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HomeCritical QuestionsFighting For The Cause Of Allah (Jihad) In Islam

Fighting For The Cause Of Allah (Jihad) In Islam

In Islamic terminology Jihad generally means “to strive with all your might”; It can be practiced in ways such as learning one’s religion and trying to live according to what he has learned, struggling with himself to discipline his unlimited desires, explaining Islam to other people (tabligh), and fighting enemies for Allah when necessary.

While the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessing be upon him) lists the things that Allah loves most, he also includes jihad in the way of Allah.[1] The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also stated that fighting oneself to keep one’s wishes under control[2], telling the truth against tyrant rulers[3], fighting with one’s life, property and speech when necessary[4], and serving one’s parents[5] are also included in the scope of jihad.

According to the religion of Islam, every person can make jihad within the framework of his abilities and merits. As a matter of fact, this situation is expressed in the Quran as follows: “And it is not for the believers to go forth [to battle] all at once. For there should separate from every division of them a group [remaining] to obtain understanding in the religion and warn [i.e., advise] their people when they return to them that they might be cautious.”[6]

In the Quran, the concept of jihad is used with different meanings. For example, ” So do not yield to the disbelievers, but strive diligently against them with this ˹Quran˺.”[7] ” As for those who struggle in Our cause, We will surely guide them along Our Way. And Allah is certainly with the good-doers.”[8] In the verses, the concept of jihad is used in the sense of living righteously and morally as Allah allows and determines its limits.

“˹O believers!˺ March forth whether it is easy or difficult for you, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if only you knew.”[9] “Those ˹hypocrites˺ who remained behind rejoiced for doing so in defiance of the Messenger of Allah and hated ˹the prospect of˺ striving with their wealth and their lives in the cause of Allah. They said ˹to one another˺, “Do not march forth in the heat.” Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “The Fire of Hell is far hotter!” If only they could comprehend!”[10] it is used in the sense of fighting for Allah and not fleeing from war.

As an addition, the purpose of jihad against non-Muslims is not to convert them to Islam by force. Because the religion of Islam does not allow  to force someone to accept this religion.[11] Allah refers to this situation when he orders us to live and explain Islam in the best way in the Quran.[12]

In Islam there are some criteria for the war with non-Muslims to be legitimate. These can be listed as follows: Non-Muslims wage war against Muslims[13], engage in enmity and rape[14], do not allow Muslims to practice their religion[15] and Muslims’ lives and property are not safe.[16]

As can be seen, although jihad is a highly valued and highly encouraged concept in Islam, it is not just about fighting against non-Muslims. In fact, jihad by war occupies a small place among the jihad options offered to Muslims. All efforts to improve one’s own religious life, to introduce people to Islam, and to make the world a better and more livable world are within the scope of jihad. Voluntary efforts to “heal oneself, the world and society” are considered more valuable than the forced “jihad through war”.


[1] Al-Bukhari, Times of prayers,5.
[2] Tirmidhi, The Book on Virtues of Jihad,2.
[3] Battles (Kitab Al-Malahim), 17
[4] Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, III, 124.
[5] Al-Bukhari, fighting for the cause of Allah(jihad), 138.
[6] At-Tawbah, 122.
[7] Al-Furqan, 52.
[8] Al- ‘Ankabut , 69.
[9] At-Tawbah, 41.
[10] At-Tawbah, 81.
[11] Al-Baqarah, 256.
[12] Al-Nahl, 125.
[13] At-Tawbah,36.
[14] Al-Baqarah, 193.
[15] Al-Hajj, 39-40.
[16] Al-Baqarah,190.