An Exegesis on 'Jihad in Islam'
20 Nov, 2005
[Author's note: I apologize to the readers for writing such a lengthy essay on Jihad. Jihad is extremely serious matter in the Islamic history. There is abundance of valuable literatures depicting Islamic Jihad which I could not include in order to keep the size within limit. However, I tried my best to make it as plausible as possible by many important literatures dealing with Jihad. Some Islamists are trying to fool the western readers by their deceitful and elusive meanings of Jihad. I urge the readers to have patience to read the entire article in order to learn about the true meaning of Islamic Jihad.]
The horrific September 11 episode has come as the big thunder out of the blue to strike the core meaning of Islam. Since then, Islamists were busy defending Islam, which according to them was hijacked by militant Islamists. For quite a while, they spent time in their futile efforts to make Islam a peaceful religion. Now they are busy again to give a wishful new meaning of Jihad. My today's essay will be dedicated to explore the practical meaning and purpose of Islamic Jihad.
What is the meaning of Jihad?
The meaning of Jihad in the Webster Dictionary: is Holy war. The meaning of "Crusade" is also Holy war. Entire humanity knows-historically both "Jihad" and "Crusade" was soaked with blood. Now why then we are debating and trying to redefine Jihad at this juncture?
Now in the Arabic language the word "Jihad" literally means, "to strive," and "to struggle." Some Muslim scholars further classify Jihad into following categories: 1. Jihad-an-nafs or Jihad against one's self; 2. Jihad ash-shaitaan or Jihad against Satan; 3. Jihad al-kuffar or Jihad against disbeliever; 4. Jihad al-munafiqeen or Jihad against hypocrites; 5. Jihad al-faasiqeen or Jihad against corrupt Muslims. Now, can we make people fool by these semantic loopholes of the various meanings of Jihad? Certainly not!
Honestly, I am not very much impressed by the various bookish meanings of the Arabic word "Jihad." We know very well that in every language certain words may have many different meanings depending on its usage. That does not mean one can elude people the actual meaning of the word with some different meanings of a particular word. Because the word meaning is always understood by its practical or circumstantial use only. Consider the word Jihad that means struggle. This struggle may have various circumstantial effects. Struggle can be in your mind, in your own life, in your work, in your way to office with the traffic, or struggle may be fighting with the enemy. You can say: "I am fighting with my mind whether I should accept it or not," or "I am fighting with my wife over the decision of changing our house" or you can say-"I am fighting a war with my enemy." Now, a simple human being will see the meaning of the word "fight" (usual meaning of which is armed collision) varies greatly with it's circumstantial use.
Sometimes the actual meaning of a particular word may even change by the circumstantial use. Consider the Perso-Indian (Urdu) word "Razakar" means "helper of King." However, by its circumstantial and historical use, the meaning may have changed greatly. In 1971, Bangalee's freedom struggle (War of Freedom or Muktijuddha) the Razakars killed, raped, and tortured millions of freedom loving Bangalees. Now, in Bangladesh, calling some body a Razakar is not salutary, but on the contrary it is an epithet or it is an outright demeaning, to put it mildly. If you call somebody Razakar, he may come to physically assault you. Why? The circumstantial and historical effects have changed the meaning and nuances of the word Razakar from helper to vile conspirator and Fifth Columnist. That is a valid reason why we must take the meaning of Jihad from its historical and circumstantial effects. I shall search for the meaning of the Jihad from its (a) History, (b) Qur'an referrals, (c) Hadiths' mentioning of it, and (d) Historians and Islamic scholars interpretation of it.
A. Historical meaning of Jihad:
Historically, Jihad means Holly War (Dharma Juddha in Bangla). For 1400 years, Muslims always understood the meaning of Jihad as Islamic Holy War. Every Islamic scholar, Mullah, maulana, Imam, etc., of the whole world will agree with this meaning of Jihad. Technically, Jihad is war against non-Muslims (Jihad al-kuffar or Jihad against disbeliever; and Jihad al-munafiqeen or Jihad against hypocrites) only, since Muslims are forbidden to fight the Muslims. Hundreds of books were written by the Islamic scholars (Islamic Chintabid) on Jihad and everybody unanimously used the word Jihad as the religious war called holy war (Dharma Juddha). In the Islamic history, more than 80% of the texts are filled with Holy War (Jihad). Early Islam was spread in the Arabian Peninsula solely by holy wars (Jihad). Islam was propagated as a religion by series of wars/battles -both defensive as well as Offensive. As many as 78 historic battles were fought by the Prophet Muhammad himself. And out of 78, only one (battle of ditch) was defensive war, and the rest were simply offensive wars. Did Muslim soldiers go to Syria, Iran, and Egypt to fight defensive war? What about those great historical BATTLES - Battle of Oho'd, Battle of Bad'r, Battle of Khayber, signing of peace-pacts such as "Hudaibya Peace Pact," etc.? Were those wars fought with the so-called struggle only? Alternatively, were those wars fought with the heart-piercing sharpened swords?
Prophet Mohammed and his successors initiated series of offensive wars against pagan Arabs, Jews, Christians, etc., to spread or to impose Islam by force as well as to seize the abundance (booty) of these lands. However, it was quite possible that there had been some small numbers of conversions by sheer greatness of Prophet himself or due to some other miracles. Nevertheless, a great majority was converted by force, and people of Arabia did not have freedom to choose. After Prophet Muhammad gained enough might in his force while in Medina, the tradition was to send an invitation of Islam to various Arab Tribes or countries. First, an invitation to pagans to accept Islam, then war against those who refuse to accept Islam. A typical invitation to the people of the book (Christians and Jews) was: "Embrace Islam, or pay the poll-tax (Ziziya), or fight to death." Undoubtedly, the concept of an offensive war to spread the faith of Islam is a genuine Islamic concept: Holy War (Jihad) for the sake of God. I can write hundreds of pages of authentic Islamic history of wars in which tens of thousands of life was lost; tons of human bloods were shed.
Prophet Muhammad was injured seriously (lost some teeth) in one of those wars he fought relentlessly. Prophet's uncle Amir Hamzah was killed and dismembered and his liver and heart were eaten by the wife of a pagan tribe leader Abu Sufian. Now may I ask what kind of so-called "struggle" might have caused these above misery? It was obviously by Jihad (Holy War) and not by any peaceful struggle, indeed.
What Qur'an Says about Jihad?
Jihad was mentioned in the Qur'an most frequently with the meaning of "warfare," often coupled with "fi sabil Allah" (in the way of Allah). Jihad as warfare is a pivotal concern for the Qur'an, the Hadith and the Shari'ah which we shall explore later in this essay.
All most all the hateful, coercive, intimidating and tempting verses in the Qur'an were made in respect to the Jihad-Holy war.
Important to note: Prophet Muhammad while he was in Mecca did not have too many supporters; hence, he was very weak in power compare to the Pagans. It was at that time he brought some soft verses (maximum one dozen in the whole Qur'an) which our hypocritical Islamists use them to elude the truth of Islam. But in Medina Muhammad quickly assumed both religious and political power and leadership over the whole Median community. It was at that time he brought all those harsh/hateful (several hundreds of them) Qur'anic verses just to incite his followers to fight.
In the Holy Qur'an one can find hundreds of verses (Ayats) which dictates to fight holy wars (Jihad) against non-Muslims infidels. Let me cite here a few of them:
Qur'an-(9:5):  "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, And seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) ; but if they repent (accept Islam) and establish regular prayers and practices regular charity then open the way for them; for God is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."
Qur'an-(8:65): " O Apostle ! Rouse the believers to the fight, if there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering , they will vanquish two hundred; if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the unbelievers; for these are a people without understanding."
Qur'an-(2:216(: Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you
Qur'an-(2:191):  "And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out---such is the reward of those who suppress faith."
Qur'an-(9:29):  "Fight those who believe not the Allah nor the last day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and his apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of truth even if they are the people of the book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."
Qur'an(48:20):  "-.Allah promises you much booty (spoils of war) that you will capture from the defeated infidels-."
Qur'an-(8:38): "And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression"
Qur'an-(8:12): I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them
Qur'an-(8:15,16): O ye who believe! when ye meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them. If any do turn his back to them on such a day - unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)- he draws on himself the wrath of Allah, and his abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed)!
Qur'an-(9:111): Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the
Qur'an-(9:73): O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey's end.
Qur'an-(9:123): O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him).
Qur'an-(4:95): O ye who believe! Shall I show you a commerce that will save you from a painful doom? You should believe in Allah and His messenger, and should strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if ye did but know. ... Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than those who sit (at home).
C. Jihad as per Hadiths:
Fighting for the Cause of Allah (Jihad)was sanctioned widely in sahi hadiths. Almost one-third of the fourth of nine volumes of Bukhari, Islam's principal collector of Hadith, focused on jihad as physical war. There are thousands of sahi hadiths that simply talk about Jihad-the holy war in Islam. I cannot include them all in this short essay in order to keep to a minimum. I will only mention however some of them in this essay. The following are a few examples:
Sahi Bukhari# 35, page-102:
Prophet Muhammad (sa) narrated, " He who is out at war Allah becomes the protector for him. Because, he only joins the fight when he put his solid belief upon Allah and his Apostle. Allah provides him wealth and much booty (Maal-e-goni-mat) with which he returns home. Or, place him in the paradise by making him a Shaheed (martyrdom).
Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 46:
Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The example of a Mujahid in Allah's Cause-- and Allah knows better who really strives in His Cause----is like a person who fasts and prays continuously. Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to his home safely with rewards and war booty (maal-e-gani-maat)."
Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 53:
Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said, "Nobody who dies and finds good from Allah (in the Hereafter) would wish to come back to this world even if he were given the whole world and whatever is in it, except the martyr who, on seeing the superiority of martyrdom, would like to come back to the world and get killed again (in Allah's Cause)."
Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 48:
Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, "A single endeavor (of fighting) in Allah's Cause in the afternoon or in the forenoon is better than all the world and whatever is in it. A place in Paradise as small as the bow or lash of one of you is better than all the world and whatever is in it. And if a houri from Paradise appeared to the people of the earth, she would fill the space between Heaven and the Earth with light and pleasant scent and her head cover is better than the world and whatever is in it."
Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 44:
Narrated Abu Huraira: A man came to Allah's Apostle and said, "Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward)." He replied, "I do not find such a deed." Then he added, "Can you, while the Muslim fighter is in the battle-field, enter your mosque to perform prayers without cease and fast and never break your fast?" The man said, "But who can do that?" Abu- Huraira added, "The Mujahid (i.e. Muslim fighter) is rewarded even for the footsteps of his horse while it wanders bout (for grazing) tied in a long rope."
Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 49:
Narrated Samura: The Prophet said, "Last night two men came to me (in a dream) and made me ascend a tree and then admitted me into a better and superior house, better of which I have never seen. One of them said, 'This house is the house of martyrs."
Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 50:
Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said, "A single endeavor (of fighting) in Allah's Cause in the forenoon or in the afternoon is better than the world and whatever is in it."
Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 42:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: Allah's Apostle said, "There is no Hijra (i.e. migration) (from Mecca to Medina) after the Conquest (of Mecca), but Jihad and good intention remain; and if you are called (by the Muslim ruler) for fighting, go forth immediately.
Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 54:
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "By Him in Whose Hands my life is! Were it not for some men amongst the believers who dislike to be left behind me and whom I cannot provide with means of conveyance, I would certainly never remain behind any Sariya' (army-unit) setting out in Allah's Cause. By Him in Whose Hands my life is! I would love to be martyred in Al1ah's Cause and then get resurrected and then get martyred, and then get resurrected again and then get martyred and then get resurrected again and then get martyred.
Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 55:
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Prophet of Allah said, "Zaid took the flag and was martyred, and then Ja'far took the flag and was martyred, and then 'Abdullah bin Rawaha took the flag and was martyred too, and then Khalid bin Al-Walid took the flag though he was not appointed as a commander and Allah made him victorious." The Prophet further added, "It would not please us to have them with us." Aiyub, a sub-narrator, added, "Or the Prophet, shedding tears, said, 'It would not p ease them to be with us."
Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 61:
My uncle Anas bin An-Nadr was absent from the Battle of Badr. He said, "O Allah's Apostle! I was absent from the first battle you fought against the pagans. (By Allah) if Allah gives me a chance to fight the pagans, no doubt. Allah will see how (bravely) I will fight." On the day of Uhud when the Muslims turned their backs and fled, he said, "O Allah! I apologize to You for what these (i.e. his companions) have done, and I denounce what these (i.e. the pagans) have done." Then he advanced and Sad bin Muadh met him. He said "O Sad bin Muadh ! By the Lord of An-Nadr, Paradise! I am smelling its aroma coming from before (the mountain of) Uhud," Later on Sad said, "O Allah's Apostle! I cannot achieve or do what he (i.e. Anas bin An-Nadr) did. We found more than eighty wounds by swords and arrows on his body. We found him dead and his body was mutilated so badly that none except his sister could recognize him by his fingers."
Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 63:
Al-Bara: A man whose face was covered with an iron mask (i.e. clad
in armor) came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shall
I fight or embrace Islam first? "The Prophet said, "Embrace
Islam first and then fight." So he embraced Islam, and was martyred.
Allah's Apostle said, A Little work, but a great reward. "(He did
very little (after embracing Islam), but he will be rewarded in abundance)."
Sahi Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 64:
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Um Ar-Rubai'bint Al-Bara', the mother of Hartha bin Suraqa came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Prophet! Will you tell me about Hartha?" Hartha has been killed (i.e. martyred) on the day of Badr with an arrow thrown by an unidentified person. She added, "If he is in Paradise, I will be patient; otherwise, I will weep bitterly for him." He said, "O mother of Hartha! There are Gardens in Paradise and your son got the Firdausal-ala (i.e. the best place in Paradise)." [What could be a bigger bluffing and exploitation of a poor ignorant mother (who lost her son in Jihad) by our merciful Prophet?]
Mishkat al-Masabih, trans. by James Robson (Lahore: Ashraf, 1975) Vol. 1:807.
Abu 'Abs reported God's messenger as saying, "No man whose feet become dusty in God's path will be touched by hell." Bukhari transmitted it.
Mishkat al-Masabih, Vol. 1:814.
b. Madikarib reported God's messenger as saying, "The martyr receives
six good things from God: he is forgiven at the first shedding of his
blood, he is shown his abode in paradise, he is preserved from the punishment
in the grave, he is kept safe from the greatest terror, he has placed
on his head the crown of honour a ruby which is better than the world
and what it contains, he is married to seventy-two wives of the maidens
with large dark eyes, and is made intercessor for seventy of his relatives."
Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah transmitted it.
Jihad as per Islamic-historians/Scholars/Philosophers:
We can find hundreds of books written by well-known Islamic authorities (Islamic Chintabid or thinker) on Jihad. A few examples of historical events and comments should be enough to lay the foundation that Jihad in Islamic history was primarily a Holy War against the infidels. Here are some examples:
In his book, " Jurisprudence in Muhammad's Biography" the Azhar scholar, Dr. Muhammad Sa'id Ramadan al-Buti wrote the following: "The Holy War (Islamic Jihad), as it is known in Islamic Jurisprudence, is basically an offensive war. This is the duty of Muslims in every age when the needed military power becomes available to them. This is the phase in which the meaning of Holy war has taken its final form. Thus the apostle of God said: ' I was commanded to fight the people until they believe in Allah and his messages-..(page 134, 7th edition) ".
Azhar scholar Dr. Buti adds in the same book (page-263): The apostle of Allah started to send military detachments from among his followers to the various Arab tribes which were scattered in the Arab Peninsula to carry out the task of calling (these tribes) to accept Islam. If they did not respond, they (Muslims) would kill them. That was during the 7th Hgira year. The number of the detachments amounted to ten."
The Baydawi quoted in his book (The lights of Revelation, page-252):  "Fight Jews and Christians because they violated the origin of their faith and they do not believe in the religion of the truth (Islam), which abrogated all other religions. Fight them until they pay the poll-tax (Ziziya tax) with submission and humiliation."
In another place of his book (The Jurisprudence in Muhammad's Biography) Al-Buti (published in Egypt) quoted: "The concept of Holy War (Jihad) in Islam does not take into consideration whether defensive or an offensive war. Its goal is the exaltation of the Word of Allah and the construction of Islamic society and the establishment of Allah's Kingdom on Earth regardless of the means. The means would be offensive warfare. In this case, it is the apex, the noblest Holy War. It is legal to carry on a Holy War."
Ibn Hisham-Al Sohaily quoted in his famous book (Al- Rawd al- Anaf, page-50,51 ): " No two religions are to exist in the Arab Peninsula ." Therefore, Saudi Government does not allow any other religion to manifest their religious task. What a tolerant and peaceful religion Islam is!
The well-known Egyptian scholar, Sayyid Qutb, (Sayyid Qutb, Milestones, Revised Edition, chapter. 4, "Jihaad in the Cause of God") notes four stages in the development of jihad:
While the earliest Muslims remained in Mecca before fleeing to Medina, God did not allow them to fight;
2. Permission is given to Muslims to fight against their oppressors;
God commands Muslims to fight those fighting them;
God commands the Muslims to fight against all polytheists.
Sayyid Qutb views each stage to be replaced by the next stage in this order, the fourth stage to remain permanent). To justify the universal and permanent dimensions of jihad he cites the following Qur'anic passages:
Qur'an: 4:74-32: They ought to fight in the way of God who have sold the life of this world for the life of the Hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of God and is killed or becomes victorious, to him shall We (God) give a great reward...
Qur'an: 8:38-40: and fight them until there is no oppression and the religion is wholly for God....
Qur'an: 9:29-32: Fight against those among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) who do not believe in God and the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His messenger have forbidden, until they are subdued and pay jizyah (tax on non-Muslims) ...
Sayyid Qutb, however, pours scorn upon those who view jihad as solely defensive:
They are ignorant of the nature of Islam and of its function, and
that it has a right to take the initiative for human freedom. Thus wherever
an Islamic community exists which is a concrete example of the Divinely-ordained
system of life, it has a God-given right to step forward and take control
of the political authority so that it may establish the Divine system
on earth, while it leaves the matter of belief to individual conscience.
Maulana Mawdudi's Fatwa:
Likewise, the popular Pakistani Muslim revivalist Abu'l Ala Mawdudi rejects any distinction between offensive and defensive jihad. So also, the distinguished contemporary Pakistani scholar, Fazlur Rahman, while recognizing the extensive presence of jihad in the Qur'an, rejects the stand of those modern Muslim apologists who have tried to explain the jihad of the early (Muslim) Community in purely defensive terms (Fazlur Rahman, Islam (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979) 37).
According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, "the fight is obligatory even when the unbelievers have not started it (E. Tyan, "Djihad", Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd ed. (Leiden: Brill, 1965). In the words of Rudolph Peters the "ultimate aim of jihad is 'the subjection of the unbelievers' and 'the extirpation of unbelief'" (Rudolph Peters, "Jihad", The Encyclopedia of Religion (NewYork: Macmillan, 1987) Vol. 8:88-91).
All of these authorities simply echo Islam's fundamental assumption that world sovereignty must be in the hands of Muslims.
Qur'an: 16:101: And when We put a revelation in place of (another) revelation, - and Allah knoweth best what He revealeth - they say: Lo! thou art but inventing. Most of them know not.
the basis of these verses there arose within the Muslim community the
principle of Qur'anic interpretation, called naskh ("abrogation")
which stipulated that earlier peaceful verses could be abrogated by later
militant verses, i.e., in the case of jihad the Meccan verses were abrogated
by the Medinan verses. It is well known that many Muslim scholars in the
early history of Islam contended that Qur'an 9:5, sometimes called
"the verse of the sword", abrogated a host of peaceful passages
in earlier portions of the Qur'an.
What it has signified in the past and signifies at present for masses of Muslims is well summarized in a statement by the world renowned Ibn Khaldun (A.D. 1332-1406), Islam's great historian, sociologist and philosopher:
In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the (Muslim) mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force. Therefore, caliphate and royal authority are united in (Islam), so that the person in charge can devote the available strength to both of them at the same (Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah, trans. by Franz Rosenthal (New York: Pantheon Books Inc., 1958) Vol. 1:473).
(The Translation of the Meanings of Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 1:xxiv-xliii ).
So, it is incumbent upon us (Muslims) to follow the path which Allah's Messenger (Muhammad) adopted to avoid polytheism and heresy in all its shapes and to take the Holy Qur'an and the Prophet's Traditions as torches in front of us to guide us. We have to teach our brethren and convey the Message to non-Muslims all over the world as much as possible in order to save them from the Hell-fire. We have to prepare ourselves to stand in the face of our enemy and to possess the means of power and to participate in the progress of useful industries in order to protect our religion and be powerful enough to face our enemy, as Allah, the Elevated says in Surat al-Anfal (8:60):
Qur'an: 8:60: Against them (kaffirs) make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war (tanks, places, missiles and other weapons, etc.) to strike terror into the (hearts of) the Enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside, whom you may not know, but whom Allah does know. Whatever you shall spend in the Cause of Allah, shall be repaid to you, and you shall not be treated unjustly
How many terrorists would appeal to this verse "to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy"?
The majority of the Qur'an's texts themselves clearly identify jihad as physical warfare in Islam and, Islamically, God's way of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth. Likewise, from the Hadith and the earliest biographies of Muhammad it is just as evident that the early Muslim community understood these Qur'anic texts to be taken literally. Historically, therefore, from the time of Muhammad onwards, jihad as physical warfare in support of the message of Islam has been a reality for the Muslim community. Hence, it comes as no surprise when even terrorists (Osama and his al-Qaeda) easily appeal to these source materials to justify their actions, not to speak of their teachers who teach the theory and the art of terrorism. September 11, 2001, terrorist act in the soil of America is the glittering example of Jihadi mindset of Islamist like Osama bin Laden.
Qur'anic Ayats (I just mentioned above) and numerous Sahi Hadiths of same kind were instrumental for Muslims to dedicate their strength & minds for the cause of Islam. Therefore, in the name of spreading the religion, devout Muslim fighters killed millions of people while occupying neighboring Arab lands such as Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Iraq and non-Arab countries like India, Turkey, Libya, Iran etc. Even Spain had fallen into their hands for hundreds of years. I simply wonder were these wars defensive. Were those swords used by Islamic soldiers to occupy country after country be considered a symbol of forgiveness or mercy? Following Muhammad's death, his companions fought each other in relentless savage wars competing for authority.
In summary, Islamic Jihad with the help of Islamic sword--hundreds of tribes were wiped out from the Arabian Peninsula. Thousands were orphaned and widowed. Hazzaz bin Yousuf killed more than a hundred thousand Sahabis, Ibne Khattal was killed in Kaba'a. Later Abdulla Bin Zubair was killed in the same Kaba'a. By the end of the first civil war of Muslims, all the Badari Sahabis were killed. By the end of three civil wars all the Sahabis were killed "it sucked up all the strength of Muslims" ( Bokhari). Ten thousand Muslims were killed in the Jamal war between Hazrat Ali (RA) and Bibi Ayesha (RA). Islamic scholar Dr. Abu Zayd Shalabi claimed in his book (page-75), in the 'battle of Alees' which took place on the border of Iraq, (Siffin war between Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Mwabia ), the great Islamic General Khalid killed 70,000 people.
Thousands of non-Muslims were killed. After the death of Prophet Muhammad, there were four most favorite disciples of Prophet who ruled the Islamic kingdom established by the prophet Muhammad, who were known as the most pious caliphs. Out of these four Caliphs-three of them were brutally assassinated, and only one had natural death because of his old age and very short rule of the Islamic state. Karbala was flooded with blood with a roar of "Allahu Akbar!" Was it because of the fact that Islamic sword was the sign of Mercy? The fact of the matter is-sword can never be the sign of mercy! Period.
Global Agenda: As I cited various valuable quotes, which clearly depicted a special and unique feature, which is totally absent in any other monolithic religions of the world. Unlike any other world religion-Islam has an ulterior motive in its agenda. Islam considers it has a sacred and mandatory God given duty to spread Islamic message (Din-e-Islam) to all the inhabitants of the world. Their ultimate wishful goal is to convert and bring entire mankind under the fold of Islam, the only true religion of Allah. To this end-two main groups are working very hard. These two groups are: (a) Militant/radical Mullahs, (b) Educated/elite western residing true believing Muslims (Muslims of the ummatic groups in the west such as: AMC, CAIR, ICNA, ISNA, NABIC etc). Here we can exclude group-C Muslims (general God fearing innocent gullible Muslims who constitute about 70-80% of the total Muslims.
Both the groups (A & B) have one thing common in their minds. That is to convert sufficient peoples to Islam in order to establish Islamic Sharia'h or Huhud Laws (Allah's laws just like Afghan Taliban state) as the state governing administration. Here the main difference is-group A (Militant/fanatics) is engaged in armed struggles (Holy war, Terrorism); and group-B (mainly western resident) is engaged in secret and peaceful propagation with sweet talks and peaceful persuasion of the gullible western peoples by deceitful sermons in the mosques and in various annual and semi-annual Islamic conferences and meetings (Ummatic conference). Both have one last thing in mind-to establish Islamic Sharia'h law in the state.
Our gullible and wishful Islamists like that Harvard graduate, which we have plenty all over the world, or any other Islamists who wants to twist the real practical and historical meaning of Jihad to fool the modern world, which we have among educated Muslims scattered everywhere, must consider this. If they want to give a new twisted meaning - a sober and politically correct one -- of the word Jihad, they had better first change the Qur'an, Hadiths and all those Islamic history books available in the library throughout the world. Alternatively, they should dump all the Islamic history literature into the Daria or sea and re-write a new peaceful Islamic history by themselves. Sadly, if they do so, then it will be a Reformed Islam, which Mullahs will now allow to happen any time soon. Therefore, the Islamic elites, many of who visit NFB (News From Bangladesh) on a regular basis, will have to swallow their false pride and lick their wounds too. The proverbial phrase - the dogs will be barking, but the caravan will pass. Humanity is poised now to get rid of all kinds belief system that has crippled the humankind and which never allowed us to rich for a higher plane.
1. The Holy Qur'an, Translated by A. Yousuf Ali, Published by Amana Corporation, Brentwood, Maryland, 1983
2. Buchari Sharif, Bengali Translation by Maulana Muhammad Mustafizur Rahman, Sulemani Printers and Publishers, Dhaka, Second edition-1999
3. Holy Qur'an, Bengali translation by Maulana Muhiuddin khan, Khademu Harmain Sharifain, Saudi Arabia, Madina Mannwara, 1413 Hijri.
4. The Biography of Muhammad and the Wars (Maghazy) Ibn Isaac, Dr. Sohaul Zakkar, dar Al Fekr
5. The Biography of the Prophet, Ibn Kathir, dar Al Knowledge, Beirut
Syed Kamran Mirza is the author of Roots of Terrorism in Islam. He has also contributed in Beyond Jihad — Critical Voices from Inside Islam and Leaving Islam — Apostates Speaks Out. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.