greater and lesser jihad

I’m on a peace kick.  I pretty much think and pray about how to bring more peace into the world all the time.  And I think about the tagline of this blog: “To seek and to be light.”

I’m writing a paper answering “What is the Muslim view of Peace?” and I have been struck by what jihad really means (struggle), and the difference between lesser and greater jihad.  The Prophet Muhammad basically said that the inner struggle is the greater jihad, and the struggle for social justice is the lesser jihad.

M. R. Bawa Muhaiyadeen, a modern Muslim spiritual master, explained this intentional juxtaposition thus:

“Be in the state of God’s peacefulness and try to give peace to the world.  Be in the state of God’s unity and then try to establish unity in the world.  When you exist in the state of God’s actions and conduct and then speak with Him, that power will speak with you.”

Aha.  Yes.  Something to post by my bed or on my mirror–perhaps on my calendar.  For as much as I am eager to learn all I can, hoping accrue as many peace-making tools as possible, I must not learn at the expense of intentionally being with God in both peace and unity.

Thank you, Islam, for giving this Christian perspective as we head into the final weeks of the term.

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