The Purpose of Sufi Training
by Shah Sufi Moulana
Syed Maizebhandari
from Vol. 9, No. 4.

On A Night Journey
by Aisha Rafae
from Vol. 9, No. 2.

Finding Faith in
the Depths of Darkness

by Sheikh Salman Baruti
from Vol. 8, No. 3.

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Our Current Issue!

This Article Appeared
in Volume 9, Number 4



Inner Jihad
–Striving Toward Harmony

by Dr. Shahid Athar

Sufis and Muslims for centuries have engaged themselves and the world in pursuit of inner jihad. This has been their way of getting closer to their Creator, achieving inner peace and getting closer to God’s creations. Unless we are at peace with ourselves, we can not have peace with the Creator and vice versa.

The word Jihad is from the
Arabic root word JHD that basically means striving or struggle. The question is striving for what or a struggle for what? The struggle is of two types—one inner and one outer. Both have the same purpose which is to change the status quo—a status which is not in line with God’s will or not in line with nature as such, a status which causes unrest and disturbance.

Thus, if there is an evil temptation for wrongdoing and we struggle very hard to overcome that temptation, it is striving in the cause of God and is considered one of the best forms of Jihad. Thus, if there is a tyrant ruler who is oppressing people and one stands up to that tyrant and says a word of truth against his rule it is also one form of Jihad. In Sufi tradition, the self is the enemy and conquering the self is overpowering the enemy and one of the best forms of Jihad.

Unfortunately, the West describes Jihad as a holy war, which is a wrong translation. If you translate holy war back to Arabic, the translation would be harb-e-maqadas or sacred war. Thus, holy war is not Jihad as such. In fact, the word holy war came from the crusade when this call was made to the crusaders by the then Pope Urbanba to unite them to fight against “infidels” who were occupying the birth place of Jesus (peace be upon Him). . .

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