What is Jihad?

JIHAD is an Arabic word from the root Jee Ha Da, means “to struggle in the way of Allah”. Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression “striving in the way of God”. Jihad is an important religious duty for Muslims.

The “lesser jihad” is the physical struggle against the enemies of Islam (those who try to KILL Islam by fighting against Islam because their hatred toward Islam). The beginnings of Jihad are traced back to the words and actions of Muhammad ﷺ and the Quran.


4 kinds of Jihad :

  1. Jihad of the HEART (jihad bil qalb/nafs) : is concerned with combatting the devil and in the attempt to escape his persuasion to evil. This type of Jihad was regarded as the greater jihad (al-jihad al-akbar.)
  2. Jihad by the TONGUE (jihad bil lisan) : is concerned with speaking the truth and spreading the word of Islam with one’s tongue. It is defending Islam and spreading Islam by scholarly lectures and speeches. It often overlaps with Dawah.
  3. Jihad by the HANDS (jihad bil yad) : refers to choosing to do what is right and to combat injustice and what is wrong with action. This is a Jihad of action rather than words. At certain areas, it overlaps with Zakat (charity) and Hajj (pilgrimage). These are more of physical deeds instead of words.
  4. Jihad by the SWORD (jihad bis saif) : refers to qital fi sabilillah (armed fighting in the way of Allah, or holy war). In contrary to Jihad of the heart/soul; this form of Jihad is referred as “the lesser jihad” (al-jihad al-asghar). Sometimes it is necessary to undertake Jihad by the sword. It is NOT misuse of arms to create violence, but to against the Kuffar/kafir/kafirun/kufr (disbeliever) who wanted to destroy Islam and Muslims (this is what Rasulullah ﷺ did to against those who wanted to destroy Ka’ba, and some other wars) ; besides :
  • For self-defence. When someone attacks you or when your nation has been attacked. Engaging into combat due to self defence.
  • Fighting against evil and unjust. It is also a sin if a Muslim sees unjust been done, capable of stopping it, yet not doing anything about it. This can include war on drug, war on child labour as well as war on terror. 

“And if anyone of the Mushrikun seeks your protection then granthim protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah, and thenescort him to where he can be secure, that is because they are menwho know not.” [Quran 9;6]

The verse states that when an enemy soldier surrenders during abattle, the Muslim soldiers must grant asylum and in addition, escort him to safety.

“And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors. [Quran, 2;190]


Jihad based on Hadith :

  1. “According to a Hadith in Sahih Bukhari, participating in Jihad is the third best deed for man, after offering prayers at their stated times and being dutiful to one’s parents.” [Sahih Al Bukhari 4:52:41].
  2. “Whereas another Hadith in the same collection has Jihad as the second best deed, after belief in Allah and Muhammad ﷺ .” [Sahih Al Bukhari 1:2:25].
  3. “Another Hadith says that no deed equals Jihad in reward, and that the Mujahid is rewarded even for the footsteps of his horse while it wanders about.” [Sahih Al Bukhari 4:52:44].


Jihad based on Quran :

  1. “And whoever strives only strives for [the benefit of] himself. Indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.” [Quran 29;6]
  2. “And those who strive for Us - We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” [Quran 29:69]
  3. “And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision,” [Quran 3;169]
  4. “And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish prayer and give zakah and hold fast to Allah . He is your protector; and excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper.” [Quran 22;78]


Jihad is NOT :

  1. Holy War
  2. Killing innocent people
  3. Flying a plane into a building packed with civilians
  4. Fighting out of anger and hatred
  5. Killing others just because they don’t agree with you
  6. Killing others just because they are not Muslims
  7. Blowing up one’s self (Suicide is a sin in Islam)

Hadith  : Shahih Bukhari.
Book 23. Funerals (Al-Janaa'iz).Volumn 002, Book 023, Hadith Number 445.
Narated By Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak : The Prophet said, “Whoever intentionally swears falsely by a religion other than Islam, then he is what he has said, (e.g. if he says, ‘If such thing is not true then I am a Jew,’ he is really a Jew). And whoever commits suicide with piece of iron will be punished with the same piece of iron in the Hell Fire.”

Narrated Jundab, the Prophet  said, “A man was inflicted with wounds and he committed suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him.”


The real Jihad for us as Muslims to do in this world :

  1. Smile to our parents and be good to them and to all people
  2. Refrain from doing wrong
  3. Against shaitaan (evil)
  4. Against the hypocrites
  5. Studying
  6. Against oppression
  7. Call to Islam
  8. Save people


This is the verse for those who commit murders including terrorism :

“…whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - It is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - It is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our Messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then Indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.” [Quran 5;32]



  1. No terrorism in Islam. Allah forbids it & it is so clear written in the Quran and aunthentic Hadiths.
  2. Terrorism is sinful.
  3. Terrorist has no religion.
  4. ISIS is not Islam.