The Meaning of Jihad

jihad.jpg What is jihad? The dictionary explains it as “a holy war undertaken by Muslims against non-believers”. This means Muslims waging war against those who do not believe in Islam. This means jihadis are not supposed to harm fellow Muslims, and are free to target the rest of the world, in case their religion is threatened. So then how does one explain attacks on Masjids, the Muslim places of worship by the terrorists? At the recently held Darul-Uloom conclave at Deoband, UP, which also included top clerics from the Ajmer Sharif Dargah, the All India Madarsas’ Association and the All India Muslim Personal Board, a first of its kind statement was made, declaring terrorism as un-Islamic. A representative of the Darul-Uloom stated, “Killing of innocents is not compatible with Islam. It is anti-Islamic.” It was also stated, “Madarsas do not teach their students to kill. Such acts of terror fall under the shirk category of sins, meaning that sin for which there is no pardon.” Now that the cleric himself has declared that terrorism is not in the interest of the Muslim faith, I wonder what these terrorists will call themselves, as the title of a jihadi is no more their right. It is very cowardly to spread violence and kill innocent people, and then hide behind the mask of religion. Not only is this misleading, it also tarnishes the reputation of a respectable faith. What do these terrorists get out of killing innocent masses? In what way has the common man threatened their beliefs? Would creating turmoil in an otherwise peaceful place prove their point? Violence is not the solution to anything, and certainly not the solution to religious tensions, if any. Terrorists have even attacked Muslim places of worship. This is definitely not jihad. Even if they bomb a railway station or a shopping mall, it does not establish anything. Do they want to prove their beliefs as superior to others through such measures? If so, then they cannot be called followers of Islam, as the religion does not preach to kill. Hearts can never be won by violence and oppression. They can be won by love and respect, something which I’m sure these extremists know not the meaning of. In the name of religion, these militants destroy more than just property and lives. They damage hopes, trust and enthusiasm of the people. They not only disturb peace and tranquility, but create an atmosphere of fear and panic. No religion in this world preaches to kill innocent people. These extremists have misconstrued the words of the holy Quran to suit their own polluted mindsets. The Darul-Uloom has washed its hands off terrorism or any of its related activities. So does this mean that Muslims can finally live in peace, devoid of any suspicion upon their persona? It is just the beginning though, it will take a while before that feat can be achieved. This step taken by the members of the clergy is very much welcome. Young minds being brainwashed and lead into terrorism in the name of holy war will now be able to see reason, and not give in to coercion.


[Image by :]