THE word jihad is becoming even more popular lately because of what happened in Marawi City. A group of young bandits calling themselves as Ansarul Khilafa or what the mainstream media calls as Maute - Daesh Group raised the black flag of ISIS and calls every Muslim to join them for jihad.
We ask the question, what is the meaning of jihad?
The word jihad is from Arabic language which literally means "to struggle" or "to strive."
Imam Jafaral Sadiq (a) said: The Prophet (SAW) dispatched a contingent of the army to the battlefront. Upon their successful return, he (SAW) said: Blessed are those who have performed the minor jihad and have yet to perform the major jihad. When asked, “What is the greater jihad?’ the Prophet (SAW) replied: ‘The jihad of the self (struggle against self)’”.
[Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 19, p. 182, hadith no. 31] Not known to many, even among Muslims, there are many types of jihad, most of which pertain to defense. Our scholars summarizes them as follows:
1. Defense of the existence of Islam and its sanctities, against an enemy who intends to demolish the basis of the religion and replace it by some form of disbelief such as Magianism, Christianity, or Judaism. An example of this was during the Spanish colonial time in 15th to 18th centuries.
2. Resistance against an enemy who transgresses on the life and territory of Muslims; the enemy's main aim is to encroach on the lives, property, and territories of Muslims, rather than the destruction of Islam.
3. Defense of Muslim brethren engaged in conflict with un¬believers in a certain region where there is a danger of the domination of unbelievers over them. In such a condition, in accordance with the norms of Islamic brotherhood and solidarity, Muslims are obliged to defend their oppressed brothers and to fight their common enemy.
4. Expulsion of an aggressor who has occupied Muslim lands or established religious domination over Muslims. In such circumstances, it is incumbent upon all Muslims to fight the enemy's domination and restore the independence and authority of Muslims.
The word jihad has been men¬tioned in 17 Surahs (Chapters) of the Holy Qur’an, most of which were revealed in al Madinah. These surahs are: al Baqarah, Al Imran, al Nisa' al¬Maidah, al Anfal, al Tawbah, al Nahl, al Hajj, al Naml, al Ahzab, al Shura, Muhammad, al Fath, al Hadid, al Hashr, al Mumtahanah, al Saff.
In all these chapters in the Holy Qur'an, it never mentioned that jihad is done as an offensive move or an attack against any civilians (women, men, and children).
As the word extremism and terrorism are now being link with Islam and the Muslims, let us discuss clearly about the greatest threat facing Islam and the Muslims today.
A video clip I posted on Facebook discusses this topic more profoundly and would like to quote and share this to my readers: Imam: In the Name of God, the merciful, the compassionate brothers, sisters, what is the greatest threat facing Islam today?
Audience 1: American aggression in the Middle East.
Audience 2: The Zionist occupation of Palestine. Imam: These are merely symptoms of a greater disease.
The real threat is in our hearts. Instead of allowing Islam to transform us, some Muslims are trying to transform Islam to serve their political agenda. They are using the label "Islam" to kill, murder innocent people, something that the Prophet would never have condoned -- sallallaahu 'alayhiwasallam.
Remember Sura 13, Verse 11 “God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” How can we end the oppression of the Muslims by resorting to even worse behavior? If our spiritual and our moral condition worsens, how can we expect God to improve our economic and our political conditions? This is the fallacy of the self-styled jihadists, who murder innocent civilians –
Audience 3: How can you expect Muslims to be civilized when the Americans, the Israelis, the Russians kill thousands of Muslim civilians and dismiss it as collateral damage? The Holy Qur'an permits an eye for an eye. If the unbelievers kill our civilians, we have the right to do the same.
Imam: Allah permits retaliation only against the guilty party, not against innocents. Sura 53, verse 38, says, "no soul shall bear the burden of another. Audience 3: The Holy Qur'an also says, "and kill them wherever you find them." And drive them out of the places where they drove you out, for persecution is worse than killing.
Imam: "You forgot the first part of that verse, brother -- "fight in God's cause against those who fight you, "but do not commit aggression." There are many who are seeking god, but instead end up following the devil. The corrupt teachings of the terrorists are Satan's way of deceiving those seeking the straight path."
The common narrative of terrorists and self-proclaimed jihadist is that Muslims are under attack in Palestine, Myanmar, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan... They also brainwashed our youth today saying, that we need to protect Allah (SWT), Islam, and Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Common sense will tell us that Allah (SWT), Islam and our dear Prophet (SAW) do not need us to protect them. It is Allah (SWT) who protects all of us.
In order for us to avoid any influence of this distorted verses from the Holy Qur'an and to and to stop ISIS from destroying the minds and hearts of every Muslim, we need the help of our local government units to have the right knowledge and understanding of Islam.