Three main views of jihad thus coexisted in pre-modern times.
The last 30 years have seen the rise of militant, religiously-based political groups whose ideology focuses on demands for jihad (and the willingness to sacrifice one's life) for the forceful creation of a society governed solely by the shari'a and a unified Islamic state, and to eliminate un-Islamic and unjust rulers.
Differences in Sunni and Shi'a Interpretations of Jihad
Sunni and Shi'a (Shi'ite) Muslims agree, in terms of just cause, that jihad applies to the defense of territory, life, faith, and property; it is justified to repel invasion or its threat; it is necessary to guarantee freedom for the spread of Islam; and that difference in religion alone is not a sufficient cause.
The question of right authority--no jihad can be waged unless it is directed by a legitimate ruler--also has been divisive among Muslims.
Fighting for the sake of conquest, booty, or honor in the eyes of one's companions will earn no reward; the only valid purpose for jihad is to draw near to God.
Sayyid Abu al-A'la Mawdudi (1903-1979) was the first Islamist writer to approach jihad systematically.
Radical Egyptian Islamist thinkers (and members of the Muslim Brotherhood) Hasan al-Banna (1906-1949) and Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966) took hold of Mawdudi's activist and nationalist conception of jihad and its role in establishing a truly Islamic government, and incorporated Ibn Taymiyya's earlier conception of jihad that includes the overthrow of governments that fail to enforce the shari'a.
Classical Islamic criteria for jihad were based on the early unified Muslim empire.
This, llamas proclaims, requires jihad not in the sense of expanding the territory of Islam, but of restoring it, and to recover land rather than conquer it.
llamas argues that it obtains its authority to declare jihad in another way: the Western powers invasion of Islamic territory has created an emergency situation where Muslims cannot wait for authorization other than that given directly by God, so jihad is a required duty for all conscientious Muslims.
The same pattern of thinking is present in "The Neglected Duty," a pamphlet produced by Egyptian Islamic Jihad (or EIJ, the group that assassinated Anwar Sadat in 1981).