بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
The word ‘Jihad’ means to strive i.e to make efforts. Allah wants the believers to make efforts in line with the Spirit of the His Book to understand and act upon Allah’s Ayas and spread His message in mankind. Commonly in the West, the word ‘Jihad’ is considered to be mainly referring to physical strive or war. In this post, we will review the Ayas related to ‘Jihad’ in Al-Quran to see its real meaning:
29:69 وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا ۚ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
And those who jahadoo / strive in Us, definitely We will guide them of Our ways and surely Allah is with those who are Mohsineen/who do good.
To strive / make Jihad in Allah’s way is to act upon Allah’s Ayas, i.e follow the do’s and don’t in Quran, that is Jihad. Those who make efforts in Allah’s way, are the Mohsineen, i.e the doers of good.
5:35 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَاهِدُوا فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
O’ you people who believe take guard of Allah and seek the means towards Him and you strive in His way so that you may succeed.
The ‘means’ towards Allah and His good pleasures is His Book. Please see previous post ‘Waseela’ (https://topicsfromquran.com/2018/09/08/waseela-facilitation-towards-approach-to-allah/). Allah wants the believers to seek means towards Allah and strive in His ways.
25:52 فَلَا تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِينَ وَجَاهِدْهُم بِهِ جِهَادًا كَبِيرًا
So you do not obey the rejecters and jahidhum / Strive against them with this (i.e. Al-Quran) that is the great jihad / Strive.
The big Jihad/strive is to strive with Quran. The people who reject the Sprit of Quran (or try to replace with a deviant spirit), with those people we have to stive/make efforts with Quran.
8:73 وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ إِلَّا تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُن فِتْنَةٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِيرٌ
And those who reject (i.e. Islam/Peace) are protectors of one another, unless you do this (i.e. protect each other) there would be temptation and great corruption/violence on Earth.
The people who hold the opposite view i.e they think that Jihad is physical ware-fare, and they incite the people on war mongering activities, against these rejecters, the believers are asked to help each other in spreading the peaceful message of Islam. Otherwise, there will be great Fasad/corruption/war fare on Earth.
6:137 وَكَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَ لِكَثِيرٍ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ قَتْلَ أَوْلَادِهِمْ شُرَكَاؤُهُمْ لِيُرْدُوهُمْ وَلِيَلْبِسُوا عَلَيْهِمْ دِينَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا فَعَلُوهُ ۖ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ
Likewise for many associators, their partners (in Allah, who give orders other than Allah) have made alluring the killing of their children, to destroy them and to clothe this order with Din/judgement. If Allah had willed they would have not done so; so leave them alone and their inventions.
The mushrikeen are those who follow Allah’s orders and also the orders of others (6:137). The partners/Shuraka are those who make shariat for them (42:21). These Shurakas have ordered them to wage war and do violence on earth and they have termed these orders as Din/Judgment and make it appear as Holy war and they make dying for this cause as alluring to people.
3:142 أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَعْلَمِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا مِنكُمْ وَيَعْلَمَ الصَّابِرِينَ
Or do you assume that you will enter garden and whereas Allah knows those who strive amongst you and knows who are the patient ones.
To strive/make efforts in way of Allah, and patience goes hand in hand, as you are bound to hear a lot of painful incriminations from associators and those who were reading the Book before you but without understanding the true Spirit of the Book.
3:186 لَتُبْلَوُنَّ فِي أَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ وَلَتَسْمَعُنَّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا أَذًى كَثِيرًا ۚ وَإِن تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ
Certainly you shall be tested in your wealth and in your nafs/selves (psyche); and you shall certainly hear from those who were given the Book before you and from those who joined partners (with Allah) a lot of annyoying things. And if you persevere patiently, and take guard against evil,-then surely that is of the strengthened resolve.
9:20 الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ أَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً عِندَ اللَّهِ ۚ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ
Those who believe, and migrated (in belief) and strive , in Allah’s cause, with their wealth and their self/psyche, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah. they are the people who will achieve (salvation).
Those who show patience and strive/make efforts in the Way of Allah by spending their money and controlling their nafs/pshyche, they are held in a high rank with Allah.
29:6 وَمَن جَاهَدَ فَإِنَّمَا يُجَاهِدُ لِنَفْسِهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ
And whosoever strives (in the way of Allah) so surely he strives for his nafs/self/psyche. Surely Allah is free of any need from the worlds.
Who ever strives/ do Jihad, does so for his own Nafs/self, while Allah is not in need of anything in the universe.
22:78 وَجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ ۚ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ ۚ
And you strive in Allah as the right of striving in Him. He has chosen you and He has made no difficulty over you in the Din/Judgment……
Above is is a portion of Ayat 22:78 and it asks the submitters to strive/make efforts in Allah (i.e Allah’s ways) as is rightful to make these efforts and Allah has put no (physical) hardship in the judgment.
29:8 وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حُسْنًا ۖ وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ لِتُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا ۚ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
We have enjoined on Insan/human, kindness to parents, but if they strive/make efforts with thee to join with Me, anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.
If the parents or loved ones, strive with you to change your Deen/judgment about Allah for which Allah has not revealed any authority, then in this matter, they are not to be followed. However, other than this matter, our conduct with parents must be the best possible one.
9:24 قُلْ إِن كَانَ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَاؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَالٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَارَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَاكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَا أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُوا حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ
Say if your forefathers and your sons and your brothers and your pairs and your associates and the wealth to which you are committed and the business in which you fear a slump and the residences in which you are pleased. You have more love towards them than Allah and His messenger and jihad / to strive in His way then you wait until Allah comes with His order. And Allah does not guide the people who are dissolute / immoral.
If you have got the Spirit of Allah’s Ayas and His Book, and if striving in Allah’s way and spreading his Word in light of this Spirit, will put you in confrontation with your relatives/community or may harm you in your businesses then wait till Allah comes with His orders. Those who take liberty with Allah’s orders, they are not guided by Allah.
8:72 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ آوَوا وَّنَصَرُوا أُولَٰئِكَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يُهَاجِرُوا مَا لَكُم مِّن وَلَايَتِهِم مِّن شَيْءٍ حَتَّىٰ يُهَاجِرُوا ۚ وَإِنِ اسْتَنصَرُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ فَعَلَيْكُمُ النَّصْرُ إِلَّا عَلَىٰ قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُم مِّيثَاقٌ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ
Surely those who believe and who migrate (in belief) and jahadoo / they strive with their wealth and with their self/psyche in the way of Allah and those who give shelter and help (them) they are protectors of one another. And those who believe and do not migrate it is not (a duty) for you to protect them from anything until they migrate (in belief). And if they seek your help in the judgment (i.e. Islam/peace) then (duty) over you is that you help them except over the people there is a covenant between you and them. And Allah has insight with what you do.
Hijrat/Migration is basically Hijrat in belief/Iman, when you make a hijrat/migration from your beliefs which you inherited from your environment and community to the beliefs according to Ayas of Allah. Please see previous post on migration in belief (https://topicsfromquran.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/migration-in-belief/ ). The believers strive in ways of Allah and those people who had migrated earlier help them in this cause. The people who have migrated in belief, have an obligation to protect the newly migrated believers as their community may be at odds with them over their change in beliefs. In some countries, however the law may not permit you to preach religious beliefs, in these countries you should not go against law of the land.
9:122 وَمَا كَانَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لِيَنفِرُوا كَافَّةً ۚ فَلَوْلَا نَفَرَ مِن كُلِّ فِرْقَةٍ مِّنْهُمْ طَائِفَةٌ لِّيَتَفَقَّهُوا فِي الدِّينِ وَلِيُنذِرُوا قَوْمَهُمْ إِذَا رَجَعُوا إِلَيْهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَحْذَرُونَ
It may not be (possible) that all Believers go forth together (in faith). if a contingent from every group devote themselves to studies in religion, and admonish the people when they return to them,- thus they (may learn) to guard themselves (against evil).
The above Ayas towards the end of Sura Tuaba (Sura 9), indicate that striving and going out in the way of Allah, is about devoting to studies in matters of Din/Judgment.
Link to a lecture by Scholar Mohammad Shaikh on Jihad: