Originally Posted by alpha
Asalaamu Alaikum Wr Wb, jazakallah khayr for your question. According to Islam online:
American Muslims are, by and large, American citizens. They should be good citizens who air their views by directing the American government to how far the use of force is wrong and unacceptable. They should try to convince the American government to change the way it deals with the Muslim world, and to explain that the use of force exercised by both sides is responsible for all what’s happening.
Here, we would like to cite for you the opinion of the eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi regarding the Islamic ruling on Muslims fighting one another, and we will cite his viewpoint on the issue, while keeping in mind the condition of Muslim communities in the West as well as the concerted efforts of Muslim to help spread da`wah therein.
In this regard, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, states the following:
“I would like here to stress the fact that Islam has prohibited a Muslim to fight his fellow Muslim brother to the extent that indulging in such a fight is considered a form of disbelief or kufr and a behavior pertaining to the pre-Islamic ignorance. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “Cursing the Muslim is lewdness and killing him is disbelief.”
He is also reported to have said:
“Do not (become infidels) revert to disbelief after me by striking the necks (cutting the throats) of one another (killing each other).” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
In another Hadith narrated by Al-Ahnaf, Ibn Qays (may Allah be pleased with him) quotes the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: “If two Muslims meet with their swords (attacking each other) then (both) the killer and the killed one are in the (Hell) Fire.' I (Al-Ahnaf Ibn Qays) said, 'O Allah's Messenger! It is all right for the killer, but what about the killed one?' He said, 'The killed one was eager to kill his opponent.’” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
Even, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has forbidden a Muslim to direct a weapon against his brother; he should not even try to joke with that.
Here, the question arises:
what about a Muslim recruited in the army of a non-Muslim country that is at war with Muslims? Such helpless Muslim soldier has no choice but to yield to the orders of his army commanders and he has no right to say ‘No’ or ‘Why’? This is a well-known military system worldwide.
Such Muslim finds himself on the horns of a dilemma when his country and the army he joins tend to attack a Muslim country. What shall he do while he is no more than a small gear in a huge machine?
The opinion, which is more akin to the sound juristic view here, is that a Muslim shouldn’t indulge in a war against his fellow Muslim brothers, and he may justify his position by asking for a leave or (a temporary) exemption from the military as the true conscience of a Muslim dictates that he shouldn’t indulge in killing a fellow Muslim brother without a justifiable reason. However, if there is no way but to participate, then a Muslim can join the rear to help in military service (i.e. not to participate in face-to-face confrontation).
The Muslim soldier may resort to this form of limited participation in order to avoid harm to himself as well as to the Muslim community of whom he is part and parcel. Without this (limited participation) the Muslim as well as the Muslim community may be accused of high treason. Such an accusation may pose a threat to the Muslim minority and this may also disrupt the course of da`wah that has been in full swing since tens of years ago, and has started to reap fruits.
Muslims, being part and parcel of the (American) society, should intermingle with the existing civilization but they are not allowed to dissolve culturally and forget about their religious identity. They shouldn’t behave in a way that makes fingers of accusations point at them to the extent that the society may consider them as fifth column.
Muslim individuals should not set their conscience at ease and refuse to participate in the war, if this will endanger the whole Muslim community. This is based on the juristic rule, which states that the lesser harm may be borne to prevent a greater harm, the private harm may be borne to prevent a general one and the right of the group takes precedence over that of the individual. Such juristic rulings are part of an important part of fiqh, which I call ‘Fiqh Al-Muwazanat’ or applying a juristic preference to strike a balance in order to weigh the pros and cons of a certain thing in view of an existing situation. Many Muslims lack this kind of fiqh nowadays. They should not consider the opinion of the general public who lack juristic preference to justify certain apparent situations allowing them to take precedence over the main objectives of the Shari`ah.
As we have stated above, if a Muslim is forced to participate in fighting, he should avoid direct confrontation as possible as he can. Even while participating in such a war, a Muslim should have an innate feeling of resentment, as it is the case of the true believer who has no means to rectify the abominable by his hands or his tongue, yet he expresses his disapproval by showing innate resentment, which is the least of faith.”
Striking a balance between greater harm and lesser one, considering the common weal and the attitude of the American Muslim soldier, Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, vice chairman of the European council for Fatwa and research, states:
“There is no doubt that the American Muslim is between the devil and the deep blue sea and he is facing a difficult situation.
The difficulty of the situation, on the one hand, lies in being an American citizen who has to abide by the American laws and to support his country.
On the other hand, the American Muslim soldier is by and large a Muslim, who is required to abide by the ordinances of his religion (i.e. not to fight against his fellow Muslim brothers.)
Facing this ordeal, the American Muslim soldier has to strike a balance and to choose the lesser of the two evils. If he manages to shift from being indulged in a direct military confrontation against his fellow Muslim brothers; i.e. to carry out any other non-military act, then he is obliged to do so. As far as we know, American laws allow the American soldier to undertake such measures.
However, if the American Muslim soldier has no choice but to take part in a direct military actions against his fellow Muslim brothers, then he is considered overwhelmed beyond limit, and he will bear the responsibility of his choice both in this world and in the Hereafter.
As a basic rule in Islam, a Muslim is not allowed to fight against his fellow Muslim brother. This is also a stated fact in the Shari`ah. However, a Muslim is excused for not being able to carry out Allah’s Orders if he has no means to put them in effect. Referring to this fact, Allah Almighty says, “ So keep your duty to Allah as best ye can…” (At-Taghabun: 16)
He Almighty also says,
“Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope…” (Al-Baqarah: 286)
This is an exceptional case that a few number of the American Muslim soldiers may face. Hence, it is up to him to strike the balance and decide.
We can not say that the American Muslim soldier is required to give his citizenship (as an American) priority over Islamic belonging.
After striking the balance between the two difficult choices, the American Muslim soldier should reach a final decision by himself. But such a decision should not expose him to danger that he can not bear, as Allah Almighty burdens no soul beyond what it can bear.
In view of the current situation, we can not give a general fatwa that will suit the situation of all American Muslim soldiers. If we stated that religious belonging should take precedence over citizenship or vice versa, a great harm might be accrued because the gap between the two harms is very close. In both cases the Muslim may either kill his fellow Muslim brother or himself.
Here, a third solution is necessary. This solution varies according to the situation in which each soldier finds himself and according to who the surrounding circumstances pose a threat to his faith.”
Sheikh Muhammad `Ali Al-Hanooti, member of the North American Fiqh Council spoke alongside other scholars, at a press conference of the American Muslim Council (AMC) on Friday 25 Rajab 1422 AH – 12 October 2001 AC, saying:
“Muslims can fight if they get legitimacy for what they are going to do, if a certain people… or country are judicially indicted.
Up to this moment, I don't see any evidence or proof to tell me which is which, who is who, what is what… we cannot take action as we see without judicial indictment.
I know there is a crime done. The people who did it are criminals, but who should decide their indictment? A judge.”
I disagree with anyone who give support to the action taken by the President of the United States without this kind of indictment."
It was also stated that it is necessary to apprehend the true perpetrators of these crimes, as well as those who aid and abet them through incitement, financing or other support. They must be brought to justice in an impartial court of law and (punished) appropriately.”
Dr. Taha Jaber Al-`Alwani, President of the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences and President of the Fiqh Council, states at Friday's press conference, that Muslim soldiers, like other American citizens, has the right to become conscientious objectors to a war if they feel it is unjust.”
Dr. Ahmad Ar-Raysouni, professor of Shari`ah at Moroccan Universities, voices his opinion regarding the issue in point, and says that it depends on how far the American administration will understand and appreciate the attitude of the American Muslim soldiers in case they refuse to participate in fighting.
He states that, “It is not permissible to launch any attacks against Muslims, to fight them or to carry out any transgression against them.
In a show of respect to Muslim creed and their feelings, the American Administration, I think, will appreciate the attitude of Muslims and will avoid pushing Muslims forward to kill their fellow brothers.
The US administration may also consider the issue through strategic perspectives with aim of preserving discipline and stability in the American Army.
However, if Muslim American soldiers are called upon to participate in a war launched against their fellow Muslim brothers, then they should decline and apologize.”
Referring to the sanctity of Muslim’s blood, and highlighting the right which American Muslim enjoyed, according to the US constitution, to refuse participation in the current war as well as any war launched against Muslims, Dr, `Ali Jum`ah, professor of the Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University, concludes:
“Fighting in the Cause of Allah is an obligation upon Muslims. It’s worth stressing here that Jihad has wider meaning, which is related to man’s role on earth, rather than being confined to defending one’s country, honor, property and worldly riches.
A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim. So he should neither oppress him nor hand him over to an oppressor.
An-Nu`man Ibn Basheer (may Allah be pleased with him) quotes the Prophe (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: “You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind to themselves, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body aches then the whole body shares the pain with sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
Now, it is not allowed for a Muslim who is currently recruited in the American army to fight against Muslims neither in Afghanistan nor in anywhere else. It is better that those Muslim soldiers exercise their right and excuse for not participating in the war, a fact which is stated in the American constitution.
Muslim soldiers can also demand being shifted to managerial positions or even to table their resignations from the American army altogether.
If a Muslim is forced to participate in the military campaign, then he should take care not to kill a Muslim, under any circumstances, either by offering help or by giving clues that might help capture his fellow Muslim brothers or ease killing them.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is quoted to have said, when beholding Ka`bah:
“How sanctified you are to Allah, however, the blood of a Muslim is more sanctified to Allah than thee!”
Here, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) deemed that the demolition of the sanctified Ka`bah, which is the Muslim’s qiblah, is lesser in Allah’s Sight than killing a Muslim. Now, what do we think of killing tens and hundreds of Muslims?”
May Allah guide you to the straight path and direct all Muslims to that which pleases Him, Amen.