الرئيسية / راموز المقالات / Seven Islamic enlightenments regarding the suicide attack in Stockholm

Seven Islamic enlightenments regarding the suicide attack in Stockholm

Shaykh Abd Al-Haqq Turkmani

Translated by Abul Abbaas Naveed Ayaaz

 All praise is for Allaah, Lord of the Worlds; I bear witness there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah, He is alone and has no partner. He is the [true] deity of the first and last generations. I also bear witness that Muhammad is His Worshipper and Messenger, sent as Mercy to mankind – may peace and salutations of Allaah be upon him, and his family and companions. Thereafter;

These are a few words regarding the suicide attack which occurred in Stockholm, Saturday evening 11/12/2010.[1]

We do not want to merely condemn and censure this heinous crime, because this is the absolute minimum that our divine religion obligates upon us, but we want to briefly mention specific points in understanding why some Muslims take part in terrorist acts and suicide operations, and also the Islamic ruling regarding them.

First Enlightenment

The claim that the perpetrators of such actions suffer from mental illness, or are under the influence of drugs is not correct. In fact, the reality is that such perpetrators possess intelligence, and sound mental and emotional health; many of them also possess certificates of higher education. So they carry out such operations with personal conviction, with a strong determination and firm choice; at complete ease and tranquility within themselves.

The Qur’an has told us about people who have good intentions, and according to their own understanding they do great work, but they do not traverse the Straight Path which Allaah has clarified for them, and these very people will be the greatest losers on the Day of Resurrection. Allaah said,

{Say, [O Muhammad], “Shall we inform you of the greatest losers as to [their] deeds?  They are those whose effort is lost in worldly life, while they think that they are doing well in work.”} [18:103]

We also read in the history of religions how people would torture themselves with starvation, punishments, shedding their own blood and even suicide; This is a well-known fact about the followers of certain religions; we have read about the devotees of Jainism in India, who in certain instances, cut off all ties to life by committing suicide, and they consider this to be an objective only fulfilled by higher monks!

Second Enlightenment

The belief that pushes people towards suicide attacks is, in reality a skewed misguided interpretation of the Islam and its intended objectives.

Religion is the root of all goodness, righteousness morality in people, but when it is skewed and changed, it becomes a strong cause of evil, oppression, injustice and corruption. The emergence of deviated sects who have turned away from the reality of Islaam is not exclusive to Islam. Rather it is found in every religion; how many wars, and how much murder and persecution has Europe and other continents faced – all of it in the name of religion?!

Throughout human history, it is Islamic history which is still the purest and farthest from injustice and oppression in the name of religion. The reason is that the two Islamic sources of legislation – the Qur’an and Sunnah – remain preserved and intact until today. They are the only reference and source for the senior scholars of Islam who fulfilled their obligation throughout the different centuries and eras.

This scholars of Islaam have played an important role in preventing the perversion of religion, exposing the various movements of deviance, engaging them with sound arguments and proofs; limiting the perverse ideologies so they cannot corrupt the Islamic communities. The Prophet Muhammad (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) indeed prophesised the emergence of movements which will aim to falsely interpret Islaam.

                         He clarified, in many narrations – which are known by the collective term: ‘Narrations regarding the Khawaarij’ – the danger of these movements upon the religion, community and the Islamic world. For this reason he ordered the Muslims to fight such movements without any respite. He warned the Muslims from ever sympathising with such movements, despite their apparent abundance of Prayer, fasting and recitation of the Qur’an.

Third Enlightenment

Since the dawn of Islam and throughout its various eras, Muslims have known that Islam is a religion in which the main objective is to worship Allaah, the Most High, with sincerity; it is a religion in which a person must fulfil the religious obligations such as Salaah (Prayer), Siyaam (Fasting), Zakaah, Hajj; adorning oneself with noble manners; adhering to the limits of the Sharee’ah in terms of Halaal and Haraam. Whoever fulfils these obligations is upright on the religion, and in the Hereafter he will be from the people of Paradise.

As for what should occur in terms of political, economic and social change and advancement, this is a result of being upright upon the religion; it is not an objective which is intended in of itself. The obligation upon us is to strive to fulfil the obligations of the religion, and the result of this is: political, economic and social advancement.

A hundred years ago approximately, a new interpretation of Islam emerged, its summary is: Islaam is a materialistic civil movement intending to change the political, economic and social face of the world; and the acts of Worship and religious legislations, are not the primary purpose of Islaam, rather they are mere avenues and not the intended objective itself.

This new interpretation of Islaam has resulted in rebellions which threaten the Islamic world as an entity, causing misconceptions in the heart of many people with regards to Islam, resulting in confusion and distortion of the true purpose of the religion and what is intended by it. Thus causing many rebellions and internal civil dissension.

Many Muslims – who have accepted this interpretation or have been affected by it whilst not realising – they believe that Salaah (Prayer), Siyaam (Fasting), Zakaah, Hajj, recitation of the Qur’an, Dhikr, Du’aa etc… are all mere symbolic acts of worship which have no real meaning to them and they are pointless if there is no visible impact, if they do not bring about a physical change in real life.

Due to this, they take a very cold soulless approach towards the acts of ‘Ibaadah (Worship) and the major rituals of the religion, belittling and dismissing them, and so they do not attach any importance to learning, implementing, teaching and calling to these acts of Worship.

Another result of this new interpretation of Islam is taunting and belittling the scholars of Islaam, and employing their tongues in insulting, criticising and mocking them as well as accusing them with betrayal and disbelief. Without doubt, suicide bombings are also one of the many evils which have arisen due to this new interpretation of the religion.

A young man who is focused on the worship of Allaah, the Most High, is driven by a sincere desire to become closer to his Creator, and hoping for His forgiveness and mercy. Due to the sincerity of heart and integrity of disposition, he realizes that the true religion is: remembrance, supplications, Prayer, recitation of the Qur’an, good morals and righteous deeds.

However the naïve young man, falls into the traps of a group who believe in a new interpretation of the religion – an interpretation which is at complete odds with what was [initially] deep in his heart. It is said to him: “the objective of the religion is to change the face of the political, economic, military and social world. Salaah (Prayer), Siyaam (Fasting), recitation of the Quran and learning Islamic rulings have no real meaning to them if they do not change the above. Those who you see praying and fasting, even the scholars and preachers amongst them, in fact even those who give the Adhaan calling people to the prayer five times a day – all of them are non-Muslims, infidels, because they have not fulfilled the reality of the religion. The most they have is merely distracting themselves with the Prayer, recitation of the Qur’an and books of Hadeeth!”

If a young person is convinced by this interpretation, his thoughts will becomes focused on the objective of changing the world. He will not pay much attention to the Salaah (Prayer) nor any other righteous act of Worship; he will completely distance himself from learning the Islamic rulings and listening to the scholars. Instead he will strive in only fulfilling the objective, and when he eventually finds himself unable to bring about a change and loses hope, and becomes desperate and frustrated. He develops a desire for revenge. He then concludes within himself – after a personal and moral struggle – that he must carry out a suicide attack because there is no other escape except to fulfil this desire of revenge even if it means killing and sacrificing innocent people. He justifies his actions by being truthful in the mission to change the world, and that he is fulfilling his religious obligation, and that Allaah will reward him with Paradise and its delights.

Fourth Enlightenment

When we – as a matter of religion – denounce and condemn such actions, we must also denounce and condemn every person involved in it, regardless of whether it is the person wo executed the suicide attack, assisted and supported it; encouraged and directed it; or even morally supported and agreed with it.

The approach of the Prophet Muhammad (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) regarding this was clear – both the action and person are to be condemned, even if the person was a Muslim. Both the action and the person who performed the action are to be condemned, even if the person was a Muslim. The only exception is if the person is excused by a valid excuse and did not intend any harm.[2]

Condemning the action whilst searching for excuses for the perpetrator, and attempting to justify his crime; is merely a form of a collaboration and hypocrisy. I will suffice with mentioning a single Hadeeth from the many Ahaadeeth which convey this meaning. This is the statement of the Messenger of Allaah (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam):

Whoever assures a person about the safety of his life then murders him, should beware. I absolve myself from the murderer even if the victim is a non-Muslim.[3]

This Hadeeth is regarding the betrayal of a single man, how about a person who betrayed the community to which he belongs, has lived under its protection and care, graduated from its schools, lived in its goodness. Allaah, the Most High, said:

{Is the reward for good [anything] but good?} [55:60]

Our rejection of these terrorist acts should not restricted to the prohibition of suicide bombings and targeting civilians, rather it should be based on a comprehensive vision of Islam and its reality, in that it is a religion that orders with the fulfillment of covenants and treaties; it prohibits injustice, treachery and betrayal; It has set forth strong ethics for human coexistence despite differences in religion; it has restricted fighting to the arena of war and battlefields; and it has legislated rulings, guidelines and binding etiquettes so that daily life does not become a battlefield.

Importantly, people should not lose their morals and emotions, regardless of how much animosity and hatred enter their hearts. There are many detailed evidences from the Quran and Hadeeth which emphasis such morals and etiquettes.

I will suffice with stating one such text from the Noble Qur’an, which may come as a surprise to many Muslims themselves never mind others, unfortunately many Muslims are ignorant of such teachings, and their emotions and feelings are not able to conform to such guidelines when they are in a difficult situation. Allaah, the Most High, said,

{But those who believed and did not emigrate – for you there is no guardianship of them until they emigrate. And if they seek help of you for the religion, then you must help, except against a people between yourselves and whom is a treaty. And Allah is Seeing of what you do} [08:72]

The migration to Madeenah – before the Makkan conquest – was an obligation upon the Muslims, an order to every Muslim who accepted Islam in the Arabian Peninsula. So those who accepted Islaam but did not migrate to Madeenah were deprived of the many rights and privileges of living in a Muslim state in Madeenah; however they were still afforded one privilege: when they request help and support in case of oppression and aggression from their enemies due to them ascribing to Islaam.

If such a situation arose, the Muslims in Madeenah were obligated to help and support their brothers because of the connection of faith – for which their brothers outside Madeenah are being oppressed. However, if there was a peace treaty between the Muslims in Madeenah and the enemies who are oppressing the Muslims outside of Madeenah, in this case it was not permitted for the Muslims in Madeenah to aid the Muslims outside of Madeenah – even though they had a common enemy – because it would entail the breaking of a treaty, and be tantamount to betrayal and treachery.

If the Muslims in Madeenah intended to end the treaty and enter a war, they first had to clearly announce and inform the enemies of the ending of the treaty. This is what Allaah mentioned connected to the previous Aayah:

{If you [have reason to] fear from a people betrayal, throw [their treaty] back to them, [putting you] on equal terms. Indeed, Allah does not like traitors} [08:58]

The Muslims adhered to the Quranic commands, because their religion was based on knowledge and understanding, and not mere blind following and emotions. Based on the above ruling, they deduced further rulings to deal with situations which were much more severe upon them. I will give the following example from one of the greatest Imaams of Islaam: Al-Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee[4]. He said, in his book “Al-Umm” which is considered as being one of the most important resources of Islamic Fiqh:

 “If a group of Muslims enter into a warring non-Muslim country, but they do so under terms of a treaty; and the warring non-Muslims imprison another group of Muslims, it is not permitted for the Muslims to fight the non-Muslims between whom there is a treaty. However once the treaty has ended, and the Muslims have informed the non-Muslims regarding this, then it is permitted for them to fight. But as long as they are within the terms of the treaty, they are not permitted to fight.”[5]

He also said: “If a group of Muslims enter into a country of war under a treaty, their enemy remains in safety from them until they either depart the country or inform them of the ending of the treaty. It is not permitted for the group of Muslims to oppress nor betray the non-Muslims, even if they imprison Muslim children and women. I prefer for them not to betray the treaty, but they should request them to end the treaty, and inform them of the ending of the treaty. If this is done, they can then fight them in defending the Muslim children and women.”

The previous Qur’anic text obligates upon us Muslims who reside in non-Muslim countries to abide by the covenant of safety and peace that we have entered into, whether by temporary residence, permanent residence or citizenship. The nature of the relationship between us and the countries in which we live is different from that of previous times. We live in secular countries in which we are not treated on the basis of religion; we enjoy the rights of citizenship in full and therefore the religious and moral ruling remains the same, and nobody amongst the scholars of Islaam of our era differ regarding this.

Therefore we must fulfill the covenants and treaties between us and them; treachery and betrayal are forbidden upon us. The texts of the Qur’an also forbid us Muslims who live in a non-Muslim country from being a party to a war against the country in which we live, even if our goal is to support our oppressed brothers for the sake of Islaam.

Whoever amongst the Muslims chooses to act contrary to this, he must first to inform the official authorities in the country in which he resides – this is according to the Quranic text; he must clearly notify them that he has decided to forsake the nationality of residence, and that he cuts all ties with the country, and declares a state of war against it.

The Qur’anic text also obligates on him that he must check with the relevant authorities that they have received his notification and understood the intent behind his notification and choice. This is the ruling of the Qur’an and the morals of the people of Islaam. Also, this does not mean that the person who notifies the country of his intent that he is then free do to what he wants, rather there are religious and moral guidelines which govern warfare, we have to adhere to all of them, and we have alluded to some of the guidelines previously.

Sixth Enlightenment

Some people with ulterior motives have purposely linked terrorist actions to Salafiyyah and its adherents. The Salafi Da’wah and its methodology is very clear, it has no ambiguity in it. It is to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah according to the understanding of the Sahaabah (the Companions) and the great scholars of Islam; and so the adherents of Salafiyyah are free from this religious extremism, and from terrorism and bombings.

These criminal acts are not sanctioned by Islam, they are in contradiction to the rulings and teachings of the Quran and Sunnah; and in opposition to the edicts of the Salafi scholars – most notably in this era: Ibn Baaz, Ibn Uthaymeen, and Al-Albaani. They have many famous Fataawa against violence, terrorism, fanaticism and extremist groups.

Seventh Enlightenment

The Imaams of the Masaajid and those who have a role in Islamic institutions and centres, have a great responsibility to clarify the above teachings and rulings, to advocate them and explain them in detail to both Muslims and non-Muslims. There is no excuse for anyone to remain silent in the face of such perversion and heresy in the name of Islam.

Allaah, the Most High, praised the truthful believers that they are:

{…those who convey the messages of Allah and fear Him and do not fear anyone but Allah . And sufficient is Allah as Accountant} [33:39]

He, the Glorified, also forbade concealing knowledge: 

{Indeed, those who conceal what We sent down of clear proofs and guidance after We made it clear for the people in the Scripture – those are cursed by Allah and cursed by those who curse} [02:159]

Divine Guidance is from Allaah

Written by: Abd Al-Haqq Turkmani

Head of the Swedish institute of Islamic Research

Guttenberg

16/12/2016

[1] This article was written seven years ago by Shaykh Turkmani as a response to the suicide attack in Stockholm in 2010, and translated into Swedish. However, the points made in this enlightening article are just as applicably today, especially after the recent attacks in Stockholm 2017.

It should also be noted that there have been some minor modifications to the article for the sake of translation, certain words have been added or modified, and this was done with the permission of the author.

[2] Such as a psychological illness

[3] Narrated by Amr Ibn Al-Hamaq; Collected by Ahmad; authenticated by Albaani

[4]  Muhammad Ibn Idrees Ash-Shaafi’ee, died: 204h corresponding to 820CE

[5] Al-Umm Vol. 4 Page. 248

( Original Arabic Article, click here. )

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