What is the meaning of ‘striving in His cause’ in the Qur’anic verse?

CategoriesQur'an [156]

 Fatwa ID: 02795

Answered by: Maulana Imran Mughal


Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

Can you briefly comment on this verse of the Qur'an and explain what it means?

قُلۡ اِنۡ کَانَ اٰبَآؤُکُمۡ وَ اَبۡنَآؤُکُمۡ وَ اِخۡوَانُکُمۡ وَ اَزۡوَاجُکُمۡ وَ عَشِیۡرَتُکُمۡ وَ اَمۡوَالُ ۣ اقۡتَرَفۡتُمُوۡہَا وَ تِجَارَۃٌ تَخۡشَوۡنَ کَسَادَہَا وَ مَسٰکِنُ تَرۡضَوۡنَہَاۤ اَحَبَّ اِلَیۡکُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ وَ رَسُوۡلِہٖ وَ جِہَادٍ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِہٖ فَتَرَبَّصُوۡا حَتّٰی یَاۡتِیَ اللّٰہُ بِاَمۡرِہٖ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الۡفٰسِقِیۡنَ

Say, if your fathers, and your sons, and your brethren, and your wives, and your kinsfolk, and the wealth you have acquired, and the trade whose dullness you fear, and the dwellings which you love are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His cause, then wait until Allah comes with His judgment; and Allah guides not the disobedient people.

What does striving in His cause mean in this verse, I am assuming it means jihad and is there any information when this verse was revealed, and why? What do the Musafireen say about this verse?


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

This verse was revealed after the Hijrah where all Muslims were commanded to relocate to the safe city of Madinah for religion and their lives, signifying a detachment from those disbelievers and disbelief altogether.

Mufti Shafi writes:

“This verse of Surah al-Tawbah was revealed essentially about people who did not migrate from Makkah at the time migration was made obligatory for them. Their love for family and property had stopped them from carrying out their obligation to migrate. In their case, Allah Almighty asked the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) to tell them what appears in the verse cited above.”[1]

Imam Qurtubi explains that when Hijrah was commanded upon all believers some hastened towards it, while others refused to migrate, and the family members of others would say to them: “By Allah do not go, for we will be lost without you,” and so they had sympathy for them and remained. During this incident, the verse was revealed: “O you who have believed, do not take your fathers or your brothers as allies if they have preferred disbelief over belief.”[2] Then regarding those who remained behind the verse was revealed “Say, [O Muhammad], "If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives…”[3]

Imam Fakhruddeen Ar-Razi writes:

“Know that this verse is the answer to the first verse (of the surah), and that is because a group of believers asked about how is it possible to disassociate themselves from the disbelievers completely, (keeping in mind) this disassociation will break our ties with our fathers, brothers and families and will definitely cause destruction to our businesses, wealth and houses. Then Allah explained that it is compulsory to undergo all these harms so that the deen will remain sound, and He mentions that if all these worldly affairs are more important to you than the obedience of Allah and His messenger and striving in the path of Allah, then await with what you love (the worldly affairs) until Allah comes with His command.”[4]

“Striving in His cause” does refer to Jihad as the scholars of tafsir have explained.


Only Allah Ta’ala knows best


Written by Maulana Imran Mughal

Checked and approved by Ustadha Sabrina

Darul Ifta Birmingham



[1] Mufti Shafi Uthmani, Ma’ariful Quran, trans. Muhammad Shamim (Karachi: Maktaba Darul Ulum), 4:337.

[2] Quran, 9:23.

[3] Imam Qurutbi, Al-Jami Li Ahkam al-Quran (Beirut: Al-Maktabah al-Asriyyah,2016), 4:322.

[4] Fakhruddeen Ar-Razi, At-Tafsir al-Kabir (Beirut: DKI, 2013), 16:16. 


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