Hi, jihad! Is that you?
If you ask Sheikh Abu Yandex what a man needs, he will tell you about the three basic things which are support, fidelity and sex. Murshid ibn Google will give you almost the same answer.
Yet, they seem to misguide us in this case. In fact, a man needs the following: war, adventures and love. These three might be stirred together to get two out of them: a war full of adventures and a one-way love, for example. To make it even simpler, we can get love at war which is an adventure by itself. Yet, this will lead us away from the main point, but it will still remind us of some of the mass media headlines.
The history of mankind proves my opinion (which is in fact borrowed from some social networks). As it is widely known, the history is written by the winners. Yet, it is not quite right as it is more likely that it is the stories of boastful babblers that reach us.
Let’s look at the “History of the Caliphate” written by the Russian orientalist Bolshakov. As one of my friends, who is a historian and an Arabist, says, “this is the History of Caliphate without Islam”. Indeed, it is full of battles’ description. When you read it, it feels like you read an action book. You will not find spiritual torments of sinner who has been praying for forgiveness for 7 and a half years. Do you remember though Australian aborigines worried about their harvest in the 18th century? I do not think so. These stories were described in school history course books. Yet, you do remember that Cook was eaten. You remember it because it is to do with the war and adventures. Nobody cares though that he was neither eaten, nor murdered in Australia.
As for love, you can take any piece of the classic literature. Almost all the works written by men are about war, adventures and love. This concerns all the works starting from Homer to Tolstoy.
We are the same as our ancestors. We have our own desires and needs. Envy, lust, mercy, generosity and other qualities and feelings are still with us like the three men’s needs described above. What does the modern civilisation offer for them at the moment? It is a consumer’s surrogate as usual. War is substituted with a cars’ makes battle, adventures are substituted with computer browsing and love is substituted with a sexual intercourse. Considering the fact that the number of male hormones is reducing (as estimated by the British scientists), it is quite sufficient for most of us.
Yet, some people do not feel satisfied with this. Some of them strive for romantic love and others for the absolute war. Adventure is the salt of life to others. To put it into the words of marketing experts, it looks like a good place for a proper market system. The supply is in its place. Are you looking for long stories about your straight path to Paradise? Let’s go to fight Satanic Soviets in Afghanistan! Are you fed up with the kafir gay and pedophil civilisation? Go to the forbidden DAISH! It is as much better, as more forbidden it is! Are you tired of the depressive province, low wages and lack of prospects in your life? Go to save some “peace” in a neighbouring country by sparking a war there! All these offers are thoroughly elaborated. They bring profits to tourists agencies’ stakeholders which often send these special tourists to their last destination.
What shall they do if their life is just a colourless and tasteless simulator? What shall a young man do if he is smart enough to download new applications from the online stores but has not lost his gender identification yet? The answer is “jihad”.
This problem though has been solved long time ago by a number of religions. Although it might seem to be a paradox, according to Islam, the issue of brain jihadism is resolved by jihad itself. Upon his return from battle the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad (i.e. the struggle against the evil of one's soul)”. Apart from having extensive knowledge, he was well aware of the psychology of men. Fighting own desires and freeing oneself from own ego are the most difficult things in our life. It is easy to die. Yet, it is hard to live. It is easy to fall. Yet, it is hard to keep flying in the air. It easy to go mental about some problem. Yet, it is hard to keep patient. If you want a war, fight own envy and feel happy about other people’s success. If there are not enough battles, kill own greed and share the best things you have with others. Are you striving for adventures? Work on own volition and laziness. You don’t know what to do, do you? Open your eyes and take off your black glasses. The market has prepared everything for you. There are many coaches, imams, gurus and others alike. Choose any of them, depending on your own taste and temper if you cannot cope by yourself.
In the meantime, the war is not a lesser jihad anymore. It is not more meaningful to die in all the tourist destinations of the “final journey” than to die of alcohol poisoning. All the wise people say that the war of the present days does not solve anything. At the moment, a lesser jihad or elimination of the barrier between God and its slave is concentrated in a peaceful medium. Violent war has gone out of date like message delivery by means of bonfires. We have satellite-link communication nowadays. Violence does not help to achieve anything. On the contrary, it pushes off. It is hardly possible that anything else could push people off Islam, like DAISH did. During the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) life, the lesser jihad was one of the ways to protect faith from elimination. The current war is an attempt to eliminate Islam. This does not refer to hijadism only, but to all sorts of violence justified by some ideology. The war is just a political tool, a means of raising own authority, earning money and satisfying ambitions of the closed corporation “Last Journey” stockholders. The lie is everywhere, except for this text.
Ilshat Saetov, research director of the Islamic Studies Centre at Mardjani Foundation