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Jihad Jihad, Arabic for exerting one's utmost efforts to a determined objective, such objective normally being the

struggle against anything that is not good. Two inds of jihad traditionally exist for mainstream !uslims" the greater #al-jihad al-akbar$ and the lesser # al-jihad al-asghar$. The greater jihad is also nown as jihad al-nafs, and is understood as an individual's inner, s%iritual struggle against vice, %assion, and ignorance. The lesser jihad is defined as meaning holy war against infidel #non&!uslim$ lands and subjects. 't has both legal and doctrinal significance in that it is %rescribed by the (oran and mainstream !uslim hadiths #recorded sayings and actions ascribed to the )ro%het !uhammad and accorded a status on a %ar with revelation$. *oly war is the sole form of war that is theoretically %ermissable in mainstream 'slam. !uslim law has traditionally divided u% the world into dar al-Islam #abode of 'slam$ and dar al-harb #abode of war, that is, of non&!uslim rule$. As 'slam is the last, most su%erior and universal of man's divinely ordained religions, it is believed that the entire world must ultimately surrender to its rule and law, if not its faith. +ntil that time, a jihad against non&!uslim neighbours and neighbouring lands is the duty of all adult, male, and able&bodied !uslims. According to this traditional view, !uslims who die in jihad automatically become martyrs of the faith and are awarded a s%ecial %lace in )aradise. According to the law&boo s, two inds of non&!uslim enemies exist, kafir #%agans$ and ahl al-kitab #%eo%le of the boo $. The term %eo%le of the boo originally meant only Jews and ,hristians, but later on it included other grou%s such as followers of -oroastrianism. )eo%le of the boo need only submit to !uslim %olitical authority to avoid or end jihad and may ee% their original faith" their status, defined as dhimmi #a %rotected non&!uslim$, is inferior to that of a !uslim and they must %ay the %rescribed ji.ya #%oll tax$. As for %agans, that is, those whom !uslims do not recogni.e as a %eo%le of the boo , such as /uddhists and *indus, they must either convert to 'slam or suffer execution. This drastic alternative, however, was rarely enforced in %ractice. There can be no going bac for a convert to 'slam0be that %erson a dhimmi or %agan0since it is a ca%ital offence to abandon 'slam, even for a former religion with a recogni.ed revelation. *owever, ways of avoiding the strict enforcement of the law were often found. Jihad can also be defensive, that is, for the %ur%ose of %rotecting !uslim lands from non&!uslim incursions such as, for exam%le, the crusades of the ,hristians in the *oly 1and during the !iddle Ages or the 2%anish Reconquista. 2ome modern !uslim scholars have stressed the defensive as%ect of jihad above others. 'n contrast to the 2unnis, some !uslim grou%s li e the 'mami and /ohora&'smaili 2hiites are forbidden from %artici%ating in offensive jihad. This is because for both sects the only %erson legitimately ca%able of conducting an offensive jihad is their 'mam, and he is %resently in occultation #that is, in hiding and incommunicado until the end of time$. The two sects, however, are %ermitted %artici%ation in defensive jihad.