Is Suicide Bombing OK in Islam?

What do you say to suicide bombers, who claim Islam tells them it is O.K.?

Well, without even thinking I can tell you that it's very, very terminal. Basically, after you do it, there is no reason to discuss it.

First of all let's take the word “suicide.” Is it permitted in Islam to commit suicide, Ever? - Never. So that word automatically cancels out the whole statement. Somebody commits suicide, that's it.

If you just said “what's the ruling on bombing,” which is a better question, it's also forbidden to kill people in Islam except in the case where it has been ordered by Allah. It's absolutely forbidden to kill people; it is, except when it is ordered by Allah. Next, it's also forbidden for Muslims on any subject to take the law into their own hands. It's never permissible for you or I to suddenly decide, 'Well, I'm just going to do this or do that'. Here in the West, if you're in your home sleeping in the bed or are in some part of your house, somebody breaks in and they start robbing your house- If you shoot that person and kill them, there is nobody to testify against you is there? You killed him. All you got to do is say, “This guy came at me, he scared me. I thought he had a gun and I shot him,” and what will happen to you? Nothing. According to Islamic law though, that's wrong. He broke in, that's wrong, he shouldn't have broken in. But you don't have the right to kill him unless he does try to kill you or something like that. Of course, you defend yourself. But just because he's stealing, that doesn't give you the right to kill him. That isn't permissible. There are some other examples that I can give you like that, but I'll just touch on this: When people take the law in to their own hands, that's not considered to be Islam anymore. Especially when you go to the level of killing other people, it can be an act of disbelief. That's how critical it is. I've had some wannabe- not real scholars, wannabe scholars- they memorized the Quran, so everybody considered them scholars. Memorizing the Quran doesn't make you a scholar, it does not. There are lots of people who memorize the Quran today; they cannot give you the Tafsir of a single ayah. So that in itself doesn't make them a scholar, it makes them a Qari (a reciter), it makes him a Hafiz (a preserver) but it doesn't make them an Alim (a knowledgeable person). From the knowledgeable people I heard from, all of them said the exact same thing over and over and over: No Muslim has the right to take the law into his own hands and just suddenly declare a war against this, a war against that, but every Muslim has the right and obligation to defend his property.

The Quran does not give us this kind of permission to do these things, it doesn't, and I know that there are- like I said- wannabe('s) making a name for themselves, going around telling the youth this and that and getting people all upset. But one of the things that Allah is very, very clear on about this subject, this is not an option. Allah tells us that He is the One who created us and what we do, and Allah makes it clear to us that this life is a test, and what does He want from us more than anything else in this test that we go through? Does He want us to give in to violence? Does He like us to get angry? Or does He insist that we do what?: Be patient, be patient, be patient, which if you read the Quran, you would already know the answer. And there's no Hadith giving you the permission to take the law in your own hands. Everything that comes in the form of Qital or combat- I translated this word “Qital” as combat; it means fight but it also means death at the same time because you can order someone to kill somebody with the same word, “Qital.” So, it's better to use the word “combat.” So when there is military combat in Islam, it has to come from an order and there are orders in the Quran when that's the correct thing to do. It's very clear. We have several programs on this subject of this word “Qital.” We also have one on the other word I mentioned “Daraba;” we have a program on that one. It goes into detail of the different meanings of that word and how it could be used and how it should be understood in that ayah, the context. I'll ask Allah to forgive me for too long of an answer on that.

Sheikh Yusuf Estes