The Fatwa Every Muslim Leader Should Be Issuing
In the Quran and the Hadith, there is no definitive decree on who has the right to issue a fatwa, or religious ruling. Tradition has dictated those with formal education and training in Islamic law should be the only ones issuing fatwas. But, fatwas are not binding, and since there are multiple schools of Islamic jurisprudence, anyone can technically declare themselves a scholar and issue a fatwa. In fact, there are multiple Hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) that say a Muslim is free to disobey a fatwa if it doesn’t feel write in his/her heart. So what’s the point of all this? I think that, instead of writing fatwas that say volunteering for the Mars space mission is against Islam, or fatwas against instant messaging on social media, this is the fatwa that every Muslim should be issuing.
In the name of Allah, most beneficent and merciful.
Terrorism and the killing of innocent people, whether they be Muslims or not, is expressly forbidden in Islam. No Muslim should condone or support that actions of terrorist organizations, nor should any Muslim carry out terrorist actions which target innocent people or attempt to inspire fear in the public. Any Muslim who commits a terrorist act or supports terrorism is committing a sin under Islam and will be punished accordingly in the Hereafter.
The Holy Quran, in Surat Al-Maidah, Chapter 5, Verse 32, states, “For this reason, We made it a law for the children of Israel that the killing of a person for reasons other than legal retaliation or for stopping corruption in the land is as great a sin as murdering all of mankind. However, to save a life would be as great a virtue as to save all of mankind.” The Quran only allows for the killing of a person if it is in retaliation for aggression already committed or for spreading severe corruption in the land.
The Holy Quran, in Surat Al-Baqarah, Chapter 2, Verse 190, states, “Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not, aggressors.” Allah expressly forbids beginning hostilities against others. Aggression is not permitted in Islam.
The tradition of Islamic war further demonstrates that the tactics used by terrorists are not permitted. To be legitimate, in addition to meeting all the criteria for a just war, Islamic war must be declared by a leader of the umma, or Muslim community. No such universal leader exists in today’s world. The Prophet (PBUH) further expressly forbade the killing of women, children, and the old (Sahih Al-Bukhari, 3015). The Muslim, even if engaged in a just battle, will not kill non-combatants, as terrorists regularly do.
All of this also aside from the reality that terrorist organizations commit violence against their Muslim brothers and sisters, which is definitely forbidden in Islam.
Islam does not permit the killing of innocents, nor does it permit violent aggression in the name of the religion. Not even the Verse of the Sword, as it has come to be known, allows for the killing of innocents or for killing as an act of aggression, only as an act of defensive warfare.
So let it be decreed that terrorist actions, and support of those actions, are forbidden in Islam. Truly those who engage in such actions are committing a grave sin and an act of disbelief. Grave punishment, not reward, await them in the afterlife.