Jihad is an Arabic word which means striving or struggling with a praiseworthy aim. In an Islamic context, it can refer to any effort to make personal and social life conform with God's guidance, such as struggle against one's evil inclinations, proselytizing, or efforts toward the moral betterment of the ummah, though it is most associated with war. In classical Islamic law, the term refers to armed struggle against unbelievers, while modernist Islamic scholars equate military jihad with defensive warfare. In Sufi and pious circles and moral jihad has been traditionally emphasized under the name of greater jihad; the term has gained additional attention in recent decades through its use by terrorist groups. The word jihad appears in the Quran with and without military connotations in the idiomatic expression "striving in the path of God". Islamic jurists and other ulema of the classical era understood the obligation of jihad predominantly in a military sense, they developed an elaborate set of rules pertaining to jihad, including prohibitions on harming those who are not engaged in combat.
In the modern era, the notion of jihad has lost its jurisprudential relevance and instead given rise to an ideological and political discourse. While modernist Islamic scholars have emphasized defensive and non-military aspects of jihad, some Islamists have advanced aggressive interpretations that go beyond the classical theory. Jihad is classified into inner jihad, which involves a struggle against one's own base impulses, external jihad, further subdivided into jihad of the pen/tongue and jihad of the sword. Most Western writers consider external jihad to have primacy over inner jihad in the Islamic tradition, while much of contemporary Muslim opinion favors the opposite view. Gallup analysis of a large survey reveals considerable nuance in the conceptions of jihad held by Muslims around the world. Jihad is sometimes referred to as the sixth pillar of Islam, though this designation is not recognized. In Twelver Shi'a Islam jihad is one of the ten Practices of the Religion. A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid.
The term jihad is rendered in English as "Holy War", although this translation is controversial. Today, the word jihad is used without religious connotations, like the English crusade. In Modern Standard Arabic, the term jihad is used for a struggle for causes, both religious and secular; the Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic defines the term as "battle. Nonetheless, it is used in the religious sense and its beginnings are traced back to the Qur'an and the words and actions of Muhammad. In the Qur'an and in Muslim usage, jihad is followed by the expression fi sabil illah, "in the path of God." Muhammad Abdel-Haleem states that it indicates "the way of truth and justice, including all the teachings it gives on the justifications and the conditions for the conduct of war and peace." It is sometimes used without religious connotation, with a meaning similar to the English word "crusade". According to Ahmed al-Dawoody, seventeen derivatives of jihād occur altogether forty-one times in eleven Meccan texts and thirty Medinan ones, with the following five meanings: striving because of religious belief, non-Muslim parents exerting pressure, that is, jihād, to make their children abandon Islam, solemn oaths, physical strength.
The context of the Quran is elucidated by Hadith. Of the 199 references to jihad in the most standard collection of hadith—Bukhari—all assume that jihad means warfare. Among reported sayings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad involving jihad are The best Jihad is the word of Justice in front of the oppressive sultan. and The Messenger of Allah was asked about the best jihad. He said: "The best jihad is the one in which your horse is slain and your blood is spilled." Ibn Nuhaas cited a hadith from Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, where Muhammad states that the highest kind of jihad is "The person, killed whilst spilling the last of his blood". According to another hadith, supporting one's parents is an example of jihad, it has been reported that Muhammad considered performing hajj well to be the best jihad for Muslim women.. The practice of periodic raids by Bedouins against enemy tribes and settlements to collect spoils predates the revelations of the Quran. According to some scholars, while Islamic leaders "instilled into the hearts of the warriors the belief" in jihad "holy war" and ghaza, the "fundamental structure" of this bedouin warfare "remained... raiding to collect booty".
According to Jonathan Berkey, the Quran's statements in support of jihad may have been directed against Muhammad's local enemies, the pagans of Mecca or the Jews of Medina, but these same statements could be redirected once new enemies appeared. According to another scholar, it was the shift in focus to the conquest and spoils collecting of non-Bedouin unbelievers and away from traditional inter-bedouin tribal raids, that may have made it possible for Islam not only to expand but to avoid self-destruction. "From an early date Muslim law laid down" jihad in the military sense as "one of the principal obligations" of both "the head of the Muslim state", who declared the jihad, the Muslim community. According to legal historian Sadakat Kadri, Islamic jurists first developed classical doctrine of jihad "towards the end of
Neal Obermeyer is an editorial cartoonist for the Lincoln Journal-Star, the San Diego Reader, the Omaha Reader. He resides in Omaha, United States. Obermeyer was born on March 1978 in Auburn, Nebraska, he was raised on a farm around Auburn. During his time there he was active in many extra-curricular activities, but most notably for Cross Country and Journalism, he graduated from Auburn High School as Valedictorian of the class of 1996. It was during this time that he began his first cartoon serial, "The Adventures of Planarian Man,", published in the Auburn Press-Tribune, he went on to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He continued some work with Planarian Man, but became the editorial cartoonist for the Daily Nebraskan and a disc jockey on KRNU. Obermeyer has been an editorial cartoonist since 1999.1 He started at the Daily Nebraskan. After graduation he moved to San Diego and started cartooning for the San Diego Reader in January 2002. In the summer of 2004, he began alternating with Paul Fell.
In March 2006, he started a bi-weekly stint as cartoonist of the Omaha City Weekly. Out of this came a new job working for The Reader that started in October 2006 that continues today in addition to his jobs for the Lincoln Journal-Star and the San Diego Reader, he has contributed to HappyYoungPeople.com. Though raised in Nebraska, which leans right, many of his cartoons are made of people who repeat Republican or right-Wing jargon thoughtlessly, his favorite Journal-Star and Omaha Reader cartoon targets are local politicians. He likes to point out the hypocrisy of people of all leanings, sometimes using "Sneaky Donkey" to show the hypocrisy of the Republicans or "Stupid Donkey" to show the flaws of the Democrats. Many of his Journal-Star and Omaha Reader cartoons deal with local issues, such as the flawed thinking of some officials as they try to build business in Omaha and State of Nebraska. In the San Diego Reader, he tends to focus more on oddities. Obermeyer has a few trademarks: Former Lincoln mayor Coleen Seng is always in a flowered dress or a flowered top.
Former councilman Ken Svoboda is always pictured as Magnum, P. I; the State Capital is always talking. He has dabbled in other projects, he has done editorial projects, such as "Neal Obermeyer Is All out of Bubblegum" with the "Switch" section3 of the Lincoln Journal-Star, linked to "Ground Zero", published by the Journal Star. He did a series called "The Bearded Odyssey" with the Daily Nebraskan, he likes to work with video. His biggest contribution in this area was working at KRNU and created the show, "You are so Beautiful, Beautiful Robot". Most of this show is dedicated to electronic music or electronic elements in music. Neal hosts this show through a Mac voice converter, he has made four documentaries with one in post-production. The subjects of these documentaries range from a man who lived in his van to Nebraska's version of bigfoot legends, he is working on a documentary on real-life superheroes. 1 www.nealo.com 2 www.nytimes.com 3 www.cheeksofgod.com Neal's site
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