Fighting Tyranny, Usurping Rights, Aspiring Perfection
Issue 627 » April 1, 2011 - Rabi al-Thani 27, 1432
Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage) - Chapter 22: Verses 39 - 40
"Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is waged, because they have been wronged. Most certainly, God has the power to grant them victory. These are the ones who have been driven from their homelands against all right for no other reason than their saying, 'Our Lord is God!' Were it not that God repels some people by means of others, monasteries, churches , synagogues and mosques - in all of which God's name is abundantly extolled - would surely have been destroyed. God will most certainly succour him who succours God's cause. God is certainly Most Powerful, Almighty."
Muslims are commanded never to accept or even tolerate oppression practised against them or against others (non-Muslims). Islam makes it an obligation and privilege of Muslims to fight tyrants who are unjust and oppressive to their subjects. The objective of fighting these tyrants is not to convert them to Islam, or even to convert their followers. It is solely to liberate humanity at large, and rid it from oppression and tyranny. It is to make religious freedom an overriding ideal and obligation for all religions, be that Islam, or other faiths.
The above verses make it abundantly clear that the objective of waging war in Jihad is not to convert people to Islam, it is merely to assure religious freedom for all: to protect churches, synagogues, monasteries as well as mosques. It is indeed significant that mosques are mentioned at the end of the list. It is also very significant that waging of Jihad is made sanctionable in self-defence. The Muslims were given permission to fight back, because they were wronged, persecuted and driven out of their homes, for no cause except that they worshipped One, True God - Allah!
All places of public worship can be destroyed despite their sanctity and dedication for worship. Evil will not respect the fact that these places are made for extolling God's name. They are protected only through people's efforts, with the advocates of faith standing up to repel falsehood's aggression. Indeed, falsehood and evil will not stop their aggression unless they realize that the truth has enough power to counter their own. Truth may be valued by people, but such value is not enough to provide it with protection against aggression in man's world. It requires the appropriate means of self defence.
It is the duty of a Muslim to ensure that he never usurps anyone's rights, be these related to his material possessions or anything else. He should not try to get what does not lawfully belong to him. Nor should he lag behind in discharging any of his obligations towards another person's life, honour and property.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, exhorted Muslims: "Allah has prescribed Hellfire and forbidden Paradise for him who usurps a fellow Muslims' due under oath." When the Companions asked whether this applied to something of little value, he replied in the affirmative, saying that it held good even for a twig taken from an ordinary tree. Once addressing his Companions he asked them as to who is poor. When they identified a resourceless person as someone poor, he clarified that a poor member of the community is one who appears on the Day of Judgement with lots of good acts of worship to his credit, yet he is guilty also of abusing, slandering, hurting, beating and depriving others of their due. His victims will therefore be granted his good deeds. As a result, he will be left with nothing. They the sins of his victims will be transferred to him. Eventually he will be hurled into Hellfire. (Muslim)
"Inter Personal Relations" - Khurram Murad, pp. 19, 20
Aspire for Perfection
Seeking the virtuous deeds is the end goal of those who strive, and there are varying levels of good deeds. The highest virtues are none other than combining knowledge and action, for when they are achieved, the person is raised to the highest status, for that is the aspired goal, and according to one's ambition, opportunities arise. Thus, your ambition must be to seek perfection. Some people restricted themselves to ascetism, and other devoted themselves to knowledge, while yet others combined complete knowledge with complete action. However not everything one desires is achieved, nor does every seeker find what he is seeking, nor does every one who begins a praiseworthy matter complete what he began!
But one must strive, and each will have that for which he was created for facilitated for him, and Allah, Glory be to Him, is the Giver of Aid.
"The Value of Time" - Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah, p. 71