Jihad is viewed by Muslims as the struggle to overcome personal temptations and worldly temptation and the struggle to becoming an overall better Muslim. And although this greater form of jihad is the one widely accepted by Muslims, it is often overlooked by everyone else. The second part of jihad is the lesser jihad which includes fighting injustice and oppression against Islamic communities and beliefs and this jihad was applied when early Muslims were being prosecuted and driven out of their lands, this is mentioned in the Qur’an in different places such as "God does not forbid you, regarding those (non-Muslims) who did not fight you because of your religion, and who did not drive you out of your land, that you be good to them and treat them justly. Allah only forbids you regarding those who fought you because of your religion and drove you out of your homes, and came to the help of those who drove you out, that you should befriend them. Any of you who befriend them (and be their allies) are transgressors.
It is hypothesized that if the extremist factions of our society will keep misinterpreting Jihad in the name of terrorism then the aim and image of our religion Islam that promotes religious tolerance will be distorted. The following sources of the literature review support this hypothesis. It is being widely believed that terrorist actions are mostly done by the Muslim jihadist. People misinterpret jihad and terrorism. According to Islam In any case strict conditions prescribed for jihad are supposed to be observed and not transgressed.
Islamic terrorist groups use religion to justify their violent movement by claiming that their religion is the only just religion, strictly following religious leaders and sacred texts, and preserving their aboriginal religious beliefs. Many terrorists believe that their religion is the only true religion, and they use it to justify violence (“Islamic Terrorism”). Most Muslim terrorists follow Jihad. Jihad is an Islamic perception that the way to integrate their religion is by massive force (“Of True Muslims and Terrorists”). Jihad is considered the “sixth pillar” of faith in Islam because it is the constant fight towards good.
In the days after September 11, 2001, American leaders rushed to portray Islam as a peaceful religion that had been "hijacked" by a fanatical band of terrorists. One hopes that these assurances were merely tactical—that nobody was meant to believe them and that they were meant to assure the Muslim world that the inevitable American reprisals were not directed at their religion as a whole. If the world Muslim community perceived America as attacking Islam in general then the duty of every Muslim to fight for his religion—the duty of jihad—would have been invoked on a broad scale. The war against terrorism, instead of simmering with occasional flare-ups, like the Cold War, would have boiled over into a global conflagration, with the Muslim countries of the world—1.2 billion strong—mobilizing against America and the West. Muslim apologists also rushed forward to assure the public that Islam was a peaceful religion.
Due to violent acts by radical Islamic terrorist groups, the Western world has grappled with defining the Quranic term Jihad. The World Trade Center attacks on 9/11 have only exacerbated their confusion. It is important to understand what the word “Jihad” means before one can analyze how it being interpreted or misrepresented by the west. In Islam, Jihad refers to a duty that muslims must fulfill, or a religious duty. It could also mean the fight against someone’s negative emotions as referred to in the Oxford Islamic Studies or it could mean the struggle against nonbelievers.
While holy war may be part of the struggle of Muslims, it is not the entirety of Jihad. In its primary sense, Jihad is an internal struggle to rid oneself of debased actions or inclinations and devote oneself to achieving a higher moral standard through prayer, study, and spreading the Islamic Faith, since it is of universal validity (Peace 2). With the use of the word Jihad by men such as Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden, many people believe that Jihad highlights the violent nature of Muslim people. However, in its pure form, Islam is not at all violent. Muslims are taught to fulfill Jihad through four methods: the heart, the tongue, the hand, and the sword (Jihad 2).
These stereotypes of violence and backwards thinking have been further perpetuated by even more recent examples of extremism by Muslim terrorists. Although most Muslims are peaceful and do not endorse the violence of their Muslim brethren, there are some who believe it is their responsibility to punish those who do not adhere to Islam. This religion is no stranger to divinely motivated warfare. Islam was founded on the belief that it is excusable to harm others in the name of Allah. The terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, holds many of these beliefs.
Traditional spiritual Muslims believe that the inner jihad and following the godly life of Allah is the ultimate form of struggle. However, this ideal has been highly contested by the radical Islamists who subscribe to the proposition that the outer-based struggle is more favorable to God. For them, jihad is the way to defeat the “evils” of the society— the Western ideologies, disbelieving leaders and other government forms—and Islam is the ultimate solution to all the ills of the world.
War in Christianity and Islam Does such a combination of words as "a war in the name of God" make sense? The main principles, which underlie Christianity and Islam, are those of goodness, kindness, lack of aggression and respecting certain moral laws. Christianity and Islam provide human society with a code of ethics, which totally rejects war because it is something violent, inhumane and cruel. Still, over the course of human history many wars have been justified with religion and with imposing the "right faith". Because of misunderstanding of certain parts of religion or deliberate misuse of it European and Islamic states have often used violence to fulfill their goals.
Pre-Islamic Arabia was populated with tribes that often engaged in civil warfare because it was the tradition and norm to settle disputes violently rather than through peaceful means. Commenting on this, Asghar Engineer, a learned western Muslim wrote: Violent Jihad as a struggle against one’s enemies has its root in [these] situations. When the Islamic religion spread over the region, Jihad became a religious tenet and assumed the form of a peaceful, internal struggle to strive for the good and reject the evil in one’s action. Violent, external conflict was never r... ... middle of paper ... ... careful not to develop a hierarchy of world superiority where Islamic culture lies beneath us lest we continue to misunderstand such an exquisite word like Jihad. We must also not consider the media at face value.