The concept of Jihad according to Dr. Jamal Badawi

In a 5-minut video on youtube, Dr. Jamal Badawi explains the concept Jihad as he sees it. The assumption is that this is the meaning of Jihad in Islam. This article is an analysis of his ideas.

Video link: https:


Content of the video

According to Jamal Badawi, there are 3 basic concepts of Jihad: Individual Jihad, Social Jihad, and Jihad in the battlefield. He cites Qur’anic verses for the 3 Jihad concepts:

1. Individual Jihad: Qur’an 22:77,
2. Social Charity and sharing truth Jihad: Qur’an 49:15, 25:52

3. Battlefield and liberation Jihad: 2:190-193,60:8-9

Let us take the Qur’anic verses and ascertain how they are understood in Islam. I used the following link to obtain Jalalyn tafsir for the related Qur’anic verses. The interested reader is encouraged to investigate the accuracy of any claim I make in this article:

1. Individual Jihad in Qur’an 22:77

Here is the verse itself in Arabic with Jalalyn tafsir below it:

{ يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ٱرْكَعُواْ وَٱسْجُدُواْ وَاعْبُدُواْ رَبَّكُمْ وَٱفْعَلُواْ ٱلْخَيْرَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ }

O you who believe, bow down and prostrate yourselves, in other words, perform prayer, and worship your Lord, affirm His Oneness, and do good, such as [showing] kindness to kin and [the adoption of] noble traits, that perhaps you may be prosperous, [that perhaps] you may secure everlasting life in Paradise.

I included the Qur’anic verse in Arabic on purpose. The reader can see that the word “Jihad” or any of its derivatives do not exist in that verse. The above verse is not related to Jihad at all, regardless of how Dr. Badawi understands Jihad.

2. Social charity and sharing truth Jihad in Qur’an 49:15 and 25:52

Let us look at the verses in Arabic and what they mean using Jalalyn tafsir:

Qur’an 49:15

The [true] believers, that is, those who are true in their [affirmation of] faith — as He makes explicit in what follows — are only those who believe in God and His Messenger, and then have not doubted, they have not been uncertain of [their] faith, and who strive with their wealth and their souls for the cause of God, hence their striving manifests the sincerity of their faith. It is they who are sincere, in their faith, not those who say, ‘We believe’, and from whom all that has been forthcoming is their submission [to the religion].

Indeed the Arabic word “Jahido” (strive with money and self) does exist in the Arabic text. The verse does require jihad with money and soul for the cause of Allah. The verse itself does not give the how and the when and why to wage Jihad.

Let us see Qur’an 25:52 in Jalalyn tafsir:

So do not obey the disbelievers, in their desires, but struggle against them therewith, that is, through [adherence to] the Qur’ān, with a great endeavour.

Indeed, this verse speaks about using the Qur’an for jihad. The elements of such Jihad in this case are not explained as the verse is too short. I suspect that Muhammad was so impressed with the linguistic eloquence of his Qur’an and thought that such eloquence will convince anyone that Islam is true.

3. Battlefield and liberation Jihad in Qur’an 2:190-193,60:8-9

Let us investigate those verses using Jalalyn tafsir.

Qur’an 2:190

After the Prophet (s) was prevented from [visiting] the House in the year of the battle of Hudaybiyya, he made a pact with the disbelievers that he would be allowed to return the following year, at which time they would vacate Mecca for three days. Having prepared to depart for the Visitation [‘umra], [he and] the believers were concerned that Quraysh would not keep to the agreement and instigate fighting. The Muslims were averse to becoming engaged in fighting while in a state of pilgrimage inviolability in the Sacred Enclosure [al-haram] and during the sacred months, and so the following was revealed: And fight in the way of God, to elevate His religion, with those who fight against you, the disbelievers, but aggress not, against them by initiating the fighting; God loves not the aggressors, the ones that overstep the bounds which God has set for them: this stipulation was abrogated by the verse of barā’a, ‘immunity’ [Q. 9:1], or by His saying [below]

Note that the above verse was abrogated by a later verse (see underlined sentence)

Qur’an 2:191

And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you, that is, from Mecca, and this was done after the Conquest of Mecca; sedition, their idolatry, is more grievous, more serious, than slaying, them in the Sacred Enclosure or while in a state of pilgrimage inviolability, the thing that you greatly feared. But fight them not by the Sacred Mosque, that is, in the Sacred Enclosure, until they should fight you there; then if they fight you, there, slay them, there (a variant reading drops the alif in the three verbs [sc. wa-lā taqtilūhum, hattā yaqtulūkum, fa-in qatalūkum, so that the sense is ‘slaying’ in all three, and not just ‘fighting’]) — such, killing and expulsion, is the requital of disbelievers.

Qur’an 2:192

But if they desist, from unbelief and become Muslims, surely God is Forgiving, Merciful, to them.

Qur’an 2:193

Fight them till there is no sedition, no idolatry, and the religion, all worship, is for God, alone and none are worshipped apart from Him; then if they desist, from idolatry, do not aggress against them. This is indicated by the following words, there shall be no enmity, no aggression through slaying or otherwise, save against evildoers. Those that desist, however, are not evildoers and should not be shown any enmity.

I have underlined the abrogation of preventing initiating fighting against non-Muslims in verse 190 above. The reason for that is that Muhammad had already conquered Mecca and was in a strong position to prevent any non-Muslim from visiting the Ka’ba. What happened is that Muhammad broke his peace treaty with non-Muslims and gave them a set period to either become Muslims or be put to the sword. This is not defensive war by any means. Here is the abrogating verse in Jalyn tafsir:

Qur’an 9:1

This is: A declaration of immunity from God and His Messenger to, reach, the idolaters with whom you made a pact, a pact for an indefinite period of time, or one for [a period of] less than, or more than, four months; the annulment of the pact shall be as God mentions in His saying

Let us investigate Qur’an 60:8-9 as mentioned in Jalalyn tafsir:

Qur’an 60:8

God does not forbid you in regard to those who did not wage war against you, from among the disbelievers, on account of religion and did not expel you from your homes, that you should treat them kindly (an tabarrūhum is an inclusive substitution for alladhīna, ‘those who’) and deal with them justly: this was [revealed] before the command to struggle against them. Assuredly God loves the just.

Note that the above verse was abrogated (see underlined statement).

Qur’an 60:9

God only forbids you in regard to those who waged war against you on account of religion and expelled you from your homes and supported [others] in your expulsion, that you should make friends with them (an tawallawhum is an inclusive substitution for alladhīna, ‘those who’). And whoever makes friends with them, those — they are the wrongdoers.
According to Jalalyn, the above verse is preventing Muslims from befriending non-Muslims.


It is apparent that Dr. Jamal Badawi used abrogated verses in the Qur’an to impose a Jihad meaning that is strictly his regarding Jihad in the battlefield (mainly Qur’an 2:190-193,60:8-9). Badawi also imposed his Jihad understanding on Qur’anic verse 22:77. Simply put, that verse is not related to Jihad. The concept of Jihad does not exist in that verse.

I find it highly unlikely that Dr. Badawi did not know that he is fooling his audience using abrogated verses to give a defensive view of Jihad in the battlefield. The same applies when he imposed his own concept of Jihad on other verses that do not imply any Jihad concept. He is considered an Islamic scholar. I consider myself an honest researcher of Islam, and try to reach the truth about things I am studying. I do not impose my own understanding on Islamic concepts. I try to see objectively what Qur’an and Hadith say about a topic, and then report my analysis and research findings. It does not help anyone to lie about Islamic concepts, especially in the west. It is regrettable that Dr. Badawi lies to western audience knowing fully well that he is lying. People who research Islam know the abrogated verses, so, why the lies?

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