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The Truth behind Taliban's Fatwa Justifying Killings of Innocent Civilians Part-6


Islam rejects the modern day policy of Scorched Earth

By Sohail Arshad, New Age Islam

December 25, 2012

In the third part of his article Yousuf Al Abeeri makes another un-Islamic point:

“When it is permissible to avenge a Muslim in retribution, what will be the  punishment of  a combatant infidel who has committed excesses.

The statement has been made to give the impression that the Muslims have a right to transgress in giving punishment to a combatant infidel whereas the Quran says:

“If you want to take revenge, then punish the opponent in equal measure.” (Al Nahl: 126)

The verses do not specify Muslims or non-Muslims. Any Muslim cannot transgress in punishment only because he is a Muslim. In Quran’s words:

“Fight those who fight you in the name of God but do not transgress” ( Al Baqara: 190)

Islam does not distinguish Muslims from non-Muslim in masala or qisas. Hadhrat Ali has said:

“If a Muslim kills a Christian, he will be killed in qisas (retribution)”. (Ash-Shaybani: Al Hujjah: 4: 349)

Imam Abu Hanifa (R.A) says:

“The blood money for a Christian, a Jew or Zorostrian is the same as that of a Muslim.”

Therefore, it is clear that there is not discrimination against non-Muslims in Sharia in terms of revenge and qisas.

The article has repeatedly tried to stress on that avenging on non-Muslims is permissible for their excesses or crimes. The Quran and hadiths have explicitly permitted those (Muslims and non-Muslims alike) who been wronged to take revenge in equal measure. But Mullah Al Abeeri gets to his point in the following lines:

“Fuq’ha (jurists) have justified the cutting off of the trees and burning of the crops of the enemy territory if they do the same to us. On the same issue, the holy companions have declared it permissible to cut off the date trees of the Jews with a purpose of belittling them.”

Mullah Al Abeeri does not name the fuqha or the religious scholars or exegetes who have declared it lawful to cut off the date trees of the Jews nor does he mention or quote the verses of the Quran in which, in his words, Allah has permitted it. On the contrary, the truth is that the first rightly guided caliph Hadhrat Abu Bakr had forbidden Muslims from doing that. The practice of Hadhrat Abu Bakr is reported thus:

“Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique prohibited the cutting off of trees and demolishing buildings (during war0 and the Muslims strictly obeyed his order.” (Sunan)

Ibn Abi Shaybah quotes a hadiths from Mujahid:

“Young children, women, weak and old men should not be killed in a war. Food grains and date trees should not be burnt, buildings should not be demolished and fruit bearing trees should not be cut off.”(Al Musannaf: 6: 483)

This policy of Islam is a refutation of the modern day war policy of Scorched Earth. A retreating army burns crops, trees and buildings and destroy civilians in falling in their way in order to make things difficult for the opponents. This causes grave ecological losses and economic losses and sufferings to the civilians. During the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban cut off trees in the Shumali (northern region, destroyed houses and buildings and canals there and forced civilian population to leave the area. This fatwa is an attempt by Mullah Al Abeeri to justify these un-Islamic practices of the Taliban even as the Islamic shariah disapproves of the Scorched Earth Policy.

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah , witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” (Al Maidah:8)

In short Islam’s message does not allow Muslims to deviate from justice due to the hatred of a particular community either in times of war or peace. It rejects the modern day war practice of Scorched Earth policy which causes unaccountable losses and sufferings to the common people.

Sohail Arshad is a regular columnist for New

URL of Part 1:–-part-1/d/9696

URL of Part 2:–-part-2/d/9711

URL of Part 3:

URL of Part 4:–-part-4/d/9768

URL of Part 5: