Aqd al-Aman: Islam And the Covenant of Security and the Reality of Practicing One’s Religion

Some people believe that there is an Aqd Aman between the Muslims and the Crusaders. Accordingly, it is incumbent upon a Muslim to counter its safe-conduct to him with a safe-conduct from him to it; if he interferes with the wealth of that country or its people’s lives, he is a perfidious betrayer who deserves divine threatened punishment.

First off: This covenant was undoubtedly broken after attacking and killing Muslims and occupying their lands. al-Kuffar have broken their promise by virtue of what their governments have done and the others have consented to. They have not denied its legitimacy and have considered it as a constitutional action because the majority approved it. It is known that covenants and charters bind the contractors to fulfill the covenant. If they do not fulfill its provisions, the covenant is rendered null and void.
As Allah (ﷻ) said:

“And if they break their oaths after their treaty and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease.” — At-Tawbah 9:12

How does it make sense that we give them an Aman (promise of safety) while they openly striking us day and night, they have committed actions that violate the precepts of their covenant, so the Crusaders are treated based on the rule of repaying like for like as an exemplary punishment. If you recall, this is exactly what had happened with Spain, as they immediately withdrew their forces from Iraq after Madrid bombings — 13 months following the initial deployment. And since then, al-Mujahideen have never attacked Spain again.

If we accept that there are covenants and charters between the Muslims and the Crusaders, why did they not adhere to these covenants and charters and stop their assaults and hurtful acts against the Muslim populations? They claim that they respect detainees’ rights and human rights. They condemn torture, arbitrary internment, and all forms of violation of human rights, while they by their own admission are practicing torture against the Muslim detainees. They arrest them from any place in the world without a court order or an indictment, only by their whims. Then they imprison them for whatever periods they wish in secret prisons about which no one knows. There they practice the most brutal torture and the vilest means of extracting information. So, what do promises of safety have to do with these Crusaders who attacking Muslims and not even abiding by its signed agreements or its international commitments?

Yet, any Muslim who opposes Crusaders’ policy is liable to ruin and destruction not only in their lands but also in his own land!

The truth is that Muslims in the West or in their own countries — indeed, throughout the whole world — are not safe from the Crusaders, but are in fear, dismay, and suffering because of them. It is the West that has committed the most brutal of crimes against them. Even the treaties it has ratified, such as the Geneva treaties on prisoners, the Crusaders have violated with the Muslims. They have tortured them and established the

Guantanamo prison camp for them and will continue until Islam perishes, as Allah (ﷻ) said:

“And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your religion if they are able” — Al-Baqarah 2:217

That claimed treaty should ensure that the Crusader countries do not assault the Muslims’ religion, persons and properties. It is known that covenants and charters bind the contractors to fulfill the covenant. If they do not fulfill its provisions, the covenant is rendered null and void. Thus, if one group of the people break a covenant and the remainder agree with them, their Aman lapses and all of them are fought, because the status of having an Aman is lifted from them by virtue of what their governments have done. As Allah (ﷻ) said:

“And if they break their oaths after their treaty and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease.” — At-Tawbah 9:12

What relation is there between al-Aman and the Crusaders policy?

They claim that they respect detainees’ rights and human rights. They condemn torture, arbitrary internment, and all forms of violation of human rights, while they by their own admission are practicing torture against the Muslim detainees. They arrest them from any place in the world without a court order or an indictment, only by their whims. Then they imprison them for whatever periods they wish in secret prisons about which no one knows. There they practice the most brutal torture and the vilest means of extracting information. So, what do promises of safety have to do with these Crusaders? which is attacking Muslims and not even abiding by its signed agreements or its international commitments?

If we assume for argument’s sake that there is a safe-conduct between the Muslims and the Crusaders. This statement invites an important question: Who are the parties of this contract?

If someone says that this contract arose on the basis of international agreements about visas and consular activity and what relates to these two things, the answer is clear: These agreements do not obligate us, because the group is treated as a single individual regarding the safety covenant.

And the Crusaders of this time are not just belligerents; they are the “Imams” of disbelief in this age, people whose offense against Allah, His messenger, and the Muslims has become very great. They are a complete people who complement each other: neither the President nor the parliament nor the army have any weight without the people. If they went against the desires of the people in their policy, the people would sweep them away, as is well-known. The government does not have a monopoly of this state: their state is as it were owned collectively, with every one of them having his portion and share of stock in it. So, none is innocent in Dar al-Harb. We fight the Harbi kuffar collectively as they fight us collectively, as Allah says,

“And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him].” — At-Tawbah 9:36

This is the true nature of the conflict, Allah ordered us to fight them all without exception, because they do not make any exception of any single person or community when they fight Muslims. The battle is truly between idolatry and believing in God’s oneness, between proper guidance and going astray. It is a battle between two clearly distinguished camps which cannot come to a complete agreement or make permanent peace because the differences between them are not over details or over conflicting interests where a compromise could be worked out, or over borders which may be demarcated anew. The Muslim community would be deluded if it believes, or is led to understand, that its battle with the idolaters, whether pagan or people who had distorted their Scriptures, is over issues of politics or economics, national independence or strategy. It is first of all an ideological battle, and it is over the system laid down by this ideology, which means religion. Such a battle cannot be sorted out by compromises worked out through negotiations. It is sorted out only by Jihad and dedicated struggle. This is Allah’s law which never changes, and over which the whole universal system is founded. It is the law at the core of the divine faith and which controls the operation of conscience. It has been set in operation on the day when Allah created the heavens and the earth.

However, since the time of the Prophet (ﷺ) Islam have faces trials from another group Allah (ﷻ) described as hypocrites in the Quran, who conceal their belief and pretend to follow the path of guidance, the harm they cause to Muslims belief is truly severe. By Allah! How many strongholds of Islam have they destroyed, how many fortresses have they rendered to ruin, how many signposts of Islam have they effaced; how many raised flags have they lowered; and how many seeds of doubts have they attempted to sow in order to uproot the religion!

Yet the general masses are heedless of their plots, and deceived by their sweet words that are filled by poison. Whoever falls prey to the claws of their doubts will have his faith shredded to pieces, whoever allows his heart to open to their vile tribulations will find himself in a burning furnace; and whoever lends and ear to their deceptions will find them coming between him and firm belief[1].

They misguide the ignorant Muslims by claiming that among the dead kuffar were innocent people who had done nothing wrong. The answer to this ambiguity is this:

First: al-Sa’b ibn Jathama, may Allah have mercy on him, recounted that the Prophet (ﷺ) was asked what rule pertained to the worshipers of idols who are attacked at night and then find that their women and children had been killed. He replied: “They are of them”.

This Hadith shows that women and young boys, that is, those who may not be killed separately, may be killed if they are mixed with others and it is not possible to distinguish between one and the other. The Muslims were asking about al-Bayat (night raids), when it is not possible to distinguish one person from another. The Prophet (ﷺ) permitted this because an act that follows another as a consequence is permitted even if it is not permitted separately.

Second: Muslim commanders used catapults in their wars with al-Kuffar (disbelievers). It is known that a catapult cannot differentiate among those whom it hits. It might hit those so-called innocent people. Yet the Muslims used to use the catapults in their wars. They used them against the people of al-Ta’if’s.

Ibn Qudama (al-Maqdisi), may Allah have mercy on him said: “Using catapults is permitted because the Prophet (ﷺ) used catapults against al-Ta’if’s inhabitants and Amr ibn al-’As used catapults against the people of Alexandria”[2].

Ibn Qassim says in his Hashiya (commentary): “It is permitted to use catapults against al-Kuffar even if young boys, women, old people and monks are killed along with the others because it is permitted to attack them collectively. Ibn Rushd, may Allah have mercy on him said: Collective attacks against all al-Mushrikeen (polytheists) are permitted”[3].

Third: al-Fuqahaa (jurists) permitted killing Muslims used as human shields by the enemy after they fall captive into al-Kuffar hands. If al-Kuffar use Muslim captives to protect themselves from the Muslims’ arrows, they may be killed although they are faultless. Ibn Taymiya, may Allah have mercy on him said: “al-Ulema have agreed that if al-Kuffar army uses captive Muslims as human shields and there is fear for the Muslims’ lives if they do not fight, they should attack even if this leads to killing the human shields”[4].

Ibn Qassim, may Allah have mercy on him said: “If they use a Muslim as a human shield, it is not permitted to fire arrows at them unless we fear for the Muslim army’s safety”[5].

We then say to those: What do you mean by the innocent?

Those whose answers are not void of three cases:

The first case:

That they would not be of those who fought with their countries nor had been hired by them physically, financially, by opinion, consultation nor otherwise, for it is not permissible to attack this type on condition that they be outstanding and not having mixed with others. But if they mixed with others and were not distinguishable then their killing would be permissible in conformity and subject to those such as the aged, women, children, sick people, the handicapped, and the dedicated monks.

Ibn Qudama narrated: And it is possible to unintentionally kill women and children in al-Bayat (night attacks) and burial places, if not intentionally individually killed. It is permissible to kill their cattle leading to their killing and defeat, and there is no dispute about that[6].

And he said: It is permissible to attack the enemy by night. Ahmad ibn Hanbal said there is no harm in al-Bayat, for the conquest of al-Roum (Roman) is but by night, and he said and we know not anyone who disliked the attacks by night[7].

The second case:

Or they are of those who have not embarked upon fighting with their countries which are in war, but are hired by them for money or opinion. Those are not considered innocent, but are fighters and apostates (that is the hired and the supporter).

Ibn Abdulbar (al-Maliki), may Allah have mercy upon him, said in Al-Istizkar: “Scholars have not disagreed about those women and old people who have fought for it is permissible to kill them. It is permissible to kill children who were capable of fighting and did fight”[8].

The consensus also cited ibn Qudama, may Allah have mercy upon him, that he permitted the killing of women, children and old people if they helped their countries. Ibn Abdulbar, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “consensus was that the Prophet (ﷺ) killed Durayd ibn al-Samma on Hunayn day because he had attitude and intrigue in warfare. So, he was like that is to be killed in the opinion of all”[9].

al-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy upon him, cited in Sharh Muslim in the chapter of al-Jihad the consensus that if any of the elderly of al-Kuffar had an attitude they would be killed. Ibn Qassim, may Allah have mercy upon him, cited in al-Hashiya, that consensus was that the rule concerning him who supports or assists in war is a straightforward rule in al-Jihad. Ibn Taymiya, may Allah have mercy upon him, was quoted that this was a consensus, and he (ibn Taymiya) was also quoted as saying that supporters of inactive factions and their supporters are from them and like them.

The third case:

If they are Muslims it is not permissible to kill them as long as they are independent. If they have mixed with others and it was not possible but to kill them with the others then it is permissible; proof of this is the matter of human shields.

That which has been echoed by some about the issuance of an apology to the innocent without knowing who those innocent people were, is the result of Kuffar terminology and the influence of mass media, so much so that even those who were not believed to be as such started to repeat that chatter and expressions of those who are in conflict with the expressions of al-Shari’a.

We are in fact permitted to treat the al-Kuffar in the same way that they treated us, and this contains the answer and explanation to those who used the term innocent, for Allah (ﷻ) permitted us to do this, and of the texts that prove this is His (ﷻ) saying:

“And if you punish [an enemy, O believers], punish with an equivalent of that with which you were harmed.”[10]

He (ﷻ) said:

“And those who, when tyranny strikes them, they defend themselves, and the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it …” — Ash-Shura 42:39–40

Of the Ulama sayings concerning the permissibility of revenge in the same way:

Ibn Taymiya said:

“Treating them in the same way is their right, for they can do this to exact revenge. They can leave it, for patience is better. This is when torturing them does not add to al-Jihad, nor is their exact punishment for the like. If punishment is a call for them to believe or is a restraint from aggression, then here it is for the establishment of limits and legitimate Jihad”[11].

It is imperative for those who say that the matter of killing innocent people without restriction nor specification is blamed on the Prophet (ﷺ) and on his Sahaba (companions) and those who came after them for being killers of innocent people, to correct those who said so, because the Prophet used the catapult in fighting in al-Ta’if, and when using the catapult, it is natural that there can be no discrimination. The Prophet (ﷺ) killed all the adults of the Jews of Banu Qurayza and did not discriminate between them. Ibn Hazm said in al-Muhalla in a comment on a Hadith: “I suggested to the Prophet (ﷺ) on the day of Qurayza so that it was he who was an adult could kill, ibn Hazm said: “This is a generalization by the Prophet (ﷺ) and none of them remained — no tyrant, no merchant, no farmer and no old man — and this is a sound consensus on his part”[12].

Ibn al-Qiyyam, may Allah have mercy on him, said in Zad al-Mi’ad:

“The Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) if he made peace or a pledge with a nation and they or some of them broke it while others kept and accepted it, he attacked them all and considered them all to have broken it as he did with Banu Qurayza, Banu Nadir, Banu Qaynuqa and the people of Makka, for this is his Sunnah regarding those contradictors and perfidious”.

He also said:

“Ibn Taymiya counseled the attack of Christians of the east when they helped the enemies of Muslims in their fight and provided them with money and weapons, even though they did not attack us or fight us but he considered them by doing that, as violators of the pledge, as Quraysh had violated the pledge with the Prophet (ﷺ) when they assisted Banu Bakr ibn Wa’il in fighting his allies”.

Does al-Kafir’s grant of Aman to the Muslim imply an Aman by the Muslim to al-Kafir?

al-Fuqahaa have two opinions on the matter:

The first opinion, that of the majority of Fuqahaa, is that if someone enters Dar al-Kufr (land of disbelief) with an Aman, al-Kuffar have a promise of safety from him.

al-Shafi’i, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

“If Muslims enter the territory of war on an Aman, the enemy is safe from them until they leave or reach the term of their Aman, and they may not wrong or betray them. If the enemy takes Muslim children and women captive, I would not like them to act perfidiously to the enemy. I would like them to ask them to restore al-Aman to them and send them on their way; and if they do, they will fight them on behalf of the Muslim children and women”[13].

The second opinion, is that of al-Shawkani, may Allah have mercy on him. Commenting on the saying of the author of Hada’iq al-Azhar, he (al-Shawkani) said:

“His (the author of Hada’iq al-Azhar) saying: “Their promise of safety to a Muslim is a promise of safety to them from him”, I say that there is no inseparability between the two promises of safety, either in al-Shari’a, reason or tradition. Therefore, it is permissible for a Muslim who enters Dar al-Harb on an Aman from its people to take what he can of their property and spill whatever blood of theirs he can”[14].

al-Mawardi transmits this opinion from Diwan al-Zahiri:

“If a Muslim enters Dar al-Harb on an Aman or is a captive among them and they release him and grant him an Aman, it is not permissible for him to damage them in their lives or property; he is obligated to promise them safety. Dawoud, however, says that he may damage them in their lives and property, except when they ask him to promise them safety; then he must treat them with mildness and doing damage to them is forbidden to him”[15].

If we grant that al-Kuffar’s grant of an Aman to the Muslim implies a grant of an Aman by the Muslim to al-Kafir, does this apply to cases of war and aggression against Muslims?

The answer to this is NO, for the following clear headings:

Proof from al-Sunnah that al-Aman (a promise of safety) does not protect anyone who incites to fighting Muslims, attacks them, makes war on Allah and His Prophet (ﷺ), or reviles the Prophet (ﷺ).

The state hostile to Muslims is a single moral entity.

The allies of the attacker of Muslims, if they consent, are sharers with the attacker in punishment, a fortiori if they participate in the attack?

A. Proof from al-Sunnah that al-Aman does not protect anyone who incites to fighting Muslims, attacks them, makes war on Allah and His Prophet (ﷺ), or reviles the Prophet (ﷺ).

al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy on him, narrated the following Hadith from Jabir ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him and with his father):

“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Who will take care of Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf, for he has offended Allah and His Messenger?’ Muhammad ibn Maslama got up and said: ‘Messenger of Allah, do you want me to kill him’, ‘Yes’ Prophet said. ‘Then allow me to say whatever I like (to him)’, ‘Say it’, the Prophet said. So Muhammad ibn Maslama went to Ka’b and said: ‘This man (i.e. the Prophet) has asked us for charity and has harassed us. I have come to ask you for a loan’, Ka’b replied: ‘By Allah, you will become weary of him again’, Muhammad said to him: ‘We have followed him and do not want to leave him until we see the end of his affair. We want you to lend us one or two loads of grain’.
Ka’b said, ‘Yes, but pledge me something as security’. Muhammad ibn Maslama asked, ‘What do you want?’, Ka’b said: ‘Pledge me your women’, Muhammad ibn Maslama said: ‘How can we pledge our women as security, when you are the most handsome of the Arabs?’, Ka’b said: ‘Then pledge me your sons’, Muhammad ibn Maslama said: ‘How can we pledge our sons? People will revile them and say that they were pledged as security for one or two loads of grain. It is shameful for us. However, we will pledge you our arms as security’, Muhammad ibn Maslama agreed with him to come at a certain time. He came to him at night with Abu Na’ila, who was Ka’b’s foster brother. Ka’b invited them into the fort and came down to meet them. His wife asked him: ‘Where are you going out at this hour?’, Ka’b replied: ‘It is only Muhammad ibn Maslama and my brother Abu Na’ila’, Muhammad ibn Maslama brought two men in with him. (Another version is that she said: ‘I seem to hear a sound as if blood were flowing from him.’ Ka’b said, ‘It is only Muhammad ibn Maslama and my foster-brother Abu Na’ila. If a man of nobility were summoned to a dagger blow at night, he would accept’)
He said: ‘When he comes, I will say something about his hair and smell it. Then I will have you smell it. When you see me take hold of his head, grab him and smite him’, Ka’b came down to them wearing a sash and with the odor of perfume wafting from him. Muhammad ibn Maslama said: ‘Never have I smelt a sweeter scent’, (Another version is that he added, ‘I have the most fragrant women of the Arabs and the most perfect ones’) Muhammad ibn Maslama said, ‘Do you give me permission to smell your head?’, ‘Yes,’ he said. So he smelled it and had his companions smell it. Then he asked: ‘Do you give me permission?’, ‘Yes,’ he said. When he took hold of it, he said, ‘Grab him’. And so they killed him. Then they came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and told him”[16].

It is clear in this Hadith that Muhammad ibn Maslama and his companions, may Allah be pleased with them, acted and spoke in a way that made Ka’b Ibn al-Ashraf feel safe, but they deceived him by not explaining their real purpose, and they did not explicitly give him a promise of safety. He, for his part, gave them permission to do business with him, enter his fort, and draw near to him. They took advantage of this permission in killing him. This is clear from the following points:

a) They disparaged the Prophet (ﷺ) before him, saying: “He has harassed us”, meaning “overburdened us.” Outwardly this is Kufr, though inwardly they meant it in a different sense, such as that they were weary from sustaining al-Jihad, in which they had a recompense because of their weariness, or something similar. The case is like that of a Mujahid who comes to the Crusaders today and says to them: “The terrorists have overburdened us and wearied us. I want a loan from you so that I can go into their country and do them harm.” Furthermore, the affair took place with the Prophet’s approval[17].

b) They did not show him their real purpose, but pretended that they wanted a loan. This is like someone who goes to the enemy’s country and displays purposes that are not real. For example, he may ask the enemy embassy for a tourist visa — and all so that he can kill their criminals, not for tourism. For this reason, ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy on him, said regarding the lessons to be learned from the story of the killing of Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf: “It implies the permissibility of such speech as is needed in war, even if the speaker does not say what he really means”[18].

Shaykh al-Islam bn Taymiya discussed the matter in detail and replied to those who disagree. He made it perfectly clear that Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf had an Aman or something like it, but that it was of no use to him when he attacked the Muslims. Here is what ibn Taymiya said:

The second thing to be learned is that the five individuals who killed him: Muhammad ibn Maslama, Abu Na’ila, Abbad ibn Bishr, al-Harith ibn Aws and Abu Abs ibn Jabr had been given permission by the Prophet to kill him, to deceive him by words that made it appear to him that they promised him safety and agreed with him, and then to kill him. It is well-known that anyone who openly promises a Kafir safety may not kill him afterward for his Kufr. Indeed, if al-Harbi (a Kafir in a state of war against al-Islam) believes that the Muslim has given him an Aman and has spoken to him on that basis, he becomes a Musta’man (a person with a temporary Aman). As narrated by Amr ibn al-Hamq, the Prophet said: ‘If anyone promises a man safety of life and property and then killed him, I am done with that man, even if the victim was a Kafir’, al-Hadith is narrated by Imam Ahmad and ibn Majah.
And Sulayman ibn Surad reported that the Prophet said: ‘If a man feels that his life and property are safe with you, do not kill him’, al-Hadith is narrated by ibn Majah. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet said: ‘al-Iman is the fetter of killing; a believer is not to be killed’, Abu Dawud and others narrated al-Hadith. Al-Khattabi said that they killed him only because he had cast off al-Aman and broken the treaty previously. He alleged that something like this is permissible with al-Kafir who has no treaty, just as al-Bayat and surprise attacks are permissible against them.
However, it might be said that he became a Musta’man by the words they spoke to him, or at minimum he had something like al-Aman; and it is not permissible to kill such a person merely for al-Kufr. For al-Aman protects the life of al-Harbi; and he becomes a Musta’man by less than this, as is well-known in the places where it is discussed. However, they killed him only because of his having satirized and offended Allah and His Messenger. Anyone whose killing has become licit for this reason cannot protect his life by an Aman or treaty. It is similar if a Muslim gives an Aman to someone who deserves death, such as a highway robber, or someone who wages war on Allah and His Prophet, or someone who spreads death-deserving corruption in the land; or if he gives an Aman to someone who deserves death because of adultery; or if he gives an Aman to someone who deserves death for apostasy or abandoning the pillars of al-Islam and the like. He may not conclude any contract with such a person, whether it be a contract of Aman, or Hudna (truce), or Dhimma (a promise of protection). For killing such a person is one of al-Hudoud (the prescribed punishments), but not killing him merely because he is a Kafir Harbi, as will be discussed shortly. As for surprise and Bayats, there is no word or deed by which they become safe, nor have they thought themselves to be safe. The story of Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf is quite different: he had been proved to have offended Allah and His Prophet by writing satires; and the life of such a person is not spared by an Aman”[19].

Ibn Taymiya also said:

“It is well-known that the semblance of an Aman is as the reality of one in sparing blood. The men whom the Prophet sent to Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf came to him on the basis of seeking a loan from him. They conversed with him and walked with him, and he felt that his life and property were safe from them. Previously, there had been a treaty between them and him (this is because when the Prophet (ﷺ) made Hijra to al-Madina, he made a treaty with its Jews), and he believed that it continued. Then they asked his permission to smell the odor of perfume from his head, and he give them permission time after time. All of this confirms an Aman. If there had been no other cause but his being a Kafir Harbi (hostile), it would not have been permissible to kill him after his having promised them safety and after they made it appear that they intended him no harm and asked permission to hold his hands. One learns from this that offending Allah and His Prophet necessitate killing; no Aman and no treaty can protect from it”[20].

The point here is that there is a category of al-Muharibeen who are like Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf in kind: They may be tricked even by giving them an Aman, as al-Sahaba did with him.

Some people go very far afield in search of pasture. They allege that because Muhammad ibn Maslama manifested al-Kufr to Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf one may deduce that a display of al-Kufr is permissible in order to obtain such a benefit. They also deduce that what they said to Ka’b did not grant him Aman, based on the fact that he had made a display of al-Kufr. But this opinion is invalid in principle and application.

Two groups make a mistake on this issue:

One group grants no sanctity whatever to a Muslim’s Aman to al-Kuffar. It permits the Muslim to act treacherously toward any such person to whom he has given a promise of safety in life and property.

The other treats all Kuffar as equal with regard to such a promise of safety. They equate the Imams of al-Kufr, those who have most grievously offended against Allah and His Messenger, with other Kuffar.

Shaykh al-Islam distinguishes among types of al-Kuffar with regard to covenants and promises of safety:

“He (the Prophet) distinguished between those who have merely broken a covenant and those who in addition have offended the Muslims. Whenever word reached the Prophet that someone who had entered into a covenant had offended the Muslims, he deputized someone to kill him, whereas he exiled many or showed kindness to many who had only broken a covenant. Also, al-Sahaba entered into a covenant with the people of Damascus, who were Kuffar. When the latter broke the treaty, they fought them, but then they made a treaty with them again or a third time; and similarly, with the people of Egypt. Nevertheless, whenever they defeated the holder of a treaty who had offended the Muslims by libeling the religion, committing fornication with a Muslim woman or the like, they killed him. The killing of such people without giving a choice is specifically commanded, and it is well-known that they distinguished between the two sorts”[21].

c) Crusaders have harmed Muslims. They have waged war on them and has occupied their countries or aided the occupation of them in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Chechnya. They have stolen their oil. They have honoured those who have reviled their Prophet. They besieged al-Mujahideen in Afghanistan in a variety of ways and attacked it. It besieged the Iraqi people, bombed them, and killed hundreds of thousands of them. Thus it has become the duty of Muslims to repel its harm and punish them for honoring those who have reviled the Prophet (ﷺ).

B. The country that attacks the Muslims is a single juridical entity.

The Crusader people are a single juridical entity. They sanction the democratic system: in other words, they have chosen as a whole that governance, decisions, and the passing of laws shall belong to the majority and that the minority shall obey them voluntarily in this. Therefore, whatever the President does, is done with the approval of the majority and the consent of the minority, on the ground that his actions are constitutional and sound because the majority supports them. The minority who disagree see it as their duty and his right over them, even if they oppose him in something, to obey him and submit to him. This is something about their circumstances that needs to be known.

It is well-known that any decisions made by the Crusaders, particularly fateful war decisions, are made only after surveying public opinion or after a vote by the representatives in their Kufr assemblies. These assemblies represent the people’s opinion through their parliamentary representatives. Therefore, any Crusader who voted for the war is a combatant or at least a helper and supporter. Furthermore, the members of the Crusader people pay taxes that support the aggression against us, and they serve in the army and police. Therefore, they are Muharibeen (belligerent), hostile, resisting group and so have become as a single person.

Ibn Taymiya, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

“The aides and helpers of the resisting group belong to the group in rights and responsibilities. Likewise, those who fight each other for the sake of falsehood for which there is no excuse, such as those who fight for the sake of tribalism and pagan loyalties, like Qays and Yemen and the like, are both wrongdoers. As the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “If two Muslims meet with their swords, both the slayer and the slain shall be in hell”. Someone asked: “That would be the slayer, but why the slain?”. He replied: “He tried to kill his comrade” (al-Shahihayn). Each group is liable for the lives and property that the other has destroyed, even if the identity of the slayer is unknown; and this is because a resisting group is as a single person”[22].

Shaykh Ahmad Shakir, may Allah have mercy on him, he issued a famous fatwa against the French and the British when the Egyptians were carrying out resistance against them in the Suez Canal region in the early 1950s. In this fatwa, he said:

“The British have declared a blatant, treacherous war against the Muslims in Egypt, a war of arrogant aggression. They also declared war on the Muslims in Sudan that they disguised as concern for the welfare of Sudan and its inhabitants, ornamented with the promise of self-rule, by which they formerly deceived the Egyptians. We have seen what the British have been doing in the vicinity of the Suez Canal and surrounding areas. They have killed peaceable civilians, acted treacherously against women and children, assaulted security personnel and judges, sparing almost no one big or small. Thus they demonstrated their enmity clearly and openly without any attempt at concealment. As a result, their lives and property have become permitted bounty for the Muslims. Every Muslim in the world should now fight them and kill them wherever they are found, be they civilians or military men. All of them are enemies, all of them are combatants.
The Prophet (ﷺ) forbade us to kill women in war on a clear, open foundation, namely, that they are not combatants. In one of his raids, he passed by the body of a woman who had been killed, and declared: “This was not a combatant”. He then prohibited the killing of women. Nowadays, however, their women are enlisted in the army and fight alongside the men. Those who are not soldiers still behave like men and open fire on the Muslims without any compunction. Hence, it is permitted to kill them. Indeed, it is an obligation to do so in defense of religion, Muslim lives, and the country. Only weak women who can do nothing should be spared.
The same applies to young boys and infirm old men. Those who fight among them should be killed. Those who do not should be spared, except when they are taken captive along with the women. We will later discuss Shari’a rules pertaining to captives, inshallah.
We stated above that: “Every Muslim in the world should now fight them and kill them wherever they are found, be they civilians or military men”. We meant every word of this statement. Wherever Muslim lives, to whatever nation or ethnic group he belongs, he has the same obligation that we have here in Egypt and Sudan. Even British Muslims, if they are truly Muslim, have the same obligation as other Muslims as far as they are able. If they cannot fulfill the obligation, they should make Hijra from the enemies’ country or from those countries where they are unable to fight the enemy as Allah commands them to do.
To use this era’s terminology, al-Islam consists of one nationality only. It abolishes ethnic and national boundaries. Allah said:
“…And verily, your Ummah, is one Ummah, and I am your Lord …” — Al-Mu’minun 23:52
There are numerous proofs of this fact; which is known to be essential part of the religion.
Let every Muslim in Egypt and Sudan, India and Pakistan, and in every country ruled by the British enemies or is under their influence anywhere in the world, of whatever color or race he may be, listen to this and set it as a goal before his eyes. Collaboration with the British in any form constitutes extreme apostasy and open disbelief. No excuse may be made for it nor any attempt at justification.[Note]
{[Note] Every reader now has no doubt now that it is immediately obvious, with no proof needed, that for every Muslim on earth, what applies to the British in this sense also applies to the French. French enmity toward the Muslims and the French people’s overwhelming fanaticism that makes them attempt to eradicate Islam and to fight against al-Islam is much greater than that of the British. Indeed, they are insanely fanatical and hostile and they kill our Muslim brothers in every Muslim country where they rule or have any influence. They perpetrate such crimes and atrocities that make the British crimes and brutality pale beside them. They and the British are subject to the same rule: Their blood and property are permitted to the Muslims everywhere. No Muslim in any part of the world is permitted to cooperate with them in any form. Collaboration with them is subject to the same rule as collaboration with the British: Ridda (apostasy) and entire departure from al-Islam, regardless of the collaborator’s nationality or colour.}
Let every Muslim know this: If he stoops to such a vile action, his every act of worship to Allah will be worthless. Allah forbids that a true Muslim who believes in Allah and His Messenger should accept this for himself. al-Iman is a condition for the validity of every act of worship, as it is known to be essential part of the religion. No true Muslim would violate this rule
As Allah (ﷻ) said:
“…And whoever denies the faith — his work has become worthless, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.” — Al-Ma’ida 5:5
“And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your religion if they are able. And whoever of you reverts from his religion [to disbelief] and dies while he is a disbeliever — for those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and those are the companions of the Fire, they will abide therein eternally.” — Al-Baqarah 2:217
“O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you — then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people. So, you see those in whose hearts is disease hastening into [association with] them, saying, “We are afraid a misfortune may strike us.” But perhaps Allah will bring conquest or a decision from Him, and they will become, over what they have been concealing within themselves, regretful. And those who believe will say, “Are these the ones who swore by Allah their strongest oaths that indeed they were with you?” Their deeds have become worthless, and they have become losers.” — Al-Ma’idah 5:51–53
“Indeed, those who reverted back [to disbelief] after guidance had become clear to them — Satan enticed them and prolonged hope for them. That is because they said to those who disliked what Allah sent down, “We will obey you in part of the matter.” And Allah knows what they conceal. Then how [will it be] when the angels take them in death, striking their faces and their backs. That is because they followed what angered Allah and disliked [what earns] His pleasure, so He rendered worthless their deeds. Or do those in whose hearts is disease think that Allah would never expose their [feelings of] hatred? And if We willed, we could show them to you, and you would know them by their mark; but you will surely know them by the tone of [their] speech. And Allah knows your deeds. And We will surely test you until We make evident those who strive among you [for the cause of Allah] and the patient, and We will test your affairs. Indeed, those who disbelieved and averted [people] from the path of Allah and opposed the Messenger after guidance had become clear to them — never will they harm Allah at all, and He will render worthless their deeds. O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds. Indeed, those who disbelieved and averted [people] from the path of Allah and then died while they were disbelievers — never will Allah forgive them. So, do not weaken and call for peace while you are superior; and Allah is with you and will never deprive you of [the reward of] your deeds.” — Muhammed 47:25–35 [23]

C. The allies of the attacker of Muslims, if they consent, are sharers with the attacker in punishment, a fortiori if they participate in the attack?

Even if we grant that there is an Aman between the Muslims and the Crusaders. The Crusaders have all broken their promise by virtue of what some of them have done and the others have consented to. Or they have not denied its legitimacy and have considered it as a constitutional action because the majority approved it. Thus, the promise of Crusaders’ allies (such as the NATO alliance) in their war, has been broken: Not only have they consented to the crimes Crusaders have committed, they have even participated in them. They have been the vanguard and talons in waging war on Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Somalia.

Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

“His Sunnah was that if he made peace with a people and some of them broke his covenant and treaty, and the remainder approved of them and consented to it, he attacked all of them. He treated them all as having reneged, as he did with Qurayda, al-Nadir and Banu Qaynuqa, and as he did with the people of Makka. This was his procedure with people who had a treaty”[24].

He also said, may Allah have mercy on him:

“His Sunnah was that if he made peace and concluded a treaty with a people and then one of his other enemies joined itself to them and entered with them into his treaty, and other people joined themselves to them and entered with them into his treaty, the status of any Kuffar who made war on anyone who had entered with them into his treaty was the same status as anyone who made war on him. For this reason, he attacked the people of Makka. When he made peace with them on terms of a 10-year cessation of hostilities between them and him, the Banu Bakr ibn Wa’il went to war and entered into a treaty with Quraysh, who became their allies. The Khuza’a also went to war and entered into a treaty with the Messenger of Allah, who became their ally. Then the Banu Bakr attacked Khuza’a by night and killed some of them, and Quraysh secretly helped them with weapons. The Messenger of Allah therefore considered Quraysh to have broken the treaty and deemed it permissible to attack the Banu Bakr for having attacked his allies. The full story will be related later, inshallah.
For this reason, ibn Taymiya issued a fatwa that the Christians of the east should be attacked because they had helped the enemy of the Muslims fight them and had supplied them with money and weapons, although they themselves had not attacked us or waged war on us. He saw them as having broken their treaty in this way, even as Quraysh had broken its covenant with the Prophet by helping the Banu Bakr ibn Wa’il to make war on his allies”[25].

Here is what ibn al-Qayyim says about the lessons to be learned from the conquest of Makka:

“A chapter wherein it is demonstrated that if Ahl al-Ahd (treaty-holders) wage war on those who are under al-Imam’s protection and care, they thereby become his enemies and no treaty remains between them and him; he may attack them by night in their homes without distinction and with no need to give them notice. He will give them notice only if he fears treachery by them; and if that comes to pass, they have abandoned his treaty.
A chapter wherein it is demonstrated that the treaty of all of them lapses, both those who carried out the attack and those who helped them, if they consented and approved and did not condemn it. Quraysh who helped Banu Bakr were only some of them; not all Quraysh fought on their side. Nevertheless, the Messenger of Allah attacked them all. Just as they had entered into the treaty by consequence (of their membership in Quraysh), with each individual of them not needing a separate treaty, for they had consented to it and approved it, so it was with the judgment of their having broken the treaty. This undoubtedly was the way of the Messenger of Allah, as you can see”[26].

Consider the valuable argument of ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him. He makes it clear that a treaty with the leader of a people is a treaty with every individual member of that people: Each of them does not need a separate treaty. Each individual member of the people receives an Aman by virtue of the treaty with their leader. Similarly, if their leader breaks the treaty, each of them has broken it and need not break it individually.

Consider his words:

“He may attack them by night in their homes without distinction and with no need to give them notice. He will give them notice only if he fears treachery by them.” In other words, if the treaty-holder attacks the Muslims and breaks his treaty, they may attack him by surprise without prior notice, because he broke the treaty first. They will only give him notice of the violation of the treaty if they fear treachery by him.”

The Reality of Practicing One’s Religion

The Surrender of Granada by Francisco Pradilla Ortiz

Many people believe that what is meant by openly practicing one’s religion is simply that one prays, fasts, and reads the Qur’an in Dar al-Kufr and Dar al-Harb, with nobody opposing you or harming you. So, if you do this, you have fully and openly practiced your religion amongst them. This is a mistaken understanding, and a profound miscalculation that must be cleared up, since Allah (ﷻ) Said:

“Indeed, there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people: “Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah, we have rejected you, and there has emerged between us and your hostility and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allah, Alone,” except the saying of Ibrahim to his father: “Verily, I will ask for forgiveness (from Allah) for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allah.” Our Lord! In You we put our trust, and to You we turn in repentance, and to You is our final return.” — al-Mumtahinah 60:4

Therefore, the open practice of one’s religion is fulfilled by announcing one’s disbelief in these organizations, and clarifying this hostility to them, and to inform these disbelievers and apostates that we have disbelieved in them, and that our enmity is for them, and that if we were to gain the upper hand, we would not leave them on the face of the Earth, as ‘Umar said, when he was asked by the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ):

“What do you think, O Ibn al-Khattab (regarding the prisoners of Badr)?” So, he replied: “I said: “By Allah, I do not agree with Abu Bakr. Rather, I think that you should give me a relative of mine, so that I may strike his neck, and give ‘Aqil to ‘All, so that he may strike his neck, and give Hamzah his brother, so that he may strike his neck — so that Allah would know that there is no space in any depth of our hearts for the disbelievers. Those are their nobles and leaders and commanders.” So, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) inclined towards what Abu Bakr had said, but not towards what I had said. So, he (peace be upon him) took the ransom from them. The next day, I went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr, and found them both crying, so I said: “O Messenger of Allah, tell me, what has made you and your companion weep? If there is a reason to weep, I will weep with you, and if there is no reason, I will pretend to weep along with you, because you are weeping.” So, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I am weeping because of what your companions are being put through due to their taking the ransom. I was shown the punishment to which they were subjected. It was brought as close to me as this tree.”
Then, Allah revealed:
“It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom) until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land…” until the verse “…so eat of the permissible and good things that you have obtained as war booty …” — al-Anfal 67–69
So, he made the war booty permissible for them. So, when it was the day of the Battle of Uhud the following year, they were punished because of the ransom that they had accepted on the day of Badr. So, seventy of them were killed, and the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) fled from him, and his tooth was broken, and blood smeared his face, and Allah revealed:
“What is the matter with you? When a single disaster smites you, although you smote (your enemies) with one twice as great, you say: “ From where does this come to us?” Say: “It is from yourselves (because of your evil deeds).” And Allah has power over all things.” — Al ‘Imran 165
. . . because of their taking of the ransom.”[27]

And from the most beautiful explanation of the meaning mentioned before is what at-Tabari has written in his ‘Tafsir,’ where he said:

“In this verse: “Indeed, there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people: ‘Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah, we have rejected you, and there has emerged between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allah Alone,’ except the saying of Ibrahim to his father: ‘Verily, I will ask for forgiveness (from Allah) for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allah . ‘ Our Lord! In You we put our trust, and to You we turn in repentance, and to You is our final Return”— al-Mumtahinah 4

. . .the Exalted says to the believers in Him, from the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), that there was for you — O believers — a great example, a great model, in Ibrahim the Khalil (intimate friend) of the Most Merciful, for you to follow and imitate, as well as those who are with him from the Prophets of Allah.

Ibn Zayd said, regarding the saying of Allah (ﷻ) “Indeed, there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him…” that those who were with him are the Prophets, and His saying “… when they said to their people: “Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah…”’’ is regarding when they said to their people who had disbelieved in Allah, and worshipped the taghut: ‘O people! We are free from you and from those whom you worship besides Allah of deities and gods!’ And regarding His saying “… we have rejected you, and there has emerged between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allah Alone…”, He (ﷻ) Says, informing of the saying of His Prophets to their disbelieving peoples that ‘We have disbelieved in you, and we reject what you are upon of disbelief in Allah and we have rejected your worship and what you worship besides Allah, and there has emerged between us and you enmity and hatred forever because of your disbelief in Allah and your worship of others besides Him, and there will be no peace or kindness between us until you believe in Allah Alone, and until you accept Allah, alone, and single Him out for worship.’ And His saying: “…except the saying of Ibrahim to his father: “ Verily , I will ask for forgiveness ( from Allah) for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allah”…’’ means that there was a great example for you in Ibrahim and those who are with him in these affairs that We have mentioned — of displaying to the disbelievers their hostility towards them, and forsaking any alliance with them — except in the case of the saying of Ibrahim to his father that “I will seek forgiveness for you,” for there is no example for you in this.

And Ibn Kathir (may Allah have Mercy upon him) said:

“Allah says to His believing slaves — whom He has ordered to be harsh against the disbelievers and to have enmity towards them, and to avoid them, and to disassociate themselves from them — that there was a great example for you in Ibrahim and those with him — his followers who believed with him — when they said to their people: “…We are free from you…” meaning: we have disassociated ourselves from you and what you worship besides Allah; “…and we have disbelieved in you…” meaning: in your religion and your ways; “…and there has emerged between us and you enmity and hatred forever…” meaning: enmity and hatred has been legislated from now between us, and as long as you remain upon your disbelief, then we will disassociate ourselves from you and hate you until you believe in Allah, alone — single Him out to worship Him, without any partners, and to abandon what you worship along with Him of idols and gods.”

And in ‘ad-Durar as-Saniyyah ,’ the two sons of Shaykh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab said:

“…and openly practicing one’s religion is to declare them (the disbelievers) to be disbelievers, and to point out the faults of their religion, and to criticize them, and to disassociate from them, and to protect oneself from becoming close to them and leaning towards them, and to avoid them. Simply performing the prayers is not considered practicing of one’s religion, and the saying of one that ‘We avoid them when we are in prayer, and we do not eat their slaughtered meats’ is good, but, it is not enough on its own to fulfill the open practice of the religion. Rather, what has been mentioned above is a must.”
And Shaykh Hamad bin ‘Atiq (may Allah have Mercy on him) said: “And what is intended (by open practice of one’s religion) is the clear demonstration of continuous hostility and hatred towards the one who does not single out His Lord for worship. So, whoever fulfills this with knowledge and action, and clearly demonstrates this until the people of his land are aware of this from him, then Hijrah is not an obligation upon him from whatever land he is in. As for the one who is not like this — rather, he assumes that if he is left to pray and fast and perform pilgrimage, he is no longer obligated to migrate -this is ignorance of the religion, and heedlessness of the essence of the message of the Messengers. For lands, if the rule in them is for the people of falsehood, the worshippers of graves, the consumers of alcohol, and the gamblers, such populations are not satisfied except with the rituals of shirk and the judgment of the tawaghit, and for every place where this is the case, there is no doubt for the one who has the slightest familiarity of the Book and Sunnah that its people are upon other than what the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was upon.”[28]

And there remains an issue that has not been clarified to me up until now, and it is: is it enough in the issue of displaying enmity for the disbeliever for him to simply know this from you, because of the saying of Allah — the Exalted:

“They said “We heard a young man talking against them, (he is one) who is called Ibrahim.” — al-Ambiya 60

. . .even if you do not speak in their presence, or the presence of those who will relay the message to them? Or, is it a must to announce this in a loud voice that is heard everywhere, since the one who reflects upon the texts of the Sunnah will find both? But, there is agreement that for the one whose disassociation from the disbelievers or apostates and their religion is not known by his enemies, nor by the believers, that it becomes absolutely obligatory upon him to openly display this in any way that would get the message across, in the clearest and most well-understood manner; otherwise, Hijrah becomes obligatory upon him in accordance with his capability, and he sins by not doing so.

And Allah Knows best.

Your brother,

Abu Bakr al-Janabi

[1] Ibn al-Qayyim, Sifat al-Munafiqeen

[2] al-Mughni & al-Sharh, 10/503

[3] al-Hashiya Ala al-Rawd

[4] al-Fatawa, 28/537–546, 20/52

[5] al-Hashiya Ala al-Rawd, 4/271

[6] al-Mughni & al-Sharh 10/503

[7] al-Mughni & al-Sharh 10/503

[8] al-Istizkar, 14/74

[9] al-Tamhid, 16/142

[10] An-Nahl 16:126

[11] Ibn Muflih quoted this about ibn Taymiya in al-Furou’ 6/218

[12] al-Muhalla, 7/299

[13] Kitab al-Umm, The Receiver of al-Aman in Dar al-Harb, v. 4, p. 263

[14] al-Sayl al-Jarrar, v. 4, pp. 552, 553

[15] al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam al-Sultaniya, Chapter 12 of the division of “Property Taken From al-Kuffar”, Section of “Moveable Property” v. 1, p. 278

[16] al-Bukhari, Chapter of Killing Ka’b Ibn al-Ashraf, Hadith 3741

[17] Ibn Battal’s commentary on al-Bukhari, v. 9, p. 247; and Fateh al-Bari, v. 9, p. 250

[18] Fateh al-Bari, v. 7, p. 340

[19] al-Sarim al-Masloul, v. 2, pp. 179–182

[20] al-Sarim al-Masloul, v. 2, p. 552. Cf. also v. 3, pp. 769, 786; and Ahkam Ahl al-Dhimma by ibn al-Qayyim, v. 3, pp 1438–1441

[21] al-Sarim (2/503)

[22] Daqa’iq al-Tafsir, v. 2, p. 36; and Majmou’ al-Fatawa, v. 28, p. 312

[23] The Word of Truth by Shaykh Ahmad Shakir, may Allah have mercy upon him, pages 126 to 135

[24] Zad al-Ma’ad, v. 3, p. 136

[25] Zad al-Ma’ad, v. 3, p. 138

[26] Zad al-Ma’ad, v. 3, p. 370

[27] Muslim (1763) and Abu Dawud (2690)

[28] ‘ad-Durar as-Saniyyah’ (5/413–418)