One Central Minister while speaking to security officials remarked that Jihad means a war against Non Muslims before he embarked upon on the notion of saffron terror. Many Muslim organizations protested vehemently to this while shouting Jihad means spiritual struggle and some even planned to sue him in a Court; it seems they dropped their plans for reasons unknown, may be due to the fear of truth coming out.
So what is Jihad? Is it a spiritual struggle? Is it warfare against Non Muslims? Or is it about only defensive warfare?
Jihad in the typical words of Muslim apologists is:
Jihad does not mean "holy war." Literally, jihad means to strive, struggle and exert effort. It is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self-defense (e.g., - having a standing army for national defense), or fighting against tyranny or oppression.Sahih Bukhari, the main Hadith of 6 canonical Sunni Hadith, is the second most important religious book in Islam; it is second only to Koran. It makes sense to search for the meaning of Jihad from this collection of hadith.
Jihad is already explained in two posts (here and here) in which opinions of many famous Islamic scholars were presented to show what is Jihad. And also the position of 4 major Sunni Islamic schools on Jihad was presented. All of these said Jihad is an offensive war against Kafirs. In this post, what is Jihad will be explained from the Hadith with some help from Koran. And for the sake of completion, the entire chapter of Jihad from Reliance of traveler (Manual of Islamic law, Sharia) in its authentic form will be put up in the next post.
Jihad is an Arabic word derived from JAHADA which means to strive or to struggle or to exert. In Koran, this word is followed by the phrases like ‘in the cause of Allah’ or ‘Allah’s cause’ or ‘for Allah’ or ‘way of Allah’. Whenever JAHADA appears in Koran, it is always in relation to fighting and war (holy war).
Al-Hilali (2:216): Jihâd (holy fighting in Allâh's Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike ……
Yusuf Ali (2:216): Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it….
Al-Hilali (4:95): Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allâh with their wealth and their lives. Allâh has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allâh has promised good (Paradise), but Allâh has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward;
Al-Hilali (3:142): Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allâh tests those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) tests those who are As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.)?As above verses demonstrate, One certain definition of Jihad is war in Allah’s cause. Even monetary contribution to Allah’s cause is Jihad. Allah in the verse 4:95 admonishes those Muslims who are not fighting in his cause by saying that Muslims sitting at home (exception made for disabled) are not equal to those Muslims fighting in his (Allah’s) cause. Jihad with life or Jihad with wealth. If Jihad is spiritual struggle, why is an exemption for physically disabled?
Now, what is this Allah’s cause? One can learn about this from the words of Mohammad as reported in the following Hadith (all hadith are from Sahih Bukhari):
A bedouin asked the Prophet, "A man may fight for the sake of booty, and another may fight so that he may be mentioned by the people, and a third may fight to show his position (i.e. bravery); which of these regarded as fighting in Allah's Cause?" The Prophet said, "He who fights so that Allah's Word (i.e. Islam) should be superior, fights for Allah's Cause." (Volume 4, Book 53, Number 355)
A man came to the Prophet and asked, "A man fights for war booty; another fights for fame and a third fights for showing off; which of them fights in Allah's Cause?" The Prophet said, "He who fights that Allah's Word (i.e. Islam) should be superior, fights in Allah's Cause." (Volume 4, Book 52, Number 65)
Allah's Apostle was asked, "What is the best deed?" He replied, "To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, "What is the next (in goodness)? He replied, "To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah's Cause." The questioner again asked, "……. (Volume 1, Book 2, Number 25)There are more hadith conveying the same meaning. Here Allah’s word means Islamic Law (Sharia law); fighting for Allah’s cause means fighting to make Islamic law supreme on this whole earth or to ensure religion will be all for Allah alone (verse 8:39) or to make Islam superior over all religions (9:33). How important this Jihad or fighting in Allah’s cause is? We already have seen it in the verse 4:95 but some more on this from Hadith:
(That she (Aisha) said), "O Allah's Apostle! We consider Jihad as the best deed. Should we not fight in Allah's Cause?" He said, "The best Jihad (for women) is Hajj-Mabrur (i.e. Hajj which is done according to the Prophet's tradition and is accepted by Allah)." (Volume 4, Book 52, Number 43)
A man asked the Prophet "What deeds are the best?" The Prophet said: (1) To perform the (daily compulsory) prayers at their (early) stated fixed times, (2) To be good and dutiful to one's own parents. (3) and to participate in Jihad in Allah's Cause." (Volume 9, Book 93, Number 625)
A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward)." He replied, "I do not find such a deed."…… (Volume 4, Book 52, Number 44)
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."………( Volume 4, Book 52, Number 45)Yes, now one can understand why those suicide bombers blow themselves up. The primary driving force here is that Islam is superior and every other thing that is not Islamic is bad and martyrdom is the best deed gifted with 72 houris in paradise. Muslims believe that what they are doing i.e. waging of Jihad is in the interest of mankind. They believe global peace is only possible when the whole world is brought under Islam; this is the unadulterated definition of Islam being a religion of peace. Muslims also see the consequences of Jihad which is islamization as benefit to mankind and humanity; one of these benefits is that they are saving non muslims from certain hell fire. When Non Muslims resist this Jihad (or islamization), Muslims see it as criminal war against Islam. It is akin to pure imperialism and Supremacism. Call it fascism. Because their aggressive advancement of Islam is now a defensive war. That is how Islam portrays itself. Do not believe me? Read the following ahadiths:
Allah's Apostle said, "I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand." ……….. (Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220)Who is the enemy here Mohammad is fighting with? People persecuting him and his followers like Muslims claim? The right answer is below:
Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah."…….. (Volume 1, Book 8, Number 387)His enemies are those who are not Muslims. He was fighting people merely based on their faith. The aim is to convert the people to Islam by any means like coercion, kidnapping and enslaving or extortion by Jizya. He is also saying the life and property of Non Muslims are not sacred to Muslims. After all disbelief in Allah and him as his messenger is the worst sin. This explains why the population of Non Muslims is disappearing rapidly. (How Sharia law treats Non Muslims is documented here.) At least he contradicted what Muslims are saying: He was driven out of Mecca just because of his faith and Muslims are defending themselves. When will that defense stop? It never stops. Read the following ahadith:
On the day of the Conquest (of Mecca) the Prophet said, "There is no emigration after the Conquest but Jihad and intentions. When you are called (by the Muslim ruler) for fighting, go forth immediately." (Volume 4, Book 52, Number 79)If he was defending from cruel and uncivilized idolaters of Mecca, conquest of Mecca should have put an end to Jihad. But Jihad is about bringing Dar al-Harb (Abode of war; Land under the control of Non Muslims.) under the influence of Dar Al-Islam (Abode of Peace; Land controlled by Muslims.). For this ambition of Islam ruling the world to be realized, any strategy or any means like lying and cheating are permitted by perfect example to Muslims:
Allah's Apostle called,: "War is deceit".( Volume 4, Book 52, Number 268)Prophet Mohammad pretty much followed this principle; but the consequence of all this is his followers becoming demons in their own way, so much that insane Prophet sometimes looked sane in front of them as the following ahadith shows:
Tufail bin 'Amr Ad-Dausi and his companions came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle! The people of the tribe of Daus disobeyed and refused to follow you; so invoke Allah against them." The people said, "The tribe of Daus is ruined." The Prophet said, "O Allah! Give guidance to the people of Daus, and let them embrace Islam." (Volume 4, Book 52, Number 188)Before ending, lets see what the person who translated Hadith of Sahih Bukhari, the most important Hadith, says on Jihad; on page 580 of Maktba Dar-us-Salam's publication of Sahih Al-Bukhari, he says: "Jihad is holy fighting in Allah’s Cause with full force of weaponry. It is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its Pillars. By Jihad Islam is established, Allah is made superior and He becomes the only God who may be worshiped. By Jihad Islam is propagated and made superior. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and Muslims fall into an inferior position. Their honor is lost, their lands are stolen, and Muslim rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim. He who tries to escape this duty dies as a hypocrite."