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What is difference in jihad and war?


What is difference in jihad and war?


Salamun Alaykum

Thank you for your query.

Jihad is the sixth pillar of Islam. In Arabic language, the word Jihad literally means striving and working hard for something. In Islamic terminology, it retains the literal meaning in two different dimensions, which are expressed by “major jihad” and “minor jihad”.

The major jihad is known as the spiritual struggle, a struggle between two powers within ourselves: the soul and the body. The conscience is in conflict with the bodily desires. This spiritual conflict is an ongoing jihad within each one of us. Islam expects its followers to give preference to the soul and the conscience over the body and its desires.

The fasting in the month of Ramadhan is an example of the annual training for this major jihad.

The minor jihad is the armed struggle. However, that does not automatically mean unjustified use of violence. The minor jihad may be divided into two: aggression and defense. Aggression against any people is not permitted in Islam; however, defense is an absolute right of every individual and nation.

Islam has allowed the minor jihad only to defend the Muslim people and their land, and to maintain peace in Muslim societies.

We can say Jihad is to fight in the way of Allah according to the Islamic preaching whereas war can be non-Islamic as well. But not to forget, people have been using the word Jihad in the wrong way and fighting, killing and beheading the innocent Muslims on the name of Jihad, this is not accepted by Islam and it’s preaching. Hence, this group is not acting upon the teachings of Islam.

“Whosoever kills a person without any reason (of murder or mischief in the earth), it is as though he has killed all the people. And whosoever saves a single life, it is as though he has saved all the people.” (Surah Maida/32)

May Allah(swt) grant you success


Syed Haider