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Why terrorism violates Sharia

Dr. Omar Najm ad-Din Enja al-Jabbari

From an Islamic perspective, means must be judged by the ends they are supposed to achieve, good or bad. Indeed, a means is good if its end is also good. For this reason it is not lawful to support a means, even if it is lawful in and of itself, when it leads to an end that violates the Sharia or contributes to such a result.


Following the occupation of Iraq in 2003, some actions, in principle lawful, have taken place inside and outside the country whose purposes were not however those of Shari'a. This has caused great evils like the killing of innocent people, the creation of divisions and hatred between the various parts of the country, and the forced migration of entire families to safer regions in the country or abroad in order to protect their lives. All this has led to anarchy in society. If we consider these crimes and the abilities needed to carry them out, we can see how they just crept up on us, gradually, not all at once. This shows that there are groups linked to one another, bent on sowing destruction and chaos for their own political and economic ends. In short, money out of the blood of the innocent.


For example, under Sharia the sale of weapons is lawful because weapons can be used to defend one's life, property and honour, etc. But if it is known that they are used to kill or scare the innocent, selling them is no longer lawful because they have become tools for acts that violate the Law and must therefore be banned. By the same token, it is not lawful to co-operate with anyone who commits such acts.


That's why it is not lawful for states that border Iraq or any other state to fund groups or people in the country who encourage the war against humanity with only one goal in mind, killing innocent people. Nor is it not lawful for any ulama or other men of religion to incite their followers by using words as if they were weapons to kill and harm others as happened recently and continues to happen, to the point that even holy places are destroyed or set on fire.


Furthermore, it is not lawful for statesmen or people who are powerful, because of their material wealth or institutional role, to speak or act by stealth against the paramount interests of mankind. It is equally not lawful for any one individual to act in a hypocritical way against their innocent fellow human beings.


Conversely if a means leads to lawful ends, it is right to support it in every possible way.