Compose a 1250 words assignment on islamist thought and jihad in the modern world. Needs to be plagiarism free! Jihad, as one of the recognized duties of Muslims, was considered as the hijackers’ motivation in the furtherance of the attack. There had been many debates with regard to the ultimate basis and appropriate interpretation of jihad. Nonetheless, there were two significant writers who gave good arguments about it, Abd al-Salam Faraj and Abd al-Hakim Jackson. Both writers recognized the fact that jihad can either be an internal or external struggle. However, the former believed that jihad of the sword (external struggle) is the primary kind while the latter maintained that neither is superior to the other. Abd al-Salam Faraj cited some of the teachings in the Qur’an to support the primacy of jihad of the sword. Realism was used by Abd al-Hakim Jackson to explain the use of either or both forms of jihad. Faraj’s arguments were scripture-based while Jackson’s contentions were reality-based.
The Internal and External Struggle
Faraj and Jackson admitted that jihad can be internally or externally based. The internal jihad refers to the struggle against one’s soul. It is striving for self-improvement so that a particular purpose can be achieved. In Islam, the purpose could either benefit the individual self or the whole Muslim community. On the other side, external jihad pertains to the struggle against outside forces which can be a private or juridical person.
Faraj actually cited Imam Ibn Qayyim’s three aspects in jihad: (1) “jihad against one’s own soul” (2) “jihad against the Devil” and (3) jihad against infidels and hypocrites (qt. in Euben and Zaman 341). The first belongs to internal struggle while the others can be grouped under external struggle. For him, it is necessary to treat the aspects “as three dimensions of a single simultaneous endeavor rather than as successive stages of struggle” (Euben and Zaman 322). By this statement, Faraj recognizes that there are two kinds of struggle but he sees external struggle as superior to the other. The Qur’an is his ultimate authority (Euben and Zaman 323). According to him, the book of the Qur’an authoritatively and unambiguously expresses that fighting is prescribed for each and every Muslim (Euben and Zaman 323).