Because we need to understand Islamic Jihad

(To Andrea Pastore)

The jihadist return to the world spotlight after the events in Paris, the announcements of new massacres and the awakening of the dormant cells of more or less fundamentalist movements are alarming the entire Western world and beyond.

In all this religious political turmoil one hears the word jihad repeating to the point of nausea with the now common meaning of holy war, but is this so abused noun certain that it has the warlike meaning in it? 

The word Jihad which in Arabic is of masculine gender, contrary to the feminine use made by our local media, finds its derivation in the Arabic root jhd which means to strive, to apply oneself to something.

Muhammad himself in one of his famous hadits (sources of Islamic law nda), states that the most important actions of the Muslim are, in order, prayer, reverence towards parents and personal and collective commitment on the path of God, this commitment finds a full synthesis precisely in the term Jihad. 

In the Koran to the Sura (25,52) the phrase "So do not obey the unbelievers, but fight them vigorously with the Koran (CMGuzzetti," Il Corano "Editrice Elle Di Ci, Turin). It is evident the moral sense that this verse has and the metaphysical dimension that the verb has to fight, so much so that if the word combat replaces the term effort the sense of the sentence remains absolutely unaltered.

If we then analyze the war, understood as a violent clash, the Koran always gives ample space to the conflicting events that took place between Muhammad and his Meccan rivals, however, while the semantic root used to indicate the moral clash with evil and aimed at the redemption of the infidels is always jhd, when historically documentable war facts are cited, the roots used are qtl and hrb which indicate the combat aimed at destruction, in this regard we can cite the Sura (9,13) in which the war events of the battle of Hunayn, fifty kilometers from Mecca, between Mohammed and the notable holders of political and economic power. It is understood that the Koran does not speak of war only in references to historical facts, there are also exhortations to defense and offense, to endure and martyrdom, however in all these areas the roots qtl and hrb remain unchanged.

At this point it is right to ask when the term Jihad has taken on its current meaning, and what reasons have pushed part of the Islamic world to jump from moral tension to the jihad of the sword.

Probably the reason is to be found in the continuous economic, social and moral crises affecting the less developed countries with an Islamic majority, such events begin as a result of the struggles for decolonization and continue with the advent of national states, up to the so-called Arab spring last years. 

The birth of fundamentalist groups has always opposed the regimes in power by making religion their flag, their catalyst element, in short, the term Jihad has undergone a powerful exploitation aimed at raising religious pride in the desire to create the so-called nation Islamic pride, a pride that refers to the concepts of dar al-islam and dar al-harb which are the synthesis of everything that is Islam and everything that is not, thus making Islamic terrorism a geo-religious terrorism, since it binds God to the earth and the expansion of faith in Allah to the expansion of the territorial possessions of what in the eyes of fundamentalist fanatics should be the universal caliphate. 

In short, Jihad like us today we observe it from the media is nothing but an instrumental form used by groups of fanatics who are probably inserted in two voids, the political state of the Muslim nation states, born as a result of decolonization and socio-economic generated by the non-acceptance of the model of life built on secularism and hedonism. Just the lack of sharing, by radical Islam, of Western ways of life has led to the emergence of new political and social structures associated with an original conception of war, based on a misinterpretation of the concept of struggle, moral tension and conversion. of the world to Islamic doctrine.

As long as we continue to use Western units of measure to understand, or rather to try to understand these realities, the results will be scarce and the Jihad of terrorists will be able to proliferate at the expense of spiritual Jihad preached in the pages of the Koran.