The news is unfortunately filled with stories of how Muslims are killing Muslims. Most recently, this has occurred in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and also in Palestine. We cannot use violence to resolve disputes with our brothers in the Ummah, as Allah (swt) has made it haram. We must abide by the Shariah when resolving our disputes. Ultimately, we must work to establish the Khilafah and appoint an Amir over us who will implement the justice of Islam. InshAllah, the Khaleefah will be proactive in ensuring our unity and resolving disputes if they are to arise.
The Associated Press reported that fighting between two rival groups in Somalia resulted in the death of 12 people. The article alleges that Al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam fought each other for the control of Kismayo; a port city in Somalia.
The breakout of violence in Somalia, where Muslims are kill-ing Muslims, is part of a disturbing trend that we are witness-ing in the Muslim world. In Pakistan, we have seen the fight-ing of the Pakistani army against the Muslims of Swat. In Yemen, we are seeing the reigniting of the war between the northern tribes and the southern tribes. In Palestine, we also see Muslims from Fatah fighting the Muslims from Hamas.
Killing Muslims is Haram
Allah (swt), in the following ayat, has warned us about the consequences of killing Muslims:
وَمَنْ يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِنًا مُتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَابًا عَظِيمًا
“And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recom-pense is Hell to abide therein, and the Wrath and the Curse of Allah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him."[TMQ 4:93]
And in the following hadith, RasulAllah (saw) makes it clear that killing and abusing Muslims is haram:
"Abusing the Muslim is an aggression and fighting him is disbelief."[Bukhari and Muslim]
RasulAllah (saw) also warned us of the following:
"When two Muslims face each other in fighting and one kills the other, then both the killer and the killed are in the hell-fire." The Companions asked, "O Messenger of Allah, this is the killer - what about the poor person who has been killed?" The Prophet (saw), said "He had the intention to kill his companion."[Bukhari and Muslim]
Therefore, engaging in a war with a fellow Muslim with the intention of killing him can be the cause of one’s failure on the Day of Judgment. As it is well known, the killing of a soul is a grave sin in Islam. It was narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
“The destruction of the world is lighter on Allah than the killing of one Muslim man.”[Tirmidhi]
In situations where Muslims are called out by their leaders (whether group leaders or rulers) to fight one another – they must refrain from doing so; for there is no obedience to the creation in disobedience to the Creator. Instead, they should advise such leaders to end the fitnah and stop fighting one another.
Furthermore, blaming leaders for one’s actions will hold no weight on the Day of Judgment. Allah (swt) has re-vealed:
يَوْمَ تُقَلَّبُ وُجُوهُهُمْ فِي النَّارِ يَقُولُونَ يَا لَيْتَنَا أَطَعْنَا اللَّهَ وَأَطَعْنَا الرَّسُولَا (66) وَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا إِنَّا أَطَعْنَا سَادَتَنَا وَكُبَرَاءَنَا فَأَضَلُّونَا السَّبِيلَا
“On the day when their faces are turned over in the Fire, they shall say, ‘Oh, had we obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger’, and they shall say, ‘O our Lord, we obeyed our masters and our great ones and they led us astray from the (right) Way’”[TMQ 33:66-67]
Importance of Brotherhood in Islam
With regards to dealing with each other, we must remember that the most important factor is that we are Muslims. Killing a fellow Muslims must not even by an option in our minds when we are dealing with another. Our brotherhood must transcend any other aspect of our identity. Nationality, group, tribe, or even madhab are all secondary to the fact that we are Muslim. When Prophet Muhammad (saw) was granted authority in Madinah, he established an agreement between the Muslims and Jews. Prophet Muhammad (saw) began the document as follows:
"This is a document from Muhammad the Prophet (saw), governing the relations between the believing Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib, and those who followed them and joined them and fought alongside them. They are one Ummah to the exclusion of all people."
On the issue of brotherhood, Allah (swt) revealed:
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ
“The believers are nothing else than brothers.”[TMQ 49:10]
With respect to the importance of loving one another, it is narrated that Prophet Muhammad (saw) said:
“By the one in whose hands is my soul! None of you can enter Jannah until you believe and none of you can be-lieve until you love each other for Allah’s sake. Shall I not direct you to something, which if you do it will bring love between you? Do spread the salutations among you.”[Muslim]
Islam’s Method of Resolving Disputes
The root cause of these disputes is due to the absence of the implementation of Islam by a sincere leadership. The justice and security of Islam would prevent many disputes from occurring in the first place. However, if disputes were to arise the sincere Islamic leadership could resolve them in manner that is based on shariah.
Since Islam is a complete way of life, it has a mechanism to resolve disputes, including disputes between the citizens of the Khilafah and the State, between different Islamic opin-ions, and between different groups. Therefore, the only way to ensure peace among the Muslims is to re-establish the Khilafah, which will prevent such haram from occurring and ensure that the disputes of the Muslims are resolved in a manner that pleases Allah (swt).
In the Khilafah, a special court, the Mahkamat ul-Mazalim (Court of Unjust Acts), resolves disputes between the citi-zens and the Khaleefah. For differences of Sharii’ opinions on specific issues, the Khaleefah has the right to bind an opinion upon the Ummah and preserve the unity of the state. For individuals or groups who disagree with one another, a duly appointed judge arbitrates between them, and they are bound by his resolution. Even in the absence of the Khalee-fah, groups that are fighting with one another must abide by the Shariah and resolve their disputes based on the Quran and Sunnah. Whoever rejects the rule of Allah must be pres-sured by all Muslims to accept it. Allah (swt) has revealed:
وَإِنْ طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا فَإِنْ بَغَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الْأُخْرَى فَقَاتِلُوا الَّتِي تَبْغِي حَتَّى تَفِيءَ إِلَى أَمْرِ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ فَاءَتْ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا بِالْعَدْلِ وَأَقْسِطُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ
“If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them trans-gresses beyond bounds against the other then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies then make peace between them with justice and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just).”[TMQ 49:9]
As for the struggle to re-establish Islam as a way of life, it has to be according to the example of RasulAllah (saw). His methodology did not involve violence. Consequently, one of the top priorities for those who seek change has to be the avoidance of killing or harming Muslims, as this is the way of RasulAllah (saw). As Allah (swt) has revealed:
قُلْ هَذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ عَلَى بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
“Say: This is my way: I call to Allah, I and those who fol-low me being certain, and glory be to Allah, and I am not one of the polytheists.”[TMQ 12:108]
The method of the Prophet (saw) to establish the Islamic State was not through military means. Rather, he worked in Makkah to call individuals to Islam and mold them into Is-lamic personalities – people who believed in the Oneness of Allah (swt), would act according to the hukm sharai’ and were motivated by the promise of Jannah. The Prophet (saw) established a group, the Sahabah (ra), that engaged with the society challenging the societal norms, customs and traditions. Within this interaction in society, the Prophet (saw) was ordered by Allah (swt) to seek nusrah and it was with the Ansar that Allah (swt) gave it to him. Since this was RasulAllah (saw)’s method we have no choice but to obey and follow his method.
Divisions in the Ummah: Exploited by the Colonialists
A second dimension to the problem of Muslims fighting Mus-lims is that it makes us susceptible to the domination of the disbelievers. The Europeans and Americans have not forgot-ten the potential of the Ummah. They remember that the Khilafah ruled parts of Europe for centuries and that the Muslims are formidable on the battlefield. Therefore, these nations – America and Europe – will work to ensure that the Ummah stays weak. They will work to disunite the Ummah in whatever way they can. This was prophesized by Prophet Muhammad (saw):
“The nations are on the verge of summoning each other over you, as the eaters summon each other over their large bowl. So a speaker said: Is it due to our small number on that day? He said: No, rather that day you will be many, but you will be foam like the foam of the torrent.”[Abu Dawud].
Therefore, we must be aware that the non-Muslim nations will take advantage of the divisions amongst us and use them to gain domination over us. And this is exactly what happened during the colonial era. The Western nations in-vaded Muslim lands in order to impose kufr (Capitalism), to subjugate the people and plunder their resources. This tactic of “divide and conquer” was described by T.E. Lawrence (a.k.a. “Lawrence of Arabia”) as follows: “If we can only ar-range that his (Sherif Hussein; who led some Arab tribes in betrayal against the Uthmani Khilafahl) political change shall be a violent one, we will have abolished the threat of Islam, by dividing it against itself in its very heart. There will be a Khalifa in Turkey and a Khalifa in Arabia, in theological war-fare, and Islam will be as little formidable as the Papacy when Popes lived in Avignon.” This policy culminated in the signing of the Sykes-Picot treaty, which divided the Muslim lands amongst the British and the French. This treaty and other Western actions have led to the tragic situation today where the Muslims are divided into 50+ states, which had previously been united under one Khilafah.
After World War II, the Americans took over where the Euro-peans left off. Today, America is unsatisfied with the map drawn by the Europeans and it intends to further break up the Muslim lands. The American plan to divide the Muslim lands was laid out in an article published in the Armed Forces Journal in 2006 , which divided Iraq, Turkey, Paki-stan, Saudi Arabia, and other Muslim countries into even smaller and weaker states. And we are seeing this plan come to fruition – not just in Iraq, but also now in Pakistan. Further-more, the influential American think tank, RAND, openly at-tacks the concept of Ummah as being a disease calling it “umma-itis". In another report authored by Cheryl Benard, (wife of Zalmay Khalilzad, Bush’s Ambassador to Iraq) RAND has no shame in publicizing its “divide and conquer” strategy, stating: “Support the traditionalists against the fundamentalists: Discourage alliances between tradi-tionalists and fundamentalists”.
As Muslims, we must be aware of these plots – the disbe-lievers are so brazen as to openly declare them!
How can we knowingly disobey Allah (swt) and fall into their traps?May Allah (swt) help us to re-establish the Khilafah, so that we may have a just ruler who will unite us and settle our dis-putes in a manner that pleases Allah (swt).
إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ
"Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous of you."[TMQ 49:13].