Sharique N Siddiquie
When bombs are exploding intermittently in the country thanks to the so called “Jihadis”, I too would like to term myself a ‘Jihadi’ albeit with a difference.
“Jihad” is an Arabic word that originates from a simple and common term “Jaddo jehad” which means to aspire for or to struggle for. In the holy Quran, Jihad has been used 41 times, but not a single verse uses it in the sense of war. Rather, it is always used in the sense of struggle. In Quran, the root meaning of Jihad is Maruf (to spread good teachings and habits) and Munkar (to keep a check on evil).
War or violence has been represented in Quran by words like Qatl, Harb and Fasad.
So, it is clearly evident that even though “Jihad” does mean struggle, it may not necessarily be a violent one.
Now, let’s get to the second point, i.e. which authority can call for Jihad and what are the various facets of it?
As everybody knows, Islamic society is ruled by Shariah laws. These are the laws that are binding on all the religious and most of the social issues. They clearly state that only a state or a state organization can call for Jihad.
This means that terror organizations have no right to call for Jihad and kill innocent people in the name of Islam as they do not represent any state. Killing innocent people in the name of Jihad is not Islamic but an act of murder.
Shariah laws also state that someone who is not participating in the war cannot be killed. So, when innocent and unarmed civilians are killed by these terrorists, it finds no legal justification. These are sheer acts of violence which are not only against humanity, but also against the will of almighty Allah.
Here, it should be made clear that Islam advocates freedom of religion and is strictly against forcible conversion which is as we all know cited incorrectly as one of the reasons for Jihad by these terrorists. In Surah Al-Kaafirun, it is written that Laqum deenukum Waliya deen, which means your religion, is for you and my religion is for me.
Another quote from Quran can be translated as, ‘there should be no compulsion in religion. Surely right has become distinct from wrong.’
So, if someone wages a war to forcefully turn the world into a Muslim state then it is not Jihad and is definitely not advocated by Quran.
The term ‘Jihadi’ is in itself a wrong term as there is no such word in Arabic language. This word has been coined by English journalists to represent terrorists and now the media world over uses it with the same élan.
In Arabic, the person who goes for Jihad is termed as Mujahid which is a glorifying term, meaning someone who has sacrificed his life for fighting for good.
For a common practicing Muslim like me, it is very painful and demeaning when terrorists are referred to as “Jihadis”. In our daily life, each and every person is a “Jihadi”.
A student taking exams is a “Jihadi” as he is struggling to achieve his purpose of education. A father slogging hard to earn money for his children is a “Jihadi”. A mother devoting her life for the welfare of her family is a “Jihadi”. And a common man like me struggling with the misconception about “Jihad” is also a “Jihadi”.
So, when we see some misguided people disturbing peace and integrity of the country, and the term “Jihadi” being attached to them, it pains.
One need not necessarily be a Muslim to be a “Jihadi just as one need not be a Hindu or Christian to be a Saint.
“Jihad” is a very sacred term to be referred only to the people with a purpose and not to the mindless terrorists. It is my firm belief that India is a country of more than one billion “Jihadis” who are working really hard to make their country proud. Our “Jihad” is to make India the most powerful nation of the world in every field.
So, next time when a terrorist is referred to as “Jihadi”, let’s raise our voice against it, as the common man of India is not a terrorist.