Suicide Bombings Not Approved by Islam? A rebuttal to Dr Habib Siddiqui
29 Jan, 2006
- I agree with the learned scholar, and assert that Islam does
not [explicitly] approve suicide bombings, as it is not mentioned
in the Quran. Having said that, I also need to explain why suicide
bombing is not mentioned in this Holy Book.
At the time the Quran was written, suicide bombing was not in
existence due to the fact that the Arabs were not familiar with any
kind of bombs. Had its writer known that a day would come when
Muslims would learn how to make and use bombs in suicide bombings in
order to realize their Islamic as well as earthly goals, he would
definitely have made suicide bombing permissible through the Holy
Book he has bequeathed to the Muslims.
Having said that, we need to know if it is true that Islam does
not approve killing of innocent people by any method, including
Dr. Siddiqui has quoted verse 5:32 of the Quran (in my copy of
it, the verse number is 35) to prove that Islam, indeed, does not
approve unnecessary killings. But his reading of the verse is not
correct. To dispel what he has tried to make out of the verse, let
us read it in its entirety to find out what actually is stated in
it, and to whom it was addressed. It reads:
On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our Apostles with Clear Signs, yet even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.
It is clear from this verse and the verses that precede it that
it was the Children of Israel (Jews) whom Allah had asked in the
time of Moses not to kill anyone, unless it was in retaliation of
murder or for stopping the spread of mischief in the land of Canaan,
a part of which is now known as Israel. They were told that if they
killed anyone for any other reason, it would mean that they killed
the whole people.
But what is the punishment of those who wage war against Allah
and His Apostle, and create mischief on the land? In this regard,
the Quran 5:36 says:
The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is there disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter.
In order to understand the implication of the above verse, we
need to note:
Muslims have been asked to execute those who waged war against
Allah and His Apostle i.e. Muhammad. Since Muhammad is no more in
our midst, the question of waging war by anyone against him does not
arise. That being the fact, the question arises: how Allah expects
one to wage war against Him now?
The answer to the question is this: Refusing to accept the Quran and resisting Islam is what is referred to as war against Allah. He has already made it crystal clear that the only true religion is Islam (3:19) and that whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it will not be acceptable to Him (3:85).
So, those people who are not Muslims and follow other religions,
but Islam, are the mischief makers. Those are the people who are
engaged in war against Allah today, and those are the people whom
Allah has asked the Muslims to execute, probably, through beheading
or crucifixion, or to inflict on them other punishments, which are
mentioned in the verse.
That the mischief makers of the Quran are the non-Muslims can be
deduced from what is stated in verse 47:4. It reads:
Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost.
I think verse 47:4 should have appeared in the Quran before verse
5:35, as in it is described what we can say is the first step that
Muslims must take for subduing the Unbelievers and then to release
them without any condition or in exchange of money or to subject
them to the punishments, which are described in the earlier verse
From verse 47:4, it is also clear that Allah is always able to fight the non-Muslims, and to exact for Himself retribution in cash or kind from them, but He granted this privilege to the Muslims so that they can better their lives; at the same time, He gets a portion of the booty from them without Himself exerting any effort (8:41). Leaving this issue for consideration by the scholars like Dr. Siddiqui, I want to reaffirm that it is the non-Muslims, who the Quran says, are the mischief makers on earth and whom Muslims must eliminate or control in ways described in verse 9:29, so that Islam is able to prosper, and become the religion of the entire mankind, without any hindrance or obstacle.
In the time of Muhammad, neo-Muslims prospered, and brought the
non-Muslims to the fold of Islam, through raids and wars launched by
him or by his lieutenants. But their prosperity did not last long,
as the Prophet of Islam took away from them whatever they possessed
in the name of Allah (cf. 59:7 et al). Still they were satisfied and
contented due to the presence of the Prophet in their midst. But
what the Muslims of our time are supposed to do for spreading Islam
among the non-Muslims of the world and to become prosperous in the
They are to use Jihad to advance their "Islamic" agendas. The
word [Jihad] has appeared in the Quran for at least 33 times.
Contrary to what Dr. Siddiqui has said about the term [Jihad], it,
in most cases, denotes armed struggles by the Muslims against their
non-Muslim foes. Here is a brief analysis of this term:
In many cases, the word [Jihadu] appears in the Quranic verses
together with the phrase fi sabil Allah. It means in the
cause of Allah.
Like the word [Qatilu], Jihad denotes hostile acts, in the shape
of wars, which Muslims, undertook in the past and are required to
undertake even now and in future as well against the non-Muslims,
specifically with the purpose of converting them to Islam. In
Jihads, Muslims should not expect to gain any booty, but should it
come their way in the aftermath of their ‘striving in the cause of
Allah,’ they should not only accept it gladly, they must also
cherish it wholeheartedly, for all rewards and gifts come from
Allah. Refusing gifts from Allah is a cardinal sin (cf. Quran;
Being an All-knowing Deity, Allah has prescribed, through the Quran, how Muslims should carry out their Jihad. Just two verses from the Quran should be enough to clarify the nature of Jihad spoken of in this Holy Book:
9:41: Go ye forth (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, and strive and struggle, with your goods and your persons, in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if ye (but) knew.
Clearly, striving with equipment is not a struggle that can be
construed to be a struggle with one’s inner thoughts and desires.
Striving (Jihadu in Arabic) means a war against those who are
unbelievers, hence they deserve to be eliminated from the face of
Allah’s earth through violent actions, and killings.
29:6: And if any strive (with might and main), they do so for their own souls: For Allah is free of all needs from all creation.
Striving with ‘might and main’ is not a struggle against one’s
inner thoughts and desires. It clearly means a physical war all
Muslims have been ordained by Allah to launch against those
non-believers who refuse to accept Islam and its doctrines.
Some Muslims of Bangladesh are engaged in a Jihad against the
non-believers as well as against those Muslims who do not follow the
Quran and the Sunnah of Muhammad in their daily lives. Since they
are not well equipped to effectively take on their mighty opponents,
they have been using suicide bombings to realize their Islamic
For the Muslims, Jihad means war. And in wars, Allah has advised them to adopt all strategies (cf. 9:5) that are necessary for making them successful against their enemies. This is exactly what the Muslims of Palestine and Bangladesh etc. having been doing. They wear on their person or plant bombs in places where their explosion is likely to kill a large number of their enemies. For true Muslims, other Muslims who do not lead their lives in accordance with the teaching of the Quran are their enemies. In the process of killing their enemies, even if children and women get killed due to their actions, it should not be a concern for them, for, a war that is carried out to defend Allah and His teachings, has not only His approval, it is also legally perfect in His sight.