As I’ve written, several young somali american men have disappeared from the Twin Cities in this last year. Their concerned family members report that these men call them to say that they’re in Somalia, and from what can be gathered, they’re there to fight the jihad.
So what’s the problem, if they’re simply fighting for freedom in their homeland and not killing innocent people?
For starters, the fiqh of jihad. When my husband arrived in the US, a white convert approached him in the masjid and attempted to engage him in a conversation about jihad and how he hoped he would be able to go and fight soon. The husband was suspicious that the man was possibly an informant, trying to snag him in some kind of drag net. He simply told the man that first he needed to learn the fiqh of jihad, and then he walked away.
The fiqh of jihad is complicated and places a lot of rules and restrictions on what a fighter can and cannot do. There would be a lot less slaughtering of innocent civilians and a lot more noble fighting if these men actually took the time to learn what the beloved Prophet (saws) taught his companions about fighting.
These young men snuck away to fight without telling their parents, and caused them much worry and distress. Is this what the Prophet (saws) advised?
Ab Sa’eed Khudri (ra) narrated that a person migrated to Rasulullah (saws) from Yemen. He enquired of him: “Do you have anyone in Yemen?” He replied: “Yes, my parents.” “Did they grant you permission?” he asked. He replied: “No”, upon this he said: “Return to them and seek their permission. If they agree, you may wage Jihad or else do good unto them.”[Ab Dawud]
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Amr (ra) reports that a person came to the Holy Prophet (saws) seeking permission to go for Jihad. He asked: “Are your parents alive?” “Yes”, he replied. Upon this he declared: “In them both you should make Jihad.” (Meaning that you should wage Jihad by serving them since this entails the same reward as Jihad) [Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmizi]
Mu’wiyah bin Jahimah (ra) reports that Jahimah once came to Rasulullah (saws) and said: “O Rasulullah! I intend to go into Jihad. I’ve come to you seeking your good counsel.” He asked him: “Is your mother alive.” “Yes,” he replied. Rasulullah (saws) then said: “Hold fast onto (serving) her as paradise lies near her foot.” [Ahmad, Bayhaqi, Nasaie]
Ibne Umar (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (saws) stated: “As a measure of good behaviour unto your parents, by you relaxing on the bed making them laugh and they making you laugh is more superior than you waging Jihad with a sword in the path of Allah azza wa Jalla.” [Kanzul – Umm’l]
Certainly, I’m no faqih, but I’m pretty certain that the parties that are recruiting these men from area masjids aren’t either, because there seems to be a pretty clear consensus among the ulema about how one should deal with their parents before partaking in jihad.
“Obeying parents is an individual obligation (fard `ayn), while Jihad (fighting in the Cause of Allah) is a collective obligation (fard kifayah). So, the former takes precedence over the latter. Hence, one is not allowed to participate in Jihad without seeking the consent of one’s parents. Consequently, parents can prevent their son from fighting, if they consider it too dangerous.
Al-Qastalani states that the majority of scholars maintain that one is not allowed to set out for Jihad if his parents or even one of them do not agree. But this is only applicable if parents are Muslims and Jihad does not become an individual obligation (fard `ayn).
Therefore, kindness and obedience to one’s parents are preferable to Jihad, for as we know, the former is an individual obligation, while the latter is a collective one, so long as there is no urgency.
For example, when `Abbas ibn Mirdas wanted to participate in Jihad, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told him – on knowing his mother to be elderly – that he was to take care of his mother, because obeying her would lead him to Paradise.
Al-Bukhari also reported in his Sahih (Authentic Collection of Hadith) that Ibn Mas`ud asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): “O Allah’s Messenger! What are the best deeds?” The Prophet replied, “Performing prayer on time.” Ibn Mas`ud asked, “Then what?” The Prophet said: “Obeying one’s parents.” Ibn Mas`ud said, “Then what?” The Prophet said, “Jihad.”
Thus, we see that the Prophet made kindness and obedience to parents a priority over Jihad. It is also reported, on the authority of `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`Aas that a man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to take his permission to fight in the cause of Allah. The Prophet asked him whether his parents were alive. The man said that they were. Hence, the Prophet said: “Taking care of them equals Jihad.”
Moreover, it is reported in the Authentic Books of Hadith, on the authority of Zayd ibn Khalid, that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever provides a fighter in the Cause of Allah with the necessary equipment for Jihad gains the same reward equal to that of the fighter.”
‘Providing for a fighter in the Cause of Allah’ means supporting him whether financially or physically. So, the Prophet stated that such a person receives the same reward as the fighter, even though he is not actually involved in fighting. This is because without such support one can not afford Jihad.”