'Ikrima (a religious scholar) said: At first Muslims disliked it (Jihad), but later they loved it and said: "We listen and obey." And that is because the submission to the order to fight means hardship, but if the reward is made known it becomes to compare the hardship involved and its reward.
The Verses of the Qur'an and the Sunna (the Prophet's legal ways, orders etc.) have exhorted greatly for Jihad and have made quite clear its rewards, and praised greatly those who perform Jihad (the holy fighting in Allah's Cause) and explained to them various kinds of honours which they will receive from their Lord (Allah swt). This is because they-Mudahidin are Allah's troops. Allah (swt) will establish His religion (Islam), with them (Mujahidin). He will repel the might of His enemies, and with them He will protect Islam and guard the religion safely.
And it is they, (Mujahidin) who fight against the enemies of Allah in order that the worship should be all for Allah (Alone and not for any other deity) and that the Word of Allah (swt) (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but Allah (swt) and His religion Islam) should be superior. Allah has made them (Mujahidin) partners in reward along with all those who guard Islam with their weapons, along with their good deeds which they performed even if they sleep in their homes.
And the Legislator (Allah) put the one who brings about a thing to happen equal in rank to its doer, both in reward (for the good deed) and in punishment (for a crime). So the inviter to a good deed and the inviter to an evil deed both will have a reward (good or bad) equal to the reward of the one who has done that deed. And sufficient is Allah's Statement in this matter:
|O you who believe! Shall I guide you to a commerce that will save you from a painful torment? (V.61: 10)|
After this Verse was revealed the souls became filled with the yearning for this profitable commerce which Allah (swt), the Lord of 'Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists), the All-Knower, the All-Wise Himself directed the people towards. Allah (swt) said:
|That you believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad pbuh) and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah (swt) with your wealth and your lives... (V.61:11 )|
Allah (swt) further said:
|That will be better for you if you but know (V.61:11 )|
i.e. Jihad (holy fighting in Allah's Cause) is better for you than your staying (back at home). Regarding the reward Allah said:
|(If you do so) He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow and pleasant dwellings in Gardens of Eternity ( 'Adn Paradise)-that is indeed the great success. (V.6 1 :12).|
So it was as if they (the souls) said (as regards the above Verse): This is for us in the Hereafter and there is nothing for us in this world. Then Allah saw said:
|And also (He will give you) another (blessing) which you love,-help from Allah (against your enemies) and a near victory. And give glad tidings (O Muhammad A, saws ) to the believers. (V.61: 13).|
Good gracious (indeed)! how nice are these (Allah's) Words and how they appeal to the human hearts. How great is the attraction for them and how they lead one towards one's Lord (Allah swt). How soothing are they for the hearts of every lover of good. How great is the contentment of the heart and a happy life when one understands their meaning. We supplicate Allah Ta'ala to bestow upon us His Blessings.
And Allah said:
Do you consider the providing of drinking water to pilgrims and the maintenance of Al-MasMid-al-Haram (at Makka) as equal to the worth of those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah? They are not equal before Allfih! And Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers). (V.9:19).
Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah-Islamic Monotheism) and emigrated and strove hard and fought in Allah's Cause with their wealth and their lives are far higher in degree with Allah. They are the successful. (V.9:20).
Their Lord gives them glad tidings of a Mercy from Him and that He is pleased (with them) and of Gardens (Paradise) for them wherein are everlasting delights. (V.9:21).
They will dwell therein for ever. Verily, with Allah is a great reward. (V.9:22).
In the above Verses Allah (swt) the Most High, be He glorified above all that they ascribe to Him, informs that those who maintain Al-MasMidal-Haram (at Makka) [and the maintenance of the mosque means to do i'tikaf in it, the tawaf (circumambulation) of the Ka'ba, and the offering of Salat (prayers) in it, etc.] mentioned in the above said Verse-and those who provide drinking water to the pilgrims are not equal to those who did Jihad in Allah's Cause. Allah (swt) informed that the believers who fight in Allah's Cause (Mujdhidln) are far superior in grades before Him and it is they who will be successful.
And they are the ones who have received the glad tidings of: (1) His Mercy, (2) His being pleased with them, (3) and Gardens (Paradise).
Hence Allah (swt) denied the equality between the Mujahidin (those who fight in Allah's Cause) and those who maintain the Al-Masdidal-Haram (at Makka) along with the various kinds of worship, in spite of His praising those who maintain the mosques in His Statement:
|The Mosques of Allah shall be maintained only by those who believe in Allah Raw and the Last Day, perform Iqamat-as-Salat, and give Zakat and fear none but Allah. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance. (V.9:18).|
So it is they (above said people) who are called by Allah (swt) "the maintainers of the mosques"-And in spite of all this, still the people who do Jihad are far superior in grade than them (maintainers of the mosques) before Allah (swt).
Allah (swt) said:
Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home) except those who are disabled (by injury, or are blind, or lame, etc.) and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah (swt) has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward. (V.4:95).
Degrees of (higher) grades from Him, and Forgiveness and Mercy. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (V.4:96).
Allah (the All-Mighty) denied the equality between the believers who sit (at home) and join not in Jihad-and the Mujahidin (those who fight in Allah's Cause),-Then He mentioned the superiority of the Mujahidin over those (believers) who sit (at home) by a grade and then later on mentioned their (Mudahidin's) superiority over them (believers who sit at home) by degrees of grades. Ibn Zaid (a religious scholar) said: The degrees of grades with which Allah (swt) preferred the Mujahidin over those (believers) who sit (at home) are seven and these Allah mentioned in His Statement:
|... That is because they suffer neither thirst, nor fatigue, nor hunger in the Cause of Allah (swt), nor they take any step to raise the anger of disbelievers nor inflict any injury upon an enemy, but is written to their credit as a deed of righteousness. Surely Allah loses not the reward of the Muhsinun. (V.9: 120).|
These are five-then Allah said:
|Nor do they spend anything (in Allah's Cause)-small or great,-nor cross a valley, but is written to their credit... (V.9:121).|
So these are two bringing the total to seven.
Ibn Qaiyyam after mentioning the statement of Ibn Zaid said: True! Indeed the degrees of grades mentioned are reported in Sahih AlBukha^ri:
Narrated Abu Huraira (raa) The Prophet (pbuh) said,
|"Whoever believes in Allah and His Messenger (pbuh), performs Iqamat-as-Salat and observes Saum (fasts in the month of Ramadan), then it will be a promise binding upon Allah to admit him to Paradise no matter whether he fights in Allah's Cause or remains in the lane where he is born." The people said, "O Allah" Messenger! Shall we inform the people of this good news?" He (pbuh) said, "Paradise has one hundred grades which Allah has reserved for the Mujahidin who fight in His Cause, and the distance between each of the two grades is like the distance between the heaven and the earth. So, when you ask Allah (for something), ask for Al-Firdaus which is the middle (best) and highest part of Paradise." [The sub narrator added, "I think the Prophet (pbuh) also said, 'Above it (i.e. Al-Firdaus) is the Throne of the Beneficent (i.e. Allah), and from it originate the rivers of Paradise."'] (Hadlth No. 48, Vol. 4).|
Ibn Qaiyyam said as regards the Statement of Allah (swt)
|Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah's Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It Is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success. (V.9:111).|
So Allah (swt) has put Paradise as the price of the believers and their properties, so if they sacrifice their lives and properties for His Cause, then they deserve the prize (Paradise) and the bargain which they concluded with Him. He reassured them with a number of assurances:
|Bargain which you have concluded. (V.9:111)|
i.e. the price with which you have exchanged the deal, then Allah, the Glorified mentioned the kinds of people who have concluded this contract (deal) and not any other (as mentioned in His Statement):
|(The believers whose lives Allah has purchased are) those who repent to Allah (from polytheism and hypocrisy, etc.), who worship Him, who praise Him, who observe Saum (fast) (or go out in Allah's Cause), who bow down [in Salat (prayer)], who prostrate themselves, [in Salat (prayer)], who enjoin (people) forAI-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism of all kinds and all that Islam has forbidden) and who observe the limits set by Allah (do all that Allah has ordained and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden). And give glad tidings to the believers. (V.9:112)|
And sufficient is this excellence-(for a Mujahid which he will receive) honour and high degrees of grade- along with other things which Allah (swt) has made clear in the Qur'an: about the description of the reward of Mujahidin,their magnificent state, moving of feelings and sentiments, the demanding of sacrifice in the cause of inviting others to Islam, to put strength and courage in the souls and to urge them to go forward and be stable and firm, and Allah (swt) will grant them victory and support them with the angels, as it is evident from the Statement of Allah:
Remember when you (Muhammad pbuh) said to the believers, "Is it not enough for you that your Lord (Allah) should help you with three thousand angels sent down?" Yes, if you hold on to patience and piety and the enemy comes rushing at you; your Lord will help you with five thousand angels having marks (of distinction). Allah made it not but as a message of good news for you and as an assurance to your hearts, and there is no victory except from Allah the AllMighty, the All-Wise. (V.3:124, 125, 126).
So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers. If a wound (and killing) has touched you, be sure a similar wound (and killing) has touched the others. And so are the days (good and not so good). We give to men by turns, that Allah may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers). And that Allah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers. Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah test those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) test those who are patient? (V.3:139,140,141,142).
And Allah informed about those who are martyred in His Way. They are alive and that they are with their Lord Allah (swt) finding what they wish of provisions and their faces are delighted with glad tidings. As Allah said:
Think not of those who are killed in the Way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord and they have provision.
They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounty, rejoicing for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind(not yet martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve.
They rejoice in a Grace and a Bounty from Allah and that Allah will not waste the reward of the believers.
Those who answered (the Call of) Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad pbuh) after being wounded; for those of them who did good deeds and feared Allah, there is a great reward. (V.3:169-172)
And He (Allah swt) said:
Those who believe, fight in the Cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve, fight in the cause of Taghut (Satan etc.). So fight you against the friends of Satan; ever feeble indeed is the plot of Satan.(V.4:76).
Then fight, (O Muhammad pbuh), in the Cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself, and incite the believers (to fight along with you), it may be that Allah will restrain the evil might of the disbelievers. And Allah is Stronger in might and Stronger in punishing. (V.4:84).
And He (Allah swt) said:
|Let those (believers) who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter, fight in the Cause of Allah; and whoso fights in the Cause of Allah and is killed orgets victory, We shall bestow on him a great reward. (V.4:74).|
And so on-there are other similar Verses (in the Qur'an) -after these.
Think deeply, dear brother in Islam, how Allah (swt) encourages the spirit to make His Word superior and to protect the weak, and to rescue the oppressed ones. Also think deeply how Jihad is connected with Salat (prayers) and Saum (fasting). It is made obvious that Jihad similar to both of them, and all the three (Jihad, Salat and Saum) are ordained (by Allah) for the believers. See how Allah has encouraged the cowardly men to plunge themselves into the battles, to face death with an open heart and to run madly for it (Jihad) with great encouragement showing clearly to them that death will certainly overtake them and in case they die as Mujahidin (Martyrs) they will compensated for their worldly life with a mighty compensation and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the very least.
Jihad is a great deed indeed and there is no deed whose reward or blessing is as that of it, and for this reason, it is the best thing that one can volunteer for. All the Muslim religious scholars unanimously agree that Jihad is superior to Hajj and 'Umra (pilgrimage) and also superior to non-obligatory Salat (prayer) and Saum (fasting) as mentioned in the Qur'anand Prophet's Sunna. It is obvious that the benefits of Jihad for us are extensive and comprehensive, it(Jihad) includes all kinds of worship both hidden and open, it also includes (a great) love for Allah (swt) and it shows one's sincerity to Him and it also shows one's trust in Him, and it indicates the handing over of one's soul and property to Him- it (Jihad) shows one's patience, one's devotion to Islam, one's remembrance to Allah (swt) and there are other kinds of good deeds which are present in Jihad and are not present in any other act of worship.
For these above mentioned degrees of grades of various kinds of worship one should race for Jihad. It is confirmed in the two authentic books (of Hadlth). Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): I heard Allah's Messenger saying,
|"By Him in Whose Hands my soul is! Were it not for some man amongst the believers who dislike to be left behind me, and whom I cannot provide with means of conveyance, I would certainly never remain behind any Sariya (army unit) going out for Jihad in Allah's Cause. By Him in Whose Hands my life is! I would love to be martyred in Allah's Cause and then come back to life and then be martyred and then come back to life again and then be martyred and then come back to life again and then be martyred. " (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 4, Hadith No.54).|
So the Prophet (pbuh), through his ways of life, firmness, his courage, and his patience has deeply encouraged the Mujahidin for Allah's Cause.
He (pbuh) informed them of Jihad 's advanced and delayed reward that is for them, and how different kinds of evils Allah (swt) repels with it; and what a great honour, power, dignity and high grade is obtained through it and he He (pbuh) has put Jihad at the top in Islam. The Prophet (pbuh) said:
|"Paradise has one hundred grades, the distance between each of the two grades is like the distance between the heaven and the earth, and these grades Allah (swt) has reserved for the Mudahidin who fight in His Cause" [as mentioned in the two authentic Books (AlBukhari and Muslim)]. [See Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 4, Hadlth No. 48].|
It is narrated in the book Sahih Al-Bukhari, Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said:
|"Anyone whose both feet get covered with dust in Allah's Cause will not be touched by the Hell-fire." (Vol. 4, Hadlth No. 66).|
It is also narrated in the two books (Al-Bukha^ri and Muslim):
|A man said: "O Allah s Messenger (pbuh)! Inform me of a thing that is equal to Jihad (in Allah's Cause)!" Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said, "You cannot (do that). The man said: "Inform me of that. Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said: "Can you observe Saum (fast) continuously without eating or drinking (at all) and stand continuously in Salat (prayer) from the time the Mujahidin go out for Jihad (till the time they return back home)? The man replied, "No." Allah's Messenger said: "That is (the thing) which is equal to Jihad.|
Likewise Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said: