Written by Theresa Corbin
Jihad! Yes, I said it *looks over shoulder to see if the FBI is going to pounce*.
Jihad is a source of fear and loathing the world over. It is embedded in popular culture as something crazed Muslims do in the name of their religion. But what does it really mean? Should we rely on the media to learn our religion or to learn about other’s religions?
Nah, prolly not a good idea. Unless you like being ignorant and led down the path of bigotry. Is there a place we can go to find out the truth about such things? Is there a source? Somehow? Somewhere? Yes, and in the case of jihad it is the Quran. The source is the Quran. Not those who take Quranic verses and explain them out of context.
Jihad does not mean to blow oneself up and kill innocent people in the process. This is NOT allowed in Islam. Period! Jihad does not mean holy war –the Arabic term for holy war is harbun muqaddasatu. Jihad is not even pronounce GEE-had.
Jihad [jee HOD] n.- 1. As a Quranic concept, involves resisting the base desires and struggling against all that would take one away from good. 2. It is to resist, to defend oneself if attacked. 3. As an Arabic term, it can mean to struggle in any way. It can be a jihad to study hard and make good grades.
Struggling and fighting are two separate but often related terms. The word most people mean when they use jihad is “qital”, which means to fight. One may have to struggle (jihad) against their desire to run and hide when they should fight (qital) an armed aggressor who first fights them.
It’s semantics. The problem is not with struggling or fighting, but with those who twist the Quran.
Yes, qital or fighting is prescribed in Islam when it is against armed aggressors:
Permission to fight is given to those who are fought against because they have been wronged -truly Allah has the power to come to their support- those who were expelled from their homes without any right, merely for saying, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ […]. (Quran, 22:39-40)
Those who twist the meaning of the command to fight often quote the Quran as stating, “slay them wherever you catch them”. (Quran 2:191) But these same people leave out the most important part. Who is the them? The rest of the passage states:
Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loves not transgressors. And slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than death. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors. (Quran 2:190-193). [emphasis added]
Another trick of detractors is to quote part of chapter 5 verse 9 of the Quran:
Fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war).
But it somehow slips their mind to mention the context in which this was revealed.
This verse is referring to the early Muslims who had entered into treaties with neighboring tribes (Jewish, Christian, and pagan), Some Jewish and pagan tribes violated the terms of their treaty. They secretly aided an attacks against the Muslim community.
The proceeding verse instructs the Muslims to continue to honor treaties with those who did not betrayed them. The verse continues to say that those who violated this treaty have declared war, so fight them. Islam does not advocate pacifism in the face of injustice. Without justice, peace IS an illusion.
So, who is to blame for propagating this “jihad” misinterpretation/ misunderstanding?
First and foremost, ignorant Muslims are to blame for giving Islam a bad name because they themselves do not understand their religion.
This is very important to note- the actions of Muslims DO NOT define Islam. Islam is complete, does not change (Shariah), and can be traced to its source. Muslims are imperfect human beings, who sometimes do not practice jihad against their own desires.
Why and how is this misconception propagated?
The Muslims: Muslims see their brothers and sisters in Islam being insulted, degraded, oppressed, raped, and murdered all over the world. As anyone with a heart will do when they see their loved ones hurt, they get emotional. When you mix emotion with uneducated minds, you get irrational and often violent behavior.
These ignorant Muslims will twist the Islamic right (and human right) to fight in self-defense defense of as permission to commit suicide bombings and other atrocities. They blatantly ignore the strict Islamic rules in defensive fighting that forbids harming civilians, their property, and even forbids destroying crops, trees, or livestock.
They search for an “Islamic” ruling to meet their desires, and when they find something in their culture or find someone who has distorted the Quran, they run with it. But the Ummah (the Muslim community worldwide) does not benefit from this. If you think this is OK, there are better and actual halal ways to help your brothers and sisters in faith!
The Ummah needs to take a good look at itself. We need more personal jihad and less fighting:
Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. (Quran 13:11)
It is obligatory on every Muslims to learn his/her religion for a reason. If we do not understand our religion, who will? If we don’t fix ourselves, how will Allah change our condition?
The non-Muslims: There are those who portray Islam as a religion that condones the use of “jihad” to kill innocent people. And these same people will claim that all Muslims are terrorist.
This is not so. The acts of a few do not define the many.
Can we call Christianity a religion of brutality because of The Crusades and The Inquisition? Certainly not. Can we call all American men wack jobs because of the Oklahoma city bombing, the numerous school shootings, the Batman movie theater shooting, and so on? No, because the actions of a few, deranged people do not define the motivations and actions of everyone in that group.
Those who propagate stereotypes of all Muslims as terrorists do so for many reasons, some of which include fear, ignorance, and hatred. But those who do it to control the masses are usually after power and/or wealth.
Whatever the ends, the dissemination of false information about an entire group is the means. So anti-Muslim propaganda is disseminated in the media, in popular culture, and all over the internet. It is easy to view a group as evil if it is the popular thing to do.
Those who twist the Quran and spread lies about Islam and the Muslims, you are creating injustice which will make peace impossible. It would be more prudent to make alliances with the 99.9% of Muslims who also believe the actions of these few, fringe, deranged Muslims are wrong instead of demonizing all Muslims.
Follow us (upper right of the page). Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org). Like our face with your face on Facebook (facebook.com/islamwich). Tumble with us on Tumblr (islamwich.tumblr.com). Pin with us (pinterest.com/islamwich). Follow us on twitter (@islamwich).
Like the post, share it, pin it, comment on it, and/or do whatever social media magic it is that you prefer. Find out more about us in the understandably named “About Us” page and browse other posts in “Table of Contents”.
16 thoughts on “Jihad Is Not The Problem”
Seriously, I think this article is as much for muslims as nonmuslims. Thanks.
Absolutely! As I am sure you know, we need to start understanding each other instead of pointing the finger of blame. I want to offer my small voice to help make this happen, inshaAllah. Thanks for reading!
Hi Theresa. This is a great post and I really like your blog! I hope you continue to write and combat ignorance that creates prejudice and violence!
Thank you so much!! InshaAllah that is my plan. Thanks for reading!
Reblogged this on MahoganyMuslimah.
Thanks for reblogging my article!!
Very informal. And any time. As salamu alaikum
AsSalaam sis. Another good one here.
“Caution: this info might blow your mind” – ok, that was funny. I’ll have to fine you points for making me laugh.
The style i great. I do like how you addressed Muslims too and given them a telling off too. Them darn Mows-lems! 🙂
Don’t fine me! I will be broke! And I believe it is pronounced Mooooozz-lems 🙂
Don’t get me wrong, I do not wish to benefit you. I only wish to defend Islam (however I will not defend Muslims who defame my religion). I do and will “whistle this tolerance tune” and the tune of forgiveness as long as I can, because peace is better. But my religion operates in reality and sometimes war is called for, as I have stated very clearly in my post about Jihad.
You seem to see things in terms of black and white. It is easier, but unfortunately, nothing in this world is so polarized, and your reductionism is the quickest way to BS. You say this over and over: “Mohammed was a violent man and history bears this out,” What is your SPECIFIC proof of this?
There is no doubt about the Islamic ruling that an apostate gets the death penalty. I will not argue that this is not true. But I will say that in an Islamic state, under Proper Islamic rule (which does not exist in this day and time) the apostate is considered a traitor, which in many countries is also punishable by the death penalty, including the US. It is not up to the average Yusuf on the street to try and condemn any other person, this is up to the courts, as with any other country. My question is why would one remain in a Muslim country under Islamic rule and declare that he has apostated, what is his purpose? If he has not left, what are his intentions? Treason?
Thank you for this question about God. I am starting to see my insanity. Why would I argue details of religion with people who don’t even believe in God? It also reminds me of the mercy of God that he allows you and your comrades to take part in and enjoy the world he created while you deny His existence and abuse the reputation of the prophet He sent. So I will stop being crazy. Good bye.
“You brought up the point about Syria not me. I merely pointed out the reasons behind it. I am not interested in convincing you of anything. You cannot even argue with manners.It is a simple thing. Adieu”
You announce that you concur with Islamic Law that it is okay for Islamic authorities to issue a death notice for apostasy and all you come back with is a churlish , and factually incorrect remark about Mohammed’s razia to Syria?
You cannot seem to grasp the magnitude of the insanity of this?
That you consider religious apostasy traitorous and comparable to what is generally considered traitorous behaviour in a normal world is mind numbing.
That you would likely disown your own child if she ever became a Christian, for instance, especially as you were once a member of this religion is also beyond belief.
And worse, if she were the subject of a Fatwa, you would accept it?
YOUR OWN CHILD.
I swear to you if i was in a position to do so I would lay my own life on the line to protect your child from such insanity.
Please, I beg of you, try to convince me why I should consider you worthy of any form of respect?
I mean it. Please.
If I may refer to your earlier comment “Only in Islamic countries do these hateful bigotry’s happen (it’s nearly exclusive)”
Are you kidding me?! Have you ever been to the American South?, where racism is alive and well. And let’s talk about state sponsored bigotry of the US pre civil rights. Jim Crow laws, anyone? Nazi Germany? Spain during the inquisition? Bosnia in more recent memory? Seriously!? Your bigotry is showing.
“Oh wait, you’re a watered down Muslim from sin city who looks at Islam from afar with the benefit of rose colored glasses forced upon you by the democracy of the USA.”
I practice Islam; I do not look at it from afar. That is really insulting. I think what you meant to say is that I look at Muslim countries where people are desperate for change from afar, and my point of view may be rose colored because I don’t have to live among the ignorance, war, and poverty. It is sad but true Muslim countries suck. That does not mean Islam sucks.
“You are blatantly ignoring the facts of life in Islamic countries. Whether you hate or not does not matter … enough of your fellow believers hate enough to kill shamelessly and in the name of your religion. If you truly believe that Islam is not and does not promote hate and violence please explain why there is so much violence in Islamic countries and Islamic dominated areas of the world.”
I maintain that there is no Islamic State. Muslim countries that impose Islamic law are not considered to be Islamic States because they practice SOME Islamic law, some cultural law, and some laws are based on philosophy.
Islam is not the only source of law in any country: the requirement for an Islamic State. There hasn’t been an Islamic state since 1924. Most Muslims would agree with this.
And there is so much violence in Muslim countries because of severely messed up and corrupt politics. People are not safe in these countries. There are living under corrupt and extremely oppressive rulers and in extreme poverty and ignorance. They are told it is all the West’s fault, and some of it is, since thousands and thousands of civilians in Muslim countries have been killed by troupes from Western countries. And now thousands are suffering from uranium poisoning. They are desperate for change and looking for anything in the religion of Islam to twist and make fit their ends.
“One of the winners you mention is an American where religion does not rule.”
This does not make him a non-Muslim. He is a Muslim practicing Islam. You ask where are the Muslim Nobel winners, as if there weren’t any. You didn’t qualify it by saying they had to live in a Majority Muslim country. I don’t know why his place of residence has anything to do with religion or his contribution to society.
“There are zero female Muslim Nobel winners.”
The very last Noble winner I mentioned is a woman from Yemen: Tawakel Karman
“Tell us all the wonderful things that Islam is doing for the world. You know, the kind of stuff that might get us to forget the inherent hate and bigotry. They’re studying ‘all over the world’ … interesting. That is hardly how I’ve heard other people talk about such things.”
Yes, well, if you talk to people that are bigoted they will share their biased view. Are you saying that people talking have more credibility than the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization?
It is a sad fact that the Muslim world is in disarray since the end of the Caliphate. I will not argue that Muslim countries are making strides in Technology and contributing to the betterment of the world. Mostly they are not. Most of these countries are war torn, and a vast portion of the population is impoverished and illiterate. But individual Muslims are making strides toward improving the world.
You have a problem with Muslim countries, so do I, but you are confusing it with Islam.
“It sounds dangerously close to the fallacy of appeal to authority. There are crappy universities ‘all over the world’. Are these Muslim women studying engineering at MIT, astrophysics at Oxford, Math at Liberty… you’ve mentioned nothing that lends credability to the claim:”
Yes there certainly are crappy universities everywhere. But there are enough Muslim women at prestigious US universities for them to be able to start several chapters of an Islamic sorority: Gamma Gamma Chi. And there is a difference between citing the thinking of an authority and citing a legitimate study done by an authority such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and sharing the results. So, no, your appeal to authority fallacy does not apply here.
I CAN put the Quranic quotes you cite into context and have in the very post you are commenting on. Maybe you should read the post?
I am not an Islamic apologist. Islam does not need anyone to apologize for it. The Muslims themselves who commit grave and unjust acts need to apologize for their actions and need to apologize for using their religion as an excuse. But I do not need to apologize for them either, as I am not associated with “Islamic” terrorism, nor do I support them, and I do speak out against them and these types of actions. I have in public forums and here on my blog and will continue to at every opportunity.
“So why is it that “good true Muslims” don’t rise up and stop them? What are the reasons?”
There are so so many Muslim organizations and Muslim individuals that are working on this very thing. The Muslim Peace Fellowship, Muslims for Peace, and The World Council for Muslim Interfaith Relations to name a few.
How is your slander of Islam helping promote a better world? What do you do to make the world a better place?
“It might be coincidence I suppose, but it seems convenient that you know people in all these fields. What kind of green energy research does your husband do? What was the real reason he got into mechanical engineering?”
It is no coincidence, ask any Muslim if they know other Muslims in these fields, and I guarantee you they will know many. Have you been to a hospital lately? How many doctors are Muslim? How many of the engineers that signed off on building projects around the world are Muslim?
To insinuate that my husband has become a Mechanical Engineer for nefarious reasons is VERY offensive. Are you a bigot yourself? The evidence is pointing that way. My husband became an engineer to go into bio-medical R&D. While in this facet of engineering, he designed and built a mechanical arm with tactical feedback to help amputees. He then worked for NASA to develop nano-fiber technology. Now he works in the biofuel industry. Maybe one day you will benefit from his work.
“Have you memorized the Koran?”
I have not yet, but I am working on it. Have you ever read the context of the revelation known as the Tafsir? You speak about Islam and demonize it without real knowledge, sure you may on a superficial level know the state of the Muslim countries. But this knowledge does not mean you have knowledge of Islam.
“Finally, just for fun, why is Islam right and true but Christianity not? Or even Buddhism for that matter.”
I have addressed this topic in my post entitled Islam! Since 610. You can find it archived under Islamiguide if you are really interested.
You will see what you want to if you look hard enough. And yes, you have biased your research. If you go to a KKK (like the website you sourced: http://www.islam-watch.org/Sami/Islam-Tolerant-Religion-Kill-the-Infidels.htm) website, I am sure you will find all kind of slander against African Americans, but is this a good source of the truth of the matter? Please read the Jihad post to put these verses in context.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Great read and many valid arguments and points raised, but none of them discuss the dark side of Islamic scripture promoting and inciting violence in name of Islam against the so called Infidels. Have you seen really seen these scripts???! And mind it, such scripts are both in the QURAN and the Sunnah.
Plus this pushing our beliefs that before judgement day all people must become Muslims (usual crap violent jihad) and go to Heavens, I mean its really embarrassing and annoying to behave superior as most Muslims do and tell people of other religions that oh, you know first you types will accept Islam and we will all land ourselves in Heaven. Its seriously time to address these issues. Just saying you know…