Terrorism and Jihad in Islam

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The True Islamic Concept

The philosophy and true nature of jihad is a complex matter and a delicate issue, the lack of understanding of which has caused people of this age and the middle ages to fall into serious error. To our great shame, we have to admit that as a result of these dangerous errors, we have allowed opponents (of Islam) an opportunity to raise telling objections against a religion as pure and as holy as Islam which is a mirror of the laws near to nature and which discloses the greatness of the living God. One should be aware that the word jihad is derived from the word juhd — which means to strive and hence is used metaphorically for religious wars.

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The Holy Quran, it should be remembered, is the only divine book which absolves all the prophets of the world, wherever and in whichever age they were born, of the crime of coercion in relation to the spread of their message. Hence it is inconceivable that the Quran should present its Holy Prophet (sa) as the harbinger of an era of bloodshed in the name of peace and hatred in the name of love of God.

According to the Quran, the Holy War, called Jihad, is in reality a holy campaign which uses the help of the Quran to bring about a spiritual revolution in the world.

و جاھدھم به جھادا کبیرا

Fight against them by means of it (the Quran) a great fight.

These are the very words of the Quran which throw light on the nature of Jihad. It must be fought by means of the Quran and the Quranic message alone. Again, to tame one’s rebellious nature into complete submission to God is another form of Jihad which is in fact the greater Jihad, according to the Holy Prophet (sa) of Islam. On returning from a battle, he is reported to have said:

رجعنا من الجهاد الاصغر للجهاد الاكبر

"We are returning from the lesser Jihad to the greater Jihad."

“Kashf al-Mahjub” by Ali bin Osman Hajvairi; “Al-Kashshaf” part 3 under commentary of Qur’an 22:78. Tweet

Of course, defensive war is permitted only on the condition that the enemies initiate hostilities and raise sword against a weak, defenseless people for having committed the only crime of declaring that God is their Lord. All offensive wars according to Islam are unholy.

Jihad in the Words of The Promised Messiah

The concept of Jihad inMirza_Ghulam_Ahmad Islam has been a subject of great controversy in recent years. The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, clearly stated more than one hundred years ago that according to the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), use of force is totally forbidden in matters of faith.

Islam is Propagated through its Inherent Qualities

No true Muslim has ever believed that Islam should be spread by the sword. Islam has always been propagated through its inherent qualities. Those who, calling themselves Muslims, seek to spread Islam by means of the sword are not aware of its inherent qualities and their conduct resembles the conduct of wild beasts.

(Tiryaq-ul-Qulub. KuhJni Khaza'in, vol. 15. p. 167. footnote. 1902) Tweet

The Holy Qur’an clearly forbids the use of force for the spread of the faith and directs its propagation through its inherent qualities and the good example of the Muslims. Do not be misled by the notion that in the beginning the Muslims were commanded to take up the sword. That sword was not taken up for the spread of the faith, but in self-defence against the enemies of Islam and for the purpose of establishing peace and security. It was no part of the purpose of taking it up to have recourse to coercion in the matter of faith.

(Stturah Qaisariyyah. Ruhani Khaza'in, vol. 15, p. 120-121. 1899) Tweet

Concept of Jihad

I have already written books in Urdu. Persian and Arabic, in which I have proved that the popular concept of Jihad prevalent among Muslims, such as the expectation of a bloodthirsty Imam and cultivation of malice for others, are no more than false notions harboured by shortsighted clerics. Islam, on the contrary, does not allow the use of the sword in religion except in the case of defensive wars, wars which are waged to punish a tyrant, or those which are meant to uphold freedom. The need of a defensive war arises only when the aggression of an adversary threatens one’s life. Except for these three kind of Jihad permitted by the Shah'ah—Islamic Law. No other kind of war is allowed by Islam in support of religion. To highlight this concept of Jihad. I have distributed books in this country and in Arabia. Syria and Khurasan, etc., at great cost.

(Masih Hindustan Mein. Ruhani Khaza'in. vol. 15. p. 4-5. 1908) Tweet

Islam Does Not Permit Taking Up Arms as Rebels

It should also be remembered that Islam permits the taking up of the sword only in opposition to people who themselves take it up first, and it permits the slaughter only of those who embark upon slaughter first. It does not lay down that the Muslims while they are the subjects of a non-Muslim sovereign who deals with them with justice and equity should take up arms against him as rebels. According to the Holy Qur’an this is the way of the wicked and not of the righteous.

(Anjam-e-Aiham. Ruhani Khaza'in, vol. II, p. 37, 1897) Tweet

The Promised Messiah Came to Put an End to War

 The doctrine of Jihad as understood and propagated by the Muslim divines of this age who are called maulavis is utterly incorrect. It can lead to nothing except that by their forceful preaching they would convert common people into wild beasts and would deprive them of all the good qualities of human beings: and so it has happened. I know for certain that the burden of the sins of those people who commit murders through ignorance on account of such preaching, and who are unaware of the reason why Islam had to fight battles in its early stages, lies on the necks of these maulavis who go on propagating secretly these dangerous doctrines which result in such grievous loss of life… It is written that when the Promised Messiah appears Jihad by the sword and all fighting for religion will come to an end as he will not take up the sword or any other earthly weapon. His only instrument will be his supplications, and his only weapon will be his firm determination. He will lay the foundation of peace and will gather the goat and the lion together. His age will be the age of peace and kindliness and human sympathy. Why do these people not reflect upon the fact that thirteen hundred years ago the Holy Prophet (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had said concerning the Promised Messiah: He will put an end to war. (Ruhani Khaza in. vol. 17 p. 7)

“As far as Islam is concerned, it categorically rejects and condemns every form of terrorism. It does not provide any cover or justification for any act of violence, be it committed by an individual, a group or a government….. I most strongly condemn all acts and forms of terrorism because it is my deeply rooted belief that not only Islam but also no true religion, whatever its name, can sanction violence and bloodshed of innocent men, women and children in the name of God.”

“As far as Islam is concerned, it categorically rejects and condemns every form of terrorism. It does not provide any cover or justification for any act of violence, be it committed by an individual, a group or a government….. I most strongly condemn all acts and forms of terrorism because it is my deeply rooted belief that not only Islam but also no true religion, whatever its name, can sanction violence and bloodshed of innocent men, women and children in the name of God.”

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