Books and Documents

Radical Islamism and Jihad (16 Mar 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)

The Qur’anic Perspective on Jihad and Greater jihad: SOS to Global Muslim Community




By Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam


Muhammad Yunus, co-author (Jointly with Ashfaque Ullah Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009.March 15, 2012


Languishing in stagnancy of Symbolism and Ritualism, deluded by a quixotic dream of world domination through  militant jihad  – the Muslims have turned misfit among the civilizations of the world and urgently need a major paradigm shift in their religious thoughts to the dynamic spirit of the Greater Jihad.

 As is well known, the connotation of word in any language is liable to change as people or scholars employ the same word in different situations. Thus the English word ‘present’, may connote, physical presence at a given moment, a gift, or to display - present or introduce someone or one’s credentials; struggle can be a struggle for survival in adversity or an armed struggle for liberation or against an occupation force and so on. The same is true of many of the Qur’anic words including jihad (verb jahada).

 While the meaning of Qur’anic words in a different language is informed by the vocabulary of the translator / interpreter and his cognitive proclivities, the surest way to comprehend the Qur’anic internal vocabulary - that is, what the Qur’an actually means by a word in a given verse, is to scan the Qur’an, spot similar usage of the word across its text and then arrive at the meaning or set of meanings that are most fitting logically and thematically. Such an exercise, attempted below, shows that the Qur’an uses the verb jahada and its other roots (JHD) to connote an unremitting struggle to achieve a lawful goal, as Allama Iqbal captured in his line: “Jihade zindagi me surate faulad paida kar”: “Cultivate the strength of steel in the jihad (struggle) of life.”

Thus, on the personal level, jihad is an ongoing struggle to face the hardships and challenges of life with patience and determination, or a sustained endeavor to accomplish a lawful goal. On community level, it is an ongoing struggle to overcome the social, moral, material, intellectual and spiritual deprivations of the time that could also include armed struggle against an invading or occupation army. With this we review the evolution of the notion of jihad with the progress of revelation and change of the political dynamics between the Meccan and Medinite periods. 

 1.1.    Jihad of the Prophet’s followers in Mecca

During the Meccan period, when the Muslims were small in number and in no position to defend themselves, the Qur’an connotes the root JHD with a ‘non-violent struggle’ (25:52, 29:6, 29:69), as well as ‘putting moral pressure’ - such as, parents putting ‘pressure’ on their children (29:8, 31:15).

 “Then do not obey the disbelievers, and wage against them (jahidhum) an intense struggle (jihadan kabirah) with it [the Qur’an]” (25:52).

 “Anyone who struggles (jahada), struggles (yujahidu) only for his soul (nafs), for God is above any need of all Beings” (29:6).

 “We have enjoined on humanity kindness to parents, but if they press (jahada) you to associate with Me that, of which you have no knowledge - do not obey them (in religion). (Remember,) you will (eventually) return to Me, and I will tell you what you did” (29:8).

 “We will guide in Our paths those who strive (jahadu) for Us.  Indeed, God is with the compassionate” (29:69).   

 “If they (your parents) press (jahada) you to associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not listen to them (in religion) but give them company in this world decently…” (31:15).

 1.2.    Jihad of the Medinite Muslims

 In the Medinite period the growing Muslim community came under repeated attack from its powerful Meccan and pagan enemies, when the Muslims had no option but to defend themselves. The Qur’an commands them to struggle with their wealth and their lives (8:72, 49:15, 61:11) – a generic instruction suggestive of a call to take up arms, and predictably, the affluent among the Prophet’s followers preferred to stay back (9:86).

 “(As for) those who have believed, and have migrated and struggled (jahadu) with their wealth and their lives in God’s way, as well as those who sheltered and helped them – it is they who are the protectors of each other...” (8:72).

 “When a Sura is revealed, (saying :) ‘Believe in God, and struggle (jahidu) with His Messenger,’ the affluent among them ask (exemption of) you (O Muhammad,) and say: ‘Let us (stay) with those who sit (back at home)’” (9:86).

 “Only those are believers, who believe in God and His Messenger; then they do not doubt, and struggle (jahadu) in God's way with their wealth and their lives – it is they who are truthful” (49:15).

 “You who believe, shall I lead you to a bargain that will save you from a severe punishment (61:10): that you believe in God and His Messenger, and struggle (tujahidu) in God's way with your wealth and your lives; this will be good for you if you only knew” (61:11).

 Like their Meccan counterparts, these verses too do not expressly invoke violence. If armed combat was meant as the only course of action, the Qur’an might have used such terms as harb (war), sira’a (combat), ma‘araka (battle) or qital (killing), But instead, it chooses a milder, richer term with a wide range of connotations including earning livelihood through physical labour even if deemed to be lowly and undignified (9:79) and continued struggle for social and moral reform (22:78); and as the community grew, a jihad was undertaken in God’s way (2:218, 5:35).

 “(As for) those who believe, and those who have migrated and struggled (jahadu) in God’s way – it is they (who may) hope for God’s Mercy, for (indeed) God is Most Forgiving and Merciful” (2:218).

 “You who believe, heed God, seek the means towards Him, and struggle (jahidu) in His way, that you may succeed” (5:35).

 “Those [Hypocrites] who find fault with the believers that give charity voluntarily and with those who find nothing but their (physical) labour (juhdahum), and deride them - God will (return) them with derision, and there is a severe punishment for them” (9:79).

  “Strive (jahidu) in God's (way) - a striving (jihad) due to Him. He has chosen you (to convey His message), and placed no difficulty on you in religion - the creed of Abraham, your ancestor. He has named you Muslims before and herein, so that the Messenger acts as your witness and you as witnesses to humanity.…” (22:78).

 To demonstrate the broader concept of jihad, the Prophet is reported to have told his followers after returning from a military campaign: “This day we have returned from a minor jihad to a major jihad,” and added that “by this he meant returning from an armed battle to the peaceful battle for self-control and betterment,” that is intellectual and spiritual regeneration and the eradication of social and moral vices.

 The distorted notion of jihad, purely as a militant activity

 Given that the Medinite verses on jihad reviewed above do embrace a notion of armed struggle (9:86) within its broader ambit, Jihad can be and has been invoked historically to give religious legitimacy to take up arms against an invading or occupation army. However, based on the Qur’an’s shift from non-violent and ‘greater’ jihad (jihadan kabirah) in the Meccan period to a defensive and corporate jihad in the Medinite period under the leadership of the Prophet, the call for a combative jihad must be given by the legitimate leader of the community – the head of state or the elected leader of the community in the present day context, and not by the self appointed leader of any terrorist or splinter group. Thus, from the Qur’anic perspective, the noble epithet of ‘jihad’ will not hold for any act of terror, including suicide bombing, perpetrated by members of splinter groups against unsuspecting civilians going about their lives - to help achieve a political goal however lawful.

 1.3.    The role and the mortification of the greater struggle (jihadan kabirah)

The Qur’an was revealed at a time when the universal notions of liberty, justice and rights were yet to evolve. The rulers, feudal lords, tribal chiefs, and priests exercised unlimited power over common people, women were treated merely as objects of sex and possession of men (fathers, brothers or husbands) and had no legal rights [1], the sick and mendicant were ostracized as God’s accursed creatures, the rich amassed wealth at the expense of the poor with no notion of wealth sharing or distribution, the slaves were brutalized by their masters and remained slave for life – to cite some of the major vices of the era. Islam stripped the ruling class of its power, empowered the oppressed classes and eradicated the major vices of the society, and it achieved all this under the ambit of the greater jihad. Thus the early Islamic societies stood out as models of justice, equity, compassion, tolerance and enlightenment; and this gravitated people of different faiths to its fold and led to the gradual spread of Islam and flowering of Islamic civilization.

However, the Qur’anic precepts were in direct conflict with the established norms of the era. In modern parlour, they were ultra-radical. Therefore, as often happens with such movements, reactionary elements became active soon after the Prophet’s death (632). Within the next thirty years, the elective Caliphate was replaced by a dynastic rule (662). The dynastic rulers (Umayyads, 663-750, Abbasids, 750-1258) introduced old feudalistic values and set aside the Qur’anic dictates on social reform leading to gradual social and moral degeneration. The process of degeneration gained momentum with the transfer of power into the hands of the Tatars (13th century). [2] They “misinterpreted the Islamic doctrine of divine decree so as to frustrate human will and to choke every striving for action… principles which directly contradicted their religion and ran counter to its precepts, became the rule of the day, and were accepted without hesitation.” [3]. This, with time, led to the erosion of the spirit of the Greater jihad, and reduced the faith of Islam to “the Islamic ritual of prayer, fasting and pilgrimage, as well as some sayings, which have been, however, perverted by allegorical interpretations.”[4]

This happened over a long historical span, any discussion of which will tax the reader and detract from the theme. Therefore, leapfrogging to the present era, the all-embracing notion of jihadan kabirah (the Greater struggle), overshadowed over time by a singular emphasis on Islamic rituals [4], is getting totally eclipsed by a thick veneer of symbolism that focuses on un-Islamic issues like beard, burqa, dress code, and Arab mannerism.

The result is a steady transformation of Islam from a universal religion that brought about the greatest social and intellectual revolution in human history into a cult that concerns itself with a set of rituals and symbols, and therefore is a misfit among the nations and civilizations of the world that are geared to the principles of the greater jihad (unknowingly of course): unremitting struggle to achieve excellence in performance at a personal level and improving the quality of life such as through advancement of knowledge, breakthroughs in science and technology and medical, agricultural and communication fields, addressing the physical needs of the common citizens, tackling of global issues like climate change and rising sea levels and so on  - on a corporate level.

 As probably the last nail on its coffin of demise, the notion of the Greater jihad has of late mortified by contracting a cancerous outgrowth – the politicized, antiquated and desiccated Salafi Islam that is feeding radicalization on a global scale and thus playing in the hands of the terrorist outfits, now a great threat to the West and a great menace to the rest of the world, including the Muslim majority and minority countries.

 The forgoing pernicious developments in Islam have created an overriding need for the Muslims to revive the spirit of the Greater jihad, failing which they could face grave consequences that may be hard to predict at this stage.

 Conclusion: The condition of the minority Muslim communities in predominantly non-Muslim or secular countries – in many ways, is akin to those of the Meccan Muslims in the Prophet’s era. Though not necessarily physically abused or oppressed institutionally as citizens of secular world, they remain utterly deprived and marginalized as any realistic statistics on asset/ real estate ownership, academic performance, and representation in administration, civil service, armed forces, professions, upper echelons of corporate business world, and arts and sports arena is bound to reveal. This abysmal social, educational, cultural and performance decline together with the advent of militant jihad and the cancerous outgrowth of radicalization adversely affects the peace, prosperity and wellbeing of the global Muslim community and must be resisted by reviving the true spirit of the Greater Jihad. This, in light of the Qur’an’s key enunciations of its concluding phase, needs be attained through cultivation of exemplary conduct and behaviour and excellence in good deeds and all forms lawful pursuits in positive competition with the global community (49:13, 5:48), and broad compliance with the social, moral and ethical paradigms of the Qur’an as it had directed the Meccans in the Prophet’s era (25:52 above).    

  “O People! We have created you as male and female, and made you into races and communities* for you to get to know each other. The noblest among you near God are those of you who are the most heedful (atqa*). Indeed God is All-Knowing and Informed” (49:13). *[atqa is a derivative form of the word Taqwa that denotes excellence in conduct and behaviour by preserving against all base impulses, and heeding one’s social, moral and ethical responsibilities.]

 “…For each of you We have made a (different) code, and an open way (of action). If God so pleased, He would have made you (all) into one community. Therefore vie (with each other) in goodness (so that) He may test you by what He has given you. (Remember, you) all will (eventually) return to God, and He will tell you in what you differed” (5:48).



1.  Roman law treated women as the possession of their husbands who, under extreme circumstances, exercised the right of life and death over them.

 Over a period of some forty years (1220-1258), the Mongol hordes fanned out westwards from Mongolia, and completely destroyed the various domains of Islamic civilization that had flourished in the eastern regions of the Islamic Caliphate, across the central plains of Asia. After the surrender of Baghdad, the capital of the Caliphate, to Halagu Khan (1258), the Mongols virtually occupied the conquered Islamic lands. However, before long they embraced Islam and became known as Tatars. The faith won with peace what its soldiers had lost in war.

2.   Quotation from Muhammad Abduh, extracted from Muhammad Husayn Haykal, The Life of Muhammad, English translation by Ismail Ragi, 8th edition, Karachi 1989, p. 584

3.  Ibid. Quotation from Muhammad Abduh, p. 585.

About the author:

 Muhammad Yunus, a Chemical Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, and a retired corporate executive has been engaged in an in-depth study of the Qur’an since early 90’s, focusing on its core message. He has co-authored the referred exegetic work, which received the approval of al-Azhar al-Sharif, Cairo in 2002, and following restructuring and refinement was endorsed and authenticated by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA, and published by Amana Publications, Maryland, USA, 2009.

Muhammad Yunus, a Chemical Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, and a retired corporate executive has been engaged in an in-depth study of the Qur’an since early 90’s, focusing on its core message. He has co-authored the referred exegetic work, which received the approval of al-Azhar al-Sharif, Cairo in 2002, and following restructuring and refinement was endorsed and authenticated by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA, and published by Amana Publications, Maryland, USA, 2009.

 URL: http://www.newageislam.com/radical-islamism-and-jihad/the-qur’anic-perspective-on-jihad-and-greater-jihad--sos-to-global-muslim-community/d/6855


  • Dear Sadaf, I am so delighted to read your exhaustive narrative on the greatness of the prophets. I fully agree with you. There greatness is not in debate. The issue is different and far more pressing than acknowledging the latter. The issue, as stated in the preamble to the article is: Languishing in stagnancy of Symbolism and Ritualism, deluded by a quixotic dream of world domination through  militant jihad  – the Muslims have turned misfit among the civilizations of the world and urgently need a major paradigm shift in their religious thoughts to the dynamic spirit of the Greater Jihad.
     The way forward as summed up in the concluding sentence of the article is to “reviving the true spirit of the Greater Jihad… through cultivation of exemplary conduct and behavior and excellence in good deeds and all forms lawful pursuits in positive competition with the global community (49:13, 5:48), and broad compliance with the social, moral and ethical paradigms of the Qur’an as it had directed the Meccans in the Prophet’s era.
    My message to you and all Muslim readers and intellectuals – and I have no doubt, you are one, is to agree or disagree with the above proposition, and for anyone whose penmanship is like the rapids in the middle of a mountain spring jumping and gushing past boulders and all kinds of obstacles, to register a simple comment: Good article, useful article, great insight, fraudulent intellectualization or what have you. Not more than one sentence. Take the example of Golem Mohiuddin Saheb.
    I take a lot of pain to give final shape to my articles and feel relieved. But my pain comes back when I see what I accomplished with hard labor for a peole is largely ignored by their educated /intellectual class.
    Finally I have some advice for you. Think forward please and with clarity. Though not necessarily physically abused or oppressed institutionally as citizens of secular world, the Muslims largely remain deprived and marginalized as noted in my article in its concluding part. Furthermore, the Muslims, their faith and their Prophet are reviled by a great many non-Muslisms. Finally Muslims are carrying a very heavy burden of medieval theology that is virtually shackling their power of reasoning and plunging their intellectual moorings deep into the medieval era and manifesting itself in a plethora of evils – demonic fatwas, acts of terror in the name of Islam, refusal to pursue universal knowledge, hatred of the non-Muslims…. Just think if the Muslims had befriended the Hindus during the British rule and actively pursued universal knowledge and the prevalent professions and observed the Qur’anic universalism, the bloodbath of partition, Bangaldesh Liberation and the series of riots mostly in Indian may have been avoided and the imminent threat of a nuclear conflagration would not be there - nor would the two countries spend billions of dollars on defense. You and your Hindu friends must think about reconciliation but unfortunately I do not see much sanity among people who are supposed/ claim to be sane. Anyway, it is their business. As for you, an intellectual under grooming, be like a well-bred stallion running straight to the post crossing all hurdles and dodge any outsider trying to alter his direction. But don’t kick any intruder – gently ignore him and trun away from him. 
    I will look forward to see your one or a few sentences comment in each of my article.You did say, you love me and if you can honor my request
    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/6/2012 10:37:15 PM

  • @sadaf , My suggestion would be not to compare ram with any other person, it could trigger another set of unwanted argument in this blog and elsewhere.
    By satwa gunam - 7/6/2012 9:57:10 PM

  • No major paradigm shift is going to happen and to say this is not pessimism. Laaton ke bhoot baton se nahi maantey hain. Muslims have had their share of success, if you consider only those who make up for the community that is known as Muslim. But for the sake of understanding, let us assume that those who have been successful should be called Muslim then successful people are going to be there and some who were otherwise to be not successful with their present stance and attitude, will eventually be successful if they undergo that paradigm shift at individual level.
    The crucial aspect is how do you define what is success and what means being successful without indulging in ‘how can you change the goalpost?’
    Quran explicitly mentions who are successful, in this world that is at present visible world, and then in the world after, that is, for forever. Of hundreds of famous names, celebrated names and apparently winners, one of the most successful of men was Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him).  Other names include the known and mentioned -in-Quran Prophets like Jesus (Isa AleheIslam), Moses (Musa AleheIslam) and several others and who weren’t mentioned with name but in passing reference, and possibly, very strongly possibly include, Lord Ram, Lord Buddha etc (Peace be upon all Prophets). These people were real successful people.  And as per our assumption that all successful people are to be considered Muslim, they all were Muslim.
    Since this may sound absurd to many, it is not necessary that it is really absurd. In worldly sense, these Prophets had to suffer so much, yet the success they found, is too great to be matched by others.  Starting with the title of Prophet (how many of people have earned this title?), to the respect they have earned by their contemporaries and then by generations is something as a matter of wonder. How come they became so famous?  Not just famous, but so popular? Is it not success? Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar and Mahatma Gandhi can never match the success of Lord Ram in a straight competition on this count. Time is yet to see, if it remembers these famous men, as much as it remembers the Prophets. I have serious doubt. Dr. Zakir Naik cannot be more famous than Prophet Muhammad. It is no brainer to say so. But it requires brain to understand that those who have been so popular that too in the age when there was no movie, no cricket, no aazadi ke liye satyagrah, no TV, they must have had great personality to emerge as the greatest personalities of all times. It would be absolutely foolish to undermine their greatness and doing so would be like trying to out-glow sun with a candle in hand. Whoever we are or we think we are, these people are simply beyond our scale. Towering over the world, they are immeasurable. And as someone who has had just primary class learning, even they know their limit in showing their attitude when names and anecdotes of these personalities are mentioned. For those who are better read, better educated person, the proof of how much better they are read and educated lies amongst other things to respect these personalities.
    Often we divide among our self that Muhammad is ours and Ram is theirs, is like we did in our childhood and in our innocence while playing with our siblings, that father is mine and mother is yours or vice-versa and then quarrel among our self and display one upmanship (up womanship as well), but actually we aren’t doing anything new or mature even when we have come of age.
    All this is when we consider the success they found only inform of popularity in this world itself. Since we have no means but to speculate about what grand success they will find in the Hereafter, we shouldn’t comment much but definitely the ones who have been like ‘Maryada Purshottam’ Ram or like ‘Al-Amin’ Muhammad, (For the benefit of those who may miss the meaning of these Hindi and Arabic words,  Maryada Purshottam means ‘The Most Dignified Man’ and Al-Amin means ‘The Most Trustworthy’.) they must have carried that outstanding dignity and amazing trustworthiness to earn these names. If we get a chance to read the success stories of these men, we must surely read it and perhaps then we will realize how much smaller things we generally attribute to the word ‘successful’. Lord Ram as a Crown Prince then, relinquished his position to keep honour of his father’s words, however unjust that scenario seemed. Not just that, he accepted the tough conditions imposed on him and had to overcome his emotions to leave his old and affectionate dad and risk his life in jungles. In an another case study, young Muhammed, an orphaned child, as helpless as an orphan could be, brought up by his Grandfather and Uncle, became so endearing with his courteous manner that within his surrounding he was popular enough that once at somewhat  middle young age before becoming Prophet on some issue regarding who should have the honour to place the age old Black Stone in refurbished Temple ‘Kaaba’,  he was asked to settle the same and with his wisdom and maturity he was able to take along each of the disputant and settle the matter amicably. That was the earliest sign of leadership- a leader of many great future leaders. Encyclopedia Britannica has put it beautifully and balance fully “.... A mass of detail in the early sources show that he  was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were like-wise honest and upright men."
    Later, when he started raising objection on various unfounded beliefs, injustices and ill practices of his time in his place, he earned enmity of some of his closest relatives and that too, to the extent that attempts on his life was carried out and he had to escape for his survival and leave his city. With nowhere to go, no power, no influence to support him, he reached another city, and soon was able to get recognition for his uprightness and leadership. So much that he became the chief of that new city in few years time. He introduced the famous Constitution of Medina, which is somewhat like a precursor of modern Secular state. And when his popularity became unpalatable to his jealous and sworn enemies, they attacked his city and he as a leader fought and defended; once successfully, and another time, unsuccessfully and had to agree to a humiliating treaty wherefrom came these famous words ‘there lies great victory in defeat’. Within couple of year she was able to win back his native city, so remarkably gracefully without blood she. And what followed then was the unprecedented act at his place. He forgave one and all, even those who had attacked him and had fought battle with him, and those who had killed people of his camp and those who had humiliated him All this go along with the fact that the leader of the defeated joined his rank and that leader was not just forgiven but was retained as leader and custodian of the Holy Place –Kaaba.
    Prophet Muhammad displayed that personal grudges and ego clash is the doing of people with small hearts. The largest heart is of the one who can forgive. His issue with the people at his native place was issue based and once the issue was settled, things were back to old times with no personal enmity or hatred or revenge. The issue too was interesting. It was nothing personal but about whether to believe in the lifeless idols, so-called God, which could do nothing for itself and was expected to do something for others as God or not. He demonstrated that there is nothing in these stones and stars. All stones and stars and all mankind are created by someone who is far too great to be defined sufficiently. And there is no need to keep hopes from these no-Gods, or pay them reverence or get tied to traditions and customs that do no-good to human beings. What one should do is that one should help oneself to be helped by God and treat other people as one would like to be treated by others. This last line sums up the whole idea of Islam and the message by the Messenger-(another word for such exclusive Messenger is Prophet) and as contained in Quran that is believed by many people to be the words of God.
    Having said all this, here I come back to the issue which says about that paradigm shift in understanding things.  Let me re-assert that not all people are to be successful and those who want to be successful should follow the path of these successful men about whom the above post mentions.  There is nothing like Hindu or Muslim but surely there is something like successful people and unsuccessful people and the definition of successful people has been outlined as above. The closer we are to follow these men, the bigger success we will find, either here or in Hereafter, that is, in narrations.
    I apologize everyone out there who felt offended because of my previous posts, especially Mr. Muhammad Yunus Sir. And I think I should apologise to these Nalayaq guys as well, Secular Logic andSatwa. But at the same time I will ask Mr. Muhammad Yunus to bear slightly more with me. I am a street person and not a scholar who is generally very trained and skilled in penmanship and therefore my language reflects that and I feel it is proper that it should reflect that way to enable me to convey my points and I very well know that if not all then the people who should understand, understand it. Sir, I have read your write-up on Juz amm and will comment when I feel like. I prefer to let things come on paper on its own and not forced or in restrained manner. But in all, I appreciate your writings and respect and love you.  A short comment about juz amm is that Quran is not a book of any ordinary science that you get to know what you mix with what else to get a new what, but it is a book of science which gives you the route map of success. It is uses a scientific technique of communicating with guys of all caliber and employs the psychotherapy of using fear and greed to guide people on the middle path to success.  This science is not rocket science but Moral Science. With commentators and specialist of your standing, I cannot comment more on any technical aspect. I would prefer to communicate downstream your findings in my style and my language to the people who want a simple common man’s language to retain their interest and attention.  There is another reason too for not being able to put back comments is that I stay quite busy with almost no time left to even sleep sufficiently and physically it all gets very demanding. I hope you do not mind and give me some breathing space.

    By sadaf - 7/6/2012 4:03:00 PM

  • This is an excellent explanation and helps one understand what it is we need to struggle for. This certainly does set perspectives in place. I must thank you Mr Yunus for sharing this insight with us.
    By Imran - 3/23/2012 5:01:36 AM

  • Mr Yunus thanks for explaining to me in such a simple manner.
    By Aiman Reyaz - 3/19/2012 6:32:38 AM

  • @Adis. A statement Sadia Dahelvi’s article on Abdul Quader Jilani’s encounter with a dacoit reads: “Shaykh Abdul Qadir taught that jihad fought against the self is more important than jihad fought against oppression with the sword.”
    This clarifies your statement: “throughout history Muslims employed the term jihad perhaps primarily in military, physical conflict sense.”
    The Qur’an repeatedly asserts: yuhiqqul haqqa bi kalimatihi (8:7, 10:82, 42:24) [God verifies the truth of his kalimahs] Sadia readily testified to the truth of the Qur’anic message. You may take it as a mere co-incidence. I do not - though God knows best.
    By muhammad yunus - 3/17/2012 8:35:06 AM

  • @Aiman Reyaz:

    Yusuf Ali hasgiven a Note against the word ‘law’ in his rendition: ‘To each among you, Wehave prescribed a Law.” The note (760) reads: Law = Shariat = rule ofconduct. Open way = minhaj = things which are above the law ….which iscommon to mankind, though laws and rules may take different forms amongdifferent people.”

    Muhammad Assad tells thereader upfront what Yusuf Ali wants the readers to know by reading thefootnote: Unto every one of you we have appointed a (different) law and way oflife.

    Now reflect on the followingQur’anic enunciations and its pluralistic message will dawn on you like theshining early morning sun that you can behold:

    “Everyone has a goal to whichhe turns: so vie (with each other) in goodness, (and remember,) wherever youmay be, God will bring you all together. Indeed God is Capable of everything”(2:148).

    “…Had God not driven people,some (communities) by others – monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques,in which God's name is regularly proclaimed, would have been demolished.(Remember,) God helps those who help His (cause). Indeed God is Powerful,Almighty” (22:40).

    “(Lit is God’s Light) Inhouses (buyut, not al-buyut – all places of pure worship ascommented by Yusuf Ali) God has permitted to be exalted. His name is mentionedin them, and He is glorified in them morning and evening (24:36), by men whomneither business nor trading distract from remembering God, who keep up prayerand practice zakah and fear the Day of Judgement in which the hearts and eyeswill be transfixed (24:37) (hoping that) God may reward them for the best ofwhat they did, and give them more out of His Grace; and (remember) God providesfor anyone He wishes beyond any measure” (24:38).

    By muhammad yunus - 3/17/2012 8:31:49 AM

  • It is a scholarly article. Thebest jihad (Jihad e kabira) is one in which one strives against one'sown evil inclinations. One thing I would like to ask Mr Yunus is to pleaseexplain to me verse 48 of chapter 5. You have quoted "(different)code" but when I searched this in Abdullah Yusuf Ali and MuhammadTaqi-uddin I could not find the word "different" in that verse. Iconsider you as a scholar so if it is possible please explain to me that versein some detail, I would be obliged if you did. Thank you.

    By Aiman Reyaz - 3/16/2012 6:55:38 PM

  • This is the best treatment of the subject that I have seen so far. While Greater Jihad makes us better human beings, what the Salafi-Wahabi propaganda calls our holy duty is armed Jihad. This has also become the popular meaning of the word in Western countries. This is unfortunate.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/16/2012 3:20:00 PM

  • also i forgot to add that there is noting wrong per se in my understanding of the Islamic teachings in the concept of physical jihad as long as both the means and the objectives of it are proper.
    By adis - 3/16/2012 2:57:41 PM

  • good article. it must however be emphasised that throughout history muslims employed the term jihad perhaps primarily in military, physical conflict sense. also the distinction between greater and lesser jihad as found in ahadith is based on very weak evidence. the militant salafis are aware of this and do not pay attention to it often criticisimg sufis who emphasise this distinction based on these ahadith.
    By adis - 3/16/2012 2:54:53 PM

  • The greatest Jihad is againstone's own evil practices and temptations if we can curb and suppress them.

    By Raihan Nezami - 3/16/2012 11:40:13 AM

Compose Your Comments here:
Email (Not to be published)
Fill the text
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles and comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of NewAgeIslam.com.