Jihad vs. Crusade

is jihad a "holy war"?

  • yes
  • no
0 voters

is a jihad the same as a catholic crusade? is it a “holy war”? i remember months after 9/11 there actually was a reporter who wanted to correct what the general census of what a “jihad” is. a jihad as i recall from my global studies textbooks, is not necessarily a holy war. and now i’m taking government courses where my professor is using jihad as a holy war. jihad (correct me if i’m wrong) has to do with beliefs and balance of some sort. one with themself? does that make sense? can anyone who actually knows something about the Islamic faith tell me? thanks in advance

phillip (with one L)

well, i’m sad so few people know the answer to this. including myself. i have no idea. i follow the media very closely and so, therefore, assume it meant a holy war. i’m a huge media skeptic, however, and should of questioned this much earlier. i don’t know enough about religion. i appreciate you bringing this question to attention.

Jihad does not explicitly mean “holy war”. It comes from a root meaning something along the lines of “striving” “striving for something better”. I think there is more of a personal context to the world than generally assumed (i.e. relating to a personal “war” within oneself) but others would probably be able to answer the question better.

Now the issue seems to be that some instances of just war seem like they fall under the category of jihad. I am not totally clear on this, but it seems as if acts of self-defense or opposition to tyranny are considered good, and ways in which one can “strive for something better”. It must be remembered though that just because a group uses the term jihad does not mean they are following the rules of warfare under Islam. There are various rules against killing citizens, against mutilations, and against other things that terrorist “jihadist” groups do.

two pretty good link seems to be:


I just accidentally found this while reading an article about my former professor Ward Churchill:

“In 2002, hundreds of Harvard students protested when a graduating senior was chosen to deliver a commencement speech entitled, “The American Jihad.” The student, Zayed Yasin, who received a death threat, said his speech was a defense of the meaning of jihad as a nonviolent struggle to do right”.
New York Times 2/2/2005
College Cancels Speech By Critic of 9/11 Victims

so…i thats all the new information i’ve found.

jihad is a war where you try to get back the land that you lost to somebody else, it’s a sore loser’s kicking attempt, nothing “holly” really…

so this harvard student is wrong pureasonist?

right or wrong? i droped that kind of reasoning years ago. holly or ugly, that’s even worse!

Who dies then goes to heaven taking anothers life?? Muslims are just Huns, except modern day. Big headed too.

Golden Arm has it right, but left out one major concept, lying and repeating a lie will make it come true. To never admit error, will make the error right and true. This is what I have found while perusing Arab media sources. :imp:

Greetings :smiley:

I have been perusing the hadiths and Qu’ranin links provided by a valid Islamic Web site. That is, a Muslim informed me that the translations I had previously used were bad. The following a few tidbits from the limited amount I have read in these religious texts. Do not misunderstand, as I am a Deist, Feminist Goy, and a major equal opportunity religious critic. Mohammad did make a few suggestions regarding tolerance, but most appears to be intolerant.

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24:
Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
Allah’s Apostle said: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform a that, then they save their lives an property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah."
Volume 1, Book 2, Number 25:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle was asked, “What is the best deed?” He replied, "To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, "What is the next (in goodness)? He replied, “To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s Cause.” The questioner again asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, “To perform Hajj (Pilgrim age to Mecca) 'Mubrur, (which is accepted by Allah and is performed with the intention of seeking Allah’s pleasure only and not to show off and without committing a sin and in accordance with the traditions of the Prophet).”
Volume 1, Book 2, Number 28:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
The Prophet said: “I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.” It was asked, “Do they disbelieve in Allah?” (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, “They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, 'I have never received any good from you.” [Typical misogyny]

Volume 1, Book 3, Number 111:
Narrated Ash-Sha’bi:
Abu Juhaifa said, "I asked Ali, ‘Have you got any book (which has been revealed to the Prophet apart from the Qur’an)?’ 'Ali replied, ‘No, except Allah’s Book or the power of understanding which has been bestowed (by Allah) upon a Muslim or what is (written) in this sheet of paper (with me).’ Abu Juhaifa said, "I asked, ‘What is (written) in this sheet of paper?’ Ali replied, it deals with The Diyya (compensation (blood money) paid by the killer to the relatives of the victim), the ransom for the releasing of the captives from the hands of the enemies, and the law that no Muslim should be killed in Qisas (equality in punishment) for the killing of (a disbeliever). __

Volume 1, Book 3, Number 122:
Narrated Jarir:
The Prophet said to me during Hajjat-al-Wida’: Let the people keep quiet and listen. Then he said (addressing the people), "Do not (become infidels) revert to disbelief after me by striking the necks (cutting the throats) of one another (killing each other)."
Volume 1, Book 3, Number 125:
Narrated Abu Musa:
A man came to the Prophet and asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What kind of fighting is in Allah’s cause? (I ask this), for some of us fight because of being enraged and angry and some for the sake of his pride and haughtiness.” The Prophet raised his head (as the questioner was standing) and said, “He who fights so that Allah’s Word (Islam) should be superior, then he fights in Allah’s cause.” Volume 8, Book 82, Number 794:
Narrated Anas:
Some people from the tribe of 'Ukl came to the Prophet and embraced Islam. The climate of Medina did not suit them, so the Prophet ordered them to go to the (herd of milch) camels of charity and to drink, their milk and urine (as a medicine). They did so, and after they had recovered from their ailment (became healthy) they turned renegades (reverted from Islam) and killed the shepherd of the camels and took the camels away. The Prophet sent (some people) in their pursuit and so they were (caught and) brought, and the Prophets ordered that their hands and legs should be cut off and that their eyes should be branded with heated pieces of iron, and that their cut hands and legs should not be cauterized, till they die.

Volume 1, Book 5, Number 268:
Narrated Qatada:
Anas bin Malik said, “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number.” I asked Anas, “Had the Prophet the strength for it?” Anas replied, “We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men).” And Sa’id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven). [He had a healthy libido no]
Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.”
Volume 1, Book 7, Number 331:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
The Prophet said, "I have been given five things which were not given to any one else before me.

  1. Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month’s journey.
    2. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum, therefore anyone of my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due.
  2. The booty has been made Halal (lawful) for me yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me.
  3. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection).
  4. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only but I have been sent to all mankind.

Question before you read the following: If God is omnicient and omnipotent why did God make a mistake and order too many prayers in one day?
Narrated Abu Dhar:
Allah’s Apostle said, "While I was at Mecca the roof of my house was opened and Gabriel descended, opened my chest, and washed it with Zam-zam water. Then he brought a golden tray full of wisdom and faith and having poured its contents into my chest, he closed it. Then he took my hand and ascended with me to the nearest heaven, when I reached the nearest heaven, Gabriel said to the gatekeeper of the heaven, ‘Open (the gate).’ The gatekeeper asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel answered: ‘Gabriel.’ He asked, ‘Is there anyone with you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Yes, Muhammad I is with me.’ He asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel said, ‘Yes.’ So the gate was opened and we went over the nearest heaven and there we saw a man sitting with some people on his right and some on his left. When he looked towards his right, he laughed and when he looked toward his left he wept. Then he said, ‘Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious son.’ I asked Gabriel, ‘Who is he?’ He replied, ‘He is Adam and the people on his right and left are the souls of his offspring. Those on his right are the people of Paradise and those on his left are the people of Hell and when he looks towards his right he laughs and when he looks towards his left he weeps.’
Then he ascended with me till he reached the second heaven and he (Gabriel) said to its gatekeeper, ‘Open (the gate).’ The gatekeeper said to him the same as the gatekeeper of the first heaven had said and he opened the gate. Anas said: "Abu Dhar added that the Prophet met Adam, Idris, Moses, Jesus and Abraham, he (Abu Dhar) did not mention on which heaven they were but he mentioned that he (the Prophet ) met Adarn on the nearest heaven and Abraham on the sixth heaven. Anas said, “When Gabriel along with the Prophet passed by Idris, the latter said, ‘Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious brother.’ The Prophet asked, ‘Who is he?’ Gabriel replied, 'He is Idris.” The Prophet added, “I passed by Moses and he said, ‘Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious brother.’ I asked Gabriel, ‘Who is he?’ Gabriel replied, ‘He is Moses.’ Then I passed by Jesus and he said, ‘Welcome! O pious brother and pious Prophet.’ I asked, ‘Who is he?’ Gabriel replied, 'He is Jesus.
Then I passed by Abraham and he said, ‘Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious son.’ I asked Gabriel, ‘Who is he?’ Gabriel replied, 'He is Abraham. The Prophet added, 'Then Gabriel ascended with me to a place where I heard the creaking of the pens.” Ibn Hazm and Anas bin Malik said: The Prophet said, “Then Allah enjoined fifty prayers on my followers when I returned with this order of Allah, I passed by Moses who asked me, ‘What has Allah enjoined on your followers?’ I replied, ‘He has enjoined fifty prayers on them.’ Moses said, ‘Go back to your Lord (and appeal for reduction) for your followers will not be able to bear it.’ (So I went back to Allah and requested for reduction) and He reduced it to half. When I passed by Moses again and informed him about it, he said, ‘Go back to your Lord as your followers will not be able to bear it.’ So I returned to Allah and requested for further reduction and half of it was reduced. I again passed by Moses and he said to me: 'Return to your Lord, for your followers will not be able to bear it. So I returned to Allah and He said, ‘These are five prayers and they are all (equal to) fifty (in reward) for My Word does not change.’ I returned to Moses and he told me to go back once again. I replied, ‘Now I feel shy of asking my Lord again.’ Then Gabriel took me till we ‘’ reached Sidrat-il-Muntaha (Lote tree of; the utmost boundry) which was shrouded in colors, indescribable. Then I was admitted into Paradise where I found small (tents or) walls (made) of pearls and its earth was of musk.”
Volume 1, Book 8, Number 387:
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.’ And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah.” Narrated Maimun ibn Siyah that he asked Anas bin Malik, “O Abu Hamza! What makes the life and property of a person sacred?” He replied, “Whoever says, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’, faces our Qibla during the prayers, prays like us and eats our slaughtered animal, then he is a Muslim, and has got the same rights and obligations as other Muslims have.”

Hey Pagans watch out Volume 1, Book 8, Number 420:
Narrated Anas:
When the Prophet arrived Medina he dismounted at 'Awali-i-Medina amongst a tribe called Banu 'Amr bin 'Auf. He stayed there For fourteen nights. Then he sent for Bani An-Najjar and they came armed with their swords. As if I am looking (just now) as the Prophet was sitting over his Rahila (Mount) with Abu Bakr riding behind him and all Banu An-Najjar around him till he dismounted at the courtyard of Abu Aiyub’s house. The Prophet loved to pray wherever the time for the prayer was due even at sheep-folds. Later on he ordered that a mosque should be built and sent for some people of Banu-An-Najjar and said, “O Banu An-Najjar! Suggest to me the price of this (walled) piece of land of yours.” They replied, “No! By Allah! We do not demand its price except from Allah.” Anas added: There were graves of pagans in it and some of it was unleveled and there were some date-palm trees in it. The Prophet ordered that the graves of the pagans be dug out and the unleveled land be level led and the date-palm trees be cut down . (So all that was done). They aligned these cut date-palm trees towards the Qibla of the mosque (as a wall) and they also built two stone side-walls (of the mosque). His companions brought the stones while reciting some poetic verses. The Prophet was with them and he kept on saying, "There is no goodness except that of the Hereafter, O Allah! So please forgive the Ansars and the emigrants. "

Volume 1, Book 8, Number 425:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:
Allah’s Apostle said, “Do not enter (the places) of these people where Allah’s punishment had fallen unless you do so weeping. If you do not weep, do not enter (the places of these people) because Allah’s curse and punishment which fell upon them may fall upon you.” [the pagans]

Volume 1, Book 8, Number 427:
Narrated 'Aisha and 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas:
When the last moment of the life of Allah’s Apostle came he started putting his ‘Khamisa’ on his face and when he felt hot and short of breath he took it off his face and said, “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their Prophets.” The Prophet was warning (Muslims) of what those had done.

Volume 9, Book 84, Number 58:
Narrated Abu Burda:
Abu Musa said, “I came to the Prophet along with two men (from the tribe) of Ash’ariyin, one on my right and the other on my left, while Allah’s Apostle was brushing his teeth (with a Siwak), and both men asked him for some employment. The Prophet said, 'O Abu Musa (O ‘Abdullah bin Qais!).’ I said, ‘By Him Who sent you with the Truth, these two men did not tell me what was in their hearts and I did not feel (realize) that they were seeking employment.’ As if I were looking now at his Siwak being drawn to a corner under his lips, and he said, 'We never (or, we do not) appoint for our affairs anyone who seeks to be employed. But O Abu Musa! (or ‘Abdullah bin Qais!) Go to Yemen.’” The Prophet then sent Mu’adh bin Jabal after him and when Mu’adh reached him, he spread out a cushion for him and requested him to get down (and sit on the cushion). Behold: There was a fettered man beside Abu Muisa. Mu’adh asked, “Who is this (man)?” Abu Muisa said, “He was a Jew and became a Muslim and then reverted back to Judaism.” Then Abu Muisa requested Mu’adh to sit down but Mu’adh said, "I will not sit down till he has been killed. This is the judgment of Allah and His Apostle (for such cases) and repeated it thrice. Then Abu Musa ordered that the man be killed, and he was killed. Abu Musa added, “Then we discussed the night prayers and one of us said, ‘I pray and sleep, and I hope that Allah will reward me for my sleep as well as for my prayers.’”

As a Muslim, trained in Islamic school from childhood, I feel I can speak on this matter. The Arabic translation of jihad is “struggle.” The notion of the struggle pertains to various aspects of a human life. Some of those being a struggle to free onself of the earthly shackles, another is to struggle against oppression aka holy war.

The laws of Islam are clear and available for anyone who really wants to know. The laws of war are so strict that the Shariah (Islamic Law) explicitly states that war is a final resort to flagrant oppression and/or defense. Of course the question “what is defense” is where the confusion comes in.

It is definetely not killing civilians. This is explicitly outlawed and punishable by death. Further, the laws are so strict that in war, one is prohibited from harming any livestock or even a tree (explicitly stated).

The murderous Muslims who rationalize civilan murders are a fringe movement. Arab politics has taken center stage of Muslim affairs. Remember that only 18% of the Muslim population globally is Arab. The largest Muslim population is Indonesia (ASIAN not Arab). We are sucked into tunnels, created by limited and tunnel vision style information outlets, e.g. news.

To study the parties, activism, coalitions, etc. of Muslim countries and populations try electionworld.org

People: There are various narrators of what the Prophet Mohammad said/did. Some of which had their own agendas. As for the main schools of Islamic thought, there are procedures by which a hadith (saying or teaching of Prophet Mohammad) are deemed reliable sources.

None of Aspacia’s citations are reliable are given any credibilty by most Muslims or any serious historian or student of Islam.

Aspacia: It is counter productive to drive wedges between humans, causing mischief and further alienation. You are a Christian, don’t forget your noble teacher who unified, did not divide. Leave that to Satan, he’s got it covered.

Is this a Philosophy site??!!?

I am taken aback by the intense emotional spurts on these posts and lack of scholarly debate. Golden Arm and Aspacia, you should join some “I hate 100% of this group called Muslims” chat channel on Jerry Fallwell’s website or some shit. Grow up.

Asalam Alaikum / Shalom/ Peace

I am a Muslim. There are 1.4 Billion Muslims. We are not engaged in jihad as you would like to describe it.

To copy and paste large chunks of text out of the Quran and to bring forth claims of the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) without putting them in context is malicious and I would question the intention of the individual posting.

The concept of Jihad, in its entirety, will take up many many pages, if we do it justice. Now, if you want to pursue an academic break down of Jihad and all that it means, we can do that. It will take time, you will have to bear with me, because I don’t have regular access to this site but all with an open heart and with the aim of understanding and not pre-judging.

We should be building bonds between humanity not barriers.

And as one famous Islamic scholar said:

‘We are either brothers in Islam, or we are brothers in humanity.’

So please, I would urge you, to discuss this with an open heart, to bear with me if I take time to post, and to approach this in an academic manner.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


It seems pretty malicious and shady to accuse someone like that. I see no evidence of ulterior motive or malice, nor are the quotes single sentences purposefully designed to mislead. Upon what are you accusing that person of posting vindictively? If anything, I think ignorace is more likely than ill will (although I’m not saying s/he is ignorant).

If those quotes are taken out of context and really mean just the opposite, please do enlighten us with their real intent. To my own eye, and here I readily admit to not being well versed in Islam, the quotes look pretty clear.


Good note. I should try to give the benefit of the doubt. However, if I were to do that, and assume ignorance on the part of Aspacia and Golden Arm, I would be forced to equate them with the intellectual level of an embarrasing rank.

How could you just take some lines off one of the millions of websites online and attribute them in a nutshell to a major religion and draw a conclusion that would take a life time of research and devotion to prove.

In any event, note their inflammatory language above…typical sign of malice Phaedrus. “Muslims are Huns.” Come on now.

Golden Arm, Aspacia-This is a philosophy website: scholarly debate if you please.

If we reason that Arabs represent all Muslims, than it could be reasoned that the Irish represent all Catholics.

If we reason that Arab “Jihadists” represent all Arabs, than could also be reasoned that the KKK represents all Americans.

It is a fact that religion is often, very sadly, morphed into mankind’s own agenda. We cannot judge an entire race, let alone a religion, just because small groups of people distort the truth.

KKK members denounce the very race that Christianity came from (Jesus, if he existed, was a Jewish rabbi with olive skin, brown eyes, and probably was the same in appearance as all those born in the Middle East at that time).

Also, please tell me, “Pureasonist” [ha!]… did you think the terrorist bombings/assasinations were simply “sore losers”…

As an aside… tomorrow, I will go and kill Christians… of course, I, as one Atheist, represent all Atheist. The media will then assume that all Atheist, fearing no god, are evil and not trustworthy!

Or maybe they will just think I am a madman…

I meant to ask Pureasonist [ha!] if he thought the Irish terrorist bombings/assasinations were simply sore losers…


Okay, I missed the Huns crack. I’ll give you that one. But bear in mind that ignorance is merely a lack of knowledge, not a lack of intellegence. And I’m still curious whether you have a different interpretation (in context) to the passages you claim were used out of context to distort the meaning. To my (also ignorant) eye, they looked to be pretty clear.

Islam interests me, as all religions do, so please elucidate this if for me if you can.

Nowdays I think Jihad comes up as two concepts, one a personal Jihad and another a political Jihad. I think in the Quran, Jihad comes up only as a holy war within an individual’s mind. In this sense a personal Jihad means that we learn to curb our extreme/volatile nature and make it more serene. I don’t know what a catholic crusade is so I can’t compare Jihad to that.

Look at this verse from the Quran, “«And Fight those who have not faith in God, nor in the Hereafter, and (who) forbid not what God and His Prophet have forbidden and (who ) are not committed to the religion of truth, of those who have been brought the Book [Jews, Christians, etc.], until they pay tribute by hand, and they are the low.» (9:29)” That’s attrocious. Why?

Because if God created us all then if some of us didn’t have faith in Him, He would still love us all and would not desire our demise, just like parents love their children whether or not they are good or bad, faithful or not. So, if some messenger has advocated the above verse, that messenger’s words are not the words of God and so should be thrown out of the Quran. Besides, if even God doesn’t judge then what right does His creation have in judging another?