The word 'Jihad is the most misunderstood and misinterpreted word of the Arabic language. It is a concept that drives terror in the hearts of the enemies of Islam, because of their own incompetent definition of the word that over the years, in their minds has come to be synonymous with 'war. Nay, Jihad in Islam is an all-embracing concept that requires striving for nobler causes, much beyond the engagement in war, with the enemy. In commenting on the 'significance of Jihad Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar says, 'A very great misconception prevails with regards to the word Jihad in Islam and the word has become to mean war. most western scholars have relied on this meaning. In the encyclopedia of Islam the article on Jihad, goes thus, 'The spread of Islam, by arms is a religious duty upon every Muslim in general as if Jihad meant not only war but war undertaken for the propagation of Islam. Maulana Jauhar remarks, 'if any of these western learned scholars had taken the trouble to consult an ordinary dictionary of Arabic language, he could never have made such a glaring misstatement. The word Jihad is derived from 'Jahd or 'Juhd meaning ability, exertion or power and Jihad and Mujahida mean the exerting of our power in repelling the enemy. Jihad according to him is of three kinds, the carrying on of a struggle 1) against an enemy 2) against the Satan 3) against the self (Nafs). In this brief essay, I will attempt to cull from the glorious Quran, verses referring to all three principal type of Jihad. An excellent description of Jihad is contained in verse 20 of Surah Tauba, 'those who believe and suffer exile and strive with might and main in Allahs cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah; they are the people who will achieve salvation. Interpreting this verse, Abdullah Yusuf Ali writes, 'Jihad may require fighting in Allahs cause, as form of self-sacrifice, but its essence consists in 1) a true and sincere faith which so fixes its gaze on God, that all selfish and worldly motives seem paltry and fade away and 2) and earnest and ceaseless activity involving the sacrifice (if need be) of life, person or property in the service of God. Mere brutal fighting is opposed to the whole spirit of Jihad, while the sincere scholars pen or preachers voice or wealthy mans contribution may be the most valuable form of Jihad. For those who undertake Jihad in any of these formats, is promised the good pleasure of Allah. 'their Lord doth give them glad tidings of a Mercy from Himself, of His good pleasure and of Gardens for them, wherein are delights that endure (IX: 21) War in Islam is permissible only in self-defence and there is very clearly laid out parameter of behaviour, when engaged in fighting the enemy. 'fight in the cause of Allah, those who fight you. But do not transgress limits for Allah loveth not the transgressors. (II: 90) the verses 190-194 in Surah Bakrah delineates with clarity, when war is allowed when it should cease and how it must be conducted. The directions given by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to his companions /soldiers show that his wars were not due to any desires to enforce religion- its dissemination and propagation of the message of Islam, was through his own excellence of conduct and exemplary way of life. It is quoted in Sahih Bukhari (56: 147/148) that Abdullah Ibn Umar reported that in a certain battle fought by the prophet, a woman was discovered among the slain. On this the Holy Prophet (PBUH) forbade the killing of women and children. Warfare in Islam puts those in combat to a very demanding regimen of conduct. Syed Ameer Ali, in his treatise, 'The Spirit of Islam says that when the Prophet (PBUH) dispatched his troops against the Byzantines, he gave following instructions, 'in avenging the injuries inflicted upon us, molest not the harmless inmates of domestic seclusion, spare the weakness of the female sex, injure not the infant or the ill in bed. following in his tradition, the first rightly guided caliph , Abu Bakr gave the following instructions to the commander leading the assault on Syria, 'when you meet your enemies quit yourselves like men and do not turn your backs; and if you gain victory kill not the little children, nor old people, nor women. Destroy no palm trees, nor burn any fields of corn. Cut down no fruit trees, not do any harm to the cattle, only such as you kill for necessity of subsistence. When you make any covenant or article, stand to it, and be as good as your word. The prophet had said 'brave is not he who overpowers his foe, but one who restrains his passions and desires. Hazrat Ali (A.S) the fourth caliph was living example of this precept. He had laid down the claim of many an adversary but he did not ill treat any enemy. Even about his own assassin, Ibn Muljim, he said 'do not torture or mutilate him. The jihad against Satan and Nafs is undertaken when evil in an individual or society finds itself isolated. Wherever goodness resides evil cries out in agony. The pure and self reproaching soul that feels conscious of sin and resists it, achieves to become a contended soul, that in surah Fajr is alluded in the following words, 'Come back to thy Lord- well pleased (thyself) and well pleasing unto Him. Jihad therefore in its truest Islamic sense, is that spirit, which, propels to fight against injustice, oppression, tumult, falsehood and inequities. It may involve war but is not limited to it, by its definition for it includes the fight of the self against the insinuations of the Satan, for attainment of Nafs-e-mutamaiyna, by the pure and righteous soul. Email: