What Islam Really Teaches Us About Jihad

by 3 December 202119 comments

ุจูุณู’ู…ู ุงู„ู„ู‡ู ุงู„ุฑูŽู‘ุญู’ู…ูฐู†ู ุงู„ุฑูŽู‘ุญููŠู’ู…ู

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

What Islam Really Teaches Us About Jihad

By Muslim Pro

As part of the global ummah, we would inevitably have shared lived experiences and struggles in juggling multiple overlapping identities and responsibilities.

Relationships around us are key building blocks in anchoring strong spiritual piety which forms the basis of our relationship with Allah. This is where jihad is continuously present in our lives.

Jihad has a few meanings attached to it. Fundamentally, it means struggle, or effort which is very much rooted in our humanness, on an individual level, and humanity collectively. It encompasses our duty to lead and live lives following the Islamic principles while actively contributing to building and nurturing an exemplary Muslim community.

Thus, our daily life is wholly, and mostly unconsciously, driven by jihad in fostering our Muslim identity and upholding Islam in every facet of life.

Justifying A Just Jihad

Context is important. Another facet to jihad has been tied closely to the idea and history of engaging in military struggle, when necessary, in the name of protecting Islam. Alas, a reductive understanding of such a complex and nuanced facet of jihad has been easily and conveniently misconstrued as holy war associated solely with war-mongering.

However, such military struggles are not about aggression for the sake of petty material gains, or driven by selfish worldly desires as exemplified throughย the battle of Tabuk. Instead strict rules are to be adhered to; from acting in self-defence in response to external or foreign antagonism and hostilities to protecting Muslimsโ€™ freedom to practise Islam.

Jihad is not about destruction. It is not about forcing conversions upon non-believers, for the sake of resolving disputes by force, or even as an act of displaying military prowess.

We Are All Part Of It

Jihad is inclusionary. Everyone is involved with not only men being permitted for jihad.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said:

โ€ย ุฌูู‡ูŽุงุฏู ุงู„ู’ูƒูŽุจููŠุฑู ูˆูŽุงู„ุตูŽู‘ุบููŠุฑู ูˆูŽุงู„ุถูŽู‘ุนููŠูู ูˆูŽุงู„ู’ู…ูŽุฑู’ุฃูŽุฉู ุงู„ู’ุญูŽุฌูู‘ ูˆูŽุงู„ู’ุนูู…ู’ุฑูŽุฉู
[ุณู†ู† ุงู„ู†ุณุงุฆูŠ ูขูฆูขูฆ]

โ€œJihad of the elderly, the young, the weak, and women, is Hajj and โ€˜Umarah.โ€ (Sahah)

[Sunan an-Nasaโ€™i 2626]

At the same time, we are products of intersectionalities of diverse factors and backgrounds. For instance, a young African-American Muslim woman working as an architect in Hong Kong, or even a Chinese Indonesian Muslim teenage boy born in America and now living in France with his family. This does not mean we are coerced to choose between our nationality, cultural identities and religion under the banner of spiritual piety in Islam.

The global ummah has always been diverse and juggling multiple identities at any one time.ย It does not hinder our individual and collective jihad as Muslims.

At the very core, there is no innate or intrinsic clash in living as a devout Muslim in this day and age. Yes, there have been times when our loyalties have been put to question. Whether internally by our very own discerning voice in our head or externally by others, either within the global ummah or everyone else outside the spectrum of Islam; when certain geopolitically motivated incidents occurred in some parts of the world which have reverberating repercussions for Muslims as a whole.

Yet, in essence, Islam does not preclude our multiple identities as a citizen of any country and belonging to a particular ethnic and cultural background. Islam is present in every facet of our lives as Muslims.

Jihad: Mind, Heart, Tongue And Hand

We are constantly in a state of flux. In the digital age, we are faced with a constant stream of diversions which could very easily descend into a state of uncontrollable frenzy when left unchecked. An enemy of faith is not necessarily tangible, one that we could see, touch and hear. It could very well be lurking in the background of a digital space, or even in our own minds when confronted with intangible distractions which could potentially weaken our spiritual piety and relationships, not only with each other, but most importantly with Allah.

To put it simply, this is when we have to be mindful of our decisions and what we choose to utter and do in our daily lives in juggling faith and human passions which could very easily cross the line into sin.

Narrated AbuSaโ€™id al-Khudri:

ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ ุฑูŽุณููˆู„ู ุงู„ู„ู‡ู ๏ทบ:ย ุฃูŽูู’ุถูŽู„ู ุงู„ู’ุฌูู‡ูŽุงุฏู ูƒูŽู„ูู…ูŽุฉู ุนูŽุฏู’ู„ู ุนูู†ู’ุฏูŽ ุณูู„ู’ุทูŽุงู†ู ุฌูŽุงุฆูุฑู. โ€โ€œโ€โ€ ุฃูŽูˆู’ โ€โ€œโ€ ุฃูŽู…ููŠุฑู ุฌูŽุงุฆูุฑูโ€
[ุณู†ู† ุฃุจูˆ ุฏุงูˆุฏ ูคูฃูคูค]

The Prophet ๏ทบ said: The best fighting (jihad) in the path of Allah is (to speak) a word of justice to an oppressive ruler.

[Sunan Abi Dawud 4344]

As such, efforts to correct and clarify the understanding of jihad start with us. As Muslims, we are the first line of defense against misunderstandings, misconceptions and misinterpretations that still linger online and offline. In upholding the word of God and the teachings of the Prophet ๏ทบ, educating ourselves and sharing it with others would also be a form of jihad.

Pssttt! Do look out for the next article touching on the very issue of jihad in our daily lives, in subsequent week. In the meantime, do not forget to share this very article with your family and friends in hopes of expanding our scope of knowledge and meaningfully growing the ongoing conversation on faith and its direct implication on us, the global ummah of today. InshaAllah.

About The Author

Muslim Pro Team

Comprised of a diverse team of writers, editors, and experts, the Muslim Pro Team is committed to delivering insightful, relevant, and authentic content that resonates with the global Muslim community. With a passion for Islamic spirituality, culture, and modern living, our team members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to every article, ensuring that Muslim Pro remains a trusted source for guidance, inspiration, and connection in the digital age. Together, we strive to empower and uplift Muslims worldwide on their journey of faith and personal growth.


  1. Aiya Alia

    I will be sharing this with my non Muslim friends. All to often the media only tells that jihad means war against the West.

  2. Semsom

    ุฌุฒุงูƒู… ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุฎูŠุฑุงู‹

  3. Azeez Abdulkareem

    This really help me in understanding overcoming some misleading thoughts in my head

  4. Masum A Chowdhury

    I am an oldman and suffering from

    Canser Plz do dua for me.

  5. Malik Montgomery

    As mentioned earlier the true definition of jihad is to struggle but the greatest Jihad is the struggle within one’s self and the greatest weapon to fight and conquer Jihad is the Quran alkitab assalamualaikum Rahman to Allah May the peace and blessings of Allah be on the Mu’min

    • Abdurrahman Hockaday

      Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmah tullahi wa barakatu.

      How are you young brother. I believe you mean “rahmah tullah ” it is very important to understand that both are from the same route the word rahman is not part of the greeting that Allah has given us and his messenger taught us. Ma’a salaam akhi

    • Abdurrahman Hockaday

      @malik Montgomery. Please read the below response as it is directed towards something in your response and please feel free akhi to email me and begin dialog with each other. Please don’t take this comment as harsh chastisement as the believers are brothers to each other

  6. Azeezat

    May Almighty Allah reward you with goodness in this world and in the hereafter and accept this effort from you as act of Iba’dah. Aameen. Thanks for clearing up some of the misunderstandings about Jihad. May Almighty Allah keep us steadfast upon right guidance and grant us a deeper understanding of the Deen. Aameen

  7. Azeezat

    Jazaaki’Llahu Khayran ma. May Almighty Allah accept it as an act of Iba’dah and grant us all steadfastness upon the straight path and a deeper understanding of the Deen Aameen

  8. Azeezat

    Jazaaki’Llahu Khayran ma. May Almighty Allah accept it as an act of Iba’dah and grant us all steadfastness upon the straight path and a deeper understanding of the Deen. Aameen

  9. Iram

    I read this article rapidly. I want to show it to my non-Muslim mother. She has a negative outlook on Jihad because of the media. Inshallah she will read this and understand that Islam is a religion of peace.

  10. Masri

    This article clearly explains what jihad means. One time, I was in a meeting with a lawyer and he asked me about my newborn grandson. I told him we named him Jihad and he sighed and responded, โ€œWait isn’t that a bad word.โ€ I really felt dumb struck at how this word is misused and misunderstood. This article sheds light on this word. We are in constant never ending jihad throughout our daily experiences and struggles within ourselves and with others till the day we rest in our graves.

  11. Elizabeth Nasser

    Jasak Allah Akhairan for sharing the True Meaning of Jihad.
    I shall send your article to my friends and relatives.

  12. Hasreen Chinkoo

    I really like this program

  13. Lukman Olusesi

    Thank you for this beautiful article on the meaning of jihad. Jihad is more of struggle between good and evil, wholesome and unwholesome, piety and sin

  14. Ron

    Awesome, extremely informative, and, very well structured with proven facts.


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