JIHAD: “Strive Against The Disbelievers…” – Surah 25:52

JIHAD: “Strive Against The Disbelievers…” – Surah 25:52

Mohamad Mostafa Nassar



This verse was revealed in Makkah:

“It appears from its style and subject matter that, like Surah Al- Mu’minun, it was also revealed during the third stage of Prophethood at Makkah. Ibn Jarir and Imam Razi have cited a tradition of Dahhak bin Muzahim that this Surah was revealed eight years before Surah An Nisa. This also confirms our opinion as to its period of revelation. (Ibn Jarir, volume 19, page 28-30, and Tafsir Kabir, volume 6, page 358). (Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an – The Meaning of the Qur’an – Online Source)

Analysing Verse

“So do not obey the disbelievers, and strive against them with the Qur’an a great striving.” – Quran 25:52

25:52 – The striving (jihad) here is ordering the believers to go out and bring people to Islam by preaching the message of the Quran (Tafsir Ibn Kathir).

Related Article: ‘On Quran 25:52


Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah:

“And this is a Makkan Surah in which he ordered him to make Jihad by proclaiming (the truth). …” [1]

Shaykh Ashiq Ilahi Madni:

“The disbelievers left no stone unturned to oppose the Holy Prophet from every front. However, Allah advises him not to falter in the least, but tells him that he should ‘not follow the disbelievers and staunchly oppose them with it (i.e., with the Quran).” [2]

In The Shade Of The Qur’an- Sayyid Qutb:

“Jihad by Means Of The Qur’an …
‘Had We so willed, We could have sent a warner to ever city.’ (Verse 51) Such a course would have divided the task and made it easier to carry out. God, however, chose one of His servants, the last of His Messengers, and required him to address all mankind, so as to give them the same message which remains free from local variations. God also gave His messenger the Qur’an, so as to make it the address he drove home to them: ‘Do not obey the unbelievers, but strive vigorously against them with this Qur’an.’ (verse 52)

This Qur’an has great power and influence. It is irresistible. When God’s Messenger addressed the Arabs with it, it should their hearts and consciences. They tried hard to counter its effects, employing every means at their disposal, but all their efforts were useless. The Quraysh elders used to say to their people: ‘Do not listen to this Qur’an, but rather frivolously about it, so that you might gain the upper hand.’ (41:26)

This betrayed their profound fear that the Qur’an would touch their own hearts and the hearts of their followers and that they would embrace Islam. They were aware that it took only the reading of a couple of verses, or perhaps a Surah or two, by Muhammad, and listeners were so affected they accepted his message. To them, it seemed like the Qur’an had a magic effect on people.

The elders of the Quraysh were themselves touched by the power of the Qur’an. It was only because they were keenly aware of this profound effect that they resorted to such tactics, warning their people against listening to it and encouraging them to take it frivolously. Indeed, their statement is indicative of how worried they were about the effect of the Qur’an.” [3]

Scholar Abdullah Yusuf Ali:

“3110 The distribution of Allah’s Signs being universal, the Prophet of Allah pays no heed to carping critics who reject Faith. He wages the biggest Jihad of all, with the weapon of Allah’s REVELATION. (R).” [4]

Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi:

“68. i.e., in acknowledgement of this unique honour, O Prophet!
69. (by relaxing in the work of preaching).
70. (in the future as thou hast striven hitherto).
71. i.e., with the weapons of the Qur’an.
72. i.e., contend with the disbelievers, with the arguments supplied by the Qur’an, to the utmost of thy ability. … properly signifies the using, or exerting one’s utmost power, efforts, endeavours, or ability, in contending with an object of disapprobation.’ (LL) [5]

Reverend E. M. Wherry Commentary:

(54) “Herewith, i.e., with the Quran. …” [6]


[1] Provisions for the Hereafter (Mukhtasar Zad Al-Ma’ad) by Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, page 245
[2] Illuminating Discourses on the Noble Quran – Tafseer Anwarul Bayan – By Shaykh Ashiq Ilahi Madni, volume 4, page 11
[3] In The Shade Of The Qur’an, Sayyid Qutb, volume 12, page 329 – 330
[4] The Meaning Of The Glorious Qur’an: Text, Translation And Commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, page 245
[5] Tafsir -Ul- Qur’an: Translation And Commentary Of the Holy Qur’an [Published by Darul – Isaaht Urdu Bazar Karachi- 1 Pakistan – First Edition 1991] by Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi, volume 3, page 253
[6] A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran: Comprising Sale’s Translation and Preliminary Discourse – E. M. Wherry, volume 3, page 216