Jihad, with its many terrifying associations, is a term widely used today, though its meaning is poorly grasped. Few people understand the circumstances requiring a jihad, or 'holy' war, or how Islamic militants justify their violent actions within the framework of the religious tradition of Islam. How Islam, with more than one billion followers, interprets jihad and establishes its precepts has become a critical issue for both the Muslim and the non-Muslim world.
John Kelsay's timely and important work focuses on jihad of the sword in Islamic thought, history, and culture. Making use of original sources, Kelsay delves into the tradition of shari'a--Islamic jurisprudence and reasoning--and shows how it defines jihad as the Islamic analogue of the Western 'just' war. He traces the arguments of thinkers over the centuries who have debated the legitimacy of war through appeals to shari'a reasoning. Download and start listening now!