WHAT IS "JIHAD"? AN ANSWER FROM THE QUR'AN AND OTHER MUSLIM SOURCES
According to the Book “Islam- Beliefs and Teachings” by Ghulam Sarwar, of the Muslim Educational Trust, “Jihad is defined thus:
“Jihad is the use of all our energies and resources to establish the Islamic system of life, in order to gain Allah's favour. Jihad is an Arabic word which means to `try one's utmost”. It is a continuous process. In its first phase a Muslim learns to control his own bad desires and intentions. We need to strive hard to achieve this. This is Jihad within ourselves and is the basis for the comprehensive Jihad which is concerned with establishing Ma'ruf (right) and removing Munkar (evil) from our lives and from society. (note: my emphasis, to ensure the reader that he or she does not miss the point being made here.) It demands the use of all our material and mental resources. Eventually we may be required to give our life for the cause of Islam. (My emphasis)
The aim of jihad is to seek the pleasure of Allah. This must not be forgotten, because this purpose is the basis of all Islamic endeavors.
Earlier, we learned about the basic duties of Shahadah, Salah, Zakah, Sauwm, and Hajj. All these duties teach us to obey Allah and gain His favour so that we pass the test on the day of judgment and receive the reward of entering Paradise - the place of permanent happiness, joy and peace.
Regular and conscious performance of the four basic duties will inspire us to live and die for the cause of Islam, which we believe to be the only right course for success in life and in the hereafter. In other words, all Islamic duties should prepare us to engage in Jihad. Jihad is the end result of our efforts in Salah, zakah, Sawm, and Hajj. We cannot think of Islam without Jihad.
We would like to see truth prevail and falsehood vanish, but we are aware that this cannot happen on its own; we have to do our utmost to achieve it. The performance of other Islamic duties will be meaningless if they do not lead us towards the target of Jihad.
The method of Jihad is the one practiced by Prophet Muhammad. His life is the perfect example for us and we will learn about it later.”
On page 85 of the same book, we read:
“Muhammad's duty, according to the Qur'an, was to make Islam supreme over all other systems of life (61:9, 48:28, 7:33).
In other words, you can say that Muhammad was made the messenger of Allah to see that truth prevails and falsehood vanishes. As Muslims, we must also work towards the establishment of the supremacy of Allah's Law and the removal of evil from society.”
I have in my possession some books called “Hayatus Sahabah” which is an English translation of an Arabic book depicting the different aspects of the lives of the companions of Muhammad.
In Volume one, there is a section which is entitled “Al-Jihad”. The book devotes 258 pages to various accounts of battles that were fought by Muhammad and his followers for the cause of establishing Islam in the world. Through the study of this book, we can see that the method of Jihad as practiced by Muhammad is one of bloodshed and conquering in the name of Allah.
The so-called “Holy War” in which thousands of innocent citizens are slaughtered in the case of the attack on the World Trade Towers is the method of choice for some Muslims to make Islam supreme over all other systems of life.
The student of Islam has been told that Muhammad's life is the perfect example for those who are Muslims.
What a contrast this life was to the Life of Jesus Christ, Who willingly died for all humanity so that none should perish. Jesus spoke of Blessing those who curse us, and to pray for those who despitefully use us. He reminded us that Vengeance the Lord's, and not ours.
From what the doctrine of Jihad appears to teach, the answer to those who do not agree with you is to kill them. And you can be justified in doing it, because if they don't agree with your doctrine, then they must be unbelievers, and if they are unbelievers, they are evil. And the purpose of Jihad is to remove evil from society.
In the book, “TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING ISLAM”, by Abul A'la Mawdudi, (published in 1932) a popular hand book endorsed by the Islamic Circle of North America, as a means of explaining the fundamentals of Islam to young students and less-educated adults in a simple and straight forward manner we can read the following:
DEFENSE OF ISLAM
The defense of Islam is not a fundamental belief but its importance has been repeatedly emphasized in the Qur'an and Sunnah*. It is essentially a test of our sincerity as believers in Islam. If we do not defend a friend of ours against plots or assaults from his enemies, nor care for his needs, we are indeed false pretenders of friendship. In the same way, if we profess belief in Islam, we must jealously guard and uphold the prestige of Islam. Our sole guide for our conduct must be the interests of Muslims at large and the service of Islam in the face of which all our personal considerations must sink low.
Jihad is a part of this overall defense of Islam. Jihad means to struggle to the utmost of one's capacity. A man who exerts himself physically or mentally or spends his wealth in the cause of God is indeed engaged in jihad. But in the language of the Divine Law, this word is used specifically for the war that is waged solely in the name of God against those who perpetrate oppression as enemies of Islam. This supreme sacrifice is the responsibility of all Muslims. If, however, a section of the Muslims offer themselves for participating in jihad, the whole community is absolved of it's responsibility. But if none comes forward, everyone is held guilty. This concession vanishes for the citizens of an Islamic State when it is attacked by a non-Muslim power. In this case, everybody must come forward for jihad. If the country attacked does not have enough strength to fight back, then it is the duty of the neighboring Muslim countries to offer help. If even they fail, then the Muslims of the whole world must fight the common enemy. In all these cases, jihad is as much a primary duty as are daily prayers or fasting. One who avoids it is a sinner. His every claim to being a Muslim is doubtful. He is plainly a hypocrite who fails in the test of sincerity and all his acts of worship are a sham, a worthless, hollow show of devotion.”
(TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING ISLAM by Abul A'la Mawdudi pg.124-125)
(*SUNNAH MEANS THE PRACTICE OF THE PROPHET, OR HIS LIFE EXAMPLE)
WHAT THIS TELLS US, IS THAT AS LONG AS AMERICA IS INVOLVED IN FIGHTING IN MUSLIM COUNTRIES AGAINST ISLAMIC TERRORISTS, THOSE MUSLIMS WHO ARE MUSLIMS INDEED, AND WHO ARE IN OUR COUNTRY'S BORDERS ARE A THREAT TO EVERY NON-MUSLIM AMERICAN CITIZEN!
In the forward of this book, Abul A'la Mawdudi is identified as “this century's great Islamic thinker, scholar, reformer, and revolutionary leader.”
In Surah 9:5, we read:
“But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and sieze them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war):
But if they repent, and establish regular prayers, and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most merciful.”
What a revealing Surah to those who love to quote the Surah that says “Let there be no compulsion in religion” (Surah II:256)
Then we have this revealing Surah to show us the Muslim's true intent:
”Fight hose who believe not in God [Allah] nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which had been forbidden by God and His apostle [Muhammad], nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth [Islam], (even if they are) of the People of the Book [i.e. Jews and Christians], until they pay the Jizya [poll-tax] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (Surah IX:29)
Obviously the god that inspired this Surah is NOT the God of the Bible.
M. Ali, author of “Islam Revealed”, points out the fact that the God of the Bible warns the enemies of His people (Jews and Christians) against taking up Jihad against them:
“He suffered no man to do them wrong, yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, saying, touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” (Psalm 105:14-15)
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM, AND THAT THE EYES OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN BLINDED BY ISLAM WOULD BE OPENED TO THE TRUTH THAT IS IN JESUS CHRIST.
IF YOU ARE A MUSLIM WHO HAS REALIZED YOUR NEED TO TURN TO THE ONE TRUE GOD, AND TO REPENT OF YOUR HATRED FOR GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE, PRAY THIS PRAYER:
"FATHER GOD, I CONFESS THAT I AM A SINNER, AND I HAVE SINNED IN HARBORING HATEFUL THOUGHTS TOWARDS OTHERS WHO DID NOT BELIEVE THE WAY I HAVE BELIEVED. I REALIZE NOW THAT JESUS CHRIST DIED ON THE CROSS FOR MY SINS, AND FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD, AND I NOW REALIZE THAT YOUR DESIRE IS FOR ALL MEN TO KNOW YOUR MERCY AND YOUR GRACE THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST. I BELIEVE THAT HE DIED AND ON THE THIRD DAY THAT HE ROSE AGAIN, SO I COULD HAVE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE. I ASK YOU TO FORGIVE ME FOR MY SINS, AND I NOW ASK JESUS CHRIST TO COME INTO MY HEART AND TO BE MY LORD AND SAVIOUR. I RENOUNCE THE FALSE TEACHINGS OF ISLAM, AND I DECLARE JESUS CHRIST AS MY LORD. IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, I PRAY...
LET ME KNOW IF YOU PRAYED THIS PRAYER...
A PRAYER FOR ISRAEL IN THIS TIME OF TROUBLE
STUDIES IN THE WORD