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Radical Islamism and Jihad (27 Mar 2018 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Here’s Why the Ulema Refuse to Issue a Fatwa for Jihad against ‘Oppressors’ Of Muslims!


By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

27 March 2018

Both Jihad Al-Talab and Jihad Al-Difa’a Are Abrogated In the Nation States by International Law and Constitution Supported By the Consensus (Ijm’a) Of the Authoritative Islamic Scholars

The slain militant in Kashmir who was reportedly working for the ISIS, Eisa Fazili castigated all anti-terror Fatwas issuers. In a video which he probably recorded just before the Kashmir encounter, castigated the Indian Ulema who issued several anti-terror Fatwas.

Fazili asked as to why the Ulema refused to issue a fatwa for jihad against 'non-Muslim oppressors'. After several anti-terror Fatwas have recently been launched in various large Islamic conclaves in Delhi, extremists like Eisa Fazili are critical of those Ulema who participated in them. Accusing them of 'siding with the government', Fazili warned:

"One day these Ulema have to show their faces to Allah who will punish them for failing in their duties to give a call for Jihad fi Sabilillah (armed struggle in the path of Allah)".

Notably, maximum Fatwas against terrorism were issued by the Indian Ulema. Nearly all established schools and sects of Islam in India have denounced the violent offshoot of the neo-Kharijism—the ideology of Daesh (ISIS).

Indian Muslim community's resilience against the radical narratives has been stronger than that of Muslims in other parts of the world. Remarkably, India's strength in fighting off the terror ideology lies in the fact that not only did the Sunni Sufis and Shias decreed against the extremist thoughts. Even the Salafi strain of Islam in India—Ahl-e-Hadith—which is seen as the ideological underpinning behind the violent Jihadism in several Muslim countries, has reportedly issued the first fatwa against terrorism in this country. Their recent counter-terror conference in Delhi’s Ramlila ground sought to awaken the Salafi followers about the ‘terror tactics’ of the ISIS and similar extremist outfits that are working to disrupt the national security and communal harmony. Tellingly, a collective anti-terror fatwa endorsed by 40 senior clerics associated with the New Delhi-based Markazi Jamiat Ahle-Hadees Hind has been reiterated at his conference. However, this came to many as an utter surprise. They wonder how come the Ulema of Ahle Hadith who adhere to the ultra-orthodox Salafist theology, outcry against the “terror tactics” of the Daesh (ISIS).

While the significance of these conferences as collective community resilience against extremism cannot be undermined, most of the counter-terror Fatwas were not sharp rebuttals to the radical narratives in unequivocal terms.

In India, radical narratives are largely based on promoting the victimhood mentality. Aggressive social media campaigns are underfoot to promote a mindset of victimhood among Muslims to pave the way for a defensive jihad (Jihad Al-Difa’a). This sometimes influences the gullible and immature minds of even the educated youth with little religious literacy.

The hidden extremist ideologues on social media keep dictating to the Indian Muslim youth the ‘pathetic plight’ of Muslims in several parts of the world, particularly in Palestine, Kashmir, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Consequently, they influence one’s position with an indoctrination to peddle hatred for the leaders and other people of these territories as ‘oppressors’ of Muslims. These social media campaigns not show the rulers and regimes of those territories as ‘unjust’ to the believers. They also term them as lands of manifest error (Fisq o Fujur), prevailing oppression (Zulm) and dominating disbelief (Kufr al-Ashad) as prerequisites for the legitimacy of the Jihad al-Dif’a (defensive armed struggle).

An antidote to this extremist victimhood narrative is highly required which is missing from most of the counter-terror Fatwas and clerical statements recently issued in different parts of India. However, they unanimously agreed upon the illegitimacy of the combatant Jihad, non-state actors’ use of force and all forms of militancy against the state. The strong consensus (Ijma’a) of the Ulema and Muftis in India is that only state can declare jihad as defensive war. Delegitimizing every act of violence carried out in the name of Islamic expedition—Qital or jihad—the Indian Ulema of all hues have declared the war-time verses of the Qur’an as contextual and inapplicable today. 

But the extremists bred by the home-grown fanatics and foreign radical ideologies feed the sword verses of the Qur’an as immutable commandments of the continuing combat against the perceived ‘disbelievers’ and ‘oppressors’. Brazenly misquoting the war-time texts of the Qur’an and Hadith, most particularly the verses of (1:191), (1:193) and (9:29), they justify the rebellious fringes’ calls for the combat against the state as ‘Jihad al-Talab’ (Jihad of demand).

Before we refute this pernicious concept of combat, it should be kept in view that the Islamic jurists (Fuqaha) of all schools of thought categorized the combatant jihad into two types:

(1)      Jihad al-Talab (jihad of demand): This becomes legal when the state itself declares it in defense of the national interests.

(2)      Jihad al-Difa’a (Jihad of defense): This acquired legitimacy when a Muslim country was attacked by the foreign forces in the medieval period. At that time, the Ulema decreed that people of such a country were permitted to defend themselves and fight back the attackers under the banner of the state.

Thus, both types of the combatant jihad were legalized by the rationale (Illa’t) of defending the country, its sovereignty and the national interests. But now, the reason or rationale (Illa’t) for both the Jihad al-Talab and Jihad al-Difa’a has vanished in the nation states, clearly because the international law and constitution are supported by the consensus (Ijm’a) of the authoritative Islamic scholars across the world. They have endorsed that it is the prerogative of the state to declare war in defense of the nation. No no-state actor has any role or right to fight or wage a war against the perceived ‘enemies’.

As for the above war-time verses of the Qur’an and their citations by the extremists today, they stand untenable and self-contradictory. For instance, take this verse:

“Expel them from wherever they have expelled you” (2:191).

Clearly, it was a commandment to ward off attacks, not to initiate such attacks. This position is substantiated by the end of the very verse:

“And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is the most forgiving and merciful” (2:192).

The context of all such war-time verses in Surah Taubah (9th chapter) or any other chapter of the Qur’an is self-explanatory that they do not constitute a general case. Rather, they were revealed concerning the pagans of Mecca who initiated enmity and consequent attacks against the Muslims living in the state of Madina under a peace treaty. But it was only when the peace treaty was broken that the jihad al-Difa’a was allowed. Not only the pagans, even many self-styled Muslims who were later known as ‘Munafiqun’ (hypocrites and rebels) were fought in the Jihad al-Talab explicitly declared by the state of Madina.

Regular Columnist with Newageislam.com, Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi is a classical Islamic scholar and English-Arabic-Urdu writer. He has graduated from a leading Islamic seminary of India, acquired Diploma in Qur'anic sciences and Certificate in Uloom ul Hadith from Al-Azhar Institute of Islamic Studies. Presently, he is pursuing his PhD in Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/radical-islamism-and-jihad/ghulam-rasool-dehlvi,-new-age-islam/here’s-why-the-ulema-refuse-to-issue-a-fatwa-for-jihad-against-‘oppressors’-of-muslims!/d/114733

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  • Nice blog ...Post Thank you for sharing such valuable information.

    By Amit kumar - 2/25/2020 1:03:22 AM

  • Response to oppression by the West has to be a political or nationalistic response, not a religious one. Indian Muslims have understood this well and should be congratulated for it. The concept of 'jihad' must be relegated to the ash heap of history.
    By Ghulam Faruki - 5/10/2018 11:23:45 AM

  • The only sensible thing to say about the Quran or any Scriptures is - stripped of the context, the underlying principles need to be understood and derived and these are of eternal relevance. Every Book of scriptures is in the form of experiential learning where the lesson is taught in the context of a story/event, unlike a book of law. The principles of war derived are covered in my article: The Principles of War from the Quran

    Anyone can easily ascertain that these principles derive directly from the Quran, are in perfect conformity with it, and contradict no part of the Quran. These principles apply to all people irrespective of their faith, and are what may be expected from scriptures with claims of being the word of God and therefore of universal application.

    With false beliefs of the Muslims who think that Islam is the religion of only the followers of Muhammad (pbuh) and the Quran is only for them, reaching the same conclusion for such people is not possible. The bigoted view held by almost every Muslim and their scholars, obliterates the universal message of the Quran, and renders the Book offensive to other people.

    Islam is different from other religions which is why it is misunderstood by Muslims themselves, who continue to hold pre-Islamic notions and continue the same pre-Islamic practices. For example, Islam is the only religion in which marriage is simply a contract but in other religions, it is a sacrament with a lasting commitment to a lifelong partnership. Among Christians for example, marriage is possible only between two baptized persons (meaning between two Christians only) and is a sacrament. If Islam was correctly understood, we would not have had arguments on the question, whether marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim is valid in Islam or not. A marriage in Islam is simply a social contract between two persons, and as in any other contract, the practice is to have two witnesses. It does not require recitation of any part of the Quran, nor require to be solemnized by a bearded Mullah or a Qadhi. Likewise, divorce is nothing but revoking the contract following the rules of the contract. In other religions, marriage being a sacrament, there is no provision for divorce. The laws of marriage and divorce in Islam are based on human nature, and are therefore eternally valid and eternally modern. The practices and notions of the Muslims may be barbaric.  

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/31/2018 12:22:32 AM

  • Dear Sultan Shahin sahib, 
    The war is going on in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Burma etc. In most cases one group known as terrorist kills the innocent civilians in the name of killing “tawaghut” [as ISIS claimed in its magazines], while other group also, though unintentionally, kills the innocent civilians in the name of killing terrorists. 
    The war-related commands are mentioned all religions. But only Islamic theologians need to show that the war-related commands are not applicable today. 
    You should have asked Tahirul Qadri sb or other scholars or ulema about what they mean by the war-related verses being applicable today. Does it mean the Muslims should go and wage war, as per the command of the Quran? Or is it applicable when the war in defence to be waged on state level? Is it the war-related verse applicable today in the sense of defending the country and its civilians? It would have helped me also to know Dr. Qadri’s view.
    I do not agree with Dr Tahirul Qadri on several issues. But I agree what Dr. Tahirul Qadri wrote in his books “the war-related verses are being quoted out of context”. Please see his book “Al-Jihad al-akbar” or “Fatwa on terrorism”. I do not know why he did not explain this during his conversation with you. 
    Dear Sultan Shahin sahib, 
    Our issue should be resolved with these questions. What does the inapplicability of the war-related verses mean today? Does it mean that Muslim government or the country in which Muslims have their religious freedom should not, at state level, defend their country whenever their enemies attack their country and civilians? Is there any country in this entire world who has not prepared weapons for its defensive war? If any ulema consider the war-related verse applicable today only to defending lives and their country at state level, do they commit mistakes? 
    I have been taught in my Sufi-Sunni Barelvi Madrasas that only the King of Islam [Sultan-e-Islam], and in the modern term, only a government can execute the war-related verses in defending the country and its civilians and their rights. This view is completely in line with the modern and secular states, as the war can be waged only at the State level, when they need to defend their land. The citizens or individuals or any groups have no right to initiate war against any country without permission of the country. It is in that sense, in my view, that the war-related verses are not applicable. Not applicable because we are living in the state of peace and not in the state of war.  
    As for the evidences from Sufi-Sunni Barelvi ulema, I will have to travel to meet them and ask their duly signed statement about the ruling derived from the war-related verses. From five to six years, I have never met them. If you come back from your work, I would like to meet you and then go to them.  
    We have seen some wahabi ulema have condemned terrorism but their sect-partners are committing acts of terrorism in all parts of the globe. It is their responsibility to explain the war-related verses in front of the audience, more than me or any other Sufi-Sunni barelvi ulema. I am sure for that matter the wahhabi-affiliated ulema will have to change their methodology and theology. It would be indeed a revolutionary act on their part, and not on part of all Muslims. Wahhabis always challenge Hanafiyat and its methodologies but It would be revolutionary if they accept this Hanafiyat at least for not joining violent wahhabism.   
    I do not take the responsibility of any deobandi or wahabi ulema as I have never been so close to their hearts and minds to know what is it that they actually think. In reply to GRD I meant that even wahhabi ulema have condemned acts of terrorism and at least this much initiative of theirs must be welcomed and encouraged expecting more so from them. You are well aware that in the initial days some wahhabi and deobandi scholars and ulema supported Baghdadi but now they have appeared in media to condemn Baghdadi’s group. I can’t judge whether they have truly condemned or under pressure of government or as opportunists. Only Allah knows their intentions! 

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 3/30/2018 11:59:55 PM

  • If this is the case Ghulam Gaus Saheb, why are you or GRD Saheb not able to quote a single theologian, classical or modern or contemporary, who has said that wartime verses of Quran are inapplicable to us Muslims today. None of the anti-terror fatwas from anywhere in the world that I have read says so. 
    No doubt this should be the case. I have been campaigning for the evolution of this understanding systematically for at least a decade. I am glad that at least two Indian ulema associated with New Age Islam Foundation are willing to say so or at least in the case of GRD imply so. I am saving so because GRD merely says that ulema of all hues say so, though of course he is not able to provide any reference. 
    GG Saheb, we need to adhere to the rules of scholarship strictly to be able to carry credibility. Any one reading the above article will consider NewAgeIslam.com  to  be a  purveyor  of   fake news. 
    Let's maintain our credibility. Let's accept the problems we have. You will recall that not a single alim condemned or even criticised self-styled Khalifa Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, when he said that Islam has never been a religion of peace, not even for a day. Of course, had someone from the government or media gone to them, seeking a fatwa, they would have quoted Quran 5:32 to prove Islam is a religion of peace and distance themselves from terrorism, while merrily teaching theologians who consider Makkan verses of peace having been replaced by later wartime verses. This has become something of a standard joke with our ulema, and ulema of all hues  Maulana Syed Tahirul Qadri himself told me directly and without any hesitation on the eve of international Sufi Conference in Delhi a couple of years ago  that these verses and indeed all verses continue to be applicable even today and are for all time.
    If you think some of your teachers can say so unambiguously, do write to them and seek a written reply, so we can publish that. In the meantime, please stop making claims that cannot be established. In my experience, Indian ulema are as wishy-washy as ulema from other parts of the world. If that is not the case, let them prove that. We have had so much discussion on this subject. Has any alim ever considered coming clean, removing any misunderstanding the people may have?

    By Sultan Shahin - 3/30/2018 2:13:59 PM

  • It is time to be concerned more about the unwanted riots taking place successively. After Aurangabad, the riot broke out in Samastipur. We have already known about many riots in Bihar and they are still taking place. The following are two links one showing pictures of riot and other is video of the Samastipur incident.    



    Very painful news!! Therefore Muslims and Hindus of India should work together more about developing the ideas of peaceful coexistence, tolerance and human values for the sake of the beloved country India. This step should be done for both communities. Religion should not be played in politics or in means of media. Law and order should be ensured. People of both communities need to be educated to become the protectors of human values. The slogans such as “bad RSS” or “bad Muslims” will not benefit the country.

    Necessarily good step should be taken to curb such riots. We should not forget that the beauty of India is unity of India.    

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 3/29/2018 1:24:42 AM

  • Dear Sultan Shahin sahib,

    Right from our Sufi-Sunni oriented “Barelvi” Madarsa-days, we learnt that war-related verses are contextual and can’t be applied in today’s context.

    The classical books of tafsir are full of arguments that speak of context of the war-related verses. Based on these arguments, I have written a series of articles on the war-related verses and this still continues. The important thing is how to use those arguments in right context.  

    The early classical theologians are the founders of the science of Shane Nuzul and the compilers of historical facts and traditions about the circumstances of revelation of the verses.

    However you must have found different rulings derived from the war-related verses in different contexts in the books of theologians, despite the concept of context or shane nuzul. But in today’s contexts, one ruling that is most circulated among the experts with Madrasa background is that war-related command is contextual and can’t be applied in our age.

    You may get this much response from any Sufi-Sunni oriented experts.

    If you wish, we can go with this question to any Sufi-Sunni Madarsas and ask their experts about their viewpoint about context and inapplicability of the verses. I have met many of them and learnt their methodological approaches of understanding the Quran and Sunnah. But if you walk with me to their places, it will be better for your surety-matter.

    Among the Sufi-sunni followers of Shah Wali or Shaikh Sirhindi, nobody is following their war-related commands as discussed and quoted in some of your articles. The rulings given by Shah Wali or Shaikh Sirhindi were for different contexts which have no match with today’s contexts in which we are living. In other words, our age is totally different from their age. The practical situation around the world also testifies this fact that the Sufi-Sunni “Barevli” followers are not committing acts of terrorism in the name of Jihad, Caliphate, Sharia. [You also used to say it in your old comments] Indeed in their today’s theory and practice they do not consider that these war-related verses should be applied today.

    The doctrines related to the faith and universal values never change but the rulings based on context, condition, specific or exception get influenced by the change of context and condition. This is commonly understood in the minds of the doctors or experts who have attained good grasp of classical sciences and methodologies.

    As regards the references from Indian ulema of all hues, you can directly or indirectly find in newspapers, websites and magazines, reports about their conferences, seminars and programs that they have condemned acts of terrorism played by ISIS, Taliban and their likes. They have been effective among their huge gathering of their followers. If ever we find a handful group of people joining the militant groups, it is because they have learnt ‘Islam’ from the militant ideologues. I think if they had learnt Islam from these ulema who have condemned the acts of terrorism, they would not have joined the ranks of the militants. There are deep problems with ‘Wahabi or ‘Salafi’ theological approach and methodology but some of them have started changing and for that matter they should be appreciated and encouraged.  

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 3/29/2018 12:55:39 AM

  • Dear GRD and GGS Saheban, it would be a great help if you could provide some references to the following statement. Names of  at least some ulema:
    "the Indian Ulema of all hues have declared the war-time verses of the Qur’an as contextual and inapplicable today."
    All readers, who are like me unaware of this revolutionary development, will be grateful.

    By Sultan Shahin - 3/28/2018 6:55:46 AM

  • Response to oppression by the West has to be a political or nationalistic response, not a religious one. Indian Muslims have understood this well and should be congratulated for it. The concept of 'jihad' must be relegated to the ash heap of history.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/27/2018 12:19:18 PM

  • میں شيخ اکبر محی الدین محمد ابن العربی کی  عربی کتاب ‘‘روح القدس فی مناصحۃ النفس ’’ پڑھ رہا تھا ، اس میں  سماع کے متعلق ابن العربی رحمۃ اللہ علیہ کا جو موقف پایا اسے قارئین کی خدمت میں پیش کر رہا ہوں ۔

    ابن العربی رحمۃ اللہ علیہ فرماتے ہیں :  

    وأما أهل السماع والوجد في هذه البلاد، فقد اتخذوا دينهم لعبا ولهوا، لا تسمع إلا من يقول لك: رأيت الحق، وقال لي، وفعل وصنع، ثم تطلبه بحقيقة يمنحها، أو سر أفاده في شطحه، فلا تجد إلا لذة نفسانية، وشهوة شيطانا، يصرخ على لسانه الشيطان فيصعق ما دام المغرور الآخر بشعره ينعق، فلا أشبههم إلا براعي غنم ينعق بغنمه فتقبل وئتدبر بنعيقه، ولا تدري فيما ذا، ولا لماذا، قال: فواجب على كل محقق في هذا الزمان، ممن ينظر ويقتدي به المريد الضعيف، أن لا يقول بالسماع أصلا، وأن يقطعه قولا فصلا، وقد أوضحنا مقامه لأهل هذه البلاد، وما يتطرق إليه من الفساد، واحتجوا علينا بأحوال من سمع من الشيوخ في الرسالة القشيرية وغيرها، فأوضحنا فهمها وعربنا معجمها، فأقروا بنقصه في مراتب الوجود، فمنهم من عدل عنه، ومنهم من أقام عليه مع علمه بنقصه

    اس کتاب کا اردو ترجمہ   ابرار احمد شاہی نے کیا ہے جو ‘‘اصلاح نفس کا آئینہ حق ’’ کے نام سے شائع ہو چکا ہے ۔

    مندرجہ بالا عربی عبارت کا ترجمہ : 

    جہاں تک ان علاقوں کے اہل سماع اور وجد کا حال ہے تو انہوں نے اپنے دین کو کھیل تماشا بنا رکھا ہے ۔تو سنتا ہے کہ کہنے والا یہی کہتا ہے : ‘‘میں نے حق دیکھا اور اس نے مجھے یہ کہا ، پھر یہ کیا اور ایسا ہوا ’’۔ پھر اگر تو اس سے وہ حقیقت ہی طلب کرے جو اسے دی گئی یا اپنی اس شطح میں اس نے کیا راز پایا تو تجھے صرف نفسانی لذت اور شیطانی شہوت ہی نظر آئے گی ، شیطان اس کی زبان سے چیختا ہے تو یہ حواس باختہ ہو جاتا ہے ۔جب تک یہ دھوکے میں رہتا ہے دوسرا اپنے شعروں سے (کوے کی طرح ) کائیں کائیں کرتا ہے ۔میں نے انہیں چرواہے سے تشبیہ دیتا ہوں جو اپنی بکریوں کو ہانکتا ہے ، اس کی آواز سن کر کچھ (بکریاں ) اپنا منھ سامنے کر لیتی ہیں اور کچھ منہ موڑ لیتی ہیں ، وہ نہیں جانتی یہ (چرواہا) کیا کہہ رہا ہے اور کیوں کہہ رہا ہے ۔ اس دور کے ہر محقق  جس کو مثال مانا جاتا ہے یا کمزور مرید جس کی پیروی کرتے ہیں پر لازم ہے کہ سماع (قوالی) کی بالکل اجازت نہ دے بلکہ واضح لفظوں میں اس سے روکے ۔ہم نے اس ملک کے رہنے والوں پر (سماع) کا مقام بالکل واضح کیا اور بتایا کہ اسے کیا کیا بگاڑ آتا ہے تو انہوں نے ہمیں رسالہ قشیریہ وغیرہ میں مذکور شیوخ کے احوال سے سماع کی مثالیں دیں ۔ پس جب ہم نے ان (مثالوں) کے ابہام کو واضح کیا اور اس کے اعجام (یعنی الجھاو) کو کھولا تو وہ مراتب الوجود میں اس کی خرابی کو مان گئے ، یوں کچھ نےسماع ترک کردی اور کچھ اس کی خرابی کو جانتے ہوئے بھی اس پر کاربند رہے ۔(اردو ترجمہ ا ز اصلاح  نفس کا آئینہ حق، اردو ترجمہ ابرار احمد شاہی  )

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 3/27/2018 5:30:52 AM

  • It is very nice article. There are many things to learn from it.
    During my Madarsa-days, I learnt that every war-related verse or hadith is contextual and not applicable today.
    The same message is being delivered by ulema of all hues in India as discussed in this scholarly article of Dehlvi Sahab.
    And the same message should go to every corner of the world.

    By Kaniz Fatma - 3/27/2018 4:34:37 AM

  • Dear Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi Sahib,

    I fully endorse the truth you spoke in your article saying “The strong consensus (Ijma’a) of the Ulema and Muftis in India is that only state can declare jihad as defensive war. Delegitimizing every act of violence carried out in the name of Islamic expedition—Qital or jihad—the Indian Ulema of all hues have declared the war-time verses of the Qur’an as contextual and inapplicable today.”

    To repeat it in my words, I would say that, for security and safety of India as a national level, Jihad as a defensive war can be waged against those who want to attack our beloved country, India. But only the Indian State can declare such a defensive war if needed. At individual level, no one has any right to declare this defensive war.

    When Indian State defends its land it means it is defending both Muslims and non-Muslims, it means it is defending both mosques and temples, it is defending rights of Muslims and rights of non-Muslims. In language of non-Muslims this would be termed as a defensive war, whereas in language of Muslims, some may call it defensive Jihad. But we Indians preferably pray for peace and tranquility in our country, also in other countries of the world. 

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 3/27/2018 4:21:14 AM

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