Jihad

Arabic word which literally means striving or struggling, especially with a praiseworthy aim

Jihad (/ɪˈhɑːd/; Arabic: جهاد, romanized: jihād [dʒiˈhaːd]) is an Arabic word which literally means "striving" or "struggling", especially with a praiseworthy aim.[1][2][3][4] In an Islamic context, it can refer to holy war or almost any effort to make personal and social life conform with God's guidance, such as struggle against one's evil inclinations, proselytizing, or efforts toward the moral betterment of the Muslim community (Ummah),[1][2][5][6] though it is most frequently associated with war.[4][7] In classical Islamic law (sharia), the term refers to armed struggle against unbelievers,[2][3] while modernist Islamic scholars generally equate military jihad with defensive warfare.[8][9] In Sufi circles, spiritual and moral jihad has been traditionally emphasized under the name of greater jihad.[5][10][3] The term has gained additional attention in recent decades through its use by various insurgent Islamic extremist, militant Islamist, and terrorist individuals and organizations whose ideology is based on the Islamic notion of jihad.[5][7][11][12]

Ali and Hamza in single combat at the Battle of Badr, from Siyer-i Nabi, circa 1594

The word jihad appears frequently in the Qur'an with and without military connotations,[13] often in the idiomatic expression "striving in the path of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)",[14][15] conveying a sense of self-exertion.[16] Scholars developed an elaborate set of rules pertaining to jihad, including prohibitions on harming those who are not engaged in combat.[17][18] In the modern era, the notion of jihad has lost its jurisprudential relevance and instead given rise to an ideological and political discourse.[5][8] While modernist Islamic scholars have emphasized the defensive and non-military aspects of jihad, some Islamists have advanced aggressive interpretations that go beyond the classical theory.[8][12]

Jihad is classified into inner ("greater") jihad, which involves a struggle against one's own base impulses, and external ("lesser") jihad, which is further subdivided into jihad of the pen/tongue (debate or persuasion) and jihad of the sword.[5][19][10] Most Western writers consider external jihad to have primacy over inner jihad in the Islamic tradition, while much of contemporary Muslim opinion favors the opposite view.[19] Gallup analysis of a large survey reveals considerable nuance in the conceptions of jihad held by Muslims around the world.[20]

The sense of jihad as armed resistance was first used in the context of persecution faced by Muslims, as when Muhammad was at Mecca, when the community had two choices: emigration (hijra) or jihad.[21] In Twelver Shi'a Islam, jihad is one of the ten Practices of the Religion.[22] A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid (plural: mujahideen). The term jihad is often rendered in English as "Holy War",[23][24][25] although this translation is controversial.[26][27] Today, the word jihad is often used without religious connotations, like the English crusade.[1][2]

It is an official part of Shia Islam, but it is not an official part of Sunni Islam, though some call it the sixth pillar of Islam. In some cases, there have been 'Jihads' that have self immolated themselves, in order to get into heaven. There are suicide bombers, who blow themselves up, because they think that it is right and that they are cleaning the world's filth. This is, however, wrong in Islam. It is a major sin to commit suicide or homicide without a good reason. Killing another human being in Islam is the equivalent of killing all of humanity if not done with a good reason. On the contrary, saving another human being's life is the equivalent of saving all of humanity.

The sense of jihad as armed resistance was first used in the context of persecution faced by Muslims, as when Muhammad was at Mecca, when the community had two choices: emigration (hijra) or jihad. In Twelver Shia Islam, jihad is one of the ten Practices of the Religion. A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid (plural: mujahideen). The term jihad is often rendered in English as "Holy War", although this translation is controversial. Today, the word jihad is often used without religious connotations, like the English crusade.

References change

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 John L. Esposito, ed. (2014). "Jihad". The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Cite error: The named reference OEIP was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Tyan, E. (1965). "D̲j̲ihād". In Bosworth, C. E.; van Donzel, E. J.; Heinrichs, W. P.; Lewis, B.; Pellat, Ch.; Schacht, J. (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Vol. 2. Leiden: Brill Publishers. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_0189. ISBN 978-90-04-16121-4.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Roy Jackson (2014). What is Islamic philosophy?. Routledge. p. 173. ISBN 978-1317814047. jihad Literally 'struggle' which has many meanings, though most frequently associated with war.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 DeLong-Bas, Natana J. (22 February 2018) [10 May 2017]. "Jihad". Oxford Bibliographies – Islamic Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0045. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  6. Gerhard Böwering, Patricia Crone, ed. (2013). "Jihad". The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Literally meaning "struggle", jihad may be associated with almost any activity by which Muslims attempt to bring personal and social life into a pattern of conformity with the guidance of God.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Badara, Mohamed; Nagata, Masaki (November 2017). "Modern Extremist Groups and the Division of the World: A Critique from an Islamic Perspective". Arab Law Quarterly. 31 (4). Leiden: Brill Publishers: 305–335. doi:10.1163/15730255-12314024. ISSN 1573-0255.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Wael B. Hallaq (2009). Sharī'a: Theory, Practice, Transformations. Cambridge University Press (Kindle edition). pp. 334–38.
  9. Peters, Rudolph (2015). Islam and Colonialism: The Doctrine of Jihad in Modern History. De Gruyter Mouton. p. 124. doi:10.1515/9783110824858. ISBN 9783110824858. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017 – via De Gruyter.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Rudolph Peters (2005). "Jihad". In Lindsay Jones (ed.). Encyclopedia of Religion. Vol. 7 (2nd ed.). MacMillan Reference. p. 4917.
  11. Cook, David (2015) [2005]. "Radical Islam and Contemporary Jihad Theory". Understanding Jihad (2nd ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 93–127. ISBN 9780520287327. JSTOR 10.1525/j.ctv1xxt55.10. LCCN 2015010201.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Jalal, Ayesha (2009). "Islam Subverted? Jihad as Terrorism". Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 239–240. doi:10.4159/9780674039070-007. ISBN 9780674039070. S2CID 152941120.
  13. Al-Dawoody 2011, p. 56: Seventeen derivatives of jihād occur altogether forty-one times in eleven Meccan texts and thirty Medinan ones, with the following five meanings: striving because of religious belief (21), war (12), non-Muslim parents exerting pressure, that is, jihād, to make their children abandon Islam (2), solemn oaths (5), and physical strength (1).
  14. Morgan, Diane (2010). Essential Islam: A Comprehensive Guide to Belief and Practice. ABC-CLIO. p. 87. ISBN 978-0313360251. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  15. Josef W. Meri, ed. (2005). "Medieval Islamic Civilization". Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415966900., Jihad, p. 419.
  16. Esposito 1988, p. 54.
  17. Bernard Lewis (27 September 2001). "Jihad vs. Crusade". Opinionjournal.com. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  18. Blankinship, Khalid Yahya (2011). "Parity of Muslim and Western Concepts of Just War". The Muslim World. 101 (3): 416. doi:10.1111/j.1478-1913.2011.01384.x. ISSN 1478-1913. In classical Muslim doctrine on war, likewise, genuine non-combatants are not to be harmed. These include women, minors, servants and slaves who do not take part in the fighting, the blind, monks, hermits, the aged, those physically unable to fight, the insane, the delirious, farmers who do not fight, traders, merchants, and contractors. The main criterion distinguishing combatants from non-combatants is that the latter do not fight and do not contribute to the war effort.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Bonner 2006, p. 13.
  20. Cite error: The named reference gallop was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  21. Esposito 1988, p. 30.
  22. "Part 2: Islamic Practices". al-Islam.org. Archived from the original on 7 September 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  23. Lloyd Steffen, Lloyd (2007). Holy War, Just War: Exploring the Moral Meaning of Religious Violence. Rowman& Littlefield. p. 221. ISBN 978-1461637394.
  24. cf., e.g., "Libya's Gaddafi urges 'holy war' against Switzerland". BBC News. 26 February 2010. Archived from the original on 4 March 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  25. Rudolph F. Peters, Jihad in Medieval and Modern Islam (Brill, 1977), p. 3
  26. Crone, Patricia (2005). Medieval Islamic Political Thought. Edinburgh University Press. p. 363. ISBN 0-7486-2194-6. OCLC 61176687.
  27. Khaled Abou El Fadl stresses that the Islamic theological tradition did not have a notion of "Holy war" (in Arabic al-harb al-muqaddasa), which is not an expression used by the Quranic text or Muslim theologians. He further states that in Islamic theology, war is never holy; it is either justified or not. He then writes that the Quran does not use the word jihad to refer to warfare or fighting; such acts are referred to as qital. Source: Abou El Fadl, Khaled (23 January 2007). The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists. HarperOne. p. 222. ISBN 978-0061189036.