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:

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 about 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 shariah 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.”1617

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 http://www.masud.co.uk

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.

33 thoughts on “Terrorism is to Jihad as Adultery is to Marriage

  1. Very thorough and timely reminder! Many Muslims lack the correct understanding of the subject matter. The passion, frustration and vengeance dictate them to do atrocious crimes yet they feel they are doing the best to please Allaah. For such people, Allaah reminded us in Qur’an:

    Say: Shall We inform you of the greatest losers in (their) deeds?
    “Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works?” (Chapter 18:103-104)

    It boils down to impurity & disease within the heart – even worse is the fact that we even lack the insight of it!!!

  2. Thank you for this timely reminder! It is our obligation to circulate this piece as widely as possible so that it reaches those who are in the most dire need of it. InshAllah.

    1. I agree with you Ali Shah that we need such discourses to be disseminated widely and to reach those who are confused or are being enticed into violent extremism. It’s a case here of: Help one another in righteousness and piety, and help not one another in sin and transgression. [5:2]

  3. Jazak Allah Khair for clarification on this subject. The awful atrocity of the unprovoked and mindless attack upon that innocent man, by those barbaric monsters was horrific and shocking. These acts of violence we hear about, carried out by our own Muslims resounds all too loudly in the ears of the world and negate all the good that the Muslims preach and practice. They hear Muslim Scholars and Leaders time after time refuting the use of violence within Islam and how Islam is a religion of Peace, but sadly what they hear is a total contradiction to what they see and experience – awful acts of terrorism all carried out in the name of Islam. Our Religious Leaders in the Mosques should be preaching and teaching the congretation that instead of arming themselves with knives and machetes and getting roused up with hatred and anger, they should arm themselves with Knowledege, Truth & Peace. Inshallah let there be Peace – A’meen.

    1. Barakallahu fikum. Your sentiments probably reflect those of most Muslims; and you are right, actions do tend to speak louder than words. And though British Muslims should be free to criticise the foreign policies of their government – with justice; fair, but firm language; and wisdom – Muslim communities need to reach out locally (through dialogue and acts of service) far more than we are currently doing. And Allah knows best.

  4. The words Islam, Muslim and Qur’an all invoke the word ‘Peace’, if the heart reciprocates the soul’s constant assurance of the invisible connection to the Universe of absolute understanding, of that everlasting love, that truth and peace will be victorious. It cannot be written but that chord remains steadfast and connected, if truly believed. Terrorism is carried out within all humanity, without any faith or understanding of what that victim has to endure.Twenty one children were killed in the USA by a person of another faith. People are killed and slaughtered every day in the US by crazed people carrying weapons they have no understanding about.Muslims are not responsible for those who profess to be muslim, as those two are reported to be because of words they uttered. It is known that they, like those claiming to be other faiths, can murder and are not of a faith known to any human. Muslims, IMO, do not have to apologise for those two mad men on drugs, as there has to be a bigger picture that no one has even thought of yet or perhaps are really scared to even discuss.

    1. Maashallah! Yes I agree with you, “Muslims are not responsible for those who profess to be muslim, as those two are reported to be because of words they uttered. ” Of course we’re not responsible for all the “bad” Muslims out there, but unfortuantely Islam, as a religion does get tarnished and targeted by the rest of those who do not understand.

  5. asSalaamualaikum
    A very good article alhamdulillah. What I would add and this has been touched upon but perhaps not intended in the scope of this article is a clear way forward. We need to understand the psyche of many of these (younger) people who resort to these actions. They are painfully aware of the many injustices being perpetrated against Muslims in the Muslim world and they want to do something about it. We need to tell them that Islam doesn’t allow acts of violence but just telling them that isn’t enough. They need to be told how they can channel their frustration into actions that can bring about change and be within the remit of Islam. Sadly many in our community ignore this aspect and just condemn these action without giving a solution. A small minority of these people are looking for an excuse and if we are not willing to provide solutions then there are those who are willing to fill the void.

    1. Spot on br Rizwan. May Allah reward you. These are our brothers in faith, many whose hearts bleed for the ummah. Nonetheless, we need to help them channel their hurt, anger and rage away from such acts and attitudes, into beneficial ones. And Allah’s help is sought. The mere cussing and cursing is of little use and of little faith.

  6. what do you mean by covenant, i was born here in the UK who have I made a covenant with?

    1. As explained by the near totality of scholars and jurists, such as Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi, we either have an explicit verbal or written covenant, or an implicit one (where it is understood by the state that they will grant the individual protection and access to the law, in return for the individual obeying the law and not causing harm or mischief). Being born in Britain necessitates an implicit agreement (until one’s name is put on their parents’ passport, or until they get their own passport. For then, the contract is a written one.

      One cannot enjoy the benefits of Britain (transport, free healthcare, free schooling to a certain age, access to the law, shelter of security provided by state institutions, etc., and then claim one is not under a covenant of security. Our scholars have stated in our manuals of fiqh, that if a person is granted security from one party, and he accepts it, there is an implied obligation of his reciprocating the security – otherwise he should never have accepted it (or he should immediately rescind it).

      Bottom line: If your covenant was not explicitly manifested, it is implicit and still binding. This is something you will not find our jurists – classical or contemporary – differing over. The only other alternative is to give up your covenant of security and agree that you have no protection whatsoever (in terms of your life, family and property and suffer the consequences.

      I’m sure this brief response suffices. The words of the jurists are categorical about this matter.

      One final point: jurists have even spoken about the unlawfulness of an individual Muslim breaking their political pledge or pact with non-Muslims, especially when the consequences will be dire for other Muslims. This makes their treachery even worse and repulsive, according to the shari’ah teachings.

  7. Praise be to Allah swt whose mercy & blessings we all expect in our lives and in the Hereafter. A well argued point of view presented with authentic references on a topic which has always been seen by critics of Islam as a weapon to use against it.

    As the author rightly points out the three influences against which one needs to strive before he attains a level of piety, we need to focus first on our (nafs) ego, then the external influences (devilish distractions) which we need to strive against and only then comes combating with the enemy which again is the responsibility of the Head of an Islamic State (Ulul Amr) and not any individual.

    Unfortunately, certain elements promoting a hard line approach to the untrained young minds are working on a confrontational agenda to perpetuate their own objectives. While we may differ as citizens of a state with its internal or external policies and our concerns are genuinely to protect human rights and dignity of our fellow human beings in other lands, we do have reasonable means of voicing our opinions in the UK through media, local and national representatives in the political bodies and the courts. Even though this may fall on deaf ears as happened in the case of massive public protests against the Iraq war, but it then remains upon the conscience of the perpetrators of such ruthless invasions who ignored the opinion of their people and are now looked down by the masses as war criminals.

    While terrorising innocent individuals going about their normal daily life by threatening them with bombs or machetes or throwing petrol bombs on places of worship cannot be condoned by any sane human being, one has to simultaneously look at the state policy which is causing such irrational acts. The confused political statement made by the Woolwich killer after the heinous crime committed by him reflects the state of mind of the young who have been misled by the opportunist preachers with their own objectives targeting the study circles and the jails.

    Most of the British public is against the UK military presence in foreign lands where young soldiers become the target of the local dissidents against the Western occupation forces, it would be correct to believe that Iraq is more fragmented after the fake WMD invasion and Afghanistan is still uncontrollable by the 34 nation foreign occupation. The destruction of the land and its people in two of the worlds oldest civilisations has reached unacceptable levels. The wise move would be to withdraw the forces and admit the mistakes of the past and let the people of the region resolve their own problems while we have enough on our plates in terms of the economic turmoil landed by the financial crisis of 2008.

    One can also not ignore that while we rightly condemn the “AlQaeda Style” attacks on our territory and show our resolve to fight terrorism on the one hand, at the same time our Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister are issuing statements that the government is considering to supply arms Al Qaeda backed Al Nusrah group fighting against the Syrian government. It is these double standards of our rulers that cause further confusion among most sincere and peaceful citizens of this country. While we condemn any act of terrorism on one hand we are supporting the terrorists in another land.

    I hope the Woolwich incident will be an eye opener for all those who have until now complacently allowed things to pass, we need to be alert about such negative elements amongst our ranks and at the same time it should give a pause to those in the higher echelons not just to curtail the civil liberties in the wake of such barbaric acts but review its own policies as well.

    1. Jazakallahu khayran. Many mature points raised and observations made. Plenty of practical matters for us all to act upon, and some food for thought and brotherly debate.

      Once again, thank you.

  8. Assalamu Alaikum!

    Not that i’m condoning many of what is happening… but what is the understanding of our scholars to the hadith “jihaad shall remain untill the hour is established” ?

    1. And jihad indeed does remain until then.

      This is not discussing the validity of jihad. Instead, we are discussing what is valid in jihad and warfare (especially as it applies to British Muslims), as per shari’ah teachings.

      A British Muslim may reasonably hold that since America and Britain are waging a war of aggression in Iraq, that defensive jihad is therefore required. However, a British Muslim is not allowed to help the defence through any acts of treachery or subversion on mainland Britain, or to any of its people (civilians or soldiers). Nor can he participate in such a defence, unless he first gives up his covenant of security.

  9. On behalf of Hind:

    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.

    1. 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.

      1. Jazak Allaahu Khair for the clarification.

        I am willing to translate this article in Bangla, and want to post it as fb note. Because I see many of my fellow Islamic friends have prejudice & preset ideas about the concept of Jihad. I see this article as brief yet comprehensive.

        Can I do it Shaikh?

        1. Yes, you may do so. And may Allah grant you the ease and the skill to translate the piece correctly, accurately and in a way that remains faithful to the original piece (observing the nuances of what I have NOT said, as much as what I have). And may Allah reward you abundantly for you concern and your efforts.

          One more point. I request that before you post the translation publicly, you send me a copy so that one of the brother’s who works with me at the Jawziyyah Institute (and who is fluent in Bangla) can review the final translation.

          Ps. They have misspelt my name. It is Not Shurkeel, but rather Surkheel

          1. Alhamdu lillaah. Me too was feeling a need of a review by an expert.

            Translation is always a traitorous job as the saying goes: “traduttore, traditore.” i.e, “translator, traitor.” So an expert review will always minimize that traitorous effect insha Allaah.

            Two more things Shaikh:

            1. You may not be a familiar figure in our locality. So it would be better if I could provide a brief bio along with the translation. There is a brief ‘about you’ in muslimmatters.org. Will it be enough? Or do you feel for more or something different with respect to Bangla speaking people?

            2. A mail address to send a copy…

            That’s it.

  10. 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.

    This was also the case in Russia when Uzbeks and Tajiks who were part of USSR then were fighting against Russian soldiers on behalf of Afghan mujahideen. And the powers that may be and also pretty much ulema around the world ok’ed it, even though as per some an earlier comment that would breaking the covenant and treachery of the highest order. Why was it ok in the war but against the current western powers. From the Islamic fiqh POV what changed for radically opposite fatawas.

    I would really appreciate if you can shed some light on this. Jazak”Allah Khair,

  11. MashAllah tabarakAllah
    Very impressive heading that has the clear message not to derogate the word Jehad
    The article very constructive that will or should discourage the neutral sceptics not to misinterpret
    Jazakalla khair

    1. Barakallahu fikum. But I can’t take any credit for the superb title. I lifted it straight from the words of Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad in his brilliant series of Contentions, as mentioned in the article.

      I pray that the article can and has helped some people to shed any false notions of murderous extremism.

  12. I wish articles like these would engage with the actual works of alt-Jihadists bullet point by bullet point.

    I say this because there are points not addressed that the young man (or woman) who follows the pied piper of Jihadist media knows too well and will not be persuaded by the article.

    For example, point (3) Ibn Qudamah also says in AI Mughni 8/253: “The absence of an Imam does not postpone the jihad
    because much is lost in its postponement”.

    This is cited by Abdullah Azzam in his book “In Defence of Muslim Lands” under the question “Can we fight jihad while we haven’t an Amir?”

    It would be good to see Safar al-Hawali’s responses to Abdullah Azzam further elaborated.

    I think the factors that result in a young Muslim committing the acts that motivated writing this blog article can come down to two matters:

    (1) Who do you take your religion from in the first place?
    (2) How do you deal with some very legitimate anger, frustration, resentment and a whole host of negative emotions?

    On the second matter: negative emotions in of themselves are not a problem, so long as they are experienced in a healthy matter. So, for example, one should feel sad at the passing of a loved one. One can become withdrawn and cry, (that is healthy) however if this state persists for years and is accompanied with self-harm, then that is unhealthy.

    We can’t control everything that happens in the world, but we can control our thoughts and actions. I would like to see more channels for healthy expression of anger, resentment and frustration. Those negative feelings can result from a complicated mixture of seeing what happens to people who share your religion around the world as well as the humiliations and suspicions that are directed against you in your own country of birth.

    On the first matter, your website is dealing with that commendably.

    وفقكم الله

    1. You make a valid point; and one that I readily concede to. My articles on jihad and terrorism, while not being a point by point critique or rebuttal of any one particular article, has dealt with most of the core questions I’ve picked up from discussions with brothers and ideologues who hold that bent of mind, or form some of their literature.

      If you have a particular article in mind, or particulars issues that haven’t been addressed (other than the one you highlighted), I’d be interested in knowing about them.

      May Allah bless you for pointing out the serious flaw in the article. Perhaps I’ll have an occasion to remedy that in the near future.

  13. Assalamu Alaykum , the article is great and informative. Terrorists themselves obviously knows that it is not permissible in Islam to kill innocent civilian so, they try to justify their actions by using various arguments as you have mentioned that being a citizen of democratic country makes them combatant which you refuted.

    I would like to mention another point which the terrorists use is that the civilians pay taxes to their government which in turn is used in the military purposes so, by this logic the civilians become combatants as they are helping the military with their money indirectly. How can I go about refuting this claim? If you could reply by refuting this point I would be grateful.

    Jazak Allahu khayran.

    1. Also if someone supports the enemy army through propaganda or opinion do they fall under the definition of combatants?

      Jazak Allahu khayran

      1. In the end, a legitimate Muslim state and it’s executive authority will have to decide what type of action to take. But the lives of women, children and ordinary citizens who are not part of the ahl al-qital combatants are inviolable.

    2. The public paying taxes does not necessarily mean that they support every governmental foreign policies, as is known. Taxes also go to finding roads, parks and essential public services too.

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