Islamic law states that Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada signifying warfare to establish the religion.
As described in Islamic sacred law, Reliance of the traveller , the scriptural basis for Jihad in the Qur’an and hadiths is:
“Fighting is prescribed for you.”
“Slay them wherever you find them.”
“Fight the idolaters utterly.”
Reliance of the traveller quotes the most reliable hadiths.
(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24)
“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.”
(Sahih Muslim, Volume 6, Book 20, Number 4639)
“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.”
The call to Islam
9.29 (Sahih International)
“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.”
This was revealed when the Muslims were preparing to fight against the Byzantine empire. Muhammad sent Ali to offer the dawah to the leaders of the Byzantine empire as Abu Bakr was leading the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca.
It is said that this verse is only relevant to those in an Islamic state, however the events at the time of the revelation contradict this as it was about conquering new lands, calling to Islam, offering the Jizya, (the non-Mulsim poll tax) whilst the people would then be humiliated and if this was declined, then Muhammad and army would wage Jihad on the new unconquered lands.
This explains the obligatory nature, Muhammad and army have enough strength to enact a takeover, the call for Jihad has come and the dawah is being offered, if it was declined then the non-Muslims would have to fight for their survival.
9.29 Is the scriptural basis for “dawah” in Islamic sacred law.
Some Muslims don’t want to go to Jihad
9.49 (Sahih International)
“And among them is he who says, “Permit me [to remain at home] and do not put me to trial.” Unquestionably, into trial they have fallen. And indeed, Hell will encompass the disbelievers.”
This was revealed on the journey to the battle of Tabouk, some Bedouins wanted to stay behind with their wives, plus it was very hot and there was a drought and the men either never left to go to Jihad, or turned back . They were seen as hypocrites for staying behind with their wives, Muhammad wanted them to march on to conquer new lands.
The Bedouins were described as hypocrites in the Qur’an as they were not fulfilling the requirements of Islam and could be compared to moderate Muslims nowadays.
Islamic people are not allowed to shy away from the duty of Jihad when the call comes, and the call had come, so therefore they were hypocrites for not going with Muhammad to wage Jihad.
It is now a law that Islamic people cannot;
- Leave the battlefield, (scriptural basis from Qur’an 8.16 and in Islamic Law. ) This goes back to Muhammad being abandoned on the battlefield when his army thought he was dead.
- Decline the call of Jihad when it comes, this is apostasy and also they would not be able to enter paradise in Islamic belief. (Qur’an, 66.9, 9.41, 9.49, and Islamic law)
It is questionable when we see millions of Islamic men flooding the borders if there are holy wars going on in their countries and they have now left their wives behind.
Muhammad doesn’t want to be alone.
9.122 (Sahih International)
“And it is not for the believers to go forth [to battle] all at once. For there should separate from every division of them a group [remaining] to obtain understanding in the religion and warn their people when they return to them that they might be cautious.”
Muhammad and army were back from Tabouk and Muhammad and his army were going on another Jihad. Allah must have had a change of mind, as angel Gabriel then brought down 9.122. This verse said all men were no longer required to go to Jihad, they could go out in groups. Muhammad didn’t want to be left alone in Medina, Muhammad said this was for the purpose of him being able to teach people the Qur’an and Islam, so that people would not become weak in Islam and the requirements of Islam would still be followed. Plus what had been learned would then be taught to the men when they returned from Jihad. This was said to strengthen Islam.
This is the basis for Muslims not being required to go to Jihad if there are enough in the army already.
In Islamic sacred law it states that Jihad is a communal obligation for all men, they are prevented if they are in debt, this would be due to the distribution of the war booty which is 20% to Muhammad and Allah and the remainder distributed amongst Muhammad’s army. However if enough are taking part then it is no longer (communally) obligatory on others until the call for Jihad comes and at that point it becomes personally obligatory on all male and female, young and old.
The Qur’an then goes onto say.
9.123 (Sahih International)
“O you who have believed, fight those adjacent to you of the disbelievers and let them find in you harshness. And know that Allah is with the righteous.”
That is the justification to perform Jihad without having left the land in which they live, if an Islamic person sees people showing disbelief in Allah and the last day, or there is resistance to Islam.
The rewards for Jihad.
In addition to this, the only guaranteed way to paradise in Islamic belief is by being a martyr, as soon as the first drop of blood is spilled all sins are forgiven, except for debt.
(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 46)
“I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “The example of a Mujahid in Allah’s Cause– and Allah knows better who really strives in His Cause—-is like a person who fasts and prays continuously. Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty.”
(Sahih Muslim, Volume 6, Book 20, Number 4649)
“The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: ‘All the sins of a Shahid (martyr) are forgiven except debt.”
This is also used as scriptural basis in the Reliance of the traveller
Those quotes are all from the most reliable sources in Islam, the Qur’an which is seen as the word of Allah, the two most reliable sets of hadiths and they are all the basis of the Islamic sacred law, which is the Shari’a.
The caliphate is growing and those methods are being used, by Islamic state, by the flood of Islamic people we have seen come from the Middle east and Africa to the west and also by your moderate Muslim neighbour or colleague, because those are the rules which every Islamic person sees as the best of laws, Allah’s Laws.
(Originally published August 2016)
Reliance of the traveller, O.9, Jihad