Question 46: What is the degree of authenticity of the following Hadeeth: We have come back from the lesser to the greater Jihaad (fighting or striving in the Cause of Allaah). What does this Hadeeth mean especially that some people interpret it according to their own inclinations to turn Muslims away from Jihaad against the enemies of Islaam and direct them to mild Jihaad against oneself, money, desires and temptations?
Answer: According to this Hadeeth: We have come back from the lesser to the greater Jihaad. The lesser Jihaad means fighting against the Kaafirs (disbelievers), whereas the greater one means striving against oneself. This Hadeeth was not authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him). In fact, it is Da`eef (weak) according to the views of Hadeeth scholars… read more here.