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Islam is a monotheistic religion that teaches its followers about the oneness of God (Allah) and Muhammad (PBUH) is the last prophet who brought this message of God to the world. Like all other religions, Islam also has different concepts, believes, ideologies and a complete code of life that guide its followers, how to live life in accordance with the preaching of Prophet. There are different traditional ideas in Islam that gives guide about different aspects of life. Believing in the oneness of God is one of the basic teachings of Islam, which means not to include any other entity with God, for keeping the oneness of God, pure. Other traditional ideas of Islam include believing in the holy angels, holy books, in the Day of Judgment and in all the prophets. Islam’s five pillars also shine a light on its traditional ideas and first pillar of Islam is the affirmation which means that there is no other deity other than Allah Almighty and prophet (PBUH) is the last messenger of God. This traditional idea of Islam is considered to be the fundamental pillar of Islam for being a Muslim. The second pillar of Islam is the prayer “salat” then comes fasting which is offered in the month of Ramadan, after Ramadan there comes zakat which is known as the payment it means making charity for helping others. The fifth pillar is known as the pilgrimage, the Hajj. It is the pilgrimage to Kaaba that is a location in Mecca, a holy place for the Muslims. Jihad is also major traditional idea that is still practiced by Muslims for different purposes.
Numbers of traditional ideas are there in Islam and one of the most talked about is “jihad", as people of the west used to connect it with terrorism. There is a need to support particular jihad for letting the west know that true essence of Islamic jihad. According to Islam jihad is the effort or struggle, furthermore, it is better to call it a holy war. Three types of ideas have been mentioned regarding jihad, the first jihad is a believer's struggle to live out and practice Muslim faith as much as one can. The second type of jihad is done for building a good or ideal Muslim society and the third type of jihad is the struggle done for defending Islam even with force if needed. According to some Islamic scholars, there are three types of jihad (struggles), jihad against one’s self, jihad against the Satan and jihad against the unknown enemy (known as the lesser jihad). Word jihad appears frequently in the Quran is being understood by the classical era’s ulema as the obligation predominantly in the military sense (Sirgy et al, pp. 77-94).
In Islam, there are different types of jihad and according to Muhammad (PBUH) internal jihad is the greatest of all. Prophet (PBUH) once on his return from a battle said: "We are finished with lesser jihad, now we are staring the greater jihad”. He explained to his followers that fighting against an outer enemy is the lesser jihad and fighting against one’s self is the greater jihad. Any religious idea remains the same, no matter in which period it is practice. Analyzing all the three types of jihad, it could be asserted that at present support is a need for all types of jihad, especially for jihad against one’s self and jihad for defending Islam (Johansson et al, pp. 137-144). At daytime, support must be shown for internal jihad, as it’s a person’s inner self from where all evil and good starts. At present, after taking a look at the world conditions and circumstances, it could be said that people need to fight for internal jihad. Even the prophet (PBUH) said that internal jihad is the greatest of all as in this jihad one has to battle against his own wishes and comforts. For practicing Islam in its purest form, one has to keep his self away from many worldly affairs that pulls him towards violation of religious as well as ethical teachings.
Many conflicts arise in the world because the actual meaning of jihad is misinterpreted and misrepresented, due to which clashes among extremist groups are increasing in numbers. Support for internal jihad is needed as one would be able to practice Islam if one went through the process of self-correction. At present jihad against one’s self is the only way that could let people control their desires due to which they would not indulge them in crimes and other violent activities for fulfilling their dreams, wishes, and desires (Azam). In Islam, it has been emphasized that most important type of jihad trains one to keep his/her self under control by practicing Islam more and more. At present even, support for jihad (holy war) is also needed as it has been witnessed that people are creating chaos because of Islamophobia, so in order to protect Islam from the outer enemy jihad practice must be supported. There is a need to support jihad of holy war in order to defend Islam from all the external threats.
So taking a look at traditional ideas of Islam, it could be asserted that jihad is one of practices emphasized by the Prophet (PBUH). It is important to know the significance of each type of jihad. At present, jihads done against one’s own self needs to be supported keeping the chaos in mind. Keeping the unrest of the world under consideration, it could be promulgated that jihad against one’s self and jihad of holy war should be supported. Internal jihad should be supported as it enables one to overcome the things that drag him/her to evil and forbidden activities. Secondly, support is needed for jihad that helps in defending Islam from any danger.
Azam, Maryam. Genesis and Dimensions of Religious Militancy: Implications on the Internal Security of Pakistan (2001-2015). Diss. University of the Punjab, Lahore, 2019.
Johansson, Andreas. "Concluding Remarks–Pragmatic Muslim Politics." Pragmatic Muslim Politics. Springer, Cham, 2019. 137-144.
Sirgy, M. Joseph, et al. "Cultural Drivers of Jihadist Terrorism and Increasing Religiosity." Combatting Jihadist Terrorism through Nation-Building. Springer, Cham, 2019. 77-94.
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