By Sajid Iqbal
You're sat on the bus with your mates. You're having a wicked meal at a top restaurant with your work colleagues. You're walking down a busy road with your partner. You're attending a football match with your brothers. You're on the plane with your parents. Then a huge BANG! A massive explosion. Bodies are flying everywhere. Hundreds dead and injured. Soon it's reported it was a suicide bomb. Nobody knows why. Everyone questions what have the victims done to deserve this? Nothing makes sense. How can anyone do this? Hours later a Muslim organisation takes responsibility for the suicide attack.
How do you feel now? How do you view religions now? What are your feelings towards Muslims now? What do you think of Islam now?
Can you blame anybody today for hating Islam and thinking it's a religion of violence and terror? Suicide bombers who have killed in the name of Islam have done unbelievable damage to the image and propagation of Islam. They are nothing but the enemies of Islam.
This is the age we are living in. A time when suicide bombings are carried out throughout the world. The sad reality is that a lot of them are carried out by Muslims and Muslim organisations. They claim responsibility with pride. They say it is a martyrdom operation in the name of Islam. From 9/11 to 7/7. From the Glasgow airport attacks to the blasts in Bali, Madrid and Istanbul. From Iraq to Afghanistan and Israel to Pakistan. To top it all off, the suicide bombing and shooting of Benazir Bhutto has again reminded us all that suicide bombings are alive and kicking today and can kill anyone. Al Qaeda were blamed for this but that is still to be confirmed.
Now let's take a step back. Let's sit down and have a sip of our favourite milkshake and try to understand what is happening in the world today and why. A religion which means peace and which promotes peace is widely responsible for many suicide attacks across the world. How can this be? Does Islam allow these kinds of suicide attacks that we are seeing today?
The answer is simply NO! Islam totally condemns violence and terrorism of any kind. Some people asked Allah's Messenger:
"Who is a very good Muslim?"
"One who avoids harming the people with his tongue and hands. A believer remains within the scope of his religion as long as he doesn't kill another person illegally."
The Prophet (pbuh) also said:
"Faith is a restraint against all violence, let no Muslim commit violence."
The Qur'an sums it up by saying:
"Anyone who has killed another person it is as if he has killed the whole of mankind and anyone who saves one life, it is as if he has saved the whole of mankind." (Chapter 5, verse 32)
Regarding suicide, again Islam is crystal clear. The Prophet (pbuh) said:
"A man was inflicted with wounds and he committed suicide, and so Allah (swt) said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise on him." (Bukhari)
"And if somebody commits suicide with anything in this world, he will be tortured with that very thing on the Day of Resurrection." (Bukhari)
Now, we as Muslims should condemn any form of terrorism from suicide attacks to bomb blasts to state terrorism. Whether the perpetrators are Muslims or not that should never come in to it. Some in our Muslim communities are in complete denial and cannot accept that within our Muslim Ummah we have terrorists and people who are brainwashed enough to think that by killing random civilians they are doing it for Islam and will go to heaven. Silly muppets!
One point to bear in mind is that nowadays any and every attack is automatically blamed on Al Qaeeda. Who are they? Do they even exist? So before we make any decisions it has to be proven without any doubt who the attackers are. Having said that there are still too many examples of Muslims carrying out suicide bombs to argue it's all a conspiracy.
Another important factor is that suicide bombings are not exclusive to Muslims. Let's not forget Japanese Kamikaze pilots would attempt to intentionally crash their aircraft — often laden with explosives, bombs, torpedoes and full fuel tanks — into Allied ships with a goal of causing greater damage than a conventional attack, using bombs or torpedoes. In the Sri Lankan civil war, since 1983 the Tamil tigers have been responsible for many suicide attacks. They were also famously responsible for the suicide attack on Indian PM Rajiv Ghandhi in 1991.
Now why do people carry out suicide attacks? Coz they are unhappy with political/international situation or events. By carrying out terrorist attacks they feel they are doing something positive, making a change, fighting the enemy and defending their cause/faith. My answer to that is what a load of rubbish! OPEN YOUR EYES DUDE! You can't help your faith or cause by firstly going against its basic teachings and then by killing innocent civilians no matter what the situation.
Do you wanna know what you can do if you are unhappy with any political event here or abroad... and it is legal? The only way to be successful politically is not through suicide attacks, violence or murder but:
- To be active in politics and to lobby your MPs.
- To use your vote in local and general elections.
- To take part in TV and radio debates on issues which bother you.
- To take part in peaceful demonstrations and marches.
- To monitor media bias and write/call in to editors if you notice bias against Islam or your cause.
This way you are doing something positive. You are making a difference. You are raising your voice against injustice. And it's all legal and Halal. After that you leave it to Allah (swt). Power is not in the bomb but in the pen, the tongue, the intellect and the ballot box.