What does "jihad" mean? - Islam 101
- 1 Jihad and Dhimmitude
- 1.1 What does "jihad" mean?
- 1.2 Muslim Scholar Hasan Al-Banna on jihad
- 1.3 Dar al-Islam and dar al-harb: the House of Islam and the House of War
- 1.4 Taqiyya - Religious Deception
- 1.5 Jihad Through History
- 1.6 The First Major Wave of Jihad: the Arabs, 622-750 AD
- 1.7 The Second Major Wave of Jihad: the Turks, 1071-1683 AD
- 1.8 The Dhimma
- 1.9 Jihad in the Modern Era
Jihad literally translates as "struggle." Strictly speaking, jihad does not mean "holy war" as Muslim apologists often point out. However, the question remains as to what sort of "struggle" is meant: an inner, spiritual struggle against the passions, or an outward, physical struggle.
As in any case of trying to determine Islamic teaching on a particular matter, one must look to the Quran and the Sunnah. From those sources (see above) it is evident that a Muslim is required to struggle against a variety of things: laziness in prayer, neglecting to give zakat (alms), etc. But is it also plain that a Muslim is commanded to struggle in physical combat against the infidel as well. Muhammad's impressive military career attests to the central role that military action plays in Islam.