Islamic Militants:How can a religion produce ‘militants’?

The term ‘Islamic Militants’ has reigned the globe, but do we really understand the meaning of the term we often write, read and use?  The term itself is paradoxical.  Islam, a religion, a way of life- propagates peace, upto an extent that when a man meets his fellow being, he greets him saying- “Assalaamalaikum”  (an Arabic expression, which in English means- may peace be upon you). How can such a religion produce ‘militants’?

The concept of ‘Jihad’ in Islam is often misunderstood. It is often translated as ‘The Holy War’; but the literal meaning of ‘jihad’ is ‘to strive’ or ‘to struggle’, in any arena. A very used phrase, often taught to children, ‘charity begins at home’ can be equated with ‘jihad’, i.e. ‘jihad-un-nafs’ : a man needs to fight the evil and the wrongs that are present in his own self. One needs to strive to be a better person person first.

‘Mujahid’ is a person indulged in ‘jihad’, and he is person on “siraatal-mustaqeem” (right path) and strives for his “haq” (rights and truth) and refrains from “baatil” (wrongs and falsehood).But today, the word ‘jihad’ is reduced to violence and combat. In reality, military action is just one means of ‘jihad’. In this connection, Islam holds to prefer legal, diplomatic, economic and political means over military action; and if in case there is no peaceful alternative, it lays very strict rules of engagements, for instance to mention a few are- civil areas should not be harmed; innocents, women, children and old should not be harmed; any peaceful overtures from the enemy must be accepted; conscription has be confined to young men of sound health on the condition they have parental permission to engage in combat; not a single person can declare ‘jihad’- actions of the leader must be guided by the ‘interests of the people’ , keeping ‘self defense’ and ‘Faith’ in mind; not to indulge in combats in the sacred months, i.e. 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic Calendar. The examples that can be cited are: the Battle of Badr, Battle of Ohad, and the way in which the City of Makkah was won by the Muslims. These battles were fought for the “haq”. The Qur’an enjoins:

“There shall be no compulsion in the (acceptance of) religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong” (Qur’an 2:256, translation: Sahih International).

Keeping in mind the ongoings all round the globe, in this context, it is an error to judge Islam and Muslims in the light of the kind of ‘jihad’, that has fallen victim of the ideological tendencies.

I ask, How can a Muslim take innocent lives, in the name of ‘jihad’ or ‘qisas’? In reality, I believe, they don’t have complete knowledge of Islam. Who has given them the right to put an end to innocent lives in Pakistan, Afghanistan, or in any other nation under the protective shield of ‘jihad’ and ‘qisas’? I ask them- Is it justified?

To conclude, I quote:
“Whoever kills a soul unless for a soul, or for corruption done on land,- it is as if he had slain mankind entirely, and who ever saves one, it is as he has saved mankind entirely. And Our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, (even) after that, throughout the land, were transgressors”  (Qur’an 5:32, translation: Sahih International).