For those willing to inquire about Islam and its teachings honestly, this article by Muslims (present day Islamic scholars) should explain what is Jihad.
The questioner, a Muslim, poses the question to Islamic scholars:
Islamic scholars answer:
“Praise be to Allaah.
In Arabic, the word jihad means striving and expending one’s energy.
In Islamic terminology, jihad means the Muslim striving to make the word of Allaah supreme and to establish His religion on earth.
The objective of Islam and Muslims is not to kill all Non-Muslims nor convert them to Islam but, it is about establishing Islamic rule over the entire world. This is what the sentence ‘to make the word of Allah supreme’ means; in other words, only Muslims should be the rulers and that they rule in accordance with Islamic sacred law (Sharia law).
The purpose of jihad in Islam is not to kill non-Muslims, rather the purpose is to establish the religion of Allaah on earth, to establish the rule of His sharee’ah, and to bring people forth from the worship of other people to the worship of the Lord of all people, from the injustice of other religions to the justice of Islam. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
And to know what it means for Non-Muslims to live under Sharia Law or Islamic rule apart from paying the Jizya, read this.
And notice this sentence: ‘to bring people forth from the worship of other people to the worship of the Lord of all people‘.
This is one of many Islamic justifications for warfare against Non-Muslims. Here ‘the worship of other people‘ means people following and obeying laws made by people, for example – Indians following Indian constitution which is written by people amounts to, according to Islam, worshiping the rulers and the constitution – so Indian are oppressed. Islam says sovereignty, i.e the right to make laws, belongs to Allah only. Muslims hold that since wisdom of Allah is greater than men, his law is more superior and more just to laws made by people. So to bring all people under Islamic rule, Islamic sacred law, God’s rule, from the rule of man made laws is a kind of liberation in the views of Muslims !
“And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allaah), and the religion (worship) will all be for Allaah Alone”
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’di said in his commentary on this verse:
Here Allaah states the purpose behind fighting for His sake, which is not to shed the blood of the kaafirs and take their wealth; rather the purpose is so that all religion (worship) will be for Allaah alone, and the religion of Allaah will prevail over all other religions, and everything that goes against that, whether it is shirk or anything else – which is what is meant by fitnah – will be repelled. If this purpose is achieved, there will be no killing or fighting.
So, for achieving that purpose – establishing Islamic rule – killing and committing other crimes on Non-Muslims is perfectly allowed. Until that realization, i.e. entire worship is for Allah alone, fighting and killing Non-Muslims will continue and justified too. For these killings and other abominable crimes committed on Non-Muslims by Muslims, Allah offers these perpetrators rewards of paradise, the most luxurious place for the choicest carnal pleasures.
If Muslims are to fight until entire religion (worship) is for Allah alone, which means the word of Allah reigning supreme every where, then mere presence of any place or country not under Islamic rule becomes an act of aggression on Islam and Muslims, and Muslims fighting to establish Sharia law, Jihad, is never really an offensive in the nature but defensive all the time.
Tafseer Ibn Sa’di, p., 98
The kuffaar whom we fight will themselves benefit from jihad. We strive against them and fight them so that they will enter the religion of Allaah which is acceptable to Him, which will lead to their salvation in this world and in the Hereafter. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
Kuffaar is plural for kafir (Non-Muslim). So, in the words of Muslims, Non-Muslims entering Islam will lead to their salvation in this world ! What if they do not enter ? Servitude and slavery to Islam and living like second class citizens in their own lands.
Despite this, to say Non-Muslims enter Islam after seeing truth of Islam, and realizing goodness and justice in Islam speaks volumes of insanity of Muslims and how Muslims delude themselves with such thinking – what Muslims are saying is people like system which is oppressing and treating them like animals. If Non-Muslims convert to Islam then it is for escaping oppression of Islam, not because they see Islam as good and truth.
“You (true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al‑Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allaah”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:110]
al-Bukhaari (4557) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “ ‘You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind’ means: the best of people for people, you bring them with chains around their necks until they enter Islam.”
Ibn al-Jawzi said: What this means is that they captured (in war) and chained as prisoners, but when they come to know the truth of Islam, they enter it willingly and will thus enter Paradise.
People enter Islam willingly after being chained as prisoners? What are the other options before those chained prisoners: Death (probably by beheading) or enslavement ( the prospect of living like slaves to Muslims). Only Muslims can believe that the reasons behind chained prisoners entering Islam is they realize truthfulness of Islam – despite the offensive war to impose Islamic hegemony, the threats of death and the prospect of enslavement – and tells Muslims are insane.
In the answer to question no. 20214 we have mentioned the types of jihad, of which there are four: jihad al-nafs (striving against one’s nafs or self); jihad al-shaytaan (striving against the Shaytaan); jihad al-kuffaar (striving against the disbelievers); and jihad al-munaafiqeen (striving against the hypocrites).
In the answer to question no. 34647 we have stated the wisdom behind jihad; please read this as it will answer your question.
And Allaah knows best.”
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All this must be quite disappointing to secular and liberal Hindus, because for them the reason behind some Hindus saying Islam is supremacist and supports aggressive warfare against Hindus (or all Non-Muslims) is those Hindus are communal and bigots or supporters of RSS and BJP. Never mind that those ‘communal’ Hindus keep quoting from Koran and other Islamic scriptures as proof, which never matters for those secular Hindus as they are confident of their moral and ethical superiority.
When those secular and liberal Hindus come across what Muslims are saying about what is Jihad then they always reassure themselves by recalling what some Muslims say, ‘ Islam is peaceful and Jihad means spiritual struggle and defensive warfare’. This is the problem because they never really care about even making a small attempt to find out the truth by reading from Islamic scriptures. For them, continuing in their beliefs or upholding their assumptions is more important, even when every thing contradicts them and their beliefs, as they put their foot in the mouth and do not want to get it out.