Jihad According to the Classical Scholars

From Muhammad, Messenger of Allah, to Jaifar and 'Abd, sons of al-Julanda, and may peace be upon those who follow Allah's guidance. To proceed, I invite you both to Islam; accept Islam and you will attain salvation, for I am Allah's Messenger to all mankind so that I may warn those who are alive and establish (Allah's) word over the unbelievers. If you declare your Islam I will appoint you both as governors [of your lands], but if you refuse then (know that) your dominion is only fleeting, and my horsemen will dismount in your courtyard, and my Prophethood will prevail over your dominion.

“Man’s meanest weapon is to shed tears when swords stir the coals of war”

‘How dare you slumber in the shade of complacent safety leading lives as frivolous as garden flowers, while your brothers in Syria have no dwelling place save the saddles of camels and the bellies of vultures? Blood has been spilled! Beautiful young girls have been shamed, and must now hide their sweet faces in their hands! Shall the valorous Arabs resign themselves to insult, and the valiant Persians accept dishonour?’

Imam Ghazali on the ‘Ulamā’ of the Hereafter, the Teachers of Falsehood and Avoiding Rulers

“Another characteristic expected of the scholar is that he keeps away from the rulers and, as long as he can help it, not to come near them at all, and rather avoid their company despite any efforts on their part to seek him out, because the world is attractive and inviting while the power to dispense with its riches is in their hands. To associate with them, therefore, would necessarily involve the scholar in seeking their approval and winning their hearts, although they are unjust and unrighteous. It is, then, the duty of every religious man to censor them by exposing their tyranny and decrying their practices. For he who frequents their palaces will either seek their favour and consequently forget the blessings which Allah has bestowed upon him, or hold his peace and allow their misdeeds to go uncensored, thereby courting their favour.”

How Imam ‘Izz al-Din Ibn ‘Abd al-Salam* Held the Ruler to Account

I later asked [‘Izz al-Din Ibn ‘Abd al-Salam] when he had returned from the Sultan and had publically done this good: ‘My master how are you?’ he replied, My son, I saw [the Sultan] in that grand state and wanted to humiliate him in case he puffed himself up with pride.’ I then asked him: ‘My master did you fear him?’ He replied, ‘My son, I swear by Allah, when I recalled Allah’s Majesty in my heart, the Sultan became like a kitten in front of me!’…”