Form of jihad changes in accordance to context


The Prophet said, “Jihad is the pinnacle of Islam” (Narrated by Al-Turmuzi)

The Prophet said, “The best jihad is to speak a word of truth to an unjust ruler.” (Narrated by Al-Turmuzi and Ibn Majah)

Aisha (the mother of the faithful believers) I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! We consider Jihad as the best deed.” The Prophet said, “The best Jihad (for women) is Hajj Mabrur.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet said, “Do jihad for their (parents) benefit.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)

Points of Reflection

1. The meaning of jihad is not limited to armed fighting.

2. In fact, the second hadith recognised non-violent dakwah can potentially be the greatest form of jihad.

3. These hadiths imply that jihad forms and priority may vary according to the situation and context. Although armed jihad culminates high form of sacrifice and devotion to God, it is not always the noblest one in every circumstance.

4. Muslims must understand the meaning and priority of jihad change dynamically in accordance to the context, the needs of dakwah, and Islam’s other interests.

5. To define jihad exclusively as armed fighting or struggle against one’s own desire only signifies serious flaw of understanding.

6. To be able to perform right jihad requires deep knowledge about reality and context, not just jurisprudence of jihad and this implies jihad cannot be performed merely based on emotion and enthusiasm.