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Pre-Islamic Arabia
* Islam grew in the environment where warfare was an everyday practice especially in the regions of Arabian peninsula beyond the control of rulers and states. * Its reflection can be seen in pre-islamic poetry

* devoted to the joys and struggles of fighting [rubrics of hamasha (valor)] * songs of praise in honor of their patrons, kins and themselves * Even after Islam this heroic ethos held a great significance * essence of poems:

* war by fate which is though unwelcomed but necessary and done in order to avenge for the wrongs done to one’s kin. * express a heroic ideal, whose courage can relieve the pain and problems of many.

* Some rulers in Islamic world have supported the activity of production of learned treatises on the jihad * Example of Ibn Qutayba’s chapter on war (Kitab al-harb) in which he tries to integrate two different conceptions of war (Sassanian/imperial and Islamic/jihad)

The Quran and Arabia
* Not alot of Quranic passages on Jihad
* Only 2 surahs (8 & 9) that majorly covers the theme of warfare and jihad * These passages are vivid and memorable but do not constitute a coherent doctrine * On close examination; contradictions amongst these doctrines * Interpretation needed to resolve these conflicts

* Jihad’s literal meaning does not refer to warfare but rather to the struggle and efforts made for the sake of God and in his cause, as mentioned in Quran: * “So obey not the unbelievers, but struggle with them thereby mightily (25:52 Furqan) * Struggle for God as is His due (22:78 Hajj)

* Arabic words deriving from the root word ‘jhd’ (denotes “efforts”) occurs 41 times in the Quran. * only 10 0f these 41 refer clearly and unambiguously to the conduct of war * Generally in all these places it refers to:

* devotion to God
* righteous conduct
* utter dedication
*...
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