Islam and war

hey all ,
I would like to talk to you about Islam and war.
Islam And War
One of the most misunderstood terms in Islam is Jihad. Unfortunately the word ‘jihad’ has been misused and as a result many people associate it with war and terrorism. Linguistically Jihad means striving, whether for good or for evil. Its general meaning signifies resisting and opposing the self, oppression, persecution or standing up to a dictator.

Jihad can also denote military effort. This is seen as a last attempt to end the violation of rights of others or any act of aggression. Even during times of war Muslims are commanded to uphold morality. Acts of torture are strictly forbidden. Hurting civilians, women, children and the elderly during times of war are also strictly forbidden.

The Messenger of God said:

“Fight in the name of God, and for the cause of God… do not break treaties, do not mutilate, and do not kill young children.” (Muslim)

Islam also prohibits the destroying or desecrating of places of worship, killing or hurting of animals and destroying trees.

At the time of fighting between Muslims and non-Muslims, Abu Bakr, the first Caliph after the Prophet, would advise his commanders saying:

“I command you ten things. Learn them by heart: Don’t betray, defraud (by stealing the spoils of war), or break treaties. Don’t mutilate, kill women, young children, or the elderly. Do not uproot or burn palm trees. Do not cut down fruitful trees, slaughter sheep, cows or camels except for eating. You will come across people secluded in monasteries, so leave them and what they are devoted to.” (Tabari, Vol.3)

The Prophet told his companions that the greatest jihad (struggle) is the jihad against the ego.
I hope you can now understand how is Islam…

walaa89, thanks for your clear explanation. I think I heard this clarifying information about Jihad before from my friends here… Since most of the people here in Indonesia are muslim, so I get to know a bit about this issue…
Too bad nowadays people tend to associate the word “jihad” negatively. I guess they just can’t help the fact that all the terrorism action are tagging their misconduct with this word.

True but why do many, who claim themselves Muslims, still do the opposite?

Sometimes, I do wonder whether Osama has ever doubted his beliefs. I mean, he killed so many innocent people in the name of religion. Does he even fear God?

I think what Osama did can’t be associated with the religion… I always like to think that he has his own perception and that he just misused Islam to find some kind of justification for his malevolent act…

Demented is more like it.

And I have always thought what they are doing has a lot to do with culture. It has something to do with them thinking that Islam is the only “true” religion on earth and their need to impose things on others. I don’t know whether you notice this, but Islam, or more like Muslims, are highly influenced by their culture. Muslim Malay for example, generally, think eating pork is more disgusting than missing one’s prayer, which is totally the opposite.

Then also, when I was living in Malaysia, I was told that the Shi’ite is very extreme and all they want is to get rid not only the non-Muslims but also the Sunnis. The media isn’t helping either, because that is the only thing we hear and see they do. But to my surprise, here, in Japan, I met some Shi’ite who are just like me and my family, normal people. That was really an eye opening experience.

Funnily enough, I never understood why those extreme Shi’ite was supposed to justify the acts of some Sunnis.

I’ve seen the movie Don’t mess with the Zohan.
Very funny, talking about war and peace in the middle east.
Not fit for youngsters under 18 years old, lol

Sometimes, I do wonder whether Bosh has ever doubted his beliefs. I mean, he killed so many innocent people in the name of terrorism and democracy . Does he even fear God?

Honestly, I do not regard your statement as genuine as mine. Your reaction is certainly a sarcastic remark to somehow reveal the truth about how America is oppressing the Muslim community. In fact, from your statement I do believe that you believe that the act of terrorism committed by the Muslims is justified merely by some flaws in America’s foreign policy.

I believe, Muslims must first and foremost, deal with many contentious issues within themselves, particularly in gender inequality and extremism, among others. I also believe that Muslims must reserve their right to criticize the West in their flawed policy but they must not use this to cover their own transgression.

Islam is not against democracy and peace is paramount in Islam. Terrorism is completely contradictory to this. Until this hysteria against the West is dealt with, Islam will always be viewed as religion of terrorists.

Bosh? Did you mean President Bush?

In defense:

During the US Revolutionary War – which was, coincidentally, also an attempt to free a people from a tyrant they did not wish to suffer under any longer – the French helped us. Are the French pissed on today for helping us gain our freedom from GB?

We too helped to remove a tyrant who persecuted, tortured or killed most of his subjects. So what should we have done, left Saddam in power?

Freedom requires sacrifice. We have bled, Brits have bled, peaceful Iraqis and others have bled to secure freedom, TRUE democratic freedom, for Iraq. Saddam murdered his own people. He served his band of militant Tikriti Sunnis, comprising maybe 3% of Iraq’s population. He could not be deposed from within, and he wasn’t going to step down on account of a strongly worded letter from the UN. His followers, who don’t want to lose their power and would let their guns talk rather than their voices and votes, are culpable for this war. They are the reason we’re still in Iraq.

Thanks for that very interesting explanation of “Jihad”, walaa89.

Why do many who claim themselves Christians commit acts against the word of God and the teachings of Christ? Human beings are hypocrites and egoistic at times.

Good question.

Good point.

Well, I guess if these people had more of a mention in the international press, we might begin to think that Christianity is a religion of terrorists:

The Army of God, The Lambs of Christ, Clayton Waagner, Mike Bray, James Kopp, Paul Jennings Hill and Eric Robert Rudolph, etc.

A certain percentage of that people, right?

Don’t forget that you also helped put him were he could do such things.

You missed the one that talks about oil.

Feeling rage and contempt is normal or perhaps fair in my opinion, but choosing to act on it isn’t.

And I wish AOG hadn’t put all those ghastly pictures of dead babies on their website. If instilling hatred towards targeted group was their intention, well I think they are sick to even being able to stomach them.

Indeed. And, closer to home for you, we have to ask whether Shinto gave Japanese people the “permission” to carry out the horrific acts of WWII. Sorry to bring that up, but…

Your point being…let me guess, the West, particularly the United states must not see that terrorism and violence belong solely to the Muslims, that non-Muslims are also capable of the same.

I think any objective person, regardless of race and religion can see that. I am sure you can also expect that from people.

I think the main problem between people arguing is when the argument gets irrational. Unfortunately, I think this is the case with my fellow brethren. And I think being critical to your own (kind) would help avoid this.

I come from Nigeria, live in the Basque Country, have a husband who is from Ireland, so I’m quite sure that terrorism and violence go beyond Muslim groups. I’d say that the contemporary focus on Muslim terrrorism can lead many people to forget the present acts of terror commited by other groups.

Indeed, and I think that over the last few years it is mostly Americans who do not want to look inward, who do not want to criticise their own.

Very good point, Nina! The next problem, I see, is that some mighty people (leader/ no special one mentioned here) aren´t somewhat more adult than your fellow brethren.

What´s more (to me) is that sometimes people become mighty since they aren´t adult and so never do hesitate acting, not considerring (caused by their skills or behave) the results of their doing. People often look at them as “very decisive persons”. Oh my goodness!!

Molly, please allow me a question: How many Americans do you know?