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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
The Ambon and Poso jihads occupy an important place in the evolution of jihadism in Indonesia as they were the first local jihads after the establishment of JI in 1993 and the end of President Suharto's authoritarian New Order regime in May 1998.
At the same time, the Ambon and Poso jihads differed considerably in the amount of debate they engendered in JI, the approach to training and recruitment, and the degree of organization.
It then proceeds to examine the role that the Muslim humanitarian aid organization KOMPAK played during this early period in Ambon from January 1999 to mid-2000, as a gateway to jihad. This is followed by an analysis of how and why the Poso jihad differed from the Ambon jihad, what lessons were learned from the "mistakes" of the Ambon jihad, and whether these lessons explain why the Poso jihad was so much better organized than the Ambon jihad.
From what I saw, and the stories I heard, I got the impression that they needed lessons to prepare themselves--just some basic lessons on how to use a gun and how to make bombs, but the most important was fiqh jihad. (16) Ali Imron only stayed in Ambon for three weeks.
The files examined in this article also provide a similar set of findings regarding the locations where the Islamic State veteran fighters reported prior jihad. Libya was the top-cited location of experience outside of Syria with 64 fighters reporting experience there, followed by Afghanistan where 46 fighters reported experience.
Islamic State recruits who reported being veterans of jihad in Libya were the product of highly localized dynamics tied to conflicts in Libya.
Most veterans of jihad in Libya were Libyans themselves.
Our enemies engage in jihad and continually reshape their justifications for fighting.
He argues that our enemies (1) use oil as a weapon (economic jihad), (2) penetrate our centers of culture and ideas (ideological jihad), (3) mollify the public to prevent self-defense (political jihad), (4) infiltrate our intelligence services (intelligence jihad), (5) use our laws to destroy our freedoms and protect the collection of money and soldiers for jihad (subversive jihad), and (6) seek to control our foreign policy (diplomatic jihad) (p.
Muslims themselves have disagreed throughout their history about the meaning of the term jihad. In the Qur'an (or Koran), it is normally found in the sense of fighting in the path of God; this was used to describe warfare against the enemies of the early Muslim community (ummah).
Islamic jurists saw jihad in the context of conflict in a world divided between the Dar al-Islam (territory under Islamic control) and the Dar al-h arb (territory of war, which consisted of all lands not under Muslim rule).
Jihad was generally understood not as an obligation of each individual Muslim (known as fard 'ayn) but as a general requirement of the Muslim community (fard kifaya).