Monday, January 09, 2006

Jihad an-Nafs

"But as for him who feared to stand before his Lord and restrained his soul from lust, Lo! The garden will be his home" (Qur'an 79:40-41)

The mujahid is he who makes jihad against his nafs (ego) for the sake of obeying Allah. - The Prophet (pbuh)

-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". [1]

"Should I inform you of who the Mu'min (believer) is? It is he from whom people are secure with regards to their wealth and their own selves. The Muslim is he from whose tongue and hand other people are safe. The Mujahid is he who performs Jihad an-Nafs in the obedience of Allah. And the Muhajir (immigrant) is he who abandons error and sin" - The Prophet (pbuh) in his "Farwell Speech"

- Reported by Ahmed, al-Haakim, and at-Tabaraani [2]

"The best Jihad is for one to perform Jihad against his own self and against his desires"

-Reported by Abu Nu'aim [2]

"Jihad against one's own self in the Cause of Allah is the best Jihad"

- Reported by at-Tabaraani [2]

A man asked: "What kind of jihad is better?" The Prophet (pbuh) replied: "A word of truth spoken in front of an oppressive ruler."  (Sunan Al-Nasa'i #4209) [1]

A man asked: "Should I join the jihad?" The Prophet (pbuh) asked, "Do you have parents?" The man said yes. The Prophet said: "Then do jihad by serving them!"  (Sahih Al-Bukhari #5972) [1]

"`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.'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari #2784) [1]

"The strong one is not the one who overcomes people, the strong one is he who overcomes his nafs ego" - The Prophet (pbuh)

- Al-Haythami declared it authentic in Majma` al-Zawa'id. [1]

[Compare the above hadith to:

One who overcomes others is strong,
But he who overcomes himself is mighty
- Lao Tzu [4a]


"If one man conquer in battle a thousand times a thousand men, and if another conquer himself, he is the greatest of conquerors. One's own self conquered is better than all other people conquered." - Buddha [4b]

As for the most famous version, "We have returned from the lesser Jihad to the greater Jihad (i.e. the struggle against the evil of one's soul)."

According to Ibn Hajar, it is is actually a saying of Ibrahim bin Abi 'Ablah, a tabi'i (i.e. from the generation after the generation of the prophet). It is not a hadith of the Prophet, but is obviously based on the above hadiths of the Prophet that clearly state that it is the greatest jihad. [3]

Jihad of Kuffar MUST be preceeded by Jihad an-Nafs

"The Jihad against one's self and against al-Hawa (desires) constitutes the basis for the Jihad against the Kuffar and and the Munafiqeen, because one is unable to make Jihad against them until he makes Jihad against himself and his Hawa first, so that he can go out to (confront) them" - Ibn Taymiyyah

- Quoted by his student Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyya, in Rawdaat-ul-Muhibeen wa Nuzhat-ul-Mushtaqeen

For the next two years Ghazi Mollah proclaimed his message. The Caucasians had not accepted Islam fully, he told them. Their old customary laws, the "adat", which differed from tribe to tribe, must be replaced by the Sharia. In particular, the kanli vendettas must be suppressed, and all injustices dealt with fairly by a proper Islamic court. Finally, the Caucasians must restrain their wild, turbulent egos, and tread the hard path of self-purification. Only by following this prescription, he told them, could they overcome their ancient divisions, and stand united against the Christian menace.  [5]

1. Sunni Path
2. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah. Madaarij as-Salikeen
3. Science of Hadith
4a. Tao Te Ching, Ch. 33. [Taken from The Black Pearl, Pg 178]
4b. The Dhammapada, Ch. 8 (The Thousands), quoted in Edwin A. Burtt, The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha, New York: New American Library (Mentor), 1955, p. 58. [Taken from The Black Pearl Pg 178]
5. The Murid Wars

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