A black and white image of an old punch card machine with a punched card in it.

Islam for Dummies, definition of jihad

Islam for Dummies, A Reference for the Rest of US!, Malcolm Clark, Wiley Publishing 2003

Page 141: Go, team, go! What about jihad?

Jihad, typically translated as “holy war” in the West, is sometimes included as a sixth pillar in discussions of religious obligations (ibada means service or worship). Within Islam, you can find different explanations of jihad, often in conflict with one another. All agree that, whether it’s one of the pillars or not, jihad is required. All agree that the word itself means “striving” or “struggle” and is used in some places in the Qur’an without military connotation. But in other texts, jihad does include warfare, and certainly war on behalf of God is prominent in the Islamic tradition. You can out more about jihad in Chapter 17, where I look at some misconceptions about Islam.