THE BATTLEFIELD: THE SAFEST PLACE ON EARTH
By Amir Sulaiman
I bear witness that there is nothing in the heavens nor Earth worthy of worship besides Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the slave and last Messenger of Allah. All Praise is for Allah, we praise Him, we seek His help, we seek His forgiveness, and we repent to Him for the evils of ourselves, and our evil actions. Whosoever Allah guides none can mislead, and whosoever He leaves to stray, none can guide.
As for what follows: These are not the words of a sheikh. These are neither the words of a scholar nor the words of an imam. These are simply the words of a young man preparing to die. These are the words of a man who has realized that the common theme of all creation is death, and only the Creator is free from this commonality. If it were clear to all of us that we are all dying, only a fool would not prepare himself for his meeting with his Lord.
This life is short. In comparison with the Hereafter, this life may be the length of an evening. For surety, there will be a day when you and I will stand before Allah alone; accompanied only by our book of deeds, the scale, Heaven and Hell. We will witness naked men and woman being chained and dragged by their forelocks into a blazing fire like cattle being led to water. There will be terrible screams of terror and cries of regret. People will drown in their own sweat due to the intense hardship and tension of that day. No one from among those people will think that their life of sin and pleasure was worth it. No one will say "Yeah, I'm going to Hell now but I made 2.5 million last year off interest alone." There will not be a person from them who will say "Yes, I'm going to Hell now but I loved him/her and my love was stronger than anything including my fear of Allah." They will be begging Allah for another chance, promising that they will worship Him exclusively and do no more evil in the Earth. The only successful ones that day will be the ones who made that promise to Allah before their death because they knew that Judgment Day was coming.
I am not a psychic but I say with the utmost certainty that you are going to die. Like the sun rose today you will die. Like you were born yesterday you will die tomorrow. Be afraid, and let your heart tremble with the remembrance of your death. Know that you will lay alone in the cold Earth with regret as your only company. The fear is not for death itself but rather what is to follow it. The fear of the Day of Judgment in this life is the only thing that will save you from the fear when the Day actually occurs. Because the one who fears Judgment Day in this life will fear the haram like they fear being burned. That fear will save them from sin and the fear of punishment when they reach Allah. This is taqwa.
If only we realized the reality of the day of inevitable terror and potential punishment we would realize the reason for living. I have dedicated my life to escaping the wrath of Allah. I have given my life to pleasing the One who created me. I fall short everyday but it still remains my goal. In order to reach this goal I orientated my study and attention to finding safety from Hell and a route to the Paradise. Ironically, I have found no safer place for me in the heavens or Earth than the battlefield fighting (physically) for the sake of Allah.
The rewards for the Mujahid (one who fights jihad) and the shaheed (martyr) are so many that it is difficult to count. Besides the Prophets of Allah, I have not found, in the Book of Allah nor in any book of Hadith nor in the writings of any righteous scholar, a person more beloved to Allah than the Mujahid (the one who fights jihad), especially the shaheed (the martyr) fighting for the sake of Allah. The Mujahid or Allah's soldier is the best of all men.
Allah says in the Qur'an: "Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward; Degrees of (higher) grades from Him, and Forgiveness and Mercy. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (4:95-96)
Allah also says: "Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) and emigrated and strove hard and fought in Allah's Cause with their wealth and their lives are far higher in degree with Allah. They are the successful. Their Lord gives them glad tidings of a Mercy from Him, and that He is pleased (with them), and of Gardens (Paradise) for them wherein are everlasting delights. They will dwell therein forever. Verily, with Allah is a great reward. " (9:20-22)
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: Somebody asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is the best among the people?" Allah's Apostle replied "A believer who strives his utmost in Allah's Cause with his life and property...(until the end of the Hadith)
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Whoever believes in Allah and His Apostle, offers prayer perfectly and fasts the month of Ramadan, will rightfully be granted Paradise by Allah, no matter whether he fights in Allah's Cause or remains in the land where he is born." The people said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shall we acquaint the people with this good news?" He said,"Paradise has one-hundred grades which Allah has reserved for the Mujahideen who fight in His Cause, and the distance between each of two grades is like the distance between the Heaven and the Earth. So, when you ask Allah (for something), ask for Al-firdaus which is the best and highest part of Paradise."
These ayats of Qur'an and these Hadith from the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) indicate the best of men are those who make jihad in the way of Allah. When the subject of jihad is raised many of the hypocrites or mis-informed ones site a Hadith. This Hadith is about the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) informing his companions, on the way home from the Tabuk expedition, that they were leaving the lesser jihad (the jihad of the battlefield) and approaching the greater jihad (jihad against oneself).
The scholars and collectors of Hadith agree that this Hadith is, at best, daeef (weak) and is likely fabricated. This ridiculous Hadith does not even need a scholarly opinion to see its weakness. A believing person whose heart is open to truth will see that this did not come from the manhaj or methodology of the Prophet (pbuh). The people who site this Hadith say 'It is better to fast and control your hunger, pray and control your lusts than to go and physically fight Jihad.' This anti-Jihad ideology drowns in its lack of sense and is an innovation into the deen of Allah. This feeble attempt at escaping truth has caused the all of our Ummah nd continues to allow our people to be oppressed.
There are some Hadith that are unanimously agreed upon by all scholars, students of knowledge, and laymen. These adith are in Sahih Bukhari. With the permission of Allah, these Hadith will make clear the fact that Jihad of the battlefield is the greatest jihad Volume 4, Book 52, Number 44: Narrated Abu Huraira: A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward)." He replied, "I do not find such a deed."
Then he (pbuh) added, "Can you, while the Muslim fighter is in the battle-field, enter your mosque to perform prayers without cease and fast and never break your fast?" The man said, "But who can do that?" Abu- Huraira added, "The Mujahid (i.e. Muslim fighter) is rewarded even for the footsteps of his horse while it wanders about (for grazing) tied in a long rope."
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 46: Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The example of a Mujahid in Allah's Cause-- and Allah knows better who really strives in His Cause----is like a person who fasts and prays continuously. Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and the spoils of war."
These two Hadith are sufficient as evidence that to sit at home and remember Allah and to fast and make salat all night is not like the one who leaves his land of residence and fights in Allah's cause. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) explained that to fast, pray in the mosque, and remember Allah continuously while the Mujahid has gone to war is the only way one could receive the level of honor given to the soldier of Allah by Him. A Mujahid may be gone for months or years and it is obvious that no one could fast and pray without ceasing for that long.
The reason why Jihad of the battlefield is greater is because it contains the Jihad of self as well of the Jihad of the battlefield and they must be fought simultaneously. The Mujahid will have to fight his desires while he also fights his physical enemies. The Mujahid will sleep little and eat less. His meals will be the plainer than the meals of our domestic animals. He will pray where he can be shot and rest where he can be slain. He will trust in Allah, rely on his brothers and find safety in fear. He will fight the shaytan whose whisper will instructs the Mujahid to flee from the battlefield and to return home to the temporal, deceptive, and measely luxuries of this life. He will remember Allah most often because he will become acquainted with death like an owl is acquainted with night. He will look down at any portion of the Earth and see his grave. He will call on Allah until there is no more breath to call with and the angel of Death escorts him to the gates of Paradise. Anyone with even a vague shadow of understanding will see that the Jihad of the battlefield includes the Jihad of self and its difficulty is compounded. Allah says (what has been translated as) "Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism) and emigrated and strove hard and fought in Allah's Cause with their wealth and their lives are far higher in degree with Allah. They are the successful." (9:20)
The Jihad of the Battlefield is an essential part of our deen. There must always be men of our Ummah who will enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. There are six things sacred for the Muslims that must be protected at all cost
1) their blood (life)
2) their wealth
3) their honor
4) their intellect
5) their lineage
6) their deen.
These things are to be protected at all times and by any means. However, the Muslims have allowed for every one of these six (6) things to be attacked and/or taken from the Muslims. The American troops even occupy the place of our two holy sites (Mecca, Madinah in the Arabian Pennisula) which was forbidden by the Prophet (pbuh) of Allah on his death bed. The blood of the Muslims is cheap in the world market. This pitiful condition of our Ummah is because most of the Muslims have abandoned jihad. We have become a Ummah of slogans and pamphlets. Everything has become intellectual and metaphorical while the Kafirs are taking the real world from under our feet. Allah's Messenger (pbuh) has warned us about this, saying: "Beware a time is coming when all nations of the world will gather together to wipe you out the way they gather around a table to partake of its meal." His companion said "Will we be so few in number that day Oh, Messenger of Allah?" He (pbuh) said "No, on that day you will be many in number but you will be guthar (like the froth on the surface of the water after a flood) and Allah will take from the hearts of the Kafirs respect for you and fear of you and Allahwill cast into your hearts wahan." The companion said "What is wahan?" He (pbuh) said "Love for this world and hatred of death."
Jihad falls on the shoulders of the men of this Ummah. There are people who are weak and oppressed on the Earth. There were 1,000,000 Muslim deaths reported in Bosnia. The pagan Serbs slaughtered them without remorse. As I write this there are wives, mothers, and daughters of this Ummah being raped and slain by the Hindus in Kashmir. The Russian atheists are attacking our brothers in Chechnya. The Muslims of Kosovo are attacked and pushed from their land by the enemies of Allah. Who is responsible for these people. Do we, the Muslims, rely on the UN to take care of us? Since when do the followers of Muhammad (pbuh) rely on people who reject Allah and His Messenger to take care of our women and children. Where are the men of this Ummah? Do your hearts not anger with the thought of the filthy enemies of Allah raping your sisters and daughters? What do they have to do for you to fight them? Do they have to kill Muslims and take their land? They've done that. Do they have to rape our pious women and innocent children? They've done that. Do they have to insult Allah and His Messenger (pbuh)? They've done that. Do they have to come to your door? Are the Muslims to wait until they are down the street from their house? A party from among the Believers must rise up and defend the slaves of Allah. Someone has to do it. We should be ashamed that the males of the Muslims do not behave like men and defending what Allah has told us to defend. How can we sleep in our beds without our thoughts being tormented by these tragedies? In-sha-Allah I will join those men who have decided to defend this deen and the people of this deen.
Allah asks us in the Qur'an: "And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of Allah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help." (4:75)
Allah also commands: "Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people" (9:14)
We (and no one else) must protect our women and children. Why should we cower away from this duty laid upon us by Allah? We should rejoice in our opportunity to punish the kafirs and achieve the high station of honor Allah has place on the Mujahid. There are so many rewards for the Mujahid they are difficult to count. However there are seven (7) special things given to the martyr and no one else by Allah:
1. All his sins are forgiven from the first drop of their blood
2. He is saved from the punishment of the grave
3. He will cross the sirat with the speed of light (the sirat is the bridge that crosses over the Hell fire that every Muslim has to cross on Judgment Day; some will make it and some will fall).
4. He will receive seventy-two (72) women of Paradise
5. He are given a special crown and garment in the Paradise so all will recognize him as a martyr
6. He will be given the honor of interceding (with the permission of Allah) for 70 seventy members of his family
7. His soul will be kept in the bodies of green birds to fly around in the Paradise
The Mujahid on the battlefield is in the safest position possible because the one who fights physically for the sake of Allah does not die. This is the closest thing that Allah has given the Children of Adam to immortality. Allah has instructed us not to even entertain the thought that the one who fights for the sake of Allah is dead. Allah says (what has been translated as): "Think not of those who are killed in the Way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision. They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounty, rejoicing for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind (not yet martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve." (Qur'an 3:169-70).
In a Hadith the Messenger of Allah explains that the souls of the martyrs are in the hearts of green birds that fly wherever they please in the Paradise. Also, the Mujahid does not feel any pain with death. Narrated by at-Tirmidhi, the prophet of Allah (pbuh) has stated: "The martyr feels not the pain of killing except like a pinch."
The safety of the battlefield is one of the many ironies of Allah's creation.
When Allah created the Paradise He shrouded it in difficulty and when He created Hellfire He shrouded it in lust. Only the one who believes in Allah and His promise will fear their lust and find safety in their hardship. In the final analysis, there are only two possible outcomes for the people that fight for the sake of Allah: martyrdom (the best death possible) or victory and a great worldly reward as well as a magnificent reward from their Lord in the Hereafter. A true Mujahid can not lose and this is a promise from his Lord. Allah has instructed the believers to say (what has been translated as) "Say: "Do you wait for us (anything) except one of the two best things (martyrdom or victory); while we await for you either that Allah will afflict you with a punishment from Himself or at our hands. So wait, we too are waiting with you." (9:52)
Allah has saved the special rewards of the Judgment Day for those who believe. Those who doubt Allah and His promise will be among the losers that day. In order to make the doubters and the believers plain for everyone to see Allah has prepared a business transaction for the believers. The deal is very plain and not difficult to understand. It is straight to the point and lacks any trace of ambiguity. Our Creator has said (that has been translated as): "Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah's Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and the Qur'an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success." (9:111)
Allah has given us an opportunity better than any other. We know that everything in the Paradise is better than what is on Earth. Therefore, if we had to choose we would obviously choose Paradise over this world.
Allah says we can sell this life in exchange for the Paradise. The "bargain", as it has been written, is an opportunity from the Most Gracious and Most Merciful that only a fool would refuse. If a man approached you and said "I will give you 13.7 million dollars tomorrow if you let me have one dollar right now." You would think one of two things. You may think that this is a fantastic bargain and you would quickly rush your hand into your pocket and hand over your dollar. On the other hand, you may refuse. The only reason you could possibly refuse was because you did not believe that the man was really going to give you 13.7 million dollars for your one dollar. It becomes blatantly obvious to all with minds that the only way that a person would refuse to sell the life of this world for the next life is that that person does not believe in the promise from Allah. Perhaps we think there is some catch or a loophole that Allah will use in order to make our deeds of no benefit to us on that day. May Allah forgive us for the weakness of our hearts.
What is Allah to gain from hustling His own creation? These questions sound ridiculous but we must question ourselves and wonder why we have not totally committed ourselves to Allah and why we fear the battlefield more than the Fire. We must also ask why we prefer this life more than, and to the expense of, the next life. I believe in Allah and what Allah has said is true and I know that He is not to benefit from hustling me. This is but a declaration that I would like to sell my life, and wealth to Allah so that I may receive what He has promised to those who believe in His bargain.
" Let those (believers) who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter fight in the Cause of Allah, and whoso fights in the Cause of Allah, and is killed or gets victory, We shall bestow on him a great reward." (4:74)
The children of Adam (pbuh) were created weak and impatient. These are flaws that the Muslim must overcome. We view the Hereafter as being some far off time and place. However the Final hour is near and every child of Adam (pbuh) will get what he/she deserves. The benefits from fighting for Allah in this life and the next life are unparalleled. But if we could really understand and perceive the good that comes from it we would all want to fight. But among us are those whose hearts house disease and the plague of weakness and doubt overcomes them. The shadow of cowardice hangs over them like a storm cloud and prevents them from seeing the light of Paradise. Allah has promised the people of Paradise things that the eyes have never seen, the ears have never heard, and the mind has never conceptualized. There is no doubt if they could see the Paradise they would not hesitate. In spite of that, they will refuse the Paradise because of their fear of work, pain, and hardship in this life.
"Had it been a near gain (booty in front of them) and an easy journey, they would have followed you, but the distance (Tabuk expedition) was long for them, and they would swear by Allah, "If we only could, we would certainly have come forth with you." They destroy their ownselves, and Allah knows that they are liars. May Allah forgive you (O Muhammad SAW). Why did you grant them leave (for remaining behind, you should have persisted as regards your order to them to proceed on Jihad), until those who told the truth were seen by you in a clear light, and you had known the liars? Those who believe in Allah and the Last Day would not ask your leave to be exempted from fighting with their properties and their lives, and Allah is the All-Knower of Al-Muttaqun." (9:42-46)
We, as Muslims, must conclude that jihad is a part of our deen that can not be avoided. Rejoice in the chance to be counted as one of the honored men, men honored by the Most High. To shy away from what Allah has commanded of you is to shy away from success. Allah has given us jihad as a way of defending ourselves and our families. Today, because of our love of this life, our families are being killed and ruled by the enemies of Allah. The venom of cowardice has seeped its way into the heart of the Muslim man and caused our people's oppression all over the Earth.
If you can not make it to the battlefield you are at least responsible for calling people to jihad and supporting it with your wealth and your voice. Allah says in His book: "Then fight (O Muhammad SAW) in the Cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself, and incite the believers (to fight along with you), it may be that Allah will restrain the evil might of the disbelievers. And Allah is Stronger in Might and Stronger in punishing." (4:84)
My brothers in Islam, support the Mujahideen so that you may become a Mujahid. The one who buys the armor and weapons for a Mujahid becomes a Mujahid. If we let jihad become forgotten our people may never be free of oppression. The beloved Messenger of Allah (pbuh) fought twenty-seven (27) battles in his twenty-seven (27) years of prophethood. If the most important and precious man in history was not relieved from the difficulty of jihad than what makes us think that we should be?
Allah has built a sanctuary on Earth for the believing men of the Ummah of Muhammad (pbuh). This safe zone is where men hide from death, dishonor and the Hellfire. This place is the battlefield fighting for the sake of the one who created you. There is no doubt that the battlefield is the safest place on Earth for the Believer. Do not fear honor, immortality, and Paradise. Embrace the battlefield until Allah takes your soul back to Himself. I do not claim piety for myself; I am just scared that my life will not be acceptable to Allah on the Day of Judgment. When I recall all the times that I neglected those things that are incumbent on me and all the occasions I indulged in the haram my heart fills with fear. The reason I want to fight jihad is not because my iman is strong. Rather, I want to fight jihad because my iman is weak and I am terrified of what my book of deeds reads like. The refuge from my evils is the battlefield protecting the slaves of Allah and killing the friends of the Shaytan. I feel a warm cloak of safety in putting my life on the line for Allah because I know their will be no pain in my death and I can not die if I fight for Allah. There is no danger on the battlefield for the mu'min (believer). There is only danger for the Kufar and mercenaries.
I ask Allah for forgiveness for any of my mistakes in action and for any of my mistakes in writing. I bear witness openly and without doubt that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad (pbuh) is the last Messenger of Allah.