By Ishola Balogun
Muslims all over the world stand in solidarity with Paris and the people of France. It was extremely another wicked act from the blood thirsty terrorists. It is becoming clearer to the world that terrorists world-over are not Muslims, in fact we wonder if they are even humans. Those carrying out heinous crimes in the name of Islam do not have the support of millions of Muslims all over the world.
If a Muslim is a person who makes a commitment to live in peace through servitude to Allah, therefore the actions of a few fanatical individuals who accidentally happen to have Muslim names or ascribe themselves to the Muslim faith should not be a yardstick by which Islam is judged.
In Nigeria here, we have been having our share of the terror attacks. Many of these attacks claimed the lives of thousands of Muslims. In one of the attacks, recently, the vampires stormed a village in the North East, in the wee hours, called out a early morning prayer and genuine Muslims came out to observe their prayers only to be slaughtered by these vampires called Boko Harram. How can they be Muslims?
There were several other Mosques attacks during Jumat prayers, there were several targets on other prominent Muslims who openly condemned their activities. But we know God the Creator of every being is watching and will serve His judgment on all those who cause mischief on earth and caused pains to others. They will definitely be punished by Allah as though they have killed the whole of humanity.
Like every other concerned individual, we mourn the horrific killings of 129 people in the last Friday attack. May Almighty Allah be pleased with their souls and give their families the strength to bear the loss.
To understand Islam’s stance on terrorism, one must refer to its original sources, the Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, (s.a.w)which are explicit in their prohibition of any form of injustice including that of terrorism which seeks to instill fear, injury or death to civilians.
The Quran turns our attention to the high value of human life, whether it is Muslim or non-Muslim and makes it absolutely forbidden to take an innocent life unjustly. The gravity of such a crime is equated, in the Quran, with the killing of all humanity.
“On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one 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 any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.” ( 5:32 )
Not only is human life sacred in Islam but the property, wealth, family and dignity of all individuals in society are to be respected and protected. Those who transgress these rights and sow fasad (corruption) as the Quran describes it, incur the wrath of Allah.
The message of the Quran is clear as we have seen, that the sanctity of any human life is to be respected and any violation in that regard is paramount to the worst crime. Mercy is at the heart of the Islamic call, “We sent thee (O Muhammad) not save as a mercy for the peoples” (21:107); a totally different message to what the terrorists are sadly imparting to humanity.
Concept of Jihad
Jihad is usually associated with Islam and Muslims, but in fact, the concept of Jihad is found in all religions,political and economic ideologies, and of course all other life endeavours. Islam defines Jihad as striving and struggling for improvement as well as fighting back to defend one’s self, honor, assets and homeland. Also, Jihad is interpreted as the struggle against evil, internal or external of a person or a society.
Jihad, in Islam, means learn, teach, and practice Islam in all aspects of one’s life at all times to reach the highest and best education in order to benefit oneself, family and society. It means to be a messenger of Islam everywhere, in every behavior and action. Reject evil, wrongdoing, and injustice and not by coercing people to accept Islam.
Again, in Islam, there is no such thing as holy war. This terminology was generated in Europe during the crusades and their war against Muslims. Islam recognizes Jews and Christians because they all follow Prophet Ibrahim, believing in Moses and Jesus.
For many centuries even in the days of Prophet Muhammad, (s.a.w), Muslims have peacefully coexisted with Christians, Jews, and people of other faiths, maintaining social, business, political and economic treaties. Islam respects all humans and faiths as long as there is no religious oppression, forbidding Muslims from serving Allah, preventing others from learning about Islam, and not respecting treaties.
About 70 virgins
The concept of suicide and killing others to get “70 virgins” in Paradise, is quite silly. The fact of the matter is, the “companions of Paradise” are mentioned as being pure and so much above anything we might imagine on earth, so as to indicate to us they are new, pure (virgin) and are not touched by men or devils, a reward for discarding worldly life and materialism for better things in Paradise.