In the Islamic tradition, jihad has several different components, including personal struggles
By Sheikh Muhammad Ali Waiswa
As we conclude the year 2019, one out of many that we celebrate and applaud are the interfaith relations under the umbrella of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), which has culminated in many achievements, especially national dialogue process, which President Yoweri Museveni gave a blessing.
In order to enhance that spirit of peaceful co-existence, I wish to address one of the misconceptions in a bid to strengthen the appreciation of diversity.
Politicians and anti-Muslim activists frequently take to audiences and websites to criticise the term jihad as a form of Islamic supremacism, oppression and violence. Muslim extremists, on the other hand, argue that jihad refers to a “holy war” against non-Muslims. Viewing the term jihad through these frameworks alone, however, would be playing into the hands of extremists, who forego the other elements encompassed by the term jihad.
In the Islamic tradition, jihad has several different components, including personal struggles, such as the fight against an addiction; social struggles, such as the struggle to become tolerant of others; and occasionally a military struggle, if and when necessary, but only in self-defence.
When asked, “What is the major jihad?” Muhammad replied: “The jihad of the self (or the struggle against the personal self).” Contrary to the rhetoric and misinformation about jihad in anti-Islam networks, Muhammad did not say that the violent struggle was the most important form of jihad.
The hysteria in the western world and other non-Muslim countries over jihad has brought me to consider the term through a Christian perspective. In this article, I hope to explore how forms of jihad are presented in Islam and Christianity. This exercise can help to find common characteristics of jihad so that Muslims and Christians can build bridges of mutual understanding and tolerance.
FULL ARTICLE FROM NEW VISION (UGANDA)