The main difference between Islam and other conventional religions is that Islam is not only a religion, but a social order, a strict, disciplinary, and inflexible set of moral, ethics, rules, and even the most private aspects of privacy; therefore, Islam is a political entity: “al-Islam wal dawla” (Islam is the state).
To understand this important characteristic, we have to consider the comparison between the status of the Prophet of Islam, also as the founder of Islamic state, with the status of the other main prophets like Jesus and Moses: Mohammad was responsible to lead the Islamic community, “Ummah”, whereas Jesus was neither in such a position to become a political leader nor had enough lived to achieve a ruling position. His here-after kingdom was not for this world. Moses had the “mission” to guide his followers to the Promised Land, but in the literary sense of the word, he was not a political leader.
Jihad is a duty of any Muslim; only through it Islam could survive.
This is quite obvious that in a leadership, the leading system needs the repressive organs to impose its leadership when people do not bow to it. In the case of Islamic societies ruled by Islamic states, if “mild” moral or ethnic guidance do not function, Jihad is the only functional alternative to bring order. Now, this is only the inner function of jihad when the Islamic society is ruled by an Islamic ruling system.
So, what happens to the “Dar-al-Kofr” (territory of infidels, or no Muslims)? It is obvious that it is the ultimate goal of Islam to expand the “Dar-al-Islam” (territory of Islam) in the determent of “Dar-al-kufr”. For this “irrefutable” Islamic duty, jihad was and remains the most effective weapon of Islam to expand its “Dar-al-Islam”.
Through act of jihad, non-Muslims of “Dar-al-kufr” were forced to abandon their belief and identify to enjoy “Dar-al-Islam”. Early Jihadis destroyed the most advanced cultures of the ancient time like that of Iran, Egypt and Syria to impose a barbaric culture of primitive Arabian Pagans.
Today, whatever definition alleviates, softens, or attempts to grotesquely modernise the notion of jihad, it is the most barbaric and aggressive factor of an ever existing “holy” entity of “Dar-al-Islam”. It justifies the hegemonic of “Dar-al-Islam” and is the “holy” strategy of Islamic imperialism of ”al-Islam wal dawla”.
Jihad, in any conceptual interpretation, does not recognise any “game” of permanent peace because such a permanent peace does not necessarily match to the necessary expansion of “Dar-al-Islam”. Islam without “holy” jihad could never reach its today’s expansion.
Islam without “holy” jihad could never reach its today’s expansion.
Jihad is a duty of any Muslim; only through it Islam could survive. It is not only to expand “Dar-al-Islam”, but also to impose the “holy” and absolute despotism of the Islamic ruling institutions on the “Umma”, as it is the case of “Velayat-e Faghih” (absolute power of the Supreme Leader) in Iran.
Unlike the European institutions which received the legitimacy from Roman law, but without any forced imposition of Christianity, the institutions under Islamic states are run by “al Islam wal dawla”, as it is the case in Iran and Saudi Arabia. If Catholic Church was a parallel institution during the period of the Inquisition, the Mosque has now gained a status of a ruling institution.
Thanks to such institutions, Islam was not fated out in the course of history like many other social advents.
It was thought when the Prophet passed on that the “Dar-al-Islam” had started its sudden end. However, Islam was already institutionalised; it was an ideological tool of the politically established ruling class.
It was soon clear that Mohammad’s successors had ambitions to expand the ”Dar-al Islam”. When the Persian Sassanyd Dynasty became week, the Islamic invaders turned on Romania and Iran, who were both exhausted from the longest and harshest war they had ever fought against each others.
The Roman position in Syria and Egypt was also compromised by the Monophysite heresy of the locals, and its suppression by Imperial authorities. Thanks to jihadi invaders, it began a new era of ”Seif-al-Islam” (sword of Islam) in the world. The sword conquered and islamised a great part of the world through the interpretation of jihad. The sword is still on the flag of Saudi Arabia representing an emblem of the Golden Ages of Islamic Caliphate.
Jihad, both in the past and present, remains in actuality a justification of aggression.
The first Caliphs were all either fathers-in-law or sons-in-law of the Prophet of Islam. The holy character of Caliphs was explained and supported by the claim that they were all regarded as the only necessary rulers of God’s state. In other words, they were the early rulers of the “al-Islam wal dawla”.
All these Caliphs, successors of the Prophet, like the prophet himself, were not desert nomads of the Arabia, but instead from the high civil class of the Arabian society, which was then a prerequisite for gaining status in the ruling class. They propagated the idea that in early Judaism and Christianity, a few numbers of people could be chosen by God for a specific purpose. “The Caliph must be a man from the tribe of wealthy and well-known Qoreish because its members, like Mohammad, were implicitly presented as the leading tribe chosen by God.
The holy period of the “Rightly Guided Caliphs”, all of whom were relatives, ended in a power struggle. The ”ijma’” (consensus of the Prophet’s followers) lost the “brotherly” sense in the quest for power, all in the sense of jihad, which both in the past and present remains in actuality a justification of aggression. ENDS JIHAD IS AGGRESSION 8907
Editor’s note: Mr. Rashidian is a human rights activist and political commentator and analyst based in Germany. His articles are published by many Iranian websites, including IPS and Mideastyouth, which posted this item on 5 September 2007.
Highlights are some editing are by IPS
Jahanshah Rashidian (Iran/Germany)