The reality of Jihad and Omar Mukhtar

Why everyone must know Omar Mukhtar. Omar Mukhtar was a nobleman who taught the world the true meaning of Jihad (Struggle). In his early days, he mastered the personal Jihad of disciplining his soul from vices such as greed, envy, arrogance and hate. He was able to instead instil his heart with the love of God and thus spiritually connect with his Creator. This personal Jihad was key in equipping him with the necessary skills required to embark on his physical Jihad later in life. His military life saw him successfully organise resistance against the colonial power that had invaded his land. He spent twenty years fighting to liberate his people, yet he never targeted civilians. He would also treat prisoners of war well which earnt him the respect even of his enemies.
Omar Mukhtar
When asked why he does not kill prisoners of war like his enemies do, he replied: “they are not our teachers.” After finally being wounded and captured, he was offered freedom on the condition he sold out the resistance. He refused, knowing such a decision would cost him his life, he announced: “To God, we belong, and to Him, we return.” He died a martyr’s death and no doubt taught the world the true meaning of Jihad. A nobleman who fought to liberate his land and people, and yet never harmed an innocent soul. Unfortunately, the meaning of Jihad today has been lost between those who associate it with terrorism and those who refuse to acknowledge its applicability to legitimate physical resistance.