Jihad: “And Strive For Allah With The striving Due To Him…” – Quran 22:78

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Background

Madinan verse (Mawdudi).

Analysing Verse

“And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish prayer and give zakah and hold fast to Allah. He is your protector; and excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper.” – Quran 22:78

22:78 – The Jihad mentioned here, rendered as “strive for God with the striving due to Him”, is directed at Muslims to obey God and His commandments. The verse speaks of striving in a spiritual sense. This is why in the same verse further down it speaks about prayer, giving charity (Zakat) and fasting.

Commentaries

Maulana Waḥiduddin Khan:

“According to the Quran (22:78) and the Hadith, the greatest duty of the Muslim community – Shahadat alan-naas – is to spread the Divine message of Islam peacefully among other nations. …” [1]

Abdullah Yusuf Ali:

“2861. As far as the striving is concerned with Jihad in the narrow sense, see the limitations in n. 204 to 2:190 and n. 205 to 2:191. But the words are perfectly general and apply to all true and unselfish striving for spiritual good.” [2]

Malik Ghulam Farid:

“1976. Jihad is of two kinds: (a) Jihad against one’s evil desires and propensities; and (b) Jihad against the enemies of truth which includes fighting in self-defence. The first kind of Jihad may be termed ‘Jihad in Allah’ and the latter kind of Jihad, ‘Jihad in the way of Allah.’ The Holy Prophet has termed the first kind of Jihad as the greater Jihad and the latter kind of Jihad as the smaller Jihad.
1977. The words, ‘He has named you Muslims both before, and in his Book,’ refer to Isaiah’s prophecy; And thou shalt be called by new name which the mouth of the Lord shall name… (Isa. 62:2 & 65:15).
1977A. The allusion in the words ‘and in this Book’ is to Abraham’s prayer quoted in the Qur’an, viz., ‘Our Lord make us Muslims’ to Thee and make our offspring a people submissive to Thee (2:129).” [3]

Maulana Muhammad Ali:

“78a. The reference in before is to the revelation of Abraham, who prayed that from among his descendants there should arise a nation of Muslims (2:128), and in this to the Holy Qur’an. For the meaning of Islam and Muslim, see 2:112a and 3:19a. The root word is salm or silm, both signifying peace (R), and a Muslim is therefore one who leads a life of peace, peace with God, which means complete submission to His will, and peace with man, which means that he causes no injury to any man, as a saying of the Holy Prophet has it (B. 2:3).
78b. Compare 2:143, where similar words are used. The significance is that the Muslim community is destined to play the role of leader to the whole of humanity; see 2:143b. [4]

Dr. Muhammad Asad:

“92 The absence of any “hardship” in the religion of Islam is due to several factors: (1) it is free of any dogma or mystical proposition which might make the Qur’anic doctrine difficult to understand or might even conflict with man’s innate reason; (2) it avoids all complicated ritual or system of taboos which would impose undue restrictions on man’s everyday life; (3) it rejects all self-mortification and exaggerated asceticism, which must unavoidably conflict with man’s true nature (cf. in this connection note 118 on the first sentence of 2:143); and (4) it takes fully into account the fact that “man has been created weak” (4:28).
93 Abraham is designated here as “your forefather” not only because he was, in fact, an ancestor of the Prophet Muhammad – to whose followers this passage is addressed – but also because he is the prototype (and thus, the spiritual “forefather”) of all who consciously “surrender themselves to God” (see next note).
94 The term Muslim signifies “one who surrenders himself to God”; correspondingly, Islam denotes “self-surrender to God”. Both these terms are applied in the Qur’an to all who believe in the One God and affirm this belief by an unequivocal acceptance of His revealed messages. Since the Qur’an represents the final and most universal of these divine revelations, the believers are called upon, in the sequence, to follow the guidance of its Apostle and thus to become an example for all mankind (cf. 2:143 and the corresponding note 119).” [5]

Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi:

“487. i.e., for His cause.
488. (from all other communities, O Muslims!).” [6]

Tafsir al-Jalalayn:

“And struggle in the way of God, in order to establish His religion, a struggle worthy of Him, by expending all effort therein (haqqa is in the accusative because it is a verbal noun). He has elected you, He has chosen you for His religion, and has not laid upon you in your religion any hardship, that is, [any] constraint, for He has facilitated [adherence to] it during times of difficulty, such as [His permitting you] to shorten prayers, to seek ritual purification from earth, to eat of carrion, and to break the fast during illness or travel — the creed of your father (millata is in the accusative because the genitive preposition kaf [sc. ka-millati, ‘like the creed of’] has been omitted) Abraham (Ibrahima, an explicative supplement). He, that is, God, named you Muslims before, that is, before [the revelation of] this Book, and in this, that is, [in] the Qur’an, so that the Messenger might be a witness against you, on the Day of Resurrection, that he delivered the Message to you, and that you might be witnesses against mankind, that their messengers delivered the Message to them. So maintain prayer, observe it regularly, and pay the alms, and hold fast to God, trust in Him. He is your Patron, your Helper and the Guardian of your affairs. An excellent Patron, is He, and an excellent Helper, for you. (Tafsir al-jalalayn on Surah 22:78 – Online Source)

 

Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas:

“(And strive for Allah with the endeavour which is His right) and fulfil for Allah that which is His right. (He hath chosen you) for His religion (and hath not laid upon you in religion) in the matter of religion (any hardship) He says: whoever cannot pray standing, let him pray sitting; and whoever cannot pray sitting, let him pray lying down, just by making gestures; (the faith of your father Abraham) follow the religion of your father Abraham. (He hath named you) Allah named you (Muslims of old time) before this Qur’an, in the Scriptures of past prophets (and in this (Scripture)) i.e. the Qur’an, (that the messenger) Muhammad (pbuh) (may be a witness against you) against the disbelievers and in favour of the believers, (and that ye may be witnesses against mankind) in favour of the prophets. (So establish worship) perform the five daily prayers, by perfecting their ablutions, bowing, prostration and that which is prescribed in their appointed times, (pay the poor-due) from your wealth, (and hold fast to Allah) and hold fast to Allah’s religion and Scripture. (He is your Protecting Friend. A blessed Patron) Protector (and a blessed Helper) Who will defend you!'” (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas on Surah 22:78 – Online Source)

 

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References:

[1] The Prophet of Peace: Teachings of the Prophet Muhammad By Maulana Waḥiduddin Khan page 51
[2] The Meaning Of The Noble Qur’an By Abdullah Yusuf Ali, page 228 http://www.ulc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/English-Quran-With-Commentaries.pdf
[3] The Holy Qur’an – Arabic Text With English Translation & Short Commentary By Malik Ghulam Farid, page 688
[4] The Holy Quran – Arabic Text with English Translation, Commentary and comprehensive Introduction [Year 2002 Edition] by Maulana Muhammad Ali, page 682
[5] The Message of The Quran translated and explained by Muhammad Asad, page 733 – 734
http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/private/cmje/religious_text/The_Message_of_The_Quran__by_Muhammad_Asad.pdf
[6] Tafsir-Ul-Qur’an – Translation and Commentary Of The Holy Qur’an {Published By Darul Ishaat Urdu Bazaar Karachi: Pakistan] By Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi, volume 3, page 183

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