The following is a translation from ‘Fataawaa al-Albaanee’ (a transcription of some of the cassettes of the shaikh) when the shaikh was asked his opinion on jihaad.
“With respect to Jihad, O my brother, in this time and before this time it is fard ayn, because the problem at hand is not a problem of Bosnia (alone) which has again moved the emotions of the muslim youth. For here we have neighbouring us, the Jews who have occupied Palestine, and not a single Islamic country has moved to establish the obligation of making Jihad with them, and evicting them and throwing them in the sea, as some of or one of the presidents of the Islamic lands used to say.
And the point is that Jihad is fard ayn, because many of the muslim lands have been occupied in the past and the present by the kuffaar. And the likes of this occupation is not hidden from the muslim who concerns himself with the affairs of the muslims, not to speak of the Islamic groups or Islamic sects or Islamic lands.
But Jihad has pillars and conditions, and we – the group of muslim scholars – believe that the obligatory Jihad is only obligatory upon those muslims who would help one another to establish what Allaah has obligated upon them from the jihad against the kuffaar, and evicting them from the lands they have occupied.
And we do not need now to relate the evidences from the Book and Sunnah, for this point has no difference of opinion over it between the scholars – that jihad is fard ayn when an area of the muslim land is occupied, so how about when the occupation has occurred in many lands?!
But, unfortunately I wish to say that this jihad which is fard – rather fard ayn – is not possible to be established by individuals as occurs in the question, rather not even by some of the Islamic groups. Because the likes of this jihad, especially in our times in which the means of fighting have become many, is not possible to be established by the Islamic groups not to speak of individuals! But the obligation is upon the countries, and those Islamic countries that have the strength to prepare for war, and the means of modern day warfare, by which if they gathered together sincerely for this jihad they would establish the fard ayn. But, very unfortunately, these countries have not moved a limb to establish this.
So maybe they refer the matter of this jihad to the various Islamic groups and sects, while these are not capable of doing anything to stop the advance/attack of the kuffaar. And the current affairs bear witness to the fact that any Islamic group that tries, either to fight the aggressor as occurred in Afghanistan for example, or by revolting against the ruler whose kufr has become clear, like in Algeria for example – then these unfortunate occurrences indicate that the individual jihad or group jihad does not produce the expected fruit, and that is that the Word of Allaah be made supreme.
So therefore, we believe that this Jihad is not possible except under an Islamic authority firstly, and under an Islamic group comprising of people from different lands, not just one land or one region.
And add to this the necessity that taqwa of Allaah be present, by staying away from what Allaah has prohibited from the matters that are well known amongst the muslims, but unfortunately they are very far from putting into practice.
And we have mentioned – and I am trying to summarise my words as much as possible – many times that what has befallen the muslims today, this humiliation and abasement/ignominy that has not been known in the history of Islaam at all, is that the muslims have misapplied, at the very least, one verse of the Quraan….and that is the saying of Allaah, “if you help Allaah, Allaah will Help you.”
And there is no doubt that this Help of the muslims from Allaah, is Help in making the Laws of the Shariah an observable reality, and this unfortunately is not realised in the majority of the Islamic lands, or in the muslim individuals. And those amongst the muslim lands that do have some remnants of ruling by the Law of Allaah have not, uptil now proclaimed the call to Jihaad.
And due to this the muslim individuals and nations will remain weak as long as none of the Islamic lands lift the flag of Jihad, and that Jihad which calls for fighting those nearest them, not those that are far far away. For the muslims, with their lands, and groups, and sects, and as individuals, if they cannot establish Jihad with those that neighbour them or are close to them then they are not capable of making Jihad with those that are distant from them….for example Eritrea, ,Somalia, Bosnia and Cechnya.
And due to this we mention now, that it is upon the Muslim youth as individuals and groups and sects that they spread the correct Islamic awareness in the lands firstly, and then in the rulers secondly – and that (correct understanding) is that all of these people rule by what Allaah has revealed.
The ruler that he rules by what Allaah has revealed and ordered. The individual that he rules by what Allaah has revealed… I know that today many of the individuals, and groups and sects, throw the responsibilty (of the state of affairs) onto the rulers only, while in my certain belief the responsibility equally falls upon these individuals, groups and sects, as it falls upon these rulers! This is because these governments arose from the lands of these muslims…..these muslims who were addressed by two hadeeth from the Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) ….the first his (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) saying,‘when you deal with interest, and hold fast to the tail of the cow, and become contented with agriculture, and you leave Jihad in the Way of Allaah, Allaah will permit your humiliation and will not lift it from you until you return to your deen.’
And the second hadeeth, his (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) saying, ‘”the nations summon each other upon you as you call guests to eat from a plate of food”, they said , “will we be few in number on that day O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “no rather you will be many on that day, but you will be like the foam on the ocean. And Allaah will remove the fear in the hearts of your enemies and place in your hearts al-wahn”. They said, “what is al-wahn O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “love of this world and hatred of death.”‘
And these occurrences which are mentioned by the Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) in this hadeeth have now occurred in every muslim society, and they are from the clear afflictions that necessitate the descent of this humiliation upon the muslims until the hearts of the rulers, and individuals become totally covered in black (due to their sins).
The muslim lands do not rule by what Allaah revealed, and if there is one amongst them that does (claim to) rule by what Allaah revealed, then the first clear indication that it does not rule by what Allaah revealed is that it does not raise the call for Jihad.
So if this time is not the time in which Jihad in the Way of Allaah does not become obligatory, and many of the muslims lands have been occupied, then when will this Jihad become obligatory?
But the problem – and this is the heart of the matter – is that there is no one amongst us who is capable of undertaking (this jihad), why?…..Because we are drowning in sins, and drowning in sectarian differences and national differences, and we know that one of the doorways to weakness and defeat is that the muslims differ amongst themselves.
And we have been tried recently with a very sad trial, and that is the Afghani Jihad, where we were hoping that its endpoint would be victory for the muslims, and there were strong signs for placing the seed of the Islamic state. Then the end and result turned out to be totally opposite (to what was hoped) due to the early signs of victory over the enemy, the communists (shuyuiyyeen), diminished when the differences between the tribes made them split into seven groups, and their Islam which they took as deen did not prevent them from doing this, and our Lord says, ”and do not be from the mushriks. From those that split their deen and became sects, each sect rejoicing in what it has.”
Therefore, it is upon the one who desires to go on Jihad that he gets the means of jihad, and the means of aquiring victory, and that is not realisable in our times unfortunately. And Allaah says in the Noble Quran, “indeed Allaah will not change the state of a people until they change what is in themselves.”
Therefore we call the Muslim individuals, and groups and sects, not to speak of the governments that they concern themselves by spreading the purified, authentic Islam, purified from every spurious element that has entered it with the passing of time, and then bring up the muslims on this purified Islaam.
The day when these signs begin, and become clear in this vast Islamic land, that day shall the signs of getting ready to establish this fard ayn Jihaad begin.
These anxious individuals that go to many of the muslim lands invaded/attacked by the kuffaar like Bosnia and Chechnya for example….. what are the weapons that they have with them? who are the leaders who can discipline them and make them fight under one authority and under one flag? So if there was a single authority then we would see the (fruits) of the Jihad as we saw them in Afghanistan (i.e victory over the aggressor).
Therefore Allaah says, “and prepare for them what you can from stength and weapons to strike fear into the hearts of the enemies of Allaah and your enemies”.
Where is this preperation?! And who is the one capable of this preparation? The individual?! No, the governments?…yes the governments, and it is possible for us to say that they do establish a small amount of this preperation…..but this preparation is taken from their enemies….. so if there was a jihad established between the kaafir and muslims, then soon these muslims would not be capable of supplying their armies with the necessary weapons except by buying them from their enemies.
So can their be victory and Jihad by buying weapons from the enemies of the muslims?!
This is impossible, and due to this, this preparation ordered us, cannot be established even by the Islamic countries, because the Islamic countries buy their weapons of destruction from their enemies and aggreviated states. And there are ways of making these weapons malfunction when they (the muslims) intend to use then against the kaafir enemy. And due to this I say, and I finish my words and reply upon this question that Allaah, when He said, “And prepare for them what you can….” this address was to the Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) , then the address is directed to the generality of muslims due to the generality of the text. But this address was directed to the Sahaabah after they were brought up on the authentic Islamic upbringing until it was possible for them to establish the likes of this address – preparing the worldly might after preparing the spiritual might in themselves or with themselves, due to the upbringing they went through at the hands of their Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) .
And history repeats itself…..So there has to be an upbringing of a nation from the Islamic nations so that is may be possible for this nation to establish this worldly preparedness, and we today do not find a nation that has established this obligation which we can depict in two words: tasfiyyah (correction) and tarbiyyah (education/cultivation).
(Rather) we see us as scattered individuals here and there. And if there were a group, and over this group a leader who has the allegiance of all the muslims, and he raises the flag of Jihad against the enemies: this has not happened yet, and due to this we call for the existence of this introduction/predicate to this holy Jihaad.
And as for running (of these people) behind emotions when the spiritual jihad has not even been realised in them – and that is the correct understanding of Islaam, and applying it collectively, and that there be over them a leader after that, and he enjoins them to prepare what they can from strength and weapons: So the day we see the likes of this, that day the muslims will rejoice in the victory of Allaah, and Allaah Helps whom He Wills. This is my answer to your question.”