What is the truth regarding Muslim wars (Jihad)?

31 Aug

1. The Western World has misinterpreted Muslim fighting against aggression as being a Holy War. The truth is that Islam does not acknowledge the term "Holy War". Islam regards wars as being either unjust or just. The word "Jihad" is derived from the word "Juhd" which means exerting one’s utmost efforts, which are divided into two forms, the first is the effort made by one’s soul and the second is the effort made in fighting a just and righteous war. The first strenuous effort that is made is titled the Greater Jihad by which one endeavors to repel all evil, temptation, and to purify one’s soul from vice, especially the vice of jealousy, envy, and hatred, thereby deserving to be brought into the grace of God. The other form of Jihad is known as the Lesser Jihad, and it means fighting a just and righteous war.
2. A righteous, just war according to the laws of Islam is a war of defense, the aim of which is to repel the enemy’s attack or assault, and the following Qur’anic verses permit Muslims to fight the enemy who attacks them: "To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged". [22/39] Also: "Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits, for God does not love transgressors". [2/190] This Qur’anic verse proves that despite the permission to fight in self-defense, the Muslim were warned not to go beyond defending themselves to the extent of transgression. The following Qur’anic verse permits the Muslims to attack those who attack them: "If then anyone transgresses the prohibition against you transgress likewise against him", [2/194]. Islam’s extreme aversion to fighting and bloodshed is obvious, and fighting in self-defense is the exception that is permitted. "Fighting is prescribed for you, and you dislike it" [2/216]. Thus beginning an attack on others is not permitted in Islam.
3. Although Jihad means fighting in defense of the Faith and the Muslims, this Jihad is not limited to fighting in a battle. It includes Jihad with one’s wealth, one’s thought, or other means which help to repel any attack or assault, in order to protect the Islamic community and its faith. Such a principle is the legitimate right of every nation and has been sanctioned by international agreements in modern times.
4. If the Muslims learn that their enemy desires peace and is willing to cease all forms of aggression, Islam commands the Muslims to agree to their enemy’s request. This is stated in the following Qur’anic verse: "But if the enemy incline towards peace, you (also) incline towards peace and trust in God". [8/61]) Furthermore, Islam calls for peaceful coexistence with others and establishing good will with them provided that they do not attack the Muslims. The Qur’anic verses urge the Muslims to treat these people fairly, justly, and benevolently: "God forbids you not in regard to those who do not fight you for (your) Faith, nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loves those who are just". [60/8] Thus the aim of Islam is to spread and establish peace and tolerance among people and to urge them to cooperate with each other for the welfare of mankind. Therefore, the allegations you find in some international mass media that Islam is a religion which preaches aggression, extremism, fanaticism, and terrorism are completely unjustified accusations, which have absolutely no foundation in Islam. Islam is, on the contrary, a religion of mercy and justice.I shall explain this in greater detail in our following expositions.

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