Islam Says 'NO' To Terrorism

By Sajid Iqbal

After the terrible terrorist attacks in London, everyone is pointing the finger at Islam and Muslims. So does Islam promote violence? Does Islam support terrorism? Is Islam a religion of extremists and fanatics?

The following traditions of Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, will clarify that Islam is a faith that promotes peace and harmony and one that is against violence:

‘A perfect Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands mankind is safe.’

‘It is unworthy of a Muslim to injure people’s reputations: and it is unworthy to curse any one: and it is unworthy to abuse any one: and it is unworthy of a Muslim to talk arrogantly.’

‘Faith is a restraint against all violence, let no Muslim commit violence.‘

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was asked; ‘what actions are most excellent in Islam?’ He replied:

"To gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the wrongs of the injured."

Some people asked Allah’s messenger: ‘who is a good Muslim?’ He replied:

‘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 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)

Hey, I don’t know about you but you get the feeling that Islam is a peaceful religion. Its basic teaching is the promotion of peace between individuals and the implementation of peace within society. Islamicteaching is totally against violence, terror and chaos.


So, the 60 million dollar question is that if Islam teaches peace and is absolutely against violence and terrorism then why the heck do these individuals and organisations carry out these violent acts in the name of Islam? Is it in the name of JIHAD?

You’re probably thinking isn’t fighting, violence and killing people all part of jihad? Well, that’s the trap that must people fall into. You see the word “Jihad” means struggle, or to be specific, striving in the cause of God. Any struggle done in day-to-day life to please God can be considered Jihad.

One of the highest levels of Jihad is to stand up to a tyrant and speak a word of truth. Control of the self from wrong doings is also a great Jihad. One of the forms of Jihad is to take up arms in defence of Islam or a Muslim country when Islam is attacked.

This kind of Jihad has to be declared by the religious leadership or by a Muslim head of state that is following the Quran and Sunnah. Karen Armstrong explains it further by stating:

‘In the Koran, therefore, the only permissible war is one of self- defence. Muslims may not begin hostilities (Quran, 2:190). Warfare is always evil. but sometimes you have to fight in order to avoid this kind of persecution that Mecca inflicted on the Muslims at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (Quran 2:191; 2:217) or to preserve decent values (Quran 4:75; 22:40).

The Koran quotes the Torah, the Jewish scriptures, which permits people to retaliate eye for eye, tooth for tooth, but like the Gospels, the Koran suggests that it is meritorious to forgo revenge in a spirit of charity (Quran 5:45).

Hostilities must be brought to an end as quickly as possible and must cease the minute the enemy calls for peace (Quran 2:192-3).’ (The True, Peaceful face of Islam)

So there you have it. Jihad, has got nothing to do with violence and killing people willy nilly. You see even in war, according to Islam a Muslim is still not allowed to harm or kill traders, merchants and contractors if they do not take part in actual fighting.

It is totally against Islam for a Muslim to kill non- combatants, women, minors, servants, the blind, monks, the very old, those physically incapable of fighting and the insane and delirious.Come on now, be real- if Islam is going out of its way to protect the rights of everyone even in war then how can it possibly be in favour of violence and terrorism?

Suicide Bombings

Now that brings me on to the issue of suicide bombing. As soon as it is mentioned it’s always Muslims and Islam who are the guilty ones. So just in case you’re still a bit unsure, let’s see what Islam says about suicide.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

‘He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the hellfire and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the hellfire.’ (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)

Hamza Yusuf Hanson, an American Muslim scholar states: ‘Suicide is haram (forbidden) in Islam. It’s prohibited, like a mortal sin. And murder is haram. And to kill civilians is murder.’

Regarding Muslims who carry out suicide attacks he quoted the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, who said; ‘there are people who kill in the name of Islam and go to hell.’ When he was asked why, he said: ‘..Because they weren’t fighting for the sake of God.’So its clear as daylight that suicide is totally forbidden in Islam.

What Do The Scholars Say?

To sum up, let’s see what the Muslim scholars have to say about the reasons for EXTREMISM in the world.

T J Winters, a English convert to Islam who is lecturer of Islamic Studies at Cambridge University states: ‘Certainly, neither Bin Ladin nor his principal associate, Ayman-al-Zawahiri, are graduates of Islamic universities or seminaries.

And so their proclamations ignore 14 centuries of Muslim scholarship, and instead take the form of lists of anti-American grievances and of Koranic quotations referring to early Muslim wars against Arab idolaters.

These are followed by the conclusions that all Americans, civilians and military, are to be w iped off the face of the Earth.’

Yusuf Islam, formerly known as the pop star Cat Stevens states: ‘..Some extremists take elements of the sacred scriptures out of context. They act as individuals, and when they can’t come together as part of a political structure or consultative process, you find these dissident factions creating their own rules, contrary to the spirit of the Koran- which demands that those recognised as being in charge of Muslims must consult together regarding society’s affairs.’

Yusuf Al Qaradawi, the well-known Egyptian scholar, said ‘..the world must make a distinction between what Islam says and what some misguided individuals do in its name.”

Qaradawi recognised though that there was no easy remedy for the problem of terrorism. “Terrorism thrives on oppression and injustice, you can’t uproot terrorism if you don’t uproot oppression.”

Finally Hamza Yusuf sums it up by saying: ‘The Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) over fourteen hundred years ago said “beware of extremism, for it is that which destroyed the peoples before you.” In the light of the present situation it is indeed wise advice. He also said. “My way is the middle way.” Moderation is in fact the way of thinking people everywhere.

The vast majority of humanity is not extremist but in key times can easily be driven so.’Now we should all be crystal clear that Islam is totally against violence, terrorism, suicide attacks and extremism.

Islam is a beautiful faith that teaches peace and tolerance.