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Jihad: A Misunderstood Concept from Islam - Conditions for Combative Jihad

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Article Index
Jihad: A Misunderstood Concept from Islam
Jihad in History and Law
Jihad and Islamic Propagation
Forced Conversion?
Conditions for Combative Jihad
Islamic Terms of Ratifying Peace
Jihad Between Muslims
Dhikr: the Remembrance of God
Rebellion Against Rulers
Terms: What Jihad is, and is not
Footnotes
All Pages

Conditions for Combative Jihad

The ruler, the Imam, is completely answerable to the people and their legal apparatus, the most important representatives of whom are the scholars. The position of the law is that only at such a time when it can be reasonably proven that; there are aggressive designs against Islam; and,thereare concerted efforts to eject Muslims from their legally acquired property; and, that military campaigns are being launched to eradicate them.

At such a time the ruler can declare and execute the provisions of Jihad. It is a condition that there be a leader of the Muslims, an Imam, to declare combative Jihad. In al-Mughni, Ibn Qudama states,

“declaring Jihad is the responsibility of the Imam and is his independent legal judgment.”7 Al-Dardir says, “proclaiming Jihad comes through the Imam’s assignment of a leader.”8 Abu Bakr Al-Jazaa’iri states that the pillars of Jihad are: “A pure intention and that it is performed behind a Muslim Imam and beneath his flag and with his permission. …it is not permissible for them to fight without an Imam.”

Similarly the ruler, the political leader of the whole country, has the power to ratify peace treaties if they are consistent with the interests of the Muslims. Conscription has to be confined to young men of sound health on condition that they have parental permission to engage in combat. The exception is where the enemy has already entered the borders of a Muslim state in which case Jihad becomes unconditionally incumbent on every able man.