Author: Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Publisher: Wahba Bookshop
Number of Pages: 1,439
In this section of the valuable book Fiqh of Jihad, the erudite scholar Yusuf Al-Qaradawi deals with one of the most important aspects of Jihad (fighting in the cause of Allah); namely, the ethics and manners that are incumbent upon the Muslim army. Many people are unmindful of this aspect to the extent that those who are ignorant of the rulings and instructions of Islam may think that Islam does not recognize the ethical and humanitarian aspect of war, or that it does not attach any importance to it. Such ignorant people then conclude that Islam's only care is for bloodshed here and there!
In reality, the ethical aspect is of tantamount importance in the areas of worship, transactions, and the like. Moreover, it has special importance in the issue of Jihad, about which others know nothing other than the language of blood, destruction, and vandalism.
Sheikh Al-Qaradawi divides this section into five chapters. These chapters deal with the duties of the Muslim army both before and during the battle; the ethics of Jihad and the mujahideen (those fighting in the cause of Allah); the rulings of seeking help from non-Muslims; and the ethics of war in Islam.
Preparedness for Fighting Against the Enemies
|Sheikh Al-Qaradawi then deals with the issue of weapons of mass destruction. He points out that Islam is against the use of such weapons, which "destroy crops and cattle" and kill the combatants and noncombatants alike|
(Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others besides whom, you may not know, but whom Allah does know. And whatever you shall spend in the cause of Allah shall be repaid unto you, and you shall not be treated unjustly.) (Al-Anfal 8:60)
It is noteworthy that the phrase steeds of war comes to mean the vehicles needed for war. Hence, the "steeds" of our modern time include tanks, armored vehicles, and other land fighting vehicles that armies use in combat, and those who are skilled in using them have become the knights of our time.
Sheikh Al-Qaradawi then deals with the issue of weapons of mass destruction. He points out that Islam is against the use of such weapons, which "destroy crops and cattle" and kill the combatants and noncombatants alike. However, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi holds that Islam makes it an obligation upon the Muslim Ummah to possess such deterrent weapons because others possess these weapons and can threaten Muslims with them. However, such weapons should not be used, except at times of real necessity and in the most exceptional circumstances when a nation is subject to an existential threat with such weapons.
Continuous training on using arms and weapons is one of the prerequisites of war. It is a main requirement for combat, and Muslims should pay close attention to it. Muslims should abide by such training until they acquire great skills that surpass those of their enemies. This can be accomplished through mastering the skills required by continuous training. Such continuous training is a collective duty upon the Muslim Ummah and an individual duty upon those who are engaged in combat or affiliated with Muslim armies. This is on account of the fact that winning a war and securing victory can be achieved only through constant training, hence the fiqhi (juristic) rule that reads, "That which an obligation can be fulfilled only through it also becomes an obligation."
Taking Precautions and Precautionary Measures
One of the obligations upon Muslims during the time of combat is that they must be on their guard and vigilant against their enemies. In addition, Muslims should adopt all elements of precaution against their enemies, so that they may not be caught off guard or taken advantage of if they are in a state of negligence through which the enemy could penetrate into their walls and disclose their secrets. In this respect, in the Glorious Qur'an, Almighty Allah addresses the believers, saying,
(O you who believe! Take your precautions, and either go forth (on an expedition) in parties, or go forth all together.) (An-Nisaa' 4:71)
Sending Explorers and Spies
|Wars are no longer — as was the case in the past — a confrontation between two knights or two rows of soldiers and combatants|
This act of investigation is now called the intelligence apparatus, and today this apparatus plays an important and crucial role in wars. Wars are no longer — as was the case in the past — a confrontation between two knights or two rows of soldiers and combatants that draws heavily upon skill, bravery, and individual characteristics.
Taking Precautions Against Enemy Spies
Muslims should fortify themselves against the espionage of their enemies, just as they are required to unveil the potentials and capabilities of their enemies. Muslims have to be vigilant against such trained spies who infiltrate among people in the same way as sleep sneaks into the eyes of a drowsy person or as a disease sneaks into a sound, healthy body. Furthermore, Muslims should warn their Muslim brethren against the persons whom they do not know or feel at ease with, especially at times of war and conflict, so as not to let some good-hearted and simple person fall victim to those spies, who work on getting the information and secrets they need from people who are not aware that they are giving up the rights of their homeland, religion, and Ummah.
Using Psychological Warfare
Psychological warfare is a modern tool of war. Combat is no longer confined to military preparations. Rather, there must be other forces and aspects that can be used for achieving victory. One of these aspects is psychological warfare, which is simply learning everything about the enemy: Their beliefs, likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. With this information Muslims can penetrate into their enemy's psychological mood and try to cause a negative impact by any possible means. These means may aim at casting fear in their hearts and making them dread Muslims to drive them into despair from scoring victory over Muslims. This can be done by relating narratives about Muslims' heroism — that they (i.e. Muslims) do not fear death but welcome it, and that they have strengths and characteristics that are not available anywhere else.
Islam does not neglect this matter; it pays special attention to it, realizing that the psychological factor is the first influence in human behavior. Muslims' responsibility also includes fortification and protection from the "psychological invasion" of the enemy, as well as the aspect of attacking and affecting them psychologically.
|Four of these obligations take the form of divine commands, and the other two take the form of prohibitions laid down by Almighty Allah|
(O you who believe! When you meet a party, then be firm and remember Allah much that you may be successful. And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not quarrel, for then you will be weak in hearts and your power will depart, and be patient; surely Allah is with the patient. And be not like those who came forth from their homes in great exultation and to be seen of men, and (those who) turn away from the way of Allah, and Allah comprehends what they do.) (Al-Anfal 8:45–47)
These Qur'anic verses from Surat Al-Anfal (where the Glorious Qur'an comments on the Battle of Badr) imply six obligations that Muslims have to take into consideration when confronting their enemies. Four of these obligations take the form of divine commands, and the other two take the form of prohibitions laid down by Almighty Allah.
The six obligations are as follows:
1. Standing firm
2. Remembering Allah
3. Obeying Allah and His Messenger
4. Refraining from disputation
5. Preserving patience
6. Devoting one's intention solely for the sake of Allah, so as not to be like the polytheists.
In the third chapter, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi talks about the ethics of Jihad and the mujahideen. In this respect, he mentions the following ethics.
Setting the Intention Right
People should not engage in jihad for vengeance or out of partisanship for their folks. They should not participate in jihad to brag about their bravery, to seek fame or praise, or to achieve a worldly gain for themselves, their families, or their tribes, such as taking possession of wealth or raw materials in a certain country, opening markets for a certain commodity, or monopolizing certain stock. Rather, people should intend to engage in jihad for the sake of Allah. Their sincere intention should be devoted to supporting their religion and winning the pleasure or Allah.
Sincere Military Service
Serving and Favoring Colleagues in Jihad
Among the ethics of Jihad in Islam is that the mujahid (one who struggles for the sake of Allah) should devote himself wholeheartedly in serving his colleagues, favoring them with all that is good, giving them preference over himself, and thereby coming closer to Allah through serving them and watching over them.
Maintaining the Rights of Companionship in Jihad
The rights of companionship in Jihad are as follows:
1. The right of general Islamic brotherhood. Prophet Muhammad said, "The Muslim is the brother of another Muslim, so he should neither oppress him, humiliate him, nor look down upon him." He also said, "The believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts reinforce one another."
2. The right of brotherhood and friendship, which makes the rights of companionship obligatory upon each companion toward his companion and which include giving advice and showing cooperation and altruism.
3. The right of companionship during traveling and living away from a homeland. It is known that travel makes travelers come closer to one another, and that their living away from their homeland brings them closer.
4. The right of companionship in Jihad. This is the most important of all rights because both companions participate in the best act (jihad), which brings them closer to Allah.
The Commander's Closeness to His Soldiers
Among the ethics of the commander of the army with his soldiers is that he should not be distinguished among them. He should not make them feel that he is superior to them. Rather, he should make them feel that he is one of them: He feels happy when they are happy and becomes sad when they are sad. Hence, all of them should resemble the one body: If any part of this body is not well, then the whole body shares the same feeling. Such a commander looks upon leadership as a responsibility, not as an honor, and as a loss, not as a gain. When he took charge as caliph, `Umar ibn `Abdul-`Aziz (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "I am one of you, but Allah has made me the most burdened among you."
The Commander's Consultation With His Soldiers
Among the acts that are important for good communication between the commander and his military forces is that he should consult with them regarding the issues that need consultation and exchange of views and opinions. It is known that the opinion of a group is closer to the right decision than the opinion of an individual, and whoever consults with people will know how they think.
In the fourth chapter, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi talks about the issue of seeking help from non-Muslims during Jihad. He states,
|The tribe of Khuza`ah went out with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) against Quraish in the year of the Conquest of Makkah while they were still polytheists|
However, it was reported that Al-`Itrah and Abu Hanifah made it permissible to seek help from non-Muslims. They present as their evidence the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sought help from Safwan ibn Umayyah during the Battle of Hunayn while Safwan was still a polytheist. In addition, the tribe of Khuza`ah went out with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) against Quraish in the year of the Conquest of Makkah while they were still polytheists. It is also reported in a hadith narrated by Dhu Makhmar that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "You will make a treaty of peace with the Byzantines; then you and they will fight an enemy behind you."
Sheikh Al-Qaradawi then holds that it is permissible to seek help from non-Muslims under certain rules and conditions:
1. There must be a need for this help. If there is no need for such help, as when Muslims are powerful and strong enough to defeat their enemies, then there is no reason to seek help from non-Muslims. This complies with the following hadith: "Leave alone that which involves you in doubt, and adhere to that which is free from doubt."
2. There must be confidence in the helper's loyalty to Muslims and in his or her harboring of hostility toward Muslims' enemies. Otherwise, such a person would be more dangerous to Muslims than their combatant enemies.
3. The helper should not be a preacher for his religion or sect, because Muslims' intellects and thoughts should be protected from any deviated thoughts at a time when they are in dire need of strong faith, certainty, and unity.
|The act of Muslims' seeking help from non-Muslims against their Muslim brothers does not meet any of the conditions stipulated by Muslim jurists for permitting seeking help from non-Muslims|
5. Seeking help from disbelievers should be confined to areas of necessity and need, so that Muslims would remain on the safe side, with constant precaution and vigilance.
Seeking Help From Non-Muslims Against Muslims
The act of Muslims' seeking help from non-Muslims against their Muslim brothers does not meet any of the conditions stipulated by Muslim jurists for permitting seeking help from non-Muslims. This is based on the following reasons:
1. It is a way of seeking help from disbelievers against Muslims.
2. The disbelievers who help a Muslim group against another Muslim group cannot be trusted because they have their own interests and strategic goals in the lands of Muslims.
3. Such disbelievers do not fight under the leadership of Muslims or as a group of their soldiers. Rather, the fact is that Muslims would be under the leadership and command of those disbelievers.
4. Regarding this kind of conduct as an act of "seeking help from a non-Muslim" is a kind of self-deception. The seeker of help should be the initiator of the request for help, and the person sought for help should be the respondent to the request. This was not the case at all during the Second Gulf War. In fact, it could be said that it was non-Muslims who sought our help not us who sought their help.
In the fifth chapter, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi talks about the ethics of war in Islam. He states, "The constitution of military ethics in Islam is comprehensive and integrated." This constitution has three aspects.
Ethics of Muslims Before the Battle
When Muslims penetrate into enemy lines to gather information, unveil secret matters, and investigate military aspects that are important, Islam generally forbids them from resorting to the immoral means often used by other military intelligence services. These secrets may include the numbers and locations of troops, equipments, caches of arms, platforms of missiles, as well as the enemy's plans, aspirations, weaknesses, strengths, degree of unity or disunity in the internal front, vents through which Muslims can penetrate, and so on.
Ethics of Muslims During the Battle
|As for postwar ethics, especially after victory is secured, Islam pays attention to this ethical aspect with regard to prisoners of war|
Ethics of Muslims After the Battle
As for postwar ethics, especially after victory is secured, Islam pays attention to this ethical aspect with regard to prisoners of war. Islam urges Muslims to sympathize with them and make them feel their sense of humanness. Muslims are also forbidden from humiliating, terrifying, or torturing prisoners of wars. Almighty Allah says,
(And they give food out of love for Him to the poor and the orphan and the captive: "We feed you only for the sake of Allah; we desire from you neither reward nor thanks.") (Al-Insan 76:8–9)
Also, Almighty Allah says about the prisoners of war who were taken during the Battle of Badr,
(O Prophet! Say to the captives that are in your hands, "If Allah knows any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you and He will forgive you, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.") (Al-Anfal 8:70)
The ethics of combat and war in Islam are embodied in the following principles.
Prohibition of transgression. The first of these principles is the prohibition of transgressing against others. Almighty Allah explicitly forbids this act when He says,
(And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.) (Al-Baqarah 2:190)
Prohibition of fighting civilians. Among the ethics of war in Islam is the prohibition of killing noncombatants, who are today called civilians. These include the children, the women, the elderly, the hermits who worship in their monasteries, the blind, the chronically ill, the farmers, the merchants, and the like.
Prohibition of mutilation. People knew from ancient times many forms of transgression, such as mutilation. Mutilation was a means of taking revenge on the enemy after the death of the enemy's warriors by disfiguring the corpses and cutting off some organs, such as the ears, nose, and genitals. In addition, the mutilators would take out some internal organs, such as the heart or liver, so as to quench their thirst for vengeance on their opponents. Although these opponents had already died, the victorious warriors would not feel satisfied with their death; they would unjustly and ignorantly go further to disfigure the corpses.
Prohibition of treachery and treason. The ethics of war and jihad in Islam include the necessity of fulfilling the covenants that Muslims concluded with their enemies, and abiding by all the terms these covenants include. The ethics of jihad also include the prohibition of all forms of treachery, as Islam regards treachery as one of the traits of the hypocrites and disbelievers. Islam also prohibits the breach of trust, be it material or ethical.
Almighty Allah praises the believers, saying,
(And those who keep their trusts and covenants.) (Al-Mu'minun 23:8 and Al-Ma`arij 70:32)
(Those who fulfill the promise of Allah and do not break the covenant.) (Ar-Ra`d 13:20)
Prohibition of cutting down trees and demolishing buildings. The ethics of war and combat in Islam also include the prohibition of corruption in the land through destroying the means of living and wrecking what people need. This prohibition applies to cutting trees, burning farms, destroying buildings, polluting water streams and sources, and any similar act committed by some armies as an act of taking revenge on the enemy while there is no need to do it.
Prohibition of plundering and pillaging. One of the ethics of war in Islam is that Muslims are urged to seek lawful gains and to shun ill-gotten gains with regard to both their food and drink. Hence, Muslims are not allowed to consume any ill-gotten gains under the pretext of engaging in jihad. What supports this is the fact that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) forbade plundering and pillaging. Explaining the Prophet's guidance for the times of combat, Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said, "The Prophet used to forbid plundering and mutilation in times of combat and said that whoever commits spoliation is not one of us. Moreover, he (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered that the pots that contained cooked food from plundered property be turned over, and hence Muslims turned them over."
Related Links:What is New about Al-Qaradawi’s Fiqh of Jihad?
The Necessity for the Ummah to be Vigilant and to Unite
How to Comprehend Jihad
Global Peace: Challenges and Prospects
Ethics of Shari`ah and Our Responsibility