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What is Jihad

Reader comment on item: Arabist Snobs
in response to reader comment: Jihad (your definition)

Submitted by slayhy (United Arab Emirates), Nov 30, 2011 at 12:42

Jihad in Islam does not mean to fight one another only

When the Muslims came back to Madinah from a battle against the Jews and The tribe of Quraysh, Muhammad said

"We come from the lesser Jihad to the Greater Jihad", and when they asked him what he meant by that he said "the greater Jihad is self striving for the better"

Jihad in Arabic means struggle, strive, fight, and it can be external or internal, there are different types of Jihad in Islam

Self struggle – This is the greatest highest form of Jihad. That is to raise one's self esteem, beliefs, ethics and manners and knowledge to the better, this type of Jihad is always associated with internal agony. The person is suffering to change his habits to a more refined and better way of religious belief, behavior and manners towards himself and others.

Satan Struggle – That is to strive against obeying Satan and stop making sins such as cheating deceiving, lying… etc. This type of Jihad is always associated with internal agony.

Debauchery Struggle – In away against Satan too. This strive is against unethical behavior influenced by some friends or relatives or part of the society, this type of Jihad is associated with internal and external influences.

Enemy Struggle – This is the lowest (lesser) form of Jihad that is to defend oneself against aggressors by going into war and fight the aggressors. This type of Jihad is associated with external and internal agony. Ethics play a big part in this type of Jihad.

All are described "for the Cause of God", "for the way of God" any kind of Jihad is to attain approval from God to reach heavens and to be accepted by God

This last part does not mean fighting for the sake of killing or occupying more land.

Through out Islamic period, fighting the enemy, are those who aggress, threaten to kill and obliterate Islam or make mischief in the land. It is never the case that Muslims make war to conquer more land. However God supported them and made them victorious especially during Muhammad time.

If the case was to spread Islam by the sword (as many indicate) then you would not find any Christian or Jew were living in the Muslim world.

Throughout the centuries Christians and Jews lived in the Arab and Muslim world ever since the beginning of Islam.

They lived in Jerusalem and in Palestine during the Caliphates rule in All Al-Sham Land (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine) and in Baghdad during Abbasid times, also the Christians and Jews lived in Andalusia when it was ruled by the Muslims, they held high positions under the Muslims before they were either killed, deported, or forced to convert to Christianity by the Christian Rulers Isabella and Ferdinand, most of them left to North Africa with the Muslims others settled in the Netherlands and Germany. The Jews and the Christians prospered during Abbasid rule and during the ottomans but the Jews were despised by the Europeans and hence they could not mingle with the societies since the Middle Ages, until now we hear about Jewish quarters in a city.

Throughout the centuries the Christians and Jews lived peacefully in the Muslim world and they even fought with the Muslims against the Crusades.


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