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Radical Islamism and Jihad ( 7 Apr 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Ideological Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Islam: A Historical Reading –Concluding Part

By Maulana Syed Aleem Ashraf Jaisi

Translated by New Age Islam Edit Desk

The Ikhwan al-Najdiyun influenced by the Wahhabi scholars declared the regional taxes too as un-Islamic and strictly opposed the formation of their country's embassies in foreign lands. According to them, there was no religious legitimacy for the flags of foreign countries being hoisted in the embassies in the 'only' Muslim country—Saudi Arabiya. Those among the Wahhabi followers who did not forcibly convert Sunnis, Sufis and Shia into Wahhabism were castigated as the ‘treacherous’. Those who delayed the demolition of the Green Dome (Gumbad-e-Khizra) which is above the sacred grave of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) were also treated as ‘seceders from Wahhabi Islam’

These differences were not just restricted to words. Rather, the Saudi government waged systematic wars against those who opposed their decisions in any way. Thanks to Ikhwan an-Najdiyyun, thousands of people were killed in this process. In fact, the House of Saud had to control the fanatical group of Ikhwan an-Najdiyyun and the extremist Wahhabi scholars in their attempts to gain control over major portions of the Arab lands.

The conflicts created by the Najdis are a fact which has always been reflected in the past Islamic history. The political administration and the religious lobbies always provoked their followers to accomplish their goals. As mentioned in “Arabian Nights”, an example is that of a genie which can easily be taken out of the bottle but can hardly be placed back into it. 

The Saudi government had to conduct innumerable conventions through which the system of Wahhabi theocracy was declared by the government to be abiding for the Saudi citizens. The scholars were bribed on a very large scale and those who did not get controlled through wealth and money were either imprisoned or killed.

Inevitably, King Abdul Aziz began to control the fire of terrorism catching the Aabi’yan lands, but to no avail. It spread far and wide through different means which were known as al-Jihad al-Islami, Jamaat al-Muslimin, Harkah al-Takfir wal-Hijra, Al-Qaeda and today’s ISIS.

Dr. Syed Mazi Abul Azaim has furnished very intricate views in his book in Arabic, "Islam of Sufis, not of the Khawarij, is the solution”.

He contends that the ancient and prolonged enmity which existed between Rabi’yah and Mudhar clans was rectified by Islam to a very great extent. However, this enmity did not extinguish fully. Rather it took a nastier shape in the religious discords. Most of the Khawarij belonged to the clan of Rabi’yah. This statement is clear and untenable in its truthfulness. From Khawarijism to Salafism, all the extremist groups merely instigated the terror and peddled hatred and violence.

Not just that, lack of respect for other religious figures and emblems and the degradation of their places of worship has been common in the Khawarij culture throughout the history. However, to buttress their political standpoints on the above sectarian lines, they use the teachings of Islam in a misplaced context. The belief in the embodiment of Allah, opposition and negation of intermediation (Tawassul/Waseelah) and holding on to mere outward teachings of Quran and Prophetic traditions and their utterly literalistic interpretations are rampant in all the extremist groups, thanks to their primitive thinking and Bedouin life style.

 After Khawarij, the one which predominantly influenced the extremist intellectual foundations is Shaykh Ibn Hazm, who was born in Cordoba in 354 Hijri. He was ultra extremist in his radical thoughts. Shaykh Abul Abbas bin al-Areef writes: "The postulates and doctrines of Ibn Hazam were as sharp (extremist and literalist) as the sword of Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf”. Hence, Ibn Hazm’s teachings are known in the Islamic history as the Zahiri or Zawahiri (meaning: the literalist).

The Khawarij's statement "La Hukma Illa Lillah" laid the foundation of the Zahiri school of thought. At first, Ibn Hazm rejected intermediation, a statement which was further vetted, embellished and endorsed by Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Abdul Wahab Najdi and other extremist Islamic imams. As a result, the abhorrence of intermediation is a common phenomenon among all those who bear the ideology of the Khawarij.

Ibn Hazm, Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Abdul Wahab; all of them strictly prevented their followers from visiting graves of the pious saints. Hostile efforts to degrade Hazrat Ali and his noble family brought the Khawarij, Zahiri and the Salafi sects together in the same line of thinking. Shaykh Abu Zuhra Shami writes in his book on Ibn Hazm: "Ibn Hazm, while drafting his book on comparison of the prophetic companions, applied nasty efforts to disfavour Hazrat Ali (Allah be pleased with him). This was repeated by Ibn Taymiyyah in his book Minhan us-Sunnah”. Sufism (Tasawwuf) has been the way of the Prophetic family (Ahle Bayt). The people of Tasawwuf have always been the lovers of the Prophetic family. Hence, the Sufi ideology has also been the target of the terrorists. That is why Ibn Hazm, Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Abdul Wahab opposed Sufism very strongly. Even today, the heritage of the Sufis is the most desired target of the terrorists. Right from Afghanistan to Libya, these cruel terrorists have destroyed thousands of Sufi monasteries and sacred graves of innumerable saints and people. Especially in Derna, Libya, the terrorists dug innumerable graves of the Prophet's (pbuh) and his companions.

The shrine of Hazrat Abdus Salam Asmar (may Allah be pleased with him) was destroyed through missiles. The ruthless and oppressor terrorists also destroyed mosques, religious schools (madrasas) and libraries which were in the vicinity of the sacred graves. The detailed videos of the terrorists' brutal acts were widely available online. Using religion for the sake of political dominion has also been common among the terrorists including Khawarijis, Salafis, Wahhabis, Maududis and Ikhwanis. Maududi writes in one of his books: "The ultimate goal of religion is power. The negligence towards this goal will not drive anyone to the pleasure of Allah”. [Reference: البنوری للشیخ وافکارہ حیاتہ اومن شئی, page 30].

Shaykh Abu Zuhra states that after Ibn Hazm, Ibn Taymiyyah steered the ideological purview of terrorism and extremism.  Born in 661 H., in Harran, presently in Turkey, Ibn Taymiyyah was a non-Arab and was probably a Kurd. Taymiyyah's religious rulings act as a Bible to the modern day terrorists in the Muslim countries. Proclaiming ‘divine unity’ is their common identity. Lack of reverence for the Prophet (pbuh) and his noble family (may Allah be pleased with them), refusal of intermediation and calling Muslims as disbelievers are the core teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah. While the next ambassador of this extreme ideology was Ibn Abdul Wahab Najdi, Maulana Abul Aala Maududi (d. 1979) and Sayyid Qutub (d. 1966) were the promoters of this thought in the 20th century. Maulana Maududi encouraged extremism in many of his works. This can be seen in the books written by Maulana Syed Muhammad Madani Ashrafi Jilani (Islam me Tasawwur e Ilah aur Maulana Maududi) and the books written by Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf Banori.

One of the most obnoxious books Maududi wrote to buttress his points his "Quran ki char Bunyadi Istilahen" (the four basic Quranic terms). In this book, he spoke about divinity, religion, worship and lord; all this is an ideological synchronization with the thoughts of the Khawarij. Maulana Maududi claims that, “for centuries, Muslims didn't know the above mentioned four concepts”. Thus, he promoted the same line of thinking as in the books written by Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Abdul Wahab. Therefore, when Maududi's work was printed, Maulana Munazir Ahsan Gilani wrote an article "Jadeed Kharijiyyat" (new Kharijism) in an Urdu newspaper “Sidq Jadeed”.

(This article was first published and circulated in Urdu on the occasion of the World Sufi Forum recently held in March, 2016 in New Delhi).

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