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Mujahideen, a word with various transliterations, is a general term for Islamic fighters, deriving from an Arabic word, mujāhid, which is not uncommon as a personal name. It also can be translated as "those waging jihad, with jihad in the broad sense of the struggle for the predominance of God's will, both within oneself and between people.[1] As a plural noun, however, meaning "holy warriors", it gained currency with Muslim movements in 18th century India.

In the 20th and 21st century, it is most often associated with was used most commonly in Iran and Afghanistan, especially with the anti-Soviet forces in the Afghanistan War (1978-1992). In Iran, it included Mojahedin-e Khalq ("Mujahideen of the People"), which combining Islamic and Marxist ideologies, engaged in a long-term guerrilla war against the leadership of the Islamic republic.[2] It has, however, been used in many regions.

Variants include mudjahedin, mujahid, mudjaheddin, mudjahid, mudjahedeen, and mudjaheed.


  1. Richard F. Nyrop and Donald M. Seekins, ed. (January 1986), Religion, Afghanistan Country Study, Foreign Area Studies, The American University
  2. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia