What is Jihad? Does it means Holy War against non-believers?

Posted on 2018-01-07 11:41:40 in Debunking Islam

Summary

There are many interpretation of Jihad and people use different interpretation to suit their agenda without realizing the damage they are causing to Islam and Muslims.

The meaning of combative Jihad expressed in the Quran or Hadith is war. However it means much more than just a war. In fact, Jihad is a comprehensive term which traditionally has been defined as being composed of fourteen different aspects, only one of which involves warfare.

Jihad word derives from Arabic word Juhd which means "To Struggle".

As a Hindu I want to learn Islam just to understand the mentality of Jihadis who wants to kill all non-believers (Non-Muslims/rational Muslims) in the name of Jihad. There are many interpretation of Jihad and people use different interpretation to suit their agenda without realizing the damage they are causing to Islam and Muslims. So let's try to understand what Jihad is as per Quran and Hadith.

The meaning of combative Jihad expressed in the Quran or Hadith is war. However it means much more than just a war. In fact, Jihad is a comprehensive term which traditionally has been defined as being composed of fourteen different aspects, only one of which involves warfare.

Literal Meaning of Jihad

Jihad word derives from Arabic word Juhd which means "To Struggle". The common understanding of Jihad as referring only to war is refuted by this tradition of the Prophet.

 A man asked the Prophet “Which Jih?d is best?” The Prophet said, “The most excellent Jihad is to say the word of truth in front of a tyrant.

Now the fact that the Prophet mentioned this Jihad as “most excellent” demonstrates that there are many different forms of Jihad.

Islamic scholars, from the time of the Prophet until today, have categorized Jihad into at least fourteen distinct categories. Let's discuss all 14 types of Jihad. A cogent discussion of these categories is found in the book Z?d al-Ma‘?d, by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawz?yyah. According to him, the categories of Jih?d are:

  1. Jihad against the hypocrites by heart
  2. Jihad against the hypocrites by tounge
  3. Jihad against the hypocrites by hand
  4. Jihad against the hypocrites by sword
  5. Jihad against the unbelievers by heart
  6. Jihad against the unbelievers by tounge
  7. Jihad against the unbelievers by hand
  8. Jihad against the unbelievers by sword
  9. Jihad against devil by fighting him defensively by rejecting the false desires and slanderous doubts that he throws towards the servant.
  10. Jihad against devil by fighting him defensively by rejecting what he throws towards the servant of corrupt passion and desire.
  11. Jihad of Self : There are four types of Jihad of Self
    1. Striving to seek guidance and learn the religion of truth, without which there is no felicity or happiness in life or in the hereafter.
    2. Striving to act upon it after he has learned it, for the abstract quality of knowledge without action, even if it yields no wrong, is without benefit.
    3. Striving to call to God and to teach the religion to someone who does not know it.
    4. Striving with patience in seeking to call to God and bearing with patience whatever adversity comes from that for the sake of God

However Ibn Rushd, in his Muqaddimah, divides Jih?d into four categories:

1. Jihad of the heart : The Jihad of the heart is the struggle of the individual with his or her own desires, whims, erroneous ideas and false understandings. This includes the struggle to purify the heart, to rectify one’s actions and to observe the rights and responsibilities of all other human beings.

2. Jihad of Tounge : To commend good conduct and forbid the wrong, like the type of Jihad God ordered us to fulfill against the hypocrites in his Words, “O Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites” . This is the Jihad the Prophet waged in struggling to teach his people. It means speaking about one’s cause and one’s religion.

3. Jihad of Hand : Jihad of the hand includes the struggle to build the nation through material development and progress, including building up civil society, acquiring and improving every aspect of technology and societal progress in general. This includes scientific discovery, development of medical clinics and hospitals, communication, transportation, and all necessary underlying infrastructures for societal progress and advancement, including educational institutions. Building also means to open opportunities to the poor through economic programs and self-empowerment. Another aspect of Jihad by Hand is writing.

4. Jihad of Sword :  Jihad of the hand includes struggle by the sword, as when one fights the aggressor who attacks in combative war.

 



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