In today’s world, the word ‘terrorism’ is used loosely and all too carelessly, especially in its association with the religion of Islam. The ongoing myth that Islam condones terrorism has been making global headlines for decades. Muslims are having to apologize for various acts of terrorism that are being carried out all over the world, when they have no connection to that violence whatsoever.
What the Western world fails to see is that the term “Islamic terrorism” does not exist. It does not exist in the Holy Quran or the books of ahadith. It does not exist in any Islamic books or journals of any kind. Why? Because terrorism has no place in Islam and is out rightly condemned by Allah (SWT). “Islam” - in the truest sense of the word - means to commit to a life of peace through submission to Allah (SWT). Islam is a religion of peace, justice, freedom and mercy. Islam forbids any sort of mischief on earth. It strictly prohibits terrorism and any acts of violence. Terrorism essentially goes against every principle of Islam.
“And do good as Allah has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah likes not the Mufsidoon (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupt)” (Quran 28:77)
The Book of Allah (SWT), the Holy Quran, condemns terrorism and prescribes a great punishment for those who take part in it. The entire text of the Quran relays a message of harboring hope, peace and respect towards each and every human being. It stands for equal justice for all – irrespective of their race, ethnicity, religion, class etc. The Quran not only condemns acts of terror and violence towards other human beings, but it also endorses and propagates mercy, forgiveness, kindness and patience.
“The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree),but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from God, for God loves not those who do wrong. But indeed, if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong done to them, against such there is no cause of blame. The blame is only against those who oppress men with wrongdoing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice. For such there will be a penalty grievous (in the Hereafter). But indeed, if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an affair of great resolution.” (Quran 42:40-43)
Islam stands for equal rights and justice for each and every soul. In the eyes of Allah (SWT), the murder of one individual is like murdering all of humankind, and saving an individual’s life is equivalent to saving all of humanity – that is the value of a human life for Allah (SWT), which further eliminates any place terrorism may presume to hold in the domain of Islam.
“If anyone slays a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew all people. And if anyone saves a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all people.” (Quran 5:32)
The teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) further shed light on the commandments of Allah (SWT) and the prohibition of injustice and cruelty. He prohibited his men from killing any women or children, even during war (Sahih Muslim 1744). On another occasion, he is known to have said:
“Whoever kills a mu’aahid (non-Muslim living under Muslim rule) shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise, although its fragrance may be detected from a distance of forty years.” (Sahih Bukhari 3166).
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) condemned murder to be the second of the major sins anyone can commit in this world (Sahih Bukhari 6871) and he warned his followers that on the Day of Judgment:
“The first cases to be adjudicated between people on the Day of Judgment will be those of bloodshed.” (Sahih Bukhari 6533)
Islam is a religion that inspires love and kindness in the heart of human beings. Allah (SWT) asks His servants to be a source of comfort to His creation, for He loves those who are good to His creation. Allah (SWT) rewards every ounce of kindness one can muster, be it towards a fellow brother or sister or even towards a living animal. Allah (SWT) shuns those who cause harm and becomes a source of pain to those around them.
Islam, and all its practices, are governed by this ‘code of conduct’, which emphasizes love, peace, justice and security. Hence, the acts of instilling sheer terror in the hearts of defenseless civilians, the vast bombing and killing of innocent souls, be it men, women or children are all completely forbidden in Islam. Allah’s (SWT) religion is one of harmony, love and forgiveness. However, if an individual Muslim does take part in any act of terrorism, that individual would be found guilty of violating the laws of Islam and will be held accountable on the Day of Judgement. The only quality that distinguishes one man from another, in the eyes of Allah (SWT), is their level of faith and piety – nothing else!
Allah (SWT) tells His servants to always side with righteousness and stand up for it – no matter what the cost; that is what being a true Muslim entails.
“Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor, for God can best protect both. Follow not the cravings of your hearts, lest you swerve, and if you distort justice or decline to do justice, verily God is well acquainted with all that you do.” (Quran 4:135)