The word jihad comes from the root word jahada, which means to struggle. So jihad is literally an act of struggling, and this struggle can have various forms. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) referred to the struggle against the insidious suggestions of one’s own soul as a form of jihad. Thus the inner struggle of being a person of virtue and submission to God in all aspects of life is part of the essence of Islam. Jihad also refers to struggle against injustice. Islam, like many other religions, allows for armed self-defense, or retribution against tyranny, exploitation, and oppression. The Glorious Qur’an says: “And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? – Men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!” [Al-Qur’an 4:75]
Thus Islam enjoins upon its believers to strive utmost, in purifying themselves, as well as in establishing peace and justice in the society. A Muslim can never be at rest while there is injustice and oppression around her. Martin Luther King Jr., quite aptly said: “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”
Islam enjoins upon all Muslims to work actively to maintain the balance in which God created everything. However, regardless of how legitimate the cause may be, the Glorious Qur’an categorically denounces the killing of innocent people. Terrorizing the civilian population, whether by small groups or by states, can never be termed as jihad and can never be reconciled with the teachings of Islam. Even Western scholars have repudiated the myth of Muslims coercing others to convert. The great historian De Lacy O’Leary wrote: “History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims, sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.”
Muslims ruled Spain for roughly 800 years. During this time, and up until they were finally forced out, the non-Muslims there were alive and flourishing. Additionally, Christian and Jewish minorities have survived in the Muslim lands of the Middle East for centuries. Countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan all have significant Christian and/or Jewish populations. This is not surprising to a Muslim, for his faith prohibits him from forcing others to see his point of view. The Glorious Qur’an says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things.” [Al-Qur’an 2:256]
Far from being a militant dogma, Islam is a way of life that transcends race and ethnicity. The Glorious Qur’an repeatedly reminds us of our common origin: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).” [Al-Qur’an 49:13] Thus, it is the universality of its teachings that makes Islam the fastest growing religion in the world. In a world full of conflicts and deep schisms between human beings, a world that is threatened with terrorism, perpetrated by individuals and states, Islam is a beacon of light that offers hope for the future. Now that people are hunted here and there even during worship where on earth can you find such teachings? from the Qur’an or sunnah.
The media is under reporting the good image of what is Islam and the good teaching of it.Though in the field of journalism BAD NEWS IS GOOD NEWS WHILE GOOD NEWS IS NO NEWS! that is why we conclude that media and terrorism related reporting is Islamaphobic. Let us unite and face our common enemies they invented their own religion not Islam. Concluded
Nasiru Garba via email@example.com