JIHĀD, "struggle or striving, but often understood both within Muslim tradition and beyond it as warfare against infidels" (Enc. of the Qur'ān, S.V. Jihād); in other words, the Holy War. During the period of muhammad 's stay in medina some of his revelations deal with the problem of the jihād, the holy war to be waged against Allah's enemies and the infidels (e.g., Sura 2:186–90, 212–15, 245, 247). Those who fight according to Allah's way may hope for His mercy. Muhammad promises that everyone who is killed while fighting in Allah's way will win the highest reward (Sura 4:76). Such a man is a shahīd, a martyr. According to Muslim religious law, the caliph is obliged to lead the jihād against the inhabitants of those countries which did not adopt islam . These countries are called dār al-ḥarb ("war territory"), while the countries under Islamic rule are referred to as dār al-Islām ("territory of Islam") – Jews and Christians could live there only as dhimmī ("protected people") and have to pay a poll tax (jizya), thereby recognizing the superiority of Islam. In practice, this bipartite division of the world was only able to last a short time during the first hundred years of Arab-Muslim expansion. For the later period the Muslim constitutional-religious law was obliged to create a third category, the dār al-ṣulḥ or dār al-ʿahd ("territory of treaty") of non-Muslim countries not subject to Muslim sovereignty but connected with the dār al-Islām by temporary treaties; this sometimes involved the payment of a token tribute. The main cause for the creation of this compromise category was that many non-Muslim governments were considered too strong, or too far away from the center of Muslim power, to be overthrown by force. In the modern Muslim national movements and states there does not seem to be a place for the idea of a holy war against infidels. Nevertheless, it still plays a very important role among the masses. They can easily be incited by the fanaticism of leaders, preaching in the name of the koran and Muhammad, to initiate riots against unbelievers inside the country and at least plan a war against infidels outside the Muslim state. The last proclamation of a jihād occurred during World War I when the Turkish sultan proclaimed it against his enemies, the Entente powers. This proclamation, however, proved a failure, particularly in view of the pro-British Arab revolt which started in the holy cities of hejaz , and also because the Sultan himself was allied with Germany, a Christian power. When some Muslim authorities later tried to proclaim their struggle against Israel as a jihād, they were equally unsuccessful mainly because of the Arab nationalist character of the anti-Israel campaign, which included many non-Muslims. This was the case also in many inter-Muslim wars in the second half of the 20th century, when the leaders of both sides declared the jihād (yemen -egypt , iraq -iran , algeria , and al-Qāʿida-saudi arabia ); but after the establishment of a Communist regime in afghanistan and the Soviet invasion, the declaration of jihād attracted Muslims from different countries who fought there for years. Some of them formed groups of warriors who were ready to take part in the wars of different Muslim minorities or states (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya and Iraq), seeing them as jihād. Those jihadists claimed that "Muslims who interpret their faith differently are infidels and therefore legitimate targets of jihād. Today, jihād is the world's foremost source of terrorism, inspiring a   worldwide campaign of violence by self-proclaimed jihadist groups" (D. Pipes, N.Y. Post, December 31, 2002). The idea of the jihād has certain analogies to milḥemet ḥovah ("the prescribed (by the Torah) war") as it is discussed in the Talmud (Sot. 44b; TJ, Sot. 8:10, 23a) and in some aspects of kiddush ha-Shem (the sanctification of God's name). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: M.J. Kister, "An yadin (Koran IX/29), an Attempt at Interpretation," in: Arabica, 11 (1964); R. Peters, Islamand Colonialism. The Doctrine of Jihād in Modern History (1976); A. Morabia, Le Jihād dans l'Islam médiéval. Le "combat sacré" des origines aux XIIe siècle, (1986); R. Firestone, Jihād. The Origin of Holy War in Islam (1999); E. Landau, The Encyclopaedia of the Qur'ān, 3, 35–42, S.V. Jihād. (Haïm Z'ew Hirschberg / Isaac Hasson (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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