Recently I heard a cassette by Mr. Ghamidi1 about Jihad O Qitaal. Mr. Ghamidi says that jihad was started against the kuffar2 after Itmaam e Hujjah3 of dawah.4 This is true for people living around Makkah, where the prophet preached prior to hijrah.5 But how did he complete Itmaam e Hujjah of other Arabian tribes living in far off parts of Arabia? Also how did he complete Itmaam i hujjah for the Romans and Persians. And the Muslims attacked and conquered parts of Africa and Central Asia during the times of the rightly guided Caliphs. What was their justification? Did they first send preachers to these places?
Second Mr. Ghamidi says that many of the ayahs in the Quran about jihad, Qitaal relate to the Mushrikeen of the Prophet’s time. But what is the use of so many ayahs, which are not applicable for us? Surely, this could have been done through Wahi e Khafiy.6
Before proceeding to read my following answer, please refer to one of my previous responses for a clarification of the concept of “Itmaam e Hujjah“ and how it is attained during the lifetime of a messenger (Rasu’l) of God. The referred response is titled “Some Clarification Regarding the Position and the Mission of a Rasu’l“.
If you closely examine the socio-cultural environment of the Arabian Peninsula and the position of Mekkah in this environment, during the times of the Prophet (pbuh), you shall note that even though the Prophet (pbuh) lived and propagated his message in Mekkah during the first thirteen years of his ministry, yet, because of the particular position of Mekkah in the socio-cultural environment of Arabia, his message was introduced throughout the Peninsula. Furthermore, the events that followed the Prophet’s (pbuh) hijrah to Medinah only contributed in further introducing the message of the Prophet (pbuh) to the other tribes of Arabia. Finally, even after the conquest of Mekkah, when an ultimatum was given to all polytheists that if they refuse to accept Islam they shall then be put to death, the Qur’an directed the Muslims to grant immunity, for a specified period of time, to all those individuals, who are still ignorant of God’s message.
Mekkah, since the past many centuries, was known as the “Umm al-Quraa“7in Arabia. It was the cultural and religious center of the Arabs. The language, the dialect and the cultural and religious traditions of Mekkah greatly influenced the whole of Arabia. It was at this place that God sent the Prophet (pbuh). The Qur’an also informs us that, due to the referred importance of such ‘chief towns’ in the ancient cultures, God sent His messengers, generally, in the ‘chief town’ or the capital city of the area8. Thus, in the couple of years that followed, the Prophet (pbuh) and his message were introduced to the whole of Arabia, due only to the position of Mekkah. In fact, these far off tribes were not only informed of the beliefs that the New Prophet was propagating, but were also exposed to the general warning of the Prophet (pbuh) regarding the Divine punishment that would follow in case of his rejection. It was primarily due to this awareness of the Prophet’s (pbuh) message that when during the last few years of his stay in Mekkah, the Prophet (pbuh) asked the delegations of the various tribes to allow him to migrate to their area to continue the deliverance of his message, all of them refused9. It was this awareness of the Prophet’s message that prompted the people of Medinah to open their doors for the Prophet (pbuh).
With the migration to Medinah, an Islamic state was formed. From here starts the rise of the Muslim empire. All the far off tribes of Arabia, who, till yet, were only aware of the New Prophet and his message, were now forced to consider it more seriously. The Islamic state was gaining power day by day. It even fought wars against the socio-cultural and religious leadership of Arabia. In the first of these wars – at Badr – most of the leadership was killed at their hands. Finally, Mekkah was conquered by the person, who while he was all alone had declared that soon the pillars of Arabia shall wither away like sand. The far off tribes of Arabia were aware of all these developments.
These were the events that preceded the Itmaam e Hujjah of the Prophet (pbuh) upon the whole of Arabia. It was on the basis of this Itmaam e Hujjah that God directed the Muslims to completely annihilate the polytheists from the sacred land of Arabia. Even then, in His absolute mercy, God directed the Muslims to give some relief, for a limited time, to those who submitted that they were still unaware of the message of the Prophet (pbuh).
After the Prophet (pbuh), God granted the institution of Itmaam e Hujjah to the collectivity of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh). It was on the basis of this divine grant, that the companions of the Prophet proceeded to conquer those areas and relieve them of non-Muslim leaderships, to which the Prophet (pbuh) had himself sent his message during his life.
Mr. Ghamidi says that many of the ayahs in the Quran about jihad, Qitaal relate to the Musrikeen of the Prophet’s time. But what is the use of so many ayahs, which are not applicable for us? Surely, this could have been done through Wahi e Khafiy.
One of the primary contents of the Qur’an is to present the sequence with which God completed Itmaam e Hujjah through His last Prophet (pbuh). All the verses of the Qur’an, which relate to this sequence of the completion of the Itmaam e Hujjah, evidence two important beliefs of Islam: a) the Prophethood of Mohammed (pbuh) as well as the truthfulness of the message that he delivered; and b) God’s justice, which necessitates the Day of Judgment. Both these beliefs (i.e. the belief in the Prophethood and the Day of Judgment) inherently entail the third belief of Islam (i.e. the belief in one God).
Thus, all the referred verses of the Qur’an are to primarily to evidence the beliefs that Islam wants its adherents to hold. This is precisely the reason why they were neither made a part of the “Wahi e Khafiy“ and nor removed from the Qur’an in its final compilation.
I hope this helps.
October 13, 2000
- Javed Ahmad Ghamidi is the person to whom all that is correct in my understanding and presentation of Islam can, without any exaggeration, be safely ascribed. [↩]
- The rejecters of the truth. [↩]
- Manifestation of truth to the extent that no excuse is left for its denial or rejection. [↩]
- i.e. propagation and deliverance of the message of Islam. [↩]
- i.e. migration. [↩]
- i.e. any revelation to the Prophet (pbuh), which was not made a part of the Qur’an. [↩]
- lit: “Mother of Towns” implying “the Chief Town”. [↩]
- Al-Qasas 28: 59. [↩]
- It was one of the leaders of these delegations, who, while dissuading his people from granting protection to the Prophet (pbuh), said: “ترميكم العرب عن قوس واحد” (i.e. “All of Arabia will unite against you), which obviously implies the awareness of the Prophet’s message, not only of the particular delegation but also of the rest of Arabia. [↩]