Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Ibrahim Al-bakri Nyei

First published Oct. 2006

Those who believe, and emigrate and strive with might and main, in Allah’s cause, with their goods and persons, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah.They are the people who will achieve the salvation.(Quran 9:20)

The term Jihad had for a long time been misconstrued by people. This is simply because of the way the religion of Islam was spread after the death of the Prophet (PBUH) was through invasions and conquers.Those wars were not really fought in representation of the term Jihad. The Prophet of Islam (PBUH) fought because He and his followers were assailed and drove out of Mecca by the pagan Arabs. It was through their revenge to regain their territories that they overran the pagans, most of whom were converted during the war. As we previously stated, most of those who fought with the swords in the name of Islam after the death of the Prophet (PBUH) had political and economic motives for which they were championing. And those motives were to expand territories, capture the best mines, and assume authority over the inhabitants. If we continue to argue that Jihad is not the usage of the swords and the spares in converting people to Islam, we must now endeavor to analytically interpret the term Jihad to people – its meaning and essence ‘in the cause of God’. WHAT IS JIHAD Let us firstly examine the term Islam before discussing Jihad as a way of propagating Islam. Islam is the religion of the Muslims (Followers of The Prophet Muhammad, PBUH). The word Islam is an Arabic word meaning ‘submission to the will of Allah’.Socially, we may say that Islam is an institution with ideologies and programs which seek to alter the social order of the whole world and rebuild it in conformity with its own tenets. And those basic tenets include the belief in the oneness of Allah as the only God worthy of worship, and that the Prophet (PBUH) is His slave and messenger; regular prayers; hands-giving to the needy in good faith; the performance of the Holy Pilgrimage; and the observance of the Holy Ramadan.Those who perform and promulgate the ideologies and programs of Islam are called Muslims, and the struggle used by Muslims (in the cause of God) to propagate said ideologies is called JIHAD. There are some Arabic words synonymous to the term Jihad, but Islam rejects the use of such words because of their forceful and merciless meanings. This was why the term ‘Jihad’ which is synonymous to the word ‘struggle’ is restricted to Islam. The nearest correct meaning of the word Jihad in English can be expressed as follows:‘to exert one’s utmost endeavor in promoting a cause’.WHAT IS THE MODERN DAY JIHAD The modern day jihad is the exact representation of the word itself which means to exert one’s utmost endeavor in promoting a cause. But the jihad of Muslims is not merely a struggle or a cause, but it is a struggle for the cause of God. ‘For the cause of God’ is an indispensable condition for Jihad in Islam. The modern day jihad now is the usage of the powerful tongue and the mightiest pen under the supervision of an intellectual mind to convince mankind about the existence of Allah as the only God worthy of worship, and that the Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) is His slave and messenger. The modern day Jihad is the expending of one’s resources to facilitate and promote programs aimed at spreading the Islamic Religion. This Jihad is a method so refined to win souls and join in congregations to give glories and praises to Allah. But the essence of Jihad consists in a true and sincere faith, an earnest and ceaseless activity, involving the sacrifice of life,person, or property in the service of Allah. Mere brutal fighting that involved killings, injuring and genocide are opposed to the spirit of Jihad. The reason is that you can not win people to your side by killing them or by inflicting injuries on them, or else you will be left alone or with disabled people.And that which is in no way a form of victory. The pens of the sincere scholars and the voices of the persuasive preachers and the contributions of the wealthy and serviceable men in the cause of Allah may be the most valuable forms of the Jihad of Islam

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