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see IslamIslam
, [Arab.,=submission to God], world religion founded by the Prophet Muhammad. Founded in the 7th cent., Islam is the youngest of the three monotheistic world religions (with Judaism and Christianity). An adherent to Islam is a Muslim [Arab.,=one who submits].
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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Jihad means "holy war." But how that word is interpreted is a matter of some debate, probably because Muhammad himself used the term in different ways. Sometimes he used jihad to describe the cultural and political spread of Islam. Sometimes he used it to refer to the spiritual war against evil both in society and in the human soul.

Following are a few passages from the Qur'an relating to jihad:

Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of God with their goods and their persons. God hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight. (4:95)

Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors. (2:190)

And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God; but if they cease, let there be no hostility to those who practice oppression. (2:193)

And if any strive (with might and main), they do so for their own souls; for Allah is free of all needs from all creation. (29:6)

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. (2:256)

The Religion Book: Places, Prophets, Saints, and Seers © 2004 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Arabic, “holy war,” literally, “struggle” or “persevere”), one of the precepts of Islam, supported by the Koran (for example, sura 9, verse 29), according to which all Muslims able to do battle must carry out holy wars against unbelievers. The teachings developed by scholars of Muslim law state that the entire world is divided into a “land of Islam” (or “region of faith”) and a “war territory” (countries inhabited by non-Muslims, or unbelievers). The idea of jihad was widely used by the ruling strata of Muslim feudal society to inflame fanaticism and to unify Muslims under the banner of religion. The call to jihad was often used against “external enemies” as well.

At times, under conditions of combat against colonialists, calls to jihad served the interest of defensive war and the simultaneous defense of religion, as, for example, in the Sudan during the Mahdist uprising at the end of the 19th century.

Jihad is also called ghazawat (Arabic, literally a “raid,” “campaign,” or “attack”).

In recent times in Muslim countries the jihad has been a call to war in defense of the fatherland.


Petrushevskii, I. P. Islam vlrane v VII-XV vekakh. Leningrad, 1966. Pages 80-83.
Encyclopédic de ïlslam, vol. 2. Leiden-Paris, 1965. Pages 551-53.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, jehad
1. Islam a holy war against infidels undertaken by Muslims in defence of the Islamic faith
2. Islam the personal struggle of the individual believer against evil and persecution
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
See Gihad, I'm not a "holy war," or a terrorist type plan
In February 1998 exiled leaders of Gama'a and Gihad announced an apparent merger.
Unification meant the ascendancy of Gihad's secretary-general, Zawahiri, a medical doctor and Bin Laden's favorite among the Egyptian Islamists.
In March 2000 some jihadists in Egypt called the association with Bin Laden their biggest mistake, causing Zawahiri to resign from the Gihad leadership.
In 1999, court proceedings occurred in the military camp Haekstep near Cairo against 107 persons accused of terrorism, most of them Gihad members.
Bin Laden was not formally charged, but the security service accused him of seeking to create, with the help of Gihad, "a new fundamentalist generation in Egypt, by recruiting members at the universities and in slum areas."
They intended to liberate Gihad members from prison by flying a hang glider from Cairo's Moqattam Hill.
Disinformation is a favorite tactic with Gihad. In 1996 it reported with some detail, including photos, about Zawahiri's activities in Switzerland, while he was in a different corner of the world.
Patty Quinan, RN, MN, Aaron Beder, MD, FRCSC, Murray Berall, MD, FRCPC, Meaghan Cuerden, MSc, Gihad Nesrallah, MD, FRCPC, and David Mendelssohn, MD, FRCPC, Toronto, ON
However, many researchers reported that animals fed salt tolerant forage might have lower appetite and growth rate than animals fed on conventional forages (Gihad and El Shaer, 1994; Glenn et al., 1994; Miyatmoto et al., 1994; Alhadrami et al., 2004).
"It was clear that the businessmen did not have the country's interests at heart," said Gihad Auda, a senior party member who belonged to Gamal Mubarak's powerful Policies Committee.
Guests invited to the program were Mona Makram Ebaid of Al-Wafd Party, Helmy El-Gazzar of the Muslim Brotherhood, Gihad Ouda of the National Democratic Party (NDP), and Head of the Democratic Front Party Osama El-Ghazaly Harb, who was to represent the various other political figures who decided to boycott this year's elections.