QUESTIONS ABOUT ISLAM AND PEACE
Here the remaining four Important Questions About Islam and Peace.
FOURTH IMPORTANT QUESTION ABOUT ISLAM AND PEACE
Is armed struggle permissible against Muslim rulers to remove their governments because of their non-Islamic policies, or for the acceptance of demands, to bring them to the right path, or get them to give up their impious activities? Is rebellion permissible against the constitutional government, its writ, and governance? What should be the legitimate way to change the rulers or make them mend their ways?
Islam is not merely a religion. It is a complete Deen, a code of life. Providing a complete set of principles for every walk of life, it has also made arrangements for the protection of the collectivity of society. The rights and duties of state institutions have manifestly and clearly been spelled out. All citizens of the Muslim state have been placed under an obligation to abide by state laws, rules and regulations. One of these principles is that a Muslim state and society should be a paragon of peace and mutual coexistence. That is why Islam strictly prohibits the taking up of arms against a Muslim state, to challenge its authority and writ, and declare war against it. Islamic law holds such an action as rebellion. God forbid if such conditions are created, then it is the primary responsibility of an
Islamic State to take urgent measures to eliminate rebellion with an iron hand and exterminate terrorism so that no individual or group can dare destroy the social harmony of society, ruin the peace and shed innocent blood. Islam holds the peace and tranquillity of society in general, and of a Muslim state in particular, so dear that it does not allow people to raise the banner of revolt in the name of tackling injustice, oppression and other vices of the ruling elite. In the light of Prophetic traditions, the banner of rebellion against a Muslim state cannot be raised unless the rulers commit explicit, declared and absolute infidelity, and prevent the performance of religious rituals like prayer through the use of force.
The conditions leading to the forbiddance of rebellion in the light of the Qur’anic verses, Prophetic traditions, and expositions of the jurists are evident. Referring to the holy Companions, their successors, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafai, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal and other leading jurists, the fact has been brought to light that absolute consensus exists among all the leading jurists on the total forbiddance of rebellion against the Muslim state, and there is no difference of opinion between any schools of thought. Such a rebellion as challenges the writ of the state, and has been launched without the collective approval and sanction of society, is but a civil war, blatant terrorism and a clear act of strife. It can never be called Jihad under any circumstances. QUESTIONS ABOUT ISLAM AND PEACE
As for the struggle to reform some impious Muslim ruler or state, that is not at all prohibited or disallowed. The forbiddance of rebellion and armed struggle should not mean at all that an evil should not be called an evil and no effort be made to stop its spread, or the obligation of faith to bid good and forbid evil to be abandoned. Certification of truth and rejection of falsehood is binding upon Muslims. Likewise, seeking to reform society and fight off evil forces is one of the religious obligations. The adoption of all constitutional, legal, political and democratic ways to reform the rulers and the system of governance, and stop them from the violation of human rights is not only lawful but also binding upon Muslims. Making efforts at the individual and collective levels to establish the truth, and ending the reign of terror and oppression and restoration of a system of justice through appropriate means form part of the obligations of faith.
Who were the Khawarij? What does Islamic law ordain about them? Are the present-day terrorists a continuation of the Khawarij?
The Khawarij were rebels and apostates of Islam. Their advent took place during the period of the Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him). Their intellectual growth and organized emergence took place during the Caliphates of Usman (RA) and Ali (RA). The Khawarij were so punctual and regular in the performance of religious rituals and acts of worship that they would appear more pious than the holy Companions would at times. However, in keeping with the clear command of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), they were absolutely out of the fold of Islam. The Khawarij would regard the killing of Muslims as lawful, reject the Companions for their disagreement with them, and, raising the slogan ‘there is no Command but Allah’s’, consider the launch of armed struggle against and the killing of Hazrat Ali (RA) as lawful. They would continue in perpetuating these heinous actions. The Khawarij were, in fact, the first terrorist and rebellious group that challenged the writ of the state and raised the banner of armed struggle against a Muslim state. The texts of Hadith clearly establish that such elements would continue to be born in every age. The term Khawarij is not meant merely to denote the group which took up arms against the rightly guided Caliphs, but it encompasses all those groups and individuals bearing such attributes, ideologies and terrorist ways of action who will continue to rear their head and perpetrate terrorism in the name of Jihad till the Day of Judgment. Despite being almost perfectionist in the performance of outward religious rituals, they would be considered as being out of the fold of Islam for their mistaken and misplaced ideology. A Muslim state cannot be allowed to give them any concession in the name of dialogue or stop military action without their complete elimination according to the explicit instructions of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). The only exception as to when they can be spared is that they lay down their arms, repent of their actions and vow to honor the state laws and writ of the Muslim state. QUESTIONS ABOUT ISLAM AND PEACE
What are the measures that the government and the ruling classes should take to put an end to mischief-mongering, terrorist activities, and armed strife?
The government and the law enforcing agencies should, at the outset, remove all factors and stimuli that contribute to making the common man a victim of doubt. Due to these factors, the ringleaders and the chieftains of terrorism are able to snare impressionable young people into changing their track and lead them to militancy. Exploiting their sentiments, they are able to prepare them for terrorist activities without much difficulty. The policies, events, and circumstances the terrorist elements use as fuel for their evil agenda need to be remedied and set right as a priority. This will certainly help eradicate the root causes of the spread of this plague. Similarly, as long as the world powers, along with the Pakistani agencies, continue to neglect to attend to the real hardships of people, removing their complaints and abandoning their deceptive policies, the restoration of real peace will remain merely a dream. QUESTIONS ABOUT ISLAM AND PEACE
Another important question under inquiry in various circles of society refers to a dilemma: can we justify as lawful the atrocities of terrorism if they are done with the intention of promoting Islam and to secure the rights of the Muslims?
The Khawarij, even today, invoke Islam and raise slogans to establish the Divine Order, but all of their actions and steps constitute a clear violation of Islamic teachings. When their supporters do not have any legal argument to defend the actions of the Khawarij, they draw the attention of people to the vices of the ruling elites and the oppression by foreign forces as a justification for their killing. They are content in the belief that although the terrorists are doing wrong, their intention is good beyond any doubt. This is a major intellectual faux pas and many people, both educated and uneducated, suffer from this doubt. An evil act remains evil in all its forms and content; whatever we may interpret as injustice, this principle remains the same. Therefore, no forbidden action can ever become a virtuous and lawful deed due to goodness of intention. Law in Islam applies to an action. The massacre of humanity, perpetration of oppression and cruelty, terrorism, violence, and bloodshed on earth and armed rebellion and strife cannot become pardonable actions due to any good intention or pious conviction. Nor is there any place for deviation from this fundamental principle. Thus, this argument of the terrorists and their well-wishers is also false in the sight of Islamic law. Therefore, we begin our arguments with the clarification of the same issue that an evil deed cannot change into a pious deed due to any pious intention it supposedly arises from. QUESTIONS ABOUT ISLAM AND PEACE