To strive for the welfare of the Muslims is a form of Jihad
Jihad is most important part of the deen. For this reason anything which serves to raise the Word of Allah is beneficial and necessary.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “To guard the borders of Islam for even a single day is better and more virtuous than the whole world and everything that lies therein. And to proceed in the way of Allah for a short while in the morning or in the evening is better than the whole world and everything therein.”
According to another Hadeeth Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “To stand guard over the borders of Islam for even one day and night is more virtuous and greater in reward than voluntary fasting for a whole month, and more valuable than standing in worship for all the nights of that month. And should death overtake a person while in this duty, it will be a sadaqa-jariya – a perpetually rewarding charity even after death.”
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also said: “Whosoever dies in this state will continue to be rewarded till the day of Qiyamat, and he will continue to receive his sustenance and be guarded against the punishment in the grave. And on the day of Qiyamat (which will be a day of tremendous worry and concern) he will he completely at ease.”
Once Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (Radiallahu anhu) was standing guard at one such place. Someone asked him: “Why are you standing here?” He replied: “I have heard Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) say: “To stand in the path of Allah for a short while is more virtuous and greater in reward than spending the whole night in Ibaadah on the night of Laylatul-Qadr near the Hajarul-Aswad.”
According to another Hadeeth, we read that the Salaah of such a person is five hundred times better than the Salaah of another. And his spending one dirham in this path is better than another‟s spending seven hundred dirhams.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also said: “The best of people are two persons: one is he who possesses some cattle, discharging their due rights, while also remaining busy in the worship of his Lord. The second is he who takes hold of the reins of his horse and while on horseback he frightens off the enemies of Allah.”
Note that with regard to the first person, it is not an indispensable prerequisite for him to possess animals. The Hadeeth merely seeks to convey that he has a simple livelihood while he is staunch in Ibaadah. Similarly there is no indispensable condition that he must possess a horse. A horse is mentioned here mainly because of the fact that in those early days Jihad was usually waged on horseback. The main idea that is conveyed by the Hadeeth is to chase away and ward off the enemies of Allah, in whatever way possible.The following Hadeeth has also been reported by many: “There are two eyes which the fire of Hell will never touch; the eye which stayed open and awake in the path of Allah and the eye which at some time or other wept for fear of Allah.”
Once Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked: “Shall I inform you which night is better than Laylatul-Qadr? It is that night when (in the defence of the deen) someone remains awake at a place where danger lurks, while having no hope of even returning safely to his family.”
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also said: “On the day of Qiyamat all eyes shall weep, except that eye which remained closed to prohibited things (for e.g., unlawful contact with women), and that eye which stayed awake in the path of Allah, and that eye which ftr the fear of Allah, shed tears the size of the head of a fly.”
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also said: “Whosoever spends in the path of Allah shall be rewarded seven hundred folds. Whosoever assisted any fighter in the path of Allah shall also be considered a Mujahid. And he who looks to the welfare of the family of a Mujahii is also a Mujahid.”
In another Hadeeth Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “Whosoever assisted any fighter in the path of Allah, or helps anyone who is pressed by debts, him shall Allah keep in the shade of His Mercy on the day on which there will be no shade except the shade of His Throne.”
Further: “How blessed (and fortunate) indeed is that person who even in Jihad remembers Allah profusely. For every word of Zikr he gets the reward of seventy thousand righteous deeds and every righteous deed is multiplied tenfold. And apart from and beyond this will be Allah‟s special favour which He will grant him.”
According to another Hadeeth: “Whosoever wept out of the fear for Allah shall not enter Hell until such time that mother‟s milk shall return into the breast. And into that nose into which the dust from striving in the path of Allah had entered, the smoke from Hell will not enter.” (This is a clear indication that it will be impossible to enter into Hell).
In another Hadeeth: “The fire of Hell will not touch those feet onto which the dust from the path of Allah had settled.”
In one Hadeeth it is mentioned: “The smoke from the fire of Hell will not reach that face which dust from the path of Allah had touched.”
In one Hadeeth it is said: “Whosoever suffered any wound in the path of Allah, will on the day of Qiyamat be stamped with the seal of the martyrs. His wound will then shine in the colours of saffron, and from it will come a fragrant smell like musk so that all will realize that this wound was suffered in the path of Allah.”
On one occasion Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was travelling somewhere with a caravan of the Sahabah (Radiallahu anhum). With him en route was also travelling a young man keeping himself aloof from the rest of the caravan. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked him: “Why are you walking alone on one side?” He replied: “I do it because of the dust which I am trying to avoid.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: “There is no need for you to avoid this dust. On the day of Judgement this dust will be transformed into particles of fragrant musk.”
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is also reported to have said: “Whosoever shoots one arrow in the path of Allah, whether the arrow reaches its target or not, shall receive the reward of having set free a slave.”
Jihad and sincerity
Numerous indeed are the Ahadeeth exhorting Muslims towards striving in the path of Allah, explaining its rewards while also warning against negligence and indifference in this respect. Such is Jihad and Jihad includes every effort towards the elevation and success of Islam and repelling the efforts of the non-believers. Hence every effort with this intention is included in the term, Jihad. Therefore Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “The best Jihad is to speak the word of truth in the face of a tyrant ruler.” This is so even though the tyrant ruler need not necessarily be a Kaafir. Even if a Muslim ruler is the tyrant, then speaking the truth in his presence is also Jihad. What is however important, is this, that the aim of the striving and effort should be to strengthen Islam.
Someone once asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam): “A certain man goes forth into Jihad with the object of acquiring booty (worldly gain); another so that his power, valour and bravery be displayed and yet another so that he may become well-known for his efforts. Which of these is worthy of being Jihad? Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: “Jihad is only that which is waged so that Allah‟s Word becomes dominant.”
In another Hadeeth a certain Sahabi (Radiallahu anhu) asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam): “A man wages Jihad with the intention of acquiring some worldly gain.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: “He shall receive no reward whatsoever.” Hearing this the Sahaba (Radiallahu anhum)were greatly surprised. They said to the questioner: “Perhaps you did not put your question clearly. Do ask again.” The Sahabi again put the same question. Again Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) gave the same reply. When he asked the question again for the third time, the same reply was given.
One Sahabi (Radiallahu anhu) asked: “0 Messenger of Allah, explain to me the reality of Jihad.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: “If you make Jihad for the sake of Allah and to obtain reward from him, you will be raised on the day of Qiyaniat accordingly and if you do so to show (your strength and prowess) and for fame, or to acquire worldly riches, you will be raised up on the day of Qiyamat accordingly.” In other words, as is the intention of your action, so will be your resurrection.
In another Hadeeth we are told: “Those who make Jihad are of two kinds: One of them is that person who does so, seeking only Allah‟s pleasure, obeys his Imam, spends of that which he loves in Allah‟s path, behaves kindly with his companions and keeps himself away from all iniquity. The very sleep and staying awake of such a person brings reward. The second one is that person who does everything for show and fame, disobeys his Imam and participates in all iniquities. Such a person does not even come back from Jihad in the same way as when he went. (In other words his punishable deeds outweigh the deeds earning reward and by the time he returns he is laden with more sins).
Many other Ahadeeth stress this same point. Hence a primary condition is that whatever is done, should be done solely for Allah‟s pleasure, for the protection of deen and so that truth may prevail. According to the views of saintly men of spiritual experience and opinion, whatever effort is being made with this intention will Inshallah not go unrewarded. Yes, there is absolutely no doubt that it is an indispensable pre-condition of any righteous work that sincerity should be its prime motive and that it should be for Allah‟s pleasure. We have already quoted that famous Hadeeth about those people who on the day of Qiyamat will first be called to be reckoned with. One will be a Shaheed. Allah will then remind him of all the favours bestowed upon him. He will admit all those favours. Then he will be asked: “How did you make use of these favours?” He will reply: “I have sacrificed my life in Thy path for Thy sake, for that was the most beloved sacrifice in Thy sight.” The reply will come: “You have spoken an untruth. You have done so that people may say: „He was indeed a brave man.‟ And so it was said, (Your object was reached). People did say: This was a brave man of courage.”
Thereafter a command shall be given that he be cast into Hell. Thereafter an Alim (scholar) shall be called to be reckoned with. Allah will remind him too of the great favours bestowed upon him and he too will acknowledge them. Then he too shall be asked as to the manner in which he gave the rights due for these favours. He will reply: “I set out to acquire knowledge, taught people and recited the Quran (and taught it).” The reply shall come: “An untruth have you spoken. All that was indeed done but, so that people may say: „This was a grand scholar, a good reciter And this object of yours had been attained for people did say that.” Thereafter a command shall be given that he too be cast into the fire.
Thereafter a wealthy man shall be summoned. Him as well Allah will remind of His favours and he will admit them. And when he shall be asked as to what he had done with these bounties, he shall reply: „„There was not a single avenue of righteousness wherein spending is liked by Thee, wherein I did not spend for Thy sake.”
The reply shall be given: “You have spoken an untruth. Indeed you had spent but all was done so that people may say: „This is a kind and generous person.‟ And so it has been said and your object has been attained.” The command shall be given that he too be cast into Hell. (Mishkat)
Reports with this same theme are numerous in Hadeeth kitaabs. It is thus of the utmost importance that whatever works of good are done, should be done for Allah‟s sake and Allah‟s sake alone. There are some such works where the chances and possibility of doing things for the sake of fame and name are more stronger. Similarly, in some fields the temptations to work for worldly selfish gain are more tempting than in others. It stands to reason that where the temptations are stronger, the precautions to be taken by Muslims should be greater.
In the field of political activity there is tremendous scope for boasting about achievements, much praising and cheering for things said and done, that one is greatly tempted to do things for name and fame. For this reason, whosoever enters politics should take special precautions to save himself, so that his actions may be of benefit to deen, and for the security and protection of Islam. His intention should he to save Islam from dangers, to protect Islam from the onslaughts of its non-Muslim enemies and to halt their victory over Islam.
If this is the object of the politician, no one can deny its being a good and righteous activity. Who is there among the Muslims who can deny this or has no desire in his heart that this be done? If however someone is incapable of involving himself, he should then at the very least try in his own chosen manner to assist those who sincerely do this noble work of striving for Islam and the Muslims rather than becoming a hindrance.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Whosoever sends anything to be spent in the way of Allah, while he himself remains at home, shall in return for every dirham. receive the reward of seven hundred dirhams. And if he himself takes part in the path of Allah, he shall for every dirham spent receive the reward of seven thousand dirhams,” (Mishkat)
For this reason, I say that those people who due to some preoccupation or for some religious reason, are unable to take part in striving on behalf of the Muslims, should not refrain from assisting the actual workers financially, physically as well as with the efforts of their pens. How great is Allah‟s grace that even upon the incapable ones, the lazy ones, those lacking in courage and the weak ones, He did not close the doors of His reward. He did not in fact keep those doors closed in any facet of Ibaadah for these categories of people. The fact that we occasionally seek refuge in both valid and invalid excuses to avoid action, is another question.
“And Allah is the giver of the ability to achieve that which he loves and that which pleases Him.”