Jihad in Islam
The literal meaning of Jihad in Arabic language is “to strive” or “to endeavor.” Taken as a whole in Islam, Jihad means to strive in the way of Allah to spread the religion Islam. Jihad is incumbent on Muslims for the betterment and welfare of the community. However, this has been misinterpreted as killing innocent people for the purposes of personal gain.
Unlike all the obligatory acts of worship like prayers, fasting, giving alms and pilgrimage, Jihad is a non obligatory form of worship. Yet this is regarded as the best worship one can voluntarily offer and therefore has its own promises of blessings and reward from Allah Almighty.
The benefits of jihad are not only limited to individuals performing it but is beneficial to the Muslim community as a whole. Jihad ensures prosperity of the society as well as unity of the fraternity. Jihad brings glory and splendor to the society and provides all kinds of successes and dignity to the Muslim Ummah.
According to the verses of the Holy Quran:
“Permission to fight is given to those (i.e. believers against disbelievers) who are fighting them (and) because they (believers) have been wronged, and surely Allah is Able to give them (believers) victory. Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said:” Our Lord is Allah.” (V.22:39, 40).
The above verses clearly state that Allah is able to give victory to the believers who fight in His way with all their heart and might. It is also clear that the believers do not just kill innocent people out of their free accord but they only do so if they are clearly wronged in one way or the other.
This concept is further clarified in Surah Tauba where the order to discard all the obligations is stated and Muslims are commanded to fight against all the non believers until either they do not embrace Islam or pay Jizya. Jizya is a tax levied on the non-Muslims who do not embrace Islam and are under the protection of an Islamic government with willing submission.
Jihad might result in killing or being taken as captive or being injured and wastage of wealth and industries hence is strongly despised by many. Jihad might also result in spreading of fear. Considering these problems, Allah has made promises of extremely good rewards that cannot be comprehended by us.
The remuneration of the act of Jihad is mentioned in the verses of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet and those who perform jihad are greatly praised and have been assured many honors that they will receive from their Lord. Allah will greatly recompense those who keep at bay the enemies of the religion and make certain the safety of the religion.