Interpretation of Hadith

16 Feb 2019 Ref-No#: 1365

Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

Respected Mufti Sahab,

Can you please explain the meaning of the following hadith:

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever dies without having gone out for jihaad or having thought of doing so, dies on a branch of hypocrisy. (Saheeh Muslim, 3533).

How do we apply this hadith in this day and age? Also what is the ruling on a person who does not even make intention to go out in the path of Allah and says it is not fardh?

JazakAllahu khaira


Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Whilst the meaning of Jihaad is broad and refers to many different acts of ‘Ibadah, Jihaad in the meaning of Qitaal (fighting) holds great importance in Islam, and no Muslim can deny its institution. The Quraan is replete with verses of fighting for the course of Islam, and there are a great amount of narrations from the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) which exhort Muslims to fight for the protection of their religion, lives, wealth and honour.

Yes, the whole concept of Jihaad has been exploited and abused by terrorist groups such as Isis, Boko Haraam etc. However, that does not diminish the importance of Jihaad. There is no doubt that those Muslims in Rohingya, Gaza etc who are fighting for their own protection are indeed fighting in Jihaad. Likewise, those civilians who were protecting themselves from Isis and Boko Haraam were also fighting in Jihaad.

Having said that, Jihaad is not compulsory and not even permissible in most countries, since Muslims are free to worship Allah and perform their prayers. If we are permitted to worship Allah and perform our five daily prayers, it will not be permissible to upset the peace or start any fighting.

Whilst we may not be able to physically go to those areas where Jihaad is taking place to help, we can have the firm intention in our hearts that if we were able to help these oppressed people, we would definitely leave our comfort-zone and go to fight for their protection.  We should also continue supplicating for the Muslims in these areas, who are killed just because of their Deen. We should try to send funds through, so that we can help the oppressed get back their rights.

From having the desire of Jihaad, as Muslims, we should also physically train ourselves, so that if we are ever oppressed because of our religion, we can easily retaliate and protect our rights.

We should not misinterpret this narration and cause a revolt or fighting in countries which allows us to worship Allah and perform our Salah.

As for the ruling of those who have no intention at all to fight back, then whilst this may be a quality of the Munaafiqeen (hypocrites), we cannot pass any verdict on them. This is similar to the following narration of Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim:

عن أبي هريرة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال آية المنافق ثلاث إذا حدث كذب وإذا وعد أخلف وإذا اؤتمن خان  (متفق عليه)

“The signs of a hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies, when he promises, he breaks his promise, and when he is trusted, he deceives” (Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

We still regard those Muslims who lie, deceive etc to be in the fold, and will pray behind them, eat the meat of animals which they slaughtered etc. The same will be for those who have absolutely no desire to fight for the course of Islam.

There is also a narration of ‘Abdullah bin al-Mubaarak that this narration is confined to the time of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam).


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.

والمعنى لم يعزم على الجهاد ولم يقل يا ليتني كنت مجاهدا وقيل معناه ولم يرد الخروج وعلامته في الظاهر إعداد آلته قال تعالى ولو أرادوا والخروج لأعدوا له عدة ويؤيده قوله مات على شعبة من نفاق أي نوع من أنواع النفاق أي من مات على هذا فقد أشبه المنافقين المتخلفين عن الجهاد ومن تشبه بقوم فهو منهم (مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح – 11/ 457)

قال عبد الله بن المبارك فنرى أن ذلك كان على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم) قوله نرى بضم النون أي نظن وهذا الذى قاله بن المبارك محتمل وقد قال غيره إنه عام والمراد أن من فعل هذا فقد أشبه المنافقين المتخلفين عن الجهاد فى هذاالوصف فإن ترك الجهاد أحد شعب النفاق (شرح النووي على مسلم – 13/ 56)

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