Fiqh: Islamic Jurisprudence – Jihad
Written by Abdullah Azzam
Offensive Jihad (where the enemy is attacked in his own territory)
Where the Kuffar are not gathering to fight the Muslims. The fighting becomes fard Kifaya with the minimum requirement of appointing believers to guard borders, and the sending of an army at least once a year to terrorize the enemies of Allah. It is a duty Of upon the Imam to assemble and send out an army unit into the land of war once or twice every year. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the Muslim population to assist him, and if he does not send an army he is in sin. And the Ulama have mentioned that this type of jihad is for maintaining the payment of Jizya. The scholars of the principles of religion have also said: “Jihad is Da’wah with a force, and is obligatory to perform with all available capabilities, until there remains only Muslims or people who submit to Islam.”
This is expelling the Kuffar from our land, and it is Fard Ayn, a compulsory duty upon all. It is the most important of the compulsory duties and arises in the following
A) If the Kuffar enter a land of the Muslims.
B) If the rows meet in battle and they begin to approach each other.
C) If the Imam calls a person or a people to march forward then they must march.
D) If the Kuffar capture and imprison a group of Muslims.
The First Condition: If the Kuffar Enter a Muslim Land.
In this condition the pious predecessors, those who succeeded them, the Ulama of the four Mathhabs (Maliki, Hanafi, Shaffie and Hanbali), the Muhadditheen, and the Tafseer commentators, are agreed that in all Islamic ages, Jihad under this condition becomes Fard Ayn upon the Muslims of the land which the Kuffar have attacked and upon the Muslims close by, where the children will march forth without the permission of the parents, the wife without the permission of her husband and the debtor without the permission of the creditor. And, if the Muslims of this land cannot expel the Kuffar because of lack of forces, because they slacken, are indolent or simply do not act, then the Fard Ayn obligation spreads in the shape of a circle from the nearest to the next nearest.
If they too slacken or there is again a shortage of manpower, then it is upon the people behind them, and on the people behind them, to march forward. This process continues until it becomes Fard Ayn upon the whole world.
Sheikh Ibn Taymia says on this topic: “About the defensive jihad, which is repelling an aggressor, is the most tasking type of jihad. As agreed upon by everyone, it
is obligatory to protect the religion and what is sacred. The first obligation after Iman is the repulsion of the enemy aggressor who assaults the religion and the worldly affairs.
There are no conditional requirements such as supplies or transport, rather he is fought with all immediate capability. The Ulama, our peers and others have spoken about this.”
Ibn Taymia supports his opinion of the absence of the requirement of transport in his reply to the Judge who said: “If jihad becomes Fard Ayn upon the people of a country, one of the requirements, in comparison to Hajj, is that one must have supplies and a ride if the distance is such that one shortens the prayer”. Ibn Taymia said: “What the Judge has said in comparison to Hajj has not been stated before by anybody and is a weak argument. Jihad is obligatory because it is for the repulsion of the harm of the enemy, therefore it has priority over Hijr . For Hijr no transport is considered necessary. Of the Jihads some take priority. It is furthered in a sahih hadith narrated by Ebaad Bin Asaamat that the Prophet (saw) said: “it is upon the Muslim to listen and obey in hardship and prosperity, in what he likes and dislikes, and even if he is not given his rights”.
Therefore, the pillar of the most important of obligations, is the marching forward in times of hardship as well as prosperity. As has been stated, contrary to Hajj, the obligation remains present in times of hardship. And this is in offensive jihad. So it is clear that defensive jihad carries a greater degree of obligation. To defend the sacred things and the religion from the aggressor is obligatory, as agreed upon by everyone. The first obligation after Iman is repulsion of the enemy aggressor who assaults the religion and the worldly affairs”. Now we look at the opinions of the four Mathhabs who are all in agreement on this point.
Opinions of the Mathhabs
Ibn Aabidin said: “Jihad becomes Fard Ayn if the enemy attacks one of the borders of the Muslims, and it becomes Fard Ayn upon those close by. For those who are far away, it is Fard Kifaya, if their assistance is not required. If they are needed, perhaps because those nearby the attack cannot resist the enemy, or are indolent and do not fight Jihad, then it becomes Fard Ayn upon those behind them, like the obligation to pray and fast. There is no room for them to leave it. If they too are unable, then it becomes Fard Ayn upon those behind them, and so on in the same manner until the jihad becomes Fard Ayn upon the whole Ummah of Islam from the East to the West”.
And the following have like Fatawa: Al Kassani, Ibn Najim and Ibn Hammam.
In Hashiyat ad Dussuqi it is stated: Jihad becomes Fard Ayn upon a surprise attack by the enemy. Dussuqi said: “Wherever this happens, jihad immediately becomes Fard Ayn upon everybody, even women, slaves and children, and they march out even if their guardians, husbands and creditors forbid them to.”
In the Nihayat al Mahtaj by Ramli: “If they approach one of our lands and the distance between them and us becomes less than the distance permitting the shortening of prayers, then the people of that territory must defend it and it becomes Fard Ayn even upon the people for whom there is usually no jihad; the poor, the children, the slaves, the debtor and the women.”
In Al Mughni by Ibn al Qadamah: “Jihad becomes Fard Ayn in three situations:
1) If the two sides meet in battle and they approach each other.
2) If the Kuffar enter a land, jihad becomes Fard Ayn upon its people.
3) If the Imam calls a people to march forward it is obligatory upon them to
And Ibn Taymia remarked: “If the enemy enters a Muslim land, there is no doubt that it is obligatory for the closest and then the next closest to repel him, because the Muslim lands are like one land. It is obligatory to march to the territory even without the permission of parents or creditor, and narrations reported by Ahmad are clear on this.” This situation is known as the General March.
Sheikh Abdullah Azzam
Defense of the Muslim Lands