by Yusuf Dhia-Allah (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 42, No. 6, Ramadan, 1434)
Hizbullah has adopted a principled, Qur’anic position vis-à-vis Syria, notwithstanding the insulting allegations hurled against it by Saudi and Zionist agents.
The corporate media that reflect the Western imperialist agenda, deliberately misrepresent Hizbullah’s involvement in Syria in terms only of realpolitik in order to damage its Islamic credentials. The Western imperialist narrative also attempts to sideline the Islamic concepts of international relations and impose their own narrow materialistic perspective on Muslims.
It is, therefore, necessary for Muslims to evaluate Hizbullah’s role in Syria within the framework of the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in order to break free from intellectual colonialism being imposed upon Muslims when analyzing events in Syria.
Hizbullah’s involvement in Syria should be evaluated in light of the following Qur’anic ayah,
O you who are firmly committed to Allah (the covenant-bearing Muslims)! Do not take the political Jews (Zionists) and political Christians (imperialists) as your masters; they are allies of one another; and whoever amongst you takes them for a master, then he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people (5:51),
which clearly stipulates that committed Muslims are not to pursue policies that are dictated by non-Muslims. This concept applies to other religions as well. Zionists and imperialists would never accept Muslims arming, financing and supporting groups within their societies that would be faithful to an Islamic power and hostile to the society in which they live.
It is no longer a secret that the so-called “Syrian opposition” is a proxy force of Israel and NATO. The Syrian opposition cannot take any independent decisions; it is completely dependent on Western imperialist regimes. This is not a secret; the “Syrian opposition” receives money, training and political support from Western imperialist regimes and their Arabian puppets. This information is available publicly and is not concealed or denied even by leaders of the “Syrian opposition.” In fact, they openly call upon imperialist powers to invade a Muslim country (by imposing a no-fly zone) so that they can come to power. In light of the above ayah, it is Islamically inaccurate to paint Hizbullah’s involvement in Syria as an attack on fellow Muslims, as these Muslims have clearly violated the Islamic code of political conduct by accepting Western powers as their masters. By so doing they have become a part of them and chosen to disassociate themselves from the Muslim Ummah as highlighted above in Surah al-Ma’idah.
One of the ways in which the “Syrian opposition” justifies its alliance with imperialist powers is to claim they have no choice but to accept help from them. In the seventh year of the Prophet’s (pbuh) mission in Makkah, the mushriks imposed a socio-economic boycott of Muslims by besieging them in Sha‘b Abi Talib. The Prophet (pbuh) did not seek help from foreign powers to overcome the siege. It should also be pointed out that regardless of one’s opinion of the first Umayyad king, Mu‘awiyah, he did not resort to foreign backing in his fight for power against the legitimate khalifah of the time, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra).
Ayah 49:9 of the noble Qur’an says,
And if two parties of the committed Muslims fight each other, make peace between them; but if one of them goes on acting wrongfully toward the other, fight against the one that acts wrongfully until it returns to Allah's command; then if it returns, make peace between them with justice and act equitably; Allah loves those who act equitably (49:9).
This ayah clearly stipulates that if two groups of Muslims violate the laws of Allah (swt) and begin fighting each other, other Muslims must make peace between them but if the aggressor refuses to abide by a just and equitable resolution of the conflict, then Allah (swt) commands the committed Muslims to fight against the aggressor. The armed gangs in Syria have violated Allah’s (swt) command of Islamic conduct by allying themselves with Zionist and imperialist powers. Hizbullah’s actions in Syria, therefore, do not violate the Islamic code of armed struggle.
At the start of the Syrian conflict, Hizbullah leader Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah repeatedly offered to mediate between the warring parties and acknowledged that protesters had legitimate demands. Instead of agreeing to such mediation, then head of the “Syrian opposition,” Burhan Ghalioun, openly proclaimed that after they are done with Bashar al-Asad’s government, they would go after Hizbullah.
Ayah 23:8 of the Qur’an says, “And those who are keepers of their trusts and their covenant.” In ayah 16:91, Allah (swt) reminds us, “And fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have made a covenant, and do not break the oaths after making them firm, and you have indeed made Allah a surety for you. Surely Allah knows what you do.”
The two Qur’anic ayat cited above clearly highlight the fact that Muslims must honor their treaties. There is no stipulation that such an agreement must be with Muslims. During the first years of the Islamic state in Madinah, the Prophet (pbuh) entered into treaties with Jewish and Arabian tribes on mutually beneficial terms. One should not confuse a mutually beneficial treaty with a master-slave relationship that most Muslim governments have with Washington. Muslims at the time of the Prophet (pbuh) did not depend on Jewish or Arabian tribes for survival.
The main condition of a treaty in Islam is that the other side should not violate the terms of the agreement. Hizbullah has a defense agreement with Syria and the latter has not violated it so far. Further, the Syrian government is the only Arabian government in the region that assisted Hizbullah in its fight against Israel, not just through empty rhetoric but with tangible political, military and economic assistance. So why should Hizbullah break its alliance with the Syrian government and assist people that openly take orders from Washington, London and Tel Aviv?
In his widely acclaimed book, Power Manifestations of the Sirah: Examining the Letters and Treaties of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) — ICIT, 2011 — that has received worldwide recognition, ICIT director Zafar Bangash touches on an aspect of the Treaty of Hudaybiyah that needs to be studied when evaluating Hizbullah’s role in Syria. When analyzing the Prophet’s (pbuh) treaty at Hudaybiyah, Bangash cites the following important moment that has been recorded in all the primary sources of Islamic history. Just a few moments “before the treaty was formally signed, Abu Jundal ibn Suhayil ibn Amr (ra), a Muslim held captive in Makkah, managed to escape and arrived in Hudaybiyah. His legs were chained, showing visible signs of torture. His father immediately demanded that he be handed back to him as per the terms of the agreement even though the treaty had not been signed yet. This was a most difficult situation for the Muslims and Abu Jundal’s (ra) plight caused them deep anguish. While the Prophet (pbuh) was deeply moved by Abu Jundal’s (ra) obvious need to be rescued, he advised him to have patience and that Allah (swt) would find a way out for him soon. The Prophet (pbuh) also told him that the new treaty obligations required that he (Abu Jundal) be handed back to the Makkans” (p. 200).
When Abu Jundal (ra) was returned to his torturers many Muslims were unhappy with this decision and saw it as a defeat. Allah (swt) revealed the verses of Surah al-Fath in response to their displeasure emphasizing that the treaty was a manifest victory, not defeat. Two years later, the mushriks themselves asked the Prophet (pbuh) to amend the part of the treaty that required the extradition of Muslims from Madinah to Makkah.
The Prophet (pbuh) “sacrificed” Abu Jundal (ra) because the larger objective was far more important. The Hudaybiyah Treaty allowed the Prophet (pbuh) to eliminate the treacherous alliance of Yahudi tribes with the munafiqs (dual-loyalists) in the Muslim camp as it freed up the Makkan front. The bigger picture at the time of Hudaybiyah was to establish an Islamic state and confront its most dangerous opponents, the alliance between munafiqs and the Yahudi tribes of Madinah. Hizbullah’s actions in Syria are in accord with the Prophet’s (pbuh) actions at Hudaybiyah.
Is it not Zionist Israel that has invaded and occupied Palestine and is backed by the autocratic, illegitimate and corrupt regimes in the Muslim world? Is it not the US and Israel that violently interfere in Muslim countries? In Hizbullah’s perception these are the immediate issues that must be dealt with first, not the government of Bashar al-Asad from which Hizbullah and many other Palestinian resistance organizations have benefited in their own struggle. Why should Hizbullah do what benefits the US and Israel? The fact that Israel is on the same side with the armed gangs in Syria should no longer be debated as Israel’s airstrikes against Syria clearly demonstrated this fact. Would Israel provide air cover if the collapse of the Syrian government does not benefit its interests?
When examining Hizbullah’s role in Syria, Muslims should reflect on the events surrounding the establishment of Masjid al-Dirar (mosque of opposition) highlighted in the Surah al-Tawbah, ayat 107–110. One of the reasons why the Prophet (pbuh) ordered demolition of Masjid al-Dirar was because its founder Abu ‘Amir al-Rahib was setting it up with backing from the Byzantine Empire, a foreign non-Muslim power that aimed to destroy Islam. Who are the backers of the Syrian rebels that outwardly practice Islamic rituals and claim to be fighting to establish Islam? Their backers are many times worse than the Byzantines of old.
It is clear that the proxy-war in Syria is a dream-come-true for the imperialist powers. The conflict in Syria serves perfectly the divide-and-conquer policy of the Zionist-imperialist camp to annihilate Islamic public identity and safeguard Israel by fanning sectarianism in the Muslim Ummah. When hearing the calls for “jihad” against Syria, Muslims should evaluate the “jihadi” position of those scholars and public persona over the last 50 years against Israel and the US. The so-called Islamic scholars that are on the payroll of illegitimate US-backed regimes have not used even 10% of their energies to mobilize the Ummah against Israel. Just before his overthrow in a military coup, Mohamed Mursi’s termination of official ties with Syria and his inability to cut diplomatic relations with Israel is one of the many actions that must provoke reflection within the Muslim Ummah.
No doubt Hizbullah’s position on the events in Syria is faced with numerous difficulties; however, the teachings of the Qur’an clearly demand that Muslims must choose a position based on principles and equity, not worldly benefits. This is exactly what Hizbullah is doing and its leadership has once again proved that it is worthy of its name.