Belief

The True Meaning of Jihad: A Struggle for Obedience and the Spread of Islam

Jihad in Islam: A Spiritual Struggle, Not a Call to Violence

One of the most common questions asked about Islam is “Why does Islam allow Muslims to kill others in the name of ‘Jihad’?” This question arises from a misunderstanding of the concept of jihad and its true purpose in Islam.

Jihad is an Arabic term that means “struggle” or “striving.” In the Islamic faith, jihad is the struggle to maintain obedience to God and to spread the message of Islam. This struggle can take many forms, including striving to be a good person, speaking out against injustice, or even fighting in self-defense or to protect the faith.

It is important to note that violence is only permissible in Islam in self-defense or to protect the faith, and it must be guided by principles of justice and fairness. The Quran clearly states, “Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged – and Allah indeed has the power to help them – those who have been driven out of their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah'” (Quran 22:39-40). This means that violence is not allowed to be used to spread Islam by force or coercion, but rather to defend against aggression and oppression.

Furthermore, the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, emphasized the importance of non-violent means of spreading the message of Islam. He said, “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best” (Quran 16:125). This means that jihad is primarily a spiritual struggle, not a physical one.

The idea that Islam allows Muslims to kill others in the name of jihad is a misunderstanding of the concept of jihad and goes against the core principles of Islam. Jihad is not a call to engage in “holy war,” as this term does not appear in the Quran or in the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. Instead, it is a call to engage in a struggle to maintain obedience to God and to spread the message of Islam through peaceful means.

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