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Islamic Concept of Armed Forces
Along with the progress in craftsmanship and technology being a Muslim Soldier one should also keep in mind what our Religion has said about true and pure Islamic concept of Armed Forces. History has revealed that in 1965 war Muslim Fighters of Pakistan has got success by the great and auspicious help of Allah Almighty. Their strong grip, Faith in Allah and tactics on every aspect to serve their Motherland leads them towards success. Here I would like to quote the words of Air Cdr Rizwan Ullah (Shaheed), which he has stated on 6th Sept 2002 “Absolute Faith in God and believe in your own capabilities”

- In this article I have tried to cover most of the aspects that what actual Islam has said about Armed Forces by relating both the Quran and Hadith.

- Comments are most welcome! And in case of any mistake do tell me because I am also a learner.

Maryam Aslam

ARMED FORCES

Islamic concept of Armed Forces in addition to religious and worldly knowledge should be equipped with craftsmanship and technology so that it should be able to produce military hardware and weapons and should not be dependent on other countries and enemy country should not learn about important secret weapons. Military training for students, males and females, should be compulsory so that good personnel may be produced for Armed Forces in different fields. When entire Nation will have military know-how, then at critical time the whole nation will be of great use. Further more, Military education will improve discipline in the country and other countries will have to think well before starting war.

ARMED FORCES: ARMY, AIR FORCE AND NAVY

“Dedicated To Those Who Dare, Who Barely Rare, Yet Believe & Play With Conviction And Out Class Them Because They Are Born To Win The Hearts Forever”

Surah Al-Baqara

Verse154: Do not say about those who are slain in the cause of Allah (martyrs), that they are dead. Nay they are alive, but you do not perceive it.

Explanation: Allah has mentioned in this verse the distinction of martyrs that never say they are dead they are always alive and we are unaware and unable to think about the reward they are getting.

Verse155: Be sure We shall try you with something of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and life and the fruits (of your labour); but give tidings of happiness to those who have patience.

Verse156: Who say when assailed by adversity: “To God we belong, and to Him we shall return.

Verse 157: On such men are the blessings of God and His mercy, for they are indeed on the right path.

Explanation of Verse (155,156,157) w.ref.t Hadith: Abu Said Al-Khudri (RA) reported: A man came to the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and said, “Who is the best among men?” He (SAW) replied, “A believer who strives in the way of Allah with his wealth and life.” The man asked again, “Who is next to him (in excellence)?” He (SAW) said, “Next to him is a man who is engaged in worshipping his Rubb in a mountain valley.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

Commentary: This indicates Jihad is counted as the supreme virtue. It brings into focus the excellence of fighting Jihad with one’s wealth and life for the sake of Allah and those who fight for the great cause are indeed on the right path and Allah will help them definitely.

Verse190: Fight those in the way of Allah who fight you, but do not be aggressive: Allah does not like aggressors.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: Abu Yahya Khuraim bin Fatiq (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah said, “He who makes a contribution in Allah’s way, will have his reward seven hundred times recorded to his credit.” [At-Tirmidhi]

Commentary: The above-mentioned Verse & Hadith give glad tidings to those who spend in the way of Allah and strive in His Cause, do not become aggressive but show patience. This means that every endeavor in the Jihad has truthful reward.

Verse207: And there is a man who is willing to sell even his soul to win the favour of Allah; and Allah is compassionate to His creatures.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: Abu Dharr (RA) reported: The Prophet (SAW) was asked: “Which deed is the best?” He (SAW) replied, “Faith in Allah and Jihad (fighting struggle) in the cause of Allah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commentary: Verse and Hadith focuses on the excellence of fighting Jihad even with ones soul for the sake of Allah.

Surah Al-Imran

Verse13: There was a token for you in the two armies which clashed (in the Battle of Badr), one fighting for Allah, the other of unbeliever who saw with their own eyes the faithful to be two times as many as they, for God reinforces with His help whomsoever He will. In this is a lesson for those who have eyes.

Verse123: For Allah had helped you during the Battle of Badr at a time when you were helpless. So act in compliance with the laws of Allah; you may well be grateful.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: Hazrat Anas (R.A) reported: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) and his Companions reached Badr before the polytheists, and when they arrived, he (SAW) directed: “Let no one of you advance ahead of me.” When the polytheists came near, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Now stand up and proceed towards Jannah which is as wide as are the heavens and the earth.” ‘Umair bin Al-Humam (RA) asked: “Is Jannah as wide as are the heaven and the earth?” Prophet (SAW) replied in the affirmative. ’Umair remarked: “Great!” The Prophet (SAW) asked him what had argued him to say so. He replied: “Nothing, O Messenger of Allah! But hope that I might become one of the inhabitant of Jannah.” The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “You will definitely be among them.” Umair then took some dates out of his quiver and began to eat them, but after a short time he said: “If I survive till I eat my dates, it will mean a long life.” So he threw away the dates which he had with him and then fought with the enemy till he was killed. [Muslim]

Commentary: The Verse and Hadith explains the importance of the obedience of the leader. Prophet as leader was blessed with all the laws of Allah and by following His rules he (SAW) commanded his Companions respectively. In this way Allah has succeeded them. This indicates that soldiers should follow the laws of Allah and wait for the orders of their leader, and should not take any step without their orders In order to infuse the true spirit of Jihad among the soldiers, they should be told and reminded about the blessings of Jannah so that they fight with enthusiasm and valour for attaining it.

Verse169: Never think that those who are killed in the way of God are dead. They are alive, getting succor from their Lord,

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: Hazrat Salman (R.A) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) as saying, “Observing Ribat in the way of Allah for a day and a night is far better than observing Saum (fasting) for a whole month and standing in Salat (prayer) in all its nights. If a person dies (while performing this duty), he will go on receiving his reward for his meritorious deeds perpetually, and he will be saved from Al-Fattan”. [Muslim]

Commentary: Good deeds of a Muslim who dies or is martyred on the frontier will perpetuate and will be credited to his account till the Day of Resurrection; and like all other martyrs, sustenance will be provided to him even after his death. “Al-Fattan here means the interrogation in the grave which the two Angels Munkir and Nakir will conduct”

Verse200: So you, who believe, have endurance in suffering, be patient and persevere, strengthen each other and be firm, and be pious and fear Allah that you may find success.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Do not wish for an encounter with the enemy. Pray to Allah to grant you safety; (but) when you encounter them, show patience.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Hazrat Anas (RA) reported: Whenever the Messenger of Allah (SAW) set out to participate in Jihad, he would supplicate: “Allahumma Anta ‘adudi wa nasiri, bika ahulu, wa bika asulu, wa bika uqatilu (O Allah, You are my Supporter and my Helper. With Your help I get strength, and with Your help I bounce upon the enemy and defeat it, and with Your help I fight).” [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi]

Commentary: Along with the physical resources for war, one should also pray for victory, and for that, it is essential that one submits to Allah, remembers Him and seeks His Help and show patience. Prayer is a great source of strength and support for a Muslim and he must make full use of it. The Hadith also teaches us what to say when one sets out for Jihad.

Surah An-Nisa

Verse71: O believers, take precautions, and advance in detachments, or go all together in a body.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: ‘Uqbah bin ‘Amir Al-Juhani (RA) reported: I heard the Prophet (SAW) saying from the pulpit, “Prepare to meet them (the enemy) with as much strength as you can afford. Verily! Strength is in archery, strength is in archery, strength is in archery” [Muslim]

Commentary: In accordance with the conditions of his times, the Prophet (SAW) ordained the Muslims to acquire every possible power and keep it ready for war. Elucidating his order on this point, he stated that by power he meant archery and then he repeated this word three times to stress its importance. He did it because the art of archery had fundamental importance in war at that time. In the present day world, archery has lost its value as it has been replaced by other inventions like tanks, guns, missiles, atom bombs, etc. Similar is the case of devices, which are used in air and naval war like fighter aircrafts, anti aircrafts, submarines, etc and all these military wares have superb importance in modern warfare. In the present day context, the injunction of the Noble Quran to acquire power means manufacturing and possession of all these devices. It is incumbent on the Muslims that they equip themselves with all this material and show no carelessness in this regard. In modern times unless Muslims pursue the Quranic injunctions and acquire greater or equal or at least similar measures and style of power, as is possessed by the non-Muslims, they will not be able to check the onslaught of their enemies, and to defeat them. So it is the responsibility upon the Muslims warriors to overpower the might and power of the infidels for the glorification of Islam.

Verse84: So fight on in the way of Allah (irrespective of the others).

You cannot compel any one except your own self; but urge the believers to fight. It may well be that Allah will keep back the might of the infidels, for Allah’s might is greater, and severe His punishment.

Explanation: The desire for war is prohibited, but when war becomes inevitable, one should not show his back to the enemy; rather, one should fight in the way of Allah and perform in the best of his ability and be steadfast in it. Along with steadfastness and patience in fighting, one should also pray for victory because all powers lie with Allah and no one can gain victory without His will and infidels cannot get away from Him.

Surah Al-Anfal

Verse45: O believers, when you meet an army, stand firm, and think of Allah profusely that you may be blessed with success.

Relevant Hadith: Abu Musa Al-Ashari (RA) reported that when the Prophet (SAW) had any fear of an enemy, he used to supplicate: “Allahumma inna naj’aluka fi nuhurihim, wa na’udhu bika min shururihim (O Allah! We put You in front of them, and we seek refuge in You from their evils).” [Ahmad and Abu Dawud]

Commentary: When one is gripped with fear, he should recite the prayer quoted above in Hadith. Since Allah is the One Who saves from an enemy, one should therefore, pray to Him and beseech His Help and stand firm for the sake of Allah.

Verse57: If you meet them in battle, inflict on them such a defeat, as would be a lesson for those who come after them, and that they may be warned.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) and Jabir (RA) reported: The Prophet (SAW) said, “War is Deception.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commentary: “Khadah” means deception, i.e., employing a strategy, which causes misunderstanding to the enemy, and one’s real intent does not become evident to them. Adopt such a tactics that the enemy can’t even dare to do anything. This is permissible in Islam in the state of War.

Verse59: The infidels should not think that they can bypass (the Law of Allah). Surely they cannot get away.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: Jabir bin Abdullah (RA) reported: The dead body of my father, who was mutilated by the enemy, was brought and placed before the Prophet (SAW). I got up and uncover his face but the people stopped me, and the Prophet (SAW) said, “The angels continue to cover him with their wings.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commentary: The infidels in the battle of Uhud treated many of the Companions of the Prophet (SAW) in a beastly manner out of sheer spite and vengeance. But Islam has strictly forbidden its followers from doing any thing to its enemies. This Hadith mentions the distinction of ‘Abdullah which he received by virtue of his martyrdom. He was martyred in the battle of Uhud and his dead body was badly mutilated by the enemies. The Hadith also mentions the honour, which martyrs receive from the angels that surround their bodies with their wings. So the Verse and Hadith indicates that Muslims should follow those laws, which are given to them from Allah and strictly obey them and by doing so definitely they will get reward accordingly and infidels do not even think that they can easily get away from the punishment of Allah.

Verse60: Prepare against them whatever arms and cavalry you can muster, that you may strike terror in (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your own, and others besides them not known to you, but known to Allah. Whatever you spend in the way of Allah will be paid back to you in full, and no wrong will be done to you.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: ‘Uqbah bin ‘Amir Juhani (RA) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) saying, “lands shall be laid open to you, and Allah will suffice you (against your enemies), but none of you should neglect practicing his skills in archery.” [Muslim]

Commentary: Muslims have been informed through Hadith and Verse that gates of conquest of many regions will be opened on them in future. Almighty Allah will favour them with special help; and because of this help enemies will not be able to cause any harm to them. But it is essential that they should not lack in acquiring the material resources required for war, nor neglect military preparations and exercises. Modern military weapons, and new style of warfare have now taken the place of archery, and Muslims should master all of them and whatever the fighters do in the cause of Allah, Allah will definitely prosper them and give reward to them respectively.

Surah At-Taubah

Verse20: Those who accepted the faith and left their homes and fought in the way of Allah, wealth and soul, have a greater reward with Allah, and will be successful.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: Hazrat Jabir (RA) reported: A man asked the Prophet (SAW) “Tell me where I will be if Iam killed while fighting in the way of Allah?” He (SAW) replied, “In Jannah.” The man threw away the few dates which he had in his hands, jumped into the battlefield and fought on till he was killed. [Muslim]

Commentary: This indicates that those who left their homes, having sincere intentions and faith are bound to be rewarded by Jannah. Such people can be safely given the glad tidings of Jannah.

Verse88: But the Prophet and those who have embraced the faith with him, and have fought wealth and soul (in the way of Allah), are blessed and will be successful.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: Al-Bara (RA) reported: A man equipped with arms came to the Prophet (SAW) and asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Should I go and fight or should I embrace Islam first?” He (SAW) replied, “Enter in the fold of Islam and then fight.” He embraced Islam and fought until he was killed. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (SAW), “He accepted Islam for a short time but was rewarded much.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commentary: Sometimes Almighty Allah awards with His Grace and Mercy abundant reward even on small virtues. This Verse and Hadith also makes it absolutely clear that a person becomes eligible for reward for his good after embracing the Faith. In the absence of Faith no virtue is acceptable to Allah.

Verse111: Allah has verily bought the souls and possessions of the faithful in exchange for a promise of Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, and kill and are killed. This is a promise incumbent on Him, as in the Torah, so the Injeel (Gospel) and the Quran. And who is more true to his promise than Allah? So rejoice at the bargain you have made with Him; for this will be triumph supreme.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: Hazrat Anas (RA) reported: the Prophet (SAW) said, “No one who has entered Jannah will desire to return to this world even if he should be given all the world contains, except a martyr. For he will yearn that he should return to the world and be killed ten times on account of the dignity that he will experience by virtue of his martyrdom.”

Another narration is: On account of the experience and distinction, he will experience as a result of martyrdom.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commentary: The distinction and high status, which a martyr will get by virtue of his martyrdom, will be such that he will desire to return to the world again and again to lay down his life for the sake of Allah. Except for the martyr, nobody else from the people in Jannah will desire to return to this world for any worldly thing.

Surah Al-Hajj

Verse58: Those left their homes in the way of Allah, and then were killed or died, will surely be given a better provision by Allah, for Allah is surely the best of providers.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah said, “The martyr experiences no more pain in being slain than one of you experiences from the stinging of an ant.” [At-Tirmidhi]

Commentary: The Verse and Hadith explain how Allah has made convenient martyrdom. One, who is martyred, feels as much pain in martyrdom as a person ordinarily feels with the sting of an ant and he will receive his full reward in the Hereafter.

Surah Muhammad

Verse31: We shall try you in order to know who are the fighters among you, and who are men of fortitude, and test your histories.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: Abu Musa (RA) reported: A beouin came to the Prophet (SAW) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! One man fights for booty, another fights to win fame, and the third fights for show off. “Another narration is: “One fights for displaying his valour, another fights out of his family pride.” Another narration is: “”One fights out of rage.” He asked: “Which of them is fighting in the Cause of Allah?” The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “The one who fights so that Word of Allah (Islam) be exalted, is the one who fights in the Cause of Allah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commentary: Allah tests even the fighter by His way. We learnt from the Verse and explanation that one who fights for any worldly interest is not a Mujahid (Soldier). Only he is a Mujahid who fights for the religion of Allah and to win His Pleasure alone. Those who serve their life for the sake of Allah and are killed are the “Shaheed” and those who serve their life for the sake of Allah and come back with prosperity and success are the “Ghazi” and Allah will reward them both accordingly.

Surah As-Saff

Verse4: Surely Allah loves those who fight on His cause in full formations as though they were a cemented wall.

Explanation w.ref.t Hadith: Hazrat Uthman (RA) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) saying: “Spending a day on the frontier in Allah’s way is better than one thousand days in any other place.” [At-Tirmidhi]

Commentary: The Verse and Hadith emphasis that Allah loves those fighters who take care of the frontiers and have full grip on them for the sake of Allah.

There are many other aspects that are mentioned in Hadith like:
  • To start war in the afternoon because this was the practice of Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)
  • Jihad is far superior than voluntary Salat. This is perfectly true because the benefit of Salat is restricted to the one who performs it while the benefits of Jihad reach a vast number of people because it is to safeguard the religion, raise the flag of Islam high and safeguard the Islamic territories. But it is only possible when there is a general proclamation for Jihad and there is such severe fight that is not permissible for anyone to stay behind; that is to say, it becomes obligatory. In the ordinary circumstances, when a general proclamation for Jihad is not made, the voluntary Salat is the best of all acts of worship.
  • Importance and merit of preparation for war against the enemy. In Hadith books it is mentioned that in modern times, a Muslim who manufactures war weapons with the intention that he will use them for Jihad, will get a reward for it along with all those who in some way co-operate with him in manufacturing them.
  • Mutual help of the Muslims and the reward of their co-operation with one another. To provide the needs of Jihad of a Mujahid and to arrange for the protection, supervision and requirements of the family of a Mujahid during his absence from home due to jihad is as good as participation in Jihad. Those who help the Mujahid in this manner will have the same reward to which the Mujahid is entitled.

References:

  • Proper Way Guide for Human Beings
    Compiled by Mohammad Yasin Shareef
  • Riyad-us-Saliheen
    Compiled by Al-Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya bin Sharaf An-Nawawi Ad-Dimashqi
    Commentary by Hafiz Salahuddin Yusuf
 
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