November 29, 2010 Special Dispatch No. 3401

Egyptian Chief Mufti Issues Fatwa against Terror Operations In Muslim Lands

November 29, 2010
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 3401

In a recent fatwa, Egyptian mufti Dr. 'Ali Gum'a ruled that terrorist operations in Muslim countries are against the shari'a, because the latter forbids killing Muslims or harming their property unjustly, because a suicide bomber violates the Islamic prohibition against killing oneself, and because these terrorist acts are used by non-Muslims as a pretext to interfere in the affairs of Muslim states and plunder their resources.

The following are excerpts from the fatwa, published in the weekly Al-Liwa Al-Islami[1]

"Islamic Law Declares the Killing of a Muslim to Be a Particularly Heinous Crime"

"Daily, we witness and hear about terrorist operations which occur in Somalia and other Islamic countries. These operations have been attributed to certain groups affiliated with Islam, and there are some who claim that they are acceptable according to shari'a. So what is the true ruling concerning these horrible operations?"

"There is no doubt that the terrorist operations which have occurred lately are forbidden according to shari'a, for the following reasons: First, they contradict the [explicit] texts of the shari'a. These terrorist acts violate the legal texts in various ways, inter alia because they lead to the killing of Muslims, whose lives are sacrosanct. Islamic law declares the killing of a Muslim to be a particularly heinous crime, and admonishes against spilling the blood of a Muslim unjustly. Allah said: 'And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is eternal hell; and Allah will send His wrath on him and curse him and prepare for him a painful chastisement [Koran 4:96].' And He also said: 'For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind [Koran 5:32].'

"[The traditionist] Al-Nasa'i writes in his collection of hadith, on the authority of 'Abdallah bin 'Amr, may Allah's pleasure be upon both of them, that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: 'Allah deems the perishing of the entire world less severe than the killing of one Muslim.' [The traditionist] Ibn Majah recounts, on the authority of Ibn 'Amr, may Allah's pleasure be upon both of them, who said: 'I saw Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, circumambulating the Ka'ba, saying [to it]: How good thou art, and how good is thy fragrance. How great art thou, and how great is thy sanctity. [But] by Allah, Allah deems the sanctity of the believer greater than thy sanctity, both his life and his property'...

"Second, [terrorist operations] violate the intentions of the shari'a. The noble shari'a emphasizes [that the believer has] a duty to protect five things, and all sects of Islam agree over this. These are: [one's] religion, life, mind, honor, and property... It is obvious that the terrorist operations which are the subject of this response unjustly attack some of those things which ought to be protected, such as life, because the person who is killed – [namely] the suicide bomber who carries out the terrorist act, and throws himself at death by booby-trapping himself, with the intention of killing others unjustly – thereby falls under Muhammad's ruling, 'Whoever kills himself through something in this world will be punished with that thing on the Day of Resurrection'... [Moreover,] the [medieval scholar] Imam Al-Nawawi wrote concerning this hadith, 'Killing a believer purposely is the most severe crime next to heresy'..."

Terrorist Acts Are Used by Foreigners as a Pretext to Interfere in the Internal Affairs of Islamic Countries and Take Control of Them

"Third, those terrorist attacks also violate the legal sanctity of property, and everyone knows how much destruction of property and buildings result from them. The noble shari'a revolves around achieving benefit and preventing loss. It is no secret to any understanding person that these terrorist acts cause grave losses to Muslims [worldwide], from East to West. Among other things, they are used [by foreigners] as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of Islamic countries, take control of them, and exploit their wealth and plunder their resources, [all] under the pretense of fighting terrorism, protecting economic interests, or liberating peoples. One who perpetrates crazy acts and thereby helps [foreigners] to realize these goals [actually] helps them to infiltrate the Islamic lands and assists in reducing the Muslims' power... which is one of the greatest crimes.

"The scholars of Islam have ruled that if the achievement of benefit conflicts with the prevention of loss, the prevention of loss has priority over achievement of benefit. This ruling was made with regard to real benefits, and is all the more [valid] when the benefit is only supposed or non-existent. To kill and terrorize and destroy property within a Muslim society, as is the case with the terrorist acts in Islamic countries, is considered by Muslim jurists to be a crime of waging war [against Allah]. [The Koran states that] its perpetrators should be 'killed or crucified, or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides, or they should be exiled; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement [Koran 5:32]."


[1] Al-Liwa Al-Islami (Egypt), September 30, 2010.

Share this Report: