« Reply #2 on: Nov 27, 2012 09:28 AM »
Jihad does not mean "holy war". It means struggle. Holy war in Arabic is "Harb Muqaddisah" which does not appear in any Islamic literature at all.
Reading stories of the prophet and companions it's amazing to me that you'd conclude that they're all about "holy war". Every text needs to be taken into context as well as the overall rules that contain them. Perhaps this is a case of not understanding what Jihad is and taking everything with that viewpoint.
There is nothing "hushed up" about Jihad, although many Orientalists and Islamophobes will have you believe Muslims are all crazed, blood at the mouth, secret "holy war" proponents!! It's sad that in the interests of objectivity and truth they ignore all the Quran and Hadith that explain Jihad and what Islam says about the sanctity of human life.
There are many kinds of Jihad including -- 'saying a good word to a ruler', fighting injustice, struggling to purify oneself and so on. I'll add some things below that have been on this website since 9/11.
· First -- it's wrong to translate jihad as "holy war". To translate it as "holy war" is un-Islamic and un-Arabic, because the term is not found entymologically in Arabic at all
· “Holy war” - if translated into Arabic, would be Harb al-Muqaddisah – a construct *never* found in Qur’an, sunnah, or scholarly works.
· Jihad in Arabic means ‘exertion or struggle against an opposing force/thing’. This force can come in any form -- be it physical, psychological, emotional, intellectual, etc. (example - a donkey loaded with burden can be "in jihad" )
· The word "jihad" is used in the Qur'an in at least FIVE different ways, with FIVE different meanings.
Five different aspects/dimensions/types:
 Jihad of the Self (an-nafs)
· The *most* fundamental jihad.
· "The most virtuous of jihad is that done by an individual against him/herself in the way of God." -- Rasulullah saw
· This is jihad to "control the demon/beast/impulses inside of me"; to kill the drive for greed, vengeance, anger, selfishness, desire for power, materialism, etc
· this is the most fundamental because it is a constant jihad.
 Jihad of word
· Another aspect of jihad is speaking the word of truth, justice, righteousness, etc. (commanding what is right, forbidding what is evil)
· "The most virtuous of jihads is speaking the word of truth in the face of an unjust tyrant." - Rasulullah saw
 Jihad with the Qur'an (with it's words)
· "Wa jahidihum beehee jihadan kabeera" : "and perform jihad with it (the Qur'an), the greatest jihad.."
· Share with others the words and lessons of the Qur'an - tawheed, jannah, naar, consequences of actions, virtues, morality, etc..
 Jihad with Maal [wealth]
· The Qur'an is abundant with verses on jihad of wealth - a battle against inner greed, giving of wealth in causes of truth, justice, peace
· (Does "holy war" contain these meanings? Translating jihad as such is unfair. The Quran and Sunnah teach that there are many manifestations and dimensions of jihad.. but "jihad" by some is now associated with "islamic terrorism" and there is no distinction made between the two.)
 The Combative aspect/dimension of Jihad - al-Qitaal
· *Never* initiated for expansionist reasons, to gain territory
· *Never* called for to gain economic resources of other lands
· *Never* called for to force Islam on others; to force people to change their faith
· *Never* to be used against people because they are different
· Jihad *never* called for for any unjust, unfair, oppressive reason-- to the extent that the jumhoor al-ulema [majority of scholars] say:
· "Illatal qitaali al-hiraaba"
· Meaning: the illah [operative cause] behind qitaal [combative aspect of jihad] is al-hiraaba [violent aggression of the other].
· The motive behind al-qitaal is *hostility shown from the other side*; not because they are different or because we hate them.
· There is a procedure of al-Qitaal - the rules of engagement of al-qitaal are precise - as was delineated by Abu Bakr as-Siddiq ra, as taught by Rasulullah saw :
-- Do not kill any non-combatants. Specified were women (who were usually non-combatants), children, and people found in houses of worship (monks, nuns, religious leaders)
Think about this; if the intent behind al-qitaal was to destroy other religions, wouldn't the religious people be the first ones to be killed? This shows us that al-qitaal is *not* about religion, about forcing people into Islam -- it shows us that la ikraahaa fid deen [that there is no compulsion in religion].
-- Do not burn crops, destroy fruit bearing trees
-- Do not kill animals except that which you need to eat
-- It is haraam to murder/punish with fire ("Only the God of fire punishes with fire" - Rasulullah saw) -- think about this in context of chemical/nuclear weapons.
· Look at Umar ra entering Jeruselam vs. the Crusaders; the compassion in his 'conquering' vs. the savagery and cruelty of the Crusaders - to the extent that they ate the flesh of human beings (specifically in the town of al-Ma'arra) as their own historians relate.
· State Motto of New Hampshire: "live free or die" -- this is what al-qitaal is - jihad is a cultural expression for this sentiment
· State Motto of Massachussettes: (on their flag, written in Latin): "We seek peace by the sword, and peace under liberty only."
· *WE* seek peace by peaceful means first - peace under liberty - but liberty cannot exist without justice.
· The word "jihad" has been hijacked by some for political motives
Quran and Hadith about Jihad
========> QURAN <==========
* O you who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor: for God can best protect both. Follow not the desires (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort justice, or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well- acquainted with all that ye do. – 4:135
* O you who believe! stand firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear God. For God is well-acquainted with all that you do. –- 5:8
* Say: ‘Come, I will rehearse what God has prohibited you from’: Join not anything with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- (For God provides) sustenance for you and for them;- come not near to indecent deeds, whether open or in secret; take not life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus does He command you, that you may learn wisdom. –- 6:151
* Nor take life - which Allah has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand retribution or to forgive): but let him nor exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law). –17:33
* Say, My Lord has commanded justice; and that you set your whole selves (in devotion to Him) at every time and place of prayer, and call upon Him, making your devotion sincere: such as He created you in the beginning, so shall ye return. Some He has guided: Others have deserved the loss of their way; in that they took the Satans, in preference to God, for their friends and protectors, and think that they receive guidance. – 7:29-30
* God commands justice, the doing of good, and giving to kith and kin, and He forbids all indecent deeds, and evil and rebellion: He instructs you, that you may receive admonition. –16:90
* There is no compulsion in religion. The right path is indeed clear from the wrong. 2:256
* Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous,- those who spend freely, whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon all men;- for God loves those who do good. --3:133-134 ß this is what a Muslim is!!
* ..those who show patience (firmness and self-control); who are true (in word and deed); who worship devoutly; who spend (in charity); and who pray for forgiveness in the early hours of the morning. – 3:17 ß this is what a Muslim is!!
* By time, through the ages; indeed mankind is in loss; except such as have Faith, and do good deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.
* For God loves those who are just. 60:8
* ...If anyone killed a person (not in retaliation for murder or to spread mischief in the land) it would be as if he killed the whole of mankind. And (likewise) if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the whole of mankind -- 5:32
* Narrated Anas: The Prophet was asked about the great sins, and he said, "They are:-- (1) To join others in worship with God, (2) To be undutiful to one's parents. (3) To kill a person (which God has forbidden to kill) (i.e. to commit the crime of murdering). (4) And to give a false witness." -------
* Narrated Ibn 'Umar: During some of the battles of the blessed Prophet, a woman was found killed, so Prophet Muhammad forbade the killing of women and children.
* Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: The Prophet said, “Whoever kills a person having a treaty with the Muslims, shall not smell the smell of Heaven though its smell is perceived from a distance of forty years."
* The first cases to be adjudicated between people on the Day of Judgment will be those of bloodshed.