Showing posts with label jihadis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jihadis. Show all posts

Friday, November 29, 2019

'Jihad' and World Politics


One of the most misunderstood and much maligned concepts in the world of religion today is the doctrine of ‘Jihad’ in Islam. Unlike any other matter of devotional piety in any religion, ‘Jihad’ brings around it images of a deadly cocktail of religion, identity politics and armed violence involving wily politicians, extremists and terrorists; generating genuine anxiety, confusion and fear among the people. Indeed, ‘Jihad’ has come to mean different things to different people in our times. 

In our deeply troubled world, where powerful nations set the rules of the global game, non-State actors are also increasingly becoming vital players. In States where turbulent political conditions exist, ‘Jihad’ is almost invariably associated with the call to arms and violence by certain Muslim-groups ostensibly working to protect the collective interests of the Muslim communities concerned. For many governments with separatist movements or insurgent groups in their territorial domain; ‘Jihad’ is nothing but an ideology of unbridled violence and mayhem championed by non-State actorsIn sharp contrast to this, the groups fighting States look upon ‘Jihad’ as the ideology of their political resistance against unjust regimes- the moral and ethical justification for their militant campaigns against governments that ‘oppress’ the people. Inspired by their own notions of injustice and agency; often seeking retribution for alleged past crimes of the State concerned or to induce change in State policies vis-a-vis certain matters; organized groups as well ‘lone wolfs’- including suicide bombers- perpetrate violent crimes, targeting symbols of State power. These attacks often indiscriminately impact civilians as well, leading to ‘collateral damage’- unnecessary suffering for common people caught up in such incidents.

For instance, the horrific 9/11 terror attacks in the United States of America at the beginning of this century- in the year 2001- directed at the symbols of American military and economic heft resulted also in the death of thousands of people going about their everyday lives. The terrorists who executed this most audacious attack claimed they were driven by the ideals of ‘Jihad’ in committing this mass murder. Those who waged this ‘war’ on America were seeking vengeance upon the country for its dreadful policies abroad- including military interventions that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and even destroyed entire societies in the Muslim world. Despite the moral high-ground the parties in conflict- States and the terror groups- seek to assert for themselves, both State terrorism and non-State terrorism are problematic for their means and methods of warfare and also due to the profound consequences such violence has upon its innocent victims, common folks like us.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Sri Lanka: Easter Day Bombings


Sublime Islamic teachings prohibit wanton attacks against civilians; transgression on the rights of others and the destruction of their properties. If 'enemy' is to be engaged in a war by the Muslims, the Shariah rules of military necessity, proportionality, reduction of unjust suffering on those who do not participate in the hostilities- women; children; wounded soldiers; prisoners of war, humanitarian relief agencies, etc need to be respected and provided for. Hence, wanton killings of defenceless people going about their daily lives can never be allowed to be glorified as Islamic Jihad. Indeed, such terrorism cuts at the roots of all Islamic ethics and teachings on social solidarity with other communities and the need for respecting the sanctity of their essential rights under Islamic Law.   

It is instructive to note that in a recent series of Friday Sermons, Imam-Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam Hadhrat Muhyiuddin Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius spoke profoundly on issues of terrorism in society, especially as it contrasts with the ideals of Islam and the murky realities of our times wherein terrorism is also being practiced by groups operating in the name of the Muslims. One of the themes that Hadhrat Saheb (atba) took up for clinical examination in this context was the role of the "zealous idiots"- people who claim to profess Islam; yet know nothing about its roots and branches and who bring disrepute to the religion (Islam) through self-serving interpretations and thereby inflict much harm on society through their deviant practices. Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) exemplified this point with reference to the practice of 'Jihad' as 'holy war' by sections of Muslim youths (fighting their secular 'battles'  in their societies), with no regard for either text or context, nor even the subtext of ethical Islamic teachings. 

In multicultural democracies where different faiths bloom in full freedom and liberty, the rupturing of the social fabric through horrific violence can have profoundly negative consequences for all- especially the (Muslim) minorities in the land. Indeed, brainwashed and radicalized Muslim youths displaying sectarian bigotry or communal prejudice and indulging in killing of innocents need to be opposed and resisted by devout Muslims themselves. After all, standing up for justice and enjoining good and forbidding evil is a duty we owe to God and our fellow beings- Muslims and non-Muslims alike.  

In his Friday Sermon of 26 April 2019~ 19 Shabaan 1440 AH Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) spoke about the dire state of the world. The excesses of the humans are putting a question mark over the very survival of our earth as a unique living space in our universe. On so many different levels, the signs around us are such that it is as though the world has turned upside down. The rising tide of mindless violence and terror across nations is such a sign as well. Speaking also against the backdrop of the recent, horrendous terrorist bombings in Sri Lanka that killed hundreds of people on Easter Sunday, Hadhrat Saheb (atba) wholeheartedly condemned the mindless killings. 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

What 'Jihad' Really Means


Which Jihad ?

'Jihad' is a religious duty, an act of faith, prescribed by the Holy Quran for every Muslim. 

Alas, Islamic teachings are, on the one hand, so little known by Muslims, and on the other, so vilified by non-Muslims, that many false conceptions have settled in people’s minds. 

For many people, it seems convenient and legitimate to cover under the term jihad (holy war) any struggle to settle a dispute where their interests are at stake (and thus, all means, even the most reprehensible, seem to be good). For the non-Muslim jihad has long been equated with the holy war against non-believers, for the spread of Islam. It seems to me necessary - through this series of sermons on jihad, terrorism and Islamophobia - to return to the sources of Islam, through the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) to explain what jihad really is, for the objective minds.

The term jihad is derived from jahada which means making intense efforts to the ultimate limit (Al-Ankabut, 29:7). Jihad is such an important injunction for Muslims that it is mentioned in no less than 36 occasions in the Holy Quran.

Three types of Jihad

In fact, it is of such importance that all the acts of faith prescribed for the believer (prayer, fasting, zakah, and pilgrimage to Mecca) are spiritual exercises designed to overcome the weaknesses of the individual and prepare him for the accomplishment of jihad. Jihad, as it appears from the reading of the the Holy Qur’an, denotes three types of fighting:
  1. The fight against oneself (nafs).
  2. The fight against evil in all its forms.
  3. Armed combat against the visible enemy.
We can differentiate between the three types of jihad by calling them respectively Jihad-i-Akbar (greatest jihad), Jihad-i-Kabir (the great jihad) and Jihad-i-Saghir (the little/ lesser jihad). The Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) considered that Jihad-i-Akbar is the supreme, noblest combat and he said, when his troops returned from the Tabuk expedition: “You have accomplished the minor jihad now; there remains the supreme jihad.”

Djihad-i-Akbar:- it is the tireless fight against oneself, against one’s bad tendencies and inclinations. It is not therefore a fight of the State (the Country/ State/ Government, especially the Islamic One), but a struggle peculiar to the individual against his weak instincts/ carnal desires, such as infidelity, adultery, lies, dishonesty and materialism. However, the State has the obligation to help the citizen in this fight, creating the conditions conducive to his internal purification. It is the duty of the State to rid the social environment of any obstacle that may hinder the path of the individual to inner purity (e.g. the sale of alcoholic beverages, drugs, the practice of debauchery and games of chance).

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said, “Purity (or Cleanliness) is half of faith.” This purity denotes the purity of the spirit. According to my analysis, a soul encumbered with unhealthy desires remains hermetically closed to divine grace. By purifying one’s soul of every bad inclination, the individual accomplishes this supreme jihad and reaches half of the faith by becoming fit to receive the grace of his Creator and to follow the path of spiritual progress.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

'Jihad' and the 'Zealous Idiots'


The concept of Jihad in Islam

A religion is only worthy of the name if it rhymes with common sense. If it cannot win through this, and it must use the sword to overcome its shortcomings, it needs no other argument to prove its sham. The sword it wields cuts its own throat before it reaches its target. 

The objection that the sword was used during the early years of Islam, thus attesting to the legality of Jihad, is based on an ignorance of the conditions prevailing during this period. Islam has never allowed the use of the sword to be a source of rallying. Also the Holy Qur’an forbids constraint – the use of force – in religious matter. 

Why was the sword used?

The circumstances leading to this measure had absolutely nothing to do with the propagation of religion; they are related to the protection of life. They can be summed up as thus: the inhabitants of the deserts of Arabia were barbarians who could scarcely distinguish good from bad. They had harboured a hatred for the nascent Islam and had become its worst enemies. The reason for this hatred can be easily understood. The arguments put forward by the early Muslims concerning the uniqueness of God and the Islamic truths were devastating for the idolaters of Mecca and its environs.

Soon the inhabitants of these regions realized that it was unseemly for man, the most noble of divine creatures, to submit to stone. The Meccans were thus unable to counter the new adherents on the basis of arguments. The most reasonable ones were quick to join Islam. Family ties were broken and the son separated from his parents and the brother from his brothers. This exasperated the Meccans and it became clear to them that the only recourse to counteract the spread of the new religion – which was to the detriment of their parents’ false beliefs – was the use of extreme measures. The new Muslims were thus savagely persecuted. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reclaim Islam from 'Jihadi' Terrorists

On Monday, 22 May 2017, the city of Manchester (United Kingdom) witnessed a deadly terror attack, claiming the lives of 22 people, including many children and young people; moments after US singer Miss Ariana Grande finished performing, at around 10:30 pm. Investigators have identified the suicide bomber as Salman Abedi, a 22 year-old youth, Manchester-born British national of Libyan-Arab-Muslim-refugee-descent.

Global political fault-lines, especially its searing manifestations in the Arab-Islamic world in recent decades, have created the cult of violence called "Jihadism". Accentuated by revolting political realities such as the prolonged Zionist military occupation of Muslim lands; the strategic and economic subjugation of the Persian Gulf nations by the US-led western powers; the suppression of political and personal liberty in the Arab world by the hedonistic oligarchs working in alliance with their western masters; internecine conflicts forcing widespread displacement of people, rendering millions into refugees and stateless persons- the simmering political conditions in many parts of the world are conducive for the flourishing of extremist ideologies and the radicalization of youth

Likewise, the apparently remote and self-contained western world's 'racist democracies' also face humongous challenges of multicultural integration: their policies are currently designed to discriminate, oppress and ghettoize the non-European peoples among them, especially of the North-African Arab descent. 'The wrenching process of remaking life and society in all their aspects (social, economic, existential) frequently collapses in violence'. Hence, the completely-alienated youths in many of these countries are increasingly drawn to entities such as the "Islamic State" in their quest for seeking 'resistance' and 'vengeance' against the perceived, oppressor "infidels" through all means possible, including 'martyrdom' (Shahada) operations/suicidal attacks. While devout Muslims find the horrific terror attacks completely at odds with the teachings of their religion, the 'material' (and as we shall see below, even the religious and spiritual) explanation for these attacks cannot avoid the role of extremist preachers who 'condition' the mindset of would-be assassins/potential suicide bombers by offering them the deadly cocktail of 'radical' theology as political praxis. 

Mindless violence needs to be condemned, more so in an age of widening rift in inter-community relations. This is regardless of who perpetrated it, or in the name of which group identity- races, tribes, religions, languages, nations, peoples- it was executed. In a message issued on 23 May 2017, the Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah of this era, Hazrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius calls our attention to the profoundly negative implications and potentially enormous consequences of such extreme brutalities, being perpetrated in the name of the religion and community of the Muslims, for everyone: the victims; the perpetrators; for wider inter-community relations and social peace; public perceptions on Islam and the Muslims in everyday life settings; and even on international relations.

Hazrat Khalifatullah (atba) addresses all humanity, especially Muslims, on the complex challenges that we face today- in an era of deep sectarian divisions among the Muslims, the hardening of denominational identities leads to much injustice and strife within. The bloodshed and killings are regrettably becoming routinized in many societies- Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Among the innumerable sects within the Muslims, interpretational differences over even basic spiritual doctrines abound and the very definition of being 'Muslim' is under intense disputation, with profound implications for the basic human rights and political entitlements of 'legally excluded' Muslim sects and denominational groups, such as the Ahmadis in Pakistan and elsewhere. To establish peace and reconciliation across our multiple divides in society, Muslims need to be role models for others.  In reclaiming the heart of our faith and our own spiritual identity as devout Muslims in this difficult era, Hazrat Saheb (atba) exhorts us to be people who stand in awe of God, and who display the spiritual humility of non-judgmental affection and residual goodwill for all of His creatures-fellow Muslims (of different sects) and the non-Muslims alike. 

Read the Special Statement on the Terror Attack in Manchester Below:  


First of all, in my own name as the Khalifatullah and reformer of this era - for humanity as a whole and particularly for all Muslims - and on behalf of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam, I present our sincere condolences and sympathy for what transpired - a really painful event- in Manchester, United Kingdom. It is a very deplorable situation that those who take themselves as great defenders of Islam are in fact doing much harm to the perfect religion which Islam is. They have taken themselves as great defenders of Islam but they have stooped very low in their acts. They have harmed the very religion that Allah has perfected and named: ISLAM.

Islam means a complete submission to the will of Allah, and it means peace and submission. Peace should come first, then submission (to the will of Allah). Islam has never taught/ preached acts of barbarism such as the atrocious acts they have perpetrated (in Manchester, UK). As the Khalifatullah (Caliph of Allah) and the Mujaddid (Reformer) of this era, for me personally, and for my Jamaat (Community) also, and also I am sure for the other Muslims from the other Jamaats, we sincerely and strongly condemn these acts (of terrorism). What happened (in Manchester, UK) is really heartbreaking.

Monday, September 5, 2016

'Terror' is Not 'Jihad'

THE TRUE JIHAD

In this modern day and age, when the world has become considerably smaller because of the technological advancement of the various forms of media, a word has arisen clouded with doubt, distortion and mysticism from the East to the West, before finally gaining international attention. This word is Jihad”, or as it is better known in the West, ‘Holy War’. 

The actual root of the Arabic word Jihad’ is ‘Jahd’ which signifies endurance or rigorous conditions. Thus, in essence Jihad means to strive to the utmost for the achievement of a purpose and to leave nothing undone in its pursuance. Its Islamic conception is first introduced in the following verse of the Quran.

Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them. (22: 40).

This verse throws a flood of light on what the Islamic concept of Jihad actually purports and it clearly shows that Jihad is fighting in defence of Truth. But whereas Islam, like I have told you before, allows no aggressive war, it regards the waging of it to defend one’s honour, country or faith as an act of the highest virtue. According to Islam, man is God’s noblest handiwork. He is the cause of His creation, its aim and end. Therefore, it is only natural that the religion which has raised man to such a high pedestal should also have attached very great importance and sanctity to honour life. Of all things, man’s life, according to the Quran is most sacred and inviolable. It is a sacrilege to take it except under rare circumstances which the Quran has specifically mentioned in the following verses:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Politics of 'Jihad' and 'Victimhood' in Paris

The killings in Paris

Before coming on the subject matter of my sermon today, I shall talk a little on what has transpired in France, Paris last Friday, 13 November 2015. Friday the 13th is believed by many, including the French people as a very inauspicious day. This superstition was reinforced with the killings which happened there (last Friday) and which made lots of victims. It was really a sad event, especially for the victims of these attacks. 

But unfortunately, I must stress also the fact that the Government of France, with all their arrogance won’t budge from their stand, especially concerning the giving of armaments to the people of Syria with the intention of capsizing the regime of Bashar Al-Assad, and also to reinforce their plans for the killings of the Muslims among themselves, thus weakening Islam further.

The Politics of 'Jihad'

It is true also that the type (and execution) of the Jihad which the so-called Muslims are putting into practice is completely unislamic. The attacks which they are perpetrating are not justifiable attacks as they are killing their own selves, committing suicide and having suicide as intention so as to kill innocent people. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pakistan and the cult of Militancy


[According to the Holy Qur’an, peace, amity and brotherhood among the people are among the blessings of Allah, Correspondingly, the Divine wrath and punishments take different forms, including civil strife and “violence of one another”. In the last decade, Pakistan’s descent into chaos has been observed with deep anguish and profound sadness by the Messenger of Allah of our times, Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius. Time and again, he has warned the Muslim country and its religious and political leadership against the egregious violations of freedom of conscience, of basic human rights and the norms of Islamic propriety and decency in the country. Recent events from there confirm that country is in the grips of Divine wrath: the deer prophecies and warnings made by the Divine Messenger have been proved to be presciently true and correct.    
For the benefit of our readers, we reproduce below an essay on the cult of militancy in Pakistan from one of the leading writers from contemporary Pakistan, the Award-winning novelist Mohsin Hamid who is the author of the novels 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' and the forthcoming 'How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia'. The essay was originally written for, and published in, the New York Times. India’s leading newspaper, The Hindu also carried it on February 24, 2013].
At the heart of Pakistan’s troubles is the celebration of the militant
On Monday, my mother’s and sister’s eye doctor was assassinated. He was a Shia. He was shot six times while driving to drop his son off at school. His son, age 12, was executed with a single shot to the head.
Tuesday, I attended a protest in front of the Governor’s House in Lahore demanding that more be done to protect Pakistan’s Shias from sectarian extremists. These extremists are responsible for increasingly frequent attacks, including bombings this year that killed more than 200 people, most of them Hazara Shias, in the city of Quetta.
As I stood in the anguished crowd in Lahore, similar protests were being held throughout Pakistan. Roads were shut. Demonstrators blocked access to airports. My father was trapped in one for the evening, yet he said most of his fellow travellers bore the delay without anger. They sympathised with the protesters’ objectives.