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Part of a series on the Islamic creed:

Sunni Five Pillars of Islam

Shahādah - Profession of faith
Salat - Prayer
Zakât - Paying of alms (giving to the poor)
Sawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca

Sunni Six articles of belief

Tawhīd - Oneness
Nabi and Rusul - Prophets and Messengers
Kutub - Divinely Revealed Books.
Malā'ikah - Angels
Qiyâmah - Judgment Day
Qadar - Fate

Shia Twelvers
Principles of the Religion

Tawhīd - Oneness
Adalah - Justice
Nubuwwah - Prophethood
Imamah - Leadership
Qiyâmah - Judgment day

Shia Twelvers
Practices of the Religion

Salat - Prayer
Sawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca
Zakât - Poor-rate
Khums - One-fifth tax
Jihad - Struggle
Amr-Bil-Ma'rūf - Commanding good
Nahi-Anil-Munkar - Forbidding evil
Tawalla - Loving the Ahl al-Bayt
Tabarra - Disassociating Ahl al-Bayt's enemies

Shia Ismaili 7 pillars

Walayah - Guardianship
Taharah - Purity & cleanliness
Salat - Prayers
Zakât - Purifying religious dues
Sawm - Fasting during Ramadan
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca
Jihad - Struggle


Salafi/Kharijite Sixth pillar of Islam.

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Jihad, sometimes spelled Jahad, Jehad, Jihaad, Jiaad, Djehad, Jawwad, or Cihad, (Arabic: جهادǧihād) is an Islamic term, meaning to strive or struggle in the way of God, and is sometimes referred to as the sixth pillar of Islam, although it has no official status.<ref name="jih">John Esposito(2005), Islam: The Straight Path, pp.93</ref> Jihad has a wider meaning in Islamic literature. It can be striving to lead a good Muslim life, praying and fasting regularly, being an attentive spouse and parent or working hard to spread the message of Islam.<ref>John Esposito(2002). Unholy war: terror in the name of Islam, Oxford University Press, US. ISBN 0195154355. pp.26</ref> Jihad is also used in the meaning of struggle for or defence of Islam, the holy war. Despite the fact that Jihad is not supposed to include aggressive warfare, this has occured, as exemplified by early extremists like Kharijites and contemporary groups like Egypt's Jihad Organization (which assasinated Anwar Al Sadat) as well as Jihad organizations in Lebanon, the Gulf states, and Indonesia.<ref name="jih"/>

In Muhammad's time, after Itmam al-hujjah (completion of the proof, a doctrine in Islam related to prophets), polytheists of Arabia were asked for submission to Islam as a condition for exoneration and the others for jizya and submission to the political authority of the Muslims for exemption from death punishment and for military protection as the dhimmis of the Muslims.<ref name="jjihad">Ghamidi, Javed (2001). “The Islamic Law of Jihad”, Mizan. Dar ul-Ishraq. OCLC 52901690.</ref> Islamic scholars have different opinions on Jihad, however, there is a consensus that armed struggle against persecution and oppression will always continue.<ref name="jjihad"/>


[edit] Classifications of Jihad by Muslims

See also: Opinion of Islamic scholars on Jihad

Jihad has been classified either as al-jihād al-akbar (the greater jihad), the struggle against one's soul (nafs), or al-jihād al-asghar (the lesser jihad), the external, physical effort, often implying fighting.

Muslim scholars explained there are five kinds of jihad fi sabilillah (struggle in the cause of God):<ref name="Encarta-jihad">Template:Cite web</ref>

  • Jihad of the heart/soul (jihad bin nafs/qalb) is an inner struggle of good against evil in the mind, through concepts such as tawhid.
  • Jihad by the tongue (jihad bil lisan) is a struggle of good against evil waged by writing and speech, such as in the form of dawah (proselytizing), Khutbas (sermons), et al. It is one weapon in the jihadi arsenal.
  • Jihad by the pen and knowledge (jihad bil qalam/ilm) is a struggle for good against evil through scholarly study of Islam, ijtihad (legal reasoning), and through sciences (such as medical sciences).
  • Jihad by the hand (jihad bil yad) refers to a struggle of good against evil waged by actions or with one's wealth, such as going on the Hajj pilgrimage (seen as the best jihad for women), taking care of elderly parents, providing funding for jihad, political activity for furthering the cause of Islam, stopping evil by force, espionage, and the penetration of Western universities by salafi Islamic ideology, in numerous Middle East Studies departments funded by Saudi Arabia.
  • Jihad by the sword (jihad bis saif) refers to qital fi sabilillah (armed fighting in the way of God, or holy war), the most common usage by Salafi Muslims and offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood.

[edit] Greater and lesser Jihad

Islamic scholar Gibril Haddad has analyzed the basis for the belief that internal jihad is the greater jihad. ("Jihad al-akbar"). Haddad identifies the primary historical basis for this belief in a pair of similarly worded hadeeth, in which Muhammed is reported to have told warriors returning home that they had returned from the lesser jihad of struggle against unbelievers to a greater jihad of struggle against lust. Although Haddad notes that the authenticity of both hadeeth is questionable, he nevertheless concludes that the underlying principle of superiority internal jihad does have a reliable basis in the Qur'an and other writings.<ref name="Haddad-LivingIslam">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="Haddad-SunniPath">Template:Cite web]</ref>

On the other hand, The Hanbali scholar Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya did believe that "internal Jihad" is important<ref>http://www.abc.se/~m9783/n/dgjh_e.html</ref> but he alleges those hadith as weak which consider "Jihad of the heart/soul" to be more important than "Jihad by the sword".<ref>Jihad in the Hadith, Peace with Realism, April 16, 2006</ref>

[edit] Jihad as warfare

See also: Offensive jihad, Defensive jihad, Ghazw, Opinion of Islamic scholars on Jihad, and Itmam al-hujjah

The Qur’an asserts that if the use of force would not have been allowed in curbing the evils by nations, the disruption and disorder caused by insurgent nations could have reached the extent that the places of worship would have become deserted and forsaken. As it states:

And had it not been that Allah checks one set of people with another, the monasteries and churches, the synagogues and the mosques, in which His praise is abundantly celebrated would have been utterly destroyed.


Javed Ahmed Ghamidi divides warfare into two types:<ref name="jjihad"/>

  1. Against injustice and oppression
  2. Against the rejecters of truth after it has become evident to them

The first type of Jihad is generally considered eternal, but the second is specific to people who were selected by God for delivering the truth as an obligation. They are called witnesses of the truth (Arabic:شهادة, see also Itmam al-hujjah); the implication being that they bear witness to the truth before other people in such a complete and ultimate manner that no one is left with an excuse to deny the truth.<ref name="jjihad"/> There is a dispute among Islamic jurists that whether the act of being "witness" was only for the Companions of Muhammad or this responsibility is still being hold by modern Muslims, which may entitle them to take actions to subdue other Non-Muslim nations. Proponents of Companions of Muhammad as being "the witness" translate the following verse only for the Companions<ref name="jjihad"/> while others translate it for the whole Muslim nation.<ref>Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, The Meaning of the Qur'an (tafsir), commentary on verse 2:143.[1]</ref> As in Qur'an:

And similarly [O Companions of the Prophet!] We have made you an intermediate group<ref>This means that this group stands between Muhammad and the rest of the world who were able to observe the whole process of witnessing</ref> so that you be witnesses [to this religion] before the nations, and the Messenger be such a witness before you.


Similarly, proponents of Companions of Muhammad as being "the witness" present following verse to argue that Companions of Muhammad were chosen people as witnesses just as God chooses Messengers from mankind. As in Qur'an:<ref name="jjihad"/>

He has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the religion of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this [Qur’an]: [He chose you so that] the Messenger may be a witness [of this religion] to you, and you be witnesses of this religion to non-Muslims [of your times].


Following is the first verse of the Qur’an in which the Companions of Muhammad, who had migrated from Mecca were given permission to fight back if they were attacked:<ref name="jjihad"/>

Permission to take up arms is hereby given to those who are attacked because they have been oppressed – Allah indeed has power to grant them victory – those who have been unjustly driven from their homes, only because they said: “Our Lord is Allah”.


The reason for this directive in Medina instead of Mecca considered by most Muslim scholars is that without political authority armed offensives become tantamount to spreading disorder and anarchy in the society. As one of Islamic jurist writes:

Among Kafayah obligations, the third category is that for which the existence of a ruler is necessary e.g., Jihad and execution of punishments. Therefore, only a ruler has this prerogative. Because, indeed, no one else has the right to punish another person.

—Sayyid Sabiq, Fiqhu’l-Sunnah, 2nd ed., vol. 3, (Beirut: Daru’l-Fikr, 1980), p. 30

[edit] Directive of warfare

The directive of the Jihad given to Muslims in Qur'an is:<ref name="jjihad"/>

And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight against you and do not transgress bounds [in this fighting]. God does not love the transgressors. Kill them wherever you find them and drive them out [of the place] from which they drove you out and [remember] persecution is worse than carnage. But do not initiate war with them near the Holy Kabah unless they attack you there. But if they attack you, put them to the sword [without any hesitation]. Thus shall such disbelievers be rewarded. However, if they desist [from this disbelief], Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Keep fighting against them, until persecution does not remain and [in the land of Arabia] Allah’s religions reigns supreme. But if they mend their ways, then [you should know that] an offensive is only allowed against the evil-doers. A sacred month for a sacred month; [similarly] other sacred things too are subject to retaliation. So if any one transgresses against you, you should also pay back in equal coins. Have fear of Allah and [keep in mind that] Allah is with those who remain within the bounds [stipulated by religion].


These verses told Muslims that they should not merely fight the Banu Quraish if they resist them in offering Hajj, but the Qur’an goes on to say that they should continue to fight the Banu Quraish until the persecution perpetrated by them is uprooted and Islam prevails in the whole of Arabia. Initially Muslims were required to fulfill this responsibility even if the enemy was ten times their might. Afterwards, the Qur'an reduced the burden of this responsibility.<ref name="jjihad"/> As in Qur'an:

Prophet! Rouse the believers to wage war. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will subdue two hundred: if a hundred, they will subdue a thousand of the disbelievers: for these are a people without understanding.


[From] now, God has lightened your [task] for He knows that there is now weakness amongst you: But [ever so], if there are a hundred of you, patient and persevering, they will subdue two hundred, and if a thousand, they will subdue two thousand, with the leave of God: for God is with those who patiently persevere.


Some interpret above verses that Jihad never becomes obligatory unless the military might of the Muslims is up to a certain level. In the times of Muhammad, when large scale conversions took place in the later phase, the Qur'an reduced the Muslim to enemy ratio to 1:2. It seems that Muslims should not only consolidate their moral character, but it is also imperative for them to build their military might if they want to wage Jihad when the need arises. The Qur’an gave a similar directive to Muslims of Muhammad times in the following words:<ref name="jjihad"/>

Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your disposal so that you can strike terror into the enemies of Allah and of the believers and others beside them who may be unknown to you, though Allah knows them. And remember whatever you spend for the cause of Allah shall be repaid to you. You shall not be wronged.


While other scholars consider the later command of ratio 1:2 only for a particular time.<ref>Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. Tafhim al-Qur'an. Verse 8:66</ref>

A policy was adopted regarding the extent of requirement that arose in wars that the Muslims had to fight. In the battles of Badr, Uhud and Tabuk, the responsibility was much more and each Muslim was required to present his services as a combatant.<ref name="jjihad"/> As in Qur'an:

Not equal are those of the believers who sit [at home] without any [genuine] excuse and those who strive hard and fight in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has given preference by a degree to those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit [at home]. [In reality], for each, Allah has made a good promise and [in reality] Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight above those who sit [at home] by a huge reward. Degrees of [higher] grades from Him and forgiveness and mercy. And Allah is Ever Forgiving, Most Merciful.


Qur'an also states that turning backs in the battle field, except for tactical purposes, is a big sin and will bring wrath of God.<ref>Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i-Qur'an, 2nd ed., vol. 3, (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1986), pp. 450-1</ref> As in Qur'an:

O you who believe! when you meet those who disbelieve marching for war, then turn not your backs to them. And whoever shall turn his back to them on that day-- unless he turn aside for the sake of fighting or withdraws to a company-- then he, indeed, becomes deserving of Allah's wrath, and his abode is hell; and an evil destination shall it be.


[edit] The driving force

Islamic scholars agree that Jihad should not be undertaken to gratify one’s whims nor to obtain wealth and riches. Many also consider that it must also not be undertaken to conquer territories and rule them or to acquire fame or to appease the emotions of communal support, partisanship and animosity. On the contrary, it should be undertaken only and only for the cause of Allah as is evident from the words.<ref name="jjihad"/> As in Qur'an:

Those who believe, fight in the cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve, fight in the cause of Satan. So fight you against the friends of Satan. Ever feeble indeed is the plot of Satan.


Muhammad, at various instances, also explained very forcefully this purport of the Qur’an:

  • Abu Musa Ash‘ari (rta) narrates that once a person came to the Prophet (sws) and said that some people fight for the spoils of war, some for fame and some to show off their valour; he then asked the Prophet (sws): “Which one of them fights in the way of Allah”. The Prophet (sws) replied: “Only that person fights in the way of Allah who sets foot in the battlefield to raise high the name of Allah”. Sahih Bukhari 2810
  • Abu Hurayrah (rta) narrates from the Prophet (sws): “I swear by the Almighty that a person who is wounded in the way of Allah – and Allah knows full well who is actually wounded in His way – he would be raised on the Day of Judgement such that his colour be the colour of blood with the fragrance of musk around him”. Sahih Bukhari 2803
  • Ibn Jabr narrates from the Prophet (sws): “A person whose feet become dust ridden because of [striving] in the way of Allah will never be touched by the flames of Hell”. Sahih Bukhari 2811
  • Sahal Ibn Sa‘ad says that the Prophet (sws) once said: “To reside in a border area for a day to protect [people] against an enemy [invasion] is better than this world and everything it has”. Sahih Bukhari 2892

Similarly as a reward for participation in such a strive, the Qur'an states:

Consider not those who are killed in the way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive with their Lord, and they will be provided for. They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty and rejoice for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind [not yet martyred] that on them too no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve. They rejoice in a grace and a bounty from Allah, and that Allah will not waste the reward of the believers.


[edit] Ethical limits

See also: Rules of war in Islam

Qur'an forbids fighting in sacred month and similarly within the boundaries of Haram. But if disbelievers disregard these sanctities, Muslims are asked to retaliate in equal measure.<ref>Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i-Qur'an, 2nd ed., vol. 3, (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1986), pp. 479-80</ref> It is stated in Qur'an:

A sacred month for a sacred month; [similarly] other sacred things too are subject to retaliation. So if any one transgresses against you, you should also pay back in equal coins. Have fear of Allah and [keep in mind that] Allah is with those who remain within the bounds [stipulated by religion].


Observance of treaties and pacts is stressed in Qur'an. When some Muslims were still in Mecca, and they couldn't migrate to Medina, the Qur'an stated:

And to those who accepted faith but did not migrate [to Madinah], you owe no duty of protection to them until they migrate; but if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them except against a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance; and Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.


Similar reports are attributed to Muhammad:

  • Abu Sa‘id (rta) narrates from the Prophet (sws): “On the Day of Judgement, to proclaim the traitorship of a traitor and the betrayal of a person who betrayed his words, a flag shall be hoisted which would be as high as [the extent of his] traitorship”, and [the Prophet (sws) also said]: “Remember that no traitor and betrayer of promises is greater than the one who is the leader and ruler of people”. Sahih Muslim 1738

Other directives may include:<ref name="jjihad"/>

  • A display of pomp and pride should be avoided when an army sets out for a battle. As in Qur'an:
And be not like those who came out of their homes boastfully and to display their grandeur and who stop [people] from the way of Allah even though Allah fully encompasses what they do.


  • People who want to remain neutral in war should be left alone and not be troubled in any way. As in Qur'an:
Or those who approach you such that they neither have the courage to fight you nor their own people [and are such that] had Allah willed, indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. So if they withdraw from you, and fight not against you, and offer you peace, then Allah does not give you permission to take any action against them.


  • People who neither take part in a battle nor are able to take part in it – as per the dictates of custom as well as sense and reason – should not be killed. As according to a hadith:
‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (rta) reports from the Prophet (sws) that once in a battle when it became known that a woman had been killed, the Prophet (sws) emphatically forbade the killing of the women and children. Sahih Bukhari 3015
  • People among the enemy should not be killed by setting them ablaze.<ref>Sahih Bukhari 3016</ref>
  • Plundering and looting should be abstained from. As according to a hadith:
A person from the Ansar narrates that once while traveling for a Jihad, because of great compulsion, some people of the Muslim army snatched some goats to quench their hunger. When the Prophet (sws) came to know about this, he overturned all the utensils and remarked: ‘plundered [food] is not better than dead meat’. Sahih Bukhari 2705
  • Dead bodies should not be mutilated.<ref>Sahih Bukhari 2613</ref>
  • Setting up obstructions and robbing travellers is forbidden. As according to a hadith:
Mua‘adh Ibn Anas narrates that once when he and others in the company of the Prophet (sws) embarked upon a campaign of Jihad it was observed that people had been obstructing the place where the army was to disembark and were busy robbing the passersby. When this complaint reached the Prophet (sws), he publicly announced at once that any person who obstructs the place of disembarkment and loots the passersby is in fact not doing Jihad. Sahih Bukhari 2629

Ibn Athir further adds:<ref>Ali ibn al-Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol.3, p.227</ref>

  • Wrong no one and exercise no torture.
  • Do not touch the children, women and the old.
  • Do not destroy fruit-trees and fertile lands.
  • Do not kill sheep and cattle.
  • Respect all religious persons who live in hermitages or convents and spare their edifices.

[edit] Objectives of warfare

According to verses 2:190-194, the Qur'an implies two objectives:<ref name="jjihad"/>

  1. Uproot fitnah (فتنة) or persecution (forcing people to renounce their religion)
  2. Establish supremecy of Islam in the Arabian peninsula

[edit] Against persecution

Directives for action against persecution can be found in verse 8:39. At another place, the Qur'an states:

And what has come over you that you fight not in the cause of Allah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: ‘Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors, and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help. [You should know that] those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve, fight in the cause of Satan. So fight you against the friends of Satan. Ever feeble indeed is the plot of Satan.


Most Muslim scholars consider it an eternal directive and believe that all types of oppression should be considered under this directive.<ref name="jjihad"/><ref>Concept of Dar Al-Islam and Dar Al-Harb, Islamonline.net.[2]</ref> Similarly, if a group of Muslims commit unwarranted aggression against some of their brothers and does not desist from it even after all attempts of reconciliation, such a group according to the Qur’an should be fought with:

And if two parties or groups among the believers start fighting, then make peace between them both. But if one of them outrages against the other, then fight you against the one which outrages till it complies with the command of Allah. Then if it complies, make reconciliation between them justly, and be equitable. Verily! Allah loves those who are the equitable. The believers are brothers to one another. So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah that you may receive mercy.


If Muslims do not have a state, then in such a situation, Muhammad while answering a question raised by one of his followers, directed Muslims to dissociate themselves from such anarchy and disorder:

I asked: If there is no state or ruler of the Muslims? He replied: In this situation, dissociate yourself from all groups, even if you have to chew the roots of a tree at the time of your death. Sahih Bukhari 7084

[edit] Supremecy of Islam in Arabian peninsula

It is stated in Qur'an:

Indeed those who are opposing Allah and His Messenger are bound to be humiliated. The Almighty has ordained: ‘‘I and My Messengers shall always prevail’’. Indeed Allah is Mighty and Powerful.


After Itmam al-hujjah (clarification of religion to the addressees in its ultimate form), Jews were the ones who were subdued first. They had been granted amnesty because of various pacts. Those among them who violated these pacts were given the punishment of denying a Messenger of God.<ref name="jjihad"/> Muhammad exiled the tribe of Banu Qaynuqa to Khyber and that of Banu Nadir to Syria.<ref>Ibn Hisham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, 2nd ed., vol. 3, (Beirut: Daru’l-Khayr, 1995), pp. 40-2 / Ibid. vol. 3, pp. 151-160</ref> The power they wielded at Khyber was crushed by an attack at their strongholds.<ref>Ibid., pp. 40-2 / Ibid., pp. 151-160</ref> Prior to this, Abu al-Rafi and Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf were put to death in their houses.<ref>Ibid., pp. 43-8 / Ibn Sa‘ad, al-Tabaqatu’l-Kubra, vol. 2, (Beirut: Dar Sadir, 1960), p. 28</ref> The tribe of Banu Qurayza was guilty of treachery and disloyalty in the battle of the Ahzab.<ref>Ibn Hisham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, 2nd ed., vol. 3, (Beirut: Daru’l-Khayr, 1995), pp. 180-2</ref> When the clouds of war dispersed and the chances of an external attack no longer remained, Muhammad laid siege around them. When no hope remained, they asked Muhammad to appoint Sa'd ibn Mua'dh as an arbitrator to decide their fate. Their request was accepted. Since, at that time, no specific punishment had been revealed in the Qur’an about the fate of the Jews, Sa'd ibn Mua'dh announced his verdict in accordance with the Torah. As per the Torah, the punishment for treason was that all men should be put to death; the women and children should be made slaves and the wealth of the whole nation should be distributed among the conquerors.<ref>Deuteronomy, 20:10-14</ref> In accordance with this verdict pronounced, all men were executed.<ref>Ibn Hisham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, 2nd ed., vol. 3, (Beirut: Daru’l-Khayr, 1995), pp. 188-9</ref> John Esposito writes that Muhammad's use of warfare in general was alien neither to Arab custom nor to that of the Hebrew prophets, as both believed that God had sanctioned battle with the enemies of the Lord.<ref>John Esposito(2005), Islam: The Straight Path, p.15</ref>

No other incident of note took place regarding the Jews until the revelation of At-Tawba, the final judgement, was declared against them:<ref name="jjihad"/>

Fight those who believe not in Allah or the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission and are subdued.


This directive related to both the Jews and the Christians. The punishment mentioned in these verses was in fact a show of lenience to them because of the fact that they were originally adherents to monotheism. However, they did not benefit from this lenience because after the death of Muhammad they once again resorted to fraud and treachery.<ref>Sahih Bukhari, 2730</ref><ref>Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-kharaj, Fasl fi’l-Fay wa al-Khiraj, (1302 AH), p. 42</ref><ref>Ahmad Ibn Yahya al-Baladhuri, Futuhu’l-Buldan, (Qumm: Manshurat al-Arummiyyah, 1404 AH), p. 73</ref><ref>Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh, 1st ed., vol. 2, (Beirut: Dar Beirut, 1965), p. 112</ref> Consequently, the Jews of Khyber and the Christians of Najran were exiled once and for all from the Arabian peninsula by the second Sunni Caliph Umar. This exile actually fulfilled the following declaration of the Qur’an about them:<ref name="jjihad"/>

And had it not been that Allah had decreed exile for them, He would certainly have punished them in this world; and in the Hereafter theirs shall be the torment of the Fire.


When the Idolaters of Arabia had been similarly subdued, it was proclaimed in At-Tawba that in future no pact would be made with them. They would be given a final respite of four months and then they would be humiliated in retribution of their deeds and would in no way be able to escape from this punishment. After this time limit, This declaration was made in the Qur’an in the following words:<ref name="jjihad"/>

And a declaration should be made from Allah and His Messenger to these people on the day of the great Hajj that Allah is free from [all] obligations to these Idolaters and so is His Messenger. So if you [O Idolaters!] repent, it is better for you, but if you turn away, then know that you cannot escape from the grasp of Allah. And give tidings [O Muhammad (sws)] of a painful torment to these disbelievers. Except those of these Idolaters with whom you have a treaty, and who have not shown treachery in it nor have supported anyone against you. So fulfill their treaty to the end of their term. Indeed, Allah loves those who abide by the limits. Then when the sacred months [after the Hajj] have passed, kill these Idolaters wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent and establish the prayer, and give Zakah, then leave them alone. Indeed, Allah is Ever Forgiving, Most Merciful.


After the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, Muhammad himself singled out nations by writing letters to them. In all, they were written to the heads of eight countries.<ref>The names of these heads of state are: 1. Negus of Abyssinia, 2. Maqawqas of Egypt, 3. Khusro Parvez of Persia, 4. Qaysar of Rome, 5. Mundhar Ibn Sawi of Bahrain, 6. Hudhah Ibn ‘Ali of Yamamah, 7. Harith Ibn Abi Shamr of Damascus, 8. Jayfar of Amman, see Muhammad as a diplomat</ref> Consequently, after consolidating their rule in the Arabian peninsula, the Companions launched attacks against these countries giving them two options if they wanted to remain alive: to accept faith or to accept a life of subjugation by paying Jizya. None of these nations were adherents to polytheism in the real sense, otherwise they would have been treated in the same way as the Idolaters of Arabia.<ref name="jjihad"/>

[edit] Warfare in Muslim societies

History records instances of the "call for jihad" being invoked by Islamic leaders to 'legitimate' wars of conquest. The major imperial Muslim dynasties of Ottoman Turkey (Sunni) and Persia (Shia) each established systems of authority around traditional Islamic institutions. Part of this incorporation involved various interpretations of jihad.[citation needed] For example, in the Ottoman empire the concept of ghaza was promulgated as a sister obligation to jihad. The Ottoman ruler Mehmed II is said to have insisted on the conquest of Constantinople by justifying ghaza as a basic duty. Later Ottoman rulers would apply ghaza to justify military campaigns against the Persian Safavid dynasty. Thus both rival empires established a tradition that a ruler was only considered truly in charge when his armies has been sent into the field in the name of the true faith, usually against giaurs or heretics -often meaning each other-, often invoking some Sufi or other theological dispute, but rather driven by the universal craving for power, prestige, and if possible booty or territory.[citation needed]. The 'missionary' vocation of the Muslim dynasties was prestigious enough to be formally reflected in a formal title as part of a full ruler style- the Ottoman (many also had Ghazi as part of their name) Sultan Murad Khan II Khoja-Ghazi, 6th Sovereign of the House of Osman (1421 - 1451), literally used Sultan ul-Mujahidin[citation needed].

The so-called Fulbe jihad states and a few other jihad states in western Africa were established by a series of offensive wars.[citation needed]

The commands inculcated in the Quran (in five suras from the period after Muhammad had established his power) on Muslims to put to the sword those who will neither embrace Islam nor pay a poll-tax (Jizya) were not interpreted as a general injunction on all Muslims constantly to make war on the infidels (originally only polytheists who claimed to be monotheists, not "People of the Book", Jesus is seen as the last of the precursors of the Prophet Muhammed; the word infidel had different historical uses, notably used by the Crusaders to refer to the Muslims they were fighting against). It was generally supposed that the order for a general war can only be given by the Caliph (an office that was claimed by the Ottoman sultans), but Muslims who did not acknowledge the spiritual authority of the Caliphate (which is vacant), such as non-Sunnis and non-Ottoman Muslim states, always looked to their own rulers for the proclamation of a jihad; there has been in fact no universal warfare by Muslims on non-believers since the early caliphate. Some proclaimed Jihad by claiming themselves as mahdi, e.g. the Sudanese Mahommed Ahmad in 1882.

[edit] Non-Muslim opinions

The United States Department of Justice has used its own ad hoc definitions of jihad in indictments of individuals involved in terrorist activities:

  • "As used in this First Superseding Indictment, 'Jihad' is the Arabic word meaning 'holy war'. In this context, jihad refers to the use of violence, including paramilitary action against persons, governments deemed to be enemies of a fundamentalist version of Islam."<ref>http://www.milnet.com/2nd-indictment-hayat-dist-court.pdf</ref>
  • "As used in this Superseding Indictment, 'violent jihad' or 'jihad' include planning, preparing for, and engaging in, acts of physical violence, including murder, maiming, kidnapping, and hostage-taking."<ref>http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/padilla/uspad111705ind.pdf</ref> in the indictment against several individuals including José Padilla.

Some non-Muslims are confused about the meaning of jihad, due to media coverage of recent terrorist events mainly portraying 'jihad' as a declaration of 'holy war'. However, its definition is much broader, involving spiritual, political, and martial concepts. For example, Iran is home to "University Jihad".<ref>http://www.irib.ir/Occasions/jahade%20daneshgahi/jahad.en.HTM UNIVERSITY JIHAD</ref>

Karen Armstrong in her book "Muhammed", writes:

"Fighting and warfare might sometimes be necessary, but it was only a minor part of the whole jihad or struggle."<ref name="Robinson">Template:Cite web</ref>

The noted specialist of Islam, Maxime Rodinson, wrote that "Jihad is a propagandistic device which, as need be, resorts to armed struggle – two ingredients common to many ideological movements." (Maxime Rodinson. Muhammad. Random House, Inc., New York, 2002. p. 351.)

The neologism jihadist is sometimes used to describe militant Islamic groups, including but not restricted to Islamist terrorism (see for example Jihadist organizations). The term is deemed offensive by many Muslims who see it as vilifying the more complex ideology of jihad.

The Islamic religious legitimacy of the goals or methods of various Islamist movements who adopt the terminology of jihad is often brought into question by other Muslims for its failure to discriminate between combatants and non-combatants.

[edit] Other uses

Jihad is also given as a first name, e.g. Jihad Ballout and Jihad Ahmed Jibril; or used in a nick-name, e.g. Abu Jihad

Even unrelated to Islam, the word has been used in names, e.g. the Australian hardcore punk band Jihad Against America

The collectible card game Vampire: The Eternal Struggle was originally named 'Jyhad' (note the different spelling) after a non-Islamic concept of the roleplaying game it is set in.

Thrash metal group Slayer have a song entitled "Jihad" on their Christ Illusion album, where the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks are told from the point of view of a so called "jihadist".

The Dune series of science fiction novels include several references to Jihad. In general, these novels use several Arabic terms.

Star Trek: The Animated Series (1974) had episode 14 titled "The Jihad".

Jihad is a metal song in English that is believed to be sung by Rammstein.

[edit] References


[edit] See also

[edit] Political and military aspects

[edit] Similar concepts in other religions and in secularism

[edit] Philosophers of Jihad doctrine

[edit] Further reading

[edit] Sources and External links

[edit] Encyclopedic and various non-specialized sites

[edit] Islamic sites discussing Jihad

[edit] Non Islamic sites discussing Jihad

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