There's a remarkable "review essay" in the most recent issue of Parameters, the US Army War College journal. It's a review of Quranic Concept of War, a book written by Pakistani General S.K. Malik, and published in 1979. Unfortunately, the book is only available through major library institutions.
Drawing from primary source material, the review is remarkable because it is one of the first honest assessments (in open source) of enemy thinking on war, including this remarkable passage:
Malik identifies the center of gravity in war as the “human heart, [man’s] soul, spirit, and Faith.” Note that Faith is capitalized, meaning more than simple moral courage or fortitude. Faith in this sense is in the domain of religious and spiritual faith; this is the center of gravity in war. The main weapon against this Islamic concept of center of gravity is “the strength of our own souls . . . [keeping] terror away from our own hearts.” In terms of achieving decisive and direct decisions preparing for this type of battlefield first requires “creating a wholesome respect for our Cause”—the cause of Islam. This “respect” must be seeded in advance of war and conflict in the minds of the enemies. Malik then introduces the informational, psychological, or perception management concepts of warfare. Echoing Sun Tzu, he states, that if properly prepared, the “war of muscle,” the physical war, will already be won by “the war of will.”55 “Respect” therefore is achieved psychologically by, as Brohi suggested earlier, “beautiful” and “handsome ways” or by the strategic application of terror.
When examining the theme of the preparatory stage of war, Malik talks of the “war of preparation being waged . . . in peace,” meaning that peacetime preparatory activities are in fact part of any war and “vastly more important than the active war.” This statement should not be taken lightly, it essentially means that Islam is in a perpetual state of war while peace can only be defined as the absence of active war. Malik argues that peace-time training efforts should be oriented on the active war(s) to come, in order to develop the Quranic and divine “Will” in the mujahid. When armies and soldiers find limited physical resources they should continue and emphasize the development of the “spiritual resources” as these are complimentary factors and create synergy for future military action.
Malik’s most controversial dictum is summarized in the following manner: in war, “the point where the means and the end meet” is in terror. He formulates terror as an objective principal of war; once terror is achieved the enemy reaches his culminating point. “Terror is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose . . . .” Malik’s divine principal of Islamic warfare may be restated as “strike terror; never feel terror.” The ultimate objective of this form of warfare “revolves around the human heart, [the enemies] soul, spirit, and Faith.”56 Terror “can be instilled only if the opponent’s Faith is destroyed . . . . It is essential in the ultimate analysis, to dislocate [the enemies] Faith.” Those who are firm in their religious conviction are immune to terror, “a weak Faith offers inroads to terror.” Therefore, as part of preparations for jihad, actions will be oriented on weakening the non-Islamic’s “Faith,” while strengthening the Islamic’s. What that weakening or “dislocation” entails in practice remains ambiguous. Malik concludes, “Psychological dislocation is temporary; spiritual dislocation is permanent.” The soul of man can only be touched by terror.57