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Jihad: What Everyone Needs to Know®
Jihad: What Everyone Needs to Know®
  • Explores jihad from multiple perspectives
  • Addresses popular misconceptions of jihad in the West and examines their root causes
  • Discusses commonalities between classical Islamic international law and modern Western international law

The word "jihad" is everywhere in the global media. It generally appears in the context of violence waged against the West by militants in or from Muslim-majority societies. This usage overwhelmingly colors popular discourse about Islam and Muslims and it has resulted in highly simplistic, distorted, and ahistorical understandings of the concept of jihad. For most Muslims, jihad refers to the continuous human struggle to promote and implement what is morally good and noble in all walks of life, as well as to resist and prevent what is morally wrong and unjust. This book addresses the great need for a discussion of jihad that explores its various dimensions without fear-mongering or sensationalism. Here it is examined from multiple perspectives: scriptural, theological, moral and ethical, legal and socio-political. Asma Afsaruddin looks at the key questions about jihad and provides concise yet thorough answers. Jihad: What Everyone Needs to Know® provides a historically-grounded, scholarly yet accessible treatment of the meanings of jihad from the formative period of Islam until the contemporary period.


Chapter One: Jihad in the Quran and Commentary Literature
Chapter Two: Jihad in the Hadith Literature
Chapter Three: Jihad in the Legal Literature
Chapter Four: Jihad in Morally Edifying, Ethical, and Mystical Literature
Chapter Five: Jihad as Conceived by Modern Revolutionaries and Militants
Chapter Six: Jihad in the Thought of Modern and Contemporary Mainstream Scholars
Chapter Seven: Jihad as Non-Violent Struggle and Peacemaking
Chapter Eight: Jihad and Its Perceptions in the West

About the author: 

Asma Afsaruddin is Professor of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is the author and editor of eight books, including Contemporary Issues in Islam (2015); the award-winning Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought (2013); and The First Muslims: History and Memory (2008). She was named a Carnegie Scholar in 2005 and inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2019.

"Asma Afsaruddin's exciting, cogent and lucid exploration of the many spiritual meanings of 'jihad' for Muslim traditions should force a radical rethinking of this concept among journalists, officials, and thinking people in the North Atlantic world, where it has been misused and demonized in the service of a bigoted Islamophobia." -- Juan Cole, author of Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires

Product details

ISBN : 9780190647322

Asma Afsaruddin
224 Pages
140 x 210 mm mm
Pub date
Mar 2022
What Everyone Needs to Know
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Jihad: What Everyone Needs to Know®

Jihad: What Everyone Needs to Know®

Jihad: What Everyone Needs to Know®