While at Lalbadshah’s blog, I stumbled across a link to the actual meaning of Jihad. And here goes…
In the linguistic sense, the Arabic word “jihad” means struggling or striving and applies to any effort exerted by anyone.
In the West, “jihad” is generally translated as “holy war”, a usage the media has popularized. According to Islamic teachings, it is unholy to instigate or start war; however, some wars are inevitable and justifiable. If we translate the words “holy war” back into Arabic we find “harbun muqaddasatun”, or for “the holy war”, “al-harbu al-muqaddasatu”. We challenge any researcher or scholar to find the meaning of “jihad” as holy war in the Qur’an or authentic Hadith collections or in early Islamic literature. Unfortunately, some Muslim writers and translators of the Qur’an, the Hadith and other Islamic literature translate the term “jihad” as “holy war”, due to the influence of centuries-old Western propaganda. This could be a reflection of the Christian use of the term “Holy War” to refer to the Crusades of a thousand years ago. However, the Arabic words for “war” are “harb” or “qital”, which are found in the Qur’an and Hadith.
Now, That does throw a different shade of light at the word. If you are really interested in hearing this side of the story, check out the full article here. I wish all those fighting mankind in the name of God understood this angle of the philosophy.