Why did Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) called Jihad-al-Nafs the greatest jihad. Is it because its the most difficult struggle?

  • 1
    If you're asking about the interpretation of a particular hadith, the question would be vastly improved by actually including the hadith.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 19:26
  • I'd go so far as to say that it's unclear until you specify the hadith. Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 5:52
  • He didn't say that, its a fabrication
    – Hisham
    Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 23:04

2 Answers 2


To fight the desire requires large amounts of will power and the particular form of jihad can not be truly conducted without love for allah and his beloved and by this one would only want to gain pleasure of his lord


For you let me quote this Ayah

Al Baqarah, Chapter 2, 216

Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.

So means Jihad Bil Saif is the greatest Jihad. If you read this Ayat 186 or 184

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.

If you see the Arabic words you will find there is no difference. Siyam and Jihad are equally obligatory (Farz).

Moreover, If you read the character of Our Holy Prophet SAW you will find he has fought 27 Battles and sent around 56 times the Army of Sahaba to fight against Kuffars in only 10 years meaning 1 battle in each 1 and half month. Still people quote what you are quoting. Although the ayat says already the most that you hate to fight because of the fear of death. So jihad in Battle field is the greatest Jihad which Quran says here and there is no authenticity about the quote you quoted. Also it conflicts the too many quotes of The Holy Quran and the life of Muhammad SAW and Sahaba r.a. For more details if you can read urdu read this authentic tafseer which is collection of old tafaseer about ayat e jihad.

  • But wouldn't we need some other forms of jihad (with the self or ego) to overcome the fear of jihad of the sword? The very fact that Jihad requires faith and courage and even more so, integrity and war ethics, is adequate to establish the primacy of Jihad al-nafs, even if there was no explicit rule about it in Quran or Sunnah (which there is).
    – infatuated
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 5:11
  • if you think we can learn swiming only with theory, then you are wrong indeed, you are compelled to go into water to do it. Similarly, you can have courage of Jihad only by going into the battlefield itself, even you fear, by going there again and again, you will have courage to stay there. that's the solution for example. Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 6:43
  • The death is the thing a human most dislikes so i can now quote this. Death is the thing people fear most and facing death in the battle field is the greatest jihad. Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 6:49
  • True that we learn practical skills by practice. But also note that Jihad is not just about being skilled and brave otherwise any rambo can make a jihadist! You need faith to keep up a genuine Islamic fight which will demand you having already developed Islamic virtues otherwise your fight won't be Islamic. For example if you are not a compassionate and merciful human being, you will end up killing many innocents. And this is a pattern we have been witnessing with these self-proclaimed 'jihadists' of the ISIS and Al-Qaeda etc.
    – infatuated
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 6:52
  • Let's continue this in chat
    – infatuated
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 6:59

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