Why is the war against the evil-self called the great jihad?
Humans evil-self leads him into evil things along with the inculcation that the Satan gives. The struggle against the evil-self eliminates the effects of these inculcations and makes them inefficient. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) draws our attention to the evil-self, which is an enemy, with his expression: Your most harmful foe is your evil-self. (1) He also announces the hardship of the struggle against the evil-self with his hadith The champion is not the one who brings his rivals back down, but the one who overcomes his evil-self when irritated. (2) With the expression, Mujaheed (the one who performs jihad) is the one who makes jihad against his evil-self (3), he explains that the struggle against the evil-self is jihad. On their return from Tebuk war, he told his companions, We are back to the great jihad from the small one. (4) And stated that the struggle against the evil-self is the greatest jihad. The one who does not fight his evil-self is not to be expected any sacrifice against the enemy in the jihad. (5)
Those having a superficial look might regard the war against the enemy as a greater jihad. Whereas the start of jihad against the enemy is up to the jihad against the evil-self. Those who are overcome by their evil-selves are also overcome by their enemy.
The jihad against the evil-self continues all ones life long. There is not the same continuity as for the jihad against the enemy. During the jihad against the enemy, a greater jihad is experienced in mans inner world. The evil-self in man tries to deter him from the war, at least attempts to discourage him. You have a family behind. What if you get wounded and be disabled? Maybe you would die Your wife and kids would be wretchedetc. Those who can surmount these voices can be successful in the jihad against the enemy.
Furthermore, those defeated in the jihad against the evil-self go to hell-fire. Those who are killed in the jihad against the enemy become martyr and go to Paradise.
2-Buhari, Edeb, 102; Muslim. Birr., 106-108; Ahmed İbnu Hanbel, Müsned, Çağrı Pub. İst. 1981, I, 382
3-Tirmidhi, Fedailu'l-Cihad, 2
4-Acluni, I,424; Razi, XXIII, 72; Beydavi, II, 97
5-Kadiri, I, 275
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