If I had a nickel for every time a Muslim (or non-Muslim, for that matter) has told me that jihad is merely a struggle within the soul, or a defensive struggle at most, I would buy the Trump Tower. But in Onward Muslim Soldiers I detail the Islamic doctrines calling for offensive jihad against unbelievers in order to spread the hegemony of Islam, and now new confirmation of this doctrine has come from a Muslim site. The Islamic Q&A Online run by the South African Mufti Ebrahim Desai (thanks to Robert R. for the link) fields a question from Canada:
I have a question about offensive Jihad. Does it mean that we are to attack even those non-Muslims which don't do anything against Islam just because we have to propagate Islam?
I have been reading Tafsir e Usmani for the last month or so. In it I have read that offensive Jihad (first attack) should be done by Muslims for 2 reasons. 1) For the sake of Allah (in the Way of God) 2) For the sake of subjugated people under oppression like in Kashmir, Palestine etc. Now the second reason I completely understand. But the explanation given of the first reason is "For the sake of Allah includes the propagation of Islam, the survival of Islam, the extermination of those hindrances which impede the progress and expansion of Islam." (explanation of verse 190, Surah baqara) [that's Sura 2].
I really don't understand this explanation. What does propagation of Islam mean here? Does it mean that we are to attack even those non-Muslims which don't do anything against Islam just because we have to propagate Islam? For example, there are many countries in the world which are not enemies of Islam in any way (at least I think so). Please explain to me against which Non-Muslims, the Muslims have to do Jihad and against which, Jihad is not allowed. JazakAllah Khair.
Answer 12128 2004-07-13:
You should understand that we as Muslims firmly believe that the person who doesn't believe in Allah as he is required to, is a disbeliever who would be doomed to Hell eternally. Thus one of the primary responsibilities of the Muslim ruler is to spread Islam throughout the world, thus saving people from eternal damnation.
Thus what is meant by the passage in Tafsir Uthmani, is that if a country doesn't allow the propagation of Islam to its inhabitants in a suitable manner or creates hindrances to this, then the Muslim ruler would be justifying in waging Jihad against this country, so that the message of Islam can reach its inhabitants, thus saving them from the Fire of Jahannum. If the Kuffaar allow us to spread Islam peacefully, then we would not wage Jihad against them.
and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai