Essay: The Contemporary Issues of Islam
Jihad and Islam
The word jihad is completely misunderstood by the western society. Many western scholars mistranslate the term jihad as the holy war fought by Muslims against the non believers. (Ernst, 2003) The word jihad is Arabic word which means to strive and struggle in search of the truth. The term has also a secondary definition i.e. struggle by the military against the evil forces.
Although some of the Muslim leaders in the past took advantage of the word and justified their conquests. For example, when the Ottoman sultan fought against the Persian shah they both claimed to be among righteous i.e. struggle and strive against the other, but in reality it was a usual fight. (Ernst, 2003) In order to understand the issue of jihad in a better was there is a need to find out those elements who are exploiting the term. (Ernst, 2003) One of the biggest reasons for the misuse of the term jihad is that the Muslims as a whole community do not have any single authority such as the pope in Christianity. Therefore there is a confusion to follow which leader or authority. This confusion is because of the different schools of thought among the Muslim community.