A Mention of the Ahadeeth of Jihad an-Nafs (Jihad of one’s own Soul)
Abbas Abu Yahya
Messenger of Allaah
–sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam–
‘The best Jihad is the Jihad against his own Soul and his desires for the sake of Allaah.’
1 – From Abu Hurairah –Radi Allaahu anhu– who said:
A group from the people of the desert came to the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– and said:
‘O Messenger of Allaah, indeed the people of the Qur’aan claim that there is no benefit in doing deeds other than Hijra (migration) and Jihad in the path of Allaah?’
So the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– said:
حيثما كنتُم، فأحسنتُم عبادة الله؛ فأبشروا بالجنة
‘Wherever you are, if you were good in the worship of Allaah, then receive the glad tidings of Paradise.’
[Collected by ad-Dulabi in ‘al-Kuna’ & Albaani said its Isnad was Hasan, Silsilah Ahadeeth as-Saheehah No. 3146]
2 – From Abu Dharr who said: ‘I asked the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam–: ‘Which is the best Jihad?
The Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– said:
أفضل الجهاد أن تجاهد نفسك وهواك في ذات الله عز وجل
‘The best Jihad is the Jihad against his own soul and his desires for the sake of Allaah Azza wa Jal.’
[Collected by Ibn Mulli in ‘al-Amali’, Abu Na’eem in ‘al-Hileeyah’ and by Daylami, & declared Hasan by Albaani in Silsilah Ahadeeth as-Saheehah no.1496]
The preceding hadeeth has a supporting narration from Fadalah bin Ubayd from the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- with the wording:
المجاهد من جاهد نفسه لله
‘The Mujahid is the one who makes Jihad against his own-self and his desires for the sake of Allaah.’
[Collected by Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban & Albaani declared its Isnad to be good in ‘Silsilah Saheehah’ No. 1496]
3 – The Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said:
” ألا أخبركم بالمؤمن ؟ من أمنه الناس على أموالهم و أنفسهم و المسلم من سلم الناس من لسانه و يده و المجاهد من جاهد نفسه في طاعة الله و المهاجر من هجر الخطايا و الذنوب ” .
‘Shall I not inform you of the believer? The person that the people feel secure with their wealth and their own selves. The Muslim is the one who the people are secure from his tongue, and his hand. The Mujahid is the one who strives against his own self in the obedience of Allaah, and the Muhajir is the one who migrates away from his mistakes and sins.’
[ Collected by Imam Ahmad, Albaani said its Isnaad is Saheeh in ‘Silsilah Saheehah’ No. 549]
Jihad against One’s own Soul
Shamsuddeen Muhammad bin Abee Bakr Ibn Qayyim aj-Jawzeeyah as-Salafi (d.751 A.H.) -Rahimullaah- said:
‘Since Jihad against the enemies of Allaah outwardly is a branch of Jihad a slave of Allaah makes against his-own self for the sake of Allaah, as the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said: ‘The Mujahid is the one who makes Jihad against his own-self and his desires for the sake of Allaah.’ [From: ‘Silsilah Saheehah’ No. 1496]
Then the Jihad of one’s own self precedes the outward Jihad of the enemy, and this Jihad is foundation for the Jihad against the enemy, since whoever does not make Jihad against one’s own self firstly, so he does that which he has been commanded with and leaves that which he has been prohibited against, and he fights his soul for the sake of Allaah, then he cannot outwardly do Jihad against the enemy, so how can he possibly do Jihad against his enemy and deal with him justly, while his own enemy who is within him is overpowering him, controlling him, and he did not fight him, and he did not fight against him for the sake of Allaah, rather he cannot have the capability to go against his enemy until he makes Jihad against his own soul.’
[Take from: ‘Zad al-Maa’ad’ 3/p.6]
Regarding the Weak Hadeeth
رجعنا من الجهاد الأصغر إلى الجهاد الأكبر
‘We have returned from the minor Jihad to the major Jihad.’
Summary of the Takhreej
A summary of what Shaykh Albaani said regarding the sourcing of this narration:
Hafidh al-Iraqi said in ‘Takhreej al-Ihyaa’ that it was collected by al-Bayhaqi in ‘Zuhd’ from the hadeeth of Jabir, and this Isnaad has a weakness.
Hafidh Ibn Hajr mentions in ‘Takhreej al-Kashaf’ that it has three weak narrators.
Shaykh ul Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah said in ‘Majmoo’ al-Fatawa’: This narration has no origin [La Asl Lahu], and none from the people who are familiar with the sayings of the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– and his actions narrate it.
Shaykh Albaani in ‘Silsilah Da’eefah’ declared it Munkar.
[From Silsilah Ahadeeth Da’eefah No. 2460]
al-Bayhaqi collected it in Kitab az-Zuhd and regarded its Isnaad as Da’eef.
Shaykh AbdulAziz bin Baaz said regarding this narration: ‘however, the people of knowledge have clarified, like Ibn al-Qayyim -Rahimullaah- and other than him that this Hadeeth is weak and that it is not authentic.
[Majmoo’ al-Fatawa Bin Baaz 26/382]
Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said when it was covered in ‘Sharh al-Mumtta’: ‘however it is a weak hadeeth, not authentic.’
In one of his Fatawa he said: Da’eef Jiddan or Mawdoo’.
[Majmoo’ Fatawa Ibn Uthaymeen 27/498]
All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace
and praise be upon our final
Prophet Muhammad, his
family, his companions
and all those who