Part 2—General McChrystal, Read Arun Shourie…Immediately!

Arun Shourie

As the duty (to wage Jihad) is an overriding one all means are permissible. “War is stratagem, “ the Prophet says, “War is deceit.” (Sahih Muslim, Volume III, pp. 945, 990-991; Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, pp. 166-67; Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume II, p. 728) Thus one may lie, one may kill the enemy while he is asleep, one may kill him by tricking him. (for example, see Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, pp. 164-5, 167-68)


A “highlight” from Arun Shourie’s The World of Fatwas,” pp. 567 ff.


…Nor is the fact that the unbelievers reject the Truth, that they put their faith is false gods accidental. Allah says that He has Himself led them astray. No one—no believer, no prophet, not even the Prophet—can help them. In fact Allah says, He has deliberately put them—complete with their obstinate unbelief, their scheming and treachery—in the way of the believers so as to test the latter. There can be only one operational conclusion from that: the believers have to fight them, they must fight them—till the unbelievers submit and thereby Islam reigns, or they are exterminated and thereby Islam reigns.


Would you guide those, whom Allah has thrown out of the way?, “ Allah asks. “For those whom Allah has thrown out of the Way, never shall you find the Way.” (Koran 4:88) “And those whom Allah leaves to stray, no one can guide,” He proclaims again (Koran 13.33). And yet again: “It is he whom Allah guides, that is on true Guidance; but he whom He leaves astray – for such wilt thou find no protector besides Him. On the Day of Judgment We shall gather, them together, prone on their faces, blind, dumb, and deaf: their abode will be Hell: every time it shows abatement, We shall increase from them the fierceness of the Fire. That is their recompense, because they rejected Our signs…” (Koran 17:97/98). And then again “Say, ‘I do but warn you according to revelation’: But the deaf will not hear the call, (even) when they are warned!” (Koran 21:45). And yet again “Or have they a god other than Allah? Exalted is Allah far above the things they associate with Him!  Were they to see a piece of the sky falling (on them), they would (only) say: ‘Clouds gathered in heaps!’ So leave them alone until they encounter that Day of theirs, wherein they shall (perforce) swoon (with terror),- The Day when their plotting will avail them nothing and no help shall be given them.”(Koran 52: 43-46). And yet again: (Koran 54: 3-8). “They reject (the warning) and follow their (own) lusts but every matter has its appointed time. There have already come to them Recitals wherein there is (enough) to check (them), Mature wisdom;- but (the preaching of) Warners profits them not. Therefore, (O Prophet,) turn away from them. The Day that the Caller will call (them) to a terrible affair, They will come forth,- their eyes humbled – from (their) graves, (torpid) like locusts scattered abroad, Hastening, with eyes transfixed, towards the Caller!- “Hard is this Day!”, the Unbelievers will say.”


In a word, the unbelievers, the apostates, the hypocrites have all been set on the road of unbelief and thence of perdition by Allah Himself. They are not going to heed the Truth. They are going to persist in their wrong. Indeed…the fact that the Revelation has now been given through the Prophet, and through him to the believers, is going to make them even more obstinate in their rebellion and blasphemy.


Take no friends from their ranks Allah declares, unless they accept the way of Allah, “But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever you find them.” (Koran 4:89) There will be those among them who will wish to gain your confidence and that of your people, Allah warns. “If they withdraw not from you nor give you (guarantees) of peace besides restraining their hands,” commands Allah, “seize them and slay them wherever you get them.” (Koran 4:91).


Thus, the command is simplicity itself: if the unbelievers accept Islam, well and good, do not punish them for their past unbelief; if they don’t, slay them till Islam is established everywhere: “Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do. If they refuse, be sure that Allah is your Protector – the best to protect and the best to help.” (Koran 8:38-40)


Those pagans who submit to you, who honor their treaties and alliances, who, in short, see the Light, fulfill your obligation towards them, Allah says, with reference to the immunity which was declared for four months—a sort of grace period was given to the pagans to accept the Message of the Prophet: “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them:” (Koran 9:5)


That counsel is repeated: if they repent, if they establish namaz and zakat, in a word if they adopt Islam, forgive them; if they don’t, seize them, beleaguer them, slay them. The prospect of their living up to their commitments of course remains remote: “How can there be a league, before Allah and His Messenger, with the Pagans, except those with whom ye made a treaty near the sacred Mosque? As long as these stand true to you, stand ye true to them: for Allah doth love the righteous. How (can there be such a league), seeing that if they get an advantage over you, they respect not in you the ties either of kinship or of covenant? With (fair words from) their mouths they entice you, but their hearts are averse from you; and most of them are rebellious and wicked. The Signs of Allah have they sold for a miserable price, and (many) have they hindered from His way: evil indeed are the deeds they have done.”


And again: “O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed.” (Koran 9:73)


And it is not for nothing that Allah puts these unbelievers in the path of the believers: “Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah’s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost. Soon will He guide them and improve their condition, And admit them to the Garden which He has announced for them.” (Koran 47:4-6)


Therefore proclaims Allah: “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.” (Koran 2:216)


And therefore, “Go ye forth, (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, and strive and struggle, with your goods and your persons, in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if ye (but) knew.”


Those commands to seize, to beleaguer, to slay the unbelievers and hypocrites and apostates; those certifications of their evil intent; those promises of Paradise for ones who die fighting the enemies of Allah and Islam—these are not the commands, assessments and promises of the Ulema (Muslim religious leaders); they are not gleaned from some secondary books; they are the commands, assessments, promises of Allah Himself as set down by Him in the Koran itself.


Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim and the other compilers of the Hadith devote entire “Books” to recording how the Messenger of Allah followed these [Koranic] commands. The injunctions are thus twice reinforced. “Jihad in the way of Allah! Jihad in the way of Allah,” we hear the Prophet proclaim, is what “elevates the position of man in Paradise to a grade one hundred (higher) and the elevation between one grade and the other is equal to the height of the heaven from the earth”…(Sahih Muslim, Volume III, p. 1046, Ahmad Hasan [tr.], Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, 1993) “I love to fight in the way of Allah, “ he declares, “and be killed, to fight again and be killed, and to fight again and be killed.” (Sahih Muslim, Volume III, p. 1043-44) He declares that if only he had the means, or his fellow believers themselves had the means, he would equip all of them for Jihad. “Who is the best of men?,” the Prophet is asked “A man who fights in the way of Allah spending his wealth and staking his life,” he affirms. (Sahih Muslim, Volume III, p. 1048-49) Every injury to the unbeliever tots up a meritorious deed for the faithful, the traditions recall Allah saying. “A man came to Allah’s Apostle, “ the hadith records, “and said, ‘Instruct me to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).’ He replied, ‘I do not find such a deed.’” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, pp. 50-51, 36; Muhammad Muhsin Khan [tr.], Kazi Publications, Lahore, 1976-1979).


Jihad against the opponents of Islam is ordained for eternity: “A section of my community will continue to fight for the right and overcome their opponents till the last of them fight with the Antichrist,” the Prophet declares. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume II, pp. 686-87; Ahmad Hasan [tr.]. Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, 1978) In particular, the polytheists are to be fought till they submit to and accept Islam: the Prophet says, “I am commanded to fight with the polytheists [the ‘men,’ in an alternate version) till they testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His servant and His Apostle, face our qibla (direction of prayer), eat what we slaughter, and pray like us. When they do that, their life and property are unlawful for us except what is due to them. They will have the same rights as the Muslims have, and have the same responsibilities as the Muslims have.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume II, pp. 729-30) The man who kills the infidel, even the one who kills a wounded infidel, shall have the right to retain what he has taken from the man he killed—that booty will not be subject to the one-fifth deduction customary for booty in general. He shall of course also get in addition his share of the general spoils. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume II, pp. 756-58; Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, p. 41).


The Koran and the Hadith give glowing accounts of the rewards that accrue from Jihad—booty in this world and Paradise in the next. “Allah has purchased from the believers their persons and their assets,” proclaims Allah. “For them in return is Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, and slay and are slain; He has made a promise binding on Him, mentioned in the Torah and the Gospels and the Koran; and who is ore faithful to the covenant than Allah” Then rejoice over the bargain which you have made. That is the achievement supreme.” (Koran 9:111)


And again: “O ye who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain that will save you from a grievous Penalty?- That ye believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that ye strive (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah, with your property and your persons: That will be best for you, if ye but knew! He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eternity: that is indeed the Supreme Achievement. And another (favour will He bestow,) which ye do love,- help from Allah and a speedy victory. So give the Glad Tidings to the Believers.” (Koran 61:10-13)


The Prophet is just as eloquent in describing the boons that accrue from Jihad.


Fighting even once in Jihad, says the Prophet, brings rewards greater than all this world and all that is in it. (Sahih Muslim, Volume III, p. 1045) No one who dies and receives some good from Allah in the Hereafter would ever want to return to this world, the Prophet says, even if he were offered the whole world and all that is in it as an inducement, except for the one who has been martyred in Jihad. So great will be the honor which he will receive from Allah that he will desire to return to this world again and be killed ten times in the cause. (Sahih Muslim, Volume III, p. 1045; Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, p. 42). Indeed, everything a believer does towards and as part of Jihad earns merit with Allah. Thus we have the Prophet saying, “If somebody keeps a horse in Allah’s Cause motivated by his faith in Allah and his belief in His Promise, then he will be rewarded on the Day of Resurrection for what the horse has eaten or drunk and for its dung and urine.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, p. 72) Whatever wrong a Muslim may have done, once he kills an infidel the Muslim ensures that he shall never be in Hell, for in the hadith entitled, “Excellence of killing an infidel,” the Prophet says, “An infidel and the one who killed him will never be brought together in Hell.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume II, pp. 690) The one who dies while waging Jihad or subsequently of an injury sustained in Jihad is a martyr and is guaranteed Paradise. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume II, pp. 690, 698-99) Every martyr acquires the power to intercede with Allah for up to seventy of his relatives. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume II, pp. 699)


“A seal is put over the actions of every dead man,” says the Prophet, “except one who is on the frontier in Allah’s path because his deeds will be made to go increasing for him till the Day of Resurrection, and he will be safe from the trials of the grave.” (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi in An-Nawawi’s Riyad As-Salihin, Volume 2, p.197;  Abdur Rahman Shad [tr.], Kazi Publications, Lahore, 1988) “Paradise becomes incumbent for a Muslim who fights for the cause of Allah as long as the time between two milkings of a she-camel (that is, for the shortest time),” the Prophet argues. “He who receives a wound or a bruise in the cause of Allah will appear on the Day of Resurrection as fresh as possible, its color will be just like that of saffron and its fragrance will be similar to that of musk.” (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi in An-Nawawi’s Riyad As-Salihin, Volume 2, p.197) Hence the Prophet’s unambiguous, emphatic command: “Fight against the polytheists with your properties, lives, and tongues.” (Abu Dawud in An-Nawawi’s Riyad As-Salihin, Volume 2, pp. 217-18)


As the duty (to wage Jihad) is an overriding one all means are permissible. “War is stratagem, “ the Prophet says, “War is deceit.” (Sahih Muslim, Volume III, pp. 945, 990-991; Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, pp. 166-67; Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume II, p. 728) Thus one may lie, one may kill the enemy while he is asleep, one may kill him by tricking him. (for example, see Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, pp. 164-5, 167-68)


The compendium most frequently relied upon in India is of course the Hidayah (The Hedaya, Charles Hamilton [tr.], Kitab Bhavan, Delhi, 1985 reprint) of Sheikh Burhann’d-din Ali (d. 1198 C.E.) It restates Allah’s injunction to “slay the infidels,” and recalls the Prophet’s words, “War is permanently established till the Day of Judgment.” It puts aside all pretense about Jihad being defensive. “The destruction of the sword incurred by the infidels,” it lays down, “although they be not the first aggressors, as appears from various passages in the sacred writings, which are generally received to this effect.” One should normally invite the infidels to embrace Islam before attacking them, it says, “but yet if he (the Muslim) do attack them before thus inviting them, and slay them, and take their property, neither fine nor expiation nor atonement are due, because that which protects (namely, Islam), does not exist in them, nor are they under protection by place (namely, Muslim territory), and the mere prohibition of the act is not sufficient to sanction the exaction either of fine, or of atonement or property; in the same manner as the slaying of the women or infant children of infidels is forbidden; but if, notwithstanding, a person were to slay such, he is not liable to a fine.” If they do not surrender to Islam, if the do not pay the (deliberately humiliating; see Koran 9:29) capitation tax, invoking Allah, “…the Muslims must then, with Allah’s assistance, attack the infidels with all manner of war-like engines (as the Prophet did by the people of Tayeef), and must also set fire to their habitations (in the same manner as the Prophet fired Baweera), and must inundate them with water, and tear up their plantations, and tread down their grain; because by these means will they become weakened, and their resolution will fail, and their force be broken; these means are all sanctioned by the Law.”


Women, children and the disabled should not be slain, it says, “But yet it any of these persons be killed in war, or if a woman be a queen or a chief, in this case it is allowable to slay them, they being qualified (i.e., being in a position) to molest the servants of God. So also, if such persons as the above attempt to fight, they may be slain, for the purpose of removing evil, and because fighting renders slaying allowable.”

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