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Aqeedah and Fiqh

Terrorism is to Jihad as Adultery is to Marriage | Shaykh Abu Aaliyah Surkheel


For the past four days I had been working on the following article, which I intended to post yesterday evening. However, I then heard about the vile and sadistic act of violence carried out by two men with knives and a meat cleaver in Woolwich. So I thought it best to review the blog post in light of the event, to see if I should develop it in any way. But barring a few edits here and there, I am posting the article more or less as it was originally written.

This is a brief overview of what Islam has to say about jihad, terrorism and the sanctity of human life. It bases itself, not on the need to please policy makers or the powers to be, nor on a colonialised mindset desperate to fit Islam into some acceptable liberal mould, but upon the texts of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and the consensus (ijma‘) and considerations of mainstream Muslim jurists.

On a personal note, combating terrorism, and its ideological underpinnings, has long been a significant part of my da‘wah or outreach programme; and all praise is for God. It was animated long before the events of 9-11 or 7-7; since 1992 in fact, when a few of my teachers in shari‘ah alerted me to its realities, dangers and its unIslamic character. What follows is, as stated earlier, a brief trek across some of that terrain:

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1. The first thing to mention in this regards is Islam’s outlook concerning the sanctity (hurmah) of human life. For as Islam views it, the human creature is indeed a sacred creation; so much so that: Whoever kills a person for other than crimes of manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he has killed the whole of humanity; and whosoever saves the life of one person, it shall be as if he has saved the whole of humanity. [5:32] Such, then, is the extraordinary value placed on human life in the Qur’an. And thus, as will be shown, acts of terror where women, children and other civilians are intentionally targeted and killed is categorically repudiated by Islam and by the agreement of those versed in law and learning among the Muslims.

2. Jihad as a word stems from jahada, which means: to strive, to exert oneself, to take extraordinary pains. As for its religious sense, al-Raghib al-Asbahani (d.425H/1034CE) defines it thus: ‘Exerting one’s utmost ability in repelling an enemy, and it is of three kinds: namely, contending against the outward enemy, the devil, and one’s ego. Each of these enters into God’s statement, exalted is He: And strive for God as He rightly must be striven for. [22:78] And strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of God. [9:41] Also: Those who believed and left their homes and strove with their wealth and their lives in the cause of God. [8:72]‘1

3. In Islam, the decision about war and peace is not left to scholars, soldiers, or anyone else. Rather it rests with the head of state who wields executive authority. This being a cardinal rule of warfare in Islam. Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi (d.620H/1223CE) explains the rule like so: ‘The question of declaring war [or not] is entrusted to the head of state and his decision (amr al-jihad mawkulun ila’l-imam wa ijtihadihi). Compliance with the decision is the subject’s duty in terms of what the authorities deem fit in the matter.’2 Al-Buhuti (1051H/1641CE) echoes the principle: ‘Declaring jihad or not is entrusted to the head of state and his decision, for he best knows the condition of the Muslims and of the enemy.’3

4. The classical Islamic doctrine that forbids killing non-combatants and civilians in an outward (military) jihad takes its cue from the Prophet’s words, peace be upon him: ‘March forth in the name of God, trusting in God and adhering to the religion of God. Do not kill elderly men, infants, young children or women.’4 And Ibn ‘Umar relates that the Prophet, peace be upon him, ‘forbade the killing of women and children.’5

5. After quoting the last hadith, Imam al-Nawawi (d.676H/1277CE) typified the juristic consensus on the issue when he said: ‘Scholars concur upon acting by this hadith and forbid the killing of women and children, provided that they do not engage in combat. But if they do, the overwhelming majority of scholars (jamahir al-‘ulema) hold that they may be fought.’6 Ibn Qudamah, explaining the logic behind the consensus against not fighting women, the elderly, children, monks or traders, writes that each of these ‘are non-combatants (laysa min ahl al-qital).’7 Again, he states: ‘It is not permissible to kill a child among them, nor the insane, nor a woman, monk, elderly man, someone with a debilitating illness, and nor a blind man – except if they fight.’8

6. Thus, as has been shown, the intentional targeting and killing of civilians, which a fringe minority now seek to pass off as a bonafide jihad, is a gross departure from the classical juristic consensus and a perversion of the prophetic teachings. The wanton carnage and urban mayhem unleashed upon civilian lives, and the twisted re-readings of Islam’s scriptural sources by the current vanguards of terrorism, must continue to be denounced, repudiated and textually exposed. In unmasking terrorism (hiraba) for what it truly is, it has been aptly contended that: ‘Terrorism is to jihad what adultery is to marriage.’9 The Qur’an says: ‘What! Have you slain an innocent soul though he has killed nobody? Truly you have done a thing most foul.’ [18:73]

7. One argument extremists use to justify their acts of terror is to allege that civilians living in a democracy aren’t innocent at all. Their logic runs like this: In a democracy the government represents the will of the people, therefore civilian populations are complicit in their government’s foreign policies and are thus legitimate targets in war. This allegation is as false as it is factually distorted. What this reductionist everyone’s-guilty-in-a-democracy argument ignores or overlooks is that large swathes of citizens in a democracy may not agree with their government’s foreign policies, or even have voted them into power! So how can such citizens be complicit in their government’s actions? The anti-war demonstrations and protests against the Iraq war, for instance, which scores of millions of ordinary citizens across Western Europe and the United States rallied behind, is enough to show the fallacy of such logic. Moreover, as we shall see below, the shari‘ah still considers such people as not being min ahl al-qital – “actual combatants”.

8. A more direct rebuttal of this twisted logic would be to look at the context in which the Prophet, peace be upon him, prohibited the killing of women, children and other civilians in war. This injunction was given when the Prophet, peace be upon him, and the early Muslims were in the midst of war with the pagan Arabs of Makkah, whose goal was no less than the extermination of Muslims. The Makkan idolators were a tightly–knit confederacy whose tribal elders would make decisions collectively at their tribal councils. The average person in such a society had far greater access to their elders and leaders and far more influence on policies than any citizen in today’s Western democracies. In fact, it was not uncommon for women (either married or related to tribal leaders, or those with social influence) to pressurise, cajole and even threaten their husbands into war with the Muslims, on pain of family disgrace and tribal ignominy, if they did not do so. During the battle of Uhud, women, led by Hind, even went out onto the battlefield to lend moral support to the aggressors. In spite of knowing all this, the Prophet, peace be upon him, still insisted: ‘Do not kill elderly men, young children, or women.’10 And when he once saw a woman that had been killed, he said: ‘This is not one who should have been fought.’11

9. Another proof used to justify the killing of civilians is a hadith in which the Prophet was asked about some of the idolators whose settlements had been attacked at night and which resulted in a few women and children being killed. This led him to say: ‘They are from them (hum minhum).’12 There are two reasons why this hadith cannot be used in this manner: Firstly, a large body of jurists consider the hadith to have been abrogated by the explicit command to ‘not kill civilians in war.’13 Secondly, jurists who do permit night raids that could result in civilian loss clearly state: ‘This is provided they [women, children and other non-combatants] are not deliberately targeted.’14 It is also interesting that a leading jurist of early Islam, as well as the actual sub-narrator of this hadith, Imam al-Zuhri, would qualify the above hadith by immediately relating the hadith which forbids killing civilians. Thus: ‘Whenever al-Zuhri related this hadith, he would say: “Ka‘b b. Malik’s son narrated to me; from his uncle … that the Prophet, peace be upon him, forbade the killing of women and children.”’15

10. Another aspect of the shari‘ah which bears on the subject, but which has also come under extremism’s aberrant re-readings, is the notion of ‘aqd al-aman – “the covenant of security”. What this implies is that Muslims residing, for instance, in a non-Muslim land – either native born, naturalised or legal resident – are under an explicit pact or contract which renders all non-Muslim life, property and honour sacrosanct. That is, Muslim citizens of non-Muslim countries cannot engage in acts of aggression against their own state of fellow citizens. Ibn Qudamah said: ‘As for treachery towards them, this is expressly forbidden. For they only granted him security on condition that he not betray them and that they be safe from his harm. If this is not stipulated in explicit terms, it is implicitly implied. …This being so, it is unlawful for us to be treacherous to them, since this is betrayal; and our religion has no place for betrayal. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “The Muslims fulfil their contracts.”16‘17

11. It isn’t possible to stress enough how seriously orthodox Islam takes the obligation to honour contracts and covenants, or how unlawful it is for a Muslim who lives or resides in a land to then attack it or its citizens. What should also be appreciated is that a Muslim may even hold the following opinion with no internal contradiction with the above ten points: that America and Britain are waging wars of aggression in the Middle East; however, Muslims who are under a pledge of security may not attack their country, nor its soldiers, nor any of its citizens. One hadith has this threat of humiliation and ignominy: ‘For every person who betrays a covenant will have a flag at his back on the Day of Judgement, which will be raised according to the level of his treachery.’18

To conclude: the chorus of condemnation from Islam’s textual sources and religious authorities, against acts of terror, must continue to ring out urgently and loudly. If we wish to be dissenting voices on any issue of domestic or foreign policy, we must find legitimate ways within the democratic process to voice such dissent.

It is to their credit that Muslim scholars, despite differences between them on a whole array of theological and legal issues, have come out so unanimously against terrorism. What we also ask of them is to continue to strive to expose and eradicate the deviant notions and assumptions that underpin it. Our governments (British and American) also have a responsibility to act. For they can drain much of the extremists’ anger by securing a fair resolution to the Palestinian problem, closing Guantanamo Bay prison, and enacting just foreign policies. It is for the Muslim scholars, however, to vanquish the twisted fiqh-cum-theology of the terrorists.

1. Mufradat Alfaz al-Qur’an (Damascus: Dar al-Qalam, 2002), 208.

2. Al-Mughni (Saudi Arabia: Dar al-‘Alam al-Kutub, 1999), 13:11.

3. Kashshaf al-Qina‘ (Riyadh: Maktabah al-Nasr al-Hadithah, n.d.), 3:41.

4. Abu Dawud, Sunan, no.2614.

5. Al-Bukhari, no.3015; Muslim, no.1744.

6. Sharh Sahih Muslim (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1995), 12:43.

7. Al-Mughni, 13:178.

8. ‘Umdat al-Fiqh (Riyadh: Dar al-Mayman, 2009), 220.

9. Abdal Hakim Murad, Contentions, 5/7, at

10. Abu Dawud, no.2614.

11. Abu Dawud, no.2669; Ibn Majah, no.2842.

12. Al-Bukhari, no.3012.

13. See: Ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘ilmiyyah, 1989), 6:182.

14. As per the classical Hanbali jurist, al-Buhuti, Kashshaf al-Qina‘, 3:47-8.

15. Cited in Fath al-Bari, 6:182. I am grateful to Muhammad Nizami for pointing out this report to me.

16. Al-Tirmidhi, no.1352.

17. Al-Mughni, 13:152.

18. Muslim, no.1738.

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Abu Aaliyah is the founder of The Jawziyyah Institute, a leading institute for Islamic moderation and contemporary thought in the United Kingdom. Sidi Abu Aaliyah has been in involved in Dawah and Islamic teachings since 1986. He has translated a number of books from the Arabic language into English such as "The Exquisite Pearls". Abu Aaliyah's written works and audio lectures can be found online.



  1. Hind Pauline Thompson

    May 25, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    Jazak Allah khair for writing this article. I have shared it on Facebook. Can you first please explain the choice of picture for this article – it’s gruesome? Second, can you please explain why the Surat Al-Kahf reference is NOT taken out of context – In context the Prophet Musa (peace be on him) was making the statement when he shouldn’t have spoken against the actions of one of Allah’s servants. In that context Musa alayhi salaam should mispoke when he should have been practicing patience. I’m concerned that this reference from Surat Al-Kahf does not properly exemplify the impermissibility of killing innocents. And Allah knows best.

    • Masud Shorif

      May 28, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      Abu Aaliyah’s reply on his blog:

      The picture you refer to was one chosen by Muslim Matters for their blog – and have since changed, at your request.

      As for using the words of Musa, alayhi-salam, about Khidr seemingly taking the life of an innocent youth, the emphasis was on the notion that – unless the shari’ah grants justification – all life is sacred and people are innocent from that angle. And that is why Musa alayhi-salam protested: for if there were no justification in this instance, it would have been: a thing most foul.

      May Allah bless you both for your query and for reposting it here at The Humble I.

      • Hind Pauline Thompson

        May 29, 2013 at 4:04 AM

        Jazakum Allah khairun
        I definitely find the new picture more appropriate.
        And I now better understand the use of the ayah from Surat Al-Kahf in the article.
        May Allah reward you all

  2. Hind Pauline Thompson

    May 25, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    EDITED: Jazak Allah khair for writing this article. I have shared it on Facebook. Can you first please explain the choice of picture for this article? – it’s gruesome. Second, can you please explain why the Surat Al-Kahf reference is NOT taken out of context – In context the Prophet Musa (peace be on him) was making the statement when he shouldn’t have spoken against the actions of one of Allah’s servants. In that context Musa alayhi salaam mispoke when he should have been practicing patience. I’m concerned that this reference from Surat Al-Kahf does not properly exemplify the impermissibility of killing innocents. And Allah knows best.

    • life is a test.

      May 25, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      Hind Pauline Thompson, i agree with you about the picture!!Horrible!!!

      • Hena Zuberi

        May 25, 2013 at 3:30 PM

        Assalamalaykum wa rahmatula,

        The topic is gruesome. I have changed the picture after a very respectful request filled with adab by a reader on Twitter.

    • Abu Aaliyah

      May 25, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      Hind Pauline Thompson: Thank you for your comment. The choice of picture was not mine at all. Rather my article (and its corresponding picture I selected) is on my actual blog:

      I would greatly appreciate it if you could post the latter part of your question on my blog, so I can attempt to respond to it there.

      Much obliged. Jazakallahu khayran.

  3. Hatim al-Ta'iy

    May 25, 2013 at 6:18 AM

    Thank you for this analysis. My question to you, Abu Aaliyah, would we what has changed from your point of you, since you translated Ibn Baz’s al-ghazw al-fikri wa wasa’ilihu al-iliktroniyya al-daqiqa as The Ideological Attack? Let us examine one of your choicer sentences:

    “And there is no doubt that negligence is one of the causes that lets the enemies of Islaam into the Muslim lands – along with their ideological attack – which gradually distances the Muslims from their Religion, step by step. So with this, evil will increase amongst them and they will be affected by the false ideologies of their enemies. And Allaah, One free from all defects, the Most High, ordered the Believers to have patience, to call to patience, and to strive in His Path using every method at their disposal; as Allaah, the Majestic and Exalted, said:

    “0 you who Believe, persevere and be more patient, and guard your territory by stationing army units permanently at the places from where the enemy can attack you, and fear Allaah in order that you may be successful.” [Soorah Aal-’Imraan 3:200]

    And Allaah, the Most Perfect, said: “And those who strive hard in Our cause, We shall surely guide them to Our Paths. Indeed Allaah is with the doers of good.” [Soorah al-’Ankaboot 29:69]”

    Surely, there can be no doubt here that what is alluded to includes the acceptability of violence in response to this alleged ‘ideological attack’. Hence, if one were to take texts such as this one as sincere nasih, one ought to conclude that Wednesday’s response in Woolwich was Islamically justified. What do you think, Ibn Anwar?

    • Shazad Sookram

      May 25, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Hatim al-Ta’iy you have a really sick mind. There is nothing in Islam that can justify the murder and slaughter of innocent persons. Your are using the ayats out of context and it seems that you are an obvious trouble maker.

    • markibnmark

      May 25, 2013 at 9:28 AM


      I don’t see how the passages you quoted from “The Ideological Attack” even remotely condone acts like the Woolwich attack. When in the history of Islam did any amir or scholar advise Muslims to conduct “lone wolf” killings in the lands of kufr? Please show me where this type of attack was ever recommended by any person of knowledge.

      The biggest problem I see that allows Muslims to conduct attacks like this is a general distance from the scholarly tradition of Islam. No scholar from Ahl-us-Sunnah has ever advised Muslims to conduct acts of treachery like this, particularly in places where one can build mosques and call openly to Islam like the UK and US. They only have the modern Khaarajites to lean upon, whose call is towards destruction and deception.

      I ask you, in what way does the Woolwich attack resemble the jihad of the Beloved Prophet (s.a.w) or the Sahaba? Where is the dawah that was so closely linked to the fighting of the salaf? Do we as Muslims no longer have a code of conduct during times of fitnah? Where is the wisdom and where is the sound leadership? Where is the moderation? Is Islam just a “personal belief” in which we can act in any way we feel is right with no guidance? What is the difference between the common refrain of so-called “jihadis”, that “times have changed” and “modern times call for different rules of conduct than in the past” any better than the modernists who want Muslims to accept evolution and secular humanism? Both of them reject the Qur’an and Sunnah to suit their agendas.

    • Abu Aaliyah

      May 25, 2013 at 4:02 PM

      Oh dear Hatim. I am stupefied by your logic. May Allah forgive me and you and move us on from the darkness that plagues our hearts.

    • Adnan

      May 25, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      Salam Alaikum, just a general question. From where do we translate the single word “rābitū” into the lengthy phrase “guard your territory by stationing army units permanently from where the enemy can attack you.” As far as I know, the verb has meanings to “tie down” (as in to tie a camel so it doesn’t run away), or “prepare,” “fortify,” or “strengthen.” In Surah Kahf, God says “wa rabatnā ‘alā qulūbihim” – “We strengthened their hearts.”

      I’m sure the meaning of “rābitū” is far more expansive than the strict military sense used above, which seems to be the Hilali and Khan version. I’m sure the translators had some reason for translating the word militaristically, but I fear it constrains the expanse of the Quran’s meaning far too much.

      And to Abu Aaliyah, jazakumullah khair for your beautiful response to Hatim.

      • Gibran

        May 27, 2013 at 1:35 AM

        wa alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        Adnan, I remember that ribat is guarding the territory to maybe that will answer the question.

        Here is Tafsir Ibn Kathir

        Allah said,

        ﴿يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اصْبِرُواْ وَصَابِرُواْ وَرَابِطُواْ﴾

        (O you who believe! Endure and be more patient, and Rabitu) ﴿3:200﴾.

        Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “The believers are commanded to be patient in the religion that Allah chose for them, Islam. They are not allowed to abandon it in times of comfort or hardship, ease or calamity, until they die as Muslims. They are also commanded to endure against their enemies, those who hid the truth about their religion.” Similar explanation given by several other scholars among the Salaf.

        As for Murabatah, it is to endure in acts of worship and perseverence. It also means to await prayer after prayer, as Ibn `Abbas, Sahl bin Hanif and Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi stated. Ibn Abi Hatim collected a Hadith that was also collected by Muslim and An-Nasa’i from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said,

        «أَلَا أُخْبِرُكُمْ بِمَا يَمْحُو اللهُ بِهِ الْخَطَايَا، وَيَرْفَعُ بِهِ الدَّرَجَاتِ؟ إِسْباغُ الوُضُوءِ عَلَى الْمَكَارِهِ، وَكَثْرَةُ الْخُطَا إِلَى الْمَسَاجِدِ، وَانْتِظَارُ الصَّلَاةِ بَعْدَ الصَّلَاةِ، فَذلِكُمُ الرِّبَاطُ، فَذلِكُمُ الرِّبَاطُ، فَذلِكُمُ الرِّبَاط»

        (Should I tell you about actions with which Allah forgives sins and raises the grade Performing perfect ablution in unfavorable conditions, the many steps one takes to the Masajid, and awaiting prayer after the prayer, for this is the Ribat, this is the Ribat, this is the Ribat.)

        They also say that the Murabatah in the above Ayah refers to battles against the enemy, and manning Muslim outposts to protect them from enemy incursions inside Muslim territory. There are several Hadiths that encourage Murabatah and mention its rewards. Al-Bukhari recorded that Sahl bin Sa`d As-Sa`idi said that the Messenger of Allah said,

        «رِبَاطُ يَوْمٍ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا عَلَيْهَا»

        (A Day of Ribat in the cause of Allah is better than this life and all that is in it.)

        Muslim recorded that Salman Al-Farisi said that the Messenger of Allah said,

        «رِبَاطُ يَوْمٍ وَلَيْلَةٍ خَيْرٌ مِنْ صِيَامِ شَهْرٍ وَقِيامِهِ، وَإِنْ مَاتَ جَرَى عَلَيْهِ عَمَلُهُ الَّذِي كَانَ يَعْمَـــــــلُهُ، وَأُجْرِيَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُــــهُ، وَأَمِنَ الْفَتَّان»

        (Ribat for a day and a night is better than fasting the days of a month and its Qiyam (voluntary prayer at night). If one dies in Ribat, his regular righteous deeds that he used to perform will keep being added to his account, and he will receive his provision, and will be saved from the trials of the grave.)

        Imam Ahmad recorded that Fadalah bin `Ubayd said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

        «كُلُّ مَيِّتٍ يُخْتَمُ عَلى عَمَلِهِ إِلَّا الَّذِي مَاتَ مُرَابِطًا فِي سَبِيل اللهِ،فَإِنَّهُ يَنْمِي لَهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَيَأْمَنُ فِتْنَةَ الْقَبْر»

        (Every dead person will have his record of deeds sealed, except for whoever dies while in Ribat in the cause of Allah, for his work will keep increasing until the Day of Resurrection, and he will be safe from the trial of the grave.)

        This is the same narration collected by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi, who said, “Hasan Sahih”. Ibn Hibban also collected this Hadith in his Sahih. fAt-Tirmidhi recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

        «عَيْنَانِ لَا تَمَسُّهُمَا النَّارُ: عَيْنٌ بَكَتْ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللهِ، وَعَيْنٌ بَاتَتْ تَحْرُسُ فِي سَبِيلِ الله»

        (Two eyes shall not be touched by the Fire: an eye that cried for fear from Allah and an eye that spent the night guarding in Allah’s cause.)

        Al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

        «تَعِسَ عَبْدُالدِّينَارِ وَعَبْدُالدِّرْهَمِ وَعَبْدُالْخَمِيصَةِ، إِنْ أُعْطِيَ رَضِيَ، وَإِنْ لَمْ يُعْطَ سَخِطَ، تَعِسَ وَانْتَكَسَ، وَإِذَا شِيكَ فَلَا انْتَقَشَ، طُوبَى لِعَبْدٍ آخِذٍ بِعِنَانِ فَرَسِهِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، أَشْعَثَ رَأْسُهُ، مُغْبَرَّةٍ قَدَمَاهُ، إِنْ كَانَ فِي الْحِرَاسَةِ كَانَ فِي الْحِرَاسَةِ، وَإِنْ كَانَ فِي السَّاقَةِ كَانَ فِي السَّاقَةِ، إِنِ اسْتَأْذَنَ لَمْ يُؤْذَنْ لَهُ، وَإِنْ شَفَعَ لَمْ يُشَفَّع»

        (Let the servant of the Dinar, the servant of the Dirham and the servant of the Khamisah (of clothes) perish, as he is pleased if these things are given to him, and if not, he is displeased. Let such a person perish and be humiliated, and if he is pierced with a thorn, let him not find anyone to take it out for him. Paradise is for him who holds the reins of his horse, striving in Allah’s cause, with his hair unkempt and feet covered with dust: if he is appointed to the vanguard, he is perfectly satisfied with his post of guarding, and if he is appointed in the rearguard, he accepts his post with satisfaction; if he asks for permission he is not permitted, and if he intercedes, his intercession is not accepted.)

        Ibn Jarir recorded that Zayd bin Aslam said, “Abu `Ubaydah wrote to `Umar bin Al-Khattab and mentioned to him that the Romans were mobilizing their forces. `Umar wrote back, `Allah will soon turn whatever hardship a believing servant suffers, to ease, and no hardship shall ever overcome two types of ease. Allah says in His Book,

        ﴿يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اصْبِرُواْ وَصَابِرُواْ وَرَابِطُواْ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ﴾

        (O you who believe! Endure and be more patient, and Rabitu, and have Taqwa of Allah, so that you may be successful)’ ﴿3:200﴾.”

        • Gibran

          May 27, 2013 at 1:40 AM

          By the way, Hatim, maybe I’m being a bit lazy but I really didn’t understand your comment. Care to clarify what you mean brother?

          This article is pretty sound and straight to the point. About time. You hardly find clear articles like this based on what the ulema and the fuqaha said on this topic.

          • Gibran

            May 27, 2013 at 1:41 AM

            OUCH. I was supposed to include JazzakAllahu khair in that second comment to Abu Aaliyah.

            JazzakAllahu khair Abu Aaliyah.

        • Adnan

          May 29, 2013 at 10:24 PM

          Jazakumullah khair Gibran,

          The hadith you quoted of Abu Hurairah precisely illustrates my point – that the Prophet (saws) said that one sense of “ribāt” is to perform ablution perfectly, walk to the masjid, and await for the prayer. The strict militaristic translation of “rābitū” above (“guard your territory by stationing army units permanently from where the enemy can attack you”) seems to unnecessarily limit the wideness of the word’s meaning and exclude the understanding by which the Prophet (saws) used the term.

          God knows better.

  4. Fatima Ariadne

    May 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Thank you for writing this matter. Now sadly once again the Islamphobes and kuffar will find another excuse to put Islam and muslims under scrutiny. I’m not a scholar to say this, but from what I’ve learned inshallah, underhand killing like this is haraam and not allowed in the sight of sharia. Allahu musta’aan.

  5. themuslimanarchist

    May 25, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    i agree with the points, and even though i have never contracted a security covenant having been born on this land (forget passport, you have to get one to get your inalienable right to travel). the issue of treachery is valid. and Muslims are not treacherous.

    that said a little about the herofication of Lee Rigley the squaddie who was killed and served in helmand province where many atrocities took place by British squaddies.

    every person is responsible for their actions and the get out clause of just doing my job is wrong. every one has a choice, even if it is a hard choice. there are many squaddies who refused to serve in Afghanistan , and where promptly thrown in jail for 6 months. they choose correctly

    so this squaddie is a criminal for the very fact of invading Afghanistan and is not innocent. he is a criminal, not a hero.

    and those that perpetuate the lie that he and other serving squaddies are innocent perpetuate the oppression.

    Only Allah knows if Lee Rigley has received his just dues, and so will not shed a tear for him.
    but I also will not condone the actions of these two Muslims in Woolwich.

    • Kirana

      May 26, 2013 at 4:41 AM

      But that’s the thing though, isn’t it? All the above points in the article detail the limits to what a Muslim may do. And this remains inviolable no matter if the other side has transgressed it or really has done unspeakable things. Full stop. That is the essence of being a Muslims and what makes our religion different, what changes us to be different from people without guidance. We are not free to follow our passions and what we feel is justified. We observe our limits even under oppression, anger, having suffered injustice and harm, because we submit (Muslims). All else must be left to Allah, we must replace it with patience, trust, forbearance.

      This is not easy and God Himself has given us fair warning in His Book that it is not easy to be Muslim – not in the sense of lots of things to do (in that regard this is supposed to be a simple religion), but this single concept of submission and keeping within limits will be tried tremendously and many will waver from a lack of faith and patience.

      • markibnmark

        May 26, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        Jazak Allah khair for this excellent post. Many Muslims think it is O.K. for us to transgress the limits and make up our own rules. This is Allah’s religion, not our own to bend and mold to suit our desires.

        We should behave differently from the non-Muslims, not just say (like a child would): “Well they did it first, so we can do it too!” Our standard of behavior must be higher.

  6. Student

    May 25, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    I usually never write here but today with this article I felt necessary. I think Shaikh mentioned some very crucial points and did Masha’Allah a very good job of addressing this issue. I would like to add just my two bits:

    Why did the person commit such an act? In the video, I believed she proclaimed that this is to show the western world the realities of toruture faced by muslims around the world.

    Historical analysis condemns this act as well:

    1. Prophet (SAW) in Makah: A few years after revelation, when he was in Makah, the Muslims were being tortured, while the people in Madina were reverting. The torture exalted to a great extent in Makah before migration, my question to you brother and sister’s did the muslim in madinah, torture or kill the Makans that might have visited madinah during this time? Harm the Jews or the hypocrites?

    2. prophet (SAW) in madinah: While in Madinah, his family in Makah, and other muslims were still tortured and some may even have been killed. When people travelled from Makah to Medinah, did he hurt them or torture them or kill them? Did he harm the hypocrites? By the grace Almightly Allah (SWT) he knew who was the hypocrite.

    Jazakhallah khairun,

    May Allah (SWT) give us all hidaya. AMEEN.

  7. learningquranonline

    May 25, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Islam is a great religion. It does not preach terrorism.

  8. tariq huq

    May 26, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum!

    How do we understand the hadith “Jihaad shall remain until the hour is established”?

    • markibnmark

      May 26, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      It’s not complicated. There is true, legitimate jihad that falls under the constraints of the Qur’an and Sunnah. And then there is the lawless anarchy promoted by the Neo-Kharajites. Learn the difference from real scholars, not internet forums and You Tube videos.

      • tariq huq (@tariqhuq)

        May 27, 2013 at 6:56 AM

        JazakAllah Khair. By asking the understanding of the hadith I in no way condone much of what is happening in the name of jihaad.

    • Gibran

      May 27, 2013 at 1:48 AM

      wa alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      What I took from the article is that we cannot be terrorists and such a thing is truly against Jihad.

      However, that doesn’t mean jihad doesn’t exist. Look at Syria for example.

      • KTShamim

        May 28, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        Syria??? Is it Jihad to support Bashar Al Assad who is being supported by Russia? Or is it Jihad to support the opposition army who are being supported by USA? Russia’s Jihad? USA Jihad? Are these Islamic Jihads?

        Please …

        [Qur’an 22:40-41] “Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged — and Allah indeed has power to help them —
        Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ — And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated. And Allah will surely help one who helps Him. Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty —”

        Condition 1: Wronged
        Condition 2: Driven out from homes
        Condition 3: Because they said ‘Our Lord is Allah’

        Tell me one place in the world where Condition 3 is met?

  9. GC66

    May 26, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    Your name alone “muslimanarchist” tells one that you do not understand the teachings in the Quran, for anarchy is indeed a crime punishable by death for Muslims that condone such actions.

    • themuslimanarchist (@muslimanarchist)

      May 26, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      anarchism is a modern term that has gone from meaning no govt/light government to no rules. it is there to counter the modern phenomanom of all invasive govt

      islam was and should be govt light. go research the role of private jurists , the medina constitution and the core principle of Islam – the ability and given right to CHOOSE to worship Allah –

      ignorance is no excuse to question my knowledge.

      • GC66

        May 26, 2013 at 9:44 AM

        I put no faith as a Muslim in Fiqh at all.

        This is the problem with extremism in Islam today.

        I will adhere to the shariah, sunnah and my logic and reason in prayer to Allah over all matter.
        The only haddith I will consider is the undisputed

  10. GC66

    May 26, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Perhaps this is meant as the greater jihad or the struggle against Shatan and this world from within ourselves as individividuals(Muslims)in the way of true Islam.

  11. KTShamim

    May 26, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Excellent headline!

    Muslimsforlife(dot)org – successfully collected 10,000 pints of blood to honor 3,000 dead of 9/11 (by saving 30,000 lives.
    Muslimsforpeace(dot)org – condemning terrorism, promoting Islamic value of loyalty to ones nation, peace, bus-ads and flyers and leaflets to promote the same.
    love4all(dot)org(dot)uk – We serve humanity in many ways including a wide range of activities that provide disaster relief, medical facilities, energy, education and self-help programmes across the world.

  12. themuslimanarchist (@muslimanarchist)

    May 26, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    looks like the state (mi5) broke their life and security pack with Michael by threatening to leave him to rot in kenya unless he did as they said, and decided that if hes going to go down for not being an informer then he might as well take one of the murdering rapist squaddies with him just saying

  13. Mansoor Ansari

    May 28, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Awesome article but the only thing is no one really agrees on what terrorism is. To some to even defending your land from invading forces is terrorism and to some even speaking against these invasions or even reading about what’s happening to some ppl is supporting terrorism. The first step should to define what it means for it us it to fight correctly.

    What confuses a layman like me is if covenants/treaties matter so much and we can’t go against the govt/ruler and can’t attack their own country, how come we have abandoned these principles and hadiths when it comes to Syria (currently) and Libya (in 2011)? Islamic scholars from around the world include western ones proudly call it jihad while it’s seems to contradict point 10 and 11. I would really appreciate if someone can shed light on this.

  14. adeeb

    April 23, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    Assalaamu alaikum
    I read a fatwa in by shaykh bin baz which says non muslims(other than people of book) can be forced to embrace islam & the verse of no compulsion & all verses of peace are abrogated. It says we should fight polytheists till they become muslim! Is this fatwa correct and how should we refute it? The following fatwa claims that its abrogated, is it correct? the fatwa’s link::

  15. Waqar

    November 4, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    What you have quoted from Quran in #6 is from 18:74 and not 18:73, please correct.

    • KT Shamim

      November 12, 2014 at 8:43 AM

      I include Bismillah as the first verse so … but yeah many texts don’t do that.

  16. Pingback: Terrorism Violates 3 Key Tenets of Islam -

  17. Abu Aasiyah

    November 14, 2015 at 6:20 AM

    As-Salaamu ‘alaykum,

    I noticed a mistake: In the paragraph of point 5. it says “consensus against not fighting women, the elderly, children, monks or traders”. It should be “consensus against fighting…”, i.e. the “not” should be deleted.

    Baarakallaahu feekum!

    • Abu Aaliyah

      November 14, 2015 at 1:53 PM

      WA alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah.

      Thank you for pointing out that serious typo. I’ve now made the necessary correction.

      • Abu Aasiyah

        November 14, 2015 at 3:03 PM

        You’re welcome, Shaykh!

        It’s still the same. Perhaps there was a technical issue and editing the text didn’t work?

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