Islam: Understanding the religion Essay

This essay has a total of 735 words and 4 pages.

Islam: Understanding the religion


Did the Qu’ran or the sword accomplish the spread of Islam throughout the world? To me,
the answer is obvious. It grew through the power of the Qu’ran, but to many the doubts are
beginning to creep into their minds. After the events of September 11th, the media has
been using Jihad as a replacement for the word terrorism. However, the people have no idea
that the word Jihad is completely different than the word terrorism.


Jihad, a holy war, when this word is heard, terrorism is a synonym which first comes to
mind. So, what does the word Jihad truly mean? According to many Islamic Scholars, Jihad
actually does not mean a holy war, it really means; “to try one’s utmost to control one’s
own bad desires and intentions.” This is the real Jihad, which is concerned with
establishing Maruf (right) and removing Munkar (evil) from our lives and from society.
This demands the use of any means to achieve this goal, and in some circumstances even
give our life for the cause of Islam. Still, this does not give the green light to kill
innocent people, which is a punishable sin.


In addition to understanding Jihad we now should analyze the other side, terrorism. A
major problem in discussing terrorism is establishing a definition. Terrorism can be
described as the unlawful use of fear or force to achieve certain political, economical,
or social aims. This definition is not anywhere near the same as the definition of Jihad.
The use of terror to achieve goals is not a new idea in history it has been happening for
years and even centuries. Modern Terrorism still has some elements of terrorism from the
past. However today, terrorism poses a threat to innocent people, and is a serious threat
to democratic forms of government (U.S.A. and Israel).


Nevertheless, the use of Jihad to justify acts of terror still happens. The western world
has a very little background about Muslims. Academically, too, Islam was not put with
other faiths such as Christianity and Judaism, but with Hinduism, Buddhism, and
Confucianism. After the events of September 11th, we began to see many generalizations
about Muslims due to the lack of knowledge about the religion. It is like if all you see
is headlines about the Mafia, and all Italians are now considered to be in the Mafia.
Islam is a religion of mercy so it does not permit terrorism. In the Quran, God has said:
“God does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who have not
fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your homes. God loves just
dealers.” (Quran, 60:8). This shows the strictness and the intolerance against, the
killing of innocent lives, in Islam.


Nonetheless, Jihad still is apart of everyday life for some people in parts of the world.
The Arab-Israeli conflict, which has been going on for almost two years now, is a great
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