Jihad: sota ja rauha sunnalaisen islamin teoriassa

Jihad. War and Peace in Sunni Islam

The subject of this article are the concepts of war and peace within sunni Islam. In the West, jihad is often associated with violence and fanaticism. Muslims, however, emphasize that the real meaning of the concept is "effort towards a religiously commendable aim" and that it can be applied to both defensive warfare and peaceful activities for the sake of religion. Muslim scholars make a distinction between the "jihad of the sword" and the "jihad of the heart". Jihad is understood as a collective duty, never a mere means as such but rather a way to achieve the Pax Islamica. Therefore, the doctrine of jihad does not reflect upon the justification of war but rather upon the objectives of war. However, the legal debate has lead to a problem: jihad can only be declared by the leader of the community of the believers, namely the Caliph-Imam. The lack of an universally accepted authority has lead to a situation where peace treaties, such as the ones between Israel and the Arab countries, can be refuted as violating Islamic law.

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