Mirriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines jihad as “a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty; also: a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline.” The infographic below shows the progression of the concept of jihad in the Qur’an.
The last three pillars of Islam are zakat, hajj and the fast of Ramadan. We explained Ramadan on day one of our prayer series so today we will examine zakat.
Zakat (almsgiving) is one of the five pillars of Islam and therefore required for all Muslims. Zakat is the systematic giving of 2.5% of one’s wealth each year to benefit the poor.
Zakat is based on the “wealth” of a Muslim, not income. For instance the Zakat calculator for the Zakat Foundation of America helps to calculate the amount a Muslim should give by requesting their cash on hand in bank accounts, money loaned to others, expected tax refunds, the value of gold, silver and other precious items, stocks, bonds, IRA’s, and business assets.
There is a minimum wealth threshold called nisab. Islamic Relief Worldwide states that today there are two measures of nisab either the price of gold (3 ounces) or silver (21 ounces). The nisab threshold varies depending on the current market value. This year the nisab is approximately $3,731 by using the gold measurement and $304 by using the silver measurement. There are arguments between Muslim scholars as to which measurement should be used.
Muslims believe that neglecting to give zakat can result in damnation, and is a sign of hypocrisy. Charity in Islam is different than in the western world. In Christianity charity means to give to someone in need. In Islam, it can go to the poor, but it also can go to fund jihad.
The Qur’an, Sura 9:60, gives eight categories for the distribution of zakat. These categories include the poor, those short of money, zakat workers, those who hearts are to be reconciled, slaves purchasing their freedom, those in debt, those fighting for Allah and travelers needing money. Those fighting for Allah are to be given enough “to suffice them for the operation, even if affluent.” Islamic law scholars also indicate that zakat should also be given to support the families during the time the fighter is away.
The Islamic State announced they would collect zakat from areas they controlled. Financial Times relates an incident of zakat collection by ISIS:
Mansour, a 26-year-old grocery storekeeper in eastern Syria, stalled payment while he tried to cook his books.
A week later, four ISIS officials stormed into his shop, ordered him outside, and tallied the bill themselves — to his dismay they based their calculation on the retail price of his stock. There were no price tags on the tinned beef, so one tax collector rode around town on his motorbike comparing canned beef prices in other stores.
Five hours later, the audit was complete. The bill: 32,500 Syrian lira (about $108).
“They told me, ‘You liar … How will victory be achieved if you’re not paying zakat?’”
Intelligence sources say zakat is a part of the way the Islamic State keeps its economy going. Since zakat can be used for those fighting in jihad, the Islamic State uses it to fund the salaries of its jihadis and finance services such as street cleaning and bread subsidies. The Financial Times estimates ISIS collected over $20 million of zakat on grain and cotton.
Western nations do not realize that one-eighth of the contributions of zakat, according to the Qur’an, is to support the active cause of Islam and used to support jihad.
Ask God to expose to Muslims the fact that some of the funding they expect is going to help the poor is actually (according to their leaders) assisting to fund jihad.
Jihad, the muscle of political Islam, takes various forms including jihad through migration. Muhammad set the perfect example of jihad through migration when he migrated from Mecca to the city of Yathrib (now known as Medina) in 622 AD. This migration is known as the hijra.
Muhammad moved with the intention of setting up a new base of operations in Medina. He did not assimilate into the host city, but rather eventually took it over. Likewise the goal of Islamists migrating into Western nations is not to peacefully assimilate into the host nation, but rather it is jihad by non-violent means by gradually taking over the host nation.
Dr. Sam Solomon and E Al Maqdisi wrote in their book, Modern Day Trojan Horse: The Islamic Doctrine of Immigration that “Muhammad’s Hijra…is considered to be notably the most important Islamic event and is exemplified by the fact that the Islamic calendar starts with that event.” Hijra changed the status of Muhammad’s followers and the religion, transforming the followers from a small weak group to a powerful political entity. Hijra spread Muhammad’s teachings outside of Mecca and transformed the religion in a socio-religious and socio-political system.
Hijra became an example by Muhammad and as such must be imitated by Muslims as a religious obligation for the advancement of Islam. Libyan dictator from 1969 to 2011, Moammar Khadafi said, “We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe—without swords, without guns, without conquest—will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.”
According to the BBC, more than a million migrants and refugees arrived in Europe in 2015. The majority of those applying for asylum in the EU were from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Germany had the highest number of new asylum applications with more than 476,000 in 2015. Hungary was second with 177,130 asylum applications. The EU along with non-EU members, Norway and Switzerland had 1,321,560 asylum claims.
According to Douglas Murray of the Gatestone Institute, most of the migrants coming into Europe in the last year are not refugees fleeing from war zones. Frans Timmermans, European Commission VP, said, “More than half of the people now coming to Europe come from countries where you can assume they have no reason whatsoever to ask for refugee status…more than half, 60 percent.” The vast majority of the people coming into Europe are young males.
This influx has brought an increase of violent sexual assaults on women. Gatestone Institute’s Ingrid Carlqvist reports that Sweden now has one of the highest numbers of reported rapes, more than 55 no-go zones where police and ambulances get stoned and shari’a law is more important than Swedish law. In Austria, a 20-year-old asylum seeker from Iraq blamed a “sexual emergency” from having “excess sexual energy” for raping a 10-year-old boy at a public swimming pool in Vienna. Three Afghan asylum seekers brutally gang-raped a woman in a public restroom at a train station in Vienna. Migrants from Afghanistan and North Africa have overrun the area around the train station. In 2015 police were sent to the area an average of 17 times a day. According to data by the Austrian Interior Ministry nearly one of out three asylum seekers in Vienna committed crimes in 2015. Similar reports regarding young male asylum seekers can be found in other European countries.
There are displaced refugees with real, essential needs of security, shelter, water, food and medical care. However, there are others who have the wrong intent and do not desire to assimilate into their new nation, rather they cause great conflict.
- Pray that governments will be given the ability to discern good from evil and move with God’s wisdom for each individual life.
- Ask the Lord to give each refugee a hunger for truth and a revelation of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The political side of Islam seeks to control kafirs (non-Muslims). 51% of the trilogy of Islamic texts (Qur’an, Sira, and Hadith) deal with the kafir making the system of Islam more political than religious. Jihad is the technique Islam uses for accomplishing its political goals.
Jihad can mean, “an individual’s striving for spiritual self-perfection or a Muslim holy war or spiritual struggle against infidels.” Islam recognizes two types of jihad – the lesser and greater jihads. The greater jihad is the soul’s struggle with evil – basically striving to become a better person. The lesser jihad is about holy war. Interestingly only about 3% of the Bukhari Hadith is about the greater jihad, the remaining 97% is about the lesser jihad or holy war. In fact, jihad is mentioned over 200 times in this particular hadith.
Bat Ye’or, author of Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, said, “[the jihad] is the normal and permanent state of war between the Muslims and the [infidels], a war that can only end with the final domination over unbelievers and the absolute supremacy of Islam throughout the world.”
The Qur’an and other texts teach that Islam is the perfect political system and is destined to rule the entire world. All other governments and systems must submit to Islam. If they do not submit then jihad can be used. Since Muslims consider refusing to submit to Islam an offense against Allah, all jihad is defensive, allowing Islam to portray itself as a victim.
Although many westerners may think of terror attacks when they think of jihad, jihad actually takes various and less identifiable forms such as jihad through the pen, jihad through the mouth, jihad through charity, jihad through marriage, jihad through immigration and even jihad through interfaith meetings. Jihad uses every aspect of civilization as a war machine. Military force and terror are actually are the smallest components in jihad.
Violent jihad has brought about the deaths of roughly 270 million of people in Islam’s 1400-year history. It is estimated that through Jihad – Islam has killed 120 million Africans, 60 million Christians, 80 million Hindus, and 10 million Buddhists.
Pray for the leaders of your nation (government, church, education, media, etc.) – that they will have a more clear and truthful understanding of Islamic jihad and have God’s wisdom to recognize it in their midst, and take a godly stand for truth.
Pray that Muslims will begin to question why their religion must use jihad in order to advance, and pray God will soften their hearts and give the opportunity to hear the message of the gospel of Christ.
In an attempt to debunk the statement, “Islam teaches Muslims to kill Christians and Jews,” a popular Christian website states, “There is not a single command in the Qur’an for Muslims to go out and kill Christians or Jews.”
Unless the author of the article on the Christian website believes you can have a war without any casualties, this statement is misleading because it ignores passages in the Qur’an such as sura 9:29 which says, “Make war on those who have received the Scriptures [Jews and Christians] but do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day. They do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden. The Christians and Jews do not follow the religion of truth until they submit and pay the poll tax [jizya] and they are humiliated.”
The Reliance of the Traveller, a classic manual of Islamic Sacred Law, is a foundational theological manual. Al-Azhar University, known as Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university, certifies that the Reliance of the Traveller “conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community” (Reliance, p. xx).
The manual explains sura 9:29: “The Caliph makes war upon the Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians, provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax Jizya…– while remaining in their ancestral religions (and the war continues) until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax in accordance with the word of Allah Most High” (Reliance o9.8, p. 602).
As ISIS captured Christian areas in Iraq and Syria, residents were forced to “convert or die.” In a few areas, Christians were given the opportunity to pay the poll tax, however ISIS leaders increased the amount of the tax to an amount that made it impossible to pay so many Christians were forced to flee their homes. In October 2015, Assyrian Christian business owners living in Sweden found the “convert or die” message on the walls of their businesses. The graffiti also included the message: “The Caliphate is here,” along with the ISIS logo. It is reported that the Swedish city of Gothenburg where the graffiti was found has had at least 150 people leave the city to join ISIS.
Recent history demonstrates widespread persecution against Christians. TheReligionofPeace.com has a list of targeted acts of terrorism on Christians by Muslims since September 11, 2001. In the last five years (since January 1, 2011) there have been 7,420 Christians killed and another 7,754 injured in jihadi attacks. This list is of those that have been identified specifically as Christians and according to the website, it is not a complete account of Islamic terror attacks on Christians since much of the violence against Christians goes unreported, and often the victims of Islamic terror are not identified as Christians.
Overall during the same five-year time period there have been 14,203 Islamic terror attacks in which 107,857 people have been killed and 132,433 injured.
Christians should be aware of the teachings of Islam – not to invoke fear, but to understand why Islamists feel compelled to conquer other religions. Love for Muslims comes from God’s heart to Christians. To misrepresent the teachings of Islam denies truth.
The word of God tells us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Pray that Christians will be informed regarding their own faith and be able to speak the truth about Islam to receptive hearts.