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For Mary Griffin and the Arabic word: Jihad

Reader comment on item: The Evil Isn't Islam
in response to reader comment: Jihad does not mean "holy war"

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Sep 30, 2006 at 07:16

Madam: yes Jihad could mean struggle but it also means: Holy war or harb muqadassa.

For scholarly work please see:

1. "Jihad in Clsasical and Modern Islam" by Rudolph Peters, Markus Weiner Publishers, Princeton.

2. "Jihad the origins of holy war in Islam", by Reuven Firestone, Oxford University press.

If you know Arabic and have access to primary sources on the subject I would suggest that you read:

Malik's "Kitab al-Jihad" (in Muwatta' chapter 21, pages 443-471)

If you do not know any Arabic you can get a summary of Malik's book in Wansbrough's "Sectarian Milieu" Wansbrough (pages 91-97).

You can also look up the definition of the following words (they all stem from the same root JHD) in "The Hans Weht Arabic Dictionary" Jihad, Juhd, Mujahid (holy warrior), Mujtahid (he who strives to improve himself) see pages 142B and 143A, and notice that yes the words mujahid (mufa3il) and mujtahid (mufta3il) share the same root but they come different stems and they also have very different meanings.

The same information is available in the Arabic dictionary: Lisan al-3Arab.

Now, do me a favor: provide us with references in the future. Is this asking for too much?

Submitting....

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