Law of Retaliation 4

2) Jihad with tyrants and rebels

When two Islamic tribes, groups or countries are involved in conflict, according to the Holy Quran, the other Muslims are obliged to solve and settle their dispute. If one of them does not accept to reconcile and does not stop oppression and aggression, and continues its assault despite the readiness of other party for reconciliation, it is called a rebel from Islamic point of view. Here, Islam authorizes Muslims to fight with the rebel group and initiate Jihad (Holy War) against it.

Islam does not let us to keep silent and be an observer while a group is oppressing another one. On this basis, we believe that all Islamic territories shall contribute to the oppressed Palestinians (in any possible way), and eliminate the evil of the usurper and oppressor Israel which commits a new oppression and crime every day. Otherwise, they shall bear a heavy responsibility with God.

Although, this is an initial Jihad, but it is compatible with any sane logic and intellect, and not considered as violence. Rather, it is the requisite of Islamic benevolence and clemency for the oppressed group.

3) Jihad for elimination of hindrances to freedom for propagation of Islam

God has issued instructions and programs for prosperity, freedom, perfection, felicity, and tranquility of man, and has obliged His prophets to declare these instructions to the people. If an individual or a group finds these orders a hindrance to their cheap interests, and impede prophets’ invitation, prophets and their followers are authorized to eliminate them first peacefully, and if not possible, resorting force in order to restore freedom for propagation.

In other words, people in all societies are entitled to hear the call of heralds of truth, and be free to accept their invitation. If some want to deprive them from their legitimate right and do not let them listen to call of heralds of truth, the advocators of these programs are authorized to use any means for provision of this freedom.

Therefore, if Muslims want to propagate their religion and doctrine through logical ways and introduce it to non-Muslims, but a group hinders them and their logical and proper propagations so that they may break pens, cut tongues and choke breaths, Islam authorizes its followers to initiate Jihad for elimination of these hindrances and paving the way for the proper and logical propagation of religion of truth (not imposing it with force and power of sword).

When Islam was imported to Iran, it did not enter this territory for imposition of idea on Iranians. Rather, it fought with Iranian host for elimination of unreasonable hindrances for logical propagation of Islam. After overcoming Sassanian host, it never obliged and compelled people to accept and convert to Islam. On this account, some fire temples were flaming years after conquest of Iran by Islam, and some people still had their previous religion and doctrine. However, most of the Iranians who were clever embraced Islam and obeyed its instructions.

The Sassanians were the main hindrance for propagation of Islam in Iran. Eliminating this great hindrance, Islam prepared the situation for acceptance of Islam by Iranians. Certainly, this type of initial Jihad too is not refuted by the sane of world. In general, initial Jihad for extinguishing sedition, prevention from rebellion of tyrants and rebels and elimination of hindrances to Islamic propagation is not considered as violence. Rather, it is the same Islamic benevolence.

It is inferred from above that Islam is the religion of compassion and clemency, and even some of its rulings which may seem violent apparently, are not practically in contradiction with Islamic clemency. Those who accused this clement religion with violence, are either unfamiliar with Islamic instructions or vindictive enemies who find Islam a hindrance for their illegitimate personal interests and benefits.

Objectives of Jihad in Islam

War is never regarded as a merit in Islam. Rather, it is believed to be a demerit because of causing destruction, and waste of souls, powers and facilities. In some Quranic verses, like 65, ‘The Cattle’ surah is called as one of the divine chastisement among earthquake, thunder, and heavenly or earthly calamities. On this account, Islam has instructed to avoid war as far as possible. However, when existence of a nation is endangered or its sacred objectives are subject to fall, war is deemed as a merit, and is entitled with “Jihad in the path of God.

Therefore, in contrary to what the enemies propagate, Islamic Jihad never implies imposition of belief. Basically, an imposed belief is worthless in Islam. Rather, Jihad is recommended when the enemy imposes war on the Islamic nation or deprives it from its natural freedoms, disregards its rights or a tyrant oppresses unfairly. Then, it is obligatory for Muslims to support the oppressed even if it may result in conflict with the oppressor’s nation. This is also remarkable that Islam has emphasized on peaceful coexistence of followers of other divine religions, and there are detailed discussions in the verses and Islamic narrations and Fiqh on this under the title of “Rulings for the Tributary”.

If Islam advocated imposition of belief and resort to force and sword for achievement to its objectives, rulings for the tributary and peaceful coexistence would have been nonsense.

Sometimes calamities too are merciful!

Do those objecting the rulings of retaliation, and Islamic punishments and Jihad, introducing them as the signs of violence, call heavenly and earthly calamities and divine punishments as violence and introduce God as violent. However, we believe that divine calamities and chastisements embracing the sinners, are a mercy although they may seem apparently violent. Qur’an says:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِنْ نَبِيٍّ إِلَّا أَخَذْنَا أَهْلَهَا بِالْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَضَّرَّعُونَ.

"We have sent no Prophet to any city but that We seized its people with misery and hardship, that haply they might be humble."(1)

The man in ease and affluence does not listen to the prophets, but when he is involved in difficulties, he pays heed to them and is ready to accept the truth.

Therefore, divine chastisements for awakening the sinners and resulting in their return and repentance to God, is not violence. Rather they are the same divine clemency and benevolence.

Author: Ayatollah Nasir Makarim Shirazi




1. The Quran 7:94