Meaning of life

JIHAD! What is its real definition? Throughout my research I was amazed to find several different connotation of Jihad. There are the American, European, Religious, & Muslim Connotation. Also there are different types of Jihad. This is not surprising due to the fact that Muslims has had fourteen centuries to find a standard definition. “Warfare with spiritual significant,” is the meaning that is given by Muslims, Jurists, and legal scholars. This definition is also given in the encyclopedia of Islam. In religious readings of long ago, Jihad was said to mean, “holy war”.

This definition though is not accepted by Muslims of modern time. “Striving or exerting one self,” is the Arabic meaning of its usage in the Qur’an. In European languages, Jihad has mean negative connotations; yet some Europeans continue to say Jihad meaning is nothing more than “striving”. In order to really understand the meaning of the word, one must look at how it is used in Muslim literature, mostly in Arabic but also in other Muslim language. Jihad has been used most openly in the United States of America after the tragedy of 9/11; this is especially true for politicians.

They have forged the ideas of foreigners wanting to destroy America. Jihad has become a part of the daily language of those residing in America. Most of these American’s define Jihad as, “total warfare” or “holy war”. Many Muslims seek to keep themselves and their religion from being associated in violence. They maintain that their usage of Jihad is only spiritual. Most Muslims in the United States maintain that Jihad is harmless and only exerts spiritual warfare against evil. Majority of Muslims see this as the chief definition, even though it is not the word’s primary meaning.

To make matters worse, I have found different types of Jihad. Throughout fourteen centuries Muslims have worked on this. “In law according to general doctrine and in historical tradition, Jihad consist of Military Action with the object of the expansion of Islam, and if need be, of its defense. ” This in Muslim law and history is the scholarly definition. The term Jihad has fallen into the hands of polemics against Islam and apologetics agreeing with Islam. It is easy to against the Jihad due to the destruction caused around the world by Muslim. Therefore, one must maintain the facts of the history of Islam.

What is written by theologians and what is practice in religion confuses one as what the meaning of Jihad really is. With all of the above given connotations, it is hard to tell the difference between a Jihad and a nonviolence Muslim. The Prophet Mohammad never declared to be a Jihad, even though many of the things he did for his faith were Jihad wars. Also Jihad was maintained as part of the Islamic conquest of the seventh and eighth centuries. Muslims have fought for centuries with their own kind. At time these conflicts were described as being Jihad.

At other times, when Jihad was said to be warfare among Muslim, it was rejected by its own people and writers who kept records Islam conflicts. “During the conflicts of the Ottoman in the fourteenth through the sixteenth century, it is not clear if they used the term Jihad. People of the Muslim faith are mostly accepted as Jihads with having wars against none Muslim. ” This is also vague due to the fact, “Ottoman called for Jihad against the allied powers during WWI when the Muslim Ottoman state was allied with the Christian Austro-Hungarian and Hohenzollern.

German empires were highly rejected by Muslims. ” There are many Muslims whom readily accept the relation between Jihad and warfare. Most of these believers, “would define this as warfare authorized by a legitimist representation of the Muslim community for the sake of an issue that is universally, or nearly universally, acknowledged to be of critical importance for the entire community against an admitted enemy of Islam. ” In modern times, Muslims attempt to explain their reasons for warfare.

“These include formal announcements of the Jihad and it’s causes; terms for its resolution prior to the commencement of hostilities; careful regard for noncombatants and their property; respect for the enemy dead; and restricts of the type of warfare allowed. ” In our time and era, Jihad in America is very relevant. It was George W. Bush who obstructed Muslim goal of word domination as part of a worldwide Jihad mission. Dr. Walid Phares, a senior fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and author of “Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America”, noted that “Throughout the summer and fall, U.S. authorities witnessed a significant rise in jihadist activity, using increasingly sophisticated operational strategies. ”

In the wage of the term today, it is still hard to deny the connotation that Jihad or warfare is only used spiritually. “Muslims may in time amend their interpretation of the concept to exclude militant aggression. ” One of the consequences of present times of Jihad wand the ways radical Muslims such as Al-Qaida and its associates practice it may be a rejection of Jihad by a majority of Muslims.

“If that were to happen, Muslim apologists would likely seek to ground the concept of nonviolent jihad as inherent in the religion, rather than as an amendment of the terms definition. Jihad is one of the central duties for all Islamic people. Jihad has been spoken of in many different aspects by modern day Muslim theologians: struggle within your soul, defending the faith from critics, supporting religious growth, defending its religion financially, or even migrating to non-Muslim lands in order to convert and spread Islam.

In Islamic history, many believe that violent Jihad has been founded upon many verses in the Qur’an; the most famous one known in Islam theology is the “Verse of the Sword”. “Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is forgiving, merciful” (Sura 9:5). Violent Jihad has been a regular way of life throughout Islamic history.

The passage from the Qur’an stated above and many others just like it is one of the elements that motivate Jihad warriors worldwide today. Publicly, no major group of Islamic followers has ever rejected the doctrines of armed Jihad. I believe that the theology behind what it means to be Jihad, brings about justification for anyone really, rather Muslim or not, who has the resources and the will to bring it to pass. To commence, I personally believe that 9/11 was a not just an attack on America itself, but an attack on its policies of freedom.

After talking to a leader in the Nation of Islam one might state that, “violent Jihad is the outcome of punishing those who refuse to convert to Islam or those who are out to destroy or go away with the Islamic faith. ” This would explain why many Jihads are not just global but also local; local would include specific groups of people and many other specific religious groups. The reason why 9/11 was an attack on American polocies of freedom is because of its freedom on religion and the Muslim creed states, “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is his prophet.

” Bibliography 1. Cook, David. Understanding Jihad. Berkeley: University of California, 2005. Print. 2. “Why Jihad Watch. ” Jihad Watch. Web. 5 Apr. 2011. <http://www. jihadwatch. org/why-jihad-watch. html>. 3. Phares, Walid. “9/11 and Future Jihad. ” American Thinker. Web. 3 Apr. 2011. <http://www. americanthinker. com/2008/09/911_and_future_jihad. html>. 4. Bergen, Peter. “What Were the Causes of 9/11? ” Prospect Magazine. Web. 12 Mar. 2011. <http://www. prospectmagazine. co. uk/2006/09/whatwerethecausesof911/>.