As with all my writings I ask not that you agree with what I say but rather that you consider the possibilities of the information I present. Then I would ask that you do your own research never blindly accepting what I, or anyone, tells you is the truth. Finally I would ask, after truly researching the information, that you make your own decision. Wise people realize that it is rarely a good idea to blindly trust what someone else tells you that you should think about a subject for there is unfortunately much (intentional and unintentional) deception in our world.
Understanding terminology and which definition of a word is most likely being used is often a difficult challenge especially with terms that have multiple meanings. For example if I made the statement, "That is a hot Mustang."
What exactly am I trying to tell you? What do I mean by that statement?
Obviously I want you to know that a mustang is hot.
However by Mustang:
Am I talking about a car?
so I am telling you that a car or perhaps a horse is hot.
But by the word "hot" do I mean:
that it has been stolen?
Obviously to make the statement completely understood I would need to clarify the meaning of the statement. However, if I do not want you to know exactly what I mean and wanted you to think I am talking about a horse (when I am really talking about a car) I could talk about horses for a while and imply, without actually saying, that I am talking about a horse. Under the same token if I wanted you to think that I am talking about a car (when I am really referring to a horse) I could talk about cars for a while and imply that I am talking about a car. The same logic could easily be used with the word hot. Making it impossible for anyone to know exactly what I mean. This leaves any interpretations of what I really meant by the statement to the listener's assumptions and not what I actually said. Thus leaving me with the option to always say that the listener misunderstood my statement(s) no matter what interpretation the listener assumed I intended.
This problem also exists when trying to translate words, terms and phrases from one language to another. It should be obvious to everyone that some words in every language have a wide range of definitions and potential ways they could be used. This means that we have to go with how a word is used in the context of the statements being made. Or when the word is used alone, how it is generally used in the materials that are most often used as reference for the words, terms and phrases by the people and groups that are using the words. However that leaves the speaker using the foreign terms the option (sometimes honestly, sometimes dishonestly) of saying that we have mistranslated or misunderstood what the words, terms and phrases mean and not what the speaker intended.
With the terms that we are going to be discussing most have several different meanings that could be applied, however most of the terms tend to have one definition that is commonly used, in the context that is generally used, by the group we will be discussing. In this case Muslims and the Islamic community.
Let us start with the terms Fard 'ayn and fard kafaayah as these terms are generally not debated regarding their translation or definition.
Fard 'ayn is an individual obligation. Not performing a fard 'ayn obligation makes the person guilty of an unforgivable sin. A Fard 'ayn could include individual religious obligations or it could be a duty assigned to an individual by the Islamic leaders.
Fard kafaayah is an obligation upon the community (in some cases the entire Muslim community, all Muslims everywhere); however if enough people undertake whatever obligation has been mandated, the rest of the people are relieved of the obligation.
A very important note about a fard kafaayah mandate/obligation if the obligation is not undertaken by enough people, then all the people are guilty of a major (potentially unforgivable) sin. However if enough people undertake the obligation, the rest will be relieved of blame. Initially the command is addressed to all the people, as in the case of an individual obligation (fard 'ayn), but then in the case of fard kafaayah the obligation is dropped if enough people undertake the orders.
A key difference between Fard 'ayn and fard kafaayah is that with Fard 'ayn the obligation is not dropped from the individual it was assigned even if someone else does the task. Penalties can be very harsh both in this world and the next for not performing an assigned Fard 'ayn.
The next term we will discuss is jihad. A reasonable translation for the word jihad is struggle. Unfortunately just like the english word struggle there are many definitions and variations of the word that could apply. For instance I could be struggling to loose weight, I could be struggling with a moral dilemma, or I could be in a physical fight and struggling against another person or people to stay alive, just to list three of the countless variations of the word.
In this case in order to know what is generally meant by the term in Islam we need to look at what the mainstream respected Islamic scholars say about jihad. What they teach other muslims jihad is and the reasons for jihad.
According to a respected Islamic fatwa site (http://www.islam-qa.com) the number one reason for jihad is to to MAKE people worship Allaah alone. To make people, to force people to worship Allah.
That sounds very different than what we are told in the media. Perhaps that is what the primary definition was years ago rather than what is used today. Obviously the peaceful inner struggle is just one of the other reasons.
The same Islamic site also listed the top ten reasons for Jihad that Islam teaches including the explanation/justification for each. Let us look at all ten of the reasons Islam teaches are the top reasons for Jihad.
[begin quote of http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/34647]
1 - The main goal of jihad is to make the people worship Allaah alone and to bring them forth from servitude to people to servitude to the Lord of people. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allaah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allaah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zaalimoon (the polytheists, and wrong-doers)"
"And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allaah), and the religion (worship) will all be for Allaah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allaah), then certainly, Allaah is All-Seer of what they do"
Ibn Jareer said:
So fight them until there is no more shirk, and none is worshipped except Allaah alone with no partner or associate, and trials and calamities, which are disbelief and polytheism, are lifted from the slaves of Allaah on earth, and religion is all for Allaah alone, and so that obedience and worship will be devoted to Him alone and none else.
Ibn Katheer said: Allaah commands us to fight the kuffaar so that there will be no fitnah, i.e., shirk, and the religion will all be for Allaah alone, i.e., the religion of Allaah will prevail over all other religions.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "I have been commanded (by Allaah) to fight the people until they testify that there is no god but Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, and they establish regular prayer and pay zakaah, then if they do that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning will be with Allaah." Narrated by al-Bukhaari (24), Muslim (33).
And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "I have been sent just before the Hour with the sword, so that Allaah will be worshipped alone with no partner or associate." Narrated by Ahmad, 4869; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami', 2831.
This purpose of jihad was present in the minds of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) during their battles with the enemies of Allaah. Al-Bukhaari (2925) narrated that Jubayr ibn Hayyah said: 'Umar sent people to all the regions to fight the mushrikeen... so 'Umar recruited us and appointed al-Nu'maan ibn Muqarrin to lead us. When we were in the land of the enemy, the representative of Chosroes came out to us with forty thousand troops. An interpreter stood up and said: "Let one of you speak to me." Al-Mugheerah said: "Ask whatever you want." He asked, "Who are you?" He (al-Mugheerah) said: "We are some people from among the Arabs. We used to lead a harsh and miserable life, sucking on animal skins and date stones because of hunger, wearing clothes made of camel and goat hair, worshipping trees and rocks. While we were in this state, the Lord of the heavens and the earth, exalted be His name and glorified be His greatness, sent to us a Prophet from amongst ourselves, whose father and mother we know. Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), commanded us to fight you until you worship Allaah alone or pay the jizyah. Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us the message from our Lord, that whoever among us is killed will go to Paradise to enjoy delights such as no one has ever seen, and whoever among us is left will become your master."
This is the truth that the Sahaabah and leaders of the Muslims proclaimed in their military campaigns.
Rab'i ibn 'Aamir said, when Rustam the commander of the Persian armies asked him, "Why have you come?": "Allaah has sent us to bring forth whomsoever He wills from the worship of man to the worship of Allaah.
When 'Uqbah ibn Naafi' reached Tangiers, he rode his horse into the water until the water was up to its chest, then he said: "O Allaah, bear witness that I have done my utmost, and were it not for this sea I would have travelled throughout the land fighting those who disbelieve in You, until none is worshipped except You."
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I do not know about you, but to me that does not sound very peaceful nor very much like a personal inner struggle. But the site listed ten areas that most Muslims are apparently taught as being the most common reasons for Jihad. Perhaps the other nine are more peaceful and more about those personal inner religious/moral struggles that we hear so much about.
2 - Repelling the aggression of those who attack Muslims.
The scholars unanimously agree that repelling the aggression of those who attack Muslims is fard 'ayn (an individual obligation) upon those who are able.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"And fight in the way of Allaah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allaah likes not the transgressors"
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It is note worthy to mention that cartoons are considered an attack on Islam and/or Muslims. Cartoons are also worthy of aggressive retaliation (as we well know.)
This is the Declaration of Fatwa by World islamic Scholars about Danish Cartoons Link to Fatwa
[Quoting from the fatwa]
The events in Denmark concerning the Messenger of God represent an entirely unacceptable crime of aggression that has violated the highest sanctities of the Muslim people. Moreover it is devastating to the ideal of convivial dialogue between peoples, as enjoined in the Quranic verse, which reads, 'And We created you as nations and tribes that you might know one another'.
Yes that "unacceptable crime of aggression" is referring to cartoons. Below is a link to a copy of the alleged cartoons that caused all the uproar and outrage.
3 - Removing fitnah (tribulation)
[Note: rather than tribulation it is more common for Fitnah in Islam to mean ANY antagonism towards Muslims or ANY threat to the health of an Islamic state.]
Fitnah is of different types:
A. That which is caused by the kuffaar who persecute the Muslims or apply pressure to them to make them give up their religion. Allaah has commanded the Muslims to fight in jihad in order to save those who are weak and oppressed. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of Allaah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help"
B. The fitnah of the kuffaar themselves and their preventing others from hearing and accepting the truth. That is because the kaafir systems corrupt the innate nature and reason of people, and make them get used to worshipping and submitting to things other than Allaah, getting addicted to alcohol, wallowing in the mire of sexual licence, and losing all characteristics of virtue. Whoever is like that can rarely tell truth from falsehood, good from evil, right from wrong. So jihad is prescribed in order to remove those obstacles that prevent people from hearing and accepting the truth and getting to know it.
4- Protecting the Islamic state from the evil of the kuffaar.
Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ordered that the leaders of the kuffaar be killed, those who incited the enemies against the Muslims, such as the Jews Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf and Ibn Abi'l-Haqeeq.
Another aspect of jihad is to protect the borders against the kuffaar. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged that as he said: "Guarding the border for one day for the sake of Allaah is better than this world and everything in it." Al-Bukhaari, 2678
[note: this would also include protecting Islam from, non-islamic ideology, non-islamic customs, non-islamic laws, etc.]
5 - Frightening the kuffaar, humiliating them and putting them to shame.
It is prescribed to fight in a manner that will strike terror into the heart of the enemy.
[Note: This would include legal actions; sanctions against anyone that says (or does) something viewed as negative to Muslims, use of news media, financial litigations, riots and threats of riots, etc.]
6 - Exposing the hypocrites
Allaah says (Interpretation of the meaning):
"But when a decisive Soorah (explaining and ordering things) is sent down, and fighting (Jihaad - holy fighting in Allaah's Cause) is mentioned (i.e. ordained) therein, you will see those in whose hearts is a disease (of hypocrisy) looking at you with a look of one fainting to death"
At times of ease and plenty, the Muslims may be joined by those who seek to make worldly gains, and they do not want to make the word of Allaah prevail over the word of kufr. These people may conceal their real nature from many of the Muslims, and the most effective means of exposing them is jihad, because jihad means sacrificing oneself but these hypocrites are only indulging in hypocrisy in order to save themselves.
Exposing the hypocrites was one of the major purposes that Allaah wanted the believers to achieve on the day of Uhud.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Allaah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good"
[Aal 'Imraan 3:179]
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
This means: Allaah will not leave you in the state in which you are, where the believers are indistinguishable from the hypocrites, until the believers are made distinct from the hypocrites, as they were distinguished by the test on the day of Uhud, and Allaah will not disclose to you the unseen matters by which the one group is distinguished from the other, for they are distinguished from one another in the knowledge of the unseen that He has, but He wants to distinguish them from one another in a clear and visible manner, so that His unseen knowledge will become known and visible.
7 - Purifying the believers of their sins and ridding them thereof
[This would be the "inner" struggle where Muslims purify themselves that we hear so much about. But read on to see how sins and souls are purified according to Islam.]
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"And so are the days (good and not so good), that We give to men by turns, that Allaah may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allaah likes not the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers).
And that Allaah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers.
Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allaah tests those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) tests those who are As-Saabiroon (the patient)?" [Aal 'Imraan 3:140-142]
[Being a martyr is a way of getting rid of one's sins?!? Killing others (non-muslims) purifies the soul?!?]
8 - Acquiring booty
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "I have been sent ahead of the Hour with the sword so that Allaah will be worshipped alone, and my provision has been placed in the shade of my spear, and humiliation has been decreed for those who go against my command, and whoever imitates a people is one of them." Narrated by Ahmad, 4869; Saheeh al-Jaami', 2831.
This hadeeth indicates that war booty is permissible for this ummah, and that the provision of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has been placed in war booty and not in other kinds of earnings. Hence some of the scholars said that it is the best kind of earnings.
Allaah sent provision to His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) by means of his striving and He made it by means of the best kind of striving which is earning it by means of force and strength.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out for the battle of Badr to meet the caravan of Abu Sufyaan.
Al-Qurtubi said: The fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out to meet the caravan indicates that it is permissible to take booty because it is a halaal source of income.
Al-Shawkaani said: Ibn Abi Jamrah said: The scholars of hadeeth are of the view that if the primary motive is to make the word of Allaah supreme, it does not matter what else is also achieved.
9 - Taking martyrs.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"If a wound (and killing) has touched you, be sure a similar wound (and killing) has touched the others. And so are the days (good and not so good), that We give to men by turns, that Allaah may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allaah likes not the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers).
And that Allaah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers"
[Aal 'Imraan 3:140-141]
Martyrdom is one of the highest statuses before Allaah, and the martyrs are the closest of His slaves to Him. There is no status higher than that of siddeeq apart from martyrdom. Allaah loves to take martyrs from among His slaves, who shed their blood for His love and to earn His pleasure, preferring His pleasure and His love above themselves. There is no way to attain this status except by circumstances that may lead to it such as enemies coming against the Muslims.
This was said by Ibn al-Qayyim in Zaad al-Ma'aad.
This is the great wisdom and those who try to put the Muslims off jihad and make them fear it, saying that jihad is no more than death, and making women widows and children orphans, pale into insignificance.
[please re-read this reason for jihad a few more times to let what is being said really sink in. The English phrasing is a little different than what we normally use so it is easy to brease over it without really grasping exactly what is being said. Please also remember I pulled and quoted this information from a mainstream respected Islamic site.]
10 - Ridding the world of corruption.
"And if Allaah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief. But Allaah is full of bounty to the 'Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)"
Were it not that Allaah checked the mushriks by means of the Muslims, the mushriks would have overrun the earth and killed the Muslims and destroyed the mosques.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in al-Jawaab al-Saheeh, 2/216:
So the kuffar are repelled by means of the Muslims and the worse of the two parties is repelled by the better, just as the Magians (Persians) were repelled by the Christian Byzantines, then the Christians were repelled by the believers of the ummah of Muhammad.
Al-Sa'di said: The world would be corrupted if the kuffaar and evildoers were to prevail.
[end of list]
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These are the top 10 reasons why jihad is prescribed according to mainstream Islamic scholars. Not radicals, not extreamist, but your average everyday Islamic scholars, the same ones teaching other muslims, the same scholars teaching in mosques, schools and universities around the world.
One other very important thing to note about Jihad. Jihad is considered to be fard kafaayah (required of all Muslims), according to the majority of Islamic scholars.
But that list and those explanations are not what Muslims tell us or what we are told in the media about the Islamic culture.
How could that be? Surely something has to be out of place, misunderstood or mistranslated.
This brings us to the terms al-Taqiyya and kitman, which are touchy subjects, and discussing them usually opens a very messy 'can of worms'.
"Taqiyya" is the religiously sanctioned doctrine, with its origins in Shi'a Islam but now practiced by non-Shi'a as well, of deliberate dissimulation about religious matters that may be undertaken to protect Islam, and Muslims. A related term, of broader application, is "kitman," which is defined as "mental reservation."
An example of "Taqiyya" would be the insistence of a Muslim that "there is freedom of religion" in Islam, and then quoting the Qur'anic verse -- "There shall be no compulsion in religion." But the impression given will be false, for there will be no mention of the Muslim doctrine of abrogation, or naskh, whereby an early verse like the one about "no compulsion in religion" has been cancelled out by later, intolerant and malevolent verses. [Note: texts/rules written first in time, not first according to their placement in Islamic text, are superseded by text/rulings written at a later date.]
"Kitman" is very close to being the same as "taqiyya", but rather than outright dissimulation, it consists in telling only a part of the truth, with "mental reservation" justifying the omission of the rest. For instance, when a Muslim maintains that "jihad" really means "a spiritual struggle to remove sin from ones life", then fails to mention that this definition is a recent one in Islam (little more than a century old to appear more peaceful to western countries) or if a Muslim fails to mention HOW Islam teaches sins are removed via jihad, the Muslim misleads by holding back, and is practicing "kitman."
A more common definition for al-Taqiyya that is generally given to Kaafir (non-believers/non-muslims) is: Concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of eminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury. A one-word translation would be "Dissimulation". Some groups are starting to say that al-Taqiyya translates to "diplomacy".
However, the definition itself is very likely al-Taqiyya. As the examples given from within Islamic sites the person need not be in any physical danger or even need a reason other than simply lying to mislead a Kaafir.
An Islamic example about using al-Taqiyya is:
Dr. al-Tijani wrote about a short event where he was sitting next to a Sunni scholar on a flight to London; they were both on their way to attend an Islamic Conference. Eventually the conversation got to Taqiyya. Dr. al-Tijani provided plenty of proofs in support that al-Taqiyya is for all times and occasions, but the Sunni scholar was not convinced, and said that although these proofs are all authentic and correct, we must discard them for the sake of uniting the Ummah!
Later when they both got to London, the immigration officer asked the Sunni scholar: "What is the purpose of your visit, sir?"
The Sunni scholar said: "For medical treatment."
Then Dr. al-Tijani was asked the same question, and he answered: "To visit some friends."
Dr. al-Tijani followed the Sunni scholar and said: "Didn't I tell you that al-Taqiyya is for all times and occasions!"
The Sunni scholar said: "How so?"
Dr. al-Tijani answered: "Because we both lied to the airport police: I by saying that I came to visit some friends, and you by saying that you are here for medical treatment; when, in fact, we are here to attend the Islamic Conference!"
The Sunni scholar smiled, and said: "Well, doesn't an Islamic Conference provide healing for the soul?!"
Dr. al-Tijani was swift to say: "And doesn't it provide an opportunity to visit friends?!"
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In this example there was no need to lie, there was no threat, no danger, yet both chose to lie to/deceive/mislead the security officer for no other reason than the person they were talking to was not a Muslim.
There are other sections of text that indicated it is ok to lie even to other Muslims if it creates a peace or reconciliation between them.
For instance the text: "That person is not a liar who makes peace between two people, and speaks good words to do away their quarrel, although they should be lies."
Another ruling is that it is ok for a Muslim male to lie to a female (usually, but not always, referring to the male's wife) in order to make peace or get what he wants.
There are also many groups saying that as long as al-Taqiyya furthers the goal(s) of Islam or the Muslim against non-Muslims/non-believers/kaafirs then it is considered a good work.
[Note: In Islam it is good works that primarily get a person into paradise.]
Imam Abu Hammid Ghazali says: "Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible." (Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, The Reliance of the Traveller, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, amana publications, 1997, section r8.2, page 745)
After all this we need to get back to our original question:
What do Jihad, fard kafaayah and al-Taqiyya have in common?
In the press and from Muslims we always hear something to the nature of, "It is only the extremists that are carrying out the violent attacks around the world. The people doing such things are not really following the original teachings of Islam."
That it is just the extremists is a true enough statement. However, one needs to remember that the orders to carry out the violent attack(s) were, in most cases, given as fard kafaayad; an order that applies to all Muslims everywhere until enough volunteer and carry out the orders. So technically the Muslims that 'volunteer' first are the most radical/the extremists. But then we need to remember the reason they are volunteering - to remove the sin, the shame and Islamic sanctions from the rest of their family and community, not to mention a self 'sacrifice' to gain glory and favor in paradise.
Then the hard core al-Taqiyya kicks in, the deception, the misdirection, the lies to non-muslims, for the "extremists" carrying out these attacks are following the teachings of Islam exactly as they were handed down by Mohammad.
Consider this for a moment, how many con-artists and scammers go to their 'marks' and say, "Hello, it is nice to meet you. I am here to rob you blind?"
Obviously anyone with a hidden/dishonest agenda is going to try to gain your trust, take as much as they can from you, try to get you in so deep that you have little choice to continue with them or face other potentially worse consequences.
Always remember the Koranic Quote:
"Let not the believers take those who deny the truth for their allies in preference to the believers--since he who does this cuts himself off from God and everything--unless it be to protect yourselves against them in this way." (CAIR Koran 3:28 )
In other words, don't make friends with unbelievers except to "guard yourselves against them". Pretend to be their friends so that you can strengthen yourselves against them.
Islam has a very long history of conquering and subduing other nations through deception and violence. Countries that failed to recognize the deception in time always resulted in the destruction of the country and the people's way of life.
The two following quotes were made by a person that, arguably, had the greatest impact on the 20th century.
"The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one."
"Tell a lie often enough, loud enough, and long enough, and people will believe you."
These two statements were made by the leader of another group that wanted the world to Submit to their idea of peaceful coexistence. The leader's name? Adolph Hitler.
Just something to think about as you try to sleep at night.
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May The Creator of The Universe, His Only Begotten Son Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit, guide, watch over and protect each of us.