|According to the Greek
philosophers the universe is static. This belief resulted in
stoicism which means that one should lead a quiet, inactive,
monotonous, hermit life; fear society, and should not have any
sense of the values or joys of human association. This pessimistic
philosophy withered the leaves, plucked the fruits and dried up
the branches of the tree of humanity. When the last Messenger of
Islam began his mission this philosophy in various shapes was
dominating the thinking minds of the world. The Quran contradicted
this listless and destructive philosophy of life and said that the
universe is not static. This universe is an ever-expanding one.
And its every particle is changing and moving forward so as to
live. The name of this endeavor is Jihad.
The Meaning of Jihad
Jihad is opposite of Qo'ood, to sit idly without making
an effort. This makes it clear that Jihad means to be active, to
struggle, to strive and to endeavor.
gayru uliz-zarari wal-Mujaa-hiduuna
Sabiilillaahi bi-amwaa-lihim wa
wa anfu-sihim alal-qaa-idiina
kullanw-wa –adal-laahul-husnaa wa
alal-qaa-idiina ajran aziimaa.
Those of the believers who sit still,
other then those who have a (disabling) hurt are not on equality
with those who strive and struggle in the way of Allah with their
wealth and lives. Allah hath conferred on those who strive and
struggle with their wealth and lives a rank above the sedentary.
Unto each Allah has promised well, but He has bestowed on those
who strive a great reward above the sedentary. (4/95)
Therefore Jihad would mean action. Read the Quran from start to
finish and everywhere you find emphasis on Eiman and
action. By Eiman is meant determining the objective. And by
action is meant striving and struggling in order to obtain that
objective. This is the Jihad of a Muslim. And it includes
everything from a small work to the ultimate sacrifice that a man
can make. So a Muslim in order to crush the forces of oppression
and tyranny is prepared to lay down his life if circumstances so
demand. As such Qital (war) is also included in Jihad. This
means that every Jihad is not war. The life of a Muslim is Jihad
from birth to death because only by Jihad glory of evolution of
humanity is maintained and human personality is developed.
Wa man-jaahada fa –inna-maa yujaahidu
linafsih; in-nallaaha la –Ganiyyun
If any (Muslim) strives and struggles
then he does it for the development of his own personality because
Allah is free of all needs from all creation. (29/6)
And the ways to the destination of the caravan of life are
shown by Jihad.
Wallaziina jaahaduu fiinaa
Subulanaa; wa innallaaha
And Allah would certainly guide those
who strive and struggle in the cause of the Truth to His path
(their destination) because without doubt Allah is with those who
lead righteous lives. (29/69)
The Path of the Muslims
Jihad is the only path for a Muslim that can lead him to Allah.
Yaaa- ayyu- hallaziina aa- manutta-
wab-taguuu ilay-hil-Wasiiata wa
fii Sabiilihii la-allakum tuf-lihuun.
O Muslims adhere strictly to the laws
of Allah. Try to secure a high rank in His eyes. You will be
successful in your efforts by striving and struggling hard in His
And without Jihad Jannat (life of peace and security) is
a distant dream, nay impossible.1
Am hasibtum an-tad-khulul-Jannata wa
minkum wa ya –lamas-Saabiriin.
O Muslims! What do you think? You
will enter Jannat (just by declaring that you believe in
Allah. No). You have yet to prove which of you have strived and
struggled hard and have endured steadfastly. (3/141)
Jihad exalts one in ranks.
Allah-ziina aamanuu wa haa-jaruu wa
haduu fii Sabii-lillaahi
anfusihim a –amwaaa-lihim wa
a-zamu dara-jatan indal-laah wa
Mark that those who believe in Allah
and the life hereafter and who abandon their homes and struggle in
the cause of Allah with their possessions and their persons rank
high in the estimation of Allah. These are they who will attain
By Jihad one becomes the candidate for Allah's Rehmat
(means of protection and sources of nourishment).
Innallaziina aamanuu wallaziina
wa jaa-haduu fii Sabiilillaahi
yarjuuna Rahmatallaah wallaahu
Without doubt those who believe in
the Divine Order, migrate (leave their homes so as to) strive and
struggle in the cause of Allah are the ones who can rightfully
expect and receive Allah's Rehmat. (2/218)
By Jihad one becomes prosperous and pleasantly ingenious.
Laakinir –Rasuulu walla-zii-na
ma-ahuu jaaha-duu bi-amwaa-lihim wa
wa ulaaa- ika humul-Muf-lihuun
lahum jannaa-tin-tajrii min-tahti-
But the Messenger and his companions
who believe in Allah strive and struggle in the cause of Divine
Order with their lives and their possession. All good things of
life are for them and they shall prosper. Allah has prepared for
them gardens wherein flow streams and where they shall abide; this
indeed is a great achievement. (9/88-89)
The Life of a Muslim
Ponder over the life of a Muslim. He is born into the world in
order to live in accordance with the Divine laws and to implement
these laws in the world. He does not change according to the
system in which he is born rather he tries to change the system
according to his ideology. And for this change he sacrifices
everything that he has, simply because for him his life and wealth
are not an end in themselves but are means to achieve a lofty
goal. And that objective is to implement the Divine Order in the
Mard khuddare ke bashad pukhtakar
Ba mizaje ou ba sazad rozgar
Gar na sazad ba mizaje ou jahan
Mi shaved jung az-ma ba asma
Bar kunad buniyad mojudat ra
Mi dahad tarkibe nau zarrat
Gardishe aiyam ra zanad
Charkhe nili fam ra barham zanad
Mi kunad az quwwate khud ashkar
Rozgar nau keh bashad sazgar
For a man determined in mission
The world changes to his desires
If circumstances are not conducive for him
He struggles, he strives and he succeeds
He changes the existing things
And gives a n order new to them
He destroys the misfortune of time
Formidable and lofty it might be
With his power and wisdom
The new dawn follows in his steps.
This revolution is the objective of the life of a Muslim. And
to achieve this goal he has to strive and struggle hard. This then
is Jihad. The Quran in simple but impressive style narrates this
fact. It says that a Muslim is the guardian of his life and wealth
and not the owner.
anfusahum wa amwaa-lahum-bi- anna
lillaahi fayaq-tuluuna wa yuqta-luun
wa-dan alay-hi Haqqari-fit-Tawraati
wal-injiiliwal-Qur-aan wa man awfaa
Ahdihii minallaahi fastab-shiruu
I-kumulla-zii baaya-tum-bih wa
Allah hath purchased of the believers
(in the Divine Order) their persons and their goods; for their (in
return) is Jannat (peace and security): they fight in His
cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in Truth,
through the Torah (Old Testament), the Gospel (New Testament), and
the Quran and who is more faithful to his Covenant than Allah?
Then rejoice in the bargain, which you have concluded: that is the
achievement supreme. (9/111)
In this business there is no loss and no setback, only gain and
Yaaa-ayyuhal-laziina aamanuu hal
Azaa-bin aliim? Tu –minuuna billaahi
Rasuulihii watujaahiduuna fii
bi- amwaalikum wa anfusikum zaalikum
khay-rullakum in-kuntum ta-la-muun.
O you who believe (in the Divine
Order) shall I tell you of a business that will save you from a
grievous chastisement? If you believe in Allah and His Messenger
then strive and struggle hard in the cause of Allah with your
wealth and your persons. This bargain is best for you, if you but
only knew. (61/10-11)
Upholding the Truth
This universe has been created in Truth. Therefore the
ideological mission of a Muslim's life is to uphold this Truth so
as to establish Divine system. He is born for this.
Wa jaahiduu fillaahi haq-qa jihaadih.
Huwaj-tabaakum wa maa ja-aiz alaykum
fid- diini min haraj; Millata
Huwa sam-maakumul-Muslimiin. Min
fii haazaa li-yakuu-nar-Rasuulu
alay-kum wa takuunuu shuhadaaa-a
Fa-aqiimus-Salaata wa aatuz-Zakaata
And endeavor in the cause of Allah
because it is your right to strive and struggle in His cause. He
has chosen you for a glorious life. For you there is no hardship
in Diin (system of life). The way of life of your father
Abraham is also your way of life. He has named you Muslim. This
was your name in earlier Scriptures and in this (Quran). This is
because the Messenger is witness over your deeds and you are
witness over the rest of the mankind. So establish the system of
Salaat (political order) and Zakaat (economic system
for the welfare of the entire humanity). Hold fast (the laws of)
Allah. He is your Protecting Friend. The blessed Patron and the
blessed Helper! (22/78)
This then is, according to the Quran, striving and struggling
regularly in the way of truth and justice. This is also that
blessed philosophy of regular effort and inquiry in which are
concealed the secrets of life.
lillaahi wa lir-Rasuuli izaa da-
aakum limaa yuh-yiikum.
O Muslims! Respond to the call of
Allah and His Messenger when He calls you so that you may get
'A call to life' means to create an atmosphere in which your
humanity remains alive.
Musalmane ke dand ramze diin ra
Nasayad paishe ghair-ullah jibiin ra
Agar gardoon bakame uoo na gardad
Bakame khud ba-gardad ien zamiin ra
The secrets of Muslim belief, I tell
Other than to Allah he does not bow
His heart is indifferent to the riches of the world
For his object is eternal bliss and eternal life.
Therefore just to breathe is not life. Similarly death is not
when you stop breathing. As such the Quran says that those who die
in this struggle should not be called dead. They are alive. But
you do not understand this fact because you think that life stops
when one stops breathing.
Wa laa taquuluu li-many-yuqtalu fii
sabiilil-laahi am-waat. Bal ah-yaaa-
unw-wa laakil-laa tash-uruun.
(During the struggle for the
establishment of the Divine Order one should be prepared even to
face death.) If one dies in this struggle one should not be
considered dead because one has attained eternal life even though
it cannot be perceived (by your present level of knowledge).
Even to think that a striver in the cause of Allah is dead is
Wa laa tah- sabannal-lazii-na qutiluu
Sabiilullaahi amwaataa. Bal ahyaaa-un
inda Rabbihim yurzaquun.
Do not ever think that those who have
been slain in the cause of Allah are dead. Say, "They are alive
with Allah, well-provided with sustenance, rejoicing in what Allah
has bestowed upon them. They are glad because of their sacrifice
those who have been left behind are free of fear and anxiety."
Therefore, according to the Quran life is movement and action.
When there is no movement and action then it is death though
physical life may be of any length. A shameless life is not life
at all. In this is concealed the secret of the life of an
individual or that of a community.
Why do Nations Rise and fall?
Why do nations rise and fall? There are many answers to this
question. One principle is common to all of them and that too in
all ages. Only that nation survived which had enthusiasm to
evolve, to move forward and passion to strive for its existence.
But the moment its organs of thought and action exhausted its
existence was wiped out as if they were lam
yakun-shay-am-mazkuuraa, a thing unremembered. Ordinary people
search external reasons and defects for this fall. But external
reasons and defects are like ants carrying a dead insect from one
place to the other. Nations fall because their internal forces
become weakened and disorderly.
Magar kotahee-e- zauq-e-aml hai khud
Jahan bazu simet-te hain wahin sayyad
Failing to struggle, to strive is
Fowler is where ye fold thy wings.
For the Quran enthusiasm to evolve and passion to strive is an
immutable law. Therefore it unambiguously says to the community
that has been chosen to protect mankind, "The secret of your
existence is in struggling and striving hard. If you will shy foul
from this obligation then other communities will take your place
and your history will become stories of the past."
Yaaa-ayyu-hallaziina aa-manuu maa
izaa qiila lakumunfiruu fii
saaqal-tum ilal-arz? A
tid-dunyaa mi-nal- Aakhirah? Famaa
ul-hayaa-tid-dunyaa fil- Aakhi-rati
Illaa tanfiruu yu-azzib-kum azaaban
wa yas-tabdil qaw-man gayra-kum wa
tazurruuhn shay-aa-Wallaahu alaa
kulli shay-in Qadiir.
O Muslims! What has happened to you?
When you are asked to march forth in the cause of Allah you do not
move as if your feet are rooted in the earth. (It seems) you
prefer worldly gains to the blessings of the Hereafter although
the gains offered by the life of this world are insignificant in
comparison to what the life of the hereafter offers. Remember, if
you do not march forth Allah will certainly chastise you with a
serious chastisement. He will replace you by another people. You
can do no harm to Allah since He has control over everything.
The secret of your life is in your fighting and defeating the
forces of evil. Besides, this struggle takes stock of your
strength and thereby you can gauge as to how much talent you have
to live and to move forward. This stock taking will be in
khawfi waljiuu-i wa
wal-anfusi was-samaraat wa
Saabiriin,Al-laziina izaaa asaabat
musiibatun-qaaluuu innaa lillaahi wa
ilayhi raaji-uun.Ulaaa-ika alayhim
mir –Rabbihim wa rahmah wa ulaaa-ika
This struggle will provide you with
many opportunities to test your mettle. You may encounter wars and
massacres and also be confronted with scarcity of food and loss of
life and property or with devastation of fields and orchards. Such
ordeals may take place but ultimately those who remain steadfast
and do not waver in their commitment to establish Allah's system
will be successful. They meet every challenge saying: "We have
dedicated ourselves to the establishment of the Divine system and
come what may we will continue advancing towards that goal." They
are the people who are considered to be eminently deserving of
blessings and laudation by their Creator and Sustainer. They will
certainly attain their goal. (2/155-157)
This happened to the generations before you and this will
happen to you. You will not find any change in the laws of Allah.
Just by saying that you are a Muslim you will not be exempted
from this law. Your belief in the Divine Order will be tested. In
this test your actions would be seen and not your poetry.
aa-mannaa wa hum laa yuftanuun? Wa
nallaa-hullaziina sadaquu wa
Do men think that they will be left
alone on saying, "We believe," and they will not be tested? (Mere
lip profession of Faith is not enough. They will be tried and
tested in the real turmoil of life. And remember) We did test
(generations) before them so as to tell them who were true and who
were false. (29/2-3)
Putting up Lame Excuses
And for this test there is no better touchstone than Jihad. The
Quran unambiguously states this fact in the second section of
chapter 48 (Surah Al-Fath). Besides, this section unveils
various types of prevarications and false excuses by people who
hung back from the duty of Jihad. Though the immediate reference
in these verses is in context of the period when the Quran was
being revealed but it has generalized connotation that is not
confined in time, space and peoples. However, amongst the Muslims
this sickness of shying away from the duty of Jihad began
spreading its wings when the live and life giving message of Allah
was replaced by Persian and Greek thoughts. In short, Sufism
fatally injured enthusiasm of the Muslims to struggle and to
The decline of Muslim power is directly related to the rise of
Sufism. For Sufism preached that the biggest Jihad is purgation of
the Self. And this is done by sitting idly in dark and narrow
cells of a monastery and repeatedly uttering, "Allah, Allah." This
anti-Islamic thought gained ground despite clear instructions and
exposition in the Quran about the bigger Jihad (Jihad-e-Akbar).
Falaa tuti-il-kaafiriina wa
(O Messenger) do not follow those who
reject (the Truth), but strive against them with the utmost
strenuousness in accordance (with the Quran). (25/52)
Look, the phrase falaa tuti-il-kaafiriina in the above
verse is unambiguously clarifying the meaning of Jihad-e-Akbar
– strive and struggle (jaahidhum-bihii) in accordance with
the laws enshrined in the Quran against the forces that oppose the
Divine Order till obedience remains only for the laws of Allah.
Division by the Clergy
The Quran says that the anchorites and the priests hinder men
from the way of Allah (9/34). We have seen as to how the Sufis led
the Muslims astray. Now let us consider the part played by the
priests. They introduced an innovative concept called division of
labor in Islam. According to this, war is for the army and the
duty of the priests is to legislate in religious affairs and also
to issue religious edicts. The Quran nowhere mentions this type of
division. The very idea has been borrowed from the Manu Simriti
of the Hindus. According to the Quran enjoining good and
forbidding evil is the duty of all the Muslims and so is war. In
Islam there is no room for a separate class of priests.