Sep 242006
 
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This article is from the second edition of Jihad in the Qur’an: The Truth from the Source. The book is now in its third edition.

 
As mentioned earlier, Muslims were given the permission to resort to armed jihad in al-Madīna in the second year after the immigration of the Prophet to that city. Any mention of jihad in verses that were revealed in Mecca must, therefore, refer to peaceful jihad. This means that peaceful jihad existed long before armed jihad. In fact, it was present since the early days of Islam, as we will see later on.
 
This is one of the Meccan verses that mention jihad:
 

Had it been Our will, We could have sent a warner to every town (25.51). So do not [O Muhammad!] obey the disbelievers, and jahidhum (do jihad against them), with it [the Qur’an], a mighty jihadan (jihad) (25.52).

Allah’s reference in verse 25.51 to sending Messengers to warn of the Day of Resurrection indicates that doing jihad using the Qur’an in verse 25.52 means preaching its teachings. This is described as jihad because it involves a struggle against the disbelievers who would resist, often violently rather than peacefully, the new religion. It also involves personal struggle on the part of the Prophet who would have to force himself to accept the suffering that this duty puts him through.

Verse 29.6 is another Meccan verse that refers to jihad:
 

Whoever hopes to meet Allah, the term appointed by Allah will surely come; and He is the Hearing, the Knowing (29.5). And whoever jahada (does jihad), he yujahidu (does jihad) only for the benefit of his own soul. Surely, Allah is in no need for anything from the people (29.6). And [as for] those who believe and do righteous deeds, We shall certainly remit from them their bad deeds, and We shall certainly reward them according to the best of their past deeds (29.7).

Both verses that surround verse 29.6 talk about the righteous people, indicating that jihad in verse 29.6 refers to behavior of those people. In other words, jihad is proper behavior in the way to Allah.

The term jihad in the Meccan verses 29.69 and 16.110 also refers specifically to peaceful jihad:

And who does greater wrong than he who forges lies against Allah or denies the truth when it has come to him? Is hell not the [fitting] abode for the disbelievers? (29.68). And [as for] those who jahadu (do jihad) for Us, We shall certainly guide them to Our ways; and Allah is surely with the doers of good (29.69).

Those (the disbelievers) are they on whose hearts, hearing, and eyes Allah has set a seal, and those are the heedless ones (16.108). No doubt that in the hereafter they will be the losers (16.109). Then surely your Lord [O Muhammad!], with respect to those who immigrated after they were persecuted, then jahadu (did jihad), and were patient, surely your Lord after that is Forgiving, Merciful (16.110).

 It is, thus, obvious that jihad is not only about fighting in the cause of Allah. In fact, peaceful jihad is by far the most common form of jihad in the life of the Muslim. Before the revelation of the verse that granted the early Muslims permission to armed jihad, they were involved in peaceful jihad only. For about fourteen years peaceful jihad was the only form of jihad in the life of the early Muslims. 

          

 Copyright © 2004 Louay Fatoohi
All Rights Reserved

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