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I am confused about this:

Some teachings of Islam are orders that are obligatory, example Pillars of Islam: Salat, Sawm, Hajj, Zakat. Some teachings of Islam are recommendations on which it is optional to act on: Tahaajud, Sadqah, Umrah, applying Perfume, initiating Salam.

My question is what about armed Jihad? Is armed Jihad is obligatory or recommended or optional? What is the evidence for this?

  • How many accounts are you planning to create, (your 1st, your 2nd account) stick on one account and you will be able to contribute in a much better and useful manner! Also see how to merge accounts and I think this question is covered in Can someone give me examples of fard kifaya – Medi1Saif Oct 1 '18 at 14:33
  • Thank you for your response. 1st If I have done something wrong I am truly sorry. I use pc from a lab and it is different every time, I give the same name but it makes new account? 2nd I read your answer. I think you mean to say that Jihad is Fard Kifaya, however this does not answer me. Is armed Jihad also Fard Kifaytah? And what is the proof (like Kuran or Hadis) that it is even Fard or Fard Kifayah? – Faik Hamid Oct 1 '18 at 14:46
  • Using different pc's doesn't mean you must use different user names, just remember one account. – Jamila Oct 1 '18 at 19:21
  • @FaikHamid Jihad when not described otherwise always refers to armed Jihad. And I explained that it is mainly fard kifaya, but could turn into fard 'ayn. – Medi1Saif Oct 1 '18 at 20:26
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A bit more general on Jihad

In this part I will mostly post references from this fatwa on islamqa: There's no general ruling on Jihad:

Jihaad is of various kinds, some of which are obligatory upon everyone who is accountable, and some are obligatory upon the community as a whole – if some people undertake them then the rest are relieved of the obligation. And some kinds of jihad are mustahabb.

Jihad al-nafs (jihad against one’s self) and jihad al-Shaytaan (jihad against the Shaytaan) are obligatory upon everyone who is accountable. Jihad against the munaafiqeen (hypocrites), kaafirs (disbelievers) and leaders of oppression and innovation is obligatory upon the community as a whole. Physical jihad (i.e. fighting) against the kaafirs may become an individual obligation upon everyone who is able to do it in certain circumstances, which will be described below. (From the fatwa on islamqa)

Also the Jihad by Arms has not been ordered at once:

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“The first thing which his Lord revealed to him was to read in the name of his Lord who had created. That was the beginning of his Prophethood, where Allaah commanded him to recite to himself but He did not yet command him to convey that. Then He revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning:

‘O you (Muhammad) enveloped in garments! Arise and warn!’ [al-Muddaththir 74:1-2]

So he became a Prophet with the word ‘Iqra (Read!) and he became a Messenger with the words, ‘O you (Muhammad) enveloped in garments…’ Then Allaah commanded him to warn his closest kinsmen, then to warn his people, then to warn the Arabs around them, then to warn all the Arabs, then to warn all of mankind. He continued to call them for over ten years from the beginning of his Prophethood, without fighting or imposing the jizyah; he was commanded to refrain, to be patient and to be forbearing.

Then permission was given to him to migrate, and permission was given to him to fight.

Then he was commanded to fight those who fought him, and to refrain from fighting those who left him alone and did not fight him.

Then Allaah commanded him to fight the mushrikeen so that the religion would all be for Allaah.

After jihad was enjoined upon him, the kaafirs then fell into three categories: those with whom there was a truce or peace treaty; those with whom he was at war; and those who lived under the rule and protection of the Islamic state.”

(Zaad al-Ma’aad, 3/159) (Source fatwa from islamqa)

The general ruling of Jihad

As for the order of Jihad we may read verses such as:

  • 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. (2:216)

  • Go forth, whether light or heavy, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah . That is better for you, if you only knew. (9:41)

these verses show that Jihad actually is prescribed in Islam, but one must read them in full context of the qur'an before announcing a general ruling. And if we read further we may read what Allah the almighty says in surat at-Tawaba:

And it is not for the believers to go forth [to battle] all at once. For there should separate from every division of them a group [remaining] to obtain understanding in the religion and warn their people when they return to them that they might be cautious. (9:122)

This verse shows that not all Muslims nor all Muslim men must fight, but there nevertheless must be a group of Muslims who still studies the religion and rulings of Allah and seeks knowledge. This is a clear statement which proofs that Jihad by arms is not fard 'ayan: a due on every Muslim!

We can also read:

Not equal are those believers remaining [at home] - other than the disabled - and the mujahideen, [who strive and fight] in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred the mujahideen through their wealth and their lives over those who remain [behind], by degrees. And to both Allah has promised the best [reward]. But Allah has preferred the mujahideen over those who remain [behind] with a great reward - (4:95)

This verse also shows that Jihad is fard kifaya, as it shows that it is permissible that some people fight while others don't, even if both parties are not equal by Allah as one of them might even be sinning if Jihad became a due on every Muslim (fard 'ayn).

Additionally we find in Sahih Muslim an order of choosing one of two man for Jihad which also can be used as an evidence for it being fard kifaya:

It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Sa'id Khudri that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sent a force to Banu Lihyan (who are from Banu Hudhail, and said:

One man from every two and the reward (will be divided) between the two

Now that it is clear that fighting by arms -in general- is fard kifaya we may consider going into details!

Who is meant to do Jihad?

Here are briefly the conditions on a fighter for armed Jihad (Taken from fatwa islamweb):

  1. The fighter must be a Muslim see here in Sahih Muslim.
  2. Being well minded or responsible ('Aql العقل for example a lunatic is not required to fight). See for example in Sunan abi Dawod
  3. Being mature al-Bulugh البلوغ (having reached the puberty). See for example in Sahih al-Bukhari.
  4. Being a male الذكورة. See for example in Sunan ibn Majah.
  5. Having the ability for the provision of Jihad القدرة على مؤنة الجهاد. See for example verse (9:91).
  6. Being in a good health and free from disabilities السلامة من العجز. See for example verse (9:92) and (48:17).

So any of those who are not mentioned here are not ordered to do Jihad or the order of Jihad is lifted from them.

Who is not allowed to do Jihad?

Now I'm quoting from the same fatwa from islamweb a few further conditions on people who basically are orderd or allowed to do Jihad, but they are not allowd to do it due to their circumstances:

  • If one wants to fight without the agreement of his parents. See for example in Sahih Muslim , note that the person is mature.
  • If one has debts. See for example the hadith saying that all the sins except debts are forgiven for a martyr
  • The shafi'is and hanbalis added that Jihad without the agreement of the Muslim leader (Imam, Caliph etc.) is frowned upon due to this hadith in Sunan abi Dawod.

When Jihad becomes fard 'ayn on the Muslims?

Again my source is the fatwa from islamweb, but also that of islamqa provides similar information.

There are basically two conditions:

  • If the disbelievers or non-Muslims attacked or besieged a Muslim country, state, province, city or even small village an evidence for that is (9:123) in this case the closer a Muslim live to this location the more he is asked to do his duty of Jihad.
  • If the Calip or Imam calls for Jihad. See for example verse (9:38) and read the sahih hadith.

Appart of these two conditions there are two more:

  • If you face the enemy, See for example in verse 8:16 and in the sahih hadith where fleeing from the battle filed is counted among the seven destructive things. In this case one must make a clear distinction between a tactical manoeuvre and fleeing from the enemy due to fear. The fatwa from islamqa adds:
  • When a person is needed and no one else can do the task except him.

Jihad by our wealth and our lives?

In verse 9:41 fighting with our wealth has been quoted before fighting by our lives or by arms (note that verse 2:215 also can be used as another reference as it is placed before 2:216 which is another evidence for the order of Jihad) this is due of two reasons:
In most cases Muslims would need financial help for Jihad more than the help by fighting people and spending money and wealth for the cause of Allah is easier than fighting for many people, and allows those people for whom Jihad is not a duty to help the Muslim fighters.

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عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَ ضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ: مَنْ مَاتَ وَلَمْ يَغْزُ، وَلَمْ يُحَدِّثْ نَفْسَهُ بِهِ، مَاتَ عَلَى شُعْبَةٍ مِنْ نِفَاقٍ. رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ

Means if someone died without doing armed jihad ( الغزو ) or at least tell himself that he will do it, he will die as a hypocrit,

It's fard kifaya

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