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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Terrorism – Is Suicide Justified in Islam?

What would you do if someone kicks you out of your house, murders the rest of your family and illegally captures your land?

Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion." There is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Most common definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants. Some definitions also include acts of unlawful violence and war. A common opinion about terrorist groups, especially after the 'Global War on Terror' began after 9/11/2001, is that the majority of terrorist attacks are due to Islamic-extremists or radical religious groups. The 2001 attack of the World Trade Center and the hijacking of four passenger jets are a very well known and a well documented example of Islamic terrorism in recent memory.

(To read more on the definitions of terrorism, please visit

This was the definition of terrorism according to Wikipedia. As the for the incident of 9-11, I would say that the World Trade Center was imploded as many documentaries such as Loose Change and Fahrenheit 9-11 prove.

Taking the first sentence of the content taken from Wikipedia, the person who is doing the actions in the question asked by me at the beginning of this post will be called one who practices terrorism, i.e. a terrorist. Coincidentally, this is not what the so-called “Islamic terrorists” are doing but is exactly what the Americans are doing in areas where they are fighting, mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are kicking the people out of their homes, murdering families and illegally capturing their lands and doing what they say “helping the world to get rid of terrorism”.

If you were in the place of a person who was treated like that, what would you do? Try to take revenge if it means sacrificing your life, right? Well, that is what most of the “Islamic terrorists” are doing. They are trying to seek revenge. What the close minds of many people think is that they cannot rebuild their lives. If you were in their position, I’m sure that 97% of the people would have the same thinking. However, coming back to the point, most of these people, which also includes many of the rich ones, they can do nothing to pay the real terrorist back. However, many of them think that they can take revenge by killing the families of these people. Many also know that it has to be done in such a way that they do not get caught because then they will either be executed or made to remain in captivity. So what these people do is that they practice suicide bombing. They kill themselves as well as others. Since they think that they cannot rebuild their lives, they also think that there’s no purpose for them to live for.

The above paragraph can be accepted as a reason for most of the suicide bombings. In Pakistan, many people living in Bajaur District and Waziristan Areas whose families have been murdered are seeking revenge from the government because in fact the government is ordering the army.

Coming to the Islamic view, Islam, in no way, recommends the killing of people except by law. The Islamic principle in this case is as follows.

Killing one man is like killing the whole humanity except by law.

Regarding the fact of killing innocent people, the Prophet (S) himself used to order the people before a war not to hurt women, old people, children and anyone who does not resist them. However, many scholars have passed fatwa allowing suicide. However, it has many conditions. These conditions are that the man cannot do anything other than suicide to defend himself. The losses are less as compared to the benefits of committing suicide and so on. I will try to post such a fatwa inshallah.

As Dr. Zakir Naik gave an example in one of the question-answer session that was held. If a person comes to kill the Prophet Muhammad (S) and you and the Prophet (S) are together. The man shoots the bullet. What would you do? Of course, come in between the man and the Prophet (S) and get shot. If not, then you will not be considered a Momin because according to a Hadith of the Prophet (S), a true Momin is one who loves the Prophet (S) more than himself. However, some people might object to this example because they might say that the trigger must be pulled by the person who is being murdered. Well, in that case, if a person comes to kill the Prophet (S) and you are alone with him and the person says that if you kill yourself then I will disband my intention of killing the Prophet (S). In that case what would you do? Shoot yourself. The reason is the same as the one above. You are committing suicide!

In this view, I’m sure many people would agree that suicide must be allowed in Islam. However, it should be noted that it should only be done in extreme cases, where there’s no other way.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Politics in Islam - The Khilafah/Caliphate (Updated Thrice)

Since Islam is a deen, it covers all aspects of life including the political aspect. Here is an overview of the Islamic political system.
The word khilafah has been taken from the Arabic root word Khalifa meaning to follow or to succeed. When the Prophet Muhammad (S) died, Hadhrat Abu Bakr became the leader of the Muslims. He was called KhalifatulRasulullah. Even though, Hadhrat Umar (RA) assumed the title of Ameer-ul-Momineen, the title of Khalifa was also retained and in time the Muslims adopted this title, Khalifa, for their leader.
The first four khalifas were called the rightly guided khalifa, or caliphs. During their reign, Islam was fully enforced on their people. However, soon after these four khalifas, the khilafat changed into monarchy but the name of the post remained unchanged.
By the first world war, the khalifa had shifted his headquarters to Turkey. In the first world war, Turkey fought against the British and was badly defeated. Even though the British had decided to abolish the seat of caliphate, they could not do this because the nationalist party under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk abolished it and took control.
The khilafah, in reality, is a system given by Allah. Since this system has been made by Allah, it cannot contain any flaw. This system was followed by the four rightly guided caliphs. According to this sytem, the sovereignty belongs to Allah and the Islamic Shariah or Islamic law is enforced. This law is the law given in the Quran, Ahadith, decided by ijma or consensus and qiyas or analogy.
The current system in the world, capitalism, has taken its foundations from the system of khilafat. However, since people tried to change it, it lost many of its advantages. Here's an example to prove this. If a person has a specific recipe to make a cake and he modifies it, the cake will either become better or worse. However, it is for time to prove what it has become. Similarly, time has proven that while the Muslims were using the system of khilafat, they remained the superpowers for centuries. However, no other country has remained a superpower for that long because no other country has used the system of khilafat.
It is the duty of every Muslim on the face of the earth to strive for the establishment of khlifat.

***** Inshallah, I'll write a new article on the methodology soon.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Recalling Summer 2007 - Lal Masjid Incident

Listening to sounds of bullets being fired, watching television all day and asking Allah for mercy.

These are recollections of the famous incident of the military operation of Lal Masjid in Islamabad in summer 2007. Moulana Abdul Aziz Ghazi and Moulana Abdur Rashid Ghazi, the 2 brother imams and khateebs of Lal Masjid, had stood up in open revolt against the government of Pakistan. They wanted to establish an Islamic state in Pakistan with the Islamic shariah enforced. They had included with themselves, Umm-e-Hassaan, the principal of Jamia Hafsa and the wife of Moulana Abdul Aziz, the girls studying in Jamia Hafsa and the boys studying in the madrassa of Lal Masjid. Formerly, these people had taken over a library.

Many agencies had agreed to support these people but these agencies were, in fact, unreliable as time proved it. Therefore, the two moulanas were trapped with their “fighters” in the basement of the Lal Masjid. Further, they were under siege and many of their resources were blocked.

However, the government allowed a safe passage for the students. The 2 moulanas decided that one of them should go out secretly and negotiate with the government. Moulana Abdul Aziz, hidden in a burqa, went out with the female students but was unsuccessful in his objective and was captured. He was further humiliated by being made to go in front of a camera to an interviewer in the same dress.

The siege was carried out for a few more days (I cannot remember the exact number). One day, the media was able to contact Moulana Abdur Rashid Ghazi and the moulana knowing that he had little time left contacted most of the important TV channels of Pakistan.

He told the media that his mother was breathing her last and his last breaths were also about to come. Many of his companions in the mosque had died and many others were also in their last moments. He also gave a message that their movement will not come to an end but others will be motivated by it. By evening the news of his martyrdom was announced in the media.

This was at the time of the peak of President (General) Musharraf and he had very little opposition because most of the people of Pakistan were his supporters. However, after his government mercilessly killed the students in Lal Masjid and destroyed Jamia Hafsa completely he became unpopular amongst many of his supporters. This unpopularity became so high that when it was ordered that the Lal Masjid be painted white, many people went there with red paint and painted it red again.

Another reason for the increase in unpopularity of President Musharraf was that he besieged the mosque that was old and famous and many people would go there for prayer. Many people had sent their children there for education and they were of the opinion that the issue should be resolved through peaceful negotiations.

Many people considered the sacrifices of the 2 moulanas as heartbreaking while others considered it as a foolish act. The moulanas had sacrificed all they stood for for the cause of Allah, the establishment of an Islamic state. Students sacrificed their lives and one of the moulanas sacrificed his life. Parents came to take their children away but many returned empty-handed. Why, then, did the movement fail? It was due to a few simple but important reasons.

First of all, as I mentioned earlier, the moulanas were relying on unreliable sources who eventually betrayed them. Secondly, they had not shared their plan with any of their students and neither had they sought permission from those students’ guardians. However, they had been successful in training many of them to obey their orders. Thirdly, the moulanas were not aware that the reaction of the government would be so harsh.

Finally the most important reason was that the real leader had been Umm-e-Hassaan. She had been giving speeches to her students and many other listeners in which she instigated the audience to rebel against the government of Pakistan. Nowhere in the history of Islam is there any incident where a woman was made the leader, except Battle of Jamal (Camel). Even in that battle, the leader, Hadhrat Aisha (RA), was defeated. Due to this reason, many of the important Muslim leaders and scholars were not supporting the moulanas, even though they were trying to restore good relations between the government and the moulanas.

Therefore, in the summer of 2007, you would meet many people who would say that the cause of the “fighters” of Lal Masjid was correct but their method was not.

Shirk (Polytheism)

Shirk basically is polytheism, i.e., the worship of others along with Allah. It also implies attributing divine attributes to any other besides Allah. It particularly implies association partner in worship with Allah or to believe that the source of power, harm, or blessing is from others besides Allah.

Types: There are three types of Shirk namely

(1) Ash-Shirk-Al-Akbar i.e. Major Shirk
(2) Ash-Shirk-Al-Asghar i.e. Minor Shirk
(3) Ash-Shirk-Al-Khafi i.e. Inconspicuous Shirk


(1) Ash-Shirk-Al-Akbar i.e. Major Shirk:

The major and serious polytheistic form, it has four aspects.

(a) Shirk-ad-Dua i.e. Invocation. This aspect implies invoking, supplicating or praying to other deities besides Allah.

Almighty Allah says:

“And when they embark on a ships they invoke Allah, making there faith pure for Him only, but when He brings them safely to land, behold, they give a share of their worship to others,"
(V. 29:65)

(b) Shirk-al-Niyyah Wal-Iradah Wal-Qasd. This aspect implies intention, purpose and determination in acts of worship or religious deeds not for the sake of Allah but directed towards other deities.

Almighty Allah says:

“Whosoever desires the life of the bird and its glitter, to them We shell pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein. They are those for whom there is nothing in the hereafter but fire; and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.” (V. 11:15,16)

(c) Shirk-at-Taah. This aspect implies rendering obedience to any authority against the order of Allah.

Almighty Allah Says:

“They (Jews and Christians) took their Rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah (by obeying them in things wish they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allah), and (they also took as their lords) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded (in the Torah and the Gospel) to worship none but one Ilah (God i.e. Allah), La Ilaha Illa Huwa (None has the right to be worshiped but He). Praise and glory is to Him(for above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).”
(V. 9:31)

Once, while Allah’s Messenger (P.B.U.H) was reciting the above verse, ‘ Adi bin Hatim said, “O Allah’s Prophet ! They do not worship them (Rabbis and Monks).’ Allah’s Messenger said, “They certainly do. They (i.e. Rabbis and Monks) made legal things illegal, and illegal things legal, and they (i.e. Jews and Christians) followed them; and by doing so they really worshiped them.”
(Narrated by Ahmed, At-tirmidhi, and Ibn Jarir). (Tafsai At-Tabari, Vol. 10, Page No. 114)

(d) Shirk-AL-Mahabbah. This implies showing the love wihich is due to Allah alone, to other then Him.

Almighty Allah Says:

“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (then any thing else). If only those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that al power belongs to Allah and that Allah is Severe in Punishment.” (V. 2:165)

(2) Ash-Shirk-Al-Asghar Ar-Riya (The mionor Shirk, i.e. acts performed to show off)

Any act of worship or any religious deed done in order to gain praise, fame or for worldly purposes, false under this category.

Almighty Allah says:

“Say (O Muhammad (P.B.U.M)):’ I am only a man like you, it has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is one Ilah (God-i.e. Allah) so whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.’ “ (V. 18:110)

(3) Ash-Shirk-AL-Khafi (The inconspicuous Shirk)

This type implies being in worldly dissatisfied with the inevitable condition that has been ordained for one by Allah; conscientiously lamenting that had you done or not done such and such or had you approached such and such you would have ahd a better status, etc.

The Nobel Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said:

“Ash-Shirk-Al-Khafi in the Muslim nation is more inconspicuous then the creeping of black ant on black rock in the pitch – darkness of the night.” And this inconspicuous Shirk is expiated by saying thrice the folloiwng sentence with in a day and night: “O Allah! I take your refuge for that I should ascribe any thing as partner in Your worship, being conscious of that, and I beg Your pardon for that sin which I am not aware of.”

What must we do to avoid shirk?

Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique has narrated that Rasulullah (SAW) said : “Shirk in my Ummah is much more hidden than the pace of an ant crawling upon a black stone.”

Shirk is very hidden. It enters the heart very silently and very few are saved from it.

Upon hearing this, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique asked : “How can one be saved from it?”

Rasulullah said : “ Should I not show you such a supplication (dua) that if you recite it, you will be free from minor and major shirk.”

Hazrat Abu Bakr requested him to do so. Rasulullah (SAW) instructed him to say :

“Allahumma innee a’oozu bika min an ushrika bika shay-a`w wa-ana a’alam wa-astaghfiruka limaa laa a’alam.”
“O Allah, I seek protection in You from that I ascribe partners to You knowingly and I seek forgiveness from You for those things which I do not know.”