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Jehad

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Submitted by Mahendra (Trinidad And Tobago), Jun 12, 2010 at 10:52

Prof BAT YE'OR of Brown University calls dhimmitude the comprehensive legal system established by the Muslim conquerors to rule the native non-Muslim populations subdued by jihad wars. What follows is her explanation of dhimmitude and jihad. I hope this convinces Fareed.

Dhimmitude The dhimmie condition can only be understood in the context of jihad because it originates from this ideology. Muslim, as well as non-Muslim scholars, from the 7th century through the present, have acknowledged that all the lands from Portugal to Central Asia that constituted the Muslim Empires were conquered by Muslim armies. These vast territories were neither populated by Arabs - except in specific regions bordering the deserts – nor by Muslims. Around the Mediterranean, the population was Christian and Jewish. Along with other religious groups, Jews and Christians also lived in Iraq, Persia, and Arabia.

Beginning in the eighth and ninth centuries, Muslim theologians and jurists endeavored to give to the jihad – a war of conquest - a religious and legal structure. Living during and after the great wave of Arab-Muslim expansion on mainly Christian lands, they built their theory of jihad on their interpretations of the Koran and the hadiths (the sayings and acts attributed to the prophet Muhammad). Thus they elaborated the concept and doctrine of jihad that established the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims in terms of belligerency, temporary armistices, or submission. The aims, tactics and strategies of jihad were defined, as well as the specific rules concerning the troops, the compulsory conditions for treaties, the treatment of prisoners, and the division of the booty. This conceptualization of war led to a considerable literature that constituted the classical doctrine of jihad, which was fixed, from the mid-eighth century onward, in comprehensive theological and legal treatises.

The rules of dhimmitude were elaborated from the Koran, the hadiths and the biographies on the Prophet. Those laws and their religious justification were taught throughout the Islamic Empires. Despite some differences in the four schools of Islamic Sunni jurisprudence, there is a quasi unanimity in matters concerning the shimmies. The fundamental rulings relevant to them were established quite early. We read of them extensively in Abu Yusuf (731-98), a follower of Abu Hanifa (d. 767) the founder of the Hanafi School of jurisprudence.

Jihad The ideology, strategy and tactics of jihad constitute a most important part of Islamic jurisprudence and literature. Muslim theologians expounded that jihad is a collective, religious obligation (fard 'ala al‑kifaya) binding the community and each individual (fard 'ala al‑ayn) in different ways according to situations and circumstances. Here are two definitions of jihad by recognized authorities: Abu Muham­mad Abdallah Ibn Abi Zayd al‑Qayrawani in the 10thc. (d. 966); and Ibn Khaldun in the 14th c.(d. 1406).

Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani wrote: "Jihad is a precept of Divine institution. Its performance by certain individuals may dispense others from it. We Malikis [one of the four schools of Muslim jurisprudence] maintain that it is preferable not to begin hostilities with the enemy before having invited the latter to embrace the religion of Allah except where the enemy attacks first. They have the alternative of either converting to Islam or paying the poll tax (jizya), short of which war will be declared against them.

And Ibn Khaldun: "In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the (Muslim) mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.

One may ask: Who are the enemies? Here is a definition from al-Mawardi, the great jurist in Baghdad in the 11thc.(d. 1058). "The mushrikun (infidels) of Dar al-Harb (region of war) are of two types:

First, those whom the call of Islam has reached, but they have refused it and have taken up arms. The amir of the army has the option of fighting them in one of two ways that is in accordance with what he judges to be in the best interest of the Muslims and most harmful to the mushrikun: the first, to harry them from their houses and to inflict damage on them day and night, by fighting and burning, or else to declare war and combat them in ranks;

"Second, those whom the invitation to Islam has not reached, although such persons are few nowadays (.....)If they still refuse to accept after this, war is waged against them and they are treated as those whom the call has reached."

Jihad may be exercised by pen, speech or money. The 'enemies' are those who oppose the establishment of Islamic law and its sovereignty over their lands. The world of infidels is considered as one entity. It is called the dar al‑harb (region of war) until, through jihad, it will come under Islamic rule. The war between the region of Islam (dar al‑Islam) and the region of war is supposed to last so long as unbelief exists. According to Mawardi, the Muslim "should give battle with the intention of supporting the deen [religion] of Allah ... and of destroying any other deen which is in opposition to it: "so as to render it victorious over all [other] deen even if the mushrikun detest it." (Koran 9:33)

Submitting....

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