Islam and Jihad.
Letís briefly look at Islam and its fundamental beliefs before we move on to clarifying the concept of Jihad. These definitions and beliefs will form the background for the discussion of Jihad.
Islam originated in the seventh century in Arabia by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Mecca which was the holy city of Islam at the moment was a center and place of pilgrimage. The Prophet Abraham was the one who set the Kaaba as the place of worship. During the time, a period known as the period of Jahiliyya (period of ignorance) co-existed where people were practiced paganism and idol worshipping and these resulted to a lot of social problems and illness and Muhammad (peace be upon him) had to grow up with it.
At the age of 40, Muhammad (peace be upon him) received his first revelation in the cave of Hira'. This revelation from Allah sent down verses and commands for him to bring the community against paganism, idol worship and other social ills that were widely spread in the society.
Islamic History (Chronology)
6th Century (500-599) C.E.
7th Century (600-699) C.E.
Shahadah (Testimony of Faith)
To become a Muslim one must affirm the Shahadah;
"La-Illah-il lallah-Muhammad ur-Rasul-Allah"
(there is no god but God (Allah) and Muhammad is the Prophet)
The Islamic concept of God (Allah) is imperative and fundamental to Islamic faith. Islam believes in the complete Oneness or Unity of God (Allah). God (Allah) is Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Transcendent,
9 Conditions of the Shahadah :
Five Pillars of Islam.
The Six Articles of Faith
∑ Belief in God
∑ Belief in His Angels
∑ Belief in His Books
∑ Belief in His Prophets and Messengers
∑ Belief in the Day of Judgment
∑ Belief in Godís Divine Decree
Oneness of God
(there is no God but Allah)
The word tawhid which means the Oneness of God (Allah) explains the idea that God is without an associate. Shirk or associating other creature with God (Allah) is condemned in Islam.
The Quran gives general principles of humanitarianism, egalitarianism, social and economic justice, righteousness, and solidarity. It is necessary to well-being in this world and well-being in the hereafter. Also, it outlines legal and ethical values which govern Muslim life. The Prophet succeeded in his own lifetime in establishing the city state of Medina which he ran in harmony with the principles of the Quran.
After Muhammad, the Quranic doctrines were followed by his successors, the first four Caliphs, who are called "the rightly guided." The principles and the practices followed by Muslims in this era are known as the Law of Sharia.
The Sharia says that the sovereignty resides in God (Allah) and that the state has to act within the confines of the divine law, (the Sharia). This autonomy is recognized by incorporation of Sharia in an Islamic society or state.
The notion of Holy Struggle (jihad) may only be understood if the concept of the doctrine of enjoining right and forbiding wrong (al-amr bi'l-maruf) is properly appreciated, and good and bad, right and wrong, can only be understood if the independent divine source of righteousness, truth, and goodness (tawhid), and how the Message of the divine source of righteousness and truth has been honestly and properly conveyed to humanity through prophethood, are understood.