Islam came to complete the previous Divine religions and faith on earth. In fact, the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) completed the missions of the previous Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention. Allah’s Messenger said: “My example, and the example of the prophets, who preceded me, is like that of a person who built a beautiful house. The house was perfect, magnificent and great except for a place of a single brick (in one corner). People, who visited (or saw) that house admired it but always wondered, why did not the owner complete that missing single brick?’ I am that (missing) brick. I am the final Prophet (for mankind on the earth).” [Al-Bukhari, Hadeeth No.3341 and at-Tirmithi, Hadeeth No.2862]
Islam diligently acts to provide the basic needs of man on earth, like the previous Divine religions and works hard to secure his rights.
Let us read together the following verse of the Glorious Quran (which means): “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.” [Quran 2:190]
Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, has made Jihaad (fighting and struggling for His cause), a rewardable act that Muslims believe in and practice. In fact, Jihaad is looked upon as the “hump” of the camel, the highest most important point on the body of the camel, and a Muslim should regard it similarly. Struggle for the sole cause of Allah Almighty must be cherished by the sincere believing Muslims in this life. It should be treated with reverence and taken seriously, with a mature understanding of its objectives. Jihaad is not an innovation in Islam. In fact, Jihaad is an accepted, well-established, and known practice in the previous faiths and nations as well.
Jihaad was established earlier, Allah knows best, because of the fact that there have been conflicts and differences among people all over the earth. Moreover, good and evil have always co-existed in societies all over the world throughout history. Therefore, Jihaad was founded and defined in order to stop tyranny and remove tyrant rulers, who deviate from Allah’s Path and the code of life that He laid down for man to follow. Jihaad is also laid down, Allah knows best, in order to stop people from worshipping other people and false deities, and introduces them to the reality of the worship of Allah alone, Who has no son, partners or associates.
Jihaad is also laid down for man on earth to remove all injustices committed by man and introduce the world to the mercy, justice, peace and tranquility of Islam as a way of life. Moreover, Jihaad is laid down, in principle, to protect the call to Islam and help spreading it all over the world. It is for the interest of humankind on earth and not for the interest of Arabs or Muslims, as Islam has no geographic borders.
The final word underlying Jihaad is for the people to either accept or reject Islam as a way of life. Islam has a message for the entire humanity. Islam has the most comprehensive code of morals and ethics for people in every walk of life. Islam laid down the principles of justice, fairness, equality, freedom, prosperity, success and truthfulness for man on earth. Jihaad has not been laid down to force people against their will to join Islam; rather it is a tool and mechanism to help spread the religion of monotheism, justice and equality to the entire world. After the various peoples receive the message, it is up to them to accept Islam as a way of life or choose otherwise.
In any event, the essential purpose of Jihaad is to carry the Message of Islam to people and introduce it to them. Almighty Allah states in the Glorious Quran (what means): “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects Evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And, Allah hears and knows all things.” [Quran 2: 256]
The directive principle cementing relationships between government and people is based on peace. Yet, Allah Almighty laid down the foundations of Jihaad in Islam for a special reason and purpose. There is a major difference between the terms “Jihaad” and “War”. Jihaad, as interpreted and understood in Islam, is not a “Holy War” as described in the Western media; rather, it is an honorable ‘struggle’ against the enemies of Allah Almighty who reject His Word and faith in Him and His religion of Islam. “War” on the other hand, is a drive for personal interests and ownership of lands, natural resources for political or economic reasons. Islam ordered for Jihaad in the three situations as follows:
1- Defense of life, property and national boundaries
This concept is based on the verse of the Glorious Quran (which means): “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.” [Quran 2: 190]
2- Removing oppression and preserving the just rights of the oppressed people. This concept is based on the verse of the Glorious Quran, (which means): “And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated people (and oppressed)? Men, women, and children, whose cry is: ‘Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect; and raise for us from You one who will help!’”[Quran 4:75]
3-Defence of Faith and Religion
A fighter must purify his intention to please Allah Almighty alone and he must have a sound understanding that he is not participating in this Jihaad for any unfair reasons. The fighters must realize that they are taking part in such a Jihaad in order to spread the Word of Allah Almighty. This concept is based on the verse of the Glorious Quran, (which means): “And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevails justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah does see all that they do.” [Quran 8:39]
Moreover, if the enemies of Islam cease their fire and resort to stop the war, accepting to make peace with the Islamic Jihaad government, the Muslim fighters must, as well, cease their fires and stop all Jihaad activities. In fact, it becomes unlawful for Muslims to continue to fight in Jihaad against the troops of the other side, if the confronted party cease their fire and ask for peace. This concept is based on the verse of the Glorious Quran, (which means): “Therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (guarantees of) peace, then Allah has left no way for you (to war against them).” [Quran 4:90]
Furthermore, all other types of wars that aim at land expansion, colonial interests and revenge that result in wide-scale destruction, are totally prohibited according to Islam. Although Islam permitted fighting against enemies for necessary reasons, it has laid articulate rules of conduct while waging wars against the enemies of Islam. Islam does not allow fighters to kill anybody: it is permissible to attack only combatants and supporting forces on the other side. Islam does not permit, accept or condone the killing of elderly people, children, women, sick people under medical treatment, medical staff workers and monks who have secluded themselves for worship of Allah Almighty.
Islam prohibits killing a wounded man in a battle and forbids mutilating the bodies and organs of the deceased enemy fighters. Islam also forbids the killing of cattle or any type of animals of the enemies, destroying the houses of innocent people, polluting the potable waters, rivers, lakes, springs and wells of water of the fighting enemies. Moreover, Islam prohibits chasing people who flee the battlefield. This concept is based on a verse of the Glorious Quran (which means): “But seek, with the (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the Home of the Hereafter, nor forget your portion in this World: but do you good, as Allah has been good to you, and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land: for Allah loves not those who do mischief.” [Quran 28:77]