Islamic Scholars about True Islam and Jihad
Sayyed Iman: Summary of the Document of 'Right Guidance for Jihad Activity in Egypt and the World' from December 9, 2007
In the second installation of the Al-Hayat interview, published December 9, 2007, Sayyed Imam provided his own summary of his new work, Document of Right Guidance for Jihad Activity in Egypt and the World.
The document, after the introduction, contains 15 articles and four notices:
"Article 1: Elucidation of the truth of the Islamic religion and the fact that it is obligatory on all humanity, and that its shari'a already includes everything that created beings need to make right their [portion in] this world and the next, until Judgment Day.
Article 2: Elucidation concerning the conditions for being obligated [to perform a commandment], in addition to [the condition of] mental competence: one must know that the matter is obligatory, and one must be capable of carrying it out. It is not permitted to venture any action until one knows what its status is in the shari'a, as Allah said (Koran 17:36): 'Pursue not that of which you have no knowledge'.
This is especially true in jihad, which entails the taking of lives and property that are normally inviolable. And it is not permitted to undertake to carry out that which one is not in a position to do, because Allah said (Koran 2:286) 'Allah only imposes on someone that of which he is capable'. A Muslim incurs no sin for [failing to do] that of which he is incapable, and his reward will be given in payment for his right intention.
One May Not Steal in Order to Fund Jihad; One Who Lacks the Necessary Resources is Exempt:
Article 3: One who lacks the resources is not obligated to fight jihad, even in cases where jihad is an individual obligation (fardh 'ayn). Jihad was an individual obligation in the Tabuk raid, and Allah excused those who stayed behind due to lack of resources, [as He said] in Koran 9:91: 'There is no blame on those who cannot find what to expend.' And the Prophet said, in a hadith whose authenticity is agreed upon, that Allah wrote [i.e. decreed] reward for this raid for those [who stayed behind due to lack of resources] in payment for the sincerity of their intention.
"One who lacks resources [to fight jihad] is forbidden to acquire money through forbidden means, like burglarizing those whose property it is forbidden to take, in order to make use of these funds for jihad. It is not permitted to do that which is not permitted in order to carry out that which is not required of him due to his inability. If he violates this, then his jihad, if he carries it out, is not accepted [by Allah], since the Prophet has said: 'Allah is good and accepts only the good,' as told by Muslim [i.e. in Muslim Ibn Al-Hajjaj's compendium of hadith]."
Jihad Requires the Permission of One's Parents and Creditors:
Article 4: It is not permitted to go out to fight jihad without the permission of both parents and the permission of one's creditors, because acting rightly with one's parents is an individual obligation (fardh 'ayn), and they have rights over their son, and [thus] he should not go out to jihad without their permission. This appears in an authentic hadith.
Likewise, Allah does not accept martyrdom as atonement for a mujahid's debts, and he should not go out [to fight jihad] without the permission of his creditor.
"This has become pandemic in our times. We find parents who only learn that their son has gone to fight jihad after his picture is published in the newspapers as a fatality or a prisoner."
Allah Permitted One Who Is Weak to Hide and Disguise His Faith:
Article 5: Elucidation [of the fact] that protecting Muslims from ruination is one of the purposes of the shari'a, and for this reason Allah permitted one who is weak to hide and disguise his faith. Allah [also] permitted emigration.
"Allah considered equality of force between the Muslims and their enemy [as a condition] and did not obligate the Muslims to persist in fighting if the enemy [numbers] more than double [the Muslims]. In addition, Allah permitted peace treaties (sulh) and cease-fires (hudna) with the infidels, either in exchange for money or without it - all of this in order to protect the Muslims, in contrast with those who push them into peril.
Article 6: Elucidation [of the fact that] it is not permitted to fight the rulers in Muslim countries today in order to implement the Islamic shari'a, due to [the Muslims'] incapacity to do this, and due to [its entailing] more damage than benefit. Exposition of this is to be found in the second notice at the end of the Document." [See translation below.]
It Is Forbidden to Harm Tourists, Even If it is Known that They Are Infidels:
Article 7: On the prohibition of doing harm to tourists who come to Muslim lands, even if it is established that they are infidels, and all the more so when there may be Muslims among them.
"I gave six reasons for this, and they are summed up in what Abu 'Omar Bin 'Abd Al-Barr wrote in Al-Istidhkar: that anything the infidel thinks is a guarantee of safety (aman) when he comes to us is a [valid] guarantee of safety, in the view of all of the jurisprudents. Al-Shafi'i expounds on this in [Kitab] Al-'Umm, vol. 4, p. 196, and the essence of what he says is that the infidel does not distinguish between those of us from whom he may receive a guarantee of security and those of us from whom he may not.
In any event, if an infidel comes to us with an invalid guarantee of security, what is required is not killing him; rather, one must convey him to where he is safe (i.e., to send him off and expel him to wherever he wants where he will be safe), as Allah said (Koran 9:6): 'Then convey him to where he is safe'.
Article 8: One who enters the Abode of War (dar al-harb) under a guarantee of safety from its people is prohibited from [undertaking] acts of belligerency. He is not permitted to betray them with regard to their lives, their honor, or their property. This is a matter of agreement among the scholars, as I said when I spoke of 'perfidy towards the enemy' in connection with the events of September 11, 2001. Allah said (Koran 5:1) 'Oh those who believe, fulfill [your] obligations'. This [i.e. keeping one's obligations] is obligatory with Muslims and with infidels. The Prophet said: 'Perfidy is not right in our religion'."
On Killing Civilians:
Article 9: Prohibition against killing civilians. The prohibition against killing those civilians who are visibly Muslims is emphasized in the Prophet's saying, 'Every Muslim's life, property, and honor is inviolable to other Muslims', as told by Muslim [i.e. in Muslim Ibn Al-Hajjaj's compendium of hadith].
"Those whose condition is unknown [i.e. when it is not known whether or not they are Muslim], it is not permitted to attack them, even in a state of fighting, until the truth of their condition is known, because Allah said (Koran 4:94): 'Oh you who believe, when you go forth to fight jihad, distinguish' [Muslims from non-Muslims]."
Article 10: Some guiding rules of takfir [pronouncing other Muslims apostates] in the shari'a. I state [in this article] that takfir is a shari'a law, and not a forbidden innovation. There is original heresy [i.e. when one is born a non-Muslim] and there is newly-occurring heresy (apostasy).
When a Muslim does something that makes one an apostate, he should not be judged an apostate until one has examined his action (word or deed) [to see] whether it is explicit or ambiguous, and whether the proof text that indicates his apostasy is explicit or ambiguous. Then one must examine the conditions [required for declaring him an apostate] and the impediments [that would prohibit declaring him an apostate] with regard to this individual, in accordance with the principle of 'the ruling is applied to the case when the condition is present and the impediment is absent.
Then, there is a difference between abstract takfir (ruling only on the cause), and takfir against the individual (after considering the conditions and the impediments), which is to be referred to a Muslim judge (qadi).
Once [someone's] apostasy has been proven, it is obligatory to propose to him that he repent. No subject should carry out any of the Koranic punishments (hudud) except on his slaves; he is not permitted to do this against free men like himself. If this were not the case, anarchy would ensue, and people would kill one another on the slightest suspicion.
Egypt's Christians Are Not Dhimmis, But Citizens:
Article 11: On the impermissibility of doing any harm to the Christians in our land, and elucidation of the fact that they are not dhimmis but citizens. The principle regarding them is 'treat them as they treat you' (al-mu'amala bi'l-mithl).
It is obligatory to act kindly towards one's neighbor, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. Violation of this is a cardinal sin. All of them fall under what Allah said (Koran 60:8): 'Allah does not forbid you from dealing kindly and justly with those who did not fight you over religion and did not drive you from your homes; Allah loves those who deal justly.' This is in addition to the Prophet's particular injunction regarding the Copts of Egypt, due to their being tied [to us] by blood relations and relations of marriage.
Article 12: [This article deals with] the question of the individual jihad that Allah mentioned (Koran 4:84): 'Fight [jihad] for the sake of Allah, and impose this only on yourself.' This [verse] expresses permission and not obligation, and I provide the proof of this. The permission is subject to some stipulations, among the most important of which are: asking the permission of the Emir or the ruler, if there is one; that he not harm other Muslims, as the Prophet said in an accepted hadith, '[Refrain from doing] harm to others or to oneself'; that he not carry out aggression that Allah has forbidden by killing Muslims or non-Muslims whose lives are inviolable or by destroying their possessions, as Allah said (2:190): 'Do not be aggressors, for Allah does not love the aggressors.'
Article 13: [This article contains] advice to the Muslims in general, [dealing with] a number of issues, such as the obligation to study religion, to seek one's livelihood, things that are permitted, and staying away from wrong actions and sins, and so on."
Jihad is In Force Until Judgment Day; The Islamic Caliphate Is Coming Before the Mahdi Appears:
Article 14: Advice to the rulers of Muslim lands, the most important [part] of which is [that they should] implement the Islamic shari'a, by which there is good for the land and for the people, and in which there is the glory of this world and salvation in the next world. [They should] then take care to reduce corruption and iniquities [committed by the government against the people, mazalim], raise the level of religious instruction, and care for those who engage in it.
Article 15: [This article contains] the good tidings that Islam, the Muslims, and their triumph will remain until Judgment Day is nigh, that jihad is [a commandment that is] in force until Judgment Day is nigh, and that the Islamic Caliphate is coming before the appearance of the Mahdi, and other good tidings, together with their proofs..."
Sayyed Imam then summarizes the four additional notices in the Document:
Notice 1 is about my Islamic writings, and that they are merely the passing on of religious knowledge to the people, and are not fatwas. The laws stated in my writings are in the abstract and can only be applied to particular cases by a qualified scholar, which I am not. I take back anything in my writings that is [found to be] contrary to an opposing true and sound shari'a proof.
Notice 2 is an elucidation of the shari'a reasons and practical reasons that make clear that fighting against the rulers in Egypt is not permitted. Among the shari'a reasons are the imbalance [in forces between the rulers and the mujahideen] and the incapacity [of the mujahideen]. Among the practical reasons are the incapacity of popular movements to bring about regime change in Egypt throughout history... [see translation below]
Notice 3 is a refutation of the dubious argument that this document is a call to desist from supporting the mujahideen. Correction of mistakes is an obligation and is not a withdrawal of support. The Prophet said: 'I am free of guilt before you for what Khaled [Bin Al-Walid] has done'(9)... Was the Prophet withdrawing support [for jihad]?
Notice 4 is a refutation of the dubious argument that 'there is no loyalty to a prisoner'... The summary of what I said on this matter is that 'what is important is the proof [contained in] what is written, and not where it was written'. Whoever has an objection to anything I have said based on a shari'a proof, I am ready to consider it [i.e. his objection] and discuss it, and I am ready to accept the truth, even when it is contrary to what I have said..."(10)