By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
26 Feb 2015
Suicide terrorism has acquired great popularity in Islamist terrorist circles during the last quarter century. Islam never justified suicide for any reason. However, several contemporary Islamist terror outfits are practicing it indiscriminately. Though they justify it under some pretext, it is a tool for an odious form of defamation of Islam. This act is strictly and repeatedly forbidden in Islam. Its perpetrators are the openly disobedient of Allah Almighty. According to numerous hadith, they will remain in the Hell forever.
Forbiddance of Suicide Attacks in the Qur’an
Suicidal attack for killing others or for any reason is one of the most forbidden acts in the holy Qur’an.
Allah Almighty said,
“Do not kill yourself” (4:29).
This command of Allah Almighty is for the believers. The point that the obedient believers will consider it important is very clear. Only the disobedient will kill themselves. Forbiddance of suicide attacks in this verse has general application. Without any specific reason, suicide attack is neither allowed in person nor in public.
Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi interpreted this verse (4:29) and wrote:
“This verse, “And do not kill yourselves”, prove that it is unlawful for one to kill someone else or oneself unjustly” (Al-Tafsir al-Kabir of Imam al-Razi, 57:10)
Suicide attack is forbidden in the verse 4:29. In just the next verse (4:30), Allah Almighty legislates the law of punishment for the suicide attackers.
Allah Almighty says:
“But whoever will do that through transgression and injustice, We shall soon throw him into the Fire (of Hell) and that is very easy for Allah” (4:30).
There is a general agreement among Islamic jurists and scholars that If Allah Almighty legislates something in a general application, the restriction is not valid in any way without the existence of evidence. Therefore, it is unlawful for the terror outfits to justify suicide attacks for the so-called ‘Jihad’.
It must be noticed that the so-called ‘Jihad’ of terror outfits is to kill innocent civilians including Muslims and non-Muslims. The terror outfits should believe that Islamic Jihad in the sense of fighting was only for the defence. This is universal only for the defence and only on the state level. Therefore, the terror outfits ought to correct themselves with the faith that suicide attacks can never be justified for the offensive onslaught. Other point is that Allah Almighty has prohibited suicide attacks in a general application. The punishment of suicide attackers is of hell-fire. Hence, the terror outfits and the brainwashed youth must never restrict it for any specific reason.
In other verse, Allah Almighty also says:
“And do not cast yourselves into destruction with your own hands; and adopt righteousness. Verily, Allah loves the righteous” (2:195)
Islamic jurists (Fuqaha) and exegetes (Mufassirin) unanimously agree that this verse (2:195) was revealed in the context of spending in the cause of Allah Almighty. However, they have also quoted this verse as evidence to prove that it is forbidden to kill oneself or perpetrate suicide attacks by any means. They based their assertions on the general meaning of the word (Tahluka, تهلكة) mentioned in this verse, in addition to quoting other verses like 4:29 and 4:30 and numerous Hadith of the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him for the forbiddance of suicide attacks.
Imam al-Baghawi quoted the verse 2:195 while interpreting the verse 4:30 and said, “It is said that He mentioned the Muslim who kills himself”. (Tafsir al-Baghawi also known as Ma'alim at-Tanzeel: 1:418)
Hafiz ibn Hajar Asqalani R.A said:
“As for restricting it (the verse 2:195) to the context of not spending in the cause of Allah, it needs further discussion because the ruling is based on the general meaning” (Fath al-Baari: 8/115)
Imam Al-Shawkaani R.A. said:
“The earlier scholars had a number of opinions about the meaning of the verse (2:195). The truth is that what matters is the general meaning of the word and not the specific reason. Everything that may be called (تهلكة Tahluka) destruction in religious and worldly terms is included in this word (i.e. the word تهلكة Tahluka mentioned in the verse 2:195). Ibn Jareer al-Tabari has this view.” (Fath al-Qadeer: 1/193)
Based on the famous principle of Islamic jurisprudence “the ruling is based on the general meaning and not on the specific reason”, I would follow here in the footsteps of Islamic jurists and scholars to say that the verse 2:195 prohibits all kinds of destruction including suicide attacks in person or in public.
Since the best way of understanding and explaining the Quranic verses is “Tafseer al-Quran bil Quran” (explaining the Quran by the Quran), I would also say that the verse 2:195 with its general meaning of the word Tahluka (تهلكة) can be better interpreted by the verse 4:29 which proves that suicide attack is forbidden and Allah Almighty has decreed a permanent torment for the suicide attackers in the Hell.
Having understood the general meaning of the word “Tahluka (تهلكة)” and interpreted the verse 2:195 by the verse 4:29, it is as clear as crystal for the believers that suicide attack is the much forbidden act. After all, if some being so rigidly brainwashed by the radical ideologies fail to reach out to the true interpretation of both the Qur’anic verses, or fall prey here to any doubt or confusion, I would like them to cleanse their minds also with the numerous beautiful Hadith of the prophet peace be upon him, which strongly forbid the suicide attacks, whether in person or in public.
Forbiddance of Suicide Attacks in Numerous Hadith
The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said,
“The one who commits suicide will go to Hell, and will keep falling into it and will abide there forever” (Sahih Bukhari, The book of Medicine, Chapter: Taking poison and using it for medical treatment or using what may be dangerous or Impure)
Narrated Hadhrat Abu Hurairah R.A that the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said,
‘Whoever stabs himself to death will continue to stab himself in Hell. And whoever throws himself off a cliff will continue to throw himself off a cliff in Hell. And whoever hangs himself will continue to hang himself in Hell’. (Sahih Bukhari, The book of Funeral Rites, Chapter: What has come to us about someone who kills himself’?)
The Prophet peace be upon him said,
"Whoever swears by a religion other than Islam (i.e. if he swears by saying that he is a non-Muslim in case he is telling a lie), then he is as he says if his oath is false and whoever commits suicide with something, will be punished with the same thing in the (Hell) fire, and cursing a believer is like murdering him, and whoever accuses a believer of disbelief, then it is as if he had killed him." (Sahih Bukhari, The Book of Good Manners, Chapter: If Someone calls his brother a disbeliever without any interpretable grounds, then he himself is what he said’, Sahih Muslim)
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah Almighty said:
"Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever. And whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon (stabbing himself), will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever." (Sahih Bukhari, The book of Medicine, Chapter: Taking poison and using it for medical treatment or using what may be dangerous or Impure)
Forbiddance of Obedience to Leaders Calling For Suicide Attacks
Hadhrat Ali R.A narrated:
“The Prophet peace be upon him, dispatched an army and appointed a man their commander. Then the man made fire and said (to the soldiers), "Enter it." Some of them intended to enter it while some others said, 'We have run away from it (i.e., we have embraced Islam to save ourselves from the 'fire')." They mentioned that to the Prophet, and he said about people who had intended to enter the fire. ''If they had entered it, they would have remained in it till the Day of Resurrection.'' Then he said to others, "No obedience for evil deeds, obedience is required only in what is good." (Sahih Bukhari, [The Book of Accepting Information Given by a Truthful Person, Chapter, Acceptance of the information given by one truthful person in about all matters, and Sahih Muslim, [The book of leadership]
The similar Hadith has also been recorded in various books of Hadith with a slight change of wording; Sahih Muslim [The book of Leadership, Chapter: The obligation of obeying leaders in matters that do not involve sin, but it is forbidden to obey them in sinful matters], Sunan an-Nasa'i [The Book of al-Bay'ah, Chapter: The Punishment Of One Who Is Commanded To Commit Sin And Obeys The Command] and Sunan Abi Dawud [Book of Jihad (Kitab Al-Jihad) Chapter: Regarding Obedience].
According to this Hadith, obedience to the leaders is only in what is good and not in what is evil like suicide attacks in personal or in public.
Forbiddance Of Paradise for the Suicide Attackers
On the authority of Jundub ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said:
“There was amongst those before you a man who had a wound. He was in [such] anguish that he took a knife and made with it a cut in his hand, and the blood did not cease to flow till he died. Allah the Almighty said: My servant has himself forestalled Me; I have forbidden him Paradise”. This Hadith has been narrated in Sahih Bukhari [The book of the prophets, chapter: What has been mentioned about the children of Israel], Sahih Muslim [the book of faith, chapter ‘the severe prohibition of killing oneself and if someone commits suicide with something, he will be tormented with the same in the Hellfire] and Ibn hibban in al-Sahih)
Forbiddance of Paradise for the Suicide Attackers Even During Jihad
In accordance with the Qur’an and Hadith, Suicide attack is forbidden in a general application. However, the terror outfits brainwash the young people by justifying it somehow on the basis of the so-called ‘Jihad’ and ‘martyrdom’. By Allah Almighty, they are distorting and ignoring the following Hadith which has exclusively forbidden suicide even during the real Jihad (i.e. Jihad for defence), let alone the so-called ‘Jihad’.
During one of his Ghazawat, the Prophet peace be upon him encountered the pagans, and the two armies fought, and then each of them returned to their army camps. Amongst the (army of the) Muslims there was a man who would follow every pagan separating from the army and strike him with his sword. It was said, "O Allah's Messenger peace be upon him! None has fought so satisfactorily as so-and-so (namely, that brave Muslim). "The Prophet said, "He is from the dwellers of the Hell-Fire." The people said, "Who amongst us will be of the dwellers of Paradise if this (man) is from the dwellers of the Hell-Fire?" Then a man from amongst the people said, "I will follow him and accompany him in his fast and slow movements." The (brave) man got wounded, and wanting to die at once, he put the handle of his sword on the ground and its tip in between his breasts, and then threw himself over it, committing suicide. Then the man (who had watched the deceased) returned to the Prophet peace be upon him and said, "I testify that you are Apostle of Allah". The Prophet peace be upon him said, "What is this?" The man told him the whole story. The Prophet peace be upon him said, "A man may do what may seem to the people as the deeds of the dwellers of Paradise, but he is of the dwellers of the Hell-Fire and a man may do what may seem to the people as the deeds of the dwellers of the Hell-Fire, but he is from the dwellers of Paradise." (Sahih al-Bukhari [The Book of Military Expeditions led by the Prophet (pbuh) (Al-Maghaazi) Chapter: Ghazwa of Khaibar], Sahih Muslim [The Book of Faith » Chapter: Clarifying the emphatic prohibition against killing oneself; The one who kills himself with something will be punished with it in the fire]
Leaving Funeral Prayers for the Suicide Attackers
According to a narration, the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him did not offer prayers for the person who committed suicide.
Jabir bing Samura reported:
“(The dead body) of a person who had killed himself with a broad-headed arrow was brought before the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him, but he did not offer prayers for him” (Sahih Muslim [The Book of Prayer – Funerals, Chapter: Leaving the funeral prayer for one who committed suicide]
Having analyzed the afore-mentioned Qur’anic verses and numerous Ahadith, a true Muslim who has no doubt in the divine book of Allah and believes in authoritativeness of Hadith can never justify suicide attacks. A Muslim having the taste of true love for Allah Almighty and his beloved prophet peace be upon him will always regard suicide attack as a forbidden act. A true Muslim who should always thank Allah Almighty for the reward of life cannot destruct his life by blowing up himself. He can never brainwash any other Muslim for Suicide attacks. If he or she does this forbidden act, he or she will deserve punishment in the hell and loss every way leading to closeness of Allah Almighty and his beloved prophet peace be upon him in the hereafter. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters in reciting Kalima, please do not get brainwashed by the terror ideologues calling for suicide attacks for any reason. Suicide attacks are forbidden even during the true Jihad, let alone the so-called ‘Jihad’ hitting Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, Libya and so on. Allah Almighty has created you all mankind for worshipping Him alone. He says “I created not the Jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me” (51:56). Nowhere it is mentioned in the Quran or Hadith that he has created you all for committing suicide attacks. He wants you all to save yourselves from the forbidden acts including suicide attacks and kindle your hearts with the flame of love for him and his beloved prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
May Allah Almighty save Muslim brothers from terror ideologues!
A regular columnist and English-Arabic translator for New Age Islam, Ghulam Ghaus is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar) with a Sufi background. He has completed the classical Islamic sciences from a Delhi-based Sufi Islamic seminary Jamia Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Zakir Nagar, New Delhi with specialization in Tafseer, Hadith and Arabic. He completed his Alimiat and Fazilat respectively from Jamia Warsia Arabic College, Lucknow and Jamia Manzar-e-Islam, Bareilly, U.P. He has graduated in Arabic (Hons) and is pursuing his M.A in Arabic from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.