Jihad Between Muslims
Properly speaking Jihād, in the case of internal dissension, only occurs when two conditions are met and the Muslims fight in support of the Imām against the offending parties:
1) a just leader (Imām)
2) fighting unjustifiable insurrection. In Islam allegiance and obedience to a just authority is obligatory.
It must be noted also that rebellions against authority and especially political authority simply for the sake of rebellion have no place in the concept of Jihād. In this age of relativism, the spirit of rebellion seems to have penetrated every layer of society. However, Islam and its principles cannot be made subservient to these cultural trends.
In some of the contemporary “Islamic" groups, Jihād has been adapted to a virtually Marxist or Socialist concept of class revolt aimed at overthrowing the authority of the state. In the often fervently materialistic milieu of contemporary political and revolutionary ideologies, Islam is inevitably reduced to nothing more than a social philosophy. This reductionism simply amounts to an abysmal misunderstanding of the essential function of Islam, which is to turn the “face" of the human receptacle away from the world of disharmony and illusion to the tranquility and silence of Divine awareness and vision. Inward Jihād, as we alluded to at the beginning of this presentation, has a key role to play in this respect.
The ruler, the political leader of the whole country, has the power to ratify peace treaties consistent with the interests of the Muslims.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ادْخُلُواْ فِي السِّلْمِ كَآفَّةً وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ
Enter into peace completely and do not follow the steps of Satan.
وَإِن جَنَحُواْ لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللّهِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah.
Sayyid Sābiq states:
This verse is the command to accept peace when the enemy accepts it, even if their acceptance is known to be beforehand to be deception and deceit.
وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ لِلّهِ فَإِنِ انتَهَواْ فَلاَ عُدْوَانَ إِلاَّ عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ
And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression.
From this verse we see that fighting is exhorted until oppression is ended. Thus with the words, “but if they cease,” Allah legislates that once justice prevails and no one is prevented from observing their belief in Allah, then fighting should end. Allah grants that arms be set aside, “except to those who practice oppression.”
وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ لِلّه فَإِنِ انتَهَوْاْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ
And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.
Thus peace is not only permitted but called for, after the adversary, even if still inimical, ceases its aggression. However precaution and watchfulness is not to be abandoned in this situation, for here Allah reminds the Muslims of His Own Attribute, “verily Allah doth see all that they do.”
The Prophet said, after establishing the Islamic state in Madīnah, that the way of the Muslims is one. No single group can autonomously declare war or fight, nor can any one group make peace by itself, but the entire country must make peace. A peace treaty can be made by the country’s leader and all subjects of the country are bound by that decision, regardless of whether the leader was appointed or elected. The final decision is up to the ruler after his consultation with others.
If a state has no leader then it must select one, or all the neighboring states and nations must come together and agree on a treaty with any foreign country. This applies today in the case of the Middle East Crisis. This applies as much to peace as it does to war. No individual or group may come forth and declare a Jihād: such will be a false Jihād. All Muslim nations and their leaders must come together for a decision of war or peace and that is the only accepted process.
It is imperative to keep in mind that all such verses were revealed a specific times pertaining to specific historical events. Our concern today is that radical extremists employ these verses outside their proper historical and revelatory context, merely cutting and pasting together what suits their evil inclinations, without accurate or sufficient knowledge of the applicability or otherwise of such verses.
Ibn Qudāma said that a treaty of peace involves agreeing with combatant non-Muslims for an end to hostility for a period of time, whether it involves paying a tax or not. He asserted that Muslims are allowed to make peace treaties that do not require non-Muslims to pay a tax, because the Prophet of Allah did so on the occasion of the Hudaybīyya Treaty. Ibn Qudāma says that Imām Aħmad gave this opinion as did Imām Abū Ħanīfa.