Section Four: The Types of Engagement in Jihad
Most people seem to believe that Muslims divide jihad into two main types: jihad against the self (jihad bi-n-nafs: literally, “jihad against/by the self”) and jihad by force (jihad bi-s-sayf: literally, “jihad by the sword”). While this may be true for some, and especially for the more technical and academic types (whom the common Muslim knows nothing about), in the general Muslim world, there are different types of involvement of jihad but all to the same end. That is, those who actually fight jihad with sword or gun or missile or IED are at an equal level of those who support or supply their needs in doing this. That is, one need not be on the battleground to fight jihad: facilitating jihad is just as good. Examples of facilitating jihad are donating money, acquiring arms for the fighters, encouraging the fighters, promoting jihad and the causes thereof, spreading awareness of jihad, and encouraging others to support or fight in jihad. As such, some characterize this support as “jihad bi-l-a’maal” (jihad by acts), “jihad bi-l-maal” (jihad with property), and “jihad bi-n-nafs” (jihad with one’s self, meaning dedicating one’s self to fighting jihad, meaning doing the actual fighting on the battlefield). Interestingly, only the people of the last category may claim the title (or have the title applied to them) of “mujahid” or one who fights/conducts/does jihad. See how one term is used by some to refer to a spiritual activity while many others integrate it in describing types of jihad by force?