A mufti is an Islamic jurist qualified to issue a nonbinding opinion on a point of Islamic law. The act of issuing fatwas is called iftāʾ. Muftis and their fatwas played an important role throughout Islamic history, taking on new roles in the modern era. Tracing its origins to the Quran and early Islamic communities, the practice of ifta crystallized with the emergence of the traditional legal theory and schools of Islamic jurisprudence. In the classical legal system, fatwas issued by muftis in response to private queries served to inform Muslim populations about Islam, advise courts on difficult points of Islamic law, elaborate substantive law. In times, muftis issued public and political fatwas that took a stand on doctrinal controversies, legitimized government policies or articulated grievances of the population. Traditionally, a mufti was seen as a scholar of upright character who possessed a thorough knowledge of the Quran and legal literature. Muftis acted as independent scholars in the classical legal system.
Over the centuries, Sunni muftis were incorporated into state bureaucracies, while Shia jurists in Iran progressively asserted an autonomous authority starting from the early modern era. With the spread of codified state laws and Western-style legal education in the modern Muslim world, muftis no longer play their traditional role of clarifying and elaborating the laws applied in courts. However, muftis have continued to advise the general public on other aspects of sharia questions regarding religious rituals and everyday life; some modern muftis are appointed by the state to issue fatwas, while others serve on advisory religious councils. Still others issue fatwas in response over the internet. Modern public fatwas have addressed and sometimes sparked controversies in the Muslim world and beyond; the legal methodology of modern ifta diverges from pre-modern practice. While the proliferation of contemporary fatwas attests to the importance of Islamic authenticity to many Muslims, little research has been done to determine to what extent the Muslim public continues to acknowledge the religious authority of muftis or heeds their advice.
The word mufti comes from the Arabic root f-t-y, whose meanings include "youth, clarification, explanation." A number of related terms derive from the same root. A mufti's response is called a fatwa; the person who asks a mufti for a fatwa is known as mustafti. The act of issuing fatwas is called iftāʾ; the term futyā refers to issuing fatwas. The origins of muftis and the fatwa can be traced back to the Quran. On a number of occasions, the Quranic text instructs the Islamic prophet Muhammad how to respond to questions from his followers regarding religious and social practices. Several of these verses begin with the phrase "When they ask you concerning... say..." In two cases this is expressed with verbal forms of the root f-t-y, which signify asking for or giving an authoritative answer. In the hadith literature, this three-way relationship between God and believers, is replaced by a two-way consultation, in which Muhammad replies directly to queries from his Companions. According to Islamic doctrine, with Muhammad's death in 632, God ceased to communicate with mankind through revelation and prophets.
At that point, the expanding Muslim community turned to Muhammad's Companions, as the most authoritative voices among them, for religious guidance, some of them are reported to have issued pronouncements on a wide range of subjects. The generation of Companions was in turn replaced in that role by the generation of Successors; the institution of ifta thus developed in Islamic communities under a question-and-answer format for communicating religious knowledge, took on its definitive form with development of the classical theory of Islamic law. By the 8th century CE, muftis became recognized as legal experts who elaborated Islamic law and clarified its application to practical issues arising in the Islamic community; the legal theory of the ifta was formulated in the classical texts of usul al-fiqh, while more practical guidelines for muftis were found in manuals called adab al-mufti or adab al-fatwa. A mufti's fatwa is issued in response to a query. Fatwas can range from a simple yes/no answer to a book-length treatise.
A short fatwa may state a well-known point of law in response to a question from a lay person, while a "major" fatwa may give a judgment on an unprecedented case, detailing the legal reasoning behind the decision. Queries to muftis were supposed to address real and not hypothetical situtations and be formulated in general terms, leaving out names of places and people. Since a mufti was not supposed to inquire into the situation beyond the information included in the query, queries regarding contentious matters were carefully constructed to elicit the desired response. A mufti's understanding of the query depended on their grasp of local customs and colloquial expressions. In theory, if the query was unclear or not sufficiently detailed for a ruling, the mufti was supposed to state these caveats in their response. Muftis consulted another mufti on difficult cases, though this practice was not foreseen by legal theory, which saw futya as a transaction between one qualified jurist and one "unqualified" petitioner.
In theory, a mufti was expected to issue fatwas free of charge. In practice, muftis received support from the public treasury, public endowments or private donations. Taking of bribes was forbidden; until the 11th or 12th century, the vast majority of jurists held other jobs to support themselves. T
Sayyid (Arabic: سيد, Persian:. Female sayyids are given the titles Sayyida, Alawiyah or Sharifa. In some regions of the Islamic world, such as in India, the descendants of Muhammad are given the title Amir or Mir, meaning commander, general; the descendents of Muhammed honour the possession of family trees tracing back their ancestry. In other regions, they are called Shah. Children of a Sayyida mother but a non-Sayyid father are referred to as Mirza. In the Arab world, sayyid is the equivalent of the English word "liege lord" or "master" when referring to a descendant of Muhammad, as in Sayyid Ali Sultan; the word sidi is used in Arabic. Although not verified, many Arabic language experts state that it has its roots in the word Al Asad الأسد, meaning lion because of the qualities of valour and leadership. Although reliable statistics are unavailable, conservative estimates put the number of Sayyids in the tens of millions; the Sayyids are by definition a branch of the Banu Hashim, that traces its lineage to Adnan and therefore it is directly descended from Ishmael, as well as being collaterally descended from his paternal half brother Isaac, the sons of Abraham.
Banū Hāshim is the clan of Muhammad. Members of this clan are referred to as Hashemites. Descendants of Muhammed carry the titles Sayyid, Hashmi and Sharif, or the Ashraf clan. Today, two sovereign monarchs – Abdullah II of Jordan and Muhammad VI of Morocco – and the erstwhile royal family of Libya are considered to be a part of Banu Hashim; the Hashemites are the ruling royal family of Jordan. The House was the royal family of Syria and Iraq; the family belongs to the Dhawu Awn, one of the branches of the Hasanid Sharifs of Mecca – referred to as Hashemites – who ruled Mecca continuously from the 10th century until its conquest by the House of Saud in 1924. Their eponymous ancestor is great-grandfather of Muhammad. Traditionally, Islam has had a rich history of the veneration of relics of those attributed to the Muhammad; the most genuine prophetic relics are believed to be those housed in Istanbul's Topkapı Palace, in a section known as Hirkai Serif Odasi. In the early period, the Arabs used the term Sayyid and Sharif to denote descendants from both Hasan and Husayn.
However, in the modern era, the term'Sharif' has been used to denote descendants from Hasan, the term'Sayyid' has been used to denote descendants from Husayn. Sayyids include the following titles in their names to indicate the figure from whom they trace their descent; the descendants of Ali and his other wives are called Alevi sayyid. Note: When transliterating Arabic words into English there are two approaches. 1. The user may transliterate the word letter for letter, e.g. "الزيدي" becomes "a-l-z-ai-d-i". 2. The user may transcribe the pronunciation of the word, e.g. "الزيدي" becomes "a-zz-ai-d-i". This is; when the user sees the prefixes an, ar, as, ash, at, az, etc... this means the word is the transcription of the pronunciation. An i, wi, or vi ending could be translated by the English suffixes -ite or -ian; the suffix transforms a personal name or place name into the name of a group of people connected by lineage or place of birth. Hence Ahmad al-Hassani could be translated as Ahmad, the descendant of Hassan, Ahmad al-Manami as Ahmad from the city of Manami.
For further explanation, see Arabic names.1Also, El-Husseini, Al-Husseini and Hussaini. 2Those who use the term Sayyid for all descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib regard Allawis or Alavis as Sayyids. However, Allawis are not descendants of Muhammad, as they are descended from the children of Ali and the women he married after the death of Fatima, such as Umm ul-Banin; those who limit the term Sayyid to descendants of Muhammad through Fatima, Allawis/Alavis are the same how Sayyids. Some Sayyids claim to be "Najeeb Al Tarfayn", meaning "Noble on both sides", which indicates that both of their parents are Sayyid, but in actuality this term is applied only to those Sayyids who have both Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain in their ancestry. These Sayyids in the Arab world, would keep the prefix of Sayyid Alshareef or Shareefayn, or Sayyidayn or Sheikh Assayyid before their names, followed by their father's and grandfather's names and the clan's and tribe's names followed by AlHasani bil Hussaini or Al Hussaini bil Hasani, depending on which Imam is patrilineal or matrilineal.
Many Sayyids in South Asia and Shia Sayyids, think that only the progeny of both Sayyid parents are called Najeeb Al Tarfayn, but this idea may be attributed to a lack of knowledge in Arabic language and Genealogy. The importance of this concept of Najeeb AlTarfayn has its source in the Hadeeth of M
The Mahdi is an eschatological redeemer of Islam who, according to some Islamic traditions, will appear and rule for five, nine or nineteen years before the Day of Judgment and will rid the world of evil. There is no direct reference to the Mahdi in the Quran, only in the hadith. In most traditions, the Mahdi will arrive with'Isa to defeat Al-Masih ad-Dajjal. Although the concept of a Mahdi is not an essential doctrine in Sunni Islam, it is popular among both Sunni and Shia Muslims. Both agree that he will establish justice. Throughout history, various individuals have claimed to be the Mahdi; these have included founder of the Mahdavia sect. Shi'ites have alternate views. Twelvers, who form the majority of Shi'ites today, believe that Muhammad ibn Al-Hasan al-Askari is the current occulted Imam and Mahdi. Tayyibi Isma'ili Shi'ites, including the Dawoodi Bohrah, however believe that At-Tayyib Abu'l-Qasim is the current occulted Imam and Mahdi; the term mahdi does not occur in the Quran. It is derived from the Arabic root h-d-y used to mean "divine guidance".
The term al-Mahdi was employed from the beginning of Islam, but only as an honorific epithet and without any messianic significance. As an honorific it has been used in some instances to describe Muhammad, as well as Abraham, al-Hussain, various Umayyad rulers. During the second civil war, after the death of Muʾawiya, the term acquired a new meaning of a ruler who would restore Islam to its perfect form and restore justice after oppression. In Kufa during the rebellion in 680s, Al-Mukhtar proclaimed Muhammad al-Hanafiyyah as the Mahdi in this heightened sense. Among the Umayyads, caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik encouraged the belief that he was the Mahdi, other Umayyad rulers, like Umar II, have been addressed as such in the panegyrics of Jarir and al-Farazdaq. Early discussions about the identity of al-Mahdi by religious scholars can be traced back to the time after the Second Fitna; these discussions developed in different directions and were influenced by traditions attributed to Muhammad.
In Umayyad times and traditionists not only differed on which caliph or rebel leader should be designated as Mahdi, but on whether the Mahdi is a messianic figure and if signs and predictions of his time have been satisfied. By the time of the Abbasid Revolution in the year 750, Mahdi was a known concept. Evidence shows. In Shia Islam, it seems that the attribution of messianic qualities to the Mahdi originated from two of the groups supporting al-Hanafiyyah: southern Arabian settlers and local recent converts in Iraq, they became known as Kaysanites, introduced what became two key aspects of the Shia's concept of the Mahdi. The first was the notion of return of the dead of the Imams; the second was that after al-Hanafiyyah's death they believed he was, in fact, in hiding in the Razwa mountains near Medina. This developed into the doctrine known as the Occultation; the Mahdi appeared in early Shi'ite narratives, spread among Shi'ite groups and became dissociated from its historical figure, Muhammad al-Hanafiyyah.
During the 10th century, based on these earlier beliefs, the doctrine of Mahdism was extensively expanded by Al-Kulayni, Ibrahim al-Qummi and Ibn Babawayh. In particular, in the early 10th century, the doctrine of the Occultation, which declares that the Twelfth Imam did not die but was concealed by God from the eyes of men, was expounded; the Mahdi became synonymous with the "Hidden Imam", thought to be in occultation awaiting the time that God has ordered for his return. This return is envisaged as occurring shortly before the final Day of judgment. In fact, the concept of the "hidden Imam" was attributed to several Imams in turn; some historians suggest that the term itself was introduced into Islam by southern Arabian tribes who had settled in Syria in the mid-7th century. They believed that the Mahdi would lead them back to their homeland and reestablish the Himyarite kingdom, they believed that he would conquer Constantinople. It has been suggested that the concept of the Mahdi may have been derived from messianic Judeo-Christian beliefs.
Accordingly, traditions were introduced to support certain political interests Anti-Abbassid sentiments. These traditions about the M | works of Muslim. Since Sunnism has no established doctrine of Mahdi, compositions of Mahdi varies among Sunni scholars. While some scholars like Ibn Khaldun disputed the authenticity of references concerning the Mahdi in hadith literature, others like Ibn Kathir elaborated a whole apocalyptic scenario which included prophecies about Mahdi and Dajjal during the endtime; some Sunni beliefs deny the Mahdi as a separate figure, accordingly Jesus will fulfill this role and judge over mankind, thus Mahdi is considered as a title for Jesus, when he returns. However the more common opinion among Sunni Muslims is, that the Mahdi is an expected ruler sent by God before the endtime
Principles of Islamic jurisprudence
Principles of Islamic jurisprudence known as Uṣūl al-fiqh, are traditional methodological principles used in Islamic jurisprudence for deriving the rulings of Islamic law. Traditional theory of Islamic jurisprudence elaborates how the scriptures should be interpreted from the standpoint of linguistics and rhetoric, it comprises methods for establishing authenticity of hadith and for determining when the legal force of a scriptural passage is abrogated by a passage revealed at a date. In addition to the Quran and hadith, the classical theory of Sunni jurisprudence recognizes two other sources of law: juristic consensus and analogical reasoning, it therefore studies the application and limits of analogy, as well as the value and limits of consensus, along with other methodological principles, some of which are accepted by only certain legal schools. This interpretive apparatus is brought together under the rubric of ijtihad, which refers to a jurist's exertion in an attempt to arrive at a ruling on a particular question.
The theory of Twelver Shia jurisprudence parallels that of Sunni schools with some differences, such as recognition of reason as a source of law in place of qiyas and extension of the notions of hadith and sunnah to include traditions of the imams. Uṣūl al-fiqh is a genitive construction with two Arabic terms, fiqh. Uṣūl means roots or basis. Fiqh linguistically refers to deep understanding or comprehension. In the context of Islamic law, it refers to traditional Islamic jurisprudence. Classical jurists held that human reason is a gift from God which should be exercised to its fullest capacity. However, they believed that use of reason alone is insufficient to distinguish right from wrong, that rational argumentation must draw its content from the body of transcendental knowledge revealed in the Quran and through the sunnah of Muhammad. In Islam, the Quran is considered to be the most sacred source of law. Classical jurists held its textual integrity to be beyond doubt on account of it having been handed down by many people in each generation, known as "recurrence" or "concurrent transmission".
Only several hundred verses of the Quran have direct legal relevance, they are concentrated in a few specific areas such as inheritance, though other passages have been used as a source for general principles whose legal ramifications were elaborated by other means. The body of hadith provides more detailed and practical legal guidance, but it was recognized early on that not all of them were authentic. Early Islamic scholars developed a methodology for evaluating their authenticity by assessing trustworthiness of the individuals listed in their transmission chains; these criteria narrowed down the vast corpus of prophetic traditions to several thousand "sound" hadiths, which were collected in several canonical compilations. The hadiths which enjoyed concurrent transmission were deemed unquestionably authentic; the uncertainty was further compounded by ambiguity of the language contained in some hadiths and Quranic passages. Disagreements on the relative merits and interpretation of the textual sources allowed legal scholars considerable leeway in formulating alternative rulings.
Consensus could in principle elevate a ruling based on probable evidence to absolute certainty. This classical doctrine drew its authority from a series of hadiths stating that the Islamic community could never agree on an error; this form of consensus was technically defined as agreement of all competent jurists in any particular generation, acting as representatives of the community. However, the practical difficulty of obtaining and ascertaining such an agreement meant that it had little impact on legal development. A more pragmatic form of consensus, which could be determined by consulting works of prominent jurists, was used to confirm a ruling so that it could not be reopened for further discussion; the cases for which there was a consensus account for less than 1 percent of the body of classical jurisprudence. Analogical reasoning is used to derive a ruling for a situation not addressed in the scripture by analogy with a scripturally based rule. In a classic example, the Quranic prohibition of drinking wine is extended to all intoxicating substances, on the basis of the "cause" shared by these situations, which in this case is identified to be intoxication.
Since the cause of a rule may not be apparent, its selection occasioned controversy and extensive debate. Twelver Shia jurisprudence relies on reason in its place; the classical process of ijtihad combined these recognized principles with other methods, which were not adopted by all legal schools, such as istihsan and istishab. A jurist, qualified to practice ijtihad is known as a mujtahid; the use of independent reasoning to arrive at a ruling is contrasted with taqlid, which refers to following the rulings of a mujtahid. By the beginning of the 10th century, development of Sunni jurisprudence prompted leading jurists to state that the main legal questions had been addressed and the scope of ijtihad was restricted. From the 18th century on, leading Muslim reformers began calling for abandonment of taqlid and renewed emphasis on ijtihad, which they saw as a return to the vitality of early Islamic jurisprudence. Sharia rulings fall into one of five categories known as “the five decisions”: mandatory (
Mullah is derived from the Arabic word مَوْلَى mawlā, meaning "vicar", "master" and "guardian". However, used ambiguously in the Quran, some publishers have described its usage as a religious title as inappropriate; the term is sometimes applied to a Muslim woman, educated in Islamic theology and sacred law. In large parts of the Muslim world Iran, Azerbaijan, Eastern Arabia and the Balkans, Central Asia, the Horn of Africa and South Asia, it is the name given to local Islamic clerics or mosque leaders; the title has been used in some Sephardic Jewish communities to refer to the community's leadership religious leadership. The term mullah is understood in the Muslim world as a term of respect for an educated religious man. Ideally, a trained mullah will have studied Islamic traditions, Islamic law; such figures have memorized the Qur'an. Uneducated villagers may classify a literate Muslim with a less than complete Islamic training as their "mullah" or religious cleric. Mullahs with varying levels of training lead prayers in mosques, deliver religious sermons, perform religious ceremonies such as birth rites and funeral services.
They often teach in a type of Islamic school known as a madrasah. Three kinds of knowledge are applied most in interpreting Islamic texts for matters of Shariah, i.e. Islamic law. Mullahs have been involved in politics, but only have they served in positions of power, since Islamists seized power in Iran in 1979. In Syria, political militant groups supported by the West have taken root; the Taliban enforced Islamism in Afghanistan. The term is most applied to Shi'ite clerics, as Shi'a Islam is the predominant tradition in Iran. However, the term is common in Urdu, spoken throughout Pakistan, it is used throughout the Indian subcontinent for any Muslim clergy, Sunni or Shi'a. Muslim clergy in Russia and other former Soviet Republics are referred to as mullahs, regardless of whether they are Sunni or Shi'a; the term has been used among Persian Jews, Bukharan Jews, Afghan Jews, other Central Asian Jews to refer to the community's religious and/or secular leadership. In Kaifeng, the historic Chinese Jews who managed the synagogue were called "mullahs".
Outside of Eastern Arabia, which has a long Shiite tradition and numerous Shiite minorities, the term is used in other Arabic-speaking areas where its nearest equivalent is shaykh, imam, or ʿālim. In the Sunni world, the concept of "cleric" is of limited usefulness, as authority in the religious system is decentralized; the term is used in English, although English-speaking Muslim clergy call themselves mullahs. It was adopted from Urdu by the British rulers of India and subsequently came into more widespread use, it is sometimes used to mock gnostically religious men. Until the early 20th century, the term mullah was used in Iranian hawzas to refer to low-level clergy who specialized in telling stories of Ashura, rather than teaching or issuing fatwas. Today, the term is sometimes used as a derogatory term for any Islamic cleric. In recent years, at least among Shia clerics, the term ruhani has been promoted as an alternative to mullah and akhoond, free of pejorative connotations. In Iran the usual dress of a mollah is a turban, a long coat with sleeves and buttons, similar to a cassock, a long gown or cloak, open at the front.
The aba is made either of brown wool or of black muslin. It has holes through which the arms may be inserted; the turban is white, but those who claim descent from the Prophet Muhammad traditionally wear a black turban. Allamah Marja' Maulana Maulvi Mullah Mohammed Omar Mullah Nasruddin Ulema عبا This article incorporates text from Chinese and Japanese repository of facts and events in science and art, relating to Eastern Asia, Volume 1, a publication from 1863 now in the public domain in the United States. "Mollah". New International Encyclopedia. 1905. International Imam Organization
Imam is an Islamic leadership position. It is most used as the title of a worship leader of a mosque and Muslim community among Sunni Muslims. In this context, imams may lead Islamic worship services, serve as community leaders, provide religious guidance. In Yemen, the title was given to the king of the country. For Shi'a Muslims, the imam has a more central meaning and role in Islam through the concept of imamah; the Sunni branch of Islam does not have imams in the same sense as the Shi'a, an important distinction overlooked by those outside of the Islamic religion. In everyday terms, the imam for Sunni Muslims is the one who leads Islamic formal prayers in locations besides the mosque, whenever prayers are done in a group of two or more with one person leading and the others following by copying his ritual actions of worship. Friday sermon is most given by an appointed imam. All mosques have an imam to lead the prayers though it may sometimes just be a member from the gathered congregation rather than an appointed salaried person.
The position of women as imams is controversial. The person that should be chosen, according to Hadith, is one who has most knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah and is of good character; the term is used for a recognized religious scholar or authority in Islam for the founding scholars of the four Sunni madhhabs, or schools of jurisprudence. It may refer to the Muslim scholars who created the analytical sciences related to Hadith or it may refer to the heads of Muhammad's family in their generational times; the Position of Imams In Turkey Imams are appointed by the state to work at mosques and they are required to be graduates of an İmam Hatip high school or have a university degree in Theology. This is an official position regulated by the Presidency of Religious Affairs in Turkey and only males are appointed to this position while female officials under the same state organisation work as preachers and Qur'an course tutors, religious services experts; these officials are supposed to belong to the Hanafi school of the Sunni sect.
A central figure in an Islamic movement is called as an Imam like the Imam Nabhawi in Syria and Ahmad Raza Khan in India and Pakistan is called as the Imam for Sunni Muslims. In the Shi'a context, an imam is not only presented as the man of God par excellence, but as participating in the names and acts that theology reserves for God alone. Imams have a meaning more central to belief. Twelver and Ismaili Shi'a believe that these imams are chosen by God to be perfect examples for the faithful and to lead all humanity in all aspects of life, they believe that all the imams chosen are free from committing any sin, impeccability, called ismah. These leaders must be followed. Here follows a list of the Twelvers imams: Fatimah Fatimah al-Zahraa, daughter of Muhammed, is considered infallible but not an Imam; the Shi'a believe that the 12th Imam Mahdi will one day emerge on Qiyamah. See Imamah and List of Ismaili imams for Ismaili imams. See details under Zaidiyyah, Islamic history of Yemen and Imams of Yemen.
At times, imams have held religious authority. This was the case in Oman among the Ibadi sects. At times, the imams were elected. At other times the position was inherited, as with the Yaruba dynasty from 1624 and 1742. See List of rulers of Oman, the Rustamid dynasty: 776–909, Nabhani dynasty: 1154–1624, the Yaruba dynasty: 1624–1742, the Al Said: 1744–present for further information; the Imamate of Futa Jallon was a Fulani state in West Africa where secular power alternated between two lines of hereditary Imams, or almami. In the Zaidi Shiite sect, imams were secular as well as spiritual leaders who held power in Yemen for more than a thousand years. In 897, a Zaidi ruler, al-Hadi ila'l-Haqq Yahya, founded a line of such imams, a theocratic form of government which survived until the second half of the 20th century. Ruhollah Khomeini is referred to as Imam in Iran. Several Iranian places and institutions are named "Imam Khomeini", including a city, an international airport, a hospital, a university.
Mufti Women as imams Imamah Imam of Friday Prayer Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Encyclopædia Iranica. Center for Iranian Studies, Columbia University. ISBN 1-56859-050-4. Martin, Richard C. Encyclopaedia of Islam and the Muslim world. MacMillan. ISBN 0-02-865604-0. Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. Gale Group. 2004. ISBN 978-0-02-865769-1. Corbin, Henry. History of Islamic Philosophy. Translated by Sherrard, Liadain. London. ISBN 0-7103-0416-1. Momen, Moojan. TAn Introduction to Shi`i Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelve. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03531-4. Sachedina, Abdulaziz Abdulhussein; the Just Ruler in Shīʻite Islam: The Comprehensive Authority of the Jurist in Imamite Jurisprudence. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 0-19-511915-0. Tabatabae, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn. Shi'ite Islam. Translated by Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. SUNY press. ISBN 0-87395-272-3. Corbin, Henry. History of Islamic philosophy. London: Kegan Paul International. ISBN 9780710304162. A brief
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, religious 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 saying 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 well-performing hajj 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 th