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22 March 2006

The Hamas Charter: Analysis, Translation and Arabic Source [pg.3.4]

Chapter Four

Our position regarding:
A. The [other] Islamic Movements

Article 23

The Islamic Resistance Movement respects and has great estimation for the other Islamic movements. Even if it disagrees with them regarding a position or view, it agrees with them regarding [other] positions and views. It considers those movements, as long as they demonstrate good intentions and faithfulness to Allah, as acting within the realm – gate(s) – of ijtihad,[58] and as long as they operate within the general Islamic sphere, for every mujtahid [qualified Muslim religious scholar who issues independent religious edicts] has a share [in it].

Therefore, the Islamic Resistance Movement views those movements as potentially available [to be used by it], and asks Allah for [wise and right] guidance for everyone [i.e., every member of the movements]. It does not for a moment forget that it waves the banner of unity and invests much effort to bring [unity] to bear in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah. [For it is written in the Qur’an:] “Hold fast to the rope of Allah – all together; do not split into factions, and remember Allah’s favor when he brought your hearts together when you were enemies. His kindness turned you into brothers, and saved you when you were on the brink of the pit of fire. In this way Allah makes his signs clear to you so that you may be rightly guided” ([Surah 3] Aal- ‘Imran [Verse] 103).[59]

Article 24

The Islamic Resistance Movement forbids the libeling and defaming[60] of individuals or groups. A true believer does not defame or curse. In addition, a distinction must be made between [defamation] and taking a stand or having an opinion or behaving in a certain way. The Islamic Resistance Movement has the right to identify a mistake and to warn [people] of it while striving to clarify the truth and adopting it in relation to any specific issue about which an objective attitude is taken [by Hamas]. Wisdom is what the true believer is searching for, and he should therefore embrace it wherever he finds it,[61] [as it is written in the Qur’an:] “Allah does not like bad words to be spoken in public unless because someone has been treated unjustly. Allah is all-hearing and all- knowing. Whether you do good openly or whether you hide it or whether you show forgiveness for evil, surely Allah is most forgiving” ([Surah 4] Al-Nisaa’ [Verses] 148-149).

B. The national movements in the Palestinian arena

Article 25

[The Islamic Resistance Movement] behaves toward them with mutual respect, appreciates their circumstances and the factors surrounding and influencing them, and supports them as long as they are not loyal to the Communist east or the Christian [Crusader] west.[62] The Islamic Resistance Movement assures anyone who immerses himself in or identifies with it that it is a jihadist and moral movement and aware in its world view and its dealings with others. It loathes opportunism and wants only good for people, be they individuals or groups. It does not strive for material gains or a good reputation or the profits that arise from that -- [as it is written in the Qur’an:] “Muster against them [the enemy] all the force you can” ([Surah 8] Al-Anfal [Verse]60),[63] -- and in order to perform your duty so that Allah might be pleased with you. [The Islamic Resistance Movement] has no aspiration beyond that.

It reassures all the national trends [i.e., groups] operating within the Palestinian arena for the liberation of Palestine that it lends support and aid to them and will never behave otherwise in word or in deed in the present and future. [The Islamic Resistance Movement] brings [people] together and does not separate [them], protects and does not cast aside, unites and does not divide, values every good word and genuine effort and commendable endeavor. It closes the door in the face of petty disagreements and does not heed rumors and biased words; it is fully aware of the right to self defense. Anything that opposes or contradicts these positions is a libel fabricated by the enemy or by his lackeys to spread confusion, divide the ranks and create destruction through marginal issues, [as it is written in the Qur’an:] “Oh ye true believers, when a sinful person comes to you with information, investigate what he says carefully lest people be harmed inadvertently, and you regret what you have done” ([Surah 49] Al-Hujurat [Verse] 6).

Article 26

The Islamic Resistance Movement treats other Palestinian national movements positively if they are loyal to neither east nor west. However, that does not prevent it from discussing new developments locally and internationally regarding the Palestinian issue in an effective manner which reveals the degree of [their] agreement or disagreement with national interests and based on [its] Islamic worldview.

C. The Palestine Liberation Organization

Article 27

The Palestine Liberation Organization is closest to the Islamic Resistance Movement and it is [considered] father, brother, relative [and] friend. Can any Muslim shun his father or brother or relative or friend? After all, our homeland is one, our catastrophe one, our fate one and we have a common enemy. The circumstances under which the organization [the Palestine Liberation Organization] was founded and the atmosphere of ideological confusion prevailing in the Arab world following the intellectual invasion that the Arab world was subjected to, and is still influenced by, since its defeat at the hands of the Crusaders, Orientalism, [Christian] missionary [activity] and imperialism made the Palestine Liberation Organization adopt the ideology of a secular state and that is how we see it. However, a secular ideology is diametrically opposed to a religious ideology, and eventually positions, modes of behavior and the decision-making process are all based on ideology.

Therefore, despite our esteem for the Palestine Liberation Organization and what it is capable of developing into, and without belittling its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, we cannot exchange the Islamic nature of Palestine in the present or future for the adoption of secular ideas. That is because the Islamic nature of Palestine is part of our faith and whoever does not take his faith seriously is defeated, [as it is written in the Qur’an:] “Who would despise the religion of Abraham except for the one who has made a fool of himself?” ([Surah 2] Al-Baqarah [Verse] 130).

Hence the day on which the Palestine Liberation Organization adopts Islam as its way of life we will be its soldiers and the fuel of its fire which will burn the enemy. However, until then – and we pray to Allah that it happens soon – the Islamic Resistance Movement will treat the Palestine Liberation Organization as a son treats his father, brother treats brother, relative treats relative. One suffers for the other when he is pricked by a thorn, supports him in his confrontation with his enemies and wishes he may go along the true path and [act with] wisdom.

Your brother [is also] your [guardian and supporting] brother. One who has no brother / is like someone who hastens into battle without a weapon [to guard and support him]. / Remember, a [person’s] cousin serves as his [second] wing [which guards and supports] him, / hence can the falcon fly with only one wing?[64]

D. Arab and Islamic states and governments

Article 28

The Christian [Crusader] conquest is evil, it does not stop at anything, it makes use of every despicable and vicious means to achieve its ends. In its infiltration and espionage operations it relies heavily on the secret organizations it gave birth to, such as the Freemasons, Rotary and Lions Club, and similar espionage groups. All those organizations, both covert and overt, act for the good of and are directed by Zionism. They aim to collapse society, undermine values, destroy the security of life and property, create [moral degeneration] and the annihilation of Islam. They are behind trafficking in drugs and alcohol, to make it easier for them to take over [the world] and to expand [and gain more territory].

Therefore, the Arab states bordering Israel are required to open their borders to the jihad warriors belonging to the Arab/Muslim nations, so that they may fulfill their role and join their efforts to those of the Muslim brethren in Palestine.

With regard to the other Arab/Muslim nations, they are required to facilitate the passage of the jihad warriors through their territory, which is the very least [they can do].

Nor do we forget to remind every Muslim that when the Jews conquered the holy [site] in Jerusalem in 1967 and stood on the threshold of the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque they cheered: Muhammad died and left [only] daughters.

Thus Israel with its Judaism and Jews challenges Islam and Muslims. And the cowards shall know no sleep.[65] [I.e., the Muslims will make the Jews so fearful they will not sleep at night.]

E. National and religious groups, institutions, educated people and the Arab/Muslim world

Article 29

The Islamic Resistance Movement expects these groups to stand by it and support it at various levels, to adopt its positions, support its activities and movements and acts to gain [other] support for it, so that Muslim peoples will give it [their] support, backing and a strategic depth on all levels: human, material, information, time and place. [That should be done] by organizing conferences, publishing committed pamphlets and creating mass awareness [through indoctrination] with regard to the Palestinian issue and what [dangers] it faces, what is plotted against it, and by recruiting Muslims through ideology, education and culture. Thus they [the Muslim peoples] will play a part in the decisive battle for liberation [just] as they contributed to the defeat of the Crusaders and the rout of Tatars and rescued humanity’s civilization. That [victory of the Muslim peoples] is not difficult for Allah [to achieve], [as it is written in the Qur’an:] “Allah wrote, for I will most certainly overcome, I and my messengers. Allah is strong and powerful” ([Surah 58] Al-Mujadalah [Verse] 21).

Article 30

Writers and the educated, media people, preachers in mosques, educators and the other sectors of the Arab/Muslim world: they are all called upon the play their roles, to fulfill their duties in view of the vicious invasion of Zionism and its infiltration into most of the countries [of the world] and its material and media control, and with all its ramifications in most countries of the world.

Indeed, jihad is not limited to bearing arms and fighting the enemy face to face. A good word, a good article, an effective book, support and aid – if the intentions are pure – so that Allah’s banner becomes supreme, all constitute the essence of jihad for the sake of Allah.

Whoever has prepared a warrior [to do battle] for the sake of Allah [is considered as having] fought [in the battle], and whoever remains behind [to take care of] the warrior’s family [is considered as having] fought [in the battle] (as told by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daoud and al-Tirmidhi in the hadith collections).

F. Followers of other religions
The Islamic Resistance Movement is a humane movement

Article 31

The Islamic Resistance Movement is a humane movement which respects human rights. It is committed to the tolerance of Islam toward the followers of other religions. It is not hostile to them but only so far as they are hostile to it or whoever stands in its way to make it fail or frustrate is efforts.

Those who believe in the three [monotheistic] religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, can live side by side under the aegis of Islam in security and safety, for only under the aegis of Islam can there be complete security. In fact, ancient and recent history are the best proof of that. Therefore, the followers of other religions are called upon to stop fighting Islam in regard to sovereignty over this region. On the day that they become rulers, they will rule only by killing, torture and expulsion. That is because they are incapable of dealing with each other, let alone with the followers of other religions. Both the past and the present are full of examples proving that, [as it is written in the Qur’an regarding the Jews:] “They do not ever go out as one man to fight you, except from within fortified strongholds or from behind high walls. There is much hostility among them. They seem to you to be united, but their hearts are divided because they are a people which are devoid of understanding” ([Surah 59] Al-Hashr [Verse] 14).

Islam provide rights to anyone who is eligible to have thems, and prevents the rights of others from being infringed upon. [As opposed to that,] the Nazi Zionists’ harsh measures taken against our people will not prolong the duration of their invasion. Indeed, the régime of injustice will last but one hour, while the régime of truth [will last] until the hour of resurrection [i.e., Judgment Day]. [As it is written in the Qur’an:] “Allah does not forbid you to respect and be just with those who do not fight you because of your faith and do not drive you out of your homes. Allah loves those who are just” ([Surah 60] Al-Mumtahinah [Verse] 8).

G. The attempt to isolate the Palestinian people

Article 32

World Zionism and the forces of imperialism are trying in a subtle way and with carefully studied planning, to remove the Arab states, one by one, from the sphere of the conflict with Zionism, eventually of isolating the Palestinian people.

The aforementioned forces have already removed Egypt to a large extent, through the treacherous Camp David accords [September 1978]. They are now trying to draw other [Arab] states into [signing] similar agreements, so that they may also be outside the conflict.

Therefore the Islamic Resistance Movement calls upon the Arab and Muslim peoples to act in all seriousness and with all diligence to frustrate that monstrous plan [or plot] and to alert the masses to the danger [inherent in] leaving the sphere of confrontation with Zionism: today it is Palestine and tomorrow part of another country [qutr], or other countries [aqtar].[66] The Zionist plan has no limit; after Palestine [the Zionists] aspire to expand to the Nile and the Euphrates. Once they have devoured the region they arrive at, they will aspire to spread further and [then] on and on. Their plan [or plot appears] in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and their present [behavior] is [the best] proof of what we are saying. Therefore, leaving the conflict with the Zionists is [an act of] high treason and a curse which rests upon whoever [does so]. [As it is written in the Qur’an:] “Whoever retreats [while fighting the infidels] before them on that day – unless he does so to return and fight again, or to join the other warriors – will have Allah’s wrath visited upon him and hell will be his abode. What a wretched fate!” ([Surah 8] Al-Anfal [Verse] 16).

Therefore, all forces and resources must be pulled together to confront this vicious Nazi Mongol invasion, lest homelands be lost, residents expelled, corruption spread all over the earth and all religious values destroyed. Therefore every man must know that he will bear responsibility before Allah, [as it is written in the Qur’an:] “Whoever does a good deed, although it may be as small as a grain, will realize his [reward in the afterworld], and whoever does an evil deed, although it may be as small as a grain, will realize his [reward in the afterworld]” ([Surah 99] Al-Zalzalah [Verses] 7-8).

Regarding the scope of conflict with world Zionism, the Islamic Resistance Movement sees itself as the spearhead or a step on the road [to victory]. It joins its efforts to the efforts of those who are active in the Palestinian arena and [expects] that additional steps will be taken at the level of the Arab/Muslim world. It is [best] prepared for the next stage [of the conflict] with the Jews, the war mongers, [as it is written in the Qur’an:] “We have sown enmity and hatred among them until Resurrection Day. Whenever they kindle the fire of war, Allah will extinguish it. They seek to fill the land with corruption, but Allah does not love those whoe corrupt” ([Surah 5] Al-Ma’idah [Verse] 64).

Article 33

The Islamic Resistance Movement starts off from these general views, which are coordinated and compatible with the laws of nature.[In addition,] it sails through the river of divine destiny [toward] confrontation with the enemy and the waging of a holy war against him to protect Muslim person, civilization and holy places, foremost among them is the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque. [All that is said and all that is done] to urge on the Arab and Muslim peoples, their governments and popular and official groups, to fear Allah in their outlook on and their dealing with the Islamic Resistance Movement. They should also, as Allah so wishes, support and back it and give it aid again and again until Allah’s supreme rule has been established. [In that way,] the ranks will close and the jihad warriors will join together. Then the masses will set out and come from all over the Muslim world, answering the [Muslim religious] call of duty, again and again making the call to jihad heard, the call that will rend the heavens, and its voice will echo until liberation has been achieved. Thus the invaders will be defeated and the victory of Allah will come to pass, [as it is written in the Qur’an:] “Allah will provide aid for all those who come to his aid, for Allah is strong and mighty” ([Surah 22] Al-Hajj [Verse] 40).

Contents:

    • Introduction

    • An analysis of the Hamas charter

    • Translation (Appendix A)
        Introduction and Chapter 1
        Chapter 2
        Chapter 3
        Chapter 4
        Chapter 5 and Conclusion

    • The original Arabic document (Appendix B)

-=- Notes -=-

[58] Ijtihad: the making an independent legal judgment by a qualified Muslim scholar (mujtahad) based on an intensive study of religious Muslim law. It means that they do not deviate from the religion of Islam and their use and actions are within the acceptable framework of Islam.
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[59] Mistakenly referred to in some versions of the Hamas charter as Verse 102.
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[60] The original Arabic uses two words which are virtually synonymous.
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[61] A well-known hadith encouraging the Muslim believer to do his best to seek the truth. In reality it enables Hamas to take a position suitable to it in any issue.
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[62] The term “Crusaders” in Arabic (salidi) as a reference to Christians has negative connotations, unlike the terms masihi or nasrani, references to Christians as a religious minority.
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[63] Part of a famous verse which serves as the slogan for radical Islamic movements from the Muslim Brotherhood to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and expresses their desire to frighten the enemy.
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[64] These are often-quoted verses written by the seventh-century Arab poet, Rabi’ah ibn ‘Amir ibn Anif, nicknamed Miskin al-Darimi.
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[65] A quote from a hadith.
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[66] The Arabic term qutr (plural aqtar) denotes not merely one Arab state of many, but a region considered part of a larger Arab supra-state. It is mostly used in the Arab nationalistic ideology, which is by nature secular.
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Posted on 22 March 2006 @ 13:43

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