Why did Islam forbid Private Militancy?


Question: Asalam O Alykum,

Your comments are required on this video, are they not terrorist?



May 2010

Dear Brother

Wa alaikum us salam wa Rahmatullah

When two parties lock horns with each other, there is an ideological war on the front of media along with the physical war on the front of battle line. The video link you’ve sent is part of that ideological war among the militants of Afghanistan and Pakistan in their war against the US and Pakistani armies. In such videos, both outfits split hairs to defame their enemy. Similar videos have been produced by the other camp to blame storm the militants because they are at loggerheads with each other.

It is a common misconception among us that it is a war between Islam and Infidelity and the militants are defending Islam against the attacks of Anti-Islamic forces. The reality is different. It is plainly a war of material and worldly interests.

Due to the strategic location of Central & South Asia, the US and other superpowers of the world have economic and political stakes. American and European powers are not religious states. They are purely secular states motivated by political and economic goals. Religion plays a minor role in such moot points which is manipulated by the politicians. No religion allows such massive killings.

They have set the stage in this region. In order to be successful beyond their wildest dreams, they are willing to kill thousands of innocent children, women, men and senior citizens. It is hard for me to name this cunning manipulation anything except “Terrorism”.

Such people have committed crimes against the humankind and they will be responsible in front of God for their felonies. Although they use the slogans of religious freedom, human rights and democracy to hide a multitude of sins but they are definitely not sincere to such exalted concepts.

On the other hand, the opposing group is not very much different. They have their own political and economic agenda which has become a bone of contention in this war.

They have a bee in their bonnet to destroy the world. They are on the mission of effacing their own societies. From the bombings in mosques to spree killings, they have the nerve to acknowledge all their crimes in the exalted name of God.

As the superpowers use the notions of human rights and democracy to justify their offensive activities, similarly such criminals use the sacred names of “Islam” and “Jehad” to validate their heinous crimes.

By sitting on the fence, I have no other choice except to declare both of these parties as “terrorists”. There is no difference between the attitudes of both of them as they have been cut from the same cloth.

In order to go to great lengths to achieve their objectives, had they passed their cat-and-dog life in space or on the moon, we would have nothing to do with them, but they have drawn their battle lines in our homelands. We are caught in the crossfire.

You might have a different opinion. It is your right. But I suggest you to consider an example to clarify my view.

Put yourself in the shoes of the chief of a militant outfit. You have the thousands of soldiers at your command. They are waiting for a mere signal from you. You have the courage to beard the lion in his den. What sort of challenges would you face? You run the affairs of a full-fledge militant network . .

A single gun costs several hundred dollars. You also need to arrange food gunnery and ammunition. How would you  arrange  all these provisions and logistics?

In order to  fund your army, you need enormous sums of money on a recurring basis. It is not allowed in any country to raise funds overtly for such activities.  Donations and voluntary money can never sufficiently fulfill the budget of a growing army.

Obviously, funds can be obtained in two ways: either by criminal activities or from some other rival superpower. If you select the former approach you have to commit crimes like abduction for ransom, drug smuggling, looting people etc. Almost all of the present-day militant groups are engaged in such activities. Are these activities allowed in Islam?

The alternate approach is to get money from other rival superpowers. The world powers have no love affair with the militants. They support them for their own sake. They have no interest in welfare of the people living in the war zone. Each of them is interested in its settling a score against their rivals.

If you wish to buy weapons, no legal market will be available to you. The only option available to you will be the ones who manage the smuggling channels. By paying them money, you will definitely strengthen their power. Smugglers are not the people who work for the sake of God. They have no morals or codes. Their services are despised as ugly as sin by every decent person irrespective of his religion or nation. Is strengthening such malefactors allowed in Islam?

You can understand from this example how private militancy can ruin a society. Look at the parts of world where any sort of private combativeness existed like Somalia, Sudan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Ireland, North Eastern & North Western India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. You will find unassailable networks of criminal establishments in all such regions.

On the contrary, all countries keep regular armies. Large numbers of people retire from such armies. None of such veterans pose a challenge to their societies if the government has a strong writ. We do not find any chaos and anarchy in such countries.

That is the reason that Allah’s Last Apostle صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم and the Prophets before him never institutionalized any private militant endeavor. Prophet Moses علیہ الصلوۃ والسلام sought permission from the Pharaoh to take the Israelites with him instead of waging a war against the Pharaoh.  After establishing a government in the independent area of the Sinai Peninsula first, then he prepared any army to fight against the nations of Canaan.

Prophet Muhammad صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم had been bearing the cold-bloodedness and ruthlessness of the pagans for 13 years but he never called for Jehad before establishing a government. He said:

حدثنا إبراهيم عن مسلم. حدثني زهير بن حرب. حدثنا شبابة. حدثني ورقاء عن أبي الزناد، عن الأعرج، عن أبي هريرة،  عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم. قال: "إنما الإمام جنة. يقاتل من ورائه. ويتقى به. فإن أمر بتقوى الله عز وجل وعدل، كان له بذلك أجر. وإن يأمر بغيره، كان عليه منه." (صحیح مسلم، کتاب الامارۃ، حدیث 1841)

Abu Hurairah رضی اللہ عنہ narrates that the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم said: “Only the ruler (government) is a protecting shield. People fight behind him and get protection through him. So if he commands to fear God and  to maintain justice, he will have the reward for that. If he commands for something else, it will be his responsibility (i.e. you should not revolt against him).”

He said in another Hadith:

حدثنا محمد بن المثنى ومحمد بن بشار. قالا: حدثنا محمد بن جعفر. حدثنا شعبة عن سماك بن حرب، عن علقمة بن وائل الحضرمي، عن أبيه. قال:  سأل سلمة بن يزيد الجعفي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. فقال: "يا نبي الله! أرأيت إن قامت علينا أمراء يسألونا حقهم ويمنعونا حقنا، فما تأمرنا؟" فأعرض عنه. ثم سأله فأعرض عنه. ثم سأله في الثانية أو في الثالثة فجذبه الأشعث بن قيس. وقال: "اسمعوا وأطيعوا. فإنما عليهم ما حملوا وعليكم ما حملتم." (صحیح مسلم، کتاب الامارۃ، حدیث 1843)

Salmah Ibn Yazeed رضی اللہ عنہ asked Allah’s Apostle: “O Allah’s Apostle! What is your opinion if rulers are imposed on us who ask for their rights but refuse to give us ours? What do you command?”

He (the Prophet) turned his face. He asked him again but he turned his face again. He asked twice or thrice, then Ash’ath Ibn Qais رضی اللہ عنہ pulled him.

He (the Prophet) said: “Listen and obey (the ruler). Whatever they carry is their responsibility and whatever you carry is your responsibility.”

وحدثني محمد بن سهل بن عسكر التميمي. حدثنا يحيى بن حسان. ح وحدثنا عبدالله بن عبدالرحمن الدارمي. أخبرنا يحيى (وهو ابن حسان). حدثنا معاوية (يعني ابن سلام). حدثنا زيد بن سلام عن أبي سلام. قال:  قال حذيفة بن اليمان: قلت: "يا رسول الله! إنا كنا بشر. فجاء الله بخير. فنحن فيه. فهل من وراء هذا الخير شر؟" قال: "نعم." قلت: "هل من وراء ذلك الشر خير؟" قال: "نعم."  قلت: "فهل من وراء ذلك الخير شر؟" قال: "نعم." قلت: "كيف؟" قال: "يكون بعدي أئمة لا يهتدون بهداي، ولا  يستنون بسنتي. وسيقوم فيهم رجال قلوبهم قلوب الشياطين في جثمان إنس." قال قلت: "كيف أصنع؟ يا رسول الله! إن أدركت ذلك؟" قال: "تسمع وتطيع للأمير. وإن ضرب ظهرك. وأخذ مالك. فاسمع وأطع." (صحیح مسلم، کتاب الامارۃ، حدیث 1847)

Hudhaifa Ibn Yaman رضی اللہ عنہما said that he asked the Prophet:

“O Allah’s Prophet! We were in an era of evil. Then Allah  blessed us with virtue. Now we are in the epoch of bliss. Will there be any evil after this bliss?” He replied: “Yes.”

I asked: “Will there be any good after that malign?” He replied: “Yes.”

I asked: “Will there be any malevolence after that virtuousness?” He said: “Yes.”

I asked: “What sort of evil that would be?” He replied: “After me, there will be some rulers who will not follow the guidance provided by me. They will not follow my path. Soon men among them will become rulers who will have a satanic heart in human body.”

He said that I asked: “What should I do? O Allah’s Prophet! If I live in that time?” He said: “Listen and follow the ruler even if he whips you on your back and takes your money. Listen and obey.”

وحدثنا شيبان بن فروخ. حدثنا عبدالوارث. حدثنا الجعد. حدثنا أبو رجاء العطاردي عن ابن عباس، عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. قال: "من كره من أميره شيئا فليصبر عليه. فإنه ليس أحد من الناس خرج من السلطان شبرا، فمات عليه، إلا مات ميتة جاهلية." (صحیح مسلم، کتاب الامارۃ، حدیث 1849)

Ibn Abbas رضی اللہ عنہما narrates that Allah’s Prophet said: “If anyone dislikes anything in his ruler, he should remain patient. Surely, anyone who comes out of the rule of the government even on a  minor issue and died in that state, will die the death of (Pre-Islamic) ignorance period.”

The reason for such clear directives is that injustice of a ruler remains limited to a few people. But iniquities of chaos and anarchy reach to each and every person.

When a sincere group wages a war in the name of “Jehad”, it opens the door to all the criminal outfits to fight for their interests. Malefactors grow stronger and stronger. Dogs eat dogs and entire society transforms into a helter-skelter fashion. It becomes easy for big powers of the world to manipulate the militant splinter groups that are willing to come under their thumb by receiving aid in form of weapons and money. Seeking control over areas and people become the bone of contention among these factions.

During last three decades, we are experiencing the same because we followed the path which was contrary to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم. Now we are being given the taste of our own medicine in form of displacement, declining economy and increasing crime rate.

I hope my position would be clear to you.

Remember in your supplications,


Muhammad Mubashir Nazir

Don’t hesitate to share your questions and comments. They will be highly appreciated. I’ll reply as soon as possible if I know the answer. Send at mubashirnazir100@gmail.com.

Why did Islam forbid Private Militancy?
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