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23 May 2017 CE | 27 Shaban 1438 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation


What is Jihad


It was narrated from Abu Musa Al-Ashari that a man asked the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) about fighting in the cause of Allah, glorified and exalted is He. He asked, “A man may kill out of (personal) anger, or out of (nationalistic, patriotic) zeal.” He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) raised his head to look at him – and he only raised his head because the man was standing – and said: “The one who kills so that the word of Allah will be supreme is (fighting) in the path of Allah [fee sabeel Allah].” [The Book of Leadership: Sahih Muslim]

Every square inch of earth belongs to Allah, and as the Creator, Owner, Maintainer and Disposer, He alone has the right to make the rules for it. Thus, the Muslim head of state is required to ask the rulers of other lands to implement the laws laid down by Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), or risk having their political and ruling system overthrown by the Muslim army. Allah gives each individual the right to follow the religion of their choice, but the law of the land must be as defined by Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), and not man-made.

People have always fought, colonized and enslaved one another not merely to protect their interests, but to take undue advantage of others. Offensive Jihad is for the purpose of putting an end to this slavery of man to man and putting man into the slavery of Allah instead.

The Jihad undertaken in the time of the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) was both offensive and defensive. Defensive Jihad is the Allah-given right to defend one’s person, property and land. Thus, if Muslims are attacked, a handspan of their land is occupied, or a single Muslim taken prisoner, then they must act to reverse the situation. This is the same as what anyone would do if attacked by criminals. They must defend themselves however they can. In the ten years that he lived in Madina, the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) undertook 62 military expeditions, participating personally in them or directing others in how to conduct them.

Nowadays the word Jihad is used very loosely. All kinds of conflicts are termed Jihad. However, battles for the supremacy of a particular country, corporation, industry, ethnic group, clan, or family are not Jihad. This hadith clarifies that when an offensive Jihad is undertaken it can only be for the supremacy of the Shariah. 

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