Jihad – Holy War - The Misconceptions about Islam

This word is misunderstood by Muslims and a lot of non-Muslims. Both think that Jihad means “Holy War” and they believe this word means any war fought by Muslims for any reason (for power, wealth, land etc.). The real meaning of the word ‘Jihad’ is to strive or struggle. The word for war is actually ‘al-harb’. In the Islamic context Jihad can mean strive/struggle against ones internal evil desires, strive/struggle to make things better in the land, strive against oppression, strive/struggle to follow the Islamic rules (praying 5 times a day, fasting, abstaining from alcohol, pork, fornication etc.) It can also mean to fight in self-defence in the battle field. You can use the word Jihad to refer to a student striving/struggling to pass exams also.
The Quran also uses the word to refer to parents (who are non Muslims) doing Jihad (strive/struggle) to convert their Muslim children back to their religion etc. 

History shows that the early Muslims were being persecuted by the idol worshippers. They were ridiculed, tortured (forced to lie on burning sand, heavy stones being pushed on their chests etc.), extensively whipped / beaten and all other forms of torturing, raped, and killed. Then God instructed the Muslims to strive / fight against them and stop all the persecution. 415

Muslims are savages and barbaric during war

Throughout history the Islamic empire had the best code of conduct during war. These clear Quran and Hadith verses prove that this is the case:

“Fight in the way of God those who fight you, but do not transgress. Indeed God does not like transgressors.” Quran 2:190
“And fight them until there is no oppression, and worship becomes devoted to God alone. But if they cease, then let there be no hostility except against the oppressors.” Quran 2:193

“And do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites but do not harm them, and rely upon God. And sufficient is God alone is Sufficient as a Guardian” Quran 33:48
Do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children.Sahih Muslim Book 32 Hadith No. 1731

Do not desire an encounter with the enemy; but when you encounter them, be firm” Sahih Muslim Book 19 Hadith 4313
“You are neither hard-hearted nor of fierce character, nor one who shouts in the markets. You do not return evil for evil, but excuse and forgive.Al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith No. 362

“Thereafter the Messenger of God prohibited to kill women and children.Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 14, Hadith No. 2666





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"Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, "O Allah's Apostle! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?" The Prophet said, "By preventing him from oppressing others." Sahih Bukhari Book 43 Hadith No. 624

Abu Bakr, the first Islamic Ruler (caliph) after Mohammeds death decreed these rules: “Stop, O people, that I may give you ten rules for your guidance in the battlefield. Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone. Islamic Rulings on Warfare, Youssef H. Abdoul-Enein Sherifa Zuhur

The Quran states that those who persecute and wage war against the Prophet and his people to fight them back and it also states:

except those who repented before you overpower them, and know that God is indeed forgiving and merciful.” Quran 5:34

And they feed with food, for love of Him, the needy, and the orphan and the captive.”
“Saying ‘We only feed you for the sake of God and we do not want any reward or thanks from you.’”  Quran 76:8-9

According to The Life of the Muhammed by Ibn Ishaq (704 A.D. – 770 A.D.) One of the prisoners of war name Abu Aziz b. Umayr b. Hashim stated:14267216_xxl_resize.jpg
“I was with a number of Ansar  when they brought me from Badr, and when they ate their morning and evening meals they gave me the bread and ate the dates themselves in accordance with the orders that the apostle had given about us. If anyone had a morsel of bread, he gave it to me. I felt ashamed and returned it to one of them but he returned it to me untouched.
Bread was more of a luxury than dates in those times and the prisoners of war were given the luxury food.

"Feed the hungry, visit the sick, and set free the captives." Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol7, Book 70, Hadith No. 552

One of Islam’s enemies, an idolater who was captured (and treated with respect by the Muslims) during war pleaded to the prophet to be released. After a few days the prophet said he should be released.
“He went to a palm-grove near the mosque and took a bath. Then he entered the mosque and said: I bear testimony (to the truth) that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His bondman and His messenger. O Muhammad, by Allah, there was no face on the earth more hateful to me than your face, but (now) your face has become to me the dearest of all faces. By Allah, there was no religion more hateful to me than your religion, but (now) your religion has become the dearest of all religions to me. By Allah, there was no city more hateful to me than your city, but (now) your city has become the dearest of all cities to me.” Sahih Muslim Book 19, Hadith No. 4361

“O Prophet, tell the prisoners you have taken, ‘If God finds good in your hearts, He will give you something better than all that has been taken from you and He will forgive you. God is the Oft-Forgiving and Merciful-to-all.’” Quran 8:70
Islamic critic W. Muir wrote : “In pursuance of Mahomet’s commands, the citizens of Medina, and such of theRefugees as possessed houses,received the prisoners, and treated them with much consideration. ‘Blessings be on the men of Medina!’ said one of these prisoners in later days; ‘they made us ride, while they themselves walked: they gave us wheaten bread to eat when there was little of it, contenting themselves with dates.416

The captives had rights to wear decent clothes.
“When it was the day (of the battle) of Badr, prisoners of war were brought including Al-Abbas who was undressed. The Prophet looked for a shirt for him. It was found that the shirt of Abdullah bin Ubai would do, so the Prophet let him wear it. That was the reason why the Prophet took off and gave his own shirt to Abdullah.” Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 52, Hadith No. 252

12657944_xxl_resize.jpgWhen a war was won, the Islamic army would take the women and children as captives in order so they do not starve or get abused / raped by other tribes. There were strict rules never to separate families for the sake of the family.
"I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: 'Whoever separates a mother from her child, God separates him and his most beloved on the Day of Judgement.'" At-Tirmidhi, Vol 1, Book 12, Hadith No. 1283


Muslims are fundamentalists

If a mathematician wants to be a good mathematician, he should learn, and practice the fundamentals of mathematics. If he is not a fundamentalist of mathematics he will not be a good mathematician. This principle also applies with science, medicine, architecture etc. The same applies with religion, to be a pious, practicing believer you need to master the fundamentals of the religion. There are no fundamentals of Islam that are against humanity at all. 415

The real followers of Islam do not see this world as everyone else does, we see it as temporary. As instructed we want to follow the Quran and teachings of the prophet’s as well. We want to do everything to please God. So we learn the fundamentals of the religion that pleases God and master them. 415