Jihad

Allah in Arabic

Jihad (English pronunciation: /ɪˈhɑːd/; Arabic: جهاد‎ ǧihād [dʒiˈhæːd]), an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning “struggle”. Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression “striving in the way of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)“. A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is mujahideen. Jihad is an important religious duty for Muslims. A minority among the Sunni scholars sometimes refer to this duty as the sixth pillar of Islam, though it occupies no such official status. In Twelver Shi’a Islam, however, Jihad is one of the 10 Practices of the Religion.

Muslims describe three different types of struggles:

  • A believer’s internal struggle to live out the Muslim faith as well as possible
  • The struggle to build a good Muslim society
  • Holy war: the struggle to defend Islam, with force if necessary
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