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What is the Islamic concept of Jihad?

In Islam, the concept of jihad is often translated as "struggle" or "striving" and refers to the spiritual and physical struggle that Muslims are called to engage in to uphold and defend their faith.

There are two main forms of jihad in Islam: the greater jihad (jihad al-akbar) and the lesser jihad (jihad al-asghar). The greater jihad refers to the internal struggle of the individual to purify their heart, mind, and soul, and to overcome their base desires and the temptations of the world. This form of jihad is considered to be the more important and fundamental type of jihad.

The lesser jihad, on the other hand, refers to the external struggle of Muslims to defend their faith, their community, and their way of life from physical or external threats. This form of jihad includes defensive warfare, but it is subject to strict rules of conduct and can only be undertaken as a last resort, with the goal of restoring peace and justice.

In Islamic teachings, the concept of jihad is closely linked to the principles of justice and righteousness, and is seen as a means of upholding these principles in the face of oppression, aggression, or injustice. Jihad is not about aggression or violence, but rather about striving to establish peace, justice, and the rule of law.

The concept of jihad has been subject to much controversy and misunderstanding, particularly in relation to the lesser jihad and the use of violence in its pursuit. However, most Muslims view jihad as a defensive measure that is only undertaken in response to aggression or injustice, and they emphasize the importance of upholding the principles of justice and mercy in all aspects of life.
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