Jihaad is a multifaceted, multi-dimensional ongoing struggle in which a Muslim must remain engaged until his/her death. It starts at a personal level in the form of an ongoing purification process to resist temptations, peer pressures, bad societal influences, natural lusts and pressing desires, while maintaining a clean Islamic character and trying to improve steadfastly in morals, ethics, dealings and daily affairs of life to the level of Islamic excellence. It is a continuous attempt throughout a Muslim’s life to live a life of Taqwa, Allaah’s obedience and continual remembrance. Examples of other forms and aspects of Jihaad are:
- Untiring efforts to inculcate the same commitment to Deen in one’s spouse, children, relatives, friends, colleagues, and neighbours and to encourage and motivate them to practice Islam and dedicate themselves to the Islamic mission as well.
- Creating a home environment that is based on love and kindness and that enables Islamic practice and invigorates the faith.
- Reading good Islamic books/articles and encouraging others to do the same. Arranging and participating in programs, halaqahs, workshops, study circles and discussion forums for the public to create a virtue stimulating, faith invigorating, God fearing, Deen practising, goodness encouraging, evil forbidding, clean and pure environment.
- Utilizing social get-togethers to refresh, remind and reinforce the commitment to Deen.
- Undertaking Da’wah programs, propagating the message of Islam and sharing the beauty of Islam with non-Muslims so that Islam appeals to their intellect and wins their hearts, until Muslims have reached out to every non-Muslim.
- Organizing the believers in the form of well-regimented and unified community; managing the community affairs according to Islamic principles; and striving to establish a Kingdom of God (in Jesus’ words) as an epitome of civilized society characterized by justice, peace, love, care, dignity and equality for all people.
Besides personal purification and working with people close to a believer, all of these dimensions are collective responsibilities. Both personal and collective dimensions of Jihaad must be worked on concurrently in a balanced manner. Most of this work requires that it be carried out as a part of an organized movement where people work together under a dynamic leadership according to a well thought-out plan with defined goals and targets similar to the way it was undertaken by our Messenger in Makkah and Madeenah.
Note: Since last Saturday when I had penned the above points, some terrible things have happened. Considering the recent tragedies, the following clarification needs to be reiterated and re-emphasized:
The following clarification needs to be reiterated and re-emphasized:
Qitaal’s relevance is for the people of Muslim-majority areas who are struggling to gain their freedom or to establish an Islamic state under the guidance of an organized Islamic movement. Indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians and non-combatant elements of any society or haphazard violence by scattered groups is utterly against Islamic teachings, is incompatible with Muslim behaviour and cannot be regarded as an acceptable form of Qitaal, nor considered as Jihaad.
September 16, 2001