(Islam , October 1983)

Jihad for the Sake of Allah

Halil Necatioglu

The hadith above is about those who strive for the sake of Allah. The Prophet (pbuh) was quoted by Abu Said al-Khudri (may Allah bless him) to have said, "Mietu darajatin fil-jannati ma bayna kullu darajatayni kama baynas-samâ'i wal-ardhi aw ab'adu lilmujahideena fi sabilillah--there are one hundred levels in paradise, and the spaces between the levels are wider than the space between the heaven and earth. These levels are for those who make jihad (strive) for the sake of Allah." It is clear from this hadith that those who strive for Allah will enter paradise and be rewarded with one hundred levels of paradise. Only those who make jihad for Allah will attain these levels.

The expression in the Arabic original, "jihad fi sabilillah" needs elaboration. The word "jihad" comes from the root "jahd," which means to try, to strive, to persevere, and to struggle. Jihad implies that the struggle is made against a rival, and that the two parties struggle against one another.

Your rival in jihad is the enemy who strives to keep you away from Islam by all means. You must resist to, struggle with and defend yourself against the enemy.

Who could be the enemy? The first kind to come to mind is those who have ill intentions about our country and property, those who want our land. They all are alike. "Infidels are but one nation." All have an evil eye on our country. Our lands used to reach Vienna in the west and Yemen in the southeast. Basra and Baghdad were our states; we would appoint their governors. Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco used to belong to us. They all are gone. Enemies took them from us and have exploited these lands. America, France, Israel they all exploit these lands despite the outlook.

The struggle can be in various forms. If it attacks you, you fight back as in the War of the Independence. The Greeks invaded our lands and we fought back, strived, struggled despite the fact that we were just out of the World War I, tired, and penniless. Our fathers, grandfathers, and the brave soldiers had been martyred in preceding wars in Yemen, Galicia and other places. The Greeks saw us weak and thought that we had no soldiers left to fight back. Yet, the grandmothers, elderly, and children all struggled against the enemy. With the help of God, they attained the victory. It was the Mercy of God bestowed on us.

Sometimes, the enemy works within the country to have it collapsed. They use all means including agents, the media, the X-rated publications and movies, entertainments, pleasures, opium, drugs and alike. They try to separate the nation from Islam, instill evil in thoughts and impair the consciousness so that nobody opposes to their domination. We must fight back and struggle against them.

The enemies fears the increase in our population. The cause of the fear is not the number but consciousness of the forty-five million. The enemies hate rearing children of their own. For them raising children is more difficult than keeping pets. They do not make children; their population do not increase. However, they search ways to prevent the increase in our population.

We must take a precaution for each and every trick of the enemy. That is also a struggle, a jihad. Jihad is not only to guard the borders or to fight in the war-front, but also taking measures for all of the losses that the enemies conspire to inflict on us. We must learn Islam, serve Islam and be good Muslims.

The enemies want you to worship all by yourself: "Pray at home, remember God at home. There is freedom! What else do you want?" They want you not to be concerned with anything else, and they intend to exploit the country. They want you to harvest the wheat with a cycle, pile it up, fill the grain in sacks, and sent it to them in ships. They will eat it and in return send you three electronic devices and one airplane. It will be "well" paid off.

The enemies want our country not to develop. Have you ever thought how much a war plane costs? Billions of liras. For the grain harvested from the entire Konya plains could buy only one plane or a medical equipment. You must struggle, persevere and make that device yourself. That is another kind of jihad.

A friend said on the radio, "As we tried to elevate Islam, Allah (SWT) elevated us." What a meaningful sentence. As we tried to elevate Islam, spread the word of Allah, Allah elevated us and made us dominate over three continents. Once we abandoned that effort and turned to pleasures, entertainments and comfort, we lost the support of Allah and fall into this terrible condition. Without a visa, we cannot even go and visit the places that used to belong to us. We cannot even go to the place to worship. I heard somebody screaming at us in Riyad, "What are you doing here? Go home!"

The second kind of jihad is to struggle with Satan, for Satan is a major enemy. Satan tries to fool you with all sorts of tricks. Do not follow Satan, struggle against him.

The nafs (ego) of the person is also an enemy -- perhaps the greatest enemy. Struggle with your nafs. In Ramadhan, Allah (SWT) teaches us how to struggle with nafs: The sun is burning up in the sky; there is a cold watermelon before you. It is cut up to pieces, red, sweet and juicy. You cannot pick it up and eat it because you are fasting. This is how you learn to overcome the desires of your nafs.

Our books indicate that another form of the jihad fi sabilillah is the pilgrimage. You go through the hardship and get into the dust just for the sake of Allah (SWT). You visit places bare head and bare foot in the way of Allah (SWT).

May Allah (SWT) give us consciousness so that we accept and live Islam wholly, as our religion, belief, faith, and way of life. We must accept Islam and help Islam the way it should be. Unfortunately, we pay less significance to Islam than we do to a knickknack; we care less about Islam than our cars. We see it as the pepper and salt or cinnamon or garniture for our food. We have chosen a way for ourselves with little Islam. We would feel uncomfortable if we denied Islam totally, so we are content with just a bit of it. In fact, we are the people of the twentieth century who adore this world and worship the material. That is ridiculous and pathetic. Islam is as strong as a fortress; once you enter, you must live it fully.

We must be practicing good Muslims. We must learn Islam and teach it to others. We must help others and help Islam. We must be helpers of Allah's religion. We must remember the levels of paradise for those who struggle for the sake of Allah. We must strive and sweat in the way of Allah.

(Islam , October 1983)