Dimensions of contemporary jihad

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Dhu al-Qa'dah 18, 1416 1996-04-07

Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem. Alhumdulillah. Peace and blessings on Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam), his Noble Companions and Family. Dear Committed brothers, dear committed sisters,

My presentation to you this evening concerns an area and a subject that has become a worldwide topic. The media has been playing football with the word jihad. They toss it around from one corner of the Earth to the other; they bounce it around from one Muslim community to the next and they try to make for it an explanation for their aggressive and war-like policies. The problem that we encounter as Muslims, (I don’t mean probably you and I, but in the larger context of Muslims is that many of us at times turn apologetic when it comes to the word jihad, either because we don’t understand what the word means in the Qur’an or we don’t understand what the enemies of Islam mean to us or we don’t understand both these issues; we don’t understand jihad as it was meant in the context of this world and we don’t understand what the Mushriks and the Kafirs are about in the context of this world. Clarifying this issue takes a little time and effort and we’ll exert that effort in the time that we have.

There’s an assumption somehow that the civilisation that is gearing up for a war against the Muslims and Islam is a benevolent, kind, caring and a civilisation of humanism to it- that’s the impression that has leaked into our minds throughout the years and it is settled in our psyche. (If) you confront many Muslims, they will say to you, (by-and-large), “well- what’s wrong with Western civilisation? Can’t you see it cares for the whales in the oceans, the animals that are on the verge of extinction, it cares for the habitat and the environment, and it cares and it cares and it cares.” These types of individuals are confusing the forest with a few trees. It is true that this civilisation tries as best as it can to save some marine life or some wild life or other forms of life; but it has not shown us one instance in which it cares for one Muslim life and this is the crux of the issue. We are not dealing with a civilisation that is twenty or two hundred or two thousand years old, we are dealing with a civilisation that has its roots way back in Greek mythology and way back at the dawn of mankind. In this history and civilisation, it is natural for man to wrestle with God; it is natural in this civilisation for gods to wrestle, fight, feud or duel with each other and maybe, if they can, kill each other- it comes normal in this civilisation.

Today is Easter. Of all days in the year, we’re supposed to speak about Jihad and the clash of civilisations on Easter. Easter is a day in which this civilisation has given an interpretation to Isa, the Mesiah (alaihi as salaam) as a person or god or both or none or whatever explanation there is to this “that he has died for the sins of those who believe in him or for the sins of mankind.” But this civilisation, up until this moment, never had the courage to look at that government or authority that brought their god, (this is their interpretation, of course, not a Muslim interpretation), to the cross and then committed deicide- killing a deity or a god. It is some what surprising and astonishing on an occasion like this, no one who is celebrating Easter concentrates on the authority that forced this individual- god or not- to be put on the cross. This is a defeat at the core of their own belief and their own religion the way they interpret it.

They also have other precedents in their civilisation- they were instrumental in the death of John the Baptist, Nabi Yahya (alaihi as salaam); they tried to kill Joseph/Yusuf (alaihi as salaam) so the killing instinct is very important in this civilisation. It is a civilisation of conflict and wars- if there is such a thing. Conflict is in their brains. The highest formation of European thought, (I guess those of you who may have had a brush with Marxism on campus, with some friend or whatever), Marxist thought is taken from Hegel who described existence and the developments in existence as being one of three components- the thesis, the anti-thesis and the synthesis. Now, in the choice of words, there is an element conflict. Of course, in the development of ideas, conflict is naturally there, but even in the choice of words there is conflict. Why should a person say a thesis and then an anti-thesis? In describing these two issues, they placed conflict inclusive in the words they used. Why couldn’t they say a thesis and a co-thesis? Why did they have to say a thesis and an anti-thesis? Simply because the way they think is a warrior mentality. They think and express themselves in terms of conflict. They choose words that have conflict in them. This is the type of civilisation that makes it possible, (more than that, makes it), normal and natural to have man enslaved. If they are willing to dual and fight God; if they are willing to kill Prophets and Messengers, (this is part of their history and civilisation), in their own Holy Scriptures, there are descriptions of a Prophet wrestling with an Angel. If they have this at the core of their thoughts and beliefs and this is the way they think, of course they’re going to come to the larger world and behave in a like wise manner- they’re not going to have mercy on Africans or Blacks, they’re not going to care for Muslims, Arabs, Iranians or Turks- they’re going to put into process their killer instinct and go to work; and that’s what they’ve been doing. Then, if they’re going to have war to eliminate one-fifth of humanity because they say “the resources of this Earth are limited. We’re running out of resources.” and they have to kill off one billion people through the process of war, that becomes normal too. If they trace themselves to the mythology of the Greeks and the duels and the wars of gods in the heavens, (if that is part of their civilisation), then sure, “kill off one-fifth or one-fourth of humanity to make room for the rest of us to live.” But, the same way they don’t want to think about the Government and authority that took Jesus to the cross, they don’t want to think about those rich and wealthy classes who want to maintain their profit, even if that means kill off a proportion of humanity. How do we approach a civilisation like this in which conflict is an integral component of its decisions and policies. Their own parliaments are an exercise of conflict management. Why do they have Democrats and Republicans, Conservatives and Liberals; the Right and the Left? They don’t have it for peaceful purposes or because they believe and their civilisation proves the belief that there is an element of co-existence and equality in creation. No! They have this because in their nature there is conflict and they have to manage the conflict; so they split the conflict up and they have a balancing act to this conflict- this is the civilisation that we are talking about.

Now, how are we, as Muslims, going to approach this civilisation? Are we going to approach it by words alone? First of all, is it left up to us to try and figure out how to deal with this type of civilisation? Oh yes- we come and we invite them to Islam; we do da’wah work among them; we tell them that “Jesus is not the Son of God.” They don’t care whether Jesus is the son of god, whether he is god or whether he is not god; it’s easy for them to become an atheist on one day and a believer the other day. They don’t care about your argument, so don’t spend time discussing whether Jesus is the son of god or is not the son of god because their civilisation is not interested; for all they care, gods can kill themselves off; they don’t care about gods, much less about your argument about whether or not a particular historical figure was a son of god or not. We’re talking about the mainstream of this civilisation; of course, you’re going to come across individuals who do care about this issue, but let us not confuse individuals with their mainstream history. So, if they don’t care and we right now are the victims of this civilisation, we have to take a look at our position as a civilisation. Where do we stand, as Muslims? What do we represent? If we can figure out what they and their policies are all about- go to any history book, and look what they’ve done to the world with their conflicts; blood flowing left and right; killing and justifying their killing grounds. There’s a lot of commentaries and books written about this subject and at the end you’ll find Malthusian theories and all other theories that justify why there is war. War to them is justified in the name of conflict. So where do we stand in all of this? What are we supposed to do? They have slavery, (you people), here in South Africa, even though you’re beginning to move out of that phase, but the issue of slavery is still alive. Africa as a whole is an issue of slavery because they are robbing the resources of this continent- robbing it dry. The same thing can be said about the Muslims, they set up shop in the oil rich petroleum areas in the Arabian Peninsular, Persian Gulf and wherever there may be petroleum or natural resources and they also suck the land dry. How do you deal with these people? (Do) you go to them and say “you have to believe that Jesus is a Prophet of Allah, God?!” Let’s not kid ourselves- who’re you talking to? If they’re dropping bombs on you, you can’t counter affect their bombs by dropping Qur’ans on them! They’re not going to listen; it’s not going to do anything. So where do we stand in all of this?

We are a civilisation that can be summarised in two words; we are a civilisation of rahmah and a civilisation of tas’kheer. These are two Qur’anic terms referring to grace and mercy- rahmah on one hand and then referring to utility- tas’kheer on the other hand. The ayaat in the Qur’an are abundant, you can ask any Mullah, Imam or anyone around and he’ll snap the ayaat to you just like that; but does he know what he’s talking about? Can he put them into context? What do these ayaat referring to tas’kheer mean in the context of civilisation? It means Muslims don’t have this attitude of conflict when it comes to life and existence around the same way the European man or the “man of civilisation” has this conflict. He goes to nature and deals with it as if he’s at war with nature. You’ve heard the expression “we’re conquering nature.” You see- once again- the attitude of conflict; “we’re conquering nature.” Why? Is there some animosity between them and nature?! Why do they have to use the word “conquer nature?” Because that’s the way their psychology is constructed- they have to “conquer nature.” Even their meteorologists, climatologists and weathermen, (you listen to them), they never say God willing, insha’Allah or something along these lines; they’ll tell you emphatically, “tomorrow is going to be twenty to twenty five degrees. There shall be some showers.” They’re saying it as if they are positive what’s going to happen and as if they are in control of nature- this is their attitude- and if they’re in control of or have conquered nature, (of course), much less, they’ve conquered you. So what are you going to do from a position of being conquered? You’re going to act within the description of your civilisation and i.e. the civilisation of tas’kheer. If Allah has made for our service this nature and this world- absolutely everything in it is for our benefit as humans- sakkharaha lana- He has made it a utility of ours (provided we are His). And then, Allah describes our mission as one of grace and mercy. Just like there mission is one of war and conflict, ours is a mission of grace and mercy.

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

We sent you, (O Muhammad) as a mercy to all that exists. (Surah Al Ambiya' verse 107)

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ

And it is due to the Mercy of Allah that you (O Muhammad) are lenient towards them (Surah Aal Imran verse 159)

Almost everything we do, (whatever that is)- whether we are launching a missile or whether we are giving birth- Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Rahim- there’s an emphasis on this rahmah. Obviously, their war and conflict psychology is against this rahmah; if you’re a person who has rahmah in you, they interpret you as being weak- you invite conflict- but as you are inviting their conflict, you are inviting Allah’s involvement because that’s where Allah wants you to be. If we are put in this position, obviously we have two conflicting civilisations. As we are in this position, it’s not left up to us on how to deal with aggression. We await Allah’s words and listen to Him to behave accordingly. And, if Allah says

أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَاتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوا ۚ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ نَصْرِهِمْ لَقَدِيرٌ

Permission has been given to those who have been oppressed and Allah is indeed able to give them triumph and victory. (Surah Al Hajj verse 39)

Then, we have permission to repel aggression and to fight. This is not something that is going to come naturally. Allah knew that fighting is not a natural thing that comes second nature; it’s something that we have to do- that’s the way we have to look at it.

كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ وَهُوَ كُرْهٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ

Fighting has been prescribed and We know that you detest it, you don’t like to do it, but it may be that you dislike something and it’s to your own benefit... (Surah Al Baqarah verse 216)

Here’s where we stand today, in today’s civilisation with all of this aggression in the world against us.

I want to concentrate on an area that seems to be an area of a lot of question and concern; and that area is “but we don’t have the ways and the means. We don’t have the weapons and the equipment. We don’t have the arms and the arsenals that we need to do this type of fighting;” because, obviously, when you’re looking at a civilisation that is very hostile and conflict centred and then, you look at us, with our civilisation, much of which we are mentally disconnected from, we begin to borrow even our thoughts of confronting the enemy from the enemy himself. We begin to believe that in order for us to defend ourselves or to repel aggression we have to have atomic bombs, ballistic missiles and everything that they have in order for us to stand a chance to win- you encounter this among many individuals. This is in fact a negation of our Islamic mission, our historical veracity and our future verification as Allah’s servants and subjects in this world. Our position in history is that we have to take issue with those who have more physical means, more power and more lethal killing instruments than we have- this is our position in history and this is our position in the future. It’s not that we should deliberately do that- NO! We should try to muster all the means we can, but even after trying and doing our best, we are still, in terms of arms and armaments, going to have less than our enemy has. This was demonstrated in the wars of the Prophet, it was demonstrated in the history of the Prophets before him and in the history of the Muslims after him- this is a position that we have to withstand. One of the most important manifestations of this is that of Al Imam Al Husayn (radi Allahu anhu) when he went to battle- he represented this. The enemy had overwhelming power but he had barely any power. What do you do in this position? Do you say “you’re not going to fight?” Or do you say “I’m going to fight; I’m going to withstand the odds and have Allah’s will take its course.” This is Allah’s will, it’s not yours. Remember, when we duel and when we fight, it is Allah Who is doing and Who is involved in our action- something the other civilisation doesn’t have. God to them doesn’t exist. He’s not in their army; He’s not in their hearts; He’s not in their military command- He’s no where to be found- the opposite of us; Allah’s everywhere; He’s in our hearts, our military structure- Allah’s in everything we do. So, if they drop a nuclear weapon on us, Allah is with us and we’re not afraid; but if a few individual Muslims go on a military operation and explode a couple of buses they tremble as if an atomic bomb went off. Why is this? What’s the difference? What’s the discrepancy? Why do they feel terrorised by a simple military act? There’s nothing sophisticated about it- a few Muslims know that this is a military object- there are troops there- we’re going to confront these troops and then take them to Allah- and we do it and they’re afraid. In a matter of one week, they snap to attention; twenty seven or thirty of their Heads of State or their representatives assemble in Sharm Al Shaikh. Why? No atomic bomb went off?! They cancelled all their schedules; they had other priorities and other things to do, but they come there to discuss why Muslims are beginning to confront this spearhead of this civilisation- Israel is the spearhead of this aggressive, hostile and conflict civilisation with the racism, classism, genderism and all types of injustices in it- we confront it and all of them are crazy and mad! What’s wrong? It’s because our act is loaded with the presence of Allah- that’s the difference between our act and their act.

وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ

What is it? Why don’t you go out to war for the sake of the mastad’afs... (Surah An Nisa’ verse 75)

How many mustad’afs do we have in this world? (There’s) plenty of them. There are plenty of invitations in this world for us to go out and defend the oppressed people, but it seems that we don’t want to take that step- why? Those of you who are familiar with the linguistic structure of the Arabic language, we’re not speaking about someone who makes mistakes- the Prophet says all the descendants of Adam (alaihi as salaam) are error prone-, we’re talking about someone who’s automatically making. In an ayah in the Qur’an Allah says

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُوا وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

أُولَٰئِكَ جَزَاؤُهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَجَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا َ

And those who commit a faahishah or do injustice to themselves, they remember Allah or become cognisant of Allah, and then, they do not insist on this wrong that they have discovered is wrong that they have discovered is wrong; and then they ask Allah for forgiveness... And then Allah says there shall be a Paradise underneath which rivers flow... (Surah Aal Imran verse 135)

And then what did He say? And how good a reward? For whom? For someone who’s asking for forgiveness? No! He’s is not saying I’m going to give this reward for someone who’s asking for forgiveness. He’s is not saying I’m going to give this reward for someone who’s a perfect person! He says

وَنِعْمَ أَجْرُ الْعَامِلِينَ

... I’m giving this reward to someone who’s involved in action. (Surah Aal Imran verse 135)

So where are we in this clash of civilisations, when hostilities is looking us in the eyes? How much more do you want Muslims to bleed to see how vicious and hostile this civilisation is towards us? Do you want it to strike you right in the middle of your own family? Is that when you’re going to wake up and say “Oh! I think there’s a hostile force out there?!” Is that what it’s going to take, or are we considered as one Ummah i.e one extended family and whatever happens to some of us is actually happening to ourselves? So, if they’re killing off fifty thousand Muslims in Chechenya and the World Bank and the United States is rewarding Russia for that by giving it $8 billion to $10 billion for killing this Muslims (how can it be that) you go around the corner and you meet a Muslim who says “this is a nice civilisation- you know; there’s a lot of progress in it.” Progress what?! In what terms?! In physical terms or in human terms?! What is a Muslim life or the life of an oppressed person mean in this civilisation? Nothing! They will think about wars; and they thought about wars- the wars in the Persian Gulf that were imposed on the Islamic presence in Iran and later on, on the system of mass destruction that they put in Iraq and they are afraid that one day this elaborate military system that they put in Iraq is going to become Muslim possession so they thought of wars and they killed in those wars just in the Persian Gulf area about two million people in Iraq, Iran and in the adjacent areas and they are drawing the petroleum out of the land of the Haramayn. They are drawing out our own petroleum and we, Muslims, don’t get any of these benefits, Here we are, trying to figure out how to support the Crescent International- imagine how reach this Ummah is and we can’t sustain a lone Islamic voice in this political and military wilderness because we say “we don’t have the means or we really can’t do it.” (Take a look) at us- what’s wrong with us? Why can’t we do it? Then, some of us go to Masajids in which these Saudis pray. These Emirs and Princes pray in some Masajid in the West, in Africa and other areas and they go and pray shoulder to shoulder with them! How can you do that? On one side of their Gulf- across from the Persian Gulf- there’s the Indian sub-continent where famine and all types of problems exist and on the other side, The Red Sea and Africa, famine and all sorts of other problems exist also- on both sides of this rich land there are problems and then you go and pray shoulder to shoulder with them in equality. Wait a minute- snap to attention! Look that person in the eye and tell them “What’s going on here? If I’m your brother and if we are in this together, why are you putting these billions of dollars and financing a civilisation of aggression that’s killing us all of!?” They’re not only killing us off physically, they are also killing us mentally. The Israeli spearhead of this civilisation is the only component that has made it into the Muslim mind. Only the Israelis have Isra’eeliyaat in our history with the fabricated ahadith; they are inside our fiqhi books and tafseer- that’s on one hand; on the other hand they are showing us their atomic potential over our heads- they are inside of our heads with their Isra’eeliyaat and they are over our heads with their atomic weapons! Is there a way out of this? Not if we’re left up to ourselves- if it’s only us that we’re relying upon, we’re going to lose. It is through the involvement of Allah in our actions that we will defeat them and that is our mission in life and this can only be done by an unrelenting jihad. Jihad simply means by all means necessary. That’s the simplest translation of the word- by any or all means necessary. Part of that, obviously, is the ultimate expression of “all means” and that is to give up you own self in the pursuit of Allah’s course and the course of action- that is what has to be done. If you want to choose another alternative, just step out of the civilisation of Islam and don’t call yourself a Muslim. Step out and join the other civilisations, but if you are a Muslim, this is the time and place in history that we are approaching- together with Allah’s presence. This Israeli cancer and Jewish diabolic presence in our midst- in Muslim lands, in Africa, in North America, across the world and even in this part of the world has to be uprooted.

Then, we come to an issue about what they call “suicide missions.” These are not “suicide missions,” these are military operations. Israeli society is not the normal civil society that we are accustomed to in other parts of the world. In this society, there are military personnel who walk in-and-out of shops, stores, malls and streets armed with sub-machine guns on their shoulders and bullets around their breasts- what is this?! This is not a civil society! If these Zionist Israeli Jews have a civil society, then get the military out of that society and put them on the fronts, don’t let them walk in the streets of Jerusalem, Hebron, Al Khalil, Ashkalaan, Ashkelon or in other areas. But as long as they are there in the hundreds and in the thousands and in their settlements then they are military targets and any strike against military targets are not “suicide missions,” they are military operations. We don’t want to deceive anyone- they use fancy words; if they drop bombs on Muslims, they say “if civilians are killed, that is collateral damage.” We don’t want to hide behind words and say that “if civilians are killed in a military operation against the enemy that, that is collateral damage”; we say if is their fault because they are bringing their civilian population into their military targets. But they won’t get their civilians out- as the Qur’an says,

لَا يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ جَمِيعًا إِلَّا فِي قُرًى مُّحَصَّنَةٍ أَوْ مِن وَرَاءِ جُدُرٍ

They always fight from behind walls and fortifications... (Surah Al Hashr verse 14)

That’s the way they’re trying to fight us. Well, they can fight as much as they want, because we know and Allah has said to us about them

وَلَتَجِدَنَّهُمْ أَحْرَصَ النَّاسِ عَلَىٰ حَيَاةٍ

... you will find them the most attached people to life... (Surah Al Baqarah verse 96)

They’re afraid because we’re showing expressions to show signs that we’re no longer attached to this life and we are willing to go on. For those of us who are still feint hearted and have to work up enough determination, we hope that you understand that the position of the Muslims and the oppressed peoples in this world is a position that is moving towards a jihad. They’re trying to wrap up all these other small conflicts; even here, in South Africa, they’re trying to diffuse what Apartheid had placed into the lives of communities and people; in Ireland, Central and South America and in South East Asia they’re trying to do the same thing, but when it comes to this particular area, they’re not really trying what they call a peace process. This is not a peace-process; they want us to surrender to their terms because they want us to acknowledge that if they have the weapons and the fifth army in the world supported by the rest of Western civilisation we should succumb and surrender. We only surrender and succumb to Allah; His Power and His Word is above their power and their word; but Allah is not going to come and do what has to be done. We are going to have to do it and we are going to have to get Him involved. This is nothing new- this is something that has happened and has been demonstrated to us during the course of our history and it is up to us and our responsibility to see to it that we can have it happen again.

وَاللَّهُ غَالِبٌ عَلَىٰ أَمْرِهِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

... and Allah’s decision shall surmount and overcome theirs, but many people do not understand this. (Surah Yusuf verse 21)

فَلَا عُدْوَانَ إِلَّا عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ

... aggression is due only tho those who are aggressors (Surah Al Baqarah verse 193)

Wa Salaamualaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh

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