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The Truth behind Taliban's Fatwa Justifying Killings of Innocent Civilians – Part 2


Taliban are the modern day Kharijites and their existence is un-Islamic according to the Quran, hadith and Islamic jurisprudence

By Sohail Arshad, New Age Islam

17 December, 2012

Before we analyse the Afghan Taliban fatwa, let’s us first have a look at their own existence, their practices and ideology

Afghan Taliban and Tehreek-e-Taliiban Pakistan are outlawed terrorist organisations who do not recognise the constitutional governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan and continually engage in guerrilla fighting against them. In Afghanistan, they are at loggerheads with the constitutional government and regularly target the defence and diplomatic landmarks and civilian populations, killing soldiers and innocent civilians and causing damage to their property. They do not believe in democracy and run a parallel government. When an alliance government was formed under the leadership of Ahmad Shah Masood after the evacuation of the USSR from Afghanistan, the Taliban rejected the invitation for joining the government though they could have helped in bringing peace in the country. In their view, all the parties were corrupt and un-Islamic and therefore, only they had the right to form a government. The Pakistani Taliban, who are no different from the Afghan Taliban in terms of their ideology and practice, also constantly carry out violent terrorist activities against the Pakistani government, striking at the defence installations, minority institutions and killing innocent civilians despite the fact the majority of the population in both the countries is Muslim and they have elected government of the Muslims. Thus such warring groups who do not accept the authority of their legal governments are declared rebels by the Quran and the Islamic jurisprudence and there are strict provisions against them in the Sharia.

Therefore, an analysis of their ideology and practice is presented here in the light of the Quran and hadith and the expositions of the ulema.

The Taliban is a rebellious and anti-Islamic group

In his book Al Fiqh al Mazahib al Arba’a, Imam Abd al Rahman Al Jazari writes:

‘If a group revolts against the Muslim government and withholds a right of God or a human being, or refuses to obey the writ of the government and seeks to overthrow it – even if it is unjust – it is obligatory upon the government to warn these rebels of the community (jama’a), it should let them be, but if they refuse to obey the writ of the state, it must fight them with the sword.’ (Abdal Rahman Al Jazari --- Al Fiqh al al madhahib al arba’a)5: 419

Similarly Imam Mirghanani states:

‘When a group of Muslims overtake an area and rebel against the authority of the Muslim government, it is to invite them to return to the main body and refute their specious arguments’, just as Ali did with the people of Harura before they were fought. Moreover, this is the easier of the two options, and perhaps evil will be averted because of it. So he is to first invite them back and should not fight against them until they initiate hostilities. When they initiate hostilities, he should fight them and scatter their forces.’(and crush their power).

Thus the unanimous opinion of the Islamic religious scholars and jurists on a terrorist group like the Taliban who does not pay allegiance to the Muslim government is that these are un-Islamic and anti-Sharia organizations and therefore the governments concerned should act against them with an iron hand and route them to establish peace and stability in the region in the same manner Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) had acted against the Khrijites of Harura. The Quran too has verses condemning their violent ways and calls for strict actions against them. It says:

“And when it is said to them, "Do not cause corruption on the earth," they say, "We are but reformers.". Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive [it] not. “(Al Baqara: 11-12)

The Quran also says that if this warring group does not respond to the reconciliation efforts, they should be fought and disciplined: It says:

‘And if two factions among the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them oppresses the other, then fight against the one that oppresses until it returns to the ordinance of Allah. And if it returns, then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.’ (Al Hujurat: 9)

It is clear from the verses and the opinion of jurists that the Taliban are a group of marauders and deviant people who should be condemned and they deserve the same punishment that is prescribed for pirates and rioters.

Imam Abu Jafar Tahawi states:

‘‘We do not approve (use of sword) against any of the ummah, except him against whom the sword is deemed necessary. We do not approve of rebellion against our rulers and those in charge of our affairs, even if they are unjust. We do not supplicate against them or withdraw obedience from them.’(Al Tahawi, Al Aqaid al Tahawiyya 71-72)

The above quoted excerpts suggest that even if the ruler is unjust and corrupt, revolting against it and spread violent, lawlessness and chaos is forbidden, and instead a peaceful effort to reform the system or the government is envisaged because in a society there are many just and righteous people too with whom the efforts to reform the government can be made in a peaceful way.

Thus, Imam Abu Hanifa in his book al Fiqh al Absat, states:

‘So fight against rebels on account of their rebellion, not because of disbelief. Be with the just and moderate group and do not be with the people of rebellion. If there is to be found oppressors and corrupt individuals amongst the mainstream majority group (jama’a) then there are also righteous people amongst them who will help you against them. If the jama’a is itself in a state of rebellion, withdraw yourself from them and go to others. God Most High says, ‘Was God’s earth mot spacious enough for you to migrate therein?’ (Quran 4: 97) 

Therefore, it is clear that rebelling against the popular Muslim government and declaring oneself the legitimate heirs of the government thus pushing people towards bloodshed and mayhem is un-Islamic and common people are enjoined to fight against them with the government because they are a tribulation as the Kharijites of the reign of Hadhrat Ali were kharijites. 

Imam Al Nawawi states:

‘Imam Al baghawi stated that they are considered reprobates and bearers of calumny if they fight, and that the legal ruling upon them is the same as the ruling upon highway robbers. This is according to the dictates of the legal school and what is textually stated, and it is the view of the scholarly majority. The imam (al Baghawi) cited two views with regard to declaring the Kharijites disbelievers. He said, ‘If we do not charge them with disbelief they will be treated with the rulings reserved for apostates. It has also been said that they are treated with the rulings reserved for rebels. And if we say like apostates their rulings will not be carried out. (Imam Al Nawawi , Rawdat al Talibin 10. 51-52)

In his book Radd al Muhtar, Imam Abidin As Shami has defined a rebellious group as such:

‘A rebellious group is one who possesses arms and aims to assume power. They fight the people of justice by presenting a wrong interpretation and say ‘We are on the right path’ and that ‘We are the true ruler according to the Sharia.”

In his magnum opus Imam ibn Qudama al Muqdisi states:

‘A group among the traditionists (hadith scholars) were of the opinion that the rebels are disbelievers and apostates, and they take the same ruling as apostates in that their blood and wealth are lawful. If they confine themselves to a particular location and possess power and force, they become people of war (ahl al harb) like other disbelievers. And if they are in the custody of the government, repentance is rot be sought from them just as repentance is sought from the apostates. If they repent (good and well) otherwise they are to be executed and their wealth will be considered fay (spoils acquired without fighting) and their Muslim heirs will not inherit from them.’ (9.4) (To be concluded)

Sohail Arshad is a regular columnist for New

URL of Part 1:–-part-1/d/9696