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War is not permitted in the absence of the just Imam

Related from Yunis who said: 'I was with Imam al-Kaadhem (A) when a man asked the Imam (A): 'One of your followers has heard that a man is giving out swords and bo ws in the way of Allah so he went to him and took a sword and a bow from him (not knowing the proper way in this matter). He then met some of his companions who told him that this was not allowed and ordered him to return them (the sword and the bow). Imam al-Kaadhem (A) said: 'Then let him do so.'

But he replied that he had sought the man but was unable to fin d him and he was told that the man had died.

Imam al-Kaadhem (A) said: 'Then let him defend but not to fight.' The man said: 'and in places like Qazwin, or Ashkelon, or al-Daylam or other citad els?'

Imam al-Kaadhem (A) said: 'Yes.'

The man said: 'And if the enemy comes to where he is attached, what should he do?'

Imam al-Kaadhem said: 'He should defend the territory of Islam.'

The man asked: 'Should he fight jihad?'

Imam al-Kaadhem (A) said: 'No, unless he fears for the safety of the territory of Islam.'

The man said: 'Are you saying that if the Romans should enter upon the Muslims, they should not prevent them from doing so.'

Imam al-Kaadhem (A) said: "He should defend and if he should fear for the safety of Islam and the Muslims then he should fight and his fighting would be for himself (to protect his life, and those of other Muslims) and not for the government (of the time) for if Islam were to be obliterated then the reminder of Muhammad (S) would be obliterated."

Also related that Imam Saadiq (A) was asked his opinion about a man who entered the land of war safely and then deluded a people who were subject to another people. He (A) said:

'The Muslim should defend himself and fight to establish the rule of Allah and His Prophet. It is not allowed that he fight the unbelievers under the authority of a tyrannical rule (in a Muslim country) or their traditions.'

Related by Abu 'Urwah al-Sulami, from Imam Saadiq (A) who was asked by a man who said: 'I used to go on frequent military excursions and would travel far in seeking reward and would be absent for long periods of time. This began to be hard on me. Then I was told that there is to be no military campaigns in the absence of the just Imam. What is your opinion?' He (A) said: 'Shall I be brief or in detail?' He said:

'Why, in detail.' He (A) said: 'Alla h will bring the people before him on the Day of Resurrection according to their intentions . . .' (as if man wished the Imam to be brief.) The man said: 'Tell me in brief.' He (A) said: 'Ask your question.' The man said: 'If I went on a raid and battled the Polytheists is it necessary to call them to Islam before I fight them?'

He (A) said: 'If they raid and fight and are fought then you can fight them. If they are however, a people who have not raided or fought then you may not fig ht them until you call them to Islam.'

The man said: 'I called them and one answered and entered Islam in his heart. When he was in the Muslim country, he was treated unjustly, his dignity was violated and his possession was taken from him, and his rights abused. Am I responsible for this, as I had called him to Islam? 23 Imam Saadiq (A) said: "You are both rewarded for what has happened.

It is better that he is with you defending you, your family, your Qiblah and your Book, rather than being against you, fighting you, violating your dignity, spilling your blood and burning book."


23. It should be noted that save the first Imam, Imam Ali (A), all other imams did not officially assu me the office of government. Instead the Muslim were governed tyrants and despots . . . If the call to Islam has not reached them then you may not fight them, and if even they have been invited to Islam before, to reconfirm the invitation once more is even better.

Adapted from the book: "War, Peace & Non-Violence" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq Shirazi"

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