By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
24 August 2015
Today, in line with their degenerate communal mindset, a phenomenon has emerged among large sections of Muslims which is an extreme form of Tahleel-E-Haram, or making the unlawful lawful. And that is suicide-bombing—or, in other words, strapping bombs onto oneself and blowing oneself up in order to kill a supposed enemy.
This action is, without any doubt at all, forbidden or Haram according to the sources of the Islamic Shariah. Some Muslim scholars have, on their own, sought to claim that suicide-bombing is legitimate by terming it as Istishhad or seeking martyrdom. But this sort of reasoning is baseless. No self-fabricated fatwa of this sort can make a clearly and unambiguously forbidden act like suicide-bombing legitimate.
A Hadith report provides clear guidance in this matter. This report is found in various books of Hadith—for instance, in Sahih Bukhari (Hadith no. 3062), Sahih Muslim (hadith no. 112), Musnad Imam Ahmad (Hadith no. 8090), etc. The narrative in these different texts is worded roughly identically. According to this narrative, a companion of the Prophet reports:
We were accompanying the Prophet in a war (Ghazwa). Along with us was a person named Quzman who had already embraced the faith. During the war he suffered a serious injury. People began to praise him before the Prophet for the bravery he had exhibited in the war. But the Prophet said: Innahu min ahl an-Naar. That is, “He is surely one of the people of Hell.” The companions were taken aback by the Prophet’s words, so he asked them to go and investigate the matter. It was then that they learnt that Quzman had been severely injured during the war and when he could not bear the pain any more, he killed himself with his own weapon. When the Prophet was told about this, he uttered these words: “God is great, and I bear witness that I am His messenger.”’
It is a fact that in Islam, suicide is something that is completely Haram or forbidden—so much so that even if a person who appears to be a companion of the Prophet and exhibits great bravery while fighting on the battlefield but, finally, kills himself with his own weapon, his death will be an unlawful death on account of his suicide. Under no pretext or excuse can it be made legitimate.
Suppose some Muslims are attacked and they fight in defence and, in doing so they die. In this case, their death is legitimate or Jaiz. But if they knowingly and deliberately strap bombs around their bodies and then go amidst their supposed enemies and explode these bombs and thereby kill others and themselves, it is, very clearly, a form of suicide, and so it is definitely illegitimate in Islam. It is legitimate for believers to fight in self-defence if attacked. If they are not in a position to do so, the way for them is to exercise patience, not to resort to suicide-bombing. But the obsession with suicide-bombing has become so acute among significant numbers of Muslims today that few of them are even willing to seriously reflect on the fact that it is clearly forbidden in Islam.
According to a Hadith report, the Prophet of Islam said: ‘“By Him in whose hands is my soul, the world will not end until a time comes when the killer will not know why he killed and the slain will not know why he was killed.” Someone asked the Prophet why this would happen. He answered: “This will happen in the age of harj [the age of fighting and bloodshed]. Both the killer and the slain will go to Hell.”’ (Sahih Muslim, 2908)
Hadith commentators generally translate the word harj as excessive fighting and bloodshed. This sort of mad, frenzied slaughter happens among a people when, driven by communal supremacism, it is fired by blind enmity for others. This is the condition of present-day Muslims. This mindset has become so widespread and deeply-rooted among them that in their narrow communalism they think of other communities as their eternal foes. They have begun to imagine that others are constantly engaged in conspiracies against them. On the basis of this self-created idea of theirs, their hearts are now filled with feelings of unimaginable hate for others. The extremist violence among Muslims today is a result of this. They are now drowned in hate, not only for other communities but also for those co-religionists of theirs whom they regard as supporters of their enemies.
Today, scores of Muslim terrorist groups are engaged in horrific violence in different parts of the world—not sparing even little children in schools, worshippers in mosques and people grieving for the dead in graveyards. This completely unjustified slaughter has now assumed such enormous proportions that the terrorists have come to think of slaughter as a desirable end in itself, even if they have no justified reason for it at all.
Solving the Problem
There is only solution to this very disturbing situation of the Muslim ummahtoday—and that is that the Ummah should be given the right ideology. Muslims who have taken to violence are victims of a wrong understanding of Islam. The only way to change this is to enable them to learn about the true ideology of Islam that is based on the Quran and Hadith. Nothing less than this will suffice to change the state of affairs that prevails today.
Muslims should, for instance, be made aware of a fundamental reality that the Quran (41:34-36) expresses in the following words:
Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend, but no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint -- no one is granted it save those who are truly fortunate. If a prompting from Satan should stir you, seek refuge with God: He is the All Hearing and the All Knowing.
According to these verses of the Quran, the distinction that exists among people is not that between friends and enemies, but, rather, between actual friends and potential friends. This is a law of nature. In accordance with this, Muslims must not regard anybody as their enemies. Instead, without discriminating against anyone, they should try to make everyone their friend. It is this that is the Dawah spirit, and it is this that is called Dawah, or inviting people towards God.
Similarly, Muslims must be reminded of the Quranic verse (5:32) that refers to the heinous crime of the slaughter of innocent people:
That was why We laid it down for the Children of Israel that whoever killed a human being, except as a punishment for murder or for spreading corruption in the land, shall be regarded as having killed all mankind, and that whoever saved a human life shall be regarded as having saved all mankind.
Likewise, Muslims need to be reminded that for a Muslim to kill a fellow Muslim is an act that would lead him to Hell. As the Quran (4:93) says:
If anyone kills a believer deliberately, his reward shall be eternal Hell. God will condemn him and reject him, and prepare for him a terrible punishment.
The Task before Muslims
Today, the Muslim Ummah, by and large, is sunk deep in negative thinking. This is only because of its degenerated mindset. In line with its negative thinking, it has come to see other communities as enemies. For some Muslims, this view is held at the level of thought, while others, driven by this mindset, are engaged in spreading indiscriminate murder and mayhem. This is certainly a very dangerous signal.
Today, it has become a duty binding on Muslims to develop positive thinking. They must completely stop thinking of other communities as their enemies. They must be reminded of the fact that their status is not that of a community, but, rather, that of an ideological group, one that has just one mission—and that is, peaceful Dawah, or inviting people towards God. This task they must engage in with unilateral well-wishing for others. Even if, according to their thinking, others are oppressing or mistreating them, they must ignore it and remain their well-wishers and convey to them God’s message, which is preserved in the form the Quran and the Sunnah or the practice of the Prophet. Other than this, no action is going to save them from punishment in the Hereafter.
For over a century now, violence in the name of Islam has been continuing unabated, but yet it has completely failed to produce any positive results. It has been a total failure. The violent activities engaged in by Muslims have proven to be totally counter-productive as far as Muslims themselves are concerned. The extremely negative results of this violence clearly show that Muslims do not enjoy God’s help in this regard. Had they received God’s help in this matter, they would definitely have been successful. This situation, therefore, demands that Muslims re-look at what they have been doing. They must completely renounce violence, and, instead, get engaged in peaceful Dawah work. This is the only way that can make them deserving of God’s blessings.