In our modern times, the term ‘jihad’ has come to imply violence, holy wars, and terrorism, particularly in the western world. However, its original, intended meaning – and usage to a great extent in the Muslim world – continues to hark to a larger, more encompassing root word ‘j-h-d’ which means ‘to strive.’

In fact, a tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, differentiates between the ‘greater jihad’ and the ‘lesser jihad.’ Contrary to popular understanding, the greater jihad in Islam is the inner struggle, both spiritual and mundane, Muslims engage in daily in order to lead a righteous life, one which does not only include being mindful of one’s prayers, fasts, and charity, but also kind and just behavior with others, fulfilling duties towards kith, kin, and neighbors, and earning and eating of lawful means, among many other elements.

The lesser jihad, on the other hand, refers to armed struggle to protect the faith, its adherents, and its land/property. During the lifetime of the Prophet, peace be upon him, many such wars were fought, and the righteous caliphs and others continued this tradition. However, these wars were fought defensively, not aggressively. In addition, the rules of engagement strictly lay down certain restrictions, binding the Muslims foremost to negotiate peace, reducing fighting as the last resort.

In this section, we will explore the varied implications of the term ‘jihad’ as well as discuss the destructive forces of terrorism which are spreading throughout our world.


Sanctity of Life: The Islamic Position on Terrorism

Jihad Explained

Worldwide Condemnation of Terrorism

Jihad FAQs





  1. if islam is a religion of peace why muslims around the world miss that? Anyone turns on aljezeera can see the effect of the teachings of Muhammad and allah. Lybia, lebanon , egypt, algeria, tunisia, Gaza, Jordan, indonesia, syria, iraq, iran, saudi arabia, yemen, pakistan, afganistan,etc.

  2. watch to know the truth!
    what does jihad really mean? http://y2u.be/uDGkA8k_VAY
    what is saheed?http://youtu.be/2SsNCTssrpI

  3. Is Qital a part of Jihad,in any sense? If not Its peak.

  4. If you read the Quran word for word, and follow the teachings exactly how it's written, it really does teach you that you must kill the infidels, and all who REFUSE to follow Islam. Unlike the bible, which talks of the 10 commandments, one of which specificially says "thou shall not kill.", there is nothing of that nature in the Quran. As a matter of fact, it says it's OK to lie to your enemy also. I've tried to follow the religion, not for the sake of converting to it, but for the sake of trying to gain some kind of understanding so that I could at least try to be respectful in a proper manner with Islamic followers. Ironically though, I've found that many of them, when certain topics are brough up, such as the fighting over land in Israel for example, the reaction I get from most of the Muslims is "they stole our land, they should pay", or something to that effect, basically justifying the fight, and not saying anything morally is wrong with the killings because they were fighting for their land, etc. Whereas the Christians usually say something about how sad it is all the people are fighting, killing each other, and more or less show much more compassion and remorse about it happening in the first place. The Muslims act like they deserve it, and the fighting isn't sad, or against their God.

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