Is jihad the other form of terrorism? Are jihad and terrorism the two sides of the same coin? To many, they are the same and the one. Regretfully it is another crusade against the term ‘Jihad’ in Islam stands for. It is indeed a violation of the sacredness of the cause.
History is a witness – the defeated nations or for that matter the communities are always at the dictates of the conquered army.
Everything that belongs to the beaten is demonized. Muslims as one of the worn-out communities are at the altar of imperial onslaught whether militarily or culturally. Their belief, God, Prophet, or whatever pertaining to Islam is misquoted, misinterpreted and misinformed vigorously often with religious zeal by the antagonistic camp.
Jihad is one such sacred belief that has often been in conflict with intellectual vagueness in the west. It has never been in harmony with the superior military prowess of the other armed forces.
Undeniably nothing has been as much discussed and blown out of context in modern history as that of Jihad in Islam after the fall of communism. Its emergence on the global scene after 9/11 September in America hardly needs further elaboration.
Jihad is an Arabic word meaning “striving” or “struggle”. It is to overcome hard times in life. It is to discipline both physical and spiritual diversion into mystical cohesion.
A number of verses in the Quran testify that goal: “And those who strive in Our cause, We will certainly guide them to Our paths. For verily God is with those who do right” (29:69). This form of Jihad is to preserve vigour enlarging the scope of a believer’s activities leading him/her to the Straight Path.
“To those who leave their homes after trials and persecutions, and who thereafter strive hard and are patient, surely your Lord after all this, is oft-forgiving, most merciful”(16:110). The striving implies to remain patient and steadfast while facing impossible moments and severe difficulties in life.
“Allah has made those who strive, with their property and their lives, to excel by a higher degree than those who hold back.” (4:95).
It aims at spending not only in persons but also hard-earned money for the sake of God to attain maximum mileage.
Jihad doesn’t mean “war”. It certainly does not mean “violence”. The Arabic equivalents for them are ‘harb’ and ‘unf’. The distorted interpretation is unfortunate. The biased secular media interpret Islamic edicts in relation to their political objectives. The malicious design is to depict Islam into the public psyche as ‘fearsome’ entity in order to keep them away from its divine and magical influence.
Irrevocably, Jihad is an important organ of Islamic belief. Linking it to terrorism cannot frustrate the spirit of it. It is a positive word while terrorism carries negative connotation. Jihad teaches Muslims to be true to their striving in pursuit of achieving a moral goal while terrorism hurts the psyche of humanity.
Jihad is not mindless violence that kills without rationale. It is a planned and well-formulated activity. It prepares Muslims to be just and firm against the forces that harm them without provocation.
Who does not fight back against the aggressors? Do others not teach their army how to defend their nations from unjust invasion? Or do others not teach their forces the principles and conventions of war? It is as if Muslims only fight while others do not.
In the equal spirit for dignity and respect, the Quran exhorts Muslims to be ready and be prepared to face hardships in life where resistance becomes a sacred duty against the enemy: The Quran sanctions: ‘…if someone kills another person-unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth, it is as if he had murdered all mankind. And if anyone gives life to another person, it is as if he had given life to all mankind (05:23).
Muslims are granted to fight for just cause and in self-defense.
‘Permission to fight is given to those who are fought against because they have been wronged, truly God has the power to come to their support, those who were expelled from their homes without right…'(22:39). Instances can be multiplied. A verse is further mentioned: ‘Fight in the way of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress. God does not love transgressors (2:190).
Is it wrong to fight against atrocity? Is it immoral to resist occupation? Did India not fight against the British army before it attained freedom in 1947? Will America not retaliate if it is ever to face superior army? Then what ground does it hold to be labeled as ‘terrorists’ if Muslims defend their motherland from foreign invasion?
What distinguishes Jihad from terrorism is as Prophet Muhammad lays down the principles: ‘Go to war in adherence to the religion of God.
Never touch the elderly, women or children. Always improve their situation and be kind to them. God loves those who are sincere.’
In this context, Libyan leader Muammar Al-Qathafi‘s statement appears to be relevant and significant: ‘We Reject Terrorism, We Never Abandon Jihad’ (The Tripoli Post, 28 February, 2010).
It is time we understand the undercurrents of Jihad and try to condemn the social and political factors that originate it.
Published: The Tripoli Post: http://www.tripolipost.com/articledetail.asp?c=5&i=4771&archive=1
Categories: Islamic Perspective