Tuesday, June 21, 2005


When I say Jihad; the memory of 9/11 should pops up in everyone’s head because According to CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS & RESEARCH MINISTRY no author or date listed “The term "Jihad" Among Westerners often brings up images of Muslim terrorists killing people who disagree with them. Jihad is an emotionally charged word that is heralded by the Western news media in descriptions of Middle East activities.” However jihad is interpreted by Muslims differently. Jihad is an Arabic word whose root is Jahada which means “to strive” or “make effort” for a better way of life. Other nouns that are closely related are Juhd, Mujahid, and Ijtihad. The other meanings are strain, exertion, effort, and diligence. There are 3 levels of Jihad personal jihad, social jihad and physical jihad and I will discuss these in detail.
PERSONAL Jihad is the highest degree of Jihad in Islam. The purpose of personal jihad is to attain perfect faith. Personal jihad is when a person is making struggle against himself to submit to God/Allah and fight evil within one’s self to achieve higher moral standards. In personal jihad one has to try his best to control his ego, lust and selfishness. Taking care of the needy and homeless are a form of personal jihad. In personal Jihad one is to sacrifice his time money, knowledge, wisdom, and energy to please God, and make people live in peace and harmony among themselves. One has to be humble and friendly to all, irrespective of color, nationality, ethnicity, background, gender, language, or religion. The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad(S) said:
"... the mujahid (one who carries out jihad) is he who strives against himself for the sake of obeying Allah, and the muhajir (one who emigrates) is he who abandons evil deeds and sin." In collection of Sahih Ibn Hibban #4862 NO DATE
SOCIAL Jihad is struggle against evil, injustice and oppression within one’s family and society. Conveying to others to worship one God alone the creator of the universe is a form of social jihad. Social jihad is a struggle to put Allah ahead of our loved ones, our wealth, our worldly ambitions and our own lives and tell others to do the same.
PHYSICAL Jihad is an armed struggle. Only under 2 conditions can physical jihad be carried out.
(if one is attacked) they are to fight back in self defense. Fighting in self defense includes fighting for one’s life for protection of the family, property and religion.
(if one is oppressed) An armed struggle against the oppressor tyrant must be carried out to promote justice. Physical Jihad is to free people form tyranny, fear, crime, and exploitation by oppressive systems and replace them with divine morality, peace and education.
Since The word Jihad is associated with Islam therefore to make the definition more clear let’s look at some of the hadith, sayings and actions of Muhammad PBUH which will show an Islamic perspective of the word jihad. Aisha, wife of the Muhammad(S) asked, "O Messenger of Allah, we see jihad as the best of deeds, so shouldn't we join it?" He replied, "But, the best of jihad is a perfect hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah)." (1st type)Sahih Al-Bukhari #2784 compiled the saying of the prophet. No specific Date listed.
At another occasion a man asked Muhammad(S):
"Should I join the jihad?" He asked, "Do you have parents?" The man said, "Yes!" The Prophet(S) said, "then strive by (serving) them!" Sahih Al-Bukhari #5972
Yet another man asked the Messenger of Allah:
"What kind of jihad is better?" He replied, "A word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler!" Sunan Al-Nasa'i #4209 (2nd and 3rd type)
Qur’an is the single most important authority in all of Islam. And there is nowhere in the Qur’an mentioned Jihad as War; Quital is the actual word that is used for fighting or warfare. During war there is law and rule to be applied. Noncombatants are not to be killed, nor is the enemy’s property to be destroyed. From an Islamic perspective according to the definition of jihad 9/11 was acts of terrorism not jihad because the terrorist were neither attacked nor oppressed. In fact in it is stated clearly in the Quran that Whoever kills one person as if he has killed human beings at large; and whoever saves one life is as if he has saved the lives all mankind.
In conclusion, Jihad in Islam is Fighting evil, wrongdoing and injustice with all one’s power by one’s hand (physical jihad), with one’s tongue, (social jihad) or at least with one’s heart (personal jihad). True Jihad is to command right and forbid wrong.


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