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Understanding Jihad

Reader comment on item: Jihad through History

Submitted by David Paz (Sweden), Jun 5, 2005 at 17:34

With interest I Read the review of the valuable book, and I agree entirely with Mr. Cook that 'Jihad' refers not to "the effort to lead a good life".

The great majority of the Arabic verbs are triliteral , that is to say contain three radical letters.

From the ground-form verbs derived several other forms, fifteen in number, which express various modifications of the idea conveyed by the first. Jihad is an accusative of the verb 'Ja ha da'.

Studets of Islamic/Arab history would see no distinction between "Classicle Jihad" or otherwise.

Through the ages the call for Jihad meant waging a 'Holy War' Jihad is proceeded always by a 'Fatwa' . And it is always *Jihad Fi Sabil'lilah* - A holy war for the sake of / in behalf of / in the interest of / in defend of / God and the Faith. It is also a 'duty' to fight not only the infidels, but also the so called "false Muslims".

I should mention that the last 'Fatwa' by a Caliph was during the First World War - It was proclaimed by the Sultan - Caliph of the Ottoman Empire.

Since then there have been an inflation of 'Fatwas' pronounced by preachers and even leaders of Govrnments - Saddam Husein during his aggressive wars added 'Allaho Akbar' to the Iraqi flag, and in Libanon 'Hisbul'lah', God's party, ignoring that the same God worshiped by all the three religions. Two of them they are fighting.

Mr. Cook is optimist, I hope he is right. The truth is Islam, like almost all religious traditions, can be interpreted in different ways, and some interpretations conflict withe democratic ideals.

"Protecting religion is more importent than protecting lives, honour or wealth," said the man who sounded like Zarqawi recently." The shedding of Muslim blood... is allowed in order to avoid the greater evil of disrupting jihad...they are martyrs who died for Islam."
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