I Guds namn, Den Barmhärtigaste, Den Nådigaste
Suicide Bombing in Islam
By: I. Nader
Islam (Submission) condemns suicide as much as it condemns oppression and aggression against others. While the Muslims (Submitters) are commanded to stand for their rights and defend themselves, their properties and their freedom they are told to first resort to peace advocate tolerance and disregard the ignorant. The following verses from the Quran show how the Quran describes suicide, such an important issue in our life that was made the center of the conflict in the Middle East lately.
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful[2:195] You shall spend in the cause of GOD; do not throw yourselves with your own hands into destruction. You shall be charitable; GOD loves the charitable. [4:29] O you who believe, do not consume each others’ properties illicitly – only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted. You shall not kill yourselves. GOD is Merciful towards you. [4:30] Anyone who commits these transgressions, maliciously and deliberately, we will condemn him to Hell. This is easy for GOD to do.
Suicide bombing by young mis-informed Muslim youths has been carried out almost routinely as a mean of revenge in the Middle East conflict. It is mainly done to avenge their oppression, occupation and loss of freedom they have been experiencing all their life. It is carried out by the youth who lost all the hope to a peaceful settlement as they witnessed their families, loved ones, neighbors, and the innocent bystanders die or tortured at the hand of a merciless occupying force. Despite these intolerable situation no permission can be found in Islam to avenge by suicide bombing or by targeting the innocent civilians. These young desperate Muslim youth have been taught what is NOT in the Quran, and what was never promised by God in the Holy book.
As the verses quoted above show, suicide in any form is condemned by God, no excuse given under any circumstances. The Quran does not promise Heaven (Paradise) to those who commit suicide but rather warn of condemnation to Hell. The promise of paradise or of virgin wives in Heaven for those suicide bombers and those who kill the innocent civilians has no basis in Islam and cannot be found anywhere in the Quran. These fabrications taught to these poor desperate Muslim youths originated probably from the man made books of Hadiths and Sunna that were condemned by God and by the prophet Muhammed himself who told his followers to follow ONLY the Quran.
Suicide is a state of disbelief and loss of faith that is condemned by God throughout the Quran. In the Quran, God commands the believers never to despair or lose hope and instead work for a brighter future.
[Quran 12:87] “… None despairs of GOD’s grace except the disbelieving people.”
We do understand the dire situation in which these youth live and we do have the full sympathy to their suffering and oppression , but we cannot agree with breaking God’s commandment. Oppression is not a reason to break God’s law, on the contrary oppression is a good reason to hold tight to these commandments and to show the world the true and peaceful face of Islam (Submission). If we break God’s law we move ourselves away from His mercy and lose His support. We should know that it is by following God’s law in the Quran we will gain dignity and sovereignty on our land while achieving peace, tolerance and love to the whole world around us. We have to believe that two wrongs will not make one right. Now after thousands of wrongs carried out by both sides in the conflict, no right emerged and will never emerge. Unless we go back to God’s commandments in the scriptures, the Torah, Gospel and/or the Quran, there will be no success and no victory for any group. . All the scriptures call on the people to live in peace and harmony and to advocate tolerance. Victory as far as God is concerned is achieved by the guarantee of freedom and justice for all and not by the domination of one group or nation above another..
Quran urges the followers of Islam (Submission) to resort to peace first and whenever possible but they may fight the oppressors if peaceful means failed. Fighting does not include killing the innocent civilians and the least expecting people as this reflects the meanest kind of character and does not reflect the spirit and/or teachings of Islam (Submission.) These suicide bombers can contribute more and better for the society if they direct their efforts into teaching the world about their cause and work with their neighbors to strengthen their stand against oppression, or be a part of the peaceful solution of the problem they have been facing instead of being a reason for its failure.
The blame can be equally thrown at the oppressors who gave these youths no chance or HOPE to live in dignity and freedom. The world has to speak up against the oppression and occupation of the land and life of these people as well. No where in any divine or human law is a place for a group of people to live at the expense of oppressing others or occupying their homes, land, and life. Peace can only be achieved when mutual respect of human life and properties are achieved.
We should make every effort to educate our young and youth of the Quranic commandments and it is as important for the free world to make every effort to stop this aggression and oppression against a whole nation under occupation that find no exit from this desperate situation except by death or dying.
(Quran 8:61) “If they resort to peace, so shall you, and put your trust in GOD. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.”
(Quran 7:199) You shall resort to pardon, advocate tolerance, and disregard the ignorant.
(Quran 16:90) “GOD advocates justice, charity, and regarding the relatives. And He forbids evil, vice, and transgression. He enlightens you, that you may take heed.
(Quran 49:13) “O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.”
Recommended detailed article:
Genesis of Suicide Terrorism, by Scott Atran . A Science Magazine article.
For the position of Islam (submission) on fighting, war, human rights, Jihad, killing human beings and related issues , please see:
March 31, 2002: The US’s pro-Israeli bias must be tempered by European pressure to ensure a just peace agreement in Israel, writes Ian Gilmour:
Sunday March 31, 2002
Let there be justice for all, Mr Bush
The appalling events in the Middle East are the predictable results of the negligence and prejudice of the Bush administration. The Passover massacre in Netanya was an abominable crime. Indeed, all suicide bombings in Israel proper are terrorist atrocities, unspeakable and also self-defeating. But while such crimes cannot be excused, they can be explained. As Israel’s most influential journalist Nahum Barneatold his readers: ‘The terrorism of suicide bombings was borne of despair and there is no military solution to despair.‘ That despair has been induced by the Israeli army killing more than 1,400 Palestinians in 18 months, Israel’s continued building of illegal settlements on Palestinian land, military occupation, daily humiliation and economic suffering. When, as the Israelis have done, you make life not worth living for thousands of Palestinians, there will be no shortage of suicide bombers.
The Bush administration has long known that for it to remain largely passive while the Israeli-Palestinian conflict grew steadily worse would sooner or later ensure an explosion. It also knew that Ariel Sharon has never wanted peace with the Palestinians and never will – he only wants their surrender and expulsion. As the speaker of the Knesset said a few weeks ago, Israel now has ‘a violent government out to destroy the Palestinian authority to avoid giving up the settlements.‘ Yet because the US believed that the Israelis would eventually win the conflict, they gave Sharon a green light to be as brutal as he liked, short of killing Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader. And despite Sharon’s record, Bush happily hobnobbed with him, while refusing to meet Arafat.
If Bush and Cheney hoped that Sharon’s treatment of Arafat would bring him to heel, they badly mistook their man, as I saw for myself in Ramallah a few days ago. Arafat has long thrived on adversity, of which he has known a great deal. When I met him after he had been imprisoned for months in his headquarters at Ramallah, with Israeli tanks only a few yards away, and he had been shelled and bombed, he was notably unintimidated and, though depressed by suicide bombings, surprisingly ebullient.
He had no intention of sacrificing Palestinian interests or dignity simply to be given Sharon’s gracious permission to attend the Arab summit in Beirut, which he knew he would not be given, or to be granted an audience with Vice President Cheney. As the peace activist and former Knesset member Uri Avnery said of Cheney: ‘When an overbearing Vice President dictates humiliating terms for a meeting with Arafat he pours oil on the flames… persons who lack empathy for the suffering of the occupied people would be well advised to shut up.‘
Arafat, who has made some serious mistakes, was relaxed but defiant. Needing a document, he was anxious to exhibit his ‘infallible filing system’, which consists of bulky piles of documents in his battledress pockets. His files, as he showed us, even extend to large wads of paper in both hip pockets which, one would have thought, must be exceedingly uncomfortable. He was particularly scathing about the Israeli claim that justice for the Palestinian refugees would entail Israel being swamped by millions of Palestinians.
Is it likely, he demanded, that they would want to go back to being ruled by Israel? He was convinced that the problem could be solved justly without the Jewishness of Israeli being threatened. Sharon may well kill Arafat, but he won’t frighten him.
As Michael Ben-Yair, Israel’s attorney general between 1993 and 1996, wrote in Haaretz earlier this month: ‘The intifada is the Palestinian people’s war of national liberation. We enthusiastically chose to become a colonialist society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justification for all these activities… we established an apartheid regime.‘
Israeli organisation Peace Now has spotted 34 new settlements started since Sharon became Prime Minister. When I was driving round the West Bank last week and seeing both these new settlements and the growth of the old ones, that seemed, if anything, an underestimate.
Yet while Bush has constantly told Arafat to stop the Palestinian violence, which Sharon’s purposeful destruction of the Palestinian infrastructure and police stations has rendered him incapable of doing under present conditions, he has made no effort to make Sharon cease all settlement activity and enter peace talks. Since even the American Secretary of State said last November that the occupation must end, it is presumably the pro-Israeli bias of the dominant members of the Bush administration which is responsible for that administration determinedly shutting its eyes to the basic fact of the Palestinian struggle – that Israel is fighting a colonial war to subjugate the Palestinians, while the Palestinians are fighting to end 35 years of occupation of their land.
As Michael Lind, an Israeli journalist, puts it, Bush’s ‘reflections on the conflict seem to have been written by the Israeli lobby‘ in the US. In an illuminating article in Prospect magazine, he points out that the Israeli lobby distorts US foreign policy and makes anything more than the mildest criticism of Israeli taboo in the mainstream media. ‘Until Americans have ended this corruption of our democratic process,‘ Lind concludes, ‘our allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East will continue to view our Middle East policy with trepidation.‘
Of course, that is not a new development, but the current Bush administration looks like being even more pro- Israeli than all its predecessors. Until now, President Bush has seemed more intent on securing Republican majorities in Congress in November and getting his brother re-elected as governor of Florida than on securing decency and justice in the Middle East.
America’s need to gain some Arab support or, at least, acquiescence to its intended attack on Iraq has necessitated some adjustment to its attitude on Palestine, but only a small and inadequate one. Much more is now needed. On Wednesday, at the insistence of Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the Arab League offered its historic and long overdue vision for peace: Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories in exchange for full peace with the entire Arab world.
Sharon’s reaction to this peace offer and to Palestinian violence has been to launch a massive assault on the Palestinian Authority’s civilian institutions and effectively to declare war. The situation is so grave that an imposed solution on the basis of the Saudi peace initiative is now the only hope. One of the imposers will have to be the United States because America is the only country that can deliver Israel. The other imposer must be Europe to ensure that at last the Palestinians get a fair deal.
A postscript on Arab perceptions of Britain. A Lebanese newspaper wrote during the Beirut summit that ‘the British Cabinet remains set in its course to Americanise its positions in foreign policy, sounding more and more like an offshoot of Voice of America‘. If we join the US in pulverising Iraq, while remaining silent as America’s ally pulverises the Palestinians, the damage to Britain’s interests in the entire region may take a generation to repair.
Lord Gilmour of Craigmillar is a former Secretary of State for Defence