Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement

A Partnership between the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion,
Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation, & USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture

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“JIHAD” in the Direction of Spiritual – Moral Development

True and legitimate “Jihad” according to Shari’a can never target the civilians. It can never try to kill or injure the elderly, the women, the children and the non-combatants in general, including all who work hard to earn their living and honestly support their families. Further, jihad should be through an openly declared war, which targets only the combatants.

Attacks by surprise against peaceful civilians is merely treachery [Quran 8:58]. A violation of the Islamic conditions for jihad turns the practice of force in such a case to a crime against innocent human beings and against Islam, which persistently teaches that ends cannot justify means, but legitimate ends should have legitimate means.

Modern technology has unfortunately provided the individuals and the states with weapons that develop vicious circle of violence and counter–violence and in this way justice and peace can never be reached, but generations of bitterness and evil attitude for bloodshed in various ways will continue.

In an era of ‘globalinazation’, can we look forward for serious efforts to solve human disputes through human channels of universal information, universal governmental and non-governmental platforms, instead of the futile and destructive violence, in which all parties of the conflict suffer and lose .

May God, the All-merciful and Mercy-giving guide all parties in human disputes, and guide the humankind all together, to the right path of peace and justice, and bless all religions political and intellectual efforts for this goal, which is genuine “Jihad” in a proper sense.

Fathi Osman

August 15, 2003


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