Concept of Jihad
Unfortunately, jihad has attracted a negative label due to the misuse of this concept whether by terrorists and extremists who are thirsty for bloodshed or by media observers who do not have adequate knowledge about the right Islamic implications of jihad.
In Arabic, jihad is a term derived from ‘jahada’ a verb that denotes working hard or struggling, by a person, to overcome obstacle or difficulties. Conceptually, jihad is divided into two categories. Firstly, lesser or smaller (or outer) jihad which is an act of defense committed by an able Muslim when his country is invaded or occupied. Secondly, greater jihad (or inner jihad) is an ethical act and moral behave. It can be described as a noble and peaceful aim because it calls for the self to transcend the materialistic temptations of life and to follow the right Islamic path in order to promote the self to be productive in the society.This form of jihad is not limited to a gender, age, time or geographical area. Hence, every Muslim anywhere and anytime should be a true believer and responsible to his/her own family and ultimately the society in order to satisfy the conditions of this form of jihad even though the believer who engaged in this path does not aware that this form of struggle in life is jihad. Under the umbrella of greater jihad, the Muslim should always monitor himself/herself to continue act ethically and behave morally because greater jihad is a call for purifying the self to be productive in the society.