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Letters to the Editor 10/23

The truth behind the Islamic word ‘jihad’

We hear about it and see it everywhere. Whether it’s on the TV, newspapers, radio or anywhere else. The term “jihad” is a very misunderstood aspect of the Islamic religion.

It is often identified as Muslim “holy war.” I wish to clear up this erroneous delusion and explain a little about what this word really means.

Jihad is an Arabic word with an actual definition. Therefore, it cannot be open to any interpretation.

Jihad literally means to exert the utmost effort. Its meaning, like many other words, is secular and has nothing to do with God.

But because Islam flourished in the Arab world, the word of course appears in the Qur’an and thus may have a religious connotation.

I guarantee that the actual words “holy war” cannot be found anywhere in the Qur’an. Islam does not promote violence. It’s a religion of submission to God and peace. So, to create a definition for a word that has such significance is simply inane.

There are three kinds of jihad. The first is jihad through oneself, which is controlling inner desires, such as greed.

The second kind is the jihad through giving money. This type of jihad can simply be done by donating and giving something you own to another person in need.

The last type is jihad through time and even life. This jihad emphasizes personal sacrifice. A single mother raising her children and working two jobs could even be an example of this jihad.

This type of jihad may also include the battlefield.

However, entering the battlefield must only be for the purpose of establishing justice. Jihad must be for the cause of Allah and not for personal motivations or gains.

There are certain regulations and restriction for the rules of jihad on the battlefield and they are the following:

  1. The murder of any non-combatants, especially women, children, the elderly, monks, and innocent civilians is absolutely forbidden.
  2. Even animals cannot be harmed or killed during war.
  3. Not only are people and animals prohibited to be killed, but the destruction of the environment is, too. (Nuclear armaments are a very good example of destroying the environment.)
  4. Sudden attacks are also prohibited, so there must be a reasonable warning in advance to the adversary.
  5. And if someone declared war by damaging one building, the same scale punishment should be given back to achieve a just, proportionate cause.

If any one of these rules is not followed, the jihad will be void and thus considered unacceptable.

Islam is a very fair religion and does not target or discriminate against people of any other religion or race.

Getting past the stereotypes and misconceptions is often difficult in this society, but by keeping your mind open, the truth may lay before your very eyes.

  • Sarah Mitwalli is a dual-enrollment student.

    A thanks for proof that chivalry is not dead

    Greetings. I just wanted to say thank you to all the gentlemen on the trams who get up and offer their seats to female students when there is no other seating available.

    I applaud you and say thank you for making my day better. Chivalry is not dead.

  • Linda Evans is a junior majoring in sociology.