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What is Jihad in Islam

What is Jihad in Islam ?

Many people misinterpret or misunderstand the word “jihad,” believing it to indicate war, which is entirely false in Islam. Let’s begin by understanding what Jihad means in Islam, its various forms, and much more in this article.

Jihad Meaning

In Islam, the word “jihad” refers to the effort to uphold morality. In Islam, the term “Jihad” refers to abstaining from wrongdoing, working towards self-improvement, teaching others about Islam, and imparting knowledge to others. It does not imply violence or senseless slaughter. In Islam, jihad entails fighting when faced with tyranny in the practice of one’s religion and danger to one’s life. Muslims are taught to flee oppressive environments, but they are also free to defend themselves if the oppressor assaults.

What does the Quran say about jihad?

The Holy Quran has numerous verses regarding jihad; below are a few of them:

أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَٰتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمۡ ظُلِمُواْۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ نَصۡرِهِمۡ لَقَدِيرٌ

Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory.

(QURAN 22:39)

وَقَٰتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُقَٰتِلُونَكُمۡ وَلَا تَعۡتَدُوٓاْۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُعۡتَدِينَ

Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.

(QURAN 2:190)

وَأَعِدُّواْ لَهُم مَّا ٱسۡتَطَعۡتُم مِّن قُوَّةٖ وَمِن رِّبَاطِ ٱلۡخَيۡلِ تُرۡهِبُونَ بِهِۦ عَدُوَّ ٱللَّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمۡ وَءَاخَرِينَ مِن دُونِهِمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُونَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ يَعۡلَمُهُمۡۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِن شَيۡءٖ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيۡكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا تُظۡلَمُونَ

And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.

(QURAN 8:60)

۞وَإِن جَنَحُواْ لِلسَّلۡمِ فَٱجۡنَحۡ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى ٱللَّهِۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ

And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.

(QURAN 8:61)

وَمَا لَكُمۡ لَا تُقَٰتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡمُسۡتَضۡعَفِينَ مِنَ ٱلرِّجَالِ وَٱلنِّسَآءِ وَٱلۡوِلۡدَٰنِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَآ أَخۡرِجۡنَا مِنۡ هَٰذِهِ ٱلۡقَرۡيَةِ ٱلظَّالِمِ أَهۡلُهَا وَٱجۡعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيّٗا وَٱجۡعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ نَصِيرًا

And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, “Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?”

(QURAN 4:75)

وَقَٰتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُقَٰتِلُونَكُمۡ وَلَا تَعۡتَدُوٓاْۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُعۡتَدِينَ

Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.

(QURAN 2:190)

وَٱقۡتُلُوهُمۡ حَيۡثُ ثَقِفۡتُمُوهُمۡ وَأَخۡرِجُوهُم مِّنۡ حَيۡثُ أَخۡرَجُوكُمۡۚ وَٱلۡفِتۡنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ ٱلۡقَتۡلِۚ وَلَا تُقَٰتِلُوهُمۡ عِندَ ٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡحَرَامِ حَتَّىٰ يُقَٰتِلُوكُمۡ فِيهِۖ فَإِن قَٰتَلُوكُمۡ فَٱقۡتُلُوهُمۡۗ كَذَٰلِكَ جَزَآءُ ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ

And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

(QURAN 2:191)

فَإِنِ ٱنتَهَوۡاْ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٞ رَّحِيمٞ

And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

(QURAN 2:192)

وَقَٰتِلُوهُمۡ حَتَّىٰ لَا تَكُونَ فِتۡنَةٞ وَيَكُونَ ٱلدِّينُ لِلَّهِۖ فَإِنِ ٱنتَهَوۡاْ فَلَا عُدۡوَٰنَ إِلَّا عَلَى ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ

Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.

(QURAN 2:193)

Conclusion

Understanding what jihad is in Islam requires moving beyond simplistic assumptions and engaging in meaningful dialogue. By appreciating its true essence and diverse expressions, we can dispel harmful stereotypes and foster a more nuanced understanding of this complex term. Remember, the vast majority of Muslims strive for peace, justice, and self-improvement, embodying the true spirit of jihad in their daily lives.

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