‘Jihad means fight against inner impurity’
Monday, October 04, 2010 AT 12:08 PM (IST)
PUNE: Jihad is a grossly misunderstood concept. It calls for Muslims to wage inner war against impurities and not harm others, a senior Islamic scholar and historian said on Sunday.
“Jihad is a spiritual war against inner impurities. It is way of spiritual rediscovery. Nowhere Jihad is mentioned as form of violence and bloodshed. It means reforms,” professor and head, Department of History, Bhavnagar University, Gujarat Mehboob Desai said.
He was speaking at the valedictory function of two-day national round table conference on “Need to Promote the Culture of Peace in the World”, organised by World Peace Centre (Alandi) MAEER’s MIT, Pune.
“Despite this fact, the world still connects Jihad with killings and destruction. This is because we have ourselves failed in presenting our religion in proper form. Islam means peace. But we have given the religion our meaning,” Desai said.
“The level of tolerance in Indians is much higher than anywhere in the world. There has been so many rulers coming from outside. We have been tolerant enough to give everybody the space to come and rule here. But despite so many changes in rulers, our core Hinduism has not changed a bit,” he said.
Clarifying his statement, Desai said that by Hinduism, he meant the way of Indian culture and living, not religion.
“Hinduism is a culture and way of life. It is not a religion. Our core culture is tolerance and secularism. Hence, every Indian is a Hindu,” the History professor said.
He said that fundamentals of Islam don’t mention anything that would hurt anyone’s feelings. In conclusion, he recited a couplet of famous poet Nida Fazli: “Apne gamon pe na roya jaye, chalo ghar ki cheezon ko sajaya jaye, ghar se masjid haye bahut dur, chalo kisi rote huye bachche ko hasaya jaye.”
“Jihad is a spiritual war against inner impurities. It is way of spiritual rediscovery. Nowhere Jihad is mentioned as form of violence and bloodshed. It means reforms.”