(C) Copyright 1995
Muhammed Asadi

The misinformation and misconception concerning Jihad are fueled constantly by the media in our society, controlled by people having vested interests. As a result, a prejudiced attitude is so nurtured that whenever any terrorism takes place, the ones to blame are Muslims. The damage done by such cowardly acts of literary terrorism by the media,and "pseudo-experts" the likes of Steven Emerson, surpass national boundaries and create a culture of hate.

This article is divided into three sections: i) Jihad and Islamic warfare, ii)Islam in history and iii)Peace & Islam

I) Jihad and Islamic Warfare:

The word Jihad translated into English does not mean "Holy War" as people in the media ignorantly state repeatedly. In the text of the entire Koran, the word "Holy War" cannot be found. These are concocted words, invented by people who want to deliberately convey a certain image of Islam. Usually the people who use the term "Holy War" are quite ignorant of Islam. The word Jihad in Arabic means "struggle". Jihad as the Koran makes clear, is struggle in the way of God with oneself, and one's possessions.

Islam only allows a war of defense and not an offense. In the case of war, the attack is "only" to be directed against those who are attack you and only to the extent of the initial aggression, not to exceed it. If the enemy kills your civilians even then you are not supposed to kill their civilians. Only those who attack you are to be attacked.

"Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Indeed God does not love transgressors (Koran 2:192-193)."

If the people you are fighting ask for peace, the Koran states that Muslims have an obligation to accept the peace and fight no more:

"..So if they hold aloof from you and wage not war against you and offer you peace. God allows you no way against them (KORAN 4:90)."

The Koran is very lenient even towards prisoners of war (i.e those who are fighting against you and get captured):

"And if any of the idolaters seeks of you protection, grant him (her) protection till he
hears the words of God, then convey him to his place of security. That is because they are a folk who know not..(KORAN 9:6-8)."

"How is it with you that you do not fight in God's way, when the feeble among the men,
women and children are saying, "Our lord, bring us forth from this place whose people are tyrants. O God give us from your presence some protector and helper.'(KORAN 4:75-76)."

If Hitler wasn't checked, we would have a much different and a more corrupt world. The situation in Israel, particularly under the Likud's Natanyahu and Sharon, provides empirical evidence for the image the Koran presents:

"..If God had not repelled some people by means of others, the earth would have been corrupted (KORAN 2:251)."

Sometimes, warfare is a necessity for the cause of justice and to remove oppression and as such it is very good and noble:

"Warfae is ordained for you though it is hateful for you. Yet it may happen that you will hate a thing even though it is good for you and love a thing that is bad for you. God knows, you do not know (KORAN 2:216)."

ii)Islam in History

The west has generally nurtured and propagated the idea that Islam spread at the point of the sword.

This reasoning led to the prejudice of Islam and Terrorism taking root in western society throughout Europe and America because of the random acts of a few misled, ill informed, Koranically uneducated people who called themselves Muslims.

What the self-proclaimed Christian Crusaders did with the sword to Muslim was surpassed only by the Mongols. However, history is deliberately perverted by those having vested interests, to portray a negative image of Islam.

The Koran is explicit on the freedom of conscience:

"There is no compulsion in religion. Truth is clear from falsehood (KORAN 2:256)

"Let him (her) who will believe, and let him (her) who will disbelieve."
(KORAN 18:29).

"You are in no way a compellor over them; but warn by the Koran him who fears my threat
(KORAN 50:45)."

History gives a lie to the "fairy tale" that Islam spread by the sword:

Albert Hourani, of St. Anthony's College, Oxford UK in his standard work on Arab History, A History of the Arab Peoples states:

"...a study based on the evidence of adoption of specifically Muslim names has suggested orders of magnitude (about the stages by which conquered peoples adopted Islam) which seem plausible. According to this estimate, by the end of the Umayyad period (that is to say, in the middle years of the SECOND Islamic and EIGHTH Christian century), less than 10% of the population of Iran and Iraq, Syria and Egypt, Tunisia and Spain were Muslim...most of the converts may have come from the lower ranks of society...there was NO pressure or positive incentive for others to convert..."(Hourani 1991:46-47)

The above explicitly proves that Islam was not forced upon the masses by the sword. Over time, the masses accepted Islam of their own volition. Hourani's source for this study of Muslim names is R.W Bulliet's standard work on the subject titled, Conversion to Islam in the Medieval Period (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1979).

One of the world's leading historians of the Arabic-speaking peoples, Philip K. Hitti, in his book,The Arabs: A Short History, calls the sword explanation of the spread of Islam, a "discredited hypothesis" (Hitti 1973:59).

Consider these historical facts as well:

1)Muslims ruled over Spain for 736 years. If the Muslims had used any force during those 736 years to convert the Christians to Islam there wouldn't have been a single Christian left to kick out the Muslims after 736 years of rule.

2)Over 100 million Muslims live in Indonesia, yet no Muslim army ever invaded any of its over 2000 islands. Same is the case with Malaysia, and the east coast of Africa.

Odd instances of "Muslims" not guided by the Koran, forcing people to accept their "Islam" may be found. Similar cases can be found in Christianity or any other religious group.

"Charlemagne's conversion of the saxons to Christianity was not by preaching (THOMAS CARLYLE, HEROES AND HERO WORSHIP, PAGE 80)."

Bad Muslims do not condemn Islam, just like bad Christians do not condemn Christianity. Hitler was a self proclaimed Christian. Do his acts condemn Christianity?

Hitler said:

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.
-Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)


1. "History makes it clear however that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians ever repeated (DE LACY O` LEARY, ISLAM AT THE CROSS ROADS, LONDON 1923)."

2. The greatest success of Muhammad's life was effected by sheer moral force without the stroke of a sword (EDWARD GIBBON, HISTORY OF THE SARACEAN EMPIRE, LONDON 1817).

iii)Peace and Islam


The word Islam comes from the same Arabic root word for salaam,, which means peace. The universal greeting of Muslims is "As Salaam o Aleykum". It means:"peace be with you." The Koran, the only book of authority on Islam encourages peace making among humankind.

"There is no good in much of their secret conferences except, him who enjoins alms giving and kindness and PEACE MAKING among mankind. Whoever does that seeking the good pleasure of God. God will bestow on him (her) a vast reward (KORAN 4:114)."

The above verse has been in the Koran centuries before the United Nations was formed.

Islam gives a world view of a close relationship between all men & women based on a common essence of creation [Koran 4:1] and only one creator God.

" O Humankind! We have created you males and females, and have divided you into nations and tribes so that you may recognize each other. The best among you in the sight of God is the one most careful [of the truth] (KORAN 49:13)."



Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
VolXXXI, No.29 December 15, 1995

Brant W. Scheid

Muhammed A. Asadi, thinks that the Jihad ordinance, as prescribed by the Koran, is preceived often by the US public as being a "Holy War" consisting of random acts of terrorism, violence and war against those who are not Muslims.

"Jihad is misunderstood in the Western world as a 'Holy War' because of the past words and actions of a few misinformed and uneducated Islamic sects that have brought violence against the people," Asadi said.

The Koran (Qur'an), Islam's "Bible", is believed by Muslims to be Allah's (God's) word revealed to Muhammed Al-Mustafa from about 610 AD to the time of his death in 632 AD. Muslims believe that Al-Mustafa, born in 570 AD, received revelations directly from God throughout the 23-year period.

Jihad is one of the most important of several ordinances revealed to Al-Mustafa. Understood to be followed by all of humankind, the ordinance of Jihad includes the aspect of physical fighting when defending oneself or others against tyranny or oppression and the peaceful aspect, such as giving "Zakah"(money, goods and services) to the poor and needy.

Jihad can also include literary and verbal discussions and the individual's inner moral struggle. When translated from Arabic into English, Jihad becomes "Struggle". Asadi said that he understands Jihad to be the struggle in God's way as revealed in the Koran.

Asadi explained that Islamic traditionalists have come to the present day violent understanding of Jihad by associatiing with the Koran other materials written centuries after the death of Al-Mustafa.

These other writings are called Hadith and Fiqh.They are attributed to Islam but Asadi doesnt consider them correct.

Hadith is presented as the actual words of Al-Mustafa. Fiqh is presented as interpretations of "Islamic" law. Asadi explained that these writings led to the fragmentation of Islam into many sects. Each sect has a different understanding of Jihad and how the ordinance is to be properly followed.

When Asadi was asked,"Do you believe that any person belonging to the Muslim faith should attack any member,group or country belonging to any other faith, such as Christianity or Judaism, simply because of the difference of faith?" Asadi said, "According to the principle presented in the Koran, the attack could only be justified if it was done to defend one's self and it must be in the same manner, not to exceed the initial attack."

He said that Jihad includes the removal of "tyranny and oppression by defending other people who are being oppressed regardless of their faith."Retaliation is allowed only to the extent of the harm done by the aggressor. Muslims believe that if one person is killed unjustifiably, then it is as if the whole of humankind is killed. Similarly, if one person's life is saved, then the whole of humankind is saved.

Asadi said that any act of terrorism is vehemently and religiously against any true meaning of the Jihad ordinance. Jihad, as presented in the Koran is a habit that a Muslim is supposed to develop throughout his/her lifetime.

The purpose of practicing Jihad is for the establishment of world peace. Peace begins with the individual's inner moral peace and moves outward to family and community, Asadi explained.

According to Asadi, a Muslim practices true Jihad with prayer."The Koran states that we are to seek God's help in prayer and to persevere patiently and have hope in God," he said.

"Reciting verses from the Koran also helps a person become more aware of God's message and therefore more conscious of it," Asadi said.


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