Imam’s Reply

With Allah’s name The Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer.

By Imam Omar Hazim

Jim I was surprised to see the content of the email that you sent entitled Allah or Jesus. Islam is a religion that teaches peace, love, tolerance, mercy, kindness and forgiveness.    As you know Jihad is a greatly misunderstood word.  It is derived from the arabic root word juhd which means the exertion of one’s power or abilities to please God.  The word jihad itself means to struggle or to strive, and it applies to any effort of good exerted by anyone muslim or non-muslim.  Jihad does not mean holy war as some have stated out of the lack of knowledge or incorrect information.  Holy war is not mentioned in the Quran at all.  As far as the term infidels, it refers to those who do not believe in God or the Creator of all life.  This term does not apply to Jew, Christians and others who believe in God.  In the Holy Quran God has established the value of human life by saying, “ If anyone slays a human being unjustifiably it is as they slew all of humanity, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he or she saved all of humanity.”  Chapter 5 vs 35 “The Holy Quran says also in Chapter 5 vs 6  “It is lawful unto you to marry women from among the people of the book revealed before your time.”  The prophet Muhammed himself married women from other faith traditions, and millions of muslims today are married outside of their religious traditions.  If they married others than muslims, does this mean they would have to kill their spouses? Lets stop and think! Muslims are not ordered to kill anyone, only to fight in self defense.  Chapter 2 vs 190 says “ Fight those who fight against you, and be not the aggressors,  Allah (God)  loves not the aggressors.” Jihad is striving in the way of righteousness and improving one’s self, family and society.  Jihad is for repelling evil and is therefore a defensive act and not an offensive act.  Jihad does not include striving for individual or national power, dominance, glory, wealth, prestige or pride.  Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said, ” The strength is not in the one who is able to subdue the other but the strength is in the one who uses self restraint.” We accept and believe in all the great prophets and messengers from God. May God increase us all in knowledge. Ameen.

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