Thursday, 24 December 2009

The Evils of Terrorism[1] - Lecture

As mentioned in the introduction and in order to make it clear, Islam is free from terrorism and corruption. Islam is established upon mercy, justice, mutual love and concern with rectifying the earth and its people, Islam therefore forbids corrupting the earth and its people.

Then we mentioned the excellent interaction that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) had with the people, from the kuffaar (disbelievers), such as the people of the book such as Jews and Christians. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) interacted with people with justice, mercy and loving good for the people. In all of the battles that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) participated in was in order to spread this goodness, mercy, justice and love amongst the people, therefore, Islam is free from this call to terrorism.

As for the term terrorism in the Arabic language 'irhaab' this is a new term which is not found within the classical Arabic dictionaries at all. Rather it has only surfaced in the modern era due to some people utilising it as a specific method yet with unlegislated means, such as violence, killing, breeding fear and its like. Some of these dictionaries mention that the 'terrorist' is: one who utilises violence and terrorism in order to establish his own rule.

Terrorism is the terror that is caused by those groups or individuals who resort to killing and wreaking havoc and destruction. Terrorism is therefore, according to the contemporary compilers of modern Arabic dictionaries, killing akin to the riotous killing that is mentioned within the texts of Shar'eeah. As the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) mentioned with regards to the signs of the end of time, the spread of 'al-Harj' (riotous killing).

The meaning of 'al-Harj' is killing and the increase of the spilling blood, which is all from the signs of the end of time. To the extent that the one killing will not know why he is killing and the one that was killed will not know why he/she was killed. Islam is free from this riotous killing, free from this terrorism and free from this kind of corruption.

Terrorism is established upon destruction of properties such as factories, farms, places of worship, train stations, airports and the likes; Islam is clearly free from such actions that are based upon corruption and not upon rectification.

Terrorists usually say that they are going against the state in which they are based within. This is like the mafia or other criminal organisations that are based on killing people, causing fear and taking their monies. Such criminal organisations have leaders, deputies and individuals that are responsible for establishing regulations for the organisation and individuals responsible for carrying out attacks, and all of them are terrorists causing corruption on the earth.

However the ugliest face of terrorism is that which is established in the name of religion, all of the religions from the Prophets (peace be upon them) are free from such terrorism, even if some of the followers of the Prophets participated in such terrorist activities, but the Prophets are free from such corruptions.

The terrorists are in need of doubtful proofs for their methodology especially those who attribute themselves to the Prophets (peace be upon them), they claim that the Prophets ordered them to commit terrorism. Many of those who commit acts of terrorism from those who attribute themselves to the religion of the Jews claim that Moosaa (Moses) commanded them to do terrorism or that the other Prophets from the children of Israa'eel ordered them to do terrorism yet this is a lie.[2] As Moosaa (peace be upon him) and all of the Prophets from the children of Israa'eel (peace be upon them) never ever ordered people to commit terrorism.

Likewise, those who commit acts of terrorism and attribute themselves to Eesaa (Jesus) claim that the gospels sanction terrorism and the use of it over the enemy.[3] I have some texts which I have gathered from other sources wherein such terrorists (in the name of Jesus and Christianity) claim that the gospel allows it, however the time does not allow for me to mention all of this here.

The important matter for us to mention is that Eesaa was sen with mercy like all of the Prophets, peace be upon them, and it is not possible that they ordered people to commit acts of terrorism.

Likewise, those who attribute themselves in this era from the people of corruption, bombing and takfeer within the Muslim countries and the non-Muslim countries, need certain texts from the Qur'aan and sunnah for them to refer. They claim that such texts lead to terrorism but they are lying about this as the Prophet (sallallaallaahu alayhi wassallam) is totally free from terrorism. For that reason, the Muslim scholars have denounced all acts of terrorism that are committed by those who associate themselves with Islam.

The Muslim scholars denounced the attacks on the world trade buildings in New York and made clear that those who committed the act were criminals and that they had nothing to do with Islam and that they merely killed themselves, and whoever kills themselves intentionally will be in hellfire killing themselves, and Allaah's refuge is sought.

Similarly, the Muslim scholars denounced the terrorist attacks committed by those who associate themselves with Islam that took place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The scholars also denounced the terrorist attacks committed by those who associate themselves with Islam that took place in Sharm ash-Sheikh in Egypt. The scholars also denounced the terrorist attacks that took place on the tube stations in London, they denounced this and made clear that Islam has nothing to do with such actions and that Islam is free of them.

The doubts of the terrorists, with regards to their twisting of the texts, are with the verse from Soorah al-Anfaal verse 60 wherein Allaah says:

{And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allaah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know (but) Allaah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allaah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.}, [Soorah al-Anfaal, Aayah 60]

The verse that comes after it explains it perfectly, wherein Allaah says:

{And if they incline towards peace, then incline to it also and rely upon Allaah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.}, [Soorah al-Anfaal, Aayah 61]

This verse explains the initial verse perfectly, as Allaah within this verse explains the condition of the Muslims with non-Muslims.

The first state is one of war, and war is usually not between individual Muslims and individual kuffaar, no! War is between the armies of the Muslim state and the armies of a disbelieving state and we should not be ashamed of this at all.

All of the Prophets (peace be upon them) fought and prepared armies, and people up until this day have armies and prepare military strength. All of the great states in every time and place have prepared armies and have obtained a variety of weapons in order to frighten people. Obtaining weapons is a defensive and preventative method not an offensive method, as if the enemy knows that you have a number of devastating weapons he will not even consider to go to war against you.

Rather the great states, past and present, have been concerned with forming armed groups in order to frighten their enemies such as the Warsaw pact,[4] NATO[5] and other large alliances that are formed by large states in order to gain power and secure itself from its enemies.

The Islamic state has the same concern as all states past and present, yet it is upon an Islamic state not on individuals to do this. The verse is directed to an Islamic state:

{And prepare against them whatever you are able of power}, [Soorah al-Anfaal, Aayah 60]

This is for an Islamic state. Is it permissible for any individual within a major state to store or possess mass weapons in his house? The answer is clearly no; it is not permissible according to the customary laws of that state rather it is for the state to possess such weapons. Likewise according to the contemporary regulations there are certain weapons that are prohibited for states to possess as such weapons cause indiscriminate destruction upon crops and vegetation.[6] This can be seen with the current prohibition of nuclear weapons which cause devastation and serve no benefit in armies possessing them.

Also the verse says to an Islamic state that it is incumbent upon yourselves to be ready and be strong so that the enemy will fear you and will not even think about going to war against you. As if you are weak the enemy will easily be able to gain power over you and if you are strong, the enemy will fear you. This verse is directed to an Islamic state not individuals as every state today possesses weapons and power and guides its borders and keeps its affairs from its enemies and manufactures weapons. In the same way, an Islamic state guides its borders and affairs. In terms of defining an enemy the first type are those who take its people and if kuffaar war against an Islamic state then it is incumbent, upon an Islamic state not individuals, to arm itself with necessary weapons.

As for the terrorist tribulations in the current era, then those people are not an Islamic state and they are also not those to whom the verse in the Qur'aan is directed to those who are the leaders of states, not individuals who live within a state. those individuals have to listen to the ruler of the Muslims and obey him and not fight anyone except with the rulers permission and authorisation.

If the ruler of the Muslims has made agreements with disbelieving nations, such as Britain, America and France then it is not permissible for us to fight against a state that the leader of the Muslims has made agreements with. This is the case even if some aspects of the conditions of agreement seem oppressive on us, as the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) made an agreement with the kuffaar of Makkah even though some of the companions felt that some of the conditions were against the Muslims and hard on them, but the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) commanded them to listen and obey, and thus the companions listened and obeyed.[7]

As for those Muslims who are living within the kuffaar states then the Divine Legislation, intellect and customs indicate that it is not permissible for a Muslim that has entered a disbelieving country to cheat them.8 Rather it is for every Muslim within such disbelieving countries to respect the agreements and promises that were made in order to enter and live in the country.

Indeed, it is upon such a Muslim, according to the intellect and the Divine Legislation, to show thanks and gratitude to the people of such a country and to be good with them and be merciful with them and be kind with them and thank them for allowing them to live amongst them in their country.

These disbelievers have allowed them to enter the country and have allowed them to seek Islamic knowledge and have allowed them to study and have allowed them to work and conduct business within their countries. It may even be the case that some Muslims take monies from the kuffaar countries (such as social benefits and welfare state handouts) or utilise a card under their sponsorship or obtain a passport from them in order to travel the world mighty and honoured under their sponsorship. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) said: "Whoever does not thank the people has not thanked Allaah."

Therefore those who have entered kuffaar countries should indeed show gratitude to them for allowing them to enter their countries. As now they have money and honour and if not for the kuffaar and the police within those countries maybe his money would have been taken or he would have been killed or his honour would have been disrespected. However, the laws and organisation of those kuffaar countries, and we do not say that all of what is in them is true, we rather just emphasise this point alone, have allowed them into the country and as a result such Muslims should fear Allaah and be grateful for that good by keeping to their promises and agreements with such kuffaar.[9]

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) when he made an agreement with the kuffaar of Makkah and some people became Muslims after the agreement and rectification, the Prophet still had to fulfil the agreement and send them back to their people such as the case of Aboo Jandal.[10]

Look my noble brother at the justice of Islam and to the strength of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) in adhering to agreements.

So in our discussion of the kuffaar countries, we mainly cover two matters:

FIRST: The Islamic state, like a kuffaar state, has to arm itself with weapons and defend itself. This is for a state and not for us individuals within an Islamic state who have to listen to the ruler and obey.

SECOND: If we are in a kuffaar country we have to fear Allaah and thank such states for providing us with good such as entering their countries.

The verse in al-Anfaal is for the Muslim states not for individuals to carry out and Muslim states today arm and prepare themselves and prioritise such matters as all states do. Indeed, they even purchase weapons from kuffaar states from the west and east in order to gather weapons and empower itself and to guard its borders as much as it is able to. For this reason, the land of Islam has been protected on many occasions from the plans of the kuffaar, and all praise is due to Allaah. For example, we are now in conflict with the state known as 'Israel' and we have been for over fifty years, thus it arms itself and empowers itself via purchasing weapons from the east and west[11] and thus we also purchase weapons from the east and west and there is no shame in this. No Muslims or kuffaar have said that you should not arm yourselves; only some states that aligned themselves with Germany during the Second World War are prohibited from arming themselves to a considerable extent such as Japan and Switzerland according to the laws, as they have a prior experience with exploiting armaments.

There is no shame in a Muslim state in purchasing weapons but what is a problem is to establish tribulations such as the mafia, highway robbers or terrorists, who kill, devastate and cause corruption.

Going back to the verse then, it is a command for an Islamic state and not for individual Muslims within a state as individual Muslims are under the jurisdiction of the Islamic state. If the leader of the Muslims has made an agreement with other states then it is not permissible at all for us to wage war against the citizens of such states. It is not permissible for a Muslim to fight the kuffaar with whom the leader of the Muslims has an agreement.

So with this may Allaah preserve and protect you, Allaah has legislated laws and regulations for Muslims to interact with non-Muslims. We find that these regulations are clear and with no doubts within them.

As for those bombers that you have over there who terrorise the people then it should be known that such people not only wreak havoc over there but also in Makkah, Madeenah of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam), Riyadh, Khobar, Shaam, Egypt and not only the Christian countries.

Terrorism has no religion and no country, rather it is based on kindling tribulations and is concerned with wreaking havoc on the earth or has other goals, whether economic or political, we do not know. However, we say that terrorism is always associated with wreaking havoc and corruption, and Allaah commanded rectification and forbade corruption and Islam came with rectification and to prevent corruption.

Therefore, the verse in al-Anfaal is not an evidence for terrorism as all of the commentators of the verse have noted that it is directed to the leaders of the Muslims. All of the Muslim states today strengthen themselves, which a natural human phenomena, and have armies in order to defend themselves from any enemies and so that the enemy will know that they are strong. Have you ever seen anyone enter into a Lions den? No, this is not possible as it is strong. But the home of a gazelle, rabbit or pigeon is easy to enter upon, but the Lion's den is not as easy because it is strong.

Even though it is not necessary for the lion to attack people as it eats whatever suffices it from the forest. Islam and the Muslims, past and present, are free from terrorism and have rejected those who support terrorist atrocities in the Muslim countries, in America, in Britain and in other countries and have stated that such people have merely killed themselves which is not permissible in Islam and that whoever intentionally kills themselves is in the hellfire for eternity.

As for the spurious evidences that terrorists utilise then they are indeed many and the most important evidence that they use is the verse from al-Anfaal, yet Allaah says after it:

"And if they incline towards peace, then incline to it also and rely upon Allaah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing." {al-Anfaal (8): 61}

Therefore the Muslim countries are at peace with all of the nation states of the world in the east and the west, with the exception of Israel and we ask Allaah to suffice the Muslims from its evil.

[1] This lecture was given on Saturday August 20th 2005 via tele-link at Masjid Ibn Taymeeyah (Brixton Mosque, London) and was translated at the masjid by Umar al-Jamaykee.

[2]This has also been attested by some Jewish writers such as Israel Shahak in his book Jewish History, Jewish Religion – The Weight of Three Thousand Years (Pluto Press). He notes how the Talmud mentions that if a Jew passes near an inhabited non-Jewish dwelling, he must ask God to destroy it, whereas if the building is in ruins he must thank the Lord for his retribution on the 'Gentiles'. (p. 93 – quoting the Tractate Berakhot, p.58b) furthermore, Shahak notes Rabbi Shabbtay Kohen (mid 17th century), Siftey Kohen on Shulhan 'Arukh, 'Yoreh De'ah', 158: "But in times of war it was the custom to kill them with one's own hands, for it is said, "The best of gentiles, kill him!"." Siftey Kohen and Turey Zahay are the two major classical commentaries on the Shulhan 'Arukh. (Shahak, pp.76 and 113). Michael Hoffman on his website that discusses Jewish affairs notes that according to Jewish teachings non-Jewish women are "Niddah, Shifchah, Goyyah and Zonah (menstrual filth, slaves, heathens and whores)." [Translator's Note]

[3] Christian groups such as the Catholic IRA in Northern Ireland and its offshoots such as the Real IRA have sanctioned terrorism. On the side are the Protestants in Northern Ireland with many of the Ulster based pro-British unionist groups which have also participated in terrorism. In Spain, the Basque separatist group Eta are well known for their terrorism which they justify in the name of nationalism and religion. Also in Latin America there are a number of terrorist cells that operate under the banner of Christianity. Also in Europe the neo-Nazi groups who also perform a number of terrorist activities under the pretext of preserving Anglo-saxon Christianity and European heritage. From the mushriks there are the likes of the Aum cult of Japan who commanded chemical attacks upon the Japanese tube network in the 1990s and also in Sri Lanka the Tamil Tigers terrorist group. [Translator's Note]

[4] The Warsaw Pact, also known as the 'Warsaw Treaty', was a military alliance of the Eastern European countries (the Eastern Bloc) who intended to organise against the perceived threat from NATO. The Pact was prompted by the integration of a 're-militarised' west Germany into NATO via the ratification of the Paris Agreement. The Warsaw Pact was drafted by Nikita Krushchev in 1955 CE and singed in Warsaw. It came to an end and 1991 CE and was dissolved in Prague. [Translator's Note]

[5] The North Atlantic Trade Organisation, sometimes referred to as the 'North Atlantic Alliance', the 'Atlantic Alliance' or the 'Western Alliance'. It is an international organisation for defence collaboration and was established in 1949 CE.

[6] In Islam, the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) forbade the use of 'scorched earth policies' wherein crops, vegetation and livestock were destroyed, burned or devastated. The kuffaar also claim to prohibit such weapons that cause such indiscriminate destruction yet the reality is that it has mainly been the kuffaar nations who have utilised such weapons of 'mass destruction' such as on Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Depleted Uranium was used for the first time on Iraq during the first gulf war and it has a radioactive future of 125,000 years, like the effects of Agent Orange (which was used on Vietnam) its effects on populations and on future generations are devastating. [Translator's Note]

[7] The Shaykh (hafidhahullaah) is referring here to the Hudaybiyah Treaty which was made between the Muslims and the polytheists of Quraysh. When the mushrikeen of Quraysh witnessed the determination of the Muslims to risk their lives, properties, wealth and families for their faith in order to spread it peacefully, they realised that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) and his followers (radi Allaahu 'anhum) could not be bullied or frightened by mere scare tactics. Therefore, a treaty of reconciliation and peace was made between the Quraysh and the Muslims. The clauses of the treaty were:
· The Muslims would return and come back in the following year (7 AH) but they would not stay in Makkah for more than three days and without arms except those concealed;
· War activities were to be suspended for ten years, during which both sides will live in security with neither side waging war against the other;
· Whoever wishes to join Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) was free to do so and likewise whoever wished to join the mushrikeen of the Quraysh was also free to do so;
· If anyone from the Quraysh joins Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) without his parent's or guardian's permission, he should be sent back to the Quraysh, but should any of Muhammad's followers return to the Quraysh, he was not to be sent back. (Safiur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, The Sealed Nectar (ar-Raheequl-Makhtum) Darusalam, 2002, p.403) The treaty was significant in that the Quraysh began to recognise the Muslims legitimate existence and began to deal with them on equal terms. Safiur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri notes in his biography of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) pp.407-408: "The Muslims did not have in mind to seize people's property or kill them through bloody wars, nor did they ever think of using any compulsive approaches in their efforts to propagate Islam, on the contrary their sole target was to provide an atmosphere of freedom in ideology or religion:

{Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve.}", [Soorah al-Kahf, Aayah 29] the Muslims, on the other hand, had the opportunity to spread Islam over areas not then explored. When there was the peace agreement, war was abolished, and men met and consulted each together, none talked about Islam intelligently without entering it; within two years following the conclusion of the treaty, twice as many people entered Islam than ever before. This is supported by the fact that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) went out to al-Hudaybiyah with only 1400 men, but when he set out to liberate Makkah, two years later, he had 10,000 men with him. [Translator's Note]

[8] This is for those Muslims who have entered a non-Muslim country and also those Muslims who were born and raised within non-Muslim countries. [Translator's Note]

[9] This is one of the areas in which the takfeerees and jihaadees contradict themselves. For they argue about the evil of a Muslim ruler due to a perceived allegiance to the kuffaar and their ways, yet they do the every same, if not worse, by: running to kuffaar countries, consuming large sums of kuffaar state benefit handouts; taking welfare allowances from "HRM's" benevolence; paying all required taxes; sending their children to kuffaar hospitals and entertainment centres and the likes, yet do not also see all of this has "loving the kuffaar" or as emphasising the weakness of the Muslims!? Indeed, many of them even claim that what they do is merely part of their "jihaad efforts"!!? [Translator's Note]

[10] Aboo Jandal (radi Allaahu 'anhu) was brutally chained and was suffering great hardship and oppression. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) and the companions (radi Allaahu 'anhum) tried to secure his release but Aboo Jandal's father Suhayl was unyielding and would not hand Aboo Jandal over due to the treaty which had been agreed between the Prophet and the mushrikeen of Quraysh. Aboo Jandal (radi Allaahu 'anhu) did not want to remain with the mushrikeen yet the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) had to honour his word and adhere to the agreement. [Translator's Note]

[11] Time Magazine (August 24 1998, vol. 152, no.8, p.12) noted once that: Israel is an undeclared nuclear power that is thought to have over 200 warheads it was also active in the production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, the makings of nuclear bombs. Israel wishes to maintain a certain ambiguity around its nuclear status. [Translator's Note]

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