Is There Terrorism in Islam?

If Islam is a religion of peace, why the misunderstanding? How can a religion of peace gain a reputation for being a religion of war and terror? The answer lies in the way that Islamic scriptures are misinterpreted to suit perverted agendas. Words and phrases that are often repeated in the media have been misconstrued by individuals to give incorrect meanings. The deliberate blur between ‘jihad’ and acts of terror has been a phenomenon that has resulted from those unqualified in the science of Sacred Law.

Islam engenders a faith and practice that makes the taking of innocent lives unimaginable and which is shared by the vast majority of Muslims worldwide, however the radicals appear to have overlooked this pivotal pillar with their new interpretations of Sacred Law.

Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, warned his companions to avoid extremes – which he explained was the cause of the destruction of earlier communities. Terrorists it appears, feel that this injunction does not apply to them. Terrorism is an act against God. Anyone who tries to justify such atrocities ultimately fails, since both the Sacred Law and theology abhor such acts as moral sins that run contrary to the essence of Islam. The Qur’an instructs Muslims in times of adversity to act with justice, perseverance and patience. Terrorists apparently never think of relating their acts to the elementary principle that Islam places great value on: the sanctity of human life. ‘If someone kills another person – unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth – it is as if he had murdered all mankind’ is a verse of the Qur’an, which is disregarded by the fanaticism of hate.

Traditional Muslim jurists considered terrorist attacks against unsuspecting and defenceless victims as heinous and immoral crimes and treated the perpetrators as the worst type of criminals. It is a well-established Qur’anic precept that the injustice of others does not excuse one’s own injustice.

In the context of the current atmosphere of violence, one might be excused for assuming that jihad is one of Islam’s main pillars. However, this is far from the truth. Islam is ‘not addicted to war,’ nor does jihad form any one of the five pillars of faith. On the contrary, the Qur’an stresses compassion, benevolence, justice and wisdom. That compassion and mercy are central themes in Islam should be self-evident when almost every chapter of the Qur’an begins with: In the Name of God, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful.

In a famous saying of Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, he says: ‘The merciful are shown mercy by the Merciful one. Show mercy to those on earth and you will be shown mercy by the One in Heaven.’ The Qur’an declares that Muhammad was sent as a Mercy to the worlds (21:107).

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Next: Does the Word ‘Jihad’ mean Holy War in Islam?


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