Legal Status of the Suicide Bomber [Archives:2007/1051/Reportage]
Dr. Qazi Shaikh Abbas Borhany
For Yemen Times
Suicide bombing in the world is disturbing the people of conscience, as so many innocents become its target. In operation against terrorism, it is important to focus on the enemy. Without understanding its motivation, we can not fight against this horror. One has to realize the roots that energise it to act violently. This will lead to the issue, more honestly, and preventive measures could be taken more frequently to curtail the terror activities, and help in lasting peace. Several issues are crystal clear in Islam. Changes are not possible in the principals, in any circumstances. What people commit in the name of religion is not even recommended, nor does it have any legal status or validity. It is simply a matter of ignorance to address suicide bombers as Muslims. The reason for what they are doing is not the preaching of Islam, nor Islam recommends it to do so. If several terrorists groups are using the name of Islam to promote their brutal agenda, what can the rest of the Muslims do? This is a man made innovation that does not exist in Islam. Quraan does not support it or advocates it. Islam has been wrongly propagated by the clergy infusing their vicious opinion. It is also a pity that Muslims who follow the West are called “liberals and enlighten” by the Christians and Jewish lobbies, because they adopt ideas that are contrary to the original teaching of Islam. Until the people around us do not understand the true Islam, and promote it among the coming generations of Muslims, a violent brand of man-made Islam can cause more damage. No religious group can justify acts of violence against innocent people, as legal. Several groups name themselves as the party of Allah; does this make them the party of Allah? Surely, does not. There is a major difference between terrorism and guerilla strategy. Guerilla warfare is against institutional oppression, while meaning of Terrorism is promotion of horror among non-combatants. Murder is not a spiritual act and murderers are not saints. Those who use religion to boost their acts of greed, fear or quest for power have nothing to do with Islam.
Political history of Muslims is not an ideal chapter for coming generations to follow. Nor it has a sacred significance. Therefore, terrorism can not be defined as an act, supported by Islam, for religious cause. If Muslims, at large are charged due to political history, as barbarians or terrorists, than the Jews and the Christians deserve this label more. Both of them were bloodier than Muslims. How the modern Western world can ignore the atrocities committed by the Crusaders, in the name of religion? Spanish and Portuguese Catholic invaders forcibly converted Indian natives across the America. Similarly where the Colonial Power established their rule, Christian missionaries converted the less fortune class with sentimental approaches, more frequently. Reprehensible role of the Church clerics can not be ignored by history. A close scrutiny of the Catholic Church exposes the horrible face of terror. Christians and the Jews both have the need to improve their opinion before judging Muslims as worst. How they camouflage their own barbaric bloody history? Taliban, Bin Laden and like minded are not sole representatives of Islam. Therefore, it is totally unjust, and against the original facts, to labialize and handle the entire Muslims community accordingly. The contemporary Muslim political view and policy of international relation is quite dynamic, in all aspects. It is those, who do not wish to understand, and have already prepared to crush Muslim block, from all fronts, have no option, other than to introduce Muslim countries, as Nursery of al Qaedah and their adherents. It is not Muslims, but the rivals, who funded terrorist groups, and when such groups ignored their command, and act according to their own will, these fund providers made hue and cry against Islam. It is the West who formed these groups for their nefarious purposes. Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. History shows, Muslims never followed the weapon of terrorism to spread their religion. Islam was spread only due to the strong efforts of a class of Awliya, Muttaqi friends of Allah. Those who commit acts of violence and terror in the name of Allah can find ample justification for their action. It is necessary to examine the issue under the following points:
– How Rasulullah (S) and his companion's practice and approach regarding those outside the faith?
– When and from which source violence entered in to the doctrine of Islam and who ignored war laws set by Rasulullah (S)?
– This will allow the texts and history of Islam to speak for them as much as possible. Honest, bright people will appreciate the need of dialogue.
A question must disturb the minds of justice loving class. Why always hate articles and propaganda against Muslims and Islam are sponsored by our non-Muslim friends? After analyzing the question, I request all non-Muslims friends, especially who dislike Islam and Muslims to ask themselves the following question. Is it because of so much hatred against Islam? Is it because of the largest growing religion in the world? Are you jealous that only Muslims are the people who follow there religion comparatively far better than what you follow your religion? It is better to conclude the point in the words of Dr. Naik, an eminent Indian Muslim scholar. He says: “may be it is because Muslims are weak, apparently, so forces inimical to Islam can do whatever they wish”. It is the Quraan alone, that spread the light in the darkness and announced the divine instructions regarding forbiddence of Terrorism. When Rasulullah (S) taught Quraan, (in 7th century A.D.), there was no United Nations or Amnesty International to keep the peace or expose injustice. Inter-tribal violence and vengeance was commonplace. However, the Quraan repeatedly urges forgiveness and restraint, and warns believers not to “transgress” or become “oppressors.” Following Ayaat may explain the policy of Islam in clear terms:
– Sentence of death is allowed only through the process of Justice, but even then, forgiveness is better. “Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – except for just cause…” (17:33).
– Before the advent of Islam, in the Arabian Peninsula, retaliation was a common phenomena. If someone was killed, the victim's tribe would counter against the entire tribe of the killer. This monstrous attitude was declared forbidden through the Quraan. No matter what wrong we perceive as being done against us, we may not lash out against an entire population of untarnished. The Quraan 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 Rasulullah (S). 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. “O ye who believe! Do not kill yourselves, for truly Allah has been to you Most Merciful. If any do that in rancor and injustice, soon shall We cast him into the Fire…” (4:29-30).
– “If anyone slays a person- unless it is for murder or for spreading mischief in the land -it would be as if he slew all people. And if anyone saves a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all people.” (5:32)
– “Goodness and evil are not equal. Repel evil with what is better. Then that person, with whom there was hatred, may become your intimate friend! And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but people of the greatest good fortune.” (41:34-35).
To understand and interpret the Quraan is not a job of the so called scholars' who are ignorant with the language of the Quraan. It is misfortune of the Ummah that presently people of showbiz industry discuss religion more frequently in defense of their nefarious purposes shamelessly. I hereby recall and cherish the wordings of the prince of the galaxy of scholars, Syedna Al Moayyad al Shirazi, who while conducting a class of the highly skilled, and intellectuals some 1000 years ago, in well known research institute “Dar al Hikmat”, al Qahera, declared in a crystal clear terms emphatically as follows: “interference of man of eunuch nature, and women of entertainment industry, in religion, unsurprisingly damage the (building of) Islam”. I would like to draw the attention of the learned readers, before closing the chapter, on the Ayat that is referred wrongly by the terrorist groups, in their own favor. “Slay them wherever you find them” (2:191). The question arises as to who are they? Are they non-Muslim or infidel? One merely needs to read the preceding Ayat to find the answer: “And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you. But do not transgress limits. Truly Allah loves not the transgressors.” (2:190). In subsequent Ayaat, instructions are given to the Muslims to stop fighting when the opposing party ceases its aggression.
Dr. Qazi Shaikh Abbas Borhany is attorney at Law & a religious scholar. He has a PhD (USA), Shahadat al Aalamiyah (Najaf-Iraq) and member of the Ulama Council of Pakistan. Email:[email protected]