Following are excerpts from an interview with Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani, former Imam of the Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on October 12, 2011.
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: "No one can deny the existence of the black-eyed virgins, and I pray that Allah grants them to you, me, and our viewers, but the issue is how one attains them. The problem is when the path to attaining a black-eyed virgin is limited to the use of explosives belts."
Interviewer: "You believe that this is a manifestation of the frustration of the youth..."
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: "Yes. This is a hastening one's death, which reflects despair of changing the reality through prayer to Allah. Although I do not entirely agree with it, it is reported that Sheik Ibn Baz, Allah have mercy upon him, said: 'Life for the sake of Allah is more difficult than death for the sake of Allah.'"
Interviewer: "Why don't you agree with this?"
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: "Because it is written that death for the sake of Allah is a goal in and of itself, and that a person who dies for the sake of Allah is worthy of praise. However, this is true only when it is done for the sake of Allah, not when one considers assassinating someone or destroying a certain place, in the belief that a black-eyed virgin will be awaiting him the moment he dies, and so he dons an explosives belt and places his trust in Allah..."
Interviewer: "Such a person is merely seeking pleasure..."
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: "Yes, but in a mistaken way." [...]
Interviewer: "You consider a person who puts on an explosives belt to be committing an Islamic-style suicide?"
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: "Yes."
Interviewer: "That is a courageous opinion."
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: "It's not my opinion only. I discussed this at length with Sheik Ibn Al-Uthaymeen."
Interviewer: "So you consider martyrdom operations to be suicide?"
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: "It is undoubtedly suicide. It is the killing of one's self. He will be judged by Allah for his intentions, but from our perspective, it is the killing of one's self."
Interviewer: "What did Sheik Ibn Al-Uthaymeen say?"
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: "He said that this is suicide." [...]