There are many different views on the idea of Jihad. However, the main definition for Jihad is the Arabic word for what can be translated as a struggle or effort to fight. In the West, the word is generally understood to mean holy war. In the Quran jihad is referred to as a military struggle on behalf of Islam. But the Quran also refers to jihad as an spiritual struggle toward self-improvement and moral cleansing. It is said that the prophet Muhammad thought of this spiritual version of holy war to be of far more importance than the physical version. To the Muslims the idea of jihad is considered to be part of every Muslim's duty; to improve society, and improving oneself before the Day of Judgement. This would be considered verbal jihad. In other words it means to strive for justice through words and non-violent actions. Muhammad encouraged Muslims to demand justice in the name of Allah.
"Personal jihad is the most important form. This type of jihad, called the Jihadun-Nafs, is the intimate struggle to purify one's soul of evil influences -- both subtle and overt. It is the struggle to cleanse one's spirit of sin."
Another view on jihad is physical Jihad. This relates to the use of physical force in defense of Muslims against oppression and transgression by the enemies of Allah. Allah commands that Muslims lead peaceful lives and not transgress against anyone.
Jihad is sometimes considered as the Sixth Pillar of Islam. The importance of jihad is roted in the Quran's command to struggle in the path of God and through the Prophet Muhammad and is early Companions. (Book Internet)
This is a few of the many views of the idea of jihad. However, the effect of having many different views of jihad is a vicious clash between followers of different religions, each of whom believes that God is on their side and that the other side is is of Satan. This is far from right; God can not be on all sides, therefore one side must be wrong. There is an absolute truth in the universe; meaning that both sides can not be right.
Even though jihad was a main idea in Islamic history, in recent years it has spread into other religions and groups. Jihad is a very broad word. There are many different views of this word and many people look at it differently. In conclusion, Jihad is a very important concept and is still effecting the modern day world.