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Jihad al-Nafs:
Spiritual Striving

Answered by Shaykh Gibril Haddad

Wa `alaykum as-Salam:

I have read that if you miss your salaah you will receive 15 punishments...some people say that this is made up, is this true?

There is no such specific evidence, but its gist can be inferred from a variety of evidences.

Then there's a hadtih regarding jihad an nafs: "The best type of jihaad is the jihaad of the one who strives against his own self (jihaad al-nafs) for the sake of Allaah." it doesnt state which hadith it is from. But some people also say that this is fabricated? is this correct?

Allah Most High said:

{And whosoever STRIVES (JAAHADA), STRIVES (YUJAAHIDU) only for himself} (29:6). {As for those who STRIVE (JAHADU) in Us (the cause of Allah), We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good doers.} (29:69) This is a Meccan Sura and the two verses refer to Jihad al-Nafs. There was no military jihad then.

Without jihad of the nafs, fighting leads to Hellfire.

Allah Most High said:

{WA NAFSIN WA MAA SAWAAHA, FA-ALHAMAHA FUJURAHA WA TAQWAHA. QAD AFLAHA MAN ZAKAAHA WA QAD KHAABA MAN DAS- SAAHA} "By the nafs and the proportion and order given to it, and its inspiration as to its wrong and its right; Truly he succeeds who purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it" (91:7-10). This is also a Meccan Sura.

Without purification, the nafs remains a "soul that enjoins evil" (al-nafs al-ammara bil-su') until it surrenders itself in total obedience to the call of animal passions and shaytan.

Allah Most High said:

{Have you seen the one who chooses for his god his own lust?} (25:43). {He followed his own lust. Therefore his likeness is as the likeness of a dog; if you attack him he pants with his tongue out and if you leave him he pants with his tongue out} (7:176). These are both also Meccan Suras.

About the person who controlled the passion of his ego Allah says: {But as for him who feared to stand before his Lord and restrained his soul from lust, Lo! The garden will be his home} (79:40-41). This is also a Meccan Sura.

The above are among the many Meccan verses and Suras enjoining jihad al-nafs. One that denies that there was/is such a Divine command commits kufr. Such a command cannot mean military jihad, as there was no permission - much less an order - for such a jihad until the Madinan period.

Further, the Prophet said MHMD upon him peace:

1. "The mujahid is he who makes jihad against his nafs (ego) for the sake of obeying Allah.
- Ibn Hibban (#1624, 2519): Authentic;
- Shu`ayb al-Arna'ut (Commentary on Ibn Hibban): authentic;
- al-Hakim: sahih;
- `Iraqi confirms him;
- it is also in Tirmidhi, Ahmad, and Tabarani;
- Albani included it in the "Sahiha".

2. "`A'isha, Allah be well-pleased with her, asked: 'Messenger of Allah, we see jihad as the best of deeds, so shouldn't we join it?' He replied, 'But the best jihad is a perfect Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari #2784)

3. On another occasion, a man asked: "Should I join the jihad?" The Prophet asked MHMD upon him peace, "Do you have parents?" The man said yes. The Prophet said: "Then do jihad by serving them!" (Sahih Al-Bukhari #5972)

4. Another man asked: "What kind of jihad is better?" The Prophet replied MHMD upon him peace: "A word of truth spoken in front of an oppressive ruler." (Sunan Al-Nasa'i #4209)

5. The Prophet also said MHMD upon him peace: "The strong one is not the one who overcomes people, the strong one is he who overcomes his nafs [ego]. Al-Haythami declared it authentic in Majma` al-Zawa'id.

6. The Prophet MHMD upon him peace, said to Abu Sa`id al-Khudri: "Even if one strikes unbelievers and idolaters with his sword until it breaks, and he is *completely* dyed with their blood, the Rememberers of Allah are above him one degree."

The above authentic hadiths provide additional explicit evidence - especially 1 and 5 - refuting the lie that "all the evidence for jihad al-nafs is fabricated or weak."

Further:

Allah Most High is Tayyibun and accepts only the Tayyib. He declares in the Qur'an that He accepts acts of worship only if they are based on:

- purification of the self (qad aflaha man zakkaha)
- soundness of the heart (illa man ata Allaha bi-qalbin salim)
- an humble spirit (wa-innaha lakabiratun illa `alal khashi`in)

Purification of the Intention is the general heading for these. That is why the Imams (eg Bukhari, Shafi`i, Nawawi) always began their books of fiqh with the hadith of intention: "Actions count only according to intention."

An act outwardly considered worship but performed without pure intention is not considered worship, even fighting and dying in defense of Muslims. The Prophet MHMD upon him peace, explicitly said of one such fighter that he was bound for the fire.

In fact, purification of intention is needed for all five pillars of Islam. Such purification is a fard `ayn and is required of all.

Thus those that claim there is no jihad al-nafs in Islam have imperiled their Islam and might make their shahada, salat, zakat, sawm, hajj, AND jihad worthless. Allah is our refuge from this.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad




 

 

 

vs.2.0

2003-06-02

 



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