What is Jihad
At this stage it is necessry for me to stress something else. Note that Jihad is not only that
in which battle is waged and fighting takes place, even if that is the highest rank of Jihad.
Every effort which is made for Allah’s Word and Will to be dominant and for the
supremacy of Islam and truth is included in Jihad.
Hence Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) once said, that the best form of Jihad is
to speak the truth in the presence of a tyrant king. For this reason every effort in political
fields (for the welfare of Islam and the Muslims) is also considered Jihad.
Having said that, I must draw attention to another point.
Undoubtedly those involved in this kind of politics are performing a very important
function. But then there are those
persons among them who go to such extremes as to
criticise, denounce and abuse those who for some personal or religious reason are unable
to do the same. The result is that in the eyes of those critics and denouncers every
Ibaadah or any other righteousness become ignored.
They go so far as to denounce him as an evil and bad person, and even brand him as an
infidel. This indeed is a great wrong. Had this been a compulsory duty on every Muslim,
then jn such a case too the one who stayed aloof from it would not have been guilty of a
major sin. So how can he be called a Kaafir? Branding anyone a Kaafir without sound
proof is indeed a grievous wrong. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to
have said that the root of Islam is based on three things one of which is that a Muslim
having accepted the Kalimah should not be branded as a Kaafir because of some sin
committed by him. (See Mishkat). According to another
Iladeeth: “Whosoever calls
another a faasiq or a Kaafir while that person is not so, that accusation returns to the one
who utters the word.”
“When anyone calls a person a Kaafir or an enemy of Allah, and that person is not so, the
accusation returns to the one who utters the word.” (Mishkat).
This means that this calamity will fall upon the speaker. One should be very careful of
the words one utters. Sometimes one hears a person being very angry at others saying:
“The person will never ever be forgiven” or “So- and-so will never receive pardon from
Allah.” What a great wrong. It grieves me greatly that I have heard this type of words
even coming from the tongues of educated people.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “A man said: ‘I swear that Allah will
never grant forgiveness to such-and-such a person. Allah replied: ‘Who is this man who
swears by Me that I will not forgive that
person? I have indeed pardoned that person and
as for this man who swears thus to him I say: All your deeds are nullified and in vain.”
According to another Hadeeth there were two persons among the Bani Israel:
One was a great Allah-fearing and saintly person and the other a great sinner. The saintly
one always used to admonish the sinner. One day he saw the sinner involved in a great
sinful deed. He said to him: “I swear by Allah, there will be no pardon for you by Allah.”
Al- Eti’daal Fi Maraatibur- Rijaal 44
It so happened that both of them passed away and both of them were brought before
Allah. Allah said to the righteous one: “Did you consider yourself so capable of stopping
my bounties from descending that you swore (that I will not forgive him)?”
To the sinner Allah said: “Enter into paradise through My special Mercy.” A command
was then given that the saint be cast into Hell. Regarding the saint
in this Hadeeth,
Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (Radiallahu anhu) said: “Because of one spoken sentence, he
destroyed both his dunya and his deen.” (Jam-uIfawa-id).
The object of quoting this Hadeeth is to show that it is indeed very foolish to allow such
words from the mouth even in anger. Worse than that are the types of words uttered
which are derogatory to the deen and its teachings: For example: we sometimes hear
some say in derision: “There are many doors leading to paradise. The Molvis have made
entry into paradise easy. The road to paradise has been made easy. All you have to do is
make Salaah and to fast and then go to Jannat.”
These are the types of words with which they seek to play the fool with the deen, and
which they openly state in their lectures with great zeal. In this manner they desire to
scoff at the deen and the custodians of deen. Whoever denies the fact that paradise has
many doors of entry?
There are eight such doors according to authentic Hadeeth.
According to some other Hadeeth it seems there are even more. There is a special door
for Salaah, a special door for those who Fasted diligently, a special door for giving
charity and for those who suppress their anger and forgiv others. A special door has been
reserved for those who put their complete faith in Allah and rely on Him, and a door for
those who were regular and punctual in performing Duhaa Salaah (Chaast). There is also
a door for those who make Taubah and for those who are pleased and satisfied with
Allah’s will. In fact according to an authentic Hadeeth there is a special door for the
people who are regular and punctual in the performing of any righteous deed. (Fath)
So there are indeed many doors leading to paradise. But what is the need for scoffing,
jeering and passing sarcastic remarks about it?
Just like other teachings of the deen, Jihad
is also part of the deen. Allama Shams stated
that to perform Salaah in its prescribed times and with due care, is coijs:dered more
virtuous than Jihad. The reason for this is that Jihad is waged for Imaan and Salaah to
become established, whereas Salaah is in itself the required object, which is good in its
Then it is a great wrong to criticise those who do not take an active part in certain forms
of Jihad and to say that their Salaah and Fasting is of no use whatsoever. A Sahabi once
came to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) with the intention of going in Jihad.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked him whether his parents were alive, to
which he replied that they were indeed alive. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)
said to him: “Return home and serve them diligently” (Mishkat).
Al- Eti’daal Fi Maraatibur- Rijaal 45
On another occasion one of the Companions (Radiallahu Anhu) came
along and said to
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam): “I have volunteered to go into Jihad and my
wife is proceeding for Haj.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: “Go and
accompany your wife in Haj.” (Mishkat, Bukhari, Muslim).
According to another Hadeeth a certain Sahabi (Radiallahu Anhu) came and said to
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) “I have come here with the intention of going in
Jihad, and would like to consult you in this affair.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi
Wasallam) asked: “Is your mother alive?” He replied: “Yes, she is alive.” Rasulullah
(Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Remain with her for paradise lies at her feet.”
A bedouin Arab came and consulted Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) about
making Hij rat. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked: “Hijrat is a difficult
affair. Do you possess camels?” He replied: “Yes, I
do.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi
Wasallam) asked: “Do you give the Zakaat that is due on these camels?” He replied:
“Yes I do.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Then keep yourself busy with
righteous actions somewhere beyond the sea. Allah Most High will not decrease the
reward of your righteous works at all.” (Abu Dawood).
In short, there are numerous similar Ahaadeth and incidents where Rasulullah (Sallallahu
Alayhi Wasallam) gave preference to other righteous deeds over real Jihad, let alone
those actions which although not being true Jihad can be construed to be Jihad.
We do admit however, that at times due to urgent circumstances and the needs of the
hour, it did happen that the need for Jihad was uppermost, so much so that at the time of
the Battle of the Ditch against the Ahzaab, one or more of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi
Wasallam’s) Salaah’s were not performed in their
prescribed times. But this is not a
general rule that in the absence of Jihad no other deeds of righteousness is acceptable,
especially in those cases where acceptable excuses are prevalent.
Once Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) proceeded from Madina while going for
Jihad. On the way he said: “You people have left behind you in Madina such people who
share with you in reward for every step you take towards battle, for all that you spend and
for all the journey you complete, even though they remain behind in Madina.”
In surprise the Companions (Radiallahu anhum) asked: “How can they share our reward
though they remain behind in their homes?”
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: “It is because of being preoccupied and
due to disability that they are absent.” (Abu Dawood)
The theme of this Hadeeth and what it seeks to convey is also corroborated by countless
similar Ahaadeeth. In one
Hadeeth Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported
to have said: “Whosoever falls ill or had gone on a journey (as a result of which he could
Al- Eti’daal Fi Maraatibur- Rijaal 46
not perform his usual daily good deeds), will receive the same reward as he would
receive while in good health and stationary (not on a journey)” (Mishkat).
According to one Hadeeth: “When that man, who had been usually busy in some good
work falls ill, the Angel, appointed to register his good deeds is commanded to continue
to write down for him the reward of the good deeds as if he had done them.” (Mishkat).
Another Hadeeth states that when any prohibited deed is being performed and someone
who dislikes such deeds, had been forced due to cirsumstances taken part therein, he shall
be considered not to have participated therein. And he who likes such deeds, even though
he was not present there, shall be considered as if he
had indeed participated therein.
Another Hadeeth will shortly be quoted wherein we hear: “Whosoever sets forth with the
aim of earning that with which to maintain and support his small children, is in the path
of Allah. And whosoever sets forth to help his aged parents, he too is in the path of Allah.