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Specifically, was this word in use in the Arabic language before Islam? If so, how was it used? Did it have a holy connotation or was the word a generic term for all kinds of struggles? Can this word be broken down into simpler root words? If so, what are their meanings, and were they in use prior to Islam? If they did exist before Islam, how were they changed, if at all. Thank you kindly for your time.
Regarding the possible duplication of this question, that question was regarding the "lesser" and "greater" jihad. My question is about the actual etymological meaning of the word, specifically about the non-religious meaning of the word, if there is one. Finally, while yes this is about the Arabic language, my query is how or if this word was taken from the original meaning to the religious meaning.
This question arose because I heard someone say that the Qur'an does not mention the word Jihad at all. So, I explained to him that the English version translates the Arabic word "jihad" into the words "struggle," "striving," or "fight," and then showed him the word "jihad" in the Arabic text. He then said that because the English translation does not mention a "holy" jihad, that he was not convinced. He said that the word "jihad" could be a generic term for any type of struggle, etc. I never thought about it like that before, and I believe that is a good question. So, I am looking to the expertise of you to settle this debate. If possible, I would like some kind of citation I could independently check. Thank you much.