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Jihad in India

Vinod Kumar

Ever since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by Islamic inspired Al-Qaeda "What is Jihad" has become one of the hotly discussed topics. Even in India, where Jihad has been going on for centuries it has generated new interest. The call for Jihad in Kashmir is not a new phenomenon.

Writing recently in The Hindu, Brig. (Retd.) Sarathy in his attempt to portray a balanced picture of Jihad missed some key points. (

Quoting three verses (2 ;190, 191 and 193) of the Koran, Sarathy wrote "a reading of the above three verses together, may be interpreted to mean that the underlying spirit is to curb and eradicate "oppression."

These verses were from the Meccan era , when the Prophet was weak and recommended soft solutions but after migrating to Medina and having become strong (militarily and in the number of followers), after a few victories, he took on a harder approach and was not amenable to any compromise.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Hamid, of Sacred Mosque of Mecca explains in introductory essay in Sahih al-Bukhari:

"Then Allah revealed in Sura Bara’at (Repentance, IX) to discard (all) the obligations (covenants, etc.) and commanded the Muslims to fight against all the pagans as well as the people of the scriptures (Jews and Christians) if they do not embrace Islam, till they pay the Jizya (A tax levied on the Jews and Christians who do not embrace Islam and are under the protection of an Islamic government) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (as is revealed in the verse 9:29)."

He goes on to say at first the fighting was forbidden, then it was permitted and after that it was made obligatory. Against whom? He explains.

!. Against those who start "the fighting" against Muslims

2. And against all those who worship others along with Allah as mentioned in Sura Al-Baqra(II), Al-Imran (III) and Bara’at (IX) and other Suras.

Jihad is urged not only against those who start "fighting" against the Muslims but anyone who worships others along with Allah. and does not accept Muhammad as His prophet.

He repeats – Allah made "the fighting" (jihad) obligatory for the Muslims and gave importance to the subject matter of jihad in all the Suras which were revealed (at Medina) as it is in Allah’s statement:

"March forth whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy), or heavy (being ill, old and poor) and strive hard with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah. That is better for you if but you knew." (9:41)

"Pakistan's efforts to project "Kashmir" in a similar manner as a fit cause for fighting "oppression by Indian state" have not drawn as much response" -- Sarathy went on to write. Firstly there is no "oppression" by the Indian state in Kashmir. Kashmir is free democratic society like any other in the Indian Union with more rights for its native citizens than in any other state of the union. I don’t know what more response to Kashmir Jihad does he expect or want? Even by conservative estimate more than 30,000 people have been killed in Kashmir since the current Jihad started. Muslims not only from Pakistan or Kashmir, but from many other Islamic countries also have participated in Jihad in Kashmir.

As far as Jihad being sustainable in India is concerned, the Hindus, being not only idolaters and the polytheists, but also infidels, are amenable to both, continuous jihad from the Muslims and eternal damnation by Allah.

"They (the idolaters and polytheists) are to be fought till they submit to and accept Islam. The Prophet says:

‘I am commended to fight with the polytheists till they testify there is god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His servant and His apostle, face out qibla, eat what we slaughter, and pray like us.’" (Sunnan Abu Dawud, vol II, pp. 729-30. Quoted from The World of Fatwas by Arun Shourie, pp. 576)

"Idolatry is worse than carnage" the Koran declares. (Koran 2:217)

Allah exhorts the believers "when the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them" (Koran 9:5) and "make war upon them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme." (Koran 2 ;193, 8:40). And what is God’s religion? Islam – "The only true faith in God’s sight is Islam." (Koran 3:19)

Allah Himself is even harsher on the unbelievers. Those who deny His revelations will burn in fire. No sooner will their skins be consumed than He will give them other skins so that they may truly taste His scourge. (Koran 4:56) The Koran is replete with such proclamations.

There is no need for a government or any other body to declare Jihad against the unbelievers. It is the duty of every believer to fight in Allah’s cause with everything at his disposal. (Koran 9:41) Of course, when an Islamic government declares Jihad, then it is the duty of every Muslim to respond to it. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 35)

The rewards that accrue from Jihad are profound – the booty in this world if one survives and paradise in the next if one becomes a martyr. (Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 38)

We have all seen on television, how parents (in Palestine and Pakistan), so joyously send their young children to Jihad? Why? It is all about the rewards of Jihad. Not only a martyr’s sins will be forgiven and he gets to go to Paradise but he can also ask for the forgiveness of the sins of seventy of his relatives. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 1, pp. xxix)

A day spent in Jihad for Allah’s cause is better than the world and whatsoever is in it, such is the superiority of Jihad. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 41) and there is no possible deed that equals jihad (Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 36).

The condition for waging Jihad against the unbelievers is to first invite them to accept Islam before declaring war. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 116)

It is true that not every Muslim is engaged in Jihad. It is true not only today; it was true during the time of Prophet Muhammad also. Those who did not were called hypocrites and their fidelity to Islam was in question.

And if Jihad, indeed, is "mental struggle against passion" – it is welcome, I am sure, by all non-Muslims. What a non-Muslim is primarily interested in is Jihad that affects his (non-Muslim’s) survival.


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