Practicing Jihad in everyday lives

How Muslims can practice Jihad in their everyday lives

There are many ways out of which Muslims can practice Jihad. The Quran's instruction to strive (the word jihad's precise meaning) in God's way and the standard set by the Prophet Muhammad and his early Followers are the main sources of jihad's significance. In its broadest sense, jihad entails the obligation placed on all Muslims, both as people and as a society, to carry out and accomplish God's will.

This includes living a moral life and fostering the growth of the Islamic community including lecturing, teaching, and leading by example, literature, etc. Jihad therefore means the right, the duty to protect Islam and also the society from foreigners. Muslims have been inspired to defend Islam by the calling to jihad across history.

What is the Literal meaning of Jihad?

The word jihad is derived from the root word Jahadah that means “to struggle”. In Islamic Shariah it means struggle in the way of God. Therefore, any struggle for a noble cause will be called as “Jihad”.

There are many types of Jihad; each type has its own significance. Jihad bil Nafs is the type which requires Muslims to Jihad in their everyday lives.

Jihad bil Nafs, means jihad against believers’ own basal self so that all evil thoughts and temptations are eradicated and the believer lives a righteous life. This jihad continues the whole life as all humans are born with a vulnerability Before Satan whose sole mission is to misguide humans as is endorsed in the Quran;

“verily Satan is an avowed enemy to man” [12:5, Surah-Yusuf]

Jihad bil Nafs in the light of Quran and Sunnah

Quran and Hadith repeatedly warn believers about Satan and teach them to seek God’s refuge against him.

Surah 113 (al-Falaq) and 114 (al-Nas) for example, instruct Believers to do so:

“Say I seek refuge with the Lord of day-break. From the evil of the created things” [Surah 113] , and “Say I seek refuge with the Lord of humankind from evil of whisperer (Satan) who whisper and withdraws” [Surah 114] .

Moreover, Quran and Sunnah not only mention the role of Satan they also prescribe the means to fight Satan and protect against his attacks. Quran for example, guarantees that regular prayer is an effective deed against evil:

“Verily regular prayer keeps from shameful and unjust deeds” [29:45, al-Ankabut]

The Messenger of Allah commanded his followers to fast regularly as it keeps them from all sins. A Hadith says, “Fast is a shield (against sins)” .

Ways to practice Jihad bil Nafs in everyday lives

  • Constant purification
  • A person should increase his acts of worship and make an effort to always obey Allah. A person should always utilize the teachings of Quran and Hadith in order to get the right guidance of Allah. A person should pray five times a day and prioritize his obligatory acts and should also work to complete supererogatory actions.

  • Keep good company and make Dua
  • A good Muslim should be mindful of his surroundings and his gathering and people he chooses to be around. A good person chooses the one who can help guard his creed and deen.

    Making Dua for a pure and sound heart can make you closer to Allah and can keep you away from evil thoughts.

  • Utilize time wisely
  • A person should analyze his time and related actions, and make an effort to maintain a rewarding schedule of activities.

    Moreover, a Muslim should do something for Ummah without expecting profit and should consider it an investment in your afterlife.

  • Avoid sins and prohibitions
  • A Muslim should counter an evil thoughts, words or deed with something good. This can be done by learning and seeking beneficial knowledge. In this way a person can separate the truth from falsehood and permissible acts from prohibitions.

All of the above mentioned points indicate that Muslims can practice Jihad in every moment of their daily routine.

Some of other types of Jihad as mentioned in Islam are as follow:

Jihad bil Liisan

Muslims are required to conduct Jihad bil Lisan (jihad with tongue) too, though only select group of individuals can carry out this. This type of Jihad involves speaking the truth and spreading the message of truth (Islam) in a peaceful and convincing way.

The Quran urges the Believers to speak against what is wrong and advises other to do the right things

“Let there arise a hand among you inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong” [3:104, Al-Imran] .

This mission; however, may only be permissible to those who have sufficient knowledge about Islam as well as the contemporary world affairs. This jihad also involves speaking fearlessly against any injustice. In Islamic Shariah this is called “Da’wa” (inviting others to Islam). This Da’wa is an ever continued process throughout the world by peaceful Muslim missionaries through oral preaching, writing and using the electronic and print media.

Jihad bil yad

This refers to an active struggle against any tyranny, indecency and and injustice in the society. It’s a type of physical jihad but doesn’t require weapons or killing. For example, the Holy Prophet equated this Jihad with an act of charity by saying,

''On each joint of humans there is a charity every day on which the sun rises: doing justice between two persons is a charity; helping someone with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting his belongings onto it, is a charity; and a good word is a charity; and every step you take towards the prayer (congregation prayer) is a charity, and removing harmful objects from the way is a charity'' Sahih/Authentic [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

How to practice this type of jihad

If a Muslim sees any indecency or unjust act raising its head, he should try to change it with something good. However, when it becomes unavoidable then Islam permits use of force but within the limits prescribed by Islam.

Islam has not put burden on anyone, in any way. Therefore, all of the advised ways towards Jihad are the easiest ways to follow in order to lead a prosperous life.

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