Could you please explain the concept of jihaad to a non-muslim, perhaps more extensive than in question 4080? Please have a look at the questions below.

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Dear Imam, As a non-muslim I have trouble understanding the concept of jihaad. You provided some clarification in question 4080 (the standard september 11 answer) but I still have some problems: You mentioned “competent and reliable ulama”. How should I measure the competence and reliability of ulama? Surely muslims don’t want to throw away their lives because some criminals call themselves “ulama” and abuse the faith of their fellow muslims by declaring jihad for their own ends? So, how do muslims determine whether a particular declaration of jihad by a certain ulama is to be taken seriously? You also said, the ulama has to “study the situation and substantiate the need for Jihaad with Shar’ee reasons”. Are there specific steps to be taken in order to study the situation? Does the target or victim (i.e. unbelievers like me) have the right to be heard in order to clear up any misunderstandings and defuse the situation? Maybe not me personally but a representative of the country about to declared The Enemy in the jihaad sense? And what are “Shar’ee” reasons? Can a jihaad be declared as over? If yes, must it be by the same ulama that declared it? If jihaad gets declared, are always *all* unbelievers targets, regardless of whether they attacked you or not? Can ulama make mistakes? If yes, how would muslims go about correcting false decisions of ulama? Lots of greetings and thanks! Volker


When Muslims are faced with any difficulty, they are advised to make
Mashwara (consult) with Allah-fearing people. Such people by virtue of their
piety will identify competent and reliable Ulama for guidance.

The Ulama are duty bound to guide the Ummah in all matters including Jihaad,
etc. according to Shari’ah.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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