August 25, 2005 Special Dispatch No. 968

Leading Progressive Qatari Cleric: By Permitting Suicide Operations, Al-Qaradhawi and His Ilk Have Caused a Moral Crisis in Islam

August 25, 2005
Qatar, The Gulf | Special Dispatch No. 968

In a recent article in the Qatari daily Al-Raya, former dean of the Shari'a and Law Faculty at Qatar University, Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, criticized sheikhs such as Dr. Yousef Al-Qaradhawi who, he said, had created a breach in the jurisprudent rulings on Jihad by permitting suicide operations in Israel and Iraq – thus causing an ideological and moral crisis in Islam.

The following are excerpts:[1]

Our Religious Curricula Have Failed to Plant the Humane Values of Love in Our Sons' Hearts

"We are dealing with a new Islam, an angry Islam that is hostile to the world through its sons, whom we have not educated or taught well, and in whom we have not inculcated culture. [They] bear a hatred of life and of the living.

"Our religious curricula have not succeeded in planting in their hearts the humane values of love, and they have fallen into the bosom of extremism and violence, becoming a pawn in the game that carries out the fatwas and instructions of the imams of hatred and aggression.

"[These imams] have told them: 'The world hates you and your Islam. The culture of the West wants to eliminate your identity, your religion, and your Shari'a. Therefore, you must wage a Jihad war in support of your religion.'

"The bitter result was that they turned into people who blow themselves up, together with innocent people.

"In the past, the world was afflicted by suicide operations, but was delivered from them. Today, no one blows himself up among women and children, in a restaurant, in a hospital, or on a subway except for Muslims, who continue to do so, terrorizing people. This does not mean all Muslims, but only Sunnis. And this does not mean all Sunnis, but only a group called the Salafiyya Jihadiyya, which is the result of, or a combination of, [the principle] of the exclusive rule of Allah [the hakimiyya], conceived by [Sayyid] Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Wahhabi Salafiyya, that advocates takfir [accusing other Muslims of apostasy].[2] [The Salafiyya Jihadiyya group] is the one that united the Moroccan, Syrian, Egyptian, Pakistani, Saudi, and Yemenite [Muslims] by means of a single enmity and a single culture, which made them blow themselves up among Muslims in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Chechnya, and among non-Muslims in America, Madrid, Britain, and the Philippines…

For 14 Centuries, Suicide Bombings Have Been Considered One of the Greatest Sins by the Sacred Islamic Sources

"Does our religion agree with the idea of suicide? Is the Muslim permitted to blow himself up among others because they are enemies?

"The sacred [Islamic] sources referred to this as one of the greatest sins. Throughout 14 centuries, all the [jurisprudent] literature regarding Jihad has not permitted harming innocent women and children. Moreover, even if the enemy has violated all things sacred and killed [Muslim] women and children, [Islam] forbids responding in kind – because in our eyes, Jihad is connected to morality and to the good virtues, and we are forbidden from acting in accordance with the crimes of the enemy.

"This is a solid [principle] in our books of jurisprudence, in our curricula, and in the chapters on Jihad [in the books of jurisprudence]. The ulama and the sheikhs of the Salafiyya, such as ibn Baz, ibn Al-'Uthaimeen, and Aal Al-Sheikh stressed this, and so did the great sheikhs of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Al-Shaltout, Sheikh Ibn Zahra, and Sheikh Dr. Al-Tantawi.

"When Sheikh Al-'Uthaimeen was asked about the suicide operations, he said that [the perpetrator] kills his own soul and will be tormented in Hell. Aal Al-Sheikh said, 'I do not know of any Shari'a reason [for suicide operations],' and Sheikh Al-'Abikan said that calling suicide operations 'martyrdom operations' is a mistake, and that [they] are forbidden by the Shari'a.

"[Similarly], Egyptian Minister of Religious Endowments Dr. Al-Zaqzouq said that the suicide attackers were not Shahids, and that they commit a double crime: against Allah Who gives life, and against others.

By Permitting Suicide Bombing, Al-Qaradhawi Relies on the Same Jurisprudent Basis as Al-Zarqawi

"The Sharia rulings that forbid harming civilians remained valid [for centuries] until Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi and a group of ulama created a dangerous breach with regard to Jihad. This was when, out of support for Hamas, he ruled that suicide operations among civilians were legitimate. He said: This is one of the glorious types of Jihad, and it is a kind of terror that is legitimate according to Shari'a. He claimed that [in Israel] there is no difference between a civilian and a soldier – because the children of today are the fighters of tomorrow, and they are all occupiers.

"He [applied] this same fatwa to [suicide] operations in Iraq, saying that there was no difference between the [American] civilian and a member of the American military – because the civilian is serving the soldier. Then he applied this to all civilians, Muslims and non-Muslims, [in Iraq], who are connected to the occupation forces, by ruling that the sentence of anyone who collaborates with the occupier is the same as the sentence of the occupier himself. This is the same basis of jurisprudence one on which [Abu Mus'ab] Al-Zarqawi, [Abu Muhammad] Al-Maqdisi,[3] Abu Qatada,[4] and Sheikh Hamed Al-'Ali[5] rely…

"This fatal breach has created an ideological and moral crisis in Islam – as [former editor of the Saudi daily Al-Watan Jamal] Khashoggi said [in a July 19, 2005 article in the UAE daily Al-Itihad] – and it has caused much damage to Islam and the Muslims. The moral deterioration has reached the point that they blow up children in Baghdad and peaceful civilians on buses in London. These fatwas are a moral and ideological mark of shame, which we must purge from our Islam…"

"Are We Avenging Our Honor by Murdering Muslims?"

"The question is asked: Why have these sheikhs permitted suicide operations? They say that this is a weapon by means of which we will spill the blood of the enemy, sow fear among them, and avenge the honor of the Muslims in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Chechnya, which has been desecrated by the oppressive Western and American policy.

"What a miserable statement and a miserable justification. Woe to the [religious] studies and da'wa for the sake of Allah. Are we justifying barbaric operations with the claim that we were done an injustice and that we are victims? Have we and we alone suffered injustice in this conflict-drenched world? Haven't we played a part in the injustice of which we complain? Are we angels, and are they devils? Are we avenging the honor of the [Islamic] nation by means of the suicide operations? Are we restoring the pride of the wounded nation by murdering the children of Iraq and by attacking the holy places of the Shiites? How is the murder of innocent Muslims in Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, and Chechnya connected to the American injustice against us?

"The preacher stands in the pulpit and shrieks: 'See how they are killing Muslims everywhere!' [But] who is the one killing the Muslims? It is the suicide attackers who kill Muslims – at an average of 33 per day in Iraq. In two years, the number of victims among the Iraqi civilians has reached 30,000, 20% of whom were women and children.

"Are we avenging our honor by murdering Muslims? They talk of the oppression by the West and America; are they really suffering from oppression? If so, what are they doing in Europe and in the London capital, which is full of fundamentalist imams? If the reason [for the suicide operations] is oppression by the West or America, as they say, why don't we find Palestinian or Shiite suicide attackers blowing themselves up among Americans and Europeans – after all, it is they who suffer the most from this so-called oppression?!...

"They repeat their songs that lament how colonialism and the aggressive policy are the reason for what happened in America, in Madrid, and in London, and for what is happening in the Arab arena. It is this sick thinking that is disseminated by our satellite channels, which, as Ahmad Abd Al-Malek said [in a July 21, 2005 article in the UAE daily Al-Itihad], is causing the world to lose hope with regard to us.

"We have condemned terror, [but] it would have been better if we hadn't. [Our] condemnation has been accompanied by a miserable 'but,' and would have been better without it – because that gives free service to the propagandists of terrorism, and creates a cultural atmosphere for the growth of extremism.

"Hitler's madness killed 50 million, for the honor of the humiliated German nation. The arrogance of Saddam [Hussein] caused the murder of millions, in defense of the honor of the Arab nation.

"How many must be murdered by the Jihadists for the arrogance of the wounded Islamic nation? The suicide attackers have murdered 4,000 in New York, Madrid, and London, and half a million in the Islamic arena. When will the silent majority raise its voice against terrorism, in order to defend our religion and its honor?"


[1] Al-Raya (Qatar), July 25, 2005. The article also appeared in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa, July 25, 2005.

[2] The Salafiyya Jihadiyya is the name used by Islamist terror groups to describe themselves. Their members follow the path of the first believers of the Prophet Muhammad's generation, the Salaf, and advocate the duty of Muslims to wage Jihad against infidels today.

[3] Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi is the nickname of 'Issam Muhammad Taher Al-Burqawi, a Palestinian from the Nablus region, who is today imprisoned in Jordan. Al-Maqdisi is considered the leader of the Salafi movement in Jordan, and the mentor of Al-Qaeda's commander in Iraq Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi.

[4] Abu Qatada is the nickname of 'Omar Mahmoud ibn 'Omar, a Jordanian-born Palestinian who is now under arrest in London on suspicion of being affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

[5] Sheikh Hamed Al-'Ali is an extremist Kuwaiti sheikh who has been arrested for involvement in terror activity in Kuwait.

Share this Report:

Help Fight Extremism - Support MEMRI

MEMRI is a 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax-deductible and kept strictly confidential.