On Jihad, its types, rationale, and stages,

 

 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام  على رسوله المصطفى الأمين

وآ له وصحبه ومن أتبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين

 

In the name of Allah Most Beneficent Most Merciful

All praise is for Allah the Exalted and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and his family and companions and all those who follow them and their way until the Day of Resurrection

On Jihad, its types, rationale, and stages,

Jihad is much maligned and misunderstood.  Linguistically the Arabic word Jihad (جهاد) is from the root J-H-D (جهد) to mean endeavor, exertion, and struggle. The addition of the vowel ‘alif’ adds that the endeavor, exertion, and struggle is against another entity. This entity may be the enemy within – selfish desires from within the soul – or the enemy outside.

According to the scriptural proofs of the Qur`an and Sunnah, Jihad is of four kinds:

  1. Jihad an-Nafs (Jihad against one’s own self);
  2. Jihad ash-Shaitan (Jihad against the Satan);
  3. Jihad al-Kuffar wal-Munafiqeen (Jihad against the disbelievers and the hypocrites);
  4. Jihad Ahl-al-Baghe wa Ahl-al-Bid’ah (Jihad against people of aggression and rebellion and against people of innovation).

The first kind is indicated when the Prophet said, peace be upon him:

[ والمجاهد من جاهد نفسه في طاعة الله]

“..the Mujahid is the one who struggles with himself for obeying Allah…” [Reported by Ahmad and others]

And Allah the Exalted said:

[ وَمَنْ جَاهَدَ فَإِنَّمَا يُجَاهِدُ لِنَفْسِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ]

“And whoever strives only strives for [the benefit of] himself. Indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.” (29:6)

The second is indicated when Allah said:

[{إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا إِنَّمَا يَدْعُو حِزْبَهُ لِيَكُونُوا مِنْ أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ} ]

“Verily the Satan is your enemy so take him as your enemy. He only calls his party to be of the inhabitants of the Blazing Hellfire.” (35:6)

The third is indicated in numerous Quran verses and Hadeeth and is what is often thought of when the word is mentioned.  A famous story about our unending allegiance to Islam by Jihad is when the companions were digging the trench for defense of Madinah from the coming onslaught of the pagan Arabs and the treachery of the Jews who broke their solemn pledge, and as in the narration of Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him:

جعل المهاجرون والأنصار يحفرون الخندق وينقلون التراب وهم يقولون نحن الذين بايعوا محمدا على الجهاد ما بقينا أبدا يقول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو يجيبهم اللهم لا عيش إلا عيش الآخرة فاغفر للأنصار والمهاجرة

“The Emigrants (Muhajireen) and the Helpers (Ansar) were digging the trench and carrying the dirt and saying ‘We are those who have given the pledge of allegiance to Muhammad, that we will carry on Jihad as long as we live.’ In reply the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, would say, ‘O Allah! The real life is that of the Hereafter, so forgive the Ansar and the Emigrants.’” [Narrated by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others.]

The forth is indicated in the saying of Allah about the Muslims who transgress and whom we must fight in order that they return to the rulings of Allah:

وَإِن طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا فَإِن بَغَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الْأُخْرَى فَقَاتِلُوا الَّتِي تَبْغِي حَتَّى تَفِيءَ إِلَى أَمْرِ اللَّهِ فَإِن فَاءَتْ فَأَصْلِحُوا   بَيْنَهُمَا بِالْعَدْلِ وَأَقْسِطُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

“And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both, but if one of them rebels against the other, then fight against the one which rebels until it complies with the Command of Allah; then if it complies, make reconciliation between them justly, and be equitable. Verily! Allah loves those who are equitable. The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islamic religion).  So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.” [49:12]

And as it is said in the famous narration:

[من رأى منكم منكرًا فليغيره بيده، فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه وذلك أضعف الإيمان ]

“Whoever sees an evil act should change it with his hands, and if he is unable then with his tongue, and if he is unable then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.” [Reported Muslim no. 49]

The Wisdom and Rationale of the Legislation of Jihad

1.       First: Making the Word of Allah Supreme, and combating oppression and turmoil.

Allah the Almighty and Majestic has clarified the goal and objective of the legislation of  Jihad, when He the Exalted said:

[{وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ لِلَّهِ فَإِنِ انتَهَوْاْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ} ]

“And fight them until there is no trial and civil strife and the religion is entirely for Allah. And if they cease then Allah is Omniscient about all that they do.”  (8:39)

And He the Exalted said:

[{وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ لِلَّهِ فَإِنِ انتَهَواْ فَلاَ عُدْوَانَ إِلاَّ عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ}  ]

“Fight them until there is no civil strife and the religion is for Allah, and if they cease then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.” (2:193)

This is by the narration of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari, may Allah be pleased with him:

جاء رجل إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال : الرجل يقاتل للمغنم والرجل يقاتل للذكر والرجل يقاتل ليرى مكانه

فمن في سبيل الله ؟ قال : من قاتل لتكون كلمة الله هي العليا فهو في سبيل الله

“A man came to the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, and asked: ‘A man fights for war booty, another fights for fame, and a third fights for showing off, which one of them fights in Allah’s Cause?” The Prophet said: ‘Whoever fights that Allah’s Word should be superior, fights for the sake of Allah.”   [Reported by al-Bukhari no. 2810. and Muslim no 1904]

2.       Second: To Aid the Oppressed.   Allah the Exalted said:

{وَمَا لَكُمْ لاَ تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاء وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَـذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ نَصِيرًا}

“And what is the matter with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and for the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, ‘Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people, and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?” (4:75)

3.       Third: To repel aggression and protect Islam.

Allah the Exalted said:

{الشَّهْرُ الْحَرَامُ بِالشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ وَالْحُرُمَاتُ قِصَاصٌ فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُواْ عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ}

“The sacred month is for the sacred month and for violations there is legal retribution. So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you, and fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who fear Him” (2:194) And Allah the Exalted said:

{ أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَاتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى نَصْرِهِمْ لَقَدِيرٌ الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا مِن دِيَارِهِمْ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ إِلا أَن يَقُولُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ وَلَوْلا دَفْعُ اللَّهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُم بِبَعْضٍ لَّهُدِّمَتْ صَوَامِعُ وَبِيَعٌ وَصَلَوَاتٌ وَمَسَاجِدُ يُذْكَرُ فِيهَا اسْمُ اللَّهِ كَثِيرًا وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ}

“Permission (to fight) has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is able to give them victory. “Those who have been evicted from their homes without right, only because they say, ‘Our Lord is Allah.’ Was it not that Allah blocks some people by means of some others, many monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques would have been demolished wherein the name of Allah is mentioned frequently. Allah will surely support (to victory) those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is All-Powerful and Exalted in Might.” (22: 40-41)

Stages of legislation of Jihad In the Makkan period the believers were prohibited in general from fighting back against the persecutions and oppressions of the polytheists, and they suffered all kinds of tortures and murders . They patiently waited for the permission to emigrate and to fight to protect themselves and their religion.

In this period, Jihad was by peaceful means as in the verse of the Quran revealed in Makkah before the permission given to fight in the Madinah period:

[ فَلَا تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِينَ وَجَاهِدْهُمْ بِهِ جِهَادًا كَبِيرًا ]

“So do not obey the disbelievers, and strive against them with it a great striving.”  (25:52) The commentators of the Qur`an mention that “with it” in the verse means by the Qur`an. In this period the Prophet peace be upon him, sought a place of sanctuary and protection, but all the tribes refused except the “Ansar” of  “Yathrib.”

After the Emigration to “al-Madinah” the permission was legislated for fighting in the three stages (in a series, each stage built upon the other):

The First Stage was when the Muslims were allowed to fight without an obligation to do so, as in the saying of Allah the glorified:

[ ( أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَاتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى نَصْرِهِمْ لَقَدِيرٌ )]

“Permission (to fight) has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is able to give them victory.” [Surat-al-Hajj (22:39)]

The Second Stage was the command to fight those who fight the Muslims, while to hold back from those who hold their hands back from fighting the Muslims.

Allah said:

[ ( وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلا تَعْتَدُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ ]

“Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not commit aggression. Indeed, Allah does not like aggressors.” [Surat-al-Baqarah (2:190)] Allah said in Surat-an-Nisa`a about this stage:

فَإِنِ اعْتَزَلُوكُمْ فَلَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ وَأَلْقَوْا إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ فَمَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سَبِيلاً

“…So if they distance themselves from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not made for you a way (for fighting) against them.” (4: 89-90) The verse after it also contains similar meaning.

The Third (and Final) Stage was the absolute command to fight against the polytheists wherever they are until there is no trial, persecution and civil strife concerning the religion of Islam and that it is entirely for Allah, so that the goodness of Islam spreads over the entire world, and blasphemy and atheism are removed from the path of the invitation to Islam. By this the people benefit from the just laws of Islamic Shari’ah and the noble tolerant teachings, so that the people can be liberated from the worship of idols and creatures and enter into the worship of the Creator, and be liberated from the injustices and tyranny of the oppressors and man made law, and enter into to justice of Islamic Law. Allah the most Glorified said:

[( وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ لِلَّهِ … ) ]

“And fight them until there is no trial and civil strife and the religion is entirely for Allah.” (8:39) Along with this there are many prophetic narrations mentioned previously that all testify to the correctness that this was the final ruling in this regard, like in the saying  of Allah

[ قَاتِلُوا الَّذِينَ لا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَلا بِالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَلا يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَلا يَدِينُونَ دِينَ الْحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ حَتَّى يُعْطُوا الْجِزْيَةَ عَنْ يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَاغِرُون ]

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who do not make unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful, and who do not adopt the religion of truth, of those who were given the Scriptures (the Jews and Christians) until they give the Jizyah willingly while they are humbled.” [Surat-at-Taubah (9: 29)

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