An Islamic View of Suicide Bombing
June 25, 2007 § 7 Comments
Recently, I read an article on Harry’s Place where Dr. Yunis Al-Astal of Hamas in Palestine discusses suicide bombings. His interview leads off with a surprisingly stunted understanding – or at least poor conveyance – of Islamic knowledge where he says,
“The most exalted form of Jihad is fighting for the sake of Allah, which means sacrificing one’s soul by fighting the enemies head-on, even if it leads to martyrdom. Martyrdom means life next to Allah.” (Y. Al-Astal, Hamas)
It is my opinion that Muslims in general and Western Muslims in particular, as most attacks on Islam come from the West, must make an effort to expel erroneous claims by the misguided or clarify misunderstood positions of otherwise well intended Muslims. Efforts like that of Condemnations of Suicide Bombings by Muslims by Ihsanic Intelligence are examples of this. We need efforts such as that of Ihsanic Intelligence because at this point dumbed-down explanations of our religion to the general public are just not helpful. Instead, the general public, including the media must be educated or reeducated on the truth about Muslims in general and Islam in particular.
For example, Abdal-Hakim Murad an Islamic scholar and lecturer at Cambridge University, speaks on the origins of suicide bombing saying,
“The genealogy of suicide bombing clearly stretches back from Palestine, through Shi’a guerillas in southern Lebanon, to the Hindu-nativist zealots of the Tamil Tigers, and to the holy warriors of Shinto Japan, who initiated the tradition of donning a bandanna and making a final testament on camera before climbing into the instrument of destruction.” (A.H. Murad, Cambridge University)
Therefore, despite an opinion that exists in the West, it is true that Islam like other religions, does not accept suicide as martyrdom and it is indeed an aberration. And though it is believed, by those in error, that Islam encourages violence, one should also be aware of the classic and modern Islamic views of suicide in general and suicide bombings in particular, some of which have been provided in the audio segment of this article. There are three points that I would like to address, these three are taken from a lecture on the Islamic view of suicide bombings by lettered scholar Zaid Shakir of Zaytuna Institute (USA):
- Introduction: why American/Western Muslims must discuss the issue of suicide bombing (10:16)
- The Islamic View: an argument against suicide bombings. (9:37)
- The Scholars: The classic and modern scholars’ views on suicide and its implications. (10:03)
It is my intention that these three segments of Imam Zaid’s lectures will provide a foundation for understanding and a platform for well-intended discussion of this important element of today’s global public sphere. If you would like to hear the entire lecture you may purchase it at Zaytuna Institute, I highly recommend it.
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