|11-04-2006, 04:31 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Greetings from Kuwait
My name is... yes, you guessed it: Haider.
I'm really excited about the launch of these forums, and I hope I'll be making a productive contribution here...
I expect you will find me debating subjectivism most of the time. But, of course, with the best of intentions, so I won't be causing damage to the cosmos
As far as my beliefs go, I am a Muslim (which, sadly, doesn't mean too much any more, given the vast array of interpretations of Islam. But you'll find out what my beliefs are on the forums), and also find myself agreeing a lot to Ayn Rand's Objectivism (religious and Objectivist! What's the world coming to! ).
So you will also find me quoting a lot from the Holy Koran and the sayings of the Prophet and his family (peace be on them), which I have found contain a lot of useful teachings for personal development... oh, and of course, Ayn Rand
Having said all that, I'm open to consider any belief or belief system, and enjoy talking with those who disagree with me so that I can fine tune my own understanding of the world.
See you in the forums, and wish you all the best!
|11-18-2006, 10:04 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Correct me if I'm wrong. Also, it's just a word. Don't automatically put it in the same domain as muslims.
Haider, you are very welcome. I'm not religious myself but I've read some passages from the Koran and some of it is pure wisdom.
|11-19-2006, 04:48 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
The Meanings of Jihad
Rock1000, I appreciate your interest in the subject, but you raised the issue in the thread that I introduced myself in, and I hope people don't associate the negative connotations of jihad with me
The term jihad has been misinterpreted by many Muslim sects, who will be more than happy to present their own definitions of the term. There are many Muslims who would agree with the definition ImOpen has given, but I don't
Jihad in it's basic, linguistic meaning (i.e. not as part of Islamic terminology) means to struggle, or to exert effort in doing something (anything). In Islamic terminology, it means to exert effort in doing righteous acts, which can range from the smallest of good deeds to the greatest of sacrifices. To control your temper is a "jihad" against your temper. To tame your lusts is a "jihad" against your lusts. To oppose an unjust government is a "jihad" against injustice, etc.
There is a hadith (saying of Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him and his family) where he greeted an army returning from battle by saying: "Greetings to those who have just performed the minor jihad (i.e. military conflict) and have yet to perform the major jihad." When asked what the major jihad was, the Prophet replied that it was to struggle against one's self (i.e. the inclinations to do wrong on an individual basis).
That is, to struggle in upholding moral conduct is the greatest form of jihad.
There is even a hadith that states: “The ink of a scholar is more sacred than the blood of a martyr.”
The primary reason why jihad has a bad name stems from a pile of misinterpretations of verses from the Holy Koran. There are some political events (e.g. colonialism) that have motivated these misinterpretations, but they remain an incorrect definition of jihad as an Islamic term.
Many Muslim groups consider jihad only in its military sense, and think that it is the responsibility of Muslims to spread the teachings of Islam, and through force, if necessary. Therefore, they consider any non-Muslim to be in need of converting, and interpret the Koranic verse “kaffir” (lit. disbeliever, or one who covers up the truth) to refer to all non-Muslims. And since the Holy Koran has numerous verses exhorting Muslims to fight the kuffar (plural of kaffir), they think that Islam demands that they fight all non-Muslims.
They also disregard the Islamic rules of military engagement, and think that anything is permissible during war. This is why you find Muslims committing terrorist acts against civilians, or endorse such actions. Mind you, not all terrorist acts are committed to convert non-Muslims to Islam. In fact, hardly any acts of Muslim violence today are committed with that intention. They are mostly done in retaliation to the hostility towards Islam and Muslims. Little do the terrorists know that their acts are, in fact, fuelling this hostility, and are giving non-Muslims valid justification to oppose Islam (or Islam according to the terrorist’s interpretation).
From the Holy Koran, we find that the term kuffar doesn’t actually mean all those who do not believe in Islam. It actually narrows this group down to those who show hostility towards Islam. There is a verse which makes this distinction, and says that Muslims are only permitted to fight those who prevent Muslims from practicing their religion, or persecute them and drive them out of their homes. Another verse says that violence (i.e. military conflict) is only permitted against those who have oppressed the Muslims. According to Islam, war itself has rules Muslims must abide by. Some of these rules are that civilians, women and children are not to be harmed (and especially not to be targeted!). Therefore, the false expressions of “jihad” today are in opposition to Islamic teachings.
Some people disagree with Islam for permitting military engagement in the first place. I would say that violence is sometimes necessary, primarily because your opponents may believe in it, and use it as the first form of engagement.
As far as forced conversion goes, I can’t say that Islam promotes such a thing. There is a complicated issue involved (which John Locke addressed in his Letter Concerning Toleration), but I don’t wish to get into that now, especially since this post is too long already. Suffice us to say that there are a number of verses that promote dialogue, discussions based on wisdom and respect for other people’s freedom to make their own choices, but not necessarily approving of those choices. Also, to invoke genuine conviction in people cannot be done through force, and there is a Koranic verse to this effect (“There is no compulsion in religion”).
I hope this has answered your question, and shown you some of the complexities involved in defining the term: jihad.
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