Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|The opinion of Shaykh Salman al-`Awdah|
|10/02/01 at 08:13:02|
This was an email from Abu Muntasir of JIMAS.
The following piece is excerpted from:
AN OPINION ABOUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN AMERICA
By: Shaykh Salman b. Fahad al-`Awdah
The second viewpoint I would like to address is the
viewpoint of Islam with respect to war in light of
what is to be found in the sacred texts and in the
practice of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings
of Allah be upon him) and the Rightly Guided Caliphs
who followed him.
This does not mean that we are making any assumptions
about what had happened. We are used to the fingers
of accusation being pointed at the Muslims. We must
wait and see, so we do not fall into a trap that it
will be impossible to get out of.
On the basis of principle, Islam prohibits targeting
innocent people like women, children, and others like
them even when there is actually a war being waged
between the Muslims and the disbelievers. Disbelief,
in and of itself, is not a justification to kill
Allah's Messenger (may the peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him) and the Rightly Guided Caliphs
who came after him stressed the need to protect the
weak and the noncombatants and were very considerate
Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "I
saw the body of a slain woman during one of the
battles of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings
of Allah be upon him), so he forbade the killing of
women and children." (al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Abu Dawud relates from Rabih b. Rabi` with an
authentic chain of narrators that he said: "We were
with Allah's Messenger (may the peace and blessings
of Allah be upon him) during a battle and we say
people gathered together. He dispatched a man to
find out why they were gathered. The man returned
and said: 'They are gathered around a slain woman.'
So Allah's Messenger (may the peace and blessings
of Allah be upon him) said: 'She should not have
Khalid b. al-Walid was leading the forces, so he
dispatched a man to him saying: "Tell Khalid not
to kill women or laborers'."
In another narration from Ibn Majah, it is related
that Allah's Messenger (may the peace and blessings
of Allah be upon him) said: "Tell him not kill
children or laborers."
Laborers are not to be attacked deliberately, even
if they are present during the battle, as long as
their activities are not directly connected with
the fighting. Workers who are not present at the
battlefield are definitely not to be treated with
aggression, regardless of the fact that they are in
the enemy country.
Abu Dawud relates from Anas b. Malik (may Allah be
pleased with him) that Allah's Messenger (may the
peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would say
the following words to his troops before sending
them to war: "Go forward in the name of Allah. Do
not kill an elderly person, nor a small child, nor
a woman, and do not exceed the bounds."
In the Muwatta', it is related from Yahya b. Sa`id
that Abu Bakr sent an army to Syria and went out to
give them words of encouragement. He walked alongside
Yazid b. Abi Sufyan, then said: "You are going to
find a group of people who have devoted themselves
to the worship of Allah (i.e. monks), so leave them
to what they are doing."
It might be appropriate to make mention of the
proposal that the angel of the mountains made to
Allah's Messenger (may the peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him) that he would bring the two
mountains down upon the inhabitants of Mecca. Allah's
Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be
upon him) said: "No, I hope that Allah will make some
of their descendants worship Him alone." He said this
in spite of the fact their destruction would have been
of a divine nature and he and the believers with
him would not have had to lift a finger against them.
Those people and these today are to be called to
Islam. They are the ones to bring the message to.
Failure to fulfil this duty properly at one time
or another does not mean that it always has to be
this way, because there is an Islamic effort that
offers the promise that this will take place.
Moreover, public places like airplanes and markets
are open territory where both Muslims and Non-Muslims
meet. It is also a place where adults and children,
men and women are to be found. These places are never
to be turned into targets, even during times of war.
|Re: The opinion of Shaykh Salman al-`Awdah|
|10/02/01 at 13:20:50|
Hmm ... I'm not sure why br. Learner did not post the whole article of Shaykh Salman. Here's the first part of his article:
A lot of questions are being asked these days about what happened in New York and Washington. In this article, I wish to give my opinion about some issues related to what happened. Much of what I say is my own judgment on these matters and is open to scrutiny and revision.
First of all, I would like to discuss the matter as something that has taken place in the world and cannot be undone. It is a horrible thing born of arrogance, oppression, and gross disregard for the respect of other people. It is the bitter fruit of a tree planted by America, for America has succeeded brilliantly in making enemies for itself and widening the sphere of those who are bitter towards it. This is clear from what has happened, because the finger of accusation is being pointed at a vast number of possible suspects.
The possible candidates for taking revenge against America cannot be narrowed down to a specific people or group. The Japanese, the Vietnamese, and the Arabs all have their reasons. Even the Europeans who have begun to perceive America’s oppression are possible candidates. Their demonstrations against the global trade conferences are a manifestation of their enmity.
The Muslims, in spite of their remoteness from each other, have received their fair share of America’s abuse. What is going on in Palestine is merely America slaughtering people with a Jewish knife.
America has not given anyone an opportunity to refrain from hating it.
Therefore, it is not surprising for the Americans to be asking each other: Why is America the primary candidate for terrorism? Why is it always calling its people to return to it soil as a precaution against terrorist acts?
The Americans will find themselves in need of a bold new policy if they want to free them of this continuously awaited fear. They will have to reform their policies toward the rest of the world, just like Nixon did when he boldly announced America’s withdrawal from Vietnam, saving the American people from the tragic affects of war after America had almost drowned in that quagmire.
The Americans are in need of bold political reform if it wants to free itself from the perpetual enmity of other people.
The results of oppression cannot be calculated. There is no way to predict the reactions that it will cause. The reason for this is that the reactions of oppressed and subjugated people are like the shrapnel given off by an exploding bomb. It flys off in all directions and strike aimlessly at whomever they will. The reactions of those who have been wronged and oppressed know no limit or direction. They are outside the bounds of reason and sense. They occur in complete disregard of the dictates of religion, custom, and law.
The first to disregard the law are those whom the law does not afford protection. Therefore, the law does not protect against its enemies. This is what we see in some of the activities that go against the limits set by religion, law and the interests of the perpetrator himself.
Therefore, the first true remedy for this problem is to remove the element of oppression that causes people to become hateful and angry, blinding their judgment and making them fail to consider the consequences of their actions or how grossly wrong they are.
The people who covet life the most will continue to be baffled when dealing with those who throw away their lives without a thought, turning themselves into the first casualties.
This ability to inflict injury can continue unabated under all circumstances, possibly maniffestingg itself in even more repulsive and savage ways than it already has. It is prudent not to let such reactions repeat themselves. It is not right to allow this incident become the beginning of a continuous cycle of similar bloody events if the West decides to react without forethought or insight.
A small number of people with few resources are capable of inflicting serious damage if they have no moral inhibitions to restrain them back. The protection of civilians is a very difficult matter, especially in a time where people are extremely interdependent and interconnected with one another. It is even more difficult since weapons have become widespread and where some factions might even possess weapons of mass destruction Reconsidering foreign policy has now become more necessary than it has ever been before.
This atrocity has had a major impact and has met with a positive response from the world, even though we can observe that the collective outpouring of compassion and solidarity has taken an exaggerated form and that the desire to appease America can be seen from a lot of the reactions.
This atrocity is not the only atrocity to have occurred in recent times. Quite the contrary, there have been many others that have taken place right before our eyes that are no less hideous.
Who can forget the wholesale slaughter that took place in Sabra and Shattila, an event so horrible that it could bring even stones to tears? And who can forget the atrocities that occurred in Sberenca on the day that the international forces withdrew and the Serbs marched in, killing approximately ten thousand civilians and burying them in mass graves.
Who can forget what happened in Burundi on the day that the corpses of all the defenseless people who were slaughtered were thrown in the lake to become food for the crocodiles?
As for Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Vietnam, they have become permanently etched in the annals of history.
Why then not give these atrocities the attention that they deserve? Why are the atrocities that we must be most concerned about chosen for us as well as those that should be forgotten?
The Second World War ravaged the lives of millions of people, yet the event that continues to be talked about and lamented is the incineration of the Jews, as if this atrocity – if it truly happened – was the only tragedy ever to have occurred.
And we today see the present atrocity brought to the fore as if it is the only way terrorism occurs in the world; as if terrorism is not really terrorism unless it comes from a certain direction.
We are amazed when we hear the loud threats of revenge and annihilation when we see the people who butchered Sabra and Shatila have become leaders of nations and the only thing that the international court has done is to preserve the status quo, while the butchers of Bosnia are receiving such a slow trial that generations might pass away before a verdict is reached.
For eleven months, while the carnage continued in Palestine, the Jews received unlimited American aid while the Palestinians received from America advice to restrain themselves. It is now Palestine’s turn to give the same advice to America.
If it is true that every crisis is also an opportunity, then this is true for America today. America has the opportunity to review its foreign policy and be true to itself by recognizing that it was a full participant in the process.
In how they deal with what has happened, America today faces a test of their commitment to the ideals of justice and freedom that it calls towards. For if they target the guiltless civilians who do not participate in, choose, or have any real knowledge about the policies of their countries because they live in non-democratic countries – according to western terminology and standards – then this will provide justification for those who target the civilians in the democratic countries who do participate as individuals in selecting their leadership.
The United States will make a mistake of historical proportions if it succeeds in fostering Muslims hostility towards it in the way that it deals with this atrocity that has occurred. America will do so if it punishes the innocent for the sins of the guilty, or if it considers the culture, beliefs, teachings, and way of life of the Muslims as being responsible for what happened.
This tragedy has shown to the world’s powers that relying upon peace brokerage alone is not sufficient, if these efforts are not accompanied by real dialogue, the airing of views, understanding the point of view and circumstances of others, and listening to what they have to say.
The United States espouses such virtues as freedom and human rights, but applies them selectively to further its own interest and does not treat them as true, substantial values.
In a number of places in the world, like China, Turkey, Algeria, Chechnya, and Palestine, it appears quite clearly that with respect to the issue of Islamic lands, there is a glaring bias and severe selective vision.
America now faces a difficult choice when it comes to applying its principles of justice and protecting human rights and upholding the standards that it calls towards. It is unreasonable to place all decisions on the basis of: “Are you with me or are you against me?” There are broader choices than this. In the end, there is a way of dealing with disagreement, whether it is with yourself or with others.
This atrocity has come as a sign that human power, no matter how great it might be, is limited and that human knowledge, no matter how broad it might be, has its limits as well.
Whoever would have thought that this country with all its ballistic missiles, warships, and military might be taken by surprise by such a strike like any developing country. There is no power and no strength save in Allah.
Whoever would have thought that the intelligence network that people
assumed monitored their every move would experience a breach wide enough for massive airplanes to get through.
These things show that human knowledge and power are limited and that the appearance of strength does not mean invincibility. Yet human beings have a tendency to deceive themselves, making them fail to realize this fact. They are easily intoxicated by the heady fragrance of power. As Allah tells us in the Qur’ân: “(They say): ‘Who has more power than we do?’ Yet they do not see that Allah Who created them has more power then they do.”
When certain events occur, those who are deceived by their knowledge and power learn that they are limited. It is just like what Allah relates in the Qur’ân about the death of Sulaymân (Solomon, peace be upon him): “And when We decreed death for him, nothing indicated his death to them except the earthworm that gnawed at his staff. Then when he fell down, it became clear to the Jinn that if they had known the unseen, they would not have remained in such degrading punishment.”
|Re: The opinion of Shaykh Salman al-`Awdah|
|10/02/01 at 14:03:48|
Thanks brother Arsalan for the 1st part.
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