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Is having a ruler (hakim) or imam (leader) a condition for the defensive jihad – commonly known as Jihad al-Fard Ayn?


By: Mustafa Salahaddin


All praise be to Allah, we praise Him, we seek His refuge, and we seek his forgiveness. We seek refuge in Him from the evil of our own selves and the evil of our deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides there is none to send him astray and whomsoever Allah sends astray there is none to guide and I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his servant and Messenger. May His blessings be upon him, his family and companions.


To proceed:


What has become apparent in our time is the claim that there cannot be jihad without a ruler or Imam that is followed. To be more specific, people nowadays, and may Allah guide them, make this a condition for the defensive jihad (Jihad Daf’) or more commonly known as Jihad Fard ‘Ayn.


Before we go into the details of the topic itself, it should be noted that there is no reference to such claim from Allah’s book, His Messenger's (sallallahu alayhe wa salam) Sunnah, the righteous companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa salam), or from those who followed them in righteousness (Salafus-Salih).


Allah (Subhana wa Ta’ala) has clearly told us in the Qur’an how to observe the truth when He (Subhana wa Ta’ala) said:


“Say: "Show us your proof if you are telling the truth!” {Surat An-Naml 27:64}


Therefore, before we speak in respect to issues related to the religion, we have to be very careful as to what we are saying, for speaking without proof and knowledge is indeed very dangerous, which Allah has warned us about in His book:


“Say: "My Rabb has forbidden all indecencies whether open or secret, sin and rebellion against justice, committing shirk with Allah for which He has granted no sanction, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.” {Surat Al-A’raf 7:33}


And this includes speaking about Allah’s attributes as well as religious matters, such as the halal, haram, obligations, etc. Sheikh Ibn Uthaimin (May Allah have mercy on Him) said: “It is not permissible for anyone to deliver a judgement in any matter unless he knows that this is the Law of Allah, the Almighty, All-Powerful, and unless he has the means and ability to know what the texts from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger demonstrate – then he may deliver legal judgements. The Mufti interprets Allah’s Words and conveys the Message of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhe wa salam), so if he says something when he does not know, or is not sure, after looking at and reflecting on the evidences and exercising ijtihad therein, then he is guilty of speaking on behalf of Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alayhe wa salam) without knowledge and he should be prepared for punishment, for Allah, the Almighty, the All-Powerful says: “Then Who can be more unjust than the one who forges a lie against Allah, so that he may mislead mankind without having any knowledge? Surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.” (6:144)” {Fatawaa Islamiyyah Vol. 1, p. 373}


No doubt, Jihad is a great obligation, which Allah has imposed on His servants. The type of Jihad, which will be discussed in this article, is about the Jihad-ul-Kuffar, which means the struggle against the disbelievers. There are ayats, which generally talk about the obligation of Jihad, such as when Allah said:


“Fighting has been made obligatory for you, much to your dislike. It is quite possible that something which you don't like is good for you and that something which you love is bad for you. Allah knows, and you do not.” {Surah Al-Baqarah 2:216}


Ibn Kathir (rahmatullahi alayhe) said concerning this verse: “In this Ayah, Allah made it obligatory for the Muslims to fight in Jihad against the evil of the one who transgresses against Islam.” {Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 1, p.596}


It has been authentically reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa salam) said: “Whoever dies but neither fought, nor sincerely considered fighting, will die a death of jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era of ignorance).” {Saheeh Muslim, 3:1517}


And also, on the day of Al-Fath (when the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam conquered Makkah), the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa salam) said: “There is no Hijrah (migration from Makkah to Al-Madinah) after the victory, but only Jihad and good intention. If you were required to march forth, then march forth.” {Fath Al-Bari 4:56}


Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala also said:


“O Prophet! Make Jihad against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be firm against them. Hell shall be their home; and it is the worst of all homes.” {Surah At-Tawba 9:73}


Ibn Abbas (radhi Allahu anhu) said: “Allah commanded the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa salam) to fight the disbelievers with the sword, to strive against the hypocrites with the tongue and annulled lenient treatment of them.” {Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 4, p. 475 and Tafsir At-Tabari 14:359}


Furthermore, Allah commanded the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa salam) to fight even if others didn’t join, when He (subhana wa Ta’ala) said:


“Therefore, O Muhammad, fight; in the path of Allah, you are accountable for no one except for yourself. Urge the believers to fight, it may be that Allah will overthrow the might of the unbelievers, for Allah is the strongest in might and severe in punishment.” {Surah An-Nisaa 4:84}


Commenting on this verse, Ibn Kathir said: “Allah commands His servant and Messenger (sallallahu alayhe wa salam), Muhammad (sallallahu alayhe wa salam), to himself fight in Jihad and not be concerned about those who do not join Jihad.” {Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 2, p. 529}


The prophet (alayhe salatu wa salam) said: “I have been raised between the hands of the hour with the sword, until Allah the exalted is worshipped alone with no associates. He has provided sustenance from beneath the shadow of my spear and has decreed humiliation and belittlement for those who oppose my order. And whoever resembles a people, he is of them.” {Reported by Ahmad and At-Tabarani. Classified Saheeh. Saheeh Al-Jaami’ As-Sagheer No. 2828}


Allah subhana wa Ta’ala also said:


O believers, fight them until there is no more fitnah and the Deen of Allah (way of life prescribed by Allah) is established completely” {Surah Al-Anfal 8:39}


The fitnah means shirk as Ibn Abbas and As-Sudi (radhi Allahu anhum) said: “When the disbelievers attack and control a country, the Ummah is endangered in it’s religion and it becomes susceptible to doubt in its belief. Fighting them becomes an obligation to protect the religion, lives, honour and wealth.” {Al-Qurtubi 2/253}


Therefore, there is no room for anyone to doubt that jihad is an obligation in Islam, for the orders of Allah are clear. Now that we have established that Jihad is Fard (obligatory), we need to look into the Fiqh (jurisprudence) of jihad regarding the two types of jihad and its conditions.


Jihad is of two types against the kuffar, namely offensive Jihad (jihad talab) and defensive Jihad (Jihad daf’).


As for the offensive jihad, this is where the enemy is not fighting Muslims or gathering to fight the Muslims. This type of jihad is Fard Kifayah, which means that if some Muslims perform this duty, the obligation falls from the rest. If none of them responds to this obligation, then they are all in sin.


Allah says:


“O believers, fight them until there is no more fitnah and the Deen of Allah (way of life prescribed by Allah) is established completely” {Surah Al-Anfal 8:39}


It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I have been commanded to fight the people until they bear witness that there is no god but Allaah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, and establish regular prayer, and pay zakaah, If they do that then their blood and wealth is safe from me, except by the laws of Islam, and their reckoning will be with Allaah.” {Narrated by al-Bukhaari, Vol. 1, No. 24; Muslim, Vol. 1, No. 29}


Ibn Qudaamah said: “Jihad is an obligation upon the community; if some people undertake it, the rest are relieved of the obligation.” What fard kifaayah means is that if it is not undertaken by enough people, then all the people are guilty of sin, but if enough people undertakes it, the rest will be relieved of blame. Initially the command is addressed to all of them, as in the case of an individual obligation (fard ‘ayn), but then in the case of fard kifaayah the obligation is dropped if enough of the people undertake to do it, unlike the case with fard ‘ayn where the obligation is not dropped if someone else does it. Jihad is a fard kifaayah, according to the majority of scholars.” {al-Mughni, 9/163}


The scholars have said that this type of jihad is for maintaining the Jizyah (compulsory tax paid by non-Muslims living under an Islamic state). Scholars have also said: “Jihad is Da'wah with a force, and is obligatory to perform with all available capabilities, until there remains only Muslims or people who submit to Islam.” {Hashiyah Ash-Shirwani and Ibn Al-Qasim in Tuhfah Al-Muhtaj Alal Minhaj 9/213}


Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “Everyone who hears the call of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to the religion of Allah with which he was sent and does not respond to it must be fought so that there will be no fitnah and so that submission will all be for Allah.” {Majmu’ al-Fatawa 28/249}


In regard to offensive jihad and whether or not having an imam or ruler that is followed is a condition for this type of jihad; then we have the statement of Imam Ash-Shawkanee to this affect. His full name is Imam Ali bin Muhammad bin Abdullah Ash-Shawkanee. He lived 1173-1250AH (1777-1834CE), he was a great scholar who studied under a number of great scholars, his famous book being “Nayl Al-Autar”. Imam Ash-Shawkanee said in his book Irshaad as-Saa'il Ilaa Dalaa'il al-Masaa'il:

"The Muslims differed over attacking the Kuffaar in their lands [offensive Jihaad], as to whether or not the great Imaam is a condition for such? The true truth that is acceptable is that [Jihaad] is obligatory upon every Muslim individual, and the Qur'aanic verses and Prophetic narrations are unrestricted [meaning, they do not mention a condition of an Imaam]." {Page 80 of ar-Rasaa'il as-Salafeeyah}


What we are mainly concerned about here is the defensive jihad (Jihad Daf’). This type of Jihad is known as Fard ‘Ayn, which means that it is an obligatory duty upon every single Muslim to perform who has the ability to do so, just like praying and fasting. Jihad becomes Fard ‘Ayn under the following circumstances:


  1. If the Kuffar enter the land of the Muslims
  2. If the rows meet in battle and they begin to approach each other.
  3. If the Imam calls a person or a people to march forward then they must march.
  4. If the Kuffaar capture and imprison a group of Muslims.


As for the first condition, the Salaf (first pious predesssors), those who successed them, the scholars of the four madhhabs (Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki, and Hanbali), the tafseer commentators and many other scholars have agreed that Jihad becomes Fard ‘Ayn under this condition in which the Kuffar have entered the lands of the Muslims. Shiekh Abdullah Azzam said, regarding this type of jihad:


“Jihaad under this condition becomes Fard Ayn upon the Muslims of the land which the Kuffar have attacked and upon the Muslims close by, where the children will march forth without the permission of the parents, the wife without the permission of her husband and the debtor without the permission of the creditor. And, if the Muslims of this land cannot expel the Kuffaar because of lack of forces, because they slacken, are indolent or simply do not act, then the Fard Ayn obligation spreads in the shape of a circle from the nearest to the next nearest. If they too slacken or there is again a shortage of manpower, then it is upon the people behind them, and on the people behind them, to march forward. This process continues until it becomes Fard Ayn upon the whole world.” {Defence of Muslim Lands, page 5}


Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:


“When the enemy has entered an Islamic land, there is no doubt that it is obligatory on those closest to the land to defend it, and then those around them, … for the entire Islamic land is like a single country. Also, (it is compulsory) to go forth to meet the enemy without permission from parents or people to whom one is in debt. The texts of (Imam) Ahmad are quite explicit regarding this.” {Fatawa al-Kubara, 4/608}


Ibn Taymiyyah also said:


“When the enemy wants to attack the Muslims, defence becomes obligatory on all those upon whom the attack is intended, and on others besides them.” {Majmu’ Al-Fatawa, 28/358}


When studying this matter, one will be surprised that whatever he reads from the earlier scholars, he will not find any statement from them saying that for jihad to be Fard Ayn, there has to be a ruler or leader (imam), and whoever claims that there is such statement, then we will wait for them to produce their proof! Now, we should look at the opinions of the four madhhabs regarding jihad being Fard ‘Ayn and whether or not having a ruler or imam is a condition.


As for the Hanafi fiqh, we have a report from a famous Hanafi jurist, Muhammad Amin Al-Hanafi Ibn Abidin. Ibn Abidin died in 670AH/1252CE and he was a Hanafi Jurist in Damascus.


Ibn Aabidin said : "Jihaad becomes Fard Ayn if the enemy attacks one of the borders of the Muslims, and it becomes Fard Ayn upon those close by. For those who are far away, it is Fard Kifayah, if their assistance is not required. If they are needed, perhaps because those nearby the attack cannot resist the enemy, or are indolent and do not fight jihaad, then it becomes Fard Ayn upon those behind them, like the obligation to pray and fast. There is no room for them to leave it. If they too are unable, then it becomes Fard Ayn upon those behind them, and so on in the same manner until the jihaad becomes Fard Ayn upon the whole Ummah of Islam from the East to the West.” {Hashiyah Ibn Abidin 3/238}


It becomes clear to the reader that Ibn Abidin (may Allah have mercy on him) never placed the condition of having a ruler or imam for jihad to be Fard ‘Ayn. 


One will also find similar fatawa to that of Ibn Abidin from other Hanafi scholars, such as:


As for the Maliki fiqh, we have a report from a famous Maliki jurist named Ibrahim Ad-Dussuqi. He lived between 644-687AH/1246-1288CE. In Hashiyah Ad-Dussuqi it is stated that: Jihaad becomes Fard Ayn upon a surprise attack by the enemy. Ad-Dussuqi said: "Wherever this happens, jihaad immediately becomes Fard Ayn upon everybody, even women, slaves and children, and they march out even if their guardians, husbands and creditors forbid them to.” {Hashiyah Ad-Dussuqi, Volume 2, Page 174}


We also have the statement of Ibn Al-Arabi. One should take a note that this is not Ibn Arabi who was a Sufi philosopher. This one is Ibn Al-Arabi who was the Maliki author of Ahkam Al-Quran and several other books, and he died in 543AH/1148CE. His full name is Qadi Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Abdullah Al-Ishbili Ibn Arabi.


Ibn Al-Arabi said in Ahkam Al-Quran: “There may arise such a situation in which it is obligatory upon each and every one to march forward, when jihad is Fard Ayn if the enemy invades one of our countries or he surrounds one of our territories. Then, it is obligatory upon the whole of creation to march out for jihad. If they fail to respond, they are in sin. If the march is general, due to the enemy's occupation of a territory or capture of prisoners, the march is obligatory upon everyone. The light, the heavy, the riding, the walking, the slave and the free man shall all go out. Whoever has a father, without his permission and whoever has not a father, until Allah's religion prevails, defends the territory and the property, humiliates the enemy and rescues the prisoners. On this there is no disagreement. What does he do is the rest stay behind? He finds a prisoner and pays his ransom. He attacks by himself if he is able, and if not he prepares a warrior.” {Ahkam al Qur'an 2/954}


It becomes clear to the reader that neither Ad-Dussuqi nor Ibn Al-Arabi (may Allah have mercy on them) placed the condition of having a ruler or imam condition for jihad to be Fard ‘Ayn.


As for the Shafi fiqh, we have a report from a famous Shafi jurist named Ahmad Ar-Ramli. He died in 1014AH/1596CE. He said in his book “Nihayah Al-Muhtaj”:

"If they approach one of our lands and the distance between them and us becomes less than the distance permitting the shortening of prayers, then the people of that territory must defend it and it becomes Fard Ayn even upon the people for whom there is usually no jihaad; the poor, the children, the slaves, the debtor and the women.”

As for the Hanbali fiqh, we have a report from a famous Hanbali jurist named Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi. He was from Jerusalem and was a major jurist for the Hanbali school of thought. He died in 720AH/1302CE. Ibn Qudamah said in his book “Al-Mughni”:


"Jihaad becomes Fard Ayn in three situations:
1) If the two sides meet in battle and they approach each other.
2) If the Kuffar enter a land, jihad becomes Fard Ayn upon its people.
3) If the Imam calls a people to march forward it is obligatory upon them to march forward.”  {Al-Mughni 8/354}


We have also mentioned earlier the opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah which also represents the Hanbali school of thought. It becomes clear to the reader that neither Ibn Qudamah nor Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on them) placed the condition of having a ruler or imam for jihad to be Fard ‘Ayn.


Not only is the claim that jihad cannot be Fard Ayn without a ruler or Imam that is followed baseless in the light of Quran and Sunnah, but we shall see that this even contradicts the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) and the way of the righteous companions and their understanding.


In Saheeh Bukhari it is reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) made a peace treaty with the Quraysh, which allowed the Muslims to perform Umrah the year after the treaty was conducted. However, in this treaty there was a quite distressing condition, which said that if a Makkan embraced Islam and went to Allah’s Messenger to seek shelter, he would be handed back to the Makkans… After making this treaty, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) returned to Madeenah. Now, a man named Abu Basir bin Asid Ath-Thaqafi from the Quraysh happened to have embraced Islam during this truce. When the Prophet returned to Medina, Abu Basir, the new Muslim convert from Quraish came to him. The infidels sent in his pursuit two men who said (to the Prophet), "Abide by the promise you gave us." So, the Prophet handed him over to them. They took him out (of the City) till they reached Dhul-Hulaifa where they dismounted to eat some dates they had with them. Abu Basir said to one of them, "By Allah, O so-and-so, I see you have a fine sword." The other drew it out (of the scabbard) and said, "By Allah, it is very fine and I have tried it many times." Abu Basir said, "Let me have a look at it."


When the other gave it to him, he hit him with it till he died, and his companion ran away till he came to Medina and entered the mosque running. When Allah's Apostle saw him he said, "This man appears to have been frightened." When he reached the Prophet he said, "My companion has been murdered and I would have been murdered too." Abu Basir came and said, "O Allah's Apostle, by Allah, Allah has made you fulfill your obligations by your returning me to them (i.e. the infidels), but Allah has saved me from them." The Prophet said, "Woe to his mother! What excellent war kindler he would be (i.e. he would start a war), should he only have supporters." When Abu Basir heard that he understood that the Prophet would return him to them again, so he set off till he reached the seashore. Abu Jandal bin Suhail (another Muslim convert) got himself released from them (i.e. infidels) and joined Abu Basir. So, whenever a man from Quraysh embraced Islam he would follow Abu Basir till they formed a strong group. By Allah, whenever they heard about a caravan of Quraysh heading towards Sham, they stopped it and attacked and killed them (i.e. infidels) and took their properties. The people of Quraysh sent a message to the Prophet requesting him for the sake of Allah and kith and kin to send for (i.e. Abu Basir and his companions) promising that whoever (amongst them) came to the Prophet would be secure. So the Prophet sent for them (i.e. Abu Basir's companions). {Saheeh Bukhari, Volume 3, Number 891}


We can deduce the following points from this hadeeth:


1. Abu Basir started fighting alone without waiting for any companion to join him. Afterwards, he had some companions to stand by him, and was engaged in jihad according to the command of Allah:


“Therefore, O Muhammad, fight; in the path of Allah, you are accountable for no one except for yourself. Urge the believers to fight, it may be that Allah will overthrow the might of the unbelievers, for Allah is the strongest in might and severe in punishment.” {Surah An-Nisaa 4:84}


Ibn Kathir (May Allah have mercy on him) said regarding this verse:


“Allah commands His servant and Messenger, Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa salam, to himself fight in Jihad and not be concerned about those who do not join Jihad. Hence Allah’s statement, “You are accountable for no one except for yourself.” {Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Volume 2, Page 529-530}


2. Abu Basir (may Allah be pleased with him) did not fight under any ruler or imam, rather he was his own commander, when he put one of his enemies to death and later other companions joined him and fought alongside him.


3. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) did not say that Abu Basir was wrong or that he was mistaken because he had no imam over him, rather the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) kept silent about it, showing approval of such action. Thus, we can say that this action of Abu Basir was indeed Sunnah, because in the Islamic law, the Prophet's (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) Sunnah is of three kinds:


·        Oral Sunnah – Sunnat-e-Qauli: Which is any statement made by the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam).

·        Physical Sunnah: Any act or deed which was performed by the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam).

·        Approved Sunnah – Hadith-e-Taqreeri: When in the presence of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam), some deed was performed and he (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) kept quiet or expressed satisfaction about it. We have already cited the hadeeth about Abu Basir, which is proof for approved Sunnah, and there are several other ahadeeth to this affect. Another example of an approved Sunnah is supported by the following hadeeth:

o       Qais bin Amr relates: The Messenger (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) saw a person performing two cycles of prayer after the morning obligatory prayer and asked: “The morning prayer consists of 2 cycles?” The man replied: “I did not perform the two cycles of prayer before the obligatory prayer. Therefore, I am now completing them.” The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) was silent. (i.e. gave permission). {Abu Dawood (English Trans. Volume 1, Page. 333, No. 1262 and authenticated by Albani in Sahih Abi Dawood Lil Albani, Vol. 1, p.236, No.1128}


We say this narration is sufficient for us to prove that having an imam or ruler that is followed is not a condition for Jihad, more specifically the defensive Jihad (Fard ‘Ayn). This is agreed upon by great scholars of the past, and Sheikh Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahhab’s grandson talked specifically against this innovated condition and also used the hadeeth of Abu Basir to prove his view. Shaykh 'Abdir-Rahmaan bin Hasan bin al-Imaam Muhammad bin 'Abdil-Wahhaab an-Najdee said in response to some objections of Ibn Nabhaan:


“It is to be stated: By what book and by what ayah does there contain an evidence that Jihad is not obligatory except with an Imam that is followed?! This is from the inventions in the Din and a straying from the path of the believers. The evidences that invalidate this opinion are too well known to mention. From them, there is the general order to wage Jihad and encouragement towards it and the threat of punishment for abandoning it. The Most High said: {And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief. But Allah is full of Bounty to all that exists.} [Surah al-Baqarah 2: 251] And He said in Surah al-Hajj: {For had it not been that Allah checks one set of people by means of another, the places of worship much would surely have been pulled down.} [Surah al-Hajj 22:40] Everyone who establishes Jihad in the path of Allah has obeyed Allah and fulfilled what Allah has obligated and the Imam would not become the Imam except through Jihad not that there is no Jihad without an Imam. The truth is the exact opposite of what you have said oh man…”

Until he ('Abdir-Rahmaan bin Hasan) said:

“The points of reflection and the evidences concerning the falsehood of what you have authored is abundant in the Book and the Sunnah, in the biographies, narrations and statements of the People of Knowledge with proofs and narrations – they are almost not even hidden from an idiotic person because even he would know of the story of Abu Basir when he came as a Muhajir and the Quraysh sought from the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to return him to them according to the condition that was between them in the treaty of al-Hudaybiyyah so he departed from them, killed the two Mushriks that came in search of him. He headed to the seashore after he heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say: “Woe to his mother! What excellent war kindler he would be, should he only have supporters.” Thereafter he attacked the caravans of the Quraysh when they came from Sham. He would seize (their wealth) and kill thereby he was independently waging war against them without the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) because they (the Quraysh) were in a treaty him in the truce. So, did the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say: “You were mistaken in killing the Quraysh because you all were without an Imam?” Far removed is Allah from all imperfections and impurities! How harmful ignorance is upon its people! Refuge is sought with Allah from opposing the truth with ignorance and falsehood!” {Ad-Durrar as-Sanniyah 8/199-200}


We also have a statement from the great scholar and jurist Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi (died 720AH/1302CE) who said:


“The absence of an Imam does not postpone the Jihad, because much is lost in its postponement.” {Al-Mughni 8/253}


It should become clear to the reader that having a ruler or imam that is followed is not a condition for defensive jihad and this has been proven through several ways using authentic sources.


Therefore, O Believers fear Allah and beware of innovations in the religion. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) has said: “Adhere to my Sunnah and that of the righteous, Well-Guided Caliphs – hold fast to it and cling to it by your molar teeth; beware of newly invented matters, for every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a misguidance.” {Ahmad 1:126 and 127}


And he (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) also said:


“Whoever innovates in this matter of ours that which is not from it will have it (his innovation) rejected.” {Al-Bukhari No. 2697, and Muslim No. 1718}


Therefore fear Allah if you are true believers and give up innovations and refrain from speaking about this religion without knowledge and proof. Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala says:


“O believers! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not but as true Muslims.” {Surah Alee-Imran 3:102}


And then again, in another ayah, Allah said:


“O believers! Fear Allah and always say the right thing; He will bless your works and forgive your sins - for he that obeys Allah and His Rasool, has indeed achieved the highest achievement.” {Surah Al-Ahzaab 33: 70 – 71}


There is no doubt that jihad is Fard Ayn in our time. We must make preparation and make our intention sincere if we are true believers.


So let us fight in the way of Allah, for Allah says:


“Let it be known that only those people should fight in the cause of Allah who are willing to exchange the life of this world for the Hereafter; and whoever fights for the cause of Allah, whether he dies or is victorious, will soon be granted a mighty reward. And what reason do you have not to fight in the cause of Allah, to rescue the helpless oppressed old men, women, and children who are crying: "Our Rabb! Deliver us from this town whose people are oppressors; send us a protector by Your grace and send us a helper from Your presence?"” {Surah An-Nisaa 4:74-75}


So let us fight in the way of Allah, for Allah says:


“O believers, fight them until there is no more mischief (fitnah) and the Deen of Allah (way of life prescribed by Allah) is established completely.” {Surah Al-Anfal 8:39}


So let us fight in the way of Allah, for Allah says:


“Never think of those who are slain in the cause of Allah as dead. Nay they are alive, and well provided for by their Rabb” {Surah Alee-Imran 3:169}


And I finish by praising Allah and thanking Him for giving me the ability to write this article and conclude with a few supplications (dua):


O Allah! We ask You at this instant not to let a sin unforgiven, a distress unrelieved, an illness unhealed or a handicapped without relief, a dead without mercy or a debt unsettled.


We ask You to guide those who have gone astray and to defeat our enemies and accept repentances and not to misguide those who are learned and to help the (Mujahideen) fighters in Your way.


O Allah, by Your mercy! Make things easy for us and help us do anything that pleases You and is good for us in this world and the Hereafter.


O Allah! Let us be among those who called You and had their calls accepted, those Who asked for Your guidance and were guided, who sought Your victory and were given, who relied on You and were sufficed, and those who repented and got their repentance accepted.


O Allah! Guide Muslim Youths to the right path and keep them on the true guidance, let them be obedient and help them avoid the causes of Your wrath, preserve them as a treasure for Islam and Muslims.


O Allah! Make victorious Your religion, Your Book (Quran) and the Sunnah of Your Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam).


O Allah! Help the Mujahideen everywhere to gain victory over Your enemy and theirs. O Allah! Strike terror to the Muslim enemies hearts, shake the earth under their feet and render them and their wealth as a booty for Islam and Muslims.


O Allah! You have said, “Call me and I will answer” and here we have called You, We ask you to answer our call O Lord of the World.


Wal-Hamdulillah – All praise is for Allah


And may the blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his companions, and followers.



Fatwa 1 - Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah al-Ghunaymaan


Question :
Is it a condition of jihaad that there be a leader (imaam, in the sense of a head of state) , whether that jihaad is defensive or offensive? Imaam ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Hasan (may Allaah have mercy on him) said that no scholar mentioned this as a precondition; do you know of any scholar who did describe this as a condition for jihaad?

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah. 

It is not a condition of jihaad that there be a leader, whether that jihaad is defensive or offensive. With regard to defence, this is very clear, because if the enemy attacks a land, everyone who is able is obliged to defend it, even the women who are also obliged to fight. This was stated by the fuqahaa’, because this is an individual obligation; the role of the leader is to organize. If there is an leader, all well and good; if there is no leader, the Muslims are still obliged to fight.

Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah al-Ghunaymaan ( - Question #11275: Is it a condition of jihaad that there be a leader?)

Fatwa 2 -  Shaykh Muhammad Aal ‘Abd al-Lateef

Question :

Can we really participate in Jihaad when we don't have any khalifa to organise us, or we don't have the strength to fight them? Do we behave like the Prophet (SM) did having patience and trust in Allah (S) before gaining the strength to fight the kuffar? 

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah. 

Jihaad for the sake of Allaah is the pinnacle of Islam, and is one of the principles of the religion. It does not depend on there being an imaam (khaleefah or ruler)… But obviously jihaad requires preparation and organization, and the existence of a leader of the army who can weigh up the pros and cons. This strikes the balance between those who are reckless and pay no attention to the regulations of sharee’ah, and those who neglect this duty and ignore it completely.


It is obligatory to follow the example of the Prophet [an error occurred while processing this directive] (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in all his affairs, which includes preparation and equipping oneself.

 Shaykh Muhammad Aal ‘Abd al-Lateef ( - Question #5275: Is jihad invalid if there is no khaleefah?)