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The Truth About Islam And Terrorism - Religion - Nairaland

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The Truth About Islam And Terrorism by MubarokX(m): 9:14am On Jul 12, 2013
Islam means the religion of peace. A
person following Islam will find that he or
she is surrounded by noble teachings, the
aim of which is to establish peace between
man and Allah, the Creator of all; between
man and man; and between man and the
rest of Allah’s creation.
How does such a religion deal with the
issue of terrorism? And what does the
word terrorist mean? Dictionaries will
define a terrorist as one who
systematically uses violence and
intimidation to achieve political ends – or
one who controls or forces others to do
something by violence, fear or threats.
All these definitions are covered by two
words in the Holy Qur’an, the sacred book
of Islam: Fitnah and Ikrâh.
In the Holy Qur’an, God begins to deal
with the issue of terrorism by teaching
Muslims never to become terrorists in the
first place. Two of the very first verses of
our Holy Book say: ‘Al-Fitnatu ashad-du
minal qatl’ – meaning that in the sight of
Allah, ‘persecution, or making people
constantly fear for their lives, is much
worse than killing’. And also: ‘Lâ ikrâha fid-
dîn’ – ‘There shall be no compulsion in
religion’, that is to say, that no one has the
right to force others into complying with
their demands or compelling others to
follow their line of thinking.
Allah Almighty warns the believers again
and again that they should never abandon
Him, the source of all goodness. Allah
Almighty reminds us that it is those who
have abandoned Him and thrown away all
good, and divested themselves of every
shred of human decency, that are the ones
who will eventually resort to terrorizing
others, forcing them into complying with
their demands. The believers are
repeatedly reminded that they would lose
Allah Almighty’s love and His favors if they
ever began to behave in that way.
But Islam does not content itself with
these injunctions strongly forbidding
Muslims from ever becoming terrorists. It
also makes sure that the believers are
made into highly moral, excellently
behaved people, by inculcating those lofty
human values that can turn them into
people who sincerely love humankind
without distinction of religion, race or
social status. Islam no doubt encourages
the logical and rational discussion of views
with people of all creeds in a calm and
dispassionate way, with the only aim that
truth prevail over error and falsehood. But
it also reminds us that it is error and
falsehood as such that are to be hated and
detested. The people who unfortunately
hold on to error are never to be hated. In
Islam, an amazingly powerful emphasis is
laid on developing love for mankind and on
the vital importance of showing mercy and
sympathy towards every creature of Allah
Almighty, including human beings and
animals. For indeed, love and true
sympathy are the very antidote of
It is related by ‘Ayesha, may Allah be
pleased with her, the talented wife of the
Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him, that some
desert Arabs came to him one day and
asked: ‘Do you kiss your children?’ He
answered: ‘Yes.’ They said: ‘We never kiss
them.’ The Prophet (sa) said:‘What can I
do if your hearts have been stripped of
compassion?’ He also said that Allah
Almighty has no mercy for him who has no
mercy for his fellow beings.
The measure of compassion shown by the
Holy Prophet (sa) cannot but amaze
anyone who knows how rough and violent
was the society into which he had been
born. Abu Qatâdah, may Allah be pleased
with her, relates that the Messenger of
Allah told him: ‘It happens that I stand up
to lead the prayer, having in mind to
lengthen it. Then I hear the cry of an
infant and I shorten the prayer fearing lest
I should cause inconvenience to its
Far from inciting hatred and
aggressiveness in its followers, Islam
keeps on enjoining kindness and sympathy
for all. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, may
peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,
said: ‘Charity is incumbent upon every
human limb every day on which the sun
rises. To bring about reconciliation
between two contestants is charity.
Helping a person mount his animal or to
load his baggage on to it is charity. A good
word is charity. Every step taken toward
the mosque for prayer is charity. To
remove anything from the street that
causes inconvenience is charity.’
He incessantly admonished Muslims to
behave well towards their neighbors,
saying: ‘That one will not enter Paradise
whose neighbor is not safe against his
He also declared: ‘By Him in Whose Hands
is my life, you will not enter Paradise
unless you believe, and you will not truly
believe unless you love one another. Shall
I tell you something whereby you will love
one another? Multiply the greeting of
peace among yourselves.’
One day he found a mother bird beating
her wings on the ground in distress. He
asked his companions: ‘Who has done
this?’ They said: ‘We took her young ones
out of her nest.’ The Holy Prophet (sa)
said: ‘Restore them to her. No mother
must be tormented on account of her
On another occasion, he found one of his
companions setting fire to an anthill. He
immediately told them to put out the fire
saying: ‘No one has the right to torment
others with fire.’
As Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an
that the true believers are: ‘those who
suppress their anger and forgive people’,
likewise, the Holy Messenger of Allah,
Muhammad, may peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him, said: ‘Allah is Gentle
and loves gentleness in all things. Make
things easy and do not make them hard.
And cheer people up and do not repel
It is clear that the true believers and all
other good, honest people are always on
the receiving end of terrorism, never on
the delivering end. Whenever such
tendencies appear in society by which the
peace is being disturbed and people
cannot live their lives without fear,
Muslims are enjoined to counter them
first of all by reasoning with those
responsible for the disturbance. The Holy
Qur’an says:
Call unto the way of your Lord [that is the
way of justice and goodness] with wisdom
and goodly exhortation, and argue with
them in a way that is best. (Ch.16: v.126)
And the Qur’an repeatedly tells us to seek
help from Allah Almighty with patience
and p r a y e r. But if reasoning with those
people bent on wickedness and praying for
them fail to bring about a change in their
ways, then Allah Almighty says, again at
the end of Chapter 16, verse 127:
‘Then if you desire to punish the
oppressors, punish them to the extent you
have been wronged.’
Allah Almighty commands the Muslims
that when things get out of hand, they
should join forces to restore peace by use
of reasonable force. They have been
enjoined by the Holy Prophet Muhammad,
may peace and blessings of Allah be upon
him, to join forces if need be with
followers of other faiths to do so. Thus, in
the famous document known as the
Treaty of Medina, The Messenger of Allah
Article 1:
This is the treaty of Muhammad, the
Prophet (the Messenger of Allah) between
the Believers and Muslims of the Quraish
and the people of Yathrib, and between
those who follow them and join them in
fighting (the common enemy).
Article 2:
And it is that they constitute an Ummah
Wâhidah (One Nation) separate from other
Article 25:
And also that the Jews of the tribe of ‘Auf
constitute an Ummah Wâhidah with the
Believers - even though the Jews will
follow their own religion and the Muslims
will follow their own - and this will include
both their friends and themselves.
(Quoted from Reuben Levy in ‘Sociology of
Islam, part I, pages 279-282)
Here, all the inhabitants of the city of
Yathrib, or Medina, were called upon to
join in fighting the forces that were
terrorizing the citizens.
Muslims have been made to promise that
they will help defend the followers of
other faiths from unjust and cruel attacks
as well. For example, in his charter for all
time to come addressed to all Christians
living as citizens under Muslim rule, the
Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him, states:
I promise that any monk or wayfarer who
will seek my help on the mountains, in
forests, deserts or habitations, or in places
of worship, I will repel his enemies with
my friends and helpers, with all my
relatives and with all those w ho profess
to follow me and will defend them,
because they are my covenant. And I will
defend the covenanted against the
persecution, injury and embarrassment of
their enemies in lieu of the poll tax they
have promised to pay. If they prefer to
defend their properties and persons
themselves, they will be allowed to do so
and will not be put to any inconvenience
on that account.
No bishop will be expelled from his
bishopric, no monk from his monastery, no
priest from his place of worship, and no
pilgrim will be detained in his pilgrimage.
None of their churches and other places of
worship will be desolated or destroyed or
demolished. No material of their churches
will be used to build mosques or houses
for the Muslims; any Muslim doing so will
be regarded as recalcitrant to Allah and His
Prophet. Monks and Bishops will be
subject to no tax or indemnity whether
they live in forests or on rivers, in the East
or in the West, in the North or in the
South. I give them my word of honor.
They are on my promise and covenant and
will enjoy perfect immunity from all sorts
of inconveniences. Every help shall be
given them in the repair of their churches.
They shall be absolved of wearing arms.
They shall be protected by the Muslims.
Let this document not be disobeyed till
Judgment Day.” (Quoted from Balâdhar)
In Islam, every effort is thus made to
protect the peace of not only the Muslims,
but also of the followers of other faiths.
Allah Almighty says:
And if Allah did not defend some men by
means of others, there would surely have
been pulled down monasteries, churches,
synagogues and mosques wherein the
name of Allah is oft remembered. (Ch.22:
However, Muslims have been warned by
the Holy Founder of Islam, Muhammad,
the Messenger of Allah, may peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him, that when
they enter the territory of those who have
been terrorizing and harshly persecuting
them, they should not lose all sense of
perspective and justice, and be tempted to
start acting savagely, like the terrorists
themselves. The worst crime of
ungratefulness would be that committed
by a people who, having forgotten that
they had just been subjected to terrible
cruelties, start meting out the same, if not
worse, cruelties to others. The Prophet
‘You will meet those who remember
Almighty Allah in their houses of worship.
Have no dispute with them, and give no
trouble to them. In the enemy country, do
not kill any women or children, or the
blind, or the old. Do not pull down any
tree; nor pull down any building.’ (Quoted
from Halbiyyah, Vol.3).
So the only Jihad permitted in Islam is the
war of the oppressed against the
oppressor, the war waged to protect the
peace of all people irrespective of their
religion or creed. Tactics used today such
as suicide bombing, etc. are absolutely out
of the question for true followers of Islam.
Allah Almighty says:
And kill not your own selves. Surely Allah
is Merciful to you. (Ch.4: v. 30)
…and cast not yourselves into ruin with
your own hands… (Ch.2: v.196)
Islam strictly forbids the killing of
innocent, non-aggressive people:…no
hostility is allowed except against the
aggressors. (Ch.2: v.194)
These three verses alone are sufficient to
prevent Muslims from crashing airplanes
into buildings, or from sending suicide
bombers to blow up innocent civilians.
Once the evildoers have ceased
misbehaving and have been justly
punished for their crimes, then Allah
Almighty says:
And fight them until there is no more
persecution, and religion is freely
professed for Allah. But if they desist, then
remember that no hostility is allowed
except against the aggressors. (Ch.2:
To sum up, Islam advocates three steps
against terrorism:
1. To give an excellent moral upbringing
to all Muslims, so that they become
upright, just, moral, kind and loving
people, thereby ensuring that they
never disrupt the peace of others.
2. Whenever the peace is disrupted, to
reason and argue with the evildoers,
and sincerely pray for them, to make
them change their ways.
3. If all reasoning fails, then to join forces
with all good people to combat the
mischief-mongers until peace has been
restored, but always keeping the
dictates of justice in view.
It is our belief that not only Islam, but no
true religion, whatever its name, can
sanction violence and bloodshed of
innocent men, women and children in the
name of Allah Almighty. Terrorists may use
religious or political labels, but no one
should be deceived by their wily ways and
treacherous guiles. They have nothing to
do with religion. They are the enemies of
peace. They must be combated at every
level as advocated by Islam, the religion of

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