Jihad is a concept in Islam that is often misunderstood and misrepresented. In its essence, Jihad means to strive or struggle in the path of God, and it has both a spiritual and physical dimension. Here are the principles and terms and conditions of Jihad as outlined in the Quran and Sunnah:
- : Jihad is defensive in nature and is only permissible in self-defense or to protect the faith and freedom of Muslims. The Quran says, “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors” (2:190).
- : Jihad cannot be undertaken without the permission of the legitimate authority, which is the Islamic state or the leader of the Muslims.
- : Jihad must be carried out with discrimination and in accordance with the laws of war. Non-combatants, including women, children, and the elderly, must not be targeted or harmed.
- : The force used in Jihad must be proportional to the threat faced, and excessive force must be avoided.
- : Jihad must be carried out with compassion and concern for the welfare of all people. The Quran says, “And let not the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness” (5:8).
- : Peaceful options must be pursued before resorting to Jihad. The Quran says, “And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah” (8:61).
- : A non-aggression pact with non-Muslim states is encouraged, provided they do not pose a threat to Muslims or Islam.
- : Non-Muslims must be allowed to leave a Muslim land or territory if they so choose.
- l: The ultimate goal of Jihad is not the conquest of land or the subjugation of people but the establishment of justice and the protection of the freedom of all people.
In conclusion, Jihad is a concept with both spiritual and physical dimensions that is based on principles of self-defense, compassion, discrimination, and proportionality. It must be carried out with the permission of the legitimate authority and in accordance with the laws of war. The ultimate goal of Jihad is the establishment of justice and the protection of freedom for all people.