Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Jihad And Terrorism

palestinian-militantsJihad vs Terrorism

Jihad is an Islamic term used to describe one’s duty towards Islam. Terrorism on the other hand is the act of trying to instill feelings of terror in the general population by acts or deeds.

Jihad as per Islam stands for struggle. This struggle can be to protect one’s country, religion, family, or to save someone else’s life. Jihad can even be one’s struggle to make himself a better human being. This has been called as the greater jihad by some. Terrorism, however, is never to protect. The sole purpose of terrorism is to cause enough harm, pain and agony to someone to make him feel insecure. The word Terrorism would normally be used when referring to systematic episodes of mass destruction or killings. It would not be normally used to petty crimes. It has nothing to do with religion as neither Islam nor any other religion in the world preaches destruction and killings.

Terrorism is often fueled by materialistic or territorial goals generally with no regard to religion whereas a jihad is the struggle in the path of god and has no other goal apart from this.

Terrorism is always directed towards the killing of innocent civilians and may be by way of explosions, attacks, etc, while, jihad is not permitted against innocent.

Both these terms are vastly misused. While politicians the world over have often discredit their political rivals by calling or classifying them as terrorists and their struggles as terrorism, terrorists on the other hand have always tried to justify their acts and deeds by calling and categorizing them as jihad, however, there is no reference in Islam or any other religion where jihad justifies the killing of innocent people or damage to property.

1. Jihad is the term used to describe one’s duty towards Islam while terrorism is an act committed to instill fear in the population.
2. Jihad need not always be violent however terrorism is always violent.
3. Jihad is always performed for God, while terrorism always has materialistic goals.
4. Terrorism is always directed to harm innocent civilians while Jihad does not permit this.

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  1. jihad is an announced holy war whereas terrorism is always unannounced and secret attack

    • Lovely one, Dear!

    • Ayesha, I’ve always believed Jihad in Islam is not the same as terrorism. You say that “terrorism” is “never announced”. I seem to recall, even prior to the terror (yes, terror) of 9/11, groups which advocated and used terrorist tactics openly announced their evil intensions to the world, when they “claimed responsibility” for the acts they perpetrated. That continues to this day. I know that Muslims are as intelligent and even as intellectually gifted as anyone else. I wish these people and their organizations would speak out more strongly and more often than I’ve heard in answering those “terrorists” who falsely proclaim they are doing the will of Allah.

  2. great article

  3. Great article

  4. The term innocent is dubious. Innocent by Indian penal code or American criminal law is not the same as in Sharia. In Sharia, a Kafir (disbeliever) is not an ‘innocent’. He has committed the crime of disbelieving in Allah and his prophet. I know most muslims consider this rubbish, but those that matter to us, i.e. the terrorists claim they are not killing innocents, but kafirs, which accroding to them is islamic.

    • Hey Dhruv,

      You have correctly mentioned that ‘kafir’ is not ‘innocent’ as mentioned in the Quran but what you might not know is that Quran cannot be quoted verbatim and that too its English translation as Islamic jurisprudence requires Quran to be read in a context because it otherwise has conflicting statements.

      So, your statement as a matter of fact is incorrect.All the sharia is derived from the Quran and which is not, is not a sharia per se.

      Hope this clears your misconceptions.

    • If this according to you is Islamic act then you are wrong because Islam is not just for the Muslim it is for the whole universe and mankind.and Islam never ever give permission to any Muslim to kill any other human being who is not Muslim.Islam preached by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) by love and kindness not by force.

  5. Wonderful article. Very accurate with great insight and detail! 🙂

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