Jihad Is Not Breaking Covenants

What is ironic about this topic is that the the following speech below, although we personally here at al-Mustaqeem Publications do not agree to certain methodological stances of the author, has spoken quite justly regarding the topic of jihad for Muslim minorities in Western countries.

Listed below is a question and answer session with the Mujahid Abdullah Azzam.

The Issue Isn’t As Simple As You Think:

“Pay attention to this issue. I never paid it much attention until after I’d studied it this year in the books of Fiqh, while I was studying the issues of Jihad, pacts, and promises of security. If you are given a visa to any country in the world, it is not allowed for you to partake in any action that breaks its laws.

This is not allowed, unless this would contradict something from Islam, such as the prayer, fasting, etc. It is not allowed for you to cheat them or take from their wealth. It is not allowed, for example, for you to take one of their daughters, and marry her without the permission of her father. It is not allowed for you to rip up a telephone bill. It is not allowed for you to harm the state, and it is not allowed for you to place a magnet on the electric meter of your home. It is not allowed for you to tear up your phone bill, because there, in America, and in the Western nations, despite their disbelief and enmity towards Islam and the Muslims, they place trust in the individual. They generally treat the human being with a strange level of respect (compared to the treatment in the Muslim lands)…

One of the brothers – a Muslim youth – told me about his trip to attain a doctorate in America. He said: “They sent me both my electric and phone bills. So, I said to them: “I wish to pay what I have due.” They replied: “No problem. Return to your home country, and we will give you an address to which you can send your payment from your country.”” Can you imagine? He said to them: “I wish to leave this land,” and they reply: “No problem. Go back to Jordan, and send your payment from there.”

Trust! Security!…The Arab, in America, if his business is about to fail, he would burn down his factory, go to the insurance company, tell them that his factory was burned down, and he would rake in the million dollars that he had insured his factory with.”

(A brother in the audience debates): “But, Shaykh, this was even there before, when Islam had strength and reputation, and Abu Hanifah said that if a Muslim breaks something of a Christian’s, the Muslim must insure him.”

Shaykh: “Even now, he must insure him.”

Brother: “However, now, they come to our lands mostly to spread their ideology.”

Shaykh: “My brother, who has brought them into our lands?”

Brother: “A disbeliever, like them.”

Shaykh: “OK, excellent. You say to them that the one who has brought you into this land is a disbeliever. Therefore, you cannot be here…You must warn them, is this not so? Either Islam, or the jizyah, or the sword. Is this not so? So, you must warn them, my brother. Send them a message: ‘You are spreading this evil, so, leave this land. Otherwise, you will die.’ That’s it. After this, kill him. As for coming to kill him while he is secure and under a pact of security, this is not allowed.

As for those People of the Book who live with us in our lands, it is not allowed to kill them in our times, unless they initiate fighting with us. It is not allowed, as this will cause great fitnah (tribulation) that will never end, and the rulers will stand on their side, and they will attack the Muslims, and put pressure on the Islamic movement – all for what? Because of you poking out the eye of a Christian in your land, or you killed a Christian, resulting in tens of Muslims being killed in prison as the result of torture…”

(The brother continues debating).

Shaykh: “It is not allowed for you to take the wealth of a Christian, at all. It is not allowed to kill the Western Christian in the lands of the Muslims, unless you first issue him a warning, and unless it first becomes clear to you that he is engaging in an act that deems his blood lawful. Understood?” [E.G. murder, rape, dangerous crimes]

Another questioner asks: “Who is the one that determines what the actions are that deem his blood lawful? Do I determine this? Or do the scholars?”

Shaykh: “The scholars. The scholars are the ones who determine this. Where do fatawa come from? From the scholars – do you kill, or do you not kill? Is it permissible to kill and fight them? Or, do you go on your way? As for – by Allah – a youth who studied one or two words in ‘Kifayat al-Akhyar,’ or ‘Hashiyat Ibn ‘Abidin,’ or the book of Ibn al-Qayyim (he’s referring to ‘Ahkam Ahl adh-Dhimmah’), and he suddenly becomes the Great Mufti of Islam, issuing fatawa to {”Kill them wherever you find them, and expel them from whence they expelled you…”} or {”When the Sacred Months have passed, slay the polytheists wherever you find them…”}, this is not allowed. The issue isn’t as simple as you think, and this is what Jama’at at-Takfir wal-Hijrah was afflicted with. This shaykh – their leader, Shukri Mustafa, rahimahullah – began issuing fatawa, and every single one began reading and issuing fatawa declaring the blood of the Muslims lawful…”

(The brother continues debating, mentioning that the Christians of our times are all muharibin)

Shaykh: “Who are the Christians that are muharibin?”

Brother: “All of the Christians are muharibin.”

Shaykh: “How are they all muharibin?

Brother: “Those who put the covering on their head, and wear the cross.”

Shaykh: “The one who wears the cross is a muharib? The one who wears the cross, this is his belief.”

(The brother continues arguing)

Shaykh: “My brother, do you still consider them muharibin? The muharib is the one who brandishes weapons against the Muslims!

(after some more arguement): “I will not give a fatwa for this. Look for some other mufti besides myself.”

[‘Fi Dhilal Surat at-Tawbah’, Page 132-134].


This speech reveals volumes concerning the subject. Among the matters that it reveals is the

  • Academic dishonesty of the media’s portrayal of Jihad as being nothing less than barbarism of seventh century nomads with rags on their heads
  • That in the disciplinary science of Jihad, there is actually a greater aspect of Jihad than the usual media portrayal of “killing the infidel”. In other words jihaad as understood under classical thought can only be justly interpretated in modern times as “foreign policy” as there are numerous relates issues involved under Jihad and is not a single incidental reality i.e. killing, but rather it is more than that.
  • It as well reveals the reality that Jihad is grossly misunderstood by Muslims as well as our non Muslim counterparts, and the defeat of ignorance is knowledge, which to this day, no group among the schools of thought that the world has to offer has the intellectual capacity to deal with the matter more precisely than “salafis” can.