God has armed soldiers which He has placed in the hearts and the souls and others of His worlds, and none knows their true nature and actual number except He. Know that the two soldiers of anger and sexual passion can be guided by the heart completely... or on the other hand disobey and rebel against it completely, until they enslave it. Therein lies the death of the heart and the termination of its journey towards eternal happiness. The heart has other soldiers: knowledge (`ilm), wisdom (hikma) and reflection (tafakkur) whose help it seeks by right, for they are the Party of God against the other two who belong to the party of shaytan...
Slide jihad- meaning and purpose
JIHAD Research Paper Submitted to: Dr. Gharib Khalil Presented by: Maha YoussufThe Higher Institution of Islamic Studies in Foreign Languages
Introduction Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, remained in Mecca for 13 years, bearing the most daunting of challenges and difficulties his mission ever faced, before he was given permission by Allah to engage in combative Jihad, or armed Jihad against enemies of Islam- yet nobody can argue that it was some of the toughest periods he or the Muslim community ever endured- it was a phase of serious Jihad, that didn‟t witness armed struggle or engagement in military offence whatsoever. Similarly, the end of his mission, peace be upon him, marked a new phase of striving and Jihad for the Muslim Nation, one that requires employment of all Muslim talents and capacities to exploit all forms of Jihad to serve the Ummah, call to the message of Allah, enjoin what is good, and fight against evil, as explained in one Prophetic Hadith, reading; “There is no more Hijra after the Conquest [of Mecca], but there is jihad and intention. When you are called to it then go."‟- Noble Hadith of The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), related by Lady Aicha (may Allah be pleased with her)- Agreed upon Hadith. The concept of Jihad has always been mistakenly defined as “religious militancy” and using weapons to annihilate followers of other faiths. Opposite to widespread misconception about Jihad, Islam doesnt call for armed struggle except to defer attacks by the enemy, on the contrary, it discourages initiating wars or put the lives of the innocent in jeopardy.
The faulty affiliation between Jihad and armed struggle and “terrorism” – what anti- Muslim critics call “Militant Islam” is strictly politically motivated, and used as a means to intervene in nations‟ domestic and foreign policies. Quite often the term „Jihad‟ is employed as some sort of a ploy used as a pretext for launching military campaigns, and having temporary or even military presence in some country or another. At a time where media is deployed and has absolute capability of launching war of words between nations, words and their meanings are themselves being manipulated to serve political motives and hidden agendas of super powers- and when it comes to war against Islam, „Jihad‟ is best used, or rather abused, as a potential tool of defamation, with its meaning confused with terrorism, and its causes and effects tailored and exploited in a way that suppresses the natural and fast=paced spread of Islam, the world‟s fastest growing religion. While many of us don‟t have the channel or means for meaningful political representation we‟ve got to remain alert to what‟s being said through the media, and what we‟re being fed through its various channels- Especially that we‟re living an unprecedented communications revolution that has indeed facilitated an open platform to all for all sorts of representation and reporting, and has, as well, brought the specter of confusion and misconception.
Lexical Meaning of JihadDefinition of „Jihad‟ from a linguistic perspective
Jihad is an Arabic word derived form the root verb "Jahada” 1- Arabic root verb „Jahada‟ and Linguistically it means to "struggle" and struggle takes various forms and is driven by a variety of implications motivations: either spiritual, physical, or mental- a group or individual struggle.
John L. Esposito, Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, known for his open mindedness and objective view of Islam reflected in almost all of his writings, penetrated the limiting boundaries of the widespread subjective2- John Esposito‟s definition of Jihad. In the Oxford Dictionary of Islam he Dictionary of authored a few years ago, Esposito described the exact meaning of Jihad as depending on the context. Islam In his „Oxford Dictionary of Islam‟, Esposito says that Jihad “may express a struggle against one‟s evil inclinations, and exertion to convert unbelievers, or a struggle for the moral betterment of the Islamic Community. Today often used without any religious connotation, with a meaning more or less equivalent to the English word crusade (as in „‟a crusade against drugs‟‟). If used in a religious context, the adjective Islamic or holy is added.”
Most Western Media and educational institutions fall victim to the limited definition of many Islamic and religious terms, and certainly Jihad is not an exception. However a thorough research of linguistic sources and dictionaries rendered an opposite understanding of the term, generally accepting a broader3- Merriam view of it. Merriam Webster‟s definition of Jihad Webster focuses on the widespread misinterpretation of Jihad, the very same limited and largely subjective view of „‟Jihad‟‟ that affiliates it with armed struggle, violence and aggression. According to Merriam Webster Jihad is “a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty; also: a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline”. And in another option Merriam Webster listed was „‟a crusade for a principle or belief‟‟.
Encyclopedia Britannica is perhaps more comprehensive in this regards than Merriam Webster, yet mixing its definition with the same widespread definition of Jihad (“struggle,” or “battle”). Encyclopedia Britannica says that Jihad is “a religious duty imposed on Muslims to spread Islam by waging war; jihad has come to denote any conflict waged for principle or belief and is often translated to mean “holy war.””4- Encyclopedia However, it argues that “Islam distinguishes four ways by which the duty of jihad can be fulfilled: by the heart, the tongue, the hand, and the Britannica sword. The first consists in a spiritual purification of one‟s own heart by doing battle with the devil and overcoming his inducements to evil.” So it does recognize Islam‟s listing of other types of Struggle, or Jihad to be accurate, that may as well include Jihad of the heart, mental Jihad, spiritual Jihad, verbal Jihad, in addition to armed Jihad or militant Jihad as explained above.
Besides the pretty narrow- minded interpretation of Jihad, as “ war or struggle against unbelievers: he declared a jihad against the infidels [mass noun]: the importance of jihad as a uniting force,” Oxford5- Oxford Dictionary offered what it termed as “greater jihad”,Dictionary saying that in Islam it is “the spiritual struggle within oneself against sin”. So it other types and forms of Jihad.” It also accepted the origin of the word “Arabic Jihad, literally effort, expressing, in Muslim thought, struggle on behalf of God and Islam.”
The Quranic Arabic Corpus explains that the trilateral root jīm hā dāl ( ) occurs 41 times in the Quran, in five different derivatives or forms: 27 times as the verb form jāhada ( ) four times as the noun jihād ( )6- The Quranic once as the noun juhd ( )Arabic Corpus five times as the verbal noun jahd ( ) four times as active participle mujāhidīn ( ) 90% if not more of the translations offered of the verb and its derivatives, including Jihad, are translated into ‘Strive’.
The Hanafi jurists; According to the Hanafis, Jihad is defined as the state of exerting one‟s1-Fours Schools utmost effort in fighting in the cause of Allah either by taking part in battle or by supporting the army financially or byof Fiqh: the tongue. The Malikis; According to the Malikis, Jihad means exerting one‟s utmost effort in fighting- Hanafis against a non-Muslim enemy with whom Muslims have no peace accord in order to raise the word of Allah, i.e.,- Malikis to convey or spread the message of Islam.- Shafiis The Shafiis;- Hanbalis define Jihad as fighting in the path of Allah. As for the Hanbalis; they simply define Jihad as fighting against unbelievers.
Armed fighting or combative Jihad is surely endorsed as an essential kind of Jihad that nobody can argue about or deny. But Jihad cannot be limited to just armed fighting, as it would deny a good share of the Ummah the permission to engage in Jihad, for not all Muslims are capable or eligible to engage in armed fighting, especially women. 2- Ibn Abbas, The coming lines will list a few views of some renowned scholars about non-combative father of the Jihad, to explore its different forms and purposes. discipline of About the noble verse, “(So obey not the disbelievers, but strive hard against them with it.),” Ibn Abbas said that “with it” refersQuranic Exegesis to the Holy Quran (Tafsir Ibn Kathir). As for “with the utmost endeavor”, Ibn Abbas says it refers to the duty of preaching and exhortation as the greatest of all kinds of Jihad. “Thus Jihad here considered as most essential by Ibn Abbas, cousin and associate of the Prophet and foremost exegete of the Quran, is the call to the Word of Allah”
In his book al-Minhaj, Imam Nawawi defined Jihad and its different categories, saying:3- Imam Nawawi “…one of the collective duties of the community as a whole (fard kifayah) is to lodge a valid protest, to solve problems of religion, to have knowledge of Divine Law, to command what is right and forbid wrong conduct.”
In his masterpiece, Fiqh as- Sunnah, Dr. Sayyid Sabiq, says: “Allah sent His Messenger to all of mankind and ordered him to call to guidance and the religion of truth. While he dwelled in Mecca, he called to Allah by using wisdom and the best exhortation. It was inevitable for him to face opposition from his people4- Sayyid Sabiq who saw the new message as a danger to their way of life. It was through the guidance of Allah that he faced the opposition with patience, tolerance and forbearance. “The Prophet did not engage in repulsing the aggressive attacks against the Muslims by his tribesmen, but sought to avoid conflict and avoid their persecution by means of migration.”
In his Zad al-Ma‟ad, Imam Ibn Al Qayem al-Jawzyyah says that Allah commanded what he refers o as „Jihad of Education‟ when He revealed: “If We willed, We could raise up a warner in every village. Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the5- Ibn Al- Qayem utmost strenuousness, with the (Quran).” al-Jawzyyah And given the fact that this is a Makkan verse, or a verse that was revealed in Mecca, before the Prophet was permitted to engage in armed fighting against the enemies of the Muslims, then it means that Allah command the Jihad against non-Muslims by argumentation, as a means of conveying the Quran.
In his book Al Jihad Fil Islam, Imam Al Buti says that “the most significant category of Jihad was the one established simultaneously with the dawn of the Islamic Dawah (calling for Islam) at Mecca. This was the basis for the other resulting kinds accorded with the situations and circumstances.” “Removing all misconceptions and stereotypes in clarifying the image of Islam held by non-Muslims, building a trusting relationship and working with them in ways that accord with their way of thinking, are all 6- Dr. Said primary forms of Educational Jihad. Similarly, establishing a strong community and nation which can fulfill all physicalRamadan Al- Buti needs of its people, thereby creating for them conditions in which the message will be heard, rather than being lost in the strife and struggle of everyday life, are requirements and form a basic building block of the Jihadic concept. These foundations fulfill the Quranic injunction: “Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: and these it is that shall be successful.”
Purpose of Jihad According to its different Categories
Purposes and Categorization of Jihad basically according to A- Imam Raghib B- Ibn Al Qayem Al-Asfahani al-Jawzyiah In his book; Mu‟jam Mufradat Alfadzh In his book; Za‟d al-Ma‟ad, Imam Ibn Al Al-Quran, dictionary of the Holy Quran, Qayem, the famous scholar from the Imam Raghib, Hanbali school of Fiqh, explains that an expert in Quranic interpretation, Jihad has four statuses: categorizes Jihad as mentioned in the Holy Quran into three meanings: 1) Jihad against self 2) Jihad against Satan 1) Struggle against a clear enemy, 3) Jihad against non-believers 2) Struggle against Satan and 4) Jihad against the hypocrites 3) Struggle against Nafs (Oneself)
Main Categories and Purposes discussed 1) Jihad against self - Imam Ghazali‟s explanation of Jihad Al Nafs („‟Know that the body is like a town and the intellect of the mature human being is like a king ruling that town.‟‟) - Imam Nawawi‟s explanation of Jihad Al Nafs "Only the sincere one (mukhlis) knows hypocrisy (riya)." This means that it is impossible to know the reality of hypocrisy and see its hidden shades except for one who resolutely seeks (arada) sincerity. That one strives for a long time (yajtahidu azmanan) searching and meditating and examining at length within himself until he knows or knows something of what hypocrisy is. “ - Imam Al Tirmidhi‟s explanation of Jihad Al Nafs (Two kinds of God Seekers and the stains of the heart) - Imam Ibn Al Qayem‟s explanation of Jihad Al Nafs (Striving “to learn guidance and the religion of truth” and striving even harder to practice and keep fast to what he learned.) 2) Jihad against Satan - Imam Ibn Al Qayem on Jihad Al Shaytan (Satan) (“Fighting him defensively against everything of false desires and slanderous doubts in faith that he throws towards the servant.”) 3) Jihad against the Enemies of Islam of Hypocrites and Disbelievers - Sayed Abul Alaa Mawdudi (“A man who exerts himself physically or mentally or spends his wealth in the way of Allah is indeed engaged in Jihad. But in the language of the Shariah this word is used particularly for a war that is waged solely in the name of Allah against those who practice oppression as enemies of Islam.”) - Imam Ibn Al Qayem on Jihad against Hypocrites and Disbelievers. (1. By heart2. By tongue 3. By wealth 4. By person. )
MisconceptionsLimiting its meaning to Combative Jihad, and affiliating it with aggression and terrorism
Misconceptions The Concept of Holy War (contentious misconception) - Western Media always translates Jihad as „Holy War‟. - Misinterpretation of Jihad from both sides, Muslims and Non- Muslims. - There‟s no mentioning in the Quran of war as being Holy.) - Lives are holy and not war… Jihad Vs. Terrorism (faulty perception of the notion of Jihad from both sides) - Dying for freedom to reign - Dying to Let nations live. - “Jihad on Terrorism” (Documentary) - Listing views about Jihad of: Dr. Jamal Badawy, a renowned author, preacher and speaker on Islam and member of Islamic Society of North America also a member of the board of trustees of Bridges Foundation, Dr. Robert Pape, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, Dr. Philippe Sands, Professor of International law at University College London, Imam Suhaib Webb, an active member of the Muslim American Society, Fadel Soliman, Director of Bridges Foundation, Dr. Gunnar Westberg-Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick, a popular Muslim scholar, writer, historian and social activist of Native American origin, Aishah Schwartz, Founder and Director of the Washington, D.C.-based Muslimah Writers Alliance, Dr. Samuel Pierce Clinical Psychologist, and Petrina Higgs, a UK-based peace activist.--- (All speakers in the documentary)
Misconceptions No Compulsion - “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” - - Quran (2:256) - “…”I have been ordered to fight” .. Explanation of the Hadith in light of this context. - Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had to fight disbelief out of people‟s minds and hearts, yet not through the use of force, which was used only to ward off offence and injustice launched and practiced against Muslims back then. Daniel Pipes on Jihad - According to Pipes; “Jihad is "holy war." Or, more precisely: It means the legal, compulsory, communal effort to expand the territories ruled by Muslims at the expense of territories ruled by non-Muslims.” Paul Marshal on Jihad - Paul Marshal, General Editor of "Religious Freedom in the World; discusses about what he described as “radical Islam, or Islamism, or Islamofascism.”
Conclusion A deep look into the teachings of Islam would render a totally different understanding of this noble doctrine than whats sometimes said about it being an ideology thats dangerous and prejudiced against other faiths. Islam, as the word means in Arabic, is one derivation of the root Salam, or peace. And indeed it promotes peaceful-coexistence and warding off whatever that may inflict harm on human beings. Allah says in the Quran: "On account of [his deed], We decreed to the Children of Israel that if anyone kills a person– unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land– it is as if he kills all mankind, while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind. Our messengers came to them with clear signs, but many of them continued to commit excesses in the land." -- Quran (5:32) Islams truthful message lays strict rules that safeguard peoples rights, sanctity of their lives and dignity, setting sever punishments for acts or sin that violate their safety or their well- being. So Jihad is a methodology of Islam, itself an ideology that fights terror rather than promoting it. Allah certainly doesn‟t need people‟s force to assert His power or His word.
References 1. Daniel Pipes, New York Post, December 31, 2002 http://www.danielpipes.org 2- Oxford Dictionary of Islam, by John Esposito 3- Imam Ghazali‟s Ihyaa Ulum Al Din- Revival of Religious Sciences 4- Understanding Jihad, by David Cook, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS - BERKELEY LOS ANGELES LONDON 5- Bridges Foundations‟ Documentary; Jihad on Terrorism 6- Imam Suhaib Webb‟s official website: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/ 7- Militant Islam Reaches America, by Daniel Pipes 8- Encyclopedia Britannica 9- Oxford Dictionary 10- The Quranic Arabic Corpus- www.corpus.quran.com 11- Merriam Webster 12- The Future of Islam, by John Esposito 13- Dictionary of the Holy Quran, Mu‟jam Mufradat Alfadzh Al-Quran 14- Game‟e Al Ulul wal Hikam, by Ibn Rajab Al Hanbaly 15- Understanding Jihad- Dissertation by Ustaz Haji Ali Haji Mohamed, http://www.rrg.sg/edisi/data/Understanding_jihad.pdf Ustaz Haji Ali Haji Mohamed is a Council Member of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), a member of the Fatwa Committee of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS). He is one of the Core Personnel of the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG), and a member of the Inter- Agency Aftercare Committee (Aftercare Group). He is also the Chairman of the Accreditation of Asatizah (Religious Teachers) of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) and the Chairman of Khadijah Mosque Management Board 16- WAR IN ISLAMIC LAW: JUSTIFICATIONS AND REGULATIONS By: Ahmed Mohsen Al-Dawoody- - A thesis submitted to University of Birmingham for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/382/1/Aldawoody09PhD.pdf 17- Islamic Supreme Council of America, Jihad, Terrorism and Suicide Bombing: The Classical Islamic Perspective - Page 5, http://www.islamicsupremecouncil.org/understanding-islam/legal-rulings/21-jihad-classical-islamic-perspective.html?start=4 18- Assunah Foundation of America: www.sunnah.org (help with translation of excerpts of text books) 19- Aadaab al -muridin [Rules of Conduct for the Seekers of God] Ed. Abdulfattah Abdullah Baraka, Cairo: Matba`at as-sa`adat, 1976. 20- Imam Nawawis Bustan al-`arifin (The Garden of Gnostics), Beirut: Dar al-kitab al-`arabi, 1405/1985 p. 53-54. 21- Jihad on Terrorism Documentary- Bridges Foundation. 22- Sayed Abu Alaa Mawdudi- Towards Understanding Islam 23- The Islamic Supreme Council of America: Jihad, Terrorism and Suicide Bombing: The Classical Islamic Perspective http://www.islamicsupremecouncil.org/ 24- John Esposito and Dalia Mogahed‟s Who Speaks for Islam, p 20 25- Daniel Pipes‟ official website www.danielpipes.org