Financial Jihad as a Collective Responsibility upon the Ummah

By Dr. Masoud Sabry February 12, 2024 774




Many ayahs in the Holy Quran emphasize the concept of jihad with wealth, often linking it with jihad of the self. In fact, financial jihad is sometimes even prioritized in most of the Quran, as not everyone has the capability to engage in physical jihad, whereas contributing wealth is accessible to everyone. There is no minimum threshold for financial jihad; rather, it depends on one's capacity and means. This is a Quranic principle evident in every act of spending, as stated by Allah the Almighty: “Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth.” (At-Talaq: 7).

The companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) demonstrated varying levels of financial jihad alongside their self-jihad. Some, like Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), gave all of their wealth, while others, like Umar ibn al-Khattabn (may Allah be pleased with him), contributed half, and individuals such as Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) increased their spending, while some even came to the Prophet with a handful of dates. Each companion fulfilled financial jihad for the sake of Allah to the best of their ability. This financial commitment served as a form of preparation for the broader jihad. The Quran underscores this: “Go forth, whether light or heavy, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah.” (At-Tawbah: 41). Thus, as jihad can be fulfilled with oneself, it can also be fulfilled with one's wealth.

Financial Jihad is a duty for every Muslim according to their ability and capacity.

The Nation of Jihad

When the entire nation engages in jihad by contributing their wealth to the mujahideen in the cause of Allah, it can be described as a “Nation of Jihad.” This spreads the concept of jihad as a collective responsibility for the entire nation rather than being described as forsaking it, as mentioned in the hadith: “No people abandon Jihad in the way of Allah, except that Allah subjects them to humiliation that cannot be removed until they return to their religion.” (reported by At-Tabarani)

Islam has made the preservation of wealth one of the five objectives of Sharia, placing it in the fifth rank according to the consensus of scholars. Since the preservation of wealth is an objective, Satan may tempt some Muslims, frightening and discouraging them from participating in jihad with their wealth. Therefore, Quranic ayahs and prophetic hadiths command sincere Muslims to engage in jihad in the cause of Allah with their wealth. This is to dispel any misconception that spending for the sake of jihad contradicts the preservation of wealth. On the contrary, wealth is preserved by spending it on jihad for the sake of Allah. Allah rewards it in this world even before the Hereafter. As mentioned by the Prophet (peace be upon him), “Wealth is not diminished by giving (in charity).” (Reported by Muslim). This is regarding voluntary charity, so what about obligatory spending in jihad for the sake of Allah?!

The jurists have deduced from the Quran and Sunnah that jihad with wealth is obligatory for every Muslim to the extent of their ability and capacity. It is exempt in the absence of the ability, but it remains obligatory when the capability is present, even if it involves a small amount. The Quran emphasizes jihad with wealth: “Go forth, whether light or heavy, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah. That is better for you, if you only knew.” (At-Tawbah: 41), “The believers are only the ones who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then doubt not but strive with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah. It is those who are the truthful.” (Al-Hujuraat: 15).

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It safeguards the soul from perdition and corruption in this world and the Hereafter.

Abu Dawood reported in his Sunan with a chain of narrators that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Fight the disbelievers (polytheists) with your property, yourselves, and your tongues.” Ash-Shawkani commented on this hadith in his book, “Nayl al-Awtaar” (8/29), saying: “It contains evidence of the obligation of striving against the disbelievers with wealth, hands, and tongues. The Quranic command for jihad with oneself and wealth is confirmed in various ayahs, and the obligation is evident.”

Why did the Prophet prioritize jihad with wealth over jihad with oneself?

It is noteworthy that the Prophet (peace be upon him) prioritized jihad with wealth over jihad with oneself for several reasons:

Firstly, jihad requires equipment and supplies to be fought with, as stated in the Quran: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power.” (Al-Anfal: 60). This requires wealth.

Secondly, jihad with wealth is accessible to everyone, while not everyone can engage in physical combat.

Thirdly, the Sharia's objective is that when there is aggression against sanctities and occupation of lands, the entire Muslim community must engage in jihad for the sake of Allah. Some can engage in both physical and financial jihad; some can engage in physical jihad only; and some can contribute through financial jihad when they are unable to participate physically. Thus, jihad is achieved through a combination of physical and financial contributions, each according to their ability and capacity.

Jihad is an expression of a Muslim's belonging to their nation and achieving brotherhood for Allah’s sake.

Fourthly, the need for jihad with wealth is greater than the need for jihad with oneself. This is a miraculous aspect of the Quran, as in the past, jihad with oneself was more needed than wealth, as the fighter would engage with only their sword and shield. However, today, jihad requires more financial resources than people, considering the use of advanced weapons and technology. Yet, possessing such sophisticated weaponry, involving technology, requires more wealth than jihad with oneself.

Fifthly, jihad with wealth includes both men and women. Women can engage in financial jihad, and they are not deprived of the reward of jihad in the cause of Allah; even young children can participate with their money. Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, stated in his book “Al-Ikhtiyarat” (p. 530): “If someone is unable to engage in jihad physically but is capable of contributing financially, then it becomes obligatory for them to participate in jihad with their wealth. The affluent are obliged to spend for the sake of Allah. Thus, women are obligated to participate in jihad with their wealth if they have surplus, and the same goes for the wealth of minors if it is needed, similar to the obligations of spending and Zakat. However, if an enemy attacks, there is no room for disagreement, for it is obligatory to repel their harm to religion, lives, and sanctities by unanimous agreement.”

Jihad with Wealth as Self-Preservation Means

Jihad with wealth is a means of self-preservation, safeguarding oneself from ruin, loss, and corruption in both this world and the Hereafter. By engaging in jihad for the sake of Allah, one basically purchases their soul from Him. As Allah stated, “Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise.” (At-Tawbah: 111). The Quran also warns against withholding wealth from jihad, as it may lead to destruction, as mentioned in the ayah: “And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining].” (Al-Baqarah: 195).

When we give money to the mujahideen, it is solely for Allah, achieving the essence of servitude to Him alone.

Just as jihad with wealth expresses the Muslim's affiliation to the Islamic nation and the realization of the principle of brotherhood in Islam, being a member of the Muslim community means actively engaging with its issues through thought, awareness, advice, guidance, prayer, and financial support. It embodies the concept of the “Ummah” (nation) prioritizing the public interest over personal gain, contributing to the benefit of both the public and the private. Financial jihad safeguards oneself from being killed or falling into captivity when facing an invading enemy that seeks to occupy Muslim lands, for it does not settle until it occupies all Muslim lands, killing as many Muslims as possible. When a piece of Muslim territory is under threat, some engage in jihad with their lives, while others contribute through financial jihad, preserving the Muslim lands and safeguarding millions of lives in exchange for the sacrifice of a few martyrs and financial contributions in the cause of Allah.

Moreover, jihad for the sake of Allah is one of the greatest acts of worship. When we spend money on the mujahideen, we do so for Allah’s sake, who has commanded us to engage in this form of jihad. This encompasses the essence of servitude and obedience to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. This is the core of Islam, as exemplified by Allah's words about Ibrahim, peace be upon him: “When his Lord said to him, 'Submit' he said, 'I have submitted myself (in Islam) to the Lord of the worlds.'” (Al-Baqarah: 131).

Those who possess wealth but do not engage in jihad will find their wealth a burden in this life and a regret in the Hereafter. Therefore, purchase your souls from Allah through jihad with wealth in His cause.

It should be emphasized that contributing to the mujahideen with money is not merely a form of charity or donation; rather, it is a duty. For the mujahid who sacrifices himself and all he possesses, it is obligatory for his brethren to support him in another form of jihad—the jihad with wealth. The mujahid, devoting himself entirely to the forefront of Islam, necessitates the obligation of the nation to back him in what he cannot handle alone. This is a form of sharing roles in the jihad of the Ummah.


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Last modified on Monday, 12 February 2024 05:12