Jihad and Terrorism: A Misunderstood Concept of Islam

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In today’s world, various Islamic terms and concepts are grossly misunderstood. We cannot blame anyone expect ourselves as we failed to live in Islamic tenants and completely failed to promote the understanding of Islam in the world. The people around us got irritated when they hear the name of Islam and Muslim. Without any knowledge and evidence they spoke out that they are terrorists and are the propagators of jihad. This article tries to define the real meaning of jihad and terrorism from Islamic perspective of view. First of all it is necessary to know the actual meaning of jihad. Jihad means a struggle and strives against evil thoughts, actions and aggression against a person, family, society or country. This term is also known as Humanity in other religions. It is noteworthy that jihad is not only associated with Islam and Muslims. This concept is found in all religions including Christianity, Judaism and political, economic ideologies such as capitalism, socialism and communism soon. In Islam the concept of jihad focuses on such things like [a] To learn, teach and practice Islam in order to benefit oneself, family and society [b] To fight against evils, wrongdoings and injustice by action and speech. [c] Be a messenger of Islam everywhere, in every behavior and action. Jihad does not mean to do suicide attacks, converting people by force and marrying with a girl of other religion, instead she accepts Islam. Otherwise it is a crime and should be punishable by law.
While as the concept of terrorism is completely opposite to jihad. Terrorism means any kind of violence that creates fear in the minds of people. The goal of terrorism is to achieve political, economic or religious change within a community. A Muslim is not one who terrorize others in the name of Islam and holy Quran teaches tolerance with faiths and guides. 
In conditions of war, Islam provides a guideline that not to kill women, children, the old and the weak. Even not to destroy the standing crops. Or a tree as Abu Bakr (RA), the first caliph of Islam told his army that “ I instruct you in ten matters: do not kill women, children, the old or the infirm; do not cut down fruit- bearing trees; do not destroy the towns——(Kitab al- Jihad: Imam Malik). Under customary international law, terrorism indulges in criminal activities with manifestly political motives. The activities may be organized or unorganized and involves in terrorist activities against civilian population and does not follow any law (Saini 2001).
The term terrorism does not exist in Quran or in the teachings of Prophet (SAW). In Quran Allah does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly in with those who have not fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your homes, that you show them kindness and deal justly with them as God loves just dealers (60: 8).Fight in the cause of God against those who fight with you, but do not begin aggression, as God does not love Aggressors (2: 190). There are no such things like holy war in Islam. The term holy war was generated by Europe during the Crusades who were fighting against Muslims. A man once asked prophet (SAW) which is the best jihad. The Prophet replied that the most excellent jihad is to speak the word of truth in front of a tyrant. It is significant to know the real meaning of both jihad and terrorism. Islam prohibits the murder of innocent as it is the murder of all humanity. The mass murder in Peshawar, Nigeria, Assam, Paris, Istanbul and recently Jakarta can be justified as acts of terrorism not jihad. As no religion justifies the killing of innocent in cold blood. The basic need is to learn and understand the concept of Islam and you come to know that Islam means a commitment to live in peace and Muslim is a person who makes commitment to live in peace.

 

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