Jihad is an Arabic word which refers to striving in the way of Allah in order to attain massive reward.
This struggle in the way of Allah can be in different forms. However, the essence is the struggle and toil in the path of God.
In Jihad notes, we will come across several types of Jihad, so let’s discuss the various aspects of this topic without further introductions.
Jihad in Islam
Islam encourages its followers to wage Jihad in order to attain God’s mercy and forgiveness. It is to note that Jihad does not only refers to armed struggle but, there are different ways of performing Jihad.
We will discuss this topic in the types of Jihad which is to follow.
The purpose of Jihad is to ensure peace and harmony in a society. It is to curb oppression and tyranny and promote peace.
Jihad allows a Muslim to purify himself spiritually because the sole aim of Jihad is struggling to attain God’s mercy and forgiveness. The Holy Quran regarding Jihad says:
And whoever strives hard does for his own soul; for God is free of all needs from all creation.Surah Ankabut 29:6 (Al-Quran)
Jihad makes Muslims God-fearing because this toil in the path of God allows them to understand the fact that their life is all about obeying the instructions of God delivered through his messengers.
Now, let’s discuss the types of Jihad which will allow us to understand the sole meaning of this term.
The Types of Jihad
- Jihad bil Nafs
- Jihad bil Lisan
- Jihad bil Yad
- Jihad bil Saif
Jihad bil Nafs (Spiritual Jihad):
Jihad bil Nafs aims at purifying a Muslim spiritually. In this type of Jihad, the Muslims resist all sorts of Satanic and evil temptations that can lead one astray.
The Holy Quran openly declares:
Similarly, this Jihad aims at strengthening the Muslims in a way that they can distinguish between the right and wrong. Therefore, this allows society to prosper morally and socially.
This is a type of Jihad that any Muslim can practise because it is resisting all sorts of actions that are forbidden in Islam.
Moreover, Jihad bil Nafs is a perfect example to understand the sole spirit of Jihad (which is to attain purity). Satan and his agents (as described in Surah Nas) are constantly seeking out for opportunities to misguide people.
This spiritual Jihad allows Muslim to counter those “evil temptations”.This takes us to another type of Jihad which is known as Jihad bil lisan (Jihad of the tongue).
Jihad bil lisan (Jihad of the tongue):
This is also another type of Jihad which the Muslims should practise in their everyday life.
This Jihad refers to speaking and spreading truth and speaking against the wrong (oppression, tyranny and falsehood). The Holy Quran says:
“And shun the word that is false”. (Surah Hajj 22:30)
To understand this type of Jihad, you should know that tongue is a gift of Allah almighty. Therefore, it is the duty of Muslims to use it for the sake of spreading the truth.
It is the duty of every Muslim to spread the teachings and the commandments of Islam in a peaceful manner so that the people could understand the teachings of Islam in a better way.
Similarly, a Muslim should use his tongue to speak against an unjust and a tyrant ruler who is oppressing the people. This Jihad ensures that the people in a community understand each other.
Muslims should acquire firm knowledge about the teachings of Islam so that they can guide people towards the right path. However, they should remember that the Quran says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion“.
Jihad by the tongue is a source of spreading the word in a way that it is acceptable to the people in a society. This ensures peace and harmony which is the purpose of Islam.
Muslims can use social media effectively to spread the teachings of Islam and answer the queries of the people regarding the commandments of Islam.
This takes us to another type of Jihad which is Jihad by the hand (Jihad bil Yad).
Jihad bil Yad (Jihad by the hand):
This type of Jihad is only permissible to those who have the strength to use their physical power to shun what is wrong.
In this type of Jihad, one exerts his physical force to curb the oppressor. You can understand this with the help of an example.
During the early days of Islam, once the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was performing his prayer peacefully in Makkah. However, some Makkans approached and they tried to strangulate him with a sheet of cloth.
When Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) came across this, he quickly freed the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) from their grip with his hands. This is the example of Jihad bil Yad in which is different from armed struggle.
The reason why this type of Jihad is encouraged is to ensure peace and justice in a society so that the wrongdoers do not go unpunished.
There is a Hadith that says:
Whoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand, but if he is unable to do so than with his tongue and if he is unable to do so than with his heart and that is the weakest of faith.
The above mentioned Hadis elaborates the various types of Jihad.
Qital (Jihad bil Saif):
This type of Jihad is the last option for a Muslim when the interests of the Muslims are under threat.
This version of Jihad is the most misunderstood part. Therefore, you should be aware of the correct meaning of Qital.
Qital refers to armed struggle in the way of Allah which might lead to bloodshed. This is something which the Muslims of the Muslim state should avoid till the last.
This is the last option for the Muslims of the Muslim state when the integrity of Islam is under threat. Before understanding this type of Jihad, let me refer a Quranic quotation:
…Whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption (done) in the land, it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one, it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.Surah Maidah (5:32)
The commandments regarding Jihad bil Saif were given to the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his followers when their lives, property and honour were in threat.
The Muslims were commanded to only defend themselves, prevent bloodshed (as much as possible) and they were also commanded to not attack the unarmed, sick, old, women and children.
This shows that the intention behind Qital was to only punish the wrongdoers and promote peace and harmony among the society.
It is to note that only an individual cannot wage Qital. It is the state that can wage Qital and they can also wage Jihad only if some conditions are met.
We will discuss those conditions later on in this article.
Although Jihad bil Saif is allowed in Islam, there are several points regarding the code of conduct during the battle. Let’s view some of those points during the life of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his companions.
- Fruit-bearing trees should not be destroyed
- Women and children are not to be attacked
- Unarmed men should be spared
- Captives of battle should be treated justly
- Muslims should not attack, they should defend themselves
- Crops should not be destroyed
Conditions for Jihad by the sword:
The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) taught that Qital should be waged in order to attain Allah’s mercy and forgiveness and promote peace and harmony.
Jihad by the sword is the last option for the Muslims to protect the integrity and honour of Islam and to defend their lives.
Jihad by the sword is only allowed if the enemies of Islam are constantly threatening the Muslims. If the fact is evident that the enemies are going to Invade the Muslim state then, it becomes mandatory upon Muslims to wage Jihad by the sword.
The reason for that is simple. Islam is a religion that wants justice and peace in a community. Therefore, anything that will threaten them will have to face the struggle of the Muslims because the massive reward is promised to those who strive in the path of Allah almighty.
With this, the Jihad notes have been delivered. I hope that all your queries have been answered.
Thank You very much for reading and staying with me till the end. To conclude, you should know that there are several types of Jihad and the reward for Jihad is massive.
It is a meritorious act and therefore, we should learn certain aspects of this topic.