The word ‘Jihad’ as we have already explained, means struggle or exertion undertaken for a noble cause. In Islam, Jihad stands for a struggle or war undertaken by the Muslims in the path of God for a just cause and for the defence of Islam. A Muslim who participates in such struggle and wages Jihad for the cause of Allah is called Mujahid. Thus Mujahid is a person who fights in the way of Allah for the defence of Islam or Islamic state. The sole objective of all of his efforts is to ensure that the word of God shall alone prevail. A Mujahid expends all of his abilities and powers in fighting in the path of Allah by means of life, property, tongue, pen and other than these. The slightest desire for worldly gains pollutes the purity and mars the nobleness of the cause of Jihad and thus deprives the Mujahid of reward of Paradise.
In brief, Mujahid is one who spends all his efforts and resources for Islam and fights against all those forces who try to harm the cause of his faith, so much so that he does not hesitate to put even his very life in danger.
A Mujahid who survives in a battle field is called ‘Ghazi’. But if he falls or dies is called ‘Shaheed’.
A warrior or a mujahid who fights in the way of Allah to earn the pleasure of Allah for a just cause or in self-defence or in the defence of his faith and country, gets much virtue and reward in this world as well as in the next world. Not only his county and countrymen hold him in high esteem but also Allah will bestow on him His blessings and rewards in this world and in the next world. Following verses of al-Qur’an and Ahadith of the Prophet throw light on this fact.
Verses of the Qur’an:
1. Lo! those who believe, and those who emigrate (to escape the persecution) and strive in the Way of Allah, these have hope of Allah’s Mercy, Allah is Forgiving Merciful.
2. And with how many a prophet have there been a number of devoted men who fought (beside him). They quailed not for ought that befell them in the way of Allah, nor did they weaken, nor were they brought low. Allah loveth the steadfast.
—–(3:Al-Imran : 146)
3. Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.
—–(4:An-Nisa : 74)
4. Those of the believers who sit still, other than those who have a (disabling) hurt, are not on an equality with those who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and lives. Allah hath conferred on those who strive with their wealth and lives a rank above the sedentary. Unto each Allah hath promised good, but He hath bestowed on those who strive a great reward above the sedentary; Degrees of rank from Him, and forgiveness and mercy. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
—–(4:An-Nisa : 95-96)
5. Count ye the slaking of a pilgrim’s thirst and tendance of the inviolable Place of Worship as (equal to the worth of him) who believeth in Allah and the Last Day, and striveth in the way of Allah? They are not equal in the sight of Allah. Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. 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. Their Lord giveth them good tidings of mercy from Him, and acceptance, and Gardens where enduring pleasure will be their; There they will abide for ever. Lo! with Allah there is immense reward.
–—(9:At-Taubah : 19-22)
6. But the messenger and those who believe with him strive with their wealth and their lives. Such are they for whom are the good things. Such are they who are the successful. Allah hath made ready for them Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide. That is the supreme triumph.
–—(9:At-Taubah : 88-89)
7. Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is biding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. Who fulfilleth the covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph.
–—(9:At-Taubah : 111)
8. It is not for the townsfolk of Al-Madinah and for those around them of the wandering Arabs to stay behind the messenger of Allah and prefer their lives to his life. That is because neither thirst nor toil or hunger afflicteth them in the way of Allah, nor step they any step that angereth the disbelievers, nor gain they from the enemy a gain, but a good deed is recorded for them therefor. Lo! Allah loseth not the wages of the good. Nor spend they any spending, small or great, nor do they cross a valley, but it is recorded for them, that Allah may repay them the best of what they used to do.
–—(9:At-Taubah : 120-121)
9. And what aileth you that ye spend not in the way of Allah, when unto Allah belongeth the inheritance of the heavens and the earth? Those who spent and fought before the victory are not upon a level (with the rest of you). Such are greater in rank than those who spent and fought afterwards. Unto each hath Allah promised good. And Allah is informed of what ye do.
–—(57:Al-Hadid : 10)
10. Lo! Allah loveth those who battle for His cause in ranks, as if they were a solid structure.
–—(61:As-Saff : 4)
Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):
1. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The likeness of a fighter in the way of Allah is like the likeness of one who fasts, stands up (in prayer) and obeys the verses of Allah without any break of fast and prayer till the fighter returns to the way of Allah.
–—(Bukhari and Muslim)
2. Abdullah-b-Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah said. There is no band or battalion of an army who fight, earn booty and then return safe except that they hasten to two-thirds of their rewards; and there is no band or battalion of an army who are pierced and wounded except that their rewards become complete.
3. Abu Hurairah reported that one of the companions of the Holy Prophet passed through the valley of a hill wherein there was a fountain of sweet water. It pleased him most and he said: Would that I should have retired from men and settled in the cave of the hill. It was mentioned to the Prophet. He said: Do (it) not, because the rank of one of you in the way of Allah is better than his prayer for 70 years in his house. Don’t you like that Allah should forgive you and admit you in heaven? Fight in the way of Allah. Whoso fights in the way of Allah even for an interval between two milking of a she-camel, Paradise is sure for him.
4. Abu Hurairah reported that a man asked : O Messenger of Allah! A man intends to fight in the way of Allah and seeks the vain goods of this world. The Holy Prophet said: There is no reward for him.
5. Mu’az reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Battle is of two kinds. As for (the Battle of) one who seeks the pleasure of Allah, obeys the commander, spends the most valuable property, has got easy dealings with co-sharer and avoids dispute, everything–his sleep and his wakefulness–is a reward. As for one who fights for heroism, vanity and show and disobeys the commander and spreads dissension in the earth, he will surely not come back with full hand.
–—(Malek, Abu Daud, Nisat)
6. Abu Hurairah reported that the Holy Prophet said: Allah responds to one who comes out to fight in His way–Nothing takes him out but faith in Me and attestation to the truth of My Prophets, so that I may send him back with reward he gets or booty, or I may admit him in Paradise.
7. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: An infidel and his murderer will never unite in Hell.
8. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: None is wounded in the way of Allah (and Allah knows who receives wound in His way) except that he will come on the Resurrection Day with his wound pouring out blood, colour of which is the colour of blood, and fragrance is of musk.
9. Mu’az-b-Jabal reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: Whoso fights in the way of Allah for even an interval of a camel’s milkings, Paradise becomes sure for him. And whoso is injured with an wound in the way of Allah, or is afflicted with a mishap, it will come on the Resurrection Day mostly like what it is; its colour will be like saffron and fragrance like muslk. And whoso has got a boil in the way of Allah, verily there will be the seal of the martyrs over it.
–—(Tirmizi, Abu Daud, Nisai)
10. Thauban reported that the Messenger of Allah said: of two groups of my followers whose liberation from the Hell is written by Allah, the first ones are those who will fight against India, and the second ones, those who will be with Jesus son of Mary in the last times.
11. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (PBUH) promised with us about Jihad with India. So if I find it I would participate in it with myself and my wealth. If I were killed I would by one of the best martyrs. And if I returned alive I would be Abu Hurairah free from Hell.
One who is killed in the way of Allah fighting for his faith or for his country for a just cause or for self-defence and defence of his family or his property, he is martyr. A person who is killed in a Jihajd is called ‘Shaheed’ in Islam. A ‘Shaheed’ or a martyr enjoys high ranks and numerous rewards from Allah. Below are given some verses of the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith of the Prophet of Islam which highlight the rewards and blessings bestowed on a person dying in Jihad.
Verses of the Qur’an :
1. And call not those who are slain in the way of Allah “dead”. Nay, they are living, only ye perceive not.
–—(2:Al-Baqarah : 154)
2. And what though ye be slain in Allah’s way or die therein? Surely pardon from Allah and mercy are better than all that they amass. What though ye be slain or die, when unto Allah ye are gathered?
–—(3:Al-Imran : 157-158)
3. Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living with their Lord they have provision. Jubilant (are they) because of that which Allah hath bestowed upon them of His bounty, rejoicing for the sake of those who have not joined them but are left behind: that there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. They rejoice because of favour from Allah and kindness, and that Allah wasteth not the wage of the believers.
–—(3:Al-Imran : 169-171)
4. Whoso obeyeth Allah and the messenger, they are with those unto whom Allah hath shown favour, of the Prophets and the saints and the martyrs and the righteous. The best of company are they!
–—(4:An-Nisa : 69)
5. ……And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain. He will guide them and improve their state, And bring them in unto the Garden which He hath made known to them.
–—(47:Muhammad : 4-6)
Traditions of Prophet of Islam :
1. Abu Hurairah reported that the Holy Prophet said: By One in Whose Hand there is my life, had not some of the believers taken pleasure to themselves to remain behind me, and had I not found wherewith I would have thought it proper to attack them, I would not have remained behind from my army who fight in the way of Allah. By Him in Whose Hand there is my life, how much do I like that I should be martyred in the way of Allah and then be brought back to life, and then be martyred and then be brought back to life, and then be martyred.
–—(Bukhari and Muslim)
2. Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: There will be none entering Paradise who will like to come back to this world and to have that is in the earth except a martyr. He will wish to return to the world and then be martyred ten times on account of the honour he sees.
–—(Bukhari and Muslim)
3. Fuzalah-b-Obaid reported from the Messenger of Allah who said: A seal is put over the actions of every dead man except one who dies guarding in the way of Allah, and verily his actions will increase for him up to the Resurrection Day, and he is safe from the punishments of the grave.
–—(Tirmizi, Abu Daud)
4. Abu Malek al-Ash’ari reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah say: Whoso goes out in the way of Allah and then dies or is killed, or his horse or his camel tramples him to death, or a serpent bites him, or he dies upon his bed of whatever calamity Allah wishes, he is a martyr and there is certainly Paradise for him.
5. 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 makers.
6. Anas reported that Rubayyen-b-Bara’a (and she was the mother of Haresah-b-Solaqah) came to the Holy Prophet and asked: O Prophet of Allah! Will you not inform me about Haresah who was killed in the battle of Badr? A sudden shot killed him. If he is in Paradise, I keep patience; and if he is otherwise, I shall exert hard in weeping for him. He said: O mother of Haresah! There are some gardens in Paradise, and verily your son got the highest Ferdous.
7. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah asked: Whom do you count as a martyr among you? They replied: O Messenger of Allah! Whoso is killed in the way of Allah is a martyr. He remarked: Verily the martyrs of my followers are then certainly few. Whoso is killed in the way of Allah is a martyr; whoso dies in the way of Allah is a martyr, whoso dies of plague is a martyr, and whoso dies of bowel complaints is a martyr.
8. Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah said to his companions: When your brethren will be killed in the Battle of Uhud, Allah will put their souls in the belly of a green bird which will frequent the rivers of Paradise eating its fruits and taking shelter of gold lamps and hanging under the shade of the Throne. When they will find the fragrance of their eatables, their drinks and their sleeping beds, they will exclaim: Who will convey message from us to our brethren that we are alive in Paradise, so that none will excite disinterest about Paradise and to participate in Jihad? Then the Almighty Allah will say: I shall convey to them on your behalf. So the Almighty Allah revealed : “And you must not consider those who are martyred in Allah’s way as dead, but they are alive”–up to the last verse.
9. Abdur Rahman-b-Abi Amirah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: No Muslim soul which its Lord takes away will like to return to you and to have for it this world and what is therein except a martyr. Ibn Amirah said that the Holy Prophet had said: That I should be killed in the way of Allah is dearer to me than there should be for me the inhabitants of camps and buildings.
10. Hasna’a-bn-Muwayiah reported: My uncle informed me. He said: I asked the Prophet: Who is in Paradise? He replied The Prophet is in Paradise, the martyr is in Paradise, the new born babe is in Paradise, and the one buried alive is in Paradise.
11. Abu Qatadah reported that the Messenger of Allah stood among them and said to them that Jehad in the way of Allah and belief in Allah are the best of actions. A man stood and asked, O Messenger of Allah inform me that if I be killed in the way of Allah, my faults will whether be atoned for. The Holy Prophet replied to him: Yes, provided you are killed in the way of Allah, while you are patient, hopeful of reward, advancing forward without retracing back. Then the Messenger of Allah asked: How have you said? He enquired: Inform me that if I be killed in the way of Allah, will it atone for my sins? ‘Yes’, said the Prophet, provided you are patient, hopeful of reward, advancing forward without retracing back except debt, because Gabriel told me that.
12. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The first three persons entering Paradise were presented to me: A martyr, and a self-denying man abstaining from begging, and a slave who does good divine service and wishes the welfare of his master.
13. Maqdam-b-Ma’ad-i-Kareb reported that the Messenger of Allah said: There are six virtues of a martyr near Allah. At the first instance he is forgiven, he is shown his place in Paradise, he is protected from punishment of the grave, he is kept safe from the great catastrophe, a crown of glory is put upon his head, one jewel of which is better than the world and what is therein, he will be married to seventy two wives of black eyed virgins, and he will be given permission to make intercession for seventy of his relations.
–—(Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)
14. Maqdam reported that the Messenger of Allah said: A martyr will not feel the pangs of murder except as one of you feels pangs of a sting.
–—(Nisai, Tirmizi (Approved, Rare)
15. Fuzalah-b-Oabid reported: I’heard Omar-b-Al-Khattab say: I heard the Prophet say: Martyrs are four–a believing man of faith who meets enemy and believes Allah as true till he dies, he is one towards whom people will raise up their looks on the Resurrection Day like this. Then he raised up his head till his cap fell down (I don’t know whether it was the cap of the Prophet or of Omar). He said: A believing man of firm faith who meets enemy whose skin has been as it were pierced with thorny acacia shrubs out of cowardice, a sudden arrow comes across him and it kills him, he is in the second rank; and a believing man who mixes up good works and meets enemy and believes Allah as true till he is killed, he is in the third rank; and a believing man who commits oppression on his soul, meets enemy and believes Allah as true till he is killed, he is in the fourth rank.
–—(Tirmizi (Approved, Rare)
16. Otbah-bin-Abd as Sullami reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Martyrs are three–a believer who fights in the way of Allah with his ownself and property and when he encounters the enemy he fights till he is killed. The Messenger Allah said about him: That is the martyr who has been examined for Allah under His Throne. Prophet will not excel him except in the degree of prophethood. And (another is) a believer who mixes good works with other evil works, fights with his ownself and his property in the way of Allah and meets the enemy and fights till he is killed. The Messenger of Allah said about him–He is a purifier that effaces his sins and his faults. Verily the sword is a great effacer of faults. He will be admitted in Paradise through whichever door he likes, And (another is) a hypocrite who fights with his self and property, meets enemy and fights till he is killed–he is in Hell. Verily the sword does not efface hypocrisy.