The Ruling of Suicide Bombing Operations which have increased in Modern Times
By Shaykh AbdusSallaam bin Salim bin Raja’ as-Suhaymee
Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya
Shaykh AbdusSallaam as-Suhaymee said:
‘Indeed the issue of speaking about Suicide missions, is that whether the person who is fought against, is he actually from the combatants, and that Jihad in reality is facing the Kuffar in a battle.
Suicide Missions have become a modern day fashion, and many people are sympathetic with the one who carries it out by looking at the goal behind these missions. The sympathetic person finds it sufficient from these missions that the intent of executing these missions is to raise the statement of Tawheed, and to aid Islaam and humble theKuffar as they claim.
However, what is the Sharia’ ruling regarding these Suicide Missions?
[The Ends Do not Justify the Means]
Indeed it is known from the Sharia’ that a good intention on its own is not sufficient to allow an action to be permissible according to the Sharia’. These people, who carry out Suicide Missions, propel themselves by saying that the means to the end take the same rulings of the intended goals, so if the goal is legislated in the Sharia’ then its means are also legislated in the Sharia’. However this is not acceptable, because the ends do not justify the means absolutely, rather it is obligatory that the means also have to be legislated in the Sharia’ to fulfill the goals in the Sharia’. As for, if the means are not legislated in the Sharia’ then it is not sufficient for the goal to be legislated. The principle for this is mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim from the saying of the Messenger–sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-:
( من عمل عملا ليس عليه أمرنا فهو رد )
‘Whoever does an action which we have not commanded then it is rejected.’
So every action which is not in accordance with the command of Allaah or His Messenger then it is rejected (Allaah does not accept it) from the one who does it, no matter how good his intention was.
Now that this point has been established, then indeed the well regarded scholars of today hold the view that these acts of suicide are not permissible, and from these scholars are: the respected Shaykh AbdulAzeez bin Baz -Rahimullaah-, and the noble Shaykh Muhammad bin Salih al-Uthaymeen, the respected Shaykh AbdulAzeez bin Abdullaah Alaa-Shaykh, the noble Shaykh Salih bin Fawzan al-Fawzan, and Shaykh AbdulAzeez ar-Rajihi, and Shaykh AbdulMuhsin al-Ubaykan and others.
The Sharia’ proofs from the Book and the Sunnah and the intellect, show that these operations are Haram according to the Sharia’.
From the Book of Allaah:
1- The saying of Allaah Ta’ala:
إِنْ يَمْسَسْكُمْ قَرْحٌ فَقَدْ مَسَّ الْقَوْمَ قَرْحٌ مِثْلُهُ وَتِلْكَ الْأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَيَتَّخِذَ مِنْكُمْ شُهَدَاءَ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ
If a wound (and killing) has touched you, be sure a similar wound (and killing) has touched the others. And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that Allaah may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allaah likes not the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrongdoers). [Ala-Imraan: 140]
The proof being: that this Ayaah contains the evidence for a principle, which is, that seeking martyrdom in the path of Allaah is a selection made by Allaah and the choice of Allaah Subhanahu, and it is not for everyone who wants to be a martyr. The view that it is permissible to carry out suicide missions to kill the enemy nullifies this principle. The proof for this point in this Ayaah is the saying of Allaah Subhanahu:
آمَنُوا وَيَتَّخِذَ مِنْكُمْ شُهَدَاءَ
So Allaah is the One who chooses who is martyred in His Way. As for the one who commits suicide to kill the enemy then he is not a martyr, because he himself has appointed the time in which to die, and this in the Sharia’ is defined as suicide.
2- The saying of Allaah Ta’ala:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَى مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنْفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيَقْتُلُونَ وَيُقْتَلُونَ
Verily, Allaah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be Paradise. They fight in Allaah’s Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. [Tawbah:111]
3- The saying of Allaah Ta’ala:
وَمَنْ يُقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيُقْتَلْ أَوْ يَغْلِبْ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
and whoso fights in the Cause of Allaah, and is killed or gets victory, We shall bestow on him a great reward. [Nisa:74]
The proof being from these two Ayaat: that the one who kills himself with explosives or in other ways wanting to kill the enemy then it is not correct to label him as a martyr;because the martyr is the one who is killed by the enemy. In the first Ayaahthose that have been promised Paradise are two types:
The combatant and the one killed by the enemy. And in the second Ayaah: the one promised with great reward is the one who is killed by the enemy or the one who is victorious, however whoever kills himself with explosives does not enter under the meaning of these two Ayaat.
4- The saying of Allaah Ta’ala:
وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا () وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ عُدْوَانًا وَظُلْمًا فَسَوْفَ نُصْلِيهِ نَارًا وَكَانَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرًا
And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allaah is Most Merciful to you. And whoever commits that through aggression and injustice, We shall cast him into the Fire, and that is easy for Allaah. [Nisa:29-30]
The proof being: This Ayaah generally includes a person committing suicide, and these type of suicide operations include killing the innocent, from women, old people and children, and there is no doubt that this is from transgression and oppression, and the one who carries out a suicide mission is deserving of this severe warning and it applies to him.
From the Sunnah:
1- From Abu Huraira –radiAllaah anhu- who said: That the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– said:
من قتل نفسه بحديدة فحديدته في يده يتوجأ بها في بطنه في نار جهنم خالدا مخلدا فيها أبدا و من شرب سما فقتل نفسه فهو يتحساه في نار جهنم خالدا مخلدا فيها أبدا و من تردى من جبل فقتل نفسه فهو يتردى في نار جهنم خالدا مخلدا فيها أبدا
‘Whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever. and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever. and whoever jumps off a mountain and kills himself, he will be jumping off into the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.’
[Collected by Bukhari & Muslim]
2- From Thaabit bin Dhihak that the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam–said:
من قتل نفسه بشيء عذب به يوم القيامة
‘Whoever kills himself with something then he will be punished with that thing on the day of Judgement.’
[Collected by Bukhari & Muslim]
3- From Abu Huraira –radiAllaah anhu- who said: That the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– said:
الذي يخنق نفسه يخنقها في النار و الذي يطعنها يطعنها في النار
‘Whoever strangles himself then he will strangle himself in the Hell-Fire, and whoever stabs himself then he will stab himself in the Hell-Fire.’
[Collected by Bukhari]
The proof being from these Ahadeeth:
That these Ahadeeth generally show that it is prohibited for a person to kill himself no matter what the reasons are, and this includes everyone that kills himself with whichever means used.
From the Intellect:
1- That these operations indeed bring a backlash with a greater evil consequence upon Islaam and the Muslims, whether that is in Palestine or in any other place. These operations in reality show contempt and scorn of the blood of the Muslims, and sacrifices for these operations are with no benefit worth mentioning.
2- That these operations actually fulfill the aims of the enemies of Islaam in an indirect way, by giving the enemies of Islaam the excuse by which they have fulfilled their aims in the easiest way, along with the clear weakness of the Muslims in defending themselves.
3- That these suicide missions which are aimed at other than those who are combatants from women, children and old people are a deterrent against the Deen of Allaah, because of the oppression of these suicide missions and their harshness, cheating, treachery, lying and all of these are contradictory to the Sharia’ of Islaam, all of them are contradictory and the explanation of that is from the following points:
First point: that the Deen of Islaam is the Deen of justice even in dealing with the enemy, so their oppression against the Muslims does not in turn justify oppressing them.
Allaah Ta’ala said:
وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ أَنْ صَدُّوكُمْ عَنِ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ أَنْ تَعْتَدُوا وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
and let not the hatred of some people in (once) stopping you from Al-Masjid al-Haraam (in Makkah) lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part). Help one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment. [Maidah:2]
Allaah Ta’ala said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allaah and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is WellAcquainted with what you do. [Maidah:8]
It is mentioned in the Hadeeth Qudsi that Allaah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala said:
‘O My worshippers, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another.’ [Collected by Muslim.]
There is no doubt that aiming for innocent people and killing them due to the crime of someone else is from the severest of Dhulm (oppression).
Second point: that the Deen of Islaam is the Deen of mercy and doing goodness, and this is not just to human beings alone, but even to animals, and these suicide missions are in contradiction to mercy.
Third point: That the Deen of Islaam is a Deen of courage and sacrifice, and it is not courage to hide behind treachery and deception. Indeed Allaah ordered us at the inception of fighting a people, between whom we have a contract with or at the time we fear from them an action, Allaah ordered us to give them an announcement of war before launching war against them. Allaah – Subhanahu – said:
وَإِمَّا تَخَافَنَّ مِنْ قَوْمٍ خِيَانَةً فَانْبِذْ إِلَيْهِمْ عَلَى سَوَاءٍ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْخَائِنِينَ
If you fear treachery from any people throw back (their covenant) to them (so as to be) on equal terms (that there will be no more covenant between you and them). Certainly Allaah likes not the treacherous. [Anfal:58]
Allaah obligated upon us that even in war with them that we do not kill except those who fight us from amongst their men. And these people who carryout suicide missions commit a great crime against Islaam and the Muslims, so they ascribed Islaam to oppression, treachery and cheating. Islaam is not aided with oppression nor with cheating.
What becomes clear from what has preceded, from the clear, authentic evidence that suicide operations are not allowed, which some have entitled: ‘martyr missions’ and that those who hold it to be permissible do not have any clear authentic proof what so ever, and what they use as proof for its permissibility is either a proof which is not authentic or it does not indicate to what they claim, and no one rejects this point except an ignorant person or someone who follows his desires.
And Allaah Knows Best.
[Taken From: ‘Jihad fee Islaam’ by Shaykh AbdusSallaam as-Suhaymee p.112 ]
All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace and blessings be upon our final Prophet Muhammad, his family, his Companions and all those who follow his guidance.