The reality of the purported Jihaad phenomenon in Muslim lands

Non-muslims think what’s going on in Iraq and other countries run over by hooligans is the true spirit of Islaam. Muslims who don’t have much insight into this issue fall into two categories; those who vehemently oppose this because it doesn’t sit well with them, and those who are moved by the emotionally charged speeches of these anarchists and feel this is what Islaam is and hence feel obliged to support it. But the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Those who advocate for what they deem jihaad (but isn’t in reality) rely heavily on emotions, primarily anger. They have a talent for uprooting deeply ingrained frustration and hurt from all the times one has been mistreated and marginalized and channel this into fist-pumping,gun-wielding and blood-crazed chaos. It’s as if they condensed all the teachings in Islaam and only derived jihaad from it,which they then proceeded to blow up with their desires of what it should be.

I’m including an apt debate by the late scholar Muhammad Naasiruddeen al-Albaani (رحمه الله) who was a renowned and meticulous scholar who strictly applied the principles and guidelines laid down in the Qur’aan and Sunnah in their unadulterated form with a “jihaadist” who embodies the mentality of those running the streets of Iraaq and Somalia today.


I have abridged the following for brevity. The words within the square brackets [ ] are words I replaced the original with to lend a better understanding. The link to the full debate can be found at the bottom of this post.

Jihad supporter : We have no doubt that you are one of the first of the scholars in the century to call for the return to the understanding of the Salaf. There is no doubt that the issue of jihad is an issue of disagreement among those who follow [the] manhaj as-Salaf assalih [methodology]. In the issue of jihad, we call the people to fight jihad under two conditions : The first is that is has to be done in pure intention for the sake of Allah. The second that it has to be under the banner of Islam.

However we hear from the devout muslim youth other conditions that they narrate from you which we never heard about in hadith, such conditions are Islamic knowledge (or Education and purification – Tasfiyah wa Tarbiyah) and having Khilafa or an Islamic state. These conditions we hear a lot from the brothers who follow manhaj as-Salaf, and I am among those who follow this manhaj insha’ Allah.

My Question is : do these conditions have any reference in the Sunnah ? or are they only an ijtihad regarding the current situation and/or conditions? And before that, do you really call for these conditions?

Al-Albani : First of all, we agreed to discuss this issue with you to find out about your da’wah [ i.e. what you’re calling to].

Jihad supporter : I told you about it.

Al-Albani : Then explain your da’wah. Your questions are premature now. I want to understand what your da’wah is for.

Jihad supporter : My da’wah is clear; [it is] to [wage]  jihad according to the conditions I mentioned. Intention because the prophet[ صلى الله عليه و سلم] said:

“Whoever fought for the word of Allah to be the higher word is [fighting for the cause of Allaah].”

Al-Albani : OK. Do we need an Amir [ military leader] to do jihad ?

Jihad supporter : No.

Al-Albani : So do [we wage]  jihad in a big , disorganized mess ? (Arabic : Fawda)

Jihad supporter : No … but

Al-Albani : Also, your first condition which is pure intention ; this condition [encompasses] every worship so [ that’s that] . Your second condition, [for it to be] under the Islamic banner, do you imagine  jihad without an Amir? How can we have an Islamic banner without an Amir for that banner ?

Jihad supporter : We can do jihad in this manner like if a muslim goes to a kafir enemy leader, and kills him.

Al-Albani : But we were talking about the jihad of a group. Jihad under an Islamic banner- is it the jihad of one person or the jihad of a group ? Also, a group of Muslims that leave for jihad, do they not need an Amir to lead them ?

Jihad supporter : Yes, yes of course. A group of Muslims who travel or leave for jihad need an Amir..

Al-Albani : Then why did you not mention this as a condition?

Jihad supporter : Well, okay, let us make it a third condition.

Al-Albani : Okay for the Fard al-ayn [ individually legal obligation] jihad, do we need a [group] for it or can it be done individually?

Jihad supporter : Either case.

Al-Albani : This is not an answer.

Jihad supporter : Why is that ?

Al-Albani : We said that jihad is of two kinds :

Fard  al-Kifayah [ communal obligation that only requires some members of society to fulfill such that the rest would be relieved of this duty] which only a small group of Muslims can do, and if a group do it, the rest of the Muslims are not questioned about it. This kind of jihad individuals can do on their own.

Fard al-‘ayn [individual obligation] which ALL Muslims have to do in [ any given task]. To do this kind of jihad, do we not need an Amir to lead the Muslims ?

Jihad supporter : Yes, we need an Amir [to lead this group].

Al-Albani : Good. We [ then proceed to] say that Amir [in this context] entails a Khalifah [caliph] for the [general body of] Muslims.

Jihad supporter :No, not a khalifah.

Al-Albani : Why? Is it dangerous to say khalifah?

Jihad supporter : Yes of course, because this means we want to reap the fruit before we plant the trees.

Al-Albani : This is what I see you doing; you say you want an Amir for the whole group of Muslims to lead into jihad and at the same time you don’t want him to be the khalifa? Is this what you’re saying?

Jihad supporter : Well, yes.

Al-Albani : Okay then ,where is this Amir and who is he? And can we have more than one Amir?

We are now on the condition we agreed on before, which is that we need an Amir, and you claim that we need an Amir to lead this group jihad without him being the khalifa. Which do we [go for] first, the Amir or the jihad ? This is like asking do we pray before the athan or after; which comes first ?

I sufficed with this excerpt because it’s evident that this layman doesn’t have any concrete proofs with which to state his case and doesn’t want to concede to this. In fact, if anyone scrutinizes these people’s arguments, they’d find it awash with logical fallacies that I’ll try to limit to a few examples;


1.Appeal to Authority (argumentum ab auctoritate): ” But the scholars encouraged the Muslims to wage jihaad.


2.Ad Hoc Rescue:” The mujaahideen have reinstated Shariah in the lands and they’ve returned justice to the people.”

3. Begging the Question: ” If we don’t wage jihaad, then the Muslim lands will be conquered by kuffaar.”

4.False dilemma: ” The Muslims of Syria are in dire need of support of mujaahideen or else they’ll succumb at the hands of Assad.”

5.Ad Hominem: ” Albaani is a Wahhaabi scholar-for-dollar! His claim doesn’t stand!”

6. Straw Man: ” You’re saying this isn’t legitimate Jihaad?So you’re against Jihaad? You’re against Islaam? Kaafirah!”

7.Two Wrongs Make a Right: ” Sure, suicide bombing isn’t condoned by Islaam, but if a mujaahid is going to die anyway, wouldn’t it be more effective to take out as many people as possible?”

8.Red Herring: ” OK, so the mujaahideen commit some mistakes by slaughtering people arbitrarily, but guess what I heard? There are many single brothers fighting, and they are looking for wives. Wanna bounce?Come on, it’ll be fun.”

9. Perfectionist Fallacy: ” I don’t agree with Albaani’s opinion that Muslims should first be educated, because let’s face it, it’s not possible to effectively teach the bulk of Muslims.”

10.Anecdotal Evidence: ” The mujahideen are on the right path because I heard of this brother who saw the prophet in his dream and he supported their cause.”

11.Appeal to Wishful Thinking: ”  The mujahideen would never mislead people. They are calling to the implementation of the Qur’aan and Sunnah!”


OK, so I got carried away a little 😀  but hopefully this will illustrate that just because something is widespread doesn’t make it true. The truth is consistent and it has principles. These people are dancing tango with the teachings of Islaam and improvising wherever they see fit because they have a covert agenda.

For more reading materials, I’ll include some links below

Suicide bombing and destruction is not jihad

Debate with a jihadi

Ten Points Regarding the Faulty Methodology of the Muslim Brotherhood(of Egypt)

Talk: Terrorism: Between Modern Western Thought and Correct Islamic Belief

(speaker is Abu Hafsah Kashiff Khan)

List of Rhetorical/Logical Fallacies


Respond to The reality of the purported Jihaad phenomenon in Muslim lands

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