The true meaning of “Jihad” is much misunderstood because it is often bent to mean whatever the user wants it to mean. Many Muslims will argue it means “to struggle” in one’s personal life. Others make no pretense that it means anything other than “Holy War”. Much like the word “love”, Jihad has many definitions and all can be valid without negating others.
Muslims often claim Jihad is justified because they were attacked first. For instance, Islam claims that the Crusades have continued to the present. They cite that the United States supports Israel and therefore has attacked Islam.
Jihad’s true meaning can be discovered if the Qur’an itself and the most accepted Hadith (recordings of sayings and actions of Muhammad by trusted Muslim witnesses) are researched carefully. The reader is encouraged to consider the following references. If you can determine what Muhammed did and taught, the veil will be lifted.
These are just a few examples:
The Qur’an: A new translation, M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, Oxford University Press, 2004
Surah 61:4 “God truly loves those who fight in solid lines for His cause,…”
Surah 2:191 “Kill them (infidels) where you find them,…”
Surah 2:193 “Fight them (infidels) until there is no more persecution, and worship is
devoted to Allah.”
Surah 9:29 “Fight those of the People of the Book (Christians) who do not truly believe
in God and the Last Day, who do not obey the rule of justice, until they pay the tax promptly and agree to submit.
52:42 “..; and if called (by a Muslim ruler) for fighting, go forth immediately.”
52:88 “We are those who have given a pledge that we will carry on Jihad as long as we
181:4323 “…that he asked (the Holy Prophet): What about the children of the
polytheist killed by the cavalry…?” He said they are from them (i.e. yes, kill them too).
181:4366 …heard the Messenger of Allah say: “I will expel the Jews and Christians from
the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.”