What Is Jihad In Islam? (Correct answer)

Jihad (exertion or struggle) is sometimes referred to as the Sixth Pillar of Islam. Throughout history, (as in other faiths) sacred scripture has been used and abused, interpreted and misinterpreted, to justify resistance and liberation struggles, extremism and terrorism, holy and unholy wars.

What is meaning of jihad in Islam?

jihad, (Arabic: “ struggle” or “effort” ) also spelled jehad, in Islam, a meritorious struggle or effort.

What are the 3 types of jihad?

The Koran describes three types of jihad (struggles), and zero of them mean or permit terrorism. These are: the jihad against yourself, the jihad against Satan — which are called the greater jihads — and the jihad against an open enemy — known as the lesser jihad.

What exactly is jihad?

Jihad, according to Islamic law The Arabic term jihad literally means a “struggle” or “striving.” This term appears in the Quran in different contexts and can include various forms of nonviolent struggles: for instance, the struggle to become a better person.

What is written in Quran about jihad?

The verses of the Qur’an that mention the importance of jihad among others, can be found in Al-Baqarah (2) verse 218, which means: ” Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah – those expect the mercy of Allah. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful “.

Is jihad a holy war?

Jihad may also involve fighting against oppressors and aggressors who commit injustice. It is not “holy war” in the way a crusade would be considered a holy war, and while Islam allows and even encourages proselytizing, it forbids forced conversion.

Who can declare jihad?

According to Shia tradition, mujtahids – the most senior religious scholars – have the authority to declare a “defensive” jihad. But only the 12th or “hidden” Imam – who Shia believe did not die when he disappeared 1,100 years ago – can declare an “offensive” jihad.

Who wrote the Quran?

The Prophet Muhammad disseminated the Koran in a piecemeal and gradual manner from AD610 to 632, the year in which he passed away. The evidence indicates that he recited the text and scribes wrote down what they heard.

What is jihad akbar?

meaning of a moral endeavour directed towards one’s own improvement or self- elevation on a moral plane which Muslim jurists of eminence have been quoted. as calling Jihad-e-Akbar or bigger jihad.

When was the first jihad?

From 656 to 750 Muslims fought three dynastic-religious civil wars, which led to the emergence of a formal ideology of jihad, appearing first in a treatise on the subject in the late 8th century.

What’s a synonym for jihad?

synonyms: jehad. type of: nisus, pains, strain, striving. an effortful attempt to attain a goal. a holy war waged by Muslims against infidels. synonyms: international jihad, jehad.

When did jihad become obligatory?

The law of jihad becomes operative when this cause of obligation exists, all the conditions are fulfilled and there is no legal obstacle; so that jihad becomes obligatory only in extreme conditions, when a threat to Islam or Muslims cannot be neutralized except by the use of force.

Why is jihad considered the sixth pillar?

However, the Kharijites upheld the belief that Jihad may be considered the sixth pillar of Islam. In their interpretation, jihad could be an individual’s internal struggle against baser instincts, the struggle to build a good Muslim society, or a war for the faith against unbelievers.

What Does “Jihad” Really Mean to Muslims?

Friday marks the commencement of the five-day Hajj journey for over 2 million Muslims from around the world. During the pilgrimage, they will circle Islam’s holiest shrine, the cube-shaped Kaaba in Mecca, and participate in several ceremonies designed to foster greater humility and togetherness among Muslims. This year’s hajj takes place during a period of rising sectarian and political tensions in the Persian Gulf, as well as increased threats and attacks against Muslim minority in countries such as China, Myanmar, India, New Zealand, and others.


Islam believes it provides an opportunity to cleanse one’s soul of past misdeeds and begin again before God via this physically difficult trek.

The fact is that many individuals use canes or crutches to travel the routes, despite the physical difficulties they face.

  • Others risk their entire lives in order to complete the trip.
  • Muslims connect the ceremonies of hajj back to the prophets Ibrahim and Ismail, or Abraham and Ishmael, as they are known in the Bible, since they travel along a route that the Prophet Muhammad previously traveled.
  • However, God intervened and spared Ibrahim’s son, preventing him from complying with the orders.
  • It is also said that Hagar, Ibrahim’s wife, rushed between two hills seven times in quest of water for her dying kid, and that this is where pilgrims will be walking.
  • Thousands of years ago, according to Islamic belief, Ibrahim and Ismail constructed the Kaaba as a place of monotheistic devotion.
  • Prior to Islam, the Kaaba was used to hold pagan idols that were worshipped by local tribes and was hence considered sacred.

The Kaaba is the focal point of the five daily prayers for observant Muslims across the world.

“Ihram” refers to a condition of spiritual purity in which pilgrims are encouraged to abandon materialistic symbols, forego worldly pleasures, and place greater emphasis on the inner self rather than outer appearances.

The white clothing are not allowed to have any stitching on them, which is intended to stress the equality of all Muslims while also preventing wealthy pilgrims from distinguishing themselves by wearing more complex outfits.

During the hajj, it is also prohibited for pilgrims to dispute, fight, or lose their tempers.


Islam requires Muslims to circumambulate the Kaaba seven times counter-clockwise while making supplications to God, then walk between the two hills traversed by Hagar in order to complete their umrah.

Many pilgrims stop at Medina, Saudi Arabia, on their way to Mecca, where the Prophet Muhammad is buried and where he constructed the world’s first mosque, to pay their respects.

After spending the previous night in the vast valley of Mina, the pilgrims travel to Mount Arafat, approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Mecca, for their final day of HAJJ.

He reminded his followers of the rights of women, as well as the fact that every Muslim’s life and property is revered and protected.

Walking and taking public transportation are popular options.

The pebbles would be used in a symbolic stoning of the demon back in Mina.

Hair is clipped from the ends of men’s and women’s heads in a symbolic gesture to symbolize regeneration.

Muslims slaughter cattle and donate the meat to the impoverished during the three-day Eid celebration. – On Twitter, you can find Aya Batrawy at www.twitter.com/ayaelb

Which Jihad?

When it comes to non-believers, the notion of jihad as a battle for personal growth is a foreign concept. Nonetheless, Noha Aboulmagd-Forster, an Arabic professor at the University of Chicago’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, points out that this may be the most frequent understanding of the phrase in circulation. “One of the most frequently referenced quotes from the Muslim’man on the street’ is that the most difficult jihad is the one of the soul,” she explained. “The most serious problem is not with your adversary, but with yourself.” While internal battle is one interpretation of jihad, it appears that many others use the term to indicate combat with exterior foes.

“From a religious standpoint, jihad is the exertion of maximum effort in protecting and defending justice,” said Sheikh Jaafar Idris, a representative of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington.

He believes that jihad with words is more effective than jihad with the sword.

“When it was first stated in the Qur’an, Muslims were powerless and even persecuted, indicating that it was a very early period in the history of Islam.

Jihad of the Sword

Nonetheless, it is the jihad of the sword that is attracting the most amount of international attention. Initially, says Idris, the notion came about when early Muslims were forced from their homeland by enemies and were granted permission, and eventually an order, by God to battle those foes. They were not granted license to fight non-believers or those who abandoned the religion, Idris emphasizes; only those who transgressed against them were given permission. Idris refers to the following passages in his speech: “As far as those (non-Muslims) who did not fight you because of your faith and did not push you out of your land are concerned, God does not bar you from being kind to them and treating them fairly.

Any of you who become friends with them (or who become their allies) are considered transgressors.” Even this type of armed jihad, on the other hand, is not always a battle of religions.

“It is fairly evident that if there is any alternative way to resolve a conflict without resorting to violence, it is favored no matter what,” Hathout continues.

Responding to calls for jihad, warriors flee their home countries to fight in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other parts of the world, including Europe.

There are a number of examples, including Al-Jihad (also known as Islamist militants or Egyptian Islamic Jihad), which was responsible for the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and is committed to the overthrow and establishment of an Islamic state, as well as terrorist attacks against American and Israeli interests in the region.

  • Historically, extreme elements in Islam, as well as in other religions, have utilized theological ideas to excuse their conduct, as Hathout points out.
  • ‘It is plainly stated, in plain Arabic language, that you must only fight those who fight,’ Hathout explained.
  • And you don’t go above and above, you don’t break the law.
  • I was taken aback by the disparity between what the Koran says and what certain self-proclaimed experts say, as well as between what other Muslims believe.
  • Extremists in the Middle East who have their own objectives shorten passages that are discussing norms of engagement in a fight and use them out of context to legitimize their agendas, propagate hatred, and enlist resistance,” Hathout explained.

In the center, you have the massive Muslim population, which numbers more than a billion people and who, unlike Christians and Jews, do not think that they have a moral obligation to go and battle Christians and Jews,” says the author.

BBC – Religions – Islam: Jihad

Jihad literally translates as “battle or endeavor,” and it refers to much more than just holy warfare. Muslim scholars distinguish three types of battle when referring to the term Jihad:

  • The internal battle of a believer to carry out his or her Muslim beliefs as fully as possible
  • The fight for the establishment of a healthy Muslim society
  • Battle to defend Islam with force if necessary
  • Also known as “holy war.”
You might be interested:  What Do Christianity Islam And Judaism Have In Common? (Solution found)

Several modern scholars assert that the primary meaning of Jihad is the inward spiritual fight, and this is widely acknowledged by many Muslims, including myself. In Islamic scriptures, however, there are so many references to Jihad as a military fight that claiming that the understanding of Jihad as holy war is inaccurate would be unfounded.

Jihad and the Prophet

The larger Jihad, according to tradition, is the internal Jihad, which is also known as the greater Jihad. But other scholars believe that the statement in which the Prophet states this is from an untrustworthy source since it comes from an unreliable source. They believe that the use of Jihad against unholy waras is the most significant.

The internal Jihad

Prophet Muhammad is claimed to have referred to the internal Jihad as the bigger Jihad while speaking about the greater Jihad. Some scholars, however, believe that the Prophet’s statement in which he states this comes from a dubious source. Jihad against evil waras is more essential to them than anything else.

The five Pillars of Islam as Jihad

In this view, the five Pillars of Islam constitute a sort of Jihad, because they bring a Muslim closer to Allah as a result of their performance. Other methods in which a Muslim might participate in the ‘greater Jihad’ include the following:

  • Learning the Qur’an by heart or engaging in other religious study are both recommended. Being able to overcome negative emotions such as anger, greed, hate, pride, or malice
  • Putting an end to smoking
  • Cleaning the Mosque’s floor is a priority. Participating in activities organized by the Muslim community Engaged in the pursuit of social justice
  • The act of forgiving someone who has wronged them

The Greater Jihad controversy

In his sermons, the Prophet is claimed to have referred to internal Jihad as “the greater Jihad.” When the Prophet returned from a fight, he declared, “We have completed the minor jihad; now we are beginning the bigger jihad.” In his sermons, he stressed to his followers that battling an external adversary is the smaller jihad and fighting one’s own self is the bigger jihad (holy war). Some historians believe that this quotation is inaccurate in its historical context. They believe that the usage of the term jihad to imply ‘holy conflict’ is the more crucial.

Holy war

The belief in Islam allows (some argue even directs) a believer to fight military combat in order to protect Muslims, their faith, or their land when they are attacked. Islamic (shariah) law, on the other hand, establishes extremely severe guidelines for the conduct of such a conflict. Over the last few years, the most commonly used definition of Jihad has been “Holy War.” Furthermore, the term “Jihad” has a long history of being used to refer to a military campaign to advance Islam’s interests.

What can justify Jihad?

Many factors contribute to this, but the Qur’an makes it plain that self-defense is always the fundamental reason. Military Jihad is permissible for the following reasons:

  • Self-defense
  • Strengthening Islam
  • Ensuring that Muslims have the freedom to practice their religion
  • Affirmative action to protect Muslims from tyranny, which may involve overturning an oppressive regime. Taking revenge on an adversary who violates an oath
  • Putting a wrong right
  • Rectifying a situation.

What a Jihad is not

It is not jihad if the purpose is to do any of the following:

  • Forcing individuals to convert to Islam
  • Conquering other countries in order to colonize them Take possession of land for economic advantage
  • Disputes should be resolved. Demonstrate the authority of a leader

It is true that the Prophet was involved in military action on a number of times; nevertheless, these were fights for survival rather than conflicts for conquest, and they occurred during a period when violence between tribes was widespread.

In order to see this content, you must have Javascript enabled as well as Flash installed on your computer. For complete instructions, go to BBC Webwise.

The rules of Jihad

In recent years, the most commonly used definition of Jihad has been “Holy War.” In order to be considered valid, a military Jihad must adhere to a precise set of regulations.

  • The opponent must always be the one who initiates the battle. It is not necessary to fight in order to conquer territory. It has to be initiated by a religious leader
  • And It is necessary to fight in order to bring about good – something that Allah will approve of
  • Before resorting to military action, every other option for resolving the situation must be explored. It is not acceptable to slaughter innocent people. Neither should women, children, or the elderly be murdered or injured. Rape of women is strictly prohibited
  • In order to achieve justice, enemies must be dealt with fairly. Soldiers from the opposing side who are wounded must be handled in the same manner as one’s own soldiers. The battle must come to an end as soon as the adversary requests peace
  • It is not permissible to cause harm to property. Poisoning wells is strictly prohibited. Chemical or biological warfare would be a modern-day analogue.

The Qur’an on Jihad

There are several chapters in the Qur’an that discuss combat. Some of them are pro-peace, while others are zealous in their support for war. The Bible, which includes both Jewish and Christian scripture, demonstrates a comparable range of attitudes about violence. Fight in the path of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not engage in hostilities yourself at the outset. Lo! Allah does not have a soft spot for aggressors. 2:190 in the Qur’an Because they have been mistreated, people against whom war is declared are granted permission (to fight); and Allah, surely, is the most powerful of all who come to their rescue.

4:90 (Qur’an) But if your adversary is inclined toward peace, you should be inclined toward peace as well, and put your reliance in Allah, for He is the One who hears and knows all (all things).

So, what really is jihad?

Many people confuse the phrases jihad with terrorism, which is understandable. This is due in part to the fact that many authors use the term “jihadist” when discussing violent Muslim extremists who engage in violence. It is undeniable that such radicals have used the concept of jihad to excuse horrible crimes such as the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and more recent activities by the Islamic State organization (also known as ISIS). However, these activities have been fiercely denounced by a large number of Muslim clerics and intellectuals on the basis of Islamic principles.

Jihad, according to Islamic law

The Arabic word for “jihad” literally translates as “battle” or “effort.” This phrase appears in the Quran in a variety of settings and can refer to a wide range of peaceful efforts, such as the struggle to become a better individual. This falls under the genre of “jihad of the self,” which is a popular topic in Islamic devotional literature and is discussed in detail here. However, in the specific framework of Islamic law, jihad is often understood to refer to a violent conflict against foreigners.

It should come as no surprise that Muslim scholars have long argued when exactly war can be justified.

As a matter of fact, this concept of civilian immunity is so universally understood that it is even generally acknowledged by violent Muslim extremists.

When Osama bin Laden attempted to justify the attacks on September 11, 2001, he argued, among other things, that American civilians might be targeted since, he said, American soldiers had previously killed Muslim civilians in Afghanistan.

As I demonstrate in a recent book, al-Qurtubi, on the other hand, had the exact opposite view: civilians should never be targeted as a form of revenge under any circumstances. There are several reasons why it is vital not to confound the various views of jihad with Islamic terrorism.

What is jihadism?

After conducting an investigation, the BBC discovered that over 5,000 people died throughout the world in November because of attacks by al-Qaeda, its offshoots, and other groups that adhere to a similar philosophy, which is usually referred to as “jihadism,” according to the BBC.

What does jihad mean?

The term “jihad” is frequently used by Western politicians and the media, however it is frequently misconstrued. Effort or struggle are the words that come to mind while thinking about the term in Arabic. Among Muslims, it might refer to an individual’s personal struggle against baser tendencies, the effort to construct a healthy Muslim community, or a battle for the religion against nonbelievers.

What is the difference between jihadists and Islamists?

AP is the source of the image. Al-Shabab is fighting the Somali government and has been connected to a spate of assaults in neighboring Kenya, according to the image description. As early as the 1990s, and more commonly since the September 11th attacks, the term “jihadist” has been used to distinguish between violent and non-violent Sunni Islamists in Western academic circles. Islamists seek to reorganize government and society in line with Islamic law, often known as Sharia law, and to establish an Islamic state.

The majority of Muslims believe that jihad is not just a collective requirement (kifaya), but also an individual duty (ayn) that must be completed by every able Muslim, much as ritual prayer and fasting during Ramadan are required of all Muslims in times of threat from an enemy.

Instead, they employ delegitimizing terminology such as “deviants.”

Do all jihadists want the same thing?

AFP is the source of this image. Caption for the image In 2007, the late Doku Umarov issued a proclamation declaring the establishment of the Caucasus Emirate. Jihadists are united in their fundamental goals of spreading Islam and opposing threats to it, although their priorities might differ. According to a recent research conducted by Thomas Hegghammer of the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, there are five major objectives to be achieved:

  • The state’s social and political organization is being transformed. Among others, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and the former Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) fought an almost decade-long war with Algeria’s security forces with the goal of overthrowing the government and establishing an Islamic state
  • Establishing sovereignty over territory perceived to be occupied or dominated by non-Muslims. When it comes to Kashmir, the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (Soldiers of the Pure) is opposed to Indian control, while the Caucasus Emirate seeks to establish an Islamic state throughout the “Muslim lands” of the Russian Federation, while also defending the umma from external, non-Muslim threats. This includes both “local jihadists” who fight what they refer to as the “near enemy” (al-adou al-qarib) in confined areas – such as Arabs who traveled to Bosnia and Chechnya to defend local Muslims against non-Muslim armies – and “global jihadists” who target the “far enemy” (al-adou al-baid), which in most cases is the West – many of whom are affiliated with al- The use of weapons and bombs by vigilantes in Indonesia has progressed from using sticks and stones to assault individuals in the guise of protecting morals and preventing “deviance” to instilling fear in and marginalizing other Muslim sects. For decades, the militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (Soldiers of Jhangvi) has carried out brutal attacks on Pakistani Shia Muslims, whom they regard to be heretics who should be executed. As a result of sectarian strife, Iraq has also suffered.
You might be interested:  How Many Branches Of Islam Are There? (Perfect answer)

How do they justify violence?

AFP is the source of this image. Caption for the image Thousands of individuals have been slain by Boko Haram, the most of whom have been in Nigeria’s north-eastern region. Jihadists divide the world into two categories: the “realm of Islam” (dar al-Islam), which includes lands under Muslim rule where Sharia law is in effect, and the “realm of war” (dar al-harb), which includes lands not under Muslim rule but in which war in defense of the faith can be sanctioned under certain conditions.

Militant jihadists think that Muslim rulers and governments that have abandoned the precepts of Sharia are acting outside of dar al-Islam and are thus valid targets for assault.

Why are civilians killed?

AFP is the source of this image. According to the image description, Osama Bin Laden advocated for the targeting of both military and civilians in the United States. Al-Qaeda was not the first jihadist organization to attack people; nonetheless, it was the first to use violence against civilians on a scale that no other organization had before imagined. During the summer of 1998, Osama Bin Laden and the leaders of four Islamic militant organizations in Egypt, Pakistan, and Bangladesh issued a declaration of total war against the United States and its allies, calling for the targeting of both military and civilians.

However, according to the proclamation, killing them is a kind of retaliation for the deaths of Muslim citizens in the past.

Getty Images is the source of this image.

The deliberate targeting of Muslim civilians has proven to be more contentious.

Why is the US often the main target?

AP is the source of the image. Caption for the image According to jihadists, the United States should follow in the footsteps of the erstwhile Soviet Union. “The United States of America is occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbours, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples,” Osama Bin Laden declared in 1998.

This will result in the weakening of its grip on our territory while the collapse of one of its friends after another will follow.”

How big are the Islamic states they want to establish?

AP is the source of the image. In June, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi assumed the title of “caliph,” according to the image caption. Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan are only two examples of jihadist organizations that are attempting to build Islamic nations in their respective countries of origin. Another faction desires the establishment of a “caliphate,” which would be administered according to Sharia by God’s representative on Earth (the khalifa, or caliph), and would span many territories.

In a statement, the group’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, declared that the group would “liberate all occupied Muslim lands” and “reject any and all international treaties, agreements, and resolutions that give the infidels the right to seize Muslim lands,” including historic Palestine, Chechnya, and Kashmir.

ISIS terrorists have proclaimed the northern Syrian city of Raqqa as the “capital” of their caliphate, according to the image caption.

Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have likewise taken different ways to establishing Islamic governance.

Are there Shia jihadist groups?

While there are militant Shia Islamist organizations that are jihadist in origin, they are distinct from Sunni organizations in a number of ways. The mujtahids, who are the most senior religious teachers in Shia tradition, have the ability to launch a “defensive” jihad, according to the tradition. However, only the 12th Imam, often known as the “hidden” Imam – who Shia believe did not die when he vanished 1,100 years ago – has the authority to initiate a “offensive” war. In the centuries leading up to the Imam’s return, the vast majority of Shia religious leaders urged for political silence.

EPA is the source of the image.

Syria’s conflict has taken on a sectarian character over the past few years, with Iranian-backed Shia militias stepping up support for troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, who belongs to the heterodox Shiite Alawite sect of Islam.

Members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah organization who were slain in Syria were recognized as martyrs who died “while carrying out jihadist duty” by the organisation. As with the rise of IS across Iraq in 2014, a massive mobilization of Shia militias to defend holy sites accompanied the advance of IS.

Jihad in Islamic History

What exactly is jihad? Is it synonymous with violence, as many non-Muslims believe? Or, as some Muslims claim, does it imply a return to peace? The discussion over the origins and meaning of jihad is nothing less than a fight over the nature of Islam itself, given that it is strongly tied with the growth of the religion in its early stages. When Michael Bonner writesJihad in Islamic History, he is providing the first study in English to focus on the early history of jihad, which will give much-needed insight on the most current debates about jihad.

  1. Others define jihad as a spiritual quest that is peaceful, autonomous, and personal in nature.
  2. Jihad is a complex collection of concepts and behaviors that have evolved over time and continue to do so now, according to scholars.
  3. Jihad has frequently served as a constructive and innovative force, serving as a crucial component in the establishment of new Islamic civilizations and nations.
  4. As a result, while modern-day “jihadists” are, in some respects, continuing the “traditional” jihad tradition, they have also, in other ways, split utterly with it.

Contextualizing Jihad and Takfir in the Sunni Conceptual Framework

The concepts of jihad and takfir, the accusation of unbelief against a Muslim or non-Muslim, have elicited a range of reactions from many people in Western countries, where the concepts frequently make headlines and are presented without context to those who may not have had personal interactions with mainstream interpretations of Islam. The terms jihad and takfir have become synonymous in some circles in the United States and Europe, with “holy war” and the decapitation of “infidels” being used to describe them correspondingly.

  1. In addition to hindering the public’s comprehension of Islam as a varied religion, this mischaracterization also affects the United States’ understanding of terrorist threats inspired by particular and radical ideas of jihad and takfir in the context of national security.
  2. When it comes to Arabic, the word “jihad” may be translated as “to struggle” or to make a “determined effort,” and a Mujahid is someone who strives or participates in jihad.
  3. However, even in the Koran, where the connotation of jihad varies in tandem with the shifting sociopolitical circumstances in which Prophet Muhammad formed Islam, the essentially religious meanings of the word have distinct shades of meaning.
  4. Following the Prophet’s forced hijra (migration) from Mecca to Medina in 622 and the subsequent consolidation of his umma (community of believers), jihad took on an active character, committed to both defending and increasing the religion’s influence.
  5. As a result, concepts of jihad evolved to include both internal and external fights.
  6. There are several allusions to jihad in the hadith collection, which is significant.
  7. In the course of Islam’s spread under the Umayyad (661-750) and Abbasid (750-1258) dynasties, a notion of jihad as a type of warfare arose, which was associated with the dividing of the globe into Dar al-Islam (Abode of Islam) and Dar al-Harb (Abode of Harb) (Abode of War).
  8. Against this backdrop, jihad took on both aggressive and defensive aspects.
  9. It should be noted that Jihad did not entail conversion by coercion; the Koran explicitly declares that “there is no compulsion in religion.” Defensive jihad established the obligation of every Muslim to fight foreign attack as an individual responsibility.
  10. With the overthrow of the Abbasid Caliphate by the Mongolian commander Hulagu in 1258 and the subsequent conversion of the Mongolian aristocracy to Islam, jihad underwent further transformation, according to some scholars, into a sanction for rebellion against ostensibly Muslim regimes.

According to some scholars, Ibn Taymiyyah’s conclusion represents a schism in Islam’s views on when jihad is permissible; from the fourteenth century onward, whereas mainstream Islam continued to promote submission to political authority as a means of preventingfitna (strife) within the umma, dissident scholars sanctioned jihad against a corrupt ruler even within Dar al-Islam, according to others.

Summarizing, jihad in premodern times had variously been defined as a) an obligatory effort to defend and/or expand the Islamic homeland; b) an essential feature of dismantling corrupt government; and c) an effective self-regulatory means of promoting individual welfare, all depending on the context.

The Anti-Colonialism Jihad is a worldwide movement.

The earth—not just a portion of it, but the entire planet—is required by Islam, not because sovereignty over the earth should be wrested from one nation or several nations and vested in one particular nation, but because the entire mankind should benefit from the ideology and welfare program, or what would be more accurate to say from ‘Islam,’ which is the program of well-being for all humanity.

Djihad therefore evolved into an all-encompassing world revolution under this understanding of jihad.

Originally used to describe to pre-Islamic Arabia, it was redefined by Mawdudi to refer to any period or location in which the Islamic state had not yet been actualized.

As a result, Mawdudi’s jihad necessitated the use of all available methods and forces in order to bring about a worldwide all-encompassing revolution that would result in his vision of an Islamic world.

Those who reject Islam are referred to as non-believers by the author of Ar-Riddah bayn al-Ams wal-Yaum (Apostasy in the Past and the Present), who claims that even the Imami Ja’fari Shia, “despite their moderate views (relative to other sects of Shi’ism), are swimming in disbelief like white blood cells in blood or like fish in water.” Two Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb, would build on this view of jihad and its emphasis on the establishment of an Islamic state in the following decades.

  1. Sayyid Qutb and the Islamism of the Muslim Brotherhood are two examples of Sayyid Qutb’s Islamism.
  2. As a result, virtuous Muslims have a responsibility to bring God’s dominion (hakimiyah) over society to fruition.
  3. Qutb believed that the entire modern world was steeped in Jahiliyyahh.
  4. It imparts to man one of Allah’s most important traits, namely sovereignty, and elevates certain individuals to the position of lords over others.
  5. This argument from the middle of the twentieth century indicates a major shift from the long-established conventional concept of leadership.
  6. Qutb attacked the current leadership of the Arab world and rejected their claims to be the legitimate representatives of Islam or the legitimate representatives of political power.
  7. Milestones (ma’alim fi tariq), in particular, was a collection of essays by Qutb that reinterpreted ancient Islamic notions in order to support a violent takeover of the state.
  8. In fact, it is this wide conception of jihad that has influenced the majority of following extremist Sunni groups as well as a number of contemporary religiously motivated movements for political change.
  9. “There is no doubt that the idols of this world can only be brought to disappear via the might of the sword,” wrote the book’s author, Muhammad Abd al-Salam Faraj, who contended that top Muslim intellectuals had ignored jihad.
  10. He further proclaimed that rulers who “do not rule according to what God sent down” are kuffars (unbelievers) and apostates, and that they should be deposed.
  11. As outlined by Sunni Islamist thinkers such as Mawdudi, Qutb, and Faraj, the context and regulations against which jihad was to be carried out were transformed into an individual obligation for all Muslims.
You might be interested:  How Do You Say Hello In Islam? (Correct answer)

Mainstream Islamic thinkers’ emphasis on submission to political authority, regardless of how the state is governed, and the circumscription of jihad as an aggressive action only in the case of its declaration under specific conditions by a legitimate and recognized Islamic ruler of state flew directly in the face of these views (caliph).

While traditional definitions of jihad continued to hold sway for many Muslims, strains of the puritanical Salafi school of Islam, which seeks to establish a utopian Islamic state by returning to the authentic beliefs and practices of the first generations of Muslims—the “righteous ancestors,” ushered in a new expansion of jihad’s role in Islamic thought.

  1. Bin Laden channeled Qutb’s interest in colonialist systems into a rage against the “blatant imperial arrogance” of the United States, particularly during the country’s participation in Saudi Arabia, which was considered the cornerstone of the Islamic world at the time.
  2. As a result, some Salafists established an ideology that placed a strong emphasis on the importance of jihad.
  3. Quietist Salafism, on the other hand, seeks to establish the Islamic state through the education and indoctrination of individuals, as demonstrated by the Saudi Arabian Wahabi model of education and indoctrination.
  4. Only Salafi-jihadis adopt a violent form of Islam in an attempt to achieve their goals, despite the fact that each strain desires to see Islam implemented more broadly in accordance with their own viewpoints.
  5. Violence, on the other hand, has enabled militant Salafism to achieve a disproportionately high level of international awareness for their ideology.
  6. As a result, Bin Laden’s group al-Qaeda, as well as its offshoot the “Islamic State” (IS), have both had a significant impact on popular perceptions of what “jihad” means and looks like in the Western world.
  7. To justify its authority, the Islamic State selectively publishes difficult verses from the Koran as well as citations from ancient and current experts, as it did with Faraj’sNeglected Duty in the past.

Islamic State publications have also emphasized the promotion of problematic parts of the Koran at the expense of other feelings, according to the organization.

They are allies in their respective causes.

Allah, on the other hand, is Forgiving and Merciful.

As a result of the Islamic State’s triumphalist ideology, which dehumanizes, bastardizes, and “apostasizes” both Muslims and non-Muslims, the extremist interpretations of jihad and takfir that date back to Ibn Taymiyyah’s time in the fourteenth century have come to a close.

It is vital to highlight that the vast majority of Muslim religious institutes have denounced IS and flatly rejected the organization’s understanding of jihad, advocating instead the idea of defensive jihad as the only acceptable kind of jihad.

They have allowed their hatred of the ‘Other’—anyone who operates outside of the confines of Salafi interpretations of Islam and is thus a ‘Kufar’—to motivate their professions of jihad against the ‘Other’.

Because of its capacity to ‘hide’ itself in the purity of the holy and the history of real Islam, as well as a reluctance on the part of many Westerners to comprehend the complexities underlying Salafi-jihadism that make it so deadly, the ideology has been able to spread.

Jihad is a fluid term with a wide range of possible interpretations.

While the Sunni version is a triumphalist religious ideology that is incapable of coexisting with Western ideals or civilizations, the Shi’a version is a religious ideology that is used to motivate governments hostile to the West as well as to coexist with them.

Misunderstood Terms and Practices

“Jihad” literally translates as “striving” or “doing one’s very best.” There are two fundamental theological understandings of the term in Islam: Defeating one’s lower self, purifying one’s heart, doing good, avoiding evil, and making oneself a better person is what the “Greater Jihad” is all about. The “Lesser Jihad” is a conflict that takes place in the outside world. Jihad is a moral precept that encourages people to fight against every impediment that stands in the path of the greater good.

  • The practice of jihad may also include combating oppressors and aggressors who perpetrate wrongdoing.
  • Furthermore, Islam does not permit or even advocate forcible conversion.
  • There must also be defined rules of engagement, such as the need to defend non-combatants.
  • Lesser Jihad, or righteous war, has been interpreted in a variety of ways throughout 1400 years and in a variety of contexts, which makes for a complicated issue.
  • According to Islamic tradition, there is no theological or political foundation for making this assertion.

15. Does the Qur’an require women to be covered?

Despite the fact that the Qur’an commands men and women to dress modestly, it does not clarify what that implies in practice (24:30-31). As a result, Muslims have differing views on what constitutes modesty, resulting in a range of practices in different cultures and regions. Historically, male dominance in Muslim countries has resulted in uneven implementation of modesty standards, with women in certain cultures being forced to cover far more of their bodies than males are. But at the same time, it should be noted that many Muslim women in the United States and other nations voluntarily choose to veil as a means of expressing their religious beliefs.

16. Are Muslim men allowed to marry four wives?

While the Qur’an allows for the marriage of up to four wives (Q.4:3), some Muslim scholars interpret the verse’s phrasing to allow for the marriage of more than one wife while also discouraging the marriage of more than one wife. According to verse 4:3, a Muslim man may have up to four wives as long as he can treat them all equally.

Given that males are incapable of treating any two persons equally, the practice, which was traditionally allowed during times of crisis, such as war, has recently been forbidden in certain Muslim majority countries.

17. Does Islam sanction “honor killings”?

When it comes to marrying more than one wife, the Qur’an permits up to four wives (Q.4:3), although some Muslim scholars interpret the verse’s phrasing to allow but discourage the marriage of more than one wife. If a Muslim man can treat his women equally, he is permitted to marry up to four wives, according to verse 4:3. Given that males are incapable of treating any two persons equally, the practice, which was traditionally permitted during times of crisis, such as war, has recently been forbidden in numerous Muslim-majority countries.

18. What is Taqiyya? Does Islam encourage American Muslims to deceive and lie?

Taqiyya is an Arabic term that implies to conceal one’s religious beliefs during times of persecution in order to safeguard one’s life and those of one’s family. It does not allow for deception or lying to take place. It is permissible for Muslims to employ Taqiyya when the open statement of their beliefs would result in death or torture. In Judaism, there is a doctrine that is comparable: When Maimonides, one of the great Jewish Torah scholars, taught that it is acceptable to lie about one’s religion in order to save one’s life, many Jews who were forcibly baptized in medieval Christian Europe followed his teachings in order to protect their lives while remaining true to their religious beliefs.

Islam requires that all Muslims tell the truth and conduct themselves honestly in all aspects of their lives, including personal, political, and professional connections.

It is with permission that we reprint this document, which was prepared in collaboration by the Religious Freedom Education Project of the First Amendment Center and the Interfaith Alliance Islamic Understanding.


A lawyer, author, and national spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, Qasim Rashid holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter, where he goes by the handle MuslimIQ. “Jihad” appears to have surpassed all other words as the most terrifying word in the world these days. The term was used at a speech this month by Muslim activist Linda Sarsour, who expressed her hope that God will recognize Muslim efforts to peacefully oppose anti-Muslim prejudice in the United States as a type of jihad.

  • These answers blatantly misrepresent not just what she stated, but also what “jihad” means in its true context.
  • The Arabic term “jihad” literally translates as “to strive.” The prophet Muhammad once taught that the finest form of jihad was to utter words of truth “in front of a despotic leader,” which is exactly what Sarsour did in her talk, and which she plainly addressed.
  • This is not terrorism.
  • There are three sorts of jihad (struggles) described in the Koran, and none of them are associated with or permit terrorism.
  • When the Prophet Muhammad returned from war, he stated, “We are coming from the minor jihad to the bigger jihad.” This battle against oneself presents itself in a variety of ways.
  • Quitting smoking, reducing weight, defeating cancer, acquiring a new skill, parenting, and even “adulting” are all examples of acts of greater jihad, according to the Islamic tradition.
  • The second jihad is a crusade against Satan’s followers.
  • In the late nineteenth century, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Messiah and founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, invented the phrase “jihad of the pen” to describe this phenomenon.
  • He manipulates the truth in order to incite violence.
  • Finally, the war against an open adversary is referred to as the third, or smaller, jihad.

Muslim fighters in this lesser jihad are permitted to do so under five strict conditions: in self-defense, when they are persecuted for their religious beliefs, when they have fled their homes and moved to another country for the sake of peace, when they are targeted for death because of their religious beliefs, and when they are fighting to protect universal religious freedom.

Additionally, even while fighting in self-defense under these tight conditions, Muslims are required to forgive their attackers immediately if they stop: “And fight them until there is no persecution, and religion is freely confessed for God,” according to Koran 2:194.


When radicals and Islamophobes misinterpret the proper meaning of the word “jihad,” no one benefits.

When people use destructive word distortions such as “jihad” to incite fear of Muslims, they are simply increasing the possibility of anti-Muslim hate crimes occurring.

Muslims should refrain from censoring themselves because of a misunderstanding of the actual meaning of the term.

Our journey is still in its early stages, but whatever your jihad, make it a real jihad of peace, education, and protection for people of all religions — and no faith at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *