Elisabeth Meinecke
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The director of CAIR -- which has ties to the terrorist group Hamas -- is trying to rehabilitate the concept of jihad, reports the Hudson New York:

Hussam Ayloush, the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Los Angeles – one of CAIR's largest and most important local chapters -- claims the term "jihad" means something positive and noble. However, the organization he represents, CAIR, and the company he keeps belie the notion that Ayloush is being less than forthright in his interpretation.

On April 8, 2011, Ayloush found himself giving a khutbah [sermon] entitled, "Understanding and Defending 'The Shariah,'" at the Islamic Institute of Orange County (IIOC). Shariah is the set of religion-based legal rulings originally set out in the Koran and the life of Muhammed {Hadith] and interpreted and enforced by Islamic courts. Shariah – meaning "The Path," or "The "Way" -- deals with everything from crime and politics to economics and sexuality. Shariah law includes such acts as the cutting off of limbs, crucifixion, mutilation, the stoning of individuals, and the death sentence for (even alleged) adultery, death for criticizing the Prophet Muhammed, and death for leaving the religion. It also values a woman as worth half a man in court, and advocates wife-beating.

In the speech, Ayloush stated, "The word jihad now is so demonized that even Muslims are afraid to link to such a noble cause. Striving for justice, striving for the goodness of mankind, striving for good – that's what jihad is." Jihad means to struggle, within oneself or against others. Often the term refers to "holy war" against non-believers or non-Muslims.

But CreepingSharia.com gives some scholarly analysis for how this attempt to color the term "jihad" doesn't add up.

To elaborate further, it is in contradiction with the subject matter of Jihad that has been elaborated in over a hundred ayat of the Qur’an that have come with the meaning of Jihad being Qitaal, which means to slay or to kill or to fight. This was how the Prophet (Sallallahu Sallallahu “>Alaihi Wasallam) and the Sahabah (ra) understood it. To give an example from the Seerah that was narrated by Ibn Majah with a source in Bukhari, woman came to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and asked “O Messenger of Allah! Is Jihad obliged upon the women?” To which he responded, “Yes, a Jihad without Qitaal (fighting), it is the Hajj and the Umrah!”

This clearly demonstrates that Jihad is Qitaal i.e. Jihad is undertaking the physical fighting and this is how it was understood by the woman and the Prophet (Sallallahu Sallallahu “>Alaihi Wasallam), as explained in the Prophet’s (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) answer i.e. Jihad in Islam means fighting. The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) did not respond by saying that there was the greater Jihad for everyone i.e. Jihad against oneself! Rather he informed her that Allah had prescribed the Hajj and the Umrah for her and that she would get the reward of the Mujahid for undertaking this action, as explained by Imam Sanani in his explanation in the book Sub us Salam.

 

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Elisabeth Meinecke

Elisabeth Meinecke is TOWNHALL MAGAZINE Managing Editor. Follow her on Twitter @lismeinecke.