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For other uses, see Jihad (disambiguation).
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Jihad (English pronunciation: /dʒɪˈhɑːd/; Arabic: جهاد ǧihād [dʒiˈhæːd]), an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is mujahideen. Jihad is an important religious duty for Muslims. A minority among the Sunni scholars sometimes refer to this duty as the sixth pillar of Islam, though it occupies no such official status. In Twelver Shi'a Islam, however, Jihad is one of the 10 Practices of the Religion.
According to the authoritative Dictionary of Islam jihad is defined as: "A religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad ... enjoined especially for the purpose of advancing Islam and repelling evil from Muslims." The prominent British-American orientalist Bernard Lewis argues that in the hadiths and the classical manuals of Islamic law jihad has a military meaning in the large majority of cases. In a commentary of the hadith Sahih Muslim, entitled al-Minhaj, the medieval Islamic scholar Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi stated that "one of the collective duties of the community as a whole (fard kifaya) 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". An accurate interpretation of the concept of Jihad is provided by the BBC about how Muslims describe three different types of struggles:
A believer's internal struggle to live out the Muslim faith as well as possible
The struggle to build a good Muslim society
Holy war: the struggle to defend Islam, with force if necessary
In western societies the term jihad is often translated by non-Muslims as "holy war". Scholars of Islamic studies often stress that these words are not synonymous. Muslim authors, in particular, tend to reject such an approach, stressing non-militant connotations of the word.
[hide] 1 Origins
2 Usage of the term 2.1 Distinction of "greater" and "lesser" jihad
2.2 The best of jihad
2.3 Spiritual struggle
2.4 Warfare (Jihad bil Saif)
3 Views of different Muslim groups 3.1 Ahmadiyya
4 History 4.1 The Assassins - 1124
4.2 Fedayeen-i Islam
4.3 Muslim brotherhood
5 Warfare in Muslim societies
6 Non-Muslim opinions
7 See also
9 Further reading
10 External links
Expeditions of Muhammad
Ghazwah (expeditions where he took part)
Caravan Raids ·
Dul Ashir ·
1st Badr ·
Invasion of Nejd ·
2nd Badr ·
1st Jandal ·
2nd Lahyan ·
Conquest of Fidak ·
3rd Qura ·
Dhat al-Riqa ·
Sariyyah (expeditions which he ordered)
1st Asad ·
1st Lahyan ·
Al Raji ·
Bir Maona ·
Assassination of Abu Rafi ·
2nd Asad ·
1st Thalabah ·
2nd Thalabah ·
Dhu Qarad ·
3rd Thalabah ·
1st Qura ·
2nd Jandal ·
1st Ali ·
2nd Qura ·
Abu Bakr ·
3rd Fadak ·
Banu Layth ·
Dhat Atlah ·
Abu Ubaidah ·
Abi Hadrad ·
1st Khalid ibn Walid ·
Demolition of Suwa ·
Demolition of Manat ·
2nd Khalid ibn Walid ·
Demolition of Yaghuth ·
1st Autas ·
2nd Autas ·
Banu Tamim ·
Banu Khatham ·
Banu Kilab ·
3rd Ali ·
3rd Khalid ibn Walid ·
4th Khalid ibn Walid ·
Abu Sufyan ·
5th Khalid ibn Walid ·
2nd Ali ·
3rd Ali ·
Dhul Khalasa ·
Army of Usama (Final Expedition)
The beginnings of Jihad are traced back to the words and actions of Muhammad and the Quran. This encourages the use of Jihad against non-Muslims. The Quran, however, never uses the term Jihad for fighting and combat in the name of Allah; qital is used to mean “fighting.” Jihad in the Quran was originally intended for the nearby neighbors of the Muslims, but as time passed and more enemies arose, the Quranic statements supporting Jihad were updated for the new adversaries. The first documentation of the law of Jihad was written by ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Awza’i and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani. The document grew out of debates that had surfaced ever since Muhammad's death.
Usage of the term
In Modern Standard Arabic, jihad is one of the correct terms for a struggle for any cause, violent or not, religious or secular (though كفاح kifāḥ is also used). For instance, Mahatma Gandhi's satyagraha struggle for Indian independence is called a "jihad" in Modern Standard Arabic (as well as many other dialects of Arabic); the terminology is also applied to the fight for women's liberation.
The term 'jihad' has accrued both violent and non-violent meanings. It can simply mean striving to live a moral and virtuous life, spreading and defending Islam as well as fighting injustice and oppression, among other things. The relative importance of these two forms of jihad is a matter of controversy. A poll by Gallup showed that a "significant majority" of Muslim Indonesians define the term to mean "sacrificing one's life for the sake of Islam/God/a just cause" or "fighting against the opponents of Islam". In Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan, and Morocco, the majority used the term to mean "duty toward God", a "divine duty", or a "worship of God", with no militaristic connotations. Other responses referenced, in descending order of prevalence:
"A commitment to hard work" and "achieving one's goals in life"
"Struggling to achieve a noble cause"
"Promoting peace, harmony or cooperation, and assisting others"
"Living the principles of Islam"
Distinction of "greater" and "lesser" jihad
In his work, The History of Baghdad, Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, an 11th-century Islamic scholar, referenced a statement by the companion of Muhammad Jabir ibn Abd-Allah. The reference stated that Jabir said, "The Prophet... returned from one of his battles, and thereupon told us, 'You have arrived with an excellent arrival, you have come from the Lesser Jihad to the Greater Jihad—the striving of a servant (of Allah) against his desires (holy war)."[unreliable source?] This reference gave rise to the distinguishing of two forms of jihad: "greater" and "lesser". Some Islamic scholars dispute the authenticity of this reference and consider the meaning of jihad as a holy war to be more important.
The Non Muslim scholar, David Cook's opinion is that the violent Jihad is not superseded by the spiritual Jihad, he writes:
In reading Muslim literature -- both contemporary and classical -- one can see that the evidence for the primacy of spiritual jihad is negligible. Today it is certain that no Muslim, writing in a non-Western language (such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu), would ever make claims that jihad is primarily nonviolent or has been superseded by the spiritual jihad. Such claims are made solely by Western scholars, primarily those who study Sufism and/or work in interfaith dialogue, and by Muslim apologists who are trying to present Islam in the most innocuous manner possible David Cook, Understanding Jihad, University of California Press, 2005, p.165-6
According to the Muslim Jurist Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, the quote in which Muhammad is reported to have said that greater Jihad is the inner struggle, is from an unreliable source:
"This saying is widespread and it is a saying by Ibrahim ibn Ablah according to Nisa'i in al-Kuna. Ghazali mentions it in the Ihya' and al-`Iraqi said that Bayhaqi related it on the authority of Jabir and said: There is weakness in its chain of transmission." Hajar al Asqalani, Tasdid al-qaws, see also Kashf al-Khafaa’ (no.1362)
The best of jihad
During the Arab spring, many peaceful demonstrations in Arab countries faced violence and gunfire by their government's regime. The gunfires encouraged the protests and fed them to revolutions, based on their strong faith of what is called "the best of jihad". The best of jihad was encouraged by their prophet, Muhammad, saying:
"The best Jihad is the word of Justice in front of the oppressive Sultan [ruler]."
In a battlefield context, when jihad is used to denote warfare, Ibn Nuhaas cited the following hadith to explain the meaning of the "best Jihad":
Ibn Habbaan narrates: The Messenger of Allah was asked about the best jihad. He said: “The best jihad is the one in which your horse is slain and your blood is spilled.” [Al Baqarah 15]
In a similarly worded Hadith to the one above, Ibn Nuhaas cited a hadith from Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, where it states that the highest kind of Jihad, is "“The person who is killed whilst spilling the last of his blood.”[Ahmed 4/144]
It has also been reported that Muhammad considered performing hajj to be the best jihad for Muslim women.
Muslim scholar Mahmoud Ayoub states that "The goal of true jihad is to attain a harmony between islam (submission), iman (faith), and ihsan (righteous living)."
In modern times, Pakistani scholar and professor Fazlur Rahman Malik has used the term to describe the struggle to establish "just moral-social order", while President Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia has used it to describe the struggle for economic development in that country.