Documentation of the Hadith of Jihad al-akbar (Greater Jihad)

Al-Dhahabi in the Siyar (Fikr ed. 6:486) says Muhammad ibn Ziyad al-Maqdisi said it was the habit of Ibrahim to address whoever came back from ghazu with that phrase. (Also among his sayings: “Whoever carries strange and unusual knowledge carries much evil.”)

2. As an Atba`-saying al-Bayhaqi also narrates it in al-Zuhd from Ibrahim ibn Ad-ham (p. 152)

3. and Abu Hatim al-Asamm (p. 286).

Ibn Taymiyya himself leaves no doubt as to the fact that jihad al-nafs comes first and is the precondition sine qua non of military jihad as he states it in and as related from him by Ibn al-Qayyim toward the very end of Rawdat al-Muhibbin: “I heard our Shaykh say, ‘The jihad of nafs and hawa is the foundation of jihad of the disbelievers and hypocrites; one cannot do jihad of them before he first does jihad of his nafs and hawa, then he goes out and fights them.'”

As for Ibn al-Qayyim then haddith wala haraj, he goes on and on about the jihad of the ego as the “prime” (al-muqaddam) and “most obligatory” (al-afrad) jihad in al-Fawa’id, Zad al-Ma`ad, al-Ruh, Ighathat al-Lahfan….

But neither he nor his teacher uses the term al-jihad al-akbar.

Hajj GF Haddad

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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