The verses of Jihad

So it is quite clear that the Quran commands peace with all people and all the verses of war are within the context of self-defense and fighting oppression. However there are other misunderstood verses in the Quran; these are the verses of jihad against unbelievers:

{66:9} O Prophet! Strive hard* against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be hard against them; and their abode is hell; and evil is the resort.

* Jaahidil

{9:73} O Prophet! Strive hard* against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.

* Jaahidil

There is a need to know the real meaning of the word "Jihad". Its technical meaning is "to struggle". This is the correct dictionary meaning of the Arabic word regardless of what other people would want us to believe. Therefore the word Jihad can be used in any context that involves a struggle.

An example of the word jihad being used by the prophet Muhammad (saws):

"Oh Ali! The best Jihad is the Jihad of someone who made his night into morning without thinking to oppress a single individual." -Wasail al-Shi'a, vol. 11, p-123.

This hadith completely demolishes the misconception that jihad means war. Here jihad means a struggle to keep away from oppression to such an extent that a person does not even consider doing it, and this is described as the best jihad.

Other examples of the word jihad in the Quran:

{29:8} And We have enjoined on man goodness to his parents, and if they contend* with you that you should associate (others) with Me, of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them, to Me is your return, so I will inform you of what you did.

* jaahadaaka

{29:69} And (as for) those who strive* hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways; and Allah is most surely with the doers of good.

* jaahadu

There are many more verses which use the word jihad within the context of a religious struggle to do good.

Therefore the verses that talk about jihad against the unbelievers do not necessarily encourage war because as we have seen the Quran discourages war. They refer to any suitable form of struggle against the rejection and concealment of truth.

The following verse tells us to strive against their falsehood using the truthful Quran. (the word "it" refers to the Quran):

{25:52} so do not follow the unbelievers, and strive* against them a mighty striving with it.

* jihaadan

Jihad can also exist in the following form:

{16:125} Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and have disputations with them in the best manner; surely your Lord best knows those who go astray from His path, and He knows best those who follow the right way.