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Jihad's origins are unknown.
Jihad conquered an unnamed city, the premier metropolis of its world, taking over the former palace of its caliph and enslaving its people, breaking their spirits.
Jihad sought to obtain four magical items—the All-Seeing Eye, Crystal Casque, Gauntlet of Forever, and Mallet of Destiny—which he could use in a spell to grant himself great magical power so that he could conquer all of reality. He enlisted/coerced countless heroes over an undetermined span of time to obtain these items, but each met with failure.
Under unspecified circumstances, Jihad defeated the legendary adventurer Sinbad and took his daughter Dione prisoner. Jihad transformed them both into wood and mounted Sinbad as the figurehead on his own ship. Still maintaining sentience, Sinbad learned from an oracle of the existence of the Fantastic Four on Earth-616, and he used his own mystical powers to influence Jihad's mind so he would seek out and recruit them, hoping that they could assist in Jihad's defeat.
Jihad sent four elementals against the Fantastic Four (Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing), but the heroes managed to destroy them. However, they then realized that Jihad has also sent another agent, a powerful giant hydra to capture the F4's family and friends—Caledonia, Franklin Richards, the teenage Valeria, and their Puppy. The Four attacked the hydra to no avail, and Jihad then appeared, subduing the entire group and transporting them aboard Sinbad's ship—actually a transformed Jihad. Translating notes on the ship, they learned that they were to obtain the four items of power, which they did in order to play along, see what developed, and hopefully take advantage on any opportunity that might present itself.
A series of adventures led the FF to successfully collect the items, at which point Jihad revealed himself, transforming back from ship form, and revealing Caledonia, Franklin, and Valeria to be his captives, trapped in wooden form. As Jihad taunted them that they must continue to aid him if they wished to see their friends and family alive again, Sinbad influenced the Thing to snatch his wooden form from Jihad, restoring Sinbad to normal. Jihad vanished, taking the other statues with him, and returning to the city he held as his base, where he began to make preparations to cast the spell and gain his long sought power.
Sinbad led the FF to ensnare a Rukh (Roc, a giant bird) and force it to bring them to Jihad, who was in mid-spell, having drawn out the life essence of his captives and utilized the magic items in their proper preparation. Just as Jihad prepared to strike the Crystal Casque with the Mallet of Destiny to unleash the power, Puppy transported Sue to Jihad's side, and she protected the Casque with a force field. The others then assaulted Jihad, keeping him off balance and preventing him from focusing his power on Sue. When Ben smashed Jihad into the sea, Sinbad took the short time they were granted to guide the FF to use the four items of power to return the souls of Caledonia, Dione, Franklin, and Valeria. As Jihad reached to destroy them all, Ben used the Mallet to shatter the Casque, and the energies, lacking the proper preparation or the souls to contain them, were unleashed upon Jihad, banishing him from the mortal plane.