In recent times, Islam’s image has been particularly disfigured due to terrorist attacks that were traced to Islamic influence. Islam has been labeled a religion that promotes hostilities and violence. However, Islam rejects the blame and confronts the accusations with evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah that Islam is all about peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims.
In the world today, many acts of terrorism are blamed on Muslims. No doubt , quite number of attacks were the work of Muslims, but the fact is that often forgotten is that these people are either driven by nonreligious objectives or are extremists who have misunderstood their faith. Scholars of Islam agree that Muslim terrorists have deviated from basic teachings of Quran.
The Current Images of Islam
Passenger airplane hijackings, suicide bombings, tourist massacres and finally the World trade center attacks have all come together to paint a violent image of Islam for average person. Many non-Muslims look at Islam as bloodthirsty religion calling for violence, mass killings, and war against other communities.
Quranic verses do tell Muslims to fight the enemy, but such verses must be taken in complete context of the Surah to be understood. Just as the Quran discusses war, it mentions causes, methods, rules, and most important, conditions that apply. When a single verse is looked at without the surrounding text, it gives the comprehension that Allah tells Muslims to fight mercilessly , which leads to more misconceptions about Islam.
However, Muslims have been in conflict with others and with themselves for a long time, tarnishing the image of Islam with their own hands unfortunately.
The suicide bomber, for example, blows himself up thinking that he’ll go straight to Heaven as a martyr for killing member of the enemy with him. Perhaps they take the verses like the following out of context: “…Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah; and those who reject faith fight in the cause of Evil(idol). So you fight against the friends of Satan; feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.” Nisaa(76)
There is no truth in the interpretation that this means killing leads to reward, as the rule regarding killing of the innocent is crystal clear in the Quran… “if anyone slew a person-unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land- it would be as if he slew the whole people; and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if saved the life of the whole people…” Maida or The Table Spread(32)
This means that Allah would hold the terrorist guilty of killing all human kind, multiplied by the number of people killed. In other words if a terrorist killed ten people, Allah would judge the terrorist as though he had killed all of humankind ten times over. There is no excuse in the Quran for killing innocent, even if they belong to the enemy group.
What is jihad?
The word Jihad literally means striving or struggling in Islam. The term Jihad has caused a stir in recent years due to its presumed relationship to terrorism. Jihad is part of Islam, but it` s not all about violence as many believe. Whatever requires an effort to draw a believer closer to Allah is Jihad.
If a Muslim living in a non-Muslim community talks or write about Allah or Islam, he is performing Jihad.
If a Muslim fasting regularly, memorizing Quran and spending night in prayer it is a quality form of Jihad.
If a Muslim, helps people in every way , it`s a Jihad. So on…
Based on Quran and Sunnah Jihad can basically be divided into four categories;
- Jihad of the mind and heart
- Jihad of the tongue
- Jihad of the pen
- Jihad in battle
Killing is allowed only in face-to-face combat in Islam. Bombing civilians, whether in war or terror, is against the teaching of Allah in Quran. Prophet Muhammad’s battles serve as proof of this, as he never attacked civilians or killed war captives.
Source Book; The Everything Koran Book by Duaa Anwar
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