Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Offensive Jihad

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Jihad, understood as an offensive struggle against Dar Al-Harb (the House of War or the realm of the infidels), is a duty incumbent upon Muslims and the Ummah, and as such is to be carried out in a variety of ways. Outright war and fighting is permitted, and as the prophet himself said (in agreement with many great generals and military leaders throughout history such as Sun Tzu and von Clausewitz) "war is deceit" and as such breaking treaties, oaths, and promises is permittable as a part of Jihad on the path of Allah, and likewise all other forms of misdirection as a part of jihad. Muslim scholars generally agree that the the duty of Jihad is eternal until "the religion, all of it, is to Allah" yet significant differences exist between scholars about whether Jihad may be validly conducted when the presence of a caliph and commander of the faithful is lacking. This difference constitutes a major point of contention between salafi-jihadis and conservative but quietist salafi factions, with the jihadis believing that a caliph is not a necessary pre-requisite for jihad. Although differences exist in the modern understanding of when and where jihad may be conducted, the classical sources are all in agreement that "jihad fi sabil allah" "Jihad-warfare on the path of god" against the unbelievers is a duty incumbent upon all able-bodied Muslim men.


Breaking Treaties

If thou fearest treachery from any group, throw back (their covenant) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms: for Allah loveth not the treacherous.

Live in Peace with the Disbelievers for a Time

Lo! this (Qur'an) is a conclusive word,
It is no pleasantry.
Lo! they plot a plot (against thee, O Muhammad)
And I plot a plot (against them).
So give a respite to the disbelievers. Deal thou gently with them for a while.
Qur'an 86:13-17

Deceit in War

And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger, to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage,- that Allah and His Messenger dissolve (treaty) obligations with the Pagans. If then, ye repent, it were best for you; but if ye turn away, know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah. And proclaim a grievous penalty to those who reject Faith.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle called,: "War is deceit".
Narrated Jabir: The Prophet said, "Who is ready to kill Ka'b bin Ashraf (i.e. a Jew)." Muhammad bin Maslama replied, "Do you like me to kill him?" The Prophet replied in the affirmative. Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say what I like." The Prophet replied, "I do (i.e. allow you)."
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: Allah's Apostle said, "Who is willing to kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?" Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?" The Prophet said, "Yes," Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab). "The Prophet said, "You may say it." Then Muhammad bin Maslama went to Kab and said, "That man (i.e. Muhammad demands Sadaqa (i.e. Zakat) from us, and he has troubled us, and I have come to borrow something from you." On that, Kab said, "By Allah, you will get tired of him!"...
Muhammad bin Maslamah said, ‘O Messenger, we shall have to tell lies.' ‘Say what you like,' Muhammad replied. ‘You are absolved, free to say whatever you must.'
Ishaq:365, See Also Al-Tabari, Vol. 7, p. 94
Hajjaj said to the Apostle, ‘I have money scattered among the Meccan merchants, so give me permission to go and get it.' Having got Muhammad's permission, he said, ‘I must tell lies.' The Apostle said, ‘Tell them.'
Ishaq:519

Women and Children

It is permissible to expose women and children to danger in the course of waging Jihad.

Narrated As-Sab bin Jaththama: The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)." I also heard the Prophet saying, "The institution of Hima is invalid except for Allah and His Apostle."

It is permissible to trample over women and children with horses:

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

"I was informed by As-Sa'b bin Jaththamah who said: " I said: "O Messenger of Allah our horses trampled over women and children of the idolaters." He said: "They are from their fathers.'"

[Abu 'Eisa said:] This Hadith is Hasan Sahih.

Jihad is Perpetual

Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Three things are the roots of faith: to refrain from (killing) a person who utters, "There is no god but Allah" and not to declare him unbeliever whatever sin he commits, and not to excommunicate him from Islam for his any action; and jihad will be performed continuously since the day Allah sent me as a prophet until the day the last member of my community will fight with the Dajjal (Antichrist). The tyranny of any tyrant and the justice of any just (ruler) will not invalidate it. One must have faith in Divine decree.

See Also