Cowardice Vs. Courage

Since 2012-12-14

Real courage is stoutness of heart and constancy.

Whenever the Quran encourages Jihad and expresses approval of it, while rebuking those who flinch from it and shirk it, cowardice is always the culprit. For the well-being of mankind, be it religious or worldly, cannot be complete without courage and generosity. The All-Glorious has explained that when someone turns his back on Jihad, God puts another in his place to perform it [Quran 9:38-39, 47:38].[1]

In courage and generosity for God's sake the greater merit belongs to those who take the lead [Quran 57:10].[2] Courage does not reside in physical strength. A man may be physically strong yet faint at heart. Real courage is stoutness of heart and constancy. For fighting requires a body strong and fit for the task, but also a heart that is stout and skillful in battle. The commendable way to fight is with knowledge and understanding, not with the rash impetuosity or one who takes no thought and does not distinguish the laudable from the blameworthy. Therefore, the strong and valiant is he who controls himself when provoked to anger, and so does the right thing, whereas he who is carried away under provocation is neither courageous nor valiant.

 

 Compiled From: “Public Duties in Islam” - Ibn Taymiyah, pp. 105-106

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 [1] {O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to march forth in the Cause of Allah (i.e. Jihad) you cling heavily to the earth? Are you pleased with the life of this world rather than the Hereafter? But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter. (38) If you march not forth, He will punish you with a painful torment and will replace you by another people, and you cannot harm Him at all, and Allah is Able to do all things.} [At-Tawbah 9:38-39]

{Behold! You are those who are called to spend in the Cause of Allah, yet among you are some who are niggardly. And whoever is niggardly, it is only at the expense of his ownself. But Allah is Rich (Free of all wants), and you (mankind) are poor. And if you turn away (from Islam and the obedience of Allah), He will exchange you for some other people, and they will not be your likes.} [Muhammad 47:38]

[2] {And what is the matter with you that you spend not in the Cause of Allah? And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the conquering (of Makkah) (with those among you who did so later). Such are higher in degree than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to all, Allah has promised the best (reward). And Allah is All-Aware of what you do.}  [Al-Hadid 57:10]

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