The word “Jihad” is greatly misunderstood and is often incorrectly translated as “Holy war”, which is wrong. The word means “to strive /struggle” -i.e.: to struggle to do one’s best rather than simply doing the bear minimum. This is necessary to do well at anything in life such as to be a good student, to invent new technology, to be a good engineer and much more. From a religious point of view, it can be struggling to be a better person or a better Muslim. In fact, there is a narration of the Prophet PBUH where he explained that the greatest Jihad is to speak the truth in front of a deviant leader.
Ironically, there was a time when people felt proud of using this term and its variants and movies have been made in the 1980s such as “Rambo III” and “The Living Daylights” (James Bond) where the heroes would help the Mujahideen in Afghanistan fight against the USSR. This is a reflection of the events at the time. Likewise, there were in fact holy wars in the past but launched by the Pope against Muslims such as during the Spanish inquisition and during the Crusades.
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