"But Jihad is an Internal Struggle"


THIS IS another in our series, Answers to Objections. When you mention jihad, many people will say that "jihad means struggle." They say (or imply) that since Islam is a religion of peace, then jihad is the spiritual struggle to perfect oneself, and the terrorists are taking it out of context or twisting and distorting the perfectly peaceful Islamic teachings into something violent.

This objection is easily dispached. Bill Warner has done the footwork of counting every mention of jihad in Bukhari's hadith. Wikipedia says, "Most Muslims view this (Bukhari's) as their most trusted collection of hadith and it is considered the most authentic book after the Qur'an

In reading Bukhari's collection of hadith, this is what Warner found:

"The Hadith of Bukhari gives all of the tactical details of jihad. A simple counting method shows that 3% of the hadiths are about the inner struggle, whereas, 97% of the hadiths are about jihad as war. So is jihad the inner struggle? Yes, 3%. Is jihad the war against kafirs? Yes, 97%."

That's a great answer. I have used it many times, and it completely answers the objection, removing it from consideration.

And it goes beyond answering the objection. It points to a fundamental misconception many people have about Islamic terrorists: That their interpretation is a fringe element. The truth is, relentless violence against (and subjugation of) non-Muslims is mainstream Islam. The terrorists have not "hijacked" a religion of peace. This kind of intolerance toward non-Muslims has been a cornerstone of mainstream Islam for 1400 years.

An objection like this is an opportunity. If you study the answers to objections, you should actually look forward to objections because they give you great opportunities to educate and awaken another potential ally in this fight.


Ben 3:23 AM  

Jihad is defined in the translator's footnote to 2:190. 2:190 [Hilali & khan]

A similar definition is given in Reliance of the Traveller, Book O9.0.

Who got killed willing down his woody?

3:168. (They are) the ones who said about their killed brethren while they themselves sat (at home): "If only they had listened to us, they would not have been killed." Say: "Avert death from your ownselves, if you speak the truth."

3:169. Think not of those who are killed in the Way of Allâh as dead. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision.

3:170. They rejoice in what Allâh has bestowed upon them of His Bounty, rejoicing for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind (not yet martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve.

If they ain't satisfied with that, shove 9:111 up their snouts.

9:111. Verily, Allâh has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allâh's Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and the Qur'ân. And who is truer to his covenant than Allâh? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success .

Islam is all about killing and being killed in Allah's cause: making his word dominant.

Elizabeth 8:35 AM  

I have an issue for which I am seeking the answer:

Correspondent wrote:

"There's actually not a single word anywhere in the Qur'an about killing "unbelievers." There are some passages suggesting death is an appropriate weapon to use in defending one's own right to religion - and says to strike down those who would prevent the worship of Allah - but there isn't anything there about killing people just for having a different religion."

In other words, is jihad meant to be offensive or defensive according to the Koran?

How can I email you, please?

Citizen Warrior 2:35 AM  

My email address is in the sidebar of every page of this web site:


And about the defensive verses offensive use of warfare and killing non-Muslims, read this:


Anonymous 4:07 PM  

I always try to point out the handicapped and blind are exempt from jihad, so how can it be internal?

Are blind and handicapped perfect in spirituality?

Usually this is enough to end the disagreement of jihad not being physical.

Citizen Warrior 6:11 PM  

That's a great point. Well done.

Anonymous 7:45 PM  

Citizen warrior,
actually there is avery easy way to prove that Jihad is not just an internal struggle as some modern Islam apologists claim, check this link from an orthodox sunni webiste(www.muftisays.com/blog/Seifeddine-M/1154_08-02-2011/definition-and-ruling-of-jihad.html),there is no better way to refute Islam apologists than exposing the teachings of orthodox muslims, you just show the pure facts and do not need to argue a lot...if the apologists of Islam want to argue...well let them argue with the orthodox Ulema(authentic jurists and scholars of Islam who belong to an unbroken tradition of learning that goes back to Muhammad ). In the text related to the link i provided it is explained very clearly that Jihad is understood according to the four orthodox schools of islamic jurisprudence as both offensive and defensive warfare,and both are compulsory duties for muslims according to islamic law, the only legal difference being that Offensive Jihad is a collective obligation(which means that NOT ALL muslims are required to engage in offensive warfare and attack Dar al Harb, because if only a minority of believers do so then the duty is fullfiled for the whole umma) while Defensive Jihad is an individual obligation(which means that ALL muslims are required to defend Dar al Islam from a Kafir attack).So it is pretty easy to understand why not all muslims are currently engaged in violent jihad, if only a minority of jihadies do that then the whole umma(community of believers) is fullfilling the duty to Allah. So Bin laden and Al Qaeda as well as other jihadi groups are fullfilling the duty for the rest of 1.5 billion muslims...the so called moderate majority.Check the aforementioned sunni website and use it skillfully to prove that you are not misrepresenting the true nature of orthodox Islam as a supremacist and totalitarian religious/political idea collection and that your analysis of it is unbiased and serious.I would like also to sugest you to avoid substantiate your claims with the works of Robert Spencer because that is counterproductive to the anti jihad movement, Spencer himself is a revisionist bigot who uses gross doublestandards regarding religious criticism when it comes to Christianity(for example he being a christian withewashes the fact that Muhammad was deeply influenced by biblical ethos and worldview,as a matter of fact Muhammad commited many atrocities following the example of his biblical heros like Moses,in other words Muhammad transmuted the so called descriptive violence of the Bible into prescriptive violence, but it is and undeniable fact the disatrous influence of the violent and bloody content of the Bible in the mind of Muhammad and no judeochristian apologist can erase that truth with revisionist distortions and sophistry) and that takes away a lot of credibility for our struggle, as a matter of fact i think Spencer is the worst thing that ever happened to Islam serious criticism because such individual is virtually uneable to separate crticial analysis of Islam from christian polemics and apologetics...and that is really a shame...because many people rejects criticism of Islam to avoid being perceived as a christian bigot like Spencer, so jihadies must be very thankful to Spencer for generating all this confusion that keeps many western people of being aware of the dangers of Islam.
With best wishes.

Anonymous 10:07 AM  

Reliance of the Traveller defines jihad as:

Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word
mujahada signifying warfare to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad. As for the
greater jihad, it is spiritual warfare against the lower self (nafs), which is why the Prophet
(Allah bless him and give him peace) said as he was returning from

(section o9.0 - http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/the-reliance-of-the-traveller.pdf)

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