Jihad in Qur’an

By Dr Amtul Qudoos Farhat
National Secretary Publications, Ahmadiyya Muslim Women Association, Canada

Jihad is mentioned in 35 versus of the Holy Qur’an. The word means striving in the way of Allah to attain His nearness and elevation in spiritual status. Even though it is typically considered an Islamic Teaching, everyone; in one or the other way; actually practices Jihad in ones life.

Jihad is of various types.

The greater Jihad is a continuous battle against oneself to achieve purification and discipline oneself. Charity or financial Jihad is spending for any cause which will help achieve Allah’s pleasure. The lesser Jihad is a defensive war to fight back only if a people is restricted to practice its faith.

Striving in His way:
This is the Greater Jihad. It is an ongoing battle to get rid of all negative elements which hinder our way to achieve nearness to Allah. It is  continuously striving in way of Allah to be elevated spiritually. It is an unconditional must-fight war in all circumstances for every Muslim.There are various verses of the Holy Qur’an in this regard:

  • Ye who believe! fear Allah and seek the way of approach unto Him and strive in His way that you may prosper. (5:36)
  • ye who believe! whoso among you turns back from his religion, then let it be known that in his stead Allah will soon bring a people whom He will love and who will love Him, and who will be kind and humble towards believers, hard and firm against disbelievers. They will strive in the cause of Allah and will not fear the reproach of a faultfinder. That is Allah’s grace; He bestows it upon whomsoever He pleases; and Allah is Bountiful, All- Knowing. (5:55)
  • Say, if your fathers, and your sons, and your brethren, and your wives, and your kinsfolk, and the wealth you have acquired, and the trade whose dullness you fear, and the dwellings which you love are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His cause, then wait until Allah comes with His judgment; and Allah guides not the disobedient people. (9:24)
  • And strive in the cause of Allah as it behoves you to strive for it. He has chosen you, and has laid no hardship upon you in religion; so follow the faith of your father Abraham; He named you Muslims both before and in this Book, so that the Messenger may be a witness over you, and that you may be witnesses over mankind. Therefore observe Prayer and pay the Zakat, and hold fast to Allah. He is your Master. An excellent Master and an excellent Helper!(22:79)
  • And whoso strives, strives only for his own soul; verily Allah is Independent of all creatures.(29:7)
  • The believers are only those who truly believe in Allah and His Messenger, and then doubt not, but strive with their possessions and their persons in the cause of Allah. It is they who are truthful.(46:19)

There are various levels of Greater Jihad:

Do you hold the giving of drink to the pilgrims, and the maintenance of the Sacred Mosque as equal to the works of him who believes in Allah and the Last Day and strives in the path of Allah? They are not at all equal in the sight of Allah. And Allah guides not the unjust people. (9:19)

Migration is Jihad

Jihad has various levels. Following verses categorize Jihad according to their significance and universality:
Migration ranks among the highest Jihad:

Those who believe and emigrate from their homes for the sake of God and strive in the cause of Allah with their property and their persons have the highest rank in the sight of Allah. And it is they who shall triumph. (9:20)

If there is religious persecution at any place, Islam first asks Muslims to migrate away from such place.
Following verses of the Holy Qur’an explain that leaving your home, house and land for the sake of religious cause is Jihad- an effort to move to a place where a person can peacefully practice faith and continue to strives to connect with the Creator.

  • And those who have believed and left their homes and striven for the cause of Allah, and those who have given them shelter and help — these indeed are true believers. For them is forgiveness and an honourable provision. (8:75)
  • Those who believe and those who emigrate and strive hard in the cause of Allah, it is these who hope for Allah’s mercy; and Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful. (2:219)
  • Surely, those who have believed and fled from their homes and striven with their property and their persons for the cause of Allah, and those who have given them shelter and help — these are friends one of another. But as for those who have believed but have not left their homes, you are not at all responsible for their protection until they leave their homes. But if they seek your help in the matter of religion, then it is your duty to help them, except against a people between whom and yourselves there is a treaty. And Allah sees what you do. (8:73)
  • And those who have believed and left their homes and striven for the cause of Allah, and those who have given them shelter and help — these indeed are true believers. For them is forgiveness and an honourable provision. (8:75)
  • And those who have believed since then and left their homes and striven for the cause of Allah along with you — these are of you; and as to blood relations, they are nearer one to another in the Book of Allah. Surely, Allah knows all things well.(8:76)
  • Then, surely, thy Lord — to those who fled their homes after they had been persecuted and then struggled hard in the cause of Allah and remained steadfast — aye, surely, after that thy Lord is Most Forgiving, Merciful.(16:111)

Financial sacrifice is Jihad:

Financial contribution for any cause; may it be propagation of religious cause or services to humanity is the Jihad of Wealth.

  • That you believe in Allah and His Messenger, and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your persons. That is better for you, if you did but know.(61:12)
  • Go forth, light and heavy, and strive with your property and your persons in the cause of Allah. That is better for you, if only you knew. (9:41)
  • Those of the believers who sit still, excepting the disabled ones, and those who strive in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their persons, are not equal. Allah has exalted in rank those who strive with their wealth and their persons above those who sit still. And to each Allah has promised good. And Allah has exalted those who strive above those who sit still, by a great reward, (4:96)
  • Those who believe and emigrate from their homes for the sake of God and strive in the cause of Allah with their property and their persons have the highest rank in the sight of Allah. And it is they who shall triumph. (9:20)• But the Messenger and those who believe with him strive in the cause of Allah with their property and their persons, and it is they who shall have good things, and it is they who shall prosper. (9:88)
  • The believers are only those who truly believe in Allah and His Messenger, and then doubt not, but strive with their possessions and their persons in the cause of Allah. It is they who are truthful.(46:19)

To avoid Shirk is Jihad:
All religions; directly or indirectly give concept of a Creator; call it Allah, God, Lord, Brahma or what you please. Unity of God has been the basic teaching of all divine scriptures. To believe, practice, promote and propagate that principal of Holy Scriptures is another form of Jihad.

Do you think that you would be left alone, while Allah has not yet known those of you who strive in the cause of Allah and do not take anyone for an intimate friend beside Allah and His Messenger and the believers? Allah is well aware of what you do (9:16)

Jihad as a test of endurance:
Jihad is a test of endurance of one’s spiritual achievements; may it be lesser or greater Jihad. Tests only help us come closer to our Creator.

  • Do you suppose that you will enter Heaven while Allah has not yet distinguished those of you that strive in the way of Allah and has not yet distinguished the steadfast? (3:143)

  • And We will surely try you until We distinguish those among you who strive for the cause of God and those who are steadfast. And We will make known the facts about you.(47:32)

Jihad as call for war:
If religious persecution continues and all option for negotiation fail then war becomes an obligation to regain ones right to practice ones faith. This is called lesser Jihad in Islam. It is also called Jihad with sword or Qital.

In case war does occur, Islam requires a Muslim to be brave and bold and place his aim higher than his person. Muslims are asked to do minimum damage, protect children, women, and community places, all places of worship and crops and agriculture. At the end of war amnesty and pardon should be freely practiced. There are due rights for prisoners, captives and places.

Lesser Jihad has to be of limited duration; till the persecution continues or an accord is reached between two parties. Fight/war between two Muslim Groups cannot be classified as Jihad.

Most of the verses were revealed in Chapter Al Tauba, at a time when some didn’t want to fight for regaining their religious rights. It is like the followers of Moses who made many excuses while on Exodus to the Promised Land and Moses revealed to them many blessings and returns promised by God.

  • Al Tauba: ye who believe! what is the matter with you that, when it is said to you, go forth in the way of Allah, you sink heavily towards the earth? Would you be contented with the present life in preference to the Hereafter? But the enjoyment of the present life is but little, as compared with the Hereafter. (9:38)
  • If you do not go forth to fight, He will punish you with a painful punishment, and will choose in your stead a people other than you, and you shall do Him no harm at all. And Allah has full power over all things. (9:39)
  • Go forth, light and heavy, and strive with your property and your persons in the cause of Allah. That is better for you, if only you knew. (9:41)
  • Those who believe in Allah and the Last Day will not ask leave of thee to be exempted from striving with their property and their persons. And Allah well knows the righteous. (9:44)
  • And if they had intended to go forth they would certainly have made some preparation for it; but Allah was averse to their marching forth. So He kept them back, and it was said: ‘Sit ye at home with those who sit.’(9:46)
  • If they had gone forth with you, they would have added to you nothing but trouble, and would have hurried to and fro in your midst, seeking to create discord among you. And there are among you those who would listen to them. And Allah well knows the wrongdoers.(9:47)
  • O Prophet, strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites. And be severe to them. Their abode is Hell, and an evil destination it is.(9:73)
  • Those who were left behind rejoiced in their sitting at home behind the back of the Messenger of Allah, and were averse to striving with their property and their persons in the cause of Allah. And they said, ‘Go not forth in the heat.’ Say, ‘The fire of Hell is more intense in heat.’ Could they but understand!(9:81)
  • And if Allah return thee to a party of them, and they ask of thee leave to go forth to fight, say then, ‘You shall never go forth with me and shall never fight an enemy with me. You chose to sit at home the first time, so sit now with those who remain behind.’(9:83)
  • And when a Surah is revealed, enjoining, ‘Believe in Allah and strive in the cause of Allah in company with His Messenger,’ those of them who possess affluence ask leave of thee and say, ‘Leave us that we be with those who sit at home.’(9:86)
  • But the Messenger and those who believe with him strive in the cause of Allah with their property and their persons, and it is they who shall have good things, and it is they who shall prosper.(9:88)
  • Nor against those to whom, when they came to thee that thou shouldst mount them, thou didst say, ‘I cannot find whereon I can mount you;’ they turned back, their eyes overflowing with tears, out of grief that they could not find what they might spend.(9:92)
  • Al Ahzab: Verily Allah knows those among you who hinder men and those who say to their brethren, ‘Come to us;’ and they come not to the fight but a little (33:19)
  • Al Tahrim: O Prophet! strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites; and be strict against them. Their home is Hell, and an evil destination it is!(66:10)

Fighting with Qur’an:

This is another type of Jihad. It is striving to spread truth and clarify misconceptions through teachings of Qur’an.

So obey not the disbelievers and fight against them by means of it (the Qur’an) a great fight.(25:53)

Don’t take disbelievers as friends:
This commandment is in the context of war and hostility situations. It is a warning for traitors. Traitors have always been punished by harsh laws by all legal codes.

O ye who believe! take not My enemy and your enemy for friends, offering them love, while they disbelieve in the truth which has come to you and drive out the Messenger and yourselves from your homes merely because you believe in Allah, your Lord. If you go forth, to strive in My cause and seek My pleasure, take them not for friends, sending them messages of love in secret, while I know best what you conceal and what you reveal. And whoever of you does so, has, surely, lost the right path(60:2)

 

Categories: Religion

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