Geopolitical Islam and the concept of Jihad
By Junaid A. Maik
“Islam; the religion of peace” a favorite narrative of apologists, quite often repeated despite all the historical evidence which goes against it. Unfortunately these apologists are completely ignorant of the core ideology or the basic concepts of Islam and Sharia. Same is the case with self-proclaimed “reformers” who are hell bent on deceiving the world, depicting a false picture of Islam, misrepresenting the core ideas, while completely ignoring its roots attached to a long history of belligerence, recorded by the renowned and widely accepted Muslims scholars in the earliest available authentic books of Sirah (Biography of Prophet), Islamic history and Hadith (Sayings and deeds of Prophet). All these authentic records clearly reflect Islam as a religion emerged from hostility and the Prophet himself fought battles or ordered people to be killed. More importantly Quran, the most authentic scripture, itself commands Muslims to fight against disbelievers and impose the system of God through the land.
8:39: And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah. And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is seeing of what they do.
9: 29: Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
Apologists and self-proclaimed reformers usually ignore the basic and probably the most important factor i.e. Islamic Jurisprudence and Ijtihad. Early Islamic jurists have devised the concepts of Geopolitical Islam through Quran and Sunnah. According to Islamic jurisprudence, the geopolitical world is divided into two basic categories; Darul-Islam and Darul-Harb. The notions of “houses” or “divisions” of the world was devised to denote legal rulings for ongoing Muslim conquests. The very first use of the terms was in Iraq by Abu Hanifa and his disciples Abu Yusuf and Al-Shaybani. Imam Abu Hanfia, Imam Sirkhasee, Imam Tahavi, Imam Ibn al-Qayam, Ibn e Tamyia, Imam Shaafi, Imam Maliki, Imam Hanbal, all four Sunni schools, even the Jafari School of thought, unanimously agree upon this idea.
Darul-Islam (house of Islam or abode of Islam; also known as Dar as-Salam, house of peace or abode of Peace; and at times referred as Dar al-Tawhid, house of monotheism or abode of monotheism) means regions or countries where Muslims can practice their religion as the ruling sect and where other religions are to be tolerated only in so far as their proselytes pay the jizya. The term appears in the Quran in 10.25 and 6.127 as Paradise. According to Imam Abu Hanifa, the requirements for a country to be part of Dar al-Islam are;
1) Muslims must be able to enjoy peace and security with and within this country.
2) The country should be ruled by a Muslim government
3) the country shares common frontiers with some Muslim countries.
Darul-Harb (also referred to as Dar al-Garb “house of the West” in later Ottoman sources) is a term classically referring to those countries where the Muslim law is not in force, in the terms of worship and the protection of the faithful and dhimmis. It is unclean by definition, and will not become clean until annexed to the House of Peace. Its denizens are either to be converted or, if people of the book, tolerated as long as they pay the jizya. According to the majority of Muslim Jurists, the leader of the Muslims must fulfill the obligation of “calling” the people of a non-Islamic territory to Islam. This invitation is based on the following conditions;
1) to establish Islam as the state religion
2) to enter into a tributary arrangement with the leader of the Muslims
Upon refusal, it is understood that war could follow. In accordance with normative traditions, this war is regarded as an aspect of jihad or the struggle towards “Allah’s cause”, specifically by spreading Islamic government throughout the earth. It is important to note that the purpose of the war to expand the territory of Islam is not to make converts, rather to establish Islamic government.
The term Jihad (derived from the root Jhd) connote the idea of exertion or struggle. Jihad is a derivative of jahada (struggle or strive), which make Jihad as a physical struggle in the cause of Allah. The term Ijtehad has been derived from the same root i.e. Jhd and it means intellectual struggle. Islamic theology, in accordance with Quran, Sirah, hadith, hadith and jurisprudence define Jihad as “Holy War”. Apologists and self-proclaimed reformers in an attempt to present Islam in most innocuous terms possible, usually indulge in wordplay by arguing that the actual jihad is Jihad e Akbar (which denotes an inner or spiritual struggle to purify oneself) while declaring the concept of belligerence as Jihad e Asghar (Lesser Jihad), in defiance of all the religious and historical evidence to the contrary. The idea of Jihad e Akbar or the greater jihad is actually linked to Sufism, which emphasizes the mystical or inner identification with Allah. However, mainstream Islam has always been hostile to Sufism and it prefers a literal and legalistic interpretation of Quran and Hadith. Muslim apologists rediscovered the idea of Jihad e Akbar in nineteenth century and have been emphasizing it ever since as normative expression of jihad, while ignoring the evidence in form of Quranic interpretations or tafseers, classical works on the subject by authentic scholars and historians, along with Sunni jurisprudence as well as the Shia tradition which refer to physical struggle as the only form of jihad while rejecting the idea of greater jihad in its entirety.
These concepts of Geopolitical division are a part of Islam since the last 1300 years, and all schools of thought, form mainstream Islam, agree upon these notions. This clearly means that the current Jihadi movements are as legitimate as those that have existed in classical Islam. Few simple questions that comes in the mind of readers:
1) Why and how do apologists consider Islam a religion of peace?
2) On what basis do they deny the authentic records including Tafseer, Hadith, Sirah and Islamic history?
3) And on what authority do they deny Ijtihad and the views of authentic scholars and jurists?