#MyJihad: Campaign to amplify the voice of mainstream Muslims

Source: Washington Post

By Qasim Rashid

As a Muslim American, #MyJihad begins every night—get to bed on time so I can wake for pre-dawn prayer and nourish my soul. #MyJihad is not skipping a healthy breakfast—as our Starbucks society is prone to tempt—and thus properly nourish my body. #MyJihad ensures I spend time daily in service to humanity—charity, volunteer work, and mentoring—to nourish my personal moral development. And finally, #MyJihad is to read and learn about ideas that challenge my thinking—to nourish my intellect and foster pluralism.

And all the while, #MyJihad reminds me to treat those who malign, misdirect, and misinform Americans about jihad, with respect and decency—because that is the example prophet Muhammad set for all Muslims. As an American Muslim, #MyJihad is to properly define jihad with my actions of service and love—never hate.

So what is #MyJihad? It is a grassroots public educational and service campaign started by MyJihad.org. The campaign is designed to provide a unifying storm with bus ads, on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and news media. It is an inspiring phenomenon, as people of all walks of faith affiliation and non-affiliation—Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jew, atheist, and more are uniting to share their struggle towards self-improvement and overcoming the odds in their lives.

#MyJihad defines jihad correctly as—not holy war—but struggle. A struggle that prophet Muhammad taught in three categories—struggle against the self, struggle against Satan, and struggle against a visible enemy.

#MyJihad reminds us that once upon returning from battle, Muhammad remarked, “We are returning from the lesser Jihad to engage in the greater Jihad—the Jihad against the self.” Thus, Muhammad himself defined the greater Jihad as the Jihad against the self-that incites to evil. Read further.

3 replies

  1. My Jihad: an American campaign to amplify the voice of mainstream Muslim is a beautiful initiative.
    In the western world and to a lesser extent in the Muslim countries, the word Jihad is often translated or explained as Holy War against the infidels, meaning anyone who is not an adherent of Islam. Media – both in the west and in the East very liberally uses the words; Jihad, Jihadi movements, Jihadist, jihadism and Jihadi mindset. This massive and regular description of this Arabic word had taken on a negative connotation, especially after 9/11 attacks, USA led wars and interference in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and many other smaller hotspots in the Muslim world.
    In all this political and intellectual commotion, very few people in the west have made an effort to go to the source and find out, what the word Jihad actually mean and what does it entails.
    In Islam, there are two commonly accepted meanings of jihad: first and foremost an inner spiritual struggle, called the Jihad e-Kabira in Arabic. This means, the greater Jihad or the bigger and major Jihad, which is the war against the evil within. It is the resistance of a person against his evil desires. The “greater jihad” is also the inner struggle by a believer to fulfill his religious duties.
    The second and the lesser one is called; Jihad-e-Saghira,meaning the smaller or lesser but outer physical struggle to defend oneself. Jihad-e-saghira or smaller jihad can be interpreted as; wars that have been fought to protect Islam.
    A third meaning of jihad is the struggle to build a good society. One of the collective duties of the community as a whole 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.
    Those Muslims who tilt towards using Jihad as a holy war must remember that the Quran never uses the term Jihad for fighting and combating in the name of God. For fighting the word used is “qital”, meaning, “fighting.”

  2. I endorse the views expressed by Bashy Quraishy. The only and only effective solution of ongoing terrorism in the world at large and Pakistan in particular is the jihad against our self in the manner mentioned in the artical of Mr Qasim Rashid. May Allah help us to cripple our self underneath our fret by remembering Allah in pre dawn prayers.

  3. Self defense against physical and spiritual attack is called Jihad.As in the life of true religious person the spiritual health is more precious than physical one because physical life is a very short but the spiritual life is for ever.In other wards the safety of my soul is a bigger challenge for me than the safety of my body.The wounds on my body are curable in the developed medical age but the wounds on my soul can be more fatal for my ever lasting spiritual life.So defense of my body is smaller Jihad (Jihad-E-Asghar)and defense of my soul against sins is a bigger Jihad ( Jihad-E-Akbar) for me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.