Talk:Jihad/Archive 1

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I am sorry, but I am calling the objectivity of this article into question. Jihad is primarily a military, aggressive construct. This definition is pro-religious propaganda. -- By

You seem to have a preconceived idea on what Jihad is, prehaps from what mass media in the West and popular culture repeats day after day. This repetition is not necessarily accurate, nor fair, much less being based in facts, no matter how often it is repeated, nor how many think it is true. If you have firm evidence to the contrary, then please present it, otherwise, do not let biases shape your view of reality. --KB 23:39, 2004 Oct 31 (UTC)

Oops, I edited too hastily. I mixed up the quote on "defending against aggression" with the quote on "suicide is forbidden". You can revert, or help me correct my error.

Some commentators, quoting the Koran selectively, insist that Muslims feel a divine mandate to attack non-believers, apparently either to convert or exterminate them. Here is one the larger context of the first such "quote" I researched (Ed Poor):

[2.190] And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits. [2.191] And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers. [2.192] But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. [2.193] And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors. [1]

Debate Re: The Tribes that Left Islam Soon After Muhammad Died

The following part of this article is being contiually sabatoged without explanation or defense:

"The Sira (biography of Muhammad) also mentions the wars against entire Arab tribes who were followers of Islam while Muhammad lived, but tried either to defect from the religion when its prophet died. In the same spirit, today in several Islamic countries, Muslims who are known to have left the religion are accused of apostasy and are given an ultimatum to either convert back to Islam or face execution; though in modern times, such executions have been rare to nonexistent in some Muslim countries."

The Sira explains that immediatly after Muhammad died, large numbers of bedoin tribes defected from Islam, the religion that they had recently joined while its prophet was still alive. The leadership of the growing Islamic theocracy that Muhammad left behind could not afford to allow such a thing to happen, and so tribes who had already convered to Islam but obstenantly refused to adhere to Islam were massacred (the women and children of such tribes would be enslaved and not massacred, as was common medieval Arabia). This is what I was discussing in first excerpt above, from the article. I then went on to describe the modern day analog of this Islamic practice, namely the executing of apostates (apostates being Muslims who leave the religion). In traditional Islam, once a person is a Muslm (whether a convert or a born Muslim) that person is not allowed to leave Islam. If the person is found to have left Islam, he or she is supposed to be executed, as explained above.

Now, someone keeps changing this part of the article to:

The Sira (biography of Muhammad) also mentions the wars against entire Arab tribes who were followers of Islam while Muhammad lived, but tried either to defect from the religion when its prophet died or refused to pay the Jizya. In the same spirit, today in several Islamic countries, Muslims who are known to have left the religion are accused of apostasy and are given an ultimatum to either convert back to Islam or face execution; though in modern times, such executions have been rare to nonexistent in some Muslim countries.

It is blatently false that the first Caliph (Abu Bakr) allowed apostate tribes to pay jizya instead of returning to Islam. The Sira makes it very clear that these tribes were given one two options: return to Islam, or die. The same ultimatum that apostates were given for 1,400 years after the first Caliph, the same ultimatum that continues to be given out by some Muslim governments, even today, to Muslims who leave Islam. They were not given the options to leave Islam but pay jizya, or return Islam, or die. Their options were simply death or returning to Islam. Even if this did not occur with every single tribe that left Islam after Muhammad died, it is an absolute certainty* that this "death or Islam" ultimatum was given to many apostate tribes. Therefore the insertion of "or refused to pay the Jizya" (above) is blatently false.

  • I will provide a concrete source of this from Guillame's translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sira, when I have more time.


I might be wrong, but it seems to me that this passage authorizes only "fighting back" in response to an initial attack; but only for the purpose of eliminating persecution of Muslim believers. Does anyone else know anything about this topic? --Ed Poor 13:55 Aug 12, 2002 (PDT)

I know this about Abrahamic religions. Each one has a main holy text, and a peripheral oral/written culture to expedite interpretation and dissemination of doctrine. While fundamentalism's definition can be debated, I find it useful to constrain the meaning to those that endore sola scriptura, or the concept that the primary text contains all of the relevant religious doctrine. What Ed's doing, in my opinion, is take a sort of Socratic-analytical approach to investigating Islam. This is most useful when debating philosophical issues, like theology, but I think it's not helpful towards understanding millitant religion. For example, Ed's approach is fairly Talmudic - building arguments or investigations by examining the primary text. The doctrine of sola scriptura does not endorse a Talmudic method: G-d's literal word is manifest, self-consistent, and only corruptible by the intervention of humans. There is a culture of violence that interprets the Koran and recastes the interpretation of the quotes above. Jihad is, itself, a sophisticated concept. The ten commandments, central to Abrahamic religions, prohibit murder, yet these religions are historically violent. When G-d commands the Hebrews to take a city, and to leave no prisoners, this is Jihad. The juxtaposition of violence and prohibitions against it present a self-inconsistency to ancient Judaism's underpinnings. Christianity partially transcends this issue through its doctrine of nonviolence, of turning the other cheek. Islam suffers from no such inconsistencies in this regard, and its practitioners are free to make war in the name of G-d. I think it's more useful to discuss, why does any religion shift from moderate and nonviolent to fundamentalist and violent? I think all Abrahamic religions have demonstrated this cultural shift. rmbh 19:27, Nov 20, 2004 (UTC)

From the article:

Although not unique to Islam and the Islamic culture; such ideas have proven to gruesome to even consider thinking about in non-theocratic and non-dictatorial states as bigotous and greedy (yet re-occuring) horrors like the holy crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, holocaust, slavery, Khmer Rouge, Chechnya,japanese occupation of korea, suggest that any central or broad or unspoken advocation or allowance of separatism (religious, cultural, ethnic, educational,linguistic...) is very harmful for establishing stable society that is reflective of a worldy and tolerating government, and the culture of its denizens.

I'm not trying to suppress the above -- I just can't parse its syntax! What was the contributor trying to say here?

Please rewrite the above in several complete sentences. I will be happy to help with grammar or spelling. Then re-insert the text into the article. --Ed Poor

From the article: It is considered a mandatory and fundamental principle of Islam.

This seems like a very strong claim. Surely it is only considered mandatory by some muslims, particularly in the sense of "combat", as opposed to "striving"? Could someone who knows more about the topic please qualify this sentence correctly? -- Pde 01:56, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

All the sources I have read, including those by Muslim authors, all say precisely the same thing. It is obligatory for all Muslims to engage on internal and extrenal forms of Jihad, at all times. There are significant disputes, of course, as to when an external form of Jihad (armed war against non-Muslims) is considered mandatory. Since there has never been any one religious authority to which all Muslims defer, different groups of Muslims have developed interpretations of when to fight. The same is still true today. RK
Okay, well the article seems to me to be a little misleading -- because when the reader is told that it is "mandatory and fundamental", they are probably not considering jihad to mean "engage in external jihad, but only when you are under direct attack" (which seems rather similar to "an eye for an eye" to me). -- Pde 04:36, 27 Oct 2003 (UTC)

User User: edited out a statement that I added, saying: Removed the statement "It is important to note that although this conquest did indeed happen, there were no forced conversions to Islam as a result" as it is an unprovable generalization. For anyone who read history, it was well known that before waging war on any region, the Muslim armies gave three choices to the people of that region: 1) Accept Islam as a religion, 2) Retain their religion, and pay tribute jizyah, and finally, 3) Go into battle to impose jizyah. This is clearly stated in hadiths by Muhammad, and is well documented in many historical accounts. Forced conversion was contrary to Islamic law. -- KB 00:44, 2004 May 6 (UTC)

I moved the following text from the article because I couldn't find any information to back it up. If someone has a citation for this feel free to move it back:

"For these [fringe Islamic groups such as Al Qaeda and Hamas], the act of saying that women should vote, or that Jews and Christians should be given equal rights, itself is an act of violence against Islam, and thus all of Western society is a target for a Jihad. Other Muslims consider such views to be extremist and a violation of the intent of the Quran." Wmahan 20:36, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The terms "inner Jihad" and outer Jihad seem to be used inconsitently on this page. In the definitions section inner jihad is defined as military struggle, but in the final paragraph it is used to mean "internal struggle" of a jurist.

I know nothing about jihad so I won't try to fix this. I just wanted to bring it to the attention of more knowlegeble editors. Zeimusu 01:11, 2004 May 6 (UTC)

I removed the following passage because it is apparently based on a false hadith, although I know it's often quoted by muslims. If anybody wants to put it back, please state an authoritative reference:

"The word has two connotations in Islam:

  1. "lesser (outer) jihad"—a military struggle against aggressors
  2. "greater (inner) jihad"—the struggle of personal self-improvement against the self's base desires"

--Aidfarh 13:25, 12 May 2004 (UTC)

The hadith has two chains of narration, and is widely quoted, so it's worth keeping. Some people do argue against it[2], but I find their motivations rather suspicious. Mustafaa 19:13, 12 May 2004 (UTC)

The asnad is weak, so the passage shouldn't be put at the top of the page. You could mention it, but the way you say it, excludes other actions that are considered jihad e.g. speaking out against an oppressive ruler, going to haj. For these two examples, there are sahih hadiths. --Aidfarh 23:12, 12 May 2004 (UTC)

That's a useful addition you just made; I wasn't aware of those hadiths. Thanks! As for the placement, I'm not sure; the hadith is weak, but it's also very commonly cited. - Mustafaa 23:36, 12 May 2004 (UTC)


I heard that Arabic speakers use the word Jihad in much the same way English speakers use the word "crusade", and visa versa. For example, Jihad to english speakers means holy war, just like crusade to arabic speakers means holy war. In english, a crusade can be used to mean to further a cause, which is from what I understand what jihad means in arabic. Just some notes. Earl Andrew 06:26, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)

what does this mean?

Note: Jihad in the term of War (Arabic: qital) today only applied as a self-defense action against any states (or any institution) that attack or waging war on the Islam states. The terrorism against civillians itself is denounced by Islam. The jihad against State of Israel performed by Palestinians is permitted as the self defense act.Quran 22:39-40

I'm not sure exactly what this line means and I'm not sure how it adds anything to the discussion above it. I am removing it.

out-of-context quotations: good encyclopedia material or malarkey?

“Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. ” Surah 8:60

This one is at least relevant: it is from a section outlining the Muslim theory of warfare. However, without the next ayah, this quotation is misleading to say the least:

"But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things)." Surah 8:61

Was this rather crucial omission intentional or accidental?

Notice the "and trust in Allah" requirement. In the case of the Jews, they would rather be killed a Jew than convert to Islam. What this is actually saying is "convert or die".
Actually it is not. See People of the Book. —No-One Jones (m) 12:13, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Furthermore the admonition to "trust in Allah" follows from the previous statement ("do thou (also) incline towards peace") and is addressed to the same group: the Muslims. —No-One Jones (m) 21:37, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
“I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them It is not ye who slew them it was Allah.” Surah 8:12, 17

because of another rather crucial omission: the first part is indirect discourse in the original but that fact is obscured here. The original says: "Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): 'I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.' " And again, this is ripped from its context—instructions for how to make war on the pagans of Arabia—and taken to apply generally, which may or may not be the case.

The others appear, to my limited knowledge, to be on-target. —No-One Jones (m) 11:55, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

On second thought, after reading the last sentence of the intro, I removed all of the quotations. If what the article says is true—that "the word Jihad appears in the Qu'ran a total of 4 times but is never used in a militant context. The term used for militant struggle is Qi'tal"—then none of these are at all relevant. —No-One Jones (m) 11:59, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This vandal has a history of vandalising Islamic articles by inserting anti-Islamic twists. The guy even vandalized my user page. It was funny :)) but I think the vandal needs to be banned for a few days. OneGuy 12:01, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

More malarkey

"Among the Believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah and have gone out for Jihad (holy fighting). Some have completed their vow to extreme and have been martyred fighting and dying in His Cause, and some are waiting, prepared for death in battle."” Surah 33:22

When checked against three English translations, this is revealed to be bullshit. First, Surah 33:22 says (Yusuf Ali's translation):

"When the Believers saw the Confederate forces, they said: "This is what Allah and his Messenger had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true." And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience."

The next ayah is similar to the quotation here, but the phrases "and have gone out for Jihad (holy fighting)", "and have been martyred fighting and dying in His Cause", and "prepared for death in battle" do not appear in three major English translations. But don't take my word for it, see for yourself. —No-One Jones (m) 12:28, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

removed "Jihad in the Qur'an" section

My remarks from above, repeated here for the anonymous editor's benefit:

After reading the last sentence of the intro, I removed all of the quotations. If what the article says is true—that "the word Jihad appears in the Qu'ran a total of 4 times but is never used in a militant context. The term used for militant struggle is Qi'tal"—then none of these are at all relevant. They might be relevant to an article on qi'tal, or Islamic theories of warfare, but they do not belong here. —No-One Jones (m) 12:36, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

(p.s. since you wanted a "NON-Muslim" to look at the section, I suppose I should state for the record that I'm Roman Catholic. —No-One Jones (m) 13:12, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC))

The Koran and the Hadith especially is FULL of links between war and Jihad. Do you deny this? Perhaps I should change the subject from "Jihad in the Qu'ran" to "Jihad in the Scriptures". Then your arguement will get a lot more difficult
It would help if you could quote the original, in the original Arabic, rather than trawling quotations off of trashy hate sites; as you should have seen by now, such sources can contain severe inaccuracies, whether they were inserted intentionally or were simply the result of poor translations. But since you're using such crappy sources, I doubt you have the knowledge of Arabic that that would require. (I don't, so don't ask.) Next best would be citing a source written by someone who speaks Arabic and has some familiarity with the varying interpretations of the relevant scriptural passages—and neither nor MEMRI are such, though Reuven Firestone's Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam is decent. —No-One Jones (m) 13:28, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Why are you reverting these? Go look it up.

The verses are out of context. So you are still denying you are not just a vandal with an agenda?

It's out of context because the very NEXT verse gives the opposite meaning to what leaving the context implies. For example you quote "Strike terror (into the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies," but if you read the context, the very next verse, it says, "But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things)."

That's clearly out of context quote. Now please explain here why you are posting out of context verses before you revert. OneGuy 08:23, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

What the next verse says is that you can be saved only by converting to Islam
It doesn't say that, but if you think it says that, then why not post it and let others judge, instead of hiding the context? OneGuy 08:34, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Concepts require context, in an edit summary you wrote can any NON-Muslim please have a look at this section and comment? -- I am not a Muslim. A co-worker let me borrow his copy of The Qur'an to check the verses. The exact words of the translation vary slightly, but the meaning is clearly the same. If these quotes are eventually kept, it is important that they be in context. Concepts often take more than a single sentence to convey. If you take only one sentence, out of context, that single sentence could seem to imply something different than, or even opposite from, what was communicated in the concept. For example, Surah 8:60,61 taken together communicate a concept (when to go to war, when to end the war). Quoting only the first part hides from the reader a very important part of the total concept involved. Ommissions of context cannot help accurately portray the ideas presented in any text and should be especially guarded against where religious texts are concerned. SWAdair | Talk 09:12, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I am not Muslim either. apparently thinks that anyone who is not viciously making the articles anti-Islamic must be Muslim. I have told several times that I am not Muslim. The guy ignored that and started vandalizing my user page, see: OneGuy 09:52, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)