Jihad

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Ali and Hamza in single combat at the Battle of Badr, from Siyer-i Nabi, circa 1594

Jihad (جهاد') is an Arabic word which literally means striving or struggling, especially with a praiseworthy aim. It can have many shades of meaning in an Islamic context, such as struggle against one's evil inclinations, striving for the interests of Islam and Muslims like am exertion to convert unbelievers, or efforts toward the moral betterment of the ummah, In classical Islamic law, the term refers to armed struggle against unbelievers, while modernist Islamic scholars generally equate military jihad with defensive warfare. In Sufi and pious circles, spiritual and moral jihad has been traditionally emphasized under the name of greater jihad. The term has gained additional attention in recent decades through its use by terrorist groups. The word jihad appears frequently in the Quran with and without military connotations, often in the idiomatic expression "striving in the path of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)". Islamic jurists and other ulema of the classical era understood the obligation of jihad predominantly in a military sense. They developed an elaborate set of rules pertaining to jihad, including prohibitions on harming those who are not engaged in combat. In the modern era, the notion of jihad has lost its jurisprudential relevance and instead given rise to an ideological and political discourse. While modernist Islamic scholars have emphasized defensive and non-military aspects of jihad, some Islamists have advanced aggressive interpretations that go beyond the classical theory. Jihad is classified into inner ("greater") jihad, which involves a struggle against one's own base impulses, and external ("lesser") jihad, which is further subdivided into jihad of the pen/tongue (debate or persuasion) and jihad of the sword.

Quotes[edit]

  • It is jihad, Mr. Morgan, a particularly virulent, fundamentalist form of hatred.
  • The word "jihad" has nowhere been used in the Qur'an to mean war in the sense of launching an offensive. It is used rather to mean "struggle". the action most consistently called for in the Qur'an is the exercise of patience.
    • Wahiddudin Khan The True Jihad: The Concept of Peace, Tolerance and Non Violence in Islam, p. 4.
  • The goal of true jihad is to attain a harmony between islam (submission), iman (faith), and ihsan (righteous living).
  • Jihad is a duty in Islam. ... Those who avoid jihad are not Muslims.
    • Rasheed Ahmad, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Railways. Quoted from “Shocking: Pak minister talks of jihad and Kashmir,” Times of India, March 1, 2019 [1]
  • As M. Mujeeb says, "The Hidayah is quite explicit about the legality of Jihad (holy war) against infidels even when they have not taken the offensive." As Hughes himself quotes from Burhanuddin Ali's Hidayah, to the latter Jihad or "war is permanently established until the day of judgement".
    • Mujeeb, M., The Indian Muslims, London, 1967. p. 68, also p. 71. & Hughes, Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 3
  • 'We are directed to make war upon men until such time as they shall confess. There is no God but Allah.'
    • The Hedaya (Guidance), a Muslim Law Book , quoted in Ram Swarup in Hindu Temples, what happened to them. [2]
  • It is the general authority to undertake the establishment of religion through the revival of religious sciences, the establishment of the pillars of Islam, the organization of jihad and its related functions of maintenance of armies, financing the soldiers, and allocation of their rightful portions from the spoils of war, administration of justice, enforcement of [the limits ordained by Allah, including the punishment for crimes (hudud)], elimination of injustice, and enjoining good and forbidding evil, to be exercised on behalf of the Prophet… It is no mercy to them to stop at intellectually establishing the truth of Religion to them. Rather, true mercy towards them is to compel them so that Faith finds a way to their minds despite themselves. It is like a bitter medicine administered to a sick man. Moreover, there can be no compulsion without eliminating those who are a source of great harm or aggression, or liquidating their force, and capturing their riches, so as to render them incapable of posing any challenge to Religion. Thus their followers and progeny are able to enter the faith with free and conscious submission... Jihad made it possible for the early followers of Islam from the Muhajirun and the Ansar to be instrumental in the entry of the Quraysh and the people around them into the fold of Islam. Subsequently, God destined that Mesopotamia and Syria be conquered at their hands. Later on it was through the Muslims of these areas that God made the empires of the Persians and Romans to be subdued. And again, it was through the Muslims of these newly conquered realms that God actualized the conquests of India, Turkey and Sudan. In this way, the benefits of jihad multiply incessantly, and it becomes, in that respect, similar to creating an endowment, building inns and other kinds of recurring charities.… Jihad is an exercise replete with tremendous benefits for the Muslim community, and it is the instrument of jihad alone that can bring about their victory.… The supremacy of his Religion over all other religions cannot be realized without jihad and the necessary preparation for it, including the procurement of its instruments. Therefore, if the Prophet’s followers abandon jihad and pursue the tails of cows [that is, become farmers] they will soon be overcome by disgrace, and the people of other religions will overpower them.
    • Shah Waliullah Dehlawi Quoted in Bonney, Jihad from Qur’an to bin Laden, 101-3 Quoted from Spencer, Robert (2018). The history of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS.
  • The Sheikh has departed, may God have mercy on him, to his God as a martyr and we must continue on his path of ¬ Jihad to expel the invaders from the land of Muslims and to purify it from injustice. Today, and thanks to God, America is not facing an individual or a group, but a rebelling nation, which has awoken from its sleep in a jihadist renaissance.
  • There is no lack of evidence concerning the Muslim practice of jihad. The classical and modern works on the subject are voluminous, and they are documented by an examination of Muslim actions as recorded by historians. There can be no reasonable doubt that jihad is a major theme running through the entirety of Muslim civilization and is at least one of the major factors in the astounding success of the faith of Islam.
  • In reading Muslim literature -- both contemporary and classical -- one can see that the evidence for the primacy of spiritual jihad is negligible. Today it is certain that no Muslim, writing in a non-Western language (such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu), would ever make claims that jihad is primarily nonviolent or has been superseded by the spiritual jihad. Such claims are made solely by Western scholars, primarily those who study Sufism and/or work in interfaith dialogue, and by Muslim apologists who are trying to present Islam in the most innocuous manner possible.
  • ...after surveying the evidence from classical until contemporary times, one must conclude that today's jihad movements are as legitimate as any that have ever existed in classical Islam... In short, although the actions of many of these groups may disgust many Muslims, as far as their conduct of jihad, they fall within the limits set by classical and contemporary Muslim law.
  • The first step... is to understand the difference between total strategy, that is Jehad, and military strategy. The term, Jehad, so often confused with military strategy, is, in fact, the near-equivalent of total or grand strategy or policy in execution. Jehad entails the comprehensive direction and application of ‘power’ while military strategy deals only with the preparation for and application of force. Jehad is a continuous and never-ending struggle waged on all fronts including political, economic, social, psychological, domestic, moral and spiritual to attain the object of policy. It aims at attaining the overall mission assigned to the Islamic State, and military strategy is one of the means available to it to do so. It is waged at the individual as well as collective level; and at internal as well as external front. Waged in its true spirit, and with multiple means available to it, the Islamic concept of total strategy has the capacity to produce direct results. Alternately, however, it creates conditions conducive to the military strategy to attain its objectives speedily and economically. Military strategy thus draws heavily on the total strategy (Jehad) for its successful application. Any weakness or strength in the formulation, direction or application of the total strategy would affect military strategy in like manner. In the absence of Jehad, the preparation for and application of ‘force’ to its best advantage would be a matter of exception, not rule. Conversely, optimum preparation and application of military instrument forms an integral part of Jehad.
    • Malik, Brigadier S.K., The Quranic Concept of War, Lahore, 1979, New Delhi reprint, 1986. , quoted from S.R. Goel, The Calcutta Quran Petition Section 1, Chapter 3. (1999)

Quotes in the Quran[edit]

  • 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.
    • Quran, 4:95
  • وَمَن جَٰهَدَ فَإِنَّمَا يُجَٰهِدُ لِنَفْسِهِۦٓ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَغَنِىٌّ عَنِ ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ
  • وَٱلَّذِينَ جَٰهَدُوا۟ فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَمَعَ ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ
  • إِنَّمَا ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا۟ وَجَٰهَدُوا۟ بِأَمْوَٰلِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلصَّٰدِقُونَ

Quotes in Hadiths[edit]

  • “I came to the Prophet and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, which Jihad is best?’ He said: ‘(That of a man) whose blood is shed and his horse is wounded.’”
    • Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 24, Hadith 2900
  • Allah's Messenger was asked, "What is the best deed?" He replied, "To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, "What is the next (in goodness)? He replied, "To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah's Cause."
    • Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 2, Hadith 19
  • أَفْضَلُ الْجِهَادِ كَلِمَةُ عَدْلٍ عِنْدَ سُلْطَانٍ جَائِرٍ
  • The best Jihad is to say a word of truth before a tyrant ruler.

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