In this world all parties, religions, philosophies and
reformers strive to propagate their principles and ideals.
The intellectual, financial and physical efforts that are
put forward to propagate and establish the religion of truth
i.e. Islam are termed as Jihad.
In fact Jihad signifies a struggle for the cause of establishing
the truth and does not always mean a war, as commonly understood
by the masses. Islam permits the Holy War only against armed
aggression or obstruction to peaceful propagation of religion.
In Islamic terminology, this is called Qital, which is the
final step in Jihad. The Holy war (Qital) forms a part of
this struggle called Jihad but this not true in all cases.
Before declaring a war all possible opportunities should
be explored for peaceful resolution of disputes without bloodshed.
An undeclared war is not at all permitted in Islam.
Fighting is permitted against those who resist the peaceful
propagation of the religion of truth. Fighting is not allowed
against those who are inclined for peace. No cheating is
allowed even during the war. The aged people, women, children,
hermits, monks, wounded and all other innocent people should
not be harmed in any manner during the war.
Bodies of the enemies killed during the war are prohibited
from disrespect or mutilation. The forests, fields, crops,
animals and such other things should not be destroyed. The
traditions of the Prophet (SAWS) prohibit such acts. Islam
permits the use of force only when it is needed and only
to the extent that it is required.