Imam Qari Asim talks Talha Asmal, Suicide Bombing and Islam

By Qari Muhammad Asim (Senior Editor)

Senior Imam – Makkah Mosque, Leeds

Twitter: @QariAsim



Talha Asmal, a West Yorkshire teenager is believed to have become Britain’s youngest ever suicide bomber. ISIS have used their social media to show Asmal had taken part in the attack. Once again we see a young British Muslim brainwashed online by extremists akin to paedophiles who groom young individuals over time.

There are certain fanatic groups that are either abusing the name of Islam for their interior motives and causing violence around the globe or are so “brain-washed” that they cannot see right from wrong. As they come from the Muslim community, the perpetrators’ actions are seen the actions of Muslims. We do not have to apologise for their evil actions. However, as they use the name of our faith, Islam, we must denounce and condemn those who pretend to act in the name of our religion and betray its very principles. When such confusion is created, .we need to clarify what Islam truly stands for and what the Prophetic guidance is regarding those who commit barbarity and violence against a community.

The sad reality of our modern world is that numerous besieged cities across the Muslim world are wrapped in a fog of absolute terror and afflicted by devastating and horrific massacres; there are no words that can describe what has been lost in those cities and countries. In order to pursue political dominance, one of the key method used by terrorists/modern day khawarij is suicide bombing.


Suicide Bombing & Islam

In Islam, suicide is strictly forbidden. Allah Almighty commands “O Believers!… [do not] kill yourselves, for truly Allah has been to you Most Merciful.  If any do that in rancour and injustice, soon shall We cast him into the Fire…” (Qur’an 4:29-30). The Noble Quran further states “make not your own hands contribute to your destruction“ (Qur’an 2:195)

The Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) has said: “ … “Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron will have that iron in his hand, thrusting it into his belly in the Fire of Hell forever and ever.” [Bukhari, 5442; Muslim, 109].

There is a hadith qudsi – a statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) ascribed to God himself – in which he says that a wounded man takes his own life. God then says, ‘‘My servant anticipated my action by taking his soul (life) in his own hand; therefore, he will not be admitted to paradise’[Bukhari]

The taking of life is allowed only by way of justice (i.e. the death penalty for murder), but even then, forgiveness is better.  “Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – except for just cause…” (17:33).

Killing oneself and others through a suicide missions is considered as ‘haraam’ (unlawful); and falls under the category of major sins. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever kills himself with something in this world will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.” [Bukhari, 5700; Muslim, 110]. The Prophet did not make any exceptions; rather this is general in application.

Mufti Muneeb-ur-Raham, a leading Sunni scholar from Pakistan, has written a fatwa regarding the prohibition of ‘‘unjustified homicide’’ in such attacks and stating that suicide attacks [carried out in Pakistan] are strictly forbidden The fatwa is endorsed by fifty-eight other ulama of different backgrounds. [Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rahman, Qatl-i-Na Haq ka hukm: Rule for unjustified homicide, 2005]

Overall, in any suicide bombing mission, more Muslim lives have been lost than any other community. According to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Muslim blood is more sacred than the Holy Ka`ba (symbolic House of Allah).

Abd Allah ibn `Amr ibn al-`As (Allah be well pleased with him) that he said:

“I saw the Messenger of Allah (saw) performing tawaf around the Holy Ka`ba saying to it: ‘how pure and good you are! how pure and good your fragrance is! how great and exalted you are! and how great and exalted your sanctity is! But by Him in Whose hand is Muhammad’s soul, the sanctity of a believer’s blood and property in the sight of Allah is greater than your sanctity!’” [Targhib wa’ l-Tarhib of Imam al-Mundhiri, 3/276]

There are clear warnings in the above-mentioned traditions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for a would-be suicide bomb warrior. Further, throughout history we have seen that suicide missions have never brought an eternal peace rather it has resulted in many lives unnecessarily being lost.

Killing of Civilians

Suicide bombing also results in murder of others. Terrorists tend to target civilians and cause mayhem and loss of many lives. It is a well-established principle of Islamic that civilians shall not be targeted or killed, even in  war. They are protect through Divine verses and  many traditions of the Prophet ((peace be upon him)).

The Glorious Qur’an says, ‘‘Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah does not like aggressors.( Qur’an, 2:190). In another verse, the Noble Qur’an states: “As for such [of the unbelievers] as do not fight against you on account of [your] faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity: for, verily, God loves those who act equitably” (Qur’an 60:8)

According to Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani (d. AH 189), it is prohibited to kill non-combatant because the Qur’an says, ‘‘Fight those who fight you’’ and show kindness to those who “do not fight’’. Moreover, in the above verse the Qur’an commands Muslims not to transgress by ‘‘killing non-combatants’’ and ‘‘behaving degradingly towards those who are defeated’’. [M. Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Shaybani, Syar Al-Kabir,vol.4, p.186]

After the conquest of Mecca, a war was waged against Muslims by certain powerful tribes. At the end of that battle, battle at Hunayn, the Prophet ((peace be upon him)) saw the body of a slain woman among the pagan dead. ‘‘Who killed her?’’ he asked ‘She was killed by the forces of Khalid ibn Walid, responded those who were present’. The Prophet ((peace be upon him)) said, ‘‘Rush to Khalid! Tell him that the Messenger of God forbids him to kill children, women, and servants’’. One of those present said, ‘‘Dear Messenger of God! But are they not the children of the pagans [i.e non-Muslims]?’’ The Prophet ((peace be upon him)) asserted, ‘‘Were not the best of you, too, once the children of pagans? All children are born with their true nature and are innocent.’ [Ibn Majah]

The Prophet ((peace be upon him)) is also reported to have, in the strongest possible terms, prohibited, the killing of women: ‘‘Never, never kill a woman or a servant.’[Ibn Majah, al-Nasa’i]’

These traditions/sayings of the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) do not apply to only Muslim non-combatants but rather to every human being. Muslim jurists have unanimously (ijma‘a) agreed that non-combatant women and children must not be killed. This principle of Islamic law is regularly breached by the neo-khawarij terrorists.

Warning against any abuse of non-Muslims in an Islamic society, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has also stated:

“Beware!  Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, curtails their rights, burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” [Abu Dawud]

Terrorism is not allowed even during a war. Islamic sources categorically prohibit killing of women, children, elders, religious leaders, business people, non-combatants and even service personnel not engaged in aggression.

 A Suicide Bomber commits 5 Crimes

In short, a suicide bomber might be committing at least five crimes according to Islamic law, namely killing civilians, mutilating their bodies, violating the trust of the ‘enemy’ and civilians, committing suicide and destroying civilian objects or properties.

Forbidden acts can never be justified by so-called ‘good intention’. Allah has exposed their objectives and aims many centuries ago: “And when it is said to them, “Do not cause corruption on the earth,” they say, “We are but reformers. Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive [it] not.” (Qur’an 2:11-12)

The war against khawarij/neo-Kharijite ideology can only be won by Sunni normalcy. It is a Muslims moral obligation to condemn those who practice and/or promote extremism amidst our ranks.

It is apparent that the murderers/attackers do not follow any particular faith since no faith, in particular Islam, endorses taking of innocent lives and causing corruption in the land. These terrorists do not belong to sunni Islam. The data shows that individuals who commit terrorist acts are neither inspired by sunni scholars nor they belong to sunni madrasas. These terrorists must be brought to justice. But that is not enough, we must all work harder to ensure that breeding grounds of such khawarij, ideological and monetary sponsors of such extremists are exposed and dealt with according to Islamic law and the law of the land.

Note: The views expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect that of ImamsOnline.

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