” Jihad ” has now become one of the most notorious word because of the so called followers of Islam. They have given an opportunity to the opponents to defame Islam by their words and deeds and that’s how Islam is known as a barbaric religion and its Prophet (pbuh) as cruel militant. But the truth is Islam is nothing but peace and The Prophet of Islam (pbuh) was an embodiment of love, mercy and forgiveness.
The current concept of ” Jihad ” known by the world is what Muslims derived from others and it is completely unknown to Islam. In the Middle Ages, the wars of Christians warriors and crusaders against Islamic countries and even against those European peoples who were holding back from Christianity became a reason for Muslims to forget their own conception of Jihad . Christians took part in those war from all over Europe just to have the pleasure of God so under the influence of these unprovoked attacks Muslims lost their way and adopted a concept of Jihad which has nothing to do with Islam. And let me make it clear that I ‘m not trying to justify any misconception or any act of such Jihad but just trying to tell what exactly happened how Muslims lost their way.
Islam strongly forbids and oppose all kind of aggression and violence. The prophet of Islam Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers consistently suffered with severe persecution in Mecca for 13 years and then they were forced to migrate but the enemy did not stop on that and followed them In Medina and attacked on them to annihilate Islam and his followers and that was the moment when the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and his followers took sword in their hands just to defend themselves by the permission of God. The verse of the Holy Quran which gives permission says it all.
” Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged — and Allah indeed has power to help them.
Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ — And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated. And Allah will surely help one who helps Him. Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty. ” 22:39,40
These verses make it clear that permission is given to the victims of aggression and who have been driven out from their homes just because of their belief and the permission is given to establish the freedom of religion and faith and to protect all places of worship.
Another verse says, ” And fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Surely, Allah loves not the transgressors. 2:190
Islam firmly believes in the freedom of religion and speech and pronounces , ” There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, right has become distinct from wrong.” 2:156
Again says, ” And say, ‘It is the truth from your Lord; therefore let him who will, believe, and let him who will, disbelieve.” 18:29
According to the Holy Quran the greater Jihad is to preach the message of Islam with Quran as it says,
” So obey not the disbelievers and fight against them by means of it (the Qur’an) a great fight.” 25:52
And the greatest Jihad is against one’s own evil desires and to reform and purify his own soul as The Quran says,
” And whoso strives, strives only for his own soul; verily Allah is Independent of all creatures.” 29:6
Hope this short description would be sufficient for the reader to understand the true concept of Islamic Jihad and to understand that the general perception of Jihad is strange to Islam.