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Updated on July 25, 2016

A call for "Jihad on terrorism"

26th of November 2008, 21:30 hours, Mumbai was laughing, frolicking and enjoying when suddenly gunmen pull the trigger, death dawns on Mumbai and fear cripples the heart of India. Why did it happen? Some call it Jihad and some term it terrorism.

Are they synonymous terms? Is Jihad done by terrorists? Is it the sole domain of a patriot?

Jihad is understood by mass, as an exclusively Islamic term thought to benefit the followers of Islam only. Jihad, an idiomatic expression, is defined in Holy Quran as “Striving in the way of God, and for his purpose to be served on earth”.

Some believe that Jihad is the tool and the gateway to paradise. Is it really so?

If so, we need to testify.


I am sure those who follow Islam, with all its purity, have a better definition of Jihad. They will defend jihad and offend terrorism. Sacred Quran mentions about Jihad at least 41number of times. It defines it, classifies it, mentions the uses and gives the limitations too. Reading Holy Quran and memorizing it, is not all that are sufficient. It is the understanding which strikes the real deal and its application of strict sense makes all the difference.

Now, it’s time to differentiate between Jihad and Terrorism. It is not really feasible to explain all in its detail but few points, I believe, will clarify the doubts about hundreds of mind.

Salafist jihadists believe that the killing of noncombatants is religiously sanctioned. But, scholars of Islam never supported this view.

Prophet Muhammad also had waged war against Quraysh tribe (Battle of Badr) in 624 C.E. The clan leaders did not appreciate Muhammad's claim of prophethood. The battle was fought to suppress the propaganda against Islam. The killings were kept to a minimum. The fight was for a noble cause and not to create fear and terrorize Islam. Prophet Muhammad, most of the time used his diplomatic skills and preachings to expand Islam.

Holy Quran clearly states:

“Go for tooth for a tooth, eye for an eye but don’t harm innocents even if the enemy harms your innocents” (Quran verses ch5:45)

“Killing of one innocent soul amounts to the Killing of entire mankind” (Quran verses ch5:32)

“Holy Quran clearly States, combative Jihad in the name of God should be fought with those who fight against you and not the civilians” (Quran verses ch2:190).

In layman term:

Jihad is a war on self, to kill the devil within and purify the soul (The nonviolent form of Jihad). Jihad is also the war on the battlefield with enemies, who oppress and make you suffer like slaves. It in no way should harm innocents, kill children or a civilian (The violent form of Jihad). The last line differentiates it from terrorism.

This oversimplified meaning, I believe, explains what a common man should know and remember. It is derived from Holy Quran which is read but hardly understood. As far as my understanding for Jihad goes, everyone should practice it in his day to day life, irrespective of cast or creed.

Having understood the concept of Jihad. Why should we fear it? Should we not inculcate it in our life?

Now let’s try to find the answers to some of the frequently asked questions.

  • · Is Jihad the gateway to paradise?

The answer to this question is complicated as is the meaning itself. In very simple terms those who live for their own benefits and die for a need intended only for self-benefit may not at all qualify for paradise. This group of persons cannot use Jihad in its purest sense. But, those who intend to live for a noble cause and die for it, find paradise on earth itself. Every action of this group is Jihad.

  • · Should it avenge any religion?

Religion to me means something very sacred and pure. No religion on earth preaches violence. It only promotes peace and preaches love for all, those who inhabit the earth. Jihad in its purest sense is the protector of a religion. If it protects one religion how can it harm the other one?

  • · Does it punish nonbelievers?

Who are nonbelievers by the way? I believe, probably those who don’t believe in existence of God. Who qualifies to punish them? How to decide the type and nature of the punishment for the so-called nonbelievers? I am a bit skeptical at this juncture. Let us leave the answers to Almighty. All we can do is to pray for them.

This article is not intended to harm religious sentiments. If at any point it trespasses the barriers, please pardon and accept my apologies.



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