Al-Jihad Fisabili-Llah [The Holy war for the sake of Allah]

Allah, the Exalted, says:

"O you who believe! Shall I show you a trade that may deliver you from a painful torment? You should believe in Allah and His Messenger, and strive for the sake of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if you do know.” (61:10&11)

Going through a ten-year history of the Islamic Message and the life of the Messenger of Allah (s) and his Companions in the Luminous Madinah, we find that the said period was one of strife and struggle with the endurance of wealth and life, whereas his strife in Mecca was with the endurance of troubles for the sake of communicating the Message. During his stay in Al-Madinah, he sent and participated in about 80 war campaigns and expeditions, in which he fought offering his wealth and life.

The Messenger of Allah (s) fought with his wealth and life, and his generous Companions did the same, too, in the way of spreading Islam, defending themselves and their belief, and defeating the Taghuts [the tyrants], disbelief and corruption, as these are the objectives of Al-Jihad in Islam.

So, Al-Jihad is a Divine Wajib. Had it not been for Al-Jihad, Islam would not have spread, and the Taghuts would not have been destroyed. By neglecting the Jihad, the Kafirs, the colonialists and the despots would soon dominate our countries, usurp our wealth and abolish our belief and dignity. Therefore, a Muslim must strive for the sake of Allah with his tongue and pen, to propagate Islam.

Furthermore a Muslim is to fight in the way of Allah against the enemies of Islam and Muslims. He is to defend his religion, homeland, dignity, truth, and justice, offereing wealth for the establishment and defence of these causes.

The Jihad is a Wajib Kifa’i. i. e. if a group of people offered to carry out the Jihad, and fulfilled the desired Islamic objectives, then others would be exempted from the participation in the Jihad. But if none of the Muslims volunteered to undertake the task, or their number was insufficient, those who stayed behind would be regarded as sinners committing the gravest of sins and disobedience.

Different Kinds of Al-Jihad

Al-Jihad is divided into four kinds:
1. Islamic Propagation Jihad. This is the Jihad waged by Muslims to spread the Message of Islam and to invite the non-Muslims to Islam, as the Messenger of Allah (s), his Companions, and the Muslims after him, used to do. It is a Wajib for whoever is capable enough of undertaking it.

2. Defensive Jihad: This is a Wajib for the purpose of defending the Islamic territory, Islam and Muslim property. When an aggressive enemy attacks Muslims, such as the imperialists who occupy the Islamic lands, like the Zionists who usurped Palestine, then this Jihad would become Wajib on men, women, and others, to defend themselves, their religion, home, and dignity.

Included in this kind of Jihad is the defence against the imperialistic political, cultural, and economical domination, whose aim is to usurp the wealth of the Muslims, weaken their policy and isolate them from their religion. So, all Muslims are to try to encounter the economic and cultural colonialism by all possible means within their reach, so as to drive it away from their country, thus protecting the Islamic sovereignty, integrity and independence.

3. The Anti-Mutiny Jihad becomes Wajib when some rebel Muslims rise up against, and disobey, the Islamic State which rules according to the Book of Allah, and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (s), and acts on the basis of equity and truth. Such rebels must be fought until the Mutiny and the rebellion are suppressed, or the rebels repent and amend.

4. The Jihad against Ahuldh-Dhimmah [The Jews and Christians] who had broken the covenants they had concluded with Muslims concerning their own affairs with the Islamic State.

Defending One's Life, Property and Honour

The Messenger of Allah (s) said: "Whoever is unjustly killed in defence of his household is a martyr. Whoever is unjustly killed in defence of his property is a martyr. Whoever is unjustly killed in defence of his neighbour is a martyr. And whoever is killed for the sake of Allah, the Exalted and Almighty, is a martyr.” ("Kanzul-Ummal"/4/425, H. 11227)

Islam takes great care in safeguarding human dignity, man's life and property. Giving him, the right to defend himself, his property, household, dignity, honour and whatever belongs to him. If he or his property were transgressed by some people, such as thieves; robbers, and the like, he would, consequently, have the right to defend himself, his wealth, honour, dignity and household, and he would not be questioned by Allah, nor would he be responsible before the law for the damage or loss inflicted upon the aggressor, who began the aggreession.

But he has to ward off the aggression in the quietest way possible, then gradually uses force until he wards off the aggression against himself, his wealth, honour and dignity. But he has no right to transgress the law regarding the aggressor or to go beyond the limits of self-defence.


Q1. Explain the basic objectives of the Jihad in Islam.

Q2. How should the Muslims who revolt against an Islamic State be dealt with?

Q3. Read the following passage and explain it to your fellow student: "Defending oneself, wealth, honour and dignity is one's legitimate right in Islam, but one has no right to transgress the law regarding the aggressor or to go beyond the limits of self-defence."