The Islamic Bulletin in San Francisco, CA, shares on its website the book Riyad-us-Saliheen (The Gardens of the Righteous) by Imam Al-Nawawi.
The book is a collection of reliable hadiths, Islamic morals, acts of worship, and manners, which are attributed to Muhammad. The hadiths in the book that was published on The Islamic Bulletin’s site includes modern commentary. The Islamic Bulletin stated that it publications are distributed free to members of the Islamic Center of San Francisco. Here are excerpts from the book:
“[Hadith number] 1820. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah(PBUH) said, “The Last Hour will not come until the Muslims fight against the Jews, until a Jew will hide himself behind a stone or a tree, and thestone or the tree will say: `O Muslim, there is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him,’ but Al-Gharqad tree will not say so, for it is the tree of the Jews.”[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
“Commentary: Gharqad is a thorny plant which is well-known in the area of Palestine. Allah can bestow the power of speech to whatever thing He likes. When Allah wills, He will give mastery to the Muslims. He will help them even by means of plants and stones which will assist the Muslims against the Jews by informing them about the whereabouts of the Jews. The Jews have predominance over the Muslims in spite of the fact that they are a minority. But according to this true narration, the situation will definitely change before the Day of Resurrection, and the Muslims will dominate the Jews. Allah is the Master and Rubb of everything.”
“[Hadith number] 390. ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “I have been commanded (by Allah) to fight people until they testify that there is no true god except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform Salat and pay Zakat. If they do so, they will have protection of their blood and property from me except when justified by Islam, and then account is left to Allah”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith brings out the following three points:
I. The objective of Jihad. This objective warrants that one must struggle against Kufr (disbelief) and Shirk (polytheism) and the worship of falsehood in all its forms. Jihad has to continue until this objective is achieved. This contention is supported by a Hadith, to the effect that Jihad will continue till the Day of Resurrection. In this Hadith the word (An-Nas) translated above as “people” stands for the polytheists and idolaters. The reason being that other Nasus (p1. of Nass, meaning ‘text’) confirm the exemption of Ahl-ul-Kitab (people of the Scriptures) from it subject to the condition that they agree to pay Jizyah (dues imposed by Islam on the people of the Book living under the protection of an Islamic state) and submit to the Muslim rule. The Arab pagans have only the choice to either embrace Islam or face war. In the latter case, it is incumbent on the Mulsims to wage Jihad against them to wipe out Kufr and Shirk and raise the banner of Tauhid everywhere.
This Hadith strongly refutes the people who distort the Islamic concept of Jihad and hold that Islam preaches defensive war only. It is an apologetic approach because defensive war has to be fought in any case by every nation and country. Thus, it is a compulsion and needs no justification. The real distinction of Islam lies in its enjoining Muslims to wage war for upholding the truth beside fighting for their own defense. The domination of Kufr, Shirk and falsehood is darkness, heresy and tyranny, and the objective of Islam is to purge the world of all these evils. It aims at liberating man from the worship of man, set them on the path of worship of Allah, and to provide a just and equitable society to mankind. Wherever in the world there is tyranny, ignorance and heresy, Muslims are bound to fight such evils and finish them by means of Jihad.