The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas: From the MEMRI Archives
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. 
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.
 Islamonline, http://www.islamonline.net/Arabic/doc/2004/03/article11.SHTML . This link was active at the time of original publication.
 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.Source: http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/5319.htm.
MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute)
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