New Age Islam
Mon Jul 22 2024, 05:12 PM

Muslims and Islamophobia ( 17 Jun 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Refuting Islamophobic Claims That Jihadists Represent Traditional and Mainstream Interpretations of Islam: Part 6 On Targeting Civilians in Revenge

Targeting Civilians in Revenge or Otherwise Is Forbidden in Islam

Main Points

·         Targeting civilians as a legitimate response to attacks against Muslim civilians is only a part of the Wahabi-Jihadist narrative

·         Texts of the Jihadists and the classical scholars about Targeting Civilians

·         Impermissibility of Targeting Civilians in the Classical Islamic Literature

·         The Hadith clearly implies that the common civilians cannot be targeted for the oppressive acts of coreligionist oppressors

·         Jihadists have opposed and violated the Quran and Sunnah by justifying the killing of civilians in retaliation

·         Therefore, Islamophobic claim that the Jihadist narrative is based on classical interpretation of Islam is completely at the wrong

……………..

By New Age Islam Special Correspondent

17 Jun 2021

The Jihadists have presented a version of Jihad that violates classical interpretation of Islamic humanitarian concerns and justifies indiscriminate targeting of civilians. The Jihadist process as such has greatly benefitted the Islamophobic propaganda worldwide to argue that the process is inspired by the classical interpretation of Islam; this argument is completely baseless and merely serves as an Islamophobic narrative but needs to be refuted for the good cause of humanity.

The idea that targeting civilians is a legitimate response to attacks against Muslim civilians is only a part of the Jihadist narrative which, the Jihadists falsely argue, is permissible given the Quranic verse:

“So when anyone aggresses against you, aggress against him in the same way as he did against you.” (2:194)

Right after we present below some Jihadist quotations to refute them more comprehensively, we will discuss the classical and traditional interpretation of this verse (2:194) as compared to what is wrongly meant by the Jihadists.

Justification of Targeting Civilians in the Jihadist Literature

Regarding killing non-combatant civilians as equal retaliation, several contemporary Wahhabi Jihadists have given justification under certain circumstances.

Yusuf Al-‘Uyayri writes:

لقد سقنا أدلة حرمة قتل النساء والصبيان والشيوخ ومن في حكمهم من غير المقاتلة من الكفار، إلا أن هؤلاء المعصومين من الكفار ليست عصمتهم مطلقة، بل إن هناك حالات يجوز فيها قتلهم سواء قصدا أو تبعا. ومن الحالات التي يجوز فيها قتل أولئك المعصومين قصدا أن يعاقب المسلمون الكفار بنفس ما عوقبوا به فإذا كان الكفار يستهدفون النساء والأطفال والشيوخ من المسلمين بالقتل، فإنه يجوز في هذه الحالة أن يفعل معهم الشيء نفسه لقول الله تعالى (فمن اعتدى عليكم فاعتدوا عليه بمثل ما اعتدى عليكم)  (حقيقة الحرب الصليبية الجديدة للشيخ يوسف العييري، ص 24)

Translation: “Undoubtedly we have seen the clear proofs which forbid killing women, children, the elderly and those like them have the same ruling; however, the protection (‘Ismah) provided to these disbelievers is not unrestricted. Rather, there are situations in which it is lawful to kill them, whether intentionally or unintentionally. So from amongst the situations in which it is lawful to kill those protected disbelievers (kuffar) is when the Muslims punish the kuffar with the likeness of which they (i.e. the Muslims) were punished. So if the kuffar target the women, children, and the elderly of the Muslims, then indeed it is lawful in this situation to do the same thing to the kuffar, as Allah has said, “So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you.” (2:194) (Yusuf Al-‘Uyayri, Haqiqat al-Harb al-Saleebiyyah al-Jadidah, p.24)

In his fatwa regarding the Blessed Raids, entitled, “The Clarification of what Occurred in America”, a Saudi-born influential Wahhabi cleric, Hamud Ibn ‘Uqla’ Ash-Shu’aybi (who died in late 2001) justifies targeting civilians in equivalence if it is done while taking revenge. His fatwa quotes Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Hazm and Ibn Al-Qayyim to argue that targeting civilians in equivalence for taking revenge is permissible. To express this point he says:

“It is permitted to do to the Kuffar what they do to us”. (Hamud Ibn ‘Uqla’ Ash-Shu’aybi, cited in At-Tibyan Fi Istihdaf An-Nisa’I Was-Sibyan, At-Tibyan Publications, p.69)

Ibn Salih Al-Uthaymin, one of the leading clerics of Wahhabi Salafism, said in a tape recording regarding targeting civilians:

 “And the second matter is the forbiddance of killing women and children in times of war. But if it is said: “If they (the Kuffar) do this to us- meaning that they kill our children and women- then do we then kill them?”. The apparent [Zahir) is that it is permissible for us to kill their women and children”. (Ibn Salih Al-Uthaymin, cited in At-Tibyan Fi Istihdaf An-Nisa’I Was-Sibyan, At-Tibyan Publications, p.72)

Saudi Salafist Jihadist cleric Nasir Ibn Hamad Al-Fahd said while discussing the permissibility of using weapons of mass destruction:

“So if a nuclear bomb was dropped upon the Americans, killing 10 million civilians, and destroying their lands to the extent that they have destroyed our lands – this would be permissible without any need to even mention any other evidence. More evidence would only be required if wanted to kill more than this number!!” (Nasir bin Hamad Al-Fahd, “Hukm istikhdam aslihat al-damar al-shamil didd al-kuffar”, cited in At-Tibyan Fi Istihdaf An-Nisa’I Was-Sibyan, At-Tibyan Publications, p.75)

Saudi Jihadist cleric Faris Ahmed Jamaan al-Showeel al-Zahrani argues:

“So it is permissible for the Muslims to treat enemies with the likeness of everything, they perpetrate against the Muslims. If they target our women and children- then it is the right of the Muslims to equally retaliate by targeting their women and children- and this is because of the generality of the Verses” (Al-Zahrani, cited in al-tibyan fi istihdaf al-nisa’ wa’l-sibyan (The clarification regarding intentionally targeting women and children), (At-Tibyan Publications, 2004), p.83.)

Among its eight reasons for engaging in Jihad, Lashkar-e-Taiba says, is “to avenge the blood of Muslims killed by unbelievers”. (Hum Jihad kyon kar rahe hain? (Why are we waging Jihad?)

……………

Impermissibility of Targeting Civilians in the Classical Islamic Literature

Having seen the Wahhabi Jihadist literature which justifies targeting civilians in revenge, we must now observe the Quran, Sunnah and the traditional Islamic literature. According to the Quran and Sunnah, every person is responsible for his or her actions. Only the person who commits an act of injustice is liable to punishment, and no one else can be held responsible for that. According to this rule, if a non-Muslim kills or targets the Muslim civilians, only he will be liable to punishment and no other non-Muslim can be held responsible for that. The punishment for his crime cannot be awarded to his family, tribe, friends or co-citizens. Allah Almighty clearly says in the Quran:

“And whatever [sin] every soul earns [its evil outcome] falls back upon it. And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.” (6:164)

This verse makes it clear that if any oppressor kills or targets Muslim civilians, only he will be responsible for that and the common civilians cannot be punished for the oppressive acts of coreligionist oppressors. The system of Islamic law is based on justice and it does not allow anyone to target civilians in return for the crimes of oppressors.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“No person amongst them [the peaceful non-Muslim civilians] shall be punished as a penalty for the injustice of a coreligionist” (Cited in Imam Abu Yusuf’s Kitab al-Kharaj, p.78, and al-Baladhuri in Futuh al-Buldan, p.90)

All of this substantiates that those who seek to take revenge by targeting and killing civilians from other nations violate the clear injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah.

Classical Interpretation of verse 2:194 misused by the Jihadists

We have seen above that the Jihadists have used the Quranic verse 2:194 to develop their narrative of targeting civilians. The full verse is as follows:

“The holy month for the holy month, and the sanctities are subject to retribution. So when anyone aggresses against you, aggress against him in the same way as he did against you. And fear Allah and be sure that Allah is with the God-fearing” (2:194)

In the verse, ‘aggress against him in the same way as he did against you’ aggression renders I’tada, a word that can also mean “transgression”. Which type of ‘transgression’ or ‘aggression’ is it that was made permissible? The traditional commentators interpret that before Islam, fighting in the four sacred months; Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab was considered unlawful and the disbelievers of Makkah too used to observe their sanctity. Even in the early days of Islam, this ruling was in force which is why the noble Companions were perplexed. Later when the companions were in confusion concerning whether or not to fight in defence during these four sacred months, this verse was revealed to allow them to fight in defence in these months. It can be said that to initiate fighting in these sacred months was an act of transgression but when the enemies initiated fighting in these months, this transgression or ‘aggression in the same way’ was permissible for the sake of defence.    

This verse 2:194 has been interpreted in Tafsir-e-Qurtubi in details but nowhere has it justified targeting civilians in return for the oppressive act of oppressors. The part of the verse “So when anyone aggresses against you, aggress against him in the same way as he did against you” is traditionally interpreted to suggest that this verse is the basis for parity in retaliation but not to exceed the limits by targeting those who have not committed crimes. This, in the words of Tafsir-e-Qurtubi, implies that:

 “If someone kills someone, he is killed by the same method he used when he killed, and that is the position of the majority, as long as the victim was not killed by an iniquitous act such as sodomy or drinking wine. In that case, the killer is killed with the sword.” (Tafsir-e-Qurtubi, verse 2:194)

Ibn al-Majishun said:

 “If someone kills by fire or poison, he is not killed by the same method because the Prophet said, “Only Allah punishes with fire”. Poison is an internal fire. As for retaliation with a staff, Imam Malik said in one transmission that killing with staff is prolonged and amounts to torture and so he should be killed by the sword.” (ibid, verse 2:194) 

Ibn al-‘Arabi said:

“The sound view of our scholars is that the similarity in retaliation is mandatory unless that falls under the definition of torture. Then it is abandoned in favour of the sword”. (ibid, verse 2:194

One group of traditional scholars take a different view and say:

 “Retaliation is only taken by the sword. This is the school of Imam Abu Hanifa, Ash-Sh’abi and An-Nakha’i. Their proof for that is what is related from the Prophet (peace be upon him): “There is no retaliation except with iron (i.e. a blade),” There is also the prohibition against mutilation and fire as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Only the Lord of the Fire punishes with fire”. (ibid, verse 2:194)    

The readers can understand from its upshot mentioned in the book Tafsir-e-Qurtubi as follows:

“If anyone wrongs you, you may take your right according to the way you were wronged, and if someone insults you, you may respond with what he said but may not go beyond what he said. So if someone insults you, you may insult him, but not insult his parents, son or relatives. You are not permitted to lie about him even if he lies about you. Disobedience may not be countered by disobedience. For instance, if someone says to you, “You unbeliever!” you are permitted to say, ‘you are the unbeliever’. But if he says, ‘Adulterer!’ then your retaliation is to say, ‘you liar, bearer of the false witness!’ If you were to say, ‘Adulterer!’ then you would be a liar and sin in the lie.” (ibid, verse 2:194)

It is clear that the ayat “So when anyone aggresses against you, aggress against him in the same way as he did against you” implies that if someone kills someone, he will be punished by the same method he used when he killed, and that is the position of the majority of the traditional scholars. No classical or traditional scholars or clerics have ever justified targeting or killing Muslim or non-Muslim civilians in retaliation even if the killer has killed a large number of Muslims, as this would amount to injustice which is disliked by Allah Almighty.   

Let us again read what Allah and His beloved Prophet have said. Allah Almighty says:

 “And whatever [sin] every soul earns [its evil outcome] falls back upon it. And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.” (6:164)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“No person amongst them [the peaceful non-Muslim civilians] shall be punished as a penalty for the injustice of a coreligionist” (Cited in Imam Abu Yusuf’s Kitab al-Kharaj, p.78, and al-Baladhuri in Futuh al-Buldan, p.90)

One must also take into consideration the Quranic verse 2:190 which reads:

“And fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Truly God does not love transgressors”.

This verse 2:190 is among the most direct in describing the limits of warfare. Muslims are commanded to fight those who fight them first, to expel those who first expel them, but in doing so they are subject to limits. The classical and traditional scholars use this verse to discuss the usual rules of war, such as the prohibition against killing women, children, monks, hermits, the chronically ill, old men and peasants. (See Tafsir-e-Qurtubi)

For example, Hazrat Ibn Abbas said:

 “Do not kill women, children, old men, or those who offer peace and restrain their hand. If you do that, you will have transgressed against them”. (Tafsir-e-Tabari, 2:190)

Having observed the afore-mentioned comparison between the Jihadists and the classical scholars about the interpretation of the Quranic verse 2:194, it becomes clear that the Jihadists have opposed and violated the Quran and Sunnah by justifying the killing of civilians in retaliation. So the Islamophobic claim that the Jihadist narrative is based on classical interpretation of Islam is completely wrong and a depressed and failed effort to defame Islam around the world.

Finally, this should also be known to the readers that what has been proved in this article is only related to the war-related situation and not applicable to the era of peace under the just law and order of the Constitution.

URL: https://www.newageislam.com/muslims-islamophobia/refuting-islamophobic-claims-jihadists-part-6/d/124983


New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism


Loading..

Loading..