‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’ – A Revelation!

‘Verily, Allah has purchased from the believers their selves and wealth; for that, theirs shall be Paradise. They fight in the Cause of Allah, killing and being killed – a promise on His part in truth, in the Torah and the Gospel and the Quran.’ 9:111

It is my understanding that the edict to ‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’ is specific to ‘Al-Ardh Al-Muqaddasah/The Sacred Land’ and ‘Al-Bait Al-Haram/The Sacred House’ and is sanctioned only in the presence of a Prophet:

‘And never will your Lord destroy the town until He sends to its Mother Town a Messenger reciting to them Our Verses. And never will We destroy the town unless its people are transgressors.’ 28:59

We are informed in the Quran that the destruction of the disbelievers at the time of Prophets Noah, Lot, Hud, Saleh and Shuaib was an act of divine retribution. We are also informed in the Quran that Prophets Noah, Abraham, Lot, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad were among those Prophets who were the recipients of Scripture. However, according to 9:111 the proclamation to ‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’ is inscribed only in the Torah as revealed to Moses, the Gospel as revealed to Jesus and the Quran as revealed to Muhammad.
The transition from divine retribution to ‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’ is evidenced at the time of Prophet Moses:

‘Like the habitude of the people of Pharaoh and those before them – they cried lies to the revelations of their Lord. Thus, We destroyed them for their sins and drowned the people of Pharaoh; they were all tyrants.’ 8:54

Pharaoh and his people having been drowned Prophet Moses chaperoned the Israelites to ‘The Sacred Land’ where he delivered a clarion call to ‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’:

‘O my people! Enter the Sacred Land which Allah ordained for you and do not retreat’ ‘O Musa! Surely therein are a people of overwhelming power’ 5:21/22

It is my understanding that ‘Allah’, ‘Yod Heh Vav Heh’ or ‘One God’ authorised the Israelites to ‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’ the heathen who occupied ‘The Sacred Land’ and claim what was rightfully theirs to inhabit and for posterity.
The following verse in the Quran which references ‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’ at the time of Prophet Muhammad validates the transition from divine retribution:

‘And if Allah willed He could exact retribution on them; but in order to test some of you by others’ 47:4

The Quran delineates unambiguously the remit of Prophet Muhammad to ‘The Sacred House’:

‘And this is a blessed Book We have sent down confirming what came before it so that you may warn the Mother of Towns and those around it’ 6:92
‘Allah has made the Kabah, the Sacred House, a fulcrum for mankind’ 5:97

The situation that confronted Prophet Muhammad was quite similar to that of Prophet Samuel in that the Muslims like the Israelites were persecuted from their homes and were asked to ‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’.

At the time of Prophet Muhammad:
‘So those who emigrated and were expelled from their homes, and were persecuted in My Cause, and fought and were killed’ 3:195

At the time of Prophet Samuel:
They (Israelites) said: “And why we fight not in the Cause of Allah when certainly expelled are we from our homes and our children?” 2:246

It is my understanding that the edict to ‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’ is applicable only in the presence of a Prophet. There appears to be a predilection in the people amongst whom a Prophet is appointed to split into two distinct groups:

‘Mankind was a single community then Allah sent Prophets with glad tidings and as warners; and He sent down with them the Book with truth to judge betwixt people in matters wherein they differed’ 2:213

It is imperative we acknowledge that it is the prerogative of the ‘One God’ only to sanction ‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’:

‘Verily, your Lord! He knows who strays from His path and He knows the rightly guided.’ 6:117
‘O Prophet! Urge the believers to the fight’ 8:65

However, the Quran does recognise the evolving disposition of man’s intellect and the consequent complexity of the communities he populates:

‘Then We bequeathed the Book to those We chose of Our servants. Of them some who wrong their own selves and of them some who adopt a middle course; and of them some who excel in good deeds by Allah’s permission’ 35:32
‘Allah is He Who has subjected to you what is in the heavens and what is on earth; gathered from Him. Verily, therein are signs for people who reflect.’ 45:13

There are verses in the Quran that are predicated on a specific location and/or to a specific Prophet and verses that can be interpreted in a contemporary context for general application. The Holy Scriptures as revealed to Moses in the Torah, David in the Psalms, Jesus in the Gospels and Muhammad in the Quran reflect and conform to the natural laws manifest in all of creation. Only an ‘Omniscient’ ‘One God’ could ensure that His revelations to the Prophets were relevant to the human condition in this given construct; not in some improbable utopia.

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‘No compulsion in the religion’

‘O Children of Adam! When there come to you Messengers from among you delineating unto you My revelations then whoever refrains and reforms, no apprehension on them nor shall they grieve. But those who cry lies to Our revelations and disparage them, they are dwellers of the Fire; they shall abide therein forever.’ 7:35/36

Does this verse imply that the obligation to adhere to the edicts of the ‘One God’ as revealed to Prophet Moses in the Torah, Prophet Jesus in the Gospels and Prophet Muhammad in the Quran is the imperative duty of the people in whose midst a Prophet has been appointed only? What I have observed after having meticulously studied the Quran is that there exists a predilection for the people in whose midst a Prophet has been appointed to pull apart into at least two distinct groups – disbelievers and believers. What can also be gleaned from the verses in the Quran is that as the ‘One God’ reveals more of himself through his revelations to the people in whose midst a Prophet has been appointed the severity of the retribution that will be exacted in the event of disbelief in the revelations increases proportionately.

O People of the Scripture! There has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you, post an interval in the Messengers, lest you say: “There came not to us a giver of glad tidings nor a warner.” 5:19
Lest you (pagan Arabs) say: “The Book was but sent to two sects (Jews and Christians) before us, and indeed we had been unaware of what they studied.” 6:156

Are these verses implying that even though the pagan Arabs had living amongst them the ‘People of the Scripture’ had no Prophet come to them and no Scripture been given to them they could have pleaded ignorance in the Court of the Most High? Is it also implicit in 5:19 and 6:156 that in the absence of a Prophet and as the revelation of Scripture gets more distant with respect to time a certain clemency is proffered to people in the obligation to adhere to the edicts of the ‘One God’ as inscribed in the Testament?

There are verses in the Quran that are predicated on a specific location and/or to a specific Prophet and verses that can be interpreted in a contemporary context for general application:

‘So when you encounter those who disbelieve smite the necks till when you have weakened them, then fasten the shackles’ 47:4
‘Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians and the Majus and those who ascribe partners, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection’ 22:17

I am of the opinion that the edict to ‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’ is specific to the ‘Sacred land/House’ and can only be sanctioned in the presence of a Prophet:

But Lot believed him (Abraham), and said: “I will emigrate for the sake of my Lord” 29:26
They reply: “We were oppressed on the earth.” They (angels) say: “Was not Allah’s earth vast enough for you to migrate therein?” 4:97

Despite the explicit threats to the life of Prophet Abraham that were emerging from his people the ‘One God’ did not permit him to ‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’ against them but instead to migrate to the Land of Canaan. In the Land of Canaan the people of Prophet Lot were destroyed for their perverse indulgence by divine retribution and not because the ‘One God’ sanctioned ‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’. It isn’t until the time of Prophet Moses where after having drowned Pharaoh and his people that the ‘One God’ ordains at the gates of the ‘Sacred Land’ Prophet Moses and the Israelites to ‘Fight in the Cause of Allah’ against the pagan occupants.

Let us not forget that Prophet Joseph used his unique gift to interpret dreams endowed on him by the ‘One God’ in the service of a pagan Pharaoh. Prophet Muhammad sought refuge for the weakest of the new Muslim converts with a Christian King in Abyssinia.

‘No compulsion in the religion. It is manifest, the right conduct from the wrong.’ 2:256
‘And had your Lord so willed, those on earth would have believed; all of them together. So will you compel mankind until they become believers?’ 10:99
‘And say: “The truth is from your Lord.” So who wills, let him believe; and who wills, let him disbelieve.’ 18:29
‘O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another’ 49:13

I urge my fellow Muslims to understand and appreciate the diversity in all of God’s creation. This diversity is reflected in our thought processes and also evidenced in what we do. We must endeavour to lead by example and not by compulsion in all aspects of our lives. Who are we to reserve judgement on our fellow human beings; arrogate to ourselves that which the Noble Quran does not sanction?

SyRaq

Do we in the West understand what is transpiring/who is conspiring in Syria/Iraq (SyRaq)?

The ‘Arab Spring’ in Egypt manifests itself as a popular uprising and after several months of protests in Tahrir Square a military dictator – Hosni Mubarak, in power for 30 years is emphatically deposed. In the democratic process that follows the Muslim Brotherhood candidate – Mohamed Morsi, is elected President of Egypt.
The Muslim Brotherhood – a Sunni movement that is supported by the Qatari’s but opposed by the Saudi’s; having a substantial footprint in the political landscape of the region such that if there were democratic elections held in Jordan and Syria they would be the dominant party.
The military junta in Egypt then uses the ‘Deep State’ to create resentment amongst sections of civil society in order to position itself as the credible saviour of the democratic process. President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood government are portrayed as usurping power and as incapable of stemming rising prices and unemployment in the country.
A coup d’état overthrows the democratically elected Islamist government of President Morsi. This is followed by a widespread crackdown on the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood. Having jailed the Muslim Brotherhood leadership and shut down all non-compliant media, Field Marshal Abdul Fattah Al Sisi is elected President of Egypt by a ‘popular’ vote.

The ‘Arab Spring’ in Syria starts with an uprising in Homs and then spreads to the rest of the country. The Al Assad regime forcibly suppresses the uprising with assistance from Iran and the Hezbollah in Lebanon. The opposition Free Syrian Army and the Islamists are supported by the Saudi’s and Qatari’s. Salafi/Sunni fighters have been pouring in from Western nations and neighbouring Arab/Muslim countries to depose the Al Assad regime. Shiite fighters have been coming in primarily from Iraq to fight alongside the Al Assad regime.
I suspect that ISIL (ISI/ISIS) is a creation of Syrian intelligence; Sunni fighters from Syria/Iraq who had been encouraged to take up arms against US/UK forces during the invasion of Iraq. Iran and Syria did not then want the US/UK getting comfortable with their occupation of Iraq once they had deposed Saddam Husein and disbanded the Ba’athists. The Jabhat Al Nusra, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, was allowed into Syria in order to counterbalance ISIL and malign the credibility of the Free Syrian Army. The perception would be that the FSA was infiltrated by extremists and any help extended would undermine our security in the West. There have been several bouts of infighting within the ranks of the opposition and as a result they have fractured, with the Islamists breaking away from the Free Syrian Army.
The war having reached an impasse, Basher Al Assad is re-elected President of Syria by a ‘popular’ vote.

The aftermath of the US/UK invasion of Iraq is a democratic process that has reinforced the deep-seated sectarian divide and a body politic that is dominated by the Shiite majority. The Sunni tribes who have unresolved grievances with the Shiite Al Maliki government in Baghdad are giving succour to the Sunni ISIL forces. There is also some collusion with the Sunni officers given that the Iraqi army – trained and equipped by the US, has just melted away when confronted by the ISIL forces. The Iraqi national army, as a matter of fact, was set up by the Al Maliki government to crumble along sectarian/ethnic lines and to inevitably fail. It is the Iraqi Special Forces and the Shiite militia under the control of Al Maliki that underpin his hold on power in Baghdad.
Is it a coincidence that ISIL has gained a foothold in Iraq at a time when Iran is negotiating with the US/EU on its nuclear issue? The presence of ISIL in the Sunni dominated provinces will only radicalise the local population and may even lead to internal strife between the Islamists, the Ba’athist and the Sunni tribes. In fact, the presence of ISIL and the near certain radicalisation of the local Sunni population puts their Gulf Arab sponsors – Saudi’s and Qatari’s, at odds with the West and creates an alignment of interest for Iran and the West, something that Tehran and the Al Maliki government have been manoeuvring to achieve. The current matrix on the ground also enables the Al Maliki government in Baghdad to put pressure on the US for the immediate delivery of the most sophisticated weapons.

The West finds itself in a bind – in Egypt they recognise the election of Field Marshal Abdul Fattah Al Sisi but in Syria they refuse to recognise the election of President Basher Al Assad. In Iraq they support the government of Al Maliki who by stealth have been sending Shia militia fighters and weaponry across the border to support the Al Assad regime. The West, however, opposes the Islamists in Iraq but indirectly supports them in Syria through the Free Syrian Army because they are supposedly fighting the Al Assad regime.
Should the US/UK carry out targeted strikes against ISIL, it would alienate large sections of the Sunni Muslim population in the Middle East and in the West. The West would then find itself embroiled in a sectarian war of its own making and a target for extremists at home and abroad.