J-3

Excerpts from Imam Tartushi’s letter to Yusuf Bin Tashfin from 1098/1099 (the beginning of the fatwa and the end of the fatwa containing formal niceties have been removed) (Source: Maria Vigueras Spanish translation in ‘Las Cartas De Al-Gazali y Al-Turtosi Al Soberano Almoravid Yosuf B. Tasufin’)[1]:

…Abu Yaqub! No longer do you have quite as much time and strength left in you. You hair greys, and you are removed from this world and taken to the Hereafter to your meeting. Now has come the time of departure, your legs remain rigid and the agony comes with the truth, soon! soon!, to a life without death, towards youth without deterioration, towards health without illness! Allāh (سبحانه و تعلى) says:

وَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ أَمْوَاتًا بَلْ أَحْيَاء عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ2

Think not of those who are slain in Allāh’s way as dead. Nay they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord;

فَرِحِينَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَيَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَلْحَقُواْ بِهِم مِّنْ خَلْفِهِمْ أَلاَّ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ3

They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allāh. And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them, (in their bliss), the (Shaheed’s) glory in the fact that on them is no fear nor have they (cause to) grieve.

يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِنِعْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ4

They rejoice on account of favour from Allāh…

It has been narrated by Ibn Abbas that the Prophet, (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم), said:

لَمَّا أُصِيبَ إِخْوَانُكُمْ بِأُحُدٍ، جَعَلَ اللهُ أَرْوَاحَهُمْ فِي أَجْوَافِ طَيْرٍ خُضْرٍ، تَرِدُ أَنْهَارَ الْجَنَّـةِ، وَتَأْكُلُ مِنْ ثِمَارِهَا، وَتَأْوِي إِلى قَنَادِيلَ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ فِي ظِلِّ الْعَرْشِ، فَلَمَّا وَجَدُوا طِيبَ مَشْرَبِهِمْ وَمَأْكَلِهِمْ، وَحُسْنَ مُتَقَلَّبِهِمْ قَالُوا: يَا لَيْتَ إِخْوَانَنَا يَعْلَمُونَ مَا صَنَعَ اللهُ لَنَا، لِئَلَّا يَزْهَدُوا فِي الْجِهَادِ، وَلَا يَنْكُلُوا عَنِ الْحَرْبِ، فَقَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: أَنْا أُبَلِّغُهُمْ عَنْكُم

When your brothers were killed in Uhud, Allāh placed their souls inside green birds that tend to the rivers of Paradise and eat from its fruits. They then return to golden lamps hanging in the shade of the Throne. When they tasted the delight of their food, drink and dwelling, they said, `We wish that our brothers knew what Allāh gave us so that they will not abandon Jihad or warfare.’ Allāh said, `I will convey the news for you.’[5]

And Allāh (azza wa jal) said:

وَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ أَمْوَاتًا بَلْ أَحْيَاء عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ6

Think not of those who are slain in Allāh’s way as dead. Nay they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord;

And also, He (سبحانه و تعلى) said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَى مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَلَهُمْ بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الّجَنَّةَ يُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيَقْتُلُونَ وَيُقْتَلُونَ وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالإِنجِيلِ وَالْقُرْءانِ وَمَنْ أَوْفَى بِعَهْدِهِ مِنَ اللَّهِ فَاسْتَبْشِرُواْ بِبَيْعِكُمُ الَّذِى بَايَعْتُمْ بِهِ وَذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

Verily, Allāh has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allāh’s cause, so they kill and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Tawrah and the Injil and the Qur’an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allāh Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success.[7]

And do not think that in trade with Allāh, you could be the buyer, in case Allāh [causes you to] lose it. Allāh, be He exalted, says:

يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ هَلْ أَدُلُّكمْ عَلَى تِجَـرَةٍ تُنجِيكُم مِّنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

O you who believe! Shall I guide you to a trade that will save you from a painful torment[8]

And if it had been stopped here, the eyes would have stood looking for this transaction, as Allāh, by His grace and favor, expressed His willingness in this regard, saying:

تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَتُجَـهِدُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِأَمْوَلِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ9

That you believe in Allāh and His Messenger, and that you strive hard and fight in the cause of Allāh with your wealth and your lives, that will be better for you, if you but know!

The Messenger of Allāh (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم), said:

حَدَّثَنِي يَحْيَى عَنْ مَالِك عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ عَنْ الْأَعْرَجِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ:

مَثَلُ الْمُجَاهِدِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ الصَّائِمِ الْقَائِمِ الدَّائِمِ الَّذِي لَا يَفْتُرُ مِنْ صَلَاةٍ وَلَا صِيَامٍ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَ

The Mujahid in Allāh’s Cause is like a person who fasts and prays continuously until he returns [from fighting][10]


It has been narrated that the Messenger of Allāh (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) said:

و حَدَّثَنِي عَنْ مَالِك عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ عَنْ الْأَعْرَجِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ:

تَكَفَّلَ اللَّهُ لِمَنْ جَاهَدَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَا يُخْرِجُهُ مِنْ بَيْتِهِ إِلَّا الْجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِهِ وَتَصْدِيقُ كَلِمَاتِهِ أَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ الْجَنَّةَ أَوْ يَرُدَّهُ إِلَى مَسْكَنِهِ الَّذِي خَرَجَ مِنْهُ مَعَ مَا نَالَ مِنْ أَجْرٍ أَوْ غَنِيمَةٍ

Allāh Guarantees him who leaves his home only to fight in His path and believing in His word, that He will admit him into Paradise [if martyred] or bring him back to his home, with what he gains of reward and spoils.[11]

And also:

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ عَنْ الزُّهْرِيِّ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي سَعِيدُ بْنُ الْمُسَيَّبِ أَنَّ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ:

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْلَا أَنَّ رِجَالًا مِنْ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لَا تَطِيبُ أَنْفُسُهُمْ أَنْ يَتَخَلَّفُوا عَنِّي وَلَا أَجِدُ مَا أَحْمِلُهُمْ عَلَيْهِ مَا تَخَلَّفْتُ عَنْ سَرِيَّةٍ تَغْزُو فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوَدِدْتُ أَنِّي أُقْتَلُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ أُحْيَا ثُمَّ أُقْتَلُ ثُمَّ أُحْيَا ثُمَّ أُقْتَلُ ثُمَّ أُحْيَا ثُمَّ أُقْتَل12

Abu Hureyrah narrates:

By Him in Whose Hands my soul is! Were it not for some men amongst the believers who dislike to be left behind me and whom I cannot provide with means of conveyance, I would certainly never remain behind any Sariya’ (army-unit) setting out in Allāh’s Cause. By Him in Whose Hands my life is! I would love to be martyred in Al1ah’s Cause and then get resurrected and then get martyred, and then get resurrected again and then get martyred and then get resurrected again and then get martyred.

And:

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ أَخْبَرَنَا مَالِكٌ عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ عَنْ الْأَعْرَجِ عَنْ أَبِي

هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ:

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَا يُكْلَمُ أَحَدٌ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ يُكْلَمُ فِي سَبِيلِهِ إِلَّا جَاءَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَاللَّوْنُ لَوْنُ الدَّمِ وَالرِّيحُ رِيحُ الْمِسْكِ

Abu Hureyrah narrates:

By He in whose hand my soul is! None of you is wounded in the way of Allāh – and Allāh knows best who is wounded in His Way, but that when the Day of Rising comes, blood will gush forth from his wound. It will be the colour of blood, but its scent will be that of musk.[13].

[Imam Ahmad recorded that] Anas b. Malik narrates that the Prophet said:

عن أنس رضي الله تعالى عنه قال :

غاب عمي أنس بن النضر عن قتال بدر ، فقال : يا رسول الله غبت عن أول قتال قاتلت المشركين ، لئين الله أشهدني قتال المشركين ليرين الله ما أصنع . فلما كان يوم أحد وانكشف المسلمون قال : اللهم إني أعتذر إليك مما صنع هؤلاء – يعني أصحابه – وأبرأ إليك مما صنع هؤلاء – يعني المشركين – ثم تقدم فاستقبله سعد بن معاذ فقال : يا سعد بن معاذ الجنة ورب النضر إني أجد ريحها من دون أحد ، قال سعد : فما استطعت يا رسول الله ما صنع ، قال أنس : فوجدنا به بضعاً وثمانين ضربة بالسيف أو طعنة برمح أو رمية بسهم ووجدناه قد قتل وقد مثل به المشركون فما عرفه أحد إلا أخته ببنانه قال أنس : كنا نرى أو نظن أن هذه الآية نزلت فيه وفي أشباهه14

My paternal uncle Anas bin Al-Nadr, may Allāh be pleased with him, after whom I was named, was not present with this Messenger of Allāh at Badr, and this distressed him. He said: `The first battle at which the Messenger of Allāh was present, and I was absent; if Allāh shows me another battle with the Messenger of Allāh, Allāh will see what I will do!’ He did not want to say more than that. He was present with the Messenger of Allāh at Uhud, where he met Sa`d bin Mu`adh, may Allāh be pleased with him. Anas, may Allāh be pleased with him, said to him, `O Abu `Amr! Where are you going’ He replied, `I long for the fragrance of Paradise and I have found it near the mountain of Uhud.’ He fought them until he was killed, may Allāh be pleased with him. Eighty-odd stab wounds and spear wounds were found on his body, and his sister, my paternal aunt Ar-Rabayyi` bint Al-Nadr said, `I only recognized my brother by his fingertips.’ We used to think that the following Verse was revealed concerning him and other men of his sort:

مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ رِجَالٌ صَدَقُواْ مَا عَـهَدُواْ اللَّهَ عَلَيْهِ فَمِنْهُمْ مَّن قَضَى نَحْبَهُ وَمِنْهُمْ مَّن يَنتَظِرُ وَمَا بَدَّلُواْ تَبْدِيلاً

Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allāh; of them some have fulfilled their Nahbah[15]; and some of them are still waiting, but they have never changed in the least.[16]

Be aware, Abu Yaqub, that Allāh, (Subhanahu wa ta’aala), has established jihad upon all Muslims, and it is never abrogated by neither tyrant, distanced from orthodoxy, nor the unrighteous who are far from Allāh, until the establishment of the Hour. He, Allāh (Azza wa jal) says:

قَـتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وَلاَ يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَلاَ يَدِينُونَ دِينَ الْحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ حَتَّى يُعْطُواْ الْجِزْيَةَ عَن يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَـغِرُونَ

Fight against those who believe not in Allāh, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allāh and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued[17]

And He did not absolve our people [Muslims] to fight the enemy, as long as they do not deliver jizya or accept Islam, because this verse abrogates any another verse in the Book of Allāh, the exalted, concerning fighting against the kuffaar. Abu Bakr Al Siddiq (رضي الله عنه) narrates that the Messenger of Allāh, (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم), said:

The Ummah does not leave jihad, except for punishment to arrive [upon] all [18]

You have an obligation, therefore, to fight the heretics [kuffar] on those frontiers of Islam close to you, because you’re the [Muslim] king closest to them, and have horses [kura’] and weapons, influence, machines of war, Muslim armies and soldiers, all at your command. And, like you, all the warriors, fighters, with strength and power, which are your neighbours and nearby to you. And, you are in a critical moment to stop losing those Muslims, with their wives and children, who are on the borders of Al Andalus. How is it that you do not imitate the defenders and warriors of Islam who had [come] up there [Andalus], from the lands of hijaz, to conquer and extend in them the word of Islam and tawheed? What about, therefore, he who is close and is a neighbour of those regions?
Oh, Abu Yaqub!, If you want to defeat the enemy, you must be just to your subjects, as has been transmitted by Umar b. al-Khattab, (رضي الله عنه), that an emissary arrived to inform him of a victory, and Umar asked him:

“At What time did fighting start?”

He [the emissary] replied: “At the beginning of the day”

[Umar (رضي الله عنه) asked]: “And when were they defeated?”

[The emissary replied]: “At the end of the day”

Umar (رضي الله عنه) then exclaimed:

“From Allāh we Came and to Him We Return!: And from morning to afternoon he resisted shirk [polytheism]? By Allāh, there has not been a fault that he made after me or I’ve done after him, thus the government of Yemen is given to Ya’la B. Ummaya. You obtained victory because of his excellence.

Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (رضي الله عنه) narrates about his army of Syria:

“Ten thousand soldiers or more were lost, and they were lost because of their sins; [so] beware of sinning”

I will give something better than the earth, full of gold, if you use it in fighting fee sabilAllāh, and it is a Hadith which has been transmitted by one the true imams of the Messenger of Allāh, (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم). Thus, [Imam] Muslim refers in his book ‘Al-Sahih’: Sa’d Bin Abi Waqqas narrates that the Messenger of Allāh, (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم), said:

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى، أَخْبَرَنَا هُشَيْمٌ، عَنْ دَاوُدَ بْنِ أَبِي هِنْدٍ، عَنْ أَبِي عُثْمَانَ، عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ أَبِي وَقَّاصٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ لاَ يَزَالُ أَهْلُ الْغَرْبِ ظَاهِرِينَ عَلَى الْحَقِّ حَتَّى تَقُومَ السَّاعَةُ

It has been narrated by Sa’d b. Abu Waqqas that the Messenger of Allāh (may peace be upon him) said: The people of the Maghrib will continue to triumphantly follow the truth until the Hour is established.[19]

Allāh only knows if the Messenger Allāh, (صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم), referred to the confederation [ma’sara] of the Murabitun or all the people of Maghrib, and their obligation to accept the Sunna and the jama’a and maintained purity from heresies [bida ‘] and innovations in the deen, by following the examples of the Salaf Al Salih,(رضي الله عنهم). I ask Allāh to make you of those who remain [steadfast], preventing corruption in the land.

We were in this sacred land, May Allāh aid it in their misfortunes, and we were exposed to hearing from you and what you were doing in Compliance with the Divine, azza wa jal, to fight the enemy, to strengthen His religion and His word, and all the ulema, fuquha, defenders (huma ‘) of the deen, devotees, ascetics, those devoted to Allāh, The Most High, and us, were here, asking Allāh, (subhaanahu), to give you His help and support, to achieve victory – likewise, you are seeking victory with the troops of the earth, [while] we were supplicating for you, with the troops of jannah[20]– when we arrived in this sacred land, the Faqih Abu Muhammad Abd Allāh b. al-Arabi, his son and the Faqih Hafiz Abu Bakr b. Muhammad Abd Allāh, and began to speak to all Halaqa’s, meetings, people and congregations [about] your actions in the war against the enemy, May Allāh, The Most High, annihilate them;

Your insistence on fighting and your steadfastness, your support for the deen and Ahl Al Deen [scholars?], and fuqaha and those who cultivate, making it grow in the care of Muslims, pray for you and give great consideration [to you], and [it] makes us desire to go to fight the heretics [kuffar] next to you, and increase the wealth of Muslims who follow you. Lord, who gives generously His bounty, we ask that you and we will be granted shahada in jihad. And humbly ask that you do see where the truth is, and follow that, and avoid the false as false…


[1] The original in Arabic can be found in ‘Kitab Ansab Al Barbar.’  I apologize in advance for translation errors from the Spanish to English translation.

[2] Surah Al Imran, Ayah 169

[3] Surah Al Imran, Ayah 170

[4] Surah Al Imran, Ayah 171. It continues “وَفَضْلٍ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ…”

[5] Imam Ahmad

[6] Surah Al Imran, Ayah 169

[7] Surah Tawbah , Ayah 111

[8] Surah Al Saff, Ayah 10

[9] Surah Al Saff, Ayah 11

[10] Imam Malik, Muwatta, hadith 849, Kitab al jihad

[11] Muwatta Imam Malik # 850 Kitab al jihad, Sahih Bukhari, Sunan Nisaai, Musnad Ahmad

[12] Muwatta Imam Malik Kitab al Jihad, Also found in Sahih Bukhari, Hadith #: 2588

[13] Sahih Bukhari Kitab al Jihad Ahadith #: 36 and 237. Also in Sahih Muslim in Hadith #: 1876

[14] Sahih

[15] Some of the scholars said Nahbah means “Met their appointed time (i.e., death).” Al-Bukhari said, Nahbah means their covenant and refers back to the beginning of the Ayah.” “They died true to their covenant and loyal, and some are still waiting to die in a similar manner, and some of them have never changed in the least.” This was also the view of Qatadah and Ibn Zayd. Some of other scholars said that the word Nahbah means a vow.

[16] Surah Ahzab, verse 23

[17] Surah Al Tawba, verse 29

[18]

[19] Sahih Muslim, Kitab Al Imarah, Hadith 7605

[20] Reference to the Angels

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