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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 19: Jihad (Hadith -- The Traditions)


Chapter 19:
Jihad (Hadith -- The Traditions):


(Note: The superscript-numbers [e.g., intention2] that appear in the text [in pink] refer to the numbers of the explanatory footnotes that appear at the end of each Hadith [Tradition].)


1 Abu Hurairah said,
A man came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and said,

Guide me to a deed which is equal to jihad. He said, "I do not find it." (Then) he said: "Is it in thy power that when the one engaged in jihad goes forth, thou shouldst enter thy mosque and stand in prayer and have no rest, and that thou shouldst fast and not break it not?" He said, Who can do it? (B. 56 : 1.)


2 Abu Sa`id al-Khudri said,
It was said, O Messenger of Allah! Who is the most excellent of men? The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said, "The believer who strives hard in the way of Allah with his person and his property."
(B. 56 : 2.)


3 Mughirah reported,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said,

"Some people from among my community shall remain in the ascendant, until the command of Allah comes to them and they shall be triumphant."1 (B. 61 : 28.)

1 In the heading of 97 : 10, this hadith is related with a slight variation : "A party of my umma shall remain in the ascendant, propagating the Truth, and these are the learned ones (ahl al-`ilm)." This shows that Bukhari took the word jihad in the wider sense.


4 `Imran ibn Husain said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"A party of my community shall not cease fighting for the Truth -- they shall be triumphant over their opponents." 2 (AD-Msh. 18.)

2 The following explanation of this hadith is given in the `Aun al-Ma`bud, a commentary of Abu Dawud, on the authority of Nawavi : "This party consists of different classes of the faithful, of them being the brave fighters, the faqihs (jurists), the muhaddithin (collectors of Hadith), the zahids (those who devote themselves to the worship of God), those who command the doing of good and prohibit evil, and a variety of other people who do other good deeds." Fighting in the way of Allah thus includes the service of Islam in any form.


5 Abu Hurairah reported,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"Surely Allah will raise for this community at the beginning of every century one who shall revive for it its faith."3 (AD. 36 : 1.)

3 The preceding two hadith contain a prophecy that among the Muslim community there shall always be learned people who shall help the cause of Islam to become ascendant in the world; this goes a step further and contains a further prophecy that generally at intervals of a century divinely inspired people shall be raised among Muslims and they shall revive the faith of the Muslim community.

A person thus raised by God is called a mujaddid (one who revives) in the terminology of Islam. The mujaddid is a muhaddath (one to whom God speaks though he is not a prophet), and he is raised up by God to remove errors that have crept in among Muslims and to shed new light on the great religious truths of Islam in the new circumstances which Muslims may have to face in every new age. The most famous names falling under this category in this country are those of Sayyid Ahmad of Sirhind, popularly known as Mujaddid Alf Thani, Shah Wali Allah of Delhi, Sayyid Ahmad of Bareily, and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the founder of the Ahmadiyyah movement, who was accepted generally as the Mujaddid of the fourteenth century of Hijrah, but who was later opposed owing to his claim to be the Messiah, whose advent is spoken of in Hadith prophecies.


6 Abu Hurairah said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"How would you feel when the son of Mary makes his appearance among you, and he is your imam from among yourselves."4 (B. 60 : 49.)

4 This is a further prophecy relating to the ascendancy of Islam. The son of Mary is the Messiah, and Muslims are told that a Messiah would appear among them. This Messiah is called imamu-kum min-hum i.e., your imam from among yourselves. In a hadith of the Sahih Muslim on the same subject, the words are wa amma-kum min-kum, i.e., he (the Messiah) shall be your imam from among yourselves, leaving no doubt that a member of the Muslim community would be raised to the dignity of the Messiah. These words were no doubt added by the Holy Prophet to remove the possible misconception that the Israelite Messiah would appear among Muslims.

The prophecy relating to the advent of a Messiah among Muslims, generally known as the second advent of the Messiah, is on all fours with the prophecy relating to the second advent of Elias among the Israelites : "Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (11 Kings 2 : 11); "I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord" (Mal. 4 : 5). When Jesus Christ was confronted with this difficulty -- "Why then say the Scribes that Elias must first come?" (Mt. 17 : 10), he simply replied : "Elias is come already but they knew him not" ....... "Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist" (Mt. 17 : 11-13); because, as further explained, John the Baptist came "in the spirit and power of Elias" (LK. 1 : 17). The appearance of the Messiah among Muslims thus meant only the appearance of a mujaddid "in spirit and power" of the Messiah.

The Messiah's work is thus described in the Bukhari : "The son of Mary will appear among you as a judge, doing justice (between people), and he will break the Cross and kill the swine" (B. 60 : 49). This clearly shows that the Messiah would come when the religion of the Cross will be in the ascendant, and that his work will be to spread Islam among the Christian nations of the world in particular, which in other hadith is described as the rising of the sun in the West, the sun standing for the Sun of Islam and the West for the Western nations. Thus this prophecy speaks in fact of the final ascendancy of Islam in the world.


7 Sahl reported,
He heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, say:

". . . Then invite them to Islam, and inform them of what is incumbent on them; for, by Allah, if a single man is guided aright through thee, it is better for thee than red camels."5 (B. 56 : 102.)

5 These instructions were given to `Ali by the Holy Prophet in the expedition of Khaibar, which shows that invitation to Islam was the greatest jihad of Muslims.


8 Ibn `Abbas reported,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, wrote to the Caesar inviting him to Islam, and sent his letter to him with Dihyah al-Kalbi, and the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, ordered him to make it over to the Chief of Busra that he might send it to the Caesar.
6 (B. 56 : 102.)

6 This hadith which speaks of the Holy Prophet inviting the Caesar to Islam forms part of the chapter on Jihad in the Bukhari, which again shows the wide sense in which jihad was interpreted by Muslims. The subject-matter of the letter written is produced in the next hadith which should be treated as a supplement to this hadith.


9 Ibn `Abbas reported,
. . . And this (letter) ran as follows:

"In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful. From Muhammad, the servant of Allah and His Messenger, to Heraclius, the Chief of the Roman Empire. Peace be with him who follows the guidance. After this, I invite thee with invitation to Islam. Become a Muslim and thou wilt be in peace -- Allah will give thee a double reward; but if thou turnest away, on thee will be the sin of thy subjects. And, O followers of the Book! Come to an equitable proposition between us and you that we shall not serve any but Allah, and that we shall not associate aught with Him, and that some of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah; but if they turn back, then say : Bear witness that we are Muslims."7 (B. 1 : 1.)

7 B. 1 : 1 is a very long hadith, only the part relating to the letter spoken of in the last hadith is produced here. The subject-matter of the letter is a clear proof that invitation to Islam was not accompanied by any threat of hostilities. Similar letters were written to other rulers.


10 Salamah said,
I swore allegiance to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, then I turned to the shade of a tree. When the crowd diminished, he (the Prophet) said, "O Ibn al-Akwa`! Will thou not swear allegiance?" He said, I said, I have already sworn allegiance, O Messenger of Allah! He said, "And do it again." So I swore allegiance to him a second time. I (the reporter) said to him, O Abu Muslim! For what did you swear allegiance (to him) then? He said, For death.
8 (B. 56 : 110.)

8 This happened at Hudaibiyah where the famous truce of that name was concluded. Swearing allegiance for death meant that a man would defend Islam and stand by the Holy Prophet even though he had to face death.


11 `Abd Allah ibn Abu Aufa reported,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"And know that paradise is beneath the protection of the swords."9 (B. 56 : 22.)

9 The word zilal used in the hadith is plural of zill which generally means shadow, but it really means that which serves to protect a thing. The hadith emphasizes a Muslim's duty to be always ready to fight for the defence of the Truth. Muslims could not use the sword otherwise than in defence (v. 5).


12 Abu Hurairah said,
I heard the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, say:

"By Him in Whose hand is my soul, were it not that there are men among the believers who cannot bear to remain behind me -- and I do not find that on which to carry them -- I would not remain behind an army that fights in the way of Allah; and by Him in Whose hand is my soul, I love that I should be killed in the way of Allah then brought to life, then killed again then brought to life, then killed again then brought to life, then killed again." (B. 56 : 7.)


13 Abu Hurairah said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said :

Whom do you count to be a martyr among you?"

They said, O Messenger of Allah! Whoever is killed in the way of Allah is a martyr. He said:

"In that case the martyrs of my community shall be very few -- he who is killed in the way of Allah is a martyr; he who dies a natural death in the way of Allah is a martyr; he who dies of the plague (in the way of Allah) is a martyr; he who dies of cholera (in the way of Allah) is a martyr."10 (M-Msh. 18.)

10 The Arabic word for martyr is shahid which means a witness of truth. One who is killed in defence of the Faith is called a shahid because he as it were sees the truth with his own eyes and lays down his life for it. This hadith shows further that every one who devotes his life to the service of the Truth is a shahid, whether he is killed in a battle for the defence of Faith or dies a natural death or dies of plague or cholera.


14 Anas said,
On the day that the battle was fought at Uhud, (some) people fled away form the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, He said, And I saw `A'ishah, daughter of Abu Bakr and Umm Sulaim, and they had both tucked up their garments, so that I could see the anklets on their shanks, and they were carrying skins (full of water) on their backs, and they poured water into the mouths of the people; then they went back and filled them again, then came and poured them into the mouths of the people.
11 (B. 56 : 65.)

11 This shows that in the Holy Prophet's time women did the duty of nursing the wounded and helping the armies of Islam in all other possible ways. As the next hadith shows, they did the duty of carrying the slain to Madinah. In B. 56 : 63, it is related that a woman, named Bint Milhan, requested the Holy Prophet to pray for her to be among those who sailed on the seas to fight in the way of Allah.


15 Rubayyi` daughter of Mu`awwidh said,
We used to be with the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, (in his battles), giving drink to and tending the wounded, and removing the slain to Madinah.
(B. 56 : 67.)


16 Abd Allah reported,
A woman was found among the killed in one of the battles of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, forbade the killing of women and children.
12 (B. 56 : 147.)

12 Thus in the exigency of battles Islam did not allow the killing of non combatants. "Do not kill a woman, nor a labourer" "Do not kill an old man, nor a child, nor a woman", are the words of other hadith. (AD-Msh. 18 : 4).


17 Ibn `Umar reported,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"I have been commanded that I should fight these people till they bear witness that there is no god but Allah and keep up prayer and pay zakat. When they do this, their blood and their property shall be safe with me except as Islam requires, and their reckoning is with Allah."13 (B. 2 : 16.)

13 The hadith begins with the words, I have been commanded, and the command to fight is contained in the Holy Qur'an in the following words : "And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you and do not exceed this limit" (v. 5). Muslims, therefore, could not resort to fighting unless an enemy was the first to assume hostilities. What the hadith means is that fighting begun under these conditions is to cease when the enemy people accept Islam. Bukhari himself hints at this when he quotes this hadith under the heading : "But if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, then leave their way free." i.e., cease fighting with them.

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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 19: Jihad (Hadith -- The Traditions)

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