Near the beginning of Khalid Blankinship's The End of the Jihad State
, he discusses the doctrine of jihad
as laid out in the hadith, particular those in the eighth-century work al-Jihad
, by Ibn al-Mubarak. While most deal with the term in a military sense, there are plenty of alternatives. The best kind of jihad
, according to a canonical hadith, is building a mosque to promote Islam. Performing the pilgrimage to Mecca is considered jihad
, as is internal struggle, though the hadith which calls that the "greater jihad
" was not accepted by the medieval hadith scholars who composed the canonical collections.
There are also lots of ways to achieve martyrdom. One can be a martyr of you undertake a journey for the sake of religion and die during it. People were also considered martyrs of they died of plague, drowning, a collapsing building, abdominal disease, being burned alive, being eaten, or falling off a mountain. Women could also become martyrs if they died as virgins or while pregnant or giving birth.
(Crossposted to American Footprints