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Matthew Hill
Class Presentation: Jihad
Many interpret jihad in Arabic to mean “holy war”, but if we look at the term
jihad purely linguistically, the term means, “Struggle”. (Islamic Supreme Council)
Jihad has been used to describe two types of struggles: a spiritual struggle against
pride and self-sufficiency, and a physical/ military struggle against those who
wish to harm Islam. (Prothero 34)
In the religious and spiritual sense, jihad is understood in the Quran and the
teachings of Muhammad as an internal and external effort to be a good Muslim,
as well as to inform others about the faith. (Islamic Supreme Council)
If the physical or military sense of the word is needed, which it rarely is, to
protect Islam, then it can be performed by using legal, political, or economic
means. (Islamic Supreme Council)
If there exists no alternative, then Islam allows the use of force, but there are strict
rules about this force, no civilians can be harmed, and if the enemy offers peace
proposals, then they must be accepted. (Islamic Supreme Council)
Not just anyone can proclaim jihad, the “holy war” can only be declared by
proper Islamic authorities that say it is imperative to declare war to protect the
faith and its followers. (Islamic Supreme Council)
According to Islamic scholars, jihad is not a declaration of war against other
religions, the Quran refers to Christians and Jews as “people of the book” and
these people should be treated with respect and kindness, because they all worship
the same God. (Islamic Supreme Council)
Jihad is not to be a violent term, but only to be used as an internal struggle to
make the world and better place and to gain Islam more followers. (Islamic
Supreme Council)
Works Cited:
Kabbani, Muhammad, and Seraj Hendricks. “Jihad: A Misunderstood Concept from
Islam”. The Islamic Supreme Council of America.
Kabbani, Muhammad, and Seraj Hendricks. “Jihad: A Misunderstood Concept from
Islam: What Jihad is, and is not”. The Islamic Supreme Council of America.
Prothero, Stephen. God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run The World. New
York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2010. Print.