Shariah Meaning Of Jihad 

“ Jihad is a word that existed before Islam. It’s not a word invented by Islam. So the linguistic meaning of it according to “lisaan al arab” which is an authority in the Arabic language, Jihad means “exhausting your effort in a deed or a word”. 

You exhaust your effort , You go to the limit, You do your best in a deed or word. 

So this is a very general meaning, you could be exhausting your efforts for Satan or you could be exhausting efforts for Allah. That’s all Jihad according to the linguistic meaning. 

So linguistically Jihad is struggling, striving for anything. It could be striving for money, striving to marry; striving to fight the kuffar or striving to fight the momineen. It’s all Jihad in a linguistic sense. 

Now sharea’ introduced a new meaning to Jihad; and what is that meaning? According to “hasheth Ibn Abdeen”, which is a Hanafi book of fiqh; 

“Striving to a limit in fighting in the sake of Allah directly or by money or intellect or by increasing the numbers, or other means “ 

And in the commentary it says that “other means” could be tending to the injured or preparing food. ”

-Imam Anwar al Awlaki رحمه الله


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