Q&A (Fatwa)

#405: Enquiry into the Authenticity of the Hadīth Of Jihādu An-Nafs

QUESTION

” Salamun alaikum ya admin,pls what is the stance of scholars regarding this hadith(the greatest jihad is the jihad against your nafs),and the ruling for those who know that a particular hadith is fabricated and yet the quote it,using it has evidence,Jazkhallahu khayran Was feekum kathiran”

ANSWER

Wa alaykum salaam warahmatullaah wabarakaatuh!

Alhamdulillaah!

If by your question, you refer to the Hadith that was recorded and transmitted by Imaam Al-Bayhaqi in ‘Kitaabu A-Zuhd’ page 163, #373 where he narrated from the Companion Jaabir Ibn Abdillaah stating:

“An Army detachment returned to the Messenger of Allāh – salallaahu alayhi wasallam – then he said to them:
‘You have come a good coming, from a lesser Jihad to a greater Jihad’
They said: ‘And what is the greater Jihad’?
He said:
‘That a servant fights his desires.'”

Then, in the Isnaad of the Hadith are men that have been accused of been liars and some who are unreliable when it comes to transmitting Ahaadith.

Shaykhu Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah – rahimahullaah – said:

“It has no basis and it was not transmitted by anyone that has sound knowledge of the wordings and deeds of the Prophet – salallaahu alayhi wasallam – for waging Jihaad against the Kuffaar is of the greatest of deeds. In fact, it is the best of ways by which a person can voluntarily serve (Allaah)…”

Majmu’atu Al-Fataawa 11/197

On his part, Shaykh Muhammad Naasiriddin Al-Albaani held that it was a ‘Munkar’ hadith in ‘As-Silsilatu Ad-Da’ifa’ #2460

Imaam Al-haafidh Al-Iraaqi – rahimahillaah – in his Takhrij of the Ahaadith found in Al-Ihyaa also declared it as immensely weak.

Al-Haafidh As-Suyuti – rahimahullaah – said about the hadith:

‘I don’t know it as an upright hadith to the Prophet’

Imaam Az-Zayla’I – rahimahullaah – said in ‘Takhriju Al-Kashshaaf’ 2/395:

“Extremely strange”

As for the version that states:

ﺭﺟﻌﻨﺎ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﺠﻬﺎﺩ ﺍﻷﺻﻐﺮ ﺇﻟﻲ ﺍﻟﺠﻬﺎﺩ ﺍﻷﻛﺒﺮ ، ﻗﺎﻟﻮﺍ ﻭﻣﺎ ﺍﻟﺠﻬﺎﺩ ﺍﻷﻛﺒﺮ ؟ ﻗﺎﻝ ﺟﻬﺎﺩ ﺍﻟﻘﻠﺐ ﺃﻭ ﺟﻬﺎﺩ ﺍﻟﻨﻔﺲ ‏

“We have returned from a lesser Jihad to a greater Jihad.”
They said: what is the greater Jihad?
He said: “the Jihad of the heart is the greater Jihad”

It has no basis either.
Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalaani – rahimahullaah – said in his book ‘Tasdidu Al-Qaws’ that it was popular on the tongues of people but actually a statement of Ibraahim Ibn ‘Ulayya.

The subject of ‘Jihad An-Nafs’ and the Ahaadith that relate to it has been thoroughly treated in a book called ‘Suicide Bombings on the Scale of Islam’ you can refer to it for further explanation.

As for the one who knows that a Hadith is fabricated and still goes ahead to quote and propagate it, he is guilty of the same sin as the one who fabricated it. The punishment for it is the hellfire as it has come in the Hadīth.

May Allāh be merciful to us all, Āmīn.

Bārakallāhu Fīkum
Jazākumullāhu Khayran.

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