Jihad of Clarification: Muslims’ Religious Duty in the Past, Present, and Future
By Mohammad Youssef
Jihad of clarification in early Islam
One of the forms of jihad that Islam advocated is the Jihad of the word. That is to explain and clarify the true meaning of Islam; its preaching and teachings. The new religion, though, has been targeted heavily with a whole set of fabrications, lies, and distortion.
Quraysh at the time has dedicated its efforts to this end. The Prophet has assigned a selected group of the talented Muslims to take the responsibility of clarifying Islam to non-Muslims, and this was one of the greatest missions at the time.
Part of this jihad has been linked to remarkable events and it was practiced by the greatest figures of Islam like the imams and leaders of the Muslim community.
Among the pioneers of this Jihad was Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] himself, and his son-in-law Imam Ali [AS]. They struggled hard to defend Islam and its teachings and to refute the allegations and distortion by presenting the true image of the religion.
Similarly, Sayyeda Zeinab [AS] performed a parallel role during the battle of Karbala. She clarified to the public the atrocities and horrible injustices perpetrated by Yazid Ibn Muawiya and the Umayyads as well.
Jihad of clarification in today’s Islam
Muslims since later times till recent days have practiced Jihad of clarification to present the genuine fact about their religion and to rebut the false and misleading arguments presented by the enemies of Islam.
Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] himself continued to be the target of Western propaganda; the unethical caricatures against him represent one example, another example was the book [Satanic Verses] written by Salman Rushdi which represented utterly a fierce campaign of lies and false stories against our great Prophet to undermine his status; however, no one has ever done a real systematic effort to bring this into a planned work, and no real coordination has taken place among Muslims in this regard.
Jihad of clarification as conceptualized by Imam Khamenei
Imam Sayyed Ali Husseini Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic republic of Iran, is a forerunner and a leading figure in this perspective. He was the first one to bring this kind of Jihad into real light. Imam Khamenei highlighted the necessity for all Muslims to practice clarification as a Jihadi process in their life.
No one before has been that successful in crystallizing the concept into a whole theory. More importantly, Imam Khamenei was able to transform the theory into a practical plan where all people from all walks of life could join and perform their share in this duty accordingly.
This reveals clearly the sensitivity of the issue and which vital role it could play in the life of the Ummah [Muslim nation].
A related book has been compiled from the different speeches of Imam Khamenei and is in the process of publication to hopefully be reachable soon.
Imam Khamenei has dedicated much of his speeches and sizable amount of his meetings with students, medical doctors, nurses, Ashura mourning reciters and even the air-force officers to talk about clarification. He considered it a very important and instant task to be practiced on spot. He gave a special attention to the social media workers and activists and invited them to vigorously engage in this front to present the truth about the ongoing developments for the people everywhere. Imam Khamenei further considered this as a religious duty that every capable Muslim should be requested to do and will be responsible for.