The confusion about the concept of shahadah is just one of many that have left non-Muslims as well as Muslims with different views of Islam, Muslims and the holy book of Quran and Hadith compilations.
But how this came about is not hard to understand.
The problem is, the militants’ message finds resonance among angry and frustrated Muslims who do not find the same solace in scholarly wisdom. For instance, jihadist militants say, for example, that they become martyrs (Shuhada), if they commit suicide when carrying out violence. And they expect Allah to welcome them into heaven.
A few fringes of clerics have agreed with them, but progressive Islamic schoalrs like Prof. Ebrahim Moosa, strongly disagree.
“The whole idea of a martyr or shahid is that you fight until death and you give your life for God and community. But you don’t go into battle saying `I will die,'” he said. As proof, he recounts one of Prophet Muhammad’s sayings about a martyr, who is rejected by God when he arrives in heaven. God tells him: “You gave your life so people could remember you as a cause. You didn’t do it to satisfy me,” Prof. Moosa said.
As Prof. Moosa and others point out, Islam condones a “just” war and sets down rules on when and how to fight one.
The Politics of Religion and the Changing Concept of
Shuhuda over the Years