Thursday, 16 June 2011

Terrorism - Islam's Viewpoint

Terrorism - Islam's Viewpoint

Islamic Fiqh Council, Saudi Arabia. Source: Muslim World League
Journal, Jumad al-Ula 1423/July 2002 CE

During its sixteenth session, which was held between 21-27 Shawwal
1422 H (5-10 January 2002), the Islamic Fiqh Council laid emphasis
on the fact that extremism, violence, and terrorism have no connection
whatsoever with Islam. In fact, they are manifestations of perilous
acts with dangerous consequences, and an aggression and iniquity
against the individual.

Whosoever carefully studies the two sources of the Shari'ah (Islamic
law), namely the Book of Allah [the Qur'an] and the Sunnah (Traditions)
of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), would discoverthat they are
devoid of any import of extremism, acts of violence or terrorism,
which imply carrying out aggression against others without a just

Therefore, in order to draw an Islamic definition of terrorism
that unites the vision and attitudes of all Muslims; and in order
to clearly state this fact and highlight the danger of associating
Islam with extremism and terrorism, the Islamic Fiqh Council presents
the following definition of terrorism and Islam's attitude toward
it both to the Muslims and the world at large.

Definition of Terrorism

Terrorism is an outrageous attack carried out either by individuals,
groups or states against the human being (his religion, life, intellect,
property and honour). It includes all forms of intimidation, harm,
threatening, killing without just cause and everything connected
with any form of armed robbery, hence making pathways insecure,
banditry, every act of violence or threatening intended to fulfil
a criminal scheme individually or collectively, so as to terrify
and horrify people by hurting them or by exposing their lives, liberty,
security or conditions to danger; it can also take the form of inflicting
damage on the environment or on a public or a private utility or
exposing a national or natural resource to danger.

All these are manifestations of the mischief in the land, Allah
has prohibited Muslims from committing. Allah says in the Qur'an:

"And seek not occasions for mischief in the land: for Allah
loves not those who do mischief" (28:77)

Hence Allah did not only enact deterrent punishment against terrorism,
aggression and corruption, but considers these acts tantamount to
waging war against Allah and His Messenger. Allah says in the Qur'an:

"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His
Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the
land is: execution, or crucifixion, or cutting off of hands and
feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: That is their
disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the
hereafter" (5:33)

Obviously, in view of the enormity of such acts of aggression,
which are viewed by the Shari'ah (Islamic law) as an act of war
against the laws and the creatures of God, there is no stricter
punishment anywhere in the manmade laws. Moreover, according to
the Islamic Fiqh Council, there are various forms of terrorism,
which include state terrorism, the most conspicuous illustration
and the most heinous of which is practiced in Palestine today by
the Israelis, and by the Serbs in Bosnia- Herzegovina and Kosovo.

According to the Islamic Fiqh Council, state terrorism is the most
menacing to security and peace in the world, and, therefore, standing
up against it is tantamount to self defense and striving in the
cause of Allah.

Islam's Remedy for Extremism & Terrorism

In combating terrorism and protecting society against its evil
consequences, Islam is a trail-blazer. Through clear-cut limitations
that must not be trespassed, Islam urges the protection of human
life, honour, property, religion and intellect. Allah says in the

"If any do transgress the limits ordained by Allah, such persons
wrong themselves as well as others" (2:229)

Accordingly, in furtherance of this honour bestowed upon mankind,
Islam prohibit[s] man's injustice to his fellow man, and condemn[s]
those who cause harm to people, not only in the Muslim world, but
anywhere in the world. Allah says in the Qur'an:

"Say: The things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are; shameful
deeds, whether open or secret; sins and trespasses against truth
or reason." And: "When he turns his back, his aim everywhere
is to spread mischief through the earth and destroy crops and progeny.
But Allah loves not mischief. When it is said to him 'Fear Allah,'
he is led by arrogance to (more) crime. Enough for him is Hell -
an evil bed indeed to lie on" (7:33 & 2:205-206)

Furthermore, Islam ordered its adherents to keep away from anything
that may cause turmoil among the people, and warned at the same
time, against its evil consequences. Allah says in the Qur'an:

"And fear tumult or oppression, which affects not in particular
(only) those of you who do wrong: And know that Allah is strict
in punishment." (8:25)

In Islam, both the individual and the community are exhorted not
only to tow the line of moderation, but likewise, to root out extremism
and religious intolerance which are sure to destroy the mankind.
The Prophet (peace be on him) said in a report by Imams Ahmad and

"Beware of excesses in matters of religion. For, as a matter
of fact, those before you were destroyed by religious immoderation"

Islam also addressed the issue of evil tendencies that are apt
to lead to intimidation, terrifying, horrifying and killing without
any just cause. The Prophet (peace be on him) said:

"A Muslim must not terrify a fellow Muslim"


"Whoever points an iron rod towards his brother, the angels
shall go on cursing him until he stopped, even if he (the victim)
happens to be his full brother (from the sides of his father and
mother)" (Sahih Muslim)

With regard to the Dhimmis (Non-Muslims living under Muslim protection),
Islam ordered that they must be treated justly. It gave them rights
and imposed duties on them. It gave them security in the Muslim
world, and imposed blood-money and expiation for an act of killing
committed against anyone among them. Allah says:

"If he belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty of
mutual alliance, blood-money shall be paid to his family, and a
believing slave be freed" (4:92)

Furthermore, in conformity with the saying of the Prophet (peace
be on him), Islam prohibits the slaying of a Dhimmi living in the
Muslim world.

"Whoever kills a person under the contract of protection shall
never smell the scent of Paradise" (Ibn Majah)

Moreover, Islam does not forbid its followers from being charitable
towards those who do not fight them or expel them from their homes.
Allah says in the Qur'an:

"Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you
not for your faith, nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing
kindly and justly with them: For Allah loves those who are just"


"And let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to
wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and
fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do"

In view of the foregoing, therefore, the Islamic Fiqh Council would
like to make it public that the felony of taking away one life without
a just cause is tantamount to killing all people, whatever the faith
of the murdered or the murderer; and that punishments and retributions
are solely the prerogative of the ruler, not of individuals or groups.

Jihad is not Terrorism

In Islam, Jihad is ordained to uphold right, repel injustice and
establish justice, peace, security and clemency, with which the
Prophet (peace be on him) was sent to take mankind out of darkness
into light. More specifically, Jihad has been ordained to eliminate
all forms of terrorism, and to defend the homeland against occupation,
plunder and colonialism.

Jihad is waged against those who support others in driving out
people out of their homes, as well as against those who are in breach
of their covenants. Jihad is meant to avoid tempting away Muslims
from their faith or restricting their freedom to conduct peaceful
propagation of their religion. Allah said:

"Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you
not for your faith, nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing
kindly and justly with them: For Allah loveth those who are just"


"Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you
for your faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support others
in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection).
It is such as turn to them in these circumstances that do wrong."

Islam has crystal clear rules and provisions that forbid the killing
of non-combatants, innocent persons, such as the elderly, women
and children; pursuit of fleeing persons, slaying persons who have
surrendered, injuring prisoners, or mutilating the bodies of the
dead, or destroying structures and buildings that have no connection
with combat.

Thus it is illogical to equate violence committed by usurpers and
tyrants who violate human dignity, defile sanctuaries and plunder
wealth, with the right of legitimate self-defense, exercised by
the oppressed in asserting their legitimate right of self-determination.
In view of the above, the Islamic Fiqh Council would like to call
the attention of all nations, peoples and organizations of the world
to the necessity of drawing a distinction between legitimate Jihad
against aggression or oppression designed to establish truth and
justice, and the act of violence which aims at occupation of land,
encroaching on national sovereignty and terrifying civilian populations
and turning them into refugees.


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