Governor Rauf Aregbesola, has said that there is nothing wrong with Jihad, describing it as an Islamic concept that seeks to promote the establishment of a personal relationship with Allah by Muslims.
Aregbesola said this at Lecture titled “Muslims’ response to insurgency threat in Nigeria” at the 6th annual Femi Lateef Okunnu lecture series in Ile-Ife.
The Governor however condemn the gross misunderstanding of Jihad to mean war or violence and lambasted Islamic insurgents the Boko Haram for using Jihad as a justification for their violent attacks.
“Jihad should not be turned into a license to unleash terror on people, Muslims and Christians alike and as well as to destabilise the nation.
“Contrary to the claims by groups such as the Boko Haram sect, 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.
“They abused notion of Jihad often used as justification for satanic atrocities of insurgent groups, such as the Boko Haram sect, 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 they unleashed on the people.
He added, “If Islam thus forbids violence against innocents, how does Boko Haram justifies the senseless killings, maiming, kidnappings of innocent women, children, and girls?”