- Shaykh Muhammad Bin Salih al-Uthaymin, Saudi Arabia
Were we to limit the definition of terrorism to "last resort tactics that the weak use against the strong", as mentioned by John V. Whitbeck, then Ingrid Mattson's statement that the Salafi scholars "have denounced terrorism and denounced in particular the acts of September 11" certainly holds true, especially when considering that "those statements are available publicly," as she said.
Shaykh Muhammad Bin Salih al-Uthaymin was asked the following concerning attacking an enemy by blowing oneself up, "What is the ruling regarding acts of jihad by means of suicide, such as attaching explosives to a car and storming the enemy, whereby he knows without a doubt that he shall die as a result of this action?"
Shaykh al-Uthaymin responded by saying, "Indeed, my opinion is that he is regarded as one who has committed suicide, and as a result he shall be punished in Hell, for that which is authenticated on the authority of the Prophet (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace), "Indeed, whoever (intentionally) kills himself, then certainly he will be punished in the Fire of Hell, wherein he shall dwell forever." 1
However, one who is ignorant and does not know, and assumes his action was good and pleasing to Allah, then we hope Allah forgives him for what he did due to an erroneous judgement, even though I do not find any excuse for him in the present day. This is because this type of suicide is well known and widespread amongst the people, so it is upon the person to ask the people of knowledge (the religious scholars) regarding it, until right guidance is made distinct from error for him.
And from that which is surprising, is that these people kill themselves despite Allah having forbidden this, as He said in the Quran:
"And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you."2
And many from amongst them do not desire anything except revenge upon the enemy, by whatever means, be it halal (permissible) or haram (forbidden). So they only want to satisfy their thirst for revenge.
We ask Allah to bless us with foresight in His religion and action(s) which please Him. Indeed, He is all-Powerful over all things."3
Elsewhere, Shaykh al-Uthaymeen commented specifically about the suicide bombings which take place in Palestine: "This is what is found from the practice of the Jews with the people of Palestine - so when one of the Palestinians blows himself up and kills six or seven people, then in retaliation, they take sixty or more. So this does not produce any benefit for the Muslims, and does not benefit those amongst whose ranks explosives are detonated.
So what we hold is that those people who perform these suicide (bombings) have wrongfully committed suicide, and that this necessitates entry into the Hellfire, and Allah's refuge is sought; and that this person is not a shahid (martyr). However, if a person has done this upon misrepresentation, thinking that it is permissible, then we hope that he will be saved from sin. But as for martyrdom being written for him, then no, since he has not taken the path of martyrdom."4
1 al-Bukhaaree (no. 5778)
2 Quran 4:29
3 Kayfa Nu'aalij Waaqi'unal-Aleem (p. 119, 120)
4 Taken from Shaykh al-Uthaymin's explanation of Riyaadus-Saaliheen (1/165-166).
- abridged from the book: The 'Wahhabi' Myth