Most people are aware of the term Jihad in an Islamic context (by far, only “negative” context actually, as portrayed by the media) keeping in mind we are not a muslim family.
The word simply meaning willpower or striving. Jihad, does not only have one way. It has much more to it. Eventhough the word itself reflects the meaning effort, or struggle, but the connotation is to actually strive for the better.
We must, in life, build up internal resilience to our natural “lazy” instinct, and go for the harder tougher decisions which actually scuplt our personalities. When you like chocolate so much and you deprive yourself to discipline your taste buds, that’s Jihad; an effort made to shape a sensory instinct. When the easiest way seems to reply with rude words to some annoying person at work, Jihad is to contain yourself and refrain from any negative reactions that might cause further harm.
All these tiny decisions we make, on daily basis, which are actually the toughest to control, since they go against our innate instincts, this is all Jihad. Everything you do which is not easy, but is right, even on the long run, is Jihad.
Native Arabic speakers will be able to SENSE, the heavy SOUND of this word, however will also be able to immerse fully in the depth of the meaning. And how ironic that such a tough combination of letters, actually results in such delicate outcome.
What happens when you fight the urge to be angry, to say a bad word, to fight back, to eat that chocolate endlessly, to spend that money wrecklessly, to take out all the unfairness of life on others, to stay in that bed and not be productive…How delicate the output of such a tough input. Jihad, in this sense, shapes you, makes you the best version of yourself, and keeps you striving to achieve better and better. Jihad in this sense is upgrading you and taking out the elite of your own self.
One image comes to my mind when I speak of this; the pressure exerted over fossils, minerals and chemicals, that turns them into the most colorful, beautiful,delicate, precious stones for our finest jewelry.
And that’s what my lovely father,Jihad, has done throughout my life for me, exert this effort, and strive for the best version of who I could be.
Thank you our Jihad, and happiest ٦٦th Birthday.
Leaving you with a picture of the old school Jihad, my lovely father who had a waist size my age much better than mine😂