Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has said there is nothing wrong with Jihad – an Islamic concept which he said is establishing a personal relationship with Allah.
The governor, who said this in Ile Ife on Thursday while delivering a lecture titled “Muslims’ response to insurgency threat in Nigeria” at the 6th annual Femi Lateef Okunnu lecture series however, flayed the Boko Haram sect for using Jihad as justification for their violent attacks.
The lecture was organised by the Nigeria Association of Muslim Law Students of Obafemi Awolowo Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
Aregbesola lamented the gross misunderstanding of Jihad to mean war or violence.
Aregbesola said, “Jihad should not be turned into a licence to unleash terror on people, Muslims and Christians alike and as well as destabilise the nation.
”Contrary to the claims by groups like the Boko Haram, Jihad is neither a call to arms nor an ideological blueprint for destructive insurgency.
“Jihad in Islam is at its core about establishing a personal relationship with Allah. The meaning of Jihad in Islam is a total submission to the will and obedience to the laws of Allah.
”Submitting to Allah’s will is an act of conscious choice granted to mankind by God; obeying His laws is a demonstration and vindication of that submission.
“The abused notion of Jihad often used as justification for satanic atrocities of insurgent groups, such as Boko Haram, is a gross misapplication of the concept.
“Jihad is far from being an open cheque for senseless violence, neither is it a Qur’anic endorsement of the pursuit of selfish political desires.
“The concept of Jihad in Islam simply means ‘struggle’ or ‘striving’. It has two broad dimensions – external and internal striving.”
He argued that Boko Haram and other insurgent groups had no justification in Islam to back the violence it unleashes on the people of the nation.