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What is Jihad? Islamic Holy War? Muslims Killing Jews & Christians?

Posted on: April 24, 2010

In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

What is Jihad?

Islamic Holy War? Muslims Killing Jews & Christians?

That is what we are told – by the western media.

But what is the real truth behind this word JIHAD ? lets see….!

In the linguistic sense, the Arabic word “jihad” means struggling or striving and applies to any effort exerted by anyone. In this sense, a student struggles and strives to get an education and pass course work; an employee strives to fulfill his/her job and maintain good relations with his/her employer; a politician strives to maintain or increase his [1] popularity with his constituents and so on.

The term strive or struggle may be used for/by Muslims as well as non-Muslims; for example, Allah, the One and Only True God says in the Quran:

“We have enjoined on people kindness to parents; but if they STRIVE (Jahadaka) to make you ascribe partners with Me that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not…” [Noble Quran 29:8; also see 31:15]

In the above two verses of the Quran, it is non-Muslim parents who strive (Jahadaka) to convert their Muslim child back to their religion.

In the West, “jihad” is generally translated as “holy war,” a usage the media has popularized. According to Islamic teachings, it is UNHOLY to instigate or start war; however, some wars are inevitable and justifiable. If we translate the words “holy war” back into Arabic, we find “Harbun Muqaddasatu,” or for “the holy war,” “Al-Harbu Al-Muqaddasatu.”

WE CHALLENGE any researcher or scholar to find the meaning of “jihad” as holy war in the Quran or authentic Hadith collections or in early Islamic literature.

Unfortunately, some Muslim writers and translators of the Quran, the Hadith and other Islamic literature translate the term “jihad” as “holy war,” due to the influence of centuries-old Western propaganda. This could be a reflection of the Christian use of the term “Holy War” to refer to the Crusades of a thousand years ago. However, the Arabic words for “war” are “Harb” or “Qital,” which are found in the Quran and Hadith.

For Muslims the term JIHAD is applied to all forms of STRIVING and has developed some special meanings over time. The sources of this development are the Quran (the Word of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Quran and the Hadith use the word “jihad” in several different contexts which are given below:


It is human nature to love what is seen with the eyes and felt with the senses more than the UNSEEN REALITY. The Creator of the Universe and the One God is Allah. He is the Unseen Reality which we tend to ignore and not recognize. The Quran addresses those who claim to be believers:

“O you who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for protectors if they love disbelief over belief; whoever of you takes them for protectors, such are wrong-doers. Say: if your fathers, and your children, and your brethren, and your spouses, and your tribe, and the wealth you have acquired, and business for which you fear shrinkage, and houses you are pleased with are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and STRIVING in His way: then wait till Allah brings His command to pass. Allah does not guide disobedient folk.” [Noble Quran 9:23, 24]

It is indeed a struggle to put Allah ahead of our loved ones, our wealth, our worldly ambitions and our own lives. Especially for a non-Muslim who embraces Islam, it may be a tough struggle due to the opposition of his family, peers and society.


Once a person has made up his mind to put the Creator of the Universe above all else, he often comes under intense pressures. It is not easy to resist such pressures and STRIVE to maintain dedication and love of Allah over all else. A person who has turned to Islam from another religion may be subjected to pressures designed to turn him back to the religion of the family.

We read in the Quran:

“So obey not the rejecters of faith, but strive (Jahidhum) against them by it (the Quran) with a great endeavor.” [Noble Quran 25:52]


Allah says in the Quran:

“And STRIVE (JADIHU) for Allah with the endeavor (JIHADIHI) which is His right. He has chosen you and has not laid upon you in the DEEN (religion) any hardship…” [Noble Quran 22:78]

“And whosoever STRIVES (JAHADA), STRIVES (YUJAHIDU) only for himself, for lo! Allah is altogether independent of the universe.” [Noble Quran 29:6]

As for those who strive and struggle to live as true Muslims whose lives are made difficult due to persecution by their opponents, they are advised to migrate to a more peaceful and tolerant land and continue with their struggle in the cause of Allah.

Allah says in the Quran:

“Lo! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they wronged themselves, (the angels) will ask: ‘In what you were engaged?’ They will way: ‘We were oppressed in the land.’ (The angels) will say: ‘Was not Allah’s earth spacious that you could have migrated therein?'” [Noble Quran 4:97]

“Lo! Those who believe, and those who emigrate (to escape persecution) and STRIVE (JAHADU) in the way of Allah, these have hope of Allah’s mercy…” [Noble Quran 2:218]

Allah tests the believers in their faith and their steadfastness:

“Or did you think that you would enter Paradise while yet Allah knows not those of you who really STRIVE (JAHADU), nor knows those (of you) who are steadfast.” [Noble Quran 3:142]

“And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and fruits; but give tidings to the steadfast.” [Noble Quran 2:155]

We find that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his clan were boycotted socially and economically for three years to force him to stop his message and compromise with the pagans but he resisted and realized a moral victory [2].


Allah declares in the Quran:

“As for those who STRIVE (JAHADU) in Us (the cause of Allah), We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good doers.” [Noble Quran 29:69]

When we are faced with two competing interests, it becomes jihad to choose the right one, as the following Hadith exemplify:

“Ayshah, wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, we see jihad as the best of deeds, so shouldn’t we join it?’ He replied, ‘But the best of jihad is a perfect Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).'” [Sahih Al-Bukhari #2784]

At another occasion, a man asked the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):

“‘Should I join the jihad?’ He asked, ‘Do you have parents?’ The man said, ‘Yes!’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Then strive by serving them!'” [Sahih Al-Bukhari #5972]

Yet another man asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him):

“‘What kind of jihad is better?’ He replied, ‘A word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler!'” [Sunan Al-Nasa’i #4209]

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“…the MUJAHID (one who carries out jihad) is he who STRIVES against himself for the sake of Allah, and the MUHAJIR (one who emigrates) is he who abandons evil deeds and sin.” [Sahih Ibn Hibban #4862]


The Quran narrates the experiences of a large number of Prophets and good people who suffered a great deal trying to convey the message of Allah to mankind.

For examples, see the Quran 26:1-190, 36:13-32. In the Quran, Allah specifically praises those who strive to convey His message:

“Who is better in speech than one who calls (other people) to Allah, works righteous, and declares that he is from the Muslims.” [Noble Quran 41:33]

Under adverse conditions it takes great courage to remain a Muslim, declare oneself to be a Muslim and call others to Islam. We read in the Quran:

“The (true) believers are only those who believe in Allah and his messenger and afterward doubt not, but STRIVE with their wealth and their selves for the cause of Allah. Such are the truthful.” [Noble Quran 49:15]


Allah declares in the Quran:

“To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to defend themselves), because they are wronged – and verily, Allah is Most Powerful to give them victory – (they are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right – (for no cause) except that they say, ‘Our Lord is Allah’…” [Noble Quran 22:39-40]

The Quran permits fighting to defend the religion of Islam and the Muslims. This permission includes fighting in self-defense and for the protection of family and property. The early Muslims fought many battles against their enemies under the leadership of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or his representatives. For example, when the pagans of Quraysh brought armies against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Muslims fought to defend their faith and community [3].

The Quran adds:

“Fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress limits. Lo! Allah loves not aggressors. …And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against transgressors.” [Noble Quran 2:190, 193]


In the late period of the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) life, the tribe of Banu Khuza’ah became his ally. They were living near Makkah which was under the rule of the pagan Quraysh, Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) own tribe. The tribe of Banu Bakr, an ally of Quraysh, with the help of some elements of Quraysh, attacked Banu Khuza’ah invoked the treaty and demanded Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to come to their help and punish Quraysh. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) organized a campaign against Quraysh of Makkah which resulted in the conquest of Makkah which occurred without any battle [4].


Allah orders the Muslims in the Quran:

“If you fear treachery from any group, throw back (their treaty) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms. Lo! Allah loves not the treacherous.” [Noble Quran 8:58]

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) undertook a number of armed campaigns to remove treacherous people from power and their lodgings. He had entered into pacts with several Jewish tribes, however, some of them proved themselves treacherous. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) launched armed campaigns against these tribes, defeated and exiled them from Medina and its surroundings [5].


Indeed, it is difficult to mobilize people to fight when they see no invaders in their territory; however, those who are charged with responsibility see dangers ahead of time and must provide leadership. The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him), had the responsibility to protect his people and the religion he established in Arabia. Whenever he received intelligence reports about enemies gathering near his borders he carried out preemptive strikes, broke their power and dispersed them [6].

Allah ordered Muslims in the Quran:

“Fighting is prescribed upon you, and you dislike it. But it may happen that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that you love a thing which is bad for you. And Allah knows and you know not.” [Noble Quran 2:216]


Allah declares in the Quran:

“They ask you (Muhammad) concerning fighting in the Sacred Month. Say, ‘Fighting therein is a grave (offense) but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its inhabitants. Persecution is worse than killing. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith, if they can…” [Noble Quran 2:217]

“And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) fight back.” [Noble Quran 42:39]

To gain this freedom, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“STRIVE (JAHIDU) against the disbelievers with your hands and tongues.” [Sahih Ibn Hibban #4708]

The life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was full of STRIVING to gain the freedom to inform and convey the message of Islam. During his stay in Makkah he used non-violent methods and after the establishment of his government in Madinah, by the permission of Allah, he used armed struggle against his enemies whenever he found it inevitable.


Allah admonishes Muslims in the Quran:

“And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? – Men, women, and children, whose cry is: ‘Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You, one who will protect; and raise for us from You, one who will help.'” [Noble Quran 4:75]

The mission of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was to free people from tyranny and exploitation by oppressive systems. Once free, individuals in the society were then free to chose Islam or not. Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) successors continued in his footsteps and went to help oppressed people. For example, after the repeated call by the oppressed people of Spain to the Muslims for help, Spain was liberated by Muslim forces and the tyrant rulers removed. After the conquest of Syria and Iraq by the Muslims, the Christian population of Hims reportedly said to the Muslims:

“We like your rule and justice far better than the state of oppression and tyranny under which we have been living.” [7]

The defeated rulers of Syria were Roman Christians, and Iraq was ruled by Zoroastrian Persians.


Muslims should remove tyranny, treachery, bigotry, and ignorance and replace them with justice and equity. We should provide truthful knowledge and free people from the bondage of ‘associationism’ (SHIRK, or multiple gods), prejudice, superstition and mythology. Muslims remove immorality, fear, crime, exploitation and replace them with divine morality, peace and education. The Quran declares:

“Lo! Allah commands you that you restore deposits to their owners, and if you judge between mankind that you judge justly. Lo! It is proper that Allah admonishes you. Lo! Allah is ever Hearer, Seer.” [Noble Quran 4:58]

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah’s witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety and fear Allah. And Allah is well acquainted with all that you do.” [Noble Quran 5:8]

“And of those whom We have created there is a nation who guides with the Truth and establishes justice with it.” [Noble Quran 7:181]

“Lo! Allah enjoins justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbids lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorts you in order that you may take heed.” [Noble Quran 16:90]

“Those who, if We give them power in the land, establish prescribed prayers (SALAH) and pay the poor-due (ZAKAH) and enjoin right conduct and forbid evil. And with Allah rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs.” [Noble Quran 22:41]


The unequivocal and emphatic answer is NO! The Quran declares:

“Let there be no compulsion (or coercion) in the religion (Islam). The right direction is distinctly clear from error.” [Noble Quran 2:256]

Here is a good study of the question of the spread of Islam by a Christian missionary, T. W. Arnold:

“…of any organized attempt to force the acceptance of Islam on the non-Muslim population, or of any systematic persecution intended to stamp out the Christian religion, we hear nothing. Had the caliphs chosen to adopt either course of action, they might have swept away Christianity as easily as Ferdinand and Isabella drove Islam out of Spain, or Louis XIV made Protestantism penal in France, or the Jews were kept out of England for 350 years. The Eastern Churches in Asia were entirely cut off from communion with the rest of Christiandom throughout which no one would have been found to lift a finger on their behalf, as heretical communions. So that the very survival of these Churches to the present day is a strong proof of the generally tolerant attitude of Mohammedan [sic] governments towards them” [8].

Islam does not teach, nor do Muslims desire, conversion of any people for fear, greed, marriage or any other form of coercion.

In conclusion, jihad in Islam is STRIVING IN THE WAY OF ALLAH by pen, tongue, hand, media and, if inevitable, with arms. However, jihad in Islam does not include striving for individual or national power, dominance, glory, wealth, prestige or pride.


[1]. For the sake of simplicity and easy reading, masculine pronouns have been used throughout this brochure. No exclusion of females is intended.
[2]. Haykal, M. H., THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD, Tr. Isma’il R. Faruqi, American Trust Publications, 1976, p. 132.
[3]. Haykal, pp. 216, 242, 299 and 414 for the Battles of Badr, Uhud, Al-Khandaq and Hunayn, respectively.
[4]. Haykal, p. 395 for the conquest of Makkah.
[5]. Haykal, pp. 245, 277, 311 and 326 for campaigns against the tribes of Banu Qaynuqa’, Banu Al-Nadir, Banu Quraydhah and Banu Lihyan, respectively. Also, see p. 283 for the Battle of Dhat Al-Riqa’.
[6]. Haykal, pp. 284, 327, 366, 387, 393, 443 and 515 for the Battles of Dawmat Al-Jandal, Banu Al-Mustaliq, Khaybar, Mu’tah, Dhat Al-Salasil, Tabuk and the Campaign of Usamah Ibn Zaid, respectively.
[7]. Hitti, Philip K., HISTORY OF THE ARABS, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1970, p. 153.
[8]. Arnold, Sir Thomas W. THE PREACHING OF ISLAM, A HISTORY OF THE PROPAGATION OF THE MUSLIM FAITH, Westminister A. Constable & Co., London, 1896, p. 80.

Dr. Amir Ali, Ph.D. (May Allah have Mercy on him)

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17 Responses to "What is Jihad? Islamic Holy War? Muslims Killing Jews & Christians?"

as i know. muslim want to make the world islam. they want to convert whole world to islam. so they say there is only one god that is aalaha. and one religion that is islam. they say evil to other god. they don’t like and respect other religon all christain,budhist,jews,yahudi,hindu, e.t.c they want to rule world. they kill people and say aalaha have said to kill people. they marry their sisiter. they f….k their sister and mother also. for me that is crime. muslim want stop terriorest activities untill the world becomes islam. they want to spread religion through crime. they have converted many hindu and christain country into islamic country through crime. if they don’t to be converted they kill them.


Very educating……wish more peepz will understand dis….


It is amazing to me, the blatant falsehood you propagate on this site. There is not one Muslim Country where the majority of it’s people do not live in poverty. And this in the rich oil producing countries. There is not one Muslim dominated country where Christian Arabs are not treated with disdain, in the best of circumstances, with rape, beatings and imprisonment the norm. One only need watch what one does, not the ever-nonsensical ranting on about the pure form of Islam. Islam BEGAN AS A RELIGION BY MURDERING IT’S WAY ACROSS THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTHERN AFRICA 500 YEARS BEFORE ANY CATHOLIC CRUSADE. Islam was grounded in the blood of others and continues it’s method of brutality and lies to deceive others until it is too late. It murders it’s own and murders those who will not submit. That is the truth and the history of Islam. A barbaric faith of evil.


which faith/religion is good faith in ur views?

If a company person rapes a female ,then you will blame on company or person ?


No offense, but that reply is absurd. We can sit back and watch as Muslims riot in their streets because a Koran is burned, but these same enraged people remain silent when a christian Arab is burned. They fill the squares with hate at any preconceived attack on their faith or prophet , but burn bibles, and people out of house and home because their Imam stirs them up to kill infidels. I am not saying that all Muslims are murderers, but they are silent to those who do murder and rape. These are not isolated incidents against Christians in Muslim countries. Hateful attacks against Christians occur with impunity in almost every country where Islam is dominant. It is only in the West, where they have not yet reached a majority that they preach tolerance. It is not that each Muslim is hateful, it is that Islam is hateful and a religion of dark violence and imprisonment, not freedom. A child born of Muslim parents is ordained a Muslim with no choice or freedom to decide his or her fate. Then if they grow up and decide they do not believe what others wished on them, they are ostracized at the least, but the norm is brutal beating, rejection, and even imprisonment and death in most Islamic countries. Your comment acts as if a rape was an isolated incident. Islamic violence against Christians and others who do not choose Islam is an every day occurrence in Islamic countries. One only need watch what is actually happening, not be glossed over by what others say. In America Muslims are up in arms because one was harassed at an airport, In Saudi Arabia, everyone is silent when a teenage girl who chose to become a Christian has her tongue cut out and is burned alive by her father for Allah. All Muslims are not killers but Islam is a religion of death and darkness that stirs up thousands to kill and murder others.


Dear jacob monroe, you are an ignorant [removed by admin] to spread your lies about the only true religion on earth. A life given to you from the only true God, not your fake jewsih god or whatever you worship. You are a liar, a bigot, and [———— —————————- —————————- ———————– ——————- –removed by admin——————- —————————————- ——————- —————————— ———————- ———————- ———————– ———————-]


are you following your True religion ?

I don;t think your religion advice you to say abusive and hateful cmnts.
If you itself not following your religion guidance then why someone else will believe or wish to follow ?
If you don;t have anything good to say then keep silence please,by such cmnts you are doing nothing good.

please show what is islam by following islam.

and thank you for leaving cmnt,

im thanking you because i forgot to reply him before,now i will reply him.


Jihad is not a war or Islam is not teaching us the terror and we Muslims are not terrorist we Muslims are doing Jihad against those who are the enemies of our religion Islam


Why do you have these double standards? What you say in public and how you train your terrorists inside the mosques are totally different!

I Know its embarrassing to accept the truth that KILLING and TERROR are the most basic two pillars of islam ans still live with it!

It is wise not to have a religion at all rather than having a daemonic religion(?) like islam.


Proove ur cliam!


I will prove this claim. As written in your own essay.
But what if the non muslims DONT want to be educated? We non-muslims are happy with our religion. who the hell are you to educate us by force? Doesnt jihad mean dawah by force?
You yourself posted this article and now how can you deny the implied message? Oh, we do understand english and can read between the lines. Educate, my ass. It is forced conversion.


Nice post. We’re not suppose to be killing non-believers. We’re suppose to be guiding them to join Islam. Killing them IS AGAINST IT. So stopping those foolish terrorist is THE REAL jihad. Why? Because we do it for Allah. Just remember that what we do reflects the whole world now. Show some good image. And no death threats if they offend us over a little thing. Just explain it to them. They’re non-believers so don’t expect them to understand everything.


Well said brother, thank you king u explain topic jihad so nicely and in depth with all the references humainly possible and try to give as much explanation that jihad is not to take sord or gun and rush to war jihad is the way of muslim life, in every respect, to take care the parent is jihad even more, to strugle with our own self is jihad even more, to be on a right path is jihad even more, why cant people remember when prophet Muhammad said to his companian that u are coming from little jihad and going to wards big jihad, when the companian was even returning from battle field then he said i meant u ar going t ojihad with ur nufs now which is more greater, jihad is way of life for muslim not just the sord and gun and killing strugling to be a good muslim is jihad do good thing for the sake of Allah is jihad be committed to our self to Allah and try to pleased him always is jihad, because as a human being neither we can make every one happy all the time nor we obligated to, but as a muslim yes we do need to make Allah happy always regardless we can not let Allah down ever regardless, then he will be make our self happy regardless, i always said to my self if i as a human being hesitate to knock one door which is Allah door i am going t oknock million door for my hajat and is never going t oful fil, but if i knock only one door i do not need to knock any more door, all the strugle from my side to knock that door is jihad and off course the key to pradise is jihad, this is the first time i ever read in ur artical completely describe jihad with references so the people who have desiese in their heart can not argue any more, king may Allah bless u and open ur mind to the level of infinity where there is nothing but Allah and his devine guidence, well said brother in ur artical jihad, king may Allah bless u and ur family always


Its nice,it will change pples mind about islam.ALLAH is the GREATEST


thank you Muslim brother


excellent note…
good job.. Keep it up


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