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Iftar for Jihad

Makkah was conquered during the last ten days of Ramadan in 9 Hijri, which coincided with Jan 10, 630, that is during winter. Yet, because jihad is considered the peak of Islam and because it is prioritized to any other ritual, in that particular incidence, the Prophet (PBUH) asked for a cup of water and then held it up high so that everybody could see it before he started drinking and giving permission to Muslims to break their fast during jihad.

This proves that iftar for jihad is prioritized to that allowed for travelling or during sickness because of its great benefit to Islam in general.

In addition, not fasting when fighting an enemy provides the strength Almighty Allah ordered us to have before meeting the enemy. “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power” (Al-Anfal 60). The Prophet (PBUH) also advised his solders on the eve of a battle to break their fast to have enough strength.

In June 1948, the Egyptian army fought the war in Palestine during Ramadan. At that time, the head of Al-Azhar Sheikh Hasanein Mohammed Makhlouf said that ‘mujahideen’ fighting in Palestine could break their fast following the Prophet’s (PBUH) footsteps because he knew that fasting soldiers may become weaker and thus, Al- Azhar issued this fatwa on June 12, 1948, because according to military sciences, armies surrender for many reasons, on top of which is sustenance deprivation.

In the holy war of Ramadan in 1973, Al-Azhar and the Syrian scholars also issued a similar fatwa allowing both the Egyptian and the Syrian armies’ soldiers to break their fast during the war because battles’ timings were unpredictable and war needs strength and power.

Before the June 1967 war, Tel Aviv University scientists conducted a practical study to verify European military rules of providing a soldier with at least one liter of water daily during battles.

The experiments conducted on soldiers in the Negev desert showed that a soldier needed five liters of water, which they provided during the war, and thus more Arab soldiers died of thirst than by bullets. Kuwait’s ambassador to Washington asked the US administration how they knew of Saddam’s intention to start moving his troops towards Kuwait a few days before he actually invaded it (on July 28, 1990). He was told that water, rations and other logistics are usually kept behind troops when they are holding stationary positions (in Basra) and that they had noticed moving those supplies ahead of the troops towards Kuwait, which meant he was marching to Kuwait.

— Translated by Kuwait Times

By Sami Al-Nisf

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This article was published on 30/06/2015