Jihad : Islamic Tradition And Theology

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This paper examines the concept of jihad in Islamic tradition and theology, the study unveils the logical and hermeneutical presuppositions of Islam in upholding the doctrine of jihad in the 21st century. As a universalistic religion with the ultimate aim of converting the entire world and eliminating other religions, Islam uses jihad as the last option either in self- defence, or territorial expansion. Jihad may mean self-purification in theory, but for political Islam, it is a strategy to defeat the enemies of Islam through full armed confrontation. While some people are defending Islam as a religion of peace, global political Islam has adopted jihad as a platform for military confrontation with the enemies of Islam. The international…show more content…
The international community is facing a tough time in combating the militant agenda of political Islam.

Keywords: jihad, religion, Islam, territorial expansion, political Islam, warfare in Islam

1 Introduction

'Islam ' is derived from the Arabic word aslam, which means submission, surrender, resignation and committing of oneself to the cause of Allah (Cowan, 1968: 424, 426). Another Arabic word that is the root word of aslam is salam, which is interpreted as safety, immunity, freedom, soundness, well being, peacefulness, salutation or imperfection (Lane, 1978: 1415). The social and spiritual goal of Islam involves the attainment of peace through absolute submission to the will of Allah. A. R. I. Doi writes: "Islam means absolute submission to the creator and Lord. A Muslim is a believer whose faith (Iman) is firm in him and believes in the absolute unity of God who watches all his activities. The entire message of Islam, therefore, is based on two fundamentals; faith (Iman) and right doing (Ihsan) " (1981: 44).

A Muslim is not an ordinary citizen in any society. As a bearer and reservoir of peace, a faithful Muslim is called khalifat Allah (vice-gerent of Allah). As ambassador of Allah on earth, Muslims have a duty to promote peaceful co-existence in all human societies. Abul 'ala Maududi writes: "The moral
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