Can someone explain the concept of Jihad to me?

United States
September 20, 2012 10:18pm CST
I think there is mass confusion over the concept of Jihad, many Americans believe this to be an evil word, but I've spoken to a few friends of mine that told me Jihad was not as evil as everyone makes it out to be.
4 responses
• India
22 Sep 12
Jihad is not only struggle physicaly , self control is called Jihade Akbar ( Biggest Jihad)
• United States
22 Sep 12
What are the rules that you must follow to govern yourself?
• India
22 Sep 12
I cont type the complete rules here , one should control ourself by avoiding Immoral activities and thoughts like Anger, lust etc . The entire rules are more ,i just gve a example
@samar54 (2456)
• Egypt
22 Sep 12
I remember the Hadith "The man is not a good wrestler; the strong man is in fact the person who controls himself at the time of anger."
@Naseem00 (1998)
• Pakistan
21 Sep 12
Jihad has the literal meaning of exerting our best and greatest effort to achieve something. It is not the equivalent of war, for which the Arabic word is qital. Jihad has a much wider connotation and embraces every kind of striving in God’s cause. There are two aspects of jihad. One is fighting to over­come carnal desires and evil inclinations; this is called the greater jihad; the other is encouraging others to achieve the same objective and is called the lesser jihad. The Muslim army was returning to Madina after they had defeated the enemy in a battle, when the Messenger of God said to them; We are returning from the lesser jihad to the greater one. When the Companions asked what the “greater jihad” was, he explained that it was fighting with the carnal self. http://www.thewaytotruth.org/jihad/meaning.html
• United States
22 Sep 12
This helps me understand greatly. I guess it makes sense. After you defeat an enemy in battle that sense of power and dominance has to be controlled otherwise you might succumb to you inner darkness.
@Naseem00 (1998)
• Pakistan
22 Sep 12
You are correct to an extent. As mentioned above, Jihas has a much wider connotation and anything that is done in God's cause can be considered Jihad. So assuming Jihad is all about defeating enemies or winning of wars is somehow limiting the meaning of the word.
• United States
23 Sep 12
I imagine it would be easier not having been influenced by my cultural beliefs. It's hard to imagine principals that encompass every facet of life.
@Gordano (791)
• United States
21 Sep 12
The Arabic word Jihad means to "to struggle" or "to strive" there is the greater jihad, is said to be the struggle against the evil of your soul, while the lesser jihad, is external and is in reference to physical effort, i.e fighting in self defense, which means that killing someone who is not fighting you is a murder not Jihad, we need to understand the difference between the command fight and the command kill, the Bible is filled with the command Kill (including innocent kids) but the command in the Quran is fight those who fight you, which means self defense. Example from the Bible Numbers 31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones (innocent kids), and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. Example from the Qura'n [002:190] Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. ** fight not kill ** fight those who fight you (self defense) ** begin not hostilities. ** God love not aggressors
• United States
21 Sep 12
Does fight only mean in the physical sense of the word, or is it representing mental battles as well? Must you use equal force to defend yourself, or can you fight with words instead of hands?
• Philippines
21 Sep 12
As what mentioned by Gordano Jihad are two types.First;the higher Jihad which is fighting against your own evil desires,that's basically mental and emotional fight.It is enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil.One example is controlling your own temper.In addition to that;it is mentioned in a hadith(narrations of Prophet Muhammad's words and actions)34 as follows: On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (ra) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]n b You can fight with words as well,it depends on your faith.
• United States
22 Sep 12
It's interesting the first actions are with hands. I guess that makes sense. If you see someone trying to hurt another person, the first thing you should try is to step in between the people, but if that doesn't quite work you have to diffuse the situation with words. I'm not quite understanding the heart part of the saying.
• Egypt
22 Sep 12
Gordano gives you the best response on your Question.Jihad is not for killing innocent people.the misunderstanding of the Muslims is the problem.
• United States
23 Sep 12
I know that for a fact. I have worked with a few American Muslims, and they were honorable men in my opinion. I merely ask these questions to get a better understanding of something I don't know much about.