Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Onrush of Juramentados

The decline of the sultanate, its inability to provide centralized and effective defense of the state and religion, paved the way for the emergence of another form of resistance. The task became a matter of individual obligation. This practice was what hostile writers called the juramentado.
The term juramentado was derived from the Spanish verb juramentar, meaning "to swear an oath." It was sarcastically used by the Spaniards and their hirelings to refer to anyone committing suicide or running amuck. Others presented the image of a rushing Moro warrior with shaven hair, fiery eyes and plucked eyebrows, brandishing kris or kampilan to attack infidels until he was slain.
Actually this greatly maligned juramentado was a person who had chosen to fight in the Way of Allah in his individual capacity since, as stated above, the sultanate had ceased to put up an organized resistance against the Spaniards. He was what in the Moro viewpoint was called Sabilillah. The juramentado, after some initiation rituals and proper prayers and the resolve to die for the cause, acted out his part as a sacred duty and when he died in the course of his attack, he became shahid or "martyr" with paradise as his ultimate reward. As with any real Muslim warrior, the juramentado loved martyrdom more than life.
Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, Chapter Ill, verse 103, to those who fight in His path:
Think not of those who are slam in God's way as dead. Nay, they live finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; they rejoice in the bounty of God.
Speaking on this matter, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him!) said in one of his traditions:
In the last day wounds of those who have been wounded in the Way of Allah will be evident, and will drip with blood, but their smell will be perfume of musk.
The fire of Hell shall not touch the legs of him who shall be covered with the dust of battle in the road of God.
The Juramentado was the exact opposite of running amuck or Committing suicide. The juramentado was a volunteer of conscience, with a strong will to fight - and to die - and was rightly guided by the Islamic requirements to strive in the Way of Allah. It is a conscious undertaking and the one committing himself to the task had full certainty of the Almighty's promise of eternal bliss in paradise. In suicide or in running amuck, one becomes senseless and falls into a trance or into the trap of Satan. It is an almost unconscious action resulting from hopelessness. If hostile writers likened the juramentado to the second category, then they not only committed a grave offense against him and Islam but also against the rules of good scholarship

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