Allah says in the Quran, chapter 4, verse 29, “And do not kill yourselves”, it declares suicide “haram” in Islam, and several sayings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) have denounced it as a major sin punished by hell fire. Death by suicide is unlawful in Islam; the rate of suicide incidents is very low in Muslim communities, while the rest of the world is struggling with this psychiatric problem. In this regard, the glorification of suicide bombings is a blatant violation of Islamic teachings. Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and TTP are religiously misleading violent ideologies. Al-Dawa, an Iraqi Shia group, perpetrated its first ever suicide attack involving a Muslim on December 15, 1981. The target was the Iraqi embassy in Lebanon. This attack is also considered the first suicide bombing in the contemporary world. Hezbollah perpetrated suicide attacks in Lebanon, known as the 1983 Beirut bombings. Since then, suicide attacks have been a prevalent tactic of terrorism in different regions of the world.
The psychiatrists suggest that hopeless individuals with complete loss of self-worth commit suicide; likewise, the use of suicide bombings is the result of feelings of defeat and desperation among leaders of terrorist outfits.
Moreover, some secular resistance movements also conducted suicide attacks, and religious motives are not solely liable for violent extremism. As a matter of fact, all the groups that opted for suicide attacks were defeated in the wars. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) conducted 137 suicide attacks in Sri Lanka. Although 273 suicide bombers, some of whom were women, carried out these attacks, Sri Lanka ultimately defeated the LTTE, a secular organization. Similarly, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was another secular group to use the tactic of suicide attacks in Turkey. It was also defeated in the war. Al-Qaeda was the last terrorist group to exploit the tactic of suicide bombings, but its leadership wronged Muslims and Islam by propagating misleading religious ideology to glorify suicide attacks. However, its fate is not different; like all other terrorist movements that opted for suicide bombings, it is also in shambles.
Unfortunately, the first suicide attack in Pakistan took place on November 19, 1995. Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri’s terrorist organization, Al-Jihad, targeted the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad. Since Al-Qaeda launched a deadly wave of suicide bombings in Pakistan in 2002, militant groups driven by violent extremist ideologies have carried out hundreds of suicide attacks. Al-Qaeda, ISIS, TTP, ISKP, and other terrorist outfits have martyred 84 thousand innocent Muslims, women, children, the elderly, and other vulnerable segments of society in Pakistan. Ironically, TTP and ISKP propagate false religious justifications for suicide bombings, but the victims of these attacks are only Muslims. Moreover, there is a consensus among the four Sunni jurisprudences—Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi, and Hanbali—for the last 1400 years of Islamic tradition that suicide is unlawful in Shariah. Hence, terrorist leaders’ promotion of suicide bombings is a “Haram” tactic of fear and intimidation for mass murders. Additionally, suicide bombings are the worst kind of suicide because the person who commits them bears responsibility for the sins of all the Muslims he has killed as a result of terrorism.
The glorification of suicide bombings by Al-Qaeda and TTP is a betrayal of Islam, as the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had forbidden a wish for death to protect a Muslim from developing thoughts of suicide.
Several hadiths of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) expound that the very method of committing suicide by a man would be his punishment in hell for eternity. Sahih Al-Bukhari, book 71 Hadith 670: narrated Abu Huraira, The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the Hell Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the Hell Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the Hell Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.” These sayings prove beyond any doubt that unfortunate suicide bombers will penalise themselves with suicide wests in hell forever. In Islam, prayer becomes an obligation at the age of ten, while fasting at the age of puberty, whereas inhuman terrorist leaders have even exploited 9-year-old children for terrorist attacks and suicide bombings. Therefore, the deviated leaders of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, TTP, and ISKP are indifferent to Islam and its teachings.
The tactic of suicide bombings could not be related to Islam or any other religion, as secular militant groups also misused it for terrorism. It is a medical condition of desperation, depression, and defeat. Modern medical science treats suicide as a mental ailment in humans, and it is finding cures to prevent it. Psychiatrists believe that survival instinct is so strong that humans are intuitive to life-threatening situations and do everything to escape death. On the other hand, a complete mess of mental structure leads to suicide attempts. Such behaviour is socially unacceptable; family members, friends, and other people tend to help the suicidal person save his life. Against this backdrop, exploiting a human for suicide bombing could only be the craft of a person with a dark psychological mindset.
Pakistan’s Ulema and Madaris have become very vocal against suicide bombings, with a sense of duty towards Islam. Around 6 thousand muftis have declared terrorism and suicide bombings “haram” in a unanimous Fatwa, Paigham-e-Pakistan.
Recently, COAS General Asim Munir appreciated Islamic scholars for this edict, and Ulema also reiterated his stance against suicide bombings in a meeting at GHQ Rawalpindi. The youth must consult this edict, and they should condemn terrorist leaders and suicide attacks on social media forums in light of the true teachings of the Quran-o-Sunnat.
A freelance contributor with a M.Phil in international relations from Quaid-e-Azam University. Follow on Twitter: @Radiant_j_007.