A few years ago I was speaking at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and in the course of the talk explained that Hasan Al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Abdullah Azzam, cofounder of Al-Qaeda, among others, attacked the famous hadith in which Muhammad speaks of the “greater jihad” as a spiritual struggle. Al-Banna and Azzam pointed out that it was a weak hadith, and did not appear in any of the hadith collections that Muslims accept as reliable. I was talking about this in order to explain why it wasn’t enough for peaceful Muslims simply to quote this hadith, as they often do, as if simply quoting it were sufficient to establish that genuine Islam is peaceful and the terrorists have hijacked the religion. They would have to go farther, and answer the argument that Al-Banna and Azzam advanced.
A student spoke up to say, “It’s in Bukhari.” I responded by saying that no, it wasn’t in Bukhari, that I had searched and searched Bukhari for it, and that it wasn’t in there. I told the group that if he could find it in Bukhari and email the citation, I would publicly retract. But of course he never did.
Anyway, here it is again, again attributed to Bukhari, the hadith collection Muslims consider most reliable — but tellingly, no citation is given.
Open invitation: can anyone substantiate that this statement is actually in Bukhari? I do not believe it is, and am inclined to think this just more deception, but Bukhari’s hadith comprises many, many volumes. So if you think it’s in there, give me a citation. Everyone up to and including Karen Armstrong cites this hadith, but never gives a citation. Let’s see one, please.
Did you know Jihad does NOT mean ‘Holy War’?
Almost everyone in the world today has heard the word Jihad, thanks to the media.This word has a very broad meaning and does not mean ‘Holy War’ as many people believe.
The meaning of the word Jihad is ‘Striving’.It applies to any sort of activity made by any person because of love of God.It covers every aspect of a muslim’s life. It is Jihad when a muslim is called upon to make an extra effort – for example, to get up before dawn in order to pray, to fast during Ramadan abstaining from all the things which would invalidate the fast.It is jihad when a person helps another, and goes out of their way to be a friend etc (the intention being to please God alone and not for anything else, if it is done with any other motive, it is NOT Jihad).For example, a person can lay down his life for his country without being religious at all – this is NOT Jihad.
It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) said: *”The most excellent jihad is that for the conquest of oneself.” The soul is tempted to do certain things which are prohibited(haraam) at times and a person who strives to eradicate such thoughts and seeks refuge with God is doing Jihad by controlling his/her desires.
*Hadith from Bukhari