Arshad, New Age Islam
look at the theory and practices of the terrorist organisations will make the
fact clear that they flourish due to the wrong and misplaced concepts of Jihad
and Khilafat. The terrorist organisations like Taliban, Al Qaida and the ISIS
circulate and spread the concept of Khilafat as the ideal form of government
that was in vogue in the early period of Islam. They also spread the belief
that to achieve this goal, Jihad (war against the infidels) is mandatory
The modern scholars of Islam right from Muhammad Asad to
Mohammad Iqbal and Murad Wilfred Hoffman believe that the Quran does not
envisage any particular form of government and that it only gives an outline of
the ideal Islamic government: it will be based on the Quranic principle of Amruhum
Shura Baynahum and will be based on justice, equality and social and
ethical values inculcated by the Quran and Sunnah.
Mohammad Iqbal initially opposed democracy, he later developed the opinion that
Social Democracy was compatible with Islam. Muhammad Asad held the view that
Presidential form of government with modifications to suit Islamic requirements
was best suited to Islam.
conservative scholars like Shah Waliullah and his mentors and contemporary
scholars believed that only Khilafat was the ideal Islamic form of government
because this form of government was adopted by the four rightly guided caliphs.
He even wrote a book on Khilafat titled Azalatul Khafa an Khilafatul Khulafa.
In this book he tries to prove that Khilafat as a form of government was
justified by the Quran.
in Khilafat as the best and only Islamic form of government got wide acceptance
because the caliphate of the four rightly guided caliphs was the golden era of
Islam during which Muslims dominated half the world and they attained
scientific and political superiority and growth. Therefore, Muslims had a deep
itched belief that the success and prosperity of Muslims was a gift of Khilafat
and so if Khilafat is established today, Muslims of this age too will attain
the same degree of prosperity and dominance. This belief of the Muslims was
misplaced and founded on myth. The caliphate of the early period of Islam was a
great success only because it was led by the four great sahaba of the holy
prophet pbuh who had great characterial integrity, sincerity and honesty of
purpose, deep commitment to the cause of Islam and there strict adhere to the
Quran and Sunnah. Therefore, they enjoyed reverence and obedience of the entire
Muslim community which was united and were ready to sacrifice their life for
the cause of Islam.
caliphate of Hadhrat Ali the caliphate was replaced by autocratic dynasties.
Umayyid, Abbasid and Ottoman dynasties ruled the Islamic world though they
called themselves caliphate. These dynasties were more interested in expanding
their empires and less in shaping their government according to the Quran and
Sunnah. Muslim community was also divided in sects and gave more importance to
national and cultural identities. This was the reason Kemal Ataturk abolished
the Ottoman Empire which was considered by Muslims of the world the caliphate
in 1924. Kemal Ataturk was more obsessed with his Turkic nationalism and
cultural identity than Pan Islamism. The entire Islamic world condemned Ataturk
for abolishing Khilafat and he was branded an enemy of Islam.
during the same period and along with the Ottoman Empire, the Kingdom of Saud
dynasty was flourishing and in 1932, the Saud dynasty was consolidated with the
ideological backing of founder of Wahhabism Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab.
Ibn-Wahhab, though a staunch follower of puritanical Islam supported the
autocracy of Al-e-Saud. He did not fight against him for the establishment of
Khilafat because he thought Saudi kingdom was more conducive to the
consolidation of his religious authority and spread of his new ideology.
In his book
Azalatul Khafa an Khilafatul Khilafat, Shah Waliullah writes that the holy
prophet predicted two phenomena:
Appearance of mischief (sharr) after the period of Khair (peace and virtue)
Prevalence of mulukiyat (autocracy) after nubuwwat (prophethood).
important to note that an Islamic scholar that Ibn Abdul Wahhab was, he ignored
the prophetic predictions and supported and strengthened mischief by helping in
the establishment of the Kingdom of Mohammad bin Saud at the cost of Khilafat.
terrorist and militant organisations support and propagate Ibn-e-Wahhab's
ideology but don't question his and his descendants' support of dynastic
autocracy and advocate the establishment of Khilafat at any cost irrespective
of political circumstances. Today mainstream Muslim organisations and scholars
also believe that only Khilafat can guarantee the prosperity and dominance of
Muslims over the world. This belief compels them to overtly and covertly
support the terrorist organisations because they claim that their objective is
to establish Khilafat. The support of Maulana Salman Nadvi and some other
Muslim scholars including Qaradawi for the so-called Khilafat of the ISIS is a
glaring example. It is important to note that no Muslim country today wants to
its government to be called Caliphate, neither Sunny countries like Saudi
Arabia or Qatar nor Shia countries like Iran and Syria. The state of Saudi
Arabia is called the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Saudis have no qualms
about calling their state a kingdom while Iran calls itself a republic. The UAE
calls itself an Emirate.
behind it is that the entire Islamic world believes that when it comes to
governance and fulfilling the objectives of governance in particular geographical
and social conditions, the end not the means is important. That's why different
Muslim Countries adopted different forms of governments according to their
historical and political preferences. They tried to shape their governments on
the principles laid down by the Quran and Sunnah.
the terrorist organisations insist that only a government called Khilafat can
be accepted as an Islamic government and all other forms of government are
un-Islamic and therefore should be toppled at any cost.
organisations do not have the support of the majority community of Muslims and
live as outcasts in jungles and mountains. The leaders of these outfits are not
known for their scholarship and knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence, yet they
claim to be the Emir of Muslims The majority of Muslims today believe in the
democratic principles of the Quran and want to live in a plural society in
peace with the followers of other religions. But these terrorist organisations
exhort Muslims to remain at war with non- Muslims all the year round and try to
establish Khilafat. Violence against non-Muslims and killing of innocent people
including women and children is justified by their own theology. They ignore
the hadiths which enjoin on Muslims to always follow the majority community
(jama'ah) and resolve their issues through consultation. Here are some hadiths:
the largest group"(Ibne Majah, on the authority of Abdullah Ibne Umar)
your duty to stand by the united community and the majority."(Ahmad Ibne
Hambal, on the authority of Muadh Ibn Jabal)
hand of God is upon the community (Al jama' ah) and he who sets himself apart
from it will be set apart in hell fire."(Tirmidhi on the authority of
Abdullah Ibne Umar)
will God make my community agree on a wrong course (Al Tirmidhi, on the
authority of Abdullah Ibne Umar).
qouted hadiths prove the terrorist organisations wrong as they form a tiny
minority at loggerheads with the majority community. They have set themselves
apart from the Jama' ah (the ummah) and have rendered themselves outcasts.
Islam does not support violent means of reformation and propagation of Deen.
The holy prophet pbuh lived in the society and worked for the reform of society
from within the society. For that, he and his companions were subjected to
torture and hardships but they never left the society. These so called flag
bearers of Islam have alienated themselves from the community and live as
outcastes launching attacks on residential areas, hospitals, mosques, mazars,
graveyards, schools, school buses, peaceful rallies and marriage ceremonies and
killing innocent people and non-combatants. They justify this violence and
killing by calling it Jihad.
the wrong interpretations of Jihad to justify their violence. The holy Quran
uses the word jihad for peaceful struggle in the path of God. It also means
enduring hardships for the sake of Deen. The root of the word jihad is jahd
meaning continued efforts .The use of force is the last resort and should be made
in self defence. A true Muslim will always struggle to spread the message of
the Quran with love and through selfless service to mankind. He will do jihad
against his own self which is called Jihadan Kabira or Jihad-e-Akbar (Al
uses the word jahd and jihad meaning struggle or efforts and enduring hardships
in surah Taubah: 82, Al Hajj:78, Al Maidah:54 Al Nisa:59, At Rum:69, AsSaff:11
etc. But the terrorist organisations translate the word as only killing
non-Muslims and Muslims opposing their ideology irrespective of whether
combatants or non-combatants.
It is time
the two terms of Jihad and Khilafat are explained correctly in the light of the
Quran and in the context of modern political, social and religious compulsions,
circumstances and requirements so that the militant outfits cannot misuse the
concept of jihad and Khilafat to fulfil their nefarious designs and to mislead
the Muslim ummah on the path of seclusion, isolation and violence.
Arshad is a regular columnist for NewAgeIslam.com
Narrated AbuSa'id al-Khudri:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: The best fighting (jihad) in the path of Allah is (to speak) a word of justice to an oppressive ruler.
Narrated Abu Wail:
Hudhaifa said, "The Verse:-- "And spend (of your wealth) in the Cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves in destruction," (2.195) was revealed concerning spending in Allah's Cause (i.e. Jihad).