Category:Laws - Fiqh, Lifestyle - Morals, Wisdom - Spirituality, Traditions - Hadith, Young Readers, Comparative Religion,
Tags:Peace and Jihad in Islam,Unknown,holy,war,Laws - Fiqh,Lifestyle - Morals,Wisdom - Spirituality,Traditions - Hadith,Young Readers,Comparative Religion
Introduction On September 11, 2001, a few individuals hijacked four civilian airplanes and used them as weapons against various targets, to create terror in the United States. All the crew and passengers in the four planes, as well as about three thousand civilians lost their lives in those attacks. The foreign policies of the United States of America vis-à-vis Muslim countries do not justify the killing of American civilians. This is not what Islam teaches. Look at the instructions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during war-time: he clearly forbade the killing of the elderly, children, and women. Those who lost their lives in the World Trade Center towers and in the planes were all civilians, and quite a few of them were Muslim. All Muslim leaders in the United States of America, Canada, and around the world, clearly condemned the hijacking that was committed in the United States as act of terrorism which is not acceptable by Islam. This condemnation is based on the universal value of sanctity for human life. The holy Qur’ãn relates the story of the first murder in human history, that of the two sons of Adam in which Cain (Qãbīl) murdered his brother Abel (Hãbīl). This is in Chapter 5 of the Qur’ãn, verses 27 to 31. At the conclusion of this story, Almighty God says: “Whosoever kills a person without any reason (of murder or mischief in the earth), it is as though he has killed all the people. And whosoever saves a single life, it is as though he has saved all the people.” (5:32) It is clear from this verse that (1) unless a person is put on trial and proven to have murdered someone, he or she cannot be killed; and that (2) killing an innocent person is tantamount to killing all of mankind. So What About Jihãd? One of the ironies of this era is that although the means of communication have greatly advanced, people still have difficulty in creating a meaningful communication and dialogue with other cultures and religions. There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding of the Islamic faith. Many individuals, laymen as well as experts, have tried to link 9/11 to the concept of jihãd in Islam. In one prominent Toronto radio talk show, soon after 9/11, one caller stated that ‘what happened was 10% terrorism, and 90% Islam’. A fundamentalist Christian leader in the US, stated on his TV show, that ‘probably Muhammad was a terrorist’. Due to misconceptions and stereotypes such as these, it is important to talk about jihãd in Islam.