Islam And Terrorism

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Islam and Terrorism Nov 26, 2009
A new thread to discuss Islam's teachings on violence etc.

Let me quote the concluding paragraph first (as some people did not get to the end of the article the last time I posted this):

It is our belief that not only Islam, but no true religion, whatever its name, can sanction violence and bloodshed of innocent men, women and children in the name of Allah Almighty. Terrorists may use religious or political labels, but no one should be deceived by their wily ways and treacherous guiles. They have nothing to do with religion. They are the enemies of peace. They must be combated at every level as advocated by Islam, the religion of peace.

The men of violence cannot claim to be following any true religion - let alone Islam.


Here's the article in full, with the quotes from Quran and Hadith to clear up any misconceptions people may have about Islam's stance on this issue:

Islam means the religion of peace. A person following Islam will find that he or she is surrounded by noble teachings, the aim of which is to establish peace between man and Allah, the Creator of all; between man and man; and between man and the rest of Allah’s creation.

How does such a religion deal with the issue of terrorism? And what does the word terrorist mean? Dictionaries will define a terrorist as one who systematically uses violence and intimidation to achieve political ends – or one who controls or forces others to do something by violence, fear or threats.

All these definitions are covered by two words in the Holy Qur’an, the sacred book of Islam: Fitnah and Ikrâh.

In the Holy Qur’an, God begins to deal with the issue of terrorism by teaching Muslims never to become terrorists in the first place. Two of the very first verses of our Holy Book say: ‘Al-Fitnatu ashad-du minal qatl’ – meaning that in the sight of Allah, ‘persecution, or making people constantly fear for their lives, is much worse than killing’. And also: ‘Lâ ikrâha fid-dîn’ – ‘There shall be no compulsion in religion’, that is to say, that no one has the right to force others into complying with their demands or compelling others to follow their line of thinking.

Allah Almighty warns the believers again and again that they should never abandon Him, the source of all goodness. Allah Almighty reminds us that it is those who have abandoned Him and thrown away all good, and divested themselves of every shred of human decency, that are the ones who will eventually resort to terrorizing others, forcing them into complying with their demands. The believers are repeatedly reminded that they would lose Allah Almighty’s love and His favors if they ever began to behave in that way.

But Islam does not content itself with these injunctions strongly forbidding Muslims from ever becoming terrorists. It also makes sure that the believers are made into highly moral, excellently behaved people, by inculcating those lofty human values that can turn them into people who sincerely love humankind without distinction of religion, race or social status. Islam no doubt encourages the logical and rational discussion of views with people of all creeds in a calm and dispassionate way, with the only aim that truth prevail over error and falsehood. But it also reminds us that it is error and falsehood as such that are to be hated and detested. The people who unfortunately hold on to error are never to be hated.

In Islam, an amazingly powerful emphasis is laid on developing love for mankind and on the vital importance of showing mercy and sympathy towards every creature of Allah Almighty, including human beings and animals. For indeed, love and true sympathy are the very antidote of terrorism.

It is related by ‘Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her, the talented wife of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that some desert Arabs came to him one day and asked: ‘Do you kiss your children?’ He answered: ‘Yes.’ They said: ‘We never kiss them.’ The Prophet (sa) said:‘What can I do if your hearts have been stripped of compassion?’ He also said that Allah Almighty has no mercy for him who has no mercy for his fellow beings.

The measure of compassion shown by the Holy Prophet (sa) cannot but amaze anyone who knows how rough and violent was the society into which he had been born. Abu Qatâdah, may Allah be pleased with her, relates that the Messenger of Allah told him: ‘It happens that I stand up to lead the prayer, having in mind to lengthen it. Then I hear the cry of an infant and I shorten the prayer fearing lest I should cause inconvenience to its mother.’

Far from inciting hatred and aggressiveness in its followers, Islam keeps on enjoining kindness and sympathy for all. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: ‘Charity is incumbent upon every human limb every day on which the sun rises. To bring about reconciliation between two contestants is charity. Helping a person mount his animal or to load his baggage on to it is charity. A good word is charity. Every step taken toward the mosque for prayer is charity. To remove anything from the street that causes inconvenience is charity.’

He incessantly admonished Muslims to behave well towards their neighbors, saying: ‘That one will not enter Paradise whose neighbor is not safe against his mischief.’

He also declared: ‘By Him in Whose Hands is my life, you will not enter Paradise unless you believe, and you will not truly believe unless you love one another. Shall I tell you something whereby you will love one another? Multiply the greeting of peace among yourselves.’

One day he found a mother bird beating her wings on the ground in distress. He asked his companions: ‘Who has done this?’ They said: ‘We took her young ones out of her nest.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) said: ‘Restore them to her. No mother must be tormented on account of her child.’

On another occasion, he found one of his companions setting fire to an anthill. He immediately told them to put out the fire saying: ‘No one has the right to torment others with fire.’

As Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an that the true believers are: ‘those who suppress their anger and forgive people’, likewise, the Holy Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: ‘Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness in all things. Make things easy and do not make them hard. And cheer people up and do not repel them.’

It is clear that the true believers and all other good, honest people are always on the receiving end of terrorism, never on the delivering end. Whenever such tendencies appear in society by which the peace is being disturbed and people cannot live their lives without fear, Muslims are enjoined to counter them first of all by reasoning with those responsible for the disturbance. The Holy Qur’an says:

Call unto the way of your Lord [that is the way of justice and goodness] with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in a way that is best. (Ch.16: v.125)

And the Qur’an repeatedly tells us to seek help from Allah Almighty with patience and p r a y e r. But if reasoning with those people bent on wickedness and praying for them fail to bring about a change in their ways, then Allah Almighty says, again at the end of Chapter 16, verse 126:

‘Then if you desire to punish the oppressors, punish them to the extent you have been wronged.’

Allah Almighty commands the Muslims that when things get out of hand, they should join forces to restore peace by use of reasonable force. They have been enjoined by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to join forces if need be with followers of other faiths to do so. Thus, in the famous document known as the Treaty of Medina, The Messenger of Allah declared:

Article 1:
This is the treaty of Muhammad, the Prophet (the Messenger of Allah) between the Believers and Muslims of the Quraish and the people of Yathrib, and between those who follow them and join them in fighting (the common enemy).

Article 2:
And it is that they constitute an Ummah Wâhidah (One Nation) separate from other people.

Article 25:
And also that the Jews of the tribe of ‘Auf constitute an Ummah Wâhidah with the Believers - even though the Jews will follow their own religion and the Muslims will follow their own - and this will include both their friends and themselves. (Quoted from Reuben Levy in ‘Sociology of Islam, part I, pages 279-282)

Here, all the inhabitants of the city of Yathrib, or Medina, were called upon to join in fighting the forces that were terrorizing the citizens.

Muslims have been made to promise that they will help defend the followers of other faiths from unjust and cruel attacks as well. For example, in his charter for all time to come addressed to all Christians living as citizens under Muslim rule, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, states:

I promise that any monk or wayfarer who will seek my help on the mountains, in forests, deserts or habitations, or in places of worship, I will repel his enemies with my friends and helpers, with all my relatives and with all those w ho profess to follow me and will defend them, because they are my covenant. And I will defend the covenanted against the persecution, injury and embarrassment of their enemies in lieu of the poll tax they have promised to pay. If they prefer to defend their properties and persons themselves, they will be allowed to do so and will not be put to any inconvenience on that account.

No bishop will be expelled from his bishopric, no monk from his monastery, no priest from his place of worship, and no pilgrim will be detained in his pilgrimage. None of their churches and other places of worship will be desolated or destroyed or demolished. No material of their churches will be used to build mosques or houses for the Muslims; any Muslim doing so will be regarded as recalcitrant to Allah and His Prophet. Monks and Bishops will be subject to no tax or indemnity whether they live in forests or on rivers, in the East or in the West, in the North or in the South. I give them my word of honor. They are on my promise and covenant and will enjoy perfect immunity from all sorts of inconveniences. Every help shall be given them in the repair of their churches. They shall be absolved of wearing arms. They shall be protected by the Muslims. Let this document not be disobeyed till Judgment Day.” (Quoted from Balâdhar)

In Islam, every effort is thus made to protect the peace of not only the Muslims, but also of the followers of other faiths. Allah Almighty says:

And if Allah did not defend some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques wherein the name of Allah is oft remembered. (Ch.22: v.40)

However, Muslims have been warned by the Holy Founder of Islam, Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that when they enter the territory of those who have been terrorizing and harshly persecuting them, they should not lose all sense of perspective and justice, and be tempted to start acting savagely, like the terrorists themselves. The worst crime of ungratefulness would be that committed by a people who, having forgotten that they had just been subjected to terrible cruelties, start meting out the same, if not worse, cruelties to others. The Prophet ordered:

‘You will meet those who remember Almighty Allah in their houses of worship. Have no dispute with them, and give no trouble to them. In the enemy country, do not kill any women or children, or the blind, or the old. Do not pull down any tree; nor pull down any building.’ (Quoted from Halbiyyah, Vol.3).

So the only Jihad permitted in Islam is the war of the oppressed against the oppressor, the war waged to protect the peace of all people irrespective of their religion or creed. Tactics used today such as suicide bombing, etc. are absolutely out of the question for true followers of Islam. Allah Almighty says:

And kill not your own selves. Surely Allah is Merciful to you. (Ch.4: v. 29)

…and cast not yourselves into ruin with your own hands… (Ch.2: v.195)

Islam strictly forbids the killing of innocent, non-aggressive people:…no hostility is allowed except against the aggressors. (Ch.2: v.193)

These three verses alone are sufficient to prevent Muslims from crashing airplanes into buildings, or from sending suicide bombers to blow up innocent civilians.

Once the evildoers have ceased misbehaving and have been justly punished for their crimes, then Allah Almighty says:

And fight them until there is no more persecution, and religion is freely professed for Allah. But if they desist, then remember that no hostility is allowed except against the aggressors. (Ch.2: v.193)

To sum up, Islam advocates three steps against terrorism:

To give an excellent moral upbringing to all Muslims, so that they become upright, just, moral, kind and loving people, thereby ensuring that they never disrupt the peace of others.

Whenever the peace is disrupted, to reason and argue with the evildoers, and sincerely pray for them, to make them change their ways.
If all reasoning fails, then to join forces with all good people to combat the mischief-mongers until peace has been restored, but always keeping the dictates of justice in view.

It is our belief that not only Islam, but no true religion, whatever its name, can sanction violence and bloodshed of innocent men, women and children in the name of Allah Almighty. Terrorists may use religious or political labels, but no one should be deceived by their wily ways and treacherous guiles. They have nothing to do with religion. They are the enemies of peace. They must be combated at every level as advocated by Islam, the religion of peace.

shafique
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Nov 26, 2009
Islam calls on Muslims to strike terror into the hearts of unbelievers because they commit shirk. :(
event horizon
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Nov 27, 2009
event horizon wrote:Islam calls on Muslims to strike terror into the hearts of unbelievers because they commit shirk. :(


A succinct example of a stongly held Orientalist belief that relies on people not reading what God says in the Quran. Thanks - I take it you didn't read the article in full.

Cheers,
Shafique
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Nov 27, 2009
Well the author used some 'liberal' translations of the Koran in addition to ignoring the violent passages (contradictions) which call for perpetual jihad warfare against unbelievers. I was merely pointing out the connections between the title 'Islam and Terrorism' and adding that the Koran says to strike terror into the hearts of unbelievers because they commit shirk.
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Nov 28, 2009
Are you guessing what the author wrote, or did you actually read the article this time?

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Shafique
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Mar 06, 2010
bump - more for the first article and references to Terrorism, rather than eh's attempts to define the meaning of Islam.

This is in light of the recent fatwa against terrorism being discussed in the politics section.

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Shafique
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Re: Islam And Terrorism Dec 25, 2010
good point
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Feb 07, 2011
shafique wrote:A new thread to discuss Islam's teachings on violence etc.
......r wily ways and treacherous guiles. They have nothing to do with religion. They are the enemies of peace. They must be combated at every level as advocated by Islam, the religion of peace.

Q’ran says that a Muslim should protect even the enemy belonging to other religion. It says that a Muslim can speak about the preaching of Allah to the enemy and then leave the enemy in protected place. It never says that the religion should be spread by violence. It speaks about the war for justice, which is not the war for propagation of religion. For that matter, Gita arose only from the state of war, which was fought for establishing justice. Even Bible says that the rigid fools who do not realize should be thrown to the liquid fire, which is violence. Therefore, violence is not wrong. But the cause of violence should be perfectly justified. When Mohammad came, there were three hundred religions, which were quarelling among themselves with lot of violence. He tried His best by preaching the concept of one God. There was no alternative way to subside the violence between them.

Actually after Jesus, the concept of human incarnation was fully realized but this concept was exploited by cheaters. Every fellow became a prophet and declared himself as the human incarnation. The followers started preaching that particular form is only the one God. You can imagine easily the situation at the time. When violence is justified, it is called as punishment given by God. If the violence is not justified, it becomes Chaos due to egoism of a demon, which can be subsided only by divine punishment. Actually at the end, Hinduism speaks about the incarnation of Kalki and Christianity speaks about the final punishment given by God. Both these situations are of terrible violence only.

The last sort of God is only punishment, which can alone bring peace at least temporally for some time when the world is filled with brutal conservative fools, who are the wild beasts in the human form. The Lord says in Bible “Revenge is mine” which means the Lord punishes the unjust people. The Lord said in Gita that He will destroy the evil person (Vinasaya cha….). God is double-edged knife. Not only He protects the justice but also He punishes the injustice. A rich weak human being may protect the justice but may not be able to punish the injustice. A poor strong fellow may punish the injustice but not protect the justice by giving compensation. Thus, the human beings have limitations but the Lord is strong as well as rich and therefore is capable in both sides.

This is the meaning when Jesus mentioned about the divine kingdom on the earth. He means that one may escape the king on this earth but can never escape God. When you are affected by injustice, pray for compensation only (“Ask that shall be given”-Bible) and not for the punishment of enemy. You will be compensated. When you do not pray for the punishment of enemy, you will see the punishment of your enemy soon from God. You may react to your enemy with equal or double force. But God will react with million times of force. Draupadi was pestering Krishna for the destruction of her enemies. The Lord fulfilled her wish but all her sons were killed by enemies and Lord did not protect them. Some times God punishes your enemy through your self. Arjuna killed the enemies, forced by the Lord. But Arjuna was not having the intention to kill the enemies and was against the war. Since he was forced by the Lord, he fought the war for justice.

When Muslims followed Mohammad in His war for unifying the religions, it was justified because there was clear divine instruction. Since Mohammad was the last divine preacher, now the war for justice need not be carried on because in the absence of divine preacher there is every possibility of misunderstanding of every situation as requirement for war of justice. Therefore, the instruction of Mohammad was limited to that time because He was capable of deciding the correct requirement for war for justice. Mohammad removed the concept of human incarnation because the effects of exploitation were severe in that time. Muslims should realize that human incarnation means that God entered in the human body and not that God modified as human body. Mohammad objected only modification of God in to human body. This is not condemning the concept of human incarnation. God only enters the human body and Mohammad himself was the human incarnation because God entered in to Mohammad and gave Q’ran. Gita clearly says that God entered the human body (Manusheem Tanu Asritam..) and that God is not modified in to human body(Avyaktam Vyakti Mapannam…). Bible also says that God is in flesh and does not say that God has become flesh. Thus, there is no difference between three religions.
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Feb 07, 2011
It never says that the religion should be spread by violence.


Koran 8:39 - And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.
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Re: Islam and Terrorism Feb 08, 2011
event horizon wrote:
It never says that the religion should be spread by violence.


Koran 8:39 - And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.

There are two root causes for the entire chaos and terrorism in this world. One is the thirst for earning money and the other is the religious fanatic. Due to money, people are quarreling, hereas due to religion, countries are quarreling. Unless these two root causes are eradicated we cannot achieve world peace. The tree will not die by cutting leaves and branches. It dies only by cutting its roots. There is no use in earning the extra money. Due to excess money, quarrels, mental worries and several other problems arise. Finally, it ends in loss only and not in any profit. You have to leave all this extra money here only and quit this world alone. Your issues may lose that money given by you. Such sinful extra money brings problems not only to you but also to your children. Neither yourself nor your children will be happy and peaceful. This entire world is the property of God and take whatever is required from it. This is said in Gita, (“Yavanartha….”).

In these days, buffet system is followed during feasts. In this system, large vessels contain various food items and people take food from these vessels according to their requirement. Similarly, God created this entire world and you can take the wealth from it according to your requirement. People are not following the same system when they are taking wealth from this world. The peculiarity is that most rich people follow this buffet system in the feasts but do not follow the same when it comes to earning the money. ‘Esavasya Upanishad’ says that one should return back this extra money to the Lord. Otherwise, the Lord will give the troubles.

In buffet system, if one takes extra food in his plate by over ambition and ignorance for a moment, he returns back immediately before starting eating. Veda says that you must return back the extra money for the God’s work if taken by ignorance. In the buffet system if you eat the extra food, you will suffer from diseases. Similarly, if you enjoy the extra money, God will punish you in several ways.

In this world, people belonging to any religion think that their religion only is the true religion. They think that the God of their religion can alone give the salvation and the worship of that God should be according to their religion only. They also condemn other religions and invite people to convert people into their religion. They do lot of work to establish their religion only in the entire world which shows their ambition. It is just like Alexander’s ambition to make the entire world his kingdom. Alexander wanted to extend his kingdom. But, even he returned back after fighting with Porus (Purushotama) on seeing the loss of life in the battle. But, the ambition of religious fanatics is not subsided on seeing any amount of loss of life. Religion is considered to be backed with spiritual knowledge and the religious people are expected to be free from ambition. We can excuse ambition of any ignorant person like Alexander.

The heart of a religious fanatic will not change by any amount of kindness or love expressed in the appeals. Such appeals can change only the heart and the change in the heart is always temporary. Change in the intelligence brought by knowledge based on logic is always real and permanent. Intelligence (Buddhi) is considered to be the driver of this body, which is like a chariot running by the senses, which are like the horses. If the driver is convinced, the entire chariot along with the horses is in the correct path. The terrorist will not change by love or kindness shown to him. He becomes the terrorist due to the wrong knowledge that enters his brain. He was convinced by that knowledge. That knowledge can be changed only by the right knowledge. A diamond can only be cut by another diamond. Similarly, one type of knowledge can only be replaced by another type of knowledge. Then only, he will be convinced and changed forever.

So far, the trials made to change the terrorist were beating around the bush and therefore, they did not have much effect. Today, SRI GURU DATTA is giving the right knowledge to remove the religious conservatism.
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