The Sunni concept of Jihad in classical Fiqh and modern Islamic thought
This thesis has two main purposes. First, it aims to analyse the Shari 'h law of Jihd, through investigation of the Quran, the Sunria and the works of earlier prominent Muslim jurists (fuqaha) and therefore elucidate the nature of JihZzd and its components. It is the Muslims belief that the Holy Quran and the Sunna were fixed for all time during the foundation of Islam which therefore suggests that the Shari 'h law itself must be unchangeable as the Holy Quran and the Sunna are its two principal sources. However it is reasonable to assume that learned jurists, in applying the Shari 'h to a particular set of circumstances during their time, may interpret the Shari 'h in different ways. The second major purpose of this thesis is to test the hypothesis that human interpretation of the Shari 'h law on Jihad will differ over time. It therefore examines the jurists interpretations during the period from the beginning of the Umayyad dynasty to the present day. The comparison between this period, that of the Prophet's time and the Four Guided Caliphs is divided into three parts. The first is the Islamic State under the Umayyad, Abbasid and Ottoman dynasties. The second is the Islamist modernists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The third is the group of Muslim religious scholars who are known as fundamentalists in the West. One of the key findings of this thesis is that there was a considerable difference in the interpretation of the law of Jihad by the modernists. Extraordinary though it is, this is the ne exception in over thirteen hundred years in which there seems to have been no significant changes in the interpretation of JihaTl by the fuqaha.This thesis investigates the role of the fuqah in applying Jihdto specific situations both by Islamic rulers and by the umma. This study also aims to clarify why, on the one hand the majority of classical Muslim juristsfuqah supported the use of Jihd to overthrow a kJIr ruler, they, on the other hand, refused the use of force to change an unjust Immam as the use of such force could lead to the JItna inside the Islamic state. These views of earlier jurists were of noticeable importance to contemporary scholars as the theory of Jihad in the past concentrated on the use of force against non-Muslims, whilst nowadays different angles are adopted by some groups who claim that Muslim rulers are apostate and therefore ask their followers to use force against them. This view led modern jurists to concentrate on such views and to disprove the evidence on which these groups have based their views. The thesis is about the law of Jihä and its interpretation and application in various circumstances, it is not about the practice of Jihad as such except in so far as changes in the way Jihad has been waged which have affected its interpretation by the fuqah and others.