Who’s telling the truth about jihad? Canadian Muslim lobby or the Quran and Hadith?

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Hezbollah flag being waved in Toronto, Canada.

We continue our examination of the syllabus entitled “The Gardens of Righteousness” found on the Islamic Circle of North America’s website.

The Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA) and the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) published a 38-page handbook on September 29, 2014 for Canadian Muslim communities about radicalization towards violent extremism.

According to the authors of the handbook titled “United Against Terrorism”: A Collaborative Effort Towards a secure, inclusive, and just Canada, answers questions about radicalization and provides Canadian Muslims with tools to confront misinformation and challenge discrimination.”

“We heard and responded to a pressing need to understand and evaluate the nature, origin, causes, facilitators and impacts of violent extremist messages on Canadian Muslim youth,” explained ISSA President Shahina Siddiqui.

“The best defense to violent extremist messages is to equip communities with sound knowledge, and to ensure that they are well-informed of their civic rights and responsibilities,” said NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

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ISSA and NCCM: Jihad is “struggling in the path of good” and only “defensive”

ISSA and NCCM (formerly CAIR-CAN) determined that “Jihad is not holy war either. Islam allows for Jihad in the form of a military action in self defense only” and that “Islamic tradition and law encourages peaceful resolution through negotiations over military combat.”

Both organizations based their position on the book Riyadh-us-Saliheen (“The Gardens of the Righteous”رياض الصالحين) compiled by Imam Zakaruya Yahya Bin Sharaf An-Nawawi, a Sunni Shafi’ite jurist and hadith scholar who lived in 13th century.

The following is the chapter (p. 10) of the handbook issued by ISSA and NCCM which deals with the meaning of jihad in Islam:

“IS JIHAD THE SAME AS TERRORISM?

“ABSOLUTELY NOT! Jihad is an Arabic term meaning striving, struggling and exertion in the path of good. Every day a Muslim struggles with his/her desires and does good and strives to be a better human being he/she is performing jihad. Prophet Muhammad told his companions as they went home after a battle:

“We are returning from the lesser jihad [the battle] to the greater jihad,” the far more vital and crucial task of extinguishing transgression from one’s own society and one’s own heart. (Riyadh-us-Saliheen)

Jihad is not holy war either. Islam allows for Jihad in the form of a military action in self defense only. Even in self-defence, terrorism and violence against civilians, women, children, non combatant spiritual leaders and destruction of infrastructure, places of worship, poisoning of wells (food supplies) and burning of orchids is strictly prohibited. Generally Islamic tradition and law encourages peaceful resolution through negotiations over military combat.

“But if the enemy incline towards peace, you also incline to peace, and put your trust in Allah.” (Quran 8:61)”

Let us compare the above information with information that is found on the ICNA (Islamic circle of North America (Canada) website.

ICNA Canada: Jihad has an offensive role in fighting heresy in the world in order to bring about an Islamic global dominance

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ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) Canada is an Islamic nation wide organization striving “to build an Exemplary Canadian Muslim Community” by “total submission to Him [Allah] and through the propagation of true and universal message of Islam.”

Located at 391 Burnhamthorpe Rd., East, Oakville, Ontario, ICNA Canada emphasizes that “the propagation of true and universal message of Islam is only possible in Canada when whole Canadian Muslim Community transformed into a Dawah community by practicing and propagating the true Islamic Way of Life. With the vision of building an exemplary Canadian Muslim community it is very important to spread the word of Islam…”

Dr. Iqbal Massod Al-Nadvi is the Amir (President) of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Canada andis also serving as Chairperson of Canadian Council of Imams. he also served as Director of Al-Falah Islamic School in Oakville, Ontario from 2004 to 2011, prior to which he served as Imam of Muslim Association of Calgary Islamic Center from 1998-2004 and as a member of the University of Calgary chaplaincy team.

On its official website ICNA Canada shares with its members, followers and supporters the book “Riyad us Saliheen”. The book which appears on ICNA Canada site adds modern commentary to the verses from the Qur’an and hadith.

The Gardens of the Righteous (Arabic: Riyadh as-Salihin), is a compilation of verses from the Qur’an and hadith by Al-Nawawi. It contains a total of 1905 hadith divided across 372 chapters, many of which are introduced by verses of the Quran.

This is the same book that was referenced  in the commentary in the first half of this article.

The following are excerpts from the book which deal with the duty of jihad and and its offensive role in fighting heresy in the world in order to bring about an Islamic global dominance.

“[Hadith]: 3. A`ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “There is no emigration after the conquest (of Makkah) but only Jihad [(striving and fighting in the cause of Allah) will continue] and good intention.* So if you are summoned to fight, go forth.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

“*. Intention according to An-Nawawi: It means that goodness which ceased to continue by the cessation of emigration can still be obtained by Jihad and by intending accomplishing good deeds.

Commentary. When a country or a region is regarded as Dar-ul-Islam (land of Islam), it is not necessary to migrate from it to some other place. It is, however, obligatory to emigrate from such regions which are Dar-ul-Kufr (land of infidels) and where it is difficult to adhere to Islamic injunctions. It is also evident from this Hadith that when it is not necessary to migrate from one Islamic country to another then it is also not permitted by the Shari`ah to leave an Islamic country to settle permanently in Dar-ul-Kufr only for the reason that the latter has plenty of wealth and social welfare. Unfortunately, Muslims today are afflicted with this disease. The transfer of their capital and talent to Dar-ul-Kufr is indeed very disturbing because on one side these two factors are lending support to the economy of Bilad-ul-Kufr (countries of infidels) and on the other, obscenity and indecency that are common in such countries, are becoming increasingly common among the Muslims too.

“Another highly important reason for the prohibition of migration of Muslims to Dar-ul-Kufr is that it goes against the spirit as well as their readiness for Jihad fi sabilillah (striving and fighting in the way of Allah). This spirit and readiness must be kept always alive so that the Muslims may respond at once to the call of Jihad whenever the need for it arises anywhere.

“[Hadith]: 175. Sahl bin Sa`d (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said on the day of the Hhaibar Battle, “I will give this banner to a person at whose hands Allah will grant victory; a man who loves Allah and His Messenger (PBUH), and Allah and His Messenger love him also.” The people spent the night thinking as to whom it would be given. When it was morning, the people hastened to Messenger of Allah (PBUH). Every one of them was hoping that the banner would be given to him. He (the Prophet (PBUH)) asked, “Where is `Ali bin Abu Talib?” They said: “O Messenger of Allah! His eyes are sore.” He (PBUH) then sent for him and when he came, Messenger of Allah (PBUH) applied his saliva to his eyes and supplicated. `Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) recovered as if he had no ailment at all. He (PBUH) conferred upon him the banner. `Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “O Messenger of Allah, shall I fight against them until they are like us?” Thereupon he (the Prophet (PBUH)) said, “Advance cautiously until you reach their open places; thereafter, invite them to Islam and inform them what is obligatory for them from the Rights of Allah, for, by Allah, if Allah guides even one person through you that is better for you than possessing a whole lot of red camels”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: Besides mentioning the excellence of `Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) and the miracle of the Prophet (PBUH), this Hadith tells about the procedure of Jihad. According to procedure, first of all,polytheists and infidels should be invited to Islam, and if they reject the invitation, then Jihad be made against them. Jihad is such an action that if at its initial stage, that is to say at the stage of invitation, some people accept the guidance, then the people who will participate in Jihad will get the reward of good deeds done by those who would join the fold of Islam.

“[Hadith]: 208. Mu`adh (May Allah bepleased with him) reported that Messenger of Allah (PBUH) sent me (as a governor of Yemen) and instructed me thus: “You will go to the people of the Book. First call them to testify that `there is no true god except Allah, that I am (Muhammad (PBUH)) the Messenger of Allah.’ If they obey you, tell them that Allah has enjoined upon them five Salat (prayers) during the day and night; and if they obey you, inform them that Allah has made Zakat obligatory upon them; that it should be collected from their rich and distributed among their poor; and if they obey you refrain from picking up (as a share of Zakat) the best of their wealth. Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:

  1. If it comes to Jihad against infidels, polytheists and the people of the Book (Ahl-ul-Hitab) then before waging war against them, they should be invited to Islam and told about the prescribed Salat (prayers), Zakat and other teachings of Islam.

“2. The Zakat collected from the rich of a locality must be spent on the poor of that place. If some amount is left unspent only then it should be distributed among the deserving people of other areas.

“3. The collectors of Zakat should refrain from aggression in its collection as in that case they will be invoking the curse of the people concerned and thereby invite the Wrath of Allah.

“[Hadith]: 321. `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`as (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: A man came to the Prophet (PBUH) of Allah and said, “I swear allegiance to you for emigration and Jihad, seeking reward from Allah.” He (PBUH) said, “Is any of your parents alive?” He said, “Yes, both of them are alive.” He (PBUH) then asked, “Do you want to seek reward from Allah?” He replied in the affirmative. Thereupon Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Go back to your parents and keep good company with them”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

“In another narration it is reported that a person came to Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and sought his permission to participate in Jihad. The Prophet (PBUH) asked, “Are your parents alive?” He replied in the affirmative. The Prophet a(PBUH) said, “(You should) consider their service as Jihad.”

Commentary: Under normal circumstances, Jihad is Fard Kifayah (collective duty — which means that if some people observe it, the rest of the Muslims will be exempted from its obligation). In such circumstances permission of parents to participate in Jihad is necessary because their service is Fard-ul-

`ain (individual duty — an injunction or ordinance, the obligation of which extends to every Muslim in person), and the former cannot be preferred to the latter. This Hadith explains such a situation. In certain circumstances, however, Jihad becomes Fard-ul-`ain (individual duty — an injunction or ordinance, the obligation of which extends to every Muslim in person) and in that case permission of the parents to take part in Jihad is not essential because then every Muslim is duty-bound to take part in it.

“[Hadith]: 390. `Abdullah bin `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “I have been commanded (by Allah) to fight people until they testify that there is no true god except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform Salat and pay Zakat. If they do so, they will have protection of their blood and property from me except when justified by Islam, and then account is left to Allah”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith brings out the following three points:

“l. The objective of Jihad. This objective warrants that one must struggle against Kufr (disbelief) and Shirk (polytheism) and the worship of falsehood in all its forms. Jihad has to continue until this objective is achieved. This contention is supported by a Hadith, to the effect thatJihad will continue till the Day of Resurrection.

“In this Hadith the word (An-Nas) translated above as “people” stands for the polytheists and idolaters. The reason being that other Nasus (pl. of Nass, meaning `text’) confirm the exemption of Ahl-ul-Kitab (people of the Scriptures) from it subject to the condition that they agree to pay Jizyah (dues imposed by Islam on the people of the Book living under the protection of an Islamic state) and submit to the Muslim rule. The Arab pagans have only the choice to either embrace Islam or face war. In the latter case, it is incumbent on the Mulsims to wage Jihad against them to wipe out Kufr and Shirk and raise the banner of Tauhid everywhere.

This Hadith strongly refutes the people who distort the Islamic concept of Jihad and hold that Islam preaches defensive war only. It is an apologetic approach because defensive war has to be fought in any case by every nation and country. Thus, it is a compulsion and needs no justification.

The real distinction of Islam lies in its enjoining Muslims to wage war for upholding the truth beside fighting for their own defense.

The domination of Kufr, Shirk and falsehood is darkness, heresy and tyranny, and the objective of Islam is to purge the world of all these evils.

It aims at liberating man from the worship of man, set them on the path of worship of Allah, and to provide a just and equitable society to mankind.

Wherever in the world there is tyranny, ignorance and heresy, Muslims are bound to fight such evils and finish them by means of Jihad.

There is also a third form of Jihad which is waged against countries where Muslims are victims of aggression, suppression and cruelties of the non-Muslims. It is incumbent upon Muslims to liberate their brethren in Faith from the clutches of the non-Muslims by means of Jihad.

“So long Muslims performed this obligation with a sense of duty, Islam and its followers were dominant in the world and ever since they have ignored this obligation, both are in subjugation and disgrace. In other words, the secret of power and stability of Muslims lies in Jihad. Muslims need to understand this secret like their ancestors.

“2. Life and property of every person is secured after his joining the fold of Islam. He will, however, be subject to the law of Islam, one of which is payment of Zakat. If he murders any Muslim, he will also be killed in return, unless the heirs of the victim pardon the murderer or accept blood-money (Diyah) for it.

“3. When a person embraces Islam, the laws of Shari`ah apply to him according to his apparent condition only. His heart will not be probed for this purpose. In case, he is not sincere or he has some design in joining the fold of Islam, no action will be taken against him until guilt is fully proved. What he has in his heart will be left to Allah Who will pass judgement on his intention on the Day of Resurrection. This Hadith is related to this chapter for its third point. In their debate on this point, some

`Ulama’ have contended that such people who believe in Tauhid and obey the injunctions of Shari`ah are not to be declared as infidels.

“[Hadith]: 1209. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “I have been commanded to fight people till they testify `La ilaha illallah’ (there is no true god except Allah) that Muhammad (PBUH) is his slave and Messenger, and they establish Salat, and pay Zakat; and if they do this, their blood (life) and property are secured except when justified by law, and it is for Allah to call them to account.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: “Except when justified by law” means that after the acceptance of Islam, if someone commits a crime which is punishable by Hadd this will be certainly imposed on him, or her, i.e., cutting of hand in case of theft, one hundred stripes or stoning to death in case of fornication, capital punishment in retaliation for murdering an innocent person. In this Hadith the words “it is for Allah to call them to account” means that if they are not sincere in the acceptance of Islam and would put up an appearance of Islam like hypocrites, or would commit a crime which is liable for Hadd but is somehow not detected by the Islamic court or authorities concerned, they will be taken to account for it by Allah, that is Allah will decide about them on the Day of Judgement.

“It is evident from this Hadith that so long as Kufr [disbelief] is present in this world, it is necessary to wage Jihad against it to finish it off, and so long as all the disbelievers do not openly accept Islam and adopt the Islamic way of life, Muslims are duty- bound to make Jihad against them.

“[Hadith]: 1352. Abu Hurairah and Jabir (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “War is deception.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: “Khad`ah” means deception, i.e., employing a strategy which causes misunderstanding to the enemy, and one’s real intent does not become evident to them. This is permissible in Islam in the state of war.

“The hadith mentioned in this chapter make the importance of Jihad and the reason for so much stress on it abundantly clear. These also show how great a crime it is to ignore it. It is very unfortunate indeed

that present-day Muslims are guilty of renouncing Jihad in every part of the world. May Allah help us to overcome this negligence.”

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