A Sixth Pillar of Islam?

A sixth pillar...that of jihad...is frequently added. Jihad means struggle—struggle against temptation, against evil forces in the world, and against worldviews contrary to Islam.

In its best sense, the “greater” jihad is an inner struggle. Yet there is still a lesser jihad, an outward struggle, a holy battle out in the world—sometimes literally.

And despite politically correct views to the contrary, the Quran is quite clear in its stance regarding infidels: Death may be the penalty for any Muslim who converts to another religion. And the Quran states:

“So announce to those who deny the truth the news of punishment, except those idolaters with whom you have a treaty, who have not failed you in the least, nor helped anyone against you...But when these months are over, slay the idolaters wheresoever you find them, and take them captive or besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every likely place But if they repent and fulfill their devotional obligations and pay the zakat, then let them go their way, for God is forgiving and kind.” ~Surah 9:3–5


“Fight those people of the Book who do not believe in god and the Last Day, who do not prohibit what God and His Apostle have forbidden, not accept divine law, until all of them pay protective tax in submission. (This refers to the jazziyah tax, often paid with humiliating ritual.) ...On the day We shall heat up (their gold) on the fire of Hell and brand their foreheads, sides and backs.” ~Surah 9:29–35

While it’s unfair to apply an extremist label to all Muslims, many of whom are peaceful, it is quite fair to point out the implications of the Quranic concept of jihad. Dying during jihad, thus becoming a martyr, assures one of a place in paradise.

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