By Badruddoja Razvi Misbahi, New Age Islam
31 March 2021
Before mentioning the true meaning, denotation, background and reason of revelation of the objectionable verses of Jihad, the meaning of Jihad according to the literal and Shari’ah points of view and its types must be explained.
The word ‘Jihad’ is derived from juhd which is used for many meanings such as: hardship, extreme, capacity, strength, extreme effort. The rule is that the derived word has the meaning and denotation of the source of derivation. Therefore, in the literal meaning of jihad, all these meanings will be taken into consideration. In the Shari'ah, the striving with hardship for the promotion and upliftment of the true religion is "Jihad", which has many forms.
For example, we can do jihad by our tongues, we can do it by our money, we can do it by our pens, we can do it by our knowledge and we can do it by risking our lives when it needed. In Shariah, Jihad is not just about killing and fighting, as people like Wasim Rizvi is used to dispersing the minds of the native brothers and arousing the non-Islamic world against the religion of Islam.
Yes, it is true that fighting non-dhimmi infidels with specific conditions when it’s necessary is also called Jihad. But to say that "jihad" is used only for this meaning is a clear contradiction of the several commandments. In the holy Quran and Prophetic sayings, there are several places where the word “Jihad” has been used in different meanings apart from this meaning (Fighting). Allah says in the holy Quran:
“And whoever strives in the way of Allah, in fact, he strives only for his own good. Indeed, Allah is Independent of the worlds”. (Al-Ankabut, verse 6) (Kanzul Iman)
In this blessed verse, jihad has been applied to various meanings, such as: obedience to God, patience, Jihad with one's self, resistance to the devil, and war with the enemies of religion. (Khazainul Irfan)
In the same way, this blessed verse of the Holy Qur'an: “And (as for) those who strive hard in Our cause, We will most certainly guide them to Our path.”(Al Ankabut, Verse: 69)
In this blessed verse, Jihad is applied to the meaning of struggle, that is, to strive for the pleasure of God in all outward and inward actions, habits, and to fight against the bad desires and satanic whispers to please Allah Almighty. Also, in the Hadith, it is called biggest Jihad. The commentator Abi Saud has said in his commentary on this verse: "Absolute Mujahadah is for the purpose of outward and inward enemies" (Tafsir Abi Saud, vol. 7, p. 48).
In the same way, the blessed verse of the Qur'an: “And fight in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is the best for you if you knew.” (Kanzul Iman)
In this verse, Jihad is commanded, if possible, with both wealth and life, and if it is not possible, with whichever of the two is possible. According to one narration, in this verse only the first type (struggle with wealth) is commanded. (Tafsir Abi Saud, vol. 4, p. 67)
In the same way, in the Hadith, speaking the truth in front of the tyrant and oppressive ruler has been interpreted as the best Jihad. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) says: "The best Jihad is the utterance of true word in front of a tyrant ruler" [Sha'ab al-Iman Lil-Bayhaqi, vol. 6, p. 93, Hadith: 7581, Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyah, Beirut, Lebanon]
The meaning of Jihad is so wide that jihad has been applied to treating one's parents well and serving them, as stated in the hadith: "جَاء رَجُلٌ اِلَی رَسُوْلُ اللّٰہِ ﷺ فاستأذنہ فی الجہاد۔ قَالَ احیٌّ والداک؟ قال: نَعَمْ۔ قَالَ ففیھما فجاھد" [Sahih Al-Bukhari, p. 733, Hadith: 3004, Kitab al-Jihad wa al-Siyar, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon] A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and asked him for permission to go to Jihad. He asked him: Are your parents alive? He said: Yes. He said: Just serve them.
Here we have presented only a few Qura’nic verses and Hadiths, otherwise there are many verses and Hadiths in the Qur'an and books of Hadiths in which Jihad is applied to meanings other than war and fight, which makes it clear that the word "Jihad" is not limited to fighting infidels and polytheists, Jews, Christians and other anti-Islamic forces, but this four-letter word itself has a very broad meaning.
Having explained so much, we would now like to draw your attention to the verses on Jihad, which are allegedly said to be spreading "terror" and inciting terrorism in the world, but before that, let us tell you that from the beginning of the proclamation of Prophethood. For 13 years, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and a handful of his companions were treated cruelly in Makkah that is a heart-melting history itself. The poor and destitute Muslims were constantly tortured; Hazrat Bilal was dragged by a rope around his neck to the hot hills and rocky valleys of Makkah. At noon when the sun was blazing, he would have been laid on the ground and weighted cells of stone would have been placed on his chests. Arms would have been tied and beaten with sticks and rods. He would have been kept in the burning sun for a long time.
Hazrat Khabab son of Arat would have been laid on fire after being intensified with coal. A man stands with his feet on his chest, so that he would not be able to change his position. He would have been forced to lie down for so long that the burning coals would become cold. Hazrat Ammar (may Allah be pleased with him) and his parents Hazrat Yasir and Hazrat Sumayya were persecuted on a daily basis. Even Hazrat Somayya was martyred by throwing a spear at her genital part of the body.
Hazrat Usman Ghani would have been wrapped by his uncle in a mat. His uncle would hang his upside down and smoke down so that he would become lifeless due to suffocation. Musa'b ibn Umayr was expelled from his house by his mother for accepting Islam. Not only the companions of holy Prophet but the Prophet himself could not escape their tyranny and violence, even when Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Amir Hamza accepted Islam, the fire of wrath of the Quraysh of Makkah became so intense that they boycotted the whole of Bani Hashim along with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). It was not because they had converted to Islam but because they were supporting the Prophet behind the scenes. Even being forced, he had to take refuge with the Bani Hashim in valleys called as Sha'b Abi Talib for the whole three years.
When the tyranny and violence of Quraysh had surpassed, the Prophet instructed his followers of Islam to migrate to Abyssinia. When they migrated to Abyssinia, a delegation of Quraysh arrived at the court of Najashi with gifts and presents, so that they could negotiate and get these oppressed followers of Islam out of there. But Najashi got impressed by the speech of Hazrat Syeduna Jafar Tayyar, and he not only sent back the ambassadors of Quraysh with failure but also converted to Islam.
The companions were not allowed to carry swords to fight the Quraysh despite being subjected to the continuous suppression, most difficult and impatient conditions for a long period of time around 13 years. The companions would ask the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the state of helplessness for permission to carry sword in self-defence against oppressors, then he would say: "Be patient, I have not yet been ordered to fight." Finally, the Prophet migrated to Madinah in the company of Abu Bakr Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him). Then, one after the other, his companions also said goodbye to their homeland Makkah forever and they too came to Madinah.
Despite going so far, they could not live in peace in the early days. By conspiring with the Jews, Quraysh caused the land of Madinah too narrow for them. The initial conditions of the companions in Madinah were so difficult that they were always in a state of war, and kept themselves awake, not knowing when they were attacked from where. At night, they kept vigil and kept a close watch, until Allah took pity on them and this blessed verse of Surah Al-Hajj was revealed in which the followers of Islam were allowed to fight for the first time in their self-defence against the infidel polytheists of Makkah: اُذِنَ لِلَّذِیْنَ یُقٰتَلُوْنَ بِاَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوْاؕ-وَ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ عَلٰى نَصْرِهِمْ لَقَدِیْر. (Hajj / 4)
Translation: “The permission was granted to those whom disbelievers fight because they were oppressed, and verily, Allah is able to help them”. (Kunzul Iman)
Before this verse, not ten or twenty but more than seventy verses had been revealed in which the companions were prevented from fighting the oppressors. The companions being pooled with blood, whenever they asked to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), the Prophet would give the same reply: "اصبروا فانی لم أومر بالقتال." Be patient, for I have not been commanded to fight, as stated in the commentary of Abi Saud: کان المشرکون یؤوذونھم و کانوا یاتونہ ﷺ بین مضروب و مشجوح و یتظلون الیہ فیقولﷺ لھم: اصبروا فانی لم اومر بالقتال حتیٰ ھاجروا فانزلت و ھی اول آیۃ نزلت فی القتال بعد مانھی عنہ نیف و سبعین آیۃ (Tafsir Abi Saud, vol. 6, p: 108) Translation: "When infidels and disbelievers would torture them, they came to the Prophet while they were beaten and tortured and cling to the Prophet. The Prophet would say: "Be patient, for I have not been commanded to fight, even they migrated. This is the first verse revealed with regard to fighting after about seventy verses had been revealed for prohibiting fighting.
Then in the next verse (Surah Hajj 40), Allah Almighty spoke of the oppression inflicted on the Muslims and said that these people were unjustly evicted from their homes. If there was any crime against them, it was only the crime that they confessed the lordship of their Lord and they used to say while getting up and sitting down, "Our Lord is Allah." And in this verse, Allah Almighty explained the reason for the defensive war allowed for Muslims, that if Allah had not repulsed some men by others, the earth would have been corrupted and there would not have been any place of worship left on earth for the worship and remembrance of Allah Almighty.
Maulana Badruddoja Razvi Misbahi, Principal of Madrasa Arabia Ashrafia Zia-ul-Uloom Khairabad, District Mau, UP (India) is a Sufi-minded, well-mannered, classical Islamic scholar, an expert teacher, an excellent writer, a good poet and orator. He has authored numerous books, some of which are as follows: 1) Fazilat-e-Ramazan, 2) Zad-ul-Haramain, 3) Mukhzin-e-Tib, 4) Tauzeehat-e-Ahsan, the commentary on the well-known logical book “Mulla Hasan” 5) Muhazarat fi Halle Qutbi Tasawwurat, 6) Tahzib al-Faraid commentary on “Sharh al-Aqaid”, 7)Atayib al-Tahani fi Halle Mukhtasar al-Ma’ani, 8) Commentary on Sahih Muslim
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