Book Of Jihad
This is the final chapter of the Kitab al-Ibadat. Many Hanabilah mention it immediately after the Kitab al-Hajj. This is because it has the strong element of worship and it resembled worship more than an act of the state. Other scholars like Imam al-Khiraqi put the chapter at the end when they came to discussing legal consequences, role of the judiciary etc as it is the role of the state. The main principle is that the action of Jihad goes back to the state. The books of Fiqh and the scholars use the term Ameer or Hakim at times. This is because the word “state” is something easy to comprehend today and it is the states that are carrying out the duties that an Ameer should be.
Sheikh Mansur al-Buhuti says in Sharh al-Muntaha, “It is impermissible to take part in battle or initiate a war without the permission of the Ameer (or state) for the matter of warfare goes back to the Ameer (or state).” This is for jihad that is led by the Muslims. The Fuqaha said that the obligation applies only for Jihad al-Talab and not an act of self defense.
It is very important to understand the reason for a ruling so that we can see its application in the proper context. An important principle to remember is,
الْحُكْمُ يَدُوْرُمَعَ عِلَّتِهِ وَسَبَبِهِ وُجُوْدًا وَعَدَمًا
The ruling follows or depends on its cause in its presence and its absence
If the legal reasoning is present then the ruling is present and if not, then vice versa.
Ex: A person is given Zakat because they are poor. If they are no longer poor, then they no longer qualify for Zakat.
Jihad is a topic that is ruled by that which benefits and that which harms the interests of the Muslims in the light of the Shariah. Rulings need to be looked at in the light of the current scenarios. What was mentioned in earlier books might not be applicable today. Why? Fiqh is a man-made effort to arrive at the Laws of Allah and so understanding the lens of the author is very important. The difference between simply reading a book and actually applying a book is worlds apart. One needs to understand how and when things are practically applied. Fiqh is an active science that is applied daily. This is the reason a student of knowledge needs to focus on the works of the contemporary scholars as well as they are the ones dealing with and implementing the fiqh rulings in today’s world. If the scholars of the past were alive today, then without a doubt many of their rulings would have changed because of the change in times.
هُوَ فَرْضُ كِفَايَةٍ, إِلَّا إِذَا حَضَرَهُ أَوْ حَصَرَهُ أَوْ بَلَدَهُ عَدُوٌّ, أَوْ كَانَ اَلنَّفِيرُ عَامًا فَفَرْضَ عَيْنٍ, وَلَا يَتَطَوَّعُ بِهِ مَنْ أَحْدُ أَبَوَيْهِ حُرٌّ مُسْلِمٌ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ
وَسُنَّ رِبَاط ٌ وَأَقَلُّهُ سَاعَةٌ, وَتَمَامُهُ أَرْبَعُونَ يَوْمًا
Jihad is a fardh kifayah (collective/communal obligation) upon the community. Why is Jihad so important? Narrated Aisha: I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! We consider Jihad as the best deed.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said,
لاَ، لَكِنَّ أَفْضَلَ الْجِهَادِ حَجٌّ مَبْرُورٌ
“The best Jihad (for women) is Hajj Mabrur. ” [Bukhari]
Allah sent Prophets and Messenger so that He is worshipped alone. He sent with them Books to teach Allah’s Message; how to live their lives, worship Him, and to establish monotheism in their lives. The truth of life is that one cannot spread a cause or a message without strength. Pacifist movements are not really realistic movements. The strive towards power, authority, control, and wealth is simply inculcated into human desire. It is a strong part of it. You’d be living in a dream land if you thought that you can spread the Message of Allah without any wealth, power, strength, or authority. We are not obligated to fight just for the sake of fighting. Jihad is not an end goal but rather a means to achieve the goal. If the aim of it could have been achieved without bloodshed, then we would have welcomed that as well.
It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
مَنْ خَرَجَ مِنَ الطَّاعَةِ وَفَارَقَ الْجَمَاعَةَ فَمَاتَ مَاتَ مِيتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً وَمَنْ قَاتَلَ تَحْتَ رَايَةٍ عُمِّيَّةٍ يَغْضَبُ لِعَصَبَةٍ أَوْ يَدْعُو إِلَى عَصَبَةٍ أَوْ يَنْصُرُ عَصَبَةً فَقُتِلَ فَقِتْلَةٌ جَاهِلِيَّةٌ وَمَنْ خَرَجَ عَلَى أُمَّتِي يَضْرِبُ بَرَّهَا وَفَاجِرَهَا وَلاَ يَتَحَاشَ مِنْ مُؤْمِنِهَا وَلاَ يَفِي لِذِي عَهْدٍ عَهْدَهُ فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي وَلَسْتُ مِنْهُ
Jihad becomes a personal obligation (fardh ain) instead of a communal obligation (fardh kifayah) when a person has participated or entered into the battlefield, a person and/or his land has been encircled by the enemy, or there is a general call to jihad by the leader.
It is impermissible for a person whose parents are alive (or one of them is alive) to take part in voluntary jihad, except with their permission.
It is recommended to participate in guarding the borders (ribat). This is a communal obligation and is meant to be done based on the needs of the Muslims and the security. The minimum duration of ribat is 1 hour and its complete duration is 40 days. Imam Ahmad explicitly says that the duration can be anything, and even an hour. The hadith about the 40 days is extremely weak and cannot be used to establish a legal ruling of obligation.
Based on the Hanbali primer, Akhsar Al-Mukhtasarat authored by Ibn Balban al-Hanbali as taught by Sheikh Zahed Fettah حفظه الله