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{{Other uses}}{{pp-semi-protected|small=yes}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{Use dmy dates|date=January 2019}}{{Islam}}Jihad ({{IPAc-en|lang|pron|dʒ|ɪ|ˈ|h|ɑː|d}}; {{transl|ar|DIN|jihād}} {{IPA-ar|dʒɪˈhaːd|}}) is an Arabic word which literally means striving or struggling, especially with a praiseworthy aim.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Jihad, John L. Esposito, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014,weblink 29 August 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 3 September 2014, live, dmy-all, ENCYCLOPEDIA, Rudolph, Peters, David, Cook, Jihād, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014,weblink 10.1093/acref:oiso/9780199739356.001.0001, 9780199739356, 24 January 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 23 January 2017, live, dmy-all, ENCYCLOPEDIA, Tyan, E., 2012, D̲j̲ihād, Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd, Brill, P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs, 10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_0189, BOOK, Jackson, Roy, What is Islamic Philosophy?, Routledge, 2014-02-05, 978-1-315-81755-2, 10.4324/9781315817552, 173, In an Islamic context, it can refer to almost any effort to make personal and social life conform with God's guidance, such as struggle against one's evil inclinations, religious proselytizing, or efforts toward the moral betterment of the ummah,ENCYCLOPEDIA, Jihad, Gerhard Böwering, Patricia Crone, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought, Princeton University Press, 2013, Literally meaning "struggle,", jihad may be associated with almost any activity by which Muslims attempt to bring personal and social life into a pattern of conformity with the guidance of God., though it is most frequently associated with war.BOOK, What is Islamic philosophy?, Roy Jackson, Routledge, 173, 2014,weblink jihad Literally 'struggle' which has many meanings, though most frequently associated with war., 978-1317814047, In classical Islamic law, the term refers to armed struggle against unbelievers, while modernist Islamic scholars generally equate military jihad with defensive warfare.BOOK, Rudolph, Peters, 2015, Islam and Colonialism: The Doctrine of Jihad in Modern History, De Gruyter Mouton,weblink De Gruyter, subscription, 124, 9783110824858, 10.1515/9783110824858, 24 January 2017,weblink 25 October 2016, live, dmy-all, In Sufi and pious circles, spiritual and moral jihad has been traditionally emphasized under the name of greater jihad.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Rudolph Peters, Jihad, Lindsay Jones, Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd, MacMillan Reference, 2005, 7, 4917, The term has gained additional attention in recent decades through its use by terrorist groups.The word jihad appears frequently in the Quran with and without military connotations,BOOK, Ahmed, Al-Dawoody, 2011, The Islamic Law of War: Justifications and Regulations, 56, Palgrave Macmillan, 978-0230111608, Seventeen derivatives of jihād occur altogether forty-one times in eleven Meccan texts and thirty Medinan ones, with the following five meanings: striving because of religious belief (21), war (12), non-Muslim parents exerting pressure, that is, jihād, to make their children abandon Islam (2), solemn oaths (5), and physical strength (1)., often in the idiomatic expression "striving in the path of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)".BOOK, Essential Islam: A Comprehensive Guide to Belief and Practice, Morgan, Diane, 2010, ABC-CLIO, 978-0313360251, 87,weblink 5 January 2011, ENCYCLOPEDIA, Josef W. Meri, Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia,weblink Routledge, 2005, 978-0415966900, Medieval Islamic Civilization, , Jihad, p. 419. Islamic jurists and other ulema of the classical era understood the obligation of jihad predominantly in a military sense.BOOK, Lewis, Bernard, Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam,weblink 11 June 1991, University of Chicago Press, 978-0226476933, 72, . Cf. William M. Watt, Islamic Conceptions of the Holy War in: Thomas P. Murphy, The Holy War (Ohio State University Press, 1974), p. 143 They developed an elaborate set of rules pertaining to jihad, including prohibitions on harming those who are not engaged in combat.WEB, Bernard Lewis,weblink Jihad vs. Crusade,, 27 September 2001, 4 August 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 16 August 2016, live, dmy-all, JOURNAL, Blankinship, Khalid Yahya, Khalid Yahya Blankinship, 2011, Parity of Muslim and Western Concepts of Just War, The Muslim World, 101, 3, 416, 10.1111/j.1478-1913.2011.01384.x, 1478-1913, In classical Muslim doctrine on war, likewise, genuine non-combatants are not to be harmed. These include women, minors, servants and slaves who do not take part in the fighting, the blind, monks, hermits, the aged, those physically unable to fight, the insane, the delirious, farmers who do not fight, traders, merchants, and contractors. The main criterion distinguishing combatants from non-combatants is that the latter do not fight and do not contribute to the war effort., In the modern era, the notion of jihad has lost its jurisprudential relevance and instead given rise to an ideological and political discourse.BOOK, Sharī'a: Theory, Practice, Transformations, Wael B. Hallaq, Cambridge University Press (Kindle edition), 2009, 334–38, While modernist Islamic scholars have emphasized defensive and non-military aspects of jihad, some Islamists have advanced aggressive interpretations that go beyond the classical theory.Jihad is classified into inner ("greater") jihad, which involves a struggle against one's own base impulses, and external ("lesser") jihad, which is further subdivided into jihad of the pen/tongue (debate or persuasion) and jihad of the sword.BOOK, Michael Bonner, Jihad in Islamic History, Princeton University Press (Kindle edition), 2008, 13, Most Western writers consider external jihad to have primacy over inner jihad in the Islamic tradition, while much of contemporary Muslim opinion favors the opposite view. Gallup analysis of a large survey reveals considerable nuance in the conceptions of jihad held by Muslims around the world.Jihad is sometimes referred to as the sixth pillar of Islam, though this designation is not commonly recognized.BOOK, Esposito, John L., John Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path,weblink 1988, Oxford University Press, 978-0195043983, 95, In Twelver Shi'a Islam jihad is one of the ten Practices of the Religion.WEB, Part 2: Islamic Practices,weblink, 27 August 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 7 September 2014, live, dmy-all, A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid (plural mujahideen). The term jihad is often rendered in English as "Holy War",BOOK, Lloyd Steffen, Lloyd, Holy War, Just War: Exploring the Moral Meaning of Religious Violence, 2007, Rowman& Littlefield, 221,weblink 978-1461637394, cf., e.g., NEWS,weblink BBC News, 26 February 2010, Libya's Gaddafi urges 'holy war' against Switzerland, 27 March 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2010, live, dmy-all, Rudolph F. Peters, Jihad in Medieval and Modern Islam (Brill, 1977), p. 3 although this translation is controversial.BOOK, Crone, Patricia, Medieval Islamic Political Thought, Edinburgh University Press, 2005, 0-7486-2194-6, 61176687, 363, Khaled Abou El Fadl stresses that the Islamic theological tradition did not have a notion of "Holy war" (in Arabic al-harb al-muqaddasa), which is not an expression used by the Quranic text or Muslim theologians. He further states that in Islamic theology, war is never holy; it is either justified or not. He then writes that the Quran does not use the word jihad to refer to warfare or fighting; such acts are referred to as qital. Source: BOOK, Khaled Abou El Fadl, Abou El Fadl, Khaled Abou El Fadl, Khaled, The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists, 23 January 2007, HarperOne, 978-0061189036, 222, Today, the word jihad is often used without religious connotations, like the English crusade.


In Modern Standard Arabic, the term jihad is used for a struggle for causes, both religious and secular. The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic defines the term as "fight, battle; jihad, holy war (against the infidels, as a religious duty)".BOOK, Cowah, J. Milton, Hans Wehr, A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, Librairie Du Liban, Beirut, 142, 3rd, Nonetheless, it is usually used in the religious sense and its beginnings are traced back to the Qur'an and the words and actions of Muhammad.Rudolph Peters, Jihād (The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World); Oxfordislamicstudies. {{Webarchive|url= |date=21 November 2008 }}. Retrieved 17 February 2008.Jonathon P. Berkey, The Formation of Islam; Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2003{{page needed|date=December 2015}} In the Qur'an and in later Muslim usage, jihad is commonly followed by the expression fi sabil illah, "in the path of God."For a listing of all appearances in the Qur'an of jihad and related words, see Muhammad Fu'ad 'Abd al-Baqi, Al-Muʿjam al-Mufahras li-Alfaz al-Qur'an al-Karim (Cairo: Matabi' ash-Sha'b, 1278), pp. 182–83; and Hanna E. Kassis, A Concordance of the Qur'an (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), pp. 587–88. Muhammad Abdel-Haleem states that it indicates "the way of truth and justice, including all the teachings it gives on the justifications and the conditions for the conduct of war and peace."BOOK,weblink Understanding the Qurʼan : Themes and Style, Abdel Haleem, Muhammed, 2001, I.B. Tauris, 9781860640094, London, 62, 56728422, It is sometimes used without religious connotation, with a meaning similar to the English word "crusade" (as in "a crusade against drugs").WEB, Oxford Islamic Studies Online,weblink Oxford University Press, 29 August 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 3 September 2014, live, dmy-all,

Quranic use and Arabic forms

According to Ahmed al-Dawoody, seventeen derivatives of jihād occur altogether forty-one times in eleven Meccan texts and thirty Medinan ones, with the following five meanings: striving because of religious belief (21), war (12), non-Muslim parents exerting pressure, that is, jihād, to make their children abandon Islam (2), solemn oaths (5), and physical strength (1).


{{Fiqh}}The context of the Quran is elucidated by Hadith (the teachings, deeds and sayings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad). Of the 199 references to jihad in perhaps the most standard collection of hadith—Bukhari—all assume that jihad means warfare.BOOK, ibn Ismāʻīl Bukhārī, Muḥammad, Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī: The Translation of the Meanings of Sahih Al-Bukhari,weblink v4, 1981, Dar al-Fikr, Medina, 34–204, Muhsin Khan, Muhammad, . Quoted in JOURNAL,weblink What Does Jihad Mean?, Streusand, Douglas E., Middle East Quarterly, September 1997, 9–17, In hadith collections, jihad means armed action; for example, the 199 references to jihad in the most standard collection of hadith, Sahih al-Bukhari, all assume that jihad means warfare., 24 August 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 8 September 2014, live, dmy-all, Among reported saying of the Islamic prophet Muhammad involving jihad areWEB,weblink Reflections on the Protests in Egypt, Shehata, Ali, 2011-02-01,, en-US, 2019-08-09, BOOK, Hashim Kamali, Mohammad, Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Shari'ah Law: An Introduction, 2008, Oneworld Publications, 978-1851685653, 204, }}and}}Ibn Nuhaas also cited a hadith{{Citation needed|date=May 2019}} from Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, where Muhammad states that the highest kind of jihad is "The person who is killed whilst spilling the last of his blood" (Ahmed 4/144).BOOK,weblink The Book of Jihad, Abi Zakaryya Al Dimashqi Al Dumyati, 2016-10-23, Internet Archive, 177, Yamani, Noor, 2019-08-09, According to another hadith,{{Hadith-usc|bukhari|8|73|3}} supporting one's parents is also an example of jihad.BOOK, Ahmed Al-Dawoody, The Islamic Law of War: Justifications and Regulations,weblink 28 March 2011, Springer, 9780230118089, 76, It has also been reported that Muhammad considered performing hajj well to be the best jihad for Muslim women.{{Hadith-usc|bukhari|4|52|43}}BOOK, Ahmed Al-Dawoody, The Islamic Law of War: Justifications and Regulations,weblink 28 March 2011, Springer, 9780230118089, 58, .

History of usage and practice

{{See also|List of expeditions of Muhammad}}The practice of periodic raids by Bedouins against enemy tribes and settlements to collect spoils predates the revelations of the Quran.{{citation needed|date=December 2016}} According to some scholars (such as James Turner Johnson), while Islamic leaders "instilled into the hearts of the warriors the belief" in jihad "holy war" and ghaza (raids), the "fundamental structure" of this bedouin warfare "remained, ... raiding to collect booty".BOOK, Johnson, James Turner, Holy War Idea in Western and Islamic Traditions, Penn State Press, 147–48,weblink 24 September 2014, Islam ... instilled into the hearts of the warriors the belief that a war against the followers of another faith was a holy war ... The fundamental structure of bedouin warfare remained, however, that of raiding to collect booty. ... another element in the normative understanding of jihad as religiously sanctioned war ... [was] the ghaza, `razzia or raid.` ... Thus the standard form of desert warfare, periodic raids by the nomadic tribes against one another and the settled areas, was transformed into a centrally directed military movement and given and ideological rationale., 978-0271042145, 1 November 2010, According to Jonathan Berkey, the Quran's statements in support of jihad may have originally been directed against Muhammad's local enemies, the pagans of Mecca or the Jews of Medina, but these same statements could be redirected once new enemies appeared.BOOK, Berkey, Jonathan Porter, Jonathan Berkey, The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600–1800,weblink 2003, Cambridge University Press, 978-0521588133, 73, The Koran is not a squeamish document, and it exhorts the believers to jihad. Verses such as "Do not follow the unbelievers, but struggle against them mightily" (25.52) and "fight [those who have been given a revelation] who do not believe in God and the last day" (9.29) may originally have been directed against Muhammad's local enemies, the pagans of Mecca or the Jews of Medina, but they could be redirected once a new set of enemies appeared., According to another scholar (Majid Khadduri), it was the shift in focus to the conquest and spoils collecting of non-Bedouin unbelievers and away from traditional inter-bedouin tribal raids, that may have made it possible for Islam not only to expand but to avoid self-destruction.BOOK, Khadduri, Majid, War and Peace in the Law of Islam, 1955, Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 60,weblink 26 October 2015, 5. Doctrine of Jihad, The importance of the jihad in Islam lay in shifting the focus of attention of the tribes from their interribal warfare to the outside word; Islam outlawed all forms of war except the jihad, that is the war in Allah's path. It would indeed, have been very difficult for the Islamic state to survive had it not been for the doctrine of the jihad, replacing tribal raids, and directing that enormous energy of the tribes from an inevitable internal conflict to unite and fight against the outside world in the name of the new faith.,weblink" title="">weblink 28 November 2015, dead,


"From an early date Muslim law laid down" jihad in the military sense as "one of the principal obligations" of both "the head of the Muslim state", who declared the jihad, and the Muslim community. According to legal historian Sadakat Kadri, Islamic jurists first developed classical doctrine of jihad "towards the end of the eighth century", using the doctrine of naskh (that God gradually improved His revelations over the course of Muhammed's mission) they subordinated verses in the Quran emphasizing harmony to more the more "confrontational" verses of Muhammad's later years and linked verses on exertion (jihad) to those of fighting (qital).{{sfn|Kadri|2012|p=1501}} Muslims jurists of the eighth century developed a paradigm of international relations that divides the world into three conceptual divisions, dar al-Islam/dar al-‛adl/dar al-salam (house of Islam/house of justice/house of peace), dar al-harb/dar al-jawr (house of war/house of injustice, oppression), and dar al-sulh/dar al-‛ahd/dār al-muwada‛ah (house of peace/house of covenant/house of reconciliation).BOOK, Ahmed Al-Dawoody, The Islamic Law of War: Justifications and Regulations,weblink 28 March 2011, Springer, 9780230118089, 92, BOOK,weblink Is Jihād a Just War?: War, Peace, and Human Rights Under Islamic and Public International Law, Zawātī, Ḥilmī M, 2001, E. Mellen Press, 0773473041, Studies in religion and society, 53, Lewiston, N.Y., 50, 47283206, The second/eighth century jurist Sufyan al-Thawri (d. 161/778) headed what Khadduri calls a pacifist school, which maintained that jihad was only a defensive war,BOOK, The Law of War and Peace in Islam: A Study in Muslim International Law, Khadduri, Majid, 1940, Luzac & Co, London, 36ff, English, 24254931, Ahmed Al-Dawoody (2011), The Islamic Law of War: Justifications and Regulations, p. 80. Palgrave Macmillan. {{ISBN|978-0230111608}}. He also states that the jurists who held this position, among whom he refers to Hanafi jurists, al-Awza‛i (d. 157/774), Malik ibn Anas (d. 179/795), and other early jurists, "stressed that tolerance should be shown unbelievers, especially scripturaries and advised the Imam to prosecute war only when the inhabitants of the dar al-harb came into conflict with Islam."Majid Khadduri, The Islamic Law of Nations, p. 58. The duty of Jihad was a collective one (fard al-kifaya). It was to be directed only by the caliph who might delayed it when convenient, negotiating truces for up to ten years at a time.{{sfn|Kadri|2012|pp=150–51}} Within classical Islamic jurisprudence— the development of which is to be dated into—the first few centuries after the prophet's deathAlbrecht Noth, Der Dschihad: sich mühen für Gott. In: Gernot Rotter, Die Welten des Islam: neunundzwanzig Vorschläge, das Unvertraute zu verstehen (Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1993), p. 27—jihad consisted of wars against unbelievers, apostates, and was the only form of warfare permissible.Majid Khadduri, War and Peace in the Law of Islam (The Johns Hopkins Press, 1955), pp. 74–80 (Another source—Bernard Lewis—states that fighting rebels and bandits was legitimate though not a form of jihad,BOOK, Lewis, Bernard, The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror, 2004, Random House Publishing Group, 31,weblink 1 October 2015, According to Islamic law, it is lawful to wage war against four types of enemies: infidels, apostates, rebels, and bandits. Although all four types of war are legitimate, only the first two count as jihad., 978-0812967852, and that while the classical perception and presentation of the jihad was warfare in the field against a foreign enemy, internal jihad "against an infidel renegade, or otherwise illegitimate regime was not unknown."BOOK, Lewis, Bernard, The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years, 2000, Simon and Schuster, 237–38,weblink 30 September 2015, 9780684807126, )The primary aim of jihad as warfare is not the conversion of non-Muslims to Islam by force, but rather the expansion and defense of the Islamic state.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Djihād, Encyclopedia of Islam Online, R. Peters (1977), p. 3 In theory, jihad was to continue until "all mankind either embraced Islam or submitted to the authority of the Muslim state." There could be truces before this was achieved, but no permanent peace.Lews, Bernard, Islam and the West, Oxford University Press, 1993, pp. 9–10One who died "on the path of God" was a martyr (shahid), whose sins were remitted and who was secured "immediate entry to paradise".BOOK, Coates, David, The Oxford Companion to American Politics, Volume 2, 2012, Oxford University Press, 16,weblink 9780199764310, However, some argue martyrdom is never automatic because it is within God's exclusive province to judge who is worthy of that designation.According to Khaled Abou El Fadl martyrdom is within God's exclusive province; only God can assess the intentions of individuals and the justness of their cause, and ultimately, whether they deserve the status of being a martyr. The Quranic text does not recognize the idea of unlimited warfare, and it does not consider the simple fact that one of the belligerents is Muslim to be sufficient to establish the justness of a war. Moreover, according to the Quran, war might be necessary, and might even become binding and obligatory, but it is never a moral and ethical good. The Quran does not use the word jihad to refer to warfare or fighting; such acts are referred to as qital. While the Quran's call to jihad is unconditional and unrestricted, such is not the case for qital. Jihad is a good in and of itself, while qital is not. Source: BOOK, Khaled Abou El Fadl, Abou El Fadl, Khaled Abou El Fadl, Khaled, The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists, 23 January 2007, HarperOne, 978-0061189036, 222–23, Classical manuals of Islamic jurisprudence often contained a section called Book of Jihad, with rules governing the conduct of war covered at great length. Such rules include treatment of nonbelligerents, women, children (also cultivated or residential areas),Muhammad Hamidullah, The Muslim Conduct of State, Ashraf Printing Press 1987, pp. 205–08BOOK, Bonner, Michael, Jihad in Islamic History: Doctrines and Practice, 2006, Princeton University Press, 3,weblink 978-1400827381, and division of spoils.BOOK, Bonner, Michael, Jihad in Islamic History: Doctrines and Practice, 2006, Princeton University Press, 99,weblink 978-1400827381, Such rules offered protection for civilians.JOURNAL,weblink Armed Jihad in the Islamic Legal Tradition, Ahmed, Al‐Dawoody, 27 August 2013, Religion Compass, 7, 11, 476–484, 27 August 2019, Wiley Online Library, 10.1111/rec3.12071, Spoils include Ghanimah (spoils obtained by actual fighting), and fai (obtained without fighting i.e. when the enemy surrenders or flees).WEB, Chaudhry, Muhammad Sharif, Dynamics of Islamic Jihad, Spoils of War,weblink Muslim Tents, 29 March 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 11 April 2016, live, dmy-all, The first documentation of the law of jihad was written by 'Abd al-Rahman al-Awza'i and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani. (It grew out of debates that surfaced following Muhammad's death.)Although some Islamic scholars have differed on the implementation of Jihad, there is consensus amongst them that the concept of jihad will always include armed struggle against persecution and oppression.BOOK, Ghamidi, Javed, Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, Mizan, Al-Mawrid, Dar ul-Ishraq, The Islamic Law of Jihad,weblink 2001, 52901690, Mizan, {{Nonspecific|date=November 2015}}As important as jihad was, it was/is not considered one of the "pillars of Islam". According to one scholar (Majid Khadduri, this is most likely because unlike the pillars of the faith (statement of faith, prayer, fasting, charitable giving, Hajj pilgrimage), jihad was a "collective obligation" of the whole Muslim community (meaning that "if the duty is fulfilled by a part of the community it ceases to be obligatory on others"), and was to be carried out by the Islamic state. This was the belief of "all jurists, with almost no exception", but did not apply to defense of the Muslim community from a sudden attack, in which case jihad was and "individual obligation" of all believers, including women and children.BOOK, Khadduri, Majid, War and Peace in the Law of Islam, 1955, Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 60,weblink 26 October 2015, 5. Doctrine of Jihad, [Unlike the five pillars of Islam, jihad was to be enforced by the state.] ... 'unless the Muslim community is subjected to a sudden attack and therefore all believers, including women and children are under the obligation to fight—[jihad of the sword] is regarded by all jurists, with almost no exception, as a collective obligation of the whole Muslim community,' meaning that 'if the duty is fulfilled by a part of the community it ceases to be obligatory on others'.,weblink" title="">weblink 28 November 2015, dead,

Early Muslim conquests

missing image!
- Map of expansion of Caliphate.svg|350px|thumb|right|Age of the Caliphs {{legend|#a1584e|Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632/A.H. 1–11}} {{legend|#ef9070|Expansion during the Rashidun Caliphate, 632–661/A.H. 11–40}} {{legend|#fad07d|Expansion during the Umayyad CaliphateUmayyad CaliphateIn the early era that inspired classical Islam (Rashidun Caliphate) and lasted less than a century, jihad spread the realm of Islam to include millions of subjects, and an area extending "from the borders of India and China to the Pyrenees and the Atlantic".Lewis, Bernard, Islam and the West, Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 4The two empires impeding the advance of Islam were the Persian Sassanian empire and the Byzantine Empire. By 657 the Persian empire was conquered and by 661 the Byzantine empire was reduced to a fraction of its former size.{{citation needed|date=December 2015}}The role of religion in these early conquests is debated. Medieval Arabic authors believed the conquests were commanded by God, and presented them as orderly and disciplined, under the command of the caliph.Bonner (2006), pp. 60–61 Many modern historians question whether hunger and desertification, rather than jihad, was a motivating force in the conquests. The famous historian William Montgomery Watt argued that “Most of the participants in the [early Islamic] expeditions probably thought of nothing more than booty ... There was no thought of spreading the religion of Islam.”Ahmed Al-Dawoody (2011), The Islamic Law of War: Justifications and Regulations, p. 87. Palgrave Macmillan. {{ISBN|978-0230111608}}. Similarly, Edward J. Jurji argues that the motivations of the Arab conquests were certainly not “for the propagation of Islam ... Military advantage, economic desires, [and] the attempt to strengthen the hand of the state and enhance its sovereignty ... are some of the determining factors.” Some recent explanations cite both material and religious causes in the conquests.Bonner (2006), pp. 62–63

Post-Classical usage

According to some authors,{{who|date=March 2016}} the more spiritual definitions of jihad developed sometime after the 150 years of jihad wars and Muslim territorial expansion, and particularly after the Mongol invaders sacked Baghdad and overthrew the Abbasid Caliphate.{{citation needed|date=March 2016}}The early Muslim era of expansion (632–750 CE, or the Rashidun and Ummayad eras) preceded the "classical era" (750–1258 CE) which coincided with the beginning and the end of the Abbasid Caliphate. The historian Hamilton Gibb states that "in the historic [Muslim] Community the concept of jihad had gradually weakened and at length it had been largely reinterpreted in terms of Sufi ethics."BOOK, Gibb, H.A.R. (Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen), Mohammedanism, 1969, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 117, Islamic scholar Rudolph Peters also wrote that with the stagnation of Islamic expansionism, the concept of jihad became internalized as a moral or spiritual struggle.BOOK, Peters, Rudolph, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam: A Reader, Marcus Wiener, 1996, Princeton, 187, note 52,weblink 978-9004048546, Earlier classical works on fiqh emphasized jihad as war for God's religion, Peters found. Later Muslims (in this case modernists such as Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Rida) emphasized the defensive aspect of jihad—which was similar to the Western concept of a "just war".BOOK, Peters, Rudolph, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam: A Reader, Marcus Wiener, 1996, Princeton, 150,weblink 978-9004048546, Today, some Muslim authors only recognize wars fought for the purpose of territorial defense as well as wars fought for the defense of religious freedom as legitimate.Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam (Markus Wiener Publishers, 2005), p. 125Bernard Lewis states that while most Islamic theologians in the classical period (750–1258 CE) understood jihad to be a military endeavor,Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), p. 72. after Islamic conquest stagnated and the caliphate broke up into smaller states the "irresistible and permanent jihad came to an end". As jihad became unfeasible it was "postponed from historic to messianic time."JOURNAL, Lewis, Bernard, The Revolt of Islam, The New Yorker, 19 November 2001,weblink 28 August 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 4 September 2014, live, dmy-all, Even when the Ottoman Empire carried on a new holy war of expansion in the seventeenth century, "the war was not universally pursued". They made no attempt to recover Spain or Sicily.BOOK, Gold, Dore, Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, 2012, Regnery Publishing, 24,weblink 9781596988194, {{better source|date=March 2016}}When the Ottoman Caliph called for a "Great Jihad" by all Muslims against Allied powers during World War I, there were hopes and fears that non-Turkish Muslims would side with Ottoman Turkey, but the appeal did not "[unite] the Muslim world",BOOK, Gold, Dore, Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, 2003, Regnery Publishing, 24, First, and Muslims did not turn on their non-Muslim commanders in the Allied forces.BOOK, Ardic, Nurullah, Islam and the Politics of Secularism: The Caliphate and Middle Eastern ..., 2012, Routledge, 192–93,weblink 30 September 2015, 9781136489846, (The war led to the end of the caliphate as the Ottoman Empire entered on the side of the war's losers and surrendered by agreeing to "viciously punitive" conditions. These were overturned by the popular war hero Mustafa Kemal, who was also a secularist and later abolished the caliphate.{{sfn|Kadri|2012|pp=157}})

Contemporary fundamentalist usage

File:Fula jihad states map general c1830.png
With the Islamic revival, a new "fundamentalist" movement arose, with some different interpretations of Islam, which often placed an increased emphasis on jihad. The Wahhabi movement which spread across the Arabian peninsula starting in the 18th century, emphasized jihad as armed struggle.BOOK, Gold, Dore, Hatred's Kingdom, 2003, Regnery Publishing, Washington DC, 7–8, ... the revival of jihad, and its prioritization as a religious value, is found in the works of high-level Saudi religious officials like former chief justice Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Humaid: `Jihad is a great deed indeed [and] there is no deed whose reward and blessing is as that of it, and for this reason, it is the best thing one can volunteer for., Wars against Western colonial forces were often declared to be jihad: the Senussi religious order declared jihad against Italian rule of Libya in 1912, and the "Mahdi" in the Sudan declared jihad against both the British and the Egyptians in 1881.Other early anti-colonial conflicts involving jihad include: The so-called Fulbe jihad states and a few other jihad states in West Africa were established by a series of offensive wars in the 19th century.WEB,weblink, 6 June 2007,weblink" title="">weblink 30 September 2007, live, dmy-all, None of these jihad movements were victorious.Lewis, Bernard, Islam and the West, Oxford University Press, 1993 The most powerful, the Sokoto Caliphate, lasted about a century until the British defeated it in 1903.

Early Islamism

{{Islamism sidebar}}In the twentieth century, many Islamist groups appeared, being strongly influenced by the social frustrations following the economic crises of the 1970s and 1980s.Van Slooten, Pippi. “Dispelling Myths about Islam and Jihad”, Peace Review, Vol.17, Issue 2, 2005, pp. 289–90. One of the first Islamist groups, the Muslim Brotherhood emphasized physical struggle and martyrdom in its credo: "God is our objective; the Quran is our constitution; the Prophet is our leader; struggle (jihad) is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations."BOOK, Benjamin, Daniel, Simon, Steven, The Age of Sacred Terror, 2002, Random House, New York, 57, WEB, Article eight of the Hamas Covenant. The Slogan of the Islamic Resistance Movement,weblink Yale Law School. Avalon Project, Yale Law School, 7 September 2014, Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.,weblink" title="">weblink 7 March 2011, live, dmy-all, In a tract "On Jihad", founder Hasan al-Banna warned readers against "the widespread belief among many Muslims" that struggles of the heart were more demanding than struggles with a sword, and called on Egyptians to prepare for jihad against the British,Al-Banna, Hasan, Five Tracts of Hasan Al-Banna, (1906–49): A Selection from the "Majmu'at Rasa'il al-Imam al-Shahid Hasan al-Banna", Translated by Charles Wendell. Berkeley, CA, 1978, pp. 150, 155; (making him the first influential scholar since the 1857 India uprising to call for jihad of the sword).{{sfn|Kadri|2012|pp=158}} The group called for jihad against the new Jewish state of Israel in the 1940s,BOOK, Al-Khatib, Ibrahim, The Muslim Brotherhood and Palestine: Letters To Jerusalem, 2012,,weblink 7 September 2014, The Muslim Brothers believed a well-planned Jihad to be the only means to liberate Palestine. Its press confirmed that Jihad became an individual obligation upon every Muslim ... [who would] gain one of the two desirable goals (i.e. gaining victory or dying martyrs). The jurists of the Group issued a fatwa during the 1948 War that Muslims had to postpone pilgrimage and offer their money for Jihad (in Palestine) instead., 978-1780410395, and its Palestinian branch, Hamas, called for jihad against Israel when the First Intifada started.BOOK, Abū ʻAmr, Ziyād, Islamic Fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza: Muslim Brotherhood and .., Indiana University Press, 1994, 23,weblink According to the [Muslim Brotherhood] society, the jihad for Palestine will start after the completion of the Islamic transformation of Palestinian society, the completion of the process of Islamic revival, and the return to Islam in the region. Only then can the call for jihad be meaningful, because the Palestinians cannot along liberate Palestine without the help of other Muslims., 978-0253208668, But according to Judith Miller, the MB changed its mind with the intifada. BOOK, Miller, Judith, God Has Ninety-Nine Names: Reporting from a Militant Middle East, Simon & Schuster, 387,weblink Sheikh Yasin had initially argued in typical Muslim Brotherhood tradition that violent jihad against Israel would be counterproductive until Islamic regimes had been established throughout the Muslim realm. But the outbreak of the Intifada changed his mind: Islamic reconquest would have to start rather than end with jihad in Palestine. So stated the Hamas covenant., 978-1439129418, 19 July 2011, WEB, Hamas Covenant 1988,weblink Yale Law School Avalon Project, 7 September 2014, [part of Article 13 of the Covenant] There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.,weblink" title="">weblink 7 March 2011, live, dmy-all, In 2012, its General Guide (leader) in Egypt, Mohammed Badie also declared jihad "to save Jerusalem from the usurpers and to [liberate] Palestine from the claws of occupation ... a personal duty for all Muslims." Muslims "must participate in jihad by [donating] money or [sacrificing] their life ..."WEB, MB Calls For Jihad To Liberate Palestine (excerpts from sermons by Muhammad Badi'),weblink,, 7 September 2014, 23 July 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 7 September 2014, live, dmy-all, {{Webarchive|url= |date=15 September 2017 }}, 5 July 2012. Many other figures prominent in Global jihad started in the Muslim BrotherhoodWEB, Terrorism: Muslim Brotherhood,weblink Jewish Virtual Library, 7 September 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 25 August 2014, live, dmy-all, —Abdullah Azzam, bin-Laden's mentor, started in the Muslim Brotherhood of Jordan; Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin-Laden's deputy, joined the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood at the age of 14;BOOK, The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright, Knopf, 2006, 978-0375414862, 37, The Looming Tower, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who planned the 9/11 attack, claims to have joined the Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood at age 16.WEB, Al Qaeda Aims at the American Homeland,weblink National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on Upon the United States. 5.1 Terrorist Entrepreneurs, 7 September 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 8 September 2014, live, dmy-all, According to Rudolph Peters and Natana J. DeLong-Bas, the new "fundamentalist" movement brought a reinterpretation of Islam and their own writings on jihad. These writings tended to be less interested and involved with legal arguments, what the different of schools of Islamic law had to say, or in solutions for all potential situations. "They emphasize more the moral justifications and the underlying ethical values of the rules, than the detailed elaboration of those rules." They also tended to ignore the distinction between Greater and Lesser jihad because it distracted Muslims "from the development of the combative spirit they believe is required to rid the Islamic world of Western influences".BOOK, DeLong-Bas, Natana J., Natana J. DeLong-Bas, Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad, Oxford University Press, US, 2004, 240–41, First, 978-0195169911, BOOK, Peters, Rudolph, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam: A Reader, Marcus Wiener, 1996, Princeton, 127, Contemporary fundamentalists were often influenced by jurist Ibn Taymiyya's, and journalist Sayyid Qutb's, ideas on jihad.Ibn Taymiyya hallmark themes included
  • the permissibility of overthrowing a ruler who is classified as an unbeliever due to a failure to adhere to Islamic law,
  • the absolute division of the world into dar al-kufr and dar al-Islam,
  • the labeling of anyone not adhering to one's particular interpretation of Islam as an unbeliever, and
  • the call for blanket warfare against non-Muslims, particularly Jews and Christians.BOOK, DeLong-Bas, Natana J., Natana J. DeLong-Bas, Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad, Oxford University Press, US, 2004, 256, First, 978-0195169911,
Ibn Taymiyya recognized "the possibility of a jihad against `heretical` and `deviant` Muslims within dar al-Islam. He identified as heretical and deviant Muslims anyone who propagated innovations (bida') contrary to the Quran and Sunna ... legitimated jihad against anyone who refused to abide by Islamic law or revolted against the true Muslim authorities."He used a very "broad definition" of what constituted aggression or rebellion against Muslims, which would make jihad "not only permissible but necessary."BOOK, DeLong-Bas, Natana J., Natana J. DeLong-Bas, Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad, Oxford University Press, US, 2004, 252, First, 978-0195169911, Ibn Taymiyya also paid careful and lengthy attention to the questions of martyrdom and the benefits of jihad: 'It is in jihad that one can live and die in ultimate happiness, both in this world and in the Hereafter. Abandoning it means losing entirely or partially both kinds of happiness.`BOOK, Peters, Rudolph, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam: A Reader, Marcus Wiener, 1996, Princeton, 48, File:Sayyid Qutb.jpg|thumb|right|160px|Sayyid QutbSayyid QutbThe highly influential Muslim Brotherhood leader, Sayyid Qutb, preached in his book Milestones that jihad, `is not a temporary phase but a permanent war ... Jihad for freedom cannot cease until the Satanic forces are put to an end and the religion is purified for God in toto.`Qutb, Milestones, 1988, 125–26DeLong-Bas, Wahhabi Islam, 2004: 264 Like Ibn Taymiyya, Qutb focused on martyrdom and jihad, but he added the theme of the treachery and enmity towards Islam of Christians and especially Jews. If non-Muslims were waging a "war against Islam", jihad against them was not offensive but defensive. He also insisted that Christians and Jews were mushrikeen (not monotheists) because (he alleged) gave their priests or rabbis "authority to make laws, obeying laws which were made by them [and] not permitted by God" and "obedience to laws and judgments is a sort of worship".BOOK, Qutb, Sayyid, Milestones,weblink 82, 60, 7 September 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 13 August 2014, live, dmy-all, NEWS, Symon, Fiona, Analysis: The roots of jihad,weblink BBC, 7 September 2014, 16 October 2001, For Qutb, all non-Muslims were infidels—even the so-called "people of the book", the Christians and Jews—and he predicted an eventual clash of civilisations between Islam and the west.,weblink" title="">weblink 7 September 2014, live, dmy-all, Also influential was Egyptian Mohammed Abdul-Salam Farag, who wrote the pamphlet Al-Farida al-gha'iba (Jihad, the Neglected Duty). While Qutb felt that jihad was a proclamation of "liberation for humanity", Farag stressed that jihad would enable Muslims to rule the world and to reestablish the caliphate.Cook, David, Understanding Jihad by David Cook, University of California Press, 2005 (p. 107) He emphasized the importance of fighting the "near enemy"—Muslim rulers he believed to be apostates, such as the president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, whom his group assassinated—rather than the traditional enemy, Israel.Farag believed that if Muslims followed their duty and waged jihad, ultimately supernatural divine intervention would provide the victory:a belief he based on Qur'an 9:14This means that a Muslim has first of all the duty to execute the command to fight with his own hands. [Once he has done so] God will then intervene [and change] the laws of nature. In this way victory will be achieved through the hands of the believers by means of God's [intervention].{{citation needed|date=December 2015}}Farag included deceiving the enemy, lying to him, attacking by night (even if it leads to accidentally killing innocents), and felling and burning trees of the infidel, as Islamically legitimate methods of fighting.Farag, al-Farida al-gha'iba, (Amman, n.d.), pp. 26, 28; trans. Johannes Jansen, The Neglected Duty, (New York, 1986)Cook, David, Understanding Jihad by David Cook, University of California Press, 2005 pp. 190, 192 Although Farag was executed in 1982 for his part in the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, his pamphlet and ideas were highly influential, at least among Egyptian Islamist extremist groups.Gerges, The far enemy, 2010: 9 (In 1993, for example, 1106 persons were killed or wounded in terror attacks in Egypt. More police (120) than terrorists (111) were killed that year and "several senior police officials and their bodyguards were shot dead in daylight ambushes."Murphy, Caryle Passion for Islam: Shaping the Modern Middle East: the Egyptian Experience, Scribner, 2002, pp. 82–83) Ayman al-Zawahiri, later the #2 person in Al-Qaeda, was Farag's friend and followed his strategy of targeting the "near enemy" for many years.Gerges, The far enemy, 2010: 11

Abdullah Azzam

In the 1980s the Muslim Brotherhood cleric Abdullah Azzam, sometimes called "the father of the modern global jihad",WEB, Riedel, Bruce, The 9/11 Attacks' Spiritual Father,weblink 11 September 2011, Brooking, 6 September 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 21 October 2014, live, dmy-all, opened the possibility of successfully waging jihad against unbelievers in the here and now.Azzam issued a fatwa calling for jihad against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, declaring it an individual obligation for all able bodied Muslims because it was a defensive jihad to repel invaders. His fatwa was endorsed by a number of clerics including leading Saudi clerics such as Sheikh Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz.BOOK, Blanchard, Christopher M, Saudi Arabia: Background and U. S. Relations,weblink November 2010, DIANE Publishing, 978-1-4379-2838-9, 27, Azzam claimed that "anyone who looks into the state of Muslims today will find that their great misfortune is their abandonment of Jihad", and he also warned that "without Jihad, shirk (joining partners with Allah) will spread and become dominant".WEB, Azzam, Abdullah, JOIN THE CARAVAN,weblink religioscope, archives 2002, 3 September 2014, February 2002,weblink" title="">weblink 24 September 2015, live, dmy-all, BOOK, Gold, Dore, Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, 2003, Regnery Publishing, 95, First,weblink 978-1596988194, Jihad was so important that to "repel" the unbelievers was "the most important obligation after Iman [faith]".WEB, Azzam, Abdullah, The Islamic Ruling on Defending Muslim Land Under Attack,weblink,, 3 September 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 4 September 2014, live, dmy-all, Azzam also argued for a broader interpretation of who it was permissible to kill in jihad, an interpretation that some think may have influenced some of his students, including Osama bin Laden.Many Muslims know about the hadith in which the Prophet ordered his companions not to kill any women or children, etc., but very few know that there are exceptions to this case ... In summary, Muslims do not have to stop an attack on mushrikeen, if non-fighting women and children are present.BOOK, Gold, Dore, Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, 2003, Regnery Publishing, 99, First,weblink 978-1596988194, A charismatic speaker, Azzam traveled to dozens of cities in Europe and North American to encourage support for jihad in Afghanistan. He inspired young Muslims with stories of miraculous deeds during jihad—mujahideen who defeated vast columns of Soviet troops virtually single-handed, who had been run over by tanks but survived, who were shot but unscathed by bullets. Angels were witnessed riding into battle on horseback, and falling bombs were intercepted by birds, which raced ahead of the jets to form a protective canopy over the warriors."Miracles of jihad in Afghanistan – Abdullah Azzam"|| Edited by A.B. al-Mehri| Al Aktabah Booksellers and Publishers| Birmingham,EnglandIn Afghanistan he set up a "services office" for foreign fighters and with support from his former student Osama bin Laden and Saudi charities, foreign mujahideed or would-be mujahideen were provided for. Between 1982 and 1992 an estimated 35,000 individual Muslim volunteers went to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets and their Afghan regime. Thousands more attended frontier schools teeming with former and future fighters.BOOK, Commins, David, The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia, I.B.Tauris, 2009, 174, Saudi Arabia and the other conservative Gulf monarchies also provided considerable financial support to the jihad—$600 million a year by 1982.Kepel, Gilles, Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam by Gilles Kepel, p. 143 CIA also funded Azzam's Maktab al-KhidamatKatz, Samuel M. "Relentless Pursuit: The DSS and the manhunt for the al-Qaeda terrorists", 2002 and others via Operation Cyclone.Azzam saw Afghanistan as the beginning of jihad to repel unbelievers from many countries—the southern Soviet Republics of Central Asia, Bosnia, the Philippines, Kashmir, Somalia, Eritrea, Spain, and especially his home country of Palestine.Wright, Lawrence, Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, by Lawrence Wright, New York, Knopf, 2006, p. 130 The defeat of the Soviets in Afghanistan is said to have "amplified the jihadist tendency from a fringe phenomenon to a major force in the Muslim world.Having tasted victory in Afghanistan, many of the thousands of fighters returned to their home country such as Egypt, Algeria, Kashmir or to places like Bosnia to continue jihad. Not all the former fighters agreed with Azzam's chioice of targets (Azzam was assassinated in November 1989) but former Afghan fighters led or participated in serious insurgencies in Egypt, Algeria, Kashmir, Somalia in the 1990s and later creating a "transnational jihadist stream."BOOK, Commins, David, The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia, I.B.Tauris, 2009, 156–57, In February 1998, Osama bin Laden put a "Declaration of the World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and the Crusaders" in the Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper.JOURNAL, Lewis, Bernard, License to Kill: Usama bin Ladin's Declaration of Jihad, Foreign Affairs, November–December 1998, On 11 September 2001, four passenger planes were hijacked in the United States and crashed, destroying the World Trade Center and damaging the Pentagon.


In Shia Islam, Jihad is one of the ten Practices of the Religion, (though not one of the five pillars). Traditionally, Twelver Shi'a doctrine has differed from that of Sunni Islam on the concept of jihad, with jihad being "seen as a lesser priority" in Shia theology and "armed activism" by Shias being "limited to a person's immediate geography".Shia doctrine teaches that offensive Jihad can only be carried out under the leadership of Mahdi, whom is believed to return from occultation.JOURNAL,weblink What Does Jihad Mean?, Douglas E., Streusand, Middle East Quarterly, September 1997, 9–17, Shi'i writers make a further qualification, that offensive jihad is permissible only in the presence of the expected Imam-and thus not under current circumstances., 24 August 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 8 September 2014, live, dmy-all, However, "struggles to defend Islam" are permissible before his return.Kohlberg, Etan, "The Development of the Imami Shi'i Doctrine of Jihad." Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgen Laendischen Gesellschaft, 126 (1976), pp. 64–86, esp. pp. 78–86At least one important contemporary Shia figure, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian Revolution and the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, wrote a treatise on the "Greater Jihad" (i.e., internal/personal struggle against sin).WEB, Khomeini, Ruhollah, Jihad al-Akbar, The Greatest Jihad: Combat with the Self,weblink, 28 August 2014, 27 September 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 3 September 2014, live, dmy-all, Because of their history of being oppressed, Shias also associated jihad with certain passionate features, notably in the remembrance of Ashura. Mahmoud M. Ayoub says: In Islamic tradition jihad or the struggle in the way of God, whether as armed struggle, or any form of opposition of the wrong, is generally regarded as one of the essential requirements of a person's faith as a Muslim. Shi'î tradition carried this requirement a step further, making jihad one of the pillars or foundations (arkan) of religion. If, therefore, Husayn's struggle against the Umayyad regime must be regarded as an act of jihad, then, In the mind of devotees, the participation of the community in his suffering and its ascent to the truth of his message must also be regarded as an extension of the holy struggle of the Imam himself. The hadith from which we took the title of this chapter states this point very clearly. Ja'far al-Sadiq is said to have declared to al-Mufaddal, one of his closest disciples, 'The sigh of the sorrowful for the wrong done us is an act of praise (tasbih) [of God], his sorrow for us is an act of worship, and his keeping of our secret is a struggle (jihad) in the way of God'; the Imâm then added, 'This hadith should be inscribed in letters of gold'.Mahmoud M. Ayoub, Redemptive Suffering in Islam: A Study of the Devotional Aspects of Ashura in Twelver Shi'ism, Walter de Gruyter (1978), p. 142andHence, the concept of jihad (holy struggle) gained a deeper and more personal meaning. Whether through weeping, the composition and recitation of poetry, showing compassion and doing good to the poor or carrying arms, the Shi'i Muslim saw himself helping the Imam in his struggle against the wrong (zulm) and gaining for himself the same merit (thawab) of those who actually fought and died for him. The ta'ziyah, in its broader sense the sharing of the entire life of the suffering family of Muhammad, has become for the Shi'i community the true meaning of compassion.Mahmoud M. Ayoub, Redemptive Suffering in Islam: A Study of the Devotional Aspects of Ashura in Twelver Shi'ism, Walter de Gruyter (1978), p. 148


20th Century

Jihad has been called for by Shia Islamists in the 20th Century, notably Ruhollah Khomeini declared jihad on Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War, and the Shia bombers of Western embassies and peacekeeping troops in Lebanon called themselves, "Islamic Jihad". Prior to the Iranian revolution in 1922, the Shiite cleric Mehdi Al-Khalissi issued a fatwa calling upon Iraq's Shias not to participate in the Iraqi elections, fearing it would give legitimacy to Britain's control over Iraq. He later played a role in the revolt against British rule in Iraq. Between 1918 and 1919 in the Shia holy city of Najaf the League of the Islamic Awakening was established by several religious scholars, tribal chiefs, and landlords assassinated a British officer in the hopes of sparking a similar rebellion in Karbala which is also regarded as sacred for Shias.By the start of the revolt itself in 1920, Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Taqi Shirazi the father of Mohammad al-Husayni al-Shirazi and grandfather of Sadiq Hussaini Shirazi, declared through a Fatwa, that it was not permissible or acceptable for Muslims to be ruled by non-Muslims and called for Jihad against the British.WEB,weblink 1920 - The Great Iraqi Revolution,, During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, despite being a predominantly Sunni nation, Afghanistan's Shiite population took arms against the Communist government and allied Soviet forces like the nation's Sunnis and were collectively referred to as the Afghan Mujahideen. Shiite Jihadists in Afghanistan were known as the Tehran Eight and received support from the Iranian government in fighting against the Communist Afghan government and allied Soviet forces in Afghanistan.WEB,weblink Afghan War | History & Facts, Encyclopedia Britannica, WEB,weblink Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban, Larry P., Goodson, 10 August 2001, University of Washington Press, Google Books,

21st Century


After the 2003 invasion of Iraq a number of Sunni and Shiite armed group emerged, including Kataib Hezbollah, the Mehdi Army led by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Soldiers of Heaven led by Dia Abdul Zahra Kadim, who also claimed to be the returning Mehdi. In 2007 fighting broke out between Kadim's movement and the Iraqi Army as well as supporting American soldiers, after the Iraqi government claimed to have discovered a plot to assassinate Ali al-Sistani, who is considered influential, along with other Shiite clerics to cause as much chaos as possible in line with the beliefs of the Soldiers of Heaven, that causing chaos would usher the apocalypse, during the battle 200 of Kadim's followers, and Kadim himself were killed by American and Iraqi forces.WEB,weblink US, Iraqi forces kill 250 militants in Najaf, 29 January 2007, The Age,


According to The National, this changed with the Syrian Civil War, where, "for the first time in the history of Shia Islam, adherents are seeping into another country to fight in a holy war to defend their doctrine."NEWS, Hassan, Hassan, The rise of Shia jihadism in Syria will fuel sectarian fires,weblink 27 August 2014, The National, Abu Dhabi, 5 June 2013, Thus, Shia and Sunni fighters are waging jihad against each other in Syria.JOURNAL, Rabi, Uzi, 2017, Weaponizing Sectarianism in Iraq and Syria, Orbis, 61, 3, 423–38, 10.1016/j.orbis.2017.04.003,


File:Ansarullah Flag Vector.svg|135px|thumb|right|The Houthi flag, with the top saying "God is the greatest", the next line saying "Death to America", followed by "Death to Israel", followed by "A curse upon the Jews" and the bottom saying "Victory to Islam"]]In 2004 the Shiite Houthi Movement also known as Ansar Allah began an insurgency in northern Yemen against the Yemeni government led by Ali Abdullah Saleh. The movement was founded in the 1990s as a Zaydi revivalist movement by Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi who believed his movement served to defend Islam, he had also lived in Iran for a period of time, and held Iran's supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini in high regard, and a former parliament member part of the Islamist Party of Truth, as the Believing Youth.WEB,weblink Profile: al Houthi Movement, Critical Threats, The group was taken over by Hussein's son Abdul Malik al-Houthi after his death in 2004, under Abdul Malik's leadership the group partly seized control of the country initiating a civil war in Yemen, causing the Yemeni government to request assistance from Saudi Arabia to fight the Houthis in 2015.WEB,weblink Houthis, Counter Extremism Project, Since the start of the civil war in 2015, the Houthis have recruited 50,000 child soldiers in doing so, the group promotes Jihad as part of their ideology as well as their recruitment.WEB,weblink Houthis recruit 50,000 Yemen child soldiers in 3 months, minister says, 20 June 2019, The Defense Post,

Evolution of jihad

Some observers{{sfn|Kadri|2012|p=172}}WEB, Understanding History's Seven Stages of Jihad,weblink Gorka, Sebastian, 3 October 2009, Combating Terrorism Center, 1 November 2015, dead,weblink 4 March 2016, have noted the evolution in the rules of jihad—from the original “classical” doctrine to that of 21st century Salafi jihadism. According to legal historian Sadarat Kadri,{{sfn|Kadri|2012|p=172}} during the last couple of centuries, incremental changes in Islamic legal doctrine, (developed by Islamists who otherwise condemn any Bid‘ah (innovation) in religion), have “normalized” what was once “unthinkable."{{sfn|Kadri|2012|p=172}} "The very idea that Muslims might blow themselves up for God was unheard of before 1983, and it was not until the early 1990s that anyone anywhere had tried to justify killing innocent Muslims who were not on a battlefield.”{{sfn|Kadri|2012|p=175}}The first or the “classical” doctrine of jihad which was developed towards the end of the eighth century, emphasized the jihad of the sword (jihad bil-saif) rather than the “jihad of the heart”,BOOK, The Political Language of Islam, Lewis, Bernard, 72, University of Chicago Press, but it contained many legal restrictions which were developed from interpretations of both the Quran and the hadith, such as detailed rules involving “the initiation, the conduct, the termination” of jihad, the treatment of prisoners, the distribution of booty, etc. Unless there was a sudden attack on the Muslim community, jihad was not a personal obligation (fard ayn) instead it was a collective one (fard al-kifaya), which had to be discharged `in the way of God` (fi sabil Allah),{{sfn|Kadri|2012|p=150}} and it could only be directed by the caliph, "whose discretion over its conduct was all but absolute."{{sfn|Kadri|2012|pp=150–51}} (This was designed in part to avoid incidents like the Kharijia’s jihad against and killing of Caliph Ali, who they judged to be a non-Muslim.)Martyrdom resulting from an attack on the enemy with no concern for your own safety was praiseworthy, but dying by your own hand (as opposed to the enemies) merited a special place in Hell.BOOK, Lewis, Bernard, The Assassins, a radical sect in Islam, 1967, 2003, Basic Books, xi–xii,weblink 13 October 2015, 978-0786724550, The category of jihad which is considered to be a collective obligation is sometimes simplified as "offensive jihad" in Western texts.BOOK, Edwards, Richard, Zuhur, Sherifa, The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Political, Social, and, 553, ABC-CLIO,weblink 978-1851098422, 12 May 2008, Based on the 20th century interpretations of Sayyid Qutb, Abdullah Azzam, Ruhollah Khomeini, Al-Qaeda and others, many if not all of those self-proclaimed jihad fighters believe that defensive global jihad is a personal obligation, which means that no caliph or Muslim head of state needs to declare it. Killing yourself in the process of killing the enemy is an act of martyrdom and it brings you a special place in Heaven, not a special place in Hell; and the killing of Muslim bystanders, (never mind non-Muslims), should not impede acts of jihad. Military and intelligent analyst Sebastian Gorka, described the new interpretation of jihad as the “willful targeting of civilians by a non-state actor through unconventional means.”Theologian Abu Abdullah al-Muhajir has been identified as the key theorist behind modern jihadist violence. His theological and legal justifications influenced Abu Musab al-Zarqawi of Al Qaeda as well as several groups including ISIS. Zarqawi used a manuscript of al-Muhajir's ideas at AQI training camps that were later deployed by ISIS, referred to as The Jurisprudence of Jihad or The Jurisprudence of Blood.WEB,weblink The Obscure Theologian Who Shaped ISIS, The Atlantic, 9 June 2018, 4 December 2016,weblink 12 June 2018, live, dmy-all, NEWS,weblink The core Isis manual that twisted Islam to legitimise barbarity, The Guardian, 9 June 2018, 12 May 2018, Editor, Mark Townsend Home Affairs,weblink 9 June 2018, live, dmy-all, BOOK, Chris Stout (psychologist), Stout, Chris, Terrorism, Political Violence, and Extremism: New Psychology to Understand, Face, and Defuse the Threat, Greenwood Publishing Group, 9 June 2018, 24 May 2017, 5–6, The Psyhchology of Terrorism,weblink 978-1440851926, y, The book has been described as rationalising "the murder of non-combatants" by The Guardian's Mark Towsend, citing Salah al-Ansari of Quilliam who notes "There is a startling lack of study and concern regarding this abhorrent and dangerous text in almost all western and Arab scholarship". Charlie Winter of The Atlantic describes it as a "theological playbook used to justify the group's abhorrent acts". He states:Psychologist Chris E Stout also discusses the al Muhajir-inspired text in his book, Terrorism, Political Violence, and Extremism. He assesses that jihadists regard their actions as being "for the greater good"; that they are in a "weakened in the earth" situation that renders terrorism, a valid means of solution.

Current usage

The term 'jihad' has accrued both violent and non-violent meanings. According to John Esposito, it can simply mean striving to live a moral and virtuous life, spreading and defending Islam as well as fighting injustice and oppression, among other things.Esposito (2002a), p. 26 The relative importance of these two forms of jihad is a matter of controversy.According to scholar of Islam and Islamic history Rudoph Peters, in the contemporary Muslim world,
  • Traditionalist Muslims look to classical works on fiqh" in their writings on jihad, and "copy phrases" from those;
  • Islamic Modernists "emphasize the defensive aspect of jihad, regarding it as tantamount to bellum justum in modern international law; and
  • Islamist/revivalists/fundamentalists (Abul Ala Maududi, Sayyid Qutb, Abdullah Azzam, etc.) view it as a struggle for the expansion of Islam and the realization of Islamic ideals."

Muslim public opinion

A poll by Gallup showed that a "significant majority" of Muslim Indonesians define the term to mean "sacrificing one's life for the sake of Islam/God/a just cause" or "fighting against the opponents of Islam". In Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan, and Morocco, the most frequent responses included references to "duty toward God", a "divine duty", or a "worship of God", with no militaristic connotations.WEB, Burkholder, Richard, Jihad – 'Holy War', or Internal Spiritual Struggle?,weblink, 24 August 2014, 3 December 2002,weblink" title="">weblink 26 August 2014, live, dmy-all, The terminology is also applied to the fight for women's liberation.BOOK, Al-Batal, Mahmoud, Kristen Brustad, Abbas Al-Tonsi, Al-Kitaab fii Tacllum al-cArabiyya, Part II, 2, 2006, Georgetown University Press, Washington, DC, Arabic, English, 978-1589010963, 6 "من رائدات الحركة النسائية العربية" (One of the Pioneers of the Arabic Feminist Movement), To struggle or exert oneself for a cause........جاهََدَ، يجاهِد، الجهاد, Other responses referenced, in descending order of prevalence:
  • "A commitment to hard work" and "achieving one's goals in life"
  • "Struggling to achieve a noble cause"
  • "Promoting peace, harmony or cooperation, and assisting others"
  • "Living the principles of Islam"John L. Esposito, Dalia Mogahed, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (Gallup, 2007) pp. 20ff.

Distinction between the "greater" and "lesser" jihad

In his work, The History of Baghdad, Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, an 11th-century Islamic scholar, referenced a statement by the companion of Muhammad Jabir ibn Abd-Allah. The reference stated that Jabir said, "We have returned from the lesser jihad (al-jihad al-asghar) to the greater jihad (al-jihad al-akbar)." When asked, "What is the greater jihad?," he replied, "It is the struggle against oneself."WEB, Jihad,weblink BBC, 3 August 2009, 4 June 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 27 August 2010, live, dmy-all, Fayd al-Qadir vol. 4 p. 511JOURNAL, Streusand, Douglas E., What Does Jihad Mean?, Middle East Quarterly, September 1997, iv, 3, 9–17,weblink 26 August 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 8 September 2014, live, dmy-all, This reference gave rise to the distinguishing of two forms of jihad: "greater" and "lesser".The hadith does not appear in any of the authoritative collections, and according to the Muslim Jurist Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, the source of the quote is unreliable:This saying is widespread and it is a saying by Ibrahim ibn Ablah according to Nisa'i in al-Kuna. Ghazali mentions it in the Ihya' and al-`Iraqi said that Bayhaqi related it on the authority of Jabir and said: There is weakness in its chain of transmission.
—Hajar al Asqalani, Tasdid al-qaws; see also Kashf al-Khafaa’ (no. 1362)WEB,weblink, 15 May 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 9 June 2011, live, dmy-all,
Contemporary jihadist scholar Abdullah Azzam attacked it as "a false, fabricated hadith which has no basis. It is only a saying of Ibrahim Ibn Abi `Abalah, one of the Successors, and it contradicts textual evidence and reality."WEB, Azzam, Abdullah, Join The Caravan,weblink Religioscope, 1 October 2015, February 2002,weblink" title="">weblink 24 September 2015, live, dmy-all, The concept has had "enormous influence" in Islamic mysticism (Sufism). Other observers have endorsed it, including Al-Ghazali.Gibril Haddad questions the authenticity of both hadiths, but concludes that the underlying principle of the superiority of internal jihad does have a reliable basis in the Quran and other writings.WEB,weblink Documentation of 'Greater Jihad' hadith, 16 August 2006, Haddad, Gibril, Gibril Haddad, 28 February 2005, living Islam,weblink" title="">weblink 5 July 2006, live, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Accusations on Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, 16 August 2006, Haddad, Gibril, Gibril Haddad,,weblink" title="">weblink 25 July 2006, {{sfn|Kadri|2012|pp=78–79}}{{sfn|Kadri|2012|pp=103|loc=According to al-Ghazali, he [the Prophet] had told Muslims after their first major military victory at Badr that their struggle (jihad) was not won: they had only won a 'lesser struggle', while the greater struggle to fortify their spiritual defenses still lay ahead.}}Hanbali scholar Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya believed that "internal Jihad" is importantWEB,weblink Documentation of "Greater Jihad" hadith, 18 November 2005,weblink" title="">weblink 13 November 2005, live, dmy-all, but suggests those hadith which consider "Jihad of the heart/soul" to be more important than "Jihad by the sword", are weak.Jihad in the Hadith {{Webarchive|url= |date=12 December 2006 }}, Peace with Realism, 16 April 2006

Other spiritual, social, economic struggles

Muslim scholar Mahmoud Ayoub states that "The goal of true jihad is to attain a harmony between islam (submission), iman (faith), and ihsan (righteous living)."Mahmoud M. Ayoub, Islam: Faith and History, pp. 68–69In modern times, Pakistani scholar and professor Fazlur Rahman Malik has used the term to describe the struggle to establish a "just moral-social order",Fazlur Rahman, Major Themes of the Quran, (Minneapolis: Bibliotheca Islamica, 1980), pp. 63–64. while President Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia has used it to describe the struggle for economic development in that country.Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam (Princeton, N.J.: Markus Weiner, 1996), pp. 116–17According to the BBC, a third meaning of jihad is the struggle to build a good society.WEB,weblink Jihad, 20 February 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 26 April 2012, live, dmy-all, In a commentary of the hadith Sahih Muslim, entitled al-Minhaj, the medieval Islamic scholar Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi stated that "one of the collective duties of the community as a whole (fard kifaya) is to lodge a valid protest, to solve problems of religion, to have knowledge of Divine Law, to command what is right and forbid wrong conduct".WEB,weblink Jihad – A Misunderstood Concept from Islam, 16 August 2006, Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, Shaykh Seraj Hendricks, Shaykh Ahmad Hendricks, The Muslim Magazine,weblink" title="">weblink 17 July 2006, live, dmy-all, Majid Khadduri and Ibn RushdWEB,weblink Jihad, Terrorism and Suicide Bombing: The Classical Islamic Perspective, 3, Islamic Supreme Council of America, 5 April 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 1 April 2016, live, dmy-all, lists four kinds of jihad fi sabilillah (struggle in the cause of God):
  • Jihad of the heart (jihad bil qalb/nafs) is concerned with combatting the devil and in the attempt to escape his persuasion to evil. This type of Jihad was regarded as the greater jihad (al-jihad al-akbar).
  • Jihad by the tongue (jihad bil lisan) (also Jihad by the word, jihad al-qalam) is concerned with speaking the truth and spreading the word of Islam with one's tongue.
  • Jihad by the hand (jihad bil yad) refers to choosing to do what is right and to combat injustice and what is wrong with action.
  • 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.Majid Khadduri: War and Peace in the Law of Islam, p. 56
Scholar Natana J. Delong-Bas lists a number of types of "jihad" that have been proposed by Muslims
  • educational jihad (jihad al-tarbiyyah);
  • missionary jihad or calling the people to Islam (jihad al-da'wah)BOOK, DeLong-Bas, Natana J., Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad, Oxford University Press, 2004, New York, 240–41, First, 978-0195169911,
Other "types" mentioned include
  • "Intellectual" Jihad (very similar to missionary jihad).
  • "Economic" Jihad (good doing involving money such as spending within one's means, helping the "poor and the downtrodden")WEB, Why does Islam have the concept of Jihad or Holy War, Which Some Use to Justify VIolence or Terrorism,weblink, 26 August 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 16 September 2014, live, dmy-all, (President Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia, used jihad to describe the struggle for economic development in Tunisia.)
  • Jihad Al-Nikah, or sexual jihad, "refers to women joining the jihad by offering sex to fighters to boost their morale".NEWS, Malaysian women offer their bodies to ISIS militants in 'sexual jihad'; Najib slams Islamic radicals,weblink 27 August 2014, Strait Times, 27 August 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 30 August 2014, live, dmy-all, The term originated from a fatwa believed to have been fabricated by the Syrian government in order to discredit its opponents, and the prevalence of this phenomenon has been disputed.NEWS, 'Sex Jihad' and Other Lies: Assad's Elaborate Disinformation Campaign,weblink Der Spiegel, Christoph Reuter, 7 October 2013, 16 January 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 29 December 2016, live, dmy-all, NEWS, Accountability, Hilmi M. Zawati Chair of the International Center for Legal, Sectarian War in Syria Introduced New Gender-Based Crimes {{!, Huffington Post|url=|work=HuffPost|date=16 February 2016|access-date=16 January 2017|archive-url=|archive-date=31 December 2016|url-status=live|df=dmy-all}}

Usage by some non-Muslims
  • 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 the fundamentalist version of Islam."WEB,weblink, 24 November 2005,weblink" title="">weblink 27 December 2005, live, dmy-all,
    • "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."WEB,weblink, 24 November 2005,weblink" title="">weblink 25 November 2005, live, dmy-all, in the indictment against several individuals including José Padilla.
  • "Fighting and warfare might sometimes be necessary, but it was only a minor part of the whole jihad or struggle," according to Karen Armstrong.WEB,weblink The Concept of Jihad ("Struggle") in Islam, 16 August 2006, B.A. Robinson, 28 March 2003, Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance,
  • "Jihad is a propagandistic device which, as need be, resorts to armed struggle—two ingredients common to many ideological movements," according to Maxime Rodinson.Maxime Rodinson. Muhammad. Random House, Inc., New York, 2002. p. 351.
  • Academic Benjamin R. Barber used the term Jihad to point out the resistant movement by fundamentalist ethnic groups who want to protect their traditions, heritage and identity from globalization (which he refers to as 'McWorld').Benjamin R. Barber. 1992. "Jihad vs. McWorld". The Atlantic, 269, 3 March, pp. 53-65

Warfare (Jihad bil Saif)

{{further|Mujahideen|Jihadism|Jihad fi sabil Allah}}File:Ansar Dine Rebels - VOA.jpg|300px|thumb| Rebels from the militant Islamist sect Ansar Dine in Mali on a truck with a DShKDShKFred Donner states that, whether the Quran only sanctions defensive warfare or whether it commands the waging of an all-out war against non-Muslims depends on the interpretation of the relevant passages.Fred M. Donner, The Sources of Islamic Conceptions of War, in: James Turner Johnson, Just War and Jihad (Greenwood Press, 1991), p. 47 According to Albrecht Noch, the Qur'an does not explicitly state the aims of the war which Muslims are obliged to wage; rather the passages concerning jihad aim to promote fighters for the Islamic cause and they do not discuss military ethics.Albrecht Noth, Heiliger Krieg und Heiliger Kampf in Islam und Christentum (Röhrscheid, 1966), p. 13{{qn|date=March 2016}} However, according to the majority of jurists, the Qur'anic casus belli (justifications for war) are restricted to aggression against Muslims,JOURNAL, El Fadl, Khaled Abou, Khaled Abou El Fadl, 2001, Islam and the Theology of Power, 1559337, Middle East Report, 221, 28–33, the majority [of jurists] argued that non-Muslims should only be fought against if they pose a danger to Muslims, 10.2307/1559337, and fitna—persecution of Muslims because of their religious belief.Ahmed Al-Dawoody (2011), The Islamic Law of War: Justifications and Regulations, pp. 78–79. Palgrave Macmillan. {{ISBN|978-0230111608}}. They hold that unbelief in itself is not a justification for war. These jurists therefore maintain that only combatants are to be fought; noncombatants such as women, children, clergy, the aged, the insane, farmers, serfs, the blind, and so on are not to be killed in war. Thus, the Hanafī Ibn Najīm states: "the reason for jihād in our [the Hanafīs] view is kawnuhum harbā ‛alaynā [literally, their being at war against us]."Ibn Najīm, Al-Bahr al-Rā’iq, Vol. 5, p. 76. The Hanafī jurists al-Shaybānī and al-Sarakhsī state that "although kufr [unbelief in God] is one of the greatest sins, it is between the individual and his God the Almighty and the punishment for this sin is to be postponed to the dār al-jazā’, (the abode of reckoning, the Hereafter)."Khaled Abou El Fadl, "The Rules of Killing at War: An Inquiry into Classical Sources", p. 152. The Muslim World. Vol. 89, Iss. 2, April 1999. {{doi|10.1111/j.1478-1913.1999.tb03675.x}}In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the names of many militant groups included the word "jihad": Some conflicts fought as jihad since the 1980s include:


{{POV|section|date=December 2015}}Controversy has arisen over whether the usage of the term jihad without further explanation refers to military combat, and whether some have used confusion over the definition of the term to their advantage.What Does Jihad Mean? {{Webarchive|url= |date=12 February 2008 }} "For example, Yasir Arafat's May 1994 call in Johannesburg for a "jihad to liberate Jerusalem" was a turning point in the peace process; Israelis heard him speak about using violence to gain political ends and questioned his peaceable intentions. Both Arafat himself and his aides then clarified that he was speaking about a "peaceful jihad" for Jerusalem."According to a Gallup survey, which asked Muslims in several countries what jihad meant to them, responses such as "sacrificing one's life for the sake of Islam/God/a just cause" and "fighting against the opponents of Islam" were the most common type in non-Arab countries (Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, and Indonesia), being given by a majority of respondents in Indonesia. In the four Arabic-speaking countries included in the survey (Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan, and Morocco), the most frequent responses included references to "duty toward God", a "divine duty", or a "worship of God", with no militaristic connotations. Gallup's Richard Burkholder concludes from these results that the concept of jihad among Muslims "is considerably more nuanced than the single sense in which Western commentators invariably invoke the term."Middle East historian Bernard Lewis argues that in the Quran "jihad ... has usually been understood as meaning 'to wage war'", that for most of the recorded history of Islam, "from the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad onward", jihad was used in a primarily military sense,Lewis, Bernard, The Crisis of Islam, 2001 Chapter 2 and that "the overwhelming majority of classical theologians, jurists, and traditionalists" (i.e. specialists in hadith) also "understood the obligation of jihad in a military sense."Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), p. 72.Historian Douglas Streusand writes that "in hadith collections, jihad means armed action". In what is probably the most standard collection of hadith, Sahih al-Bukhari, "the 199 references to jihad all assume that jihad means warfare."BOOK, ibn Ismāʻīl Bukhārī, Muḥammad, Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī: The Translation of the Meanings of Sahih Al-Bukhari,weblink v4, 1981, Dar al-Fikr, Medina, 34–204, Muhsin Khan, Muhammad, JOURNAL, Streusand, Douglas E., What Does Jihad Mean?, Middle East Quarterly, September 1997, 4, 3, 9–17,weblink 12 July 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 1 July 2015, live, dmy-all, According to David Cook, author of Understanding JihadIn reading Muslim literature—both contemporary and classical—one can see that the evidence for the primacy of spiritual jihad is negligible. Today it is certain that no Muslim, writing in a non-Western language (such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu), would ever make claims that jihad is primarily nonviolent or has been superseded by the spiritual jihad. Such claims are made solely by Western scholars, primarily those who study Sufism and/or work in interfaith dialogue, and by Muslim apologists who are trying to present Islam in the most innocuous manner possible.Cook, David. Understanding Jihad. University of California Press, 2005. Retrieved from Google Books on November 27, 2011.{{ISBN|0520242033|978-0520242036}}. Cook argued that "Presentations along these lines are ideological in tone and should be discounted for their bias and deliberate ignorance of the subject" and that it "is no longer acceptable for Western scholars or Muslim apologists writing in non-Muslim languages to make flat, unsupported statements concerning the prevalence—either from a historical point of view or within contemporary Islam—of the spiritual jihad."

Views of other groups


In Ahmadiyya Islam, jihad is primarily one's personal inner struggle and should not be used violently for political motives. Violence is the last option only to be used to protect religion and one's own life in extreme situations of persecution.WEB,weblink Ahmadiyya Community, Westminster Hall Debate,, 28 October 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 26 October 2010, live, dmy-all,


Quranists do not believe that the word jihad means holy war. They believe it means to struggle, or to strive. They believe it can incorporate both military and non-military aspects. When it refers to the military aspect, it is understood primarily as defensive warfare.Dr. Aisha Y. Musa, Towards a Qur’anically-Based Articulation of the Concept of “Just War” {{Webarchive|url= |date=26 April 2013 }}, International Institute of Islamic Thought. Retrieved 5 May 2013Caner Taslaman, The Rhetoric of "Terror" and the Rhetoric of "Jihad" {{Webarchive|url= |date=3 July 2013 }}, Retrieved 28 April 2013


The Bahá’ís believe that the law of Jihad has been "blotted out" from the scriptures by the reforms set out in the 19th century tablet Bishárát ("Glad Tidings").Bahá'í Reference Library – Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas {{Webarchive|url= |date=3 November 2009 }}, pp. 21–29. "the law of holy war hath been blotted out from the Book. [...] In former religions such ordinances as holy war [...] had been laid down and affirmed according to the exigencies of the time; however, in this mighty Revelation, [...] the manifold bestowals and favours of God have overshadowed all men"

See also




General works

  • EB1911, Jihad, 15, 415, 1,
  • BOOK

, DeLong-Bas
, Natana J.
, Natana J. DeLong-Bas
, Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad
, Oxford University Press
, 2004
, New York
, First
, 978-0195169911, DLB2004,
  • BOOK

, ibn Abdul Wahhab
, Muhammad
, Kitab al-Tawhid, volume I of Mu'allafat al-Shaykh al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahahb
, Jamiat al-Imam MUhammad bin Saudi al-Islamiyah
, 1398h
, Riyad
, First
  • BOOK, Kadri, Sadakat, Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari'a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia, 2012, macmillan, 978-0099523277, 157,weblink harv,
  • BOOK

, Qutb
, Sayyid
, Sayyid Qutb
, Milestones
, International Islamic Publishers
, 1988
, Karachi
,weblink SQ1988,

, Gerges
, Fawaz A.
, The far enemy: why Jihad went global
, Cambridge University Press
, 2009
, New York
, reprint 2010
isbn = 978-0521519359

Further reading

{{Div col|colwidth=30em}}
  • "Djihad" in: The Encyclopaedia of Islam
  • David Cook Understanding Jihad, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.
  • Hadia Dajani-Shakeel and Ronald Messier (1991). The Jihad and Its Times. Ann Arbor: Center for Near Eastern and North African Studies, University of Michigan.
  • DeLong-Bas, Natana (2010). Jihad: Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide. Oxford University Press
  • Reuven Firestone: Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Hashami, Sohail H., ed. Just Wars, Holy Wars, and Jihads: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Encounters and Exchanges (Oxford University Press; 2012)
  • John Kelsay: Just War and Jihad New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.
  • Shiraz Maher, (Salafi-Jihadism: The History of an Idea), Oxford University Press, 2016
  • Alfred Morabia, Le Äžihâd dans l'Islâm médiéval. "Le combat sacré" des origines au XIIe siècle, Albin Michel, Paris 1993
  • Rudolph Peters: Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam
  • Nicola Melis, "A Hanafi treatise on rebellion and ÄŸihād in the Ottoman age (XVII c.)", in Eurasian Studies, Istituto per l'Oriente/Newham College, Roma-Napoli-Cambridge, Volume II; Number 2 (December 2003), pp. 215–26.
  • Rudolph Peters, Islam and Colonialism: The Doctrine of Jihad in Modern History, Religion and Society, The Hague: Mouton, 1979
  • Majid Khadduri: War and Peace in the Law of Islam
  • Hassan al-Banna: Jihad
  • Sayyid Qutb: Milestones
  • Bernard Lewis: The Political Language of Islam
  • Suhas Majumdar: Jihad: The Islamic Doctrine of Permanent War; New Delhi, July 1994
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi: Mizan
  • Zaid Shakir: Jihad Is Not Perpetual Warfare
  • Biancamaria Scarcia Amoretti, Tolleranza e guerra santa nell'Islam, Scuola aperta/Sansoni, Firenze, 1974
  • J. Turner Johnson, The Holy War Idea in Western and Islamic Traditions, Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA. 1997
  • BOOK, Malik, S. K., 1986, The Quranic Concept of War,weblink Himalayan Books, 978-8170020202,
  • BOOK, Swarup, Ram, Ram Swarup, 198e, Understanding Islam through Hadis, Smithtown, NY, 11630468, Exposition Press, 978-0682499484, Understanding Islam through Hadis,
  • BOOK, Trifković, SrÄ‘a, SrÄ‘a Trifković, 2006, Defeating Jihad, Regina Orthodox Press, Boston, 912456874, 978-1928653264,weblink
  • BOOK, Phillips, Melanie, 2006, Londonistan: How Britain is Creating a Terror State Within, Encounter books, 978-1594031441, Londonistan: How Britain is Creating a Terror State Within,
  • JOURNAL, 2009, Masood Ashraf Raja, Jihad in Islam: Colonial Encounter, the Neoliberal Order, and the Muslim Subject of Resistance, The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 26, 4, 25,
{{div col end}}

External links

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