By Imaam ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (d.751H) [The sayings of Imaam ibn al-Qayyim are from his book Madaarij us-Salikeen unless otherwise stated]


    Imaam ibn al-Qayyim said: "Jihad is of four types:

  1. 1.. Jihad an-Nafs (one's own self)
  2. 2.. Jihad ash-Shaytaan (Satan)
  3. 3.. Jihad al-Kuffar (the disbelievers) and al-Munafiqeen (the hypocrites)
  4. 4.. Jihad ahlu (the people of) ath-Thulm (injustice), al-Bid'ah (innovation) and al-Munkaraat (sin and evil)"

1. Jihad an-Nafs

He (rahimahullah) continued by saying: "Jihad an-Nafs (one's striving against his desires) is also four types:

Firstly: Striving hard to learn the true guidance and the religion of truth, meaning Islamic Monotheism (Tawheed), without which the soul will have no success or happiness in this life or the Last Life. When the Nafs (soul) does not acquire knowledge in the religion, it will be miserable in both places of dwelling (this life and the next).

Secondly: One's striving hard to implement what he has learnt. Knowledge without implementation will not be beneficial and may even bring about harm.

Thirdly: Striving to deliver the Message and teach it to those who do not have knowledge in it. Otherwise one will be among those who hide the Guidance and the Clear Proofs that Allah has sent down. Such are those whose knowledge will neither bring about benefit to them nor safety form Allah's punishment.

Fourthly: Striving to be patient in the face of hardships of conducting Da'wah (inviting mankind) unto Allah, while disregarding the threat of being harmed by other people and the enemies of Islam, all the while striving to endure all these difficulties"

2. Jihad ash-Shaytaan

Imaam ibn al-Qayyim said: "There are two types of Jihad ash-Shaytaan:

First: Jihad against him to disregard the misgivings and doubts he raises to invalidate Imaan (faith).

Second: Jihad against him by ignoring what he tempts one with erroneous intentions and desires. Achieving certainty (concerning Faith) comes after practicing first type of this Jihad, while successfully observing patience is the result of practicing the second type. Allah says: "And We made from among them (children of Israel) leaders, giving guidance under Our Command, when they were patient and used to believe with certainty in Our Ayaat (Signs, Verses etc.)" [33:24]

In this Ayah Allah stated that achieving the status of being leaders in the religion is done by practicing patience and feeling Yaqeen (certainty in Allah and that Islam in the only true guidance, etc.). Patience defeats desires and ill intentions, while certainty defeats doubts and misgivings"

Some verses regarding Jihad ash-Shaytaan:

”Surely, Shaytaan is an enemy to you, so treat his as an enemy" [35:6]

"He (Shaytaan) said: My Lord! Because you have sent me astray I shall verily adorn the path of error for them in the earth, and shall mislead them everyone, except such of them as are Your perfectly devoted slaves" [al-Hijr 39:40]

"And say: 'My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the suggestions of the shayateen (devils). And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! Lest that they may attend (or come near) me'" [23:97-98]

3. Jihad al-Kuffar wal-Munafiqeen

Imaam ibn al-Qayyim said: "As for Jihad al-Kuffar wal-Munafiqeen, they are also four types: with the heart, tongue, wealth and one's self (body). Jihad al-Kuffar is usually practiced with the hand, while Jihad al-Munafiqeen is usually practiced by the tongue (by refuting them and exposing their misguided ways, etc.)" Abu Dawud narrated that the Prophet (saw) said: "Perform Jihad against the disbelievers with your wealth, with yourself and with your tongues"

Imaam ibn al-Qayyim also said: "Jihad with the clear proofs and the tongue comes before Jihad with the sword and the spear" [Qaseedah an-Nooniyyah]

In another place he said: "I heard my Shaikh (ie. Shaykh-ul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah) saying: 'The Jihad against one's self and against al-Hawwa (desires) constitutes the basis for the Jihad against the Kuffar and and the Munafiqeen, because one is unable to make Jihad against them until he makes Jihad against himself and his Hawwa first, so that he can go out to (confront) them" [Rawdaat-ul-Muhibeen wa Nuzhat-ul-Mushtaqeen]

Some verses regarding Jihad al-Kuffar wal-Munafiqeen

"But strive hard against them (ie. the Kuffar), (by preaching) with the utmost endeavor, with it (ie. the Qur'an)" [25:52]

"O Prophet! Perform Jihad against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be severe against them" [66:9]

"O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that, when you are asked to go forth in the Cause of Allah, you cling heavily to the earth? Do you prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter" [at-Tauba 9:38]

”Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject Faith fight in the cause of Evil: so fight you against the friends of Shaytaan - feeble indeed is the cunning of Shaytan" [an-Nisaa' 4:76]

Some Ahaadeeth regarding Jihad al-Kuffar wal-Munafiqeen

The Messenger of Allah said: "The example of the Mujahid (who performs Jihad) in the Cause of Allah, and only Allah knows who is truly performing Jihad in His Cause, is the example of he who is both a Saa'im (fasting) and a Qaa'im (standing up in voluntary prayers)." [Al-Bukhari]

'Ubaydah ibn Rifa'ah said: Once, Abu 'Abs caught up with me when I was going for Jum'ah prayer, and then said, 'I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say : "He whose feet become dusty in the Sake of Allah (such as when fighting the disbelievers, etc.), Allah will prohibit Hell for him (he will not enter Hell)"'[Al-Bukhari]

The Messenger of Allah said: "He who supports a Ghazi (Mujahid) in the Cause of Allah, will have performed Ghazw (fighting in Jihad) himself. He who takes care of a Ghazi's family in a way that is better, will have performed Ghazw himself." [Al-Bukhari]

4. Jihad Against those who Practice Injustice, Innovations and Sin

Imaam ibn al-Qayyim said: "There are three types of this Jihad. First, with the hand, when able to do so. But when one is unable, then he should revert to Jihad with the tongue, and if again unable, then with the heart."

Some Ahaadeeth regarding this type of Jihad

Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: "He amongst you who witnesses an evil, let him change (remove, stop) it with his hand. If unable, then with his tongue, and if unable, then with his heart, and this indeed is the weakest Imaan." [Muslim]

Furthermore, Ibn Masud narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: "There was no Prophet whom Allah has sent before me but who had disciples and friends from among his nation who would follow his Sunnah and obey his commands. Then, new generations will come, those who would say that which they do not practice, and practice that which they were not commanded. He who performs Jihad against them (such misguided and deviated people) with his hand is a believer ; he who performs Jihad against them with his tongue is a believer ; and he who perform Jihad against them with his heart is a believer. There is nothing (no Imaan) after this, even the weight of a mustard seed." [Muslim]

Some sayings of other scholars regarding this type of Jihad

Shaykh-ul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah said: "Refuting ahlul-bida' (the innovators) is a Jihad, to the extent that Yahyaa ibn Yahyaa (d.226H) said: 'Defence of the Sunnah is more excellent than Jihad in the path of Allah'" [Naqdul-Mataq wal-Kalaam]

Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: "When some people asked Ahmad bin Hanbal (d.24 I H) that they felt uneasy about (criticizing people) by saying that such and such is this, and such and such is that, he replied: "If I were to remain silent, how would the ignorant ones know the authentic (narrations) from the inauthentic?" Similarly, the innovators who introduce heretical writings which oppose the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, and those who innovate in matters of worship, then explaining their true condition and warning the Ummah against them is an obligation by the unanimous agreement of the Muslim Scholars. In fact, when lmaam Ahmad bin Hanbal was asked whether a person who fasted, prayed and secluded himself in the mosque for worship was dearer to him than a person who spoke out against ahlul-bid'ah (the innovators), he replied: "When he fasts and prays and secludes himself, then he does so for the benefit of his own self. However, when he speaks out against the innovators, he does so for the benefit of the Muslims in general, and this is more virtuous." So it is clear that opposing the Innovators is of general benefit to the Muslims and is considered one of the types of Jihad in the path of Allaah. Since purifying the Religion of Allaah, and its minhaaj (methodology), its Sharee'ah, and defending it from their attacks and that of their enemies is a collective obligation - a fact which is agreed upon by the Scholars. For if Allah did not raise up some people to repel the harms (caused by) others, then the Religion would become corrupted. Indeed, this type of corruption is even greater than the corruption resulting from the disbelievers conquering the Muslims. This is because when the disbelievers conquer the Muslims, they do not corrupt their hearts nor their Religion, except after some time. Whereas the innovators corrupt the hearts from the very outset" [Majmoo' Fatawaa (28/231-232)]


After Imaam ibn al-Qayyim explained the types and categories of Jihad, he then summarized his research by saying, "These are thirteen types of Jihad, and he who dies without indulging in Jihad or encouraging himself to perform Jihad, will die on a way (method, part, manner etc.) of hypocrisy"