Islam is the religion of peace and love. The root word of Islam is “Silm”, indicates to “making peace, being in a mutually peaceful environment, rescue, safety, being secure, finding peace, well being, attaining goodness, comfort, and favor, keeping away from troubles and disasters, submitting the self and obeying, being far from wrong.“ Islam is basically “submission to Almighty Allah, accepting His authority as well as obeying His orders”; so we can say that a Muslim is one who is under the peaceful and safe shade of Islam. Almighty Allah wants a Muslim to live in a safe and peaceful environment and to make efforts for the spread and continuity of peace.
Islam is called “the Religion of Peace” as in Holy Quran Allah (SWT) said: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged. And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.” (Quran, 8: 60-61)
The above-stated verses first direct Muslims to fight against the enemies of Allah, with all covertness they could gather in order to succeed, and also emphasize on spending their properties and money for this cause. That fulfills the basis of Islam which is putting forward one`s everything for the Almighty Lord. These lines tell them about making harmony with those who seek peace, which is the realization of the secondary significance of this belief, i.e. extending peace in the world.
Islam does not call for violence; relatively it disliked all forms of violence and terrorism. No matter against Muslims or Non-Muslims, Islam calls for peace, cooperation and maintaining justice for the humanity as a whole. Islam makes it obligatory upon Muslims to stand by the helpless regardless of their race, color, religion or relationship and say NO to the oppressor and ask him to respond to the voice of reason and justice. Many people in western misunderstood the concept of being against the oppressor and respond to the voice of reason and justice so we are going to discuss in detail in this article about Jihad that is basically “to work hard for something in the way of Almighty Allah.”
Meaning of Jihad in Islam
Jihad is an Arabic term, and its transparent meaning is “to strive or work hard for something”. So, it does not mean “the Holy War” or “waging war in the name of Allah” against non-Muslims, which the West has associated with it. Such a term “Holy War”, or its equivalent doesn’t exist in the Islamic belief.
Jihad is basically the name given to every activity and movement in the way of Allah (SWT). It means to strive to make justice superior and dominant. In other words, jihad has to do with action in Islam; it is the power of Islam to act. Therefore, the meaning of the word “jihad” is not “war.” To fight for the sake of Allah (SWT) is also a kind of jihad but, in general terms, this word includes any kind of activity and action to make the religion of Allah goes everywhere in the world or spreading of religion Islam for Almighty Allah.
Types of Jihad
We have different types of Jihad we will discuss basic four types of Jihad in this article in detail that we all should know:
- Jihad against one’s self: Jihad bil Nafs is concerned with fighting against “evil” (un-Islamic) desires and the devil in the attempt to escape his inducement to evil. We can say this is the “internal” jihad.
- Jihad against Shaytaan: Allah says: “And We made from among them (Children of Israel), leaders, giving guidance under Our Command, when they were patient and used to believe with certainty in Our Ayat (proofs, verses, signs, revelations, etc.)” (Al Quran, As-Sajdah: 24). From this verse, we can conclude that we should fulfill Allah’s commands with the patient and have proper faith on Almighty Allah no matter what’s the situation we are facing always put strong faith on Almighty Allah. Shaytaan will try to break our faith but we have to stick against Shaytaan. Patience beat off desires and certainty beat off doubts. So always be patient for the sake of Almighty Allah.
- Jihad by the tongue/pen: This type of Jihad is concerned with spreading the word of Islam with one’s tongue or writing and the verbal (or written) defense of Islam.
- Jihad by the sword: This form of Jihad is referred as “the lesser jihad”. Sometimes it is necessary to undertake Jihad by the sword. This would include the use of armory and engage in an action. Jihad by the sword is the use of arms to engage in a combat. It is not the misuse of arms to create violence.
Jihad in Quran
Like any other obligatory and highest acts in the religion of Islam, Jihad is also responsibility given by Almighty Allah to the Muslims, which should only be analyzed according to The Holy Quran and not what the uninformed people do by manipulating its actual definition. Allah SWT says in Holy Quran: “The ones who have believed, emigrated and striven in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives are greater in rank in the sight of Allah. And it is those who are the attainers (of success).”(Quran, 9: 20)
From above verse, we can conclude that Jihad is basically the name of doing one`s best in terms of both fighting and expending everything one has for the sake of Almighty Allah. It has become obvious that Jihad is only meant for self-defense and not the other way around, from the verse of Holy Quran we can understand it “And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you… And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran, 2: 191-192)
Jihad is said to be “fighting for the cause of Allah”, but there is increased precondition to grasp what this phrase actually means, as the word fighting is being misused by extremist organizations operating in different regions of the world and portray it as the religious duty. Allah SWT says in the Holy Quran: “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?” (Quran, 4: 75)
From above verses, we can say that the perception of Jihad in Quran revolves around striving in Allah`s Cause, fighting when being attacked by rivals, helping out the oppressed ones, and have peace if they quit fighting.
Jihad According to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
Let us discuss Jihad in Islam according to the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW, Because His (SAW) entire life has been a great struggle for the sake of Almighty Allah. We have so many examples related to Jihad from the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself took part in battles against the oppressive Makkans who laid arms against Muslims in order to remove them from the surface of the earth. Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) said about the value of fighting against such non-believers: Somebody asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who is the best among the people?” Allah’s Apostle replied “A believer, who strives his utmost in Allah’s Cause with his life and property.”
The one saying of the Holy Prophet (SAW) tells that Jihad is far more than just fighting the oppressors, as He (PBUH) advised a man to serve its parents. On an occasion, a man asked: “Should I join the jihad?” The Prophet asked, upon him peace, “Do you have parents?” The man said yes. The Prophet said: “Then do jihad by serving them!” (Bukhari)
Another man asked: “What kind of jihad is better?” The Prophet (SAW) replied: “A word of truth spoken in front of an oppressive ruler.” (Sunan Al-Nasa’i). From this verse, we can say that keeping steadfast on one`s belief is also a form of Jihad in Islam.
In short, Jihad is not just only fighting against enemies, from Hadiths we came to know that there are other things included in Jihad which we have discussed in above-mentioned Hadiths. All of these point towards the single objective of Jihad, i.e. to do one`s finest effort according to its faith.