Common Misconceptions about Islam by Imam Rizwan Khan 

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association has been conducting a successful #MeetAMuslim campaign across the country where our youth take to the streets to introduce themselves to the community and spread peace and understanding. Taking note of this campaign, an anti-Islam website called JihadWatch put together a set of questions for their readers to ask: Several of the questions are poorly formed or based on unfounded assumption; nevertheless, here are brief answers to all of their questions.

1. What is the meaning of Jihad?

Jihad means to strive.  The Quran describes only one form of Jihad as the “great Jihad”, which is the Jihad of explaining the message of the Quran. The Quran says, “So obey not the disbelievers and strive against them by means of it (the Qur’an) a great striving.” (25:53) All other forms of Jihad are lesser Jihad to this Great Jihad.

The only permission in the Quran for the lesser Jihad of fighting is in self defense: “Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged” (22:40)

2. Why are Christians and Jews required to pay the Jizyah to Muslims?

Jizya only applies after fighting according to the Quran: “Fight those from among the People of the Book who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor hold as unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have declared to be unlawful, nor follow the true religion, until they pay the tax with their own hand and acknowledge their subjection.” (9:29)

The only permission for fighting in the Quran is in self defense: “Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged” (22:40)

Fighting can only happen in self defense.  Jizya can only be paid by the aggressor after defeat in a war they initiated.  This tax is reparations for the crime of initiating aggressive religious warfare.


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