Ibn Taymiyyah On Jihad

Posted: January 22, 2013 in Ibn Taimiyyah, On Jihad

The Religious and Moral Doctrine On Jihad  “Al-Siyaasa Al-shar`iyya fee slaah Al-raa`ee wa Al-raa`iyya” (Governance according to Allah’s Law in reforming both the ruler and his flock)

The penalties that the Sharee’ah has introduced for those who disobey Allah and His Messengers are of two kinds:

1) The punishment of those who are under the sway [of the Imam], both individuals and collectivities, as has been mentioned before [in the chapter on criminal law], and;

2) The punishment of recalcitrant groups, such as those that can only be brought under the sway of the Imam by a decisive fight.

That then is the jihad against the unbelievers (Kufaar), the enemies of Allah and His Messenger. For whoever has heard the summons of the Messenger of Allah, (salallaahu’alayheewasallam), and has not responded to it, must be fought, “Until there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s entirely.” [Qur’an., 2:193, 8:39]

When Allah sent His Prophet (salallaahu’alayheewasallam) and ordered him to summon the people to His religion, He did not permit him to kill or fight anyone for that reason before the Prophet (salallaahu’alayheewasallam) emigrated to Medina.

Thereafter, He gave him and the Muslims permission with the words

“Leave is given to those who are fought because they were wronged – surely Allah is able to help them – who were expelled from their habitations without right, except that they say ‘Our Lord is Allah.’ Had Allah not driven back the people, some by the means of others, there would had been destroyed cloisters and churches, oratories and masjids, wherein Allah’s name is much mentioned. Assuredly Allah will help him who helps Him – surely Allah is all-strong, all-mighty – who, if We establish them in the land, perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and bid to honour, and forbid dishonour; and unto Allah belongs the issue of all affairs.”
[Qur’an., 22:39-41]

Then, after that, He imposed fighting on them with the following words: “Prescribed for you is fighting, though it be hateful  to you. Yet it may happen that you will hate a thing   which is better for you; and it may happen that you   love a thing which is worse for you. Allah knows and   you know not.” [Qur’an., 2:216]

He has emphasized this command and glorified jihad in many of the Medinese Sooraas. He has criticized those who fail to participate in it and called them hypocrites (Munaafiq) and sick in their hearts. Allah has said:

“Say: ‘If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your clan, your possessions that you have gained, commerce you fear may slacken, dwellings you love – if these are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and to struggle in His way, then wait till Allah brings His command; Allah guides not the people of the ungodly.’” [Qur’an., 9:24]


“The believers are those who believe in Allah and His Messenger, then have not doubted, and have struggled with their possessions and their selves in the way of Allah; those – they are the truthful ones.” [Qur’an., 49:15]


“Then, when a clear soorah is sent down, and therein fighting is mentioned, thou seest those in whose heart is sickness looking at thee as one who swoons of death; but better for them would be obedience and words honourable. Then when the matter is resolved, if they were true to Allah, it would be better for them.” [Qur’an., 47:20-21]

There are numerous similar verses in the Qur’an and equally frequent is the glorification of jihad and those who participate in it, [for instance] in Surat al-Saff (the Ranks):

“O believers, shall I direct you to a commerce that shall deliver you from a painful chastisement? You shall believe in Allah and His Messenger, and struggle in the way of Allah with your possessions and your selves. That is better for you, did you but know. He will forgive you your sins and admit you into gardens underneath which rivers flow, and to dwelling places goodly in Gardens of Eden; that is the mighty triumph; and other things you love, help from Allah and a nigh victory. Give thou good tidings to the believers.” [Qur’an., 61:10-13]

And [elsewhere] He has said:

“Do you reckon the giving of water to pilgrims and the inhabiting of the Holy Masjid as the same as one who believes in Allah and the Last Day and struggles in the way of Allah? Not equal are they in Allah’s sight; and Allah guides not the people of the evildoers. Those who believe, and have emigrated, and have struggled in the way of Allah with their possessions and their selves are mightier in rank with Allah; and those – they are the triumphant; their Lord gives them good tidings of mercy from Him and good pleasure; for them await gardens wherein is lasting bliss, therein to dwell forever and ever; surely with Allah is a mighty wage.”  [Qur’an., 9:19-21]

And: “O believers, whosoever of you turns from his religion, Allah will assuredly bring a people He loves, and who love Him, humble towards the believers, disdainful towards the unbelievers, men who struggle in the path of Allah, not fearing the reproach of any reproacher. That is Allah’s bounty; He gives it unto whom He will.” [Qur’ân., 5:54]

And He has said: “That is because they are smitten neither by thirst, nor fatigue, nor emptiness in the way of Allah, neither tread they any tread enraging the unbelievers, nor gain any gain from any enemy, but a righteous deed is thereby written to their account; Allah leaves not to waste the wage of the good-doers. Nor do they expend any sum, small or great, nor do they traverse any valley, but it is written to their account, that Allah may recompense them the best of what they were doing.” [Qur’ân., 9:120-121]

Thus He has mentioned [the reward] resulting from their deeds and the deeds they must practice.

The command to participate in jihad and the mention of its merits occur innumerable times in the Qur’ân and the Sunnah.

Therefore it is the best voluntary [religious] act that man can perform. All scholars agree that it is better than the hajj (greater pilgrimage) and the ‘Umrah (lesser pilgrimage), than voluntary Salaah and voluntary fasting, as the Qur’an and the Sunnah indicate.

The Prophet, (salallaahu’alayheewasallam) has said: “The head of the affair is Islam, its central pillar is the Salaah and the summit is the Jihaad.”

And he (salallaahu’alayheewasallam) has said: “In Paradise there are a hundred grades with intervals as wide as the distance between the sky and the earth. All these Allah has prepared for those who take part in Jihaad.”   There is unanimity about the authenticity of this Tradition.

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