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Below are selections from Prof. Raphael Israeli's [Professor of
Islamic History, Hebrew University] translation of the Hamas
Charter published in "The 1988-1989 Annual on Terrorism", published
in 1990 by Kinwer Academic Publishers.
IMRA interviewed Prof. Israeli on March 26, 1996.
IMRA: What is the status of the Hamas Charter?
Israeli: The 36 article Charter of Hamas was apparently drafted by
some heads of Hamas and then announced to the public in 1988.
While the PLO Charter is a political document which can be amended,
the Hamas Charter is presented as a religious document, based on
the Koran and with many references to sacred texts, which cannot be
changed once it has been published.
IMRA: Who does the Hamas Charter apply to? The "political wing",
the "military wing" or all the wings?
Israeli: There are no "wings" to Hamas. They are all the same
organization. The talk of wings is just a game. The so-called
military wing cannot exist without the financial backing of the so-
called social-welfare wing.
THE HAMAS CHARTER
("Hamas" = "Harakat Muqawama Islamiyya", Islamic Resistance
Preamble:..."Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam
eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors."
The Imam and Martyr Hasan al-Banna
Introduction: "...This is the Charter of the Islamic Resistance
(Hamas) which will reveal its face, unveil its identity, state its
position, clarify its purpose, discuss its hopes, call for support
to its cause and reinforcement, and for joining its ranks. For our
struggle against the Jews is extremely wide ranging and grave, so
much so that it will need all the loyal efforts we can wield, to be
followed by further steps and reinforced by successive battalions
from the multifarious Arab and Islamic world, until the enemies are
defeated and Allah's victory prevails. Thus we shall perceive them
approaching in the horizon, and this will be known before long:
"Allah has decreed: Lo! I very shall conquer, I and my
messengers, lo! Allah is strong, almighty."
Sura 58 (Al-Mujadilah), verse 21.
Part I KNOWING THE MOVEMENT
Article One - THE IDEOLOGICAL ASPECT
The Islamic resistance movement draws its guidelines from Islam...
Article Two - THE LINK BETWEEN HAMAS AND THE ASSOCIATION OF MUSLIM
The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of the Muslim
Brothers in Palestine...
STRUCTURE AND ESSENCE
The basic structure of the Islamic Resistance Movement consists of
Muslims who are devoted to Allah and worship Him verily...
Article Four -
The Movement welcomes all Muslims who share its beliefs and
thinking, commit themselves to its course of action, keep its
secrets and aspire to join its ranks in order to carry out their
duty. Allah will reward them.
Article Five - DIMENSIONS OF TIME AND SPACE OF THE HAMAS
As the Movement adopts Islam as its way of life, its time dimension
extends back as far as the birth of the Islamic Message and of the
Righteous Ancestor. Its ultimate goal is Islam, the Prophet its
model, the Quran its Constitution. Its spacial dimension extends
wherever on earth there are Muslims, who adopt Islam as their way
Article Six - PECULIARITY AND INDEPENDENCE
The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinct Palestinian Movement
which owes its loyalty to Allah...
Article Seven - THE UNIVERSALITY OF HAMAS
By virtue of the distribution of Muslims, who pursue the cause of
the Hamas, all over the globe, and strive for its victory, for the
enforcement of its positions and for the encouragement of its
Jihad, the Movement is a universal one...Whoever denigrates its
worth, or avoids supporting it, or is so blind as to dismiss its
role, is challenging Fate itself. Whoever closes his eyes from
seeing the facts, whether intentionally or not, will wake up to
find himself overtaken by events, and will find no excuses to
justify his position...
Hamas is one of the links in the Chain of Jihad in the
confrontation with the Zionist invasion. It links up with the
setting out of the Martyr Izz a-din al-Qassam and his brothers in
the Muslim Brotherhood who fought the Holy War in 1936; it further
relates to another link of the Palestinian Jihad and the Jihad and
efforts of the Muslim Brothers during the 1948 War, and to the
Jihad operations of the Muslim Brothers in 1968 and thereafter...
...Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah's promise
whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon
"The time will not come until Muslims will fight
the Jews (and kill them; until the Jews hide behind
rocks and trees, which cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew
hiding behind me, come on and kill him!
Cited by Bukhari and Muslim"
Article Eight - THE SLOGAN OF THE HAMAS
Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Quran its
Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah it
most sublime belief.
Part II OBJECTIVES
MOTIVES AND OBJECTIVES
...The state of truth has disappeared and was replaced by the state
of evil. Nothing has remained in its right place, for when Islam
is removed from the scene, everything changes. These are the
As to the objectives: discarding the evil, crushing it and
defeating it, so that truth may prevail homelands revert (to their
owners), calls for prayer be heard from their mosques, announcing
the restitution of the Muslim state. Thus, people and things will
revert to their true place. Allah is the one whose hold we see.
The Islamic Resistance Movement, while breaking its own path, will
do its utmost to constitute at the same time a support to the weak,
a defense to all the oppressed. It will spare no effort to
implement the truth and abolish evil, in speech and in fact, both
here and in any other location where it can reach out and exert
Part III STRATEGIES AND METHODS
THE STRATEGY OF HAMAS: PALESTINE IS AN ISLAMIC WAQF
The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine
has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the
Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or
abandon it or part of it. No Arab country nor the aggregate of all
Arab countries, and no Arab King or President nor all of them in
the aggregate, have the right, nor has that right any organization
or the aggregate of all organizations , be they Palestinian or
Arab, because Palestine is an Islamic Waqf throughout all
generations and to the Day of Resurrection.
Who can presume to
speak for all Islamic generations to the Day of Resurrection? This
is the status (of the land) in Islamic Shari'a, and it is similar
to all lands conquered by Islam by force, and made thereby Waqf
lands upon their conquest, for all generations of Muslims until the
Day of Resurrection. This (norm) has prevailed since the commander
of the Muslim armies completed the conquest of Syria and Iraq , and
they asked the Caliph of Muslims, Umar Ibn al-Khattab, for his view
of the conquered land, whether it should be partitioned between the
troops or left in the possession of its population, or otherwise.
Following the discussions and consultations between the Caliph of
Islam, Umar Ibn al-Khattab, and the Companions of the Messenger of
Allah, be peace and prayer upon him, they decided that the land
should remain in the hands of its owners to benefit from it and
from its wealth; but the control of the land and the land itself
ought to be endowed as a Waqf (in perpetuity) for all generations
of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection. The ownership of the
land by its owners is only one of usufruct, and the Waqf will
endure as long as Heaven and earth last. Any demarche in violation
of this law of Islam, with regard to Palestine, is baseless and
reflects on its perpetrators.
Article Twelve HAMAS IN PALESTINE: ITS VIEWS ON HOMELAND AND
Hamas regards Nationalism (Wataniyya) as part and parcel of the
religious faith. Nothing is loftier or deeper in Nationalism than
waging Jihad against the enemy and confronting him when he set foot
on the land of the Muslims. And this becomes an individual duty
binding on every Muslim man and woman; a woman must go out and
fight the enemy even without her husband's authorization, and a
slave without his master's permission....
Article Thirteen PEACEFUL SOLUTIONS (PEACE) INITIATIVES AND
(Peace) Initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the
international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are
all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement.
For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the
religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is
part of this faith, the movement educates it members to adhere to
its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland
as they fight their Jihad: "Allah is the all-powerful, but most
people are not aware."
From time to time a clamouring is voiced, to hold an International
Conference in search for a solution to the problem. Some accept
the idea, others reject it, for one reason or another, demanding
the implementation of this or that conditions, as a prerequisite
for agreeing to convene the Conference or for participating in it.
But the Islamic Resistance Movement, which is aware of the
(prospective) parties to this conference, and of their past and
present positions towards the problems of the Muslims, does not
believe that those conference are capable of responding to demands,
or of restoring rights or doing justice to the oppressed. Those
conferences are no more than a means to appoint the nonbelievers as
arbitrators in the lands of Islam. Since when did Unbelievers do
justice to Believers?
"And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor with
Christians, till thou follow their creed. 'Say: Lo! the
guidance of Allah (himself) is the Guidance. And if you
should follow their desires after the knowledge which has
come unto thee, then you would have from Allah no
protecting friend nor helper."
There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad.
The initiative, proposals and International Conferences are but a
waste of time, an exercise in futility. The Palestinian people are
too noble to have their future, their right and their destiny
submitted to a vain game...
Sura 2 (the Cow) verse 120.
Article Fourteen - THE THREE CIRCLES
The problem of the liberation of Palestine relates to three
circles: the Palestinian, the Arab and the Islamic.
...the liberation of that land is an individual duty binding on all
Article Fifteen THE JIHAD FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE IS AN
When our enemies usurp some Islamic lands, Jihad becomes a duty
binding on all Muslims. In order to face the usurpation of
Palestine by Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of
Jihad...We must spread the spirit of Jihad among the (Islamic)
Umma, clash with the enemies and join the ranks of the Jihad
The ulama as well as educations and teachers, publicity and media
men as well as the masses of the educated, and especially the youth
and the elders of the Islamic Movements, must participate in this
raising of consciousness...We must imprint on the minds of
generations of Muslims that the Palestinian problem is a religious
one, to be dealt with on this premise...
Article Sixteen EDUCATING THE (YOUNG) GENERATION
...it is also necessary to study conscientiously the enemy and its
material and human potential; to detect its weak and strong spots..
THE ROLE OF MUSLIM WOMEN
The Muslim women have a no lesser role than that of men in the war
The women in the house and the family of Jihad fighters, whether
they are mothers or sisters, carry out the most important duty of
caring for the home and raising the children upon the moral
concepts and values which derive from Islam; and of educating their
sons to observe the religious injunctions in preparation for the
duty of Jihad awaiting them...
Article Nineteen THE ROLE OF ISLAMIC ART IN THE WAR OF LIBERATION
...It is Islamic art which renews the activity, revives the
movement and arouses lofty concepts and sound planning...
...The Nazism of the Jews does not skip women and children, it
scars everyone...As we face this misconduct, we have no escape from
establishing social solidarity among the people, from confronting
the enemy as one solid body, so that if one organ is hurt the rest
of the body will respond with alertness and fervor...
Article Twenty One
...It is incumbent upon the members of the Hamas to look after the
interests of the masses the way they look after their own
Article Twenty Two THE POWERS WHICH SUPPORT THE ENEMY
The enemies...stood behind World War II, where they collected
immense benefits from trading with war materials, and prepared for
the establishment of their state...The forces of Imperialism in
both the Capitalist West and the Communist East support the enemy
with all their might, in material and human terms, taking turns
Part IV OUR POSITION VIS-A-VIS THE ISLAMIC MOVEMENTS
Article Twenty Three
The Hamas views the other Islamic movements with respect and
appreciation. Even when it differs from them in one aspect or
another or on one concept or another, it agrees with them in other
aspects and concepts...
Article Twenty Four
Hamas will not permit the slandering and defamation of individuals
and groups, for the Believers are not slanderers and
cursers...Whenever the Hamas detects faulty positions and modes of
conduct, it has the right to point to the mistake, to denigrate it,
to act for spelling out the truth...
THE NATIONAL (WATANIYYA) MOVEMENTS IN THE PALESTINIAN ARENA
Article Twenty Five
...All the nationalist streams operating in the Palestinian arena
for the sake of the liberation of Palestine may rest assured that
they will definitely and resolutely get support and assistance, in
speech and in action...
Article Twenty Six
The Hamas, while it views positively the Palestinian National
Movements which do not owe their loyalty to the East or to the
West, does not refrain from debating unfolding events regarding the
Palestinian problem, on the local and international scenes...
Article Twenty Seven THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION
The PLO is among the closest to the Hamas, for it constitutes a
father, a brother, a relative a friend...the PLO has adopted the
idea of a Secular State...Therefore, in spite of our appreciation
for the PLO and its possible transformation in the future, and
despite the fact that we do not denigrate its role in the Arab-
Israeli conflict, we cannot substitute it for the Islamic nature of
Palestine by adopting secular thought. For the Islamic nature of
Palestine is part of our religion, and anyone who neglects his
religion is bound to lose.
"And who forsakes the religion of Abraham, save him who
When the PLO adopts Islam as the guideline for life, then we shall
become its soldiers, the fuel of its fire which will burn the
enemies. And until that happens, and we pray to Allah that it will
happen soon, the position of the Hamas towards the PLO is one of a
son towards his father...
SuraII (Al-Baqra - the Co), verse 130
Article Twenty Eight THE ARAB AND ISLAMIC STATES AND GOVERNMENTS
...The Arab states surrounding Israel are required to open their
borders to the Jihad fighters, the sons of the Arab and Islamic
peoples, to enable them to play their role and to join their
efforts to those of their brothers among the Muslim Brothers in
NATIONAL AND RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATIONS, INSTITUTIONS, THE
INTELLIGENTSIA, AND THE ARAB AND ISLAMIC WORLDS
Article Twenty Nine
Hamas hopes that those Associations will...mobilize the Islamic
peoples ideologically, educationally and culturally in order to
fulfill their role in the crucial war of liberation...
...Jihad means not only carrying arms and denigrating the enemies.
Uttering positive words, writing good articles and useful books,
and lending support and assistance, all that too is Jihad in the
path of Allah, as long as intentions are sincere to make Allah's
"Those who prepare for a raid in the path of Allah are
considered as if they participated themselves in the raid.
Those who successfully rear a raider in their home, are
considered as if they participated in the raid"
(Told by Buykhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)
Article Thirty One THE MEMBERS OF OTHER RELIGIONS, THE HAMAS IS A
...Under the shadow of Islam it is possible for the members of the
three religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism to coexist in
safety and security. Safety and security can only prevail under
the shadow of Islam...
...The Nazi Zionist practices against our people will not last the
lifetime of their invasion, for "States built upon oppression last
only one hour, states based upon justice will last until the hour
THE ATTEMPTS TO ISOLATE THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
Article Thirty Two
World Zionism and Imperialist forces have been attempting, with
smart moves, and considered planning, to push the Arab countries,
one after another, out of the circle of conflict with Zionism in
order, ultimately, to isolate the Palestinian People...
Hamas is calling upon the Arab and Islamic peoples to act seriously
and tirelessly in order to frustrate that dreadful scheme and to
make the masses aware of the danger of coping out of the circle of
struggle with Zionism. Today it is Palestine and tomorrow it may
be another country or countries. For Zionist scheming has no end,
and after Palestine they will covet expansion from the Nile to the
Euphrates. Only when they have completed digesting the area on
which they will have laid their hand, they will look forward to
more expansion, etc. Their scheme has been laid out in the
Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present (conduct) is the
best proof of what is said there.
Leaving the circle of conflict with Israel is a major act of
treason and it will bring curse on its perpetrators.
"Who so on that day turns his back to them, unless
manoeuvering for battle or intent to join a company
he truly has incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation
will be hell, a hapless journey's end."
We have no escape from pooling together all the forces and energies
to face this despicable Nazi-Tatar invasion. Otherwise we shall
witness the loss of (our) countries, the uprooting of their
inhabitants, the spreading of corruption on earth and destruction
of all religious values. Let everyone realize that he is
accountable to Allah...
Sura 8 (Al-Anfal - spoils of war), verse 16.
Within the circle of the conflict with world Zionism, the Hamas
regards itself the spearhead and the avant-garde. It joins its
efforts to all those who are active on the Palestinian scene, but
more steps need to be taken by the Arab and Islamic people and
Islamic associations throughout the Arab and Islamic world in
order to make possible the next round with the Jews, the merchants
Article Thirty Three
...calling upon the Arab and Islamic peoples as well as their
governments, popular and official associations, to fear Allah in
their attitude towards and dealing with Hamas...
Part Five THE TESTIMONY OF HISTORY
CONFRONTING AGGRESSORS THROUGHOUT HISTORY
>Article Thirty Four
Palestine is the navel of earth, the convergence of continents,
the object of greed for the greedy since the dawn of history...
....Only iron can blunt iron, only the true faith of Islam can
vanquish their false and falsified faith. Faith can only be fought
Article Thirty Five
...the current Zionist invasion had been preceded by a Crusader
invasion from the West; and another one, the Tatars, from the East.
And exactly as the Muslims had faced those invasions and planned
their removal and defeat, they are able to face the Zionist
invasion and defeat it...
THE HAMAS ARE SOLDIERS
Article Thirty Six
The Hamas....does not seek fame for itself nor material gains, or
social status. Nor is it directed against any one member of our
people in order to compete with him or replace him....It will never
set out against any Muslims or against the non-Muslims who make
peace with it, here or anywhere else. It will only be of help to
all associations and organizations which act against the Zionist
enemy and those who revolve in its orbit...
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