Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Islamic concept of Jihad

From www.minhaj.org

By Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri

The killing of innocent people is terrorism irrespective of the fact whether they are Muslims or not. It is also terrorism to murder the peaceful people regardless of their being in state of war even if they are not fighting a war with you directly. Victimizing the children, the old, the women and also targeting the worship-places and hospitals fall in the domain of terrorism. It also includes the efforts aimed at spreading harassment, creating disturbance, staging sit-ins, forcing people to go on strikes and targeting the worship-places of other religions. Attacking human, religious, political, social and cultural rights is also terrorism.

Jihad and terrorism have no relation with each other nor is there anything in common between them. On the other hand Jihad stands for the eradication of terrorism. Jihad-bil-qital is characterized by ending terrorism. But if ! threats are posed to human life, property and honor, fighting for defending these areas is called Jihad.

It is not meant for grabbing wealth. Expansionist designs have nothing to do with the Islamic concept of Jihad. Every Charter of Human Rights terms taking up of arms against injustice and unwanted blood-letting, crushing down of rebellion and revolt, uprooting of conspiracies, violence and mischief-mongering as not only being legal but also making it binding. All that is done with a view to making the earth safe. When any individual or party transgresses its limits and encroaches upon others' rights, only in that case the Holy Quran enjoins upon believers to wage Jihad, so that mischief-mongering is halted and peace comes to our planet, earth.

The concept of Jihad is one of the highly misunderstood Islamic concepts. Unfortunately the West sees it as mere fighting against disbelief and the West. While some extremist religious groups who declare their activities as Jihad, are presenting Islam in a fanatic and emotional way giving a distorted picture of Islam. So the West has wrongly conceived terrorist activities as Islamic Jihad. Islamic concept of Jihad has absolutely no link with terrorism, extremism or barbarism. Jihad means struggle for good and elimination of evil. The spiritual struggle for self-purification of the soul is the greatest Jihad declared by Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). This is known as Jihad-e-Akbar. According to the Prophet's tradition this is an exclusive struggle for moral excellence, ethical perfection and spiritual purification of mankind.

Another form of Jihad is for the promotion of knowledge. Similarly spending wealth for the poor is "jihad bill maal". Providing jobs, economic stability and prosperity falls in the same category. Humanitarian activities are also fighting for "Haq". Haq means truth and lawful rights.

The armed Jihad doesn't allow killing of the innocent, women, aged, children and patients. Moreover Jihad does not allow destruction of property and inhuman acts of cruelty. Jihad is not allowed without the permission of Islamic government. And if there is no Islamic government at least there should be consensus of Ummah. So there should be a Shoora or a national meeting.

If Ulema and religious organizations, without adopting proper legal and juristic way, start declaring Jihad on their own this would just create "Fitna", disintegration and disruption. Then there will be no limits and the followers of various scholars and r! religious leaders can start fighting against one another on any point. This undisciplined and unorganized way is neither recognized by Islam nor accepted and supported by any authentic Islamic source.

That is one of the reasons why majority of the Muslims around the globe have not accepted this form of call for Jihad by religious extremists and fanatics. They understand that they cannot be caught away with the Mulla's emotional speeches and that it is more a political game rather than saving faith and faithful.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Interview Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri gave to international channel ARY OneWorld

Islam is all about peace, harmony, interfaith dialogue and human rights: Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri (Interview with ARY OneWorld)

(Following is English translation of interview Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri gave to international channel ARY OneWorld. He spoke elaborately on the burning issues of the day, allaying confusions and misunderstandings about Islamic perspectives on them in the process.)

Host (Question 3)

Dr sahib! I can infer from whatever you are saying that Islam is an accommodating religion. Then why is there so much extremism around us? What is your view about extremism?


You have raised an important and interesting question. It is highly relevant to the present-day circumstances. I would first answer in a categorical manner in one sentence and then would delve into details. Islam has no space for extremism, fundamentalism or obscurantism and those who happen to be extremists are in fact unaware of the real spirit of Islam. You see, there are four steps and when you talk of extremism, there is a need to understand this phenomenon within the ambit of these four steps. There is a step in human psychology, personality and approach that precedes extremism. You see, many people are conservative in their approach. Their vision of Islam happens to be conservatism-based. They tend to look at every thing with short-sightedness and closed mind. Allah Almighty has not created any contraction in religion.

The Holy Prophet (saw) said that Islam creates ease and does not pave way for difficulties. The Prophet (saw) said in Sahih Bukhari, “When you preach religion, create easiness and do not create difficulties and contraction. Convey the message and invitation to people in such a manner that they get glad tidings, feel openness within themselves lest they should adopt hatred and run away from Islam.” Islam not only condemns conservative approach but also ordains us to root it out. The approach of the Holy Prophet (saw) was open, frank and accommodating.

It should also be kept in mind that conservatism is not merely found among Muslims but in the British, American, Jewish, Christian and Hindu communities etc. It is sociological and human phenomenon. It has nothing to do with any religion. You will find extremists in politics and other fields too. People here do politics on basis of language and kill others having different languages. There are also people who do politics on the basis of region etc and brand people living in other areas as traitors or hate them. This is trait of human psychology and approach. Whether it is religion or issues of life, these things operate in the similar manner. If there is conservatism in religion, it begets extremism. So when such a person will pass out religious edict, a tinge of extremism will be reflected in his rulings. He will hold others infidels, banishing them from the ambit of Islam. His emphasis will be placed on conservatism and extremism.

Then the third stage is that of radicalism. If extremism is not stemmed, radicalism cannot be controlled too. This is also anti-Islam. When radical people emerge from extremism, radicalism is born. People take up arms and attack one another on the basis of religious edicts.

They want to impose their doctrines upon others through armed struggle. It is as a result of this effort that terrorism comes into being. Those who are waging a war against terrorism want to eradicate plant of terrorism without taking into account the process by which the sampling of conservatism grew into terrorism gradually. They do not want to eradicate the root. They water and provide air to the root, bring it up, give funds both internationally and through local agencies. The first thing is that there is no space for terrorism in Islam nor has it anything to do with Islam. I do not merely talk of Islam. No other religion be it Judaism, Christianity or Buddhism recommend or encourage terrorism.

The fact is that every religion, be it Islam or any other, aims at teaching people love and brotherhood. It eradicates hatreds among people by bringing them together. This is wrong interpretation of Islam. People who have taken up arms and adorned the mantle of Muftis have done an irreparable damage to Islam. This also deserves to be seen where have these people emerged from? Has Islam produced them or other bigger powers created and brought them up for their own political and war agendas? They gave them weapons, sponsored their ventures, prepared them fully and planted them in a particular setting. They played them off against others and armed them to teeth in such a measure that they have become Frankenstein.

So Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. It is a political phenomenon and a global issue. It will be most unfortunate if it is seen through the prism of Pakistan or Islam. It deserves to be seen from global and historical perspectives as to where it has emanated from? Why has it been created and why is it not ending? Is it not so that those wanting to eliminate it want it to survive and those fighting against it are actually providing arms and weapons? Is it not so that double standards are being practised? I have serious doubts about it. I have clarified Islamic concept about it. It has nothing to do with Islam. Rather Islam condemns it regarding it infidelity and anti-humanity. Both extremism and terrorism are against religion.