Friday, 12 October 2007

Eid Mubarak Everyone!

An Old Chapter in Deconstructing Offensive Jihad

This is another article, that I have promised, which will deal with the classical understanding of “expansionist jihad”. Majid, yet again, in almost heretical under tones describes the consensus of the classical scholars of Islam from the time of the companions onwards as “impractical”, “counter-productive”, “and dangerous”. Surprisingly, as with the law of apostasy, Hizb al Tahrir is also blamed for following this consensus.
Inshallah, I will deal with the source of Majid’s views on the sabab (reason) of Jihad. I will then go through the classical understanding and finally I will deal with the hadiths which he claims support his case. This camp does use quite a few other evidences but the point of this article is to show how Majid, time and time again, attacks views well within the consensus

Polemics in the Guise of Reasoning

Majid says

“the Sabab (legal cause) of Jihad is the presence of obstacles to the Da'wah, and the purpose of Jihad is to remove those obstacles so that such Da'wah can take place, then where those obstacles no longer exist, due to the rituals of Islam and it's preaching being permitted by the state, then the Sabab for Jihad no longer exist in that land.”

He is not creating a “new chapter” but is relying on a certain modernist trend that has infiltrated even the likes of Sayid Sabiq (the author of Fiqh al Sunnah). There are quite a few but I will mention three scholars of note.

In the book “The Politics of Shariah” Shiekh Abd al Wahab al Khalaf holds onto the view that Jihad is proscribed if non Muslim nations do not instigate any enmity towards the Muslims or prevent them from preaching Islam in peace. He even goes onto the cherished “divine” reason for this. The initial starting point is peace and not contractual i.e. the acceptance of a limited peace treaty or the authority of Islam and Jizya.( Al Siyasah Al Shari3eh page 74-75)

Similarly Sayid Al Sabiq says the same thing in Fiqh al Sunnah where he only provides two reasons for Jihad, the defence of one’s nation and the defence of Muslims who propagate the religion in non Muslim lands. (2/611-612)

Finally we have Shiekh Abd al Allah Bin Zayd Al Ma7hmud, the head of the Islamic courts in Qatar who also prohibits any military strike on those who allow the Muslims to propagate their religion. (alJihad wa Al 7uquq al Dawlea fil Islam by Professore Dhaffir Al Qassimi page 184)
Strangely these are just a sample and there are many more modern scholars who hold onto this modern trend but I will leave it at that.

On the other hand the modern “Wahabi” acolyte Shiekh Nasr Al Deen Albani holds onto the traditional view and defines two types of Jihad. The first one is a defence of the realm and the other is of an offensive nature with a desire to make non-Muslims pay Jizya while living under Islam law.
( Shari7h al AlAqueedah Al Ta7awiya p49)

Dr Abd Al Karim al Zaydan in his Majmu3 bu7uuth Faqhiea page 53-54 also says that the Islamic state has the right to initiate jihad to bring nations under the laws of Islam. Of course the non Muslims also pay Jizyaah. He also mentions an Ijma of the Sahaba on this on page 57.

The Classical Tradition

The Hanafi Madhab

Imam Shaybani in al ‘sair al kabir has the following to say

“If the soldiers from the Muslim authority enter Dar Harb... and they enter a city from the many cities that they ( the non Muslims) hold ....if they refuse Islam then the Muslims should ask them to pay Jizya and if they accept and do not want to migrate from their lands and they say “We stay in our positions and will not leave” ....then there is no shame that the Muslims appoint a ruler over them who will legislate according to Muslim law and who will also be provided with a force to establish his postion. This is because it is obligatory for the non-Muslims to accept jizya. Allah says in the Quran

(Fight those who believe not in Allah, and in the Last Day, and accept not as unlawful what Allah and His messenger made unlawful, and follow not the true faith that is to say those who were Coven the Book until they pay the required tax with their own hands being brought low)

With the establishment of Muslim ruling over them the city becomes the city of Islam because Dar Al Shirk becomes Dar Islam with the establishment of Muslim Law.” (5/2190-2193)

Clearly the ahkam relate to the authority that implements it! (See Majids understanding of Imam Shaybani’s view)

Imam al-Jassas another well know Hanafi scholar says in his Ahkam Al Quran (3/189)

“...and we do not know anyone from the Fuqaha that prohibits the fighting of those who do not fight us among the Mushrikeen. In fact the difference is in whether we are allowed to leave fighting them and not whether it is forbidden. In fact an agreement has been reached from everyone on the abrogation of the prohibition of initially fighting those we have described.”

Imam Jassas also holds onto the classical teleology of offensive jihad i.e. Islam, jizya or war. It is allowed to have a limited peace treaty if it is in the interest of the Muslims though.

In the Ha7sheea of Ibn Abideen Offensive Jihad is a collective duty even if the Mushrikeen do not initiate hostilities. Again he holds onto the traditional formula (3/342)

The Shafi Madhab

Imam Shafi also says in explanation of the ayah that the term “saghiuruun” ( Surat Al Tauba Ayah 29) refers to ahl Dhimma having the authority of Islamic law implemented on them.” (4/176)

Imam Shafi again in another section says with regards to all non Muslims “It is obligatory to call nations to Islam or the payment of Jizya for those who have not received the message”
Also see 4/168.

In fact this is the position of all the later Shafis as well.

The Hanbali madhab

Ibn Taymiaah says “and it is strange that the Christians take into captivity those who fight them or even those who do not fight them and Christ says who so ever strikes you on the cheek then provide him with the left and if someone (among them) says “ you had attacked us first”. We say this is invalid for those you have attacked first. As for those who initiated the attack they are excused because Allah and his prophet have ordered this...!” (Al-Risala Al Qubrisa page 255-256)

Also See Ibn Qudammah al Maqdisi’s view (Al-Mughni10/387)

The Maliki Madhab

Imam Qurtubi in his Ahkam Al Quran while giving the exegesis of ayah 193 in surat Al Baqarah again describes the same teleology of Jihad. The Kufaar either accept Islam or pay jizya under the authority of the Islamic State
Imam Malik is known to have taken exception to the Turks and the people of Ethiopia; otherwise he falls into the consensus. (Bidayat al Mujtahid p455-456, 10.1.2, English translation)

Two more scholars to note down

Ibn Rushd in his Bidayaat al Mujtahid Vol 1 p464 section 10.1.7 "Why wage war?" (English translation) says"The Muslim jurists agreed that the purpose of fighting the People of the Book, excluding the (Qurayshite) People of the Book and the Christian Arabs is one of two things: it is either conversion to Islam or the payment of Jizya....."
Imam Shokani also says in Al Sail Al 7rar 4/518-519
“As for the campaigns against the non Muslims ..... and putting forward the options of Islam or the payment of Jizya or a military attack then this is know by a religious necessity....and what has been revealed about ...leaving them if they do not attack, then this abrogated by the consensus of the Muslims. ....”

It is clear from the above references (and they are obviously not exhaustive) that Majid’s purported position is in fact an innovation unheard of in the traditional camp.

The Quoted Evidence

Again Majid says

“This is a perfectly legitimate line of arguing backed by Prophetic tradition such as that narrated by Anas who said: “Wherever the Prophet, upon him be peace, raided some people he would not raid except in the morning. If he heard the call to prayer (Azan) he would refrain [from raiding], if he did not he would invade after dawn.” Moreover, al-Muzny reported that the Prophet, upon him be peace, said “If you have seen a mosque or heard a call to prayer, then don't kill anybody”.”

What do the scholars have to say about these two hadiths? To my surprise some scholars have used this very evidence to put forward an even harsher version of offensive jihad!
In Nayl Al Awtar by Imam Shokani we have the following texts (for the original Arabic)

The first narration is narrated by Muslim, Ahmad and Tirmidhi and is Sahih. The second narration has been narrated by the five except for Nisai. Tirmidhi has classified it as Hassan gharib. It is from the narration of Ibn 3saam on the authority of his father who is unknown according to al Taqrib.

Imam Shokani collects the conclusions that one can get from these narrations

1-This is evidence that one can attack a people without the traditional requirement to offer Islam first. Gathered with the other evidences it shows that is recommended and not obligatory. This is the view of Ibn Hajr al Asqlani in his Fath al Bari

2-It is an evidence that one can use circumstantial evidence to avoid bloodshed (i.e. the hadiths give an indirect indication that we are facing muslims)

3-It is an evidence that the call to prayer i.e. Takbeer is unique to Islam

4-The last narration shows that the presence of a mosque among a people is an indication that they are muslim.

As noted Ibn Hajr in Fath Al Bari has understood the hadith in a similar way. What astounds me is Majid’s interpretation. No scholar has seen it this way! This is how Majid’s logic goes

1- If a nation has a mosque or has people who call for adhan without any hindrance it is Dar Islam even though the authority is in the hands of the non Muslims and they are not paying Jizyah

2- Since it Dar Islam, Jihad is forbidden!

Can I ask this? If a Muslim nation is occupied by force but allowed to practice its religion is defensive Jihad forbidden?

What about the consensus of the companions on offensive Jihad and on pronouncing the options of Islam, Jizyah or war in all their campaigns ? (See Jihad wal Qital by Dr. Muhammad Khair Haykal on the campaigns of the Khulufah al Rashiden page 541-578)
What about the ayahs in the Quran that are general and the hadiths that have to do with offensive jihad? (See Jihad wal Qital page 609-628 and also 739-789)

Do we throw all this out of the window along with the consensus of the companions because of a possible understanding of these hadiths?

Let us allow this though. Let’s say that we do meet people that have these “sha3ir” of Islam. Does this abrogate the implication of all the other evidences that are know by necessity according to Imam Shokani? No we use both texts based on the Usuli principle that acting on two evidences is better than prioritising one (there are logical reasons for taking this principle as well). So we leave these people alone in the immediate area and attack the non muslim authority which refuse to bow to the authority of Islam and pay jizya. In a similar vein we attack the occupying forces but leave the people in the immediate vicinity alone who have the noted symbols of Islam.

Yet again we see how Majids “legitimate understanding” is in the end polemic rhetoric.
I have in no way though addressed all the evidences on this topic but I will leave that for another time.

All that is mistaken is from me and all that is good is from Allah and I am happy to be corrected if I have made a mistake.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Hmmm. What do you think?

The "mantra" of "progressive traditionalists" ; when muslims have a difference of opinion expect these "progressives" to cry out innovation and when they cry out "difference of opinion" expect to see an innovation

They are forthright that masale7h qualify the glorious Shariah but have to ponder if the Shariah qualifies our masale7h!

For them Islamism is a dangerous idea that should be fought but given one reward for its Ijtihad.

Oh the wonders of "progressive traditionalists"


Thursday, 4 October 2007

Extinguishing the Fire of an Already Illusionary Camp.

Majid in an adversarial tone has asked that I “....address the issues with more rigour and be not so adversarial...” . I hope now to just do that and deal with his final point

“My point, however, was not contingent upon this quote, but on the fact that there is a scholarly difference on the matter of apostasy. That this is reported is a fact. It has been narrated by ibn Hazm and is clear for all to see in his book "al-Muhalla".”

As his issue is one of scholars I will not address the evidences for and against the camp (a lot already has been written on this). My concerns are the views of the classical theorists and the revisionist understanding of them

Ibrahim Nakhh’ie and Sufyaan Al Thawri

Imam Nawawi narrates from Ibrahim Al-Nakhh’ie the following view “...and Imam Thawri said that the apostate is asked to repent indefinitely and he will be imprisoned until he repents or dies”. Ibn Habban also narrates “..Al-Nakhie and Al Thawri have gone towards the view that he ( the apostate) is asked to repent while in prison indefinitely. (Ibn Habban al Bahr al Muhiet Chapter 2/ 34, Nawawi Takmilaat al Majmuu 19/237)

Others have interpreted the views of the two illustrious scholars differently. They go and say that the phrase “the person is asked to repent indefinitely” means that there is no limit to the number of times an apostate can repent i.e. with multiple infractions of apostasy. (Al’Abadi Aun al abudd bi Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood 9/38)

Yet other scholars hold onto the other narrations . Ibn Abd Al Bar says “..and the scholars differed on the female apostate as well, Imam Malik, Al-Awza3yi, Uthman al Bitiee, al Shafi,, and Layth bin Said have said that the apostate (regardless of their sex) is executed and this is the view of Ibrahim Al Nakhiee. Their evidence is the apparent generality of the hadiths that do not qualify any gender” (Al-Tamhid 312/5)

Ibn Hajr also insists more importantly

“ and it has been narrated by Sai’d Bin Mansur on the authority of ( a’n) Hashiem on the authority of Abaida Bin Mugheth on the authority of Ibrahim that he said “ If a male or female apostatise from Islam they are asked to repent and if they refuse they are to be killed. “ Ibn Hajr goes on to say that this narration is authentic whereas the narration of Ibrahim that waivers the capital punishment is in fact weak. (Fath al Bari 268/12)

There is no narration from Sufyan as far as I know which waivers the capital prescription.

So therefore we are left with a number of conclusions

1-We have authentic narrations from these two scholars that prescribe a capital punishment

2-We have authentic narrations (as far as I know) that say they have an indefinite number of chances to repent.

3-We have a weak narration from Ibrahim that waivers the capital offence in favour of an indefinite time in prison

4-Nawawi along with Ibn Hazm have not taken all the narrations into consideration and therefore have not understood this position as exhaustively as possible. This does happen even with the greatest of scholars. For example Imam Nawawi held the view that Imam Malik did not forbid Donkey meat. They still held onto an indefinite prison term which may not be palpable for the likes of modernists like Majid and co. (who knows?)

The best conclusion and most sincere one in light of the evidence would be an amalgamation of the texts. They see that the capital punishment is available for those who refuse to repent.

For the sake of argument let’s say that the narration of Ibrahim is authentic. We now have two mutually contradictory opinions with no possible way to reconcile. In this case it would be better to say that the position is not clear. We cannot say either way what is the position of these scholars without some ad hoc fallacy.

The proposed evidence of the illusionary party

“As for he who says his repentance is permanently sought without recourse to killing him:This is due to the narration of...Anas ibn Malik who said that Abu Musa al-Ash'ari killed Juhayna The Liar and his companions. Anas then said, “So I approached Umar ibn al-Khattab who said, 'what did Juhayna and his companions do?'” I said, “Amir al-Mu'minin, was there a way other than killing them?, Umar said, 'If I came across them I would have offered them Islam, and if they didn't repent I would have imprisoned them.'” and (due to what) ...Ibn Thawr said to Umar, “there was a man who apostatised so we killed him”. Umar said, “Woe be to you, if only you had left an opening for him, fed him every day with some bread and provided him with a cup of water for three days, then if only you had asked him to accept Islam on the third, for perhaps he could have returned. O Allah I wasn't present, I didn't order it and I didn't know”....
Ibn Hazm Ibn Hazm, al-Muhalla, [Maktabat al-Turath] issue: 2195 'The Rule Regarding Apostates', vol. 11, p. 243

A few important points before I go onto the narration that is mentioned. Ibn Hazm mentions a camp and this obviously refers to the two illustrious scholars. If it does not then we are left with an anonymous group of scholars. This is a problem for anyone who cries out difference of opinion. Surely we must know who these scholars are. Don’t you think so Majid or does your infatuation with “dhann” even take it to this extreme?

Ok now onto the narration. Did Umar hold onto the position quoted? In fact Umar held onto the same position as the consensus. The apostate is to be killed. He does give them three days though. We know this because of other authentic narrations from the caliph.

First there is an important addition to this narration “if he repents then you have accepted it from him and if he refuses then you have removed any possible excuse he may have” (this phrase could do with a better translation but the meaning is correct) i.e. an excuse to avoid the death penalty (Tamhid 5/307).

In other narrations Umar was more explicit In the Musnaaf of Ibn Abi Sheyba (562/5) Umar held the view that if the person after three days still refuses then he or she is to be killed. There is also another narration which confirms this. Umar in response to a letter by Amr ibn Al A’s about apostates was even more graphic “then strike his neck”. That is why Ibn abdul Bar says that Umar held onto the view that the person is to be kept in prison for three days before the capital punishment is applied. (Al ‘Isthithkaar 154/7)

In Conclusion

1-Ibn hazm’s camp was probably the two sheikhs noted and that has already been discussed

2-If we have an anonymous group then we cannot use that to put forward a difference of opinion

3-The evidence for this group is a misunderstanding of the view of Umar

4-Those who upheld this proof probably really thought that this was a proof for the “indefinite chance to repent” i.e. without a time period.

I think I have now sufficiently refuted what Majid has put forward i.e.

“My point, however, was not contingent upon this quote, but on the fact that there is a scholarly difference on the matter of apostasy. That this is reported is a fact. It has been narrated by ibn Hazm and is clear for all to see in his book "al-Muhalla".”

The scholarly difference is certainly not a fact, surely not clear and not really helped when reading Ibn Hazm’s “al-Muhalla”.

All that is good is from Allah and any mistake is on my part, and I more than happy to be corrected on mistakes that I have made.

Most of this comes from this article which is very good.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

A Flavour of What is to Come

"Such an expansionist policy of offensive wars fails to consider the legitimate line of arguing that once a land allows the free practice of Islamic rituals it is considered Dar al-Islam (by some) or Dar al-Da'wah (land of invitation to Islam), and there is no Jihad in Dar al-Islam or Dar al-Da'wah, rather there is only Daw'ah (invitation to Islam). "

Majid's reasoning from the quote above and his "sabab" for Jihad is something virtually unheard of in the classical texts.

Ibn Rushd in his Bidayaat al Mujtahid Vol 1 p464 section 10.1.7 "Why wage war?" (the English translation) says

"The Muslim jurists agreed that the purpose of fighting the People of the Book, excluding the (Qurayshite) People of the Book and the Christian Arabs is one of two things: it is either conversion to Islam or the payment of Jizya....."

Dr Abd Al Karim al Zaydan in his Majmu3 bu7uuth faqhiea page 53-54 says that the islamic state has the right to initiate jihad to bring nations under its authority and ahkaam islamyiaa (legislation) Of course the non muslims also pay Jizyaah.. He also mentions an Ijma of the Sahaba on this on page 57.

There is also a consensus among the scholars that offensive jihad is allowed even if the muslims are allowed to practice there religion in non muslim land because the teleological goal is the domination of Islamic law over the nations and the payment of Jizya by non muslims. See for example: Al Mughni of Ibn Qudammah 10/387, Al Umm of Imam Shafi 4/239, Quaniieen al A7kham al Shari3eah by Ibn Juzi 164, and Al Kasani 7/100.

See also a whole chapter by Dr Muhammad Khair Haykel Vol 1 page 741-769 of his Phd thesis Al Jihad wal Qital. The chapter is entitled (as if in anticipation of Majid, in fact it shows how old the arguments are) " Standing in face of Islamic Dawah" , in other words is this the reason for Jihad?

Inshallah I will go into more detail and provide alot more references. I will also discuss the hadiths mentioned by Majid and provide the classical understanding of it. Notice also his overiding consideration i.e. these are the views but this one is best because it is in the interests of Islam. I think we are facing Tufi again!

I will also discuss this idea of "Isti7saan" ( and the real Hanafi understanding of it) and I will also discuss the view of Najm al Deen Tufi. A hint of my conclusion. Majid's position is self defeating.

Oh yeah more details on apostasy and Ibn Hazm's "camp". Of course how can I forget? :)

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

The Teleology of Jihad

A point to ponder. Does offensive Jihad have a goal that Majid claims it does? Is there a tradition among the classical scholars that supports this view he puts forward? Isnt Jihad in the classical sense ( offensive jihad) understood to have a different teleology?

Inshallah I will be writing an article on this. I promise you this. We have the same disasters of modernism that have infiltrated the classical understanding of this view and Majid is not immune to this.

Comments on the Dangers of Revisionist Literature

In an utterly bizaare defense of his "position" on apostasy Majid yet again concentrates on a red herring. Instead of addressing the blatant untruths that he put forward he devotes half his response on how to understand the term "misquote".

This seems to me to be the disease of narrow minded "progressive traditionalists" who want to read positions into the classical texts at all costs.

Then this

"....That is not misquoting, it is called a second narration (Riwayah) and is common in the books of our heritage. That is why I wrote "it has been narrated", and didn't write, "so and so said....", this is perfectly consisitent with the principles of narration as elucidated in the science of Hadith('Ilm al-Hadith), and is the style utilised by our Ulema when they accept that their narration is questioned by others (the style used is known as Sighat al-Da'af in 'ilm al-Hadith). "

Ok, thank you Majid on a patronisng lesson in ilm al hadith. Is this another "new chapter" for Islamists?

Let us look at the "misquotes" again

"...are all reported to have held that apostasy is a serious sin, but not one that requires the death penalty. It is narrated by Sufyan al-Thawri that Ibrahim al-Nakhai'i was of the view that the apostate is not killed, rather his repentance is continuously sought"

We know that the Ta'bi3en noted clarified their position, and you did not mention that! Why would you do that Majid? There is also a supposed narration from Al Baji with this information. Now if you are telling the truth bring this narration forward.

As the Holy Quran says

"......Say: "Bring your proof:" This (the Qur'ân) is the Reminder for those with me and the Reminder for those before me. But most of them know not the Truth, so they are averse. "

So bring your proof!

Oh yeah, for the sake of your family please do not mention Sarkhasi as well!

Majid is clearly playing games! He knows very well that he is addressing an audience that would not understand the term "narrate" in the way he has understood it, but he wants to pass off the impression that these scholars had a different opinion to the consensus. Now if that is not deceit then what is? Even "apolitical" sufis like Hadaad( among others) had issues with this worrying trend among "progressive traditionalists".

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Majid misquotes again!

In his reliance on revisionist scholarship he has fallen foul again. Majid when will you stop misquoting?

Here is the passages of concern

"A number of Islamic scholars from past centuries, such as the two Tabi'in (followers of the companions) Ibrahim al-Naka’i and Sufyan al-Thawri and also Abul Walid al-Baji are all reported to have held that apostasy is a serious sin, but not one that requires the death penalty. It is narrated by Sufyan al-Thawri that Ibrahim al-Nakhai'i was of the view that the apostate is not killed, rather his repentance is continuously sought. Sufyan al-Thawri then said, “This is the view that we take” (al-San'ani, abd al-Raziq, 'al-Mussannaf' vol. 10, page 166). "

Subhanallah al3a al jahal al murakab! This is what we actually have. In the same reference we have the words " al-murtadu yustatabu abadan" which means that the apostate gets an indefinite number of chances to repent. What is the position of Ibrahim Al Nakha'i on someone who refuses to repent? Here let me quote him

" The male murtadd is summoned to repent and if he repents he is left alone, otherwise he is put to death" (Abu Yusuf Kitab al Kharaj, number 180) and again in the Musnaaff of Abdul Razzaq 10:176

" The female murtada is summoned to re-embrace Islam and if she surrenders she is left alone, but if she refuses she is put to death" (Abu Yusuf. Aathaar no 161, and also Ibn Abi shayba 2:137)

Bil Lahi Aleek Ya Majid I am starting to feel sorry for you now! No fresh chapter here just a rehash of revisionist scholarship in the garb of "traditionalism".

Sufyan al Thawri in ths sources of note has an even stricter position. He only allows the apostate to repent three times.

The same follows for all the other scholars quoted including Ibn Hazm and Al-Baji. Really I couldnt be bothered. For the position of Ibn Hazm, I will be more then happy to provide references. It is not in Hadaad's article but I promise you he does not hold the position that Majid claims he does

Here is Hadaad's refutation. I have also at home other standard works which confirm the readings that Hadaad has mentioned. Hadaad again makes mistakes occasionally but generally I have found him to be accurate