UK ISLAMIC MISSION
The following report on UKIM’s events, publications and speakers from 2000 onwards was originally put together in early 2012. It has since been updated to include events that have taken place up to the present day.
During this time I have spoken with men and women from UKIM. It would be unfair and incorrect to suggest that all members of UKIM are ‘Islamists,’ ‘extremists’ or even fans of Syed Maududi or Jama’at-e-Islami.
A man who was involved in last year’s campaign to rebuild York Mosque informed me that the UKIM masjid was more like a ‘franchise’ – UKIM’s name was above the door while those working out of the mosque were under no obligation to follow or promote a ‘Maududi style’ Islam. His own understanding of Islam was not exactly one that was big on ‘offensive jihad’ or ‘Islamic supremacy.’
Women I spoke with from UKIM’s West London and Midlands branches strongly disagreed with some of Maududi’s views when pointed out to them.
Another man who is involved with UKIM’s Dawah and Welfare had this to say to his Christian friends:
“Wishing all my Christian friends a peaceful and joyful Christmas. May we all learn from Jesus and his mother Mary (blessings of God be upon both) and mirror our lives upon them to shine goodness and to shed everything that is not.”
UKIM are often commended for their interfaith work. UKIM branches regularly involve themselves in projects dedicated to building relationships between different faiths in the community. British Muslims Monthly Survey reported in 1994:
“By contrast with Hizb ut-Tahrir, UKIM has a long and distinguished reputation for building harmonious community relations wherever it operates.”
In the past, some of UKIM’s critics have attempted to portray them as an organisation with its strings being pulled by their Jama’at-e-Islami (JI) masters ‘back home.’ UKIM have always denied that this is the case and no solid evidence has ever been produced to back up these claims.
However, as this report will show, while there may be no official ties to JI, UKIM still has a close relationship with the extremist South Asian party and continues to invite JI leaders with reprehensible, and sometimes shocking, views to their conferences and events. It will also show the continued propagation of Syed Maududi’s ideology and works, and show that UKIM still sees itself as part of the wider ‘Islamic Movement.’
Many thanks to Charlie and Ayesha for their help.
To any UKIM folk reading this – next time the Amir of JI is invited to Britain by UKIM, maybe you could remind the leadership of this.
After looking into UKIM’s syllabus for members and its syllabus for associate members, and a recent Sisters Wing three day event, I find it hard to believe that any UKIM member would not share the charity’s admiration for Maududi and his ideology. Conversations I had with men and women from UKIM took place over the internet at the time of UKIM’s York Mosque rebuild. I can only assume that their involvement with UKIM was not as members or that they hadn’t paid much attention to the syllabus. The syllabus for ‘associate members’ and a section on the Sisters Wing will be added to this report shortly.
UK ISLAMIC MISSION (UKIM)
UK Islamic Mission website:
“The UKIM is one of the oldest nation-wide Islamic organization in the UK. It was founded in October 1962 on the initiative of a small group of Muslims who used to meet at the East London Mosque in a study circle. They discussed the need of forming an organization in Britain to convey the message of Islam in the West. Today, from this small beginning, the UKIM has expanded to about forty-five branches and circles in the UK and around thirty mosques and Madaris. The activities, which the UKIM is involved in, are diverse, from building new mosques, relief work, to Dawah on the Internet and youth work.”
UKIM & JAMA’AT-E-ISLAMI
The same article that commends UKIM for ‘building harmonious community relations’ also mentions UKIM’s JI roots and their fondness for inviting JI leaders to speak at their events:
“The UKIM was established in Britain in 1962 as an organisation inspired by the Jamaati Islam party in Pakistan working with the Islamic revivalist teachings of Abul A’la Mawdudi and others…speakers included Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the Amir [leader] of Jamaati Islam in Pakistan…”
JI’s influence has already been widely covered and detailed by others:
Muslim Networks and Movements in Western Europe – Pew Research Centre:
“The first formal manifestations of the Jama’at-i Islami in Europe date from the 1960s, with the establishment of the UK Islamic Mission and its affiliate, Dawatul Islam. These groups, which still exist today, promote Islamic education with a particular emphasis on Jama’at-i Islami thinkers and perspectives.”
Guide to Islamist Movements (UK) – Jonathan Spyer:
“Organisations commited to one form or another of Islamist politics have been active in Britain since the beginnings of large-scale immigration of Muslims in the late 1950′s and early 1960′s.”
“The first identifiable bodies created among British Muslims were associated with the Jama’at-i-Islami organization founded by Mawlana Mawdudi in India in 1941. The UK Islamic Mission, founded in 1962, was one of a host of organizations founded by individuals wishing to promote the message of the Jama’at-e-Islami in Britain.”
Reproduction of Jamaat-i-Islami in Britain – R.A. Greaves:
“The organization with the closest similarities to Jamaat-i Islami in the sub-continent is the UK Islamic Mission. Perhaps this is not surprising as it is the oldest dawah organization in Britain and was established by first-generation migrants whose concerns were still located in their countries of origin.”
UKIM’s own Dawah Centre in Birmingham has admitted to sharing the same ideology as JI:
UKIM missionary head Birmingham: “Ideologically we are affiliated to Jama’at-e-Islami.”
Reporter – “The same ideology?”
UKIM – “Yeah, you can say that, same ideology.”
Narrator: He claims the UKIM shares the same ideology with other fundamentalist organisations like Hamas in Palestine, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt –
UKIM: “Some are in Pakistan, some are in Egypt. Wherever they are the ideology is the same. So you can say our ideology is the same with them.”
Reporter: “Thank you very much.”
Similarities between JI and UKIM websites look to be more than just coincidence:
“Similarly when we use the word ‘Aqamat-e-Deen’ (Islamization of life) we do not mean to regularize worship in the mass or preaching of some religious beliefs and ethical commandments. Rather we intend that God’s sovereignty to reign supreme from home, mosque, College, Market, Police Station, Cantonment, Court, Parliament, Ministries and Embassies.”
We do not take Deen to be merely a collection of beliefs and rituals instead, by it, we mean a way of life and a system of life and it covers the human life in its entirety i.e encompassing all works of life, we do not leave a live compartmentalized under deferent schemes.
“Establishment of Deen’ does not mean establishing some part of it, rather establishing it in its entirety, in individual and collective life, and whether it pertains to prayers or fasting, Haj or Zakat, socio-economic or political issues of life. No part of Islam is irrelevant, but the whole Islam is necessary. It is incumbent upon a Believer to strive for establishing Islam in its entirety without discretion and division.”
“Allah alone must be worshipped and obeyed in our private lives as well as in collective and public life – in the homes, mosques, economic pursuits and social events, as well as in the courts of law and the corridors of power.
Islam is not just a set of rituals and a few do’s and don’ts. It is rather an all embracing and balanced system that encompasses both the inner (i.e. spiritual and moral) and outer dimensions (social, economic and political) of human life and society.”
In the spheres of collective and public life Allah’s guidance is totally ignored. This noble struggle, to which you are being invited, is for exciting efforts to Inspire, prepare and enable the Muslim community to live by Islam in individual and collective life, and for sharing its message and mission with the wider British public.
Thus, the way forward lies in the revival of Islam in its entirety, and to enthuse, mobilize, educate and organize the Muslim community for conveying the message of Islam in society.”
UKIM’s Sparkbrook Masjid in Birmingham opened by the late Amir of JI Pakistan, Qazi Hussain Ahmed:
Ahmed was also leader of Muttahida Majlis-e-Ama (MMA), a coalition of Pakistan’s main fundamentalist parties. In 2006, the MMA organised protests against the ‘Protection of Women Act.’ The act enables judges to try rape cases in criminal courts rather than Islamic courts, and allows convictions to be made on the basis of forensic and circumstantial evidence, removing the previous requirement for victims of rape to provide four witnesses to the crime. Ahmed said the bill was “un-Islamic and designed to encourage immoral behaviour.” He believed that homosexuals should be executed, saying that homosexuality is ‘ignorant, criminal and corrupt.’ In 2006 the British Government banned Ahmed from entering the UK. Sarfraz Madni, former president of UKIM said:
“According to Maulana Madni, the Qazi was to visit the United Kingdom on a fundraising tour to collect money for a mosque cum community centre which UKIM is planning to construct in Oldham, north west England. Maulana Madni said the charity organisation had planned to raise four million pounds to convert a disused call centre into a new facility for the Muslim community of the area through charity events in which Qazi Hussain Ahmed was to be the keynote speaker. He said because of this development they had to cancel these events and incurred financial loss.”
JI Pakistan has described UKIM as one if its ‘outreaches’ (right) on its previous website. When made aware of this by Hardcash Productions, UKIM responded by saying : “We didn’t know until you told us.”
Its relationship with JI is not something that the UK charity denies or is ashamed of. UKIM has pointed out that any link to JI is “a similar kind of relationship that, for example, the British political parties have with their socialist, social democratic, Christian democratic or other likeminded parties in our part of the world”
Organisations and individuals who have forged friendships with UKIM may not be so aware of the closeness between the two groups, or indeed be aware of some of the nastier politics and activities of JI themselves.
JI leaders have recently been convicted of war crimes in Bangladesh. Life sentences were handed out earlier this year, while Mohammad Kamaruzzaman and Delwar Hossain Sayeedi were sentenced to death. The convictions led to JI led attacks on the Hindu community in Bangladesh, which in turn led to the Bangladesh government considering a ban on JI. As reported in the East London Advertiser, demonstrators gathered outside Parliament (above left) in March this year to protest against JI violence.
Syed Zafar Hussain, President of UKIM Bradford supporting Delwar Hossain Sayeedi:
“Bangladesh Jama’at-e-Islami is paying a price. The assistant Ameer (leader) Jama’at-e-Islami, Bangladesh, Mr. Delwar Hossain Sayedee has been convicted and sentenced to death by a Bangladeshi court. We condemn this verdict of the court and appeal the international community to intervene in this atrocious and barbaric decision. Pakistanis must also raise their voice and concerns over this, everyone, please share this message, JazakAllah.”
UKIM were one of the signatories of the Bangladesh Crisis Group’s statement which said:
“We cannot stand idly by if widely respected Islamic personalities such as Professor Ghulam Azam, Mawlana Motiur Rahman Nizami, Mawlana Delwar Hussain Sayeedi are tried for despicable crimes without a due process.“
UKIM Imams supporting JI:
………………………..Shams Khan Ubaid Ur Rahman Inayat Khan
Some observers have noted that younger members of UKIM do not have the same connection with JI as the elders, and align themselves more with the wider Islamic Movement. This may be true, though would not mean a change in ideology as JI would see themselves as a key player within the movement -
A new phase in the Islamic Movement – Kalim Siddiqui:
“At its narrowest, it (Islamic movement) represents that part of the Ummah which is most advanced towards the ultimate goal. A year or so ago it was difficult to recognize a single leading edge in the Islamic movement, although a number of organized groups laid claim to being in the vanguard. These were such movements and parties as Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimoon in Arab countries and the Jama’at-e Islami in Pakistan.”
JI leaders have been continuously invited to speak at UKIM conferences as is shown later on in this report. A selection of articles on JI can be found here.
POLITICS AND SYED MAUDUDI
Reproduction of Jamaat-i-Islami in Britain – R.A. Greaves:
“The UK Islamic Mission’s structure is definitely influenced by Maulana Mawdudi’s idea that, in order to restore the umma to its original purity of faith and political greatness, an organization is required whose membership is selected on the basis of quality rather than quantity.”
UKIM’s Leeds branch would seem to agree with the above assertion:
“In carrying out its work, the Mission has never operated on the principle of numbers. We are not a sort of organisation which is “signature organisation” concerned with quantity at the expense of quality.
Sophie Gilliat-Ray’s ‘Muslims in Britain’ suggested that Maududi-influenced organisations in the UK were breaking away from the Islamic thinker’s political ambitions for Islam:
“They have consistently been less concerned with political activity, and more preoccupied with spreading Islamic teaching through education and social welfare. In other words, the directly political aspects of Maududi’s original vision have become dissociated from their activities, and the emphasis has been upon mission and dawah.”
This could be said to be true of organisations such as the Islamic Society of Britain which has seen a change in direction since promoting the writings of Maududi during its early days:
“We cherish the English Legal System and do not advocate the adoption of so-called ‘Sharia laws’ in the UK; we believe that the term is greatly misunderstood by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Sharia is really about justice and Britain is more just than most Muslim countries.”
The same can not really be said of UKIM. It is correct to say that UKIM focuses on dawah instead of a taking a direct political route, though this is down to lack of numbers and tactics as highlighted by Ron Greaves in ‘Reproduction of Jamaat-i-Islami in Britain:’
“Maulana Mawdudi saw the foundation of an Islamic state as essential in the achievement of a pure Islam which would encompass every area of life. This ideal was so dominant it would seem unlikely that any Jamaat-i Islami organization could be successful where Muslims are in a minority. However, when Jamaat-i Islami activists find themselves in a situation where the chances of an Islamic state developing are slight, as in India, they change their approach. Instead they concentrate their efforts on dawa.
Like India, Britain is a nation with a Muslim minority and the same change of emphasis is evident here too.”
That UKIM does not take the form of a political party in Britain, it should not be assumed that they have abandoned Maududi’s goal of political dominance for Islam. The UKIM website contains several statements which clarify that Islam, or their interpretation of it, is a movement that seeks political power:
“…the UKIM believes that all dimensions of Islam must be revived and established in human life and society. Islam is not just a set of rituals and a few do’s and don’ts. It is rather an all embracing and balanced system that encompasses both the inner (i.e. spiritual and moral) and outer dimensions (social, economic and political) of human life and society. The Glorious Quran offers guidance for every sphere of human life: individual, social, economic, political and international.”
“Islam demands that Muslims not only obey Allah alone in the mosques, but wherever they are, and in whatever activities they are engaged in. Allah alone must be worshipped and obeyed in our private lives as well as in collective and public life – in the homes, mosques, economic pursuits and social events, as well as in the courts of law and the corridors of power.”
“The UKIM believes that Islam is not only to be practiced in the private quarters of our lives, but it is a mission and a social and political movement for establishing peace, justice and harmony in society and the entire world.”
“…the UKIM is not only an organization trying to serve the Muslim community, but it is also an ideological movement…”
Politics are very much in the mind of UKIM, as its then-President, Muhammad Sarfraz Madni, explained in their promo video:
“We strongly believe that politics is part of religion. We want to introduce the religion that was introduced by our beloved prophet Mohammed. We don’t pick and choose. We are not limited to some issues. We take Islam completely. And we want to live Islam completely and convey that message of Islam completely. The whole Islam.”
UKIM have described Maududi as a “great exegete” who “offered an ideological alternative to the modern world.” They have, however, played down their admiration for Maududi by suggesting that it is “little out of the ordinary that any British Muslim, whether within or without The UK Islamic Mission, who has read his works, may have an educated regard for his contribution to modern Islamic thought.” British Ahmadi Muslims are unlikely to share UKIM’s enthusiam for Maududi’s writings.
In his book, ‘The Qadiani Problem,’ Maududi hit out against Ahmadi Muslims, referring to them as “a cancer eating up and gradually consuming the vitals of the Muslim Society.” The book, which was written with the aim of seeing the Ahmadis officially declared non-Muslims, landed Maududi in prison for his part in inciting the 1953 riots against the Ahmadiyya community. Abdul Basit Shahid relays a conversation between Ahmadi elders and Syed Maududi:
“Maulana Abul Ata Sahib, Maulana Jilal-ud-Din Shams Sahib and a few other elders of the jamaat went to meet Khwaaja Naazimudin in Karachi who at that time was the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Coincidentally, in Lahore they met Maulana Maududi, leader of Jama’at-e-Islami. He said ‘It is good I have you. Convey my message to Mirza Sahib, that the agitation against the Ahmadis has reached such a stage that either you alter your beliefs or be prepared to accept the fact that the jamaat will perish. Amend your doctrine or else you will be crushed.’ This was the message of the leader of Jama’at-e-Islami to the leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.”
Maududi’s writings still dominate much of UKIM’s online literature as well as its dawah stalls. In March 2012, UKIM’s European Islamic Centre was the venue for their two day programme entitled ‘The Philosophy of Imam Sayed Mawdudui RA.’ In August, 2012, a talk entitled ‘Role models: past, present and future’ was given at a UKIM Youth camp – these role models were ‘Sahabah, Maulana Maudoodi and Malcolm X.’
In March 2012, the UKIM Dawah Centre advertised their acquisition of 10,000 new copies of Maududi’s ‘Towards Understanding Islam,’ complete with accompanying promo video:
The promo video declares that the Maududi booklet “conveys the true meaning and message of Islam.” Here is a part of that message taken from the booklet:
“The greatest sacrifice for God is made in Jihad, for in it a man sacrifices not only his own life and property in His cause but destroys those of others also. But, as already stated, one of the Islamic principles is that we should suffer a lesser loss to save ourselves from a greater loss. How can the loss of some lives – even if the number runs into thousands – be compared to the calamity that may befall mankind as a result of the victory of evil over good and of aggressive atheism over the religion of God. That would be a far greater loss and calamity, for as a result of it not only would the religion of God be under dire threat, the world would also become the abode of evil and perversion, and life would be disrupted both from within and without.”
Zia Ul Haq, President of UKIM, Walsall (via CEMB):
“One of the main personalities I admire is that of Sayyid Mawdudi. The work in establishing a movement put in by Mawdudi and the most beautiful and comprehensive treasure of literature he left, are a source of practical guidance for any Muslim.”
It’s perhaps telling that a photo of Maududi is the first image shown in UKIM’s advertisement for their 50th year celebration:
In January 2007, the now infamous Undercover Mosque was aired on Channel Four. The documentary showed intolerant speeches given by various Imams and speakers in Britain. It included UKIM’s speakers and publications.
“Dispatches has investigated a number of mosques run by high profile national organisations that claim to be dedicated to moderation and dialogue with other faiths. But an undercover reporter joined worshippers to find a message of religious bigotry and extremism being preached.”
“Dispatches undertakes an extensive investigation into a number of British mosques to reveal how a message of hatred and segregation is being spread throughout the UK. Filming undercover at mosques run by key organisations, whose public faces are presented as moderate and mainstream, our reporter finds preachers condemning the idea of integration into British society, condemning British democracy as un-Islamic and praising the Taliban for killing British soldiers.”
A ridiculous scenario involving the West Midlands Police followed the broadcast of the documentary, a good account of which can be found on Wikipedia.
Undercover Mosque transcript here.
Shafiq ur-Rahman (left), the then-President of UKIM, had this to say:
“To malign and slander a responsible and moderate Muslim organization and to portray it as representing the extremist views or of indulging in double talk is highly reprehensible. Such attempts will strengthen those who preach extremism to the detriment of our society.”
On the subject of ‘extremism’, six months earlier Shafiq ur-Rahman had shared the stage with JI leaders from Pakistan at UKIM’s 2006 Annual Conference:
Hasan: The objective of Islam is to discourage such acts, no one can be shameless enough to commit such an act in the presence of four people. Making it impossible to prove such acts, therefore the whole idea is to discourage bringing such acts into public light. Discouraging it to the extent that the act is never quoted. If such a crime occurs and since there are no witnesses than both men and women are suppose to keep it under wraps and not discuss it in public.
Interviewer: Sir, are you suggesting that a woman should stay silent after she is raped? That she should not report the crime?
Hasan: I am saying she should keep quiet if she has no witnesses. If she has witnesses then she should present them.
Interviewer: What kind of an argument is that? A woman is raped and she has to look for witnesses to prove the crime?
Hasan: Argue with the Quran and not me.
Hasan has also said that the West is a “satanic civilization” and remarked that an LGBT Pride Celebration was a violation of “the rules and laws of land.” He has supported the execution of blasphemers – the Express Tribune reported:
“On his part, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawwar Hassan said that the slain governor had ridiculed the blasphemy laws by supporting Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman on death row over blasphemy. ‘And we don’t feel sorry for what happened to Taseer.’”
During an anti-blasphemy demonstration in Karachi, Hasan condoned the murder of the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Salman Taseer:
“The whole country, all the inhabitants and the people of Pakistan are on the back of Mumtaz Qadri because he has done what the people wanted to do regarding the person like Salman Taseer.”
Khurshid Ahmad (Vice President JI, Pakistan) has said “Islam wants to bring political power under the control of it’s moral ideas.” Some of Ahmad’s morals include saying LGBT people have “devilish traits” and giving them rights constitutes “a cultural terrorism and ideological attack on Pakistani society,” such people are “the curse of society and social garbage” who “don’t deserve to be Muslim or Pakistani.” Like Hasan, Ahmad thinks blasphemers should be executed. He doubts al-Qaeda’s involvement in 9/11 and has said: “The Muslims in al-Qaeda are our brethren.”
A press release warned that Hardcash Productions would be receiving a letter from UKIM:
“In response to the forthcoming Channel Four Dispatches programme, which maliciously attempts to malign the work of Mission the following letter has been sent to Andrew Smith, the producer of the Programme, clarifying the critical issues raised in that prgramme.”
UKIM SISTERS WING
(Section to follow)
‘JIHAD fi SABILILLAH’ (JIHAD in ISLAM)
‘Jihad in Islam’ is the transcript of a speech given by Maududi at Lahore town hall, Pakistan in 1939. It has become one of Maududi’s most controversial works, especially for its endorsement of violent jihad in order to remove un-Islamic systems of government.
UKIM provided free downloadable copies of ‘Jihad in Islam’ through their website (below left and centre) and also for free in booklet form through their Dawah centre (below right):
Here is the section of Undercover Mosque relating to ‘Jihad in Islam’:
Narrator: The reporter is given some free leaflets.
UKIM Dawah Centre: “Yes this one. If you start with these, these are easy to understand, for everybody who doesn’t know anything about Islam.”
Narrator: They’re by a Pakistani religious leader called Sayyid Mawdudi. He was the founder of a fundamentalist political party in Pakistan called Jamaat-Islami. The UKIM literature outlines his radical message:
Pamphlet (Jihad in Islam): “Islam is a revolutionary ideology which seeks to alter the social order of the entire world.”
Narrator: Muslims form an “International Revolutionary Party.” The pamphlets contain some of the ideas that Dr. Miad preaches, that Muslims must work towards doing away with all non-Islamic governments and set up an Islamic state.
UKIM’s response to the documentary makers:
UKIM did not deal with Maududi’s more controversial statements in ‘Jihad in Islam’ and seemed to think the makers of Undercover Mosque were insinuating that ‘jihad’ automatically meant ‘fighting.’ Considering that the documentary concentrated on the sections of the booklet relating to changing the ‘social order’ and mentioned replacing non-Islamic systems with an Islamic state, a lengthy explanation of jihad was not required and ignored the points raised.
‘Jihad in Islam':
“Islam is not merely a religious creed or compound name for a few forms of worship, but a comprehensive system…”
“The purpose of Islam is to set up a state on the basis of its own ideology and programme…”
“The UKIM believes that Islam is not only to be practiced in the private quarters of our lives, but it is a mission and a social and political movement…”
“Islam demands that Muslims not only obey Allah alone in the mosques…Allah alone must be worshipped and obeyed in our private lives as well as in collective and public life – in the homes, mosques, economic pursuits and social events, as well as in the courts of law and the corridors of power.”
Perhaps similarities in ideology and aims prevented UKIM from addressing the issues raised in Undercover Mosque.
There was no mention in UKIM’s response of Maududi’s belief that removing un-Islamic governments was a ‘just and noble cause’ for waging Qital:
“To alter the old tyrannical social system and establish a new just order of life by the power of sword is also ‘Jihad.’”
Nor any mention of an Islamic government removing the rights of non-Muslims:
“…it will make it obligatory for non-Muslim women to observe the minimum standards of modesty in dress as required by Islamic law and will forbid them to go about displaying their beauty like the days of ignorance; the Muslim Party will clamp censorship on the Cinema. The Islamic government with a view to securing general welfare of the public and for reasons of self-defence will not permit such cultural activities as may be permissible in non-Muslim creeds…”
UKIM’s letter did mention that Maududi was a “great 20th-century Islamic scholar.”
Channel Four’s documentary perhaps persuaded UKIM to stop advertising ‘Jihad in Islam’ online as it was removed sometime afterwards. UKIM continue to reproduce copies for their dawah stalls (left and right).
At the end of the Introduction section of ‘Jihad in Islam’ UKIM recommend another of Maududi’s works: .
Al-Jihad fil Islam gives a not particularly flattering, almost Islamophobic, account of the Prophet Muhammad, and gives an insight into why Maududi believed it was legitimate to use force in order to establish Islamic law :
“The Messenger of Allah (saw) invited the Arabs to accept Islam for 13 years. He used every possible means of persuasion, gave them incontrovertible arguments and proofs, showed them miracles and put before them his life as an example of piety and morality. In short, he used every possible means of communication, but his people refused to accept Islam.”
“When every method of persuasion had failed, the Prophet took to the sword.”
“That sword removed evil mischief, the impurities of evil and the filth of the soul. The sword did something more—it removed their blindness so that they could see the light of truth, and also cured them of their arrogance; arrogance which prevents people from accepting the truth, stiff necks and proud heads bowed with humility.”
Al-Jihad fil Islam can be found here.
UKIM’s response to Hardcash Productions:
The context in which the term ‘kafir’ was used in the documentary was brought into question, not its meaning. In the clip below Dr Ijaz Mian uses the term in front of a UKIM committee:
Narrator: Yet despite his radical views, Dr Miad has worked with the UKIM, and given talks at its events. At their annual conference he was a guest onstage (video of him onstage). Today he’s making a presentation to the UKIM Committee at the Sparkbrook Islamic Centre: He suggests that the Committee invites a small group of non-Muslims to the Mosque and tries to convert them. –
Miad: “Every kafir has a right to Islam.”
Narrator: He says Muslims cannot accept non-Muslim rule.
Miad: “You cannot accept the rule of the kafir, kuffar. We have to rule ourselves and we have to rule the others.”
Narrator: Although his radical beliefs are obvious the UKIM Committee is happy to go ahead with his talk –
UKIM Committee member: “If we invite people would you be available to speak to them?”
Miad: “Of course, of course, this is my full-time duty.”
UKIM Committee member: “We will organise it.”
It’s hard to see how Dr.Mian was using the term ‘kafir’ in anything but a derogatory manner. Not accepting the rule of a ‘kafir’ did not seem to bother the committee, nor did it warrant a mention in Shafiq ur-Rahman’s letter.
THE UKIM ‘QUR’AN’
(Section to follow)
THE ‘ISLAMIC MOVEMENT’
The ‘Islamic Movement’ (big ‘M’ or little ‘m’ depending on who is defining the movement or how it is being definied) could be described as those individuals or organisations committed to, though not restricted to, implementing Islamic systems of governance, or creating an Islamic state or states.
UKIM sees itself as part of this movement:
“UKIM does not consider itself to be the Islamic Movement of Britain – rather it is part and parcel of the global Islamic Movement, with a comprehensive outlook: that seeks to make Islam the order of the day.”
A more detailed explanation of the movement can be found in UKIM’s ‘Islamic Movement:Aims & Objectives’ section:
“When Islam enlightens and moulds a man in belief and practice, a journey begins towards Allah. And when a magnitude of these believers join together to move towards this goal, this journey is called Islamic movement. Islamic Movement is synonymous with the Qur’anic concept, ‘Jihad-fi-Sabillillah’. In the Qur’an, when this term is used, it most frequently means ‘Qital-fi-Sabilillah’ (armed struggle). However, when we use jihad-fi-Sabilillah to mean Islamic movement, we use this concept in a broader sense. The word jihad is derived from the Arabic root word Jahadah – which means to strive, to struggle and to make an effort, to achieve a certain goal.”
Quoting Yusuf al-Qaradawi: “By ‘Islamic Movement’, I mean that organized, collective work, undertaken by the people, to restore Islam to the leadership of society, and to the helm of life all walks of life.” End of quote.
“The literal meaning of Tazkiah is to purify, to improve, to nurture…The state, society and individual are part of this mission of purification.”
“The Islamic Movement’s aim on this earth is to bring about change in the society. The goal of Islamic Movement on this earth is to establish Allah’s Din as a complete way of life. This includes reforming the hearts of humanity and also the institutions of society, i.e. family, government etc.”
“The Islamic movement is not a political party that aims to gain or achieve some vested interest or power as is common in ordinary parties. Its leaders are expected to obey only the commands of Allah.”
“Members of the Islamic Movement should adopt and follow a long term plan so they do not lose the way or seek the fruit before it is ripe. This requires a full understanding that securing power for an Islamic government is a means for a larger goal, so when they gain power they will thank Allah and not retreat from their task out of fear.”
“Openness in work but secrecy of organization. One may not work for Islam in secret, or through a front, and still claim to exhibit wisdom. The message of Islam should be broadcast from the housetops and the truth should be witnessed always and everywhere Those who hide the truth through silence are not merely dumb but evil…This does not mean, however, that the Islamic Movement should reveal all its strategies, plans, and organization, because this would be foolhardy and put the movement and its members in danger. The slogan should be, “Work in public but organize in secret” which accords with the Prophet saying. “Seek secrecy in what you do”, and “War is dissimulation.”
UKIM’s name appears among a list of Islamic Movement groups in the UK -
“…Farooq had been secretly nominated as the preferred candidate of the ‘Islamic movement’ organisations (MAB, UKIM, IFE and Dawatul Islam) back in December 2009, over six months prior to the actual MCB elections.”
In his book, Dawah Among non-Muslims in the West, ex-vice president of JI, Pakistan, Khurram Murad suggested softening the language when giving Dawah to non-Muslims:
“We also have to expose the dangers of secular Western thought and ideas.”
“Language and themes are extremely important for Da’wah. The message remains the same, but it should be conveyed through a medium that is understood by its addressees… For example, the language of ‘Islamic state’ may not be a suitable language for a Western society; instead, a Just World Order based on surrender to the One God and obedience to His Messengers, is likely to evoke a more favourable response.”
UKIM do not use the term ‘Islamic state’ and seem to take a similar approach to that advocated by Murad, with talk of implementing ‘the whole Islam’ or making Islam ‘the order of the day.’ UKIM describe Murad as a “visionary , a pioneer and a motivating force in the Global Islamic movement.“
UKIM’s tribute to the big names from the ‘Islamic Movement:’
UKIM newsletter (October 2012):
“Dr Zahid Parvez highlighted the key successes of UKIM over the last 50 years and emphasised that we must build on these successes and develop a broader Islamic Movement in the UK.”
MAINSTREAM ISLAM IN THE UK
UKIM has gone from “a small group of Muslims who used to meet at the East London Mosque in a study circle” in the 1960′s to running almost fifty mosques, Islamic schools with over four thousand puplis and one of the largest Islamic centres in Europe – the £4mil European Islamic Centre in Oldham. Annual conferences now attract thousands rather than hundreds and UKIM’s Ladies Wing claims to be the “largest network of Muslim sisters actively engaged throughout the United Kingdom.”
Guide to Islamist Movements – Barry Rubin
“It is testimony to the extent that Islamist ideas have succeeded in entering the mainstream of British public life that many Jama’at-i-Islami groups have come to be seen as legitimate mainstream representatives of UK Muslims.”
UKIM have been able to count on the support of numerous MPs and major figures in the UK:
………..Tony Blair Ken Livingstone Prince of Wales
The Mayor of London’s ‘Muslims in London’ (2006) marked the formation of UKIM as a ‘landmark event’ -
Adrian Bailey, Labour MP – UKIM Annual Convention, 2005:
“And I have to say, not far from here, we are under threat, despite the tremendous record locally of tolerance and multicultural community, we do have the BNP. And they are seeking to exploit every such event that took place, like the 7th of July, to advance their own intolerant, racist political agenda. We, working together, will ensure that they don’t succeed…I congratulate the UK Islamic Mission on the role that it plays both nationally and locally in pursuing this. I wish you well in your deliberations because we are dependent, in part, on yourselves to help create that climate of (?), that support for the democratic institutions in this country which will ultimately survive this attack and any other attack on our values. So please keep up the good work. I look forward to you having many more such conferences in my constituency.”
Also sharing the platform with Adrian Bailey that day were Abdul Ghaffar Aziz (Director of Foreign Affairs, JI, Pakistan), Ahmed Paracha (Deputy Secretary General, JI, Pakistan) and Kamal el-Helbawy (co-founder of the Muslim Association of Britain and London spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood):
Kamal el-Helbawy at UKIM Annual Conference, 2005:
“First of all, I never forget the beautiful days and years I lived in Pakistan. For six years under the guidance of Professor Kurshid Ahmad and Qazi Hussain Ahmed and other brothers…”
“…Maududi (rahmatullah alaih), Maulana Maududi accept like Hassan al-Banna, another Hassan al-Banna, and Hassan al-Banna is another Maududi. So this is our feelings…”
Rob Marris, Labour MP – UKIM Annual Conference, 2006:
Sharing a platform with Rob Bailey were Kurshid Ahmad (Vice-President, JI, Pakistan) and Syed Manawar Hasan (then-Secretary General, JI, Pakistan). Ahmed and Hasan’s views have already been covered above.
Michael Meacher, Labour MP – UKIM Annual Conference, 2011:
“Speaking to an audience of two thousand Muslims at the UK Islamic Mission’s national convention on July 24, he (Meacher) praised the ethnically diverse Oldham Council and the role played by the Muslim community during the elections. He said, “I’m very glad to say that in the local elections this year the BNP didn’t even stand a single candidate for any seat in Oldham. Altogether I think that sends out a very powerful message that Oldham has been successful in sharing this objective and achieving the marginalisation and the squeezing out of the far right.”
Sharing the platform with Michael Meacher was Liaqat Baloch, Secretary General, JI, Pakistan:
Baloch has said “Jamat-e-Islami wants Islamic rule in Pakistan and no one can stop them from this noble cause.” He was arrested in 2006 for leading a demonstration against Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s involvement in Pakistan’s ‘Protection of Women Act.’ Baloch said of the bill: “under the garb of this bill and women’s rights, the government is deviating from the Koran.” On Salmaan Taseer’s killer: “(he) enjoyed the backing of ‘the entire nation’ and the ‘proud and honourable’ lawyers would secure his release.”
ISLAMI JAMIAT TABALA AND UKIM
Can be found here.
2001 - Revival and Reconstruction
Qazi Hussain Ahmed (President, JI, Pakistan)
Kurshid Ahmed (Vice-President, JI, Pakistan)
2003 – Islam & Global Peace
Qazi Hussain Ahmed (President, Jama’at-e-Islami, Pakistan)
Kurshid Ahmed (Vice-President, Jama’at-e-Islami, Pakistan)
Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Kurshid Ahmad, UKIM, 2003.
2004 – Islam & Multicultural Society
Abdul Haq Ansari (President, JI, Hind)
Liaquat Baloch (Deputy President, JI, Pakistan)
2005 – Muslims in Europe
Kamal el-Helbawy (London spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood)
Abdul Ghaffar Aziz (Director of Foreign Affairs, JI, Pakistan)
Fareed Ahmed Paracha (Deputy Secretary General, JI, Pakistan)
Kouser Firdous (Secretary General, Women’s wing, JI, Pakistan)
2006 – Muhammad Mercy For All
Qazi Hussain Ahmed (President, JI, Pakistan) advertised, replaced by Syed Munawar Hasan (JI,Pakistan)
Kurshid Ahmed (Vice-President, JI, Pakistan)
2010 – European Muslims : Shaping the Future
Qazi Hussain Ahmed (former President, JI, Pakistan) banned from entering the UK.
Siraj ul Haq (Provincial President, JI Pakistan)
Rashid Turabi (President, JI, Kashmir)
2011 – Revival and Reconstruction
Liaquat Baloch (Secretary General, JI, Pakistan)
Rukhsana Jabeen (Secretary General, Women’s Wing, JI, Pakistan)
Workers Meeting, Manchester – Mian Maqsood Ahmad (Deputy Sec General, JI, Pakistan)
ZAKIR NAIK - UKIM CONFERENCE, DAWAH OR DESTRUCTION
“Islam the religion of truth will prevail over all the other ways of life whether it be Communism, Secularism, Christianism, Judaism, Hinduism. Islam is destined to supersede all, to master them all, to overcome them all.”
National Workers Convention 2012
Abdur Rashid Turabi
Farooq Murad – Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain
UKIM DAWAH CENTRE & STALLS
“UKIM DAWAH CENTRE Birmingham is a Charity organisation which aims to convey the message of Islam by providing, in most cases completely free of charge booklets, leaflets, lecture events, education and training on a wide variety of topics.
The Dawah Centre was established in 1993, it has since distributed over 4 million copies of printed literature and still continues to distribute thousands every month. Tens of thousands of people through out the United Kingdom, Ireland and the rest of Europe, as well as Africa and Asia have benefited. A significant number of non-Muslims have, by the Grace and Mercy of Allah, accepted Islam through this effort.”
Luton dawah stall, including ‘Jihad in Islam’:
Dawah stall – Birmingham, 2012
ONLINE DAWAH MATERIAL
EXCERPTS FROM UKIM LITERATURE
JIHAD IN ISLAM – SYED MAUDUDI
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—not because the sovereignty over the earth should be wrested from one nation or several nations and vested in one particular nation, but because the entire mankind should benefit from the ideology and welfare programme or what would be truer to say from ‘Islam’ which is the programme of well-being for all humanity.
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’. To change the outlook of the people and initiate a mental revolution among them through speech or writing is a form of ‘Jihad’. To alter the old tyrannical social system and establish a new just order of life by the power of sword is also ‘Jihad’ and to expend goods and exert physically for this cause is ‘Jihad’ too.
Islam is not merely a religious creed or compound name for a few forms of worship, but a comprehensive system which envisages to annihilate all tyrannical and evil systems in the world and enforces its own programme of reform which it deems best for the well-being of mankind. Islam addresses its call for effecting this programme of destruction and reconstruction, revolution and reform not just to one nation or a group of people, but to all humanity.
As soon as this (Islamic) party is formed, it launches the struggle to obtain the purpose for which it exists. The rationale for its existence is that it should endeavour to destroy the hegemony of an un-Islamic system and establish in its place the rule of that social and cultural order which regulates life with balanced and humane laws, referred to by the Qur’an with the comprehensive term ‘the word of God’. If this party does not strive to effect a change in the government and establish the Islamic system of government, the very basis on which this party exists is knocked out, for this party comes into existence to secure no other purpose than the above and there is no use for this party save that it should struggle for the cause of God.
In these words, the Qur’an has given a clear and definite decree that the acid test of the true devotion of a party to its convictions is whether or not it expends all its resources of wealth and life in the struggle for installing its faith as the ruling power in the State. If you suffer the authority of an inimical doctrine in the State, it is a proof positive that your faith is false and the natural result of this is, and can only be this, that your nominal devotion to the doctrine of Islam will also finally wear off.
It must be evident to you from this discussion that the objective of the Islamic ‘ Jihad’ is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of state rule. Islam does not intend to confine this revolution to a single state or a few countries; the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution. Although in the initial stages it is incumbent upon members of the party of Islam to carry out a revolution in the State system of the countries to which they belong, but their ultimate objective is no other than to effect a world revolution. No revolutionary ideology which champions the principles of the welfare of humanity as a whole instead of upholding national interests, can restrict its aims and objectives to the limits of a country or a nation. The goal of such an all-embracing doctrine is naturally bound to be world revolution. Truth cannot be confined within geographical borders.
Hence it is imperative for the Muslim Party for reasons of both general welfare of humanity and self-defence that it should not rest content with establishing the Islamic System of Government in one territory alone, but to extend the sway of Islamic System all around as far as its resources can carry it. The Muslim Party will inevitably extend invitation to the citizens of other countries to embrace the faith which holds promise of true salvation and genuine welfare for them. Even otherwise also if the Muslim Party commands adequate resources it will eliminate un-Islamic Governments and establish the power of Islamic Government in their stead.
Islamic Jihad is both offensive and defensive at one and the same time. It is offensive because the Muslim Party assaults the rule of an opposing ideology and it is defensive because the Muslim Party is constrained to capture state power in order to arrest the principles of Islam in space-time forces. As a party, it has no home to defend; it upholds certain principles which it must protect. Similarly this party does not attack the home of the opposing party, but launches an assault on the principles of the opponent. The objective of this attack, moreover, is not to coerce the opponent to relinquish his principles but to abolish the government which sustains these principles.
This also answers the question relating to the status of the votaries of other faiths and ideologies when an Islamic government has been set up in their countries. Islamic ‘Jihad’ does not seek to interfere with the faith, ideology, rituals of worship or social customs of the people. It allows them perfect freedom of religious belief and permits them to act according to their creed. However, Islamic ‘Jihad’ does not recognize their right to administer state affairs according to a system which, in the view of Islam, is evil. Furthermore, Islamic ‘Jihad’ also refuses to admit their right to continue with such practices under an Islamic government which fatally affect the public interest from the viewpoint of Islam. For instance, as soon as the Ummah of Islam captures state power it will ban all forms of business prosecuted on the basis of usury or interest; it will not permit the practice of gambling; it will curb all forms of business and financial dealings which are forbidden by Islamic law; it will close down all dens of prostitution and other vices and for all; it will make it obligatory for non-Muslim women to observe the minimum standards of modesty in dress as required by Islamic law and will forbid them to go about displaying their beauty like the days of ignorance; the Muslim Party will clamp censorship on the Cinema. The Islamic government with a view to securing general welfare of the public and for reasons of self-defence will not permit such cultural activities as may be permissible in non-Muslim creeds, but which, from the viewpoint of Islam are corrosive of moral fibres and fatal.
LET US BE MUSLIMS – SYED MAUDUDI
As in a clock, they are linked to each other in such a way that as soon as the winding is done, every part starts moving and, with the movement of all these parts, the desired result is obtained. Rule of God’s law in the world, domination of Islam, start manifesting just as, with the movement of the parts of the clock in front of you, the time appears on its face.
Stated simply: the ultimate objective of Islam is to abolish the lordship of man over man and bring him under the rule of the One God. To stake everything you have – including your lives – to achieve this purpose is called Jihad.
Human well-being and happiness, therefore, will only come about by attacking the evil afflicting society at its roots, that is, by getting rid of all powers based on rebellion against the laws of God. If people are free to commit adultery, no amount of sermons will stop them. But if governments forbid adultery, people will find it easier to give up this evil practice.
You know what severe punishment Islam has prescribed for adultery – one hundred strokes on the bare back. The very thought makes a person shudder. And if a married person is involved, the punishment is stoning to death – one trembles at the very mention of such terrible punishment.
Merely believing in God as God and in His law as the true law is not enough. As soon as you believe in these two things, a sacred duty devolves upon you: wherever you are, in whichever country you live, you must strive to change the wrong basis of government, and seize all powers to rule and make laws from those who do not fear God. You must also provide leadership to God’s servants and conduct the affairs of their government in accordance with God’s laws, remaining fully conscious of living in God’s presence and being accountable to Him in the Hereafter. The name of this striving is Jihad.
A total Din, whatever its nature, wants power for itself; the prospect of sharing power is unthinkable. Whether it is popular sovereignty or monarchy, communism or Islam, or any other Din, it must govern to establish itself. A Din without power to govern is just like a building which exists in the mind only.
Exactly similar is the position of the Din of Islam. This Din means that Allah alone is the Lord of everything on earth and He alone is the Sovereign. Thus, He alone must be obeyed and served, His Shari’ah alone must govern all affairs of our lives. What does Allah’s sovereignty imply? That His writ must run supreme in the world: legal judgements must be based on His Shari’ah, the police must operate according to His commandments, financial transactions must be carried out in conformity with His laws, taxes must be levied as directed by Him and spent as specified by Him, the Civil Service and the army must obey His code, people must devote their abilities, capacities, and efforts to fulfilling His desires. Further, Allah alone must be feared, His subjects must submit to Him only, and man must not serve anyone but Him. Unless the Kingdom of God is established, these objectives cannot be realized. How can Allah’s Din accept to co-exist with any other Din, when no other Din admits of such partnership? Like every other Din, Allah’s Din, too, demands that all authority should genuinely and exclusively be vested in it. If it is not, the Din of Islam will not be there, and it will be futile to pretend that it is.
The Din of Allah, like any other Din, does not allow that you merely believe in its truth and perform certain worship rites . If you are a true follower of Islam, you can neither submit to any other Din, nor can you make Islam a partner of it. If you believe Islam to be true, you have no alternative but to exert your utmost strength to make it prevail on earth: you either establish it or give your lives in this struggle. By this criterion alone can be tested the sincerity of your faith. With a sincere belief, you will find it impossible even to sleep comfortably if you are made to live under another Din, not to speak of giving service to it, getting rich under it, or enjoying its comforts. Every moment you spend under another Din will be a bed of thorns; every morsel of food a poison.
Even if you passively accept to live under another Din, you are not a believer in the true sense of the term, no matter how assiduously you offer one Prayer after another, how many long hours you spend in meditation, how beautifully you explain the Qur’an and how eruditely you write and speak on Islam. True believers carry only one identification: all their efforts are directed to eradicating every false Din – and every Din other than Allah’s is false – and establishing in its place the true Din.
People who use the difficulty of establishing the true Din as a pretext for not trying to do so have their answer in the Qur’an. Obviously, whenever you rise to establish the true Din, some false Din is already in a position of power, controlling all resources. Otherwise there would, by definition, be nothing to topple. It is therefore equally obvious that the replacement of this false Din by the true Din will always be a long and hard struggle. It cannot be accomplished, now or ever, easily and without any sacrifice. It is impossible to claim that you want the establishment of true Din while at the same time continuing to tolerate those parts of the false Din which appear to be of benefit to you personally. True Din can only be established precisely when people are prepared to give up the benefits and privileges they enjoy under the false Din.
So many Muslims today are all too ready to accept whatever is convenient in Islam but all too quick to change direction when conflict arises between Islam and Kufr. This weakness is found even among some of those claiming to be the greatest champions of Islam.2 They will shout ‘Islam! Islam!’ and sing many songs praising it until their mouths are dry. They will be seen doing some work for Islam. But if they are told, ‘Let us now implement the law of Islam which you are praising so highly’, they will at once say, ‘There are some difficulties and obstacles, it is better to leave things as they are for the time being.’ What they mean is that Islam is a beautiful toy, to be displayed on a shelf and praised from a distance, but to be strictly avoided if the question is raised of enforcing its laws to govern ourselves, our families and relations and our businesses and the general conduct of our lives.
In the sight of Allah, there are two distinct parties of fighters. One party is that of the Believers who fight for the cause of Allah in order to establish his way on His earth, and every sincere Believer is bound to perform this duty.
Thus, this verse exhorts the Believer to fight his enemies on all fronts. On one side, he confronts Satan and a host of his followers, and on the second, his own self and its alluring temptations. On the third side, he has to fight many people who have swerved from the way of God, and with whom he is bound by close social, cultural and economic relations. On the fourth side, he is required to oppose all those religious, cultural and political systems that are founded on rebellion against God and force people to submit to falsehood instead of the Truth. Though these enemies employ different weapons, they all have one and the same object in view, that is, to subdue their victims and bring them under their own subjection. It is obvious that true success can only be achieved if one becomes wholly and solely a servant of God and obeys Him openly and also secretly, to the exclusion of obedience to all others. Thus there is bound to be a conflict with all the four enemies: Therefore the Believer cannot achieve his object unless he engages himself with all these hostile and opposing forces at one and the same time and at all events, and removing all these hindrances marches onwards on the way of Allah.
The purpose for which the Muslims are required to fight is not as one might think to compel the believers into embracing Islam. Rather, their purpose is to put an end to the sovereignty and supremacy of the unbelievers so that the latter are unable to rule over men. The authority to rule should only be vested in those who follow the true faith; unbelievers who do not follow this true faith should live in a state of subordination. Unbelievers are required to pay Jizyah (poll tax) in lieu of the security provided to them as the Dhimmis (‘Protected People’) of an Islamic state. Jizyah symbolises the submission of the unbelievers to the suzerainty of Islam. ‘To pay Jizyah of their own hands humbled’ refers to payment in a state of submission.‘Humbled’ also reinforces the idea that the believers, rather than the unbelievers, should be the rulers in performance of their duty as God’s vicegerents.
This aim (of Islamic warfare) has two aspects– the negative and the positive. On the negative side, the aim of war is to abolish (fitnah), and on the positive, it is to establish Allah’s Way completely and in its entirety. This is the only objective for which it is lawful, nay, obligatory for the believers to fight.
If the wife is defiant and does not obey her husband or does not guard his rights, three measures have been mentioned, but it does not mean that all the three are to be taken at one and the same time. Though these have been permitted, they are to be administered with a sense of proportion according to the nature and extent of the offense. If a mere light admonition proves effective, there is no need to resort to a severer step. As to a beating, the Holy Prophet allowed it very reluctantly and even then did not like it. But the fact is that there are certain women who do not mend their ways without a beating. In such a case, the Holy Prophet has instructed that she would not be beaten on the face, or cruelly, or with anything which might leave a mark on the body.
The second reason why Jihad should be waged against them is that they did not adopt the Law sent down by Allah through His Messenger. (Humiliation/reduction in status) is the aim of Jihad with the Jews and the Christians and it is not to force them to become Muslims and adopt the `Islamic Way of Life.’ They should be forced to pay Jizyah in order to put an end to their independence and supremacy so that they should not remain rulers and sovereigns in the land. These powers should be wrested from them by the followers of the true Faith, who should assume the sovereignty and lead others towards the Right Way, while they (Jews and Christians) should become their subjects and pay jizyah.
THE UNIQUE QUR’ANIC GENERATION – SAYYID QUTB
When a person embraced Islam during the time of the Prophet (peace be on him) he would immediately cut himself off from Jahiliyyah (The state of ignorance of the guidance from God).
We are also surrounded by Jahiliyyah today, which is of the same nature as it was during the first period of Islam, perhaps a little deeper. Our whole environment, people’s beliefs and ideas, habits and art, rules and laws-is Jahiliyyah, even to the extent that what we consider to be Islamic culture, Islamic sources, Islamic philosophy and Islamic thought are also constructs of Jahiliyyah!
It is therefore necessary-in the way of the Islamic movement that in the early stages of our training and education we should remove ourselves from all the influences of the Jahiliyyah in which we live and from which we derive benefits.
Our primary purpose is to know what way of life is demanded of us by the Qur’an, the total view of the universe which the Qur’an wants us to have, what is the nature of our knowledge of God taught to us by the Qur’an, the kind of morals and manners which are enjoined by it, and the kind of legal and constitutional system it asks us to establish in the world.
We must also free ourselves from the clutches of jahili society, jahili concepts, jahili traditions and jahili leadership. Our mission is not to compromise with the practices of jahili society, nor can we be loyal to it. Jahili society, because of its jahili characteristics, is not worthy to be compromised with. Our aim is first to change ourselves so that we may later change the society.
Our foremost objective is to change the practices of this society. Our aim is to change the Jahili system at its very roots – this system which is fundamentally at variance with Islam and which, with the help of force and oppression, is keeping us from living the sort of life which is demanded by our Creator.
Our first step will be to raise ourselves above the jahili society and all its values and concepts. We will not change our own values and concepts either more or less to make a bargain with this jahili society. Never! We and it are on different roads, and if we take even one step in its company, we will lose our goal entirely and lose our way as well.
We know that in this we will have difficulties and trials, and we will have to make great sacrifices. But if we are to walk in the footsteps of the first generation of Muslims, through whom God established His system and gave it victory over Jahiliyyah, then we will not be masters of our own wills.
TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING ISLAM – MAUDUDI
The greatest sacrifice for God is made in Jihad, for in it a man sacrifices not only his own life and property in His cause but destroys those of others also. But, as already stated, one of the Islamic principles is that we should suffer a lesser loss to save ourselves from a greater loss. How can the loss of some lives – even if the number runs into thousands – be compared to the calamity that may befall mankind as a result of the victory of evil over good and of aggressive atheism over the religion of God. That would be a far greater loss and calamity, for as a result of it not only would the religion of God be under dire threat, the world would also become the abode of evil and perversion, and life would be disrupted both from within and without.
There must be someone as the head of the family so that discipline may be maintained. Islam gives this position to the husband and in this way makes the family a well disciplined primary unit of civilisation and a model for society at large. The head of the family has responsibilities. It is his duty to work, and do all those tasks which are performed outside the household. Woman has been freed from all activities outside the household so that she may devote herself fully to duties in the home and in the rearing of her children – the future guardians of the nation. Women have been ordered to remain in their houses and discharge the responsibilities assigned to them. Islam does not want to tax them doubly: to bring up their children and maintain the household, as well as to earn a living and do outdoor jobs would be a clear injustice. Islam, therefore, effects a functional division of labour between the sexes. But this does not mean that the woman is not allowed to leave the house at all. She is, when necessary. The law has specified the home as her special field of work and has stressed that she should attend to the improvement of home life. Whenever she has to go out, certain formalities should be observed.
To preserve the moral life of the nation and to safeguard the evolution of society on healthy lines, free mingling of the sexes has been prohibited. Islam effects a functional distribution between the sexes and sets different spheres of activity for both of them. Women should in the main devote themselves to household duties in their homes and men should attend to their jobs in the socio-economic spheres. Outside the pale of the nearest relations between whom marriage is forbidden men and women have been asked not to mix freely with each other and if they do have to have contact with each other they should do so with purdah. When women have to go out of their homes, they should wear simple dress and be properly veiled. They should also cover their faces and hands as a normal course. Only in genuine necessity can they unveil, and they must re-cover as soon as possible.
WITNESSES UNTO MANKIND – SYED MAUDUDI
The Islamic State
Finally, I should state one more important thing. This witness of ours would not be complete unless we establish a state based on the principles and teachings of Islam. By translating its ideas and practices, its norm and values, its rules and laws, into public policies and programmes, such a state would demonstrate how the Divine guidance leads to equity and justice, reform and upliftment, caring and efficient administration, social welfare, peace and order, high standards of morality in public servants, virtue and righteousness in internal politics, honesty in foreign policies, civilised conduct in war, integrity and loyalty in peace. Such public conduct would be a living testimony for all mankind that Islam is indeed the true grantor of human-being, that only following its tenets can ensure the good of mankind.
ISLAM TODAY – SYED MAUDUDI
To set up a secular state in any Muslim country reflects a ruler’s motivation to serve his self-interests. He knows very well what Muslim people desire to live by, since he was a witness to their struggle in the name of Islam. He is also fully aware of his people’s close association with Islam and all that it represents. However, such rulers have acquired a vested interest in the West and made their own children’s future dependent upon the continuation of Western practices.
Similarly, if any community of people today adopts Islam wholeheartedly, organises its life in accordance with its principles and dedicates itself totally to upholding it, then mankind will once again witness the momentous human achievements that Islam can produce – in terms of moral, social, political and economic progress. This would be realised not just at a national level but an international one.
It is of course impossible to achieve this merely through dialogue and discussion. The way to do this would be to follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) which is the example that history presents. It would mean establishing an Islamic state that is the embodiment of its doctrines and laws. Then mankind would be a witness to its nobility and every right-minded individual would be convinced of the glory of the Islamic way.
Since it was God’s Will that I be born into the Muslim nation and belong to it, it is natural for me to hope and pray that we should once again bring about an Islamic revolution. It is also my ardent wish that all my fellow Muslims throughout the world, combine our efforts, unite under the banner of Truth, and strive in the name of Allah to establish an Islamic state which would once again be a guiding example and a beacon for the rest of mankind.
MESSAGE OF ISLAM – UKIM Iqra Centre
Islam did not transmit merely a code of rituals commonly regarded as ‘religion’. Instead it blessed the mankind with a whole system of thought and action, which is called Al-Deen (a complete way of life) in Islamic terminology.
Islam gives training to the individuals and the Muslim society as a whole to prepare them for practical participation in the evolution of Islamic culture and civilization. The believers must grow under this guidance into an organized community engaged in establishing the Islamic system of life so that God’s word should prevail upon all other words.
Those who attempt in any age or land to prevent it (Islam) from organising and ruling human life also realise these essential facts. They know very well that the pure and straightforward Islamic way of life endangers their unjust order, interests, hollow structure and deviant practices. Indeed the tyrannical stinters (whatever form their stinting takes and wherever it is, in money and finance, or in the area of rights and duties) are those who fear most the ascendancy of Islam and the implementation of its just methods.
Since the objective of the message of Islam is a decisive declaration of man’s freedom, not merely on the philosophical plane but also in the actual conditions of life, it must employ Jihad. It is immaterial whether the homeland of Islam – in the true Islamic sense, Dar ul-Islam – is in a condition of peace or whether it is threatened by its neighbors.”
PAVING THE WAY – SAYYID QUTB
Those who say that Islamic Jihad was merely for the defense of the ‘home land of Islam’ diminish the greatness of the Islamic way of life and consider it less important than their ‘homeland’. This is not the Islamic point of view, and their view is a creation of modern age and is completely alien to Islamic consciousness. What is acceptable to Islamic consciousness is its belief, the way of life which this belief prescribes, and the society which lives according to this way of life. The soil of the homeland has, in itself, no value or weight. From the Islamic point of view, the only value which the soil can achieve is because on that soil Allah’s authority is established and Allah’s guidance is followed; and thus it becomes a fortress for the belief, a place for its way of life to be entitled the ‘homeland of Islam’, a centre for the movement for the total freedom of man.
Of course, in that case the defense of the ‘homeland of Islam’ is the defense of the Islamic beliefs, the Islamic way of life, and the Islamic community. However, it’s defense is not the ultimate objective of the Islamic movement of Jihad but it is a mean of establishing the Divine authority within it so that it becomes the headquarters for the movement of Islam, which is then to be carried throughout the earth to the whole of mankind, as the object of this religion is all humanity and its sphere of action is the whole earth.
As we have described earlier, there are many practical obstacles in the establishing Allah’s rule on earth, such as the power of state, the social system and traditions and, in general, the whole human environment. Islam uses force only to remove these obstacles so that there may not remain any wall between Islam and individual human beings, and so that it may address their hearts and minds after releasing them from these material obstacles, and then leave them free to choose to accept or reject it.
We ought not to be deceived or embarrassed by the attacks of the orientalists on the origin of Jihad, nor lose self-confidence under the pressure of present conditions and the weight of the great powers of the world to such an extent that we try to find reasons for Islamic Jihad outside the nature of this religion, and try to show that it was a defensive measure under temporary conditions. The need for Jihad remains, and will continue to remain, whether these conditions exist or not!
THE ROAD TO PEACE AND SALVATION – MAUDUDI
No individual or legislative body has the right to make laws according to their whims or desires, and call upon the subjects of God to follow that law rather than the Divine law. No government has the right to enforce its own authority and require people to obey its own commands rather than the Divine injunctions. No individual or group has the right to recognize the rule of any of the pretenders to power in preference to the rule of the True Sovereign, to reject the laws of God and accept those made by human law-makers, to reject the commands of a legitimate ruler, or to obey an illegitimate, self-appointed ruler. False claims of sovereignty and recognition of these claims all.
DAWAH IN ISLAM – DR IRFAN JEHANGIR
Iqra Centre, Leeds (UKIM)
Islam arranges the human economy, society and polity according to the will of Allah, strengthening the various sections of life, from the family to the government and state, on the basis of justice.
Islam is the upholder of the best system of justice and wants to establish it upon the entire world.
It is very unnatural for a person who has chosen Truth for his own life to remain complacent when others are being deprived of it; or pronounce the impropriety of something yet bear to see the world adhering to it, or possess faith in Allah’s Deen yet lack the zeal to establish it over the world and elevate it about everything.
THE ISLAMIC WAY OF LIFE – SYED MAUDUDI
Sexual permissiveness and other similar types of irresponsible behaviour are not dismissed by Islam as mere innocent pastimes or ordinary transgressions. Rather, they are acts, which strike at the very roots of society. Hence, Islam holds all extra-marital sex as sinful and forbidden (haram) and makes it a criminal offence. Severe punishments are prescribed to deter would-be offenders.
Purdah, which regulates the free association of men and women, restrictions on erotic music and obscene pictures and the discouragement of the spread of all forms of pornography, are other weapons used in the fight to protect and strengthen the institution of the family.
Within the family itself Islam has assigned to the man a position of authority so that he can maintain order and discipline as the head of the household. Islam expects the wife to obey her husband and look after his well-being; and it expects the children to behave accordingly to their parents. Islam does not favour a loose and disjointed family system devoid of proper authority, control and discipline. Discipline can only be maintained through a central authority and, in the view of Islam, the position of father in the family is such that it makes him the fittest person to have this responsibility.
The last is Jihad, that is, exerting oneself to the utmost to disseminate the word of God and to make it supreme, and to remove all the impediments to Islam – through tongue or pen or sword. The aim is to live a life of dedication to the cause of Allah and, if necessary, to sacrifice one’s life in the discharge of this mission.
SHARIAH THE WAY TO GOD – KHURRAM MURAD
The Shari’ah includes both faith and practice. It embraces worship, individual attitude and conduct as well as social norms and laws, whether political, economic, familial, criminal or civil. It may also sometimes be used to imply, in a more restricted sense, do’s and don’ts – the rules and regulations for conduct and behaviour. Lastly, it is also used as the equivalent of the Islamic laws. The Shari’ah is thus nothing less than the divinely ordained way of life for man. To realise the divine will, man must follow the Shari’ah. To live in Islam is to live according to the Shari’ah. To give up the Shari’ah or any part of it knowingly, wilfully or deliberately is to give up Islam. A Muslim must therefore do his utmost to observe and to implement the whole of it, wherever and in whatever situation he finds himself. Hence the Muslim insistence, persistence, commitment and passion for it.
Laws are therefore an important and integral part of the Shari’ah and, as we have already noted, it admits of no distinction between its parts: ‘to pray’ is as valid, enforceable, obligatory and sacred as ‘to consult in collective affairs’ or to ‘prohibit interest’ or ‘to stone an adulterer’.
But, as the manifestation of God’s infinite mercy, knowledge and wisdom, the Shari’ah cannot be amended to conform to changing human values and standards: rather, it is the absolute norm to which all human values and conduct-must conform; it is the frame to which they must be referred; it is the scale on which they must be weighed.
OUR MISSION (Our Message) – HASAN AL-BANNA
We believe that Islam is an all – embracing concept which regulates every aspect of life, adjudicating on every one its concerns and prescribing for it a solid and rigorous order. It does not stand helpless before life’s problems, nor the steps one must take to improve mankind. Some people mistakenly understand by Islam something restricted to certain types of religious observances or spiritual exercises, and confine themselves and their understanding to these narrow areas determined by their limited grasp.
But we understand Islam – as opposed to this view -very broadly and comprehensively as regulating the affairs of men in this world and the next.
Or if they mean by “patriotism” the conquest of countries and lordship over the earth, Islam has already ordained that, and has sent out conquerors to carry out the most gracious of colonizations and the most blessed of conquests. This is what He, the Almighty, says: “Fight them till there is no longer discord, and the religion is Allah’s” [ Q. 2 : 193 ].
MESSAGE OF THE TEACHINGS – HASAN AL-BANNA
Islam is a comprehensive system which deals with all spheres of life. It is a state and a homeland (or a government and an Ummah). It is morality and power (or mercy and justice). It is a culture and a law (or knowledge and jurisprudence). It is material and wealth (or gain and prosperity). It is (Jihad) and a call (or army and a cause). And finally, it is true belief and worship.
Liberation of the homeland from all un-Islamic or foreign control, whether political, economic, or ideological.
Reforming the government so that it may become a truly Islamic government, performing as a servant to the nation in the interest of the people. By Islamic government I mean a government whose officers are Muslims who perform the obligatory duties of Islam, who do not show any signs of rebellion against the evident Islamic principles, and who work and execute their plans according to Islamic teachings.
The Islamic government may utilize the services of non-Muslims, when necessary, in offices other than those of leadership.
Foster Islamic wealth in general by encouraging and helping Islamic economic institutions. Be careful about your money. Don’t let it fall in un-Islamic hands, regardless of the circumstances. Eat and wear products of Islamic enterprises.
TO WHAT DO WE SUMMON MANKIND?
(To What Do We Invite Humanity?)
We have come to the conclusion that it is our duty to establish sovereignty over the world and to guide all of humanity to the sound precepts of Islam and to its teachings, without which mankind cannot attain happiness.
Officially condoned prostitution is a mark of shame on the forehead of every nation that values virtue – how much more so in the case of Islamic nations, whose religion commands them to wage war on prostitution and to punish adulterers severely.
Every paragraph which Islam cannot tolerate and which its prescriptions do not sanction must be expunged, so that no contradiction will appear in the fundamental law of the state.
MILESTONES – SAYYID QUTB
Islam is not a ‘theory’ based on ‘assumptions;’ rather it is a way of life’ working with ‘actuality,’ Thus it is first necessary that a Muslim community come into existence which believes that “There is no deity except God,” which commits itself to obey none but God, denying all other authority, and which challenges the legality of any law which is not based on this belief.
A person who bears witness that there is no deity except God and that Muhammad is God’s Messenger should cut off his relationship of loyalty from the jahili society, which he has forsaken, and from jahili leadership, whether it be in the guise of priests, magicians or astrologers, or in the form of political, social or economic leadership, as was the case of the Quraysh in the time of the Prophet-peace be on him. He will have to give his complete loyalty to the new Islamic movement and to the Muslim leadership.
Thus for thirteen years after the beginning of his risalah, he called people to God through preaching, without fighting or Jiziyah, [A tax levied by Muslims on non-Muslim men in areas governed by Muslims, in lieu of military service.] and was commanded to restrain himself and to practice patience and forbearance. Then he was commanded to migrate, and later permission was given to fight. Then he was commanded to fight those who fought him, and to restrain himself from those who did not make war with him.
Later he was commanded to fight the polytheists until God’s religion was fully established. After the command for Jihad came, the non-believers were divided into three categories: one, those with whom there was peace; two, the people with whom the Muslims were at war; and three, the Dhimmies. [Literally meaning responsibility, Dhimmies refers to the non-Muslim peoples residing in a Muslim state for whose protection and rights the Muslim government was responsible]. It was commanded that as long as the non-believers with whom he had a peace treaty met their obligations, he should fulfill the articles of the treaty, but if they broke this treaty, then they should be given notice of having broken it; until then, no war should be declared. If they persisted, then he should fight with them. When the chapter entitled Bara’ah was revealed, the details of treatment of these three kinds of non-believers were described. It was also explained that war should be declared against those from among the People of the Book [16 Christians and Jews] who declare open enmity, until they agree to pay Jiziyah or accept Islam.Concerning the polytheists and the hypocrites, it was commanded in this chapter that Jihad be declared against them and that they be treated harshly. The Prophet-peace be on him-carried on Jihad against the polytheists by fighting and against the hypocrites by preaching and argument.
This movement treats people as they actually are and uses resources which are in accordance with practical conditions. Since this movement comes into conflict with the Jahiliyyah which prevails over ideas and beliefs, and which has a practical system of life and a political and material authority behind it, the Islamic movement had to produce parallel resources to confront this Jahiliyyah. This movement uses the methods of preaching and persuasion for reforming ideas and beliefs and it uses physical power and Jihad for abolishing the organizations and authorities of the Jahili system which prevents people from reforming their ideas and beliefs but forces them to obey their erroneous ways and make them serve human lords instead of the Almighty Lord.
If through ‘preaching’ beliefs and ideas are confronted, through ‘the movement’ material obstacles are tackled. Foremost among these is that political power which rests on a complex yet interrelated ideological, racial, class, social and economic support. Thus these two-preaching and the movement – united, confront the human situation with all the necessary methods. For the achievement of the freedom of man on earth – of all mankind throughout the earth – it is necessary that these two methods should work side by side. This is a very important point and cannot be over- emphasized.
If the actual life of human beings is found to be different from this declaration of freedom, then it becomes incumbent upon Islam to enter the field with preaching as well as the movement, and to strike hard at all those political powers which force people to bow before them and which rule over them, unmindful of the commandments of God, and which prevent people from listening to the preaching and accepting the belief if they wish to do so. After annihilating the tyrannical force, whether it be in a political or a racial form, or in the form of class distinctions within the same race, Islam establishes a new social, economic and political system, in which the concept of the freedom of man is applied in practice.
It is not the intention of Islam to force its beliefs on people, but Islam is not merely ‘belief’. As we have pointed out, Islam is a declaration of the freedom of man from servitude to other men. Thus it strives from the beginning to abolish all those systems and governments which are based on the rule of man over men and the servitude of one human being to another.
Anyone who understands this particular character of this religion will also understand the place of Jihad bi al-sayf (striving through fighting), which is to clear the way for striving through preaching in the application of the Islamic movement. He will understand that Islam is not a defensive movement in the narrow sense which today is technically called a defensive war. This narrow meaning is ascribed to it by those who are under the pressure of circumstances and are defeated by the wily attacks of the orientalists, who distort the concept of Jihad. It was a movement to wipe out tyranny and to introduce true freedom to mankind, using resources according to the actual human situation, and it had definite stages, for each of which it utilized new methods. If we insist on calling Islamic Jihad a defensive movement, then we must change the meaning of the word ‘defense’ and mean by it ‘the defense of man’ against all those elements which limit his freedom. These elements take the form of beliefs and concepts, as well as of political systems, based on economic, racial or class distinctions. When Islam first came into existence, the world was full of such systems, and the present-day Jahiliyyah also has various kinds of such systems.
Since the objective of the message of Islam is a decisive declaration of man’s freedom, not merely on the philosophical plane but also in the actual conditions of life, it must employ Jihad. It is immaterial whether the homeland of Islam – in the true Islamic sense, Dar al-Islam – is in a condition of peace or whether it is threatened by its neighbors. When Islam strives for peace, its objective is not that superficial peace which requires that only that part of the earth where the followers of Islam are residing remain secure. The peace which Islam desires is that the religion (i.e. the Law of the society) be purified for God, that the obedience of all people be for God alone, and that some people should not be lords over others.
God held back Muslims from fighting in Mecca and in the early period of their migration to Madinah, and told them, “Restrain your hands, and establish regular prayers, and pay Zakah”. Next, they were permitted to fight: “Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they are oppressed, and God is able to help them. These are the people who were expelled from their homes without cause. The next stage came when the Muslims were commanded to fight those who fight them: “Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you.” And finally, war was declared against all the polytheists: “And fight against all the polytheists, as they all fight against you;” “Fight against those among the People of the Book who do not believe in God and the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, and who do not consider the true religion as their religion, until they are subdued and pay Jiziyah.” Thus, according to the explanation by Imam Ibn Qayyim, the Muslims were first restrained from fighting; then they were permitted to fight; then they were commanded to fight against the aggressors; and finally they were commanded to fight against all the polytheists.
The command to refrain from fighting during the Meccan period was a temporary stage in a long journey. The same reason was operative during the early days of Hijrah, but after these early stages, the reason for Jihad was not merely to defend Madinah. Indeed, its defense was necessary, but this was not the ultimate aim. The aim was to protect the resources and the center of the movement – the movement for freeing mankind and demolishing the obstacles which prevented mankind from attaining this freedom.
If this stage of the Islamic movement is viewed in proper perspective, then there is no room to say that the basic aim of the Islamic movement was ‘defensive’ in the narrow sense which some people ascribe to it today, defeated by the attacks of the treacherous orientalists! Those who look for causes of a defensive nature in the history of the expansion of Islam are caught by the aggressive attacks of the orientalists at a time when Muslims possess neither glory nor do they possess Islam. However, by God’s grace, there are those who are standing firm on the issue that Islam is a universal declaration of the freedom of man on the earth from every authority except God’s authority, and that the religion ought to be purified for God; and they keep writing concerning, the Islamic Jihad.
The reasons for Jihad which have been described in the above verses are these: to establish God’s authority in the earth; to arrange human affairs according to the true guidance provided by God; to abolish all the Satanic forces and Satanic systems of life; to end the lordship of one man over others since all men are creatures of God and no one has the authority to make them his servants or to make arbitrary laws for them. These reasons are sufficient for proclaiming Jihad. However, one should always keep in mind that there is no compulsion in religion; that is, once the people are free from the lordship of men, the law governing civil affairs will be purely that of God, while no one will be forced to change his beliefs and accept Islam. The Jihad of Islam is to secure complete freedom for every man throughout the world by releasing him from servitude to other human beings so that he may serve his God, Who IS One and Who has no associates. This is in itself a sufficient reason for Jihad. These were the only reasons in the hearts of Muslim warriors. If they had been asked the question “Why are you fighting?” none would have answered, “My country is in danger; I am fighting for its defense” or “The Persians and the Romans have come upon us”, or, “We want to extend our dominion and want more spoils. They would have answered the same as Rabat Ibn ‘Amir, Hudhayfah Ibn Muhsin and Mughira Ibn Shu`bah answered the Persian general Rustum when he asked them one by one during three successive days preceding the battle of Qadisiyyah, “For what purpose have you come?” Their answer was the same: “God has sent us to bring anyone who wishes from servitude to men into the service of God alone, from the narrowness of this world into the vastness of this world and the Here- after, and from the tyranny of religions into the justice of Islam. God raised a Messenger for this purpose to teach His creatures His way. If anyone accepts this way of life, we turn back and give his country back to him, and we fight with those who rebel until we are martyred or become victorious.” These are the reasons inherent in the very nature of this religion. Similarly, its proclamation of universal freedom, its practical way of combating actual human conditions with appropriate methods, its developing new resources at various stages, is also inherent in its message from the very beginning- and not because of any threat of aggression against Islamic lands or against the Muslims residing in them. The reason for Jihad exists in the nature of its message and in the actual conditions it finds in human societies, and not merely in the necessity for defense, which may be temporary and of limited extent. A Muslim fights with his wealth and his person “in the way of God” for the sake of these values in which neither personal gain nor greed is a motive for him.
Before a Muslim steps into the battlefield, he has already fought a great battle within himself against Satan-against his own desires and ambitions, his personal interests and inclinations, the interests of his family and of his nation; against which is not from Islam; against every obstacle which comes into the way of worshipping God and the implementation of the divine authority on earth, returning this authority to God and taking it away from the rebellious usurpers.
Those who say that Islamic Jihad was merely for the defense of the ‘homeland of Islam’ diminish the greatness of the Islamic way of life and consider it less important than their ‘homeland’. This is not the Islamic point of view, and their view is a creation of the modern age and is completely alien to Islamic consciousness. What is acceptable to Islamic consciousness is its belief, the way of life which this belief prescribes, and the society which lives according to this way of life. The soil of the homeland has in itself no value or weight. From the Islamic point of view, the only value which the soil can achieve is because on that soil God’s authority is established and God’s guidance is followed; and thus it becomes a fortress for the belief, a place for its way of life to be entitled the ‘homeland of Islam’, a center for the movement for the total freedom of man.
Of course, in that case the defense of the ‘homeland of Islam’ is the defense of the Islamic beliefs, the Islamic way of life, and the Islamic community. However, its defense is not the ultimate objective of the Islamic movement of Jihad but is a means of establishing the divine authority within it so that it becomes the headquarters for the movement of Islam, which is then to be carried throughout the earth to the whole of mankind, as the object of this religion is all humanity and its sphere of action is the whole earth.
As we have described earlier, there are many practical obstacles in establishing God’s rule on earth, such as the power of the state, the social system and traditions and, in general, the whole human environment. Islam uses force only to remove these obstacles so that there may not remain any wall between Islam and individual human beings, and so that it may address their hearts and minds after releasing them from these material obstacles, and then leave them free to choose to accept or reject it.
We ought not to be deceived or embarrassed by the attacks of the orientalists on the origin of Jihad, nor lose self- confidence under the pressure of present conditions and the weight of the great powers of the world to such an extent that we try to find reasons for Islamic Jihad outside the nature of this religion, and try to show that it was a defensive measure under temporary conditions. The need for Jihad remains, and will continue to remain, whether these conditions exist or not!
It may happen that the enemies of Islam may consider it expedient not to take any action against Islam, if Islam leaves them alone in their geographical boundaries to continue the lordship of some men over others and does not extend its message and its declaration of universal freedom within their domain. But Islam cannot agree to this unless they submit to its authority by paying Jiziyah, which will be a guarantee that they have opened their doors for the preaching of Islam and will not put any obstacle in its way through the power of the state.
Islam is not merely a belief, so that it is enough merely to preach it. Islam, which is a way of life, takes practical steps to organize a movement for freeing man. Other societies do not give it any opportunity to organize its followers according to its own method, andhence it is the duty of Islam to annihilate all such systems, as they are obstacles in the way of universal freedom. Only in this manner can the way of life be wholly dedicated to God, so that neither any human authority nor the question of servitude remains, as is the case in all other systems which are based on man’s servitude to man.
Those of our contemporary Muslim scholars who are defeated by the pressure of current conditions and the attacks of treacherous orientalists do not subscribe to this characteristic of Islam. The orientalists have painted a picture of Islam as a violent movement which imposed its belief upon people by the sword. These vicious orientalists know very well that this is not true, but by this method they try to distort the true motives of Islamic Jihad. But our Muslim scholars, these defeated people, search for reasons of defensive with which to negate this accusation. They are ignorant of the nature of Islam and of its function, and that it has a right to take the initiative for human freedom.
These research scholars, with their defeated mentality, have adopted the Western concept of ‘religion’, which is merely a name for ‘belief’ in the heart, having no relation to the practical affairs of life, and therefore they conceive of religious war as a war to impose belief on peoples’ hearts. But this is not the case with Islam, as Islam is the way of life ordained by God for all mankind, and this way establishes the Lordship of God alone-that is, the sovereignty of God – and orders practical life in all its daily details. Jihad in Islam is simply a name for striving to make this system of life dominant in the world. As far as belief is concerned, it clearly depends upon personal opinion, under the protection of a general system in which all obstacles to freedom of personal belief have been removed. Clearly this is an entirely different matter and throws a completely new light on the Islamic Jihad.
Thus, wherever an Islamic community exists which is a concrete example of the divinely-ordained system of life, it has a God-given right to step forward and take control of the political authority so that it may establish the divine system on earth, while it leaves the matter of belief to individual conscience. When God restrained Muslims from Jihad for a certain period, it was a question of strategy rather than of principle; this was a matter pertaining to the requirements of the movement and not to belief.
The jahili society is any society other than the Muslim society; and if we want a more specific definition, we may say that any society is a jahili society which does not dedicate itself to submission to God alone, in its beliefs and ideas in its observances of worship, and in its legal regulations.
Included among these is the communist society, first because it denies the existence of God Most High and believes that the universe was created by ‘matter’ or by ‘nature’, while all man’s activities and his history has been created by ‘economics or ‘the means of production’; second, because the way of life it adopts is based on submission to the Communist Party and not to God. A proof of this is that in all communist countries the Communist Party has full control and leadership Furthermore, the practical consequence of this ideology is that the basic needs of human beings are considered identical with those of animals, that is food and drink, clothing, shelter and sex. It deprives people of their spiritual needs, which differentiate human beings from animals. Foremost among these is belief in God and the freedom to adopt and to proclaim this faith. Similarly, it deprives people of their freedom to express individuality, which is a very special human characteristic. The individuality of a person is expressed in various ways, such as private property, the choice of work and the attainment of specialization in work, and expression in various art forms; and it distinguishes him from animals or from machines. The communist ideology and the communist system reduces the human being to the level of an animal or even to the level of a machine.
All idolatrous societies are also among the jahili societies. Such societies are found in India, Japan, the Philippines and Africa. Their Jahili character consists first of the fact that they believe in other gods besides God, in addition to Him or without Him; second, they have constructed an elaborate system of devotional acts to propitiate these deities. Similarly, the laws and regulations which they follow are derived from sources other than God and His Law, whether these sources be priests or astrologers or magicians, the elders of the nation, or the secular institutions which formulate laws without regard to the Law of God, and which attain absolute authority in the name of the nation or a party or on some other basis, while absolute authority belongs to God alone, and this can be brought into action only in the way shown to us by the Prophets of God.
All Jewish and Christian societies today are also jahili societies. They have distorted the original beliefs and ascribe certain attributes of God to other beings. This association with God has taken many forms, such as the fatherhood/giving birth of God or the Trinity, sometimes it is expressed in a concept of God which is remote from the true reality of God.
The Islamic society is, by its very nature, the only civilized society, and the jahili societies, in all their various forms, are backward societies.
The statement that “Culture is the human heritage” and that it has no country, nationality or religion is correct only in relation to science and technology-as long as we do not jump the boundary of these sciences and delve into metaphysical interpretations, and start explaining the purpose of man and his historical role in philosophical terms, even explaining away art and literature and human intuition philosophically. Beyond this limited meaning, this statement about culture is one of the tricks played by world Jewry, whose purpose is to eliminate all limitations, especially the limitations imposed by faith and religion, so that the Jews may penetrate into body politic of the whole world and then may be free to perpetuate their evil designs. At the top of the list of these activities is usury, the aim of which is that all the wealth of mankind end up in the hands of Jewish financial institutions which run on interest.