By: Laiq Ahmed atif
The True Concept of Islamic Jihad
Jihad is an Arabic word that means striving for a noble objective. With the study of the Holy Quran it becomes very clear that calling people for Jihad means striving for a noble cause and objective. It can be carried out in many ways but the ultimate aim is to establish and promote peace, serenity and tranquility within and in the society at large. Although, it cannot be denied that there are certain Muslim groups and organisations that believe in the Jihad of fighting and killing people, but that is not a lawful war and it is clearly against commandment of God and the Prophet peace be on him and constitutes a grave sin.
The greatest Jihad is to struggle against selfish temptations such as greed, lust, egoism and other worldly desires; preaching the message of Islam with wisdom, tolerance and respect; serving mankind and helping the vulnerable and the destitute and to save mankind from the suffering and pain and to provide remedies to their wounds.
It is also to be noted that engaging in self-defence is also a form of Islamic Jihad, but that is only permitted in certain circumstances. The Muslims can take up arms in self-defence only if they have been attacked, suffered oppression, faced a threat to their life and been driven out of their homes simply for practicing their religion. The Verse in which Muslim are permitted for their self-defence states:
“Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged — and Allah indeed has power to help them — Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ (22:40-41)
The permission is granted for self-defence, to restore peace and the rule of law and to protect places of worship. It is important to note that for a Muslim, a battle can only be defensive and not an offensive one. And defending oneself is the natural and basic right of every human being.
The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat draws the attention of his community to the greatest Jihad and says:
“I have come to you with an order: Jihad with the sword has ended from this time forward, but the Jihad of purifying your souls must continue. I do not say of this on my own accord. This is indeed the Will of God” (The British Government and Jihad, Islam International Publications Ltd. (2006), pp.16-17)