13 January 2010

Jihad - A beautiful word turned into phobia.

(Written on 26 Nov 2009)

It has been a year since the unfortunate attack on Bombay.

Today I got up at 11am feeling very normal. Did my routine stuff and picked up the newspaper at noon. And then the gory images of the bloodshed played in my head like a nightmare that I desperately wanted to run away from... I saw images of Ajmal Kasab, one of the attackers captured alive by the Bombay police. While reading something struck me.

Somewhere it was mentioned that Kasab was working on the path of "Jihad". The media labeled him a "Jihadi"

I really don't understand how can the media use words the way they want to? I felt tons and tons of paper and ink was wasted today. It’s a solemn day today, I understand, but considering the fact that on a day like today, even irregular readers must have picked up a copy to read, some light should have been thrown on issues of "Jihad".

It’s been always propagated in the media that Jihad is a "holy war". The term Jihad is misunderstood to be referring to ‘holy war’ on behalf of Islam. I thought I'd share what actually is Jihad. Even if it reaches out to 10 people I have done more than what the media could have done.

In Islam Jihad means "struggle" and the common usage is to strive in the way of Allah. Any Muslim who engages in Jihad is a Jihadi or a Mujahid. It is one of the many practices of Islam.

Many people misunderstand that Islam is ritualistic. It is not. Islam is logical and I'll tell you how Jihad is nothing but an extension of logic.
There are 4 kinds of Jihad

1. Jihad against one’s self.
It is concerned with combating Satan (the devil), to escape his persuasion to evil.

2. Jihad of the tongue.
It is concerned with speaking the truth.

3. Jihad of the hand.
Choosing to do what is right.

4. Jihad of the sword.
Fight in defense of Islam.

Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said that the Lesser Jihad is physical and the Greater Jihad is against one’s Soul. A fact that everyone should know is that The Qur’an never uses the term Jihad for fighting and combat in the name of Allah.

A Muslim anywhere in the world should do the Greater Jihad every day. Like what, fight against immoral desires, against lust, against oppression, against injustice, against deceit, against lies, against anything that hinders his/her growth and goodwill.

True Jihad for any Muslim is TO STRUGGLE TO IMPROVE ONE’S SELF!

Now isn’t it logical to do so. I mean everyone in this world is struggling against the same thing. For example, aren’t we all frustrated with the injustice in our country? Yes we are, unanimously! Aren’t we fighting and struggling in our own small ways. Yes we are.

The Qur’an just mentions it. And like any other religion, good followers follow whatever is mentioned in their holy text. Right? Yes. That’s what Muslims are doing too.

As I said earlier Jihad is a struggle. But to struggle for what? To wage a war against any country who does not believe in your God? To kill unarmed civilians word wide? To tear yourself apart by detonating the bomb suit in crowded areas? No my friends, this is not Jihad, this is fundamentalism and extremism.

But acts like 26/11 are not done by Muslims. They are masterminded by extremists and fundamentalists. Extremists do not follow any religion, they follow their distorted philosophies. Some of the extremists in India are the Naxalites and the VHP and many off-shoots of Al-Qaeda. They just want to make a point and to propagate their distorted philosophy by killing innocent people. And how do they do it? Easy. Get hold of the poor, illiterate and desperate.

Kasab was a desperate man. He did not do this for religion. He did this for money. He was brainwashed in such a way that it was made clear to him that he is doing it for religion. Only when he was caught and on investigation we found out his reality, reality of deprivation and poverty. And hence he took the gun to earn a fast buck. So what if he died, at least his family must live on.

We are reading everyday in the newspapers that on an average one bomb per week are killing dozens of innocent people in Pakistan. Just think about it, these terrorists are not Muslims. Had they been Muslims, they would have at least thought once before killing their own kind.

This proves a point that terror has no logic, no religion. But religion is a nice garb under which immorality can be conducted. As a Muslim it saddens me to hear terms like “Islamic terrorists” in the media. The buggers (media) don’t understand Islam and Terror are poles apart. Islam means Peace. A simple Google search gives the meaning.

To end this I’ll just say what happened to my home Bombay was wrong and I hope and pray that the guilty should be punished. (I’m not saying WILL BE punished because unfortunately I don’t believe in our law)

Whatever is going around the world is wrong. The only way we can make it right is by doing right in our own little ways. Everyone in this world cannot be a Bill Gates to earn and then donate billions of dollars for betterment of the world. Let us pledge that we’ll do some good for this world every passing day. That’s what gives our lives some meaning.

I hope I have given some meaning to my life, at least today.


  1. In continuation to the beautiful explanation by the author, please note in JIHAD you have to be defensive and cannot be offensive, if I could simplify it for you "You can only hit back, if your being slapped already" and it has to be absolutely equal "1 shot = 1 shot in return"
    Could have used a better example then a "SLAP" but you see if some1 attacks your faith you just cannot control your emotions... So a bit of understanding would let "us" live in peace and "us" does not include ppl like kasab....