What is the spiritual jihad, how should it be done?
The spiritual jihad is a spiritual war that all Muslims need to wage in order not to be overcome in the face of the entrapment and tricks of the Satan and evil-self, and restrain their own selfish desires. The purpose of the spiritual jihad, which is also called spiritual fight or Jihad-u Akbar (the Great Jihad), is to fight against the evil-self and the Satan during Muslims whole lifetime, is to be a pure servant on the right path, a benevolent Muslim, a virtuous and perfect human being, by purifying their own evil-selves from all sorts of temptations. The spiritual jihad means strengthening the order of the inner-world. In addition, it is to wash ones heart away from dirt and evil, and try to get rid of every sort of evil. The spiritual jihad, which aims at ones improving and amending his own inner-world, is the responsibility of being a human.
Spiritual fight is a constant necessity for all Muslims. Spiritual fight is to endeavor to have the consciousness of servitude within constancy. The importance of the spiritual jihad is clearly emphasized in the Holy Quran and hadiths. With regard to the verse, Therefore stand firm (in the straight path) as thou art commanded (Hud Surah, 11:112) the Prophet (PBUH) says : the Surah Hud has made me aged (Tirmidi, Tafseer, part 56) and thus expressed the importance of keeping the right path as Allah (SWT) commands, and his sensitivity towards the task of servitude for Allah (SWT).
In the Holy Quran, with the declaration of By the sun and his brightness, And the moon when she followed him, And the day when it revealed him, And the night when it enshrouded him, And the heaven and Him Who built it, And the earth and Him Who spread it, And a soul and Him Who perfected it, And inspired it (with conscience of) what is wrong for it and (what is) right for it. He is indeed successful who caused it to grow, And he is indeed a failure who stunted it. (As-Shams Surah, 91:1-10) Allah Almighty declares that to reach salvation will only be possible to keep ones self away from evil.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) indicates the importance of the struggle against the evil-self in his hadith The mujaheed (one who performs jihad) is the one who struggles against his evil-self, and Allah Almighty warns people seriously with His verses in the Holy Quran against the evil sides of self, The (human) soul is certainly prone to evil (Yusuf Surah, 12:53), And believe in what I reveal, confirming the revelation which is with you, and be not the first to reject Faith therein, nor sell My Signs for a small price; and fear Me, and Me alone. (Al-Baqarah Surah, 2:41) Along with this warning, He also shows the ways of cleansening and purification: A similar (favor have ye already received) in that We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, rehearsing to you Our Signs, AND PURIFYING YOU, and instructing you in Scripture and Wisdom, and in new knowledge. (Al-Baqarah Surah, 2:151)
Achievement in religion largely rests on the spiritual achievement. The one who cannot perform jihad against his evil-self in following the commands of Allah (SWT) cannot also make a war against the enemy.
Allah (SWT) has assistance and favor for the Muslims who make spiritual wars. This verse confirms this: And those who strive in Our (Cause), We will certainly guide them to Our Paths: for verily Allah is with those who do right (Al-Ankaboot Surah, 29:69).
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