Some claim that Jihad is only a matter of war. Can you inform us about Jihad in the light of Quranic verses and Hadiths?
Some Westerner writers deliberately argue out the concept of Jihad as if it is only a matter of war, and disregard the other meanings. Whereas, jihad has a more comprehensive meaning, embraces every kind of struggle in the Gods cause. When, Quranic verses, Hadiths, and Prophet Muhammads practices on the subject are taken into consideration, it is quite clear that Jihad does not only mean war.
Examples from the Hadiths:
Hazrath Aisha asked, O Messenger of God, we see Jihad as the best of deeds, so shouldn't we join it? He replied, But, the best of Jihad is a perfect hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). (Sahih Al-Bukhari Jihad, 2784)
In another hadith, it is stated that, Verily, words of truth and justice are a great Jihad especially when said in front of an oppressive ruler. (Tirmidhi's Kitabu'l-Fitan)
One other remarkable hadith was narrated by Abdullah bin Amr, A man came to the Prophet asking for permission to go to Jihad. The Prophet asked, "Are your parents alive?" He replied in the affirmative. The Prophet said, "Then struggle with your nafs (evil self) to keep their rights" (Sahih Al-Bukhari Jihad, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 248)
It is narrated on the authority of Tariq b. Shihab: It was Marwan who initiated (the practice) of delivering sermon before the prayer on the 'Id day. A man stood up and said: Prayer should precede sermon. Marwan remarked, This (practice) has been done away with. Upon this Abu Sa'id remarked: This man has performed (his duty) laid on him. I heard the Messenger of God as saying: He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue, and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of faith. (Sahih Muslim Faith, Book 001, Number 0079-80)
When these Hadiths are resorted, it is seen that Jihad has wider connotation, which embraces every kind of striving in the cause of God.
Jihad means to strive or to struggle in Arabic, comes from the root of Jahd.
Jihad, in the broadest meaning is striving through the way of God, fulfilling the duties of servitude to God, struggling with both evil self and Satan, living and reflecting the essence of Islamic way of life by following the example of Prophet Muhammad, inviting people to the Religion, announcing the Divine Message to humanity, protecting Islam and Muslims against every possible enemy and fighting for it if necessary. Within the framework of this meaning, Jihad has two aspects: Spiritual and Material.
Spiritual Aspect requires an absolute faith and submission, sincerity and purity, self-sacrifice and great effort in religion. (Al-Baqarah Surah, 2:285, 286) By this way, it provides believers to be equipped with strong belief and scientific knowledge, to become conscious and provident, and to live religion with utmost sincerity as a model. (Az-Zumar Surah, 2-3) Material Aspect on the other hand, defines the necessity of developing economically, technologically, culturally against the possible assaults of the enemies.
The concept of Jihad in Islam refers to a large category of duties and responsibilities, which are determined by Quranic verses and Hadiths.
1- Trying to live the Religion in the sake of God with sincerity
2- Prevailing truth above everything.
3- Striving to call others to Islam, teaching those who do not know about it.
4- Enjoining good and forbidding evil.
5- Striving to bear patiently the difficulties involved in calling people to God and the insults of the people
6- Propagating the knowledge of the Divine Message commending right and forbidding wrong with great affection.
7- Striving hard to become superior in science and technology
8- Developing materially to prevail in the war of economics and culture.
9- Governing the state providently not to allow profiteers
10- Striving hard against enemies not to become their villain politically, economically, and militarily.
11- Taking preventative measures against every possible betrayal and assaults of the enemies.
12- When war is unavoidable, it is not running away from the enemy, fighting against them, and trusting in God.
False and deliberate evaluations on Jihad as if it is only a matter of war is lacking, incomplete and wrong according to the teachings of Quran and Sunnah
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