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Issue 3/Volume 1

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Benefits and Duties.

The events of September the 11th  and the responses to it have lead to a lot of ill-considered statements being made.  My inbox has been flooded with calls to some kind or other jihad against the "West" but there have also been as many mails that discuss in rational terms the known facts of the history that lead to this event and a few from scholars who clearly and logically present arguments based upon fundamental Islamic principles.
The calls for jihad, if they were valid, would present a real problem to Muslims in the West.  Many of us are native to these countries and most of the remainder have agreed to the overall laws and structures when seeking residence or citizenship.  The Ahl al-Sunnah scholar Shaykh 'Abd al-Rahman bin Nasir al-Barrak gives a clear response to those making or being tempted by the calls of extremists,
" It is obligatory upon the Muslims to aid their oppressed brothers against the oppressive infidels. The Messenger of Allah - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - said,
"The Muslim is his fellow Muslim's brother. He does not oppress him and he does not surrender him". [However], killing a "mu'aahid" (one who has a pact with the Muslims), or a "musta'min" (one who has been granted security by the Muslims in their lands), is not [a legitimate way] of assisting the Muslims, nor is it Jihad in the path of Allah. No aggression is to be shown against them. Such [aggression] is from the greatest of sins. The Most High says,
"If you fear treachery from a people, throw back [their covenant] to them, [so as to be] on equal terms. Indeed, Allah does not love the treacherous" (Al-Anfal:58)."
By being resident in a country we are parties in a mutual contract and our actions should be for the good of our homelands and our opposition to any wrong that our homeland indulges in should be conducted by lawful means.  It should be improved by the, agreed, system of that country unless it is an unbearable oppressive state.  Ayatollah Sayyed Dr F H Milani, speaking in London, said,

   "In our opinion, a Muslim's duty is to refer herself or himself to the infinite authority of the Almighty Allah and the guidance of HIS final Messenger (p.b.u.h.). The instructions from these two sources are to:
  Respect and honour all the duties and obligations of citizenship of the country whose nationality they hold as long as these do not oppose Allah or HIS Messengers (p.b.u.t) .
  Be worthy exemplars of Islamic conduct and behaviour.
  And, if they think there is any ambiguity between what their country and Islam demands, leave that to be handled by accredited Islamic jurists resident in that land, who are fully aware of all the circumstances. They should not themselves propound or promote ideas which may be false and which will consequently impugn the integrity of Islam and Muslims.