The word Jihad comes from the root word jahada, which means to struggle. At the individual level, jihad primarily refers to the inner struggle of being a person of virtue and submission to God in all aspects of life
Terrorism is usually defined as ideologically motivated indiscriminate violence that targets civilians, with the intention of inspiring terror in order to achieve political ends. Although this definition ignores the reality of state terrorism, it is clear that terrorism has no place in the noble concept of Jihad. Even Jihad that involves physical conflict is the very antithesis of terrorism, as is clear from the following differences:
1. Jihad can be launched only by an established authority as a policy in order to deter aggression. Terrorism, on the other hand, is committed by individuals or groups that have no legitimacy to speak for the majority. When terrorism is committed by states, it usually depends on misleading the masses.
2. Jihad is limited to combatants while terrorism involves indiscriminate killing of civilians.
3. Jihad, when the need arises, is declared openly, while terrorism is committed secretly.
4. Jihad is bound by strict rules of engagement while terrorism is not bound by any rules.