In view of the recent reconciliation between Fatah and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), and efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, MEMRI is republishing its translation of the Hamas covenant, to make it available in English for English-speaking readers.
For more from the MEMRI Palestinian Media Studies Project, visit http://www.memri.org/palestinianmediastudies.
In the name of Allah the Merciful and the Compassionate
Palestine, Muharram 1, 1409 A.H./August 18, 1988
In the name of Allah the Merciful and the Compassionate
"You are the best nation that has been brought out for mankind. You command good and forbid evil and believe in Allah. If only the people of the Book [i.e., Jews and Christians] had believed, it would have been well for them. Some of them believe, but most of them are iniquitous. They will never be able to do you serious harm, they will only be an annoyance. If they fight you, they will turn their backs and flee, and will not be succored. Humiliation is their lot wherever they may be, except where they are saved from it by a bond with Allah or by a bond with men. They incurred upon themselves Allah's wrath, and wretchedness is their lot, because they denied Allah's signs and wrongfully killed the prophets, and because they disobeyed and transgressed." (Koran, 3:110-112).
"Israel will exist, and will continue to exist, until Islam abolishes it, as it abolished that which was before it." [From the words of] The martyr, Imam Hasan al-Banna', Allah's mercy be upon him.
"The Islamic world is burning, and each and every one of us must pour water, even if it be a little, to extinguish whatever he can extinguish, without waiting for others." [From the words of] Sheikh Amjad Al-Zahawi, Allah's mercy be upon him.
In the name of Allah the Merciful and the Compassionate
Praise be to Allah. We seek help from Him, we ask forgiveness from Him, we ask Him for guidance, and we rely on Him. Prayer and peace be upon Allah's messenger and upon his family and companions, and those who are loyal to him and spread his message and follow his sunna [the Prophet's custom]. Prayer and peace be forever upon them as long as heaven and earth exist.
Oh people, from the midst of great troubles and in the depths of suffering, and from the beating of believing hearts and arms purified for worship, out of cognizance of duty and in response to Allah's command – thence came the call [of our movement] and the meeting and joining [of forces], and thence came education in accordance with Allah's way and a resolute will to carry out [the movement's] role in life, overcoming all of the obstacles and surmounting the difficulties of the journey. Thence came also continuous preparation, [along with] readiness to sacrifice one's life and all that is valuable for the sake of Allah.
Then the seed took form and [the movement] began to move forward through this stormy sea of wishes and hopes, yearnings and aspirations, dangers and obstacles, pains and challenges, both locally [in Palestine] and abroad.
When the idea ripened, and the seed grew, and the plant shot its roots into the ground of reality, away from fleeting emotions and improper hastiness, then the Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] set out to play its role, marching onward for the sake of Allah. [In doing this, Hamas] joins arms with all those who wage jihad for the liberation of Palestine. The souls of its jihad fighters meet the souls of all those jihad fighters who sacrificed their lives for the land of Palestine, from the time when the Prophet's companions conquered it until the present.
The covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) reveals its face, presents its identity, clarifies its stand, makes clear its aspiration, discusses its hopes, and calls out to help it and support it and to join its ranks, because our fight with the Jews is very extensive and very grave, and it requires all the sincere efforts. It is a step that must be followed by further steps; it is a brigade that must be reinforced by brigades upon brigades from this vast Islamic world, until the enemies are defeated and Allah's victory is revealed.
This is how we see them coming on the horizon: "And after a time you will come to know about it."(Koran, 38:88)
"Allah has written: It is I and My messengers who will surely prevail. Allah is Strong and Mighty." (Koran, 58:21)
"Say: This is my way. I call on Allah with certainty, I and those who follow me, and glory be to Allah, I am not among the polytheists." (Koran, 12:108)
Chapter One: Introduction to the Movement
The Islamic Resistance Movement: Islam is its way. It is from Islam that it derives its ideas, concepts, and perceptions concerning the universe, life, and man, and it refers to Islam's judgment in all its actions. It is from Islam that it seeks direction so as to guide its steps.
The Relation between the Islamic Resistance Movement and the Muslim Brotherhood
The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood movement is a global organization and is the largest of the Islamic movements in modern times. It is distinguished by its profound understanding and its conceptual precision and by the fact that it encompasses the totality of Islamic concepts in all aspects of life, in thought and in creed, in politics and in economics, in education and in social affairs, in judicial matters and in matters of government, in preaching and in teaching, in art and in communications, in secret and in the open, and in all other areas of life.
Structure and Formation
The Islamic Resistance Movement is founded upon Muslims who gave their allegiance to Allah and served Him as He ought to be served. "I did not create jinns and men except that they should serve me." (Koran, 51:56)
[These Muslims] recognized their duty towards themselves, their families and their homeland, fearing Allah in all of this. They raised the banner of jihad in the face of the oppressors, in order to deliver the land and the believers from their filth, impurity and evil. "We hurl the truth against falsehood and crush its head, and lo, it vanishes." (Koran, 21:18)
The Islamic Resistance Movement welcomes every Muslim who embraces its creed, adopts its ideology, is committed to its way, keeps its secrets and desires to join its ranks in order to carry out the duty, and his reward is with Allah.
The Islamic Resistance Movement – Dimensions of Time and Place
The temporal dimension of the Islamic Resistance Movement – in view of the fact that it has adopted Islam as its way of life – go back to the birth of the Islamic message and to the righteous early believers; Allah is its goal, the Prophet is its example to be followed, and Koran is its constitution.
Its spatial dimension: wherever there are Muslims who embrace Islam as their way of life, everywhere upon the earth. Thus, [Hamas] sends its roots deep into the ground, and it extends to embrace the heavens.
"Do you not see how Allah has given us a parable? A good word is like a good tree; its roots are firm and its branches extend to the heavens. It always bears its fruit at the right time in accordance with God's will. Allah recites parables to men so that they will take heed." (Koran, 14:24-25)
Distinctiveness and Independence
The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinct Palestinian movement that is loyal to Allah, adopts Islam as a way of life and works to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine. Under the wing of Islam, followers of other religions can all live safe and secure in their life, property and rights; whereas in the absence of Islam, discord arises, injustice spreads, corruption burgeons, and there are conflicts and wars. Allah bless the Muslim poet Muhammad Iqbal who said:
When faith is gone, there is no safety,
And there is no life to him who has no religion.
He who is content to live without religion
Has taken death as a consort of life.
The Universality of the Islamic Resistance Movement
Muslims who adopt the way of the Islamic Resistance Movement are found in all countries of the world, and act to support [the movement], to adopt its positions and to reinforce its jihad. Therefore, it is a world movement, and it is qualified for this [role] owing to the clarity of its ideology, the loftiness of its purpose and the exaltedness of its goals. It is on this basis that it should be regarded and evaluated; it is on this basis that its role should be recognized. Whoever denies its rights, refrains from helping it, becomes blind [to the truth] and makes an effort to blot out its role – he is like one who attempts to dispute with [divine] predestination. Whoever closes his eyes to the facts, intentionally or unintentionally, will eventually wake up [to find that] events have overtaken him and that the [weight of the] evidence has rendered him unable to justify his position. Precedence shall be given to those who those who come first [to the movement]. The iniquity of one's own relatives is more painful to the soul than the blow of a sharp sword.
"We have revealed to you the Book in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it and guarding it. Judge between them according to what Allah has revealed, and follow not their capricious will, turning away from the truth that was revealed to you. To each among you Allah has appointed a law and a way. If Allah had so desired, he would have made you a single nation. However, he desired to test you in all that he had given you. So vie with one another in good works. It is to Allah that you shall all return, and He will then reveal to you [the truth] about the matters in which you differed." (Koran 5:48)
The Islamic Resistance Movement is one link in the chain of jihad in confronting the Zionist invasion. It is connected and linked to the [courageous] uprising of the martyr 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam and his brethren the jihad fighters of the Muslim Brotherhood in the year 1936. It is further related and connected to another link, [namely] the jihad of the Palestinians, the efforts and jihad of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1948 war, and the jihad operations of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1968 and afterwards. Although these links are far apart, and although the continuity of jihad was interrupted by obstacles placed in the path of the jihad fighters by those who circle in the orbit of Zionism, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to realize the promise of Allah, no matter how long it takes. The Prophet, Allah's prayer and peace be upon him, says: "The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: 'Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,' except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews." (Recorded in the Hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim).
The Motto of the Islamic Resistance Movement
Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model to be followed, the Koran its constitution, Jihad its way, and death for the sake of Allah its loftiest desire.
Chapter Two: Goals
Causes and Goals
The Islamic Resistance Movement has found itself in a period when Islam is absent from everyday life. Consequently, the balance has been disturbed, concepts have been confused, values have been altered, evil people have come into power, injustice and darkness have prevailed, the cowardly have become tigers, the homeland has been ravished, the people have been driven away and have been wandering in all the countries of the world. The rule of righteousness is absent, and the rule of falsehood prevails. Nothing is in its proper place. Thus, when Islam is absent, everything is transformed. These are the causes.
As for the goals, they are to fight falsehood, vanquish it and defeat it so that righteousness shall rule, the homeland shall return [to its rightful owner], and from the top of its mosques, the [Muslim] call for prayer will ring out announcing the rise of the rule of Islam, so that people and things shall all return to their proper place. From Allah we seek succor.
"If Allah did not ward off one group of people by means of another, the earth would certainly be in a state of disorder. Allah is most kind to all beings." (Koran, 2:251)
The Islamic Resistance Movement – while marching forward – offers support to all who are persecuted and protects all who are oppressed with all its strength. It spares no effort in upholding the truth and eradicating falsehood, in word and in action, here and in every place within its reach and its influence.
Chapter Three: Strategy and Means
The Strategy of the Islamic Resistance Movement
Palestine Is an Islamic Waqf [i.e., an Islamic religious endowment]
The Islamic Resistance Movement maintains that the land of Palestine is Waqf land given as endowment for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection. One should not neglect it or [even] a part of it, nor should one relinquish it or [even] a part of it. No Arab state, or [even] all of the Arab states [together], have [the right] to do this; no king or president has this right nor all the kings and presidents together; no organization, or all the organizations together – be they Palestinian or Arab – [have the right to do this] because Palestine is Islamic Waqf land given to all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection.
This is the legal status of the land of Palestine according to Islamic law. In this respect, it is like any other land that the Muslims have conquered by force, because the Muslims consecrated it at the time of the conquest as religious endowment for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection. This is how it was: when the conquest of Al-Sha'm and Iraq was complete, the commanders of the Muslim armies sent messages to the Caliph 'Umar b. Al-Khattab, asking for instructions concerning the conquered land – should they divide it up among the troops or leave it in the hands of its owners or what?
After discussions and consultations between the Caliph 'Umar b. Al-Khattab and the Companions of the Prophet, they decided that the land should be left with its [original] owners to benefit from its crops, but the substance of the land, that is the land itself, should constitute Waqf for all the generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection. The tenure of the owners is only tenure of usufruct. This Waqf will exist as long as the heaven and earth exist. Any measure which does not conform to this Islamic law regarding Palestine is null and void. "This surely is the very truth. Therefore, praise the great name of your Lord." (Koran, 56:95-96)
Homeland and Nationalism as Seen by the Islamic Resistance Movement
Nationalism, as seen by the Islamic Resistance Movement, is part of the [Islamic] religious creed. There is nothing that speaks more eloquently and more profoundly of nationalism than the following: when the enemy tramples Muslim territory, waging jihad and confronting the enemy become a personal duty of every Muslim man and Muslim woman. A woman may go out to fight the enemy [even] without her husband's permission and a slave without his master's permission.
There is nothing like this in any other political system – this is an indisputable fact. Whereas the various other nationalist [ideologies] are connected to physical, human and regional factors, the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is [likewise] characterized by all of the above, and in addition – and most importantly – it is characterized by divine motives which endow it with spirit and life, since it is related to the source of the spirit, and to Him who gives life. [The Islamic Resistance Movement] is raising the divine banner in the skies of the homeland, so as to firmly connect heaven and earth.
When Moses came and cast down his rod
Both sorcery and sorcerer came to naught
"The right way stands out clearly from error; therefore, whoever renounces falsehood and believes in Allah, he has indeed grasped the firmest handhold, which never breaks, and Allah is Hearing and Knowing." (Koran, 2:256)
Peaceful Solutions, Initiatives and International Conferences
The initiatives, the so-called peace solutions, and the international conferences for resolving the Palestinian problem stand in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement, for to neglect any part of Palestine is to neglect part of the Islamic faith. The nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its [Islamic] faith. It is in the light of this principle that its members are educated, and they wage jihad in order to raise the banner of Allah over the homeland.
"And Allah has full control over His affairs; but most people do not know." (Koran, 12:21)
From time to time there are calls to hold an international conference in order to seek a solution for the [Palestinian] problem. Some accept this [proposal] and some reject it, for one reason or another, demanding the fulfillment of some condition or conditions before they agree to hold the conference and participate in it. However, the Islamic Resistance Movement – since it is familiar with the parties participating in the conference and with their past and current positions on the issues of the Muslims – does not believe that these conferences can meet the demands or restore the rights [of the Palestinians], or bring equity to the oppressed. These conferences are nothing but a way to give the infidels power of arbitration over Muslim land, and when have the infidels ever been equitable towards the believers?
"The Jews will never be content with you, nor will the Christians, until you follow their religion. Say: 'The guidance of Allah is the right guidance.' But if you follow their desires after the knowledge which has come to you, then you shall have no protector or guardian from Allah." (Koran, 2:120)
There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are a waste of time and a farce. The Palestinian people is far too eminent to have its future, its rights and its destiny toyed with. As stated in the Hadith: "The people of Al-Sha'm are [Allah's] rod in His land. Through them, He wreaks vengeance on whomever He wishes among His servants. The hypocrites among them are not allowed to be superior to the believers among them, and they shall die in grief and distress." (Recorded by Al-Tabarani with a chain of transmitters to Muhammad, and by Ahmad [Ibn Hanbal] with an incomplete chain of transmitters to Muhammad which may be the accurate record, the transmitters in both cases being trustworthy – Allah alone is omniscient).
The Three Circles
The problem of liberating Palestine involves three circles: the Palestinian circle, the [pan-]Arab circle and the Islamic circle. Each of these three circles has its role in the struggle against Zionism and has its duties. It is a grave error and shameful ignorance to neglect any of these circles, for Palestine is an Islamic land. In it is the first of the two qiblas [directions of prayer] and the third most holy mosque, after the mosques of Mecca and Medina. It is the destination of the Prophet's nocturnal journey.
"Praise be to Him who carried His servant by night from the most sacred mosque to the farthest mosque whose surroundings We blessed, so as to show him Our signs. He is the One who is hearing and seeing." (Koran, 17:1)
This being the case, the liberation [of Palestine] is a personal duty of every Muslim, wherever he be. It is on this basis that one should consider the problem, and every Muslim should understand this. When the day comes and the problem is treated on this basis, and all the capabilities of the three circles are mobilized – the current circumstances will change and the day of liberation will draw near.
"You strike more fear in the hearts of the Jews than does Allah, because they are people who do not understand." (Koran, 59:13)
Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine is a Personal Duty
The day the enemies conquer some part of the Muslim land, jihad becomes a personal duty of every Muslim. In the face of the Jewish occupation of Palestine, it is necessary to raise the banner of jihad. This requires the propagation of Islamic consciousness among the masses, locally [in Palestine], in the Arab world and in the Islamic world. It is necessary to instill the spirit of jihad in the nation, engage the enemies and join the ranks of the jihad fighters.
The indoctrination campaign must involve ulama, educators, teachers and information and media experts, as well as all intellectuals, especially the young people and the sheikhs of Islamic movements. It is [also] necessary to introduce essential changes in the curricula, in order to eliminate the influences of the intellectual invasion which were inflicted upon them by the Orientalists and the missionaries. This invasion came upon the region after Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyubi defeated the Crusaders. The Crusaders then realized that it is impossible to vanquish the Muslims unless the way is first paved by an intellectual invasion that would confuse the [Muslims'] thinking, distort their legacy and impugn their ideals. Only after this [intellectual invasion] would there come invasion with troops. This [intellectual invasion] prepared the ground for the colonialist invasion, as [General] Allenby declared upon entering Jerusalem: "Now the Crusades have come to an end." General Gouraud stood at Salah Al-Din's tomb, and said: "Oh, Salah Al-Din, we are back!" Colonialism helped to intensify the intellectual invasion and helped it to take root. It still does. All this paved the way towards the loss of Palestine.
It is necessary to establish in the minds of all the Muslim generations that the Palestinian issue is a religious issue, and that it must be dealt with as such, for [Palestine] contains Islamic holy places, [namely] the Al-Aqsa mosque, which is inseparably connected, for as long as heaven and earth shall endure, to the holy mosque of Mecca through the Prophet's nocturnal journey [from the mosque of Mecca to the Al-Aqsa mosque] and through his ascension to heaven thence.
"Being stationed on the frontier for the sake of Allah for one day is better than this [entire] world and everything in it; and the place taken up in paradise by the [horseman's] whip of any one of you [jihad fighters] is better than this [entire] world and everything in it. Every evening [operation] and morning [operation] performed by Muslims for the sake of Allah is better than this [entire] world and everything in it." (Recorded in the Hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Ibn Maja)
"By the name of Him who holds Muhammad's soul in His hand, I wish to launch an attack for the sake of Allah and be killed and attack again and be killed and attack again and be killed." (Recorded in the Hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim)
Educating the Next Generations
It is necessary to educate the next Islamic generations in our region in an Islamic way, based on the performance of the religious duties, attentive study of Allah's book, study of the Prophet's sunna [custom], perusal of Islamic history and legacy based on reliable sources under the instruction of experts and scholars, and reliance on methods which will produce a wholesome outlook in thought and in faith. In addition, it is necessary to closely study the enemy and his material and human capabilities, to become familiar with his weaknesses and strengths, to recognize the powers that assist and support him. It is also necessary to be familiar with current events, follow new developments and study the analyses and commentaries regarding them. It is likewise necessary to plan for the future and to study each and every phenomenon, so that Muslims engaged in jihad will live with full awareness of their purpose, goal and way, and [with full awareness of] what is happening around them.
"Oh my son! If [a thing] is but the weight of a grain of mustard, though it be in a rock, or in the heavens, or on earth, Allah will bring it forth. Allah discerns even the smallest thing; He is omniscient. Oh my son! Keep up prayer and enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and persevere whatever may befall you; surely this [behavior] is worthy steadfastness. Turn not thy cheek in scorn away from people; do not walk haughtily in the land. Allah does not love the arrogant and self-conceited." (Koran, 31:16-18)
The Role of Muslim Women
The role of the Muslim woman in the war of liberation is no less important than that of the man, for she is the maker of men. Her role in guiding and educating the next generation is very important. The enemies have realized [the significance of] her role, and they believe that if they can educate her according to their wishes, guiding her away from Islam, they will have won the war. You find, therefore, that they continually make great efforts [to do this] by means of the media, the cinema and school curricula, through their agents who are incorporated in Zionist organizations that assume various names and forms such as the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, espionage groups, etc. – all of which are dens of sabotage and saboteurs. These Zionist organizations have an enormous abundance of material resources, which enable them to play their game in [various] societies with the aim of realizing their purpose while Islam is absent from the scene and the Muslims are estranged [from their faith]. The followers of the Islamic movements should fulfill their role in countering the schemes of these saboteurs. When Islam is at the helm, it will totally eradicate these organizations, which are hostile to humanity and to Islam.
The woman in the jihadist home and family, as mother or sister, has the primary role in managing the household, raising the children according to the moral ideas and values inspired by Islam, and teaching them to perform the religious duties in preparation for the jihadist role that awaits them. Hence, it is necessary to pay close attention to the schools in which the Muslim girl is educated, and to their curricula, so that she will grow to be a good mother, conscious of her role in the war of liberation. She should have adequate awareness and understanding concerning the management of domestic affairs, since economy and avoiding wastefulness in family expenses are among the requirements in the ability to persist in the current difficult circumstances. She should ever be aware that available funds are like blood that must flow only in the veins for life to continue in both young and old.
"Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and women, the truthful men and women, the persevering men and women, the humble men and women, the charitable men and women, the fasting men and women, the men and women who guard their chastity, and the men and women who remember Allah frequently – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and great reward." (Koran, 33:35).
The Role of Islamic Art in the War of Liberation
Art has rules and standards by which it is possible to determine whether it is Islamic or pagan. The Islamic liberation is in need of Islamic art that uplifts the spirit without subjecting one aspect of human nature to another, but rather uplifts all aspects in [perfect] balance and harmony. Man is a marvelous and unique creature made from a handful of clay and a breath of spirit. Islamic art addresses man on this basis, while pagan art addresses the physical body and gives dominance to the component of clay.
Books, articles, pamphlets, sermons, epistles, traditional songs, poems, [patriotic] songs, plays, etc. – when they have the characteristics of Islamic art, they are among the necessary means of ideological indoctrination. [They constitute] self-renewing sustenance for continuing the journey and refreshing the spirit, for the road is long, the suffering is great and the souls grow weary. Islamic art renews the energies, revives motion and awakens the soul to lofty ideals and wholesome conduct.
Nothing heals the soul when it is in retreat save moving from mode to mode.
All this is utterly serious and no jest, for the nation engaged in jihad knows no jest.
Muslim society is characterized by solidarity. The Prophet, Allah's prayer and peace be upon him, says: "Blessed are the Banu Al-Ash'ar tribe. When they are afflicted with drought – whether in a town or on a journey – they would collect all that they have and divide it among themselves in equal shares." This is the Islamic spirit that should prevail in every Muslim society. A society which is facing a wicked enemy with Nazi behavior, that does not distinguish between men and women, old and young, has an even greater need to grace itself with this Islamic spirit [of solidarity]. Our enemy employs the method of collective punishment, depriving people of their homes and possessions. He pursued them [even] in their places of exile, breaking bones, shooting women, children and elderly people with or without reason. He established detention camps to imprison thousands and thousands [of people] in inhuman conditions, all this in addition to destroying houses, orphaning children and unjustly convicting thousands of young people to spend the best years of their youth in the darkness of prison. The Nazism of the Jews targeted both women and children. The terror they spread is directed at everyone. They fight people by destroying their livelihood, stealing their money and trampling their dignity. Their horrible treatment of people is like that of the worst war criminals. Deportation from one's homeland is a form of murder. In the face of such behavior, we must have social solidarity among the people, and we must face the enemy as one body, which, when one of its limbs is in pain, the rest of it reacts with sleeplessness and fever.
Social solidarity means offering help to everyone who is in need, be it material or moral, or joining with him to complete some work. Members of the Islamic Resistance Movement should regard the interests of the masses as their own, and they should spare no effort to achieve them and protect them. They must prevent reckless playing with matters affecting the future of the next generations or causing losses to their society. The masses are of them and for them, and the strength of the masses is strength for them; their future is theirs. The members of the Islamic Resistance Movement should be with the people on joyous occasions and at times of grief. They should espouse the demands of the masses and strive to serve the masses' interests, which are indeed their own. When this spirit prevails, friendship will deepen and there will be cooperation and empathy, unity will increase and the ranks will be strengthened to confront the enemies.
The Forces which Support the Enemy
The enemies have been planning expertly and thoroughly for a long time in order to achieve what they have achieved, employing those means which affect the course of events. They strove to accumulate huge financial resources which they used to realize their dream.
With money they have taken control of the world media – news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting services, etc. With money they sparked revolutions in various countries around the world in order to serve their interests and to reap profits. They were behind the French Revolution and the Communist Revolution and [they are behind] most of the revolutions about which we hear from time to time here and there. With money they have formed secret organizations, all over the world, in order to destroy [those countries'] societies and to serve the Zionists' interests, such as the Freemasons, the Rotary Clubs, the Lions, the Sons of the Covenant [i.e. B'nei B'rith], etc. All of these are organizations of espionage and sabotage. With money they were able to take control of the colonialist countries, and [they] urged them to colonize many countries so that they could exploit their resources and spread moral corruption there.
There is no end to what can be said about [their involvement in] local wars and world wars. They were behind World War I, through which they achieved the destruction of the Islamic Caliphate, reaped material profits, took control of numerous resources, obtained the Balfour Declaration, and established the League of the United Nations [sic] so as to rule the world through this organization. They were [also] behind World War II, through which they reaped enormous profits from commerce in war materials and paved the way for the establishment of their state. They [also] suggested the formation of the United Nations and the Security Council to replace the League of the United Nations [sic] and to rule the world through this [new organization]. Wherever there is war in the world, it is they who are pulling the strings behind the scenes. "Whenever they ignite the fire of war, Allah extinguishes it. They strive to spread evil in the land, but Allah does not love those who do evil." (Koran, 5:64)
The colonialist powers, both in the capitalist West and the communist East, support the enemy with all their might, both materially and with manpower, alternating one with the other [in giving support]. When Islam appears, all the forces of unbelief unite to oppose it, for all unbelief is one denomination.
"Oh you who believe, do not take as your intimate friends those outside your ranks, for they will spare no effort to harm you. They desire that which causes you suffering. Hatred has indeed come out of their mouths, but what they hide in their hearts is even worse. We have given you clear signs, if you understand" (Koran, 3:118). It is not for nothing that the verse ends with His words "if you understand."
Chapter Four – Our Positions on:
A. The Islamic Movements
The Islamic Resistance Movement looks on the other Islamic movements with respect and appreciation, for even if it is at variance with them in some given respect or thought, it agrees with them in many more respects or thoughts, and it views them – so long as their intentions are good and they are devoted to Allah – as falling under the rubric of legitimate opinion, that is, as long as their actions are within the bounds of the Islamic circle. Everyone who strives for truth receives his reward.
The Islamic Resistance Movement considers these movements as reinforcing it, and asks [Allah] to guide and direct us all. It never forgets to constantly raise the banner of unity and to strive assiduously to achieve unity in accordance with the Koran and the sunna. "Hold fast to Allah's rope, all of you. Do not be divided among yourselves, and remember Allah's favor to you. When you were enemies to one another, He brought your hearts together, and through his favor you became brothers. You were on the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah shows you His signs, so that you may follow the right way." (Koran, 3:103)
The Islamic Resistance Movement does not allow to impugn or to blacken the name of individuals or groups, for [true] Muslims do not impugn or curse others. One should make a clear distinction between this and positions or behavior, for the Islamic Resistance Movement does have the right to expose error and to deter people from it and to strive to make the truth known and to adopt it in an impartial way in every given case. Wisdom is what the Muslim looks for, and he takes it wherever he finds it.
"Allah does not like it when people speak ill in public, except for those who have been wronged. Allah hears all and knows all. When you do good openly, or in secret, or forgive a wrong [done to you], surely Allah is Forgiving and Almighty." (Koran, 4:148-149)
B. The Nationalist Movements in the Palestinian Arena
[The Islamic Resistance Movement] respects them and appreciates the conditions that surround and affect them. It supports them as long as they do not pay allegiance to the Communist East or to the Crusader West, and it emphasizes to all the members and supporters [of these movements] that it is a jihadist, ethical movement, conscientious in its worldview and in its treatment of others. It abhors opportunism, wants only good for the people, both as individuals and as groups, and does not strive to attain material gain or fame for itself. It does not seek reward from people, and it goes forth with its own resources and what it has at hand – "Muster against them all the force you can" (Koran, 8:60) – in order to carry out the duty and win Allah's favor. It has no desire other than that.
It reassures all the nationalist [groups] of all orientations that are operating in the Palestinian arena for the liberation of Palestine that it shall never be anything other than a support and an aid for them, in word and in deed, at present and in the future. It joins together and does not separate, preserves and does not scatter, unites and does not divide, it values every kind word, every sincere effort and every praiseworthy endeavor. It closes the door in the face of petty disagreements. It pays no heed to rumors and biased remarks, but is fully aware of [its] right to defend itself.
Anything that opposes or contradicts this orientation is fabricated by the enemy or by their lackeys in order to cause confusion, divide the ranks and create distraction with side issues. "OH you who believe, if an evildoer brings you information [about any person], you should examine it carefully lest you hurt [innocent] people out of ignorance, and afterwards come to regret it." (Koran, 49:6)
The Islamic Resistance Movement – looking favorably as it does on the Palestinian nationalist movements – does not refrain from discussing new developments concerning the Palestinian problem in the local and international arena in an objective manner, so as to find to what extent [these developments] agree or disagree with the national interests in the light of the Islamic vision.
C. The Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] is closest to the heart of the Islamic Resistance Movement. [We regard it as] a father, brother or friend, and a true Muslim does not spurn his father, his brother or his friend. Our homeland is one, our misfortune is one, our destiny is one and we share the same enemy.
Owing to the circumstances that surrounded the establishment of the PLO, and [owing to] the intellectual confusion which prevails in the Arab world as a result of the intellectual invasion to which it has been subject since the defeat of the Crusaders, and which was intensified, and continues to be intensified by Orientalism and Christian missionary activities – the PLO has adopted the idea of the secular state, and we view [the PLO] accordingly. Secularist ideology stands in total contradiction to the religious ideology, and it is ideas which are the basis of positions, behavior and decisions.
Hence, with all our appreciation for the Palestine Liberation Organization and what it may yet become, and without belittling its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, we cannot give up the Islamic identity of Palestine in the present and in the future to adopt the secularist ideology – for the Islamic identity of Palestine is part of our faith, and whoever is lax with his faith is lost. "Who spurns the religion of Abraham but one who has made himself into a fool?" (Koran, 2:130)
When the PLO adopts Islam as its way of life, then we shall be its troops and the fuel for its fire that will burn the enemies. But until this time comes – and we pray to Allah that it be soon – the position of the Islamic Resistance Movement vis a vis the PLO is that of a son towards his father, a brother towards his brother or a relative towards his relative. He shares the other's pain when he is pricked by a thorn, and supports him in facing the enemy, and he wishes for him to find divine guidance and [follow] the right path.
Your brother, your brother before all others! He who has no brother
Is like one who goes to war unarmed.
Your cousin, you must know the strength of his wing,
For how can the falcon rise up without wings?
D. Arab and Islamic States and Governments
The Zionist invasion is a cruel invasion, which has no scruples whatsoever; it uses every vicious and vile method to achieve its goals. In its infiltration and espionage operations, it greatly relies on secret organizations which grew out of it, such as the Freemasons, the Rotary Clubs, the Lions and other such espionage groups. All these organizations, covert or overt, work for the interests of Zionism and under its direction, and their aim is to break societies, undermine values, destroy people's honor, create moral degeneration and annihilate Islam. [Zionism] is behind all types of trafficking in drugs and alcohol, so as to make it easier for it to take control and expand.
We demand that the Arab countries around Israel open their borders to jihad fighters from among the Arab and Islamic peoples, so they may fulfill their role and join their efforts to the efforts of their brothers – the Muslim brethren in Palestine. As for the rest of the Arab and Muslim countries, we demand that they facilitate the passage of the jihad fighters into them and out of them – that is the very least [they can do].
We should not fail to remind every Muslim that when the Jews occupied the Sacred place [i.e., Jerusalem] in 1967 and stood on the threshold of the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque, they shouted: "Muhammad is dead; his offspring are women." Israel with its Jewish identity and Jewish people is challenging Islam and the Muslims. May the cowardly know no sleep.
E. Nationalist and Religious Groups and Organizations, Intellectuals, and the Arab and Islamic world
The Islamic Resistance Movement hopes that these groups will stand by it in every respect, help it, espouse its positions, back its activities and strive to enlist support for it, so that the Muslim peoples will be a support and a reinforcement for it, and [will provide] strategic depth on all levels: [in terms of] human and material resources, information, in every time and every place. [This should be done] by holding conferences, publishing ideological pamphlets, and by indoctrination of the masses with regards to the Palestinian issue – what is facing [the Palestinians] and what is plotted against [them]. [Likewise they should work to] mobilize the Islamic peoples, ideologically, educationally and culturally, so that they will play their role in the decisive war of liberation just as they did in defeating the Crusaders and routing out the Mongols, thus saving human civilization. This is not difficult for Allah.
"Allah has decreed: 'I and My messengers shall prevail'; Allah is strong and all-powerful." (Koran, 58:21)
Writers, intellectuals, media people, preachers in mosques, educators and all the various sectors in the Arab and Islamic world, are all required to fulfill their role and perform their duty. [This is necessary] due to the ferocity of the Zionist onslaught and the fact that it has infiltrated many countries and has taken control of the finances and media – with all the ramifications that follow from this – in most countries of the world.
Jihad is not limited to wielding arms and fighting the enemies face to face, for eloquent speech, persuasive writing, effective books, support and help – when [they are] performed with the sincere intention that Allah's banner will reign supreme – all constitute jihad for the sake of Allah.
[As the prophet said:] "Whoever equips a warrior fighting for the sake of Allah is [himself] a warrior, and whoever supports the family of a warrior [who has set out to fight for the sake of Allah] is [himself] a warrior." (Recorded by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Da'ud and Tirmidhi in their Hadith collections).
F. Followers of the Other Religions
The Islamic Resistance Movement is a Humane Movement
The Islamic Resistance Movement is a humane movement which respects human rights and is committed to the Islamic tolerance towards the followers of the other religions. It is hostile only to those among them who display hostility towards it or stand in its way, hampering its activities and foiling its efforts. Under the wing of Islam, the followers of the three religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – can co-exist in security and safety. It is only under the wing of Islam that safety and security prevail. Recent and ancient history provide the best evidence for this. The followers of the other religions should stop competing with Islam for sovereignty in this region, because, when they rule, there is nothing but carnage, torture and deportation, and they cannot get along with their own, let alone with followers of other religions. Both the present and the past are full of evidence for this.
"They do not fight you together, except from within fortified villages, or from behind walls. They fight fiercely with one another. You consider them to be united, but their hearts are divided, for they are a people with no sense." (Koran, 59:14)
Islam accords to every person his rights, and prevents any infringement on other people's rights. The Nazi Zionist measures against our people will not succeed in prolonging the duration of their invasion, for the rule of injustice lasts but one hour, while the rule of the truth will last until the Hour of Resurrection.
"Allah does not forbid you to show kindness and act justly towards those who do not fight you on account of your religion, and do not drive you from your homes. Allah loves those who act justly." (Koran, 60:8)
G. The Attempt to Isolate the Palestinian People
World Zionism and the colonialist powers attempt, by clever maneuvering and meticulous planning, to pull the Arab states, one by one, out of the circle of the conflict with Zionism, so as to ultimately isolate the Palestinian people. It has already taken Egypt out of the circle of conflict to a large extent through the treacherous Camp David Accords [of September 1978], and it is trying to pull additional [Arab] countries into similar agreements so that they leave the circle of conflict.
The Islamic Resistance Movement calls upon all the Arab and Muslim peoples to strive seriously and diligently to prevent this horrible scheme, and to alert the masses to the danger inherent in leaving the circle of the conflict with Zionism. Today it is Palestine, and tomorrow some other country or countries, for the Zionist plan has no limits, and after Palestine they want to expand [their territory] from the Nile to the Euphrates, and when they finish devouring one area, they hunger for further expansion and so on, indefinitely. Their plan is expounded in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present [behavior] is the best proof for what we are saying.
Leaving the circle of the conflict with Zionism is an act of high treason; all those who do this shall be cursed. "Whoever [when fighting the infidels] turns his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intending to join another [fighting] company, he incurs Allah's wrath, and his abode shall be hell. Most unfortunate is his fate." (Koran, 8:16)
All forces and capabilities must be pooled to confront this ferocious Mongol, Nazi onslaught, lest homelands be lost, people be exiled, evil spread on the earth and all religious values be destroyed. Each and every person should know that he is responsible to Allah.
"Anyone who does a grain's weight of good shall see it, and anyone who does a grain's weight of evil shall see it." (Koran, 99:7-8)
In the circle of the conflict against world Zionism, the Islamic Resistance Movement sees itself as a spearhead or as a step forward on the road [to victory]. It joins its efforts to the efforts of all those who are active in the Palestinian arena. It now remains for steps to be taken by the Arab and Islamic world. [The Islamic Resistance Movement] is well qualified for the upcoming stage [of the struggle] with the Jews, the warmongers.
"We have planted enmity and hatred among them [i.e., among the Jews] until the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah extinguishes it. They strive to spread evil upon the earth, and Allah does not love those who do evil." (Koran, 5:64)
The Islamic Resistance Movement – proceeding from these general concepts which are in harmony and agreement with the laws of nature, and following the current of divine destiny towards confrontation with the enemies and jihad against them in defense of Muslims, Islamic civilization and Islamic sanctities, primarily the Al-Aqsa mosque – calls on the Arab and Islamic peoples and their governments, and on their NGOs and official organizations, to fear Allah in their attitude toward the Islamic Resistance Movement and in their treatment of it. They should act towards it as Allah wants them to, namely back it, support it, assist it and continuously reinforce it, until Allah's word is fulfilled. Then the ranks will all be united, jihad fighters will join other jihad fighters, and the masses all over the Islamic world will rush out and answer the call of duty, shouting: "Hasten to jihad!" This call will penetrate the clouds in the sky and continue to ring out, until liberation is accomplished, the invaders are defeated and Allah's victory is revealed.
"Allah surely helps whoever helps Him; Allah is strong and mighty." (Koran, 22:40)
Chapter Five: Historical Evidence throughout the Generations regarding Confrontation with Aggressors
Palestine is the center of the Earth and the meeting place of the continents; it has always been the target of greedy aggressors. This has been the case since the dawn of history. The Prophet, Allah's prayer and peace be upon him, points to this in his noble words with which he addressed his exalted companion, Mu'adh b. Jabal, saying: "Oh Mu'adh, Allah will give you the land of Al-Sha'm after my death, from Al-'Arish to the Euphrates. Its men, women and handmaids will be [constantly] stationed on the frontier until the Day of Resurrection, for any one of you who chooses [to live in] some part of the coastal plains of Al-Sha'm or Bayt Al-Maqdis [i.e., Palestine], will be in a [constant] state of jihad until the Day of Resurrection."
The aggressors coveted Palestine on many occasions. They attacked it with great armies in attempt to realize their greedy aspirations. The great armies of the Crusaders came there, bringing their religious creed and hoisting their cross. They managed to defeat the Muslims for a while, and the Muslims only managed to regain it when they fought under their religious banner, joined forces crying "Allah Akbar," and set forth in jihad under the command of Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyubi for nearly two decades, which led to a clear victory: the Crusaders were defeated and Palestine was liberated.
"Say to the unbelievers: You will surely be defeated and gathered in Hell. Most terrible shall be your resting-place." (Koran, 3:12)
This is the only way to liberation, and one cannot doubt the testimony of history. This is one of the rules of the universe and the laws of reality. Only iron can break iron, and their false, fabricated faith can only be overcome by the true faith of Islam, for religious faith cannot be attacked except through religious faith. And truth shall eventually triumph, for truth is the strongest.
"We have already given Our Word to Our servants, the messengers, that they would be helped to victory and that Our army will triumph." (Koran, 37:171-173)
The Islamic Resistance Movement studies the defeat of the Crusaders at the hands of Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyubi, the liberation of Palestine from them, as well as the defeat of the Mongols at 'Ayn Jalut and the breaking of their military strength at the hands of Qutuz and Al-Zahir Baybars, and the delivery of the Arab world from the Mongol conquest which destroyed all aspects of human civilization. [The Islamic Resistance Movement] studies these [events] seriously, and draws lessons and examples from them. The current Zionist invasion was preceded by Crusader invasions from the west, and by Mongol invasion from the east. And just as the Muslims faced these invasions, made plans for fighting them and defeated them, they can [now] confront the Zionist invasion and defeat it. This not difficult for Allah, providing that intentions are sincere and resolve is strong, and that Muslims draw benefit from the experiences of the past, shed off the influences of the intellectual invasion, and follow the ways of their predecessors.
Conclusion: The Islamic Resistance Movement– Soldiers [for the Cause]
The Islamic Resistance Movement, in its march forward, repeatedly emphasizes to all members of our people and of the Arab and Muslim peoples that it is not seeking fame for itself, or material gain, or social status, and that it is not aimed against any of our own people in an attempt to compete with them or to take their place – nothing of the kind. It does not oppose any Muslim, or any non-Muslim who is peaceful towards it, here [in Palestine] or elsewhere. It will always offer nothing but help to all groups and organizations that strive against the Zionist enemy and against its lackeys.
The Islamic Resistance Movement adopts Islam as its way of life. [Islam] is its creed and its law. [Any group that] adopts Islam as its way of life, here or elsewhere – be it an organization, association, state or any other group – the Islamic Resistance Movement will serve as its soldiers. We ask Allah to guide us, to guide [others] through us, and to judge between us and our people with truth.
"Oh, Lord, judge between us and our people with truth. You are the best of judges." (Koran, 7:89)
At the end, we beseech: Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Universe.
 Islamonline, http://www.islamonline.net/Arabic/doc/2004/03/article11.SHTML .
 Hasan Al-Banna' (1906-1949) founded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928 and was its Director General until his assassination in 1949.
 Amjad Al-Zahawi was an Iraqi Sunni religious scholar who was affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood and active in various initiatives to support the Palestinian cause.
 Hamas is the Arabic acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement (harakat al-muqawama al-islamiyya); it is also an Arabic word meaning enthusiasm, ardor or zeal.
 Due to the importance of the concept of jihad in the Hamas ideology, we leave this term in Arabic wherever it appears in the text.
The verses of Muhammad Iqbal (1873-1938), an Indian Muslim poet and religious thinker, are often used by both reformist and conservative Muslims in support of their opposite orientations.
 This is an often quoted verse by the famous pre-Islamic poet Tarafa.
 In medieval Islamic writings, Al-Sha'm usually refers to an area roughly corresponding to present-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
 The word "nationalism" here and elsewhere in this document is used as the equivalent of the term wataniyya, which is derived from the Arabic word watan ("homeland"), and in modern Arabic discourse signifies particularist territorial nationalism, in contradistinction to qawmiyya, which also means "nationalism," but is used to refer to pan-Arab nationalism.
 The phrase "the followers of the Islamic movements" is used here to translate the Arabic term al-islamiyyun.
 In the Arabic original the verse is mistakenly given as 3:102.
 This is a well known Hadith (i.e., a saying attributed to the Prophet).
 These are two often quoted verses by the 7th century poet Miskin al-Darimi.
 Saif Al-Din Qutuz (d. 1260) was the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt from 1257 until his death. In 1260, the commander of his army, Al-Zahir Baybars (1223-1277), defeated the Mongols in the battle of Ain- Jalut.