October 15th, 2015
Hijra is the Islamic doctrine of jihad by migration.
Hijra is a political tactic Mohammed used to conquest a Kafir (non-Muslim) country.
In recent months, immigration from Islamic countries to Europe has become one of the continent’s most serious issues in decades. A variety of different people are currently coming to Europe through the Balkans and the Mediterranean, including those whose lives were destroyed by the jihad of the Islamic State. Nevertheless, various security agencies report warriors, who would like to bring jihad to Europe, are traveling among them as well. By far, the largest share of the new immigrants are the economic migrants driven by the prospect of a better life ensured by social systems of the European countries. It is also no secret that Muslims are the largest part of the immigrants. While most of the discussions on immigration deal chiefly with the economic and security consequences of Muslim immigration to Europe, this article aims to analyze what position immigration has in the doctrine of Political Islam. Furthermore, we will also reflect on the current situation and what lessons could be drawn from history.
The Islamic political doctrine has two contradictory approaches to immigration - as it actually does to many other issues. Such dualism is an inherent part of Islam and is best understood when the following two verses from Koran are compared.
Koran 2:256 There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion.
Koran 9:29 Make war on those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful... Even though the message of the verses above may seem to be contradictory, both of them are part of the book that is regarded by Muslims as the exact words of Allah. Both of them are valid and Muslims can choose one or another, depending on outer circumstances.
The doctrine of immigration is handled in a similar way. It can be found particularly in the Sira – The Life of Mohammed. In 622 CE, Mohammed left Mecca for Medina because Meccans considered him to be the source of conflicts and did not want him to be their fellow-citizen anymore. This event is called Hijra and is crucial in Islamic history. Hijra is not only the beginning of Islamic calendar, but it also marks the divide between the Meccan Koran and the Medinan Koran and the transition from religious Islam to political Islam.
During his thirteen-year career as a preacher, Mohammed converted approximately 150 people to Islam in Mecca. Within the course of ten years of jihad (following his migration to Medina), Mohammed spread Islam throughout Arabia. The fact that the Islamic calendar starts with Mohammed's immigration to Medina and not with his birth, death, or the first Koranic revelation indicates the significance of this event for the success of Islam.
Immigration to Islamic Countries
The first concept of Hijra originated in Mohammed's migration from Mecca to Medina. In Islam Mohammed is the perfect pattern of moral conduct for each Muslim. Therefore, if a Muslim is in a place where he cannot practice his ideology, he is supposed to do as Mohammed did and leave such a place. He should move to where Sharia law constitutes legal order and where he can follow the imperatives of the Islamic doctrine.
The Islamic State refers to this order in its propaganda videos. It reminds European Muslims of their religious obligation to leave for a country where Sharia is the governing law and to participate in jihad in Allah's cause.
Muslim migration to the countries governed by Kafirs (unbelievers) did not have great significance in the past. Instead, Islamic scholars dating back to the 9th century, considered staying in non-Islamic countries to be dangerous, since it can weaken Muslims’ belief. Until the late modern period, Islam was spread primarily through armed jihad.
Successful spreading of Islam was ensured by constant repetition of the following time-proven pattern: inhabitants of a certain country or region were given a choice - either convert to Islam or go to war. If the offer for conversion was declined, Islamic armies invaded the country. If the Muslims won on the battlefield, many of the conquered men were killed and the women and children were captured as spoils of war or sold on the slave markets.
A subjugated status, called “dhimmi,” was imposed upon those not killed or taken away. Life as a dhimmi was so difficult and degrading for unbelievers they gradually converted to Islam to become regular citizens. In some regions, this process took a couple of centuries due to the fact that dhimmis were persistent in declining conversion to Islam. Eventually, this approach was successful and transformed Christian Near East, Northern Africa and Asia Minor into Muslim lands. Buddhist areas in Afghanistan, Hindu areas in India and Pakistan, or Zoroastrian Persia encountered similar destinies as well. Muslim conquest of such areas was even crueler because, in accordance with the doctrine of Political Islam, dhimmi status can be granted only to Jews and Christians.
Immigration to non-Islamic Countries
Muslims did not come to the western lands of the Kafir in high numbers until the second half of the 20th century. The main motivating factors were economic. Many Western European countries went through a period of unusual surges in industrial production and the European workforce was insufficient to satisfy labor demand. At that time, numerous Western politicians thought a workforce from Muslim countries would stay in Europe for several years and, once Muslim workers earned some money, they would return to their families in their home countries. However, that was not the case. Instead, these workers’ families joined them and settled in the hosting countries permanently.
A large number of Muslims who migrated to the West convinced the Islamic scholars to rethink their attitude to this issue. They agreed if they had forbidden mass immigration, they would only alienate the migrants. Instead, they focused on drawing up of a legal-religious framework to enable the migrants to keep their Muslim identity as well as to make use of their immigration for the benefit of Islam. The agreement on this framework contained five main points:
- Muslims are part of the Islamic nation, called the Ummah, wherever they live.
- Life in non-Islamic countries is undesirable, but possible, if the migrant behaves as an exemplary Muslim.
- Each migrant is obliged to constantly strengthen his religious identity and keep their distance from everything contradictory to Islam. In order to strengthen his religious identity, he should build mosques and be their benefactor, as well as set up Muslim schools, cultural centers and shops.
- Each migrant is supposed to promote the objectives of the Muslim community, both in the religious and the political field and he shall not make difference between those two.
- Muslims in the West are supposed to spread Islam in the declining and spiritually void Western societies.
The purpose of all these points has been to force Muslims to perceive their religious identity as more important than their national identity, to segregate them from the majority society and to make them agents for spreading Islam in the world. The substantial requirement was that they would live separate from Kafirs and would not make friends within the Kafir societies. Making friends with Muslims and segregating from non-Muslims is called Al Walaa wa al Baraa. This Arabian term could be translated as "loyalty and disownment" and stems from the Koran.
Koran 58:22 You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred.
These ideas didn’t remain just a plain theory of the Islamic scholars, they really took root in the lives of numerous Western Muslims. A lot of factors played roles in this process. The essential one is the fact that immigrants brought their traditional values of the Islamic doctrine with them. In their host countries, they gathered in closed communities with their fellow believers, which further reinforced such values. The religious commitment of the children and grandchildren of the original immigrants was reinforced by the fact that it was getting increasingly more difficult to succeed in the labor market.
Another key factor was that Western politicians declared multiculturalism to be the official ideology, which meant giving up on promoting common values in their countries. One of the key postulates of multiculturalism is that no culture may be regarded as more valuable than another one. This opened the way for spreading very radical ideas incompatible with the constitutions, legal orders, and essential values of the Europeans. Their propagators consider themselves to be untouchable to a large extent, since attacking their opinions could be interpreted as an expression of xenophobia or hatred.
Nevertheless, CSPI has focused on studying mainly the primary Islamic political doctrine, that is the doctrine of Allah and Mohammed, which can be found in the Koran, Sira and Hadith. Those are the real sources of Islam. Islamic scholars, whose conclusions were discussed in the previous sections, also referred to the prophet Mohammed, since he was the one who actually used immigration as a tool for spreading Islam.
Mohammed as the Perfect Example
When Mohammed went to Medina, half the population were Arabian polytheists and the other half consisted of three Jewish tribes. Mohammed came to a place where Islam had very little backing. He claimed he was the last in the line of Jewish prophets. Nevertheless, he gained very little backing from the Jews of Medina. It was the other way round. He claimed that Jews had intentionally corrupted and concealed God’s revelations sent through the previous prophets. Therefore, it is not surprising the Jews of Medina kept a distance from him and that he was not very popular among them. Mohammed's Jew-hatred, in many places in the Koran, has its origins in this period of time.
Nevertheless, Mohammed was very skillful in getting the most out of the situation. He made use of the disputes among the three Jewish tribes. Each time Mohammed and his companions attacked one tribe, Jews from the other tribes did not help that tribe. Employing this tactic, Mohammed was able to conquer two Jewish tribes whose members were exiled and whose property was confiscated. When Mohammad attacked the third tribe, the Banu Qurayza, there was no one left in Medina who could help the besieged Jews. They finally surrendered, throwing themselves at Mohammed's mercy. Their sentence was not exile, as was the case with the two previous tribes, but death. Mohammed and his wife Aisha then looked on as his companions beheaded approximately 800 male members of the tribe.
In this way, Mohammed conquered Medina and it became a base for his power. After eight years, he also seized Mecca. At the end of his life, Islam dominated Arabia. Immigration to the town of unbelievers marked, in Mohammed's case, the beginning of the path to political power. Mohammed is not only inspiration for Muslim scholars, but he is also the binding moral example for all the Muslims. This theme is repeated more than 90 times in the Koran.
Koran 33:21 You have an excellent example in Allah’s Messenger for those of you who put your hope in Allah and the Last Day and who praise Allah continually.
Koran 4:59 You who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. The Koran emphasized several times that those who emigrated with Mohammed to the non-Muslim societies, and dominated them in favor of Islam, are perfect examples for Muslims, and Allah shall love them.
Koran 2:218 Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah - those expect the mercy of Allah. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
The House of Islam and the House of War
The Islamic political doctrine divides world into dar al-Islam (the House of Islam) and dar al-Harb (the House of War). The former category involves countries governed by Islam and Sharia law. The latter category - the House of War - refers to Kafir countries. The ultimate goal of Political Islam is to incorporate the House of War into the House of Islam. This goal was proclaimed by Mohammed.
Sahih Muslim’s Hadith Book 1, Number 31 Mohammed: “I have been ordered to wage war against mankind until they accept that there is no god but Allah and that they believe I am His prophet..."
This concept solves the problem of reconciling two different, or even contradictory, approaches to the Islamic migration. If Islamic practitioners feel they cannot apply Islamic ideology where they live, they can use the first approach and emigrate to dar al-Islam (land of Islam). If they already are in dar al-Harb (land of war) or would like to travel to the Kafir countries, they are supposed to use the second approach and use their migration to the benefit of Ummah and Islam.
Those who choose the latter option are supposed to follow the example of Mohammed in Medina and gradually weaken the position of Kafir society. They should practice jihad by means of speech, writing, or sword (depending on the conditions) and aspire to enshrine Sharia law.
The first migrants are not in an easy position. Until Islam has significant impact on the host society, it is sometimes necessary that Muslim immigrants participate in the activities forbidden by Sharia. That is enabled by the Islamic concept of “darura." Darura means that a Muslim can do what is generally forbidden and avoid doing what is ordered, if circumstances dictate. The concepts of kitman, tawriya, muruna and taqiyya (sometimes also referred to as "sacred deception") are similar tactics. They enable Muslims to lie, say a half-truth, not to say the full truth, or hide their real intentions if they do so for the benefit of Islam. Such tactics are, however, temporary. The ultimate goal is to establish an Islamic government, and impose Sharia law, so such practices are no longer needed. Until that time, Muslims can follow Mohammed's advice.
Sahih Bukhari’s Hadith Volume 4, Book 52, Number 268 Allah's apostle said: "War is deceit."
The industrial revolution in the 19th century, and western civilization’s technical innovations in the 20th century prevented Islam from spreading by the traditional means of armed jihad, enslaving elements of the Kafir population, and imposing dhimmitude on the rest of the population. Political Islam is, however, a practical tool of power. Facing this challenge, modern Islamic scholars found a way to utilize the economic emigration of their coreligionists heading toward Europe. They were inspired by Mohammed's life, his exile to Medina, and methods that enabled him to gradually dominate that city despite the majority of its citizens.
It would be wrong to assume that all economic immigrants to Europe in the past, or are currently coming, are active jihadists. Unfortunately, there are no reliable statistics available, perhaps because of the nature of this topic. Nevertheless, there are other statistics available. 74% of the Muslims in Northern Africa and Middle East would like Sharia law to be the law of the land, and only half of them think this legal system should apply only to Muslims. It is possible that there are only few well-trained jihad warriors among thousands of immigrants. Nevertheless, we can assume the demographic composition of immigrants coming to Europe at least approximately corresponds with the composition of population in their home countries. If it is the case, then almost three quarters of Muslim immigrants coming to Europe perceive religious Sharia law is a suitable framework for the official legislation. However, the Sharia law that is discussed more in detail here is contradictory to the law and constitutions of the European countries.
Studying history and the doctrine of Political Islam provides us with very valuable insight. Islam is not spread only by the professional terrorists who pressure Western governments by means of their violent acts to make many concessions, especially with regard to freedom of speech. A vital role in propagating Islam is played by Muslims who consider the Islamic political doctrine to have the same importance as the religious one. We can presume that European governments will keep submitting to the political requirements of Islam in the name of multiculturalism. If this is really the case, the migration of hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants only accelerates the process that is already happening. The process in question includes the decline of Western secular values, such as free speech and women’s rights. They are suppressed by the violent political ideology of Islam.
- Pew Research Center. The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society. Available at: http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-overview/.
- Andrew Bostom. The Legacy of Jihad. Jihad Conquests and the Imposition of Dhimmitude – A Survey.
- The Middle East Quarterly. Should Muslims Integrate into the West? Available at: http://www.meforum.org/1761/should-muslims-integrate-into-the-west.
- Sam Solomon, Elias Al Maqdisi. Modern Day Trojan Horse: The Islamic Doctrine of Immigration.
- Daniel Pipes. Taqiyya and Kitman: The Role of Deception in Islamic Terrorism Available at: http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/25320.
- One of the essential resources was the primary Islamic political doctrine that can be found in the Koran, Sira and Hadith (we used the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, which are regarded as the most reliable resources).
- Should you be interested in studying all the general facts about Mohammed's life as described by the Islamic doctrine, we highly recommend you study the book Sira by Dr. Bill Warner.