The Changing Definition of Jihad Essay examples

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Jihad and the Crusades

Every great historical moment, leader and religion is focused around a uniting influence. Saladin, a great Kurdish Muslim warrior during the time of the Crusades, and the Muslim armies employed the lesser, or violent jihad to fortify support and power in the Holy Lands. Throughout the eleventh and twelfth centuries the term “jihad” was used in several different contexts with varying meanings and intentions. Saladin used a favorable definition and interpretation of Jihad in order to unite the Muslims and create a massive army to defend Islam from the Christian Crusaders. In order to completely understand the word, its origins, and its uses, the original passages from the Qur’an must be analyzed and interpreted.
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Throughout life people are faced with challenges and hardships that force them to question their faith in Allah and all things good. Part of the struggle for inner jihad is remaining on the path set forth by the Qur’an and the teachings of Muhammad despite these hardships. Perseverance and devout faith is a crucial part of jihad and the Islamic religion.

Part of the inner struggle to remain holy is found in the pursuit to follow the
Five Pillars of Islam. These pillars, Shahadah, Salat, Zakat, Siyam, and Hajj represent the core values of the Islamic faith and a set of commandments that all Muslims must follow. The first Pillar, Shahadah is a vow of monotheism and accepting
Mohammad as the prophet of Allah. Every Muslim must take the oath, “There is no other God worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger.” The
Salat is the responsibility imparted on all Muslims to pray a certain prayer under certain circumstances. A Muslim must pray five times a day, facing the city of Mecca, and while in a state of ritual purity. In order to achieve a state of ritual purity one must embark on a personal and inner jihad. Zakat is a crucial aspect of Islam and states that every Muslim must donate a portion of their income to the less fortunate.
The voluntary donation of money is part of the four practices of donation that
Muslims are
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