Jihad (in Arabic: جهاد‎ jihād) literally means striving or struggling, especially with a praiseworthy aim.
An improper way to define Jihad is with the term “Holy War,” because originally this term did not refer to a physical, material war but more to an internal one with oneself, a spiritual one. There are a myriad of words in Arabic that can be translated as “war” and Jihad is not one of them. The word Jihad literally means “a struggle,” “an effort,” or “a great effort.” In its primary religious connotation (sometimes referred to as “the great Jihad”), it means the soul’s struggle to overcome the sinful obstacles that keep a person from GOD. For this reason, the word Jihad is almost always followed in the Qur’an by the phrase “in the way of GOD.”

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