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Concept of JIHAD in Islam
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  (FRIDAY SERMON) THE WORD ‘  JIHAD ’  IGNORAMUSESMISUNDERSTOODBY IMAM MURTADA GUSAU  In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful  All Praises are due to Allah, We praise Him, we seek His assistanceand we seek His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of ourselves and from our evil deeds. Whomever Allah guides there is nonewho can misguide him, and whomever Allah misguides there is none whocan guide him. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship exceptAllah alone without any partners, and I testify that Muhammad !AW" isAllah ’ s slave and Messenger. “     O you who have believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and donot die except in a state of Islam as Muslims, with complete sub"missionto Allah# ”  Ali Imran, #$%&'" “     O Man$ind! Be dutiful to your %ord, who created you from a sin&le person Adam and from him Adam He created his wife 've and fromthem both He created many men and women and fear Allah throu&hwhom you demand your mutual ri&hts, and do not cut off the relations of the wombs $inship# (urely, Allah is 'ver an All")atcher over you# ” An"*isaa ’  ,  ($%" “     O you who have believe! +eep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and always spea$ the truth# He will direct you to do ri&hteous &ood deeds and will for&ive you your sins# And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messen&er, he has indeed achieved a &reat achievement saved from the Hell fire and enter aradise# ”  Ah)aa*, ##$+&+%"As to what proceeds. -erily the *est of speech is the ook of Allahand the *est of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad !AW". /heworst of affairs are the newlyinvented affairs in the religion and everynewly invented affair in the religion is an innovation and everyinnovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the Hell fire. As towhat proceeds$ Servants of Allah! %    /he word 0ihad means to struggle for the sake of Allah in a righteouscause. It takes many forms such as the inward struggle to achieve a pureheart, the struggle against sinful temptations1 the struggle to help othersin need, the struggle to educate our communities and the struggle to *ring peace, unity and progress in our societies. When necessary, 2ihad canrefer to an armed struggle in defense of the community. 0ihad has nevermeant   holy war ”  alhar* almu3addis" *ecause war in Islam isnever holy1 it can only *e 2ust or un2ust.My respected people4/he purpose of armed 2ihad in Islam is to protect the rights of theinnocent , to defend them from aggression, and to ensure people are giventhe opportunity to freely practice their religion. /he 5ur6an, the !unnah,and the Ma2ority of Islamic scholars from the *eginning of Islam untiltoday only permit armed 2ihad as a response to aggression and persecution. 0ihad, properly understood, is a theory of 2ustice in war andnot an instrument of con3uest and oppression. 0ihad is also theory of 2ustwar similar to the legal framework upon which the modern 7enevaconventions are *ased.rothers and !isters4 Muslim scholars have written at length a*out the inward struggleagainst sinful desires, or the 2ihad against the soul. /his 2ihad is called thegreater 2ihad (jihad al-akbar)  whereas armed struggle is called the lesser  2ihad (jihad al-asghar) . /he spiritual 2ihad is the greater 2ihad *ecause itmust *e done *y everyone at all times, whereas military 2ihad is the lesser  2ihad *ecause it has specific conditions and is not an o*ligation uponevery Muslim. /he term “ holy war  ”  was never used *y the Prophet, hiscompanions, or the great Muslim scholars who succeeded them.0a*ir reported that$ “     (ome people returned to the rophet from a military expedition# -he Messen&er of Allah, peace and blessin&s be upon him, said. “     /ou havereturned with a &ood return, from the lesser stru&&le 0ihad unto the &reater stru&&le# ”  -hey said, “     O Messen&er of Allah, what is the &reater 0ihad1 ”  -he rophet said. “      It is the servant  ’  s stru&&lea&ainst his desires# ”   8ita* A)9uhd Alayha3i #:#, it is ;a ’ eef"/he chain of narration for this hadith is weak, as it is more likely thesaying of I*rahim i*n A*u Al3amah and not the Prophet.I*n <a2a* reported that$ “      Ibrahim ibn Abu Al2amah would say to people when they returned  from an expedition# “     /ou have come from the lesser stru&&le 0ihadunto the &reater stru&&le# -hey said, “     )hat is the &reater stru&&le1 ” '   Ibrahim said. It is the stru&&le of the heart# ”  0ami ’  Al=lum walHikam %>" ?onetheless, the meaning has *een accepted *y Muslim scholars andit is also strengthened *y other authentic traditions.@adalah i*n i*n =*aid reported that$ “     -he Messen&er of Allah, peace and blessin&s be upon him, said. “     -he one who strives Mu0ahid in the way of Allah the 'xalted is hewho strives a&ainst his soul# ”  Musnad Ahmad '#((In another narration, the Prophet said$ “      Have I not informed you1 -he believer is the one who is trusted withlives and wealth of people and the Muslim is the one from whose ton&ueand hand people are safe# -he mu0ahid is one who wa&es 0ihad a&ainst himself in obedience to Allah, and the emi&rant is one who emi&rates from sin and evil# ”  Musnad Ahmad '#(#:"Bn the *asis of such narrations, i*n Al5ayyim said$ “     -he 0ihad a&ainst the soul ta$es precedence over 0ihad a&ainst outward enemies because it is the foundation for it# ”   9aad AlMa ’ ad" ihad can take the form of ed"cation and preaching to thecomm"nity# Allah the Most High said$ “      3o not obey the unbelievers, but strive a&ainst them with the4ur  ’ an a &reat strivin&# ”  !urah Al@ur3an '$'"A*u Hurairah reported that$ “     -he Messen&er of Allah, peace and blessin&s be upon him, said. “     )hoever enters our Mos2ue in order to teach &oodness or to learn it himself, then he is li$e one who is strivin& in the cause of  Allah# ” Musnad Ahmad :#>C" ihad can take the form of speaking o"t against inj"stice# A*u !a ’ id Al8hudri reported that$ “     -he rophet, peace and blessin&s be upon him, said. “     5erily, amon& the &reatest of stru&&les is a word of 0ustice in front of a tyrant# ”   !unanAt/irmidhi '%+("A*u =mamah reported that$ “     -he Messen&er of Allah, peace and blessin&s be upon him said. “     -hemost beloved stru&&le 0ihad to Allah is a word of truth in front of atyrannical leader# ”  Mu ’  2am Al8a*ir :&&'" ihad can take the form of service to others in charity especiallyparents relatives and the needy# #  A*dullah *in Amr reported that$ “      A man came to the rophet, peace and blessin&s be upon him, and he said, “      I pled&e alle&iance to you for emi&ration and strivin& in the wayof Allah, see$in& reward# ”  -he rophet said. Is one of your parentslivin&1 He said, “     /es, rather both of them# ”  -he rophet said. 3o you see$ reward from Allah1 He said yes# -he rophet said. “     -hen return to your parents and treat them with &ood company# ”  !ahih Muslim '(>"In another narration, the Prophet said$ “     -hen strive in their service# ”  !ahih ukhari ':('"Mu ’ awiyah i*n 0ahima reported$ “      6ahima came to the rophet, peace and blessin&s be upon him, and he said, “     O Messen&er of Allah, I intend to 0oin the expedition and I see$  your advice# ”  -he rophet said. “      3o you have a mother1 ”  He said  yes# -he rophet said. (tay with her, for aradise is beneath her feet# ” !unan An?asa ’ i #%&("In these ahaadith plural of hadith", we learn that a man ’ s struggle tocare for his parents in their old age takes precedence over armed struggle.Dikewise, any act of charity that re3uires effort can *e properly referredto as 2ihad.Allah /he most High said$ “     -hose who strive for us, we will surely &uide them to our ways#5erily, Allah is with the doers of &oods# ”   !urah AlAnka*ut '>$C>"A*u Hurairah reported that$ “     -he Messen&er of Allah, peace and blessin&s be upon him, said. “     One who strives to help a widow or the poor is li$e one who strives inthe cause of Allah# ”  !ahih Muslim '>:'" Servants of Allah! 0ihad can also take the form of performing acts of ritual worship for the purpose of purifying the heart from sinful temptations. Allah the Almighty said$ “     (trive for Allah with the strivin& due to Him# He has chosen you and has not placed any hardship upon you in the reli&ion# It is the reli&ion of  your father, Abraham# Allah named you Muslims before and in this scripture that the Messen&er may be a witness over you and you may bewitnesses over the people# (o establish prayer and &ive charity and hold  fast to Allah# ”  !urah AlHa22 ''$+:" $y beloved people! (   In this verse, the command to strive in the way of Allah is followed *y the command to pray and give in charity, without any reference tofighting. /he Prophet would strive to perform such acts of worship duringthe last ten night of <amadan.Aisha reported that$ “     -he rophet would exert himself ya0tahidu in worship durin& the last ten ni&hts more than at any other time# ”  !ahih Muslim %%+" /he Prophet commanded the Muslims to strive in 2ihad withsupplications and prayers. A*u Hurairah reported that$ “     -he Messen&er of Allah, peace and blessin&s be upon him, said. 3o you love to strive ta0tahidu in supplication1 (ay. O Allah, help me to be &rateful to you, to remember you, and to worship you in a &ood manner# ”   Musnad Ahmad +>''"Dikewise, the Prophet referred to the Ha22 pilgrimage as 2ihad.Aisha reported that$ “     (he said, “     O Messen&er of Allah, we view strivin& in the cause of  Allah as the most virtuous deed, so shall we not strive1 ”  -he rophet, peace and blessin&s be upon him, said. *o, rather the most virtuous stru&&le is an accepted pil&rima&e# ”   !ahih ukhari %((:" /he Prophet did not make it a condition of faith for Muslims to 2ointhe armed struggle of a Muslim army.A*u Hurairah reported that$ “     -he Messen&er of Allah, peace and blessin&s be upon him, said.)hoever believes in Allah and His Messen&er, establishes prayer, and  fasts the month of 7amadan will have a ri&ht upon Allah that he will beentered into aradise whether he strives in the cause of Allah or remainsin the land in which he was born# ”   !ahih ukhari 'C#+"/his is *ecause military service is a collective o*ligation fard alkifayah" and not an individual o*ligation fard alain", meaning that if theMuslim community is strong enough to defend itself from aggression,then it is not an o*ligation to 2oin the armed struggle, unless if thelegitimate leader of the Muslims makes it o*ligatory on you.However, if the rights of others are *eing violated and a person hasthe a*ility to help them, then the morally upright deed is to defend thehuman rights of the oppressed.Allah the Exalted *e He said$ “     )hat is the matter with you that you do not stru&&le8fi&ht in thecause of Allah and for the oppressed amon& men, women, and childrenwho say. Our %ord, ta$e us out of this city of oppressive people and  
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