Concept of Jihad and Love

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According to Al Bukhari and Al Muslim (two important books containing the sayings of Messenger of Allah), Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is reported to have told a young man who came to him for the cause of Jihad, "Go back to your parents and keep good company with them. (You should) consider their service as Jihad."

This is in conformity of the Quranic injunction "And we have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years - give thanks to Me and to your parents". (Surah 31: Verse 14).

It appears that among human deeds, treating parents with respect and kindness is next only to Divine worship because the Holy Qur'an says: "And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents." (Surah17; Verse 23).

Another example of true Jihad in Islam is the sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Husain, grandson of the Prophet, who, along with his followers, gave his life fighting against oppression by a tyrant ruler.

These two forms of activities represent true concept of Jihad which is an Arabic word meaning "struggling" or "striving" for just cause.

Violent action in the name of Jihad against a person or a group of people has no sanction in Islam. Even killing (harming) one innocent person is regarded as equivalent to killing (harming) all of mankind. (Qur’an Surah 5: Verse 32) because "there be no compulsion (coercion) in religion". (Sûrah 2: verse 256).

As a matter of fact providing justice to a victim of coercion or compulsion (in the name of religion) is also a Jihad.

The word Love in Islam has great significance but it has nothing to do with love for lust, fun or other worldly unethical gains. The real love in Islam is Love for Allah and his creations, who says "Worship Allah and join none with Him (in worship); and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the poor, the neighbor who is near of kin, the neighbor who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those whom your right hands possess". (Quran Surah 4: Verse 36).

Can there be a better meaning (definition) of Love than this Quranic Verse?

In view of the observations stated above, all true Loves are Jihad and all true Jihads are Loves for human beings. Lives of great Sufis in Islamic history, in India and elsewhere, are testimony for jihadi love towards all in general and downtrodden and oppressed in particular. Unfortunately the concept of jihad has been hijacked by bigots over the ages in a bid to justify various forms of violence.

Similarly the concept of Love has been hijacked by self seekers for unethical motives. In the present scenario of hatred, conflicts, ignorance, poverty and disease, only Jihad (striving hard) against these evils is the best solution and, therefore, people should love the act Jihad for the cause of humanity and human development.

Poet Iqbal has rightly stated, "Darde-dil ke waste paidah kiya insane ko warna Ta’at ke liye kam na the kar o bayaan." (God has created human beings to feel the pain for others; to serve human welfare. Otherwise, angels (kar-o-biaan) were in plenty for God’s worships.)

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