Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Jihad-Often Misunderstood!

Hello Folks, Hope this finds you all in the peak of health!

Let us share our opinions and views with the hotly debated Islamic concept of Jihad.Your queries,views, opinions are welcome for, comunication is never a one-way traffic!

Let me quote a saying of the Holy Prophet of Islam, It runs as:

"The ink of a scholar is superior to the blood of the martyr".

This very question puts another question on this faith which is if the founder of this faith had uttered this historically recorded statement, then how come such a faith would promote violence and bloodshed? Welcome to the era of  globalisation, where no concept or idea remains compartmentalized.

Of late, there has been quite a hullabaloo regarding the Islamic concept of Jihad. Its constant debate runs in the global as well as Indian media. Post 9/11, it has been used interchangeably with sucide bombings, hijackings and all forms of perverted acts of which the world has had enough.

We get to see that the executer of such acts are alleged to be Muslims, hell bent on destroying the world!

This is simply unjustified arrogance, for that individual is neither an authority nor a representative of this Global religion. As we go deeper in this faith, which has caused Islamophobia ( a term used by American author, Karen Armstrong in her book, "Muhammad") in the west and which further has  created curiosity by misinterpretation in the east, we come in terms with the fact that the central literature of Muslims worldover is the holy Quran which was revealed to the Prophet in Mount Hira of Saudi Arabia by the Angel designated for Prophets, Gibrail (Gabrielle in Christianity) , sent by almighty Allah (God).

The Holy quran contains the recorded events, from the creation of the first man, Adam, who is  the first Prophet in Islam to the last among them i.e. the Prophet of Islam.The total number of Prophets sent by God to the earth amounts to 1,24,000 (one lakh twenty four thousand approximately.)

Asghar Ali Engineer, an authority on Islam based in Mumbai, states in his article, Speaking Freely, "Making a Mockery of Jihad": jihad does not mean war in the holy Quran, as there are other words for it like Qital and Harb. Jihad has been used in the quran in its root meaning, i.e to strive for betterment of society, to spread Maruf (goodness) and to contain Munkar (Evil).

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of jihad, which are: Jihad-E-Akbar(The Greater jihad) and Jihad-E-Asgar (The Lesser Jihad) . It is the first Jihad that Allah as well as his messenger, The Prophet laid stress on. The first one pertains to the curbing of one's extravagant desires as well as vices and be an exemplary individual. The second denotes struggle against tyranny. It also includes defence of self as well as territory.

Historically, the events circling around the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussein and Hazrat Imam Hassan, the grandsons of the Prophet as well as Sher-e-Khuda (lion of God) Hazrat Ali, the son in-law of  the prophet and many other defenders of the faith in the Battle of Qarbala, waged by the authoritarian Governor of Arabia, Yazid, is a stark example of the second Jihad.

It is interesting to note streaks of Jihad in 18th century India, Mysore, the Tiger Of Mysore, Tipu Sultan, after his ascension to the throne following his father's (Haidar Ali) death authored a book, "Fateh-Al-Mjahideen" (Victory of the Freedom Fighter) where one comes across relevant chapters on Namaaz, Jihad, use of oriental medicine etc.( see Tipu Sultan and His Age, Asiatic Society).

The Quran advises Muslims: " and cast not yourselves to destruction with your own hands and do good to others. Surely Allah loves the doers of good".

This advice of the Quran not to throw oneself to destruction with one's own hands is relevant even today. What did the September 11, 2001 attack result in ? Did Al-Qaeda not invite great disaster to the entire Islamic world, especially Afghanistan and Iraq.

Dr. Zakir Naik ( a renowned Muslim scholar) , once spoke in a conference telecasted on Quran T.V. (a collaboration of India and Pakistan). He stated that "every  Indian should know Sanskrit, as ancient Hindu texts and scriptures are in that medium". This thought of Mr. Naik is worth pondering upon for everybody knows the external manifestation of a faith, not what its core literature contains!  

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