, allow me to coexist with you, I have nothing within me that may worry you. I am just like you, calling people to goodness, knowledge, justice, equality, freedom and fraternity."
It is a pity to see those concerned with Da'wah work striving hard in their effort to prove that Islam conforms to the `progressivism' of falsehood and with its whims and desires. It pains us to see the faith of Allah being torn to shreds by these people, each picking out a slice to reconstruct and reformulate it in such a way as to please the callers to kufr, shirk, and disobedience.
It hurts us to see Islam turned by these people into a vehicle for rulers and sovereigns, or into a servant in their palaces, laying down the foundations of socialism or helping to defend capitalism. It is a pity to see today's callers to Islam turning a blind eye, despite their knowledge of the Truth, in order to please people's desires and satisfy their own whims. We call upon these preachers to wake up to the fact, that in this day and age, Mankind, its societies and its rulers and all their ideals are the result of false calls and ignorant theories which have relentlessly been spreading poison in the body of the Ummah over many centuries, thus reducing us to the present sorry state of affairs. Our duty is not to make concessions with falsehood, but rather to use the Truth in order to destroy and obliterate falsehood:
"As for the foam, it passes away as scum upon the banks, while that which is for the good of Mankind remains in the earth." [Surah Ar-Ra'd (13), Ayah 17.]
Our duty is to put forward our religion and Da'wah with clarity determination, in its universality and realism. We are to present it to the people so that they can compare it with their false ideologies, compare between light and darkness, the blind and the seeing, the living and the dead. It is our mission to shake people so violently with our call and admonish them thus (which means):
"Answer the call to your Lord." [Ash-Shura (42), Ayah 47.]
"Hasten then [at once] to Allah." [Az-Zariyat (51), Ayah 50.]
Our duty is to bring people to the worship of Allah and away from the worship of their whims and desires. It is not our objective to bridge the gap between the truth of our religion and the falsehood around us. For this is a blatant betrayal of Allah and His religion. The fact that the majority of peoples and societies are distant from Islam, and that all their principles, theories and ideologies are opposed to our religion, should be no excuse for us to reach a compromise with falsehood. On the contrary, it motivates us to become clearer and more open with the people:
"Let him who will, believe, and let him who will reject (it)." [Al-Kahf (18), Ayah 29.]
"That those who perish might perish after the Clear Sign [had been given], and those who lived might live after a Clear Sign [had been given]." [Al-Anfal (8), Ayah 42.]
Indeed, our enemies realized a long time ago that it is impossible to eradicate Islam completely. So they resorted to trying to alter and deform it so that it would serve their falsehood, and that its followers would join their ranks.
These enemies also direct their attention to Da'wah, in the hope of turning it into a tool with which to shape a generation of Muslims who understand Islam in a twisted manner suited to their malevolent aims. They seek to produce a generation that will not confront or oppose them in any way. It has thus become a great sin for any Muslim to join hands with them or assist them in anyway to execute their treacherous schemes. More sinful yet are those concerned with Da'wah work who allow Islam to incorporate part of their beliefs. Equally sinful are those who mix the Truth with falsehood, in order that their enemies would give them the green light at the expense of their religion:
"Verily, they were about to tempt you away from that which We have revealed unto you, to fabricate something other than it against Us, and then they would certainly have taken you as a friend! And had We not made you stand firm, you would nearly have inclined to them a little. In that case, We would have made you taste a double portion [of punishment] in this life and a double portion [of punishment] after death. And then you would have found none to help you against Us. And verily, they were about to frighten you so much as to drive you out front the land. But in that case they would not have stayed [therein] after you, except for a little while. [This was Our] rule of way with the Messengers We sent before you, and you will find no change in Our ways." [Surah Al-Israa' (17). Ayat 73-77.]
Sacrifice is therefore required here. Callers to Islam should sacrifice their lives; otherwise they will sell their religion to please their enemies. Trials and tribulations represent a sure outcome. If callers to Islam do not accept them in their lives, in the form of killing and torture, they will certainly have them in their religion by forsaking Islam altogether. So it is up to them to choose.
Da'wah, as a means of guidance, will remain an open door which Jahiliyyah will never manage to close. Over many centuries, and in spite of countless attempts, it has failed to halt Da'wah, even at times when its opposition was most fierce and the followers of Islam were at their weakest. Any Muslim concerned with Da'wah must bear in mind that he has to make sacrifices and pay the price of using the way leading to Allah, as did the Prophets, Messengers and servants of Allah, who conveyed His message before him. He must, in one way or another, sacrifice his blood and wealth to save his religion.
We must pay the price, no matter how dear it may be, to maintain Da'wah as a force to rebuild our Ummah and as a tool to demolish the structure of Jahiliyyah. It is imperative to uphold the obligation of Da'wah as a means of refuting the proofs of our enemies and shattering their delusions; a means of taking their children away from them everyday, bringing them out of darkness into light, from the camp of Jahiliyyah into that of Islam, so that they will be added strength to the Islamic cause, following in the footsteps of `Umar bin Al-Khattab, Khalid bin Waleed, `Amr bin al- `Aas, and Ibn Abee Jahl.
At the end of our discussion of Da'wah we would like to say that those who stand up and call people to the religion of Allah ( SWT ) are in fact following in the steps of the Prophet who spent twenty-three years calling people to Islam. Allah ( SWT ) had refined His Messenger in the most excellent way before permitting him to carry the trust of this religion and communicate His message. Today, as we take on the responsibility of Da'wah to Allah, we are also bound by the attendant obligations and requirements of Da'wah, namely the adoption of the good character of the Prophet . The books of Hadeeth and Seerah have detailed his good character which Allah ( SWT ) describes in the Qur'an thus (which means):
"And you [stand] on an exalted standard of character." [Surah Al-Qalam (68), Ayah 4.]
The greatness of the Prophet's character was revealed to us in his relationships and dealings over the twenty-three years, which represent the age of the Prophet's mission.
Some Muslims have entered the field of Da'wah without adopting the required necessary good character of those calling to Islam. This has led to the futility of their efforts and the turning away of people in detestation of them and of the faith to which they call, as a result of the discrepancy between their words and deeds.
All those calling to Islam must, therefore, follow the example of the Prophet
in all his manners. In the smallest and greatest details of his sincerity and devotion to Allah. In his mercy and kindness towards the people to whom he preached. In his forgiveness and forgoing of revenge for himself. In his asceticism and piety. In his avoidance of anything where there was doubt as to its goodness or evil. In his courage in upholding the Truth. In his modesty, patience and generosity. In his gentleness and tenderness. In his determination to carry out his Da'wah and never yielding to despair.
"Now has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that you should perish: ardently anxious is he over you: to the believers is he most kind and merciful." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 128.]
- Hisbah (Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil)
Allah ( SWT ) said (which means):
"The hypocrites, men and women, are from one another: they enjoin evil and forbid good." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 67.]
"The believers, men and women, are awliyyaa' (helper supporters, friends, protectors) of one another: they enjoin good at forbid evil." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 71.]
In these verses, Allah ( SWT ) has made the enjoining of good and forbidding of evil a characteristic with which to differentiate between the believers and the hypocrites. He makes it clear that forbidding evil and enjoining good is a trait specific to the believers. Indeed, it is with this trait that Allah ( SWT ) sent His Messengers and revealed His Books. It is a characteristic of our Prophet Muhammad which the Qur'an mentions thus:
"He enjoins good upon them and forbids them from evil." [Surah Al- A'raaf (7), Ayah 157.]
It is also a characteristic of this Ummah and a precondition for its virtue and success:
"You are the best of peoples ever raised for Mankind; you enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and you believe in Allah." [Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 110.]
Mujahid said, "Being the best of all peoples is conditional on the characteristics mentioned in the verse." Al-Qurtubee said, "You are the best of peoples only if you enjoin good and forbid evil." Therefore, this compliment of our Ummah depends on whether we enjoy these two characteristics. If we do not, we will no longer be worthy of this praise. Indeed, we will deserve chastisement and be doomed to destruction.
Imam an-Nawawee said, "You should know that this issue, the enjoining good and forbidding evil, has mostly been neglected over a long period of time. What remains of us today are but a few traces, all despite the fact that it is an important issue which lies at the heart of all affairs." Therefore, those who seek success in the Hereafter and aspire to Allah's Pleasure must take into account this issue due to its great benefit, especially since it has mostly been abandoned. He must also make his intention sincere and fear no-one who may oppose his attempt. For Allah ( SWT ) says (which means):
"Verily Allah helps one who helps His [Cause]." [Surah Al-Hajj (22), Ayah 40.]
The reasons for enjoining good and forbidding evil are many and varied. Hope for reward and fear of punishment for neglecting it; anger over the transgression of Allah's limits; the desire to give counsel to the believers and compassion for them in the hope of saving them from the consequences of disobeying Allah's commandments; and love for and glorification of Allah ( SWT ), for He surely is worthy of obedience, remembrance and gratefulness. Wealth and life are nothing in return for the protection of the sacred sanctity of Allah. As one of as-Salaf-us-Salih said, "I wish all the creation would obey Allah in return for my flesh being cut off with scissors." Whoever perceives this will find all hardships for Allah's sake easy, as `Abdul-Malik, the son of `Umar bin `Abdul-Aziz said to his father, "I wish pots of hot water would be boiled for my torture in the cause of Allah."
Hisbah has been defined by scholars as "the enjoining of a good that has been evidently abandoned and the forbidding of an evil that is openly practiced." Imam an-Nawawee said, "The Qur'an, the Sunnah and the consensus of the Ummah are in accord that enjoining good and forbidding evil is an [Islamic] obligation."
The command to conduct Hisbah in the Qur'an and Sunnah sometimes comes in a more direct way, as Allah ( SWT ) says (which means), "Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong." [Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 104.]
The Prophet also said, "Whosoever sees an evil [being practised] must change it with his hand. If he cannot do so, then with his tongue. If he [still] cannot do so, then with his heart, which is the weakest form of faith." 
On other occasions, Hisbah is strongly recommended as an inherent characteristic of the believers, as Allah says (which means),
"And the believers, men and women, are awliyyaa' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another: they enjoin good and forbid evil; they establish Salah, they pay Zakah, and they obey Allah and His Messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them. Verily, Allah is All-Mighty, All- Wise." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 71.]
And still on other occasions it comes in the form of criticising those who neglect it and as a threat of curse and doom. As Allah ( SWT ) says (which means),
"Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed [Allah and His Messenger] and were ever transgressing beyond bounds. They used not to forbid one another from the Munkar (wrong, evil- doing, sins, polytheism, disbelief, etc.) which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do." [Surah Al-Ma'idah (5), Ayat 78-79.]
The Prophet also said, "There are no people in whose midst acts of disobedience are habitual, and who can change these habits but do not change them, except that Allah visits them with a sweeping punishment."
Abu-Dardaa' said, "Either you enjoin good and forbid evil or Allah will set up over you a tyrant ruler who will neither respect your elderly nor have mercy on your young. If the pious amongst you pray for their destruction, their . prayers will not be answered. If you ask Allah for help, He will not grant it to you. And if you ask His forgiveness, He will not forgive you."
Bilal bin Sa'eed said, "If an act of disobedience is kept secret, it will harm only its doer, but if it is committed openly and not changed, it will harm everyone."
An-Nawawee said, "Hisbah is a great issue which lies at the heart of all matters. If evil practices become abound, Allah's punishment will be visited upon the pious and the wicked alike. And if they fail to forbid the transgressors to do evil, Allah will make His punishment spread to encompass all the people:"
"Let those who oppose the Messenger's commandment (Sunnah, legal ways, orders, acts of worship, and so on) beware, lest some trial befall them or a grievous torment be inflicted on them." [Surah An-Nur (24), Ayah 63.]
Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq said, "O people! You recite the verse (which means), '0 you who believe! Guard your own souls: if you follow (right) guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who stray."but you misinterpret it and do not know what it means. I once heard Allah's Messenger say, `If people see someone practising injustice and do not set him right, Allah will almost certainly visit them all with severe punishment.'" Another narration goes, "If they see evil practised and do not attempt to change it..." 
An-Nawawee said, "The Prophet's saying 'must change it' indicates that practicing it is an obligation, by the consensus of the Ummah." He also said, "Enjoining good and forbidding evil is an obligation of collective responsibility (Fard Kifaayah). Once it is undertaken by a number of people the rest are absolved of it. However, if neglected by everyone, then all those who are capable of discharging it, without legal excuse or fear, are considered sinful. Furthermore, it becomes an obligation of individual responsibility for a person who is in a position to be the only one to know of the evil in question, or the only one who can effectively change it."
Discussing the issue of enjoining good and forbidding evil, Ibn Taymeeyah said, "It is of collective responsibility, and becomes of individual responsibility (Fard 'Ain) incumbent upon every able person if no-one else exercises it." He also said, "The test of responsibility for this obligation is ability. Every Muslim is obliged to a degree proportional to his ability. Allah ( SWT ) says (which means),`So fear Allah as much as you can.'" [Surah At-Taghaabun (64), Ayah 16.]
Hisbah has four components: Al-Muhtasib (the person who practices Hisbah), Al-Muhtasabu 'alayhi (the person to whom Hisbah is directed), Al-Muhtasabu Feehi (the subject of Hisbah) and Ihtisab (the actual act of enjoining good and forbidding evil).
- Al-Muhtasib:This refers to the person who enjoins good and forbids evil, whether he is permitted to do so by the Imam in charge of Muslims' affairs or not.
The Muhtasib must meet three conditions: he must be (a) Muslim, (b) mukallaf and (c) qadir.
The first condition excludes the disbeliever. By mukallaf is meant mature and sane, thus excluding the insane and the young. Exceptionally, young boys are allowed to practice it but are not obliged to so. By qadir is meant the ability to practice Hisbah. Ability to observe Hisbah is a required condition as those who are unable to practice it are not obliged to discharge it except in their hearts. Ibn Rajab said, "To disapprove of evil with the heart is an act which must be done, for the failure of a believer's heart to condemn evil indicates that faith no longer resides in it. As for expressing disapproval with the tongue and the hand, this is only obligatory within one's capacity." Practicing Hisbah does not become an obligation for the able due to fear of unbearable harm as a result of enjoining good and forbidding evil. If, however, one knows that one will be able to withstand and endure this harm, then one is obliged to discharge the duty of Hisbah. The Prophet said in this respect, "The best of all martyrs is Hamzah, and a man who stood up in the face of an oppressive ruler to enjoin and forbid him and was killed by him."
On the other hand, the obligation to practice Hisbah does not cease to be effective because of the fear of endurable adversity and minor harm, such as verbal abuse and revilement. In this case the Muhtasib must prepare himself to face such reactions, as Luqman said to his son while exhorting him (which means),
"O my dear son! Observe Salah and enjoin good and forbid evil, and endure patiently whatever befalls you. Surely, this is of those matters [which require] firm resolve." [Surah Luqman (31), Ayah 17.]
In the case when ability is present and fear of harm is lacking, but it is thought that Hisbah will have no effect, it is most likely that Hisbah remains obligatory. An- Nawawee said, "The duty of the Muhtasib is to enjoin and forbid, not (to attain the people's) acceptance." He went on to say, "The Ulama said: 'The obligation to enjoin good and forbid evil is not lifted if the person responsible for discharging it thinks that it will be of no effect. It must still be carried out.'"
"And remind (by preaching the Qur'an); for verily, reminding benefits the believers." [Surah Az-Zariyat (51), Ayah 55.]
Ibn Al-Qayyim said of those in authority, "They are more obliged than anyone else, for obligation is conditional upon ability; and it is binding on the able what is not on the unable." Allah ( SWT ) said (which means), "So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can." The Prophet said, "If I instruct you to do something, then do as much of it as you can."
All this is admissible as long as there is a Muslim Imam (leader) who entrusts the responsibility of Hisbah to those fit to carry it out. In this day and age, however, our rulers who have apostatized by changing the laws of Shari'ah have no right to delegate the responsibility for Hisbah. Indeed, they should be removed in accordance with the consensus of the Ulama. Al-Juwainee said, "The endeavor of certain groups of people to cleanse society of those who spread corruption in the land in the absence of a Muslim Imam is considered to be one of the most important aspects of enjoining good and forbidding evil."
The moral rules that the Muhtasib must observe are many including sincerity; knowledge of the rules governing the practice of Hisbah ; patience and endurance; gentleness; adhesion to the virtues one enjoins and avoidance of the vices one forbids. The latter quality, though not a precondition for the practicing of Hisbah, is a conduit to greater effectiveness and success.
- Al-Muhtasabu 'alayhi:This refers to any person who does anything concerning which Hisbah could or should be observed. It is not a condition that such a person be mukallaf (that is, legally capable, sane in mind, compos mentis).
- Al-Muhtasabu Feehi:This refers to any evil, known as such by consensus, which is presently committed, and evident to the Muhtasib without spying.
The Arabic word munkar, translated here as 'evil', is more general than an act of disobedience , and it does not have to be great or small to be called as such. By saying 'by consensus' in the aforementioned definition, we mean to exclude anything that is the subject of reasonable and acceptable disagreement among the Ulama. The false or odd disagreement, however, remains invalid. By 'presently committed' we aim to exclude the warning of and/or punishment of someone for a vice which is no longer being committed, for this is no business of man. This also excludes anticipated vices, where only advice is permissible. Saying 'evident to the Muhtasib without spying' is in keeping with Allah's instructions (which mean): "spy not on each other." [Surah Al-Hujuraat (49), Ayah 12.]
- Al-Ihtisab:This is the actual act of enjoining good and forbidding evil.
We have said earlier that disapproving of evil with the heart is a duty for ever Muslim, whether he is physically capable or not, and must never be neglected under any circumstances whatsoever, as this would indicate the disappearance of all traces of Iman from the heart. For the Prophet said, "There is no single trace of faith beyond this (changing evil with one's heart)." It remains to be added here that disapproving of evil with the heart requires that the Muslim should be absent from the scene where the vice is committed, as long as he is physically unable to change the vice in question. It has been said in this regard, "Whoever cannot change evil should avoid the scene of its commission."
The stages of changing evil, when ability is present, are in the following order:
- Notification:The perpetrator of the vice might not know that what he is doing is a vice. Accordingly he must be gently notified of this vice in a courteous manner. If this has no effect, then the second stage is applicable.
- Counsel:The person who commits a vice must be reminded of Allah; frightened with His punishment and His painful retribution, and encouraged to seek His reward. Gentleness and tenderness should be observed in both this stage and the one before it. Ash-Shafi'ee said, "He who gives counsel to his brother in confidence has done him good; but he who does so in public has in fact defamed and exposed him."
- Reprehension and admonition with harsh words, but on condition that only permissible words are used. It is also a condition that only a necessary amount of admonition is employed and that it is not unnecessarily excessive.
- Changing with the hands, such as breaking a musical instrument or spilling alcoholic drinks. This is only permissible when it is not possible to bring the person committing the vice to do this himself. Furthermore, the damage should be strictly limited only to the object with which the vice in question is being committed.
- Threatening and warning: the person who commits the vice must not be threatened with anything other than a permissible punishment. This stage should come before the one that follows, namely.
- Proceeding to the use of physical violence, such as employing the hand or the foot: It is crucial here to restrict physical violence to that necessary to stop the vice, with no excess. If this leads to the summoning of support and the taking up of arms against each other, then we must move to the next and final stage.
- Some jurists (fuqahaa) have said that this is permissible for ordinary members of the community. Al-Ghazali deems this to be the most correct opinion. Others, however, have maintained that such actions require specific authorization from the Khaleefah or Muslim ruler.
All Muslim jurists agree that if the changing of evil, by any of the above stages, would result in a greater vice being committed, or the missing of a greater virtue, then the action must not be attempted. Those who attempt to change the vice in these circumstances, knowing what the implications might be, in fact commit a sin by doing so.
In the case when an individual or a group of people combine both evil and good, in such a way that the two are inseparable (they can either commit them both or leave them both), one must be weighed against the other. If the good is greater, then it must be enjoined even if this good entails an evil of a lesser degree. Forbidding this evil is deemed prohibited, for by forbidding it, a good of a greater degree will be lost. The opposite is also true.
If, however, both the good and the evil are equal, neither enjoining nor forbidding is permissible. Ibn Taymeeyah said, "In some circumstances, enjoining good is required; in others, forbidding evil is required; and in others, neither enjoining good nor forbidding evil is required. This applies when good and evil are concomitant in certain actions. Legally speaking, enjoining good and forbidding evil are absolute injunctions, in such a manner that enjoining good does not cause the loss of some good of a greater degree or the occurrence of a greater evil; and the forbidding of evil does not cause a greater evil to happen or lead to the loss of some good of a greater degree."
It must be remembered here that the criterion for deciding good and evil should be that of Shari'ah and not desires or personal opinions. The rule is that this task must be carried out by a person with a balanced intellect and mild temperament. Opinions expressed out of recklessness and cowardice are not considered.
Hisbah is an important facet of virtue and goodness, for its benefits transcend individuals to affect all fellow Muslims. Many disobedient people are restrained by good counsel and admonition. Many of those who neglect acts of obedience could be prompted to practice them by a word of encouragement or an enticement. Therefore, many major sins could be prevented by the hand or the tongue. Muslims should not neglect such an important obligation such as Hisbah despite the difficulty or harm it may entail. No-one should turn to the mass of Muslims, who have virtually abandoned this obligation and take them as an example or an excuse for not discharging this duty,
"Were you to follow the common run of those on earth, they would have led you away from the Way of Allah." [Surah Al-An'am (6), Ayah 116.]
Instead we should follow in the footsteps of our meritorious predecessors. We should go forth where they have made advances and hold back where they have exercised restraint. We must shun these people who follow their whims and fancies: those who have put Shari'ah out of action have produced false proofs and invented lies against Allah's religion to support their claims. We must also shun all who have put their own intellect before the Shari'ah, enduring patiently and acting upon Luqman's advice to his son (which means),
"O my dear son! Observe Salah, enjoin good and forbid evil, and endure patiently whatever befalls you. Surely, this is of those matters [which require firm resolve." [Surah Luqman (31), Ayah 17.]
A true Muslim should not be deterred by the multitude of vices and sins which pervade societies all around him, for they are like "an evil tree which is uprooted from above the earth and has no stability." Nor should this profusion of sins push him to despair of the merits and advantages of practicing Hisbah; otherwise, he would commit a sin by neglecting his obligation due to ill-founded excuses. His enjoining of good and forbidding of evil would not only bring about change but would also prevent the wrong values from setting root in people's hearts and minds and also prevent the altering of the facts and right standards. Abandoning Hisbah will sooner or later lead to the changing of society's system of values, in such a way that good would be regarded as evil and evil as good.
Before concluding our discussion of Hisbah, we would like to refute some ill- founded opinions. Some people claim that integrity (`adalah), is a precondition for anyone wanting to practice Hisbah (the Muhtasib).
It is true that integrity is a desirable characteristic of a Muhtasib, but it is far from correct to regard it as a necessary precondition. Al-Qurtubee said, "It is not a condition for someone who forbids evil to be upright, according to the opinion of Ahl- us-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah." For while integrity is a characteristic of only a few people, enjoining good and forbidding evil is an injunction on all Muslims. If someone were to say what Allah ( SWT ) says (which means),
"Do you enjoin right conduct [on the people] and forget [to practice it] yourselves." and, "Most hateful is it in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do." Our reply to this is that rebuke is for doing what is forbidden, not for forbidding someone else from doing it. This is further explained by An-Nawawee who said, "[A Muslim] should do two things: enjoin and forbid himself on the one hand, and enjoin and forbid others on the other. If he neglects the one, how could he possibly be allowed to neglect the other?" Abu Hamid al-Ghazali also said, "The fact of the matter is that even the wrong-doer must practise Hisbah."
Some other people claim that the practice of Hisbah is permitted only for those designated and authorized by the Imam (ruler) to discharge it. In fact, this pre- condition is erroneous and unfounded for all the Qur'anic verses and Ahadeeth of the Prophet that instructs us to discharge this duty are absolute and not restricted by this pre-condition. Our predecessors habitually practiced Hisbah without asking permission from the ruler. They even practised it against the ruler themselves when they did not act according to the teachings of the Shari'ah. The Prophet said, "One of the best forms of Jihad is to speak a word of truth in the face of an unjust ruler." 
This Hadeeth, therefore, clearly states that individual's are allowed to forbid the rulers from doing evil. No-one with common sense can claim that the ruler's permission is needed in order to forbid him. An-Nawawee said, "The Ulama have said that enjoining good and forbidding evil is not specifically the duty of the ruler. Individual Muslims are also allowed to practise it." Imam ul-Haramain said, "The evidence for this is to be found in the ijmaa' (consensus) of the Muslims. Individuals other than those in authority in the first and second generations of the Muslims used to enjoin good and forbid evil. The majority of Muslims approved their actions and did not rebuke them for preoccupying themselves with discharging this obligation without vested authorization, and Allah knows best."
An-Nawawee also said, "Imam ul-Haramain said, `Individual Muslims are permitted to stand in the face of those who commit major sins.'"
If someone asks, "As Hisbah is a kind of authority, who will delegate it to individual Muslims?" The answer is that the authority of a Muhtasib is derived from Allah's absolute and unconditional command that it must be practiced by everyone. However, it may be said that the Hisbah practiced by a Muhtasib who is delegated and authorized by the ruler is wider and more complete, because this authorized Muhtasib is not only addressed like others by Allah and His Messenger to carry out this duty but also because he has his Hisbah delegated to him by the ruler of the Muslims. This opinion is acceptable, but does not in any way mean that this Muhtasib should prevent others from discharging the obligation of Hisbah. Ibn Taymeeyah said, "Those in authority are more capable and more duty-bound than any others [to discharge this obligation], for ability is the pre-condition for this obligation, and every Muslim is obliged to carry it out within their capabilities. Allah ( SWT ) says (which means):'So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can.' "
One of the misconceptions that has been spread by some of those who work for Islam, let alone ordinary Muslims, and which has been regarded as an established fact which should not be objected, is that Hisbah is only permitted for the Islamic authority in its highest form, represented by the Caliphate and the Muslim Jama'ah in its endeavor to establish it in obedience to Allah's command (which means),
"And let there arise from amongst you a body of men who should invite to goodness, and enjoin equity and forbid evil. Such are they who are successful." [Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 104.]
In fact, these are traits of the Muslim Ummah which no-one can claim will cease to exist, even though it is deprived of political authority. The fact that the reins of power have not been in the hands of the Muslim Ummah for a long period of time is no excuse to abandon enjoining people to do good and forbidding them to do evil. Indeed, to enjoin virtue, forbid vice and believe in Allah are preconditions for the very existence of the Islamic Ummah:
"You are the best Ummah raised for the good of Mankind; you enjoin good and forbid evil and believe in Allah." [Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 110.]
As long as the Muslim Ummah continues to exist, its characteristics, including enjoining good and forbidding evil, will remain in existence as well.
Those who actively work for Islam and strive to establish it on earth should take the lead in observing Hisbah. It is not sufficient that they do good and shun evil, but they should additionally enjoin every good and forbid every evil with a view to fulfilling the conditions for prevailing on earth, as Allah ( SWT ) says (which means): "Those [Muslim rulers] who, if we establish them in the land, [they] establish regular prayer and give Zakah, enjoin good and forbid evil." It is not acceptable to say that they are not supposed to establish regular prayer and pay Zakah until they achieve their dominating status. The same is also true of enjoining good and forbidding evil. It has been related that an Abbassid Caliph once rebuked one of his subjects who set up himself up as a Muhtasib without first seeking his permission. To back up his argument, the Caliph quoted the Qur'anic verse (which means):
"Those [Muslim rulers] who, if we establish them in the land, [they] establish regular prayer and give Zakah, enjoin good and forbid evil."
By this he meant that this is solely the duty of the ruler or to whomever he delegates. The man disputed with him, quoting the verse (which means):
"The believers, men and women, are awliyyaa' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another: they enjoin good and forbid evil." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 71.]
The Caliph marveled at the man's proof and could not add a word. If only those who propagate these false opinions would return to the Truth and keep quiet as the Abbassid Caliph did!
There is no denying that powerful authority is far more capable of effectively enjoining good and forbidding evil than a powerless authority. But this should in no way prevent Muslims from practicing Hisbah in the absence of this powerful authority, as is the case today. Besides, if Muslims are obliged to practice it under the rule of a Muslim ruler even without seeking his permission, they are even more obliged to do so in his absence. No person with true insight would deny that the Qur'anic verses and Ahadeeth commanding us to practice Hisbah are absolute and non-restricted. Indeed, they address all Muslims everywhere and oblige them all within their limits and Allah knows best.
Besides, Hisbah is one of the basic necessities of the Islamic movement which should by no means be abandoned by those who work for Islam, or else their Da'wah will vanish and their endeavors will undoubtedly fail. Perhaps it is appropriate here to reiterate that the Jahiliyyah around us confronts us with various means and numerous challenges. That our Shari'ah is complete, all-inclusive and incorporates all responses to take up the challenge. Some of these challenges could be combated only by Hisbah; others only through Da'wah; and others only by Jihad. If we dispense with Hisbah, the Jahiliyyah around us will certainly defeat us, for by doing so we will, in fact, abandon one of the weapons which Allah ( SWT ) commands us to draw at the appropriate time and place. Every circumstance demands a specific weapon.
Indeed, we cannot but push aside as far as we can, any evil in the way of our Da'wah and enjoin every good that we think is neglected, in accordance with the regulations outlined by Shari'ah and the rulings made by the Ulama. By doing so we endeavour to live, and make people around us live, in an environment best suited for maintaining people's religion and managing their affairs in accordance with the Laws of their Lord. It is also our aim, as we mentioned earlier, to bring people to the worship of their Lord, as this is in itself one of the objectives of those working for Islam; until Allah ( SWT ) wills and gives enough support to establish the Caliphate whose role will be to safeguard the religion and to manage the world's affairs in accordance with its rules and regulations.
It is wrong to repeat the claim of some people who say that it is necessary to abandon enjoining good and forbidding evil in order to concentrate our efforts on removing `the biggest evil', by which they mean governing by the laws of Jahiliyyah and establish the 'greatest good' by which they mean governing by the laws of Allah. No-one would dispute the fact that implementing Shari'ah and ruling by it is a virtue that should be realized and that ruling by Jahiliyyah is an evil that should be eradicated. But there are some people who contend that there is a difference between enjoining every good and enjoining the so-called 'greatest good', and between forbidding every evil and forbidding 'the biggest evil', as they term it. If we assume that there really is a difference then this will be only in certain instances and situations and not others, and also for some individuals and not for others. These are matters which, as we have mentioned earlier while discussing the subject of the conflict of good and evil, our scholars have resolved and for which they have set criteria.
To abandon the obligation of Hisbah altogether, however, thinking that by doing so we will save our efforts from being dissipated and focus them on achieving the so- called 'greatest good' and uprooting the so-called 'greatest evil', is an attempt to put reason before Shari'ah. Those who maintain these opinions forget, or pretend to forget, that Allah, He who supports us and establishes our religion for us, is also He who commanded us to practice Hisbah:
"Allah will certainly help those who help His [cause]." [Surah Al-Hajj (22), Ayah 40.]
How could we then hope for Allah's assistance to victory when we disobey Him by neglecting this vital duty? How could we expect His aid when we show indifference and do not feel anger at those who violate the sanctity of those things which Allah has made sacred? Instead, we go along like beasts, `thrusting our fingers in our ears and covering ourselves with our garments,' despite our ability to practice Hisbah, and we still claim that we are striving for something better and more comprehensive as though we were guardians of Allah's religion, confirming or deleting whatever we want. Imam Ash-Shafi'ee said, "Whoever does not feel angry for the sake of Allah, even when he is made so, is virtually a donkey."
Those who see evil being committed and do not attempt to change it despite their ability to do so with no fear of harm, will have their hearts sealed by Allah to such a point that they will come to consider evil as good and good as evil. They will deserve to be cursed by Allah like the Children of Israel:
"Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of David and of Jesus, son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed [Allah and His Messenger] and used to transgress. They did not to forbid one another from the iniquity which they committed. Evil indeed was what they used to do." [Surah Al-Ma'idah (5), Ayat 78-79.]
The Prophet said, "By Him in whose Hands my soul is, you must either enjoin good and forbid evil and help the sinful to uphold Truth, or Allah will cause your hearts to detest one another or He will curse you as He has cursed them (the Children of Israel)."
It is clear that Allah ( SWT ) has instructed us to change every evil, be it great or small. The Arabic word munkar translated here as 'evil' in the Hadeeth "Whoever sees a Munkar must change it," -is used without the definite article, hence referring to every type of munkar (evil). So do not bother to reply to those who say that it is in the interest of Da'wah to abandon Hisbah. Indeed, we do not do any good for Da'wah except in obeying the commands of Allah who knows best, and who ordered us to practice Hisbah. We either act as we are commanded or we will be striving only to undermine our Da'wah.
- Waging Jihad in the Way of Allah
It saddens us to address the subject of Jihad.
Jihad is a great obligation which is dearly beloved to the hearts of the true believers despite the hardships and difficulties it brings. For it assists them in this life by taking them from humiliation and degradation, to honor and dignity and away from defeat to victory, by the will of Allah. It will also assist them in the Hereafter by taking them to Paradise:
"Whoever is removed away from the Fire and is admitted to Paradise will have attained success for the life. And the life of this world is nothing but an illusory enjoyment." [Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 185.]
The Prophet said: "Never will there combine upon a servant the dust of battle in the Way of Allah and the smoke of Hell-Fire."
"He who fights in the Way of Allah for the time between the milking of a camel is guaranteed entry to Paradise."
"Whoever gets his feet covered in dust [fighting] in the Way of Allah, He forbids the Hell-Fire upon him."
It is for this reason that some of the Prophet's companions cried when they were unable to spend their money in the Way of Allah because of their poverty,
"They turned back, their eyes overflowing with tears of grief that they could not find anything to spend [for Jihad]." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 92.]
Yet, it is Jihad which Muslims try their best to avoid these days. One was quite right to entitle it 'The Forgotten Obligation'. This very clearly reflects the enormous gulf between us today and the first generation of our Ummah. It also explains why Allah honored them so much and why he has left us to fall yet deeper into the pit of humiliation and defeat. The Prophet was quite right when he said,
"When people become stingy towards the dinar and the dirham, deal in fine things, and engage themselves in agricultural activities, forsaking Jihad in the Way of Allah, Allah will send down on them a calamity that will not be dispelled away from them until they return to their religion."
What the Prophet predicted has already happened. People have come to think of their lives and their wealth as too precious to offer to Allah ( SWT ), although He has offered them a great reward for purchasing it from them, despite the fact that it is His own property:
"Surely Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their property in return for the Garden they shall have..."
He has also guided them to the market where they can take up this profitable deal:
"...They fight in the way of Allah. They slay and are slain."
He also promised to sign the contract:
"...a promise [that He has made] incumbent on Himself..."
He also placed His promise in the most glorious Books He sent to His Messengers:
"...in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. And who is more faithful to his promise than Allah?"
He also gives them good news of rejoicing over the bargain they have concluded with Him:
"...Rejoice then in your bargain that you have made."
"...That is the supreme triumph." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 111.]
It is surely a great success for a servant to offer property which is not his and over which he has no control, in exchange for a Garden as vast as the heavens and the earth put together. A Garden which no one will ever enter due to his good work. `Aisha narrates that the Prophet said,
"Pay up, come closer (to Allah) and auger well for no-one will enter Paradise because of his work alone." People asked: "Not even you, O Messenger of Allah." He replied: "Not even me, unless Allah cloaks me in His Mercy."
Moreover, Allah is so generous with those who have accepted this deal by returning to them the price they paid and granting them the reward He promised:
"Think not of those who are slain in the way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision." [Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 169.]
The Prophet said, "The souls of the martyrs reside in the bodies of green birds that perch on chandeliers suspended from the Throne and fly about in Paradise wherever they please."
And so, as promised, Allah ( SWT ) has, in His Generosity and Bounty, given those who accepted the deal, their lives and wealth back and, moreover, He has provided for them. Despite all this, present-day Muslims neglect this great obligation, turn away from this supreme triumph and refuse to ascend to the topmost of this religion, "And the topmost of it (Islam) is Jihad." Allah ( SWT ) says (which means),
"Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that you hate a thing which is good for you and it may happen that you love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know." [Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 216.]
Now that people have come to detest, and consequently avoid, Jihad, its features are lost, its sciences forgotten and its influence on people's hearts weakened. Even discussing the subject of Jihad has become too hard as a result of people's ignorance and detest for it. This is so because "the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts - were hardened." [Surah Al-Hadid (57), Ayah 16.]
Talking about Jihad has become difficult, because the life of this world holds us back; Satan casts false hope and fear in our hearts; cowardice has made us fear death; the illusory enjoyment of this life stands as a stumbling stone in our way towards it; and even the soul itself has become eager to shun this obligation, saying (which means):
"Our Lord! Why have you ordained fighting for us? If only you would give us respite for a while!" [Surah An-Nisa (4), Ayah 77.]
Allah's reply to this comes in a very beautiful way (which means):
"Say (unto them, O Muhammad): The comfort of this world is scant; the Hereafter will be better for him who fears Allah and keep his duty towards Him; and you will not be wronged even down to a date-stone. Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even though you may be in lofty towers." [Surah An-Nisa (4), Ayat 77-78.]
So let us leave the scant comfort of this world behind our backs and work for the Hereafter, which is far better for the pious. Only then can we love and long for Jihad as the Prophet's companions did. Only then would we scent the fragrance of Paradise whenever Jihad is mentioned. The Prophet said: "Paradise lies under the shades of swords." Only then can we talk about fighting in the way of Allah.
But from where shall we start discussing this great obligation? Shall we initiate our discussion about its nature and essence? Or its objectives and reasons? Or its stages and development? Or its historical and legal necessity? Or shall we start talking about those who are left behind at the time of Jihad, giving their feeble excuses?
Let us go back to the beginning, to the day when our Prophet first received the revelation.
Ibn Al-Qayyim said, "The first thing His Lord revealed to him was His command to him to read in the Name of His Lord who created. This happened at the beginning of his mission. Allah's command to him was therefore to read in his heart only and not to communicate to others what had been revealed to him. Later on, Allah ( SWT ) revealed the verse: "O you enveloped in [garments] Arise and warn!" [Surah Al-Muddathir (74), Ayat 1-2.]
So, in the beginning the Prophet was told of his role as a Prophet by the word "Read," then he was informed of his role as a Messenger in "O you, enveloped in [garments]! Arise and warn!". Allah then commanded him to warn his immediate kin, then his tribe, then the surrounding Arabs, then all the Arabs, then, finally, all Mankind and jinn.
Muhammad then spent the first ten years or so of his mission propagating the Message, without recourse to Jihad or Jizyah (tribute), as he was commanded to restrain himself and to endure and forgive those who harmed him. Then he was permitted to emigrate and to engage in fighting. He was first instructed to fight only those who fought him and leave alone those who did not. Later he was instructed to fight the Mushrikoon until all religion is for Allah.
Following the command to fight Jihad, the disbelievers were of three categories: those with whom the Muslims had peace treaties (Ahlus-Sulh wal-hudnah), those with whom they were at war (Ahlul Harb) and those non-Muslims living under the protection of the Islamic government in return for paying Jizyah (Ahludh-Dhimmah). The Prophet was instructed to fulfil the treaties he had made with the first group as long as they adhered to the terms of these treaties. But, in the cases where he expected their treachery, or had firm evidence of it, he was free to rescind the treaty, serve them notice of its termination and proceed to fight them. He was also commanded to fight those who broke their solemn pledges after their treaty with him. The revelation of Surah at-Taubah (Surah No. 9) set out in detail the Shari'ah's position on all these categories. He was instructed by Allah to fight the People of the Book (the Christians and the Jews) until they paid Jizyah (tribute) or embraced Islam. He was also instructed to fight the disbelievers and hypocrites and be harsh on them.
Fighting the disbelievers was carried out with the sword and fighting the hypocrites was conducted with argument and the tongue. The Prophet was commanded to divide Ahlul-`Ahd into three categories:
(1) Those who broke their oaths after their covenant and did not remain true to him. These he was ordered to fight and prevail on them.
(2) Those with whom he had made temporary treaties and who had not subsequently failed him in anything, nor had they supported anyone against him. These he was commanded to fulfill his treaty with them to the end of their term.
(3) Those with whom he had no treaties and who did not fight him, or those with whom he had permanent treaties. These he was instructed to give a respite of four months, after which he would fight them. Accordingly, he fought those who broke their pledges and gave a respite to those with whom he had made no treaty or those with a four month treaty. He honored the treaty of those with whom he had one to the end of their term. But all these embraced Islam before the end of their term. He also demanded Jizyah from the People of the Book in return for their protection and the practice of their religion without fear of attack or persecution.
To reiterate, after the revelation of Surah Taubah, the disbelievers were divided into three categories:
- Ahlul-Harb (those at war with him).
- Ahlul-`Ahd (those with whom he had a treaty).
- Ahludh-Dhimmah (People of the Book who pay Jizyah in return for the Muslims' protection of them).
When the second group embraced Islam, only those at war with him and Ahludh-Dhimmah remained his opponents.
So we can say that Islam came to enter all Mankind in the religion of Allah:
"Say: `O men! I am sent unto you all, as the Messenger of Allah, to whom belongs the dominion of the Heavens and the Earth: there is no God but He. It is He Who gives life and causes death." [Surah Al-A'raaf (7), Ayah 158.]
It also came to wipe out all forms of shirk from the face of the earth so that Allah alone would be worshipped with no partner or associate. As the Prophet said, "I was , sent with the sword before the Hour until Allah alone is worshipped with no partners." In order to achieve this the Prophet's call in Makkah was: "Say, there is no god worthy of worship except Allah":
"Say: O Mankind! I am but a plain warner unto you." [Surah Al-Hajj (22), Ayah 49.]
To this end, the Muslim armies also set forth from Madeenah to all parts of the Arabian Peninsula, and from there to Rome and Persia. The Muslim armies continued to pour out of all the capitals of the Caliphate, which, in a period of thirteen centuries, extended from Madeenah to Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo and, finally, to Constantinople. 'The Battalions of Truth' carried the banner of Islam all over the world.
The Muslims' aim in all these Da'wah actions was one. Indeed, the aim of the Prophet while preaching Islam in Makkah and his destruction of the idols around the Ka'bah later on was the same. It was the same aim that prompted the Muslim armies to travel the earth. The Muslim soldier Rab'ee bin `Aamir expressed this aim so beautifully when Rustum, the Persian leader asked him, "What prompted you to come?" Rab'ee replied, "Indeed Allah has sent us to bring whoever He wills out of the worship of the created to the worship of the Creator. From the injustice of man-made religions to the justice of Islam. And from the hardships of this life to the ease and comfort of the Hereafter." In fact, this had always been the aim of Prophet and his companions. This aim never changed, but the means and methods leading to it did, by Allah's leave, in such a way as to suit the environment in which the newly- born Da'wah settled. This happened as a result of Allah's revelation to His Prophet and His categorical and decisive instructions to him. The Prophet started his Da'wah in secrecy, passing the teachings of Islam only to those closest to him whom he felt would respond favourably to the call to Allah. Then, three years later, he was commanded to preach openly, which he did in Makkah and in other places. This phase lasted for ten years during which the Prophet , as well as his companions, was instructed to endure patiently the hardships to which he and his associates were subjected to and not to fight in self defense. This was why he refused to allow those Muslims who pledged allegiance to him at the second pledge of `Aqabah, to fight the Mushrikoon. He told them, "We have not been instructed to do so."
Following his emigration to Madeenah, the Prophet was permitted to fight only those who fought him. It was during this phase that the Battles of Badr, Uhud, Al-Ahzaab (the Confederates), the accompanying missions and operations took place. With the retreat of the Ahzaab (the Confederates) from Madeenah, the final phase concerning the rulings on Jihad commenced. The Prophet on returning from the Battle of Al-Ahzaab, said, "Now has come the time for us] to attack them, and they will no longer attack us. From now on it is we who will march onto them."
Surah Taubah was revealed to clarify the established rulings of Jihad until the Day of Judgement. Allah's command therein was that war must be waged on all disbelievers. Jihad, therefore, became an obligation to spread the religion of Allah and make His word and Laws uppermost. The Prophet said, "I have been sent with the sword before the Hour until Allah alone with no associates is worshipped. My sustenance has been placed under the shadow of my lance, and humiliation and disgrace has been placed on those who oppose me."
The Muslim armies, with the Qur'an in one hand and the sword in the other, set out to call nations, kingdoms, empires and tribes to the religion of Allah. Whoever believed was welcomed into the fold of Islam, but whoever rejected Islam had "to pay the tribute readily, being brought low," or fought with the sword in case of refusal.
This aim had never changed. The Da'wah movement and Jihad of the Prophet , as well as that of his companions and those who came after him, revolved around one single aim which Rab'ee bin `Aamir expressed thus, "to bring the creation out of the worship of the created to the worship of the Creator," and as our Prophet said, "until Allah alone, with no associates, is worshipped." The Qur'an expresses it in the most excellent and complete form:
"And fight them until there is no persecution, and religion is wholly for Allah." [Surah Al-Anfal (8), Ayah 39.]
Our Prophet's Message was a call to the hearts to throw off the cloak of shirk and to reject any deity worshipped other than Allah. The demolition of the idols in Makkah on the Day of Victory was a symbolic, and literal, manifestation of doing away with all deities worshipped other than Allah. The sending forth of Muslim armies into combat against the disbelievers was a call to Tawheed and a way of wiping out the remnants of shirk. Indeed, fighting was a call to Tawheed, as the Prophet said, "I have been commanded [by Allah] to fight people until they attest that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger."
Fighting was a Da'wah to Tawheed because the rulers of the empires and kingdoms of the time used their power and influence to prevent Islam and those calling to it from reaching the land of Allah and His creation, claiming that it was their land and that those people were their subjects. Fighting them was therefore indispensable.
Fighting was also necessary to crush shirk by removing the tyrant rulers of these societies where they legislated for the people and forced them to go for judgement in their disputes to their own man-made laws through enticement and coercion.
Fighting was also necessary to remove every ruler who was worshipped other than Allah, and who opposed the call of Islam. It was necessary to remove every ruler who haughtily refused to enter the religion of Islam or to pay Jizyah, insisting on exalting themselves in the land and practicing corruption.
Fighting was necessary to obliterate fitnah (persecution and shirk) and raise the Law of Allah above all else:
"And fight them until persecution is no more and religion is wholly for Allah." [Surah Al-Anfal (8), Ayah 39.]
No-one claims he created anything himself apart from Allah, or anything with Him ( SWT ). Therefore, no-one has the right to legislate alongside or instead of Allah. Ibn Taymeeyah said, "No-one has the right to judge between any of Allah's creation; not even between Muslims and disbelievers, except by the rule of Allah and that of His Messenger."
We, as Muslims, are commanded to establish the sovereignty of Allah's Law in the land of Allah and over His creation. We are commanded not to allow anyone to judge between people by anything other than the Law of Allah. Those who refuse and resist must be fought.
Some people would say that we are imposing our guardianship over humanity. Our reply is that this is the guardianship of Allah's Law and religion in His land and over His creation. We are simply carrying out Allah's instructions to bring it about for the common good of the people, in our capacity as "the best Ummah that has been raised up for Mankind." [Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 110.]
Indeed, people will never find a law which is more just or better than that of Allah. Whoever wishes to live by Islam will certainly be saved in this life and in the life to come; but whoever chooses to remain a disbeliever, he is free to do so as long as he pays Jizyah and submits to the laws of Islam.
The ignorant and Jahili people will ask, "But who has given you and given Islam that right to govern and lead Mankind?" Our reply is this, "Allah, the Lord of Mankind, the King of Mankind and the God of Mankind, has given us this right." We then ask them, "And who has given you the right to legislate and rule by whatever laws you please?"
This is our understanding of Jihad in the way of Allah. Those who disapprove should consider the matter again and correct their understanding of their religion.
Indeed, Islam is not merely a set of beliefs held in the heart, which suffice it for us to affirm with the tongue and defend with the pen and argument, quoting the verse (which means):
"Say, [It is] the truth from your Lord; wherefore let him who will, believe, and let him who will, disbelieve." [Surah Al-Kahf (18), Ayah 30.]
This is rather a twisted and mutilated interpretation of the verse. For Islam is a way of life; it is the law of Allah revealed to regulate people's lives. This is why it is not sufficient to give a speech or a sermon in which we only mention our `Aqeedah and defend it. On the contrary, we must carry this faith in everything we do: Da'wah with the tongue and in a kind manner; a proof with eloquence; and Jihad with the sword. The tongue, kindness and eloquence are for hearts and minds; so either people believe and have peace of mind or they will have to pay Jizyah in humiliation, with the laws of Islam reigning supreme. But if they refuse to do so out of arrogance and obstinacy, then we will have to wield the sword until all these false deities are removed; and only then can we recite the verse (which means):
"Say, [It is] the truth from your Lord; wherefore let him who will, believe, and let him' who will, disbelieve."
This is the reason behind fighting in Islam, as Allah ( SWT ) says (which means),
"And fight them until persecution is no more and religion is wholly for Allah."
And such have been the stages Islam has gone through. The final stage it reached and whose rulings remain effective until the Day of Judgement are mentioned in the following verses (which mean):
"And fight against the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, etc.) collectively as they fight against you collectively." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 36.]
"Then when the sacred months (the 1st , 7th , 11th , and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikoon wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 5.]
"Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been made forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and (4) those who do not acknowledge the religion of truth (i. e. Islam) among the people of the Book (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." [Surah At- Taubah (9), Ayah 29.]
These are the reasons for fighting Jihad in Islam.
Although Islam does not need to justify the obligation of Jihad, it would do no harm to remind those who feel ashamed at talking about it as though it were a stigma on the face of our religion, those who volunteer to please Jahiliyyah and its adherents, who do not feel ashamed at fighting for their Jahili creeds and laws.
Today, many Muslims escape Jihad and avoid talking about it, finding excuses in so doing in order to please their `masters' in the East and the West and in order to avoid their wrath!
There are some Muslims today who ask the question, "What do you mean, Jihad? Allah commands us to practice Da'wah only, for He says (which means):
"Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better." [Surah An-Nahl (16), Ayah 125.]
These people mistakenly believe that Jihad contradicts Allah's instruction to invite people to Islam with wisdom and fair preaching. However, they ignore, or rather pretend to ignore, the fact that this verse concerns the legal knowledge of Da'wah as well as its methods, and that Jihad has its own science and its own verses which command and enjoin it in addition to outlining its rulings and legal knowledge:
"O Prophet! Wage Jihad against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be harsh against them. Their ultimate abode is Hell, and evil indeed is that destination." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 73.]
There are other Muslims who say, "Jihad in Islam is solely for self-defense! So let Jahiliyyah rest assured in its role, for we will not fight against it as long as it does not attack us in our lands, and let us coexist peacefully!" The ignorant who maintain such foolish opinions attempt, in their stupidity, to equate Islam with Jahiliyyah, giving each the right to dominate its own stretch of Allah's land and practice its own laws and legitimacy over a section of His creation!
There are also those who say that Jihad should be postponed to an indefinite time. They support their ill-founded claims with the fact that the Prophet started his Da'wah in secret, then practiced it openly despite all the harm he had to endure, then fought those who initiated war against him, then, finally, set out to fight the disbelievers without awaiting provocation. Why then should we not go through the same phases as did our Prophet ? Why rush matters?
Such ignoramuses simply forget, or pretend to forget, that the Prophet did all this in response to Allah's instructions, and that he would have sinned had he disobeyed or transgressed these commands (far be it from him to do so). They forget, or pretend to forget, that the rulings of Jihad were established in its final stage and that were we to neglect these rulings or abandon them we will certainly have committed a sin.
There are those who believe that Jihad is an obligation, but, they concede that we must not undertake it without the leadership of a powerful Muslim Caliph, and as we have no such leader at the present time we must not attempt Jihad at all!
Again, out of ignorance or malice, they confuse the saying of the Ulama that Jihad should not be carried out without the permission of Muslim ruler and the status quo, where no Muslim ruler is in power. Trying as we are to establish a Muslim ruler through Jihad to rule over us, how can some people come to us and say that Jihad is not permitted without a Muslim ruler?
Ibn Qudaamah says, "The absence of the Muslim ruler should not [be used as an excuse] to put off Jihad, otherwise its exigency and advantages will be lost by so doing; and if the Muslims happen to take some booty (from the war] they should distribute it in accordance with the laws of Shari'ah."
Ibn Taymeeyah said, "Whoever takes it upon himself to undertake fighting against the disbelievers and punishing the wicked must be obeyed in whatever acts of obedience [of Allah] he commands in that regard."
No wonder opinions and excuses are so abundant. In fact, the matter in hand is deadly serious, the obligation taxing and people are required to sell their lives and leave their wives and children for the sake of Allah. How could they not be cowardly when their hearts have been filled with love for this life and loathing of death? Similar excuses were also prevalent during the time of the Prophet : Some said (which means),
"Grant me leave (to be exempted from Jihad) and put me not into trial." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 49.]
Others said (which means):
"March not forth in the heat." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 81.]
"Had we known that fighting will take place, we would certainly have followed you." [Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 167.]
"Our Lord! Why have you ordained for us fighting? Would that You had granted us respite for a short period?" [Surah An-Nisa (4), Ayah 77.]
"These people (Muslims) are deceived by their religion." [Surah Al-Anfal (8), Ayah 49.]
"Allah and His Messenger promised us nothing but delusions!" [Surah Al-Ahzaab (33), Ayah 12.]
"There is no stand [possible] for you [against the enemy attack!], therefore go back!" [Surah Ar-Ra'd (13), Ayah 13.]
"Our possessions and our families occupied us, so ask forgiveness for us." [Surah Al-Fath (48), Ayah 11.]
"Truly, our homes lie open [to the enemy]." [Surah Al-Ahzaab (33), Ayah 13.]
But Allah's word comes to stigmatize all these people as cowards and liars:
"And if they had intended to march out, they would certainly have made ready some preparation for it, but Allah was averse to their being sent forth, so He made them lag behind, and it was said [to them]: `Sit you with those who sit [at home]." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 46.]
Jihad remains too high a summit to be mounted by the hypocrites and those with some disease in their hearts. Jihad in the Way of Allah remains detesting of those who have detested it: disdaining them as they have disdained it. In fact, it remains the preserve of its own people who offer to give up life on this earth in eagerness to meet Allah, the Beneficent, and dwell in His Gardens. Jihad remains the exclusive concern of its people who know that it is an obligation enjoined on them by Allah. It remains a necessity dictated by the nature of Islam, provoked by Jahiliyyah and narrated by history.
Jihad is a necessity dictated by Shari'ah by way of a number of obligatory acts which could not be fulfilled today without waging Jihad. It is dictated on us by:
- The unanimous agreement of the Mama to remove the disbelieving ruler. Are our rulers not considered disbelievers by substituting Shari'ah with man-made laws and by ruling the people by Jahili laws? Is Jihad not obligatory on us today to remove such rulers?
- The unanimous agreement of the Ulama to fight any powerful group which refuse to rule by one or more of the Islamic laws until they observe them. Are the groups dominating our countries today not uncommitted to most Islamic laws? Is Jihad not obligatory upon us to force them to abide by the laws of Allah which they have rejected?
- The unanimous agreement of the Ulama to install a Caliph in office. Is the Caliphate not absent today? Was it not abolished by our enemies by force and by the sword? Is Jihad then not the only way to reestablish it?
- The unanimous agreement of the Ulama to defend the Muslim lands and regain all parts of them taken by the disbelievers. Is Jihad, therefore, not obligatory to regain Palestine, Andalusia, the Balkans, the Muslim republics of Central Asia and other parts of the world that were once Muslim?
- The unanimous agreement of the Ulama to help set free all Muslim captives. Are jails and detention centers the world over not filled with thousands upon thousands of Muslims scholars? Is Jihad not obligatory to rescue them?
Indeed, fighting is binding upon us to remove the disbelieving rulers who dominate our countries, to restrain the groups of people who surround these rulers, support them and defend their man-made laws, to install a Caliph for all the Muslims, to regain the lands which we have lost and to help release Muslim prisoners.
Then our troops will travel the world, calling empires and kingdoms to the faith of Allah, by the Qur'an and the sword, exactly as did the first generation of our Ummah when they set forth into the lands of Persia and Rome, and others.
Is Jihad, then, not our means to realize all these legal obligations? Or shall we neglect them and sin and lose our faith as a result of this?
Or shall we "cling heavily to the earth,"  taking pleasure in the life of this world rather than the Hereafter? Or shall we turn away from the Truth?
"And if you turn away [from Islam and obedience to Allah], He will exchange you for some other people, and they will not be your likes." [Surah Muhammad (47), Ayah 38.]
We are aware of the fact that there are many honest and sincere Muslims who agree with us that Jihad in the way of Allah is an obligation. They also fear the adversity of neglecting it, lest they should be included among those about whom the Prophet said, "He who dies without having fought or sought fighting in the way of Allah, has died on a branch of hypocrisy." But when they turn to consider the present condition of Muslims they find that they are oppressed and in a position of weakness, with no might, state or Imam. This state of affairs makes them so frustrated that they tend to delay Jihad, coming to terms with the present oppression, and contenting themselves with going through the same phases as did the Prophet .
By maintaining such views, these people commit a grave mistake. For when the Prophet and his followers restrained themselves from fighting, they were under clear instructions from Allah to do so. As for us today, we are ordered to fight in accordance with the final rulings on Jihad in the Qur'an. We will certainly be committing a sin if we neglect this obligation.
Some people would say, "But we cannot do that as we are in a weak position; we must patiently endure whether we like it or not."
Our reply is this. On the contrary, we must prepare for Jihad until such a day when we will be able to undertake it, then we shall fight. This is the only way out for us from this dreadful impasse in which we find ourselves as a result of the weakness of many generations before us. We must break down this barrier which we have built around ourselves. Are we not the ones addressed by Allah in the following verse (which means): "And make ready against them all you can of power including steeds of war (tanks, planes. Missiles, artillery, etc.) to terrorise the enemy of Allah and your enemy," [Surah Al-Anfal (8), Ayah 60.]
This is one of the main differences between us and the early Muslims in Makkah. They did not fight or prepare for fighting because they were not commanded to do so. Today we are certainly obliged to fight. If, however, we are unable to do so we must make preparations for Jihad until we become able to wage it.
As a matter of fact, during our preparations, we should not consider ourselves as living in a phase of weakness, as early Muslims lived in Makkah. For this phase was abrogated along with all its rulings. But we are rather in a `preparation phase', as it were. The difference between the phase we are going through today and the phase of weakness in Makkah when Muslims were commanded to withdraw from the disbelievers and show restraint and forgiveness to them, is that no fighting or preparations for it were enjoined on the believers. The Sahabah, therefore, avoided getting involved in any war at this stage.
Today, however, we are obliged to make preparations for it with a view to fulfilling the religious duty which has been neglected by so many Muslims. Ibn Taymeeyah said, "It is an obligation to make preparations for Jihad at times when it is not possible to wage it due to weakness. For anything without which an obligation cannot be fulfilled is an obligation in itself."
Jihad is an obligation dictated upon us by the nature of this faith and the nature of the Jahiliyyah around us. Islam and disbelief cannot coexist peacefully on this earth. By their very nature one does not like to see the other establishing its dominance over a part of this world, no matter how remote and distant they may be from each other. They are not at all alike, for they are both inclined to uproot and annihilate each other. The cycle of wars will persist between the two until Allah inherits the earth and what it contains. The Prophet , said, "A group of my Ummah will continue to uphold the Truth until the last of their number fights Ad- Dajjal (the Anti-Christ)."
It is one of the established laws which we should not try to overlook or neglect. If we try to ignore it, our enemies will not rest until, Allah forbid, they turn us back from our faith, if they can. Each of the two camps has clear objectives in this battle, although the camp of disbelief always tends to disguise its intentions, penetrate our ranks and takes us aback, while we are unaware of their guile and wicked plans.
Islam's aim is to destroy disbelief, uproot it, prevent its laws and practices from holding sway over humanity and restrict it to dead beliefs in the hearts of the People of the Book; unable to reign supreme as Islamic laws force them to pay Jizyah with willing submission, whilst feeling themselves subdued. Islam aims to eradicate the roots of disbelief and plant faith in their place and wipe out the beliefs and laws of Jahiliyyah completely to raise the laws of Allah up high. This is the aim of Islam and the Muslims must declare it openly and prepare for its fulfilment. Shirk, in turn, seeks to destroy Islam, obliterate its features and destroy its laws completely. To achieve this, it uses all the means at its disposal, sparing no effort and leaving no plot untried. This is what the Qur'an tells us in the following verses (which mean):
"Many of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) wish that they could turn away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their own selves, even after the truth [that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger] has become manifest unto them." [Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 109.]
"And they will not cease fighting against you until they turn you back from your religion, if they can." [Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 217.]
"And never will the Jews and Christians be pleased with you until you follow their creed." [Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 120.]
"They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths." [Surah At- Taubah (9), Ayah 32.]
We would be extremely stupid to overlook these clear proofs of our enemies' animosity and put our swords back in their sheaths before we succeed in vanquishing all the material power that protects kufr, raises its flag and makes it prevail, and also before we obliterate the features of kufr and defeat all its systems. We will be foolish to imagine that kufr will desist from attacking us if we do not fight against it. We will undoubtedly lose twice if we commit such a mistake: once in this life and again in the Hereafter. We will lose both our faith and our life because hoards of kufr will certainly attack us once and for all, for they regard neither pact nor honor in respect of us. They will by all means massacre us even though we have not drawn our swords in their faces. History testifies to this fact and teaches us that Jihad is a historical necessity. The Prophet never raised his sword against Qur'aish before Hijrah, but this did not prevent them from harming him and killing his followers. They did this for the simple reason that he called upon them saying: "I am a warner to you before a terrible punishment," and "Say: There is no god except Allah."
The Prophet was not instructed to fight anyone while he was still in Makkah. On the contrary, he was commanded to forgive and overlook the harm he suffered and restrain himself from taking revenge. But none of this prevented Jahiliyyah from continuing to torture and kill Muslims. The Jahiliyyah at the time had no aim but to force Muslims away from their faith and back again to its fold.
When the Qur'aish sensed the Prophet's intention to migrate to Madeenah, they gathered all their strength to kill him despite the fact that he left them the land, the people and their false gods. Allah ( SWT ) protected His Messenger , who made his way safely towards Madeenah. But in spite of everything, the Qur'aish sent their men after him to take him alive or dead before he reached his destination.
The disbelievers refuse to leave Islam alone even though it makes its way to another land far away from theirs. By their very nature they strive hard to destroy it wherever it may be. This was why they led their armies against it in the Battles of Badr, Uhud and Al-Ahzaab and were, on each of these occasions, determined not to return without annihilating the Prophet and his Companions.
Allah had instructed the Prophet to endure and desist from responding to the disbelievers' attacks for reasons required by the newly-born faith. Fighting was then forbidden, and Allah ( SWT ) protected His Prophet , His religion and His Da'wah against the disbelievers' wicked plans. But when the Prophet and his companions emigrated to Madeenah they were then instructed to fight those who fought them. They did not then carry on to say, "Let us forgive the disbelievers and endure as we did in Makkah and Allah will protect His faith as He had done then." Had they said this and acted upon it, the forces of the Qur'aish would have certainly vanquished them once and for all and Islam would have never prevailed again.
Later, when the command was given to fight all the Mushrikoon collectively "until religion is wholly for Allah", Muslims were not permitted to remain inside Madeenah saying that they would confine themselves to practicing self-defense and that they would not initiate wars. If they had said so and acted upon it, their Da'wah would not have extended beyond the confines of Madeenah and the hostile Arab tribes would have stood united to prevent Islam from taking one single step forward into their lands. Furthermore, had they done so, they would not have reached the Persian and Roman empires and the armies of kufr would have pounced on this handful of believers who disobeyed. Allah's command to wage Jihad and finished off the new religion once and for all.
But none of this happened. For Allah ( SWT ) guaranteed, in His Wisdom and Might, to establish a generation of Muslims that would say (which means), "We, hear, and we obey," a generation that would patiently endure when ordered to conduct Jihad. It was on the shoulders of this generation that the edifice of Islam was built and it was with its blood that its Da'wah was disseminated and its lands expanded.
History is a witness to the fact that once the Muslims sit back, in weakness or in negligence, and decline to march forth, then Jahiliyyah comes to them with its own armies to push them back and attack their lands and homes. It is a great lesson for us that our enemies start attacking us and conquering us from the point where we stop our advances. When the Muslim advance stopped at the Wall of China to the East, the Tartars' large armies came from behind it after sometime to destroy Islam, crush Muslims and tear the Caliphate apart.
Likewise, when the Muslim advances came to a halt after the capture of Andalusia and the South of France, the Muslim armies sustained a crushing defeat. Later, the Crusaders came from the same area to push us out of Spain. Then their armies and ships circumnavigated the Cape of Good Hope, dominated the Red Sea and landed on its eastern shores to threaten the Land of Hijaz.
Similarly, after the Ottoman advances came to a halt at the gates of Vienna, the European armies came from the centre of the continent to bring down the Caliphate in Istanbul and to advance to tear apart the Muslim empire.
Indeed, it is a great lesson that history teaches us as though it is saying to us, "If you do not fight with the Truth, your enemy will fight you with falsehood. If you do not advance to attack them, they will move forward to attack you. If you do not bring them out of darkness into light with the sword, they will instead bring you from light into darkness by the sword."
The lesson that history teaches us, the nature of this religion, the hidden, wicked plots of the enemies and the rulings of Islam all dictate the necessity of Jihad in the way of Allah.
Ibn Taymeeyah said: "It is unanimously agreed by all Muslims that as the foundation of the prescribed fighting rests on Jihad so that all religion is for Allah and that His word will become the uppermost, whoever stands in the way of Jihad must be fought by the agreement of the Muslims. But as for those whom we are not supposed to fight, such as women, children, monks, the elderly, the blind and People of the Book who pay Jizyah, they are not killed unless they fight with either words or actions against Islam."
This is the consensus amongst the majority of the Ulama. Even though some of them maintain that all these people must be killed on account of their kufr alone, apart from women and children, who are considered as spoils for the Muslims. The first opinion, however, is the correct one, for if the intention is that the religion of Allah prevails, we need to fight only those who fight us. Allah says (which means):
"Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors." [Surah Al- Baqarah (2), Ayah 190.]
This is because Allah only allowed killing which is required for the betterment of creation: "For persecution is worse than killing." [Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 217.]
This means that the persecution of the Muslims by the disbelievers is even worse than killing, despite the latter being evil. Those who do not prevent Muslims from establishing the faith of Allah harm only themselves by their kufr. This is why Shari'ah permitted fighting the disbelievers as a whole, but not killing the ones amongst them who were helpless such as women and children. If a kafir is captured in battle or arrested in any other context, however, the Muslim ruler will decide what benefit he can derive from him: enslaving him, releasing him, killing him or ransoming him in return for money or the freedom of a Muslim. This is the opinion of many scholars of Islam as clearly stated in the Qur'an and the Sunnah. Some scholars, however, maintain that releasing or ransoming are abrogated acts. As for the People of the Book and the Magians, these should be fought until they embrace Islam or pay Jizyah in humiliation. Apart from these, the scholars disagree as to whether Jizyah is taken, but most of them are of the opinion that it is not to be taken.
It is also unanimously agreed by the Muslim scholars that any group belonging to Islam but refusing to adhere to one or more of its clear and established laws should be fought until religion is wholly for Allah. This could be clearly seen in Abu Bakr's campaign against those who refused to pay Zakah. It is also reported through many channels of Hadeeth transmission that the Prophet ordered his companions to fight against the Khawaarij. It is therefore made clear by the Qur'an, the Sunnah and consensus of Muslim scholars that whoever steps outside the laws of Islam must be fought even if they pronounce the two attestations of faith (Shahadah). Fighting these people is obligatory after they have received the message of Islam. Fighting them becomes even more obligatory and confirmed if they start the fight first against Muslims.
Obligatory Jihad against the disbelievers and those who reject some of Islam's laws, such as the Khawaarij and those who refuse to pay Zakah, is either offensive or defensive. If of the former type, it is an obligation of collective duty (Fard Kifaayah); that is, if it is carried out by a group of believers, the rest of the community are exempt from it, and those who do discharge it reap the benefits of their sacrifices, as Allah ( SWT ) says (which means) :
"Not equal are those of the believers who sit [at home], except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame) and those who strive hard and fight in the way of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit [at home]. Unto each Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight in the Way of Allah above those who sit [at home] by a huge reward; degrees of higher grades from Him, and forgiveness and mercy. Allah is ever Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful." [Surah An-Nisa (4), Ayat 95-96.]
But when the enemy wants to attack the Muslims, fighting becomes an obligation of individual duty (Fard `Ain), that is, fighting becomes obligatory upon both those Muslims fought and all other Muslims wherever they may be in order to assist them against the common enemy. As Allah ( SWT ) says (which means):
"But if they seek your help in [the matter of] religion, then it is your duty to help them, except against a people between whom and yourselves there is a treaty." [Surah Al-Anfal (8), Ayah 72.]
The Prophet also commanded us to assist Muslims who are fought against, to the best of our ability, whether we have the means or not. In self-defense, no single individual is excused from sacrificing their most valuable possessions in the defense of Islam, its sanctity and the lives of its followers. This is exactly what the Muslims did when the enemies attacked them in the Battle of the Trench (Al- Khandaq). At that time, Allah did not grant any Muslim permission to abandon Jihad as He had done with regard to offensive Jihad, in which case people were divided into those who undertake it and those who sit [at home]. Allah chided all those who asked leave of the Prophet to stay behind (which means):
"And some of them (even) sought permission of the Prophet, saying: Our Lands lie open (to the enemy). And they lay not open. They but wished to flee." [Surah Al-Ahzaab (33), Ayah 13.]
This is a manifestation of the defence of religion, sanctity and Muslim lives. It is a 'forced fighting'. Offensive fighting is, however, 'volitional' and aims at making religion prevail and dismaying the enemy of Allah, as happened in the Battle of Tabuk and other battles.
Jihad has become the answer to the open challenge facing the Muslims today: namely our choice to live in dignity or in humiliation. If we wish to live in dignity then we must commit ourselves to Jihad in the way of Allah. But if we choose to be humiliated as a result of forsaking Jihad then death becomes dearer to us than life. In fact, this represents the cross-roads at which those who work for Islam have stood. Some have hesitated, some deviated and turned their backs, while others have stood firm, honoured and assisted by Allah to go forth on His path. However, in making the choice to advance we must bear in mind the consequences and responsibilities of Jihad. We must make preparations for it as best we can, for we have no more time to waste.
Muslims have no choice but to unite under the banner of their faith, holding fast to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, fortified by their true creed and supplied with provisions of piety and good deeds. We must prepare for a ceaseless war that will rage on until all kufr regimes crumble, all Jahili laws are swept away, our Caliphate is re-established and all our lands regained.
Then will we go forth with the sword in one hand and the Qur'an in the other, calling all Mankind to Islam. It is true that this will be a serious and hard task to carry out, but all our able men are now obliged to undertake it; otherwise we will all be guilty of neglecting all these obligations.
We are undoubtedly obliged to fight Jihad today. Anything vital for fulfilling this obligation is in itself an obligation. We are also obliged to prepare ourselves, arrange our ranks, promote our best, and unite under the banner of a single Muslim leader. So let us fight "...in the cause of Allah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women, and children whose cry is: `Our Lord! Rescue us out from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help."
Let us fight,
"... until persecution is no more, and religion is wholly for Allah." 
Let us fight,
"Whoever fights in the Cause of Allah, and is killed or gets victory, We shall bestow on him a great reward."
Let us fight,
"And if you are killed or die in the Way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all that they amass (of worldly wealth, etc.)." 
Let us fight,
"Think not of those who are killed in the Way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision."
Let us fight,
"Let those [believers] who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter fight in the Cause of Allah." 
Let us fight,
"O you who believe! Shall I guide you to a commerce that will save you from a painful torment? That you believe in Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad ], and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if you but know."
- Working within the Framework of a Jama'ah
Before we embark on our discussion of the Jama'ah, it is perhaps important to recollect our objectives, the road leading to realizing them and the position of our enemies towards us. Reviewing this will facilitate our discussion of the role that the Jama'ah is meant to play and to understand the reasons for collective work.
As far as our aims and objectives are concerned, Allah commands us thus: "Establish the religion and be not divided therein." [Surah Ash-Shura (42), Ayah 13.]
We have divided our objectives into two sets: namely to bring people to the worship of their Lord and to establish a system of Caliphate that follows the example of the Prophet .
The road leading to the fulfillment of these objectives, and which we have committed ourselves to travel along, or, more precisely, which our Lord has made incumbent upon us to follow, consists of three obligations, which can either be of collective or personal duty. These obligations are Da'wah, Hisbah and Jihad.
A closer look will clearly reveal that this road with its three commitments is not even and well-paved and that walking on it requires immense efforts and sacrifices. We must endure these great hardships and grapple with our enemies on the way in order to achieve our ultimate destination.
We must never neglect to find out about the position of our enemies, decide their number and weaponry and find out their centres of concentration and the identity of their leaders. Our enemies are so many: the Christians, the Jews, the atheists, the idolaters, the cow worshippers, the fire-worshippers, the apostates, the hypocrites, our secular leaders and their associates who have altered the laws of Islam and the sects that claim to belong to Islam but do not adhere to its laws. Their weaponry also varies: they have at their disposal all the powers of the mass media, educational systems, and the tools of cultural guidance and massive armies with weapons of mass destruction.
All these enemies with all their weapons are waiting to pounce on us the moment we take the first steps on the road. They will throw all their weight against us to drive us back and destroy us. They will never tire from fighting against us and against our faith, as Allah ( SWT ) says (which means) :
"And they will not cease fighting against you until they turn you back from your religion, if they can." [Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 217.]
"They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths." [Surah At- Taubah (9), Ayah 32.]
Now let us ask ourselves the following questions. Can we travel alone along this road? Can we fulfil our legal obligations of Da'wah, Hisbah and Jihad by ourselves? Can we individually defeat our enemies who will undoubtedly start fighting us once we make the first step on the path? Can we achieve our objectives through individual efforts?
No sensible person could possibly answer any of these questions in the affirmative. There is no doubt that scattered individual efforts will not persist for any length of time; they will take a few steps forward but they will soon give up hope and leave the road as dangerous, the objective as distant and the enemy as strong. Anyone who wants to walk on this path from its beginning, in isolation from all those who started before him and those travelling alongside him, will certainly be doomed to failure and destruction. Scattered individual efforts are always wasted and fruitless.
Our faith, which is complete, all-embracing and final, has not overlooked this matter to leave its followers to undergo such an unpleasant experience. Indeed, it takes into account the treachery of the road that lies ahead, the immense difficulty of the obligations laid on the shoulders of its followers, the ferocity of the enemy and the nature of the confrontation between them and their opponents. The laws of Islam have provided us with the ideal answers to this challenge. It lays down the foundations on which we can construct a realistic Islamic movement capable of confronting the forces of Jahiliyyah and achieving its noble objectives.
It is our duty to adhere to the command of our religion and to follow its instructions if we are really serious and sincere in our efforts to achieve our objectives. Allah commands us thus (which means):
"And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah and do not separate." [Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 103.]
Commenting on this verse, Ibn Kathir said, "Allah enjoined the faithful to adhere to unity and forbade them from disunity. Indeed, there are many Ahadeeth forbidding disunity and enjoining unity. "
In his commentary of the same verse, Al-Qurtubee said, "Ibn `Abbas said to Sammak Al-Hanafi: 'O Al-Hanafi! You must observe Jama'ah (unity), for the past nations were destroyed as a result of their disunity. Have you not heard Allah ( SWT ) saying (which means):
‘And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah and do not separate'?'"
Al-Qurtubee also said, "Imam Muslim narrates on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said, `Allah is pleased with three things from you, and detests three others. He is pleased that you worship Him alone, not associate anyone with Him in worship and that you hold fast to the rope of Allah and not to be divided. The three things he detests are futile gossip, skepticism and the wasting of money.'
So, Allah made it obligatory on them [the Muslims] to adhere to His Book (the Qur'an) and to refer to it in times of disagreement. He also commanded us to observe unity and forbade disunity which led to the destruction of the People of the Book before us."
Al-Qurtubee also quotes Ibn Mas'ood as saying with regards to the same verse, "[He orders them to observe] Jama'ah (unity). Allah ( SWT ) commands unity and forbids disunity, for disunity is destruction and unity is salvation."
In fact, our faith commands us thus (which means) : "Establish the religion and be not divided therein." [Surah Ash-Shura (42), Ayah 13.]
And, "This is My straight path, so follow it. Follow not other ways, lest you be parted from His Way." [Surah Al-An'am (6), Ayah 154.]
`Ali bin Abee Talib said, "Do not part from one another, for unity is a mercy and disunity is torment."
Ibn `Abbas said regarding the above two verses: "Allah, Most High, ordered the believers with Jama'ah and forbade them from discord and disunity." Ibn Kathir mentioned similar statements from Mujahid and others. Our faith commands us thus (which means):
"And help you one another in righteousness and piety; but help not one another in sin and transgression." [Surah Al-Ma'idah (5), Ayah 2.]
Ibn Taymeeyah said, "Allah and His Messenger commanded unity and harmony and forbade discord and disunity. They ordered us to help one another unto piety and righteousness and forbade us from helping one another unto sin and aggression."
Our faith commands us (which means): "Two are better than one, and three are better than two, and four are better than three. So stay together [in a Jama'ah]." And, "Satan is to man what a wolf is to sheep, and he attacks the stray ones. So avoid the lonely paths and adhere to the Jama'ah (unity)."
It also teaches us that (which means):
"The believers, men and women, are awliyyaa' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another: they enjoin good and forbid evil." [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 71.]
"Whoever takes Allah, His Messenger, and those who believe as awliyyaa' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors), then the party of Allah will be the victorious." [Surah Al-Ma'idah (5), Ayah 56.]
Our faith teaches us that Jama'ah and collective work is the only translation into reality 'of Allah's and His Messenger's commandments to get united, to help one another to righteousness and piety and to hold fast to His religion. Indeed, Jama'ah is the true image of taking believers as awliyyaa'.
To engage in individual, haphazard work in preference to collective work simply means disobedience of Allah and His messenger. For by doing so we prefer disunity to unity, neglect co-operation with the believers to achieve righteousness and piety, and reject and disparage the taking of believers as awliyyaa'.
All these arguments provide sufficient reasons for adopting the method of collective work and choosing the Jama'ah as the best and only way to obey Allah and His Messenger t' in these matters. However, these are by no means the only reasons to do collective work. Indeed, there remains an important and decisive reason which our faith has not neglected to mention, namely the principle that 'what is vital for the fulfillment of an obligation is in itself an obligation'. There are many duties which we cannot carry out in accordance with Allah's instructions without collective effort.
To "establish religion" in fulfilment of Allah's command will undoubtedly lead us to enter an all-out confrontation with the enemies of Islam who wish to establish their Jahiliyyah. This confrontation, along with its concomitant obligations such as fighting against the secular rulers and those sects which refuse to implement certain Islamic rules, cannot be undertaken without organized collective work. So in view of the legal principle stated above, it is an obligation to observe collective work with all its necessary requirements, such as uniting and organizing our ranks, installing a Muslim leader, placing the appropriate skills in the appropriate places and acquiring the means of strength and influence.
Conversely, abandoning collective work means, in the first place, disobedience of the commands of Allah and His Messenger. It also means forsaking most of this religion's laws and obligations which we are supposed to establish. Islam today is established only through some ritual observations. Such vital fields, however, as economics, legislation, social dealings, government, legal punishment, wars and treaties, are all established by Jahiliyyah. To establish the religion of Islam in all these fields and domains entails, as we stated earlier on, an all-out confrontation with Jahiliyyah, on all fronts, using all the means, weapons and capabilities at our disposal. For our confrontation with Jahiliyyah to stand a chance of success we must be united, organize our ranks and hold fast to our religion. Without these requirements, the establishment of religion will never be realized. Muslims have aspirations 'that cannot materialize without consistent collective work which abides by the rules and regulations of Shari'ah and is organized through a movement. It is only in this way that we can translate our Plans into reality and thus achieve all our goals.
Perhaps, after all we have just mentioned, we have the right to disapprove of those who call for an isolationist approach, want to withdraw from the field of Islamic work and flee the field of confrontation. But what type of isolation do they seek and isolation from what? Do they want isolation from divine obligations and duties? From Jihad, Hisbah and Da'wah? Isolation from obligations of individual responsibility or those of collective responsibility which are neglected today even by those who can undertake them? Perhaps they want us to leave the land and the people in the hands of the secularists, to abandon the obligation of establishing the faith, to forget about Palestine, Andalusia and all the Muslim lands. We do not know as yet of any Muslim scholar who has issued this religious verdict. No-one has ever said that we should avoid collective work and confine ourselves to prayers, supplication and remembrance and abandon all our duties of educating the ignorant, admonishing the arrogant, enjoining good, preparing for Jihad, fighting our enemies, liberating our lands and establishing Shari'ah.
Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali writes, "You should know that every person who confines himself to sitting in his home, wherever he may be, cannot be innocent of evil in this day and age. For by doing so, one neglects the [obligation] of guiding people, educating them and enjoining them to do good." Surprisingly enough, Al-Ghazali wrote these words in his own time, when the Caliphate was established and Shari'ah implemented!
Ibn Al-Qayyim said, "What good is there in a person who sees the sacred things of Allah being violated, His limits transgressed, His religion forsaken, the Sunnah of His Messenger neglected, and yet he remains indifferent, with a `cold heart' and silenced tongue, like a silent devil. Such people, besides being despised by Allah, have been afflicted by the worst disease, namely the death of their hearts. For the more the heart is alive and vibrant, the more its anger for the sake of Allah and His Messenger is felt, and the stronger and more complete its support for the Deen." By Allah, Ibn Al-Qayyim was correct.
He also said, "The standing in the rank and waging of Jihad for an hour of a brave, strong man, who is feared by the enemies of Islam, is better than his performing Hajj, fasting, giving charity and observing : voluntary acts of worship. By the same token, mixing with people, educating them and counseling by a knowledgeable scholar who knows the Sunnah, what is Halal and what is Haram and ways of good and evil, are better for him than withdrawing from social life and giving himself over solely to praying, reciting the Quran and remembering Allah."
Ibn Al-Mubarak related on the authority of `Amir Ash-Sha'bee that some men left Kufa to withdraw from social life and indulge in worship. When `Abdullah bin Mas'ood heard of them, he went to see them. They were pleased to see him, but he said, "What prompted you do this?" They said, "We liked to get away from the people to worship [Allah]." He then said to them, "If everyone else did what you are doing, who is going to fight the enemy? I will not leave until you return with me." May Allah have mercy on Ibn Mas'ood. He said what he said at a time when Jihad was an obligation of collective responsibility (Fard Kifaayah). What would he have said today to those who seclude themselves from the world?
Besides, how could advocates of seclusion neglect the Hadeeth in which the Prophet , said, "A group from my Ummah will continue to fight in the way of Allah, defeating their enemy, unconcerned about those who oppose them, until the Day of Judgement."
Have these isolationists not read the Hadeeth in which the Prophet
prohibited one of his companions from seclusion saying, "Do not do it. For the setting forth of one of you in the way of Allah (Jihad) is better than his prayer in his home for seventy years. Do you not yearn that Allah may forgive you and enter you in the Garden? Fight in the way of Allah, for whoever fights in the way of Allah for the time between the milking of a camel, is guaranteed to enter the Paradise."
As for those who adopt the isolationist approach, we can but send him a few verses of poetry which `Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak, the Muhaddith of Syria, had sent to his devout ascetic friend Al-Fudhayl bin `Ayyaadh, in which he disapproved of his settling in the vicinity of Makkah and neglecting Jihad,
"O worshipper of the Two Holy Mosques, if only you could see us,
you would know that you are merely playing in your worship.
Whoever is dying his neck with tears [out of the fear of Allah],
[Should know that] our throats are being dyed with our blood.
Or he who tires his horse in falsehood
[Should realize that] our horses are fatigued on the `day of adversity'.
The scent of perfume is for you, but for us, our perfume is
The dust of our horses' hooves and the more pleasant dust.
From our Prophet came a statement that is true and cannot be denied. The dust from a horse in the path of Allah that enters the nose of its rider cannot come together with the smoke of the Blazing Fire [of Hell].
This is the Book of Allah which speaks with the truth before us,
The martyr is not dead, and this cannot be denied."
- A Jama'ah Regulated by the Shari'ah
The Jama'ah which intends to work for the religion of Allah must be committed to Shari'ah in all its aspects: in its objectives, creed, understanding and activities. We make special mention here of the necessity of the Jama'ah adhering in its activities to the dictates of the Shari'ah because of the importance of the matter. For it is loose attachment to and transgression of the edicts of Shari'ah that has hindered the progress of many present-day Islamic groups and which has led others to deviate from the right path, and yet others to make compromises with the disbelievers and incline towards them. In fact, Islamic work always needs Shari'ah to guide it.
Many of these groups have forgotten that they should work only by the means of Islam. They have broken free from the regulations of the Shari'ah as well as transgressed its limits, thinking that by raising the banner of Islam and speaking in its name they are permitted to act as they please. Their whims, opinions and policies have stepped in to take the course of action, to the exclusion of Shari'ah. This has consequently given rise to the commission of obvious prohibitions and the neglect of known obligations in the name of the interest of Islamic work and movement, as though Shari'ah cannot meet the requirements of Islamic work and movement. Therefore, the Islamic movements have, for the most part, dissented from the teachings of Islam, transgressed its limits, have put (themselves) "forward before Allah and His Messenger," and raised their voices "above the voice of Allah's Messenger," thus giving proof of their complete ignorance, or pretension to be ignorant, of their religion.
In fact, our Shari'ah, with its rulings, commandments and prohibitions, in its totality and details, is capable of driving the Islamic work forward at a great pace and in no time, not even imagined by those who are active in the Islamic field, on condition that they should have themselves and their movement regulated by Shari'ah, in all matters, big and small. As for the movement to assume the role of `guardian' for the Shari'ah, allowing things which it likes and ignoring those which it does not like, this is undoubtedly a new form of Jahiliyyah in disguise.
Indeed, it is Islam which deems collective work through a Jama'ah, an obligation of individual responsibility (Fard `Ain) and therefore we should not contravene Islam in this regard. This Jama'ah should strictly adhere to the rules and regulations of Islam and not follow the personal opinions of those who are in charge of it. The responsibility for insuring the Jama'ah's strict adherence to the Shari'ah rests mostly on the shoulders of the venerable Ulama of our Ummah who are pious, wage Jihad for Allah, act in accordance with the saying of Al-Haqq (which means): "who deliver the message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none save Allah." This responsibility should not be assumed by those Ulama who seek worldly gains and serve oppressive, secularist rulers.
Indeed, the task assigned to the Ulama of this Ummah is pivotal and vital and no-one else can fulfill it except them. Their duty is to lead the Islamic movement in such a way as to keep up with current events in reality, to defiantly face challenges and never to renounce confrontation, while at the same time remaining in accord with Shari'ah, obeying its instructions and realising its objectives.
If the true Ulama neglect this duty which is theirs, the ignorant people and those who pretend to have religious knowledge will undoubtedly step in to take over. The Ulama's failure to participate actively and contribute amply in the leadership of the movement will surely lead to the movement remaining passive and confused before the various issues which arise. As a result of this, those in charge of the movement will be confused as to the rulings and judgments of the Shari'ah regarding these issues. The thousands of issues, circumstances and problems which the Islamic movement is facing today necessitate the intervention of men of knowledge to lead the way; otherwise, the procession will go astray. For Jahiliyyah does more harm than good.
Those who actively work for Islam should therefore realize the importance of this issue and give it their uttermost attention. They should know that the Ulama are heirs of the Prophets and they are best qualified to lead this Ummah. So let us give our support to the heirs of the Prophets. Allah ( SWT ) says (which means),
"Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only men of understanding will pay heed." [Surah Az-Zumar (39), Ayah 9.]
- A Jama'ah which draws lessons from past experiences
Allah ( SWT ) says (which means): "So travel in the land and see what was the end of those who denied [the truth]." [Surah An-Nahl (16), Ayah 36.]
History is a great school of knowledge for all those who want to learn. Islam constantly invites us to consider the history of preceding nations and learn from what befell them as a consequence of their disbelief in Allah ( SWT ) and obstinacy to follow His guidance,
"Such were the townships whose story We relate unto you. Their Messengers did indeed come to them with clear proofs, but they would not believe in what they had disbelieved before. Thus does Allah seal the hearts of the disbelievers." [Surah Al-A'raaf (7), Ayah 101.]
The history of our Ummah is replete with lessons that illuminate the road of the true believers who seek Allah's Bounty and Pleasure. The Seerah (biography) of our Prophet represents the ideal example of how a Muslim ought to lead his life in all its aspects. His Jihad and that of his companions, and such Battles as Badr, Uhud and Al-Ahzaab which raged between Islam and the forces of kufr, are indeed immortal, and represent honourable pages that light the way for those who wish to follow in their footsteps.
Throughout the long, rich history of the Muslim Ummah great events took place: kingdoms and nations rose and fell, armies marched west and east conquering new lands and still the sun of Islam never set on the world, until forces of kufr represented by the Jews, the Christians and the atheists allied with one another and brought about the eventual fall of the Caliphate in 1924 and thus the disintegration of the Ummah.
While striving to re-establish the Islamic Caliphate, making it our prime objective, we must understand the progression of history and absorb its lessons to distinguish the genuine from the counterfeit. We must, while progressing towards its great objective, absorb the experiences of Islamic movements, past and present, in order to benefit from their merits as long as they accord with the instructions of the Shari'ah and avoid repeating their mistakes. Studying the history of past and present movements will also help us to understand why these movements had no chance of success and what reasons led to their defeat. In this way, our beginning will not be similar to that of those who came before us; rather our point of departure will be the point where our predecessors stopped.
Some of the Islamic movements worthy of study are: The Al-Wahhaabiyyah movement which appeared in the Arabian Peninsula, As-Sannusiyah movement in Libya, Al-Mahdiyyah movement in the Sudan,the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwaan Al- Muslimoon), as well as the movements of Islamic Jihad which are currently active throughout the world from the Philippines and Afghanistan in the East, through Syria and Egypt, to the Arab Maghreb and the Balkans in the West.
 Surah Al-Qasas (28), Ayah 38.
 Surah As-Saff (61), Ayah 4.
 Bukhari and Muslim.
 Surah Al-Ahzaab (33), Ayat 45-46.
 Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 64. The Hadeeth is from Bukhari and Muslim.
 Ahmad, Tirmidhi and An-Nasaa'ee.
 Bukhari and Muslim.
 Bukhari and Muslim.
 Abu Dawud, Ahmad and Ibn Maajah.
 Surah Al-Ma'idah (5), Ayah 105.
 Abu Dawud, Ahmad, and Tirmidhi.
 Al-Hakim; Sheikh Al-Albani classifies it as Sahih.
 Surah At-Taghaabun (64), Ayah 16.
 Bukhari and Muslim.
 This defers subject to the thing in question. If it is of the well-known obligations or prohibitions like prayer, fasting during the month of Ramadhan, adultery, and alcohol, then all Muslims are aware of them; if, however, this concerns the minutest of sayings and deeds or matters relating to Ijtihaad, then it is not for the general public to enter into them nor forbid them, rather only the scholars should address them. (an- Nawawee).
 The little boy, for example, will not be judged on the Day of Judgement for drinking alcohol, but this act is still considered evil and should be disapproved of and criticised.
 Bukhari and Muslim.
 Surah Ibrahim (14), Ayah 26.
 Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 44.
 Surah As-Saff (61), Ayah 3.
 Ahmad and Ibn Maajah.
 Surah At-Taghaabun (64), Ayah 16.
 Surah Al-Hajj (22), Ayah 41.
 Surah Al-Hajj (22), Ayah 41.
 Ahmad and Abu Dawud.
 Bukhari and Muslim.
 78 Imam Ahmad.
 Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi.
 Ahmad and Abu Dawud. Ibn Al-Qattaan classifies it as Sahih.
 Bukhari and Muslim.
 Ahmad, Ad-Daarimi and Tirmidhi.
 Tirmidhi who classifies it as Sahih.
 Bukhari and Muslim.
 Surah Al-'Alaq (96), Ayah 1.
 Imam Ahmad.
 Ibn Ishaaq in Seerat-ur-Rasool.
 Imam Ahmad.
 Translator's note: This refers to the day when the Prophet and his followers entered Makkah victoriously with the help of Allah, the Almighty.
 Bukhari and Muslim.
 Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 38.
 Muslim and Abu Dawud.
 Imam Ahmad.
 Imam Ahmad.
 Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 285.
 Ibn Taymeeyah, Al-Fataawaa Al-Kubraa.
 Surah An-Nisa (4), Ayah 75.
 Surah Al-Anfal (8), Ayah 39.
 Surah An-Nisa (4), Ayah 74.
 Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 157.
 Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 169.
 Surah An-Nisa (4), Ayah 74.
 Surah As-Saff (61), Ayat 10-11.
 Imam Ahmed.
 Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi and Ahmad.
 Surah Al-Hujuraat (49), Ayah 1.
 Surah Al-Hujuraat (49), Ayah 2.
 Surah Al-Ahzaab (33), Ayah 13.