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Many Muslims believe in a sixth pillar, "jihad," or the ideal of "Holy War." The distortion of this ideal is what fuels terrorism when "jihad" has been declared against Israel or the West. The proper understanding is that of an "inner spiritual battle" to convert one's entire life to God. What is your opinion on both of these meanings and uses of "jihad?"

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What Does "Jihad" Really Mean?


Like many issues in life, any word can have multiple meanings or many faces. Does jihad refer to an inner spiritual battle to convert one's life to Allah? Or, does it refer to a physical battle or war waged against anyone who refuse to convert their lives to the service of Allah?

But, you know what? Think about this? Are these two views mutually exclusive of one another? What I mean by this is for you consider that both definitions may be equally true. This would be a very interesting truth since, depending on the specific situation, a Moslem could emphasize or show forth one or the other face. Interesting, isn't it? In other words, could the inner spiritual battle to convert one's life to Allah include the mission to convert or destroy others? It could if it could be shown that that is one of the teachings of Muhammad.

Now, I do not believe that anyone has a problem accepting ...