US Muslim council calls on Chidambaram to clarify his remarks on
Council-USA an advocacy group dedicated towards safeguarding India's
pluralist and tolerant ethos, calls on Indian Home Minister
Chidambaram to clarify his remarks on Jihad in his address to
Intelligence Bureau on Wednesday.....
By expressing his biased or uninformed
views on Jihad, India’s Home Minister P Chidambaram seems to be
deliberately playing a political game in order not to lose the votes
of the mainstream Hindu masses. A few weeks ago, he had described
the demolition of Babri Masjid as a terrorist act by the RSS-backed
groups. He might have thought that this has humiliated the Hindu
voters and hence he has to attack Islam in order to equalise his
party’s pretentious neutral stand.
He knows pretty well that the Muslim
voters will have their allegiance towards the soft Hindutva of the
Congress party at the national level come what may, rather than
supporting hard Hindutva of BJP. So he can voice any opinion without
permanently antagonising the Muslims.
His party will make it up before the
next election. His views are the usual vote bank tactics.
Jihad is grossly misunderstood by many
non-Muslims including our Hindu brothers. The great Hindu religion
based epics such as Bhagwat Gita and Ramayana are stories of holy
wars too. A great God based and morality based religion is not worth
the name religion at all if it does not support Jihad, that is:
making efforts, struggling hard and if necessary taking arms by the
good against the evil.
In Islam Jihad signifies a physical,
moral, spiritual and intellectual effort. There are plenty of Arabic
words denoting armed combat, such as Harb (War), Sira’a (Combat),
Ma’arakah (Battle) Qita (Killing). The Quran could have used these
words if war had been the Muslims’ principal way of engaging in this
Instead the Quran choses a richer word
with a wide range of connotations. Jihad is not among the five
pillars of Islam. It is not the central prop of the religion despite
the common view of non-Muslims.
But it was and remains a duty for
Muslims to commit themselves to a struggle on all fronts – moral,
spiritual and political – to create a just and decent society, where
the poor and the vulnerable are not exploited and all could live the
way that God had intended man to live.
Fighting and warfare might be
necessary, but it was only a minor part of the whole Jihad or
struggle. There is a well known saying of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Once he was returning from a battle. He said: “We return from the
little Jihad to the greater Jihad.” The little Jihad he mentioned
was the battle and the greater Jihad he mentioned was conquering the
forces of evil in oneself and in one’s own society in all the
details of daily life.
The Quran amplifies this forcefully: “
Had God not driven back the people, some by the means of others, the
earth had surely been corrupted; but God is merciful unto all
When the people of a territory have
been chased out of their land like morbid dogs by the merciless
hordes and aggressors (as it happened in Palestine), the Palestinian
victims can engage in Jihad but strictly under the laws of Islam
following their spiritual leader. This is a present day example for
those who ask for one.
The Quran says: “Fighting is an evil
thing, but to bar people from God’s way, disbelief in Him and the
Holy Mosque, and to expel its people from it – that is more evil in
God’s sight. And persecution is worse than killing.” (Holy Quran 2:
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