Most of us are aware that the world is affected by violent behaviors of different individuals or groups and it has increased significantly in recent years. Religions, in particular Islam, have received a great deal of criticism due to these activities. Even though the vast majority of Muslims condemn terrorism, the frequency and cruelty of the assaults have led many people to ask tough questions about Islam. In reality, there is no direct link between religious beliefs and violent behaviors. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and most of whom live peacefully and lead productive social lives. However, there’s no escaping this fact that the number of attacks committed by self-proclaimed Muslims has risen sharply in recent years. Those attacks have led some critics to argue that Islam is inherently violent.
After an in-depth and critical analysis based research of Islam with the targeted keyword- “terrorism and Islam” there were no direct or indirect links found in the Quran, Hadith or in the lifespan of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his early followers’ that support the idea of terrorism. In fact, there are over hundred verses in the Quran and authentic Hadith which oppose and condemn the act and idea of today’s terrorist groups like ISIS, Boko Haram and Al-Kaida. It was found in the research that, criticisms and abuse to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has started since the first day he calls people to Islam. Through his 23 years of Prophet-hood, the opposition used to oppose, mock, abuse and assault him violently. They used to call him “mad man” (Qur’an 81:22), “soothsayer” (Qur’an 69:42), “a poet” (Qur’an 69:41), “liar” (Qur’an 69:44), “word of a devil” (Qur’an 81:25). On top of this, they have assaulted him physically in a city of Saudi Arabia (Tayef) during his dawah work.
Furthermore, the freedom of belief is guaranteed in Islam and forcing someone to convert to a specific religion is strongly prohibited in Islam. The Qur’an says, “There is no compulsion in religion, (do not force anyone to become Muslim)” Al-Quran 2:256. Islam looks at religious faith as a matter of conviction, once the basic facts are provided and explained. Faith is never a matter of coercion or compulsion. To achieve this conviction, Islam addresses the human being in totality. It addresses the human mind and intellect, human common sense, emotions and feelings, the innermost human nature, and the whole human conscious being. Freedom of belief is the most basic right that identifies man as a human being. To deny anyone, this right is to deny him or her humanity. Freedom of belief also implies the freedom to express and propagate one’s belief without fear of threat or persecution; otherwise, that freedom is hollow and meaningless.
During the time of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), he and his followers responded to these verbal and physical abuses in a peaceful manner such as politely deny them, treat them just and equally in due course, seeking forgiveness for them and ask Allah to guide them. There were no records in the Quran and Hadith that the Prophet (PBUH) or his early followers reacted to abusive situations in violent manner or forced people to accept Islam as well as initiated a single battle as all the battle of Islam was only to defense the Muslim from the attack. Instead, all the verses regarding those issues illustrate that the answer was a humble way of denying as Allah guides the Prophet (PBUH) and his followers to be patient and response only with knowledge and wisdom in a peaceful manner. Allah taught the Prophet (PBUH) and his followers to be patient and promised to reward highly in the hereafter. Allah says “Beautified is the life of this world for those who rejected, and they mock at those who accepted. But those, who obey Allah and keep away from what He has forbidden, will be above them on the Day of Resurrection (Quran 2:212).
Therefore, whoever response violently to similar kind of abuse that was started from the day one of the Prophet’s preaching life or initiated a battle in anywhere in the name of Islam like ISIS, clearly will not be a follower of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). No matter if he/she is a born or new Muslim, highly spiritual or normal, moderate or old-dated, young or mature; they are inventing a new path by opposing the teaching of the messenger. There is a great warning for such doers in the Quran, chapter 4, verse 115. “Whoever makes or innovate a different path of Messenger, after guidance has become clear to him, and follows a path, other than the path of the believers, We shall turn him over to what he has turned to, We shall make him a leader of the misguidance which he has followed by leaving this as it is between them in this world, and We shall expose him, We shall admit him in the Hereafter, in Hell, where he will burn – an evil journey’s end, an [evil] return it is”.
Moreover, individuals or groups involving themselves in incidents like 9/11 or 7/7, don’t have any link with Islam. In fact, there are more than hundred verses in the Quran and Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which directly warn and oppose such attacks. For example, Allah says in the Quran chapter 5, verse 27, 28 and 29 that the first follower of the Satan (devil) was a terrorist and the first sin made on the earth was a murder. Furthermore, Allah forbids Paradise for suicide bombers as they are those who takes their own life (Qur’an 4:29). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) further explained this point through this hadith, “A man was inflicted with wounds and he committed suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 445).
The list goes on, whoever kills a human being it would be as if he killed the entire humanity (Quran 5:32). The terrorists are following another path other than Islam. Allah says that the wrongdoers are among those who are following different path other than Islam (Quran 6:53). The killing is the character of most hated sinners in Islam. As it says in the chapter 7, verse 127, “The chiefs of Fir’auns (Pharaoh) said: “We will kill their sons, and let live their women, and we have indeed irresistible power over them. Extremism is clearly prohibited in Islam as it says in the Qur’an “the monasticism (monasticism: being secluded from the world in order to fulfill religious vows) which they have invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them, but (they sought it) only to please Allah therewith, but they did not observe it with the right observance”. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also said in this point. “Do not be very strict on yourselves for then Allah will be strict upon you. Verily, people were strict upon themselves so Allah was strict upon them.
The wrongdoers like ISIS terrorists are cursed by Allah as they don’t follow the Quran and the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). They have invented their own way to get worldly benefits by initiating battle and committing genocide. So, the terrorists are among those who prefer their leaders over Allah. As Allah says in chapter 2, verse 165, “and of mankind are some who take others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe love Allah more (than anything else). If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, which all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is Severe in punishment”.
The terrorists are among those who distort the Quran. As Allah says that among believers there is a group who distort the Quran in order to take earthly advantage as they use it to commit their targeted tasks. The way, they use the Quran to certify their crime, is generally seems that it is from the Book of Allah, but Allah says it is not from the Book of Allah. Allah says this is how they are speaking lie against Allah while they know it. Besides distorting the Quran, this group also conceals some verses of the Quran and they purchase a small gain of worldly things therewith. Allah says that He will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor purify them, and there will be a painful torment. Due to the hypocrisy of this group, the people are dividing in to the different groups and sects otherwise the believers would be in one united nation worldwide.
Often some extremists quote some verses of the Quran to support their ideas and to get positive attention from the community towards their views. They do it either by ignorance without looking at the contextual background of those verses and Hadiths (that they quote) or intentionally to achieve personal/organizational benefit. They also fail to notice the way the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and earlier Muslims acted on those verses. In reality, they abuse the verses and use it to misguide uneducated (Islamic education) Muslims by brainwashing their mind with some emotional facts. Therefore, a Muslim should not be fouled by the terrorist group and join them to help them in evil activities in the name of Islam.
About the writer;
Masud Alam, author 6 books, including “Religious Terrorism”, “Four Worlds of Soul”, “Summary of Human Life and 3 others. Most of the books available over 20 countries. https://www.facebook.com/WriterMasudAlam