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Killing innocent people in the name of jihad

Published: 22/04/2011 01:31:00 AM GMT
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By NAUSHAD SHAMIMUL HAQ | ARAB NEWS Published: Apr 21, 2011 20:30 Updated: Apr 21, 2011 20:30
"Leave this world and go to heaven," was the last instruction given to Omar Fidayee, the 14-year-old would-be suicide bomber before he was sent on a mission to blow himself up at a shrine in central Pakistan early this month.

Omar, who identified his trainer as Qari Zafar, said the man convinced him to begin a life of militancy, saying all education was useless and telling him “become a fighter and you will go to heaven.”

The boy's statement is a poignant reminder of the state of Muslims, who have been enjoined by their religion not to harm anybody. It also underlines the stark contrast between the practices of many people who call themselves Muslims and the teachings of Islam.

The Holy Qur'an says, “Whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as though he had killed all of mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.” (Al-Mai'dah 5:32).

The actions of a few people calling themselves Muslims and yet killing others in the name of jihad is a horrendous crime that has sullied Islam's name.

According to Fidayee's statement, he was initially recruited on the understanding that he would be smuggled into Afghanistan to kill non-Muslims.

“But they brought me to Dera Ghazi Khan, a city in Pakistan. I told them ‘there are no kafirs (non-believers) here,'” he said.

“They told me these people are worse than kafirs and asked me not to flinch from carrying out the suicide mission even if I have to kill women and children,” Fidayee said.

He said he was told to attack the Sufi shrine 30 minutes after the other two suicide bombers detonated their bombs, in order to cause maximum carnage among those rushing to aid casualties of the first two blasts.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has strongly prohibited killing of innocent people. One of the Hadiths says, “Whoever killed “Muaahadan” (a term used in Islamic state to refer to non-Muslim citizens), will not smell Paradise. And its scent can be smelled from a distance of 40 years (a term in Arabic means “far distance”).” (Narrated by Al-Nasaie)

There are many other Hadiths that urge Muslims not to kill others.

Before engaging in a battle, the Prophet Muhammad used to instruct his soldiers:

• “Do not kill any child, any woman, or any elderly or sick person.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

• “Do not practice treachery or mutilation. Do not uproot or burn palms or cut down fruitful trees. Do not slaughter a sheep or a cow or a camel, except for food.” (Al-Muwatta)

• “If one fights his brother, (he must) avoid striking the face, for God created him in the image of Adam.” (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)

• “Do not kill the monks in monasteries, and do not kill those sitting in places of worship.” (Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal)

• “Do not destroy the villages and towns, do not spoil the cultivated fields and gardens, and do not slaughter the cattle.” (Sahih Bukhari; Sunan Abu Dawud)

• “Do not wish for an encounter with the enemy. Pray to God to grant you security, but when you (are forced to) encounter them, exercise patience.” (Sahih Muslim)

• “No one may punish with fire except the Lord of Fire.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

• “Accustom yourselves to do good if people do good, and do not do wrong even if they commit evil.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

These Hadiths in unambiguous terms tell Muslims not to kill innocent people even in the event of a war. How can anybody justify killing innocent people in the name of jihad. Most of the youngsters, like Fidayee, who are brainwashed to carry out suicide missions, may not know even the basics of Islam, let alone be practicing Muslims. They are misguided by people who claim to be religious leaders fighting the “infidels” by waging jihad.

Jihad means struggling or striving and applies to any effort exerted by anyone. Upon his return from a battle, Prophet Muhammad said, “We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad (i.e. the struggle against the evil of one's soul).”

Ayesha, the wife of the Prophet asked, “O Messenger of Allah, we see jihad as the best of deeds, so shouldn't we join it?” He replied, “But, the best of jihad is a perfect Haj.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari No. 2784)

On another occasion a man asked the Prophet Muhammad, “Should I join the jihad?” He asked, “Do you have parents?” The man said, “Yes!” The Prophet said, “Then strive by (serving) them!” (Sahih Al-Bukhari No. 5972)

Yet another man asked the Messenger of Allah: “What kind of jihad is better?” He replied, “A word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler!” (Sunan Al-Nasaie, No. 4209)

The greatest challenge posed to Islam these days is not from its enemies but from people who claim to be Muslims but do everything contrary to the teachings of Islam.

Reproduced from Arab News

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