The Fatwa: From the Middle East to South Asia

By J. Millard Burr*
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 @ 4:44AM

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In early February 2014 Egypt’s shadowy Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (the ABM, or Partisans of Jerusalem) were continuing their attack on government forces and institutions.  The Sinai-based Islamist intransigents, whose leadership appears tied to Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, first emerged in 2011.  In its opposition to Israel it has carried out attacks on the Sinai gas pipeline, and a series of explosions have in effect put an end to the sale of natural gas to Israel (and given a constant interruption in service to Jordan).  More recently, its assaults on Egypt’s military forces have created widespread insecurity the length of the Sinai Peninsula.  Finally, in the last few weeks the ABM has begun to attack targets in the heart of Egypt.

Egyptian experts claim the ABM is a mix of Sinai bedouin, former members of the terrorist Egypt Islamic Jihad and Gamaat al-Islamiya, and rebels who broke out of prison or were released following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.  They support a Morsy presidency and are determined to oust the de facto government of army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.  Given that unlikely scenario, they plan to destabilize the Egyptian polity and make it as difficult as possible for Sisi to rule, should he win the upcoming election to the presidency.

When viewed In its historical context, ABM is just another name among radical Islamist organizations that for half a century have been bent on the overthrow of Egypt’s rulers. Like the others before it, the ABM must show it means business. Thus, to advertise its bona fides, on July 3, 2013, the day President Morsy was removed from office, the ABM published a fatwa–a religious and quasi-legal edict issued by an unnamed religious authority–that proclaimed the Egyptian army was composed of “infidels” thus was not to be respected or obeyed.

THE FATWA IN RECENT HISTORY

Many Egyptians were not surprised by the ABM’s fatwa.  In the case that Morsy were overthrown they had expected that history could repeat itself. Indeed, analysts were not surprised that the Islamists would issue a fatwa labeling Sisi an enemy of Islam; a similar fatwa had been issued by Islamists that had labeled former President Anwar Sadat an enemy of Islam for choosing peace with Israel.

In 1971 Egypt President Sadat began to release jailed Muslim Brothers (Ikhwan al-Muslimun).  A former Ikhwan himself, Sadat expected to make use of them politically to help neutralize his political opposition.  Unfortunately, the release of hardened Islamists soon resulted in the emergence of a handful of radical Islamist organizations–nearly all of which had their beginnings in the Muslim Brotherhood.  They included the Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, whose spiritual leader Sheikh Omar Abd al-Rahman would issue a fatwa in 1979 declaring President Sadat an infidel. This was used by Islamist terrorists to justify his assassination.

Blind practically from birth, Sheikh Omar was largely self-educated but eventually obtain a Ph.D. in Quranic studies from Cairo’s Al Azhar University. Established in 971 A.D., Al Azhar is the oldest university in the Moslem world. During the Nasser years it was considered the acme of an Islamic education. With fourteen faculties, it employs five to six thousand professors and educates tens of thousands of students.  Its Academy of Islamic Research issues fatwas that are considered “authoritative” throughout the theologically decentralized Sunni world.

Sheikh Omar, a recognized cleric and a Muslim Brother from his youth, served as an advisor to the organization’s Guidance Council (maktab al-irshad).   That element often requested a fatwa (properly, a legal opinion but often termed a religious judgment) from reputable scholars within its organization or favorable to it.

By the late nineteen seventies, Sheikh Omar had left the Ikhwan to ally with the Islamic Jihad and Gama’a al-Islamiyya, two radical spin-offs of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Following Sadat’s assassination, he was jailed for three years, then acquitted and expelled from Egypt. This did not stop him from issuing fatwas that served the Islamist cause.   He personally took part in the jihad for Afghanistan, and on one memorable occasion issued a fatwa permitting the so-called Afghan-Arab Mujahideen (at war with the Soviets in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1988) to assassinate, “Muslim opponents in their respective countries who had violated the Shariat, or Islamic law.”  In effect, Sheikh Omar sought the export of jihad not only to the Muslim World but to Europe and America as well.

JIHADISTS AND FATWAS

The modern history of a fatwa being issued in support of jihad can be dated from “Defense of the Muslim Lands,” a directive issued by Sheikh Abdullah Azzam shortly following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. (See the endnote).

Azzam, a Palestinian exile, was a noted Islamic scholar and senior Muslim Brother.  While an educator in Saudi Arabia, and later as leader of the Arab- Afghan involvement and based in Pakistan, he served as a mentor to the youthful Saudi jihadist Osama Bin Laden.  Azzam’s fatwa was approved by Saudi Arabia’s officialdom and by their senior clerics–specifically Grand Mufti Abd al-Aziz Bin Bas.  It thereafter received the extensive support of Sunni clerics and jihadists. Specifically, Azzam’s fatwa declared that the struggle for Afghanistan and the Palestinian battle were jihad; consequently, the killing of kuffar (infidels) was a legitimate fard ayn (personal obligation) incumbent on all Muslims.

At approximately the same time, the fatwa issued in Egypt by Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman served as the Islamist’s justification to assassinate President Anwar Sadat, who they claimed had “made a mockery” of Islam by signing the Camp David accords. The blind Muslim cleric was an ally of Sheikh Azzam in the war for Afghanistan. Both would have a strong influence on the youthful Saudi radical Osama bin Laden.

As for Bin Laden, his formative education was greatly influenced by Saudi-born Sheikh al-Shuaibi (1925-2002), a militant Islamist whose fatwas were used by Bin Laden to justify the murder of Jews and Christians.  (Shuaibi’s fatwas were later used by the Gaza-based Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian brand, Hamas, to justify suicide bombings in the name of Jihad.)  During their August 1988 meeting in Afghanistan, the incipient al Qaeda organization created its own Fatwa Committee that declared jihad on the West.  Since the creation of al Qaeda, other Islamists movements have followed that pattern and have formed their own Fatwa Committees–which in large part accounts for the plethora of fatwas issued over the last twenty years.

A decade following its founding Osama Bin Laden expanded al Qaeda, creating the “World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders.”  At that time a new fatwa was issued that specifically mentioned the jihadist’s war on the United States and legitimizing the killing of Americans and Jews no matter where located. That fatwa was later used to justify the bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

A fatwa issued by revolutionary Islamists, while often general in nature, can on occasion choose a specific target. The issuance of a fatwa that justified jihad and caused great harm was issued in the Sudan.  There, on 27 April 1993 (ironically, while Bin Laden was a resident), a congress of Islamist clerics led by Sheikh Musa Abdulmajeed met at El Obeid, Kordofan, and issued a “Declaration of Jihad Against African Sudanese.” The declaration of Holy War was adopted by Khartoum’s Islamist government.  It led to the death of hundreds of thousands of southern Sudanese. The decision, like many of its kind, was called a return to the traditions of early Islam.

Another example is the Danish cartoons fatwa that was originated by Sheikh Osama Khayyat, Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca on January 27, 2006. That fatwa resulted in mass Muslim violent demonstrations the world-over, death threats against the original publisher of the cartoons that depicted the Prophet Mohammed, and to successfully curtailing freedom of expression in Western countries.

A fatwa that was recently issued in Pakistan by the ultra-violent Tehreek-i-Taliban’s religious committee is another example.  The TTP, an Islamist movement founded in 2005, published in January 2014 a 29-page fatwa that extended its war in Pakistan to include the media “propagandists.” Journalists and other media were included as a “party” in their conflict with the state. The bloodthirsty Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, deputy chief of the banned organization, was one of the authors of the fatwa that issued a list of two-dozen journalists, TV personalities and publishers who were seen as “inciting” the people against the mujahideen and siding with the “disbelievers.” They were to be killed.

Since then there has been no halt to the issuance of so-called “takfiri” fatwas, or decrees that permit apostatizing other Muslims and thus allowing the killing of them (and their women and children), stealing their goods, and taking women captive.  Yet, such brutalities (we are told) are seen by most Muslim scholars as contrary to the true principles of Islam.

DEFINING THE FATWA

Thomas Patrick Hughes’s very detailed “Dictionary of Islam,” first published in July 1886, provides a rather succinct entry under the heading “fatwa.”  It is, the scholar states, “A religious or judicial sentence pronounced by the Khalifa [a successor of Muhammad] or by a Mufti [one steeped in knowledge of the Sharia or Muslim Law] or Qadi [a judge].”  The author wastes little time defining religious proclamations; he expects that the reader’s knowledge of Islam makes it unnecessary to stress that a fatwa is not issued by your local Sufi practitioner. Nor is it valid if issued by a Mosque denizen or preacher of the Friday sermon, or, in today’s world, by an advisor on religious activity to one of the many branches of Islamist terrorism.

Of the many branches of Islam, there is not one that does not on occasion apostatize whether internally or externally.  Given the political differences that exist and the internecine struggles for leadership, the fatwa has become a particularly popular means of exciting public opinion.

Of the two major Islamic paths, the fatwa is employed more often by the Sunni branch of Islam than the more hierarchical Shiite. Still, the latter does manage to issue fatwas that inflame or confuse.  The former would be the fatwa calling for the death of novelist Salman Rushdie. The latter would refer to the fact that only a decade ago a fatwa was issued in Iran which declared nuclear weapons illegal; and last year, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, despite all appearances that Iran was determined to build a nuclear weapon, reiterated that claim and argued that nuclear weapons were anti-Islam.

Indeed, it is not unusual to find conflicting fatwas at work within a Muslim community.  Recently, in Lebanon a pair of sheikhs issued competing fatwas: One declared the establishment of Shiite “Free Resistance Brigades” in Sidon. In doing so, it deemed the “jihad” in Syria a “religious duty on every [Shiite] Muslim who is able to do so.”  In contrast, in northern Lebanon one Sheikh al-Rafei issued a fatwa which called for a jihad; it declared the need to “defend Sunnis” under attack by the Syrian army in the battle for al-Qusayr that raged in mid-May 2013.  (Then, to further confuse matters, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri urged the Lebanese not to heed the Sunni cleric’s call for jihad in Syria.)

THE FATWA IN THE SALAFIST CONTEXT

The term Salafist is derived from the Arabic, al-Salaf, and it is usually coupled as, Al-Salaf Al-Salih, or the  “virtuous forefathers”, i.e., the companions of the Prophet Mohammed.  They claim to be the intellectual descendants of the “best of people” of the prophet Muhammad’s generation.   Modern interpretation of Salafi doctrine demands a return to the foundations of the Muslim faith. In Western terminology the Salafi are often considered the most “fundamentalist” of Islamist fundamentalists.  To that effect the Quran is the anvil and the kuranic school (madrassa) the hammer that forges both Salafi leaders and followers. However, the revival is a recent phenomenon.  For cynics, it is claimed that Salafists are easily recognized because they fear that somewhere someone is having a good time.

Today’s Sunni Salafists argue that takfir (the idea of Muslims renouncing other Muslims as nonbelievers) can be traced to fatwas issued by Sheikh Taqi ad-Din Ibin Taymiyyah.  Born in 1283 A.D. in Harran, a city near the Turkish-Syrian border, Ibn Taymiyyah was a Syrian sheikh from the Hanbali school of jurisprudence.  He considered Shiites to be deluded heretics and accused Shiite scholars of blasphemy. In general, he considered the general Shiite populace to be ignorant and misguided. This led his followers–in particular Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1700-1791), the founder of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabism–to denounce all Shiites as nonbelievers. Those Salafists who authorized killing Shiites also authorized holding their women captive, and stealing from them. Their opponents have argued that such practices were in opposition to the words of the Prophet Muhammad who had stated, “The whole of a Muslim is inviolable for another Muslim: his blood, his property and his honor.”

In the post-Colonial decades following World War II, and almost without exception, the political left seized control in the emerging nations of an inchoate Muslim World.  In the nineteen sixties it was the pan-Arabism of Egypt’s Nasser, and in the ‘seventies the secular Palestinian political movements, that sought to control events.  Those movements were overtaken in the nineteen-eighties by the glowering presence of the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran. From that moment and in the years that followed, the role model for many young Muslims has either been the solemn Islamist cleric or the berated mujahideen with his skull cap and beard. They are the self-proclaimed representatives of the Salafist tradition.

Iran’s Ayatallah Ruhollah Khomeini is remembered for a fatwa issued in 1989 and shortly before his death that offered a $500,000 reward for the murder of the apostate author Salman Rushdie.  The reward would be paid to avenge the publication of “The Satanic Verses,” a novel the Ayatollah called blasphemous to Muslims. (The bounty was later raised to $3.3 million by Khordad Foundation, an Iranian government religious foundation.)  Once declared an apostate by a cleric as important as the Ayatollah Khomeini, it is not likely that Rushdie’s death sentence will ever be revoked.

The more militant the modern Salafi organization the more it advocates a “return” to an Islam uncorrupted by recent political, economic and social events. And within Salifist movements there is the tendency for its clerics to issue a shotgun pattern of fatwas that condemn activity considered un-Islamic.  As the daily life of the Islamist is encompassed by reference to the Quran, the Sunna, and Sharia, no issue seems too picayune or obscure to escape condemnation. In a noteworthy Saudi-Salafi “fatwa” issued in 1990, women were prohibited from driving.  In Lebanon the Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani, the kingdom’s most prominent Sunni Muslim cleric, issued a fatwa declaring that Muslim politicians who approved of civil marriage legislation were apostate.

More recently, in Douma, Syria, a large suburb of Damascus, a congress of 36 Sunni religious leaders issued a fatwa in September 2013 approving the right of the faithful to “seize and take possession of goods, homes, property belonging to Christians, Druze and Alawite and members of other religious minorities.”  Not surprisingly, a Christian website reported that Christian churches were seriously concerned because such measures did nothing but “exacerbate violence on a sectarian basis, which scars Syrian society.” (Agenzia Fides, 26/09/2013)

SAUDI ARABIA, EGYPT AND SHEIKH QARADAWI

The modern Salafist tradition is in large part the end-product of the work undertaken by Egyptian Ikhwan expelled from their homeland by Egyptian President Nasser.  Many wealthy Ikhwan businessmen fled to Saudi Arabia and then settled in Jiddah.  Ikhwan educators and clerics found Riyadh, Mecca and Medina more to their liking. Although given freedom of movement, Egyptian Muslim Brothers were prohibited from organizing politically or openly proselytizing in the Saudi community at large.

Despite the prohibition, the Egyptian Ikhwan had a profound effect on education and the activity within and emanating from Saudi mosques. Traditionally used for prayer and meditation, many evolved into centers for the resurgence of a puritanical Wahhabism that appealed to a component of the Saudi royal family.  In education, Egyptian Ikhwan were prominently involved in the radicalization of the Islamic University of Medina, an institution founded in 1961 by King Ibn Saud. The Saud family had long supported Egypt’s Al Azhar, but its Islamist tendencies had been greatly circumscribed by the Nasser regime. In contrast, the dominant influence at the University of Medina was Salafist. Among its students (many of whom would join the Arab-Afghan contingent in the war for Afghanistan), there arose the desire to return to a more idealized epoch in Muslim history when the al-Salaf al-Salihin, the pious ancestors, walked the earth.

Slowly but ineluctably, the Saudi Arabian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs and its Council for Islamic Call and Guidance–both of which regulate mosque activity and the issuance of fatwas–became more radicalized.  Thus by 1970 certain members of the royal family, many senior Wahhabi clerics, and the exiled Muslim Brothers all combined to spur an Islamist movement; a movement financed by Saudi petrodollars, and one determined to compete with Egypt’s Al Azhar complex.  A decade later, Egypt’s Ikhwan academics helped set the stage for a Salafist revival that emerged in the Arabian Peninsula and spread to the Muslim World, Europe and the Americas.

Since the nineteen sixties there has been no loosening of Saudi royal family ties to the Ikhwan.  Among the most influential of the Saudi Islamists was Dr. Abdullah ibn Abdul-Mohsin al-Turki.  Turki served as Dean of Ibn Saud University in Riyadh and was later founder in 1989 of the Ikhwan-dominated Islamic Council of Germany.  Under Dr. Turki, Saudi-supported centers emerged in Karachi, Geneva, Vienna and elsewhere.  They were responsible for the widespread distribution of pamphlets, books and cassettes celebrating the works of Egypt’s Muslim Brothers and the fatwas that had concretized the Islamist worldview of the Ikhwan leaders that included the works of Banna, Qutb and Ramadan.

A European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) was founded in March 1997.  It served as the dominant institution of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), an umbrella group comprising the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and founded by Muslim Brothers in exile.  The ECFR was headed by Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi as Chairman and Faysal Mawlawi as Vice-Chairman.  (The two Egyptian exiles are still active in the ECFR and both have spent most of their time in the Middle East.)  Qaradawi has issued a plethora of fatwas since the founding of the ECFR; most importantly, he has provided guidance to the growing Islamic banking sector on the principles governing Islamic economics and finance.

The octogenarian Qaradawi is a renowned cleric and preacher who has long been considered the arbiter and spokesman for the international Muslim Brotherhood. Fleeing Egypt, and continuously rejecting efforts to have him take the Ikhwan leadership, Qaradawi settled in Qatar.  There he became known to the Muslim World through his radio and television programs.  While his response to the 9/11/2001 attack on the United States was confusing, there is no doubt that through the issuing of a fatwa he approved the tactic of suicide bombing (including the use of women as bombers).  In the West, Qardawi has been roundly criticized for issuing a fatwa that strongly condemned homosexuality and called for its repression and punishment. And in a meeting held in the UK in July 2004 he strong rejected any restriction on the use of the hijiab (head covering) such as that imposed in France.

Observers in the West who find the issuance of a fatwa somewhat confusing can be excused because they often confuse the average Muslim. In Islam without a religious leader or Caliph, or in Sunni Islam, without a fixed religious hierarchy, who or what entity is to say what edicts are allowed and which are bogus. Sheikh Qaradawi has not made that task any easier.

AGAINST SUICIDE BOMBING

Following 9/11/2001 and the growth of jihadist movements throughout the Muslim World it was in Pakistan where Muslim clerics sought to proscribe suicide bombings.  Many atrocities have been committed and many thousands of innocents had been killed since October 2001, when the Pakistan Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, then the author of more than 2,000 fatwas, issued yet a new decision.  In it a jihad was declared against the United States following its invasion of Afghanistan.

In contrast, the first noteworthy fatwa decrying the heinous crimes committed by terrorists in the name of Islam was issued in May 2005 when a congress of 58 ulema issued a fatwa against the use of suicide attacks in Pakistan.  (It did, however, exempt the use of suicide attacks against “foreign occupation” in such places as Afghanistan, Kashmir, Iraq, and Palestine.)  The directive had a negligible effect as only one member of the group was well known and the congress itself was considered to have had little scholarly standing. One writer considered the fatwa had been issued under “political compulsion.”  Only a few days following its publication a suicide bomb was exploded at the Hazrat Bari Imam, a Shiite shrine.  More than a score were killed and 100 injured in what was viewed as an Islamist response to the fatwa.

The Maulana Hassan Jan–one of Pakistan’s most revered scholars and a former member of its National Assembly–issued another fatwa against suicide bombing only to be assassinated in September 2007. The following year Pakistan’s Muttahida Ulema issued a decree denouncing terrorism and labeling suicide attacks haram (forbidden). The Islamists responded by labeling the Muttahida Ulema an “enemy of Islam.”  Undeterred, In April 2010 a group of Afghan and Egyptian scholars met in Kabul and issued a fatwa declaring the use of suicide bombing to be specifically prohibited by Islam.  The radicals were quick to respond; a month later a suicide bombing killed twenty and wounded forty in Kabul itself.

Next, an effort to give a definitive examination of the subject was undertaken by Pakistan’s Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, one of Islam’s most respected scholars and an expert whose decisions are easily a match for those issued by Yusuf al-Qaradawi. In 2010 he issued a 600-page fatwa opposing suicide bombing, and he offered no “excuses or pretexts” for it.  Qadri wrote that, “Terrorism is terrorism, violence is violence and it has no place in Islamic teaching and no justification can be provided for it.”  In an interview in Foreign Policy he stated, “I am trying to bring [the terrorists] back towards humanism. This is a jihad against brutality, to bring them back towards normality.”  Qadri has since appeared at numerous venues, including the World Economic Forum held in January 2011 and the “Peace for Humanity Conference” held the same year in London.  Likely to the chagrin of Qaradawi the conference received the support of the Grand Imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar University.

In was in the wake of suicide attacks that had killed “thousands of members of various state organs,” plus untold thousands of civilians, that In April 2013 a meeting of Afghan and Egyptian religious scholars was held in Kabul. In effect, the clerics joined the ulema and other scholars from around the world–from Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Palestine and Jordan–who had condemned their use during a conference held in Istanbul in March 2013.

Similarly, the Kabul attendees issued a fatwa that denounced the use of suicide bombing.  It was called “specifically forbidden” by Islam.  Afghan parliamentarians immediately claimed the fatwa confronted the Taliban insurgents “on their own turf.” They expressed the hope that, “The united and authoritative stance against suicide bombings draws a clear-cut line between right and wrong and could have an effect on the Taliban’s abilities to recruit new suicide bombers.”  And regional news reports noted that Pakistan’s renowned scholar Dr. Alama Tahir-ul-Qadri had sent a message to the conference supporting the fatwa.

Following the gatherings in Istanbul and Kabul, in July 2013 a meeting of more than fifty of Pakistan’s senior muftis (the Sunni Ittehad Council) was held in Lahore.  In what was conceived as an attack on a collective of Pakistan’s terrorist organizations, it issued “a collective fatwa against suicide bombing and the killing of foreign guests and all other forms of terrorism.” The fatwa clearly defined bombings, targeted killings and other forms of terrorism as haram–strictly forbidden in Islam. The fatwa was issued following a number of recent “inhuman” jihadist actions. They included bombings in Peshawar, the murder of female students in Quetta, the murder of visiting mountain climbers, and the numerous and daily atrocities carried out in Karachi.

The Senior Ittehad Council made it clear that in addition to the killing of innocent persons, “Bombing at worship places and other places is never allowed in Islam.”  The muftis concluded that suicide bombers could not be considered martyrs (shaheed), instead it was the nation’s soldiers and police, were martyrs and “national heroes” The blame for the misguided actions was placed on religious scholars who led the people astray. Unfortunately, according to recent reports the proscription has had little or no effect on the Taliban as roadside bombs caused the most civilian casualties in 1913, and suicide attacks in Afghanistan “accounted for 15 percent of overall casualties.”  And there seems to be no let-up thus far in 2014.

CONCLUSION

For years many brave Muslim clergy have questioned the Salafists’ indiscriminate use of suicide bombings.  In general, they have received little support.  However, in recent years learned Muslim clerics have been more visible and vocal in their condemnation.  Thus the fatwa has become an important tool in attacking a vicious practice that many clerics feel cannot be justified by reference to the Quran, the Hadith or the Sharia. It can only be hoped that their argument, which warns that the shortest path to Paradise is not the deployment of suicide bombers, will be heeded.  Likewise, it is hoped that the Islamists will recognize that the indiscriminate murder of “infidels” is no way for a shaheed to face Allah in the hereafter.

______________________________________________________________

While some of the Imams/scholars may sincerely issue statements opposing the use of fatwas calling for attacking civilian infidels, others may well be using their opposition to further confuse those infidels. A recent example is the fatwa against nuclear armament that was issued by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who previously issued a fatwa to develop such weapons top hasten the destruction of “The Big Satan”–America, and “The Small Satan,” Israel.  In other words, it seems that not all fatwas against fatwas are sincere, but are used as Taqiyya (deception), yet another strategy to fool the infidels.

—Rachel Ehrenfeld ______________________________________________________________

ENDNOTE:

DEFENSE OF THE MUSLIM LANDS
The First Obligation After Iman [the declaration of faith]
by Sheikh Abdullah Azzam
Chapter 1
Defence of the Muslim Lands. The First Obligation After Iman. Jihad Against the Kuffar is of Two Types.  Opinions of the Mathhabs.  Evidence for the General March and its Justification.
Chapter 2
The Ruling of Fighting in Palestine and Afghanistan.  Jihad in Afghanistan.
Chapter 3
Fard Ayn and Fard Kifaya. [obligations established by God himself]  Permission from Parents, Husband and Creditor. An Example of Fard Ayn and Fard Kifaya. Permission from the Sheikh and Tutor. Jihad with One’s Wealth.  Summary.
Chapter 4
Important Questions:  Can we fulfil this Fatwa?  About Permission: First Question: How can we apply the General March practically in our time?  Second Question: Can we fight Jihad while we haven’t an Amir? [a ruler or commander] Third Question: Can we fight in Afghanistan while the leaders are separated?  Fourth Question: Does one fight alone if the rest stay behind?  Fifth Question: Do we fight alongside Muslims that are below acceptable levels of Islamic education? Sixth Question: Can we seek help from the Mushrikun [Christians or idolaters] if we are weak?
*The Revelation of the Order to Fight.  Conditions for Making Peace Treaties with Kuffar.
*Final Word.

* J. Millard Burr is a Senior Fellow with the American Center on Democracy.


Categories: ACD/EWI Blog, Al Qaeda, Iran, Latest News, Middle East Conflicts, Muslim Brotherhood

On The Campaign Trail

Check the dates and see when we're in your town!