Islam not only established the Obligation (فرض) of Jihad, it built the desire for Jihad so strongly that it distinguished the Ummah from all other nations for thirteen centuries. It enabled the Ummah to bear huge losses willingly, in order to vanquish the enemies of Islam and Muslims. Depending on Allah (swt) alone, the armed forces of Muslims overwhelmed significantly larger forces that fought on the basis of corrupt beliefs, defense of territory or racial supremacy. Fulfilling their role to ensure Islam prevails, the Muslim armed forces removed the material obstacles to the practical implementation of Islam. Thus people entered Islam in droves, establishing the foundations of the vast, multi-racial Ummah of today.
Even after the destruction of the Khilafah in 1924 CE, the love for Jihad within the Ummah terrifies the enemies of Muslims. The 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre contains an example. Whilst around 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were murdered by Serbs over a period of eleven days, after Dutch UN troops abandoned the town of Srebrenica on 11 July 1995, Britain was anxious that Muslim troops present under the UN command would break ranks to fight the Serbs. The love of Jihad that brought Soviet Russia to its knees in Afghanistan, has now compelled the United States to plead for a face saving deal. The love of Jihad in the Muslims of Occupied Kashmir terrifies the Hindu State, which forcibly annexed Occupied Kashmir on 5 August 2019, yet encounters fierce resistance till today.
Instead of nurturing the love for Jihad amongst the armed forces, the current rulers of Muslims are fighting a campaign on behalf of the Western powers and their allies, the Jewish entity and the Hindu State, against Fighting in the Path of Allah (swt). As for the rulers of Pakistan, they are actively undermining the burning desire of Muslims in Pakistan’s armed forces to wage war for the liberation of Occupied Kashmir. Rather than rousing the Muslim officers and soldiers to fight and liberate Kashmir, they discourage fighting the enemy. They promote the idea that war is not an option, either because of the possession of nuclear weapons by the enemy or the weakness of our economy. As for the noble Muslims who fight occupation wherever they are, the despotic rulers of Muslims denounce them as “terrorists.” However, like all colonialist projects, this endeavor to suppress Jihad will fail because the Ummah has always clung to Allah (swt) and His Messenger ﷺ and the goodness within her extends to every part of her body, including her armed forces.
The military officer who is loyal to Allah (swt) and His Messenger ﷺ must fix in his heart and mind that Islam established Jihad as an Obligation (فرض), whose neglect invites the wrath of Allah (swt), whilst its performance yields great reward. Let him consider what has been mentioned of Jihad in the Quran. Allah (swt) said, كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ وَهُوَ كُرْهٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ “Fighting is prescribed to you and you dislike it. But it could be you dislike something and it is good for you. And it could be that you love something and it is bad for you. Allah swt knows and you do not know.” [Surah al-Baqarah: 216].
In this noble Ayah, Allah (swt) made it Obligatory for the Muslims who are capable to fight to undertake Jihad against the evil of the enemy who transgresses against Islam. At the same time Islam acknowledges that fighting is something that creates resistance in the souls and treats that resistance effectively. Allah (swt) said,وَهُوَ كُرْهٌ لَّكُمْ “though you dislike it” which means that fighting is difficult and heavy on hearts. Indeed, fighting is as the Ayah describes it. It entails being martyred, wounded, striving against the enemies and enduring the hardship of travel, whether in the severe cold of Siachen or the severe heat of the deserts of Thar. Allah (swt) then said, وَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُم “and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you” meaning, fighting is followed by victory and dominance over the enemy.
Let the Muslim army officer consider what has been mentioned of Jihad in the Sunnah. The preeminence of Jihad is prominent in the Sunnah of RasulAllah ﷺ. It is reported in the Sahih, «مَنْ مَاتَ وَلَمْ يَغْزُ وَلَمْ يُحَدِّثْ نَفْسَهُ بِالْغَزْوِ، مَاتَ مِيتَةً جَاهِلِيَّــة» “Whoever dies but neither fought (i.e., in Allah’s cause), nor sincerely considered fighting, will die a death of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era of ignorance).”
On the day of Al-Fath (when he conquered Makkah), the Prophet ﷺ said, «لَا هِجْرَةَ بَعْدَ الْفَتْحِ وَلكِنْ جِهَادٌ وَنِيَّةٌ، وَإِذَا اسْتُنْفِرْتُمْ فَانْفِرُوا» “There is no Hijrah (migration from Makkah to Al-Madinah) after the victory, but only Jihad and good intention. If you were required to march forth, then march forth.” [Bukhari]
The great authority of Ahadeeth, Az-Zuhri, explained, “Jihad is required from every person, whether he actually joins the fighting or remains behind. Whoever remains behind is required to give support, if support is warranted; to provide aid, if aid is needed; and to march forth, if he is commanded to do so. If he is not needed, then he remains behind.”
Indeed, the Sunnah calls Muslims of the armed forces to that which must be loved, fighting in His (swt) Path, pursuing victory or martyrdom to the utmost. RasulAllah ﷺ said, «مَا أَحَدٌ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ يُحِبُّ أَنْ يَرْجِعَ إِلَى الدُّنْيَا وَلَهُ مَا عَلَى الأَرْضِ مِنْ شَىْءٍ، إِلاَّ الشَّهِيدُ، يَتَمَنَّى أَنْ يَرْجِعَ إِلَى الدُّنْيَا فَيُقْتَلَ عَشْرَ مَرَّاتٍ، لِمَا يَرَى مِنَ الْكَرَامَةِ» “Nobody who enters Paradise likes to go back to the world even if he got everything on the earth, except a Mujahid who wishes to return to the world so that he may be martyred ten times because of the dignity he receives (from Allah).” [Bukhari]
Let the believing army officer consider that the first and best generation of Islam waged Jihad to liberate people from oppressive rulers, so that they can practically experience of Islam. Allah (swt) said, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ قَاتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَكُم مِّنَ الْكُفَّارِ وَلْيَجِدُوا فِيكُمْ غِلْظَةً وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ “O you who believe! Fight the Unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.” [Surah at-Tawbah 9: 123].
Allah (swt) commands the believers to fight the disbelievers, the closest in area to the Islamic state, then the farthest. Thus, Messenger of Allah ﷺ started fighting the mushrikeen in the Arabian Peninsula. When Allah (swt) gave him dominance over Makkah, Al-Madinah, At-Ta’if, Yemen, Yamamah, Hajr, Khaybar, Hadramawt and other Arab provinces, and the various Arab tribes entered Islam in droves, he ﷺ initiated Jihad against the People of the Book. He ﷺ began preparations to fight the Romans who were the closest in area to the Arabian Peninsula, and as such, had the greatest right to be called to Islam. Thus, the Prophet ﷺ marched until he reached Tabuk in the ninth year after his Hijrah, steering the Ummah towards confronting the leading states of the time.
Will the pious military officer not consider the actions of the Khulafa’a’ Rashideen (ra), in their pursuit of Jihad? After Allah (swt) chose for the Messenger ﷺ His (swt) Paradise, the Khilafah on the Method of Prophethood gave Jihad its full right. The First Khaleefah Rashid, Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (ra), started preparing the Islamic armies to fight the Roman crusaders and the Persian fire worshippers. By the blessing of his mission, Allah (swt) opened lands for him and brought humiliation for Caesar and Kisra. At the hands the Second Khaleefah Rashid, `Umar bin Al-Khattab (ra), Allah (swt) humiliated the disbelievers, opening the eastern and western parts of the world to the light of Islamic ruling. Then, in the Third Khaleefah Rashid `Uthman’s (ra) era, the unequivocal truth of Islam was established in various parts of the world, including the Indian Subcontinent. And the Fourth Khaleefah Rashid, Ali (ra), consolidated the hold over a dominion spanning three continents. Thus, the Khulafaah Rashideen (ra) advanced Islam, bearing testimony to the saying of Allah (swt) that وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ “And know that Allah is with those who have Taqwa.”
Let the aware military officer be mindful that when Jihad was neglected, the enemies became eager to attack the outposts of Islam, gaining control over many Islamic lands. Yet, whenever a just Muslim ruler or military commander fulfilled the command for Jihad, Allah (swt) helped him and made him victorious over the enemy. Indeed, the performance of Jihad brings honor, whilst its neglect only brings humiliation. RasuAllah ﷺ declared, «مَا تَرَكَ قَوْمٌ الْجِهَادَ إلاّ ذُلّوا» “No people abandon Jihad except that they are humiliated.” [Ahmad]. Thus Muslims were overwhelmed by the Mongols when they neglected Jihad and they eventually defeated them in Jihad in Ein Jaloot. Muslims who neglected Jihad were overwhelmed by the crusaders, until Salahudin led them in victory after victory. As for the Ottoman Caliphate, it advanced Jihad such that the capitals of Europe began to fall and those that had yet to be taken shook and trembled.
Let the military officer seeking Jannah consider the situation of the Ummah now. From all that has been revealed by the Lord of Creation and the history of the righteous and those who fell short in their duty of Jihad, where must he stand? Indeed since the Ummah lost its shield, the Khilafah, in 1924, she lost with it the Jihad to open new lands to Islam. In addition, enemies occupied her lands, whether it is the Jewish entity occupying Palestine in the west or the Hindu State occupying Kashmir in the east. Yet, when there is no Khilafah, fighting the Kuffar one who occupies our land, does not cease. RasulAllah ﷺ said, «وَالْجِهَادُ مَاضٍ مُنْذُ بَعَثَنِيَ اللَّهُ إِلَى أَنْ يُقَاتِلَ آخِرُ أُمَّتِي الدَّجَّالَ لاَ يُبْطِلُهُ جَوْرُ جَائِرٍ وَلاَ عَدْلُ عَادِلٍ، وَالإِيمَانُ بِالأَقْدَارِ» “And jihad will be performed continuously since the day Allah sent me as a prophet until the day the last member of my community will fight with the Dajjal (Antichrist). The tyranny of any tyrant and the justice of any just (ruler) will not invalidate it.” [Abu Dawud]
Thus, fighting the Kuffar is Obligatory, whether the ruler of Muslims is the Khaleefah, or the ruler of Muslims does not rule by Islam. Therefore, it is Obligatory upon Muslim armies to mobilize in fighting the occupation forces. If the ruler agrees to move the army, then he would have acted in the right way. If he attempted to prevent the army from fighting, standing in its way, let there be a Salahudin from the army, who tramples the ruler under his feet, mobilizing the army to purify the blessed lands from occupation.
It is clear that current Muslim rulers are standing in the way of the military officer and his obedience to Allah (swt). Current Muslim rulers declare that war is not an option and declare the one who fights as an enemy of the Ummah. These rulers persecute those who take up arms themselves whether against the Americans in Afghanistan or the Hindu State in Occupied Kashmir. Worse, they undertook normalization with the occupiers, which only consolidates their occupation. This is even though Allah (swt) commanded, وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ وَأَخْرِجُوهُمْ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَخْرَجُوكُمْ “And slay them Wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:191]. The noble Ayah applies to all those fighting the enemies who are engaged in fighting Islam and its people. It means that our energy must be spent on fighting them, just as their energy is spent on fighting us, and on expelling them from the areas from which they have expelled us.
Thus, it is clear for the military officer that the current rulers will neither expel the occupying forces from Muslim Lands, nor restore the Khilafah so that the obligation to open new lands to Islam will resume. It falls upon every officer of the armed forces to remedy the dire situation. Each officer must side with the Ummah and the great obligation of Jihad upon them. It is a duty upon the military officers to depose the current rulers, extending their Nussrah for the re-establishment of the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the Method of Prophethood ﷺ. Then and only then, will they fight in the Path of Allah (swt), ending tyranny throughout the world. So, let the Muslim army officers of today be like the Ansaar who supported Allah (swt) and His Messenger ﷺ, such that Allah (swt) praised them in His verses and the angels rushed to the funeral of their master, Sa’ad bin Muadh (ra). It was reported by Tirmidhi from Anas bin Malik (ra) that RasulAllah ﷺ said about the funeral of Sa’ad bin Muadh (ra), «إِنَّ الْمَلَائِكَةَ كَانَتْ تَحْمِلُهُ» “Verily, Angels are carrying him.” Blessed indeed are those military officers of today who follow the path of the Ansaar.
Musab Umair – Pakistan