by INI IDEOLOGY · 2015 — Hamid has also repeatedly invoked Ghazwa-e-Hind as a battle against Hindu. India led from Muslim Pakistan. According to Hamid, “Allah has
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©2015 Hudson Institute, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1940-834X For more information about obtaining additional copies of this or other Hudson Institute publica- tions, please visit Hudson’s website at or call toll free: 1-888-554-1325. ABOUT HUDSON INSTITUTE Hudson Institute is a nonpartisan, independent policy research organization dedicated to innova- tive research and analysis that promotes global security, prosperity, and freedom. Founded in 1961 by strategist Herman Kahn, Hudson Institute challenges conventional thinking and helps man- age strategic transitions to the future through interdisciplinary studies in defense, international re- lations, economics, health care, technology, culture, and law. With offices in Washington and New York, Hud son seeks to guide public policymakers and global leaders in government and business through a vigorous program of publications, conferences, policy briefings, and recommendations. Hudson Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization financed by tax-deductible contributions from private individuals, corporations, foundations, and by government grants. Visit for more information. ABOUT THE CENTER ON ISLAM, DEMOCRACY, AND THE FUTURE OF THE MUSLIM WORLD Hudson Institute’s Center on Islam conducts a wide-ranging program of research and analysis ad- dressed to the political, religious, social, and other dynamics within majority Muslim countries and Muslim populations around the world. A principal focus of the Center’s work is the ideological dy- namic within Islam and the connected issue of how this political and religious debate impacts both Islamic radicalism and the Muslim search for moderate and democratic alternatives. Through its research, which includes collaboration with partners throughout the Muslim world and elsewhere, the Center aims to contribute to the development of effective policy options and strategies to win the worldwide struggle against radical Islam. For more information, visit

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PROPHECY AND THE JIHAD IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT 5Prophecy and the Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent By Husain Haqqani AL-QAEDAANDTHEISLAMICSTATEOFIRAQANDAL -SHAM(ISIS)AREcompeting with each other for recruitment on the South Asian subcontinent. As has been the case in other regions where radical Islamists have congregated (including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria), jihadi recruitment in the region covering Pakistan, India and Bangladesh is aided by competing claims of divine support. Radical Islamists invoke the Hadith (the oral traditions attributed to the Prophet Muhammad) to prophesize a great battle in India between true believers and un- believers before the end-times. These references in the Hadith to the Ghazwa-e-Hind (Battle of India) infuse South Asia with importance as a battleground in the efforts to create an Islamic caliphate resembling the social order that existed at the time of the Prophet Muhammad and the Rightly Guided Caliphs (632-661 AD). The South Asian region has a long history with jihadi movements, dating back to the eighteenth century. During the 1980s, it became the staging ground for global jihad as part of the internationally-backed guerilla war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. At the time, radical Islamists poured into Afghanistan through Pakistan and received advanced military training to fight the Soviets. Later, many returned to their home countries to conduct terrorist attacks. The rise

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6CURRENT TRENDS IN ISLAMIST IDEOLOGVOL. 18 of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Pakistan-backed insur gency in Kashmiragainst India also stoked jihadism in the region. The first generation of al-Qaeda commanders and ideologues were veterans of the anti-Soviet Afghan war. ISIS, too, has been influenced greatly by the so-called Arab-Afghans and their disciples. During the war against the Soviets and the ensuing Taliban rule, ancient prophecies of Khurasan—which includes modern Afghanistan—resurfaced to inspire jihadists and promise great heavenly rewards. These prophecies foreshadowed the appearance of the Mahdi or Messiah and the final battle between good (pure Islam) and evil before judgement day. According to one Hadith, an army with black flags would emerge from Khurasan to help the Mahdi establish his caliphate at Mecca. This was not the first time that the Khurasan Hadith had been cited to mobi- lize Muslim soldiers. Sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad were often transmitted orally; formal written compilations did not emerge until more than a century after his death in 632 AD. This made it possible for rulers and com- manders to conveniently cite the Hadith to justify political decisions or advance battle plans. The Hadith describing an army from the east wielding a black flag was used by the Abbasids to orchestrate their revolt against the ruling Umayyad dynasty in 747 AD. At the time, Abbasid partisan Abu Muslim organized an army with black flags in Khurasan to march east on Damascus. Like most medieval prophecies, the Islamic ones also comprise metaphorical statements open to interpretation. One Hadith instructs true believers to join the nation from the east with black flags “even if you have to crawl over ice.” 1Anothersays, “Armies carrying black flags will come from Khurasan, no power will be able to stop them and they will finally reach Eela (the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem) where they will erect their flags.” 2This prediction of final victory was a convenient recruitment tool for al-Qaeda when it was firmly established in Khurasan during the Taliban era. Prophecies attributed to the Prophet Muhammad were also an important part of jihadist propaganda during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Radical Islamists cited the Hadith about a war on the banks of the Euphrates over a mountain of gold that would portend the rise of Dajjal (representing evil) and the emergence of the Mahdi. The Mahdi’s defeat of Dajjal is believed by many Muslims to be the final sign of the day of judgement. The prospect of joining the final battle against evil before the end of the world served as an incentive for many believers to take up jihad. It wt the reference to the “moun- tain of gold” was a metaphor for Iraq’s oil reserves. ISISshares the stated desire of all Islamist groups to replicate the social order

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PROPHECY AND THE JIHAD IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT 7of Islam’s pristine era, the time of the Prophet Muhammad and of the four Rightly Guided Caliphs that followed him. Soon after declaring himself the modern-day caliph, ISISleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi named the provinces of his caliphate after the provinces of the early caliphate. These provinces, or wilayats, consist of Algeria (wilayat al-Jazair), Libya (wilayat al-Barqah, wilayat al-Tarabulus and wilayat al-Fizan), Sinai (wilayat Sinai), Saudi Arabia (wilayat al-Haramayn), Yemen (wilayat al-Yaman) and Afghanistan-Pakistan (wilayat Khurasan). ISISpr opa-ganda often speaks of defeating the West while referring to it as Rum, the historicArab name for the Roman Empire. Reverting to historic names for Muslim countries summons Muslim pride for Islam’s early conquests, when inspired Arabs went forth from the cities of Mecca and Medina in the Arabian Peninsula to create a vast caliphate incorporating parts of the erstwhile Persian and Roman empires. Invoking the Hadith and pro- nouncements from Islam’s earliest period foreshadows the resurrection of Islam’s lost glory; in addition to seeking reward in the hereafter, young Muslims are motivated to fight battles and seek victories that were ostensibly foretold fourteen centuries earlier by the Prophet. WHILEMUCHOFTHECONTEMPORARYMIDDLEEASTFELLUNDERMUSLIMRULE during the period of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, Muslims had to wait for several centuries before expanding their conquest to the Indian subcontinent. The Hadith predicting the great battle for India is often referred to as the Ghazwa-e-Hind Ha- dith, various versions of which have been recycled each time a Muslim leader or would-be conqueror attempted to raise an army to invade India. 3In one version of the Hadith, attributed to Thawban, a freed slave of the Prophet Muhammad, “[t]he Messenger of Allah said: ‘there are two groups of my Ummah whom Allah will free from the Fire: The group that invades India, and the group that will be with Isa bin Maryam, peace be upon him.’” 4Isa bin Maryam is the Quranic name of Jesus, whose return to earth alongside the Mahdi is held in Islamic tradition to be a seminal event of the end of time. In another version, narrated by Abu Hurairah, one of the companions of Prophet Muhammed, “[t]he Messenger of Allah promised us that we would invade India. If I live to see that, I will sacrifice myself and my wealth. If I am killed, I will be one of the best of the martyrs, and if I come back, I will be Abu Hurairah Al-Muharrar.” 5Al-Muharrar translates as “the one freed from the fire of hell.” In another version from Abu Hurairah, warriors “headed towa rds Sindh & Hind” we re promised the reward of worldly success and freedom from Hell. 6Abu Hurairah quoted the

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