Let us start by discussing a simple, yet complicated term: ‘jihad’. Jihad is a word which is often linked with terrorism. But, what is jihad? Jihad means “to fight for Allah.” It is done to establish the rule of Islam in a place. It doesn’t refer to going out and killing hundreds and thousands of people or slitting throats of innocent people.
Jihad, as a true Muslim would take it, is the fight against our greatest enemy, ‘shaitaan’ (devil). Jihad is when we lift our blanket at the time of fajr (early morning prayer), and fight with our sleep. It is when we want to see or do something filthy but we don’t, fearing Allah. Fighting with our worldly desires is jihad. It refers to spreading Islam even at a time when it’s difficult, but with a proper weapon – our ’emaan’ (adherence), our character and our actions. Prophet Muhammad did jihad without causing harm to a single person. That is jihad.
ISIS, the terrorist group, is expanded as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Well, ‘Islamic’ doesn’t seem to be correct. As what they do, doesn’t seem to be Islamic. However, many people still think that Islam promotes extremism. Well, it does not. Let us take a look at some of the many examples from the Quran, proving my point:
Quran 5:32: “If anyone slew a person – unless it be in retaliation for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew all mankind; and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all humanity.”
Quran 41:34-35: “Goodness and evil are not equal. Repel evil with what is better. Then that person with whom there was hatred, may become your intimate friend. And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but people of the greatest good fortune.”
Do these verses from the Quran, in any way promote extremist views? They do not. On the other hand, ISIS acts opposite to it. Now can someone who doesn’t follow the Quran, be called a Muslim? Think for yourself.
Islam does not support them. Rather, it upholds the sanctity of life. It encourages human rights and supports resolution to peace. It believes in being a good human being, in non-violence. Killing innocent men, women and children is forbidden in Islam.
So why would Islam support an extremist group? Why would Islam encourage the killings of innocent people? ISIS does not reflect the identity of Muslims, Prophet Muhammad does. Islam isn’t what ISIS practises, it’s what the Quran teaches us. It’s kindness, honesty, politeness towards everyone, even our enemies. Islam isn’t just a religion, it’s a way of life.
I’m not a scholar or a ‘maulvi’ (Muslim teacher of the law). But I don’t think I need to be one to spread my religion. What I wrote is based on what I think, and what I hear. Allah knows better, always.
Also, if you still think Islam teaches terrorism, there are more than 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. The world would be far more of a dangerous place to live in if all 1.6 billion of us were to learn, practice and propagate terrorism.