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Jihad Does Not Mean "Holy War"

Reader comment on item: Sudden Jihad Syndrome (in North Carolina)
in response to reader comment: Jihad and Moderate Muslim/Islam

Submitted by A.B. Madyun (United States), Jun 18, 2009 at 08:44

Mr. Jaladhi;

Tell me if I am incorrect. First of all, I take it that you are a Muslim, no doubt...am I correct so far? Now I am a practicing Muslim from the United States (born and raised), and my teacher was the late Imam W.D Mohammed who established a Tafsir (commentary) of the Qur'an, (the Qur'an is already explicit in it's meaning). One of the things that Imam Mohammed taught us was to learn how to free our minds from the mind of the translator. In other words, since Americans in general speak the English language which is the official language of Americans, this tells you that the Qur'ans that we read are translated from Arabic tongue to the English tongue.

Now...you and I both know that most Arabic terms do not have accurate English equivalents. Therefore we would have to conclude that the translators (Maududi, Yusuf Ali, Marmadoul Pikthal, etc.) all translated Qur'an according to their own understandings, experiences, and interpretations of the lexicon as it relates to them personally. Thusly, Arabic to English is wide open for interpretation. The Arabic words of Allah in Qur'an are pure, so if we are using our rationalities concerning where we prioritize the position of Allah in our lives in which He should be #1, we should all look for the best meaning of what Allah, the most high, tells us.

Take the term Jihad for instance. Every extremist that I know of that claims Islam as their religion are adamant in using the term "jihad" to mean "holy war." Yet, it turns out that jihad does not mean "holy" war at all. When looking up the definition of jihad, I found that the word actually means "to struggle." It can be applied to war, as war is a struggle. But it is not the general definition of "war" or "holy war." In Arabic, the term "qudus" means "holy", and the term "qitaal" which means "fighting."

The word jihad (struggle) is more general than the word qitaal (fighting). Jihaad may be with the tongue (by speaking out), or with weapons (which is qitaal or fighting) or with money. Each of these categories includes numerous subcategories. These guidelines in modern times have been repeatedly exceeded by extremists who, because of their deviant actions, give others a most distorted view of Islam.

The most useful "Jihad" that I know of is the "jihad" of the personal self. It is more difficult to conquer the vices of self, than any enemy known to man, because the self is always in "struggle" from the influences of the shaytan (satan).

The manner in which you describe the Muslims' outlook on this subject cannot help but to beg one to believe that you are obviously anti-Islam yourself within the context of your views on the Qur'an, and religion of which your views appear to be terribly distorted.

Submitting....

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