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As the question states is Jihad an obligation for all Muslims? And if so, are there different forms of Jihad which Muslims can perform?

  • please clear it if you mean only lesser Jihad. (physical war) to avoid irrelevant answers. – Battle of Karbala Jul 10 '12 at 11:15
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The meaning of jihad is not limited to taking a rifle, going to the battlefield, and fighting to death. It has a wider meaning; that is to correct the problems in yourself and on your surroundings.

If we categorize ibadats of a Muslim, there are three different categories:

  1. Tawheed: Staying away from shirk.
  2. Salat: Supporting the way of Allah via education.
    Animals born with enough knowledge to stay alive without any education. But humans are not so. Education for humans has no limit, and every human being must be educated. What we call salat or prayer is in fact only a small subset of the actual salat ordered in Quran. Our daily prayers are study of Quran, but we must do more salat out of them.
  3. Jihad: Fixing the problems in our behaviors (nefs), and around us.
    Fixing ourselves is called tawba, and fixing around us is called estigfar and islah. Jihad is a combination of tawba and islah.

Yes, jihad is obligatory for all Muslims. But it doesn't mean that all Muslims must take their rifles and rush to battlefield. There are many ways for making jihad. Kindly warning your friends about their mistakes and offering them solutions is a kind of jihad. Nurturing a good child who will one day be a good citizen is a kind of jihad.

  • please categorize your answer for greater Jihad and lesser Jihad. and please sunni view about obligatory rules. – Battle of Karbala Jul 10 '12 at 11:17
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From the dictionary:

ji·had   [ji-hahd]
noun

  1. (among Muslims) A war or struggle against unbelievers
  2. The spiritual struggle within oneself against sin

Everyone should Jihad (Muslim or not): The spiritual struggle within oneself against sin.

Of Jihad: A war or struggle against unbelievers

Nobel Qur'an (3:113-115)

Of the people of the Book are a portion that stand (for the right); they rehearse the Sings of Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in Allah and the Last Day; They enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in ranks of the righteous. Of the good that they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for Allah knows well those that do right.

This would suggest that a Muslim should respect peaceful people of other religions. However, it does not imply that they should remain that way if attacked.

pintails7886 has a really good article found here. I quoted what I found most interesting below.

Some steps we must take in order for peace to work are as follows:

  • We must first think of what we can do for others, then ask what they can do for us.
  • We have to let go of selfishness, and realize that there are other people on this earth, and we are not better than another

  • We must realize that not all people will accept Islam and that we should love them no matter what their religion.

  • We must realize that God created many people with many colors, and He did this so we could come together no matter our differences. So we could become stronger for overcoming this. And be better servants to Him.

  • We have to realize that even though we are different we have the same goal. And we can work together even if we are different.

  • The future will not improve unless we accept the past and forgive on another and learn from it, accept all culture and ways of life.

  • We have to realize that no man is better than the other, No nation has the right to Judge another. But God will have His day of Judgment where no man will have power. And no matter what you social status you will bow before Allah, the One, the only One worthy of worship.

  • We must realize that all men and women are equal. And the law of man must apply to one just the same as the other. No man is above the law. Allah is the only one above the law. Because He is the Law.

  • We must provide help to all people in need. Not just one race or nation. This aid must be given without any conditions. You should never make a man pay a charity back. And a man must not force an unwanted charity onto another.

  • Leaders are not born, leadership is earned, through hard work and God-fearing rules. No person is worthy of leadership unless put in place by the people they rule.

  • We must realize that the rights we enjoy were not free. Some one had to pay for them. And if you want to enjoy these rights you must realize they are not just something that is given out. They cost blood, sweat, and tears, even if they weren't yours, you should act as if they were and be humble and respect these rights.

  • We must realize that military might does not give a nation more rights. People of the entire world should stand against such actions by any nation. Power through fear and strong arming should be shunned and should not be tolerated.

  • Change starts with one, at home, in the family. Our charity should be given freely to those who need it. Raise your children to give excess to those in need. Raise them to love your enemy instead of hating them. Teach your children that kind actions reap kind actions, and Bad actions sow more bad actions. The children are the key. Raise them to love, and love they will.

  • Thank you for your response brother. It is clear in the Quran that all true muslims must be ready to fight Shaytan, both within them, and in front of them. Allahu Akbar. – Muhammed J Jul 16 '12 at 7:40
  • @MuhammedJ IMHO, it is far more important to Jihad with someone's struggle against sin. The battle against Shaytan, the one who brings darkness, is that battle. Unbelievers need to be taught not fought against - unless there is no other option. Then we can all be brothers, Insha'Allah. – user206 Jul 16 '12 at 13:42
  • Yes of course brother, but as the Prophet(pbuh) discovered after Banu Qurayzah, not all kuffars wish to open their hearts to Allah - and when that happens we muslims can only follow Allah and the Prophet's guidance for what punishment should await them, in this world and the next. – Muhammed J Jul 16 '12 at 14:25
  • Let me be very clear, as I believe Jesus said in Matthew 5:39: "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." - which is to have toleration first. And when I said, "unbelievers" I am talking about those who do not believe in the one living and true God. As described in the Nobel Qur'an (3:113-115) – user206 Jul 17 '12 at 13:02
  • @MuhammedJ I was quoting it as a mention of what I believe - it doesn't have to be what you believe. I was just telling you where I was coming from. And I am sorry that I disagree with you with one major point. If you and I and anyone else believes in one God, it is the same God worshiped differently. The differences are made by humans, not God. You and I may agree or disagree, but God the Most Merciful will forgive us as we are only trying to understand him more. In my opinion, your lack of toleration is not consistent with the Nobel Qur'an (3:113-115). – user206 Jul 25 '12 at 12:43

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