The webpages on "History of Jihad" is brought to you by a neutral panel of contributors, co-ordinated by Robin MacArthur with Mahomet Mostapha and Naim al Khoury, New Jersey. taking a factual viewpoint.
What is Jihad: The Arabic word Jihad is derived from the root word Jahada (struggle). Jihad has come to mean an offensive war to be waged by Muslims against all non-Muslims to convert them to Islam on the pain of death. Jihad is enjoined on all Muslims by the Quran.
Fierce and persistent Hindu resistance to the Islamic Jihad prevented the complete Islamization of India.
Unlike the complete Islamization of Persia, Egypt, Mesopotemia, Turkey, North Africa, the Ismization of India was not complete. At the end of one millennium of Muslim Tyranny from 715 up to 1761, more than 70 percent of the population of India remained Hindu. This was not due to Muslim charity or benevolence, since they have none of these characteristics. The Muslim tyranny was as blood=thirsty and savage as it was in all parts of the globe that were unfortunate to be trampled by the Jihadis. The Hindus suffered initial setbacks due to the belief amongst them, as amongst all other no-Muslims, that the Muslim too wee normal human beings, who would after a victory, settle down to govern the defeated population. But once the nightmare of Muslim tyranny began, the Hindus grew wiser faster than the other unfortunate victims of the Jihad. The Hindus never surrendered to the Muslim tyrants. They waged a relentless and violent struggle against the Muslims. And when fortunate favored them, they returned with almost equal measure, the barbarism of the Muslim. We use the qualifier “almost” since the Hindus slaughtered the Muslims on the battlefield, but did not go to the extent of slaughtering Muslim civilians and giving them the choice of Hinduism or death, molesting Muslim women, destroying en masse all Mosques, and building Hindus temples on them (the Babri Masjid-Ramjanabhomi struggle being a one off case) and imposing a penal tax like the jaziya on all Muslims.
It was this valiant Hindu resistance that put paid all the savagery of the Muslims to convert al the Hindus to Islam at the pain of death. But otherwise the sordid tale of Muslim savagery ws no less brutal from that in other parts of the world overrun by the Islamic Jihad.
How the Muslims forcibly converted the Hindus of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to Islam
Today we do not have an idea of how a merciless jihad transformed Hindu society of Pakistan and Bangladesh into a Muslim one. While in Pakistan and Bangladesh Hinduism was supplanted entirely by Islam, in India, the Muslim tyranny succeeded only partially in converting a part of the population to Islam. In fact those parts of India where a majority of the Hindus were converted to Islam have become Pakistan and Bangladesh today. These countries were parts of India, before the Muslims invaded that part of the world.
Sir Jadunath Sarkar, the pre-eminent historian of Mughal India, wrote the following in 1920 regarding the impact of centuries of jihad and dhimmitude on the indigenous Hindus of the Indian subcontinent:
Islamic theology, therefore tells the true believer that his highest duty is to make 'exertion (jihad) in the path of God', by waging war against infidel lands (dar-ul-harb) till they become part of the realm of Islam (dar-ul-Islam) and their populations are converted into true believers. After conquest the entire infidel population becomes theoretically reduced to the status of slaves of the conquering army. The men taken with arms are to be slain or sold into slavery and their wives and children reduced to servitude. As for the non-combatants among the vanquished, if they are not massacred outright, - as the canon lawyer Shaf'i declares to be the Qur'anic injunction,- it is only to give them a respite till they are so wisely guided as to accept the true faith.
The conversion of the entire population to Islam and the extinction of every form of dissent is the ideal of the Muslim State. If any infidel is suffered to exist in the community, it is as a necessary evil, and for a transitional period only. Political and social disabilities must be imposed on him, and bribes offered to him from the public funds, to hasten the day of his spiritual enlightenment and the addition of his name to the roll of true believers...
A non-Muslim therefore cannot be a citizen of the State; he is a member of a depressed class; his status is a modified form of slavery. He lives under a contract (zimma, or 'dhimma') with the State: for the life and property grudgingly spared to him by the commander of the faithful he must undergo political and social disabilities, and pay a commutation money. In short, his continued existence in the State after the conquest of his country by the Muslims is conditional upon his person and property made subservient to the cause of Islam.
He must pay a tax for his land (kharaj), from which the early Muslims were exempt; he must pay other exactions for the maintenance of the army, in which he cannot enlist even if he offers to render personal service instead of paying the poll-tax; and he must show by humility of dress and behavior that he belongs to s subject class. No non-Muslim can wear fine dresses, ride on horseback or carry arms; he must behave respectfully and submissively to every member of the dominant sect.
As the learned Qazi Mughis-ud-din declared, in accordance with the teachings of the books on Canon Law: ‘The Hindus are designated in the Law as ‘payers of tribute’ (kharaj-guzar); and when the revenue officer demands silver from them, they should, without question and with all humility and respect, tender gold. If the officer throws dirt into their mouths, they must without reluctance open their mouths wide to receive it 18. By these acts of degradation are shown the extreme obedience of the zimmi [dhimmi], the glorification of the true faith of Islam, and the abasement of false faiths. God himself orders them to be humiliated , (as He says, ‘till they pay jaziya) with the hand and are humbled…The Prophet has commanded us to slay them, plunder them, and make them captive…No other religious authority except the great Imam (Hanifa) whose faith we follow, has sanctioned the imposition of jaziya on Hindus. According to all other theologians, the rule for Hindus is ‘Either death or Islam’.
The zimmi is under certain legal disabilities with regard to testimony in law courts, protection under criminal law, and in marriage…he cannot erect new temples, and has to avoid any offensive publicity in the exercise of his worship…Every device short of massacre in cold blood was resorted to in order to convert heathen subjects. In addition to the poll-tax and public degradation in dress and demeanor imposed on them, the non-Muslims were subjected to various hopes and fears. Rewards in the form of money and public employment were offered to apostates from Hinduism. The leaders of Hindu religion and society were systematically repressed, to deprive the sect of spiritual instruction, and their religious gatherings and processions were forbidden in order to prevent the growth of solidarity and sense of communal strength among them. No new temple was allowed to be built nor any old one to be repaired, so that the total disappearance of Hindu worship was to be merely a question of time. But even this delay, this slow operation of Time, was intolerable to many of the more fiery spirits of Islam, who tried to hasten the abolition of ‘infidelity’ by anticipating the destructive hand of Time and forcibly pulling down temples.
When a class are publicly depressed and harassed by law and executive caprice alike, they merely content themselves with dragging on an animal existence. With every generous instinct of the soul crushed out of them, the intellectual culture merely adding a keen edge to their sense of humiliation, the Hindus could not be expected to produce the utmost of which they were capable; their lot was to be hewers of wood and drawers of water to their masters, to bring grist to the fiscal mill, to develop a low cunning and flattery as the only means of saving what they could of their own labor. Amidst such social conditions, the human hand and the human spirit cannot achieve their best; the human soul cannot soar to its highest pitch. The barrenness of intellect and meanness of spirit of the Hindu upper classes are the greatest condemnation of Muhammadan rule in India. The Muhammadan political tree judged by its fruit was an utter failure.
Nearly four decades later, Antoine Fattal, whose 1958 Le Statut Legal de Musulmans en Pays' d'Islam remains the benchmark analysis of non-Muslims (especially Christians and Jews) living under the Shari'a (i.e., Muslim Law), observed 19:
…Even today, the study of the jihad is part of the curriculum of all the Islamic institutes. In the universities of Al-Azhar, Nagaf, and Zaitoune, students are still taught that the holy war [jihad] is a binding prescriptive decree, pronounced against the Infidels, which will only be revoked with the end of the world... If he [the dhimmi] is tolerated, it is for reasons of a spiritual nature, since there is always the hope that he might be converted; or of a material nature, since he bears almost the whole tax burden. He has his place in society, but he is constantly reminded of his inferiority...In no way is the dhimmi the equal of the Muslim. He is marked out for social inequality and belongs to a despised caste; unequal in regard to individual rights; unequal in the Law Courts as his evidence is not admitted by any Muslim tribunal and for the same crime his punishment is greater than that imposed on Muslims...No social relationship, no fellowship is possible between Muslims and dhimmis