Terrorism and Its Meaning in Reality

Terrorism and Its Meaning in Reality

Terrorism and Its Meaning in Reality

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and may Peace and Blessings be upon our Messenger Muhammed, and on his family and companions.

Much has been said in an effort to define terrorism. The opinions and understandings expressed so far have been contradictory with respect to the concept, and despite the many definitions and terms which have been placed for the meaning of terrorism, we have not come across a comprehensive definition to the reality of terrorism. Every definition of a reality, if it is not consistent and reflective of the truth, can not be considered a correct definition. Despite many researchers in this field mentioning over one hundred definitions, all of them lack in one way or another, a correct and meticulous definition that we can use to differentiate between acts of terrorism and other acts.

A few examples of definitions of terrorism that have been voiced are:

  1. Terrorism is an act that naturally causes one to feel insecure and frightful.
  2. Terrorism results in the gathering of fear within people, by way of violence.
  3. Terrorism is the use of intentional and organized means that naturally stir fear, to attain particular objectives.
  4. Terrorism is a barbaric horrific act.
  5. Terrorism is an act that contradicts societal modes, and violates the honour of man.

If you were to analyze these definitions, and study the level of specification, and the degree to which one can rely upon them to declare if an act is terrorism, you would conclude that all of these descriptions fail to make a clear categorical explanation of the concept of terrorism. These definitions are either too broad or too precise, or not broad or precise enough, and the differences in the definition of terrorism stem from the different views, interests and ideologies that exist in different countries. Every country explains terrorism in a way that agrees with its policies and interests, regardless of whether the definition agrees with the correct meaning of terrorism or contradicts it. This is the reason that you’ll find an act carried out by a group of persons or individuals described as a “terrorist act” in one instance and you’ll find another similar act, perhaps even more barbaric conducted by others that is not considered terrorism.

A prime example is the issue of Palestine. For more than fifty years, the envious Zionists have been giving our Palestinian brothers a taste of the severest punishment. From killing, expulsion, destruction and the devastation of Palestinian homes by those who occupy Palestinian land, this torture is considered an act of self defense by the occupiers and the crusading masters in America and Europe. What the suppressed people do with the stones is called violence and terrorism!

The correct definition of terrorism is based on two factors:

– Defining terrorism according to the Arabic language
– Defining terrorism according to the Sharee’ah texts

As for language, the derivatives of the word terror are terrorise, terrorised and terrorism, which comes from the root word rahiba (to cause fear). Terrify, scare, intimidate, horrify, frighten and affray are all synonymous words and all lead to fear. Some of these words are deeper in meaning than others, and if we were to follow up on this subject in the Noble Qur’an, we will find that rahiba means extreme fear.

Allah, the Majestic says:

...وَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ

...and fear none but Me. [al-Baqarah 2:40]

And He said,

...وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا...

...and they used to call on Us with hope and fear... [al-Anbiya 21:90]

And He said,

وَأَعِدُّوا لَهُم مَّا اسْتَطَعْتُم مِّن قُوَّةٍ وَمِن رِّبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدُوَّ اللَّـهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ...

And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery, etc.) to threaten the enemy of Allah and your enemy... [al-Anfal 8:60] i.e. to scare them.

Ibn Jareer says:

It is said, ‘I panicked the enemy’, in that I terrorized them, with terror.

And from it, is the statement of Tufayl al-Ghanawi,

ويل أم حى دفعتم فى نحورهم             نى كلاب غداة الرعب والرَّهَب

Woe to the Mother of Hayy, you struck in their cores, The People of Kulaab, the mornings of panic and terror – you struck fear in them.

Ibn Jareer says:

Bishr narrated to us, Yazeed mentioned, Sa’eed mentioned, from Qatadah, “and draw your hand close to your side to be free from ar-Ruhb” i.e. from fear.

This is the tafseer (explanation) of ar-Ruhb (terror) and ar-Ru’b (fear), proving that ar-Ru’b is synonymous with ar-Ruhb, and its meaning is extreme fear. This is supported by his statement (ﷺ),

نُصِرْتُ بِالرُّعْبِ مَسِيرَةَ شَهْرٍ

I have been given victory through striking fear (ru’b) in the enemy, equivalent to the distance of one month (in battle). [Agreed Upon, Bukhari (438) and Muslm (521)]

This is a brief summary of the meaning of terrorism in the language of the Arabs.

As for the concept of terrorism in Sharee’ah, it consists of two categories:

Firstly: The concept of terrorism in Islam is that of the detested and forbidden, being of the major sins and those who do it deserves punishment and criticism, be it at the level of the state, groups or individuals. It manifests in reality as an attack against calm people through plundering undertaken by a criminal state or group or individuals. This occurs by stealing wealth and property, taking the prohibitions and making the pathways outside the cities not secure and by oppressive governments overcoming its citizens by suppressing freedom, and ruling by whims and desires, and the like.

Secondly: Terrorism that is legislated by Allah for us, commanded by Him, is sufficiently preparing to fight the enemies of Allah and His Messenger, Allah says,

وَأَعِدُّوا لَهُم مَّا اسْتَطَعْتُم مِّن قُوَّةٍ وَمِن رِّبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدُوَّ اللَّـهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ...

And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery, etc.) to threaten the enemy of Allah and your enemy... [al-Anfal 8:60] i.e. to scare them.

In this noble passage, explicit words are used concerning the obligation to exert effort to terrorize the enemy, by becoming acquainted with weaponry and the training of armies, so that the enemy may fear them and reconsider a thousand times before going forth against the Muslims. I say that the obligation of preparation for fighting is an issue upon which all Muslim scholars have agreed upon, whether this fighting is defensive or offensive.

It should be pointed out that physical and financial preparation is not sufficient for victory – it must be backed up by morale strength. This is found through developing a strong belief in Allah, relying upon Him, increasing in good deeds and staying far from what displeases Him. The one who studies history realizes the truthfulness of this. The Most High says:

لَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ اللَّـهُ فِي مَوَاطِنَ كَثِيرَةٍ ۙ وَيَوْمَ حُنَيْنٍ ۙ إِذْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ كَثْرَتُكُمْ فَلَمْ تُغْنِ عَنكُمْ شَيْئًا وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ ثُمَّ وَلَّيْتُم مُّدْبِرِينَ

Truly Allah has given you victory on many battle fields, and on the Day of Hunayn (battle) when you rejoiced at your great number but it availed you naught and the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for you, then you turned back in flight. [at-Tawbah 9:25]

When the Commander of the army in the Battle of Yarmuk wrote to Ameer al-Mu`mineen, ‘Umar bin al-Khattab he said:

إنا أقبلنا على قوم مثل الرمال فأَمِدَّنا بقوة وأمدنا برجال

We are facing a people who are like sand [in numbers], so equip us with strength and supply us with men.

‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) wrote back to him saying:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم من عبد الله عمر بن الخطاب إلى قائد الجيش فلان بن فلان أما بعد : فاعلم أنكم لا تقاتلون عدوكم بقوتكم ولا بكثرتكم وإنما تقاتلونهم بأعمالكم الصالحة فإن أصلحتموها نجحتم وإن أفسدتموها خسرتم فاحترسوا من ذنوبكم كما تحترسون من عدوكم

In the name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful. From the slave of Allah, ‘Umar bin al-Khattab to the commander of the army, so-and-so, son of so-and-so, to proceed: Know that you do not fight your enemy by your strength or numbers, rather you fight them with your righteous actions, so if you rectify them (your actions) you win and if you corrupt them (your actions) you lose. So be on guard from your bad deeds, as you are on guard from your enemy.

The examples to support this view are many in history. One example is the battle of Yarmuk, when the enemy surpassed the Muslims by number and preparation. One narration states that the Romans were 120,000 in number, equipped with the latest weaponry of the time, including catapults, flame throwers and such, and the Muslims were only 12,000 in number, equipped with simple weaponry like swords and arrows. Despite this, the Muslims were still victorious upon their enemy due to the strength of their morale, the basis of which was their belief in Allah and reliance upon Him.

This is the true, correct understanding of terrorism, but the enemies of Allah, His Messenger and Religion from amongst the envious Crusaders, and Zionists understand terrorism in another light. To those misguided disbelievers, terrorism is Islam and Jihad: The “terrorists” are the Mujahid Muslims. For this reason, the disbelievers gathered from all over the earth to fight the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under the pretext of fighting terrorism, despite the fact that there is no evidence that linked the Islamic Emirate or Osama bin Laden with what happened in America. The Crusaders and Zionists know with certainty that what happened in New York and Washington occurred at the hands of radical Zionists or Christian movements, but because they saw an Islamic awakening in Afghanistan and they were fearful of the implementation of the Sharee’ah, in that Emirate. They feared that this could spread to the surrounding nations and so they went forth with this terror campaign in which they used all sorts of internationally prohibited weaponry such as cluster bombs, bunker busters and others, killing thousands of civilian men, women and children. These actions were unsurprising for all those who were aware of the severe enmity that disbelievers hold for Islam and the Muslims because Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) said:

...وَلَا يَزَالُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَن دِينِكُمْ إِنِ اسْتَطَاعُوا...

...And they will never cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion (Islamic Monotheism) if they can... [al-Baqarah 2:217]

Many of the rulers of the Arabs and Muslims and some of the scholars of Islam sided with the disbelievers. They supported the war against the Muslims in Afghanistan without having any evidence that linked what happened in America to the Taliban government and without knowing the meaning of terrorism as defined by America and its friends in disbelief.

For those of you who have taken the time to read what I have written on this issue, you might assume that the sole aim of the Crusaders in their campaign against the Afghan is to crush Islam and Jihad only. While this is the chief aim, the reality is that the Crusaders have other goals in this campaign also. One is to exercise control over the nuclear reactors in that area, like those in Pakistan, because the possession of nuclear weapons by Muslims is regarded as a great threat to the Judeo-Christian Zionist interests. It wasn’t long ago that the Zionists destroyed the nuclear reactors in Iraq, and they are making present attempts to harm the nuclear reactors in Pakistan through a conspiracy.

Another goal is control of the oil fields in Central Asia in an effort to seek further control of this world. If this were not the case, then the whole world is filled with organised terrorist movements in South America, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, North of America, Europe, Spain, Italy and Russia. Why did they not launch campaigns and declare their war on those countries in which these criminal terrorist movements exist? And if this is a war against terrorism, then the state-sponsored terrorism perpetrated by the Zionists in Palestine, the Americans in Afghanistan, the Serbians in Bosnia and Kosovo are true examples of the reality of terrorism.

I ask Allah to grant success to all the Muslims, to abide by the Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger (ﷺ) and to ward the Muslims away from disobeying the teachings of the pure Sharee’ah.

And may Allah send His peace and blessings upon Muhammed, his family and companions

Dictated by Hamud bin Uqla ash-Shu'aybi
Former Professor in the Faculty of Sharee’ah and Usul ad-Deen at the Imam Muhammad bin Sa'ud Islamic University, Qaseem Campus

5/9/1422 AH

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