Translation (Appendix A)
The Charter of the Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas
Palestine, 1st day of Muharram, 1409 years after the hejira, August
In the name of Allah the merciful and compassionate
“[Ye faithful,] you are the best of nations ever given to mankind: you command the doing of good, forbid the doing of evil and believe in Allah. It would have been better for the People of the Book if they had [also] believed [in Allah]. [Although] some of them are believers, most of them are sinful. They will never [be able] to do you any harm, only [become] an annoyance, even if they do try to fight you, they will [immediately] flee and then they will not be rescued. Humiliation will follow them wherever they go, except if they grasp the rope Allah extends to them and the rope [Muslim] men extend to them. Allah’s wrath pours down upon them and they will be stricken with poverty, and that because they denied the signs of Allah and unjustly killed the prophets. It is their retribution for having disobeyed and transgressed (Surah  Aal-‘Imran, Verses 110-112).
“Israel will arise and continue to exist until Islam abolishes it, as it abolished what went before,” (the words of)the shaheed, imam Hassan al-Bana, may Allah have mercy upon him.
“The world of Islam is going up in flames. [Therefore,] each one of us must pour water, if only a drop, to extinguish [them] insofar as one can, without waiting for others.” [So said] Sheikh Amjad al-Zahawi, may Allah have mercy upon him.
In the name of Allah the merciful and compassionate
Praise be to Allah from whom we are seeking aid, mercy and guidance, on whom we rely and to whom we pray. May a prayer and peace be upon the messenger of Allah, his family, his friends, his companions, those who have followed Him, those who have spread his da’wah and have kept his Sunnah, [may] a prayer and peace [be upon them] always, as long as heaven and earth exist. And to the matter at hand:
Listen, oh [Muslim?] people: in the midst of calamities and sea of suffering, from within the heartbeats of the true believers and the purification of [their] hands and forearms before prayer, from the awareness of duty and assent and obedience to the will of Allah, there came the call [of our movement] and a meeting was organized, an assembly was established, education in the path of Allah came into being, and the will [power and] firm determination to fulfill its function while overcoming all obstacles and difficulties, and [with] continued preparation and the willingness to sacrifice everything held dear for the sake of Allah.
Finally, the core [of the movement] was formed and began plowing its way through the stormy sea of hopes and wishes, of longings and heartfelt desires, dangers and obstacles, pains and challenges, at home [in Palestinian] and abroad.
The seed ripened and sprouted, and the plant took root in the soil of existence, far from the sensation of fleeting emotions and despised haste. The Islamic Resistance Movement set out to perform its duty, striding along the path of its lord. It held hands with every jihad warrior for the sake of liberating Palestine. And the souls of its jihad warriors meet those of the jihad warriors who have sacrificed their lives for the soil of Palestine since it was conquered by the companions of the prophet of Allah, may Allah’s prayer and blessing of peace be upon them, and to this very day.
This is the charter of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). It reveals its face, its identity, explains its position, makes its desires known, speaks of its hopes and calls [upon those who hear] for aid, to support it and join its ranks. That is because our battle against the Jews is great and fateful, and all honest means are necessary for it. [The battle] is the [first] step which necessitates [taking] other steps after it. [It is] a battalion, and [other] battalions from the great Arab and Muslim world must support it, one after the other, to conquer the enemy and realize the victory of Allah. This is how we will see them [i.e., the Arab/Muslim battalions] approaching from the horizon, [as it is written in the Qur’an:] “Shortly you will certainly know what he announces” [Surah  Sad, Verse 88], [and in addition:] “Allah wrote, indeed I will prevail, I and my messengers. Allah is strong and mighty” ([Surah 58] Al-Mujadalah, Verse 21) [and also] “Say, this is my way. I and those who follow me call l [upon you] for Allah with certainty.Glory be to Allah. I will among those who join other gods with Allah see correctly, and may the name of Allah be praised, and I will not be with those who join other gods with Allah [i.e., polytheists] ([Surah 12] Yusuf [Verse] 108).
Defining the [Hamas] movement
The ideological tenets
The path of the Islamic Resistance Movement is the path of Islam, from which it draws its principles, concepts, terms and worldview with regard to life and man. It turns to [Islam] when religious rulings are required and asks [Islam] for inspiration to guide its steps.
The relationship between the Islamic Resistance Movement and the Muslim Brotherhood [jama’at al-ikhwan al-muslimin]
The Islamic Resistance Movement is the branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood is a global organization and the largest Islamic movement in modern times. It excels in profound understanding and has an exact, fully comprehensive perception [shumuliyyah] of all Islamic concepts in all areas of life: understanding and thought, politics and economics, education and social affairs, law and government, spreading [i.e., indoctrinating the tenets of radical] Islam [da’wah] and teaching, art and the media, by that which is hidden and by martyrdom [shahadah] and in the other areas of life.
Structure and composition [of the organization]
The basic structure of the Islamic Resistance Movement is founded on Muslims who have put their faith in Allah and worship him as is fit [as it is written in the Qur’an], “I created the jinns and humans only for the purpose that they worship me ([Surah 51] Al-Dhariyat [Verse] 56). They have recognized their duties towards themselves, their families and their homeland. They have feared Allah in all these matters and flown the banner of jihad in the faces of tyrants to expel them from the land [al-bilad], and to clean [the tyrants’] pollution from the faithful, [and to remove] their malice and evil, [as it is written in the Qur’an] “No and again no, we show the truth to senselessness, and [the truth] will smash its head and it will quickly fade away, [and you will be those who cry out your distress, in punishment for the accounts you are related by]” ([Surah 21] Al-Anbiyaa [Verse] 18).
The Islamic Resistance Movement welcomes every Muslim who adopts its worldview and its way of thinking, who adheres to its path, keeps its secrets, wishes to join its ranks to fulfill the duty [sic], and Allah will grant him his reward.
The dimensions of time and space as they relate to the Islamic Resistance Movement
The dimension of time for the Islamic Resistance Movement is [manifested in] the adoption of Islam as a way of life. [Time] continues from the day the Islamic mission was born and the first generation of the faithful who trod the path of righteousness [al- salaf al-salih]. Allah is its purpose, the messenger [the prophet Muhammad] is its exemplary figure and the Qur’an is its constitution. The dimension of space is every place Muslims are found who have adopted Islam as their way of life, in every corner of the globe. Thus it [Hamas] strikes root in the depths of the ground and spreads to encompass the sky.
“For see to what Allah has likened a good word: to a beautiful tree whose roots are firmly planted and whose branches reach the sky, and whose fruit is always given at the right time, with the permission of its master. Allah gave [such] parables to men so that they might heed” ([Surah 14] Ibrahim [Verses] 24-25).
Uniqueness and Independence
The Islamic Resistance Movement is uniquely Palestinian. It has faith in Allah and adopts Islam as its way of life. It acts to fly the banner of Allah over all of Palestine, because people of all religions can live in the shadow of Islam in tranquility and security for their lives, property and rights. However, in the absence of Islam a conflict develops that injustice, corruption grows, more conflicts are created, and [eventually] war breaks out.
How great is the Muslim poet Muhammad Iqbal, who wrote:
“When faith is lost there is no safety and no life for anyone who does not revive religion. He who is content with life without religion has made obliteration of the self his life’s companion.”
The universality of the Islamic Resistance Movement
Muslims who adopt the path of the Islamic Resistance Movement and act to support it, to adopt its positions and to strengthen its holy war are spread over the face of the earth, making the movement universal. The movement is qualified for that because of the clarity of its worldview, its noble purpose and the exalted quality of its goals.
That is how the movement should be considered, how its value should be judged and how its role should be recognized. Whoever denies its right, refrains from supporting it or whose vision is impaired and who works unceasingly to blur its role, is like someone contesting fate [as determined by Allah], and who closes his eyes to the facts, either intentionally or unintentionally. When he opens his eyes, he will realize that the events have passed him by. Then he will become exhausted in his [useless] in an effort to justify his previous position, unable to sustain it any longer [compared to someone who] preceded him [and joined the movement and] has preference [over him].
[As written:] The injustice incurred by one’s close relatives is more painful to the soul than a sharp, powerful blow from the sharpest sword. [As it is written in the Qur’an]: “We brought to you [Muhammad] from on high the [holy] book [i.e., scripture] with the truth, confirming the scripture[s] that came before it and with final authority over them. Therefore, judge between them according to everything Allah brought down [to you], and do not do follow their whims which deviate from the truth which has been revealed to you. Each of you was given a law and a path. If [Allah] had so willed, he would have made you one community of believers, but he also desired to test you with what he has given to you. Therefore, aspire among yourselves to be first in good deeds, for you will all return to Allah, and then he will clarify for you all the matters you did not agree upon” ([Surah 5] Al-Ma’idah [Verse] 48).
The Islamic Resistance Movement is [also] one link in the chain of holy war in its confrontation with the Zionist invasion. [The movement] has had a strong connection with and is linked to the holy martyr [shaheed] Izzedine al-Qassam and his jihad warrior brethern [mujahideen] from among the Muslim Brotherhood since 1936. From there it is closely related and connected to the next link [namely] the holy war of the Palestinians, and to the efforts and holy war of the Muslim Brotherhood in the war of 1948 and the jihad operations of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1968 and afterwards.
Actually, the links are distant from one another [in time], and the obstacles placed before the jihad warriors by the followers of Zionism stopped the jihad from continuing. Nevertheless the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to bring the promise of Allah to pass, no matter how long it takes. As the prophet [Muhammad], may the prayer of Allah and his blessing of peace be upon him, said: “The time [Judgment Day] will not come until Muslims fight the Jews and kill them and until the Jew hides behind the rocks and trees, and [then] the rocks and trees will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew hiding [behind me], come and kill him, except for the gharqad [salt-bush tree], so it is the tree of the Jews” ([Hadith] recorded in [the reliable collections of] Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
The Islamic Resistance Movement's motto
Allah is its purpose, the messenger [the prophet Muhammad] is its exemplary figure and the Qur’an is its constitution, jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the most exalted wish.
 The translation is based on the version distributed in Qalqilya compared with versions appearing on the Internet with minor change was added by the editor.
 In the present version, the word “Hamas” appears after the full name of the movement on the front cover, and before its full name on the title page. The word “Hamas” means “zeal” in Arabic, an internal urge motivating someone to do something. In addition, Hamas is an acronym for “Islamic Resistance Movement.”
 The version of the Hamas charter translated here was not written on the date noted, but it appears on most versions and therefore was added here. It related to the day Hamas was officially founded.
 i.e. the Jews and Christians.
 In preparing this document, the following English translation of the Qur’an were used: Internet sites, The Qur’an, A New Translation, by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, OUP, 2005, Oxford Classics, paperback edition with corrections, first published 2004. The final versions of Qur’an quotations were edited by the translators of the Hamas charter. We also made use of the MEMRI translation into English of the Hamas charter as it appears on their Website : http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP109206
 Hassan al-Bana founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928 and was its General Guide. He was killed in 1949, apparently by the Egyptian security forces as a result of the murder of Mahmoud Fahmi al-Nukrashi, the Egyptian prime minister assassinated by the terrorist wing of the Muslim Brotherhood several weeks earlier.
 Al-Zahawi (a Kurdish name) was a senior Sunni Muslim cleric in Iraq, who was active in the Palestinian cause and to this day is an important symbol in the global jihad. He was head of the Iraqi Association of Religious Scholars and one of the founders of the Association for the Rescue of Jerusalem, which was established with the cooperation of the World Islamic Conference. Among those present at the conference were Sayyid Qutb, one of the leading ideologues of Islamic fundamentalism. During the conference funds were raised to help solve the Palestinian problem. Al- Zahawi was also head of an Islamic group in Iraq called The Association of Islamic Brotherhood between 1949-1953. He apparently met Hassan al-Bana. Today there is an Islamic battalion in Iraq named after him, fighting the coalition forces.
 The companions of the prophet, the sahabah: the first faithful comrades of Muhammad.
 That is those who spread the da’wah, the Islamic message. In other words, those who spread the religion of Islam worldwide.
 That is, anyone who follows the Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad appearing in the oral tradition (hadith) which was later written down.
 In the copy of the Hamas charter in our possession, the text reads “Arabness,” that is, the identity of all Arabic speakers, instead of “education” but in other editions the word is “education,” and “Arabness” was probably a textual error.
 In the original, “fighting the jihad.”
 In the original, mujahideen, that is, jihad warriors. Jihad, according to Muslim tradition, has many interpretations, among them the struggle against evil impulses, the contribution of money to Islam and fighting in an Islamic army. Jihad in the connotation of the Hamas charter means fighting a holy war for the sake of Allah to spread Islam worldwide.
 The Muslim Brotherhood movement was founded in Egypt by Hassan al-Bana in 1928. It is devoutly Muslim and has inspired all Islamic movements established to date. The relationship between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood is close because the former’s founder and spiritual leader, sheikh Ahmad Yassin, belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood at the beginning of his career and even set up a branch in Gaza.
 “Fully comprehensive,” that is, faith that includes all aspects of life. What is implied is a comprehensive (i.e., totalitarian) political viewpoint dictated by the Islamic faith.
 This is an expression of the connection between Hamas and Salafist radicalism. It is the source of the interest in returning to the values of the first generation of Islam.
 For some reason, the charter uses the word dustur (meaning a modern, secular constitution) and not shariy’a (religious Muslim law). However, once the Qur’an becomes the constitution (e.g., Saudi Arabia), there is no difference between its being described as law or constitution. Thus Hamas supports an Islamic constitution whether it exists or not, making it a genuinely fundamentalist Islamic movement.
 A Indian Muslim poet and philosopher from Kashmir (1873-1938). In 1928 he published a book in English about the need for renewing the spirit of Islam called The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. Although he was knighted by the British authorities in India, his publications, mostly reformist in nature, are also used by conservative Muslims to support their point of view.
 A line from a well-known qassidah (ode), a classical, rhymed form of Arabic poetry, from the Jahiliyyah era (the pre-Islamic period of ignorance and paganism), one of the seven Mu’allaqat (the so- called “hung” poems, written on material and hung on walls, considered the oldest collection of classical Arabic pre-Islamic poetry) written by the poet Taratfah ibn al-‘Abd, following his numerous quarrels with his cousin.
 Hadiths are collections of the Muslim oral tradition which were written down. Those of Al-Bukhari and Muslim are among six such collections which are considered most reliable by Muslims. The tradition regarding the Jews who hid behind the rocks and trees on Judgment Day is very popular among Muslims and its only goal is to defame the Jews. The fact that the story is found in hadiths which are deemed reliable only makes the story more “authentic.”
 This has the Muslim Brotherhood’s original motto since the movement’s inception in 1928.