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ISLAMIC RESPONSE TO THE EVENTS OF SEPTEMBER 11TH

By Dr. Malik S. Khan

A Publication of Motamar at the United Nations by

the International Islamic Council for Da`wa and Relief


According to the Quran, those who kill innocent people are doomed to eternal punishment (25:68-69). "Whosoever slays an innocent person ... it is as if he had slain humankind altogether." (5:32)


The president of World Muslim Congress, H.E. Dr. Abdullah bin Omar Nasseef, Secretary-General Raja Zafarul Haq, Dr. Malik Sardar Khan, permanent U.N. representative and Executive Councillor, and the entire Executive Council of the World Muslim Congress, International Islamic Council for Da`wa and Relief, and other international Islamic organizations and Islamic scholars join and present the following statement.


The Islamic scholar H.E. Salih bin Mohamed Al-lahiddan, Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council of Saudi Arabia, has given the following beautiful statement, echoing the sentiments of Muslims around the world:


"Allah (God Almighty), the Master of all Rulers, has prohibited injustice among humans. Aggression against those who have committed no crime, and the killing of innocent people, are matters that Shari`ah has dealt with: these are not permissible even during wars and invasions. Killing the weak, infants, women, and the elderly, and destroying property, are considered serious crimes in Islam. Acts of corruption and even laying waste to the land are forbidden by Allah and His Prophet. Viewing on the TV networks what happened to the twin towers of the World Trade Center was like watching Doomsday. Those who commit such crimes are the worst of people. Anyone who thinks that any Islamic scholar will condone such acts is totally wrong. Aggression, injustice, and gloating over the kind of crime that we have seen are totally unacceptable and forbidden in Islam.


"Allah says: ‘And let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just, that is nearer to piety." Inflicting a collective punishment is considered by Islam as despicable aggression and perversion. Killing innocent people is by itself a grave crime, quite apart from terrorizing and committing crimes against infants and women. Such acts do no honor to him who commits them, even if he claims to be a Muslim. These sorts of crimes are pernicious: in fact, Islamic scholars resolved to forbid such acts as hijacking planes, regardless of the religious belief of the passengers, whether Muslims or non-Muslims, since terrorizing any person is forbidden in Islam.


"Islamic scholars deplore any criminal and corrupt act, irrespective of whether the perpetrators are Muslims or non-Muslims. Those who are truly versed in the fundamentals and reality of Islam know that such acts are crimes of highest order.


""With respect to what has been reported in the media about reactions and how Americans view Muslims residing in the United States, Americans as guardians of democracy cannot deal with Muslims on the basis of crimes committed by a few. Criminals and aggressors cannot be equated with the innocent and the peaceful.


"We would like to reiterate that Islam rejects such acts, since it forbids killing of civilians even during times of war, especially if they are not part of the fighting. A religion that views people of the world in such a way cannot in any sense condone such criminal acts, which require that their perpetrators and those who support them are held accountable. As a human community we have to be vigilant and careful to preempt these evils. Shari`ah is based on the principle that prevention is better than treatment; one of its goals is looking into causes.


"We pray to Allah to guide the devious to the path of righteousness, and to protect us from all evils and from our own bad deeds, and to be gracious to us."


We, the Muslims of the world, condemn terrorist acts in any form. All the Islamic scholars, in the light of the Quran and Ahadith, and Islamic jurisprudence derived therefrom, condemn the terrorist acts and further state that the Traditions of Islam, the Ahadith (the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad [s.a.w.s.]) and the sayings of all the prophets of humanity, have always condemned terrorism and violence Islam  further shares the knowledge and invites the reader to read the Quran, Ahadith, Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic traditions, Islamic culture, and Islamic history. The reader will find the following is all true:


All the true Muslims condemn this act and wish it had never happened. The world is becoming smaller and smaller in the technological age, and the human family on earth must learn to live in peace and harmony with one another. We share the pain and sorrow of the suffering of all communities of the United States of America.


Let us not further degrade our beloved Planet Earth with war and conflicts. We request the reader to read this not as an environmental article. We all must govern our elves on Earth with the Divinely prescribed way: to live on Earth with actions that are for the betterment of humanity. We should win each other as brothers from the same family. The application of the Quranic verses which are referred to here, similar passages to which have been revealed in the earlier Biblical scriptures, must be interpreted correctly. Each faith must govern itself by the teachings of the beloved prophet who was sent by the Almighty. We should follow the teachings of the Holy prophets who were sent by the Almighty.. We all will win Paradise. The following essay is a chance for the non-Muslim reader to learn about the beliefs of Muslims. If we learn about each other, we can become closer friends.


Allah has blessed the earth on which we live with abundant natural resources, and He has given the human race intelligence and power to use these resources for its benefit. At the same time, Allah has bestowed upon human beings the honor and responsibility of khilafah (stewardship) of these natural resources. The concept that it is our sacred duty to respect, preserve, and sustain the animals, plants, and inorganic resources of the Earth was revealed to the Muslims 1400 years before the term "human habitat (environmentalism)" was coined in the West. Allah has revealed, "Behold, thy Lord said to the angels, ‘I will create a vicegerent on earth.’ They said: ‘Wilt Thou place therein one who will create mischief therein and shed blood?’ ..." (Surah Baqara, ayah 30), for, unfortunately, man has been learning the hard way the lesson that wanton exploitation of natural resources leads to irreversible destruction.


The ozone layer is being depleted. Serious droughts are coming in the world. Children are being born without brains. These are enough signs for humans to learn from their behavior and stop destroying the human race. The atomic explosions of the past have shown their effects worldwide. The world’s economy is at stake. Monotheism, trusteeship and accountability, that is, tawheed, khilafah, and akhirah, the three central concepts of Islam, are also the pillars of the ethics of the habitat of humanity. They constitute the basic values taught by the Quran. It is these values which led Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, to say: ‘Whoever plants a tree and diligently looks after it until it matures and bears fruit is rewarded,’ and ‘There is none amongst the Muslims who plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but is regarded as a charitable gift from him’ and again, ‘The world is green and beautiful and Allah has appointed you his stewards over it.’ Consciousness of the habitat (environmental consciousness) is born when such values are adopted and become an intrinsic part of our mental and physical makeup. Man must learn his responsibility as viceregent. Look at the other planets: they sit barren with no oxygen, no plants, and no animals. Life is not possible there. Allah has blessed this earth with life. We must take care of this earth with a loving, tender touch and make it Paradise for the whole human family. Now we have the obligation to plant the trees of friendship, peace, and tranquility among all nations, races, and communities so they can grow and live peacefully as one human family.


Muslims are prescribed to practice this nexus of values, this way of understanding themselves and their habitat. The notions of monotheism, trusteeship and accountability should not be reduced to matters of personal piety; they must guide all aspects of life and work. Shari`ah (Islamic law) is here to punish the criminal. If one has deprived life and property from a non-Muslim, Islamic law protects the victim. We often say that Islam is a complete way of life, by which it is meant that our ethical systems provide the bearings for all our actions.


The whole humanity is prescribed throughout history to govern themselves in the world. We have been given messages throughout history by the prophets in the ancient scriptures. Yet our actions often undermine the very values we cherish. We must judge our actions by them. They furnish us with a world-view which enables us to ask environmentally appropriate questions, draw up the right balance sheet of possibilities, and properly weigh the environmental costs and benefits of what we want, what we can do within the ethical boundaries established by Allah, without violating the rights of His other creations. If we use the same values, the same understanding in our work as a scientist and technologist, economist or politician as we do to know ourselves as Muslims - those who subject themselves to the Will of Allah - then we will create a caring and practical way of being, doing and knowing, a true Islamic alternative to the environmentally destructive thought and action which dominate the world today. The others should learn from the Quran, because the message of the Quran came for all humanity. The earlier scriptures revealed the coming of a prophet whose name would be Ahmed (i.e. Muhammad, S.A.W.S.), who would have government, law, and a state, and who would bring together Bani Isra`il and Bani Isma`il, the believers in One God (Christians, Jews, and Muslims and all those who believe in one God). This is the promised Prophet revealed by the prophets of the earlier scriptures. That means he is the prophet for entire humanity. Further, the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.S.) revealed that Jesus (peace and blessing be upon him) will come back to the world and bring one religions to the world and govern it according to the prescribed Shari`ah, the divine laws of Allah (God). So the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.S.) took special interest and took Jews and Christians under his wing and saved them from persecution from the Romans. The teachings of Islam recognize all the prophets of the Bibles right from Adam all the way through Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Elias, Elisha, Jonah, Lot, Shui`aib, Saleh, Ezekiel, Zechariah, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Muhammad, peace be upon all of them.


Allah has appointed man as a khalifa, a guardian and a vicegerent on earth. Islam offers an opportunity for understanding the natural order and human responsibility within its principles of tawhid (the unity of creation), fitra (humanity’s place in creation), mizan (moderation and reason with justice), and khilafah (stewardship). The message of Islam in the Quran gives the message to preserve our habitat. For example:

 

" ... Indeed, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: everything renders worship to Him.

"To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: When He decrees a matter, he says to it: ‘Be,’ and it is." (2:116-117)

 

"(Allah) Most Gracious!

"It is He Who has taught the Quran.

"He has created man:

"He has taught him speech (and Intelligence).

"The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed;

"And the herbs and the trees— both (alike) bow in adoration.

"And the Firmament has He raised high, and He has set up the Balance (of Justice),

"In order that ye may not transgress (due) balance,

"So establish weight with justice and fall not short in the balance.

"It is He Who has spread out the earth for (His) creatures:

"Therein is fruit and date-palms, producing spathes (enclosing dates);

"Also corn, with (its) leaves and stalk for fodder, and sweet-smelling plants.

"Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?" (55:1-13)

 

"There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you ..." (6:38)

 

"Do you not see that it is Allah Whose praises all beings in the heavens and on earth do celebrate, and the birds (of the air) with wings outspread? Each one knows its own (mode of) prayer and praise. And Allah knows well all that they do.

"Yea, to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; and to Allah is the final goal (of all).

"See you not that Allah makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap? -then will you see rain issue forth from their midst. And He sends down from the sky mountain masses (of clouds) wherein is hail: He strikes therewith whom He pleases and He turns it away from whom He pleases. The vivid flash of His lightning well-nigh blinds the sight.

"It is Allah Who alternates the Night and the Day: Verily in these things is an instructive example for those who have vision!

"And Allah has created every animal from water: Of them there are some that creep on their bellies; some that walk on two legs; and some that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills; for verily Allah has power over all things." (24:41-45)

 

"Do you not see that to Allah bow down in worship all things that are in the heavens and on earth - the sun, the moon, the stars; the hills, the trees, the animals; and a great number among mankind? ..." (22:18)

 

"Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that (Allah) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from Evil)." (30:41)

 

The knowledge of creation is the basis of environmental teachings in the Quran. For example, it is forbidden in Islam to waste water. Even when one is performing wudu (ablutions for prayers)one is required to use as little water as possible and not to waste it. Allah will give to that (water-conserving) person rewards here and in the Hereafter.


The Quran mentions in 56:59, "Is it ye who create it, or are We the Creators?" reminding the current age to manage biotechnology safely. Patenting life forms has opened a hornet’s nest of moral, legal, social, and scientific concern. The world’s species have to be protected, and biosafety is essential. There is growing public concern about the potential risk of biotechnology.


The Quran warns us, "And follow not the bidding of those who are extravagant /Who make mischief in the land, and mend not (their ways) .." ( 26:151-152). Hazardous waste and toxic chemicals need attention. To reduce chemical risks is vital for sustainable development.


Communities are going through a rough time. Unfortunately the United States of America has undergone a catastrophe. We should refrain from putting Islam under siege. Any person who has committed a crime of such magnitude cannot have religion or fear of God. One has to be a faithless, ruthless individual to kill innocent people. The government of the United States is trying its best to protect its citizens from any abuse. Please join us in our prayer: May Almighty Allah protect all of us and give patience to everybody and let the courses of action take their place, and may the real culprits who have done this job be found. Islam does not believe in terrorism or stand by terrorism. All the prophets of mankind forbid terrorism in any form. Today all religions condemn this act. Peace among communities is established through dialogue, not through violence.

The people who have lost their lives in these buildings and in the planes were innocent. In the World Trade Center, those who lost their lives included Muslims from different ethnic backgrounds around the globe. It is very unfortunate for us to go through this pain. We hope that the world learns patience for people to live and let live and for people to build bridges of understanding among themselves, because this world belongs to the Almighty, and all humans have the right to survive on it. Nobody is inferior or superior. They are all the creatures of Allah. They should learn to respect each other. People should control their anger, and no one should take drastic actions. If one mistake occurred, no one should make a second mistake; rather, one should verify and find the truth. Every human in the United States is going through a very tense moment of his life. This tragedy is costing every person from every faith. We all must get together and work together globally and set aside our differences and work for a common goal for establishing a long-lasting peace. We seek Divine guidance as Allah (God) is alone the Provider, Sustainer, Giver and Taker. We should seek His Divine guidance and settle our differences peacefully and live in peace and harmony. We can make this earth a Paradise for humans to live. If we go to the route of mass destruction, then we all will be doomed. We should learn from past history and have patience and build the close-knit family relationship for all the humans, no matter what religious, cultural, ethnic, or national origin or background they come from. We should provide equal opportunity to all human beings to seek peace without any distinction of race, religion, or national origin.

Say, "O Allah, Sovereign of the Kingdom! Thou bestowest kingdom on whomever Thou willest and Thou takest it away from whomever Thou willest. Thou exaltest whomever Thou willest and Thou abasest whomever Thou willest. All that is good is in Thy power; indeed Thou has full power over all things. Thou causest the night to pass into the day and Thou causest the day to pass into the night. Thou bringest forth the living out of the dead and Thou bringest forth the dead out of the living and Thou givest sustenance to whom Thou wilt without stint." (Al-i-Imran, 26-27



The 2nd Anniversary of the September Events


The Islamic Ummah Joins Hands  Once Again, Condemns Terrorism, and Reveals Its Own Efforts in Combating It


In a statement marking the second anniversary of the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attack that took place in the United States of America, we, the Muslim  Ummah, strongly condemn all terrorist acts and make it clear that those who carried out the attacks have committed a cardinal sin, which is prohibited by Islam. God says: "Nor take life – which God has made sacred" (17:33)

We are striving to combat all evils and to create harmony among mankind through the principles of justice, charity and tolerance, in conformity with God's saying: {God commands justice, the doing of good and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion.  He instructs you that ye may receive admonition.} 16/90

Islam’s  uncompromising attitude against terrorism is everybody's secret1.  Islam advocates tolerance, communication, cooperation and establishment of justice between the various peoples. Through all our institutions’ various councils and conferences, as well as cooperation with the various governments and international institutions, we have demonstrated early  condemnation and readiness to combat terrorism. We have always participated in Islamic Summit Conferences and in various  worldwide  global forums to categorically condemn all forms of terrorism. We proclaim that Muslims are ever ready to cooperate with the international community to eradicate terrorism and have called upon governments and international institutions to convene a conference under the auspices of the UN for the sole purpose of drawing a definition of international terrorism.

We have participated in a number of conferences and symposia to promote tolerance and to appeal for an all-out war against terrorism. In fact, terrorism is one of the most obnoxious types of mischief in the land and deserves severe punishment, if the inviolability of the human being is to be safeguarded and his rights protected. The Quran says {The punishment of those who wage war against God and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or cutting off their hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: That is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the hereafter.} 5/33

We have recently held the following most prominent conferences and symposia to combat and train our workers against terrorism:

1– Symposium on the Image of Islam in the Western Media               2001

2- 16th Session of the League's Islamic Fiqh Council                          2001

3- 2nd Makkah Al-Mukarramah Conference                                        2001

4- 4th General Islamic Conference                                                    2002

5- 37th Session of the Constituent Council of the League                    2002

6- 3rd Makkah Al-Mukarramah Conference                                         2002

7- 19th Session of the World Supreme Council for Mosques                2003

The following two statements were issued during this 19th Session:

1-                 Makkah Al-Mukarramah Appeal against pernicious thought

2-                 Statement on the prohibition of acts of terrorism by the Shariah (Islamic Law)

Resolutions and recommendations issued by these conferences were widely publicized. We want to emphasize the fact that the Muslim World League, World Muslim Congress and World Council of Muslim Communities are organizations internationally renowned for their contribution in the fight against terrorism.  The Chairman of the European Union's High Commission, Mr. Romano Prodi, during an Islamic symposium held at the Islamic Center in Brussels in Belgium, highly praised the Muslim World League’s efforts, as did the Italian Premier Mr. Silvio Berlusconi during a visit to the Islamic Cultural Center in Rome, Italy.   All Islamic scholars unanimously have referred to Islam’s definition of terrorism, which was issued by the 16th Session of the  Islamic Fiqh Council in 2001, and was welcomed by the delegates to the "Earth Summit" conference in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002.   American intellectuals published a statement entitled "What we are fighting for" to cooperate with Muslims for the common cause (appealed to influential Western countries to recognize the fact that Islam as ordained by the Almighty is totally and categorically against terrorism), and to strive to promote dialogue and cooperation among mankind.

Furthermore, we express the bewilderment and the amazement of the Muslims at the virulent publicity campaign that links Islam and terrorism, and appeal to all the cultural, religious and political institutions in the world to distinguish between Islam and the renegade terrorist gangs, and to cooperate with the Islamic organizations in stating the truth and elucidating Islam's attitude with regard to bloodshed: God says: "On that account: We ordained for the children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: And if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people." (5:32). We call upon all international organizations to join us in implementing a joint program designed to promote the values and principles of tolerance and to combat terrorism. Thus it the responsibility of all Muslims and Islamic institutions to combat terrorism in any form. We appeal to peace-loving nations, peoples and organizations to carefully study the Shariah's endeavor to protect mankind against all kinds of evil, and express our readiness to contribute to any effort that aims at realizing security and peace for mankind. God says: "Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and transgression" (5:2)