. . . or something
Yeah, got a problem with that.
As the eminent scholar of Islam Robert Spencer has previously said,
If jihad is simply a spiritual struggle, then why is there an entire chapter of the Qur’an entitled “Booty” or “The Spoils of War” (al-Anfal). What spoils ensue from a spiritual struggle? If jihad is simply a spiritual struggle, how is a Muslim supposed to make Jews and Christians “pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29) spiritually? If jihad is simply a spiritual struggle, why are there thousands upon thousands of Muslims worldwide who have joined violent jihad groups? Why are there any violent jihad groups at all? Why is this misunderstanding of jihad so widespread?
Again here is what a book of Sharia Law itself says about this idea of Jihad being a spiritual struggle,
The Shafi’i legal manual (the Shafi’is are a school of Islamic jurisprudence) ‘Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller), which has been certified by al-Azhar, the foremost authority in Sunni Islam, as conforming to the “practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community,” devotes one paragraph to jihad as spiritual struggle and seven pages to jihad as warfare. It makes it quite clear that jihad is warfare against non-Muslims:
Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word ‘mujahada’, signifying warfare to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad. As for the greater jihad, it is spiritual warfare against the lower self (nafs), which is why the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said as he was returning from jihad,
“We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad.”
The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus is such Koranic verses as:
(1) “Fighting is prescribed for you” (Koran 2:216);
(2) “Slay them wherever you find them” (Koran 4:89);
(3) “Fight the idolators utterly” (Koran 9:36);
and such hadiths as the one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
“I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah.”
and the hadith reported by Muslim,
“To go forth in the morning or evening to fight in the path of Allah is better than the whole world and everything in it.'”
So, if we are to trust what the authoritative sources and great scholars of Islam say about the matter, Jihad is primarily warfare of one sort or another against non-Muslims, not a form of spiritual self-improvement. By all means self-improve, but only after the warfare is over.
I'd have thought those statements should carry a lot of weight. Up to you though. Those sources and scholars may just be rampantly Islamophobic eh?
Video: Robert Spencer interviewed on CBN about The History of Jihad
On Monday I was at CBN for a wide-ranging interview with Pat Robertson on the 700 Club on my book The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS, which you can order here now.