Extremism and Terrorism

Praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad.

Allah the Almighty said, “And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you.” Imam al-Tabari said about this verse, “Allah described this nation as a just nation, because of their moderate approach to religion, since they did not reach extremes like the Christians who have reached extremes in their love for Jesus, nor were negligent, like the Jews, who distorted the book of Allah and killed the prophets.”

Thus, Muslims are moderate, neither negligent nor extremists, and worship Allah as the Prophet, peace be upon him, ordained in his Sunnah, for the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, and nights.” [Narrated by Imam Ahmad and IbnMajah and Nassai]. And Ibn Abbas narrated that the prophet, peace be upon him, said, “beware of going to extremes in religious matters, for those who came before you were destroyed because of going to extremes in religion.”

The Prophet, peace be upon him, also demonstrated that religious extremism means going to extremes in religion and overstepping limits, as the Prophet, peace be upon him, said in the hadith narrated by Abu Tha’labah Al-Khushani, ” Allah, the Exalted, has laid down certain duties which you should not neglect, and has put certain limits which you should not transgress, and has kept silent about other matters out of mercy for you and not out of forgetfulness, so do not seek to investigate them.” Thus, this hadith indicates the moderation of the religion of Islam, and warns of religious extremism, and directs Muslim to distinguish between what is optional and what is obligatory.

Furthermore, Anas said, “Three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet, peace be upon him, to inquire about the worship of the Prophet. When they were informed, they considered their worship insignificant and said, “We can never be compared to the Prophet, peace be upon him, whom Allah has forgiven his past and future sins”. One of them said,” As for me, I shall pray all night long.” Another said, “I shall fast and never break my fast”. Another said, “I shall abstain from women and never marry”. The Prophet, peace be upon him, came to them and said, “Are you the people who said such and such things? By Allah, I fear Allah more than you do, and I am most obedient and dutiful among you to Him, but still I fast and break my fast; pray and sleep at night and marry women. So whoever turns away from my Sunnah does not belong to me”. And Muslim narrated in his Saheeh that IbnMas’ud said, “The Messenger of Allah peace be upon him, said,” Beware! The extremists perished, saying it three times.”

IbnMunir said, “This Hadith warns of religious extremism that contributes to extreme religious practices, and may lead to the cessation of worship at some point, since the one who prays all night long and never sleeps may fall into sleep by the end of the night and miss the morning prayer in congregation, or does not pray until the sun rises, and thus may neglect an obligation in order to practice a preferable deed.”

Also, fanaticism or extremism may refer to religious extremism or extremism in opposing religion, which is a thing that fuels religious extremism and vice versa. Furthermore, religious extremism does not refer to religious commitment, for the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “Whoever turns away from my Sunnah does not belong to me.”Also, the estrangement of religion may fuel all the types of intellectual or armed terrorism, which appears as a reaction to this approach.

Nevertheless, Islam opposed terrorism through forewarning Muslims of the perpetration of heinous terrorist acts, such as:

1. The Prohibition of violating the sanctity of blood, and Murder, as Allah said, “Because of that, we decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless (in retribution for the murder of another) soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely.”, “O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered”, and said, “whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.”, “And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right.”

2. The Prohibition of spreading corruption on earth, terrorizing innocent people, and bombing and hijacking aircrafts, ships, or trains, which are severely punishable sins, as Allah said, “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none other than that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.”

3. The Prohibition of attempting to change the regime by force, which is a major sin punishable by death, as the Prophet peace be upon him, said, ” When you are holding to one single man as your leader, you should kill who seeks to undermine your solidarity or disrupt your unity.” narrated by Muslim.

4. The Prohibition of Theft, as Allah said, “As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah.”

Thus, the Islamic legislation is the best legislation applied in all countries of different classes, nations and languages.

May Allah help us all understand religion and commit to the Sunnah of our Prophet, peace be upon him.