After the Brussels attack, ISIS released a video that said this,"Every Muslim who is well aware of the history of Islam, knows that the holy war against infidels is an integral part of Islam, and those who read history would know."

Is this true? Should Muslims be seeking to wage war on the non-Muslims in any way possible?

For clarifications - this is jihad against non-Muslims and not against self.

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    Good question: Be aware that some scholars refer to jihaad also as jihaad against the self (striving against the self). See for example here a salafi view islamqa.info/en/10455
    – Medi1Saif
    Apr 26, 2016 at 13:38
  • That was only a side note, I guess it was clear what you meant, but you must be aware that people will also mention this one! From a shari'a PoV jihad is an obligation in cases (so not all people or not anybody will have to do it, once some participate) and only becomes a more or bigger obligation once the Muslim community is directly in danger!
    – Medi1Saif
    Apr 26, 2016 at 13:43
  • Right - I guess I really would like to be as clear as possible. Apr 26, 2016 at 13:46
  • See this answer for major scholarly works deeming regular aggressive jihad as obligatory on the community.
    – G. Bach
    Apr 2, 2017 at 18:41

3 Answers 3


Edit: I'm specifically referring to Jihad bis saif (armed fighting in the way of God, or holy war). For other jihads, like for self control (jihad bin nafs), knowledge (jihad bil ilm), no permission is required. These are an individual's jihad (I mean a single person can do them on his own).

Jihad can only be started with the mutual consent of all Islamic governments or of Islamic scholars. For example, if the Muslims in subcontinent (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India) wanted jihad against Russian invasion (or US military, now), the governments (if Islamic) or the scholars of the region (mainly Muftis) would declare jihad. Only then it will be an obligation for each Muslim (excluding women, children, elders and the disabled) to take part in jihad.

So if Daesh wants global jihad, the governments of main Islamic countries or the top order scholars would declare it with mutual consent.

And AFAIK Daesh is not recognized by any Muslim country as any kind of Islamic organization, so they cannot declare jihad on their own.

And YES, jihad is an integral part of Islam, although it is not part of the five pillars of Islam.


As a common Muslim I tell you : Islam's first obligation towards the infidel is not Al-Jihad , but it is Al-Balagh , meaning the announcement . That is to tell him in a clear and pleasant way about Islam, it's philosophy, dos and don'ts , how to become a Muslim and what are the obligations he will be committed to when he become a Muslim . After that, he (the infidel ) should be left thinking on his own and make his own decision by him self and by no means influencing his freewill . His decision logically will be one of three :

  1. Yes ! I decided to be a Muslim. And in this case, he follow a simple procedure and become a member of Muslim community. An EQUAL member, no privilege for any race or color or sex or wealth . All Muslims are equal.

  2. No, I do not want to be a Muslim , but I want all of us to leave at peace and no offense is taken. In this case, he is left in peace and we continue our lives as neighbors or friends, and continue talking from time to time about Islam as he asks and the Muslim answers .

  3. No ! and I will gather money people and arms to fight you Muslims and perish you and your communities. Here we are talk about fighting. And jihad by the way is not like what you see in TV, this is terrorism, but it has rules and human rights.


Islam does not promote killing innocent people especially like women, children, elderly; this is in reference to comment regarding Brussels. The Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) issued strict orders forbidding the killing of non-combatants, destruction of cities and populations, resort to rape and looting of civilian population, and killing of the enemy by starvation/thirst or any form of torture.

Can wage war against infidels in defense of self when attacked and if they seek peace, then it's ok for Muslims to negotiate terms of agreement for peace.

The problem becomes when ISIS pick and choose clauses from Quran/Koran and ignore the other ones for their benefit. They can fight against infidel armies or government subsidiaries, but not against innocent people.

From Quran: "And fight in the way of God with those who fight with you, but aggress not God loves not the aggressors. And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying"

Jihad in Islam means 'struggle', not just war. It is struggle against corruption, injustice, aggression, and even against self if one is trying to correct bad habits, i.e. lying, cheating, adultery, not praying, etc.

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