What is the decree of Jihad?
Jihad as armed warfare against the enemy is farz-i kifaya (not obligatory on every Muslim) under usual conditions. It is farz-i ayn (obligatory on every Muslim) under a state of emergency. That is to say, this duty is provided within the community by some capable people, because it is hard to do that for some people. Of course, if it is not a state of emergency.
This below quoted verse announces why Jihad is farz:
Prescribed for you is fighting, though it is disliked by you. It may well be that you dislike a thing but it is good for you, and it may well be that you like a thing but it is bad for you. God knows and you do not know. (Al-Baqarah Surah, 2:216)
War is an inevitable reality, even though it is not desirable. (2) There is demolishing, shedding blood, wounding, and killing in the nature of war, -which are actually disliked by the true nature of humans.
The expression, even though you dislike takes our attentions. War is not favorable as an act, but can be favorable with its consequences. Though, there are many favorable consequences of fighting in the way of God such as expelling the misdeeds of an enemy, and providing the rise of Islam. (3)
War is not being favorable as an act, but being favorable with its consequences is just like, one is taking bitter medicine in order to heal, or enduring to the difficulties of journeys for accomplishments. (4) One cannot regain his/her health without taking the bitter medicine.
One who does not endure difficulties cannot succeed. And the one who does not fight in the cause of God, cannot reach happiness either in this world or in the Hereafter; suffers defeat and is punished of opposing to the divine order.
When the strength of the army is adequate for war, Jihad is not farz for the rest of the community. However, in the face of an inadequacy, it is declared a state of emergency, and everyone from seven-year-old to seventy-year-old is mobilized; and protects his/her religion, land, and chastity.
This below given verse is actually signifies of Jihads being farz-i kifaya: (5)
And the believers should not go forth to war all together. But why should not a party from every community of them mobilize to acquire profound, correct knowledge and understanding of religion and warn their people when they return to them so that they may beware (of wrongful attitudes)? (At-Taubah Surah, 9:122)
According to narrations, this above quoted verse was revealed after when all believers wanted to go to war because of the Quranic verses that condemn the people failed to go to war. It is a historical reality that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) sometimes left some people behind (at their homes) and even he himself did not participate to some minor campaigns.
In addition, the following verse is accepted, as the proof of Jihads not being farz-i ayn: Not equal are those of the believers who (when not all believers are required to mobilize for Gods cause) sit still without justifiable excuse (and without doing any harm to Gods cause) and those who strive (and fight) in Gods cause with their wealth and their persons. God has exalted in rank those who strive with their wealth and their persons over those who sit still. To each God has promised the best reward (Paradise), and yet God has exalted those who strive over those who sit still by a tremendous reward. (An-Nisa Surah, 4:95) Promising paradise to those who sit at home is a sign for it is not being farz. (7)
Needless to say that, laziness is not an appropriate action just because Jihads not being farz. As the verse takes our attentions, those who strive with their wealth and their persons are exalted in rank and higher than those who do not. And showing laziness for a holy duty as jihad cannot be accepted as pious while those whose selves do not desire for less in their terrestrial interest.
Moreover, Jihads being farz-i kifaya is only valid when it is adequately provided by some people within the community. If that certain amount of people would fail to do that, everyone in the community should responsible to take the necessity action.
1- Abdullah b. Mahmud Mevsılî, İhtiyar li Ta'lîli'l-Muhtar, Çağrı Yay. İst., 1980, IV, 117; Muhammed b. İbnu Rüşd,, Bidayetü'l-Müctehid Nihayetü'l Muktesid, Daru'l-Marife, Beyrut, 1988, 1, 380-381; Kurtubî, III, 27; Ebu'l-Fadl Àlûsî, Ruhu'l-Meanî, Daru İhyai't- Türasi'l-Arabî, Beyrut, 1985, II, 106; W. Madelung, Dictionary of the Middle Ages, "Cihad" md. VII, 110
2- İbnu Haldun, Mukaddime, El-Mektebetu't-Ticariyye, Mısır, s. 270-271; Reşid Rıza, Tefsîru'l-Menar, Mektebetu'l-Kahire, Mısır, X, 364; Muhammed Hamîdullah, Hz.Peygamberin Savaşları, Ter. Salih Tuğ, Yağmur Yay., İst., 1981, s. 14
3- Halim Sabit Şibay, M.E.B. İslam Ans. "Cihad" md. III, 169; Ömer Nasuhî Bilmen, Hukuk-u İslamiyye ve Istılahat-ı Fıkhıye Kamusu, Bilmen Yay. İst. III, 356; Abdülhafız Abdürabbih, Felsefetü'l-Cihad fi'l-İslam, Mektebetul-Medrese, Beyrut, 1982, s. 42; Özel, İslam Hukukunda Milletlerarası Münasebetler, s.48
4- Razi, VI, 27; Muhammed Ali Sabunî, Revaiu'l-Beyan, Dersaadet Yay. İst., 1, 245; Kurtubî, III, 27-28; Àlûsî, II, 106
5- Razî, XVI, 225-226; İbnu Rüşd, I, 380-381; Kurtubî, VIII, 186; Bilmen, III, 358-359; Ahmed Kadiri, El-Cihadu fî Sebilillah, Daru'l-Menare, Cidde, 1992, I, 59-60
6- Razi, XVI, 225-226
7- Age. XI, 9; Kadiri, I,60