Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why did I start my blog?

On October 29, Farooq Ahmed, a Pakistani American was arrested by the FBI in Ashburn, Virginia. He followed his quest of Jihad, only he got activated by the FBI in a sting operation. Different media outlets reported that he was a quiet and ordinary man as described by his neighbors.
I was asked: “What turned a seemingly ordinary and peaceful man into an activated terrorist?” I answered: “Farooq Ahmed always practiced Jihad.  He switched the kind of Jihad he practiced and went for a hand job.” At the end of my joke, I started to explain the three Types of Jihad.
Hand Jihad where a Muslim sees Munkar (what is wrong) and physically changes it. Tongue Jihad which is to advocate verbally for Jihad and heart Jihad which is to support Jihad in your heart. Heart Jihad is the weakest form of believing, as described by the prophet Mohammad.
Jihad is a Fard Ein / obligation on every Muslim. All Muslims practice a type of Jihad. They are either supporters of Jihad or Jihad sympathizers. Does this mean all Muslims are dangerous?  To answer this question we have to analyze the word Jihad. It has been translated into "The Holy War". However, we moderate Muslims insist that Jihad means inner struggle. Is the interpretation widely accepted wrong? Should Westerners accept the definition given by moderate Muslims?
 Allow me to explain. Let's go back to the root of the word which has been the root of all terrorists' acts.  The root Jahada , which was repeated 41 times in Koran , means  to struggle, to toil, to overload a camel, and to strive after. Before celebrating the correctness of moderate Muslims, we should follow how the meaning has developed into Holy War.
Imam Bukhari explained in his book of Jihad that Muslims leading a life of piety and virtue through their Jihad "inner struggle" will simply invite others to the truth, i.e. Islam. Since the first  Khalifa / successor of Mohammad, Abu Bakr Muslims fought to restore faith. Fighting was deemed the only way for the word of God to continue and prosper. While struggle is not synonymous to war, when Muslims had to fight in defense of faith, the meaning of Jihad had extended to include the struggle against an enemy who incites you to sin and stray away from the straight path. All the terrorists had to do is point to Westerners and say they are the enemy of God.
I believe that the solution is to update Islam.  The unavoidable solution is for moderate Muslims to speak up. First give a new definition of Jihad which corresponds to the original message of Islam and second point at illiteracy which is the right enemy. The problem is not in Jihad. It is in the enemy Muslims chose to fight. As a moderate Muslim, I practice Jihad. My Jihad is against ignorance. My struggle is to help Muslims fight the right enemy. That is why I started my blog.


  1. Again thank you for the blog. I think your jihad is a noble one but should not be limited to Muslims but should include non-Muslims. We Americans do not know or understand Islam or Muslims. All we know is the terrorist who happens to be Muslim (or so he thinks). I can't blame the average American for this view because that is all we see on our televisions.

  2. Does not "ilm" appear in in the Koran more often than "jihad"? So why is "ilm" not more central?

    I also started a blog, but from a different perspective. Try my quizes on Islam: