Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law
This volume likely represents the single most important book that Westerners, and specifically Europeans, should read to understand the danger that looms before them. Those things which Islamic apologists, activists, and their media sympathizers repeatedly tell us are wrong and are a result of ‘xenophobia’ on the part of critics appear in this volume as authentic Islamic rulings, for it is nearly an all-encompassing manual of traditional Islamic rulings on daily life and more from the Shafi Fiqh, or the Shafi School of Islamic thought, part of Sunni Islam. It contains universally-accepted rulings which apply to all Sunni Muslims, and has the Islamic version of an Imprimatur from the Islamic Research Academy of Al-Azhar University of Cairo, Egypt, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought’s North American headquarters in Herndon, Virginia.
If anyone has doubts of the danger we face from Islam, this volume will dispel those doubts, vindicate critics, and silence apologists. Selections from the book follow.
Abbreviations below are for the following commentators:
A: … comment by Sheikh ‘Abd al-Wakil Durubi
n: … remark by the translator
O: … excerpt from the commentary of Sheikh ‘Umar Barakat.
Reviewer’s notes are in brackets.
Section I: Creeping Sharia Law, a Demographic Threat to Europe
Can you trust Muslims to tell the truth?
R8.2 The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,
‘He who settles disagreements between people to bring about good or says something commendable is not a liar.’
This much is related by both Bukhari and Muslim, with Muslim’s version recording that Umm Kulthum added,
‘I did not hear him permit untruth in anything people say, except for three things: war, settling disagreements, and a man talking with his wife or she with him (A: in smoothing over differences.)’
This is an explicit statement that lying is something permissible for a given interest, scholars having established criteria for defining what types of it are lawful. The best analysis of it I have seen is by Imam Abu Hamid Ghazali, who says : ‘Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible (N: i.e. when the purpose of lying is to circumvent someone who is preventing one from doing something permissible), and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory. When, for example, one is concealing a Muslim from an oppressor who asks where he is, it is obligatory to lie about his being hidden. Or when a person deposits an article with one for safekeeping and an oppressor wanting to appropriate it inquires about it, it is obligatory to lie about having concealed it, for if one informs him about the article and then he seizes it, one is financially liable (A: to the owner) to cover the article’s cost. Whether the purpose is war, settling a disagreement, or gaining the sympathy of a victim legally entitled to retaliate against one so that he will forbear to do so; it is not unlawful to lie when any of these aims can only be attained through lying…” — Page 475
“…One should compare the bad consequences entailed by lying to those entailed by telling the truth, and if the consequences of telling the truth are more damaging, one is entitled to lie…” – Page 746
Political Correctness and the Command to Censor
R2.2 Slander (ghiba) means to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike, whether about his body, religion, everyday life, self, disposition, property, son, father, wife, servant, turban, garment, gait, movements, smiling, dissoluteness, frowning, cheerfulness, or anything else connected with him…” – Page 730
R2.12 Whenever one is forced to remain at a gathering where there is slander and one is unable to condemn it, or one’s condemnation goes unheeded and one cannot leave, it is nevertheless unlawful to listen or pay attention to. What one should do is invoke Allah (dhikr) with the tongue and heart, or heart alone, or think about something else to distract one from listening to it. When this is one, whatever one hears under such circumstances does not harm one as long as one does not listen to or heed the conversation. And if afterwards one is able to leave the assembly and the people are persisting in slander and the like, then one must leave. Allah Most High says:
‘When you see those engaged in idle discussion about Our signs, keep apart from them until they speak of other things. And if the Devil makes you forget, then do not sit with wrong-doing people after being reminded.’ (Koran 6:68) – Pages 734-5
Section II: Jihad the Spread of Islam
(O: Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived form the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. And it is the lesser Jihad. As for the greater Jihad, it is spiritual warfare against the lower self (nafs), which is why the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said as he was returning from Jihad,
‘We have returned from the lesser Jihad to the greater Jihad.’
The scriptural basis for Jihad, prior to scholarly consensus (def: B7) is such Koranic verses as:
1) ‘Fighting is prescribed for you ‘ (Koran 2:216)
2) ‘Slay them wherever you find them’ (Koran 4:89)
3) ‘Fight the idolaters utterly’ (Koran 9:36)
and such Hadiths as one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
‘ I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah.’;
Details concerning Jihad are found in the accounts of military expeditions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), including his own martial forays and those on which he dispatched others. The former consist of the ones he personally attended, some twenty-seven (others say twenty-nine) of them. He fought in eight of them, and killed only one person with his noble hand, Ubayy ibn Khalaf, at the battle of Uhud. On the latter expeditions he sent others to fight, himself remaining at Media, and those were forty-seven in number.)'” – Pages 599-600
[NOTE: The rest of Traveller’s sections on Jihad deal with obligatory Jihad against invaders of Islamic lands. There is oddly no mention of a direct command to invade others and to fight them and establish an Islamic state related in this book, however the above clearly does imply it, as its definition of Jihad against unbelievers is open-ended. Another Islamic source which further defines Jihad against unbelievers is quoted below.]
“Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti, Al-Azhar University Islamic scholar, in his book Jurisprudence in Muhammad’s Biography wrote, ‘The Holy War (Jihad), as it is known in Islamic Jurisprudence, is basically an offensive war. This is the duty of Muslims in every age when the needed military power becomes available to them. This is the phase in which the meaning of Holy War has taken its final form. Thus the apostle of God said, ‘I was commanded to fight the people until they believe in Allah and his messages…’
“The concept of Holy War (Jihad) in Islam does not take into consideration whether defensive or an offensive war. Its goal is the exaltation of the Word of Allah and the construction of Islamic society and the establishment of Allah’s Kingdom on Earth regardless of the means. The means would be offensive warfare. In this case, it is the apex, the noblest Holy War. It is legal to carry on a Holy War.”
[NOTE: See also Tafsir ibn Kathir, Verse of the Sword 9:5. Tafsir ibn Kathir is the single-most highly regarded Islamic commentary that exists in the Sunni Islam community. It is sold in Islamic bookstores very commonly. It is considered of highest quality and accuracy.]
“THE OBLIGATORY CHARACTER OF THE CALIPHATE.
O.25.0 (Mawardi:) The reason the office of supreme leadership has been established in Sacred Law is to fulfill the caliphal successorship to prophethood in preserving the religion and managing this-worldly affairs. The investiture of someone from the Islamic Community (Umma) able to fulfill the duties of the caliphate is obligatory by scholarly consensus…
Allah Mighty and Majestic says,
‘You who believe, obey Allah and obey the Prophet and those of authority among you.’ (Koran 4:59),
thereby obliging us to obey those in command, namely the leader with authority over us…” – Pages 638-9
THE OBLIGATORY CHARACTER OF OBEDIENCE TO THE CALIPH.
O25.5 (K: It is obligatory to obey the commands and interdictions of the caliph (N: or his representative (defL 025.7-10)) in everything that is lawful (A: meaning it is obligatory to obey him in everything that is not unlawful, offensive, or merely in his own personal interests), even if he is unjust, because of the hadith,
‘Hear and obey, even if the ruler placed over you is an Ethiopian slave with amputated extremities,’
and because the purpose of his authority is Islamic unity, which could not be realized if obeying him were not obligatory. It is also obligatory for him to give sincere counsel to those under him to the extent that it is possible.)’ – Pages 644-5
Non-Muslims Living in the Islamic State (The Dhimmi)
011.0 NON-MUSLIM SUBJECTS OF THE ISLAMIC STATE (AL-DHIMMA)
011.1 A formal agreement of protection is made with citizens who are:
(4) Samaritans and Sabians, if their religions do not respectively contradict the fundamental bases of Judaism and Christianity
(5) And those who adhere to the religion of Abraham or one of the other prophets (upon whom be blessings and peace).
011.3 Such an agreement is only valid when the subject peoples:
(a) follow the rules of Islam (A: those mentioned below [0.11.5] and those involving public behavior and dress, though in acts of worship and their private lives, the subject communities have their own laws, judges, and courts, enforcing the rules of their own religion among themselves):
(b) and pay the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya).
THE NON-MUSLIM POLL TAX
0.11.4 The minimum non-Muslim poll tax is one dinar (n: 4.235 grams of gold) per person (A: per year). The maximum is whatever both sides agree upon.
It is collected with leniency and politeness, as are all debts, and it is not levied on women, children, or the insane.
0.11.5 Such non-Muslim subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they:
(1) Are penalized for committing adultery or theft, though not for drunkenness.
(2) Are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar);
(3) Are not greeted with “as-Salaamu ‘alaykum”;
(4) Must keep to the side of the street;
(5) May not build higher than or as high as Muslims’ buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed;
(6) Are forbidden to openly display wine or pork. (A: to ring church bells or to display crosses), recite Torah or Evangel aloud, or to make public display of their funerals and feast days;
(7) And are forbidden to build new churches. – pages 607-8
Non-Muslims who break the above laws?
011.11 When a subject’s agreement with the state has been violated, the caliph chooses between the four alternatives mentioned above in connection with prisoners of war. (09.14). – Page 609 (see below for this section)
09.14 When an adult male is taken captive, the caliph (def: 025) considers the interests (O: of Islam and the Muslims) and decides between the prisoner’s death, slavery, release without paying anything, or ransoming himself in exchange for money or for a Muslim held captive held by the enemy.
If the prisoner becomes a Muslim (O: before the caliph chooses any of the four alternatives) then he may not be killed, and one of the other three alternatives is chosen.” – page 604
More Islamic censorship:
A7.1 (Nawawi) Having mentioned the categories of sacred knowledge, the subjects it includes are those that are unlawful, offensive, or permissible.
(1) Learning sorcery (dis: P3), since according to the most reliable position, it is unlawful, as the vast majority of scholars have decisively stated;
(2) Philosphy (dis: W10)
(3) Magic (sha’badha, meaning sleight of hand, etc.);
(4) Astrology (dis: P41);
(5) The sciences of materialists (dis: W11);
(6) And anything that is a means to create doubts (n: in eternal truths). Such things vary in their degree of unlawfulness.
A7.3 Offensive knowledge includes such things as post-classical poetry which contains some romance and usefulness.
A7.4 Permissible knowledge includes post-classical poetry which does not contain stupidity or anything that is offensive, incites to evil, hinders from good; nor yet that which urges one to do good or helps one to do it (n: as the latter would be recommended) (ibid. 1.27). – Pages 13-14
W11.0 THE UNLAWFULNESS OF THE SCIENCES OF THE MATERIALISTS (from A7.2(5))
W11.1 (N:) The unlawfulness of the “sciences of the materialists” refers to the conviction of materialists that things in themselves or by their own nature have a causal influence dependent of the will of Allah. To believe this is unbelief (dis: 08,7(17)) that puts one beyond the pale of Islam. Muslims working in the sciences must remember that they are dealing with figurative causes (asbab majaziyya), not real ones, for Allah alone is the real cause. – Page 868.
Moral policing in Islam (those guys with the sticks)
Q1.0 THE OBLIGATION TO COMMAND THE RIGHT
Q1.1 Allah Most High says,
“Let there be a group of you who call to good, commanding the right and forbidding the wrong, for those are the successful” Koran 3:104.
This verse explains that commanding the right and forbidding the wrong are communal rather than a personal obligation (dis: C3.2) for He says, “Let there be a group of you…” and not, “All of you command the right.” – Page 714
Q5.0 THE ACT OF CENSURING
Q5.1 The fourth integral is the censure itself, which as various degrees of severity and has rules.
KNOWLEDGE OF THE WRONG ACT
Q5.2 The first degree consists of knowing the wrong act. One should not eavesdrop at another’s house in order to hear the sounds of musical instruments, or to try to catch the scent of wine, or feel for an object concealed beneath someone’s shirt to see if it is a flute, or as a person’s neighbors to see what he is doing. But if two upright witnesses (def. 024.4) come and inform one that someone is drinking, one may enter his home and take him to task.
EXPLAINING THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG
Q5.3 The second degree consists of explaining that act is wrong, since an ignorant person will often do something he does not know is blameworthy, but will stop when he finds out…
FORBIDDING THE ACT VERBALLY
Q5.4 The fourth degree of severity consists of reviling the person and bearing down on him with sharp, harsh words. One does not resort to this degree unless one is unable to prevent the person by politeness, and he shows he wants to persist or mocks one’s admonitions or advice. Reviling him does not mean vulgarity and lies, but rather saying, ‘You degenerate,’ ‘You idiot,’ ‘You ignoramus,’ ‘Do you not fear Allah?’ and so forth…
RIGHTING THE WRONG BY HAND
Q5.6 The fifth degree consists of changing the blameworthy thing with one’s hand, such as by breaking musical instruments, pouring out wine, or turning someone out of a house wrongfully appropriated…
Q5.7 The sixth degree is threatening and intimidation, such as by saying, ‘Stop this or I’ll–‘; and when possible this should precede actually hitting the person. The rule for this level is not to make a threat that one cannot carry out, such as saying, ‘or I’ll seize your house,’ or ‘take your wife hostage,’ because if one says this seriously, it is unlawful, and if not serious, then one is lying.
Q5.8 The seventh degree is to directly hit or kick the person, or similar measures that do not involve weapons. This is permissible for private individuals provided it is necessary, and that one confines oneself to the minimum needed to stop the reprehensible action and nothing more. When the action has been stopped, one refrains from doing anything further.
FORCE OF ARMS
Q5.9 The eighth degree is when one is unable to censure the act by oneself and requires the armed assistance of others. Sometimes the person being reproved may also get people to assist him, and a skirmish may ensue, so the soundest legal opinion is that this degree requires authorization from the caliph (def: 025), since it leads to strife and outbreak of civil discord. Another view is that there is no need for the caliph’s permission. – Pages 721-24
O believer, thinking of leaving Islam?
08.0 When a person who reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostasizes from Islam; he deserves to be killed.
08.2 In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph (A; or his representative) to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him: but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.
08.3 If he is a freeman, no one besides the caliph or his representative may kill him. If someone else kills him, the killer is disciplined (def: 017). (O: for arrogating the caliph’s prerogative and encroaching upon his rights, as this is one of his duties)… – Pages 595-96
Are you a Muslim who neglects his prayers?
F1.1 The prayer is only obligatory for Muslims who have reached puberty, are sane, and in purity (O: meaning not during menstruation or postnatal bleeding)…
An apostate from Islam (murtadd, def: 08) who then returns must make up every prayer missed…
F1.2 When a child with discrimination (O: meaning he can eat, drunk, and clean himself after using the toilet unassisted) is seven years of age, he is ordered to perform the prayer, and when ten, is beaten for neglecting it (N: not severely, but so as to discipline the child, and not more than three blows).
F1.3 Someone raised among Muslims who denies the obligatoriness of the prayer, zakat, fasting Ramadan, the pilgrimage, or the unlawfulness of wine and adultery, or denies something else upon which there is scholarly consensus (ijma’, def: B7) and which is necessarily known as being of the religion (N: necessarily known meaning things that any Muslim would know about if asked) thereby becomes an unbeliever (kafir) and is executed for his unbelief (O: if he does not admit he is mistaken and acknowledge the obligatoriness or unlawfulness of that which there is scholarly consensus upon. As for if he denies the obligatoriness of something there is not consensus upon, then he is not adjudged an unbeliever).
F1.4 A Muslim who holds prayer to be obligatory but through lack of concern neglects to perform it until its proper time is over has not committed unbelief (dis: W8.12).
Rather he is executed, washed, prayed over, and buried in the Muslims cemetery (O: as he is one of them. It is recommended, but not obligatory, that he be asked to repent (N: and if he does, he is not executed)). — Page 109
Islam eliminates racism? Think again
025.3 QUALIFCATIONS OF A CALIPH:
“… of the Quraysh tribe (K: because of the (H: well-authenticated (hasan)) hadith related by Nasa’i,
‘The Imams are of the Quraysh,’
a hadith adhered to by the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and those after them, this qualification being obligatory when there is a member of Quraysh available who meets the other conditions). (H: through when there is not, then the next most eligible is a qualified member of the Kinana tribe, then of the Arabs, then of the non-Arabs);’ – Page 641
Women and children in Islam
GUARDIANS WHO MAY MARRY A VIRGIN TO A MAN WITHOUT HER CONSENT
m3.13 Guardians are of two types, those who may compel their female charges to marry someone, and those who may not.
(1) The only guardians who may compel their charge to marry are a virgin bride’s father or father’s father, compel meaning to marry her to a suitable match (def. M4)
(2) Those who may not compel her are not entitled to marry her to someone unless she accepts and give her permission.
Whenever a bride is a virgin, the father or father’s father may marry her to someone without her permission, though it is recommended to ask her permission if she has reached puberty. A virgin’s silence is considered as permission…” – Page 522
Price haggling over pre-pubescent brides and grooms:
M8.2 A guardian may not marry his prepubescent daughter to someone for less than the amount typically received as marriage payment by similar brides, nor marry his prepubescent son to a female who is given more than the amount typically received. If he does either of these, the amount stipulated is void and the amount typically received if paid instead (O: in both these cases, as a necessary condition for the validity of the marriage contract). – Page 533
Female genital mutilation obligatory
E4.3 Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the litoris. (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis hold that circumcusion of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.) – Page 59
Refer also to Sources of Islamic Teachings on Jihad: Sunan Abu Dawud.