ISLAM, JIHAD, MUSLIMS AND NON-MUSLIMS
The inspiration for this topic derives, primarily, from the theme of this year’s conference – One Humanity Under God. What an excellent theme that is! But I am also inspired to address this topic because of the now daily occurrences of bombings in our nation, Nigeria as rivalled by similar, almost daily reports of killings, maiming, torture, rape and other indecent, violent and terrorist acts – supposedly in the name of Islam.
I am inspired to address this topic because of that aayat in Surah Yunus, chapter 10 verse 99 where Allah says:
And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed - all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?
I am inspired to talk about this because I have been close to being a victim of terrorism – and I will share two experiences with you.
This is not about me. No. It is about those who, unlike me, became victims of these two terrorist incidents. Many among those victims were everything that I said was then – plus more. Many were the sole breadwinners of their families. Many were whose children lost their future as a direct result of these terrible occurrences. And many were whose parents found early graves as a direct result of losing the joys of their eyes – their children. In some cases, their only child.
So who is a terrorist?
I may not know who a terrorist is, but I can tell you who a potential terrorist is amongst us, Muslims.
· He is that brother in whose eyes, everybody else’s Islam is deficient. His brand of Islam is the only true Islam;
· He is almost in a permanent state of sadness as he feels for every Muslim around him, because he believes they are in need of guidance;
· His attachment to Islam is emotional rather than intellectual and he submits to a shaykh whose word is the law as far as he is concerned. Whatever the shaykh says is never to be questioned.
· While there is nothing wrong with this per se, he then sees other shuyuk as inferior to this his shaykh such that where there’s a difference of opinion on any subject, his shaykh is, in his view, always right.
· He is quick to pronounce takfir on others, i.e. to describe other Muslims as Kaafir.
· He gives importance to things which are of secondary importance while almost completely neglecting issues of primary importance.
· He would be ready to abandon a degree programme half way just because he wants to do da’wah. And you’d find him enrolling on a crash Arabic course as though that equates to knowledge of the Deen.
· And he would be likely to break family ties just because his siblings are (in his view) practising a brand of Islam he regards as liberal.
· And he would be happy to live a wretched live just because he equates wretchedness with piety.
Brothers & sisters; if at least six of the points I have enumerated above apply to you, then please check yourself. You are not a terrorist but you have the making of a terrorist or potential terrorist. If you are so passionate about Islam, then go and study Islam.
If you study Islam, you would find that Allah says in Suratul Isra’, chapter 17 verse 33:
“And do not kill anyone whose killing Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause. And whoever is killed wrongfully (i.e. intentionally and with hostility, and not by mistake), we have given his heir the authority to forgive or take compensation (Blood money), but in doing this, let him equally not exceed the limits.”
If you study Islam, you would find that Allah says
“Allah does not forbid you from dealing justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion, nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.
If you study Islam, you would find that even though Allah makes an exception to the last aayat, he qualifies the exception very clearly as He says in the following aayat: 60:9
“Those who fought against you on account of religion and have driven you out of your homes, and those who helped them to drive you out of your home. Do not be allies of them, and those who make allies of them are the wrong doers.”
The very first aayat revealed with regards fighting is in Surah Al-Baqarah. Even this aayat comes with a heavy dose of caution as Allah says: Al-Baqarah, 2:190
“And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly Allah likes not the transgressors”. (This verse was the first aayat revealed in connection with Jihad).
So, to the terrorist and potential terrorists among us, I say you kill, but not in the name of Allah. And I say that there are no virgins waiting for you in the Hereafter. What awaits you is the consequence of your inability to account for the many lives you have unjustly taken.
I shouldn’t end this session without a message to the big brother in the West – most particularly the United States of America. The ISIS of today is the insurgency which you funded yesterday. The ISIS of Syria is the insurgency which you promoted against Bashar Al-Assad. The ISIS of Libya are the rebels which you sponsored against Moammar Ghadaffi, and the sophisticated weapons of ISIS in Iraq, Syria and Libya are the same weapons funded by you in each of these three countries. ISIS is an unwitting creation of your meddling and divide & rule foreign policy. A bit of stock-taking would help the United States.
I want to end this with a message to our non-Muslim friends – especially the Christian Evangelists. You make a habit of extracting messages from the Qur’an – disregarding the context in which such messages were revealed, what comes before or after it and, in some cases, you extract half a message from a full message and then use it against the Muslims – saying that the Qur’an promotes violence. Please stop doing this. It is unfair, unethical, immoral and it promotes divisions. But if you insist on doing this against the Qur’an, then do bear in mind that The Bible contains just as many passages actively encouraging use of violence in certain contexts.
Here are a few examples:
1. “Kill those who are not Christian or Jewish. You must kill those who worship another god.” Exodus 22:20
2. “Kill any friends or family that worship a god that is different than your own.” Deuteronomy 13: 6-10
3. “Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship differently than you.” Deuteronomy 13:12-16
4. “Kill anyone who has religious views that are different than your own.” Deuteronomy 17:2-7
5. “Kill anyone who refuses to listen to a priest.” Deuteronomy 17:12-13
6. “Any city that doesn’t receive the followers of Jesus will be destroyed in a manner even more savage than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.” Mark 6-11
7. “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you no, but rather division. From now on five members of the household will be divided, three against two and two against three.” Luke 12: 51-52
Clearly, no Christian can be happy for a non-Christian to extract passages like those above and use them to accuse the Bible of promoting violence. But this is exactly what our Christian counterparts do to us. We do not like it either as it amounts to gross misrepresentation of the Glorious Qur’an. We urge our Christian friends to desist from this practice.
And to my terrorist and potential terrorist brothers, I’d remind you of that aayat again, Surah Yunus, chapter 10 verse 99:
“And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed - all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?”
Being the text of a paper delivered in Lagos on December 6, 2014 at the 4th Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) National Convention. Shaykh Najeem Jimoh is The Companion Amir.