The Contemporary Muslim Challenge and Responsibility: Advice to Muslims
by The Muslim Activist Committee of Georgia
Why We're Speaking Out
Know that Allah, the Exalted, has commanded: "Let there arise from among you a group inviting people to that which is good, commanding them to do what is good and forbidding them to do what is evil. These are the people who are successful." (al-Qur'an 3:104)
Know that the Prophet (S) has added: "Whoever among you sees what is wrong, let him change it by force. If he is not able to do that, then he must speak out. If he not able to do that, then he must hate it in his heart. That is the weakest of faith." (recorded by Muslim)
Our motivation for speaking out is that of the messengers of Allah, The Exalted, Who revealed: "And behold a group among them said, 'Why do you preach to a people whom Allah will destroy or punish very severely?' They responded, 'To be free from having to give excuses to your Lord and in hopes that they will become conscious of their duty to Allah'." (al-Qur'an 7:164)
A Challenge of the Past
What was a prophecy or foretelling of the future during the time of the Prophet (S) is now history or an event of the past. What was a challenge for Muslims during the 1800s and early 1900s has been replaced by a new challenge and responsibility.
Muslims were tested in the 1800s and early 1900s with colonialism just as the Prophet (S) foretold and they overcame some aspects of that test. Abu Dawud recorded on the authority of Thawban who said that the Messenger of Allah (S) said:
"'(Disbelieving) nations will appear to be inviting each other to you just as diners invite each other to eat a bowl of stew.' Then someone asked: 'Will that be because we will be small in number at that time?' He answered: 'On the contrary, you, at that time, will be many. However, you will be scum and foam like the scum and foam of bodies of water. Allah will remove fear of you from the breasts of your enemies and Allah will instill al-wahn (weakness) in your hearts.' Someone asked: 'Oh Messenger of Allah, what is al-wahn?' He replied: 'Love of the life of this world and an aversion to dying.'"
Muhammad Ashraf's commentary on this hadith offers enlightening insights. He (d. 1310/1892), a distinguished hadith scholar, gives the following interpretation. "Factions of disbelievers and misguided nations will invite each other to fight you, break your power and take away the lands and possessions which you own in the same manner that a diner invites people to eat a bowl of stew. They will be eating from it without any restraint or contention amongst themselves. They will be eating it being excused for their behavior and undisturbed. They will eat what is in their hands without becoming tired, feeling ill effects or any injury that will stop them." Someone asked: "Will they invite each other because we will be few in number?" He answered: "On the contrary, at that time we will be many in number. However, you will be scum and foam, like the scum and foam of a body of water, foam and filth. You will resemble it because of the scarcity of your courage and the lowness of your value and worth. Allah will surely remove any fear or fright of you from the breasts of your enemies and definitely instill that which causes weakness (al-wahn) in your hearts." Someone asked: "Oh Messenger of Allah, what kind of or what aspect of weakness?" He replied: ""Love of the dunya (worldly, secular, immediate, materialistic life) and aversion to dying."
The history of colonialism, imperialism and slavery is well known. The Muslim liberation struggles against colonialism and their willingness to die is also well known. Some examples are: In March 1906, 900 Muslim Filipinos were killed resisting American invasion of Mindanao. In one day on July 19, 1961, 1300 Tunisians were killed in Bizerte, Tunisia resisting French occupation ("Tunisia," "Algeria," Microsoft ® Encarta. Copyright © 1994 Microsoft Corporation. Copyright © 1994 Funk & Wagnall's Corporation). From 1913 to 1931 during their resistance of Italian occupation, about 100,000 Libyan civilians died in Italian concentration camps (History of Africa, 364-5). During the liberation of Algeria from France, more than 1 million Algerians were killed. It appears that Muslims continue to be willing to die for Islam and take the necessary steps to restore Islam to its former greatness and end the reign of fitnah and fasad throughout the world.
Our Present Challenge
The challenge Muslims are facing today is relying on each other rather than on the kuffar. The Muslims who fail to meet this challenge will not participate in the ending of the reign of fitnah and fasad and the reign of Allah's deen. Know that Allah, the Exalted, has said:
Alliances with the kuffar against Muslims has led to the end of the khilafah, the creation of Israel, the humiliation of Arabs and Muslims, the Gulf War and the War Against Terrorism (Muslims). Not only did many Muslims violate the directives of Allah the Exalted against seeking the support of the kuffar against Muslims, they also violated injunctions against aiding the kuffar in fighting Muslims. Only the khalifah or sultan is permitted to use the kuffar in fighting Muslims. That is, he can use the ahl adh-dhimmah (non-Muslim citizens of the Islamic state) to fight the ahl al-baghi (renegades). Ibn Qudamah wrote that ash-Shafi'i's position is that, "by no means does one seek the help of the kuffar in fighting renegade Muslims, especially the help of those who seek to kill them in an organized manner." The Ashab ar-Ra'y contend that there is nothing wrong with the help of the ahl adh-dhimmah against renegade Muslims as long as the Islamic state controls what help they render. Ibn Qudamah (d. 620/1223), one of the most prominent Hanbali jurists, and his Hanbali colleagues conclude that if there is a need for the help of the kuffar and you are able to control what help they give, then it is permissible. If you are not, then it is not permissible. The Hanbali position is actually the exact same position as that of the Shafi'iyah. (See al-Mughni Ala Mukhtasar al-Kharqi, Kitab Qital Ahl al-Baghi, Fasl Abu Bakr; al-Majmu' Sharh al-Muhadhdhib, Kitab Qital Ahl al-Baghi, Fasl Wa La Yajuz Qitaluhum).
Even when fighting the kuffar, the khalifah can only use kuffar who are willing to fight under the banner and direction of the Islamic state. He cannot fight beside anyone under the banner and direction of the kuffar, nor fight beside them with them under their own banner and direction and the Muslims under the banner and direction of the Islamic state. As-Sarakhsi (d. 483/1090), a judge, jurist proficient in using independent reasoning and one of the most prominent Ahnaf, wrote that it is not permissible for Muslims to fight under the laws of the kuffar. This position is derived from a hadith narrated by ad-Dahhak (R) that the Messenger of Allah, "went out on the Day of Ahad when he came upon a troop of good looking people or he said coarse people. He asked: 'who are these people?' They said: 'Jews so forth and so on.' He replied: 'We do not seek the help of the kuffar'" As-Sarakhsi concludes that the Prophet (S) did not seek their help because the troop was full of pride in themselves and would not fight under the banner and directions of the Muslims. Muslim recorded something similar from A'ishah (R). (See al-Mabsut, Kitab as-Siyar, Bab al-Khawarij, Qal Wa Hamala l-Adil Ala l-Baghi; Sharh an-Nawawi, Kitab 21 al-Jihad wa s-Siyar, Bab 49 Kirahah al-Isti'anah fi l-Ghazw). As-Sarakhsi also mentioned that the Hanafiyah conclude that the khalifah can only seek the help of kuffar who are willing to fight under the banner or authority of Muslims and not under their own banner or authority. They derive this prohibition from the Prophet's (S) statement: "Do not seek light by the fire of polytheists" and his statement: "I am not responsible for any Muslim with polytheists" (See al-Mabsut, Kitab as-Siyar, Bab al-Khawarij, Qal Wa Qam Ghana'im Bani l-Mustalaq).
Given these positions, there is no way it is permissible for Muslims to accept the help of the kuffar in fighting other Muslims for territorial domination. In no way was it permissible for Muslims to have made alliances with the kuffar against the Ottoman Sultanate or against Iraq. Twentieth century alliances with the kuffar against Muslims led to the Creation of Israel. Before the British captured Palestine, it was a part of the Ottoman Sultanate. It was captured in 1917 and 1918 with the aid of some rebel Arab Muslims like Husayn bin Ali, the sharif of Mecca. The British promised the Arabs an independent Palestine and in the secret Sykes-Picot agreement with France and Russia (1916), it promised to divide and rule Arab regions with its allies. In a third agreement, the Balfour Declaration of 1917, Britain, unbeknownst to the Arabs, promised the Jews a Jewish "national home" in Palestine. ("Palestine," Microsoft ® Encarta. Copyright © 1994 Microsoft Corporation. Copyright © 1994 Funk & Wagnall's Corporation; http://lexicorient.com/e.o/index.htm).
These violations of the orders of Allah the Exalted undoubtedly resulted in the creation of Allah's wrath against Arabs and Muslims. With military aid from the West in the form of finances and equipment, Israel defeated the armies of Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine and other Arab freedom fighters in 1948. In 1967 Israel attacked Egypt, Jordan, and Syria simultaneously on June 5. The war ended six days later with a decisive Israeli victory. Israel's French-equipped air force was decisive in defeating the Arab armies. This second major defeat at the hands of Israel led to the capture of Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights and continuous hostilities, Israeli terrorism and the humiliation of Arabs and Muslims.
The Muslim Gulf War
Iraq's invasion of Kuwait should have been resolved with reference to the dictates of Allah the Exalted and His Messenger (S). We know that Allah the Exalted has said:
(49:9) "And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both. But if one of them outrages against the other, then fight you (all) against the one that which outrages till it complies with the Command of Allâh. Then if it complies, then make reconciliation between them justly, and be equitable. Verily! Allâh loves those who are the equitable."
The aggrieved Muslim parties should have referred to a Muslim international organization, the Organization of Islamic Conference with its 57 Muslim members, rather than a kuffar dominated organization, the United Nations. They should have relied on Muslim armies, some 56 of them, under the banner of Islam, rather than the banner of kufr and nationalism. Instead, they took the kuffar as their awliya' and fought under the banner and direction of the kuffar. This decision has resulted in the collective punishment of Muslims in Iraq for the transgressions of a brutal dictator, the formation of clandestine Muslim forces accused of transgressing against civilians, the invasion of Afghanistan and the killing of innocent Muslims, future threats of more invasions of Muslim lands and the killing of innocent Muslims, and a kuffar orchestrated attack against the fundamental tenets of Islam.
There was no justification within the shari'ah for Muslims supporting the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and there is none for supporting the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Only those Muslims who adhere to the shari'ah will be successful in this life and in the next life.