The term 'Jihad' in Islam

As elucidated by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall from his biography Loyal Enemy by Anne Fremantle.

Brief and accurate ..

Quote -
The error with regard to the common view regarding Islam arises from misapprehension of the meaning of the word ‘Jihad.'

In English ‘Jihad’ is commonly translated ‘holy war.’ It properly denotes the whole effort, individual and collective, of the true believer against evil, beginning with the conquest of a man’s own passions and ending possibly, but not necessarily, in persecution and exile or upon the battlefield. Every prophet made Jihad in his own way.

That of Moses took the form of emigration to escape from evil.

That of Jesus was of a non-violent and passive kind.

That of Muhammad shows three stages:

- First, a non-violent endurance of hostility and persecution while fulfilling his own mission, like that of Jesus;

- Second, when the persecution threatened to exterminate his people, emigration, the Jihad of Moses; and ..

- Third, when he and his followers formed an independent State, however small and weak, and when the persecutors still persisted in attacking them, then and not till then he was enjoined to fight.

The term ‘Jihad’ applies to all these stages. But in the minds of Westerners it is restricted to the third only. That is the reason for the whole mistake. The sort of Jihad prescribed for people in a subject state (that is, those people under the authority of others) differs from that prescribed for the same people in a state of independence. And the Jihad for subject peoples who are persecuted is the Jihad of Jesus, which was followed by Muhammad during thirteen years at Mecca.
Unquote -

"Subject people" refers to those living under the authority/power of others viz. people who's land has been occupied by outsiders, or separatists within a state wanting an independent homeland, or separatists desiring a de facto state of their own within the larger one they live in.