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Refuting Islamophobic Claims That Jihadists Represent Traditional and Mainstream Interpretations of Islam: Part 3 on the Jihadist Narrative Inciting Treachery towards One’s Country

By New Age Islam Correspondent

8 July 2021

The Jihadist narrative of loyalty to the Ummah and disloyalty to the country is based on “Treachery towards One’s Country”. This narrative is one of the most hazardous tools employed to encourage Muslims to perform terror activities against their fellow citizens, and thereby achieving their nefarious agenda which can be termed the so-called “Islamic State”. Their version of “Umma” does not show mercy upon non-Wahhabi Muslims, such as Sufi-oriented Sunni and Shia Muslims. The Jihadist ideologues support their argument but through the act of misappropriating the Quranic verses, Ahadith and their traditional and classical interpretations. However, the Islamophobes appear as another challenge in line with the Jihadists to claim that Jihadism is based on traditional and classical interpretations of Islam. Hence the purpose is to refute both Islamophobes as well as Jihadists.

Before refuting the Jihadists and Islamophobes in the light of the Quran, Ahadith and traditional sources, it is essential to estimate the nature of the Jihadist narrative propagating ‘treachery’, as unless we know it, we can’t correct them.

Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni-American al-Qaeda cleric, who played a major role in brainwashing and recruiting the Western Muslims, repeatedly preached that there was a war between Islam and the West. In his online statement “Message to the American people (2010), he radicalized the Western Muslims with the idea that loyalty must be confined to their religion rather than their country. He said;

“To the Muslims in America I have this to say: How can your conscience allow you to live in peaceful co-existence with the nation that is responsible for the tyranny and crimes committed against your own brothers and sisters? How can you have your loyalty to a government that is leading the war against Islam and Muslims? The Muslim community in America has been witnessing a gradual erosion and decline in core Islamic principles, so today many of your scholars and Islamic organizations are openly approving of Muslims serving in the US Army to kill Muslims, joining the FBI, to spy against Muslims and are standing between you and your duty to Jihad.

“Slowly but surely your situation is becoming similar to that of the embattled Muslim community of Spain after the fall of Granada. Muslims of the West, take heed and learn from the lessons from history: there are ominous clouds gathering in your horizon. Yesterday America was a land of slavery, segregation, lynching and Ku Klux Klan and tomorrow it will be a land religious discrimination and concentration camps. Do not be deceived by the promises of preserving your rights from a government that is right now killing your own brothers and sisters. Today, with that war between Muslims and the West escalating, you cannot count on the message of solidarity you may get from a civic group or a political party, or the word of support you hear from a kind neighbour or a nice co-worker. The West will eventually turn against its Muslim citizens” (Anwar Al-Awlaki, ‘Message to the American people’, 2010, also cited in Salafi Jihadi Discourse of ‘Sunni Islam’ in 21st Century)

From Awlaki’s message, it becomes clear that the American Muslims must either make war on America or flee from there and wage war against the country. Those who choose to live in peaceful coexistence with America must be condemned and declared outside the body of the believers of Islam, the Ummah, because in that case, their conscience is dead.

In the English magazine “Inspire” issued by Al-Qaeda, Awlaki addresses the Western Muslims,

“Hence my advice to you is this: you have two choices either hijra or jihad. You either leave or you fight. You leave and live among Muslims or you stay behind and fight with your hand, your wealth and your word. I specifically invite the youth to either fight in the West or join their brothers in the fronts of Jihad: Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia”.

In another issue of ‘Inspire’, Awlaki says,

“Islam can never recognize and live in peaceful coexistence with worshipping a cow or an idol.” This statement came as a reaction to the Mardin Declaration, A Peace Summit Conference (Mardin Abode of Peace) convened in the Turkish city of Mardin at the Artuklu University campus (27-28 March 2010), in which a blessed group of renowned Muslim scholars from across the Muslim world participated in order to collectively study one of the most important (classical juridical) foundations of the relations between Muslims and their fellow brothers in humanity and other related concepts such as jihad, loyalty-and-enmity, citizenship, and migration to non-Muslim territories. The Muslim scholars in this declaration had proposed the grounding of peaceful and harmonious co-existence and cooperation for good and justice between Muslims and non-Muslims.”

Awlaki further states,

“Overall the language used in this declaration is not that of Islamic jurisprudence but is more a language of a combination of lawyers and peace activists” and “the statement declares that we cannot level the charge of kufr against fellow Muslims, we are not allowed to rebel against rulers and we are not allowed to terrorize those who enjoy safety and security”, it is then a declaration in support of the 21st century status quo and hence the scholars who participated in framing this declaration are enemies of the Salafi Jihadi movement.”

Awlaki says he does not need any religious verdict to kill the Americans,

“Do not consult with anyone in killing Americans. Fighting Satan does not need any religious verdict, consultation or prayer for guidance in decision making. They are ‘the Party of Satan’. Fighting them is the obligation of the time. We have reached the stage where it is either us or them. We are two opposites which can never coexist. They seek something which can never come to be unless we are annihilated. It is a decisive battle. It is the battle of Moses and Pharaoh. It is the battle of Truth and Falsehood”.

Zawahiri wrote a book encouraging Muslims to realize their duty in uniting against the global front of infidelity and its secular “agents”. He said, “We call the Ummah—on all its factions, classes, and groups—to join the caravan of jihad” and that this would lead to “staying clear of idolatrous tyrants, warfare against infidels, loyalty to the believers, and Jihad in the path of Allah”). In order to fulfil this obligation, Muslims have to abandon their attachment and loyalty to their country and “shun a life of play, amusement, extravagance and fun, and prepare [themselves] for the real life of killing, fighting, striking and damaging” (Zawahiri, 2007)

The terror outfit, Al-Qaeda urged Indian Muslims to commit treachery towards their country by “uniting ranks, gathering arms and waging jihad” against India. ( 

ISIS also propagates the same treachery-narrative in several forms.

The first online edition of India-specific propaganda magazine ‘Voice of Hind’ dedicates an entire page to highlight the “disease of nationalism”. Describing nationalism as ‘disease’ and ‘transgression’, the pro-ISIS group wants to incite the Indian Muslims for committing treachery against their homeland, as it says, “And there is no doubt that the call to nationalism is a call to ’Asabiyyah (partisanship and party spirit) and it is a call to becoming angry for the sake of ’Asabiyyah and fighting for ’Asabiyyah. And there is no doubt also, that the call to nationalism is a call to transgression, pride and arrogance, since nationalism is not a divinely revealed way of life which prevents its people from oppression and proud boasting.  Rather it is an ideology from the time of Jahiliyyah which leads its people to boasting about it and having ’Asabiyyah for it even if they are the oppressors and the others are the oppressed!” (Voice of Hind, 1st issue, p.8)

The aforementioned Jihadist quotes clearly incite Muslims to commit treachery towards their own countries, such as America and India. This is clear violation of the Quran, Ahadith and the traditional interpretations of Islam.

Allah Almighty says,

“But (do not fight) those who have allied with a people that between you and them there is a (peace) treaty, or who (losing heart) come to you in such a state that their breasts are afflicted (with this obsession) whether they should fight you or their own people. If Allah had so willed, He (strengthening their hearts) would have given them supremacy over you. Then they would certainly have fought you. So if they keep away from you and do not fight you and send you (a message) for peace, then (in the interest of peace) Allah has left no way open for you (to launch any aggression) against them.” (4:90)

This is tafsiri (exegetic) translation of the Quranic verse 4:90. This verse forbids fighting those who have made peace-treaty. Be it America or India, today approximately all the countries of the world have made the constitution in which people of different religions are guaranteed religious freedom and security. So the Jihadists’ inviting Muslims to commit treachery towards their country is not only forbidden but a shameful act.

Allah Almighty says, “Allah does not forbid you to be good to them and treat them with equity and justice who did not fight against you on (the question of) Din (Religion), nor did they drive you out of your homes (i.e., homeland). Surely, Allah likes those who conduct themselves with equity and justice.” (60:8)

There is consensus of the majority of the scholars that this verse 60:8 is Muhkam and not abrogated (Mansukh). The apparent meaning of this verse is that the Muslims should be good to non-Muslims including Mushrikin and Kafirin who do not fight Muslims in matters of religion and live with peaceful coexistence. Furthermore, the non-Muslim majority countries have welcomed Muslim refugees rather than driving the Muslim citizens out of their homes. Surely these countries are not like the pagans of Makka who drove the early Muslims out of their homes and inflicted religious persecution on them. So the Jihadists’ inviting Muslims to commit treachery towards their country is not only forbidden but a shameful act.

Along with the Quran, Ahadith also encourages peace for all the human beings. It should be incumbent upon Muslims to walk on the path of peace in the countries where they are ensured religious freedom, security and peace.

It is reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever has three qualities together will have gathered the faith: equity with yourself, offering peace to the world, and spending from small amounts”. (Sahih Bukhari)

According to this hadith, offering peace to the world is a source of strengthening the faith. So the Jihadists’ inviting Muslims to commit treachery towards their country is not only forbidden but a shameful act.

The Prophet also said, “Establish reconciliation between people. Verily, corrupted relations between people are the razor.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Worship the Most Merciful and spread peace.” (Ibn Majah).

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “O Uqbah, reconcile whoever cuts you off, give to whoever deprives you, and turn away from whoever wrongs you.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm in Islam in Islam”. (Ibn Majah, Dar Qutni, Muwatta, Mustadrak, according to Imam Hakim and Imam Dhahbi, this hadith is Sahih on the conditions of Imam Muslim).

In his address the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to all the people including Muslims and non-Muslims,

“O sons of Adam and the men and women of the world all over! Your blood, your properties and your prestige are declared forbidden forever –they are as sacred to you as are this day and this month in this Baitul Haram.”

These Ahadith encourage peaceful coexistence but the Jihadists claim there was always war between Islam and the West and that Islam cannot live in peaceful coexistence. Then what a conflict between the Jihadist narrative and Islam!

Allah Almighty says, “But do not strive for Fasad (evil and terror) in the land. Surely, Allah does not like (Mufsidin) those who violate peace.”  (28:77)

The west and India have guaranteed Muslims peace and religious freedom but the Jihadists are striving for Fasad and violating peace by radicalizing and recruiting the youth. These Jihadis are the Fasadis and if the countries punish these fasadis for the sake of safety of the civilians and law of the land, it is their duty. Muslims should not fall prey to the Jihadist claim that Muslims are persecuted in these countries as their sympathy is meant only for those Fasadi Jihadists who are punished and killed in retaliation. It is worth noting that they themselves have killed thousands of Muslims who have not joined their Jihadist movement or those who do not follow their version of Islam. But you can see in the West or India, all the citizens are permitted to practice their religion and take legal support when persecuted by anyone, regardless of religion and you do not need to follow the religion of those who provide you with security, justice and religious freedom. 

The Jihadists must ponder over the messages of the Quran and Ahadith so as to understand them correctly. Allah Almighty Who chose Islam as His Religion (Din) (3:19) and filled it with the teachings of peace, prefers peace to war to such an extent that He orders the Muslim community through the prophet (peace be upon him) to accept the hands stretched out for peace even if the opponents have evil intentions. They should check if they do not have evil intentions for the mainstream Muslims who do not support their Wahhabi version of Islam, such as the intention of killing Sufi-Sunni and Shia Muslims by describing them as ‘apostates’.

We do not deny the existence of war-related verses in the Quran and Ahadith. There were certain occasions for which some verses of the Quran were revealed to permit war. But they were revealed for the Muslims so as to defend their religion and lives. The basis of war was not denial of the faith but the cause of religious persecutions. This can be understood from the following verse;

Allah Almighty says, “Allah does not forbid you to be good to them and treat them with equity and justice who did not fight against you on (the question of) Din (Religion), nor did they drive you out of your homes (i.e., homeland). Surely, Allah likes those who conduct themselves with equity and justice.” (60:8)

In the words of Jihadists Patriotism or nationalism is a ‘disease’, and hence Muslims should strive for committing treachery towards their countries. This narrative too is the result of ignorance. To observe this ignorance of Jihadists, please read the article referenced below;

Refutation of Extremist Ideology Inimical to Patriotism (Hubbul Watani) is urgently Required

In this article, the author says,

“Patriotism or Nationalism is not a concept antithetical to religion or community. The country where a citizen enjoys religious rights, security, liberty and freedom is a beloved place for him. For Muslims, a country where they freely bow down before God Almighty in five-time prayers and have freedom to devote all their time to remember God and His Prophet (peace be upon him) is indeed their beloved homeland, the safety and security of which is their responsibility.

“Patriotism (Hubbul Watani) is not a part of Jahiliyyah. Love of country is a tendency which naturally resides in citizens and increases when they continuously feel secure and have full freedom to practice their religious rituals. On the contrary, Jahiliyyah is a personal shortcoming which can be repelled by education, good deeds, piety and adherence to the rights of Allah (Huquq Allah) and human rights (Huquq al-Ibad). A country, which gives equal opportunities to its citizens to become good human beings in all walks of life, is not responsible for Jahiliyyah.    

“The meaning of patriotism could not be clear to the terror organizations because they did not utilize correct sources of understanding the Quran. The indications of patriotism are mentioned in the Quran and its commentaries written by several exegetes of the Quran (Mufassirin). The concept of patriotism has also been encouraged in the books of Ahadith and their commentaries, the Sharihin-Ahadith. According to a hadith, whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) came back from journeys, he used to see the wall of Makkah with love. In the commentary of this hadith, Imam Asqalani and Imam Aaini etc have written that this hadith justifies patriotism or love towards the country.” To read the full article, click the link given above.

Before walking on the path of Jihadism, the Jihadists too had full religious rights of worshipping Allah alone, spending their 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, Islam and Jihad.

The reading of the Quranic verse (17:34) sheds light on the importance of maintaining treaty or agreement. This signifies that in all cases Muslims need to keep the promise of the 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 keep 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).

Are there any Muslims who can dare to face the divine wrath by violating the peace-treaty which in the present times has appeared in several forms such as The Charter of United Nations, Constitution and Democratic Laws? If there is any Muslim to dare, he may the person misguided or brainwashed by the Jihadists.

Violating the covenant or the promise of living in peaceful coexistence is indeed an act of treachery which is strictly forbidden in Islam. Islam strictly forbids treachery and betrayal even against an enemy as the Quran states,

“Allah does not love treacherous people”. (8:58)

Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “When Allah gathers together the earlier and later generations on the Day of Resurrection, he will raise a banner for every treacherous person. It will be announced that this is the treachery of this person, the son of this person.” (Source: Sahih Bukhari 5823, Sahih Muslim 1735)

In the traditional interpretations of Islam too, it is forbidden to commit treachery towards one’s country. The following are some excerpts which substantiate this fact;

Imam Ahmad bin Yahya al-Murtadha (Zaydi-Shi’i School) in his “Matn Al-Azhar Fi Fiqh Al-A’immah Al-Athar (known as Kitab al-Azhar), said that the granting of aman (safe passage) through hostile territory to a Muslim and his property obliges Muslims to grant the same for members of that community and that any property taken by force should be returned. He further said that as part of the covenant it is forbidden to violate the conditions (shurut) of that territory (Ibn al-Murtada, Kitab al-Azhar, vol.3, p.753).

The conditions mentioned in the Constitution of the West or India, are that the citizens follow the law of the land and not violate safety, peace and security of the land.

The Shafi’i Imam and expert of Islamic Jurisprudence Abu Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al-Shirazi writes,

“if a Muslim enters enemy lands with aman and steals or borrows money and returns to Dar al-Islam and the owners demand it back, he is obliged to return the wealth because safe passage necessitates the guarantee of people’s wealth” (Al-Shirazi, al-muhadhab)

The contemporary scholar Muhammad Najib al-Muti’i states that this view was shared by Imam Shafii. Al-Mutii further states that Imam Abu Hanifa also forbade the violation of property rights afforded to an individual by Aman and referred to such violation as a religious sin. (Al-Nawawi, Kitab Al-Majmou Sharh Ul-Muhadhab Lil-Shirazi)

The sixteenth-century Shaafii jurisprudent, Ibn Hajar al-Haythami also understood that such protection is mutual and therefore obliges Muslims to protect non-Muslims with whom they have a covenant. When Muslims are given freedom to practice their faith and live freely within non-Muslim-majority countries or under non-Muslim rule, for example, they are obliged to defend the resident country in the event of attack. Moreover all Muslims around the world are obliged to be obedient to the law of the land with which they have expressed their agreement. In Fath al-Jawwad, for example, Imam Haythami writes,

“so we would have to defend any non-Muslim with a treaty of protection (dhimma) as a necessary part of such a contract (Muqtada Ul-Aqd), as we would even in enemy territory if there is a Muslim living therein, or a neighbouring country as opposed to any country not like this unless specified in a treaty” (Al-Haythami, Fath al-Jawwad, vol.3, p.346)

The Quran, Ahadith and traditional plurality of views and interpretations of the primary sources of Islamic law reject the Jihadist narrative which incite treachery towards one’s country. Thus Jihadists and Islamophobes have no ground to claim that the Jihadists are based on traditional version of Islam.


Also Read:    Refuting Islamophobic Claims That Jihadists Represent Traditional and Mainstream Interpretations of Islam: Part 1- On the Hakimiyyah


Also ReadRefuting Islamophobic Claim That Jihadists Represent Traditional and Mainstream Interpretations of Islam: Part 2 on Imperativeness of Reclaiming ‘Muslim Land’


Related Article:

Refuting Islamophobic Claims That Jihadists Represent Traditional and Mainstream Interpretations of Islam: Part 1- On the Hakimiyyah

Refuting Islamophobic Claim That Jihadists Represent Traditional and Mainstream Interpretations of Islam: Part 2 on Imperativeness of Reclaiming ‘Muslim Land’

Refuting Islamophobic Claims That Jihadists Represent Traditional and Mainstream Interpretations of Islam: Part 3 on the Jihadist Narrative Inciting Treachery towards One’s Country


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