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The Truth behind Taliban's Fatwa Justifying Killings of Innocent Civilians – Part 4


Al Abeeri fails to substantiate his fatwa with the Quran, hadith and fiq’h

By Sohail Arshad, New Age Islam

21 December, 2012

In the opening part of Sheikh Yousuf Al Abeeri’s article titled ‘Circumstances in which the killing of innocent people among the non-Muslims is justified’, the editor has written a note that reads thus:

“Sheikh Yousuf Al Abeeri (R.A.) was a noted religious scholar of the Arabian peninsula. He was close to and had an emotional bonding with Sheikh Osama (R.A.). After the ‘battle of 11 September’, he fearlessly supported the great actions of the ‘mujahideen’ and declared them appropriate in the light of the Islamic Sharia. The Saudi tawagheet (tyrants and satans) arrested him for this crime of upholding the truth. He was severely tortured and rendered a martyr during his incarceration.”

The note quoted above admits that the September 11 attacks were the ‘great actions of the mujahideen’ which was supported by the scholar close to Osama bin Laden.Secondly, in the Taliban’s view, the Saudi officers and police were ‘tawagheet’ meaning satans or tyrants. And this is the attitude that brings them into the category of the kharijites. The kharijites consider themselves righteous and all the others kafirs or tawagheet. They do not recognise any Muslim government nor do they regard others Muslims except themselves.

According to the ulema and exegetes, the Taliban and other terrorist organisations are kharijites who present their own interpretation and explanation of the Quranic verses and hadiths believing in extremist and violent practices. The kharijites had come into existence right during the life of the holy Prophet (PBUH) and some verses in the Quran are about the kharijites, according to some hadiths. They killed Hadhrat Usman (R.A.) and acquired prominence as a distinct sect during the caliphate of Hadhrat Ali (R.A.). At last, Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) defeated and routed them. However, a kharijite called Ibn Muljam killed him. They refused to pay allegiance to Hadhrat Usman’s caliphate and rejected all the offers and efforts of reconciliation and truce, resorting to confrontation and war. This way they spread chaos and anarchy on earth. Even today, they cause strife and chaos in the name of establishing Islamic rule and cause bloodshed and mayhem in the process. They consider all the Muslim rulers and governments as satans and tyrants.

In his book Al Malal wal Nahal, Imam Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al Shahrastani writes,

“Everyone who rebels against a government that enjoys the support of the people is called a kharijite, whether against the rightly guided caliph during the life of holy companions or the tabiyeen (those who saw the holy companions) or the Muslim rulers of subsequent era” (p 114)

About these people God says in surah Fatir verse 8:

“Then he is the one to whose eyes his deeds have been rendered attractive, so he regards it righteous.”

Shedding the blood and looting the wealth and property of the Muslims was legitimate in the eyes of the Kharijites in the time of the holy companions and it is so with them even today. Abu Hafs al Hanbali said, “Among them are the kharijites to whom the blood and the wealth of the Muslims are lawful.” (Al Lubab fi Uloom al Kitab:  (p 132-175)

Based on this kharijite ideology, Talibani aalim Mullah Al Abeeri has declared the killing of not only the non-Muslims but the killings of children, women and the elderly people among the Muslims unawares in order to further his mission. He has detailed the circumstances in which according to him, the killings of innocent women, children and old among the infidels become lawful.

According to him, the first situation in when Muslims punish them proportionately for what the infidels have inflicted on the Muslims. Therefore, if the infidels kill Muslim women, children and old people then it would be lawful for the Muslims to kill the women, children and the elderly among the infidels. The verse that supports this is:

And if you punish [an enemy, O believers], punish with an equivalent of that with which you were harmed. But if you are patient - it is better for those who are patient. “(Al Nahl: 126)                    

The verse has been quoted by the Talibani scholar as an argument in favour of killing the innocent people (women, children and the elderly ) among the kafirs whereas the truth is that the verse provides guidance in the matter of revenge or retribution by the person who has been wronged by someone and it does not distinguish between a Muslims and a non-Muslim. The rights of a Muslim and a non-Muslim are equal in the eyes of the Quran. Therefore, if a person wrongs another person, the latter has the right to take revenge in equal measure. The Quran formulates the rule of retribution (qisas) and proportional punishment or masala ( an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth).

In this connection, Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) said,

“If a Muslim kills a Christian, he will be killed in retribution”

The Quran does not grant permission for killing the brother, son or other innocent members of the community of the killer in retribution. Instead the Quran explicitly lays out the rule:

“And no bearer of burden will bear the burden of others” (Al Isra:15)

In his book Al Kitab al Kharaj, Imam Abu Yousuf writes,

No man amongst them (the peaceful non-Muslim citizens) shall be punished as a penalty for the injustice of a co-religionst.’ (p 78).

A hadith regarding the rights of the non-Muslims is thus:

Beware, whoever wrongs a non-Muslim citizen or diminishes any of his rights or imposes on him more that he can bear or takes anything from him without his consent, I shall plead on his behalf on the Day of Resurrection.’’ (Abu Dawood)

Abdullah bin Masood reported the following tradition:

‘‘Whoever hurts a non-Muslim citizen, I shall be his opponent. And when I am someone’s adversary, I shall overcome him on the Day of Resurrection’’. (Al Khatib al Baghdad in Tarikh-e Baghdad)

The Quran, hadiths and the Islamic jurisprudence oppose and condemn the killing or taking revenge from innocent non-Muslims and damaging their property, declaring a major sin.

To back his argument, Yousuf al Abeeri quoted the following verse:

And those who, when tyranny strikes them, they defend themselves, And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation - his reward is [due] from Allah . Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers. And whoever avenges himself after having been wronged - those have not upon them any cause [for blame]. The cause is only against the ones who wrong the people and tyrannize upon the earth without right. Those will have a painful punishment. “ (Al Shoora: 39-42)

He quotes another verse of the similar meaning:

And if you punish [an enemy, O believers], punish with an equivalent of that with which you were harmed. But if you are patient - it is better for those who are patient. And be patient, [O Muhammad], and your patience is not but through Allah . And do not grieve over them and do not be in distress over what they conspire. Indeed, Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are doers of good. “ (Al Nahl : 126-128)

Both the above-quoted verses do not seem to imply that it permits or encourages killing of innocent non-Muslims or damage their property. They only ordain Muslims to act with restraint in avenging an injustice and forbids from transgressing while taking revenge without specifying Muslims or non-Muslims. On the contrary, in Surah Al Nahl and Al Shoora, forgiveness and restraint has been said to be better than taking revenge. Not only that, the verse in Surah Al Nahl goes on saying, “And do have patience”. It implies that while the right to take revenge has been granted and also the virtue of forgiving is also emphasized, God wants Muslims to prefer restraint and patience.

Therefore, Yousuf Al Abeeri failed to prove that the oppression and tyranny of the non-Muslims can be avenged by killing innocent children and women of their community. On the contrary, the verses in Surah condemns the anarchists like the Taliban:

The blame is only against the ones who wrong the people and tyrannize upon the earth without right. Those will have a painful punishment.“ (Al Shoora: 42)

Obviously, it is the Taliban who cause anarchy and bloodshed on earth and oppress people. So it is they who deserve a severe torment in the Hereafter warned by the Quran.

During the life of the Prophet (PBUH) the Islamic army had the strict order not to disfigure dead bodies, and not to kill women, children and the priests.

Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Abbas said:

“When the messenger of God (PBUH) would dispatch his troops he would say (to them), ‘Do not act treacherously, do not steal the spoils of war, do not disfigure the dead bodies. And do not kill children and priests.’ (Al Masnad)

Hadiths and the orders of the rightly guided caliphs make it clear that at the time of sending off Islamic troops, they were strictly forbidden not to kill non-combatant women, children and the elderly people.

‘Abdullah bin Umar stated in one narration that when Abu Bakr al Siddiq dispatched the Muslim troops to Syria, he walked with them for two miles and addressed them, saying,

‘I enjoin you to fear God. Do not disobey (the military commander) or show cowardice. Do not drown date palm trees or set crops on fire. Do not bobble animals and do not cut down fruit bearing trees. Do not kill an old man or a young child.’(Al Marwazi in Musnad Abi Bakr: 69-72)

On the issue of masala that is, disfiguring the dead bodies or amputating organs of the dead, Yousuf Al Abeeri first quotes the hadiths that say that masala is forbidden but then goes on to say that if the enemy practices masala on the dead bodies of the Muslims then it becomes permissible for Muslims to practice masala on the non-Muslims and its prohibition stands annulled. He therefore quotes the following hadiths relating to the prohibition of masala:

In Bukhari, Abullah bin Yazid reported the Prophet (PBUH) having prohibited plunder and disfiguring of dead bodies.

He also quotes the hadith from Muslim in which Hadhrat Buraida (R.A.) reported that while dispatching troops and the armies, the Prophet (PBUH) would say to the soldiers:

“Attack in the name of God, fight the infidels, do not transgress and do not commit treason, do not practice masalah and do not kill the new born”.

However, despite quoting the hadiths above, Maulana Al Abeeri issues his unsubstantiated and unsupported fatwa that:

“But if the enemy practices masalah on the dead of the Muslims then it becomes permissible for the Muslims to practice masalah on the enemy and in this situation the prohibition stands annulled.”

He has not presented any verses from the Quran or hadiths or references from the books of jurists to support his fatwa and based on his extremist upbringing and mindset, he has said that if the enemy practices masalah on the dead of the Muslims then it becomes permissible for the Muslims to practice masalah on the enemy and in this situation the  prohibition stands annulled. The hadith presented by himself has exposed his lie.

Apart from this, on the day of victory of Makkah when the Muslims had entered Makkah and their emotions had been charged with the feeling of revenge for the torture they had gone through at the hands of the people of Makkah and they were very  eager to avenge the death of their kin and the Prophet (PBUH) ‘s heart itself was heavy at the grief of the brutal murder of his uncle Hadhrat Hamza and the disfiguring of his body, the Prophet (PBUH) inspite of all this, announced general amnesty and forbade to practice masalah saying, “Except four people, abstain from killing the whole community.”

Refering to the event, the Quran also says that if the Muslims had attacked the Makkans they would have crushed them that but in the process they would have unknowingly killed those people also who had not made their Islam public for the fear of the Makkah’s infidels and so the Muslims would have to face the wrath of God for this wrong. So God instilled patience in the heart of the Prophet (PBUH) and of the common Muslims. Therefore, the holy Prophet (PBUH) forbade Muslims to kill or punish the general people of Makkah for the excesses committed by some of the Makkans.

So it is clear that the verses, hadiths and opinion of jurists Yousuf Al Abeeri has presented to support his fatwa in fact repudiate his stand and go on to prove that the killing of the innocent women, children and the old people among the non-Muslims is not only prohibited but is a major sin according to the Quran and hadith.

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: