Jihad: The forgotten obligation

1 - No Deed Equivalent to Jihaad

Narrated Abu Huraira (R), a man came to Allah's Messenger (saw) and said "Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihaad (in reward). He replied "I do not find such a deed." Then he added, "Can you, while the Muslim fighter is in the battlefield, enter your Mosque to perform prayers without cease and fast and never break your fast?" The man said, "but who can do that?" Abu Huraira (ra) added, "The Mujahid is rewarded even for the footsteps of his horse while it wanders about (for grazing) tied on a long rope." (Sahih Bukhari, p.391, vol.1)

The virtue of an action is based upon its importances and its high status. Taking this into account the aim of Jihaad is the elevation of Allah's word and this cannot be achieved without Jihaad. For this reason the most virtuous deed stated in this hadith is Jihaad. To comprehend this virtuous deed by the human mind may prove difficult, but only Allah's grace and mercy can enlighten us in this respect. When we examine the religious laws in providing the reasons for Jihaad being the most virtuous deed, we can present the view that Jihaad is actually the protector of all other deeds. It is on account of Jihaad that Muslims can be at ease and be able ot lead their way of life, fulfilling all obligations without the fear of the enemy. When Jihaad is neglected, it is inevitable that the kuffar will overpower the Muslims resulting in a breakdown of the Islamic way of life.

Another reason for Jihaad being the most virtuous deed is that a person sacrifices his two beloved things, which are, his life and his wealth, which is unlike other deeds. It can easily be concluded by this explanation why other deeds cannot compete with Jihaad. In reference to some ahadith in which other deeds have been given priority, the focus has been on a specific aspect and this has been considered acceptable. Generally, the scholars of hadith have given priority to Jihaad by analysing the details of the above hadith.

A great scholar of Hadith, Qadi Iyadh Maliki states, one realises the great status of Jihaad by this hadith and no deed is equivalent to Jihaad. (Fath ul Bari, p.5, vol.6)