Are Islamists Conducting a New Jihad against the West?

by William DiPuccio
May 12, 2017

About four decades have passed since Sheikh ‘Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Humaid (1908–1981), ex-Chief Justice of Saudi Arabia, published his lengthy, impassioned, essay on jihad.[1]This essay, still available on the Internet, is the only one that Saudi religious scholars chose to include with the Noble Quran — a modern, nine volume, English translation of the Quran, which includes ancient commentary.[2]

A cursory reading of Sheikh bin Humaid’s essay should forever silence any fantasies regarding traditional Islam’s peaceful disposition toward the non-Muslim world.[3] As the Saudi publisher says in his prefatory note:

“But, as regards the reward and blessing, there is one deed which is very great in comparison to all the acts of worship and all the good deed­[s] — and that is Jihad!”

The publisher continues:

“Never before such an article was seen, describing Jihad in its true colours­ — so heart evoking and encouraging!… We are publishing this article and recommend every Muslim not only to read it himself but to offer every other Muslim brother within his read.”

To be clear, Sheikh bin Humaid defines “jihad” as “holy fighting in Allah’s Cause.” This is not, in other words, the “greater jihad,” or “spiritual struggle,” that some Muslim apologists cite, possibly to obfuscate the primary historical usage of the word. Jihad is war fought with “the heart,” “the hand (weapons, etc.),” and “the tongue” (2).

Why Do Muslims Take Up Arms?

According to Sheikh bin Humaid, Allah sent Muhammad to fight against the mushrikun of Mecca — the “polytheists, pagans, idolaters, and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger Muhammad” (2). Muhammad patiently invited the Meccans to Islam for 13 years, warning them of Allah’s judgement. But they refused the invitation.

This refusal, by itself, was not the justification for jihad. Allah’s mercy was not yet exhausted. Sheikh bin Humaid tells us, in storied detail, that Muhammad and his followers were oppressed and persecuted by the Meccans. They were “imprisoned, made to suffer from hunger and thirst and by being beaten (in a horrible manner)” (3). Moreover, Muhammad himself was physically accosted more than once.[4]

The portrayal of cruelty on the part of the Meccans is enough to evoke sufficient anger in the reader, setting the stage for retaliation and jihad. At first Allah permitted the Muslims to defend themselves, but jihad was not obligatory. Allah can certainly defend the Muslims without fighting, according to the Sheikh, “but Allah wants from His worshippers obedience with all their efforts” (4). Consequently, he calls them to jihad as an act of obedience and devotion, not simply as an act of self-defense. This appears to be the birth of the Islamic doctrine of war.

Who is the Enemy of Islam?

Bin Humaid views jihad as a perpetual war that is to be waged against the world until submission to Islam is secured. The time for patience is over; the time for judgment has come. He cites the famous “verse of the sword”:

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture — [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.” (Quran 9:29, Sahih International)

Bin Humaid tells us that Allah ordered the Muslims

“to discard (all) the obligations (covenants, etc.) and commanded the Muslims to fight against all the Mushrikun as well as against the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) if they do not embrace Islam, till they pay the Jizya (a tax levied on the non-Muslims who do not embrace Islam and are under the protection of an Islamic government) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (4).

Peace with pagans, Jews, and Christians is not an option as long as they resist Muslim rule. And, as long as the Muslims were capable of fighting, says Sheikh bin Humaid, they “were not permitted to abandon ‘the fighting’ against them… and to reconcile with them and to suspend hostilities against them for an unlimited period” (4).

What is the Reward for Jihad?

Muslims, according to the Qur’an, disliked the call to jihad at first, but Allah insisted upon it:

“Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it maybe that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know” (2:216): (5).

Jihad, then, was not a fabrication of Muhammad; it was, we are told, a direct command from Allah himself.

According to Bin Humaid, Muslim resistance to jihad soon turned to a love for the fight. The motivation, in this case, is the reward, which far exceeds the hardships of fighting. These warriors (Mujahidin) “fight against the enemies of Allah in order that the worship should be all for Allah… and that the Word of Allah… should be superior” (5).

This alone, he tells us, should be sufficient compensation for the warrior, but Allah goes farther. “He will forgive your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow and pleasant dwellings in Gardens of Eternity” (6).

Allah, says the Sheikh, also assists the Muslims in their battles against the enemies to give them victory. Although not specifically mentioned in the essay, Muslims find a celebrated example of this divine intervention in Islam’s first major conflict, the Battle of Badr. In it, a relatively small army of Muslims defeated the well-equipped Meccan army. This was acclaimed as a certain sign of divine favor.

Read more here: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10335/jihad-against-west

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