In the response to this issue, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the prominent Muslim scholar, states the following:
“Let us analyze all these points:
Firstly, Jihad in the Cause of Allah is not ordinary war, but that which goes with special intention, and for a special cause. Jihad means striving in the Cause of Allah, to defend His religion, and to face His enemies, not His servants.
When the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was asked about a man who fought with aim of taking revenge for his people, and another man who fought in order to be held in high esteem by people (to be regarded brave), and the third man who fought in order to amass wealth; which one is rewardable by Almighty Allah? He (the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “He who fights to “raise” the Word of Allah (Islamic monotheism), is regarded as the one who strives in Allah’s path.”
In the light of the aforementioned, we Muslims must not be enticed by worldly things; our deeds should be purely for Allah’s Sake. We should go through stages of spiritual discipline, and be educated Islamically, so that we purify the religion of Allah and Allah will in return purify us for His religion.
Secondly, the worldly reward or gain which a (Mujahid) gains is victory and ability to succeed in life. Pious believers are the people who benefit from this worldly reward; they deserve it for their striving in the Cause of Allah, regardless of what they might lose. Theirs is the tremendous reward. This category of people are mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an as follows:
“Verily, Allah will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty. Those (Muslim rulers) who, if we give them power in the land, (they) enjoin Iqamat As-Salah (i.e. to perform the five compulsory congregational Salah (prayers) (the males in the Mosques), to pay Zakah and they enjoin Al-Ma`ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism and all that Islam has forbidden)”. (Al-Hajj, 40-41)
“Allah has promised those among you who believe and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the land, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the Authority to practice their religion which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam) and He will surely, give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me”. (An-Nur, 55)
Thirdly, it is a Divine Decree that Allah does not grant power to people except after they have suffered tribulations, calamities, and hardship. Allah does this in order to put their sincerity to test, and to distinguish between good and evil.
This is a type of trial man faces in life; and passing that test brings him closer to Allah. This is a type of lesson which messengers of Allah had to learn, and it’s also a lesson for those who strive for a cause throughout the ages.
Imam Ash-Shafi`i was asked about tribulation and success; which one is the best? He answered: can one succeed without facing tribulation? Allah tested Prophet Joseph, peace and blessings be upon him, then made him survive these tribulations; He also elevated his position and fulfilled His promise, as destined. Allah says: “Thus did We give full authority to (Yûsuf) Joseph in the land; to take possession therein, when or where he likes.” (Yûsuf, 56)
Easy success and those worldly gains attained without “sweat” do not last. But the struggle undertaken by the servants of Allah, their distress, grief, patience and endurance will surely be rewarded, and they will be rescued from their anxiety and will surely gain victory in the end.”