By Moazzam Begg

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه ومن اهتدى بهداه

الجهاد و الإرهاب: حرب الألفاظ

لا تظلمون و لا تظلمون

“Do not oppress and do not be oppressed.” –The Noble Quran

During my years of incarceration at Bagram and Guantánamo Bay, I was interrogated well over 300 times. One of those interrogations, by the CIA, in my third year of US captivity, I still plcall with a sense of amusement. The agent insisted on repeating the word ‘terrorist’ when referring to me. Nothing new, I thought. Then, he used an Algebraic equation in a rather puerile way in order to get me to cooperate. “Your situation is X+Y=Z,” he said as he wrote out his findings. “’X’ is you, ‘Y’ is your non-cooperation and ‘Z’ is terrorist – a terrorist who will stay here for a very long time.” After three years of this sort of thing, I was no longer intimidated by the US military or the alphabet agencies. I replied by telling him that Algebra was an Arabic word that clearly struck terror into the hearts of people in the West – and the East for that matter (at least if you were a teenager studying trigonometry). But I also told him Algebra wasn’t the only Arabic word that frightened the West, and he knew it.

There are hundreds of English words that have etymological roots in the Arabic language. Most of them are taken for granted and attract little controversy when used by ordinary English-speaking people. For example, ‘Arabic numerals’ revolutionised and replaced cumbersome Roman ones; the words alkalichemistryarsenalcipheradmiralmagazinesherbetsyruptariffzenith,

algorithm and even checkmate are but a few that hark back to an Islamic and Arabic past that helped civilise the world . A few words were regarded with a simultaneous sense of repulsion and admiration – of the exotic and mysterious, like assassinSaracen and harem’.[1] But there is an Arabic word used in the English language today that provokes more confusion, suspicion, hostility and fear than all others: jihad. And the time has come for Muslims to reclaim it.

The word jihad comes from the root verb jahada which linguistically means ‘to struggle’. The Arabic lexicon describes jihad as ‘making the utmost effort to attain something beloved or to save oneself from something disliked.’ It is from this literal interpretation that many Muslims – and non-Muslims – erroneously limit the concept of jihad solely to internal, spiritual struggle. Whilst recognising the importance of the spiritual jihad– the jihad of the nafs (self) – there is a critical danger in applying literal interpretations to words that have widely accepted meanings according to the consensus (ijma’)of Islamic teachings and jurisprudence (shar’imeanings). This approach does little to address the very real problems that issue from deliberate mistranslations and misconstructions of Arabic words and concepts – against which Islam is not immune.[2]

The five daily prayers in Islam are referred to in their singular form as salaah. There is no dispute in this matter and anyone attempting to restrict the practice of prayer to the linguistic definition, which simply means ‘connection’, would be guilty of heresy. Likewise, a similar reinterpretation of the Islamic obligation of zakaah – a tax Muslims are required to pay that assists the poor, beggars, tax-collectors, orphans, travellers, recent converts to Islam, prisoners and even the mujahideen – to its linguistic meaning, ‘purification’, would also be entirely rejected. Those who engage in jihad are called mujahideen and those killed doing it are called shuhadaa (martyrs) who have obtained a rank unparalleled in the hierarchy of the Hereafter.[3] It would seem absurd for people who interpret jihad as ‘the daily struggle of life’ to call themselves ‘mujahideen’ in life and ‘martyrs’ subsequently in death [by natural causes].

The Concise Oxford Dictionary describes jihad as a ‘religious war of Muslims against unbelievers; campaigns for or against a doctrine.’ Indeed jihad is commonly described in the West as ‘holy war.’ But holy war in Arabic would be Harbun muqaddas and this phrase is simply not found in the Quran or the Sunnah (the Prophetic way of life) which are the best (and only, from an Islamic perspective) sources to understanding the concept of jihad – or any other Islamic teachings – even if the cumulative evidence does point clearly to the concept of jihad as primarily one of physical struggle and warfare.

Jihad and Qitaal (fighting) are mentioned collectively over one hundred times in the Quran. Both appear often with the words fee sabeel lillah (in the path of Allah). The subject of jihad is addressed in great detail throughout the Quran; some very large chapters deal almost exclusively with the topic. All the authentic books of ahaadith (Prophetic sayings and actions) contain hundreds of chapters under the title of jihad’. This is also true regarding hundreds of general books of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) as well as those written exclusively about jihad. The chapters in these books refer to the issues surrounding the physicaljihad: virtues, exhortations, preparation, rules of engagement, war booty, supplications upon meeting the enemy, burial rites for martyrs and immense rewards in the metaphysical world. All of this is in contrast to any peripheral discussion of the jihad of the nafs (self) which some have argued erroneously is the greaterjihad.[4] And, although there are many reports of women like Safiyyah bint Abdul-Muttalib, Nusaybah bint Ka’b, and Khawla bint Azwar directly fighting in battles – apart from their normal accompaniment of the men and nursing the wounded during battle – the jihad prescribed for women and the elderly was the Hajj(obligatory pilgrimage to Makkah).[5]

Islamic scholars have classified jihad into many categories, but they can generally be summed up into four: (1) Jihad of the nafs (self), (2) jihad against the shaytan (devil) [desires], (3) jihad against unbelievers and hypocrites and (4) jihad against oppressors and evil-doers. Thus, limiting jihad to any singular interpretation would be incorrect. The best approach is in recognising that the varying levels complement rather than contradict one another. Even the physical jihad can be waged by the heart and tongue[6], as well as through wealth and actions. The hadith of the Messenger: ‘The mujahid is the one who strives against his own soul,’ does not negate or contradict other ahadith [plural of Hadith] that mention jihad as ‘the peak of the matter’[7] or as a deed that is unmatched in reward.[8] Jihad was even described by the Messenger of Allah as ‘monasticism’ (abandonment of worldly affairs) – the ultimate jihad of the self: ‘Every nation has its monasticism and the monasticism of this nation is jihad.’[9]

However, the Quran also describes both jihad and qitaal as a transaction for which the ultimate prize is achieved by paying the ultimate price: Indeed Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their wealth in return for Paradise. They fight in the Way of Allah, they kill and are killed…[10]


O you who believe! Shall I guide you to a commerce that will save you from a grievous torment? That you believe in Allah and His Messenger and you perform jihad in the way of Allah with your wealth and your lives…[11]

According to the consensus of the Islamic schools of thought (mathaahib), jihad (with wealth and in person, in the military sense) becomes an individual obligation, like prayer and fasting, on Muslim men and women when their land is occupied by foreign enemies or when an invasion is imminent. That obligation extends to neighbouring Muslim peoples until the enemy has been expelled. If the whole body of believers abandon it, they are in a state of major sin; if enough of them do it to complete the task, they are absolved.[12] Jihad using wealth is also obligatory in securing the release of Muslim prisoners. Imam Malik said: ‘If a Muslim is held as a prisoner of war…it is obligatory on others to secure his release, even if it requires all the Muslims’ wealth.’[13] Some scholars even argue that had jihad been emphatically prohibited in Islam, it would become permissible by necessity when Muslims lands are invaded, in the way that pork becomes permissible for the Muslim if there is nothing else to eat.

The order permitting the nascent community of believers who had migrated to Madinah after facing persecution in their native Makkah came shortly after the fledgling Islamic state had been established and primarily so that the beleaguered Muslims could act in their own defence: To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to defend themselves), because they are wronged – and verily, Allah is Most Powerful to give them victory – (they are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right – (for no cause) except that they say, “Our Lord is Allah….”[14]

Later, as the community grew and the threats to it as well, dire warnings were issued for Muslims who abandon jihadIf you do not march forth Allah will chastise you grievously and will replace you with another people, while you will be in no way able to harm Him. Allah has power over everything[15] and in the Prophetic hadith: ‘A nation does not abandon jihad except that it is humiliated.’[16] The Quran lays out an unbridgeable difference between those who remain behind without a valid excuse and those who continually engage in jihadNot equal are those believers who sit (at home) and are not hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of God with their goods and their persons. Allah has granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in faith) has Allah promised good: but for those who strive and fight has He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward.[17]

Historically speaking though, whenever the Quran calls for aiding the oppressed, as in the following verse: And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of Allah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among 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[18] people have always obliged. Over time, that response has dwindled, but Prophet Muhammad (s) said: ‘There will not cease to be a group from my people, fighting upon the truth manifest over those who fight them…’[19]

Although in the West jihad is often seen as ‘terrorism’ it is correct to describe it as ‘tourism’. The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: ‘The tourism of my nation is jihad.’[20] This is one reason why many Muslims from thousands of miles away travelled to places as far and wide as Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, Iraq and Afghanistan.

During the 1980s, the word ‘mujahideen’ became almost exclusively associated in the West with the fighters of Afghanistan resisting the Soviet Union’s occupation of their land. This name was ennobled throughout Europe and America and, the rallying cry, under the banner of jihad, was endorsed by fataawa (religious edicts) from Islamic scholars as well as Western leaders and politicians.[21] Even Hollywood waded in, lionizing ‘the gloriousmujahideen’ with a dose of Sylvester Stallone in Rambo 3. A fact conveniently brushed aside today is that Afghan and Arab mujahideen units were brought over to the UK during the 1980s and given training by SAS (Special Air Services) commandos in the picturesque mountains of Snowdonia’s National Park and the Scottish Highlands. Testimony from the instructors tells of how they found these mujahideen, often mountain-men themselves, so easy to teach. In fact, it was due to the British supplied ‘Blowpipe’ anti-aircraft missile system that the face of the war in Afghanistan changed. But not in the way which was intended.

The Mi 24 soviet helicopter gunship, nicknamed ‘the Devil’s Chariot’, with its terrifying arsenal of mini-guns and rockets, wrought havoc upon the lightly defended mud-brick villages of the Afghans. They had very few anti-aircraft capabilities and that is why the British supplied them with ‘Blowpipe’ – which turned out to be highly ineffective. It is at this point that the US began sending clandestine supplies of heat-seeking Stinger anti-aircraft missiles which produced a kill-rate of 7:10. This became the catalyst in changing the face and direction of the war, thejihad, in Afghanistan.[22]

Of course, there was widespread international support for the Afghan, Arab and Muslim resistance fighters back then and they were not referred to derogatively as ‘jihadists’ (instead of mujahideen) who practiced ‘jihadism’ (instead of jihad) and ‘Islamism’ (instead of Islam). However, it can be argued that the mujahideen were not, as a practice, carrying out strikes against civilian targets in the West either.

In the early days of Islam – and even before that – duels of strength would be fought between champion warriors of opposing forces in single combat. This was part of the test of manhood (rajoolah) encompassing individual skill and courage. The Messenger of Allah (s) and his companions were renowned for their ferocity and steadfastness in battle against the enemy as much as they were for their mercy and magnanimity towards the vanquished. In one of the most celebrated duels ever recorded in Islamic history, during the Battle of the Trench, Ali, the Prophet’s cousin, accepted the challenge to fight ‘Amr, ‘the greatest warrior in Arabia’. After a long, harrowing duel between the two fighters, Ali managed to subdue his opponent. However, just as the final death-blow approached ‘Amr spat in Ali’s face. What Ali did next has resounded throughout Muslim history – both Shi’ite and Sunni – as the quintessential example of selflessness, even if it is seldom practiced today. Ali rose calmly from ‘Amr’s chest, wiped his face, and said. “Know, O ‘Amr, I only kill in the way of Allah and not for any private motive. Since you spat in my face, my killing you now may be from a desire for personal vengeance. So I spare your life.”[23] There is no rajoolah or honour in killing unarmed civilians.

One of the most revered personages in the Muslim world – after the Prophet Mohammed (s) – is Salahuddin (Saladin) Al-Ayubi. Liberating Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the crusaders has earned him the respect and love of all Muslims. Even in these days of great trauma and turmoil, it is not unusual to hear Imams of mosques pray for the emergence of a modern Salahuddin. But it is the admiration the West has extended him that has truly set Salahuddin apart. His largesse towards his enemies is the stuff of legend and his chivalry was simply exemplary. His qualities of humility, piety, bravery, honour, integrity and generosity are what most Muslims still aspire to. His recapture of Jerusalem in 1187 was comparatively tame to the wanton bloodlust perpetrated by the crusaders in 1099. He even pardoned many of those who fought against him as well as freeing a huge number of captives, giving rights of free passage and worship to civilians.

And yet, some non-Muslims who have been objective enough to challenge Western misconceptions of Islam have fallen into the trap of denial. In his impressive book about the life of Salahuddin, the historian Geoffrey Hindley writes astonishingly:

‘In the twenty first century, this term jihad has powerful resonance in the Islamic world. Although the word is not found in the Quran, it was in use from a very early date.’ [24]

Such flagrant errors only enhance the notion that there is insufficient desire and erudition in the West to really understand Islam.[25]

In the wake of the attacks on September 11 the US administration attempted to launch its ‘war on terror’ under the name of ‘Operation Infinite Justice.’ However, the ill-advised Bush junior, referring to ‘this crusade’ soon realised how offensive it might sound to potential Muslim allies that the USA was now establishing itself on a par with the Divine. The rewording that followed was equally inapt. ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ demonstrated clearly how the Bush administration believed ‘freedom’ was not a right that all human beings have from birth till death. Rather, it was something to be endured – at least if you happened to be a captive of US forces. It was more like ‘Operation Ending Your Freedom’ for us and the thousands more who were later detained around the world. It began with a desire for justice, mutated into a wanton act of revenge and is now a war against a faith and the resources its people are gifted (or cursed) with.

Muslims have learned the meaning of Bush’s and Obama’s ‘American justice’ in Guantánamo, Bagram, Abu Ghuraib and the multitude of secret detention sites dotted around the world. The process of extraordinary rendition [kidnap, false imprisonment, torture]; religious, racial and sexual abuse; cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment are all designed to terrorise victims and have produced false confessions to justify more occupation of Muslim land. It is terrorism of the very worst kind, especially since it is carried out in the name of virtue. Inside the detention camps of Guantánamo – where the iguana is protected by law under the ‘Endangered Species Act’– the detained men have no human or legal rights. Everything afforded to them is a ‘privilege’, including toilet paper. Outside each of the camps there is plaque that reads ‘Honor Bound to Defend Freedom’. The stark irony lies in there being about as much honour in this as there is freedom.

There was little honour too in the strikes against civilians which claimed 2,976 lives in the US, 191 in Spain and 52 in the UK. But at least we know these numbers because each individual counts. In stark contrast, thousands of tonnes of tomahawk missiles, ‘hellfire’ rockets, cluster bombs, smart bombs, phosphorus bombs, vacuum bombs, 1500lb ‘daisy-cutters’ and billions of rounds fired from machine guns and assault rifles have killed more people in Iraq and Afghanistan than anyone knows for sure. Estimates put the numbers at anything from 100,000 to 2 million. The reason why there are no reliable figures in either country is because no one counts. Neither the killers, nor those killed. They are worth much less than collateral damage. They are not even numbers. They are nothing. If what happened on in the USA on September 11 – or anywhere else – is described correctly as ‘terrorism’ due to the deliberate taking of innocent life, then what do we call this?

The word ‘terrorism’ entered the English language in the late nineteenth century after the French revolution and the ensuing ‘Reign of Terror’ (or ‘the [Great] Terror’) gave birth to French democracy.[26] However, since the notion of terrorism was first applied to a state rather than to an individuals or groups, it has been almost impossible to arrive at a single definition. Hence, there are over a hundred of them. The only common factor agreed upon is the inclusion of violence – or the threat of violence – to reach an objective. The Concise Oxford Dictionary describes the terrorist as ‘one who favours or uses terror-inspiring methods of governing or of coercing government or community.’

It is not surprising that more recent definitions of terrorism, such as the one found in the American Heritage Dictionary, omit the inclusion of governments as potential candidates: ‘The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organised group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.’

It is not surprising too that Muslims have become angry and have even responded with actions rejected by Islam to unleash their outrage. However, if resisting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was jihad, if the repelling the massacres by the Serbs in Bosnia was jihad, then how can resisting the current occupation of these Muslims lands be anything else? Was jihad simply a tool that could be used and discarded according to interests? Clearly, some governments – past and present – acting to promote-self interest have not shied away from declaring their aims.[27] The problem is that very few people care to distinguish between people who fight – or are willing to fight [28] – invading forces abroad and those who choose to bring their fight to unarmed civilians who have little to do with it (and in many cases oppose the war too). To add, recent history shows how ‘terrorism’ has been closer to home than previously acknowledged – and it was sanctioned by the British government as a legitimate means of self-defence.

On 28 June, 1940, Nazi forces occupied the British Channel islands; the enemy was knocking at Britain’s southern door. Whilst the bulk of British soldiers were engaged in operations around Europe, North Africa and the Far East, over 1.5 million men joined the Home Guard or ‘Dad’s Army’ as it affectionately became known. The contingency plan against a successful German occupation of Britain included the re-training of these men in guerrilla tactics. That training began in Osterley Park, London, where communist veterans of the Spanish civil war taught British volunteers how to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Molotov cocktails, hand-grenades and how to sabotage and terrorise potential Nazi occupiers. The success of this training spread and several more camps were opened. [29] Of course, the Nazis were defeated on their own soil but, they would have been in for a surprise had they landed in Britain. The Nazis would no doubt have been welcomed by the far-right in Britain –as they had been in many other countries – and would have labelled any British resistance as ‘terrorists’ as they had the relatively small percentage of French who resisted the occupation. The irony lies in the fact that little is celebrated – especially in the US and UK – about the French contribution to the allied effort in World War II today, except the French résistance.

Admittedly, there is sometimes a fine line between resistance and terrorism, and we often can’t tell the difference – or make distinctions based not on principle but on how the language has been defined for us.

The Arabic word irhaab is today used to describe terrorism. However, the usage of this word has altogether dissimilar roots and applications to its European counterpart. The Quran states: And prepare against them [the enemy] what ever you are able from power and from steeds of war [weapons and stratagems] in order to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy of Allah and your enemy…[30] Although the ‘striking of terror’ referred to in this verse is sometimes incorrectly used by some Muslims to justify terrorism, it is clear according to both classical and contemporary Quranic exegesis that the reference is to an army preparing for battle. But even armies – Muslim or not – are not mobilised, supposedly, to threaten and terrorise civilian populations.

Another Quranic verse sometimes misappropriated in the same way is: And if they transgress against you then transgress against them the way they transgress against you[31] to justify indiscriminate acts of violence against civilians as a justifiable retaliatory tactic of war, going beyond the ‘collateral damage’ argument. But the same verse ends with: And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear him’ making it clear that however brutal the enemy may be, Muslims are still required to do that which is conducive to fearing their Creator. The Quran states also: And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.[32] Indiscriminate slaughter and rapine are not practices sanctioned by Islam.

During the war – or jihad – in Bosnia in the 1990s, thousands of Muslim women were systematically raped by Serbian soldiers under the leadership of indicted war criminals Slobodan Milosovic, Radovan Karadic, and Ratko Mladic. In addition to this, hundreds of thousands of Bosnians were brutally killed and ethnically cleansed from their own homes. Subsequently, thousands of Muslims from around the world once again volunteered under the banner of jihad to come to the rescue of their beleaguered coreligionists. However, Islam forbids Muslims from reciprocating in kind regardless of the crimes perpetrated by the enemies of Muslims. Muslims would never contemplate setting up rape-camps for captured Serbian women – or any other women.

It was after encountering the body of a non-Muslim woman killed in battle that the Prophet (s) said: ‘She is not one who would have fought.’ He then said to one of companions: ‘Catch up with Khalid [Ibn al-Waleed, the foremost Muslim general] and tell him not to kill women, children and prisoners.’[33] The Messenger was even more specific later, exhorting his soldiers not to target women, children, old people, clergy and unarmed villagers. He also emphatically forbade the use of fire to kill, mutilation of corpses, cutting down vegetation unnecessarily or torturing captured prisoners.

At the battle of Uhud Abu Dujana, one of the foremost companions of the Prophet (s)was entrusted with the honour of fighting with the Prophet’s sword after promising to use it with it bravery. In the thick of the battle Abu Dujana encountered a woman of the enemy who was exhorting her army to kill Muslims. But the ferocious Abu Dujana held back his hand saying, ‘I respect the Prophet’s sword too much to use it on a woman.’[34] The woman was in fact Hind bint ‘Utbah (the wife of Abu Sufyan who was leading the Quraish army against the Muslims) and, at that point, an avowed enemy of Islam.

Although jihad does seek to terrify those who are engaged in oppression, abuse and violation of the sanctity of Muslims (and those under their protection), ordinary, decent human beings should not have to fear it, even when their own governments have committed crimes in their names. The purpose of jihad is to protect – not oppress. Being just to the enemy might be the hardest jihad of the nafs but it is still incumbent upon Muslims. This notion couldn’t be clearer than in the Quranic verse: O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allah.[35]

In conclusion, jihad is an inseparable component of Islam which embodies the very highest principles of faith, morality and rules of wartime engagement. It is the belief of Muslims that ‘jihad is an ‘ibaadah (act of worship) that will continue until the Final Day.’[36] But as it is waged, in all its forms, Muslims must neither allow their oppressors to overcome them nor to become their teachers in the process. In doing so, the concept of jihad in Islam can be reclaimed once again by the Muslims.

و الحمد لله رب العالمين


[1] Al-Mawrid: A Modern English-Arabic Dictionary (1992) by Munir al-Ba’albeki

[2] There is a common misconception espoused by many Muslims today that Islam means peace. It does not. Islam means ‘submission’. Salaam means ‘peace’. Also, according to the post-prayer supplication Muslims say daily, Allah is peace: ‘Oh Allah! You are peace and peace comes from you …’ Sahih Muslim.When greeting each other Muslims say, ‘assalaamu alaikum’ (peace be upon you)andnot ‘Islam alaikum’(submission be upon you)

[3] The Noble Quran, Surah al-Baqarah (1:54) And say not of those who are killed in the Way of Allâh, “They are dead.” Nay, they are living, but you perceive (it) not.

[4]Al-Bayhaqi relates when the Prophet (s) returned from the battle of Badr he said: ‘We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad’. However, this hadith is a da’eef (weak) according to al-Iraaqee. Ibn Hajar says in ‘Kashf al-Khafaa’ that this is not a saying of the Prophet but rather a tab’iee (from a later generation). Ibn Taymiyyah says: “this hadith has no source and nobody in the field of Islamic knowledge has narrated it” [al-Furqan]. See also Manaar as-Subl by Ibn al-Qayyimal-Jawziyyah.

[5] Narrated by ‘Aisha: ‘I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! We consider Jihad as the best deed.” The Prophet (s)said, “The best jihad (for women) is Hajj Mabrur.”’ Sahih al-Bukhari.

[6] The Prophet (s) said: ‘Thebest jihad is to say a word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler.’ Ahmed and Ibn Maajah.  Also, ‘The master of martyrs is Hamza bin Abdul-Muttalib, and, a man who stood up to an oppressive ruler where he ordered him and forbade him so he (the ruler) killed him.’ Sunan Abu Dawood

[7] ‘The topmost issue is Islam and its [central] pillar is the prayer and the peak of the matter is jihad in the way of Allah’ reported by Ahmed and Tirmidhi.

[8] When asked by someone as to who was the best of people, the Messenger (s) replied: ‘A believer who performs jihad with his life and wealth.’ Sahih Al-Bukhari. Also in al-Bukhari, when asked by someone to describe a deed equal to jihad in merit the Prophet (s) replied: ‘I do not find such a deed.’

[9] Al-Mu’jam by At-Tabaraani

[10] The Noble Quran, Surah at-Tawbah (9:111)

[11] The Noble Quran, Surah as-Saff, (61:10-11)

[12] Kitabul Jihad by Imam Hasan al-Banna

[13] Tafseer al-Qurtubi

[14] The Noble Quran, Surah al-Hajj (22:39-40)

[15] The Noble Quran, Surah  at-Tawbah (9:38)

[16] Al-Mu’jam by At-Tabaraani.

[17] The Noble Quran, Surah an-Nisaa (4:95)

[18] The Noble Quran, Surah an-Nisaa (4:75)

[19] Sunan Abu Dawood

[20] Sunan Abu Dawood

[21] In his magisterial discourse on jihad during the soviet occupation, Defence of the Muslim Lands, the charismatic scholar, Sheikh Abdullah Azzamresurrected the famous 13th century fatwa of Ibn Taymiyyah which states: ‘As for the aggressive enemy who destroys life and religion, nothing is more incumbent [upon the believer] after faith than his repulsion.’ Al-Fatawaa al-Kubraa, Ibn Taymiyyah.

[22] See The Bear Trap: The Defeat of a Superpower by Mohammed Yousaf and Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times by George Crile

[23] The Sword of Allah: Khalid bin Al-Waleed: His Life and Campaigns by Lieutenant-General A.I. Akram

[24] Saladin: Hero of Islam by Geoffrey Hindley

[25]The word jihad is mentioned either directly or referred to as a concept 164 times in the Quran.

[26] The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes terrorism as: The systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective. It [terrorism] has been used throughout history by political organizations of both the left and the right, by nationalist and ethnic groups, and by revolutionaries. Although usually thought of as a means of destabilizing or overthrowing existing political institutions, terror also has been employed by governments against their own people to suppress dissent; examples include the reigns of certain Roman emperors, the French Revolution (see Reign of Terror), Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union under Stalin, and Argentina during the “dirty war” of the 1970s.

[27] ‘We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.’ Lord Palmerston, remarks in the House of Commons defending his foreign policy, March 1, 1848.—Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates.

[28]Counter-terrorism legislation passed since 2000 in the UK has criminalised engaging in, preparing to engage in, glorifying, supporting or simply researching jihad.Muslims have faced the full brunt of the law in this regard. Despite the apparent duplicity involved, one can hardly be surprised at a government doing all it can to prevent people harming its interests within its own borders– including its military – and abroad, even if those interests are based around illegal, immoral and unwinnable wars.

[29] See The Home Guard by David Carroll

[30] The Noble Quran: al-Anfaal (8:60)

[31] The Noble Quran: al-Baqarah (1:194). An-Nahl (16:26) mentions: And if you punish, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted [by their hands]. This derives from the Islamic principles of Qisaas (the Law of Equality) and requires further comment.

[32] The Noble Quran: at-Taubah (9:36)

[33] Sunan Abu Dawood and Ahmed

[34] Seerat Ibn Hisham Vol. 2

[35] The Noble Quran: al-Ma’idah (5:7)

[36] Sunan Abu Dawood

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)