Before we embark upon discussion of Jihad and its various aspects, let us have a glance through some of the relevant verses of the Qur’an, the revealed book of Islam, and the Ahadith of Muhammad (PBUH), the Prophet of Islam.
The Verses of the Qur’an :
1. Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them, out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than salughter. And fight not with them at the inviolable place of worship until they first attack you there but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving Merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers. The forbidden month for the forbidden month, and forbidden things in retaliation. And one who attacketh you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who ward off (evil).
-----2:Al-Baqarah : 190-194
2. Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth ye know not. They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: warfare therein is a great (transgression), but to turn (men) from the way of Allah and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable place of worship, and to expel his people thence, is greater with Allah; for persecution is worse than killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can. And whoso becometh a renegade and dieth in his disbelief: such are they whose works have fallen both in the world and the Hereafter. Such are rightful owners of the Fire: they will abide therein.
-----2: Al-Baqarah : 216-217
3. Fight in the way of Allah, and know that Allah is Hearer, knower.
-----2: Al-Baqarah : 244
4. And when Saul set out with the army, he said: Lo! Allah will try you by (the ordeal of) a river. Whosoever, therefore, drinketh thereof he is not of me, and whosoever tasteth it not he is of me, save him who taketh (thereof) in the hollow of his hand. Butt they drank thereof, all save a few of them. And after he had crossed (the river), he and those who believed with him, said: we have no power this day against Goliath and his hosts. But those who knew that they would meet their Lord exclaimed: How many a little company hath overcome a mighty host by Allah’s leave! Allah is with the steadfast. And when they went into the field against Goliath and his hosts they said: Our Lord! Bestow on us endurance, make our foothold sure, and give us help against the disbelieving folk.
-----2: Al-Baqarah : 249-250
5. O ye who believe! Take your precautions, then advance the proven ones, or advance all together.
-----4: An-Nisa : 71
6. So fight (O Muhammad) in the way of Allah – Thou art not taxed (with the responsibility for anyone) except for thyself-and urge on the believers. Peradventure Allah will restrain the might of those who disbelieve. Allah is stronger in might and stronger in inflicting punishment. Whoso interveneth in a good cause will have the reward thereof, and whoso interveneth in an evil cause will bear the consequence thereof. Allah overseeth all things.
-----4: An-Nisa : 84-85
7. Except those who seek refuge with a people between whom and you there is a covenant, or (those who) come unto you because their hearts forbid them to make war on you or make war on their own folk. Had Allah willed He could have given them power over you so that assuredly they would have fought you so, if they hold aloof from you and wage not war against you and offer you peace, Allah alloweth you no way against them. Ye will find others who desire that they should have security from you, and security from their own folk. So often as they are returned to hostility they are plunged therein. If they keep not aloof from you nor offer you peace nor hold their hands, then take them and kill them wherever ye find them. Against such we have given you clear warrant.
-----4: An-Nisa : 90-91
8. O ye who believe! When ye go forth (to fight) in the way of Allah, be careful to discriminate, and say not unto one who offereth you peace: “Thou art not a believer,” seeking the chance profits of this life (so that ye may despoil him). With Allah are plenteous spoils. Even thus (as he now is) were ye before; but Allah hath since then been gracious unto you. Therefore, take care to discriminate. Allah is ever informed of what ye do.
-----4: An-Nisa : 94
9. Relent not in pursuit of the enemy. If ye are suffering, lo! They suffer even as ye suffer and ye hope from Allah that for which they cannot hope. Allah is ever Knower, Wise.
-----4: An-Nisa : 104
10. O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless manoeuvring for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be Hell, a hapless journey’s end.
-----8: Al-Anfal : 15-16
11. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do. And if they turn away, then know that Allah is your Befriender-a transcendent Patron, a transcendent Helper!
-----8: Al-Anfal : 39-40
12. O ye who believe! When ye meet an army, hold firm and think of Allah much, that ye may be successful. And obey Allah and His messenger, and dispute not one with another lest ye falter and your strength depart from you; but be steadfast Lo! Allah is with the steadfast. Be not as those who came forth from their dwellings boastfully and to be seen of men, and debar (men) from the way of Allah, while Allah is surrounding all they do.
-----8: Al-Anfal : 45-47
13. Those of them with whom thou maddest a treaty, and then at every opportunity they break their treaty, and they keep not duty (to Allah). If thou comets on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember. And if thou fearest treachery from any folk, then throw back to them (their treaty) fairly. Lo! Allah loveth not the treacherous.
-----8:Al-Anfal : 56-58
14. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom ye know not. Allah knoweth them. Whatsoever ye spend in the way of Allah it will be repaid to you in full, and ye will not be wronged. And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Lo! He is the Hearer, the Knower. And if they would deceive thee, then lo! Allah is sufficient for thee. He it is Who supporteth thee with His help and with the believers.
-----8:Al-Anfal : 60-62
15. O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty steadfast they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a hundred steadfast they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbeliveers) are a folk without intelligence. Now hath Allah lightened your burden, for He knoweth that there is weakness in you. So if there be of you a steadfast hundred they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a thousand steadfast they shall overcome two thousand by permission of Allah. Allah is with the steadfast.
-----8:Al-Anfal : 65-66
16. Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And if anyone of the idolaters seeketh thy protection (O Muhammad), then protect him so that he may hear the word of Allah, and afterward convey him to his place of safety. That is because they are a folk who know not.
-----9:At-Taubah : 5-6
17. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then are they your brethren in religion. We detail Our revelations for a people who have knowledge. And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief-Lo! They have no binding oaths-in order that they may desist. Will ye not fight a folk who broke their solemn pledges, and purposed to drive out the messenger and did attack you first? What! Fear ye them? Now Allah hath more right that ye should fear Him, if ye are believers. Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your hands, and He will lay them low and give you victory over them, and He will heal the breasts of folk who are believers.
-----9:At-Taubah : 11-14
18. Say : If your fathers, and your sons, and your brethren, and your wives, and your tribe, and the wealth ye have acquired, and merchandise for which ye fear that there will be no sale, and dwellings ye desire are dearer to you than Allah and His messenger and striving in His way: then wait till Allah bringeth His command to pass. Allah guideth not wrong doing folk.
-----9:At-Taubah : 24
19. Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.
-----9:At-Taubah : 29
20. Lo! the number of the months with Allah is twelve months by Allah’s ordinance on the day that He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred: that is the right religion. So wrong not yourselves in them. And wage war on all of the idolaters as they are waging war on all of you. And know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him.). Postponement (of a sacred month) is only an excess of disbelief whereby those who disbelieve are misled; they allow it one year and forbid it (another) year, that they may make up the number of the months which Allah hath hallowed, so that they allow that which Allah hath forbidden. The evil of their deeds is made fair-seeming unto them. Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk.
-----9:At-Taubah : 36-37
21. O ye who believe! What aileth you that when it is said unto you: Go forth in the way of Allah, ye are bowed down to the ground with heaviness. Take ye pleasure in the life of the world rather than in the Hereafter? The comfort of the life of the world is but little than in the Hereafter. If ye go not forth He will afflict you with a painful doom, and will choose instead of you a folk other than you. Ye cannot harm Him at all. Allah is Able to do all things.
-----9:At-Taubah : 38-39
22. Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! That is best for you if ye but knew.
-----9:At-Taubah : 41
23. O Prophet! Strive against the disbeliveers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is Hell, a hapless journey’s end.
-----9:At-Taubah : 73
24. And when a surah is revealed (which saith) : Believe in Allah and strive along with His messenger, the men of wealth among them still ask leave of thee and say: Suffer us to be with those who sit (at home). They are content that they should be with the useless and their hearts are sealed, so that they apprehend not.
-----9:At-Taubah : 86-87
25. The road (of blame) is only against those who ask for leave of thee (to stay at home) when they are rich. They are content to be with the useless. Allah hath sealed their hearts so that they know not.
-----9:At-Taubah : 93
26. O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him)
-----9:At-Taubah : 123
27. Sanction is given unto those who fight because they have been wronged; and Allah is indeed able to give them victory.
28. Therefore listen not to the unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness, with the (Qur’an).
25:Al-Furqan : 52
29. Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, rendereth not their actions vain.
-----47:Muhammad : 4
30. And verily We shall try you till We know those of you who strive hard (for the cause of Allah) and the steadfast, and till We test your record.
-----47:Muhammad : 31
31. So do not falter and cry out for peace when ye (will be) the uppermost, and Allah is with you, and He will not grudge (the reward of) your actions.
-----47:Muhammad : 35
32. And if two parties of believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them. And if one party of them doeth wrong to the other, fight ye that which doeth wrong till it return unto the ordinance of Allah; then, if it return, make peace between them justly, and act equitably. Lo! Allah loveth the equitable.
-----49:Al-Hujurat : 9
33. The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere.
-----49:Al-Hujurat : 15
34. Allah forbiddeth you only those who warred against you on account of religion and have driven you out from your homes and helped to drive you out, that ye make friends of them. Whosoever maketh friends of them (All) such are wrong-doers.
-----60:Al-Mumtahanah : 9
35. Lo! Allah loveth those who battle for His cause in ranks, as if they were a solid structure.
-----61:As-Saff : 4
36. O ye who believe! Shall I show you a commerce that will save you from a painful doom? Ye should believe in Allah and His messenger, and should strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if ye did but know.
-----61:As-Saff : 10-11
37. O Prophet! Strive against the disbeliveers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey’s end.
-----66:At-Tahrim : 9
Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) :
1. Salman, the Persian, reported : I heard the Messenger of Allah say: Guarding for a day and a night in the way of Allah is better than fasting for a month and praying it. If he dies, his action which he used to do would continue for him and he will be rewarded with sustenance and he will be safe from mischief.
2. Abdullah-b-Amr reported that the Holy Prophet said: Fighting in the way of Allah atones for every thing except debt.
3. Abdullah-b-Hubshi reported that the Prophet was asked: Which of the action is best? He said: Prolonged standing (in prayer). He was questioned: Which charity is best? He said: Strivings of a man of small means. He was questioned: Which migration is best? He said: He who flees away from what Allah has prohibited him. He was questioned: Which Jihad is best? He said: He who fights with the polytheists with his property and his life.
4. Abu Musa reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Verily the doors of Paradise are under the shades of swords.
5. Sahl-b-Sa’ad reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Guarding for a day in the way of Allah is better than the world and what is therein.
6. Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: To go out at morn in the way of Allah or to go out at dusk is better than the world and what is therein.
7. Abi Abs reported that the Messenger of Allah said: No feet of a servant are covered with dust in the way of Allah to touch Hell-fire.
8. Ali, Abu Darda’a, Abu Hurairah, Abu Omamah, Abdullah-b-Umar, Jaber-b-Abdullah, Imran-b-Hussain (Allah be pleased with them all) all reported from the Messenger of Allah that he said: Whoso sends contribution in the way of Allah and stays at his house, he will get 700 dirhams for every dirham, and whoso fights with his ownself in the way of Allah and spends for that cause, he will get 70,000 dirhams for every dirham. Afterwards he recited the verse: And Allah multiplies for whom He pleases,
9. Zaid-b-Khalid reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoso supplies a warrior with arms in the way of Allah fights indeed a holy fight; and whoso keeps behind a warrior in charge of his family fights indeed a holy fight.
10. Abu Mas’ud-al-Ansari reported that a man came with a she-camel tied through the nose, and said: This is in the way of Allah. The Messenger of Allah said. There will be for you in exchange of it on the Resurrection Day 700 she-camels, each of them tied up through the nose.
11. Jaber-b-Samorah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: This religion will never cease to exist. A party of the Muslims shall always fight for it till the Hour comes to pass.
12. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoso dies without fighting (holy war) and without consulting himself about it dies on a branch of hypocrisy.
13. Abu Musa reported that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and enquired: A man fights for booty, a man fights for fame, and a man fights that his position may be known – who then (fights) in the way of Allah? He said: Whoso fights to raise highest thereby the word of Allah, is in the way of Allah.
14. Abdullah-b-Amr reported that a man came to the Prophet and asked his permission to join the Jihad. He asked: Are your parents alive? ‘Yes’ said he. ‘He said: Then make Jihad for them. Agreed upon it. And in a narration: Return then to your parents, and make good your company with them.
15. Imran-b-Hussain reported that the Messenger of Allah said: A party of my companions will not cease to fight for truth gaining victory over those who oppose them, till the last of them kills Anti-Christ.
16. Abu Omamah reported from the Holy Prophet who said: Whoso fights no Jihad, nor does he supply arms to a warrior, nor does he keep behind a warrior in charge of his family with fairness, Allah will afflict him with a calamity before the Resurrection Day.
17. Anas reported from the Holy Prophet who said: Fight against the polytheists with your properties, your lives and your tongues.
-----(Abu Daud, Nisai, Darimi)
18. Abu Hurairah reported: Whoso meets Allah without any wound of Jihad, meets Allah with defect in him.
-----(Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)
19. Khuzaim-b-Fatek reported that the Prophet said: Whoso incurs an expenditure in the way of Allah, there is written for him (rewards) 700 times.
20. Abu Omamah reported that the Messenger of Allah said; The best of charities is the shade of a tent in way of Allah, wages of a servant in the way of Allah, or galloping of a mare in the way of Allah.
21. Osman reported from the Messenger of Allah who said: Guarding for one day in the way of Allah is better in rank than one thousand days of what is besides it.
22. Omme-Haram reported from the Prophet who said: The sojourner in the sea whom vomiting afflicts has got the reward of a martyr, and a drowned man has got the reward of two martyrs.
23. Abdullah bin Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah said: For a Gazi, there is his reward: and for one who gives property to a Gazi, there is his reward and the reward of a Gazi.
24. Abdullah-b-Amr reported that he asked: O Messenger of Allah! Inform me about Jihad. He said: O Abdullah-b-Amr! If you fight patiently and hoping for reward, Allah will resurrect you as patient, hopeful of reward; and if you fight for show and vanity, Allah will resurrect you with your show and vanity. O Abdullah-b-Amr! in whatever condition you fight or are killed, Allah will resurrect you upon that condition.
25. Abu Omamah reported from the Holy Prophet who said: Nothing is dearer to Allah than two drops and two marks: One drop of tears out of fear of Allah and one drop of blood shed in the way of Allah; and as for the two marks, one mark in the way of Allah, and another mark in (discharge of) an obligatory duty of the obligatory duties of the Almighty Allah.
-----Tirmizi (Approved, Rare)
26. Obadah-b-Swamet reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoso fights in the way of Allah and does not wish but for a fetter, there is for him what he has intended.
27. Abu Sayeed reported that the Apostle of Allah said: Whoso is pleased with Allah as sustainer and with Islam as religion and with Muhammad as an apostle, Paradise becomes sure for him. Abu Sayeed was astonished at this and said: O Messenger of Allah! Repeat it to me. So he repeated it to him. Afterwards he said: And there is another thing for which Allah raises up a servant to one hundred ranks in Paradise. The difference between every two ranks is as the difference between heaven and earth. He asked: O Apostle of Allah! What is it? He said: Jihad in the way of Allah, Jihad in the way of Allah, Jihad in the way of Allah.
28. Abu Omamah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The best charity is that of a camp in the way of Allah, and the labour of a servant in the way of Allah, and gallopping of a mare in the way of Allah.
29. Khuraim-b-Fatek reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoso incurs an expenditure in the way of Allah, there is written for him 700 merits.
30. Abdullah-b-Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: As for the fire, none but Allah shall punish therewith.
31. Abu Sayeed al-Khodri reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Verily the believers in the world are upon three classes-those who believe in Allah and His Apostle and then do not entertain doubt and fight with their properties and lives in the way of Allah, one in whom people feel secure regarding their properties and lives; and then one who, when he is about to fall in temptation, gives it up for the Almighty and Glorious Allah.
32. Abu Omamah reported: We came out with the Messenger of Allah with an army. A man passed by a cave wherein there was water and green vegetables. He mused within himself to station himself there and keep segregated from this world. Then he sought permission of the Messenger of Allah for that. The Holy Prophet said: Verily I have not been sent with Judaism or Christianity, but I have been raised up with the catholic upright religion. And by one in whose Hand there is the life of Muhammad, certainly march in the morning or evening in the way of Allah is better than this world and what is therein, and certainly the place of someone of you in the rank (of army) is better than his prayer for 60 years.
33. Ibn A’yez reported that the Messenger of Allah came out for funeral prayer of a man. When he was placed, Omar-b-al-Khattab said: O Messenger of Allah, don’t pray for him, as he was a transgressing person. Then the Holy Prophet looked towards the people and asked: Has anybody among you seen him in any action of Islam? ‘Yes’ reported a man, ‘O Messenger of Allah, He was a guard for one night in the way of Allah. Then the Messenger of Allah led prayer over him and scattered dust over him.
The Arabic word Jihad is derived from the verb Jihada which means ‘he exerted’. Another derivative of the word is Jahadun meaning ‘exertion’ or ‘striving’. So, literally Jihad means exertion, striving or struggle. It means to exert one’s utmost or to make effort or struggle for the achievement of one’s aim or objective. In order to achieve an objective, Jihad can be waged through various means such as through the use of physical force or with the help of one’s tongue or with the help of one’s wealth. The Holy Qur’an has used word Jihad in various ways: “And whosoever striveth, striveth only for himself, for lo! Allah is altogether Independent of (His) creatures”—(29:6) : “And for those who strive in us, We surely guide them to our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good”—(29:69): “And strive for Allah with the endeavour which is His right…..” (22:78) : “Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities…..” (2 : 190) : “Go forth, light armed and heavy armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah…..” (9 : 41) “Therefor listen not to the unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness, with the (Qur’an)”–(25:52). Thus the word Jihad has been used by the Qur’an to signify different meanings in different situations, right from earning of livelihood to fighting against the enemy. But the keynote remains the same i.e. the exertion or striving undertaken to achieve an objective. In this way Jihad has a wider meaning than war because it includes every sort of effort—physical or non-physical, mental or spiritual, martial or non-martial–made in the way of Allah or for a just cause.
Jihad generally means, however, a war undertaken by the followers of Islam for a just cause or for defence of Islam and Islamic State or for cause of Allah. Al-Kasaniy, a Muslim jurist of middle ages has defined jihad or the war of Muslims in these words: “Jihad in the technology of law is used for expending ability and power in fighting in the path of God by means of life, property, tongue and other than these.”
Islam does not allow aggressive wars to establish empires, to promote imperialistic designs or to achieve economic and commercial interests at the expense of others, or to subjugate other people just to satisfy the ambitions of egotistic rulers and generals. It permits war as a last resort, when there is no other peaceful way left, for the defence of Islamic faith and Islamic state. War can be waged by the Muslims simply for the cause of Allah so that the Kingdom of God on earth is established and the word of God alone prevails. The slightest desire for worldly gain mars the noble cause of Jihad and deprives the Muslim soldier of the reward of Paradise. Thus it will be seen that Jihad does not mean killing and plundering others but offering one’s ownself to be killed. It is a supreme sacrifice required of an idealist, sacrifice both of property and life, for the sole purpose of obeying the command of one’s Creator and Master, God Almighty.
A very beautiful note on the nature of Jihad in Islam has been written by the authors of “Our Dialogue” which is submitted verbatim as under for the interest of our readers:
“If we take the linguistic meaning of the word jihad we find that it relates to the exertion of efforts. The effort is intended to accomplish a specific purpose, but the term jihad also implies the presence of strong opposition or resistance. Thus, a pre-Islamic poet may use the word jihad to describe his efforts to get his passion under his control after the departure of his beloved with her tribe, leaving him alone without any hope of reunion. His passion would be the source of resistance to his effort to control himself and try to live a normal life.
“In its Islamic sense, the term jihad, does not differ greatly in implying the exertion of effort and the presence of resistance. However, the purpose of jihad is clearly defined as the furtherance of the cause of Allah. This means helping the message of Islam spread and helping it being implemented properly in an Islamic community. The sort of effort required in jihad differ according to circumstances and to the particular situation in which a Muslim finds himself. It could be a simple action, such as standing firm in defense of the cause of Islam. This may require speaking out in public, against ignoring Islamic principles, and writing articles or publishing books. It may also take the form of reminding people of their Islamic duties and motivating them to conduct their lives according to Islam. Its top and most noble form is to fight the enemies of Islam in battle in order to foil their attempts to smother the call of Islam.
“It is this form of fighting which always springs to people’s minds when the term jihad is mentioned. This is due to the fact that when a person fights, he demonstrates practically his willingness to sacrifice his life for the cause of Islam. His jihad no longer stops at making efforts which are not likely to cause him any harm. Here he is exposing himself to risks of injury and death. Because this form has been deeply rooted in people’s concept of jihad, the word is associated generally with exerting strenuous efforts which could endanger a person’s life. Hence, the term ‘jihad’ is often mistranslated as “holy war.”
“Perhaps it is appropriate to clarify at this point that there is nothing which Islam describes as “holy war.” The very description will suggest that Islam approves of two types of war: one holy and the other unholy. This is certainly untrue. If a war is fought for a just cause, such as lifting injustice or freeing people from persecution, then it is a war which Islam approves of, hence, it is jihad. A war against imperialism can be described as jihad if its purpose is to free the Muslim community so that they may conduct their lives according to Islam. A purely patriotic war to achieve national independence cannot be described as jihad if its aim is to retain the secular system imposed by the imperialists, but will simply replace its administrators by nationals.
We see that the purpose is of utmost importance. This is perfectly in line with Islamic thinking, because Islam attaches the greatest importance to the intention behind every action. The Prophet says: “Actions are but intentions.” This means that the value of any action is determined by the intention behind it and the purpose for which it is done. The Prophet was asked about people fighting the same war with the same army, but one of them is fighting simply because he wants to be with his people against their enemy, another is fighting for personal pride, and one fights simply because he is brave, and yet another in order to maintain appearances: which of them can be described as fighting for Allah’s cause. His answer was most revealing: “He who fights in order to make Allah’s law supreme fights for Allah’s cause.”
“What this Hadith tells us is that it is the propriety of purpose which determined the act of an individual, a community or the state. In other words, the cause for which the war is being fought must be approved by Islam, and the intention of every single fighter must be the right one. In other words, it is possible that a campaign of jihad may be joined by people who cannot be described as mujahed. As you realize, the term mujahed means a person who makes the efforts to support Allah’s cause. Some of those who would join a campaign of jihad may have other purposes for doing so. Therefore, they cannot earn the honour of being mujahed simply because they have joined such a campaign. Let me give you a very clear example. The war of liberation that the Muslim people of Afghanistan fought for over a decade was a war which Islam approves. Therefore, it was a war of jihad. The fighters called themselves Mujahedeen, and rightly so. However, in their ranks, there may have been people who did not consider the establishment of Allah’s law in a land of Islam as their prime purpose. Those were not Mujahedeen despite the fact that they were fighting with the Mujahedeen.”
As we have already submitted to that Jihad is a very wide term than war because it embraces every type of struggle or striving in the cause of Allah. Such struggle may be waged against a foreign invader, against anti-social elements at home, against despotic rulers, against rebels and robbers, or even against the social evils. Similarly such struggle may be waged through physical force, through tongue, through pen, through press or media or by the use of wealth. Thus Jihad is of various types.
Means: With reference to means through which it can be waged, Jihad is of following types:
1. Jihad through physical power: Use of hand and sword, use of weapons, etc against the enemy.
2. Jihad through tongue: Attacking the enemy or defending oneself by use of tongue i.e. by making speeches, by making propaganda or psychological war through electronic media.
3. Jihad through pen: By writing books, pamphlets, articles in newspapers, use of press media, etc.
4. Jihad through wealth : For example, contributions to war fund of the Islamic state, financial assistance to organizations engaged in Jihad, financial help to the families of the Mujahideen (warriors), equipping the warriors with weapons, transport, clothes and food.
Enemy: With reference to enemy against whom Jihad is waged, Jihad is of following main types:
1. Jihad against Nafs or evil soul : This type of Jihad is waged by one against one’s ownself in order to overcome one’s evil desires, immoral and unlawful ambitions, vices, etc. For example controlling anger, lust and passion comes under this type of Jihad.
2. Jihad against foreign enemy: It is waged to repel the foreign aggressor for defence of one’s country and faith.
3. Jihad against rebels and terrorists : It is waged to overcome an internal rebellion or disturbance with a view to keep the integrity and solidarity of the state and to safeguard its ideology. Restoration of law and order and authority of the state is its aim.
4. Jihad against social evils : It is waged to combat social evils such as gambling, drinking, prostitution, violation of human rights, child abuses, ignorance, etc.
5. Jihad against natural calamities such as floods, cyclones, outburst of epidemics, helping the earth-quake victims, etc.
6. Jihad to help the oppressed Muslims living in non-Muslim lands.
7. Jihad in the help of the down-trodden and the oppressed persons of one’s own country such as destitutes, miserables, disabled, sick, orphans, widows, etc.
8. Constructive Jihad : Nation-building activities such as building of roads, canals, communications, bridges, dams, etc. as well as fighting against illiteracy, disease and poverty are examples of this type of Jihad.
9. Jihad against despotic rulers and tyrants : The Prophet of Islam is reported to have said: To say a word of truth in the presence of a tyrant is great Jihad.
10. Miscellaneous activities called Jihad: Even activities like earning of livelihood through Halal (lawful) means is Jihad. To enjoin good and forbid wrong is Jihad. To fight for one’s rights is Jihad. To defend oneself and one’s family against usurpers, thieves and robbers is Jihad. To travel for getting education and knowledge is Jihad. To collect Zakat and other genuine taxes for the state is Jihad, and so on.
By Jihad Allah tests the Muslims whether they really believe in Him and whether they are prepared to sacrifice their lives, their properties, their homes, their kith and kin and indeed their everything for the sake of Him. The following verses of Al-Qur’an establish this fact.
1. Do you think that you will be left (without a trial)? And God has not yet known (through trial) which of you exerted your utmost (in His Way) and did not take as intimate friends any other than God, His Messenger and the believers.
2. O Prophet, tell them plainly, ‘If your fathers and your sons, and your brothers and your wives, and your near and dear ones and the wealth you have acquired and the trade you fear may decline and the homes which delight you — if all these things are dearer to you than God and His Messenger and striving in His Way, then wait until God passes His Judgement on you: for God does not guide the wicked people.
3. And verily We shall try you till We know of you who strive hard (for the cause of Allah) and the steadfast, and till We test your record.
Jihad is like life-blood in the body politic of Islam as it provides defence and security to Muslim community. The Qur’an, the revealed book of Islam, emphasizes the excellence of Jihad in its various verses.
1. And call not those who are slain in the way of Allah “dead”. Nay, they are living, only ye perceive not.
2. Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you, Allah knoweth, ye know not.
3. Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives in Allah’s way are of much greater worth in Allah’s sight. These are they who are triumphant.
4. “Lo! God hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because Paradise will be theirs: they shall fight in the path of God and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an, and who fulfilleth his covenant better than God? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph”.
5. The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere.
6. Lo! Allah loveth those who battle for His cause in ranks, as if they were a solid structure.
7. O ye who believe! Shall I show you a commerce that will save you from a painful doom? Ye should believe in Allah and His messenger, and should strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you if ye did but know.
-----(61 : 10-11)
Some of the Ahadith of the Prophet of Islam which count the virtues and excellence of Jihad are reproduced as follows:-
1. Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: To go out at morn in the way of Allah or to go out at dusk is better than the world and what is therein.
——(Bukhari and Muslim)
2. Zaid-b-Khalid reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoso supplied a warrior with arms in the way of Allah fights indeed a holy fight; and whoso keeps behind a warrior in charge of his family fights indeed a holy fight.
——(Bukhari and Muslim)
3. Khuzaim-b-Fatek reported that the Prophet said: Whoso incurs an expenditure in the way of Allah, there is written for him (rewards) 700 times.
4. Abu Omamah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The best of charities is the shade of a tent in way of Allah, wages of a servant in the way of Allah, or galloping of a mare in the way of Allah.
5. Abu Hurairah reported: Whoso meets Allah without any wound of Jihad, meets Allah with defect in him.
——(Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)
6. Abu Omamah reported from the Holy Prophet who said: Nothing is dearer to Allah than two drops and two marks: One drop of tears out of fear of Allah and one drop of blood shed in the way of Allah; and as for the two marks, one mark in the way of Allah, and another mark in (discharge of) an obligatory duty of the obligatory duties of the Almighty Allah.
——(Tirmizi (Approved, Rare)
7. Ali, Abu Darda’a, Abu Hurairah, Abu Omamah, Abdullah-b-Umar, Jaber-b-Abdullah, Imran-b-Hussain (Allah be pleased with them all) – all reported from the Messenger of Allah that he said: Whoso sends contribution in the way of Allah and stays at his house, he will get 700 Dirhams for every Dirham, and whoso fights with his ownself in the Way of Allah and spends for that cause, he will get 70,000 Dirhams for every Dirham. Afterwards he recited the verse: And Allah multiplies for whom He pleases.
The Holy Qur’an says: “Fighting is prescribed for you, though it is hateful unto you” (2 : 216). From these words of the Qur’an, some people consider that Jihad is obligatory on every Muslim. But the leading Juris-consults of Islam unanimously hold that Jihad is ‘Fard-e-Kafaya (general duty) and not Fard-e-Ain (personal duty). It means if the obligation is accomplished by a sufficient number of people, the rest would be considered absolved from it. This view is supported by a Hadith of the Prophet of Islam reported in Sahih Muslim on the authority of Jabir-bin-Samorah. The Prophet said: “This religion will never cease to exist. A party of the Muslims shall always fight for it till the Hour (the Day of Judgement) comes to pass”. The view is further strengthened by verse 122 of chapter 9 of the Holy Qur’an which lays down : “And the believers should not all go out to fight. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may gain sound knowledge in religion, and that they may warn their folk when they return to them so that they may beware”.
However, Jihad becomes Fard-e-Ain i.e. a personal duty of every able bodied adult male Muslim, should an occasion arise when the Islamic state or community is attacked by heavy odds and the Imam (leader) issues a general call to the Muslims for participation in Jihad. In that situation all the adult male Muslims would be under an absolute obligation to respond to the call. If adult male Muslims do not form sufficient numbers to repel the attack, then even the women would be required to participate and assist troops. Women’s participation in Jihad is approved by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) :
(i) Umme Atiyyah reported: I accompanied the Holy Prophet in seven battles. I remained in the rear for their luggage, prepared food for them, nursed the wounded and attended the sick. (Muslim).
(ii) Anas reported that the Holy Prophet used to take Umme Sulaim and some other women of Ansar with him in Jihad. The women used to give water and nurse the wounded. (Muslim).
The disabled and sick persons have been, however, exempted by the Qur’an from participation in Jihad : The Qur’an says: “There is no blame for the blind, nor is there blame for the lame, nor is there blame for the sick (that they go not forth to war)……” (48:17)
Another very important question still remains to be answered and that is who will undertake Jihad–the public or the government? To this question, Dr. Hamidullah provides a well-reasoned answer in his book,. ‘The conduct of Muslim state’. He writes : Incidentally, the question is answered in the course of other discussions. So the fact that the Jihad is not considered as a personal duty to be observed by each and every individual, but only a general duty which, if accomplished by a sufficient number, the rest will no more be condemned for the neglect of that duty–this fact renders the administration of Jihad entirely in the hands of the government. The practice of the Prophet also shows the same thing. As early as the constitution of the City State of Madinah, in the first year of the Hijrah, a clause laid down explicitly that to go to war would be only with the permission of Muhammad (the Head of the State), and that war and peace are undesirable things for all the population, Muslim as well as non-Muslim. Pursuing the same principle, either he himself organised the expeditions or delegated its authority to responsible governors or tribal chieftains (cf. Ibn Hisham, p. 954). As for jurists, Abu Yusuf, the Chief Qadi of Haroon-ur-Rashid, says: No army marches without permission of the Caliph. Al-Mawardiy is also clear about it that a war cannot be waged without permission of the Caliph (Central Government).