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Jihad in the Way of Allah

Jihad in the Way of Allah
By : Shaheed Ayatullah Abdul Husain Dastghaib Shirazi

Jihad is also considered a part of faith like Prayer and Fasting as clearly mentioned in traditions. Numerous ayats and traditions extol its virtues and warn about the chastisement in case one neglects it. Jihad can be of various kinds.

First Type : To fight the infidels in propagation of Islam. There are many conditions for this type of Jihad, one of them being the permission of Imam (a.s.) or that of his special representative. Since in our period the Imam (a.s.) is in Ghaibat (Occultation) and there is no special representative also, we are exempted from the first type of Jihad.

Second Type : To fight the infidels who have attacked Muslims in order to destroy Islam and its relics. The permission of Imam or his representative is not necessary in this case. It is a Wajib al-Kifai, obligatory on everyone, but if performed by some people the others are exempted. Everyone who is capable of fighting, even women must do Jihad to defend the boundaries of Muslim areas and to dispel the mischief of infidels.

Third Type : To fight the infidels who have attacked Muslims in order to slay them or rob them of their property. It is immaterial whether they intend to convert to their faith or not, or to destroy Islam or not. For this situation also the permission of Imam or his representative is not required. Jihad in defence of ones life, property or honour is Wajib upon every Muslim. One should of course have the capability of fighting the intruders and should be reasonably safe from perils in doing so. While protecting himself and others he must be steadfast in fulfilling all conditions of Jihad. Detailed laws regarding this subject are given in the books of Islamic Laws.

The Late Kashiful Ghita says in his book, The Shiah origin and faith, that, "Jihad is one of the most important foundations of Islam and the real pillars of its edifice. It is Jihad which has erected the palace of Islam and made it lofty. Had it not been for Jihad, Islam would have not been the source of salvation and the means of grace and blessings that it is (page 160).

Jihad is the well-being of life and preservation of property and a way to sacrifice oneself for Allah (S.w.T.). Through this is achieved superiority over the enemies. It honours Islam and clears the earth of injustice and destruction. Jihad al-Akbar: Besides Jihad against the enemies of Islam, there is another Jihad known as Jihad al-Akbar, which is Jihad against ones own self. This Jihad is directed against the maladies of the soul like ignorance, injustice, oppression, pride and arrogance, vanity, jealousy, niggardliness etc. In this struggle a person has to overcome his ignorance and fight against his own feelings of injustice to curb these evils or overcome them altogether. This is not at all easy. These undesirable traits are second nature to the person, and form an inherent part of his mental make up. It takes a tremendous effort, just to control these feelings, let alone getting rid of them. Therefore fighting against ones own weaknesses, failings and shortcomings has been termed Jihad al-Akbar by the Messenger of Allah (S). A statement says, "Your greatest enemy is your self which is between your two sides."

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