In Islam, obligations upon a Muslim fall under two categories:
* Fardh Kifaya: If a minority is fulfilling this obligation, everyone else is not obliged
* Fardh Ayn: An obligation upon everyone
Fardh Kifaya is a societal obligation. If a part of society is able to fulfil this obligation then the obligation is lifted from everyone else.
For example, Muslims in Palestine are being oppressed and are unable to resist this oppression. In this case, the obligation falls upon the countries next to and around Palestine. However, non of the neighbouring countries are fulfilling their duty to protect this section of the Ummah. Therefore, this obligation becomes a Fardh Ayn and it now becomes obligatory on every man, woman and child to protect the Ummah from oppression. In this sense, Jihad is an obligation upon us all.
The Prophet (pbuh) has said, “He who dies without having fought in the way of Allah or without having felt it to be his duty, will die having a trait of hypocrisy”. [Sahih Muslim]
This powerful hadeeth leaves no question that to be a Muslim today, one should be ready to do everything it takes in the cause of Allah. Thus, we cannot actually call ourselves “practising Muslims” unless we are taking an active part in Jihad. At times of peace when Islam and Muslims are not under threat, Jihad is not an obligation. Yet, having an intention that should a threat arrive, the duty for one to fight in the cause of Allah wholeheartedly remains an obligation at all times as pointed out in this hadeeth.
However, unfortunately, you and I are not living at a time of peace. Islam and Muslims are under attack in every corner of the world. In the UK alone, every Muslim that shows a sense of commitment to their faith is treated as a ‘potential terrorist’ by our own Government. The Islamophobic hatred the media preaches relentlessly attacks you and your beliefs. So much so that UKIP is now calling for a ban on the veil and Muslims in University prayer rooms are being stabbed. What’s more, in 2009 alone many Mosques were burnt down in Islamophobic attacks. The situation we are living under makes it clear that in regards to the above hadeeth, Jihad is not only an obligation but a priority bar none.
Another hadeeth also highlights the duty we have to our Ummah and the grave punishment we'll have to face if we abandon it.
"If a believer is being humiliated in front of an individual, and he despite having the capability of preventing this humiliation, abstains from doing so, Allah will humiliate him (on the Day of Resurrection) in the presence of all the creation." (Jam al-Fawa'id, 2/51)
The Prophet (pbuh) has also made apparent that staying silent in the way of oppression is not the way of a believer.
"If people see an oppressor and don't prevent him, then it is very likely that Allah will include all of them in the punishment." (Sunan Tirmidhi & Sunan Abu Dawud)
In regards to this hadeeth, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari has gone as far as to state:
“If you see open oppression and transgression, and despite having the capability of preventing this oppression by giving your vote you don't do so, then in the light of this Hadeeth, you will be sinful.”
What's more, Yusuf Qaradawi, in his book “The Jurisdiction of Jihad” advocates media and political Jihad. Qaradawi encourages Muslims to rethink Jihad and recognise that with technological changes, using the media and political systems is as much a part of Jihad as were physical battles during the Prophet's [pbuh] time.
Muslims in the UK have the privilege of living in a democratic country in which they can make a difference politically and prevent the oppression of their people. Whether it is tackling Islamophobia in the media or stopping a war on Iran due to technological developments, Muslims have every resource to make things happen. The key component is: you don't need to pick up a gun or strap a suicide bomb to your waist - you've simply got to participate in the political Jihad!
If the two million Muslims living in the UK were all politically aware and active, we would be able to successfully tackle the unethical foreign policy our country pursues and save the lives of our brothers and sisters abroad. It's simple. Muslims must start by voting tactically and intelligently, keeping in mind what the candidate you're giving your vote to has promised to do for Muslims. If an MP fails to fulfil their promises or strolls the anti-Muslim line, you attack them back by voting them out in the next general elections. This sends out a clear message that Muslims will not tolerate treatment as a minority that can be pushed around.
What's more, political Jihad is also the joining of a political party and pushing for your party to adopt a pro-Muslim stance.
Lobbying politicians and the media is one of the most effective and undoubtedly the best form of political Jihad.
Muslims can also make a difference by writing to their MP with concerns about foreign policy and Islamophobia at home.
If you want to participate in the political Jihad of awakening Muslims to their duty to the Ummah, join MPACUK today in one of our local branches in East London, West London, Birmingham, Manchester or Bradford.
Contact us at email@example.com