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  • Meditating about jihad: a historical approach to a current reality.- Somalla Iman Bakkali-Tahiri



Meditating about jihad: a historical approach to a current reality.- Somalla Iman Bakkali-Tahiri

Islam is a monotheistic religion, in other words, believes in only one God. The sources of Islam are based mainly on two revelations, the Koran and the sunna. The scholars of Islam deduce other sources that are al-qiyás (analogical deduction) and the iyma '(consensus of the scholars).Absolute assimilation between jihad and war or violence is imprecise. In Arabic, the term "jihad" is derived from the Arabic root "yhd", which has no relation to the idea of religion, nor to that of war, its literal meaning being "effort". The classic doctrine differentiates between the warlike jihad "small jihad" and the peaceful jihad, which they call "great jihad".

The definition and development of a juridical doctrine of jihad is carried out throughout the eleventh century, and involves a rational interpretative effort of the different doctrinal sources of Islam. However, since the eighth century the ulema, through hermeneutics, have allowed the term jihad to refer to armed struggle in the name of religion.

There can be no denying the use of the word jihad in the Qur'an to refer to war, but with certain nuances. These battles are only directed against the infidels (non-Muslims), being lawful the combat only in three cases: to defend certain values, to respond to an aggression and to avoid more serious evils.

Throughout history, the theory of jihad has been evolving, being the Islamic thinkers who interpreted the jihad according to the different historical contexts that surrounded them and the different currents that belonged. The notion of jihad is neither simplistic nor immovable, and these divergences of interpretation respond to the relationship between reality and thought.

As stated by Tariq Ramadan, it is necessary for Muslims to carry out a political and intellectual jihad against those extremist groups that claim to carry out jihad, when in reality their acts qualify as terrorism, despite using terror in the name of Islam.

Author:  Somalla Iman Bakkali-Tahiri



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