Jihad: The forgotten obligation

7: Little Work But A Great Reward

Narrated al-Bara (r), a man whose face was covered with an iron armour (ie clad in armour) came to the Prophet (saw) and said, "O Allah's Messenger! Shall I fight or embrace Islam first?" The Prophet (saw) replied, "Embrace Islam first and then fight". So he embraced Islam and was Shaheed. Allah's Messenger (saw) said, "A little work, but a great reward." (He did very little after embracing Islam but he was rewarded in abundance). (Sahih Bukhari, p.394, vol.1)

Ibn Ishaq has recorded in maghazi (an authentic tradition of Abu Huraira (r) that the Prophet (saw) said, "Tell me about a person who never prayed one salaah but entered jannah." Then he answered himself that this lucky person was Amar bin Thabit (r)" (Fath ul Bari, p.105, vol.6)

Taking this narration into consideration, the scholars of hadith have agreed that the person mentioned in Bukhari is Amar bin Thabit (r).

Hasin bin Muhammad says "I asked Mahmud ibn Labid that what is his story. He answered, "This person denied Islam til the day of Uhud, when he understood Islam. He lifted his sword and participated in the fierce battle with the Sahaba (r) til he was wounded. When the people saw him wounded, they asked him what had bought him here for Jihaad. Was it the love of the nation, or the love of Islam? He answered, "The love of Islam, I have fought alongside the Prophet (saw) til I had been wounded." Upon this the Prophet (saw) said, "There is no doubt he is from the dwellers of Jannah".

We understand from this hadith that to bring Iman is a requirement before Jihaad and that if a person is Shaheed straight after accepting Islam he is a dweller of Jannah even though he has performed no other deeds.