Islam And Terrorism

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Islam and Terrorism Oct 20, 2009
A good article which references the Quran and Hadith to explain Islam's position.

Islam and Terrorism

It is unfortunate that Islam, the religion of peace, hope, harmony, goodwill and Brotherhood had been badly tarnished by the perpetrators of various terrorists acts and barbarism as seen on September 11, 2001.

The purpose of this presentation is to set forth the teachings of Islam so that manifestations of various terrorist acts are fully exposed in the light of Islamic teachings under whose shelter these activities are being committed.

DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY AND ETHICS OF WAR

According to the Islamic Holy Book - the Quran, God has bestowed honour on every individual irrespective of skin colour, race, nationality, etc. Freedom is one of the great favours of God and its deprivation is a great misery. Under the Islamic dispensation, no one can be made a captive without a just cause. Prisoners can only be taken in the event of a regular declared war or battle and not for any other reason or under any other pretext. The Holy Quran specifically states:

It does not behove a Prophet that he should have captives until he engages in regular fighting in the land. If you take captives, except in regular fighting, you will be regarded as desiring the goods of this world, while ALLAH desires for you the Hereafter. And ALLAH is Mighty, Wise (8:68 )

This verse cuts at the root of not only slavery practice in years gone by but also demolishes any supposed justification of modern day hostage-taking and hijacking of innocent people not involved in actual combat.
In his farewell address the Holy Prophet of Islam gave special instructions regarding good treatment which should be meted out to prisoners. The

Holy Prophet said:

O men, you still have in your possession some prisoners of war. I advise you, therefore, to feed them and to clothe them in the same way and style as you feed and clothe yourselves ..... To give them pain or trouble can never be tolerated.

More specific commandments on the ethics of war and treatment of prisoners are contained in the fifth verse of the forty-seventh chapter of the Quran. This comprehensive verse can be paraphrased as follows:

"When engaged in a regular battle, it should be fought bravely and relentlessly. War can be continued till peace and freedom of conscience are established. Prisoners are to be taken judiciously. Free men cannot be deprived of their liberty without a just and reasonable cause. When war is over, prisoners should be released as an act of favour or on taking ransom or by negotiating a mutual exchange."

In the history of Islam all these methods have been used for releasing prisoners. A novel method to get release was that the educated prisoners could teach reading and writing to those who were illiterate, in lieu of ransom.

This verse further strikes at the roots of those who would justify modern day terrorism in the name and under the banner of Islam.

Envoys are privileged people in the Islamic system. They enjoy full personal immunity. They are not subject to political ransom, no matter how worthy the cause may be, and to kidnap them is a heinous crime. They must not be killed, molested or maltreated. There are numerous instances from the Holy Prophet's life which illustrate the application of these principles.

Thus Islamic scriptural commandments and the precepts of the Holy Prophet of Islam concerning diplomatic immunity are free from ambiguities. In a nutshell, taking hostages and maltreating envoys and private citizens in any shape and form is totally foreign to the teachings and doctrines of Islam. In other words, the philosophy of Islam totally rejects terrorism.


CONCEPT OF JIHAD IN ISLAM

Through the actions of some elements, the western world visualizes a wrong concept of Jihad (Holy War). The word Jihad conjures up the vision of a marching band of religious fanatics with savage beards and fiery eyes, brandishing swords and attacking the infidels.

Jihad in Islamic terminology means to make an effort, to endeavour and to strive in a noble way. Over the centuries this meaning of Jihad has been obliterated or at least diluted. The critical juncture in the Islamic world requires reviving and recapturing the true and pristine meaning of Jihad.

Jihad can be divided into two broad categories. First is Jihad-e-akbar. This is Jihad against one's own person to curb sinful inclinations, i.e., purification of self. This is the most difficult Jihad and hence in terms of rewards and blessings is the highest category of Jihad.

The second is Jihad-e-asghar. This is Jihad of the sword. This is communal Jihad and presupposes certain specific conditions. The Quran speaks of fighting only against those who first attack Muslims and this is the very condition laid down in other verses of the Holy Quran as well. The so-called verse of the sword in the Islamic scripture is often taken out of context as if it inculcates an indiscriminate massacre of all unbelievers.

The Quranic words such as kill whatever you find them apply only in cases where the enemy has first attacked Muslims and apply to those unbelievers and enemies who break their oaths and firm agreements. They do not apply to unprovoked wars and battles. To interpret these verses in any other manner would be a travesty of the lofty ideals of Islam. There is not a single instance in the life of the Holy Prophet where he offered the alternative of the sword or Islam to anyone.

The Western media and even some scholars sometimes ignore the distinction between these two aspects of Jihad. It must be remembered that the Holy Quran does not make Jihad, the holy war, in context of an article of faith. The sayings and traditions of the Holy Prophet render it into a formula for active struggle that invariably and incorrectly tended towards a militant expression. Modern day terrorism is contrary to the purview of the real spirit of the Islamic Jihad.

The presentation of Islam as a crude and barbaric religion which gives itself the right to cause unwarranted human and material suffering and destruction under the guise of Divine authority, is not the kind of Islam we find in the Holy Quran and in the precepts of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him!)


PEACE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN ISLAM

Among the attributes of God, the Holy Quran mentions that He is the Source of peace and the Bestower of security (59:23). The establishment of peace and maintenance of security must, therefore, be the constant objective of all Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Every pursuit and activity which disturbs peace is severely condemned in Islam. We find specific injunctions in the Holy Quran:

And create not disorder in the earth after it has been set in order.... (7:57; 11:86; 29:37)

Mischief and wickedness are condemned in several other verses and Muslims are commanded to work wholly for peace.
Islam draws attention to factors which tend to disturb or destroy peace and order, and deprecates them. Domination of one group by another in the domestic sphere, or of one people by another in the international sphere is a potent cause of disturbance of peace and is therefore strongly condemned. Economic exploitation of one people or country by another inevitably leads to domination by the exploiters, and develops into a potential threat to peace. The Holy Quran prohibits such exploitation and an economy based on exploitation cannot be beneficial in its consequences, nor can it endure.

Islam visualizes an association of strong and stable states allied together in the pursuance of peace, freedom of conscience and the promotion of human welfare. Treaties or covenants between nations may have to be drawn up which should be done in a straightforward language and should not be evaded or repudiated under the temptation of securing some advantage. In case of difficulties and disputes, it is the duty of Muslims to bring about a peaceful settlement and adjustment.

The Holy Quran teaches that God has sent His revelation to all people from time to time. Many of prophets of the Old Testament are mentioned by name and so is Jesus who with other prophets is honoured and revered by all Muslims. Indeed, the Quran requires belief in the truth of all these prophets. Islam is thus unique and distinct in requiring an affirmation in all prophets wherever they appeared and therefore it seeks to bring about reconciliation between the followers of different faiths and to establish a basis of respect and honour among them. The Quran says:

Surely, those who believe and the Jews and the Christians and the Sabians - whichever party from among these truly believes in ALLAH and the Last Day and does good deeds, shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon then nor shall they grieve (2:63)

The same message is repeated in 5:70. The basic unity of the followers of all faiths is emphatically stressed in the Holy Quran and the creation of discord and disunity by terrorism or otherwise has no place in Islam.
In the domain of international relations, religion and inter-religious relations occupy an important position. Unfortunately, comparatively little attention is paid to this aspect of human relations. It is assumed that religion is a private matter for each individual and should, therefore, have no direct connection with the political, social aspects of life. This assumption is not justified. Islam being an egalitarian religion, is not just a personal faith, but an all-encompassing codes of values and conduct. Islam is and will be a vital factor in human relations and there is a good ground of hope that it might progressively become more effective in promoting unity and accord rather than continue to be required on the part of religious and political leaders to achieve that goal.

I must conclude by saying that whether peace or war, acts of terrorism are not only condemned in Islam but are also pointedly declared alien to the teachings of Islam which in fact means peace through the submission to the Will of God, the Lord of all human beings. Only through conformity to Divine laws can we hope to achieve the ideal of a secure world free of terrorism.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Abbot, Freeland. (1968) Islam and Pakistan. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Ahmad, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud. (1980). Invitation to Ahmadiyyat, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Khan, Sir Muhammad Zafrullah (1989). Islam: Its Meaning for Modern Man. New York & Evanston: Harper & Row.
The Holy Quran (Arabic Text with the English Translation by the late Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan: President of the 17th Session of U.N. General Assembly and later Judge and President of the International Court of Justice at the Hague, London; Curzon Press


http://www.alislam.org/library/links/00000104.html


Feel free to compare and contrast with the views expressed by those critical of Islam on sites such as 'Wikislam' (which some seem to think contains only Muslim contributers, rather than the fact it proudly allows all those critical of Islam to contribute - Orientalists especially) ;)

Cheers,
Shafique

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Oct 20, 2009
Another perspective:

Praise be to Allaah.

Physical jihad is the pinnacle of Islam, and some scholars regarded it as the sixth pillar of Islam.

The Muslims have neglected jihad for a long time, so they deserve the punishment of Allaah, to be humiliated, belittled and defeated. That humiliation will never be lifted from them until they come back to their religion as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you enter into the ‘aynah transaction, hold the tails of oxen, are content with farming, and give up jihad, Allaah will cause humiliation to prevail over you, and will not withdraw it until you return to your commitment to Islam.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2956; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

[Translator’s note: ‘Aynah transaction means to sell a product for a known price with deferred payment and then buy it back from the purchaser for a lesser price, so the purchaser will still have to pay the difference in the future]

One of the strangest things to note is that we are living in a time when some of the Muslims are embarrassed to quote the verses and ahaadeeth on jihad in front of their kaafir friends. Their faces turn red because they are too shy to mention the rulings on the jizyah, slavery and killing prisoners of war. They wish that they could erase these verses and ahaadeeth from the Qur’aan and Sunnah so that they would not be criticized by this world with its backward principles despite its claims to be civilized. If they cannot erase them then they try to misinterpret them and distort their meanings so that they suit the whims and desires of their masters. I will not say so that they suit their whims and desires, for they are too weak to have their own whims and desires, and too ignorant. Rather it is the whims and desires of their masters and teachers among the missionaries and colonialists, the enemies of Islam.”

‘Umdat al-Tafseer, 1/46.

The result of that is that we hardly hear anything nowadays apart from the following phrases: world peace … peaceful coexistence … safe borders … a new world order … the calamities of war…

Those who proclaim the verses and ahaadeeth of jihad nowadays are subject to a number of accusations. They are called terrorists, extremists, enemies of peace and bloodthirsty, and are accused of wanting to destroy twentieth century civilization.

This is the unfortunate reality in which the Muslim ummah is living nowadays. That is because we have given up supporting our religion and doing the duties that Allaah has enjoined upon us.

Allaah has commanded us to support His religion and to wage jihad against His enemies.

There are so many verses that enjoin jihad against the mushrikeen and fighting them until all submission is for Allaah alone; they clearly state that it is obligatory and is prescribed and is compulsory. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Jihaad holy fighting in Allaah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allaah knows but you do not know”

[al-Baqarah 2:216]

Rulings on jihad

The scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) have mentioned the rulings on jihad and have stated that jihad is of two types:

1 – Taking the initiative in fighting

This means pursuing the kaafirs in their lands and calling them to Islam and fighting them if they do not agree to submit to the rule of Islam.

This kind of jihad is fard kifaayah (a communal obligation) upon the Muslims. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allaah), and the religion (worship) will all be for Allaah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allaah), then certainly, Allaah is All-Seer of what they do”

[al-Anfaal 8:39]

“Then when the Sacred Months (the Ist, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikoon (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism] and perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Tawbah 9:5]

“and fight against the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah) collectively as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allaah is with those who are Al-Muttaqoon (the pious”

[al-Tawbah 9:36]

“March forth, whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor), and strive hard with your wealth and your lives in the Cause of Allaah. This is better for you, if you but knew”
[al-Tawbah 9:41]

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I have been commanded to fight the people until they bear witness that there is no god but Allaah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, and establish regular prayer, and pay zakaah, If they do that then their blood and wealth is safe from me, except by the laws of Islam, and their reckoning will be with Allaah.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 24; Muslim, 29.

Muslim (3533) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever dies without having fought or thought to himself about fighting has died following one of the branches of hypocrisy.”

All of these texts – and many others in the Qur’aan and Sunnah – mean that it is obligatory for the Muslims to wage jihad against the kuffaar and take the initiative in that. The scholars are unanimously agreed that jihad against the kuffar, and seeking them in their own lands, and calling them to Islam, and waging jihad against them if they do not accept Islam or accept paying the jizyah, is obligatory and has not been abrogated.

Shaykh al-Islam (28/249) said:

Everyone who hears the call of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to the religion of Allaah with which he was sent and does not respond to it must be fought so that there will be no fitnah and so that submission will all be for Allaah.

Ibn ‘Atiyah said (2/43): There remains scholarly consensus that jihad is a communal obligation upon the ummah of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and if some of the Muslims undertake this duty the rest are absolved of responsibility.

2 – Jihad in self-defence.

If the kuffaar attack and occupy a Muslim country, or they prepare to attack the Muslims, then it is obligatory for the Muslims to fight them so as to ward off their evil and foil their plots. Jihad in self-defence is fard ‘ayn (an individual obligation) upon the Muslims, according to scholarly consensus.

Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Tafseer (8/15):

When jihad becomes inevitable because the enemy has overrun one of the (Muslim) regions, then it becomes obligatory for all the people of that region to mobilize and to go out to fight, whether they are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor), each according to his abilities, with or without the permission of his parents. No one who is able to go out, warrior or helper, should stay behind. If the people of that country are unable to fight their enemy, then those in nearby and neighbouring countries have to go out to fight, in whatever numbers are required to show support, so that they will know that they have the strength to stand up to them and ward them off. Similarly everyone who knows of their weakness in the face of their enemies and knows that he can go and help them must also go out and fight. All of the Muslims should be united against their enemies. If the people of the area where the enemy has invaded and occupied fight off the enemy themselves, then the others are relieved of that duty. If the enemy approaches the Muslim lands but does not enter, the Muslims must still go out to confront them so that the religion of Allaah will prevail and in order to protect the Muslim homeland and humiliate the enemy. There is no scholarly dispute on this point.

Shaykh al-Islam (28/358-359) said:

If the enemy wants to attack the Muslims then resisting becomes obligatory on all those who are under threat, and those who are not under threat are obliged to help them, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“but if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them except against a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance”

[al-Anfaal 8:72]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also commanded us to help other Muslims. This is obligatory upon each person as much as possible, by fighting himself or by giving financial support, as was the case at the time of al-Khandaq, when Allaah did not grant any concession to anyone not to fight. Rather the Qur’aan condemns those who asked the Prophet for permission [not to fight] on the grounds that their houses were vulnerable when that was not the case, rather they just wanted to flee the battle. This fighting is in order to protect the relihion, and protect lives and honour, and this is absolutely essential.

This is the ruling on physical jihad in Islam, whether that is taking the initiative to call the kuffaar to enter this religion and subjugate them to the rule of Islam, or jihad to defend the religion and honour of the Muslims.

We ask Allaah to bring the Muslims back to their religion.

And Allaah knows best.


http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/34830/jihad
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Oct 20, 2009
Thanks - people can indeed now easily compare and contrast, and make up their own minds.

'nuff said, as they say.

Cheers,
Shafique
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Dec 18, 2009
Bump for eh.
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Dec 18, 2009
Bump for shafique
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Dec 19, 2009
Thank you for the bump.

Now that seem to be reading the posts (well some of the posts at least) and bringing up (again) what the Quran says about terrorism/warfare - I thought I'd make it easier for you to reference what God actually says in the Quran when one doesn't take His words out of context.

Oh- and you're quite welcome. Just let me know if there are any quotations that you dispute or don't understand.

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Shafique
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Dec 19, 2009
Indeed - quotes have been given and the reader can compare and contrast the views given by the two authors.

Additionally, I would encourage the reader to take into account the religious affiliation of the first author and the academic backgrounds of both authors. They must then choose to believe which author's views is more 'mainstream' and in line with the practices and beliefs of the majority of the world's Muslims and which author is simply using a website to disseminate an unorthodox position not accepted in mainstream Islam.

It also speaks volumes that one author has cited the opinions of previous scholars to support his position. While this could be construed as an appeal to authority, it certainly does show that this Muslim writer is knowledgeable of Islamic law and also that he is not alone in his belief - oddly enough, none of the scholars cited in support of offensive jihad warfare were Orientalist writers.
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Dec 19, 2009
Excellent attempt to divert attention away from the Quranic verses and Hadith quoted - I take it you can't take the arguments head-on, so would rather talk about who the author is.

Ok, I understand.

Which particular verses or Hadith do you think were misquoted or misinterpreted? Was it 8.68 where God addresses the issue of captives of war or hostages?

According to the Islamic Holy Book - the Quran, God has bestowed honour on every individual irrespective of skin colour, race, nationality, etc. Freedom is one of the great favours of God and its deprivation is a great misery. Under the Islamic dispensation, no one can be made a captive without a just cause. Prisoners can only be taken in the event of a regular declared war or battle and not for any other reason or under any other pretext.

The Holy Quran specifically states:
It does not behove a Prophet that he should have captives until he engages in regular fighting in the land. If you take captives, except in regular fighting, you will be regarded as desiring the goods of this world, while ALLAH desires for you the Hereafter. And ALLAH is Mighty, Wise (8:68 )

This verse cuts at the root of not only slavery practice in years gone by but also demolishes any supposed justification of modern day hostage-taking and hijacking of innocent people not involved in actual combat.


So, eh says that he is interested in discussion/debate.

Let's test this assertion - what is your interpretation of 8.68 then eh?

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Shafique
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Dec 20, 2009
I'm not sure I follow - a passage says to enslave unbelievers after unbelievers have been killed and you take that as a passage that prohibits the taking of hostages. Hmmm, fascinating.

In any event, it seems then that modern Muslim terrorists simply need to kill a few unbelievers before hostage taking/enslavement is halal.
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Dec 20, 2009
Ok - it is refreshing that you admit you aren't sure what the meaning of the verse is.

When you are more sure, let us know.

First check whether the translation is ok, then let us know whether the interpretation that hostage taking is forbidden is what you understand (and probably more importantly - what Muslim scholars understand).



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Re: Islam and Terrorism Dec 20, 2009
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Dec 21, 2009
So, you do agree that the verse is translated correctly and hasn't been misrepresented.

Excellent.

Now, tell us why you disagree with the fact that the verse therefore makes hostage taking illegal under Islam? (Or perhaps you don't disagree with this fact now?)

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Re: Islam and Terrorism Dec 22, 2009
shafique wrote:So, you do agree that the verse is translated correctly and hasn't been misrepresented.

Excellent.

Now, tell us why you disagree with the fact that the verse therefore makes hostage taking illegal under Islam? (Or perhaps you don't disagree with this fact now?)

Cheers,
Shafique


Where does the verse make hostage taking - or rather - the capturing of civilians against their will and holding them for ransom, illegal?
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Dec 22, 2009
shafique wrote:
According to the Islamic Holy Book - the Quran, God has bestowed honour on every individual irrespective of skin colour, race, nationality, etc. Freedom is one of the great favours of God and its deprivation is a great misery. Under the Islamic dispensation, no one can be made a captive without a just cause. Prisoners can only be taken in the event of a regular declared war or battle and not for any other reason or under any other pretext.

The Holy Quran specifically states:
It does not behove a Prophet that he should have captives until he engages in regular fighting in the land. If you take captives, except in regular fighting, you will be regarded as desiring the goods of this world, while ALLAH desires for you the Hereafter. And ALLAH is Mighty, Wise (8:68 )

This verse cuts at the root of not only slavery practice in years gone by but also demolishes any supposed justification of modern day hostage-taking and hijacking of innocent people not involved in actual combat.



Captives are only allowed in warfare - 'regular fighting', ergo hostage taking (and slavery) is forbidden.

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Shafique
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