Jihad is a widespread text authored by one of the most influential and highly celebrated Islamic scholars of the twentieth Century, Sayyid Abul Maudoodi (Peace be upon him). Maudoodi was a man of various facets, doubling as a philosopher, journalist, theologian, and political activist. In 1941, for example, he claimed credit for the establishment of the Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan and India an ideology that re-energized the spread of Islam. This political movement was dedicated to advocating for the establishment of untainted Islamic States in the regions governed by Sharia law (Huzen 33).
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Rather than view Jihad from a personalized, parochial view of Islam, Maudoodi view of Jihad, according to Sharia law, was at the top of his priority. For instance, he believed that family relations, socio-economic and political administration, and judicial systems of the Muslim world guarantee the laws of peace and war in diplomatic relations, as well as duties and rights of citizens. Succinctly, Jihad under the Sharia law seeks to embrace all the confluences of life. Accordingly, Sharia law aims to achieve a comprehensive scheme of life by striving to embrace and restore social order defined by the abundance of life and richness of the people (The True Meaning of Jihad par. 4).
To the rest of the population, Millard (27) opines that Jihad evokes conflict and war, and it is the defining factor for making Islam to have the least reception in the minds of such opponents. The Islamic communities by contrast view Jihad as an Islamic holy war whose meaning is attributable to struggle as the foundation of its creed. Jihad as a popular Islamic practice emanates from the word Juhd, which means struggling in the way of Allah. Jihad, therefore, denotes striving to make the kingdom of Allah profound by bringing up Allah’s word of which all Muslims have an entitlement to protect Islam as a holy religion.
According to Seriki (111), Jihad is the version of a speech that Maudoodi issued in Lahore, Pakistan way back in 1939; it entailed a very comprehensive view of the Islamic orientation to the faith. It embraced a variety of the classical works of with various authorships, including the much-proclaimed Fundamentals of Islam as its reference points. Coming out as an offshoot of World War II, Maudoodi in his lectures sought out an opportunity to identify the universal villains of the period as neither Nazi of Germany nor the reigning Imperial Japan, but rather the Western European powers negative schemes.
For instance, he accused France and Britain of being the main obstacles to the spread of the Islamic religion (Seriki 113). Just like his fellow Islamist adherents, Leninism greatly influenced Sayyid Qutb’s viewpoints both in the theory of a revolutionary precursor, as well as a compulsion to change the social order in all parts of the world by unleashing violence as the case may otherwise warrant (Huzen 36).
The entire lecture that gave birth to Jihad was worthwhile and alarming especially in redirecting the future focus of the Islamic view in totality. It marked the turning point of a replenished Islamic social order by radicalizing the Islamic thinking in ways that otherwise might not have been the case (Kelsay 45). Maudoodi categorically radicalized the Islamic opinion by asserting his personalized view of an empowering Islamic state. In the excerpts, advocacy for Jihad outlined that Jihad is a revolutionary process and an ideology that aims to alter the classical social order in all parts of the world with a duty to rebuild the society in conformity with the very tenets and ideals that nurtures it (Seriki 115).
In the chatter, it became clear that Muslim was the foundation of a movement that sought to carry effective revolutionary program in all parts of the world. In so doing, Jihad stood as the enabling factor in achieving these ideals (Seriki 116). According to Kelsay (34), Jihad is a reminiscent of a revolutionary act, a struggle to the utmost exertion, which the radicalized Islamic opinion brought into play in achieving these objectives.
With the already radicalized thinking of the Muslim world, Islam sought to destroy all governments and destabilize all states that were less receptive to or opposed to Islamic ideology and programs. The resolve of Islam was therefore, to set up states based on the ideology and programming of the Islamic opinion, regardless of which states become receptive of the Islamic ideologies (Huzen 38). The most indoctrinated feature of the Jihadist as a movement was to roll out a program that ensures no state undermined Islam and in the process sought to establish a robust Islamic community in the whole world (Millard 75).
While Jihad positions itself as a very violent force to reckon with, those who embrace it hold different opinions. Over time, Jihad as an enabling pillar for the Islamic faith continued to pass out as the most abused entitlement in Islam. The abuse of Jihad, according to Mutahhari, is all-pervasive with both Muslims and none Muslims contributing negatively to Jihad almost in equal aspects (par. 7). According to Millard (78), the corporate media continue to misuse Jihad to emphasize the stereotypical appearance of Islam as a religion with violent following for which war is supreme. Imperialists and neo-colonialists under the guise of democratizing the world usually intervene directly or indirectly in societies where some cults proclaim Jihad (Kelsay 54).
Often, these western powers intervene to redeem the populations under threat of sworn Jihadist protectorate resulting in greater disorientation of social order and abuse of right of the populations in these areas. Normally, in an attempt to tone down the rhetoric of the Islamic Jihad, the process to diffuse Jihad has always been characteristic of violence that ends up solving not a single problem of the masses.
In professing an enabling ideology for a free Jihad opinion, Mutahhari argues that proponents of the Jihadist hold that mere fighting in protest against oppression does not necessarily constitute a legitimate Jihad (par. 11). According to the proponents of non-violent Jihad as a pillar of the Islamic faith, Jihad emanates from spiritual and moral duties that seek out nothing but moral good for all (Kaltner 19). These aspects of nobility in Jihad as a practice among the Islamic elect continue to receive little attention with most Jihadists proclaiming to be Allah’s soldiers preferring to tread the violent path instead.
Proponents of none-violent Jihad vociferously maintain that Jihad as a pillar in Islamic teaching is only a factor in ending fitna – the prosecution of Muslims in general. Jihad, as Kaltner (20) observes, is not necessarily an element of instituting violence, gaining wealth, grabbing assets, power, and extending the hegemony of supremacy of state power. Most proponents of none-violent Jihad opine that Prophet Mohamed, (Peace be upon Him) and his Caliphs never for the sake of religion, took part in Jihad for such parochial stakes. Instead, the Muslim rulers of the past exploited the legacy of Jihad as a way of serving their personal self-interest at the expense of the vast Muslim populations.
Moreover, proponents of none-violent Jihad also criticize the acts of some Muslims who execute populations who they perceive as being against the Prophet Mohamed through their criticism in writing or caricature. As a rule, these individuals seek freedom of consent to all members of the society and further hold that individuals should be free to air their views as long as they dim fit and does not infringe on others’ rights. It is particularly wrong as Kaltner (27) notes to infringe on individuals’ rights by breaking all the conventions of Jihad to inspire a most heinous murderous act.
Finally, proponents of none-violent Jihad criticize the exclusivist mindset of the radicalized Islamic teaching that inspires hatred to none-Muslim populations as a necessary part of the Islamic belief. In doing so, they describe these acts as brewing conflict against none-Muslim populations as an atrocious criminality which is against the very teaching of Islamic religion. The Islamic teaching, according to Kaltner (36), seeks to achieve the good of all by aiming to build a strong foundation of a peaceful coexistence, nurturing love and fraternity and well as edifying harmony in all the climes of life.
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In conclusion, it is imperative to conceptualize that under the norm of Jihad, comes the many differentials that categorize Jihad as a pillar in Islamic religion. The common perception of Jihad a reference only to struggle has the connotation of armed conflict that unfortunately, is a refutable tradition of the Prophet Mohammed. The pedagogy of Jihad as evinced in the Holy Quaran is to evoke the words of truth even to the point of being chained like a criminal in the hope that truth will certainly free individuals who believe and nurture the true sprits of the faith. The classical attribution to Jihad therefore is to redeem populations from oppression and tyranny especially where such establishments have no or little regard to freedom of individuals.
Seen in this perspective, Jihad offers a foundation stone from which to conquer ills against humanity, ills perpetrated by those adept at extending the bondage of humanity by confining the legacy of populations (The True Meaning of Jihad par. 8). To date, populations across the world continue to view Jihad with mixed perspectives and in all cases, the opinion of the society anchors in sharp division. While some people view Jihad as an enabling process to redeem humanity, others view it as an encroachment against the very humanity it seeks to protect. At its behest, Jihad has an inclination to radicalize the mind of the adherents, and this is where the split in opinions begins.
For now, the society can expect very little from the very fundamentals of Jihad given its misconceptions and poor translation by the devotees. The interpretations about Jihad in several traditional Islamic jurisdictions may have been correct for their own precise classical context, nevertheless today as the entire structure crumbles, the international relations continue to wallow, and global world have undergone great alterations, it seem difficult to understand the usefulness of Jihad in today’s context.
Huzen, Kent Bob. Politics of Islamic Jihad. N.p. 2008. Web.
Kaltner, John. Islam: what non-muslims should know. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003. Print.
Kelsay, John. Arguing the just war in Islam. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007. Print.
Millard, Mike. Jihad in paradise: Islam and politics in Southeast Asia. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2004. Print.
Mutahhari, Ayatullah Murtadha. Jihad: The Holy War of Islam and Its Legitimacy in the Quran. N.p. 2009. Web.
Seriki, Ia Alani. “The interpretation of Jihad in Islam.” Journal of Philosophy and Culture 2.2 (2005): 110-117. Print.
The True Meaning of Jihad. N.p. 2003. Web.