Answer: You have made an interesting
observation and I think that the answer to your question lies in having an
awareness of the whole theme of the Qur’ān.
Before a reference is made to this theme,
some other things need to be appreciated:
In my humble opinion. the religious history
of mankind can be divided in two distinct periods. In the first period,
which occupies the major portion of this history, the Almighty directly
interacted with the inhabitants of this earth by selecting certain
personalities as His representatives. To them, He revealed His guidance for
the benefit of mankind. They were deputed by Him to fully explain and
elucidate the basic truths.
Although these truths are inherently known by a heedful person through the
testimony of his conscience and intuition, the Merciful Allah supplemented
this arrangement by appointing His representatives from among mankind to
remind them of these truths. Over a period, which extends to several
thousand years, numerous personalities were chosen for this purpose. In
religious parlance, they are called Anbiyā (Prophets). The last of these
personalities was Muhammad (sws). With his demise in 632 AD, the institution
of Nabuwwat (Prophethood) was terminated and this first period of history
was brought to an end.
Today we are living in the second period of
history, which is to extend until the end of this world. In this period,
divine interaction through appointed representatives no longer takes place.
The first period of history has a certain
feature which is wholly and solely specific to it. The Qur’ān, a Book which
belongs to this first period, mentions this feature. As per this feature,
the judgement which is going to take place in the Hereafter is visually
substantiated in this period during the lifetime of certain Anbiyā
(Prophets) who are designated as Rusul (Messengers) of Allah.. Those who
deliberately deny the basic truths are punished in this world and promised a
severer torment in the Hereafter and those who accept and profess faith are
rewarded in this world and promised even greater reward in the Hereafter.
It was through Muhammad (sws) and his
Companions (rta) that the last time that this worldly judgement took place.
The Qur’ān is nothing but a record of this last judgement. The various
phases of Muhammad’s preaching mission are discussed in detail in this book
– which in fact is the real theme of the Qur’ān. These phases culminate in
the worldly retribution of Muhammad’s addressees.
If this background is kept in mind, the
conclusion one may reach is that the Qur’ān is not a manual of Jihād; rather
it is a manual of Muhammad’s preaching mission which culminates in divine
retribution of his addressees in this world.