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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jihad and Islam

Jihad and Islam

The word Jihad represents a concept which is much misunderstood in the West. The concept is explained nicely by the Christian scholar Ira 6. Zepp, Jr. in his book entitled A Muslim Primer on pages 133-135. We adapt from his answer the following:

The essential meaning of Jihad is the spiritual, psychological, and physical effort we exert to be close to God and thus achieve a just and harmonious society. Jihad literally means "striving" or "struggle" and is shorthand for Jihad fi Sabeel Allah (struggle for God's cause). In a sense, every Muslim is a Mujahid, one who strives for God and justice.

Al-Ghazali captured the essence of Jihad when he said: "The real Jihad is the warfare against (one's own) passions. Dr. Ibrahim Abu-Rabi calls Jihad "the execution of effort against evil in the self and every manifestation of evil in society." In a way, Jihad is the Muslim's purest sacrifice: a struggle to live a perfect life and completely submit to God.

Another form of Jihad is the striving to translate the Word of God into action. If one has experienced God and received guidance from the Qur'an, one struggles to apply that guidance in daily life. So the larger, more prevalent meaning of Jihad is the spiritual struggle of the soul. In this case, Jihad is always present for the believer whether there is an external enemy or not. We should never reduce Jihad to violence.

A third level of Jihad is popularly known as "holy war." The classic passage is found in the Qur'an:
Fight in the way of Allah those who fight against you, but transgress not the limits. Truly Allah likes not the transgressors (Qur'an 2:190).

It is crucial to note here that what is condoned is defensive warfare; Islam cannot justify aggressive war. Muhammad and the Tradition are also against killing non-combatants, torturing of prisoners, the destruction of crops, animals and homes. Adapted from Ira 6. Zepp, Jr., A Muslim Primer (1992, Wakefield Editions, US) pp.133-135.

Robert Ellwood of the University of Southern California has the following to say about the Muslim concept of Jihad:
Out of the community ideal of Islam comes the concept of jihad, or holy war, which is designed to defend Islam and allow its social practice, though not to force individual conversions, which is forbidden. Since Islam in principle is a community as well as a religion, presumably only an absolute pacifist would be able to reject the theory of jihad out of hand, since other communities also fight to defend or expand their ways of life. (Many Peoples, Many Faiths by Robert S. Ellwood, 4th edition, Simon & Schuster, US, 1982, p.346).

Source:IslamCan

2 comments:

أزلان أحمد said...

Assalamualaikum

certain things needed to be clafiry here.

first of all as Muslims we don't take our religion from Kuffar or disbelievers. no matter how knowledgeable the person is. and no matter who he is - a rabbis, priests, people of the books, orientalists.

this is the of established maxims among Muslims scholars of Salafus-Soleh. it is no appropriate to take the sacred knowledge of our religion from the one whom even disbelieved from Allah.

further more in reality of today the Fitan and Malahim are near and present. the sincerity of Kuffar are doubtful, if they ever sincere.

if the were sincere, they still prone to make mistake as they understanding of this Deen as not comprehensive and the most importantly they don't believe in Allah.

second the topic of Jihad is one of the most neglected Fiqh among Muslims today. its belong among other knowledge rarely spoken today were such as Al Walaa' wal Al Baraa', which is one of the condition and fulfillment of Syahadah. also the issue of Khilafah.

these topics need to be studied by every Muslims, and need to be studied and understand carefully, and need to be learn sincerily by Muslims, and the most importantly need to be learn from pious and sincere Ulama's of Muslim, not just anybody, especially state-sponsored evil and wicked scholars.

there are a lot of misguided perception and understanding of Jihad. did we really understand it as our beloved Rasullullah S.A.W. and his noble companions understood? Jihad in that particular time always meant to be warfare.

and there were several Hadith Maudhu' (fabricated Hadith regarding to this issue. the famous of all is Hadith of Jihad an Nafs.

there were two kind of Jihad -

1. Jihad al Dafa'ah (defensive) which is obligatory to every able body of Muslims when the Kuffar invading the Muslim land. and no prior permission needed to be obtain from the 'Amir, or Khalifah in this type of Jihad.

and important thing need to be mention here, that in our current situation today, where Muslim lands invaded by Kuffar forces, this type of Jihad is actually taking place and its obligation is never been more crucial.

2. Jihad al Mubadahah (offensive) is when Muslims troop, under strict command of the 'Amir or Khalifah declaring war of foreign Kuffar lands. in this type or warfare, the permission from 'Amir or Khalifah is needed. this event is recorded in the annals of Muslim history and known as Al Fath or Al Futuhaat. example the Muslim's war against the persian and roman empire, which is taken place in the territory of both empires.

if the aggressive or offensive war cannot be justified, how are we going to explaind the above mention event. did our pious Khalifah, leaders of the faithfull, Abu Bakr R.A and Umar, together with our pious ancestor was transgressors? or they disobey the diretc command of Allah and our beloved Rasul S.A.W? of they did not understood the meaning of Jihad properly? Na'uzibllLah, none of us Muslims will ever say that so. they were the blessed one, the pious Rightly-Guided!

a lot still to be said though, but enough for now. Just want to say let us follow the footstep of our rightly guided predecessors, as they were the victorious one.

Wasalam

kelly said...

Thank you for your comment..appreciate it!