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You are here: Understanding Islam Legal Rulings Jihad, Terrorism and Suicide Bombing: The Classical Islamic Perspective - Page 17

Jihad, Terrorism and Suicide Bombing: The Classical Islamic Perspective - Page 17

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Article Index
Jihad, Terrorism and Suicide Bombing: The Classical Islamic Perspective
The Meaning of Jihad
Ibn Qayyim’s Fourteen Categories of Jihad
Jihad in History and Law
The Jihad of Education
Establishment of the Islamic Nation/State
First Legislation of Combative Jihad
Religious Freedom of Non-Muslims
Forced Conversion?
Conditions for Combative Jihad
Is Islam by Nature Hostile to non-Muslims?
Does Islam Call for Ongoing War against Non-Muslims?
Who is Involved in Combat?
Jihad Between Muslims
Conduct of Combat
Prohibition of Suicide
False Rulings Supporting Suicide Attacks
Rebellion Against Rulers
The Inner Jihad
Dhikr: the Remembrance of Allah
Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
All Pages

False Rulings Supporting Suicide Attacks

Often those who justify suicide attacks cite as evidence the story of the Companion al-Bara' ibn Mālik at the Battle of Yamāma, in which the Muslims fought Musaylima the Liar, who had begun the war by attacking the Muslims.

The Muslims gained ground against the idolaters the day of Yamāma until they cornered them in a garden in which Musaylima was staying. Al-Bara' ibn Mālik said: “O Muslims, throw me to them!” He was carried aloft until when he was above the wall, he penetrated [the enclosure]. Then he fought them inside the garden until he opened it for the Muslims and the Muslims entered. Then Allah killed Musaylima.

Al- Bara' threw himself onto them and fought them until he opened the gate after having received more than eighty cuts. Then he was carried away and tended. Khālid [ibn al-Walīd] visited him for a month.

The Companion threw himself into the ranks of the enemy, in order to throw open the fortress' door, knowing full well that he would likely be killed in the process.

Studying this analogy, one finds that it is not relevant, for in the incident cited the two combatant armies were fighting face-to-face. In the process he did not kill innocent people. He threw himself with the intention of either opening the door or dying in the attempt. In fact his death was expected at the hands of the enemy, not by his own action. And this, like the earlier example of az-Zubayr ibn al-'Awwām, is exemplary of chivalry and bravery, not of intent to commit suicide.

Suicide bombings are something in which innocent people are killed, some might even be supporters of one’s cause, while others are innocent. Thus this example does not apply. Such an act on the contrary is not suicidal; it is an act of bravery which is accepted in every nation and culture.

This means that whoever goes on his own and declares his own rulings, independent of the ruler of the Muslim Nation, falls under the label of Jāhilīyyah – pre-Islamic ignorance and unbelief. Such a person establishes his own group and his own false rulings on fighting, causing all the people to fall into tribulations due to his aggression.

This hadith demonstrates the Prophet's emphatic opposition to those who would declare a false combative Jihād. This 1400 year-old hadith is also a very clear prediction by the Prophet , that a people will arise who will create havoc and confusion, who are arrogant and proud of themselves, and who despite appearances, are in fact fighting for the sake of their families and tribes. And this is not Jihād by any means but in fact falsifies the concept of Jihād totally.

Here we see the Prophet extended shelter to a combatant pagan who was promised shelter by a Muslim woman. How then are we allowing today’s beheadings of those people who are working to help stability and bringing provision and supporting human rights in Iraq. They take innocent people and behead them, people who have been given shelter by the existing government and they are non-combatants.

“Whoever indiscriminately attacks my Nation killing the righteous and the wicked among them, and fulfilling not a pledge made with whoever was given a promise of security, has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him."

This portion of the hadith makes it abundantly clear that if someone attacks a person whose safety has been pledged by the nation's government to uphold, the Prophet is abandoning the attacker and dissociating himself from him. For the believer, nothing could be more distressing than for the Prophet to abandon him.

Prisoners of War

In regard to prisoners of war, Allah says:

حَتَّى إِذَا أَثْخَنتُمُوهُمْ فَشُدُّوا الْوَثَاقَ فَإِمَّا مَنًّا بَعْدُ وَإِمَّا فِدَاء حَتَّى تَضَعَ الْحَرْبُ أَوْزَارَهَا

At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens.

قال الرسول : يا ام هاني اجرنا من اجرتي

It was related from Umm Hānī bint Abī Ţālib ¯, who said to the Prophet , “My brother 'Alī said he will kill a person to whom I gave shelter, so-and-so son of Hubayra,” who was a combatant pagan at that time. The Prophet said, “We shelter the person whom you have sheltered.”

In a similar vein, the hadith where the Prophet said:
He who gives a promise of safety to a man in regards to his life, then kills him, I am innocent of the actions of the killer, even if the one killed was a disbeliever.

It is established that the Prophet captured prisoners yet never did he compel or force anyone to embrace Islām. The same holds true for his Companions.
The Companions of the Messenger of Allah used to ransom captives and rejected killing them saying, “What would we gain from killing them?”