Muslims in the UK armed forces

Imam Asim Hafiz is not surprised that more and more Muslims are joining the British military. He is in no doubt, either, that British Muslims can be good soldiers?. That is not because Mr Hafiz was the first Muslim chaplain for the Armed Forces when he was appointed in 2005. Nor is it because he is now an Islamic adviser to the MoD. Rather, it is because, as with an increasing number of Muslims, he believes that there is no contradiction between being of Muslim faith and choosing to defend Britain.
Hafiz was invested as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire earlier this month, during a ceremony that coincided with Islam Awareness Week. To mark this, the MoD announced that, since 2007, the number of Muslims serving in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force has risen by more than 40 per cent. It goes against public perception, but Mr Hafiz says that it is to be expected. “The increasing number of Muslims in the armed forces is a natural change, because society is becoming more tolerant and young Muslim men and women feel more able to come forward and serve,” he says.

One of the objections, from our Sunni brothers, against the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib, is that he ‘supported’ the British rule in India. He did not support the British rule in India but he was grateful to them for rescuing Muslims from the situation they found themselves in when they lost political power and gave followers of every religion the opportunity to practice it openly and to preach it.

Sunni Muslims were on the one hand decrying Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib and on the other joining the British military and civil service. Sunni Muslims even attacked and killed Sunni Muslims of Turkey during World War I while fighting for the British Empire.

The same thing is happening now. In those countries where Muslims are in a majority they give sermons and speeches about the necessity of violent jihad but when they come to the West, they become pussy cats. Now their followers are joining the British army.

Original Source: Independent

Armed forces Imam

Sunni Muslims have always vociferously denounced the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, because he suggested that it was not an Islamic Jihad to fight the British army when they had control over India.

He made a clear and logical reasoning for his standpoint, but this did not stop the vicious attacks against him.

And now we here the news that a Sunni has been appointed an imam in the British armed forces. When interviewed he claimed that there is no conflict between being a Muslim and serving in the British Army. It follows therefore that there must be many Muslims in the British armed forces whose needs are to be catered for by such an appointment.

In the light of the continual Sunni attacks on the Promised Messiah, we have to wonder how our Sunni brothers can reconcile the appointment of Imam Asim Hafiz with their views.

Will Imam Asim Hafiz also be demonised and denounced?

In the Whirlwind of Jihad

While most of the social science literature about jihad focuses on jihad bil saif — when believers engage in an armed struggle in defence of Islam – the Quran terms this “a lesser jihad,” as it is the product of the circumstances in which a believer finds himself. But every Muslim believer must engage in jihad al-nafs, ‘the greater jihad’, as it is a struggle to rid evil from within oneself.

This is what Martha Brill Olcott writes in a brief but thoughtful “Preface” to her In the Whirlwind of Jihad book, which courageously examines the role of Islamic jihad, and the intertwined nature of religion, the state, and society

Non-Ahmadis and non-Muslims are now turning to what the Lahori-Ahmadis have been preaching from day one.

That the true concept of jihad is one not of violence with the “sword” but to overcome the struggles with ‘the pen’, as is shown by this review of a recent book about Islam.

Original Source: Tribune India

Mujaddids and Armed Jihad – A Translation

Qutb-ud-Din ahmad ibn Abdul Rahim, better known as Shah Waliullah, was an Islamic scholar, reformer and founder of modern Islamic thought who attempted to reassess Islamic theology in the light of modern changes. He was the Mujaddid of the 12th Century AH.

The most important of Shah Waliullah’s works is ‘Hujjat Allah al Baligha’, in which he made an attempt to present the teachings of Islam in a spirit of scientific objectivity.

What follows is an extract from the introduction to its Urdu translation which has been rendered into English by Shahid Aziz and is taken from pages 29-31 of the Urdu book.

A Divinely raised scholar or mujaddid is obedient to the Prophet

Some short-sighted people raise this objection regarding Shah sahib (r): “Why did he not conduct a jihad?” The answer to it is this, that:

1. First, this point is not credible that, for a Divinely raised scholar and mujaddid, it is essential to take the sword in hand and engage disbelief and shirk [Footnote: ‘Associating others with God’] or those who are heretics. A Divinely raised scholar or mujaddid is obedient to the Prophet.

The question is: From among the prophets and great personalities how many, not content with the propagation of the true religion, took up the sword for jihad? Is the life of the Holy Prophet himself at Makkah not an example for us? Is it not jihad to raise the pen to eliminate disbelief and shirk and heresy? And is this glorious deed not included in the meaning of jihad that a Divinely raised scholar, by the power of his pen, cuts through all those veils on account of which the shining face of the true religion is hidden from the eyes of the people and shows its true beauty to the public, unveils its truths and high moral teaching and makes known to every section of the nation of Islam their errors and mistakes that they had been making for centuries.

If the answer to this question is not in the negative, and certainly it is not, then I have no hesitation in saying that Hazrat Shah sahib (r) was a great Divinely-raised scholar, a great mujaddid and a great warrior…If, after this, there is still anxiety in someone’s heart as to why Hazrat Shah sahib (r) did not conduct armed jihad then we have no answer for them except silence.

Now as promised, I briefly sketch the achievements of Hazrat Shah sahib’s (r) jihad with the pen….

Comment: Hazrat Shah Walliullah was not unique in conducting his mission in this manner. Only when Muslims faced persecution, for example at the hands of the Sikh rulers of the Punjab, did the Mujaddid of the age, Syed Ahmad Shaheed, conduct armed Jihad.

Sadly, the Sunnis betrayed his hideout for a bribe and he was martyred. Interestingly, he crossed the territory ruled by the British but did not conduct armed Jihad against them because there was no religious persecution. Almost all other Mujaddids conducted their Jihad with the pen.