For Muslims, it’s that time of year again. Let the body count begin.
The month of Ramadan, the month of fasting, has a special status as the month of religious spirituality and devotion. However, in Muslim tradition it is also perceived as a month of jihad and martyrdom, a month in which Allah grants military victories to His believers. It was during Ramadan that Muslims triumphed in many of their battles, among them the battle of Badr in 624 between supporters of Muhammad and a merchant caravan of the Quraysh tribe; the conquest of Mecca in 630 and of Andalusia in 711; the battle of Al-Zallaqa in 1086, in which Spanish Muslims defeated the Castilians near the city of Badajoz on today’s Portuguese border, and the 1973 War (called The Ramadan War).
Given the historic religious and military significance of Ramadan, Islamist and jihadi groups, and sometimes also mainstream Arab organizations and Arab media, escalate incitement to jihad and martyrdom during this month. Messages, articles and sermons that are published on the occasion of Ramadan and explain the connection between Ramadan and jihad and often stress the following themes:
-The commandment of jihad, which is of supreme importance at all times, assumes even greater importance during this holy month and gains precedence over all other commandments.
-There is a close connection between fasting and jihad, for the former is jihad of the soul, aimed at restraining it from sinning, while the second is jihad against the enemies, aimed at preventing them from spreading “corruption” in the world. Moreover, fasting is a powerful means to prepare the soul for jihad, i.e., to school oneself in obedience, devotion, resilience and endurance, which are the virtues of the jihad fighter that allow him to vanquish his enemies. On Ramadan Allah grants fighters special strength, despite – or rather by virtue of – their fasting.
-Those who gain martyrdom during the month of Ramadan are doubly rewarded in Paradise.
-During Ramadan, the Muslims are especially beholden to protect the sanctity of the Muslim holy places and keep the infidels from “desecrating” or threatening them.
The following are excerpts from a sampling of messages, articles and sermons on this topic, published across the Arab world from 2001 until today, compiled from previous MEMRI documents.
Former Egyptian Grand Mufti: Ramadan Is The Month Of Jihad And Victories
In an article published in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram in July 2012, then-mufti of Egypt ‘Ali Gum’a wrote that Ramadan is, and has been throughout Muslim history, the month in which Allah helps the Muslims to prevail over their enemies and grants them mighty victories. He reviewed the conquests of Muslims throughout history during Ramadan.
“[Throughout the history of] Islamic civilization, Ramadan has been not only a month of worship and of growing close to Allah the Almighty, but also a month of action and jihad aimed at spreading this great religion. When the soul grows stronger and the spirit soars, it inevitably affects the body, which [also] grows stronger – [for] the body is the mirror of the soul. That is why, throughout [Muslim] history, Ramadan has been a month of great conquests, which were an important factor in spreading Islam, [with] its righteousness and tolerance, across the world. Ramadan saw [many] events that were milestones in the history of Islamic civilization.
“On Ramadan 22 of the year 1 AH [623 CE], the Prophet’s brigades were first sent forth… On Ramadan 17 of the year 2 AH [624 CE] was the great Battle of Badr, in which the Muslims under the command of the Prophet defeated the infidel armies. On Ramadan 21 of the year 8 AH [630 CE], the Messenger of Allah conquered Mecca. [This] conquest was the pinnacle of the efforts of the Prophet and his Companions in their Islamic da’wa for the sake of Allah. It bore the message of Islamic sovereignty in the Arabian Peninsula, where, following [the Prophet’s] example, people [started to] convert to Allah’s religion in groups. On Ramadan 8 in the year 9 AH [631 CE] was the Battle of Tabouk, and the Prophet returned from this battle on Ramadan 26, having received great support from Allah.
“After [Muhammad’s] death, his Companions followed his example in spreading da’wa, and their era, too, saw great Islamic conquests during the month of Ramadan. On Ramadan 13, 15 AH [636 CE], the Commander of the Faithful, ‘Umar bin Khattab, arrived in Palestine after waging hard battles to conquer Al-Sham [Greater Syria]. He received the keys to the city of Jerusalem and granted its people a charter of protection guaranteeing their property and lives, [and today] we ask Allah to return [Jerusalem] in its entirety to the Muslims. On Ramadan 1, 20 AH [641 CE], [also] in the period of ‘Umar bin Khattab, the Muslims entered Egypt under the command of ‘Umar ‘Ibn Al-‘As, after he vanquished the army of the oppressing Byzantines.
“On Ramadan 6, 23 AH [644 CE], Muhammad ibn Al-Qasim defeated the Indian armies near the Indus River and conquered the Indus Valley. It was at the end of the era of Walid bin ‘Abd Al-Malik. The conquest of Al-Andalus started on Ramadan 1, 91 AH [710 CE], when the Muslims, under the command of Tarif ibn Malik Al-Berberi, landed on its southern coast and conquered several port cities…
“Ramadan also saw the Muslim victory over the Byzantine state, in the Battle of Amorium, under the command of the ‘Abbasid Caliph Al-Mu’tasim. Heeding the cries of his Muslim brothers, he came to their help with a large army and punished the Byzantine state on Ramadan 19, 223 AH [838 CE]. On Ramadan 25, 658 AH [1260 CE] was the Battle of ‘Ain Jalout, led by Muzaffar Sayf Al-Din. Allah the Almighty granted the Muslims a decisive… victory that halted the spread of the Mongols and saved the Muslim civilization from perditionÔÇª
“Ramadan 10 went down in history as a day of victory not only for the Egyptians but for the entire Arab and Muslim nation, and it will remain forever etched in the memory of every Arab and Muslim. This was [the day of] the Egyptian army’s victory over the Israelis in the war of 1973. On October 6, 1973 was the Battle of Al-‘Ubour, in which the Egyptian army crossed the Suez Canal, and, with Allah’s help, re-took the Sinai Peninsula. Centuries before that, on Ramadan 10, 648 (December 10, 1250), the Muslims defeated Louis IX in the Battle of Al-Mansoura, killing and capturing many of his soldiers.
“The month of Ramadan has thus gone down in Muslim history as the month of conquest; the month in which Allah the Almighty wished to spread the light of Islam, its morality, and its values among all of mankind.”
Al-Azhar Lecturer Dr. Fuad Mukheimar: “Fasting Is A Continuous Commandment, Until Judgment DayÔÇª And The Same Is True For Jihad”
Egyptian cleric and Al-Azhar lecturer Dr. Fuad Mukheimar devoted an article to the topic of Ramadan in November 2001. In it, he clarified the connection between fasting and jihad: “Education for fasting has not been limited to preparing Muslims for battle and imbuing them with the meaning of soldiering, but also included waging a number of honorable battles during the month of Ramadan – to the point where this month came to be called ‘The Month of jihad.’ The nation of Islam came to be called ‘the jihad-fighting nation,’ and its moral values came to be called ‘the values of warfare’ÔÇª”
“Fasting is closely connected to jihad in two aspects: First, determination and steadfastness until The Hour [Judgment Day]. Fasting is a continuous commandment, until Judgment DayÔÇª and the same is true for jihad, because Muslim society needs it to defend [its] faith, honor, and homelandÔÇª The nation’s fasting is [itself] education for jihad, and as long as the nation fasts it will continue to be a jihad fighter.”
“Second, fasting and jihad are connected [to each other] in body, spirit, and soul. To this end, Allah has set some jihad battles for the month of fasting in order to gather together the army of AllahÔÇª”
Article On Muslim Brotherhood Website: “Transform The Month Of Fasting Into A Training Camp That Will Aid You In Jihad When The Time Comes”
In a September 2012 article published on the occasion of Ramadan on the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) website, MB member Hussein Shehata, a lecturer at Al-Azhar University, praised the jihad waged by Muslims against their enemies around the world: against the Jews – “the descendants of apes and pigs” – in Palestine, against the Americans in Iraq, against the Russians in Chechnya, and against the Muslims’ enemies in Kashmir, Bosnia, Eritrea, and Somalia. He also emphasized the similarity between one who fasts and one who wages jihad on the battlefield, and urged Muslims to “transform the month of fasting into a training camp that will aid [them] in jihad when the time comes.”
“Fasting [during Ramadan] is one of the most powerful means to educate the human spirit for jihad. Fasting involves a spiritual effort to act in a way contrary to what is accepted, and to completely abandon desires… It also schools the Muslim in patience, resilience, endurance, and sacrifice, which are all traits of the jihad fighter…
“Ramadan is the month of victory for those who wage jihad for Allah. Ramadan has seen the following battles, conquests, and victories: the great Battle of Badr [624 CE],… the conquest of Mecca [630 CE],… the Battle of Hattin , the Muslims’ entrance into Al-Andalus [Andalusia, 710 CE], the conquest of Constantinople by Muhammad the Conqueror [1453 CE], and the battle of ‘Ein Jalut [1260 CE], in which the Muslims defeated the Mongols…”
MB [Muslim Brotherhood] General Guide: “Allah Did Not Mandate [The Fast] Of Ramadan So That [We] Sit Idly And Avoid Jihad”
MB General Guide Muhammad Badi’ wrote on the movement’s website in August 2012: “Since [the Battle of Badr] and until today, the month of Ramadan has been a time of victories for the [Muslim] nation – [victories] which repeatedly confirmed that the [Muslim] nation has an essence in which its sons take pride and which is embedded in them; that the nation has power that emanates from its first [sovereign] state, which was established by Allah’s Messenger in Al-Medina and subsequently spread across the globe; and that the nation [consists of] peoples that feel its might and strength, for it is supported by the succor and providence of Allah even [when] its ranks are thin and its equipment meager. They draw their strength from their Maker, the Lord of all might, which he bestowed upon His Messenger and the believers.
“Allah the Almighty wanted the [Ramadan] fast to coincide with fighting, so that the Muslims would win and deal their enemies a crushing blow that the world would speak of… Allah did not mandate [the fast] of Ramadan so that [we] sit idly and avoid jihad, action, and da’wa for the sake of Allah. The fast is not intended to be an excuse to avoid one’s obligations at work or one’s social commitments. Rather, it is a month of action and movement, of conquests and victories – the month in which most of the defeats of the nation’s enemies occurred. Is this not [incentive] enough for us to shake off the dust of sloth, inaction, and apathy, and spin the wheel of life with all the power and might [that Allah] has bestowed upon us?
“The victories of the month of Ramadan are actually lessons for the Muslim peoples. They lifted [the Muslims’] spirit; maximized their ability to give, commit and improve; created a new reality in building the modern Islamic state; and gave rise to a generation of [people who are like] sturdy bricks – [people] who conquer their urges and can defend the nation, achieve its freedom, and restore its glory. The victories during the month of Ramadan are generally [achieved] only thanks to the help bestowed [by Allah] on humanity, [help] that has changed its history, improved its situation, and contributed to its advancement.
“In the nation’s most recent victory – in the ‘Ramadan 10′ War [i.e. the 1973 war between the Arabs and Israel] – the winds of Ramadan blew upon the Egyptian people, which consisted of [Muslim] soldiers, who fasted and prayed, and also their Christian partners and brothers, who joined them in sacrificing for the defense of justice, freedom, and the homeland, and even participated in the fast out of respect for [Muslim] feelings. This influenced the achievement of victory and the reserves of faith that preceded it and provided momentum for dedication and sacrifice.
“If we desire victory for our revolutionary peoples; stability in our assaulted homelands; an end to the inhuman slaughter of our brothers in Palestine, Syria, and Burma; and the rescue of the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Zionists’ attempts to destroy it and Judaize Jerusalem – we must rally around Allah, act in His name, persevere with His help, and put our trust in Him…
“This is the month of might and victory, in which the fasting believers defeat their own [urges], as well as their enemies. Allah decreed that the Islamic nation, throughout its long history, should [experience] momentous events during this holy month… This month saw the glorious conquest of Mecca, in which the Messenger of Allah, peace by upon him, stood at the entrance of the Ka’aba and said: ‘There is no God but Allah, who fulfilled His promise, granted victory to His servant, and defeated the [enemy] hosts by himself.’ This month is a month of war within one’s soul and struggle against one’s desires. The spirit is the greatest battlefield on which a fighter is trained [to fight] his enemies. If one vanquishes one’s urges, one can certainly vanquish others…
“The month of Ramadan was given to the nation so that we remember these victories, these meanings, and our duties: to commit to being God-fearing, to conquer the spirit, to unify our ranks, to turn only to Allah, [and to engage in] action, jihad, preparation, and training. This, so we can enjoy the victories of the month of Ramadan, which will not end until Judgment Day, with hope for the coming victory of our nation…” 
The list goes on if you have time. How many mosques and Islamic schools in the U.S. are teaching young Muslims and converts these truths about Islamic history and conquest?
Be sure that U.S. servicemen aren’t being taught the truth about Ramadan and what they are fighting against, quite the opposite.
Be prepared for another onslaught of media pandering and lies from Muslim groups regarding Islam over the next four weeks.