I don’t know why we don’t say this often enough: Terrorism is forbidden in Islam.
It’s as simple as that. Muslims are not allowed to engage in terrorism. In fact this is as fundamental to the religion (and indeed any religion) as Fanaticism is spurious to the basic beliefs of Muslims.
I wince every time I hear the term ‘Islamic Terrorism’ or some such phrase because to me it’s an abhorrent oxymoron.
I feel it’s now more important than ever for us to continually remind the world that there is no such thing as a ‘Muslim Terrorist’ and the reasons why not, are pretty explicit in the texts and teachings of the religion.
In the Quranic verse Surah al-Ma’ida 5:33 it says: ‘Those who go about the earth spreading mischief, a mighty chastisement lies in store for them in the World to Come.’
This refers to ‘hirabah’ which encompasses brigandage, highway robbery and extortion. Extending that further, one expert defines it as: ‘any illicit use of fear and coercion in public spaces for money or power.’
Interpreted thus, hirabah is ‘public terrorism in a war against society and civilization’.
The Spanish Maliki jurist Ibn `Abd al-Barr defined the agent of hirabah: ‘Anyone who disturbs free passage in the streets and renders them unsafe to travel, striving to spread corruption in the land by taking money, killing people or violating what God has made it unlawful to violate, is guilty of hirabah’
Professor Khalid Abou el Fadl, defines ‘spreading mischief in the land’ as ‘killing by stealth and targeting a defenceless victim in a way intended to cause terror in society.’
This is the exact opposite of Jihad. And I’m referring here to the lower form of Jihad which is combative but only permitted in extenuating circumstances, such as if you have been attacked first by an oppressor, as opposed to the more pertinent higher or ‘Greater Jihad’, which is an inner struggle – the quest to control base instincts such as greed, lust, and cruelty and to seek spiritual purity.
Incidentally, it’s worth pointing out that even in the base form of Jihad there is an alternative option of it being merely a discussion or debate, eschewing violence altogether.
Additionally sneak attacks (which is what a terrorist attack is) are simply forbidden. Muslim military commanders were instructed that they must make a declaration of hostilities well in advance of battle. In one case the Prophet himself is known to have given a four month notice – hoping the time might allow for the enemy to reconsider their position and negotiate a truce.
One thing that I can never comprehend when it comes to suicide-bombers being described as Muslims is that if they really are so, how do they voluntarily felo-de-se? The taking of one’s own life is strictly forbidden in Islam – as it is in other religions – because it is seen as an affront to, and belittling of the precious gift of life itself.
As we say, God is Most Merciful, so according to Islam, the only possible exemption to eternal damnation for someone taking their own life, is if it is as a result of an illness or mental disorder such as depression. But certainly suicide for the purposes of causing death, destruction and mayhem is irredeemable and the murderer will not find himself welcomed in heaven by the 40 Virgins he was sold by whoever brainwashed him.
And now that we’ve called him what he is, a murderer, let’s enter that as our last piece of evidence precluding any possibility of acts of terrorism being acceptable to any actual Muslim.
Murder is strictly forbidden in Islam – verse 5:53 ‘the taking of one innocent life is like taking all of Mankind… and the saving of one life is like saving all of Mankind.’
Ah, but one might say that if you’re at war, it’s not murder.
Well, even if it was war, which it most definitely isn’t, there are Rules of Engagement which all major Islamic scholars agree include the prohibition of killing woman and children (particularly pertinent in light of what happened in Manchester and at a school in Pakistan in 2014 when the Taliban slaughtered 132 children).
Additionally non-combatants, priests and monks, and even workers who are not directly involved in politics or war are all off limits as part of those specified rules of engagement.
So you see there is not even a single delicate thread of possible legitimacy, to any kind or form of terrorism or attacks on innocent civilian populations, that could be grasped onto within the tenets of Islam by those morons that precipitate such heinous acts.
They are not Muslims, that is not Islam, and they must be condemned and stopped wherever and whenever in the world they callously operate. Because for Goodness sakes #NotInMyName !