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Transcript
Jihad
Quotation:
"The best jihad [struggle] is (by) the one who strives against his own self for Allah, The Mighty
and Majestic," Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad). 1
"Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not
transgressors." Qur'an, Chapter 2, verse 190.
Meanings of "Jihad:"
"Jihad" and "Mujahid" (one who carries out a jihad) are two religious words that have been given
multiple meanings:
Many accounts in the media define "jihad" as a synonym for "holy war," -- a vicious clash between
followers of different religions, each of whom believes that God is on their side and that the
other side is of Satan. This usage often appears on Western TV, radio, and other media during
news about the Middle East, where it is used to describe a call for Muslims to fight against nonMuslims in the defense of Islam. Some Muslims have begun to adopt this meaning of "jihad" as a
result of Western influence.
Others use the term as a synonym for a struggle of any type. This reflects the origin of the word
from the Arabic verb "jahada" which means to struggle or fight.
The conventional interpretation of "Jihad":
According to Beliefnet, 2 Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid, imam of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood
in Harlem, NY, defines three levels of jihad -- personal, verbal and physical. Considering each in
turn:
Personal Jihad: This is the most important form. This type of jihad, called the Jihadun-Nafs, is
the intimate struggle to purify one's soul of evil influences -- both subtle and overt. It is the
struggle to cleanse one's spirit of sin. In a brochure, the Institute of Islamic Information &
Education describes several different contexts in which The Qur'an (the Islamic Holy Book) and
the Hadith (the collected sayings of Muhammad) use the word "jihad" to refer to personal
struggles:
Putting "Allah ahead of our loved ones, our wealth, our worldly ambitions and our own lives."
Resisting pressure of parents, peers and society; strive against "the rejecters of faith..." (Quran
25:52)
"...strive and struggle to live as true Muslims..."
"Striving for righteous deeds."
Spreading the message of Islam. "The (true) believers are only those who believe in Allah and
his messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their selves for the
cause of Allah. Such are the truthful." (Quran, 49:15)
Verbal Jihad: To strive for justice through words and non-violent actions. Muhammad
encouraged Muslims to demand justice in the name of Allah. When asked: "'What kind of jihad is
better?' Muhammad replied, 'A word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler!'" 3 According to the
Institute of Islamic Information and Education: "The life of the Prophet Muhammad was full of
striving to gain the freedom to inform and convey the message of Islam. During his stay in
Makkah [Mecca] he used non-violent methods and after the establishment of his government in
Madinah [Medina], by the permission of Allah, he used armed struggle against his enemies
whenever he found it inevitable." 1
Physical Jihad: This relates to the use of physical force in defense of Muslims against oppression
and transgression by the enemies of Allah, Islam and Muslims. Allah commands that Muslims lead
peaceful lives and not transgress against anyone. If they are persecuted and oppressed, the
Qur'an recommends that they migrate to a more peaceful and tolerant land: "Lo! Those who
believe, and those who emigrate (to escape persecution) and strive (Jahadu) in the way of
Allah, these have hope of Allah's mercy..." (Quran, 2:218). If relocation is not possible, then
Allah also requires Muslims to defend themselves against oppression by "fighting against those
who fight against us." 2 The Qur'an states: "To those against whom war is made, permission is
given [to defend themselves], because they are wronged - and verily, Allah is Most Powerful to
give them victory." (22:39) The defensive nature of physical jihad (or "jihad with the hand") is
frequently lost among many, Muslims, Christians, secularists and others.
In her book "Muhammed," author Karen Armstrong writes: "Fighting and warfare might sometimes
be necessary, but it was only a minor part of the whole jihad or struggle. A well-known tradition
(hadith) has Muhammad say on returning from a battle, ' We return from the little jihad to the
greater jihad,' the more difficult and crucial effort to conquer the forces of evil in oneself and
and in one's own society in all the details of daily life." 4
References:
1. M. Amir Ali, "Jihad explained; Brochure # 18," by the Institute of Islamic Information and
Education at: http://www.irshad.org/islam/iiie/iiie_18.htm
2. "Save a Life, Save All Humanity--Take a Life, Kill All Humanity: What the Islamic scriptures
really say about jihad and violence," Beliefnet, at: http://www.beliefnet.com/story/
3. Sunan Al-Nasa'i , No. 4209
4. Karen Armstrong, "Muhammed: A biography of the Prophet," Harper SanFrancisco, (1993).
Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
5. Craig Branch, "Act of War - Jihad," Apologetics Resource Center, at:
http://www.apologeticsresctr.org/act_of_war.htm
6. http://www.religioustolerance.org/isl_jihad.htm
The Five Pillars of Islam:
What are the five pillars of Islam?
What are the Five Pillars of Islam? There are various ethical sources of Islamic moral teaching that establish the
shariah, the Pathway to Allah. Allah (God) decrees what is right and what is good. The Pathway lays down two
main spheres of duty. The Five Pillars of Islam (the first sphere) contains the duties towards Allah (God) himself.
There are five basic activities that comprise the Five Pillars by which the Muslim shows surrender or submission to
God.
What is the first of the Five Pillars of Islam? Nearly every religion contains a creed and a pivotal individual who
orients the believers’ lives. Islam’s creed, Shahadah (confession/profession) is brief and explicit: “There is no god
but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet.” This affirms that God is a unique being and that Muhammad is God’s
greatest prophet. Muslims believe that Islam reached its definitive form through Muhammad. Born approximately
A.D. 570, the prophet lost his father, mother, and grandfather by the time he reached eight years. Although raised
by his uncle, the youth never learned to write. Upon reaching maturity, Muhammad traveled the caravan route, and
at the age of 25 entered the service of a wealthy widow named Khadija. Though she was fifteen years his senior,
they were married and the match proved happy in every respect.
Muslims refer to the Night of Power when Muhammad, alone in a cave, encountered a Revealer. The vision
commanded him three times to “Proclaim!” Arousing from his terrified trance, Muhammad rushed home and fell
into convulsions. Coming to, he told Khadija that he was either a prophet or “one possessed -- mad.” At first she
resisted his assumptions, but on hearing his full story she became his first convert -- which Muslims often remark,
in itself speaks well for Muhammad’s authenticity, for if anyone understands a man’s true character it is his wife.
“Rejoice, O dear husband, and be of good cheer,” she said. ‘You will be the Prophet of this people.” Muhammad’s
aim was to show that the life and character of Jesus had been totally misunderstood and misrepresented; that
Jesus had really come only as a prophet, only to begin the work which Muhammad himself was destined to
complete; namely the restoration of the one true religion to its original purity of a monotheistic faith of Abraham.
What is the second of the Five Pillars of Islam? Muslims require a very physical type of prayer (Salat) as a
physical act of worship. Five times each day the Muslim is expected to face towards Mecca and, either alone or in
a congregation, go through a ritual of prayer which signifies in both word and action their submission to Allah.
Muslims are admonished to be in constant prayer to keep their lives in perspective -- to see it objectively. Prayers
are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day.
What is the third of the Five Pillars of Islam? One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things
belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. Islam turns to the practical issue of what
should be done about disparity. Zakat (almsgiving or charity) requires that 2½ percent of income and holdings (all
capital) be given. Poorer people owe nothing, but those in the middle and upper income brackets should annually
distribute among the poor one-fortieth of the value of all they possess. The poor are designated as: those in
immediate need; slaves in the process of buying their freedom; debtors unable to meet their obligations; strangers
and wayfarers; and those who collect and distribute the alms.
What is the fourth of the Five Pillars of Islam? Ramadan is a month in the Islamic calendar. To commemorate
this holy month, able-bodied Muslims fast for the entire month. From dawn to sunset the Muslim practices Saum,
refraining from eating, drinking, or smoking. The purpose of fasting underscores self-discipline, dependence on
God, and compassion for those who go hungry. For those who can afford it, there is an alternative to fasting --feeding a poor person.
What is the fifth of the Five Pillars of Islam? The final act of submission is a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca. At least
once in their lifetime Muslims are expected to make the journey during the twelfth month. There they perform a
ritual recalling the beginnings of the Islamic religion. The Hajj brings together people from various countries,
demonstrating that they share a loyalty that transcends ethical groupings. If a fundamental principle underlies
Muslim ethics, comparable to covenant righteousness in Judaism or love in Christianity, then that principle is Islam,
submissiveness to Allah. The Pathway details the ‘oughts’ and the ‘ought nots’ of a way of life that has been totally
surrendered to Allah.
Five Pillars of Islam Quick In-class Project
Put it in your Own Words!
Directions
Pretend you have been contracted to create an informative poster that will change the American perspective on
Islam. Your goal is to create a poster that sheds light on the true beliefs and tenants of Islam including the idea
of Jihad. Things to remember: You cannot create images of Muhammad and any culturally
insensitive/stereotypical poster will receive a 0. When in doubt, ask me if something is insensitive.
I will break you into groups of 2 or 3. Each group will be assigned one pillar of Islam or a type of Jihad. Your
job will be to create a poster that describes what each pillar or type of Jihad means in your own words. Your
poster must include:
For the 5 Pillars:
1. The Arabic word summarizing your Pillar
2. The simple English word translation of that word
3. 3-4 Facts about how to properly express your Pillar
4. 3-4 Visual representations of your Pillar (just quick sketches you are not graded on your artistic
ability just your creativity, effort, and neatness)
For the Types of Jihad
1. The word Jihad and its true Arabic Meaning
2. Your type of Jihad
3. 3-4 Facts about your type of Jihad
4. 3-4 Visual representations of your type of Jihad (just quick sketches you are not graded on your
artistic ability just your creativity, effort, and neatness)
Grading
Counts as a midlevel (Quiz) grade
1. Arabic word 2 points
_________
2. Simple English Translation 2 points
_________
3. Facts 8 points
_________
4. Visuals 8 points
_________
Total
_________/ 20
Name __________________________________ Date _________________
Directions: As other students complete their presentations, you need to be writing down the following
information:
5 Pillars of Islam:
1. Arabic word- ___________________________; 1 world English translation-______________________

1 piece of information about this pillar: ______________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Arabic word- ___________________________; 1 world English translation-______________________

1 piece of information about this pillar: ______________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Arabic word- ___________________________; 1 world English translation-______________________

1 piece of information about this pillar: ______________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Arabic word- ___________________________; 1 world English translation-______________________

1 piece of information about this pillar: ______________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Arabic word- ___________________________; 1 world English translation-______________________

1 piece of information about this pillar: ______________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3 Types of Jihad:
1. First type of Jihad __________________________________________

Explain this type of Jihad in 1 sentence: _____________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Second type of Jihad __________________________________________

Explain this type of Jihad in 1 sentence: _____________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Third type of Jihad __________________________________________

Explain this type of Jihad in 1 sentence: _____________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
Once presentations are completed; write down your response to the following:
To what extent have extremist groups such as al-Qaeda as well as the American media warped the true
definition of Jihad? In your response you should include information such as your original impression of Jihad,
the most important type of Jihad, and when it is appropriate to use violence. From what you now know, how
did extremist groups like al-Qaeda warp this definition in order to justify their terrorist actions as Jihad? (10
sentences)
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