Hudna: Those Who Live by the Sword Shall Die by It
by Dr. Robert D. Crane
The latest video from Osama bin Laden’s deputy, Zawahiri, distributed on July 27th, 2006, calls for the rule of Islam from Morocco to Iraq. The exclusion of Iran from the coming Dar al Islam could have multiple meanings. It may reflect the ultimate strategy of the Ikhwan and its terrorist offshoots as I have observed them most of my life. For almost a century the terrorists’ real self-selected enemy has always been not the infidels from the West but the even worse “infidels” from the East, namely the Shi’a. Since the Hisballah are Shi’a, it will be interesting to see whether this old anti-Shia obsession will prevail.
The weight of past emotional commitment throughout the Sunni world may dictate that the Muslim terrorists will support the Shia tactically on occasion, just as the terrorist Christians support the Jews as tools in their own end strategy of destruction, but the real enemy may never change.
The recent fatwa in Iran by Ayatullah Saanei condemning as haram the mere possession of weapons of mass destruction constitutes a direct body blow to Osama bin Laden and his Neo-Con-copy-cat strategy of “creative destruction.” This view has been publicly shared by all the ayatollahs in Iran and also by Ayatollah Sistani in Iraq. Ayatollah Saanei yesterday was quoted around the internet world also as making the point that gender has nothing to do with who may lead the salah.
Reviving the war fever of centuries ago is not constructive. Ayatullah Saanei counters this suicidal trend by calling for courage and steadfastness without war.
There is an old Christian saying, rarely followed by Christians: “Those who live by the sword shall die by it.” Islam teaches that those who refuse to use the sword in self defense shall die by it, but those who rely on Allah, despite the seeming risks, as their long-range strategy to promote justice shall live in eternal honor. This is the classical message and strategy of hudna.