By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
09 April 2018
One of the most misused verses of the Quran by today’s radical Jihadist groups is 72 of the Surah Anfaal. Quoting this verse, they call their ideological followers to migrate and join their ranks. In this brief presentation, this humble writer will expose that today’s jihadist call of migration is antithetical to the spiritual, modern or classical understanding of the verse 8:72. Since this write-up is also a part of my ongoing series “the Enlightening Commentary on the War-Related Verses”, I request the commentators of newageislam.com to participate in the debate under my article and put their relevant questions, as their participation will help me make my series more comprehensive.
Allah Almighty says,
“Indeed those who accepted faith and left their homes and belongings for Allah, and fought with their wealth and their lives in Allah's cause, and those who gave shelter and provided help, are the heirs of one another; and those who believed but did not leave their homes – you have no right in their estates until they migrate; and if they seek help from you in the matter of religion then it is your duty to provide help, except against the people between whom and you is a treaty; and Allah sees your deeds.” (8:72)
According to the most accepted books of Tafsir both classical and modernist, this verse mainly refers to the Emigrants [Muhajirin] and the Helpers [Ansar] and their mutual ties of brotherhood. As per the modernist Islamic exegete, Rashid Rida the author of Tafsir al-Manar, as quoted by Peer Karam Azhari in his Zia al-Quran, this verse is considered the pillar of fair foreign policy of Islam. The Muslim scholars deduce from this verse that the Muhajir and the Ansaar were heirs among themselves even if they had no blood relation between them and that this injunction was temporal and later abrogated by the verse 8:75 which reads, “And the blood relations are nearer to one another”. For the detailed discussion of inheritance and mutual relations of the early Muslims, the readers can respectively go through the Tafsir books such as Durr-e-Manthur by Imam Jalaluddin Syuti Shafei, Tafsir-e-Qurtubi by Imam Qurtubi Maliki, Tafsir Ruh al-Bayan by Sufi Shaikh Isamel Haqqi, Tafsir-e-Naeemi by Mufti Ahmed Yaar Khan Naeemi Hanafi from “Barelvi School” and Mariful Quran by Mufti Usamni Hanafi from “Deobandi School”.
The Jihadist Terrorists Cannot Justify Their Call to Migration On The Basis Of The Quranic Verse 8:72
The Jihadist terrorists dominantly belong to Wahhabism and hence they call their Wahhabi followers to migrate like the early Emigrants mentioned in the Quranic verse 8:72 and fight against those who they think are Kuffar and non-Wahhabi Muslims. Concerning this verse in today’s context some questions arise. Are today’s Muslims whom they are calling to migrate identical to the early Emigrants? Is it allowed for them to migrate from a country which grants security and religious freedom to them?
Associating the condition of today’s Muslims to that of the early Emigrants mentioned in 8:72 is extremely injustice and violation of the Quran. To clearly understand this point, Let us briefly know about the background of the early Emigrants in the following passages.
Who were these Emigrants mentioned in the verse? They were those Muslims who had no religious freedom in Makkah. These Muslims suffered heartless oppression, torture, and abuse for thirteen years. They were those Muslims who were not allowed to fight even in defence in Makkah but were commanded therein to persevere patiently. Every day these early Muslims would come in the presence of the holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in a state where either someone’s head was broken, or hand was badly damaged. They were those Muslims whose co-religionists had been brutally killed in Makkah. Hadrat Bilal was rolled on the glowing embers. Yasir and his wife Samiya were wounded with spears. Not to speak of the poor and the helpless, even the blue-blooded could not go unmolested. For instance, Osman’s uncle would tightly wrap him in a fresh animal skin, and throw him in the scorching sun. The searing sun, profuse sweat and foul smell of the skin would choke his breath and be unbearably excruciating and painful.
Similarly, Abu Bakr was once subjected to such a cruel and painful torture that he lay unconscious for a long time. For as long as 14 or 15 years, these Muslims suffered religious persecutions, insults, outrages and injuries at the hands of their persecutors. They bore all these indignities with the utmost humility and patience. When the aggression and ruthlessness of the pagan Arabs grew more hotly than ever, Allah commanded these Muslims to migrate. These Muslims carried out Allah’s command worshipfully and migrated to Yathrib –nearly 300 miles away from Makkah. Still the animosity of the inveterate enemies of Islam had not subsided. They inflicted fresh injuries on the Muslims; robbed them of the peace of mind and heart. A band of pagan Arabs would raid the pastures of the Muslims and take away their cattle. If they encounter a lonely Muslim, they would not hesitate in killing him mercilessly. It was then these Muslims were allowed to fight back in defence and ensure peace and religious freedom.
Today’s Muslims are living in their respective countries, enjoying significantly rights of security and freedom of religion. The situation they are living in does not match that of the early Emigrants. This is one of the reasons that they do not need to migrate or fight in defence against anyone.
The righteousness of the early Emigrants was guaranteed because they were along with the Prophet –peace be upon him- and because they were commanded by Allah to migrate for their religious freedom and security reasons. Today’s terrorists are not true followers of the prophet (peace be upon him) because like their Wahhabi ideologues, they use blasphemous language against the prophet (peace be upon him) and commit acts of terrorism which are extremely forbidden in Islam.
The early Emigrants emigrated from Makkah which neither guaranteed freedom of religion, nor security of religious life. But today’s terrorists want to call the people from the countries which guarantee them both freedom of religion and security of life.
The phrase “fought with their wealth” refers to the fact that they were brutally persecuted so much that they had to forsake their wealth and homes. They chose to sacrifice their wealth as they could not live without faith and belief in Allah and His Messenger peace be upon him. Forsaking their wealth, they emigrated to Makkah. It is in that sense they “fought with their wealth”.
The members of ISIS, before its declaration of Islamic state, had full religious rights of worshipping Allah alone, spending their all day and night in remembrance of Allah Almighty and his beloved prophet. They needed neither to fight in defence nor to call anyone to migrate. But after committing acts of atrocities and terrorism on civilians, they are globally described as the most wanted criminals. It is shocking affairs that they are calling others to become criminals like them in the name of the Quran.
The reading of this verse also sheds light on importance of maintaining treaty or agreement. This signifies that in all cases Muslims need to keep the promise of treaty. Let us understand it in the Indian context, that after the independence of India, the constitution was formed mutually by the support of all Indians that they all will abide by the laws as per the constitution. It is obligatory upon Indian Muslims to the promise of abiding by the constitution. If anyone of them violates this law, he will be termed as criminal in Indian law as well as in Islam, as Allah Almighty says,
“And fulfil the covenant [promise]. Verily the covenant will be questioned about” (17:34).
The last sentence of the verse reads “Allah sees your deeds”. Here is a divine message for the Jihadist terrorists to understand that they can fool the people and cunningly brainwash their followers but they can’t hide their work from Allah because He knows what their deeds.
A regular Columnist with NewAgeIslam.com, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar) with a Sufi background and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator.
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