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Is it a victory if a Muslim kills a Christian or a Jew?
My friends here at HubPages have asked many questions regarding the existence of ISIS and their inhuman acts; some have questioned is it such a victory if Muslims kill a Christian or a Jew? What if ISIS caliphate attacks America? ISIS is trying to wipe out Christianity? What do you feel about the beheading of an American journalist by the terrorist group ISIS?..., there are some more queries and hubs of similar kind. For these friends, Islam and Muslims are at a thwarting stage. Obviously, the happenings in some parts of the world have raised questions; some people have asked why it is so? Some resort to writing their view points on the issue and some remain silent with a serious concern in their minds. We appreciate those who have openly condemned the prevailing situations. This openness is sure to offer opportunities for restoration of human dignity and status. Let this spirit prevail, and let it be expandable and the concerned voices against all kinds of dehumanized acts be echoed across the globe.
At the outset I out rightly reject and condemn the acts of killing and beheading the innocents in strongest possible terms. As a member of world community it’s an obligation on me to condemn every act of human rights violation and must support the ‘voices-raised’ for the cause of humanity. Being a Muslim, I should distance myself from such acts and people who are unfaithful to the core and too oppressive to the humanity, else my faith will be of no value (1). For a Muslim to be Muslim he should be a just voice at any cost and at all circumstances (2) and should refrain from harming people from his tongue and hands. (3) And should love for humanity what he loves for himself (4).
Again, the concept of victory in Islam, or any religion for that matter, is absolutely void of inhuman acts, not to talk of killings; in Islam, snatching of one’s rights will put a person in the hell fire (5). Or even for cruelty shown to an animal will cause one to be in hell (6).
The Reality of Terrorist Groups
The act should be judged according to the beliefs and teachings of the faith with which a person or group associate themselves. If an individual or group of Muslims commits any act, before pronouncing it as an Islamic or un Islamic, the spirit of Islam should be in view. We know that the laws are different in different countries. Interracial marriages are legal in some parts of the world whereas is some it’s illegal. In Saudi Arabia it’s illegal for a woman to drive a car but in US a woman can become even an astronaut, in Philippines divorce is illegal whereas legal in the rest countries. So if one were to arrive at any conclusion “reference to context” is quite essential. Something is legal at one place somewhere else it’s illegal. So what Muslims are doing, good or bad, should be judged according to the Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which is popularly known as Quran & Sunnah or Islamic teachings or Shariah. Now, you can ask, everybody can’t be so well versed to judge every act, whether it is according to Shariah or not? In that case one should have following parameters to judge what’s right and what’s wrong:
(1) Teachings of Islam.
(2) Consensus of majority of Muslims, in particular their scholars.
(3) How far the act suits to human nature.
(4) What are the bases? If the bases of any act not found in Shariah, it is regarded as Bida’ah (innovation) which has been strictly prohibited (7).
In the light of these parameters, let us analyze the queries in focus:
Dying to Win?
(1) Teachings of Islam
Killing innocents and claiming to be victory is simply against the teachings of Islam. I don’t find even a single Quranic verse or saying of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that supports the claim. My conscience doesn’t favor those who in tense situations resort to streets with placards reading “behead those who insult Islam”. So those who are claiming, it’s their personal account, nothing to do with Islam and the Muslims. In Islam, the human honor and dignity is very high. Man has been created on the face of God (8) , so the acts of threatening and degrading is against the spirit, that is man has been regarded so sacred that dehumanized act is highly condemnable. A single soul has been regarded as more sacred than the house in Mecca (9). Killing of an innocent person has been termed as killing of the entire humanity (10). Honoring of a person is just equal to honoring of God (11). In short what human conscience appreciates and what not, Islam makes it clear as an embodiment of man’s supremacy. Therefore, when it comes to following Islam, human beings have been just advised to turn to their nature on which God has created them (12). With this explanation, the acts of killing and degrading the humans are null and void.
(2) Consensus of Majority of Muslim Scholars
From across the globe Muslims Scholars and Muslim organizations have heavily criticized the self-proclaimed Caliphate of ISIS; it’s fake claim and has no basis. Please go through the following links:
‘Islamic State’ is a slur on our faith, say leading Muslims
Prominent scholars declare ISIS caliphate ‘null and void’
Muslim leaders reject Baghdadi’s caliphate – Prominent Muslim leaders rebuke the Islamic State group’s self-proclaimed caliphate, calling it ‘void’ and ‘deviant’.
So, as Muslims we share your burden of grief and concern about this self-proclaimed group, rather it’s an obligation on us to annihilate such inhuman practices, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says when anybody of you sees an evil he should wipe out with his hands… (13).
As far the concept of Caliphate is concerned, it’s a process of succession of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and very sacred one indeed. Since the Prophet was sent down as a Messenger of the entire world, therefore the concept of Caliphate imbibe in it the universality, it is absolutely void of regional or sectarian thinking. Neither a group nor any nation is entitled to form a Caliphate. “Conceptually, a caliphate represents a sovereign state of the entire Muslim faithful, (the Ummah ), ruled by a caliph under Islamic law…”(for more details please refer:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliphate).
(3) How far the acts suit to human nature
With the explanation so far, it becomes quite clear that inhuman killings are simply contrast to Islamic teachings. Islam doesn’t encourage even slapping on human face. At the time of war from a genuine Islamic State, there are specific ethics for warfare, adherence of which is as necessary as the war itself (a genuine Islamic state can declare a war, according to the consensus of Muslims and also in view of the prevailing sentiments, cultures and norms of the world communities, for more detail please go through: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_state). According to the Quran we have an ideal in the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) (14), so whatever he does or instruct becomes a model for the Muslims of all the time to follow. Prophet (pbuh) has given clear instructions to bear in mind for all the matters pertaining to life.
As far war is concerned, following were instructions, ethics of warfare from Prophet (pbuh) observance of which is as compulsory as offering prayers, here they are:
- Don’t commit treachery or deviate from the right path.
- Many servants of God will be busy worshipping Him in their places of worship (churches). Don’t touch them.
- Don’t raise your hands against any woman.
- Don’t kill any woman, child or minor boy.
- Don’t kill any old person.
- Don’t destroy green trees nor set them on fire.
- Don’t mutilate dead person.
- Don’t harm the person who hides for his safety.
- Don’t harm the person who asks your forgiveness.
- Don’t spoil enemy’s provision.(15)
When dehumanized acts are not permissible even in worst situations in a genuine Islamic state, how come the inhuman killings or ‘acts of terrorism’ be justified? To favor people of the same community, whether they are just or not has been termed as communalism (16) and Prophet (pbuh) categorically rejected the faith of such Muslims and said they are not amongst us (17).
(4) Is Quran & Sunnah the base?
This is the criteria to judge what is right and what is wrong, the discussions so far make it clear , be it ISIS or Al-Qaeda or any group of that sort, their claims are not according to the teachings of Quran and Sunnah, it’s their own desires and wishful thinking. Islam has nothing to do with these factions.
Thus, the evaluation makes it clear what Islam is and what’s happening in the name of Islam? To further the discussion I would like to cover some more aspects. It’s expected that a clear image of Islam and the Muslims will emerge that in turn facilitate to understand the role of Muslims in a plural society, in general, and in the world in particular.
What's your understanding of the terrorist groups?
The Criteria of judgment
I humbly request my brethren to judge the acts of Muslims based on these discussions, the spirit of that being whether Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) justifies any act or not? If a Muslim doesn’t abide by this base he no longer remain a Muslim, he is termed as, Kaafir (disbeliever), Zaalim (oppressor) and Faasiq (rebel) (18). One can understand how important these criterions are to authenticate one’s action. This benchmark for judgment not only helps erase misunderstandings but also assists in mutual understanding.
Islam Preaches tolerance
If we go beyond the discussion, there appear vast teachings of Islam which primarily suggests its followers to adhere to the basics. Islam teaches tolerance, it believes that for a society to progress and prosper, for a society to attain the stages of sustainable development, the dwellers must have peace and an atmosphere of mutual understanding and co-operation. Here are a few Quranic verses:
- No compulsion in religion (Ch2-Verse 256), the Muslim should not force others.
- Join hands for common terms (Ch3-Verse 64).
- Uphold justice at any cost (Ch4-Verse 35).
- Co-operate in righteous ways and not in transgressions (Ch5-Verse 2), with all regardless of religion.
- Be a just voice even amidst hatred (Ch5-Verse8).
- Don’t revile other Gods (Ch6-Verse 108).
- It’s the will of God that there are different followers (Ch 10-Verse 99) and (Ch64-Verse2).
- Whosoever wants let him believe in Islam (Ch16-Verse 29).
- Not argue with the people of the scripture (Christians and Jews) except in a way that is best (Ch29-Verse 46).
- Repel evil with virtue (Ch41-Verse 34).
- Everyone is responsible for what he does (Ch42-Verse 15).
- To be your religion, to me, my religion (Ch 106-Verse 9), it helps to join for common terms.
The Concept of Victory in Islam
For ‘victory’ we find two terminologies in the Quran, one is Faaz and the second is Falah. The later being equal to ‘self improvement’ that is success. In view of these terms the victory is:
- Prevention from hell fire (Ch3-Verse 185, Ch6-Verses 15-16).
- Obedience of God & His messenger (Ch33-Verse 71, Ch4-Verse 13).
- Performing virtuous acts (Ch9-Verses 71-72).
- Offering prayers & charity with precise regularity, avoid vain talks, stick to modesty etc. (Ch23-Verses 1 to9).
- Sustained efforts for self purification (Ch87-Verse 14, Ch91-Verse 9).
- Refraining from taking interest (Ch3-Verse 130).
- Fearing God and showing patience and steadfastness (Ch3-Verse 200).
- Refraining from intoxicants, gambling and demon practices (Ch5-Verse 100).
- Frequent repentance (Ch24-Verse 31).
- Promotion of virtues and eradication of evils (Ch3-Verse 104).
- Prevention from covetousness (Ch59-Verse9).
What Allah Likes, and what dislikes
The self-proclaimed groups often term their acts to be noble in the sight of Allah, instill the same idea in the minds of their followers and publicize the same that whatever they do Allah favors them. The Quran clearly mentions to whom Allah likes and to whom He dislikes, a Muslim is one who follows these criterions to be among the choicest servants of Allah. Have a glimpse of a few verses:
- Doer of good deeds (Ch2-Verse 195).
- Those who turn to God constantly (Ch2-Verse 222).
- Those who are righteous (Ch3-Verse 76).
- Those who are steadfast (Ch3-Verse 146).
- Those who trust God (Ch3-Verse159).
- Those who judge in equity (Ch5-Verse 42).
- Those who make themselves pure (Ch9-Verse 108).
- Those who are ungrateful and wicked (Ch2-Verse 276).
- Those who are arrogant and vainglorious (Ch4-Verse36).
- Those who are wrong doers and commit crimes (Ch4-Verse 107).
- Those who spread mischief on earth (Ch5-Verse64).
- Those who cross the transgress (Ch5-Verse87).
- Those who are wasters (Ch6-Verse 141).
- Those who exult (Ch28-Verse 76).
Based on aforesaid parameters God accepts the actions, instead, if any Muslim follows his wishful thinking, will certainly deviate from the right path, he has gone astray (19), the deviation lead him to a destination embodiment of his own wishful thinking.
Islam appreciates a world of mutual love and respect…
It’s the mutual love and respect that makes society a place to live in. Without these essentials, intellectual, ethical, moral, cultural and scientific progress is hard to achieve. Even in a small home, the feuds between husband and wife hamper the study of their children, then how come chaos and uneasiness in different parts of the world help attain sustainable development for the dwellers? The Quran emphasize, with an action plan, to strive for building such a world (20).
What do you think the best ways to ensure interfaith harmony?
Concerns & actions for the cause of Humanity
Muslim nations across the globe facing different situations, I don’t think I am entitled to justify in explaining their conditions as such, you know better. The Muslim nations going through turmoil, due to uncertain political and social conditions their independence and self esteem is badly marred. Violation of human rights reaching new heights whereas dehumanization acts touching to the lowest of the low. Being human we should stand up for justice. Oppression is oppression, for whoever it may be. Raising voice is humanity, no matter for whom it is raised. We must heed to the truth that our heart conveys, that bias and prejudice never help a nation to prosper; the history bears testimony to the fact. Killing or humiliation of human beings has never been a hallmark of champions.
The humans have been created to live, the world has been brought into existence to facilitate the living, if anyone kills a human or humiliate he simply obliterate the very purpose of human’s existence on the earth. Objective analysis of the situation and proposing a workable plan would be a better option to exercise. The international communities can play a pivotal role in being a just voice and equally concern towards the cause of humanity. We should educate our children and youth that their existence is just to visualize the dream of a beautiful world. America can lead the nations with its vision of a world of freedom, liberty, justice, tranquility and welfare.
(C) 2014 - Muhammad Abdullah Javed (m abdullah javed)
1) Narrator Abu Feelah – Mishkat-Al-Masbih Book of Hadith – Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says the one who invites others for a sectarian divide is not amongst us.
2) The Quran Ch 5 – Verse 8
3) Narrator Abu Huraira, Bukhari Book of Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says no one among you can be a true believer unless from whose hands and tongue people are safe.
4) Narrator Abdullah Ibn Masood, Tirmidhi Book of Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says no one among you can be a true believer unless he loves for the human beings what he loves for himself.
5) Narrator Abdullah Ibn Masood, Tirmidhi Book of Hadith, it’s a long saying, gist is violation of rights causes a believer to be a poor (Muflis) on the day of judgment, in spite of his good deeds he will be thrown in the hell fire.
6) Narrator Abu Huraira, Muslim Book of Hadith, long saying, the gist is - a person thrown in hell fire just because he was oppressive against a cat.
7) Narrator Ayesha Siddiqa, Muslim Book of Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says the one who invents a new thing which is not there in our scripture will be rejected.
8) Hadis-e-Qudsi, a saying of Prophet Muhammad exactly in the words of God.
9) Narrator Abu Huraira, Abu Dawood Book of Hadith, gist of saying - the dignity of a person is more than the dignity of Kaaba, the house in Mecca.
10) The Quran Ch 5-Verse 32
11) Narrator Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Nasai Book of Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says no servant of God loves his fellow brother but he honors the God, the Exalted.
12) The Quran Ch 30-Verse 30
13) Narrator Abu Saeed Al Khudri, Muslim Book of Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says if any one of you sees an evil should eradicate it with his hands, if he is not capable of that, than with his tongue, even if it is not possible, than he should have ill feelings about the evil in his heart.
14) The Quran Ch 33-Verse 21
15) Biography of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) chapter Ethics of Warfare
16) Narrator Abu Feelah, Mishkat-Al-Masbih Book of Hadith, the one who calls towards communalism, dies for it is not amongst us.
17) Narrator Jubair Bin Mutyim, Abu Dawood Book of Hadith, the same as above.
18) The Quran Ch 5-Verses 44-47
19) The Quran Ch 28-Verse 50
20) The Quran Ch 16-Verse 90