What reason could you have for not fighting in the Way of Allah – for those men, women and children, who are oppressed and say, “Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You! (Holy Qur’an 4:75)
According to a majority of Islamic scholars – there are four types of Jihad (utmost exertion) sanction by Allah and His Messenger:
1. Jihad by one’s heart – Self-purification or sometimes called ‘greater Jihad’.
2. Jihad by one’s tongue or writings – persuading people to adopt the right path and to dissuade them from evil. This is the Jihad the Prophet (pbuh) has prefered over force or violence.
3. Jihad by one’s hand – supporting the right and correcting the wrong by using physical means, short of violence.
4. Jihad by one’s sword – War being the ultimate arbiter of nations’ disputes – being the most practical religion, Islam permits the Believers to fight back against the agressors and occupation forces.
Many westernized or apologetic scholars, however, consider the last type of Jihad – not part of Islam – forgeting that during the life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Muslims carried over 78 of wars, military conflicts and military skirmishes.
Islam abolished all kinds of warfare except Jihad. Only a war which has an ultimate religious purpose and is conducted under laws and usages approved by Islamic Shari’ah can be termed as Jihad.
Lt. Col. M.M. Qureshi (R) of Pakistan Army wrote in his book “Landmarks of Jihad”- “War is, strictly speaking, neither a science nor an art: it is more akin to a commercial enterprise under extremely competitive conditions. The outcome of a battle is determined by four factors, viz. the arms and the organization of the contesting armies, the quality and the numbers of their soldiers, the excellence of leadership of the opposing generals – and luck.”
Islam doesn’t approve Judeo-Christian doctrine of “Original Sin” and division of its followers’ daily activities into Church (religious) and State (non-religious). Islam is a complete code for human life – submission to the Creator (Allah) in all human conducts – in spiritual as well as temporal matters. It has fashioned the lives of its Believers as no other religion has moulded the lives of its followers – for the last 1,400 years.
Islam, like Abrahim religion, is a revolutionary movement, which aims at establishing Allah’s spiritual and political domain, replacing all man-made doctrines. Armed Jihad is, a fundamental Islamic institution, which has been widely mispresented by the anti-Islam propagandists. Even many so-called ‘moderate Muslim scholars’ have forgotten the true meaning of Jihad and its significance as the most important part of Muslim heritage.
According to Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi – the five pillars of Isram are: Salat, Fasting, Zakat, Hajj, and Jihad (through tongue, pen or sword). He explained: “Jihad is part of overall defence of Islam. Jihad means to struggle to the utmost of one’s capacity. A man who exerts himself physically or mentally or spend his wealth in the way of Allah, is indeed engaged in Jihad. But in the language of the Shari’ah – this word is used particularly for a war that is waged solely in the name of Allah against those who practice oppression as enemies of Islam. This supreme sacrifice of life devolves on all Muslims. If, however, a section of Muslims offer themselves for the Jihad, the community as a whole is absolved of its responsibility. But if none comes forward, everybody is guilty. This concession vanishes for the citizens of an Islamic State when it is attacked by a non-Muslim power. In that case everyone must come forward for the Jihad. If the country attacked has not enough strength to fight back, then it is the religious duty of the neighbouring Muslim countries to help her: if even they fail, then the Muslims of the whole world must fight the common enemy. In all such cases, Jihad is as much a primary duty of the Muslims concerned as are the daily prayers or fasting. One who shirks it is a sinner. His very claim to being a Muslim is doutful. He is hypocrite (munafiq), whose Ibadah and prayers are a sham, a worthless, hollow show of devotion.”