Archive for Terrorism and Violence

Suicide Bombers in Islam

“And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you. But do not transgress limits. Truly Allah loves not the transgressors.”

- Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah (2:190)

The dangerous escalation of violence in the world is disturbing to all people of conscience, from September 11 to the Middle East battles, and other random acts of violence perpetrated at innocent civilians.

In Islam, several things are clear:

  • Suicide is forbidden. “O ye who believe!… [do not] kill yourselves, for truly Allah has been to you Most Merciful. If any do that in rancour and injustice, soon shall We cast him into the Fire…” (Qur’an 4:29-30).
  • The taking of life is allowed only by way of justice (i.e. the death penalty for murder), but even then, forgiveness is better. “Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – except for just cause…” (17:33).
  • In pre-Islamic Arabia, retaliation and mass murder was commonplace. If someone was killed, the victim’s tribe would retaliate against the murderer’s entire tribe. This practice was directly forbidden in the Qur’an (2:178-179). Following this statement of law, the Qur’an says, “After this, whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave chastisement” (2:178). No matter what wrong we perceive as being done against us, we may not lash out against an entire population of people.
  • The Qur’an admonishes those who oppress others and transgress beyond the bounds of what is right and just. “The blame is only against those who oppress men with wrongdoing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice. For such there will be a chastisement grievous (in the Hereafter)” (42:42).
  • Harming innocent bystanders, even in times of war, was forbidden by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This includes women, children, noncombatant bystanders, and even trees and crops. Nothing is to be harmed unless the person or thing is actively engaged in an assault against Muslims.

The predominant theme in the Qur’an is forgiveness and peace. Allah (God) is Merciful and Forgiving, and seeks that in His followers. Indeed, most people who spend time on a personal level with ordinary Muslims have found them to be peaceful, honest, hard-working, civic-minded people.

In the fight against terrorism of all forms, it is important to understand who or what is our enemy. We can only fight against this horror if we understand its causes and motivations. What motivates a person to lash out in this violent, inhumane way? Researchers conclude that religion neither causes nor explains suicide terrorism. The true motivation of such attacks is something that all of us — mental health professionals, politicians, and common people — need to understand, so that we can address the issues more honestly, prevent more violence, and find ways to work towards lasting peace.

“O ye who believe! Remain steadfast for Allah, bearing witness to justice. Do not allow your hatred for others make you swerve to wrongdoing and turn you away from justice. Be just; that is closer to true piety.”

- Qur’an, Surah al-Maidah (5:8)

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By Huda, About.com guide
Reprinted from About.com

What Does Islam Say about Terrorism?

A man praying at the edge of a cliff in Makkah. Muslims are spiritual, peaceful people.

A man praying at the edge of a cliff in Makkah. Muslims are commanded to be faithful, upright, spiritual, peaceful people. Fighting is only allowed in self defense, and must obey moral codes of conduct.

Islam, a religion of mercy, does not permit terrorism. In the Quran, God has said:

“God does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who have not fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your homes. God loves just dealers.” (Quran 60:8)

The Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, used to prohibit soldiers from killing women and children,[1] and he would advise them: “…Do not betray, do not be excessive, do not kill a newborn child.”[2] And he also said: “Whoever has killed a person having a treaty with the Muslims shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise, though its fragrance is found for a span of forty years.”[3]

Also, the Prophet Muhammad has forbidden punishment with fire.[4]

He once listed murder as the second of the major sins,[5] and he even warned that on the Day of Judgment, “The first cases to be adjudicated between people on the Day of Judgment will be those of bloodshed.” [6][7]

Muslims are even encouraged to be kind to animals and are forbidden to hurt them. Once the Prophet Muhammad said: “A woman was punished because she imprisoned a cat until it died. On account of this, she was doomed to Hell. While she imprisoned it, she did not give the cat food or drink, nor did she free it to eat the insects of the earth.”[8]

He also said that a man gave a very thirsty dog a drink, so God forgave his sins for this action. The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, was asked, “Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?” He said: “There is a reward for kindness to every living animal or human.”[9]

Additionally, while taking the life of an animal for food, Muslims are commanded to do so in a manner that causes the least amount of fright and suffering possible. The Prophet Muhammad said: “When you slaughter an animal, do so in the best way. One should sharpen his knife to reduce the suffering of the animal.”[10]

In light of these and other Islamic texts, the act of inciting terror in the hearts of defenseless civilians, the wholesale destruction of buildings and properties, the bombing and maiming of innocent men, women, and children are all forbidden and detestable acts according to Islam and the Muslims. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and the vast majority have nothing to do with the violent events some have associated with Muslims. If an individual Muslim were to commit an act of terrorism, this person would be guilty of violating the laws of Islam.


Footnotes:

[1] Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #1744, and Saheeh Al-Bukhari, #3015.
[2] Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #1731, and Al-Tirmizi, #1408.
[3] Narrated in Saheeh Al-Bukhari, #3166, and Ibn Majah, #2686.
[4] Narrated in Abu-Dawood, #2675.
[5] Narrated in Saheeh Al-Bukhari, #6871, and Saheeh Muslim, #88.
[6] This means killing and injuring.
[7] Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #1678, and Saheeh Al-Bukhari, #6533.
[8] Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #2422, and Saheeh Al-Bukhari, #2365.
[9] Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #2244, and Saheeh Al-Bukhari, #2466.
[10] Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #1955, and Al-Tirmizi, #1409.

Condemnation of terrorist act committed by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab

Condemnation of attempted attack on Northwest airlines flight

All Muslims must condemn terrorist attacks. Terrorism is not condoned by Islam and violates the principles of justice and compassion that Islam represents.

“The worshippers of the All-Merciful (God) are they who tread gently upon the earth, and when the ignorant address them, they reply, “Peace!“ – Qur’an 25:63

Nigerian-American Muslim Group Condemns Failed Plane Attack

The National Council of Nigerian Muslim Organizations in the United States of America today issued a statement condemning Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s attempted bombing of a Northwest Airline flight into Detroit on Friday.

The statement, issued by Mufutau R. Adeleke, the Council’s General Secretary, was released from the Council’s ongoing annual convention in Boston:

“On behalf of the National Council of Nigerian Muslim Organizations in the United States of America and thousands of Nigerian-Americans across the country, I condemn the attempted terror attack on Christmas Day.

“The National Council of Nigerian Muslim Organizations in the United States of America condemns all acts of terrorism. Any human being who attempts or commits acts of terror, murder, or any act of cruelty in the name of a religion is not only destroying innocent lives, but is also debasing the values of the faith of that religion. Neither such behavior nor the individual involved represent Islam.

“Nigerian-American Muslims are active promoters of peace and tolerance in the community. We are currently holding our annual convention in Boston, with a major focus on training our youth in the peaceful way of Islam to become the next generation of upright Nigerian-American leaders.

“The incident that occurred on Northwest Airline Flight 253 on Friday is an attack on all Americans. The perpetrator neither represents Nigerian Muslims nor Muslims in general. We encourage a thorough investigation of the incident and full disclosure of the findings.”

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We at IslamIsLife.org completely agree with the above statement issued by the National Council of Nigerian Muslim Organizations.

In fact, all Muslims must condemn terrorist attacks. Terrorism is not condoned by Islam under any circumstances; and it violates the principles of justice and compassion that Islam represents.

The condemnation of terrorism is deeply rooted in true Islamic values based on the Qur’anic instructions which consider the unjust killing of a single person equivalent to the killing of all humanity (Quran, 5:32 ). It also forbids destruction and mischief on earth (Quran, 28:77,83). This violence is contrary to the authentic universal core message of peace, love, tolerance and mutual co-operation taught by Islam and all of the God’s Prophets.

See also the Islamic Society of North America, ISNA (U.S.) Statement Against Terrorism and Religious Extremism 8/05. This 2 page flier is available as a PDF and is the best short statement available and should be printed out and widely shared. The link can be found on their front page.