There is great difference between the concept of war and that of Jihad. The most prominent objectives of a war can be expansion of Government, achievement of greed, lust and ambition, destruction of enemy and so on. Some basic principles, which work behind the concept of war, are that war can be fought without following any rules and laws, and that everything is fair in war. Contrary to this, the concept, objectives and principles of jihad are different. Shortly speaking, jihad is fought for willingness of Allah and for protection of Islam.
(i)Jihad has been derived from the word “Jehd” which means to strive hard.
(ii)In literal sense “Jihad” means “a war against evil”.
Dictionary of Islam by Patrick Hughees
He says, “It is a war against the disbelievers in the mission of last Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and in the way of Allah”.
Jihad in the Light of the Holy Quran
(i) “Fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you”.
(ii) “Jihad is striving in the cause if Allah----------striving with wealth and lives is Jihad”.
Jihad in the Light of Sunnah
The concept of Jihad can best under stood by looking at the Sunnah of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
Battle of Badar
The holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said the following things before sending out his people to fight at Badar.
v You shall spare the old and sick
v You shall protect women and children from Injury
v You should not raise you arms against an unarmed person.
v You shall not be the first to attack.
v You shall not permit personal hate or revenge ways your hearts while fighting
Kinds of Jihad
Following are the three kinds
(i) Internal Jihad
If immoral, evil and un-Islamic customs, acts, practices and traditions endanger the very spirit and basis of Islam, then it is allowed to start the holy war so as to check and remove such customs, acts, practices, and traditions form the society. And such jihad is described as internal Jihad. And a Muslim can also do such of Jihad against his/her own immoral and un-Islamic ambitions.
(ii) Jihad through knowledge
Jihad is permitted against those non-Muslims and disbelievers, who make negative propaganda and notorious objections against Islam. In such situations, the Muslim are under obligation to use their knowledge to oppose and remove such propaganda and objections. Such jihad is called jihad through Knowledge.
(iii) Jihad through Arms
When it is not possible for the Muslim to crush threats against the very spirit of Islam, then they are permitted to wag armed war against the enemies. And such war is called jihad through arms. This kind can be further classified into following two kinds.
(a) Jihad in Advance or Iqdami Jihad
If the enemies continues to threaten the very spirit of Islam, then the Muslim are allowed to wage a holy war in advance against such threats. And such jihad is called jihad in advance.
(b) Jihad in Defense
If a Muslim state or Muslim worship place are physically attacked by the enemies, then the Muslim are permitted to wage jihad. And this is called Jihad in Defense.
Acts Forbidden/Prohibited during war
Following are the acts which are prohibited during war;
v Unfair killing of women, children and weak old;
v Do not attack first;
v Do not permit personal hate;
v Do not raise arms against unarmed person;
v Protect old and sick;
v Protect women and children and weak old from injury;
v Unnecessary cutting of Harvest;
v Unnecessary cutting of trees
v Use of dangerous weapons;
v Use of land without purpose;
v No harm to treaties ambassadors;
v Killing unarmed person;
v Destruction of dignity of man;
v Destruction of Holy Places;
v Killing Patients;
v Killing Hostages;
v Destruction of Schools;
v Destructions of Hospitals;
v Destruction of Historical places;
v Sale of Women Prisoners;
v Binding the prisoners;
v Unnecessary scattering of animals or birds;
v Hide behind non-Muslims;
v Restriction of use of water;
v Killing travelers, merchants etc
v Acts in breach of treaties
Acts permitted during War
All that acts which is not prohibited is permit because Islam is permissible in nature. For example;
v Killing until surrender;
v Use of Weapons;
v Acquisition of Property;
v Cutting of trees for necessity;
v Use of agricultural lands for necessity;
v Use of land for defence;
v Strategy for defense;
v Use of force to get food for Islamic Army
v Surprise Attack
v Night Attack
v Blocking the roads
v Prevention of spies from gathering information
v Cutting of water supply;
v Unintentional killing of non-combatant;
v Obtaining food from the enemy state;
v Entry into pacts.
Women participation of Jehad
v Jihad against parents it’s allowed but to honor parents.
v Consequences of Jehad
v Award may be entering in one of the following ways; “Non-Muslim embrace Islam”.
To conclude, it can be stated that the head of an Islamic state can announce Jihad against the enemy only for the protection of the very spirit of Islam and the Muslim, but not for protection of his personal interests or for expansion of his personal ambitions. Here another important point is that this holy war can only be started when the Islamic state possesses enough resources and power to wage it.