The Fiqh of Jihad – in Times of War

From Reliance of the Traveler – A Shafii Fiqh Manual

0 9 . J I H A D


(0: Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad. As for the greater jihad, it is spiritual warfare against the lower self (nafs), which is why the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said as he was returning from jihad,

“We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad.”

The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus (def: b7) is such Koranic verses as:

(1) “Fighting is prescribed for you” (Koran 2:216);

(2) “Slay them wherever you find them” (Koran 4:89);

(3) “Fight the idolators utterly” (Koran 9:36);

and such hadiths as the one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah”;

and the hadith reported by Muslim,

“To go forth in the morning or evening to fight in the path of Allah is better than the whole world and everything in it.” Continue reading

Jihad al Nafs – Hakeem al Tirmidhi

from his book ‘Aadaab al -muridin’ [Rules of Conduct for the Seekers of God] Ed. Abdulfattah Abdullah Baraka, Cairo: Matba`at as-sa`adat, 1976.

I. Concerning the Murid (seeker) and What Helps or Hurts Him in His Journey to God Most High, and What His First Step Ought to Be

There are two types of murid:

Those that seek God’s Grace by worshipping Him, fulfilling His commands and avoiding His prohibitions, then turning to perform as many voluntary good works as they can, seeking through them salvation from the fire and attainment of the rewards He has prepared for His workers.

Others approach God in worship, fulfill His commands and avoid His prohibitions, then turn to examine their inner self, and they find in their hearts many diseases, such as love of the world (dunya), lust for power, honor, and greatness, greed, the furnace of desires (shahawat), the chatter of vain passions (hawa), ambition, envy, love of praise and compliments–all of them worldly bonds blinding the heart.

Such a heart can never find the way to God bearing those stains, because in loving the world he parts with His Lord. He is in love with something God has removed far from Himself and despised. To ask for greatness is to compare oneself with God Most High; in the furnace of desires one faces the greatest seductions; and in the chatter of vain passions lies tyranny itself and aversion to the rights of God the Lord of Might and Majesty. That heart is veiled from wisdom and from the understanding of how God disposes His affairs. Continue reading

Jihad al Nafs – By Imam al Ghazali

Translated from the following parts of ‘Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din’ [The Revival of the Religious Sciences]:

a)Definitions at the beginning of the book “Kitab sharh `aja’ib al-qalb” [Book of the Explanation of the Mysteries of the Heart]

b)Section entitled: “The Soldiers of the Heart” in the same book

c)Section entitled: “Shaytan’s domination over the heart through whispering [al-waswas]” in the same book

d)Section entitled: “Proofs…” from the book “Kitab riadat al-nafs wa tahdhib al-akhlaq wa mu`alajat amrad al-qalb” [Book of the training of the ego and the disciplining of manners and the healing of the heart’s diseases]

a) Meaning of nafs: It has two meanings. First, it means the powers of anger and sexual appetite in a human being… and this is the usage mostly found among the people of tasawwuf [sufis], who take “nafs” as the comprehensive word for all the evil attributes of a person. That is why they say: one must certainly do battle with the ego and break it (la budda min mujahadat al-nafs wa kasriha), as is referred to in the hadith: A`da `aduwwuka nafsuka al-lati bayna janibayk [Your worst enemy is your nafs which lies between your flanks. Al-`Iraqi says it is in Bayhaqi on the authority of Ibn `Abbas and its chain of transmission contains Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rahman ibn Ghazwan, one of the forgers].

The second meaning of nafs is the soul, the human being in reality, his self and his person. However, it is described differently according to its different states. If it assumes calmness under command and has removed from itself the disturbance caused by the onslaught of passion, it is called “the satisfied soul” (al-nafs al-mutma’inna)… In its first meaning the nafs does not envisage its return to God because it has kept itself far from Him: such a nafs is from the party of shaytan. However, when it does not achieve calmness, yet sets itself against the love of passions and objects to it, it is called “the self-accusing soul” (al-nafs al-lawwama), because it rebukes its owner for his neglect in the worship of his master… If it gives up all protest and surrenders itself in total obedience to the call of passions and shaytan, it is named “the soul that enjoins evil” (al-nafs al-ammara bi al-su’)… which could be taken to refer to the ego in its first meaning. Continue reading