Jihad and shahid cluster of terms

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Further research has uncovered a whole cluster of related words like jihad and shahid (martyr/witness); (Arabic is shahid, Syriac is sahda). These words relate to the whole conception of spiritual battle against the lusts of the flesh/passions as discussed 3 centuries before Islam by Syriac monks eg in "A History of the Monks of Syria" by Theodoret of Cyrrhus cf James 4:1.
This means the argument by David Cook in "Understanding Jihad" that jihad as a spiritual struggle was an 11th century invention meant to downplay Islam's "inherent violence" is wrong!