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True Islam and Terrorism

Islam is a religion of peace, justice and freedom but the Western world perceives the religion of “Islam” as a very barbaric and primitive religion for killing innocent people by terrorists supposedly acting in the name of “Islam”, swearing by “God” or using the word “Jihad” in the terror attacks and violence that we witness in the past one and a half decade all over the world:

  • Terrorists, using hijacked planes, have attacked New York City and Washington DC on September 11, 2001 killing thousands of innocent people and responsibility was taken by the al-Qaeda.
  • The terror attack in London, United Kingdom on 7 July, 2005 supposedly swearing by God (Allah in Arabic) and speaking in the name of “Islam” by terrorists.
  • The 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India, took place November 26-29 ended with killing of 164 people including 9 gunmen by the terror group Lashkar-e-Tayyibain the context of Jihad.
  • The attempted terror attack at Times Square, New York City by means of an explosives-laden SUV on May 1, 2010 by Faisal Shahzad who was sentenced to life in prison on October 5, 2010.
  • The attempted terror attack by placing 2 packages of bombs on separate cargo planes on October 29, 2010, bound from Yemen to the United States and the responsibility was taken by the Al-Qaeda for the plot.
  • The terror attack at the Boston marathon by extremists on April 15, 2013 supposedly acting in the name of “Islam”.
  • The terror attack in Northeastern Nigeria on the night of 14-15 April, 2014 kidnapping school girls in Chibok, Nigeria by Boko Haram, an Islamic Jihadist and terrorist organization.
  • The barbaric killings and violence against Christians and other minorities in Iraq on August 7, 2014 by the so-called “Islamic group” ISIS.
  • The terror attack in Paris including at the office of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo on 7-9 January, 2015 that killed and injured many claiming that they were avenging insults (i.e., offensive content published by the satirical newspaper) to the prophet Muhammad.
  • On the evening of November 13, 2015 the terror attacks in Paris have killed 130 people by ISIS saying that it was in retaliation for the French airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq.

However, anyone who reads the Quran will realize that Submission (Islam in Arabic) is quite different than this perception, and has almost nothing to do with what is being presented in the Western media or as practiced by the so-called Muslim countries as well. In fact, God’s religion in the Quran is a beautiful, compassionate, and very progressive religion with no nonsense. So, why is this gem of truth concealed, abandoned, or misrepresented? Who is responsible? Who is to blame, the Western world or ourselves who claim we are Muslims?

Many Muslims but not all are aware that Islam is powered through the revelation of Quran being the final testament at the time of prophet Muhammad. Thus, those who claim them Muslims should look in the mirror, and reflect on themselves. Are they really following the word of God in the Quran, or the innovations that have nothing to do with the religion? The problem is that the Muslim masses don’t even know what is in the Quran to make that judgment. Thanks to their bearded, turbaned, and closed-minded scholars who constantly refer to sources other than the Quran to conduct their affairs and to delegate their opinions. Because of their misguidance, the majority of Muslims today are divided and confused. In general, they are under achievers, under civilized, under developed, under nourished—under too many undesirable conditions that can be included to increase the list.

When people refer to the sources other than the Quran, they can justify almost anything in the name of religion and the killing of innocent people through terrorist acts is an example. There is no justification whatsoever in any scripture of God for such terrorism. As a matter of fact, such unjust acts are prohibited:

[7:33] Say, “My Lord prohibits only evil deeds, be they obvious or hidden, and sins, and unjustifiable aggression, and to set up beside God powerless idols, and to say about God what you do not know.”
[5:87] O you who believe, do not prohibit good things that are made lawful by God, and do not aggress; God dislikes the aggressors.

The consequence of abandoning the Quran in favor of innovations, man-made rules and regulations is clear throughout history. Therefore, if there is misconception of our religion in the West as well as within the Islamic community, we can’t blame anybody but ourselves.

Freedom of Religion

The religion of Islam condemns the killing or even the persecution of people merely because they embrace a different religion. The Quran mandates the absolute freedom of religion in a society. It does not allow Muslims to fight except for self-defense and to enforce peace. It does not allow restrictions on those who disagree on religious matters. It urges the Muslims to treat such people kindly and equitably:
[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in God has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. God is Hearer, Omniscient.
[60:8] God does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. God loves the equitable.
[8:61] If they resort to peace, so shall you, and put your trust in GOD. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.
[4:90] …Therefore, if they leave you alone, refrain from fighting you, and offer you peace, then God gives you no excuse to fight them.

Conditions for Fighting

A Submitter to God or true Muslim will never initiate an aggressive act. Fighting is not prohibited in Islam while God allows it strictly in self-defense, and under certain conditions:

• To defend oneself when one is faced with oppression and aggression.
[2:190] You may fight in the cause of God against those who attack you, but do not aggress. God does not love the aggressors.

• For religious freedom and to eliminate oppression.
[2:193] You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship God freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors.

• To protect one’s rights.
[42:41] Certainly, those who stand up for their rights, when injustice befalls them, are not committing any error.
[42:42] The wrong ones are those who treat the people unjustly, and resort to aggression without provocation. These have incurred a painful retribution.

Moreover, if we act in self-defense as a response against people because of injustice, we are supposed to be equitable and just in inflicting punishment. But if we resort to patience and forgiveness, it is better for us even though it is not a very easy thing to do:
[42:40] Although the just requital for an injustice is an equivalent retribution, those who pardon and maintain righteousness are rewarded by God. He does not love the unjust.
[42:43] Resorting to patience and forgiveness reflects a true strength of character.
[16:126] And if you punish, you shall inflict an equivalent punishment. But if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones.
[16:127] You shall resort to patience – and your patience is attainable only with God’s help. Do not grieve over them, and do not be annoyed by their schemes.

Relations with Unbelievers

We have the right to practice our religion freely, but we must also give the same right to others as long as they don’t transgress. We should remember that there is no compulsion in religion (2:256) and God does not love the aggressors, even He reminds us that oppression is worse than murder (2:191).

[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in God has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. God is Hearer, Omniscient.
[2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers.

God does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. God loves the equitable:
[60:8] God does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. God loves the equitable.
[60:9] God enjoins you only from befriending those who fight you because of religion, evict you from your homes, and band together with others to banish you. You shall not befriend them. Those who befriend them are the transgressors.

The relations of Muslims (Submitters) with others are based primarily on peace, mutual respect and trust. The theme in the Quran is peace, unless there is oppression or injustice that cannot be resolved by all the peaceful means available.However, we are encouraged to have amicable relations with those who do not believe as we do unless they fight us because of our religion.Therefore, the religion of Islam (Submission), when practiced in accordance with the Quran, is the religion of peace, justice, and freedom for all.

Terrorism is evil

Whatever may be cause, terrorism is an evil work. Regrettably, many terrorists groups have used the name “Islam” to promote their cause, and this gave many non-Muslims a chance to assail Islam and label the Muslims as terrorists. Deliberately ignored on the other hand, are terrorists who profess to belong to other religions, or non-religious groups.

With all the great laws established on earth by God or man, the evil among the human being will find a way to abuse, distort or misinterpret them. This does not make these laws evil but rather proves the evil nature of these criminals.

Terrorism has been committed by people from all religious and political backgrounds as an act of violence. Terrorists who happened to be Christians (e.g. in Bosnia, England, Ireland, Germany, Spain… etc.) and those who happened to be Jewish (e.g. in Israel, Palestine and Lebanon) used their religious beliefs to claim legitimacy for the violence and terrorism they commit. Thousands of men, women, and children, young and old, have been killed in attempts to achieve or hold on to special interests whether political, social or “religious”.

Those who do not comprehend the True Islam and those who have an interest in distorting the truth about the religion of Islam have been trying to make the words terrorists and terrorism synonymous with the religion. Unfortunately, this is a common mistake portrayed frequently by the news media in the West.

Attacks on the civilians and the innocent people around the world by these groups is something that cannot be justified by any religion or under any cause and is strongly condemned in all religions, including Submission (Islam) as clarified by the words of God in the Quran, the Final Testament.

Some of the terrorist groups who massacre innocent people consider themselves martyrs. Those who kill the innocent people in the name of their religion or the name of God, and think of themselves as martyrs should think twice. Their act is actually strongly condemned by God in the Quran. These people are disobeying God’s commandments and the TRUTH in the Quran. Instead they blindly follow the opinion of their corrupted leaders (and scholars). It is not a surprise that God has not granted them victory. Quite the contrary they have been the most humiliated, defeated and oppressed people on earth. Worst of all, they are oppressed by their own rulers.

The Quran is very clear that the believers must defend themselves but never aggress. It is true that Islam calls for the followers to be strong. This call, however, is to use the strength to secure peace, provide freedom for the society and the country but never to aggress unless aggressed upon.

No justification of terrorism from religion of God

While all the known religions of the world call for love, peace, tolerance, freedom of belief and mutual understanding, many of the terrorists’ acts are committed in this world by people who call themselves religious, and attribute their horrendous and satanic acts to the religion. However, God condemns their acts in the scripture:
[5:32]…we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. …

The terrorists are linked to groups that abuse the name of Islam to commit crimes that are abhorred and strongly condemned by God in the Quran, the Muslims’ holy book:
[7:28] They commit a gross sin, then say, “We found our parents doing this, and God has commanded us to do it.” Say, “God never advocates sin. Are you saying about God what you do not know?”

Submission to God (Islam) promotes peace, love and harmony among the people. Actually the word “Islam,” in addition to meaning submission (to God), is also derived from the Arabic word Salaam meaning peace. Submitters (Muslims) greet other people by saying Salaam (Peace be upon you). This is similar to Shalom in Hebrew:
[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is Omniscient, Cognizant.

Therefore, the religion of Islam (Submission), advocates freedom, peace and mutual agreement and admonishes aggression. The following verses make it very clear:
[5:87] …and do not aggress; God dislikes the aggressors.
[7:199] …You shall resort to pardon, advocate tolerance, and disregard the ignorant.

The true religion of Islam forbids the killing of innocent people, irrespective of the cause whether religious, political or social belief:
[6:151]…You shall not commit gross sins, obvious or hidden. You shall not kill – God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice…
[17:33]You shall not kill any person, for God has made life sacred — except in the course of justice.

The laws of the scriptures that apply to the Christians and Jews are repeated and emphasized for the Muslims in the Quran which are found in the verse mentioned above (5:32).

Destruction of property and lives

Acts of terror and destruction are condemned in the Quran. Now it should be clear that no religion of God would justify corrupt acts of terror designed to destroy property and lives:
[2:204] Among the people, one may impress you with his utterances concerning this life, and may even call upon GOD to witness his innermost thoughts, while he is a most ardent opponent.
[2:205] As soon as he leaves, he roams the earth corruptingly, destroying properties and lives. GOD does not love corruption.
[5:11] O you who believe, remember GOD’s blessings upon you; when some people extended their hands to aggress against you, He protected you and withheld their hands. You shall observe GOD; in GOD the believers shall trust.

Jihad and war

We hear the word “jihad” being used in many terror attacks too. Most people including an overwhelming majority of the Muslims are ignorant of the true meaning of jihad in light of Quran. They think that the Quran teaches its followers to be fanatic advocates and patrons of wars, that the religion of Islam was spread by the sword.

However, the term jihad has attained a very derogatory connotation. People make a very grave mistake when they speak of jihad but mean war. They should check the Quran and see what it says on the issue of war, its true status and laws. Should not its meaning and implication be understood in light of Quranic teaching?

Literally speaking, jihad means struggle and/or striving in the cause of God and in its widest scope includes killing and being killed in His cause. There are two different aspects of jihad or struggle such as 1)against Satan and all enemies of God and His religion and 2) against the evil inclinations of one’s inner self.

The injunctions on jihad and war are so abundant and comprehensible in the Quran that they leave no reservation or uncertainty in the minds of believers about the spirit of these very clear commands. These are important, undoubtedly, or they would not have been mentioned so many times. However, in general speaking, “Jihad” is the striving for God for our own good but there is no warfare implied.

When can we then resort to war? War is only allowed as a measure of security, and is restricted to fighting in self-defense. All aggressors have been strongly condemned. As long as disputes can be settled through conciliatory means and rights and claims can be peacefully attained and imposed, we are required to refrain from fighting. Only, when there is no other option, must we then fight with full vitality and induce the enemy to see his relief in peaceful and equitable co-existence with the believers. The rules of war are explained in the Quran as found in (2:190-193):
[2:190] You may fight in the cause of God against those who attack you, but do not aggress. God does not love the aggressors.
[2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers.
[2:192] If they refrain, then God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[2:193] You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship God freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors.

Aggression and oppression are strongly condemned throughout the Quran while fighting is allowed strictly in self-defense,which is regulated by the basic rules as well found in (60:8-9).
[60:8] God does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. God loves the equitable.
[60:9] God enjoins you only from befriending those who fight you because of religion, evict you from your homes, and band together with others to banish you. You shall not befriend them. Those who befriend them are the transgressors.

However, acts of destruction of property and lives by suicide bombers are not jihad rather violation of God’s laws committing suicide reaping the consequences as aggressors, oppressors and murderers instead of reward from God as martyrs what they are ignorantly and mistakenly expecting to be given to them:
[4:29] O you who believe, do not consume each other’s properties illicitly – only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted. You shall not kill yourselves. God is Merciful towards you.

Whom to Blame?

Several groups calling themselves Christians, Jews or Muslims, have used terrorism to force their agenda, issues or beliefs. None of these groups represent the true religion of the Christians or Jews any more than these terrorists represent Islam. The blame lies with the terrorists and not the religion they claim to adhere to. Not everyone who calls himself a Muslim is a Muslim just as not everyone who thinks of himself as a Jew or a Christian is one.

The religion of Islam should not be confused with what these so-called Muslims have done. They actually, by the definition of the Quran, are not Muslims any more than the Ku Klux Klan are good Christians.

Conclusion

Terrorists supposedly taking the name of God (Allahu Akbar in Arabic), speaking in the name of Islam and using the word of “jihad” have killed many innocent people throughout the world in the last decade but the acts of terror are against God’s teachings in the Quran. Even neither religious nor political ideology could ever justify or excuse acts of terror designed to hurt or kill innocent people.Satan has surely gotten hold of such people who claim to be Muslims and has proven to them and to the whole world that the irreligion has nothing to do with the Islam.

God’s religion, as preached by all God’s prophets and messengers including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and many others forbids all aggression and never permits murder. God tells His Sub mitters to advocate peace, tolerance and kindness and He teaches them that life is sacred (6:151, 17:33, 25:68). We should not let our emotions overcome our logic and understanding and should spread the true message of Islam (Submission) in all scriptures of God: peace, freedom and justice for all:
[6:151]…You shall not commit gross sins, obvious or hidden. You shall not kill – God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand.
[17:33] You shall not kill any person – for God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give his heir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder, he will be helped.
[25:68] They never implore beside God any other God, nor do they kill anyone – for God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. Nor do they commit adultery. Those who commit these offenses will have to pay.

Our Creator is one and the same. The God of the Muslims is the same God of the Jews and of the Christians and He does not permit killing of innocent people.Then, why the Western world only serves the terrorists’ cause by name calling and false accusations of everyone who happens to be a true God-fearing Muslim. However, terrorism, without any doubt is a horrendous act being aggression, oppression and murder. Hence, terrorists and those who support them cannot escape punishment when they will meet their Lord but if we all irrespective of religious and political ideology could stand against all kinds of terrorism only through unity for the sake of humanity, we would be able to eradicate them and bring them to justice here too.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
Tafazzal (12/4/2015)