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The True Jihad in the Qur’an

There is no killing in the jihad in the Qur’an. There is no raining bombs down in the jihad in the Qur’an. There are no suicide bombers or cowardly attacks such as driving over civilians. There is no hatred or cursing people in the jihad in the Qur’an. The children of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh), of the Prophet Jacob (pbuh) and the Prophet Moses (pbuh) are not accursed in the jihad in the Qur’an. On the contrary, the line of prophets is regarded with respect, politeness and reverence. There are no threats and intimidation in the jihad in the Qur’an. Islam is not that kind of faith.

There is no slaughter, death, hatred and rage in Islam, nor in Christianity or in Judaism. Therefore, if someone says, “I learned from the Qur’an that I must kill, bomb and curse people” then he is lying, or has been mistaught. A radical, even if he claims to be a Muslim, in fact follows a superstitious faith invented solely for the purpose of killing, bombing and cursing, rather than the Islam revealed in the Qur’an. That false faith does not stem from the Qur’an.

The members of this superstitious faith may never actually have read our Holy Book, the Qur’an, which they kiss and touch to their foreheads and hang on the wall. That is the kind of faith in which everything is dark. It offers hatred instead of love, anger instead of affection, enmity instead of brotherhood, afflictions instead of beauty and ignorance instead of art, beauty, science and culture. It is easy to put a gun in the hand of someone who believes in such a superstitious faith. It is easy to say, “That community are your enemies.” It is easy to stir such a person up. It is easy to produce communities of rage.

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Why does radicalism or bigotry exist? The answer is evident: Because that is what many people are taught. They know no other faith. This superstitious faith is all the radicals who appear in the name of Islam know as Islam. They have been left in ignorance, in a ghetto. They have been turned away from society, art and science. They have always been misinformed about the concept of “jihad” and have applied it wrongly because that is what they were taught. They have always imagined that by acting on the falsehood they were taught they were doing a good thing. They never even imagined they were actually harming themselves, their faith, their own families, their own peoples and, of course, others. However, the “jihad” described in the Qur’an is very much different than the picture of jihad painted by the radicals.

So what does the word jihad mean?

The word jihad comes from the Arabic word “jahd.” Its meanings are 1) To work, to strive, to exhibit determination and persistence or self-sacrifice and 2) To control one’s lower self. On the basis of these definitions, waging jihad in Islam means to inform the other side, to teach people proper moral values and to turn them away from evil. In doing this, a Muslim must train his own lower self in the direction of moral virtue and train himself to be someone far removed from rage and hatred. In other words, what a Muslim engaged in jihad must do is to train himself on the one hand, and strive to teach people truth and goodness on the other. He must be a role model with his own moral values in order to spread love, peace and affection and to turn people away from evil.

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The word “jahd” is never employed in any other sense in the Qur’an. Those who perpetrate slaughter under the name of “jihad” saying “Our point of reference is the Qur’an” are either lying or misinformed.

In the eyes of the Qur’an, those who are now slaughtering people in the name of jihad, suicide bombers taking their own lives as well as lives of defenceless civilians, those who shoot up cafés or concert halls, or those who are inciting war are committing a grave sin. The verses of the Qur’an these people misinterpret in the name of war will be set out in detail in the following pages. There is one important point that needs to be remembered here; the great majority of radicals spread violence out of ignorance. They do not know the true faith. Most of them have likely never even read the Qur’an. That is why it is no use to condemn, curse, threaten, imprison or exile someone who kills under the misapprehension he is waging jihad. His problem is that he has not been educated with the Qur’an and has not understood the law of God. Since that is the problem, we have to accept the fact that so long as false education persists, there will also be radicals who are ignorant of what they do. If one properly understands what the problem is, one can also grasp the fact that the only thing that those who spread violence and terror under the name of jihad need is true education.

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