What Does Jihad Really Mean?

No, it's not perpetual war against non-Muslims, but the struggle to do good on earth for the sake of God.


03/07/2006 12:08:21 AM

The type of jihad we should be worried about is the radical attempt to create an Islamic empire ruled by a strict Caliph, and the extention of this Caliphate eventually over the whole world (though doubtless it will fail) The kind of jihad that's needed more in the Muslim world is jihad bil qalam (struggle for knowledge). By this I mean good scholarship, or simply, reformation and theological sophistication. I sense, and maybe this is wishful thinking, an Islamic renaissance in the wings, rising out of the ashes of this war on terror. Whether it happens because of it, or in spite of it, remains to be seen. Besides better education and more objestive and sophistacted scholarship, another ingredient is ijtihad. Ingredient number 3 is of course political and economic change, but the million dollar question is how.


03/06/2006 11:53:40 PM

Jihad comes from the root 'jihada' which means striving or struggling. It is a determined effort. But that defintion sounds rather vague. What does it mean in an Islamic context? Taken from statements in the Qur'an and Hadith, it is used in several ways, including, but certainly not limited to, physical fighting. There are many types of jihad. There is armed conflict (jihad bissaif) whether defensive or offensive depending on the country and the mufti issuing fataawa. It can involve fighting injustice in a variety of ways, internally within a kingdom, or to aid Muslims in other lands in which they are a minority and seemingly suffer mistreatment. Jihad can refer to charitable acts such as funding a fellow Muslim's pilgrimage or taking care of sick parents. It can have a metaphysical meaning, as in the fight against demonic energies, or personal, as in the struggle to avoid sinful desires that precedes outward action.


02/27/2006 10:55:26 PM

Dear, Hesham A.Hassaballa,& Kabir Helminski What Does Jihad Really Mean? Well,the dictionary,by Merriam-Webster says Etymology:Arabic jihAd 1: a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty;also:a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involing spiritual discipline 2:a crusade for a principle or belief


02/24/2006 02:23:04 PM

so who first said that JIHAD means "holy war" ? was it recent?