What is Jihad?
At this stage it is necessry for me to stress something else. Note that Jihad is not only that in which battle is waged and fighting takes place, even if that is the highest rank of Jihad. Every effort which is made for Allah‟s Word and Will to be dominant and for the supremacy of Islam and truth is included in Jihad.
Hence Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) once said, that the best form of Jihad is to speak the truth in the presence of a tyrant king. For this reason every effort in political fields (for the welfare of Islam and the Muslims) is also considered Jihad.
Having said that, I must draw attention to another point.
Undoubtedly those involved in this kind of politics are performing a very important function. But then there are those persons among them who go to such extremes as to criticise, denounce and abuse those who for some personal or religious reason are unable to do the same. The result is that in the eyes of those critics and denouncers every Ibaadah or any other righteousness become ignored.
They go so far as to denounce him as an evil and bad person, and even brand him as an infidel. This indeed is a great wrong. Had this been a compulsory duty on every Muslim, then jn such a case too the one who stayed aloof from it would not have been guilty of a major sin. So how can he be called a Kaafir? Branding anyone a Kaafir without sound proof is indeed a grievous wrong. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said that the root of Islam is based on three things one of which is that a Muslim having accepted the Kalimah should not be branded as a Kaafir because of some sin committed by him. (See Mishkat). According to another Iladeeth: “Whosoever calls another a faasiq or a Kaafir while that person is not so, that accusation returns to the one who utters the word.”
“When anyone calls a person a Kaafir or an enemy of Allah, and that person is not so, the accusation returns to the one who utters the word.” (Mishkat).
This means that this calamity will fall upon the speaker. One should be very careful of the words one utters. Sometimes one hears a person being very angry at others saying: “The person will never ever be forgiven” or “So- and-so will never receive pardon from Allah.” What a great wrong. It grieves me greatly that I have heard this type of words even coming from the tongues of educated people.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “A man said: „I swear that Allah will never grant forgiveness to such-and-such a person. Allah replied: „Who is this man who swears by Me that I will not forgive that person? I have indeed pardoned that person and as for this man who swears thus to him I say: All your deeds are nullified and in vain.”
According to another Hadeeth there were two persons among the Bani Israel:
One was a great Allah-fearing and saintly person and the other a great sinner. The saintly one always used to admonish the sinner. One day he saw the sinner involved in a great sinful deed. He said to him: “I swear by Allah, there will be no pardon for you by Allah.”
It so happened that both of them passed away and both of them were brought before Allah. Allah said to the righteous one: “Did you consider yourself so capable of stopping my bounties from descending that you swore (that I will not forgive him)?” To the sinner Allah said: “Enter into paradise through My special Mercy.” A command was then given that the saint be cast into Hell. Regarding the saint in this Hadeeth, Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (Radiallahu anhu) said: “Because of one spoken sentence, he destroyed both his dunya and his deen.” (Jam-uIfawa-id).
The object of quoting this Hadeeth is to show that it is indeed very foolish to allow such words from the mouth even in anger. Worse than that are the types of words uttered which are derogatory to the deen and its teachings: For example: we sometimes hear some say in derision: “There are many doors leading to paradise. The Molvis have made entry into paradise easy. The road to paradise has been made easy. All you have to do is make Salaah and to fast and then go to Jannat.”
These are the types of words with which they seek to play the fool with the deen, and which they openly state in their lectures with great zeal. In this manner they desire to scoff at the deen and the custodians of deen. Whoever denies the fact that paradise has many doors of entry? There are eight such doors according to authentic Hadeeth. According to some other Hadeeth it seems there are even more. There is a special door for Salaah, a special door for those who Fasted diligently, a special door for giving charity and for those who suppress their anger and forgiv others. A special door has been reserved for those who put their complete faith in Allah and rely on Him, and a door for those who were regular and punctual in performing Duhaa Salaah (Chaast). There is also a door for those who make Taubah and for those who are pleased and satisfied with Allah‟s will. In fact according to an authentic Hadeeth there is a special door for the people who are regular and punctual in the performing of any righteous deed. (Fath)
So there are indeed many doors leading to paradise. But what is the need for scoffing, jeering and passing sarcastic remarks about it? Just like other teachings of the deen, Jihad is also part of the deen. Allama Shams stated that to perform
Salaah in its prescribed times and with due care, is coijs:dered more virtuous than Jihad. The reason for this is that Jihad is waged for Imaan and Salaah to become established, whereas Salaah is in itself the required object, which is good in its own self.
Then it is a great wrong to criticise those who do not take an active part in certain forms of Jihad and to say that their Salaah and Fasting is of no use whatsoever. A Sahabi once came to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) with the intention of going in Jihad. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked him whether his parents were alive, to which he replied that they were indeed alive. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said to him: “Return home and serve them diligently” (Mishkat).
On another occasion one of the Companions (Radiallahu Anhu) came along and said to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam): “I have volunteered to go into Jihad and my wife is proceeding for Haj.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: “Go and accompany your wife in Haj.” (Mishkat, Bukhari, Muslim).
According to another Hadeeth a certain Sahabi (Radiallahu Anhu) came and said to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) “I have come here with the intention of going in Jihad, and would like to consult you in this affair.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked: “Is your mother alive?” He replied: “Yes, she is alive.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Remain with her for paradise lies at her feet.” (Mishkat)
A bedouin Arab came and consulted Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) about making Hijrat. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked: “Hijrat is a difficult affair. Do you possess camels?” He replied: “Yes, I do.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked: “Do you give the Zakaat that is due on these camels?” He replied: “Yes I do.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Then keep yourself busy with righteous actions somewhere beyond the sea. Allah Most High will not decrease the reward of your righteous works at all.” (Abu Dawood).
In short, there are numerous similar Ahaadeth and incidents where Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) gave preference to other righteous deeds over real Jihad, let alone those actions which although not being true Jihad can be construed to be Jihad. We do admit however, that at times due to urgent circumstances and the needs of the hour, it did happen that the need for Jihad was uppermost, so much so that at the time of the Battle of the Ditch against the Ahzaab, one or more of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam‟s) Salaah‟s were not performed in their prescribed times. But this is not a general rule that in the absence of Jihad no other deeds of righteousness is acceptable, especially in those cases where acceptable excuses are prevalent.
Once Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) proceeded from Madina while going for Jihad. On the way he said: “You people have left behind you in Madina such people who share with you in reward for every step you take towards battle, for all that you spend and for all the journey you complete, even though they remain behind in Madina.”
In surprise the Companions (Radiallahu anhum) asked: “How can they share our reward though they remain behind in their homes?”
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: “It is because of being preoccupied and due to disability that they are absent.” (Abu Dawood)
The theme of this Hadeeth and what it seeks to convey is also corroborated by countless similar Ahaadeeth. In one Hadeeth Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “Whosoever falls ill or had gone on a journey (as a result of which he could not perform his usual daily good deeds), will receive the same reward as he would receive while in good health and stationary (not on a journey)” (Mishkat).
According to one Hadeeth: “When that man, who had been usually busy in some good work falls ill, the Angel, appointed to register his good deeds is commanded to continue to write down for him the reward of the good deeds as if he had done them.” (Mishkat).
Another Hadeeth states that when any prohibited deed is being performed and someone who dislikes such deeds, had been forced due to cirsumstances taken part therein, he shall be considered not to have participated therein. And he who likes such deeds, even though he was not present there, shall be considered as if he had indeed participated therein. (Mishkat).
Another Hadeeth will shortly be quoted wherein we hear: “Whosoever sets forth with the aim of earning that with which to maintain and support his small children, is in the path of Allah. And whosoever sets forth to help his aged parents, he too is in the path of Allah.”