Skip to comments.Understanding Jihad (by a Muslim)
Posted on 09/03/2003 7:46:20 AM PDT by dennisw
|Dr. Israr Ahmad
|If we were to make a list of all the Islamic terms and concepts that have been inadvertently misconstrued or deliberately distorted, by the apologetic Muslims or Western orientalists, then Jihad can easily be placed at the top of that list.
Although the significance of Jihad in the Qur'an and Sunnah cannot be overstated, its exact place in the overall framework of Islamic values and imperatives has been a matter of some debate. Some writers have described Jihad as the fifth pillar of Islam, while others have relegated it to a mere Fard Kafayah (a collective, rather than personal, duty). A highly misleading but popular idea in this respect is that any war in which the Muslims are engaged, even if the motives are other than purely Islamic, is Jihad fi Sabeel lillah. In view of the confusions and misunderstandings that surround this most fundamental of Islamic concepts, we are going to discuss here, very briefly, the meaning and import of Jihad vis-à-vis the other duties and obligations of a Muslim.
The word Jihad is not synonymous with "Holy War" which is what the Western media wants everyone to believe. (a lie that liberals love to hear) After four decades of Cold War, the Western powers suddenly found themselves without a legitimate enemy, and, consequently, they have designated Islam and the Muslims as the most deadly threat to world peace. The image of all Muslims as terrorists was inculcated by numerous so-called documentaries, like the infamous Jihad in America (PBS). In the face of such widespread media stereotypes, it is indeed an uphill task to educate the non-Muslims regarding the true meaning of Jihad. Much more important, however, is the task of removing the misconception which are prevalent among the Muslims themselves.
The foundation of the edifice of Islam consists in the verbal testimony of God's unity and Muhammad's (SAW) prophethood. Built upon this foundation are the four pillars of Islam with which all of us are familiar, i.e., Salat, Zakat, Saum, and Hajj. Please note, however, that Iman (or faith) also has two pillars: an unshakable inner conviction in the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the struggle in the path of Almighty Allah (SWT). This has been described in the Qur'an thus:
They alone are the mo'min who come to believe in Allah and His messenger and afterwards never doubted, and who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Only they are truthful and sincere. (Al-Hujurat 49:15)
What does this ayah really mean? It means that there is absolutely no way, for a person who claims to be a believer, to avoid Jihad fi Sabeel lillah and still remain a believer in the sight of Almighty Allah (SWT). Indeed, the very definition of a mo'min, as given in Surah Al-Hujurat, necessitates that a strong faith and state of inner certitude be coupled with an active struggle in the path of Allah (SWT).
The word Jihad and the verb that goes with it mean to struggle against some opposition. Thus, each and every human being is engaged in Jihad, in the sense that everyone has to struggle for his existence. However, the kind of Jihad we are talking about should be qualified as fi Sabeel lillah, that is to say, trying and exerting one's utmost in the path of Almighty Allah. It is an earnest and ceaseless activity involving the sacrifice of physical and mental resources, wealth, property, and even life, only for the sake of attaining the pleasure Almighty Allah (SWT).
In order to understand the meaning of striving in the path of Allah, we should first have a clear concept of the responsibilities of a Muslim. According to the Qur'an and the Sunnah, the obligations of a Muslim are three-fold: A Muslim is required to become an obedient slave of Almighty Allah (SWT), he is required to mold his life, his values, his priorities, and his ambitions according to the commands of his Lord. Secondly, he must preach and disseminate the ideational and practical guidance of Islam to his fellow human beings, to enjoin all that is good and prohibit all that is evil. Thirdly, he must try his utmost to establish the domination of Islam over all other systems of life, all over the world.
Even a superficial analysis of these three obligations is enough to establish the fact that none of them is easy to fulfill. There are immense difficulties to overcome, all sorts of oppositions to put up with, and countless problems to solve at each of the three levels. A Muslim must put in a great deal of hard labor in fulfilling these obligations, he must exercise all his abilities and all his resources if he is to fulfill his duties. In other words, he is required to engage in a constant Jihad. This struggle or Jihad covers a wide spectrum of religious obligations, and its inherent activism can be understood as having nine different stages or aspects, as explained below:
In trying to live a life of total obedience to Almighty Allah (SWT) and to follow the example of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), a Muslim must resist the following:
In trying to spread the teachings of the Holy Qur'an and those of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to every nook and corner of the world, a Muslim will encounter three types of people, and therefore he must develop different approaches and levels of scholarship to cater for each of these groups:
Notice that their goal is for ISLAM to dominate the world. They did not mention anything about "God" dominating the world. It appears that is "they" who want to dominate the world instead of God.
He's right, you know. The World Trade Center was expressly built to intrap hapless muslims in our desire for a new, refreshing enemy to fight.
Moslem religion requires that moslems work hard, the true God of heaven says to come unto Him and find rest.
Moslems are required by their god to defend their anemic god with jihad, the true God of heaven says "..stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.
Islam requires that they fight with the sword against all other religions, the true God of heaven says that His kingdom is not of this world else would his servants fight.
Moslems have a phony god, hence islam is a phony religion.
Why read any more. The Islamist declared war on the US. We are responding to their attacks.
As far a misunderstanding Jihad, what's to not understand about mad men screaming Jihad and death to America in the same breath?
The only misunderstanding is Islam means peace.
Tell that to those unfortunates in the countries it already dominates - about 1/4 of the globe, all countries which were once non-Muslim.
When Islam shows up with the sword, it is not just to conquer, but convert. Those do don't go along with the program either get eliminated or broken quickly and relegated to completely powerless, second-class status forever.
If Islam isn't isn't totally beaten in a country early enough, it quickly becomes "too late". You don't get a "second chance" with this deadly cult. It took centuries to drive the Moors out of Spain and that had to be done by outsiders, not the oppressed population. The resident population doesn't have a chance of doing it.
That's one reason Muslims are so furious over our invasion of Iraq. They look upon us as Infidel invaders who are trying to get rid of Islam, not just Saddam, whom they would happily put up with because he is a fellow Muslim. To Muslims, the House Of Islam and it's victory in the world is much more important than any little thing like "human rights", which in any case are not recognized in Islam.
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