One has to remember that the literal meaning of the word "jihad" is effort or struggle, and that the greater jihad was defined by the Prophet as the jihad an-nafs (the war against the soul). The priority thus accorded to inward, spiritual effort over all outward endeavors must never be lost sight of in any discussion of jihad. Physical fighting is "the lesser jihad" and only has meaning in the context of that unremitting combat against inner vices, the devil within, that has been called the greater jihad.Others say:
Muslims hold that an outer jihad can only be declared by a lawful and legal authority who is himself a Muslim, but they differ significantly on just who such an authority actually is. Islamic law also states that such a Jihad may only be carried out against those who are themselves actively oppressing Islam.Resulting in understandable confusion over whether jihad is an "inner struggle" of self-contemplation or a no-quarters holy war on unbelievers (as the language of the Koran supports).
So I sympathize with this woman doctor:
An orthodontist in southern Germany has refused to treat a 16-year-old whose first name is Jihad, which is Arabic for holy struggle or holy war, because she took offense at his name, reports the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (in German), citing a local magazine.Naming kids as a rally cry seems to confirm the war-like definition. As Gates of Vienna's Baron Bodissey says:
The name, popular among Muslims worldwide and even used by some Christians in the Middle East, has become controversial because militant groups often incorporate it into their names and use it as a rally cry.
Everybody got that? "Jihad" doesn’t mean "inner struggle".Which is a threat. But a cartoon depicting a pig named "Mohamed" pawing through the Koran wasn't more than an affront. Yet, Muslims were outraged, so the young Israeli artist was jailed for a year and a half. Talk about disproportionate response.
It means "holy war".