The concept of Jihad in Islam has nothing to do with such allegation posed by those criminal terrorists. Jihad, in essence, communicates a true, spiritual meaning that cannot be understood by those criminal killers. It means to exert one’s efforts and to strive against what might cause harm to oneself, others or even any of the constituents of life around us. It also includes striving against the Satan, the clear-cut enemy to man. This latter kind is known as Al-Jihad Al-Akbar (The Highest Level of Jihad). The meaning of Jihad may furthermore entail exerting efforts to ward off the aggression of others, a meaning which is crystal clear in the Saying of Allah, the Almighty, “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.” (The Quran, 2:190) It is thus clear that Jihad is not but a means to resist aggression. In other words, it can never be a means of initiating aggression.
Based on this, we stress that all that attacks waged against our soldiers in the Armed Forces or the Police Apparatus are terrorist attacks, which have nothing to do with Jihad at all; rather, it defames the true, spiritual meaning of the term.
In this regard, we explicitly state that the true Jihad is that which is practiced by our Armed Forces and Police Apparatus in eliminating these terrorists and in securing home, souls and properties.
So, dear brother and sister, do not be deceived by this unfounded claim, and know very well that the acts of those criminals are not but destruction and terrorism, which is why we all should do our best, each in his/her position, to eradicate this (black) terrorism.
We ask Allah, the Almighty, to protect our country and its inhabitants from all harm and to ward off the cunning attacks of those treacherous evildoers.
Al-Azhar Fatwa Global Center