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Striving in the Path of GodJihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought$
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Asma Afsaruddin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730933

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730933.001.0001

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Fighting in the Path of God

Fighting in the Path of God

A Religious and Moral Obligation

(p.34) II Fighting in the Path of God
Striving in the Path of God

Asma Afsaruddin

Oxford University Press

Chapter Two discusses the introduction of fighting (qitāl) in the Qur’ān as an important component of jihād in specific circumstances when believers are under attack by hostile forces, ending the prohibition against armed combat during the Meccan and early Medinan periods. The Qur’ān adopts trenchant language to impress upon the faithful that in response to certain conditions, believers should not shrink from carrying out this religious and moral obligation when commanded to do so by God and His prophet. The taking of human life that armed combat entails in such specific situations is acknowledged in the Qur’ān as an act of enormity. Several verses enumerate the conditions under which qitāl becomes necessary – primarily in self-defense -- and outline the limits of justified military combat which should not be contravened by the faithful.

Keywords:   qitāl, jihād, Meccan period, Medinan period, self-defense, justified military combat

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