Translation of "Jihad is the Way" from Palestinian Media Watch
February 9, 2011
Jihad is the Way
Mustafa Mashhur*[*Mustafa Mashhur was the fifth General Guide, the official leader,
of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996 until his death in 2002.]
Publishing House: "Dar al-Tawziah wal-Nashr al-Islamia"
Publishing House's Address: Zayneed Square 8 [Cairo, Egypt]
Translated by Palestinian Media Watch
Islamic terms referring to seeking and obtaining Martyrdom death are translated as follows:
Quran translations are based on USC-MSA-Compendium of Muslim Texts http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/PMW TRANSLATION:
The Laws of Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) (Part) 5
Jihad is the Way
Jihad is the way. We need to be fully aware of this and to act and follow in its way. The faltering of faith has led the Muslims to their current state: one of laxity, disintegration, the dominion of Allah's enemies over the Muslim's resources, and the succumbing of some of them to abandoning their faith. The revival of the faith is the starting point for the revival and revitalization of the Islamic Ummah [nation], so that it can regain its power and be liberated and assume its rightful position which was intended by Allah, as the most exalted nation among men , as the leaders of humanity, and through this religion of truth they will deliver humanity from darkness unto light.
Together with the power of faith, there is no escaping from the power of unity among the Muslims to unify efforts. Then comes the power of arms and weapons, when nothing else will suffice, and this is the role of Jihad. The Imam (Muslim religious leader) and Shahid (Martyr), Hassan al-Banna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood) learned of the need for these three forces, from the biography of the Prophet [Muhammad], may Allah bless him and give him peace...
Many questions arise regarding the Muslim Brotherhood's stance as to Jihad... There is one who asks: Is the meaning of Jihad to force non-Muslims to become Muslim under threat of violence? While another says: Do you want to fight Allah's enemies in the East and West while they are immensely powerful and you are weak...? ... And some say do you want, through the Jihad, to send Muslim youth to their death and to hand them over as easy prey to the enemies of Islam? At the same time we hear those among the enthusiastic youth who say: Has the [Muslim] Brotherhood grown weary after the challenges, thrown down its weapons and abandoned Jihad? Yet another says: Do you wish, with this passivity, to weaken the youth's vigor and kill the spirit of Jihad in them?
Another asks: How long will you content yourselves with Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) and education without Jihad, while the enemies of Allah lie in wait and attack you from time to time, and you confront their attacks with submissiveness and without resistance?
These are all questions which are brought up regarding the [Muslim] Brotherhood and their position on Jihad... We feel it necessary to make these matters clear to all of us so that there will be a unified understanding and the efforts shall be unified with Allah's help.
The religion [of Islam] requires its believers to perform its laws and the rules of the Quran and the prophetic traditions, and to deliver this religion of truth to all of humanity...
Is it possible for such a religion to exist and for its believers to fulfill all of its requirements without the adherents of other beliefs persecuting it with attacks on the religion and its followers, and without their attempting to prevent the believers from performing this religion and establishing it? Should the believers of this religion cease to perform it... simply because the enemies of Allah attack them? And if they [Muslims] endure patiently, does this mean that this patience has no end? Do they not have a right to repel the aggression and to remove the hurdles from their path?
From this it is evident that Jihad is an inevitable necessity, and that's why it was made a religious duty in Islam, [a duty] which exists till the day of Resurrection. It is also the reason why [Islam] has excited the interest in [Jihad] and hastened towards it, and made it the highest pinnacle of Islam; Without it, the religion has no revival and the people of falsehood take over, and the religion of Allah becomes invalid and life is corrupted and goes astray from the path that Allah wanted. Is this appropriate for the religion of Allah, Exalted and Almighty?
In this book, we will clarify several issues pertaining to [the place of] Jihad in Islam...
[Translator's note: What follows are quotes from Hassan al-Banna on Jihad, fighting and Istish'had [Martyrdom-Seeker or achieved Martyrdom]
... The Imam and Shahid (Martyr) [Hassan al-Banna] writes in his Treatise on Jihad: "All of the sages, the earlier and the later ones... agree that Jihad is a religious public duty to spread Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) incumbent upon the Islamic nation, and is a personal duty to fend off the infidels' attack on the nation... The Muslims today, as you know, are humiliated by others, dominated by infidels, their land is overrun and their holy places are desecrated... Therefore there exists an unavoidable personal duty for every Muslim to equip himself and prepare and gear-up towards Jihad until the opportunity arises and Allah will determine His word."
The Shahid (Martyr) Imam (Hassan al-Banna) said in another place of his Jihad Treatise about the tradition [attributed to Muhammad]: "We have returned from the smaller Jihad to the greater Jihad. They said: "And what is the greater Jihad? He said: the Jihad of the heart or the Jihad of the soul." He said: "This tradition is not authentic Hadith (tradition) and some say that it was said by Ibrahim b. 'Abla...
Allah has imposed the duty of Jihad on the Muslims, not as a tool for aggression or for achieving personal aspirations, but in order to defend the Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity), and to ensure the peace and as fulfillment of the Muslims' greatest mission, to guide people to truth and justice...
On mercifulness during Jihad, according to Hassan al-Banna: Allah has instructed the Muslims to be utmost merciful, when they fight they do not attack, and do not blow up (anything), and do not mutilate (dead) bodies, and do not steal, and do not plunder property, and do not desecrate (sanctity), and do not come to harm, because in their war they are the best warriors, just as they in their peace are the best peace-lovers. In addition to this it is forbidden to kill women, children and elderly, finish off wounded, provoke monks and isolated people and peaceful non-combatants.
The Muslim Brotherhood's stance regarding Jihad
Additionally, without Jihad and the preparation towards it, the obligation cast upon every Muslim to establish an Islamic state and the Islamic Caliphate and to consolidate this religion, will not be realized...
He [Hassan al-Banna] felt the grave danger overshadowing the Muslims and the urgent need and obligation which Islam places on every Muslim, man and woman, to act in order to restore the Islamic Caliphate and to reestablish the Islamic State on strong foundations... and to liberate the Muslims and defend them from any attack, and to spread the Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) of Islam in the world and to establish this great religion, which Allah wanted for his servants.
This is how the Prophet educated the Muslims through the Quran... and united them like brothers and arranged them and rushed them towards Jihad and [self-] sacrifice, until they were worthy of Allah's victory and support, and this is how the Arabian Peninsula was cleansed of idolatry and idols, and the Persian lands were conquered, and the Greeks [the Byzantines] subdued and the Jews [were] expelled and the shadows were dispersed and the light was spread...
He (Hassan al-Banna) knew the role of Jihad in leading the Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) and the importance of preparing for it, because the truth needs a force to protect it. He noticed that the spirit of Jihad was almost absent from the Muslims of that time and the spirit of surrender prevailed.
The Jihad is Our Way - The Motto of the Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity)
[I]n all his (Hassan al-Banna's) writings and conversations, he always urged towards Jihad and aroused the desire for seeking Shahada (Martyrdom)... he did not content himself only with speech and writing, and when the opportunity arrived for Jihad in Palestine he hurried and seized it. The [Muslim] Brotherhood provided the most magnificent models [for Jihad and courage] and were it not for the [evil] scheming and the treachery on the part of the leaders of the Muslim countries of the time, the situation would have been different.
After Allah honored him with Shahada (Martyrdom) -and his murder was part of this scheme [of the Muslim leaders] - the [Muslim] Brotherhood continued on the path of Jihad against the British on the banks of the Suez canal in the early 1950's, and also continued their Jihad against the Jews in other Islamic regions outside of Egypt, as Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) was made to disappear in the prisons during [President] Abdul Nasser's rule. Today we witness the [Muslim] Brotherhood joining their brothers, the Mujahideen (Jihad warriors) in Afghanistan, and fighting against the infidel and repressive regime in Syria.
Has the [Muslim] Brotherhood grown weary of the challenges, thrown down their guns and abandoned Jihad?!! No! ...
[D]espite this, the [Muslim] Brotherhood is not rushed by youth's enthusiasm into immature and unplanned action which will not alter the bad reality and may even harm the Islamic activity, and will benefit the people of falsehood...
The [Muslim] Brotherhood knows that hastiness without proper preparedness may be like an aborted [action]. Likewise, they know that the negligence and hesitation after the right time [for Jihad] has come... might be a spiritual death...
When the [Muslim] Brotherhood sends their youth to Jihad in the appropriate time they do not thrust them towards destruction, rather the abstention of Jihad in its appropriate time is destruction. As well, one should know that it is not necessary that the Muslims will repel every attack or damage caused by the enemies of Allah immediately, but [only] when ability and the circumstances are fit to it.
In the early days of Islamic Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity), when the Muslims were a persecuted minority, the Prophet Muhammad did not instruct the Muslims to retaliate but rather instructed them of 'Sabr', patience and steadfastness ... and when the conditions were right, permission to fight was given in the words of Allah: [Quran, sura 22, 39]:
As for the incorrect saying that the aim of Jihad in Islam is to coerce the people into the religion under threat of the sword, we do not need to work hard to disprove it. Many have already written on the subject, and it should suffice that it contradicts Allah's saying, Exalted is He: "There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error." [Sura 2, 256] Reality and history negate this false claim.
Following this clarification and answer for the ponderings regarding Jihad in general, and the Muslim Brotherhood specifically, it is only left for us to address our Muslim youth with several basic terms which need to accompany Jihad and the preparation for Jihad so that they will be worthy of this immense honor.
He says: "First, we call upon you to believe in yourselves, so you will know your status, and believe firmly that you are the masters of the world, even if your enemies desire your degradation ..."
After this preface, we turn to the Muslim youth around the world, with advice and focus on the path of Jihad. We say to the youth: Know that Jihad in the way of Allah will be -Allah knows - the most prominent characteristic of Islamic action, during the next phase of the Islamic Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity). ...
The Muslim youth on the path of Jihad should know that the sphere of their Jihad for Allah is not limited to the specific region of the Islamic countries, since the Muslim homeland is one and is not divided, and the banner of Jihad has already been raised in some of its parts, and it shall continue to be raised, with the help of Allah, until every inch of the land of Islam will be liberated, the State of Islam will be established, and Allah's Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) will reach all mankind.
And the youth should know that the problems of the Islamic world, such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, or the Philippines, are not issues of territories and nations, but of faith and religion. They are problems of Islam and all Muslims, and their resolution can not be negotiated and bargained by recognizing the enemy's right to the Islamic land he stole, therefore, there is no other option but Jihad for Allah, and this is why Jihad is the way...
Know that the sphere of Jihad is now far-reaching, and that the enemies of Allah are numerous, and that war has many faces [lit. colors]. Therefore the struggle between the truth and the falsehood requires effort and time. So prepare yourself for this, and be of those who are patient...
Oh the Muslim Youth,
My young Muslim Brother,
"O ye who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain that will save you from a grievous Penalty?- That ye believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that ye strive (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah, with your property and your persons that will be best for you, if ye but knew! He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eternity: that is indeed the Supreme Achievement." [Sura 61, 10-13]
[Translator's note: Quran verses about the reward for the Muslims in the Afterlife, in order to encourage them to sacrifice their souls for the sake of Allah.]
My young Muslim Brother,
My young Islamic Brother, on the path of the Jihad,
Oh Muslim Youth on the Path of Jihad,
[Translator's note: Quran verses promising the final triumph of the Muslims and threatening of whoever does not participate in Jihad that he will end in Hell.]
Know, my young Islamic Jihad [warrior] brother, Allah does not need us or our Jihad. It is we who need his reward and grace and to achieve this honor.
"And whoever strives hard, he strives only for his own soul; most surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above (needs of) the worlds." [Sura 29, 6]
[Translators' note: Quran verses explaining that the triumph comes only from Allah.]
Put your hand in the hands of your brothers in the lines of the Jihad, and embrace them strongly in the tie of brotherhood for Allah, and you'll be like a solid cemented structure, as in the words of Allah: ...
[Translators' note: text continues with examples from the Quran and allegories of comradeship and brotherhood between Muslims and Jihad warriors].
[Translators' note: Quran verses describing the virtues of the good Muslim.]
My young Islamic Jihad brother,
Oh the young Jihad warrior
[Translator's note: The text continues with Quran verses exemplifying the above.]
Oh, the young Islamic Mujahidun [Jihad warriors], go forward in the lines of the fighters for Allah, filled with trust that you are about to meet one of the two great destinies: Victory or Shahada [Martyrdom]; Victory that believers around the world will rejoice in, or Shahada [Martyrdom] that will grant you the status of the Shuhada [Martyrs in Islam] and their rewards.
"...and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward." [Sura 4, 74]
Keep aware of the grave consequences for the Muslim and the grave threat of Allah to whoever turns away from the [Muslim's] attack...
Beware of weakness or acceptance that the believers will be defeated in battle. Know that the defeat is in the heart and not the battlefield. ...
Therefore we must continue the Jihad without weakness...
[Translator's note: More proof texts from Quran and repeated Jihad promotion and warning not to sin.]
Know, my young Islamic Jihad [warrior], that we are called to action, but we are not responsible for the results. Allah commanded us to fight Allah's enemies and repel their hostility, and did not require us to achieve victory, since victory is from Him. Therefore Allah will not prevent us from the award of the Mujahidun [Jihad warriors], even when the outcome is not in favor of the believers.
[Translator's note: Instructions to be disciplined and precise, study the Quran and the sections regarding Jihad and even learn them by heart.]
My Islamic sister,
In the past the Muslim women had a role in battle: she would give water to the soldiers and bandage the wounded, and sometimes she would even participate with weapons, like Nasiba the daughter of Ka'ab, protecting Allah's Messenger [Muhammad] in the battle of Uhud.
The Istish'had (seeking or achieving Shahada (Martyrdom) in the way of the Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity)
The procession of Shahids (Martyrs) in the way of Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) has been continuing for a long time. Honorable brothers have achieved Shahada (Martyrdom) on the soil of beloved Palestine, during the years 47' and 48', [while] in their Jihad against the criminal, thieving, gangs of Zion. They [these Martyrs] the men of Da'wa gave outstanding examples of Jihad and Istish'had (Martyrdom-seeking) in the way of Allah. Still today memory of them horrifies the Jews and the name of the Muslim Brotherhood terrifies them...
Later was the plot which was planned by the enemies of Allah and carried out by their agents among the Arab leaders of that time, and in December 1948 the decision was announced in Egypt to dismantle the [Muslim] Brotherhood, and to arrest them [members], except the Imam [Hassan] Al-Banna, whose murder was planned... They sent Arab armies or their symbols into Palestine, in the name of saving it from the Jews, but actually [the goal was] to hand it over to the Jews...
Later the enemies of Allah [among the Arabs] forced on us another front of Shahada (Martyrdom), the one of tyranny ... In the prisons of [Egyptian President] Abd al-Nasser and in the gallows. They [Muslim Brotherhood members] calmly accepted the Shahada, among them ... Khaled Islambouli [assassinated the Egyptian president, Anwar al-Sadat, in Oct. 6, 1981] and his brothers. Allah's mercy upon them all.
Some think that Shahada (Martyrdom) causes loss and damages the [Muslim Brotherhood] Society, since it has lost influential people in action and Jihad. This is wrong, since the fall of the Shahid (Martyr) for the sake of Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) is [seen as] provisions and fuel for the [next] generations, and as a symbol of self sacrifice in the way of the Da'wa...
Muslim youth should know that the battle between truth and falsehood is hard, long, and broad, and it reaches the entire Islamic Sphere. [They must] know that Jihad is the way, and sacrifice of lives and property is inevitable, the opportunity to achieve Jihad and Istish'had [achieved Martyrdom] - will grow during the coming decades...
Our youth should not give up hope of our [eventual] victory and establishing [Islam], due to the large number of enemies and the small number of believers. In the past, the believers with the Messenger of Allah were a minority... But Allah supported his Prophet and the believers, with His battalions...
Indeed, oh youth, Death for Allah is our loftiest wish. And how not, here are the verses of the precious Quran, and the sayings of the honorable Messenger they make us love and encourage us towards Istish'had (seeking Martyrdom for Allah) the way of Allah, by what they mention regarding the status of the Martyrs, and the honor that Allah grants them.
The foremost among the status of the Shuhada' [Martyrs] is that they become alive with their Lord, they are provided sustenance from their Lord, and they rejoice the kindness which Allah gives them.
Allah says [In the Quran] ...
[Translator's note: Additional Quran verses are quoted.]
We shall move to [discuss] some of the sayings of Allah's Prophet, may Allah's blessing be upon him, regarding Jihad and Istish'had [Seeking Martyrdom for Allah]:
[Translator's note: Some of the Prophet's sayings regarding the issue are quoted, for example:]
"Abu Hurayra said: ...the Messenger of Allah was asked: What is the value of Jihad for Allah? He said: You can not imagine it. He was asked again and again... then he said: the Jihad Fighter in the way of Allah is like one who's fasting and standing up to pray at night] ..."
[Also] It was told that the Prophet said: "Not one of those who enter paradise want to return to this world... but the Shahid (Martyr), who wishes to return to this world and be killed ten times, due to the honor which he sees"...
Oh my Brother to the path of Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity), oh you who chose the path of the honest believers who committed before Allah service and Jihad... and you called from the depths of your heart: [bold in original]: "The Jihad is our way and death for Allah is our most lofty wish". Oh Brother, this is indeed a lofty wish ...
There are matters which need to be taken into account, and to adhere to, among them:
First of all: That you make a profitable deal with Allah: "Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah [Bible] and the Injeel [Gospels] and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement." [Sura 9, 111] ...
Second: In order for the deal to be carried out and for the sale to be accepted, you must impose on yourself the attributes of the believers...
Third: ...Your intention in Jihad and in seeking Istish'had (seeking Martyrdom for Allah) Your intention shall be raising the word of Allah on Allah's land...
Fourth: You will ask Shahada (Martyrdom) from Allah truthfully, not only in talk but also in your heart, and with honest decisiveness, and by waiting for opportunities. This way you will reach the status of Shahids (Martyrs) and their reward, with Allah's will, even if you die in your bed, as said in the Hadith of the Prophet ..." He who sincerely asks for the Shahada (Martyrdom) from Allah, Allah brings him to the status of the Shahids (Martyrs), even if he died in his bed"...
At the same time, there is a warning to those who do not go on a raid or do not hope for it... The Messenger of Allah said: "He who died without leaving on a raid, and without making up his mind to leave on a raid, died as a hypocrite."
Sixth: You should be prepared to answer the call of Jihad whenever you are called, in any region of the Islamic world. Our Islam is universal not regional, and all Islamic countries are one homeland. You must overcome the earth's attractions ... which makes man vulnerable to the danger of Allah's punishment, as in the verse:
"O you who believe! What (excuse) have you that when it is said to you: Go forth in Allah's way, you should incline heavily to earth; are you contented with this world's life instead of the hereafter? But the provision of this world's life compared with the hereafter is but little. If you don't go [out to war], he will punish you ruthlessly, and will switch you with other people..." [Sura 9, 38]
...that is, go out to battle, oh believers, young and old, by foot or with animal, under all circumstances and conditions...
Seventh: As long as you are a soldier in the ranks [of the warriors], you must respect every request regarding the Jihad, and what was determined for you, both in time and place. Do not carry out personal actions... since there are negative consequences to personal disobedient actions. Many times, the enthusiasm pushes some of the young [soldiers] to personal hasty actions, which harm the overall [Jihad] process...
The reason for this narrow and limited perspective is that some of the young [fighters] think that this bitter struggle between truth and falsehood, can come to an end by killing a couple of people and blowing up bombs and actions of that sort, without grasping the [long term] results...
Eighth: My Brother, study Islam's laws of combat so that you will become bound by them, so that your Jihad will be sound, healthy, and flawless, because when the Muslims fight they do not attack, and do not blow up [anything], and do not mutilate [dead] bodies, and do not steal, and do not plunder property, and do not desecrate [sanctity], and do not come to harm, because in their war they are the best warriors, just as they in their peace are the best peace-lovers.
Ninth: [One must learn and perfect the skills of fighting...] However, achieving victory should not be attributed to preparation and skills but to the help of Allah and to the support he gives to his servants, the believers.
Tenth: My Brother, nurture your home and your family with an Islamic consciousness, and prepare them for the atmosphere of Jihad and Shahada (Martyrdom) - Seeking, then they will not weaken you, but will support and encourage [you] to Jihad, and they will receive the news that you have fallen as a Shahid (Martyr) - Allah willing - with joy...
Eleventh: The Imam the Shahid (Martyr), [Hassan al-Banna] ... said:
Indeed, Allah has already answered his [Hassan al-Banna's] prayer and provided him with the Shahada (Martyrdom). We ask Allah to also provide us with it, for He is near and answers [prayers].