By Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul- Qadri
There is no denying the fact that the vast majority of Muslims oppose and condemn terrorism in unequivocal terms and are not ready to accept it as even remotely related to Islam in any manner. However, a negligible minority amongst them seems to give terrorism tacit approval. Instead of openly opposing and condemning terrorism, these people confuse the entire subject by resorting to misleading and perplexing discussions.
It may be true that among the fundamental local, national and international factors underpinning terrorism on a global level include: the injustices being currently meted out to the Muslims in certain matters, the apparent double standards displayed by the main powers, and their open-ended and long-term military engagements in a number of countries under the pretext of eliminating terror. But the terrorists’ recourse to violent and indiscriminate killings have become a routine affair, taking the form of suicide bombings against innocent and peaceful people, bomb blasts on mosques, shrines, educational institutions, bazaars, governmental buildings, trade centres, markets, security installations, and other public places: heinous, anti-human and barbarous acts in their very essence. These people justify their actions of human destruction and mass killing of innocent people in the name of Jihad (holy struggle against evil) and thus distort, twist and confuse the entire Islamic concept of Jihad. This situation is causing Muslims, the young in particular, to fall prey to doubts and reservations, muddling their minds in respect of Jihad, because those perpetrating these atrocities are from amongst the Muslims. The perpetrators practice Islamic rituals, perform acts of worship and put on outward forms set down in Sharia. This has put not only the common Muslims into a dilemma, but also a significant number of religious scholars and intellectuals, who are disconcerted and curious to know truly the exact and precise Islamic injunctions underpinning the workings, methods and measures these individuals and groups have adopted to cause their havoc.
Furthermore, the Western media is wont of over-reporting incidents of terrorism and extremism around the Muslim world, and does not at all highlight the positive and constructive aspects of Islam, its peaceful teachings and philanthropic philosophy and orientation. Moreover, it does not report the abhorrence, condemnation and opposition prevalent within Muslim communities towards extremists, militants and terrorists. Bracketing both Islam and terrorism together has led only to negative consequences. The western mind conjures up images of terrorism and extremism at the merest mention of the word ‘Islam’, leaving Western-bred and educated Muslim youth in a most difficult position, and leaving them ever more puzzled. In fact, the present generation of young Muslims all over the Islamic world is falling victim to intellectual confusion, as well as deterioration in the practical fields and in the domain of beliefs and religious tenets.
Because of this situation, two kinds of negative response and destructive attitude are developing: one in the form of damage to Islam and the Muslim world, and the other a threat to humanity, and the Western world in particular. The damage to Islam and the Muslim world is that Muslim youth, not completely and comprehensively aware of Islamic teachings, and under the influence of the media, regard terrorism and extremism as emanating from religious teachings and attitudes of religious people. This misplaced thinking is alienated them from religion, leading them to atheism, and posing a serious danger to the Muslim Umma in future. On the other hand, the danger threatening the Western world and humanity is of the above-mentioned policies and stereotyping of Muslims provoking a negative response among some of the Muslim youth, who regard these attacks against Islam as an organised conspiracy from certain influential circles in the western world. By way of reaction, they are gradually becoming extreme and militant in their outlook, departing moderation and a poised outlook on life, and, charged with hatred and revenge, ultimately becoming terrorists, or at the very least being groomed into the extremists’ designs. Thus, Western policies are instrumental in producing and inducting potential terrorist recruits and supporters, with no end in sight. In consequence, both the Muslim Umma, as well as humanity, is heading towards catastrophe.
Moreover, these circumstances are heightening tension, and creating an increasingly large deficit of trust between the Islamic and the Western worlds. The upsurge in terrorism is paving the way for greater foreign interference in and pressure on the Muslim states. This widening gulf is not only pushing humanity towards inter-faith antagonism at the global level but also reducing totally the possibilities of peace tolerance and mutual coexistence among the different human societies of the world.
Islam is a religion of peace and safety that champions love and harmony in society. According to Islamic teachings, only such a person will be called a Muslim at whose hands the lives and properties of all innocent Muslims and non-Muslims remain safe and unhurt. The sanctity of human life and its protection occupies a fundamental place in Islamic law. Taking anyone’s life for nothing is an act that is forbidden and unlawful. Rather, in some cases, it amounts to infidelity. These days, the terrorists, in a vain attempt to impose their own ideas and beliefs and eliminate their opponents from the face of the earth, killing innocent people ruthlessly and indiscriminately everywhere in mosques, bazaars, governmental offices and other public places are in fact committing clear infidelity. They are warned of humiliating torment in this world and in the hereafter. Terrorism, in its very essence, is an act that symbolises infidelity and rejection of what Islam stands for. When the forbidden element of suicide is added to it, its severity and gravity becomes even greater. Scores of Qur’anic verses and Prophetic traditions have proved that the massacre of Muslims and terrorism is unlawful in Islam; rather, they are blasphemous acts. This has always been the opinion unanimously held by all the scholars that have passed in the 1400 years of Islamic history, including all the eminent Imams of Tafseer and Hadith and authorities on logic and jurisprudence. Islam has kept the door of negotiation and discussion open to convince by reasoning, instead of the taking up of arms to declare the standpoint of others as wrong, and enforcing one’s own opinion. Only the victims of ignorance, jealousy and malice go for militancy. Islam declares them rebels. They will abide in Hell.
(from the book FATWA ON SUICIDE BOMBINGS & TERRORISM)