Jihad literally means ‘to strive’ or ‘to exert to the utmost.’ In Islamic parlance it signifies all forms of striving, including armed struggle, aimed at making the Word of God prevail. Other uses:

  • Jihād aṣ-ṣaghīr (جهاد الصغير) Offensive jihad declared by caliph.
  • Jihād aṭ-ṭalab (جهاد الطلب) Offensive jihad.
  • Jihād ad-dafʿa (جهاد الدفعة) Defensive jihad.
  • Jihād bil-māl (جهاد بامال) Financial jihad.
  • Jihād bis-saif ( جهاد بالسيف) literally ‘struggle by the sword’; holy war.

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