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Sheikh Zakzaky explains concept of Jihad in Islam

By Ibrahim Usman
Leader of the Islamic Movement in Africa, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) says, Islam has decent rules and regulations concerning Jihad that is exemplary. 

Sheikh Zakzaky who made the statement at the on-going Ramadan Tafsir at the Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah, Zaria, was expounding verses 190-193 of Surah al-Baqrah to buttress the point.

Citing verse 190 of Surah al-Baqrah, he explained that Islam abhors transgression in whatever form, even when fighting a known enemy. “Transgression, which means terrorism, has now assumed a different meaning as a result of American politics, when in the real sense they are the real terrorists of the world”.

He further explained that Muslims are warned against waging war on people who do not wage war on them, and that even when fighting those who wage war on them, they are warned against over stepping limit (transgression).

He said, rules governing conduct of war can best be seen in the war performed and exemplified by Ali Ameerul Mu’mineen (AS), who never went after enemies who ran away during battle.

“In Islam the injured are left alone, and not killed in cold blood. Women and children are not also killed, even when they attend the battlefield. They are only honourably captured. Offensive is discouraged. When the enemy runs away, or the war is over it is forbidden to wage an offensive or lay siege on the enemy. If you do that, you have committed murder, and that is transgression and terrorism. Allah abhors transgression and transgressors. In essence, war is only fought on the battlefield with the enemy sword drawn and ready for fight”.

He lamented on how people now transgress in the name of Jihad, adding that enemies of Islam had been associating Islam with transgression (terrorism), and now went a step further to organize and carry out terrorist acts in the name of Islam.

Sheikh Zakzaky said, all the current wave of terrorist acts being carried out in Muslim countries are the handiwork of enemies of Islam through sponsoring terrorist organizations, which he said, gave enemies of Islam the opportunity to fight Islam and Muslims.

He cited the current wave of bomb blasts and killings in Nigeria, and linking it to Islam as if Islam is originally a terrorist religion when in the actual sense it has decent rules and regulations governing war and any form of dispute.

“Indeed, all these killings are not done by Muslims. The nature of the killings can never be the handiwork of a Muslims no matter how weak in faith they may be. How can a Muslim detonate a bomb in a market place and kill hundreds, then claim to be carrying out a Jihad? This is the handiwork of enemies of Islam, and not Muslims. They are doing it in all Muslim countries, exporting terrorism and blaming it on Muslims”.

Sheikh Zakzaky also said, Islam discourages transgression (terrorism) even on environment, insects and animals. “A Muslim should not be the first offender, the first person to initiate a war. Even when he kills, body mutilation is forbidden, even on a mad dog as stated by Hadith”, he added.

During the Nahjul Balagha session, Sheikh Zakzaky had read part of Sermon 123 by Ameerul Mu’mineen (AS), which clearly demonstrates who a battle is fought with all the rule and regulations governing its conduct:

To exhort his followers to fight

Put the armoured man forward and keep the unarmoured one behind. Grit your teeth because this will make the swords skip off the skull, and dodge on the sides of the spears for it changes the direction of their blades. Close the eyes because it strengthens the spirit and gives peace to the heart. Kill the voices because this will keep off spiritlessness.

Do not let your banner bend down, nor leave it alone. Do not give it to anyone except the brave and the defenders of honour among you because they alone endure the befalling of troubles; they surround the banners and encircle them on both sides, their rear and their front. They do not separate from them lest they give them over (to the enemy). They do not go ahead of them lest they leave them alone. Do not mutilate dead bodies (of enemies), even on the corpse of a mad dog that bites. When you approach their station or tents, do not into their secrecy or bulldoze into their homes. Do not take anything from their property, except that which you found on the battle field. Do not oppress any of their women, even when they abuse you and dishonor your leaders and the honorable among you. For they are weak in body, spirit and thought. We were commanded (by the holy Prophet) to spare them, when they were unbelievers. If a man oppressed such women, he would receive public condemnation, and his descendants would receive share of the public condemnation.  Everyone should deal with his adversary and also help his comrade by his own life, and should not leave the adversary to his comrade lest both his own adversary and his comrade join against him.