Ajihad was a male human. He was the leader of the Varden for fifteen years following the death of Deynor. He was also the father of Nasuada and head of the Council of Elders. Ajihad was considered by many as the greatest leader of the Varden.
Little was known about Ajihad's past. He had once met Morzan (and thus was able to recognize Murtagh as Morzan's son), though the purpose of this meeting was unknown. However, it could be assumed that this was during the time he served Enduriel as the steward of his chief estate. He was a close friend of Brom, the Varden's founder. He became the Varden's leader after Deynor. Along with the Varden, he willingly supported Eragon as a Dragon Rider. He also encountered Durza and was thus able to put a scratch onto his blade.
Role in Eragon
He was the Varden's leader and a danger for the Broddring Empire. Ajihad met with Eragon personally. He also made the decision to imprison Murtagh until he allowed the Twins to probe his mind. He had a daughter called Nasuada, but her mother was unknown. However, her mother was mentioned silently with the simile 'she was as beautiful as the moon.'
Battle under Farthen Dûr
In the Battle under Farthen Dûr, Ajihad led a group of warriors in one of the three tunnels the Varden fought the Urgals in. In that battle he killed many Urgals. Ajihad was respected for his courage, as a lesser man may have been overcome by fear at the sight of just one Kull.
Role in Eldest
After the Battle under Farthen Dûr, Ajihad was returning from hunting down the last remaining Urgals when his scouting party was suddenly ambushed. Taken by surprise, Ajihad fought bravely, but was mortally wounded. Before he died, he gave Eragon the responsibility of ensuring the Varden did not fall into chaos.
Then peace be with you, Eragon Shadeslayer...— Ajihad's last words
Keeping his word, Eragon swore allegiance to Nasuada, Ajihad's rightful successor, as well as later accepted his role of Rider in the Varden.
Role in Inheritance
Ajihad, being dead, is not expected to appear in any future books. However, it was confirmed that part of his background will be revealed. Galbatorix revealed that he served Enduriel, one of the Forsworn. According to Galbatorix, Ajihad was given too much freedom. He was able to change his true name (it is hinted that this was due to Ajihad's family, presumably Nasuada) and thus escape his bonds. It was when he escaped that he almost killed Durza.
Ajihad was black and the dome of his head was shaved bare. He had a closely trimmed black beard that covered his chin and upper lip. He had a strong featured face and his eyes were grave and intelligent. His broad shoulders, as well as the way he bore himself with great dignity, gave off an intense, commanding air which was reinforced by his strong and confident voice. When Eragon first met him, he wore a red vest over a rich purple shirt.
These physical characteristics appear to be rare in Alagaësia and it is speculated that he was a member of a different race. It is possible that he and his daughter are from the Hadarac Desert, as they were a part of the Inapashunna, one of multiple Wandering Tribes whose people had the same physical characteristics: dark skin, almond eyes, and broad shoulders. To the people within the Broddring Empire, Ajihad was a shadowy figure waging a fierce war against King Galbatorix. He was said to be a master strategist and a brutal fighter.
- It is interesting to note that Ajihad's name bears resemblance to the Arabic word "jihad", meaning "to struggle in the way of God".
- It is shown that Ajihad is an extremely skilled fighter. He is able to slay many Urgals, an impressive statistic for a human. He also put a scratch on Durza's blade which suggests he dueled the Shade and lived, an experience where few live to tell the tale.
- Christopher Paolini has stated that he would like to write more about Ajihad's story.