Lessons from Holy Qur'an

Teachings of Islam about Jihad

Lesson # 975 from the Noble Quran

Teachings of Islam about Jihad

Surah ‘ANFAAL (SPOILS OF WAR) – Chapter – 8)

 Stage – 2, Verse – 0 of 75, Section – 1 of 10 (Part – 9)


In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful


Substance of human life is struggle and endeavor. His nature is to fulfill own desires, bruise and tyrannize them who come in the way of fulfilling his wishes. Similarly, we observe the same thing in animals, and this is the reason that we determine the human being as (social) animal. Sign of animal’s life in the world is a struggle and the sign of its death is the end of that struggle. Islam does not desire to remove the life, but it wishes to keep it up. Therefore, it supports to struggle against the opponents, and it considers honor if overcame upon them but disgrace if subdued by them. Struggle to Conquer these opponents is called Jihad in Arabic language.


After that, it is easy to understand that the life, Islam and Jihad are different names of the same thing. Islam has emphasized the “Jihad” because it wants to preserve the life, but along with it, it has been caused to understand clearly that “there is a difference in the Jihad (struggle) of humankind and the struggle of an animal as the difference between heaven and the earth, because animal life is different from human life. So, there must be a difference between the struggles (Jihad) of the both.


The struggle of the animal is only for the purpose that if any other of its kind; wants to snatch its necessities of this world, it should drive that animal off by striking so that it may live itself easily. Therefore, it has to fight against other individuals usually of its kind. Islam teaches the mankind: Your Jihad (struggle) must be for the purpose that you yourself and other people of your kind may acquire the rest of actual life i.e. the life of the Hereafter. So, your fight should be against the people of your kind, only in that condition; when they raise any hindrance against fulfilling this cause and are prepared to fight.


A human being cannot fight with the people of his kind for the purpose that he may snatch the worldly and luxurious goods, wealth and property from others and fill own house with them. This way is specified with the animals. If the humankind adopts the same way, then, he is at a great distance from the humanity and still he is mere an animal, a worst kind of animal which is called a ravenous.


A mankind will fight against the other at that time only when he will try to prevent him by violence from the effort to gain the perpetual life. Islam elevates the platform of human struggle much high and teaches him to face the enemies of eternal life. Therefore; the name of his struggle is “Jihaad Fii SabiiLIllaah (The Struggle, try and strive in the Path of God, for the sake of God). And if any mankind opposes it himself and wants to stop it, then it is the Jihad that one must fight against him and that kind of Jihad is called Qataal fii SabiiLIllaah (killing for the sake of God). Fighting against those who prevent the people from making their Hereafter good, is Islamic life, and fighting for worldly goods, honor and sovereignty is the animal life, and there is much difference in both.


Those people who have recited the Chapters of Holy Qur’an, revealed in Makkah with attention and observed thirteen years’ life of God’s last Messenger (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him) and the Muslims in Makkah, they understand easily that Islam wished to teach the mankind formulas of peaceful life. But quarrelsome and arrogant people of Makkah got ready to oppose Islam, Muslims and the Preacher of Islam Muhammad (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him) for the sake of their worldly interests and tyrannized in such a way that; hearing them is confounded.  So the Muslims had to girt their loins for fighting against them by compulsion. And finally, the Muslims and the truth were conquerors. There is a specific law for such fighting and such victory. But if the Muslims fight for the world and conquest, and in this form, they put the same law (of Qataal Fii SabiiLIllaah) into execution, then it would be a fight only, result of which would be not other than that, which we have been observing nowadays.  


Transliterated Holy Qur’an in Roman Script & Translated from Arabic to English by Marmaduke Pickthall, Published by Paak Company, 17-Urdu Bazaar, Lahore, Lesson collected from Dars e Qur’aan published By Idara Islaah wa Tableegh, Lahore (translated Urdu to English by Muhammad Sharif)