Jihad: A Comparison of the views of Ashmawy and Taha

Jihad: A Comparison of the views of Ashmawy and Taha

Jihad is a religious responsibility every Muslim has - Jihad: A Comparison of the views of Ashmawy and Taha introduction. It is said to be the most sensitive word in their vocabulary, which pertains to the most emotionally understood concept when discussed within them. Even though they are all under the same religion, which is Islam, they sometimes differ in their interpretations regarding the execution of jihad even though they use the same definition of Jihad. In the case of Ashmawy and Taha, both of them reside in the true interpretation of what Jihad is based on the basic foundations of Islam found in the definition. They claim that Jihad is an action of resistance to war which is caused by protecting the faith. Self –improvement or purification is more relevant than what the war would cause them.

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            The extremists viewed Jihad in what Ashmawy mentioned to be the minor jihad, just barely the idea of the war against the non-Muslims. Taja agrees on this, but stated it on a different manner, that the idea of Jihad nowadays is not the Islam’s original concept. Their claim that everyone should try to follow the will of Allah will make the war continuous and permanent until everyone is converted to their faith, and just becomes the sole faith of the world. The major jihad on the other hand is the original sense, in the sense that the primary purpose and meaning of jihad is to strengthen the faith and fight the negative elements that would be leading to one’s serenity and peace of mind. The action is legal in nature and towards self-improvement. The basic foundation of the Islamic faith is to believe that Allah is one God, and Mohammed is the Prophet, the messenger. On the fourth manifestation, the minor jihad was discussed in connection to this.

            Both of them underscored that the armed aggression strategically means fighting those who are near to them, or close to them (Sura 9:123), not to all the unbelievers in the message of Mohammed. This is a form of security implied in the message. It was presented about the pre-death experience of Mohammed that he prepared his army for war against their powerful non-Muslim enemies in the east (Persian Empire) and in the north (Roman Empire). The second caliph Umar even hesitated to do the invasive act but due to the desire of protecting the Islamic community, he was obliged to do.

            In order to strengthen his concept, Ashmawy presented conflicting ideas regarding the orders to the Prophet. The revelation of the Hadith mentioned about the statement made by the Prophet: “I came to you with slaughter” was another consideration, which made the distortion of the true meaning of Jihad. The writings in Sura (2: 190) said about, as mentioned on the previous paragraph, that the Messenger was ordered to resist revenge. These conflicting ideas arose because of the misinterpretation made by the extremists. Even so, the oral traditions, or the Hadith is less in rank with Qur’an, so the interpretation must all be more referenced from the Qur’an. It is stated by Ashmawy that there are two perspectives to look for the meaning of Jihad: the religious and the historically political meanings.

            Taja supported the way Ashmawy saw Jihad. Taja interpreted Jihad as something that is not original in the Islamic precepts. He noticed that the interpretation of Jihad is different from what it was supposed to be, making this his claim. He started his argument by mentioning this, in comparison to the claim of Ashmawy, that total justice is needed by the community, but still, the orders of Islam should still prevail.  This is to further instigate the clearing out of the common way that Islam is commonly perceived. He presented arguments relevant into pushing the idea that God should be the center , and interpretation of the Qur’an should not be taken literally because it boils down to destroying the Islamic dogma and the authentic goals of Islamic belief. Ashmawy’s Against Islamic Extremism tackled the Muslim Extremists as the main source of the misinterpretation of Jihad. He included as a definition that it is thr religious duty for the right and true faith to be delivered to the non-Muslims. The militants understand this concept as the way of imposing Islam, or Allah to non-Muslims. Taja articulated that it translated to resistance and striving to reach a certain goal, combined with adverse conditions that might destroy someone’s belief and life, it affects the ethical, moral, and the spiritual spheres of existence. This is why Ashmawy was against the extremists. He wanted the idea of Jihad to be the resistance to the external influences that might hinder a Muslim to effectively manifest their faith. Jihad was a concept of resistance to use force to counteract the said influences. They are taught to endure these altogether and dwell on the truth. The Qur’an itself changed how jihad was interpreted. A verse in the Qur’an tells something regarding the Meccans who try to penetrate Islam, with them not having the necessary knowledge should not be allowed. He pointed out that they should not be obeyed and the Muslims should go against them. Due to this, the idea of how Jihad is perceived right now has been according to the original definition.

            Taha’s even used analogy of using the sword in terms of a surgical knife in order to show the essence of Jihad: to save lives rather than to kill. In here, relating to what Ashmawy mentioned, the first order was reflected, taking into account the usage of Jihad to be a means of strengthening one’s character in order for them be better Muslims.

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