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Jihad: Divergent Opinions of Javed Ghamidi, Syed Abul A'la Maududi & Syed Qutab

Abul ala maududi.jpg
Abul A'la Maududi on Jihad:

Because Islam is all-encompassing, Maududi believed that the Islamic state should not be limited to just the "homeland of Islam". It is for all the world. 'Jihad' should be used to eliminate un-Islamic rule and establish the worldwide Islamic state:
Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam, regardless of the country or the nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a state on the basis of its own ideology and programme, regardless of which nation assumes the role of the standard-bearer of Islam or the rule of which nation is undermined in the process of the establishment of an ideological Islamic State. Islam requires the earth—not just a portion, but the whole planet .... because the entire mankind should benefit from the ideology and welfare programme [of Islam] ... Towards this end, Islam wishes to press into service all forces which can bring about a revolution and a composite term for the use of all these forces is ‘Jihad’. .... the objective of the Islamic ‘ jihād’ is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of state rule.

He explained that jihad was not only combat for God but all effort that helped those waging combat (qitaal):

“In the jihad in the way of Allah, active combat is not always the role on the battlefield, nor can everyone fight in the front line. Just for one single battle preparations have often to be made for decades on end and the plans deeply laid, and while only some thousands fight in the front line there are behind them millions engaged in various tasks which, though small themselves, contribute directly to the supreme effort.”

Ideology of Qutb

The main tenet of Qutbist ideology is that the Muslim community (or the Muslim community outside of a vanguard fighting to reestablish it) "has been extinct for a few centuries" having reverted to Godless ignorance (Jahiliyya), and must be reconquered for Islam.

Qutb outlined his ideas in his book Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq (aka Milestones). Other important principles of Qutbism include:[citation needed]

Adherence to Sharia as sacred law accessible to humans, without which Islam cannot exist
Adherence to Sharia as a complete way of life that will bring not only justice, but peace, personal serenity, scientific discovery, complete freedom from servitude, and other benefits
Avoidance of Western and non-Islamic "evil and corruption," including socialism and nationalism.[5]
Vigilance against Western and Jewish conspiracies against Islam
A two-pronged attack of 1) preaching to convert and 2) jihad to forcibly eliminate the "structures" of Jahiliyya.
The importance of offensive Jihad to eliminate Jahiliyya not only from the Islamic homeland but from the face of the earth.


The most controversial aspect of Qutbism is Takfir, Qutb's idea that Islam is "extinct." According to Takfir, with the exception of Qutb’s Islamic vanguard, those who call themselves Muslims are not actually Muslim. Takfir was intended to shock Muslims into religious re-armament. When taken literally, Takfir also had the effect of causing non-Qutbists who claimed to be Muslim in violation of Sharia law, a law that Qutb very much supported. Violating this law could potentially be considered apostasy from Islam: a crime punishable by death according to Qutbis.

Because of these serious consequences, Muslims have traditionally been reluctant to practice takfir, that is, to pronounce professed Muslims as unbelievers (even Muslims in violation of Islamic law).This prospect of fitna, or internal strife, between Qutbists and "takfir-ed" mainstream Muslims, was put to Qutb by prosecutors in the trial that led to his execution, and is still made by his Muslim detractors.

Qutb died before he could clear up the issue of whether jahiliyya referred to the whole "Muslim world," to only Muslim governments, or only in an allegorical sense,but a serious campaign of terror—or "physical power and jihad" against "the organizations and authorities" of "jahili" Egypt—by insurgents observers believed were influenced by Qutb, followed in the 1980s and 1990s.Victims included Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, head of the counter-terrorism police Major General Raouf Khayrat, parliamentary speaker Rifaat el-Mahgoub, dozens of European tourists and Egyptian bystanders, and over one hundred Egyptian police officers. Other factors (such as economic dislocation/stagnation and rage over President Sadat's policy of reconciliation with Israel) played a part in instigating the violence, but Qutb's takfir against Jahiliyyah (or jahili) society, and his passionate belief that Jahiliyya government was irredeemably evil played a key role.

Javed Ahmed Ghamidi on Jihad:
Javed Ahamad Ghamidi.jpg
Ghamidi believes that there are certain directives of the Qur’an pertaining to war which were specific only to the Prophet Muhammad and certain specified peoples of his times (particularly the progeny of Abraham: the Ishmaelites, the Israelites, and the Nazarites). Thus, the Prophet and his designated followers waged a war against Divinely specified peoples of their time (the polytheists and the Israelites and Nazarites of Arabia and some other Jews, Christians, et al.) as a form of Divine punishment and asked the polytheists of Arabia for submission to Islam as a condition for exoneration and the others for jizya and submission to the political authority of the Muslims for exemption from death punishment and for military protection as the dhimmis of the Muslims. Therefore, after the Prophet and his companions, there is no concept in Islam obliging Muslims to wage war for propagation or implementation of Islam.
The only valid basis for jihad through arms is to end oppression when all other measures have failed.According to him Jihad can only be waged by an organized Islamic state. No person, party or group can take arms into their hands (for the purpose of waging Jihad) under any circumstances. Another corollary, in his opinion, is that death punishment for apostasy was also specifically for the recipients of the same Divine punishment during the Prophet's times—for they had persistently denied the truth of the Prophet's mission even after it had been made conclusively evident to them by God through the Prophet.

The formation of an Islamic state is not a religious obligation per se upon the Muslims. However, he believes that if and when Muslims form a state of their own, Islam does impose certain religious obligations on its rulers as establishment of the institution of salat (obligatory prayer), zakah (mandatory charity), and 'amr bi'l-ma'ruf wa nahi 'ani'l-munkar (preservation and promotion of society's good conventions and customs and eradication of social vices; this, in Ghamidi's opinion, should be done in modern times through courts, police, etc. in accordance with the law of the land which, as the government itself, must be based on the opinion of the majority).

Ibn Baz :

Jihad is of various kinds, with one’s self, one's wealth, by making dua, by teaching and guiding, by helping to do good in any way. The greatest form of jihad is jihad with one’s self (i.e., going oneself and fighting,--This is a completely disingenuous transliteration. Jihad 'alaan-Nafs or Jihad 'alaal-Hawaa' is unanimously accepted as the struggle against ones' self, i.e., the lower desires. There are not sources for this, this is simple Arabic grammar.]), followed by jihad with one's wealth, jihad by speaking out and guiding others. Dawah is also part of jihad. But going out oneself to fight in jihad is the highest form. (Fatawa ash-Sheikh Ibn Baz, 7/334, 335)

Majid Khadduri:

Jihad may be regarded as Islam’s instrument for carrying out its ultimate objective by turning all people into believers, if not in the prophet-hood of Muhammad (as in the case of the dhimmis), at least in the belief of God. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have declared "some of my people will continue to fight victoriously for the sake of the truth until the last one of them will combat the anti-Christ." Until that moment is reached the jihad, in one form or another will remain as a permanent obligation upon the entire Muslim community. It follows that the existence of a dar al-harb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic jural order; that the dar al-Islam (Islamic community) are permanently under jihad obligation until the dar al-harb is reduced to non-existence; and that any community accepting certain disabilities- must submit to Islamic rule and reside in the dar al-Islam or be bound as clients to the Muslim community. The universality of Islam, in its all embracing creed, is imposed on the believers as a continuous process of warfare, psychological and political if not strictly military.'


Just as punishments of amputation of hands and flogging despite being unmistakable injunctions of the Qur'an cannot be implemented by individuals, similarly Jihad cannot be done by people on their own. In both cases, an Islamic State is a precondition. However, while people are willing to accept the condition of the State for the implementation of punishment, they are not willing to accept the condition for the purpose of Jihad. What he says is that if the leader of the Jihad movement cannot be given the right to enforce Islamic punishments on his soldiers on committing crimes, how can he be allowed to lead them to fight and risk their lives?

The scholar also claims that the understanding that an Islamic State with an Amir is a necessary condition for doing jihad is an understanding which almost all earlier scholars agreed to. This is so because it was realised by the scholars that the permission to do Jihad, like in the case of punishments, was given to the prophet, Allah's mercy be on him, and his companions only after he had migrated to Madina where he was able to create an Islamic State. It is only in the recent times that there has emerged a tendency amongst religious leaders to lead people in Jihad without the power of the State.

If the condition of Islamic state is not recognised and it is conceded that any well-meaning Muslim leader can declare Jihad against the enemies, then there is a potential danger of the creation of conditions of utter chaos and bloodshed in the name of Jihad. One religious group may consider another as worthy of being fought against. In fact, many of such groups have sometimes shown the tendency of doing 'Jihad' against fellow Muslim groups as well, because they don't consider those others as Muslims. Most of the killings in the Sunni-Shia disputes take place in the name of Jihad. This tendency has not only led to unnecesary bloodshed, it has also badly damaged the good name of Islam, because many people blame Islam for whatever is going on in the name of Jihad.

I find all these arguments of the scholar convincing and worthy of our attention. I therefore am inclined to believe that even if Muslims of the present times are being subjected to difficulties by non-Muslims, they should endure them patiently and continue to live as good Muslims. This attitude is likely to bring many non-Muslims closer to Islam. If matters go beyond limits, they should either migrate to an Islamic State or urge that state to declare Jihad against the tyrant rulers who are causing hardship for Muslims. However, under no circumstances should stray groups of Muslims resort to armed struggle for independence. They can, however, defend themselves with arms if attacked by the enemy.
Khalid Zaheer:

Radical Islamists Extremist Ideology:

The radical Islamist movements in general developed during the Islamic revival and Islamist movement of the last three decades of the 20th century, along with less extreme movements.

Some have argued that "without the writings" of Islamic author and thinker Sayyid Qutb, " these movements would not have existed." Qutb preached that because of the lack of sharia law, the Muslim world was no longer Muslim, having reverted to pre-Islamic ignorance known as jahiliyyah.

To restore Islam, he said a vanguard movement of righteous Muslims was needed to establish "true Islamic states", implement sharia, and rid the Muslim world of any non-Muslim influences, such as concepts like socialism and nationalism. Enemies of Islam in Qutb's view included "treacherous Orientalists"and "world Jewry", who plotted "conspiracies" and "wicked[ly]" opposed Islam.

In the words of Mohammed Jamal Khalifa:

Islam is different from any other religion; it's a way of life. We were trying to understand what Islam has to say about how we eat, who we marry, how we talk. We read Sayyid Qutb. He was the one who most affected our generation.

One of the most powerful of Qutb's ideas was that many who said they were Muslims were not. Rather, they were apostates. That not only gave jihadists "a legal loophole around the prohibition of killing another Muslim," but made "it a religious obligation to execute" these self-professed Muslims. These alleged apostates included leaders of Muslim countries, since they failed to enforce sharia law.
Read more:
  1. Jihad: Myth & Reality
  2. Takfir- Docrine of Terror
  3. Islamic Decree [Fatwa] Against Terrorism
  4. Tolerance
  5. Rebellion by Khawarij Taliban & Shari’ah in Pakistan 
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