[ by Charles Cameron – Ghazwah-e-Hind, the other prong of Khorasan jihad, YouTube propaganda, Zaid Hamid, his warnings to the West (leave well alone!) and to the Hindus (convert!) ]
The major sweep of the victorious army with black banners will be from Khorasan to Jerusalem, as described in various earlier posts here — but there are ahadith that deal with the conquest of India (and China, but that’s another story, see David Cook, Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic, pp 170 ff) that are currently enjoying a vogue in Pakistan…
Here is one version of the hadith, as quoted by the Shaikh of the Naqshbandi Owaisiah Sufis, Muhammad Akram Awan, to whom I shall return in a future post, in a speech he gave in Pakistan in November 2008:
From Abu Hurairah (rau), he said: (saws)
The Messenger (saws) of Allah promised us Ghazwah-tal Hind. Now, if I encounter it, I shall invest my wealth and life in it. Then, if I am killed I will be among the most chosen Shuhada (martyrs) and if I live, I would be Abu Hurairah ‘the freed’ (from Hell Fire).
So how does that translate into contemporary geopolitics?
Syed Saleem Shahzad (Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11, pp 206-215) offers a brief overview of the Indian Jihad / Ghazwa-e-Hind in its current incarnation, with the involvement of the Pakistani ISI and AQ’s (presumed late) Ilyas Kashmiri, bringing us fast forward to the present day:
This was the ISI plan drawn up 30 years ago with Harkat-ul-Jihad-iIslami, Jamaat-e-Islami, Muslim Brotherhood connections, Islamic seminaries, and Sufi networks of constructing a theater of war from Central Asia to Bangladesh to defeat the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and simultaneously to acquire the right of self-determination for Kashmiris in India. Thirty years later, Al-Qaeda simply refurbished the plan after sketching out its ideological boundaries, to prepare the greater theaters of war of Khurasan and Ghazwa-e-Hind for victory, before its armies, holding the black flag aloft, entered in the Middle East for the final battle against the Western world.
From my POV, the ghazwa is one of the topics Stephen Tankel might profitably have addressed as theological matter relevant to the LeT and the Mumbai attack…
Here’s the close of Shahzad’s book, to make the apocalyptic thrust in all this quite clear:
However, the saga of Al-Qaeda’s One Thousand and One Nights tales continues with new strategies and new characters. For Al-Qaeda these are just measures to keep the West running from pillar to post until it exhausts itself and Al-Qaeda can announce victory in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda next aims to occupy the promised land of ancient Khurasan, with its boundaries stretching all the way from Central Asia to Khyber Paktoonwa through Afghanistan, and then expand the theater of war to India.
The promised messiah, the Mahdi, will then rise in the Middle East and Al-Qaeda will mobilize its forces from Ancient Khurasan for the liberation of Palestine, where a final victory will guarantee the revival of a Global Muslim Caliphate.
With that as background, I’d like to illustrate the emotional drive of the ghazwa idea, with screen shots from a video posted to YouTube in February of this year, titled Ghazwa-e-Hind (Prophecy) – Fall of India – Promised Victory. This section will take up quite a bit of screen space, but you can pretty much scroll on down and get the general idea, pausing where something seems a tad different or more interesting:
The video features stirring music throughout, presumably taken from Molossus (From “Batman Begins”)  by Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard — which we are invited to purchase on iTunes or AmazonMP3…
It opens with a rally, at which an Indian speaker is castigating Pakistan —
next up: two frames that give a textual expression of the hope involved —
then, what we might call a “starting” map —
various evidences of military might —
another couple of text frames —
some arguably more intense weaponry —
and no less intense special forces —
then the hoped-for “close of play” map, book-ending the “opening” map above —
the ultimate threat —
and the flag of Pakistan flying over the Red Fort in Delhi —
I have one final screen shot in the series, and it features Syed Zaid Hamid —
the man who has been most actively stirring up public sentiment in Pakistan for the Ghazwa-e-Hind.
I will close with two of Hamid’s speeches, posted on YouTube, each of them containing a warning. The first is in English, geopolitical in tone, and contains a warning to the US, Israel and India, that they should not attack Pakistan.
The second is addressed to the Hindus:
Such an invitation to convert is mandatory “when you meet your enemies’ before waging jihad, as stated in the hadith in Sahih Muslim, Book 19, 4294:
Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them.
— and parallels bin Laden‘s Letter to America, in which UBL wrote:
The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.
(a) The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction between them – peace be upon them all.
That’s the basic outline.
I hope to dig in deeper and provide more subtlety in future posts, but this topic is still pretty new to me — I first ran across it, somewhat tangentially, in the United States of Islam video which I began to discuss in October 2010, and which I may return to shortly.
I also wish to invite comment from others who have been looking into the Ghazwa for longer than I have.