Misconceptions about Jihad
Jihad is Only Defensive?
This is not true. According to Muslim scholar Dr. Hawarey, 80% of the battles Muhammad participated in were offensive.
Explanation of verse 9:29
(...until there is no more Fitnah) meaning, Shirk. This is the opinion of Ibn `Abbas, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi`, Muqatil bin Hayyan, As-Suddi and Zayd bin Aslam.
(...and the religion (all and every kind of worship) is for Allah (Alone).) means, `So that the religion of Allah becomes dominant above all other religions.' It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said: "The Prophet was asked, `O Allah's Messenger! A man fights out of bravery, and another fights to show off, which of them fights in the cause of Allah' The Prophet said:
(I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight the people until they proclaim, `None has the right to be worshipped but Allah'. Whoever said it, then he will save his life and property from me, except for cases of the law, and their account will be with Allah.)
(He who fights so that Allah's Word is superior, then he fights in Allah's cause.) In addition, it is reported in the Two Sahihs:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Explanation of verse 2:193
(c. 1445-1505 AD) was a famous Egyptian writer, religious scholar, juristic expert and teacher.
Al Azhar University Scholar, Dr. M. Sa’id Ramadan Al-Buti:
Leader of the Afghan Jihad,
Sheikh Abdullah Azzam
(1263 - 1328) was a famous Islamic scholar, theologian and logician. As a member of the school founded by Ibn Hanbal, he sought the return of Islam to its sources, the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
Ahmad Sirhindi (d. 1624) was an Islamic scholar and a prominent Sufi. He is regarded as having rejuvenated Islam, due to which he is commonly called "Mujadid Alf Thani", meaning "reviver of the second millennium".
Kufr and Islam are opposed to each other. The progress of one is possible only at the expense of the other and co-existences between these two contradictory faiths in unthinkable.
The honor of Islam lies in insulting kufr and kafirs. One who respects kafirs, dishonors the Muslims. To respect them does not merely mean honouring them and assigning them a seat of honor in any assembly, but it also implies keeping company with them or showing considerations to them. They should be kept at an arm's length like dogs. ... If some worldly business cannot be performed without them, in that case only a minimum of contact should be established with them but without taking them into confidence. The highest Islamic sentiment asserts that it is better to forego that worldly business and that no relationship should be established with the kafirs.
The real purpose in levying jizya on them is to humiliate them to such an extent that, on account of fear of jizya, they may not be able to dress well and to live in grandeur. They should constantly remain terrified and trembling. It is intended to hold them under contempt and to uphold the honor and might of Islam.
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For further information, see: Scholars on Jihad
Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah." Narrated Maimun ibn Siyah that he asked Anas bin Malik,"O Abu Hamza! What makes the life and property of a person sacred?" He replied, "Whoever says, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah', faces our Qibla during the prayers, prays like us and eats our slaughtered animal, then he is a Muslim, and has got the same rights and obligations as other Muslims have."
Actions of the Khalifa
Khalid ibn al Walid
The following letter was written by Khalid, from his head-quarters in Babylonia, to the Persian monarch before invading it.
Umar ibn Al Khattab
Abu Bakr as Siddiqi
You Cannot Kill Non-Combatants?
According to the hadith, Muhammad allowed the killing of women and children during nocturnal attacks (night raids). In the Seige of taif, Muhammad reportedly used Ballistics (catapults) against the enemy. When asked about the non-combatant woman and children being killed, he said:
Sheikh Al Shuaybi says that Muhammad therefore (as is evident) acknowledged that non-combatants could be killed and allowed indiscriminate killings. Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed also referred to this hadith to justify why killing women and children is Islamic.
It is true that in other hadith, Muhammad forbade intentionally targeting woman and children. However, scholars have come to the logical conclusion that this was not because they were non-combatants, but because it is better to take them for slavery or exchange them for Muslim prisoners. As Muhammad took the Jewish woman and children of Banu Qurayza for slavery.
(1058-1111) was a Persian jurist who contributed significantly to the development of Sufism and is one of the most celebrated scholars in the history of Islamic thought.
(1126 - 1198) was a famous Andalusian-Arab master of Islamic law, philosopher, physician and mathematician.
There is controversy about the question whether it is allowed to slay hermits who have retired from the world, the blind, the chronically ill and the insane, those who are old and unable to fight any longer, peasants, and 
The following Q&A is taken from the Arabic section of Islam Online.
"Is it permissible to kill civilians in Israel through martyrdom operations which are carried out by Palestinians in defense of their land?"
Sheikh Faisal Mawlawi, Islam Online, January 23, 2002
Killing Muslim civilians (theory of tattarus) via the use of them as human shields.
Those who believe that killing innocent people, including Muslims, is justified in certain cases, base their opinion on the principle of tattarrus. The word, which originally meant "dressing up," was first used as a religious term in the book "Al-Mustasfa" ("The Place of Purification") by Abu-Hamed al-Ghazali (d.1127), to mean "using ordinary Muslims as human shields for Islamic combatants against infidel fighters."
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Initially, al-Qaradawi had ruled that only three categories of unarmed individuals could be killed: apostates, who have turned their back to Islam; homosexuals, who "dirty" the pure society — and Israelis, including unborn children, who could grow up to join the Jewish army.
Now, however, al-Qaradawi has expanded his doctrine to allow for the killing of innocent Muslims in Iraq. His argument is stark: What matters is the broader interest of the Islamic ummah which could, under certain circumstances, necessitate operations in which Muslim civilians lose their lives.
Other Saudi theologians, including Abu-Muhammad al-Maqdasi and Abu-Basir al-Tartussi, go further and apply tattarrus to situations where no "infidel" troops are present. Thus they justify the killing of innocent Muslim Saudis in Saudi Arabia because, they claim, such actions could lead to the establishment of a "truly Islamic regime."
That position is supported by several Saudi theologians, including Hammoud al-Uqalla, Ali al-Khudhair, Nasser al-Fahd, Ahmad al-Khalidi and Safar al-Hawali. Their argument is that the broader interest of the ummah requires the expulsion of the U.S.-led forces from Iraq and that the killing of innocent Iraqis in whatever numbers is of no concern to the combatants, whose place in paradise is assured.
Qur'an - Disbelief (al-Fitnah) is Worse Than Killing
Explanation of verse 2:217
(And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.) Meaning what you (disbelievers) are committing is much worse than killing. Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that what Allah said:(And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.) "Shirk (polytheism) is worse than killing.
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
This verse was revealed when a non-Muslim non-combatant was killed in the events of the Nakhla Raid. It was revealed to justify the killing of the non combatant, because non-Muslims do Fitnah... this is a graver crime in the eyes of Allah...than killing the non-combatant disbelievers  Osama Bin Laden also used this in his interviews to justify killing non-combatants.
You Can Only Fight Those Who Fight You?
This verse has been abrogated by verses from chapter nine.
The Best Jihad is The Inner Struggle?
The idea that their is a greater and lesser jihad originated from the 11th century book, The History of Baghdad, by the Islamic scholar al-Khatib al-Baghdadiis, by way of Yahya ibn al 'Ala', who said,
This hadith does not appear in any of the famous hadith books (Sahih Bukhari, Muslim, Dawud, Tirmidhi), and can be easily refuted.
Dr. Abdullah Yusuf Azzam
Imam Abdullah Azzam, Join the Caravan
Ibn Taymiyahh (also known as Shaykh ul-Islam to Muslim clerics)
Answer:There are different kinds of jihad - with one's self, wealth, supplication, teaching, giving guidance, or helping others in good in any form.The highest form of jihad, however, is with one's life (the intent here is not suicide, for that is forbidden in Islam), then comes Jihad with one's wealth and jihad with teaching and guidance, and in this way Da'wah is a form of jihad, but jihad with one's life is the highest form.
The Egyptian, Dr. Muhammad Amin says about those who believe this hadith:
Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani
This fabricated hadith, goes against the Qur'an.
Jihad is not obligatory?
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 march forward.
If They Incline Towards Peace, You Must Incline Towards Peace?
In both the Tafsir Ibn Abbas and Tafsir al-Jalalayn, it states that according to Ibn ‘Abbās (Muhammad's Cousin) verse 8:61 has been replaced (abrogated) by another well known verse.
And here is that verse in full.
Notice that it says "if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them". The only way a non-believer can repent and establish regular prayers, is by converting to Islam. Muhammad also said, fighting must go on even after it stops.
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Abdullah Yusuf Azzam
Imam Abdullah Azzam
Imam Abdullah Azzam
Suicide Bombing is Not Allowed in Jihad?
While some are against it, many scholars such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Zakir Naik claim suicide bombing is permitted in Islam. Click here to watch an explanation by Zakir Naik in one of his lectures.
Below is a fatwa issued by Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, discussing the reasons why it is permissible for women to participate in "Martyr Operations" (e.g. suicide bombings).
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The martyr operations is the greatest of all sorts of Jihad in the Cause of Allah. A martyr operation is carried out by a person who sacrifices himself, deeming his life less value than striving in the Cause of Allah, in the cause of restoring the land and preserving the dignity. To such a valorous attitude applies the following Qur’anic verse: “And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah; and Allah hath compassion on (His) bondmen.” (Al-Baqarah: 207)
But a clear distinction has to be made here between martyrdom and suicide. Suicide is an act or instance of killing oneself intentionally out of despair, and finding no outlet except putting an end to one’s life. On the other hand, martyrdom is a heroic act of choosing to suffer death in the Cause of Allah, and that’s why it’s considered by most Muslim scholars as one of the greatest forms of Jihad.
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Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, IslamOnline, November 6, 2006
Below is an excerpt taken from a fatwa by Muslim scholar Sheikh al-Uyayri, explaining in depth why suicide bombings and killing of civilians (including Muslims) via the use of them as "human shields" is permissible in Islam. Due to space (the fatwa is fifteen pages in length) we cannot quote it here in its entirety, but we strongly urge you to take your time and read it. Referencing the Qur'an and hadith, this piece is enlightening.
1. One's intention is sincere and pure - to raise the Word of Allah.
2. One is reasonably sure that the desired effect cannot be achieved by any other means which would guarantee preservation of his life.
3. One is reasonably sure that loss will be inflicted on the enemy, or they will be frightened, or the Muslims will be emboldened.
4. One should consult with war strategy experts, and especially with the amber of war, for otherwise he may upset plan and alert the enemy to their presence.
If the first condition is absent, the deed is worthless, but if it is satisfied while some others are lacking, then it is not the best thing, but this does not necessarily mean the Mujahid is not shaheed.We also explained how causing a death carries the same verdict as actual killing. Hence one who plunges without armour into the enemy ranks, being certain of death, just like one who engages in a martyrdom operation, is effectively causing his own death, but they are praiseworthy because of the circumstances and intention, and hence are not considered to have committed suicide. We also clarified that [according to the majority] the identity of the killer does not have an effect on whether the Mujahid will be considered shaheed. This dispels the wavering arising from the fact that the Mujahid is taking his own life. Thus, such operations could take on any of the five Shar`i verdicts depending on intention and circumstances. Finally, we clarified that taking one's own life is not always blameworthy; rather it is contingent on the motives behind it. So, we conclude that one who kills himself because of his strong faith and out of love for Allah and the Prophet, and in the interests of the religion, is praiseworthy.
Terrorism is Not Allowed in Jihad?
Allah casts terror into the disbelievers by the hands of the Muslims.
Explanation of verse 8:12
Explanation of verse 8:60
(the enemy of Allah and your enemy), the disbelievers,(and others besides them), such as Bani Qurayzah, according to Mujahid, or persians, according to As-Suddi.
Hadith and Islamic Sources
Scholars on Terrorism
Ziauddin Barani (1285 - 1357 AD)
Dr. Yusuf Azzam
Sheikh Abdullah Azzam
For further information, see: Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Muhammad and Terrorism and If Anyone Slew a Person (Qur'an 5:32)
You Need a Caliphate or Imam to Participate in Jihad?
o9.1 Jihad is a communal obligation (def: c3.2). When enough people perform it to successfully accomplish it, it is no longer obligatory upon others.
o9.8 The caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians [kafirs] (N: provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya, def: o11.4) - which is the significance of their paying it, not the money itself-while remaining in their ancestral regions) (O: and the war continues) until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax (O: in accordance with the word of Allah Most High.
(A: though if there is no caliph (def: o25), no permission is required).
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
The first two points do not mention anything about an Imam or caliphate.
For further information, see: Jihad is Compulsory (Fard)
You Need Permission From Parents to Participate in Jihad?
The Jihad which needs permission of parents is the offensive one where you invade non-Muslim land.
Fatwa, Islam Online, April 8, 2003
It is Forbidden to Cut Down Trees in Jihad?
Previously Muhammad forbade his followers from cutting trees but then he changed his mind after a new revelation.
Woman Cannot Participate in Jihad?
First, if the enemies invade Muslims in their homes, all Muslims who could carry weapons (women, men, and children) must participate in fighting to chase away the enemies and protect Muslim territorial integrity. In this situation, they should participate in any way they can. Second, if the Muslims invade their enemies, in this case, the Muslim women can participate and go with the Muslim army if the latter is a strong and powerful army and if there is no fear that Muslim women would be taken prisoners. Ibn Abdel Bar [who was a famous Maliki Islamic Scholar] said: 'They (the women) can go with the army if the army is strong enough to take hold of the enemy's army'. This is the opinion of all scholars and it is an imitation of a Sunnah that the Prophet did and his companions followed. In fact the Prophet took his wives and some of the wives of the Muslims in several Ghazawa (holy battles in the company of the Prophet) as narrated in a sound Hadith. But the role of women was limited mostly in looking after the wounded and providing food and drink to the men. However, whenever they are requested to carry weapons or fight they should do so, especially now when women can participate in war without having to travel. If she has to travel it should be within the limits of her nature. Um Umara Nasiba Bint Kaab Al Ansaria fought in Uhud and also fought with the army that killed Musailimah, the liar. She was wounded in thirteen places that day and her hand was cut off.Originally war was a male affair. But women can participate in it if there is dire need for it and provided that they would not be made prisoners.
Islam Web, Fatwa No. 82641, February 27, 2001
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When Jihad becomes an Individual Duty, as when the enemy seizes the Muslim territory, a woman becomes entitled to take part in it alongside men. Jurists maintained that: When the enemy assaults a given Muslim territory, it becomes incumbent upon all its residents to fight against them to the extent that a woman should go out even without the consent of her husband, a son can go too without the permission of his parent, a slave without the approval of his master, and the employee without the leave of his employer. This is a case where obedience should not be given to anyone in something that involves disobedience to Allah, according to a famous juristic rule.
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As for the point that carrying out this operation may involve woman’s travel from place to another without a Mahram, we say that a woman can travel to perform Hajj in the company of other trustworthy women and without the presence of any Mahram as long as the road is safe and secured. Travel, nowadays, is no longer done through deserts or wilderness, instead, women can travel safely in trains or by air.
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Islam Online, November 6, 2006
You Cannot Kidnap or Kill Prisoners of War?
The killing of all males who've reached puberty
For further information, see: The Genocide of Banu Qurayza
The killing of a woman
(1147-1223) was a noted Islamic scholar who was born in Jerusalem and died in Damascus.
You Cannot Rape Prisoners of War?
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
You Cannot take Prisoners of War for Slavery and War Booty?
- Main Article: Islamic Law - Slavery
Narrated Al-Hasan: 'Amr bin Taghlib told us that Allah's Apostle got some property or some war prisoners and he distributed them in the above way (i.e. giving to some people to the exclusion of others) .
- Military Operations in the Era of Prophet Mohammed (SAW) - military.hawarey.org
- Suyuti, Durr al-Manthur ... (Beirut, n.d.), vol. 3, p. 228, where Suyuti quotes various traditions.
- Defence of the Muslim Lands: The First Obligation After Iman - Abdullah Azzam
- Excerpted from Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam (Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener, 1996), pp. 44-54.
- Shaykh ul-Islaam Taqi ud-Deen Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah - 'The Religious and Moral Doctrine of Jihaad' - p.28, © Copyright 2001 Maktabah Al Ansaar Publications, ISBN: 0-9539847-5-3
- Excerpted from Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi, Muslim Revivalist Movements in Northern India in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Agra, Lucknow: Agra University, Balkrishna Book Co., 1965), pp.247-50; and Yohanan Friedmann, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi: An Outline of His Thought and a Study of His Image in the Eyes of Posterity (Montreal, Quebec: McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies, 1971), pp. 73-74.
- Tabari and History of the World, Volume IV Book XII. The Mohammedan Ascendency, page 463, by John Clark Ridpath, LL.D. 1910.
- Al-Tabari, The History of al-Tabari (Ta'rikh al rusul wa'l-muluk), vol. 12: The Battle of Qadissiyah and the Conquest of Syria and Palestine, trans. Yohanan Friedman (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992), p. 167.
- Dealing in Death - Steven Stalinsky - National Review, May 24, 2004
- Jihad in classical and Modern Islam, Rudolph Peters, Pg.179
- Islam - A mufti explains, why Muhammad killed Women and Children
- Excerpted form Kitab al-Wagiz fi fiqh madhab al-imam al-Safi'i (Beirut, 1979), pp. 186, 190-91, 199-200, 202-203. English translation by Dr. Michael Schub.
- Excerpted from Bidayat al-Mudjtahid, in Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Medieval and Modern Islam: The Chapters on Jihad from Averroes' Legal Handbook "Bidayat al-mudjtahid," trans. and annotated by Rudolph Peters (Leiden: Brill, 1977), pp. 9-25.
- Robert Spencer - Sheikhs debate whether killing Muslim non-combatants is permissible - Jihad Watch, June 11, 2005
- Abdullah ibn Jaish - Life of Mohamed (Sirah), Non combatants
- Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s speech to the people of Pakistan - Translated From Urdu By Ahmed Al-Marid, September 26, 2007
- Fayd al-Qadir vol.4 pg. 511
- Ibn Taymiyahh, Al Furqan, Pg 44-45
- Jihad Al Akbar - As-Sunnah Foundation of America, from Shaykh Hisham Kabbani's "Islamic Beliefs and Doctrine According to Ahl al-Sunna: A Repudiation of "Salafi" Innovations"
- Dr. Suhaib Hassan - The Science of Hadith - TheReligionIslam
- Be Aware - Da'eef (weak), mawdoo’ (fabricated) hadeeth - World of Islam Portal, May 10, 2008
- Wazir Allah Khan - Hadith authenticity - lesser jihad to greater jihad - SunniForums
- Referenced by Abdullah Yusuf Azzam in "Join the caravan" pg 4
- Offensive Jihad Vs. Defensive Jihad - Islamic Emirate Online, The Fiqh Department
- Sheikh Abdullah Azzam (Shaheed) - Defence of the Muslim Lands: The First Obligation After Iman - Chapter 1
- Ahmad Ibn Lulu Ibn Al-Naqib, translated by Noah Ha Mim Keller - Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat Al-Salik - Published by Amana Corporation; Revised edition (July 1, 1997), ISBN-13: 978-0915957729
- Excerpted from Henri Laoust, trans., Le precis de droit d'Ibn Qudama, jurisconsulte musulman d'ecole hanbalite ne a Jerusalem en 541/1146, mort a Damas en 620/1123, Livre 20, "La Guerre Legale" (Beirut, 1950), pp. 273-76, 281. English translation by Michael J. Miller.