Jihad is sometimes referred to as the sixth pillar of Islam, though this designation is not commonly recognized. In Twelver Shi’a Islam jihad is one of the ten Practices of the Religion. A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid (plural mujahideen).
The great series of western holy wars were the Crusades, which lasted from 1095 until 1291 CE. The aim was to capture the sacred places in the Holy Land from the Muslims who lived there, so it was intended as a war to right wrongs done against Christianity. The first Crusade was started by Pope Urban II in 1095.
The word "jihad" is widely used, though often inaccurately, by Western politicians and media. In Arabic, the word means "effort" or "struggle". In Islam, it could be an individual's internal struggle against baser instincts, the struggle to build a good Muslim society, or a war for the faith against unbelievers.Dec 11, 2014