Jihad & the West
By S. M. Arif
While there is no precise definition of the term, the meaning of Jihad is far more complex. In fact, the term Jihad generally refers to the struggle one must undertake as one "strive[s] in the path of God".That struggle is defined both externaly and internally. As so, they are classified in terms of an external struggle with enemies or non believers or non believers, or an internal struugle with oneself to reject greed and temptation.
While popular opinion has been misconstructed to see Jihad as a malevolent, violent action;a serious investigation of the term's historical and religious background reveals a multi-defined word. The term "Jihad" used without any qualifiers is generally understood in the West to be referring to holy war on behaf of Islam. In broader usage and interpretation, the term has acrued both violent and non-violent meanings.It can simply mean striving to live a moral and virtuous life, spreading and defending Islam as well as as fighting and oppression, among other things.The relative importance of these two forms of Jihad is a matter of controversy.
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