Examine the Muslim concept of Jihad. Jihad means the struggle or effort, and it means much more then holy war. Muslims believe there are three different kinds of struggle, such as a believer’s internal struggle to live out the Muslim faith as well as possible. Also, the struggle to build a Muslim society and lastly the holy war; the struggle to defend Islam, with force if necessary. Jihad is believed to have two sections, the greater Jihad and the lesser Jihad. The greater Jihad refers to the efforts of a believer to live their Muslim faith as well as ossible, also learning the Qur’an by heart is considered engaging greater Jihad.
So through this Muslims make a great effort to live as Allah has instructed them, following the rules of the faith, being devoted to Allah, ding everything they can to help other people. For most people, living God’s way is quite a struggle. God sets high standards, and believers have to fight with their own selfish desires to live up to them, no matter how much they love God. The five pillars of Islam form an exercise of Jihad in this sense, since a Muslim gets closer to Allah by performing them.
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The other ways in which a Muslims can engage in the greater Jihad could be learning the Qur’an by heart, or engage in other religious study, overcoming things such as anger, greed, hatred, pride or malice, giving up smoking, cleaning the floor of the mosque, taking part in Muslim community activities, working for social Justice and forgiving someone who has hurt them. On the other hand, the lesser Jihad is when Muslims, or their faith or territory aqre under attack, Islam permits the believer to wage military war to protect them.
However, Islmaic law sets very strict rules for the conduct of such a war. In recent years the most common meaning of Jihad has been Holy War. And there is a long tradition of Jihad being used to mean a military struggle to benefit Islam. Jihad has no intension to force people to convert to Islam, conquer other nations to colonise them, take territory for economic gain, settle disputes and demonstrate a leader’s power. Although Muslims believe in war, it is not necessarily to conquest, they are seen to survive. And it took place at a time when fighting between tribes was ommon.
Since the recent laws have been out for Jihad, there have been new rules which Jihad has to obey from. These rules are women, children, or old people should not be killed or hurt. Women must not be raped; enemies must be treated with Justice etc. The Qur’an has many passages about fighting. Some of them advocate peace such as ‘Fight in the way of Allah against those who fght against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors” Qur’an 2:190. defence etc. As it is an action for Allah, therefore being a good Muslim.