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Understanding true ‘jihad’

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    Understanding true ‘jihad’

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    Tuesday June 24, 2008

    Understanding true ‘jihad’

    IKIM VIEWS:By SUZALIE MOHAMAD Fellow, Ikim.


    The ‘path of God’ always refers to the path of right conduct which God has set down in the Quran, and by the examples illustrated by the Prophet.

    THE term “jihad” has become well known in English nomenclature because of the contemporary political situation and the focus of the media on violence. Many people on the street are misled by the international interpretation of its meaning.

    In the west, the term “jihad” must be carefully employed. I still remember a friend of mine, an Arab-American Citizen, advising me not to use the term “jihad” in our emails and phone conversations.

    This is because the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was said to be monitoring phone lines to eavesdrop on suspicious conversations that may threaten the country's national security.

    The term “jihad” has always been misinterpreted to mean “holy war”. Such misrepresentation is highly misleading and inaccurate.

    The use of the term “jihad” in the Quran is far broader than the application of the term in the political arena. Unfortunately, the term has always been limited to politics.

    In the Quran, we find that the term, in the form of a verb, is used in conjunction with the expression “in the path of God”. The “path of God” always refers to the path of right conduct which God has set down in the Quran, and by the examples illustrated by the Prophet (Hadith).

    The adherence to right conduct is actually the real challenge and measure of one’s faith in God. It is a total submission or surrender to God’s will.
    It is his will that mankind struggle according to his path. Hence, submission or surrender necessarily requires struggle.

    When one exerts enormous “struggle” to achieve something, there will always be obstacles.

    If one is not strong enough to face these obstacles, one will be easily misled and may deviate from the course.

    Take for instance, the obstacle in the form of the internal conflict within one’s self.

    Laziness, greed, hatred, lust and so on, if not contained, will mislead.
    In one of the Prophet’s Hadith, when he had returned to Medina from a battle with the enemies of Islam, he said: “We have returned from the lesser 'jihad' to the greater 'jihad'.”

    His companions asked: “O Messenger of God, what ‘jihad’ could be greater than the struggle against the enemy?”

    The Prophet replied: “The struggle against the enemy in your own breast.”

    From this Hadith, the broader use of the term “jihad” is clearly manifested.

    This indicates that the greater “jihad” is the inward struggle toward perfection.

    This process is called mujahadah, the control of one’s bestial desire (nafs). This is “jihad” in the true sense.

    There are five tenets of Islam and six tenets of faith that must be observed by every Muslim. The execution of these tenets requires an inward “jihad” and an outward manifestation of that jihad.

    In other words, struggle in the path of God is obligatory for all Muslims. This must be done according to the noble objectives of the right conduct as stated in the Quran and exemplified by the prophets.

    “Jihad” against the bestial self is crucial and indeed the greatest struggle towards perfection. This is prior over all acts of “jihad” as it is the foundation of goodness.

    “Jihad” cannot manifest itself without knowledge. Knowledge reveals the true essence of jihad. The manifestation of “jihad” requires one to understand the fundamental teachings of Islam and apply them to one’s daily life.

    The misconception of the meaning of “jihad” has made many to suffer phobia and scepticism. Therefore, it is imperative to have knowledgeable and qualified people with wisdom to lead and to correct these misunderstandings.

    The corruption of knowledge must be eliminated before true “jihad” may be carried out and manifest as truth and justice.

    Source: http://thestar.com.my/columnists/sto...&sec=ikimviews
    Understanding true ‘jihad’

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    Re: Understanding true ‘jihad’

    Greetings and peace be with you north_malaysian;

    Thank you for the explanation of jihad, and it makes so much sense; we go through life facing many challenges. We might all like to change the world; but as the prophet pbuh said, the greater jihad is to change ourselves.

    In the spirit of searching for an inner peace that surpasses all understanding.

    Eric
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    Re: Understanding true ‘jihad’

    it's not my article... just cut and paste it from a local newspaper...

    I think it's a good article...
    Understanding true ‘jihad’

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    Eric H's Avatar
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    Re: Understanding true ‘jihad’

    Greetings and peace be with you north_malaysian;
    it's not my article... just cut and paste it from a local newspaper...
    Even so; you must still take some credit for bringing it to our attention
    I think it's a good article..
    Agreed..

    In the spirit of praying for greater interfaith friendship

    Eric
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