Suicide Bombing: A Disparaging Dogma-I

By:  Sohail ParwazJihad and Terrorism - Striking a Difference

Abu Huraira narrates that, “We were in the company of Allah’s Apostle in a Ghazwa (battle), and Rasool Allah (Salallaho Elahae Wassallum) remarked about a man who claimed to be a Muslim, saying, “This (man) is from the people of the (Hell) Fire.” When the battle started, the man fought pugnaciously till he got wounded. Somebody said, “O Allah’s Apostle! The man whom you described as being from the people of the (Hell) Fire fought fiercely today and died.” The Prophet (Salallaho Elahae Wassallum) said, “He will go to the (Hell) Fire.” Some people were on the point of doubting (the truth of what the Prophet Salallaho Elahae Wassallum had said) while they were in this state, suddenly someone said that he was still alive but severely wounded, however, when night fell, he lost tolerance and committed suicide. The Prophet (Salallaho Elahae Wassallum) was informed of that, and he said, “Allah is Greater! I testify that I am Allah’s Slave and His Messenger.” Then he ordered Bilal to announce amongst the people: ‘None will enter Paradise but a Muslim, and Allah may support this religion (i.e. Islam) even with a disobedient man.”
In another event, Tufail Bin Omero Dossi migrated to Medina along with a colleague who later fell sick and when couldn’t sustain the pain cut his fingers joints hence due to blood wastage he died. Tufail Bin Dossi saw him in dream that he is happy and rewarded by Allah. On asking, the deceased said that Allah has forgiven me because I migrated to His Holy Prophet (Salallaho Elahae Wassallum). He was then asked by Dossi that why he was hiding his hands? He said Allah said the body part which you have spoiled yourself shall be kept so in same condition. When Dossi reported his dream to Hazrat Muhammad (Salallaho Elahae Wassallum) He prayed to Allah to forgive him.
The Holy Quran has warned the Muslims time and again about not taking their lives with their own hands.
“……and cast not yourself in destruction with your hand”. Al-Baqarah, 2:195

“…………… And kill not yourselves. Undoubtedly, Allah is Merciful to you. And whosoever shall do so with excessiveness and injustice, then We shall make him enter into Fire soon: and that is easy for Allah.” Al’Nisa, 5:29, 30

Till some time ago, the suicide practice was restricted to an act committed by the desperate individuals who would commit suicide due to one or the other reason like; unemployment, failing in exams, scolding by parents, failed romance, nuptial dispute etc. However a new angle was introduced by the freedom fighters in Palestine who started wearing explosive jackets and ramming into Israeli public places. Unfortunately it conveyed a wrong message to the Muslim world categorically and rest of the world generally. The resisting movements misinterpreted it and considered it a way to heaven even during their political endeavours. Although at later stage the individuals from other religions like Sri Lankan Buddhists were also found volunteering to act as human bombs, nevertheless, a general disrepute was attributed to Islam, unfortunately.

A further dimension was introduced with the emergence of Taliban in Pakistan who strongly believed and had a firm faith that suicide bombing is the part of Jihad. Had it been a simple movement the things would have been different and difficult but the American drone strikes in the tribal area and killing of hundreds of innocents made it easier for the preachers to convince their followers that suicide bombing is a rightful path. In Pakistan, many young unschooled village dwellers belonging to the northwest border region with Afghanistan have been used as suicide bombers to hit the civilian population. These young men who have not seen the world beyond their mud houses or hardly know the difference between right or wrong easily turn into silage by the charmers (suicide trainers). The sermons are given to the youth through the special classes in the training camps where they are made to believe that the heavenly virgins are waiting for them in heaven. Although with the passage of time the enthusiasm and eagerness slowed down nonetheless in the beginning it worked like magic. There was not even a single day that had gone without a case of suicide bombing and killing of scores of innocent civilians throughout the country. The unarmed Pakistanis had to pay for the doings of the American drone strikes, regrettably.

Suicide bombing in Pakistan has become a major and highly disparaging phenomenon in recent years. There is a mark rise in the annual death toll which has risen from 164 in 2003 to 3318 in 2009, with a total of 35,000 Pakistanis killed between September 11, 2001 and May 2011. The intelligence agencies informed the Pakistani Supreme Court some time ago that Pakistan has lost 49,000 lives since the catastrophic attacks on WTC and Pentagon in the United States on September 11, 2001. More than 24,000 people – both civilians and troops – were killed in terrorist attacks during the period between 2001 and 2008. The last five years have proved costlier, in human terms. Another 25,000-plus people died during military offensives against Taliban in the restive tribal regions since 2008.
According to the report, the armed forces have suffered 15,681 casualties while fighting Taliban militants in the tribal areas since 2008, with 2009 being the deadliest year for them. As many as 5,152 civilians have been killed and 5,678 injured in bomb blasts and suicide attacks since 2008. Similarly, 3,051 insurgents were killed and 1,228 wounded in security operations during the same period. According to the report, there have been 235 suicide hits, 9,257 rocket attacks and 4,256 bomb explosions in the last five years. More than 200 members of tribal peace committees, or Lashkars, including volunteers and chieftains, were also killed and 275 wounded in targeted attacks in the last three years.

Islam is the religion of peace and coherence, and it stands not only for love and affection but for moderation and enlightenment and above all respect for humanity. But the society’s extremist elements have given a handle to the uncontrollable cynics of our noble religion to depict it as a dogma of violence and bloodletting. Terrorists, who claim as true followers of Islamic teachings, in fact negate the Islamic teachings of peace, love, humanity and kindness. It is because of these misguided elements that Islam is one of the most misunderstood religions of the world whose real spirit is being intentionally concealed and distorted.

These were the compelling factors that forced Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti to show a decree in December 2013 regarding the suicide bombing. He had to condemn suicide bombings as grave crimes and to reiterate his stance in very strong words. “Killing oneself is a grave crime and a grave sin. Those who kill themselves with explosives are criminals and are hastening their way to hell.” The grand Mufti repeatedly pondered the point but unfortunately, his fatwa was not given wide publicity; perhaps this was the reason that militants continued with suicide attacks destroying life and property of innocent people.

(To be concluded)

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