The branding of innocent Muslims as terrorists has become wide-spread on the planet as a result of the common misinterpretation of the real meaning of Jihad, and failure of distinguishing it from terrorism. We need to use this word “terrorism” in the way that would let them understand that what the Mujahedeen are is not what they think. Allah (SW) says:
“Shall We then treat the people of faith like the people of sin?” 68:35
These two terms, Jihad and Terrorism, extremely differ from each other in both meaning and use. Both the Holy Quran and Hadith have not mentioned of terrorism as the way Muslims should live. Almighty Allah (SW) never ordered His Prophet (SAW) and his followers to wage war unless in return to their enemies’ attack. This brings the meaning of Jihad as the process of exercising the best efforts, involving some form of struggle and resistance, to achieve a particular goal.
The term jihad actually refers to the more general concept of exerting efforts in the way of Allah, of which fighting the enemy, or armed jihad, is only one aspect. In Qur’anic terminology, it is wrong to equate the words “jihad” and “qital (killing),” as this reduces a broad concept to a more specific one – the aim of Jihad is not to kill. In Islam, Jihad is ordained to uphold right, repel injustice and establish justice, peace, security and clemency, with which the Prophet (SAW) was sent to take mankind out of darkness into light. More specifically, Jihad has been ordained to eliminate all forms of terrorism, and to defend the homeland against occupation, plunder and colonialism. Today, according to the wrong understanding of the kuffar (disbeliever), the word jihad is misinterpreted into terrorism, and the meaning of terrorism has become the meaning of Islam. Islam does not recognize the term “terrorism” as one of its nuts and bolts. Contrary to common belief, the word “jihad” does not necessarily imply any violent effort, let alone “war” and such instances of extreme violence. It is a general term that can mean violent as well as peaceful actions, depending on the context in which it is used. Similarly, “jihad” as a generic word can be used even when the sought goals are not Islamic, i.e. in non-religious contexts.
This is an outrageous attack carried out either by individuals, groups or states against the human being. It includes all forms of intimidation, harm, threatening, killing without just cause and everything connected with any form of armed robbery, hence making pathways insecure, banditry, every act of violence or threatening intended to fulfil a criminal scheme individually or collectively, so as to terrify and horrify people by hurting them or by exposing their lives, liberty, security or conditions to danger; it can also take the form of inflicting damage on the environment or on a public or a private utility or exposing a national or natural resource to danger. All these are manifestations of the mischief in the land; Allah has prohibited Muslims from committing. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And seek not occasions for mischief in the land: for Allah loves not those who do mischief.” (28:77)
Hence Allah did not only enact deterrent punishment against terrorism, aggression and corruption, but considers these acts tantamount to waging war against Allah and His Messenger. The Islamic Law views the act of terrorism as an act of war against the laws and the creatures of God; hence, there is no meaning of terrorism in Islam which brings any relation to its obligations. Moreover, there are various forms of terrorism, which include state terrorism, the most obvious illustration and the most dreadful of which is practiced in Palestine today by the Israelis, and by the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. State terrorism is the most threatening to security and peace in the world, and, therefore, standing up against it is equal to self defense and striving in the cause of Allah. We read in papers, watch and even hear about violence in our brothers’ countries. More than 50 years ago, the Zionists have been mistreating the Palestinians by killing, displacing them and destroying their homes using tanks and weapons of mass destruction. To them, all these acts are considered “self defense”. But if any Palestinian tries to defend himself with a stone, they consider him a terrorist. This is totally incredible! Should someone innocent keep on looking at you firing him with bullets? Yet he has his own way of defending against those bullets. Then when he gets his own weapon, you say he is terrifying your security? Islamic Remedy Against Terrorism Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And make ready for them whatever you can of armed force and of mounted pickets at the frontier, whereby you may frighten the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you know not, but Allah knows them. And whatever you spend in the way of Allah, it shall be repaid to you in full and you shall not be wronged”. 8:60
This verse teaches Muslims how they should efficiently prepare andto prevent wars. It teaches them that they should not only keep a sufficeient fighting force in the country, but also an adequate number of troops on the frontier, so that the enemy might refrain from attack, thus enabling the faithful to live in peace. The verse further points out that not only the Pagan Arabs were the enemies of Islam, but there were also other nations which would attack Muslims in the future. So Muslims were told to keep their frontiers strong and well-protected and to spend freely in the cause of Allah. In combating terrorism and protecting society against its evil consequences, Islam is a trail-blazer. Through clear-cut limitations that must not be trespassed, Islam urges the protection of human life, honour, property, religion and intellect. Allah says in the Qur’an: “If any do transgress the limits ordained by Allah, such persons wrong themselves as well as others.” (2:229) Accordingly, in furtherance of this honour bestowed upon mankind, Islam prohibits man’s injustice to his fellow man, and condemns those who cause harm to people. Furthermore, Islam ordered its adherents to keep away from anything that may cause turmoil among the people, and warned at the same time, against its evil consequences. In Islam, both the individual and the community are encouraged not only to draw the line of moderation, but likewise, to get rid of extremism and religious intolerance which are sure to destroy the mankind. Islam also addressed the issue of evil tendencies that are apt to lead to intimidation, terrifying, horrifying and killing without any just cause. With regard to the Dhimmis (Non-Muslims living under Muslim protection), Islam ordered that they must be treated justly. It gave them rights and imposed duties on them. It gave them security in the Muslim world, and imposed blood-money and expiation for an act of killing committed against anyone among them. Moreover, Islam does not forbid its followers from being charitable towards those who do not fight them or expel them from their homes. In view of the above, I would like to call the attention of all, to the necessity of drawing a distinction between legal Jihad against aggression or oppression designed to establish truth and justice, and the act of violence which aims at occupation of land, encroaching on national sovereignty and terrifying civilian populations and turning them into refugees.