These days the media is broadcasting such news and stories around the clock which depict that the Muslims have waged Jihad throughout the world; shootings at public places, explosions of time bombs at places of social gatherings, target killings and suicide bombings are all aimed at killing maximum number of non-combatant civilians and is called a part of this Jihad.
The Islamic law which deals with such killings of non-combatant civilians in a true Islamic society is called Qisas (Retribution).
My aim of writing this article is to look at the judicial dealings of such murders; whether the people responsible for such killings shall be required to tender apology and pay compensation for the lives lost or the killers shall be executed.
The fundamentalists who are called Jihadis (I would rather call them ignorant and crazy fanatics) by the media claimed to be justifying their war against rest of the world by saying that they do the acts of violence and mass killings through various means to kill the maximum number of non-combatant civilians of the opponents to hurt them emotionally, psychologically and socially. It’s claimed that there isn’t any Islamic country in the world that would take revenge from the opponents and that such an absence of Muslim military power justified killing people of their opponents randomly.
Thus the Islamic fanatics claim that they kill innocent and non-combatants civilians as revenge. That’s part of the game.
The question is whether such revenge is allowed under the principles of Islam? If it’s proved to be allowed, then the non-combatant civilians killed through acts of violence and terrorism should be classified as people killed unintentionally during acts of war and in such a situation an apology and compensation should suffice to resolve the matter under an Islamic system. However, if it’s proved that Islam doesn’t permit to take such revenge, then the killings of such non-combatant civilians through acts of terrorism shall be classified as homicide and the murderers shall be deemed to be killed, as a matter of law.
As we go through the details of Islamic teachings, we find that the Quran very clearly forbids from such an act of terrorism or violence and tells that on the day of judgement all the innocent people who have been killed without any judicial trial and duly announced verdict of a court of law shall be judged by Allah. This question of non-combatant civilian deaths is dealt by the Quran under the example of infanticidals among Arabs, “when the innocent murdered child shall be asked on the day of judgement; why were you murdered?”. And then the Quran tells that those responsible for such killings shall receive “the punishment of hell forever”.
This means that the Quran categorically warns that all those who kill non-combatant civilians or execute extra judicial killings shall be thrown in the hell and would remain there forever. Thus, any act of extra judicial killing, violence or terrorism aimed at non-combatant civilians is not permitted in Islam and so cannot be classified as Jihad.
Islam lays down the principle that the person who has committed a crime shall be punished for it as the Quran states, “He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned” (2/286).
This principle of the “punishment to the SAME criminal who has COMMITTED the crime” is a very simple principle of the Islamic jurisprudence and is accepted and exercised throughout the world under all legal systems.
No law on earth allows a father to be killed if his son has murdered someone.
Not even a single judicial sighting can be presented where a child, mother or sister of a murderer has to be persecuted or punished for the crime committed by their father, son or brother.
Islam does not tolerate any such principles.
Another question may be: when an Islamic country and a non-Islamic country are at war, if the non-Islamic country bombs the Islamic country killing countless non-combatant civilians, then in such a scenario would the Islamic country still seek and kill only combatants of the non-Islamic country?
The answer to such a question is YES.
The Islamic forces shall not be allowed to kill non-combatant civilians and the reason for this ‘YES’ is that any non Muslim can disobey God however, a true Muslim cannot and shall not disobey Allah and the Quran.
Allah and the Quran do not permit Muslims to kill a wife, a mother, a son or a daughter of a non Muslim who has killed any non-combatant civilian Muslim.
Muslims are not allowed to hurt families of those criminals who have hurt Muslim families. Muslims don’t oppress non Muslims for the sake of revenge. A true Muslim cannot be unjust, even if he has been treated with injustice by a non Muslim.
Muslims must realise and remember that their Prophet PBUH came to end the anarchy, the ignorance and the bigotry. Those who follow any path which leads them to means of bigotry or anarchy, in fact disobey their Prophet PBUH.
Thus any act of Muslims to extend the Islamic jurisprudence of RETRIBUTION upon a non-combatant civilian is ignorance. Such an interpretation of the law of retribution is contrary to the divine law of Allah that does not permit to kill any innocent people. The Prophet of Islam PBUH used to issue special instructions to all his armed forces telling them NOT to kill non-combatant civilians. All companions of the Prophet PBUH strictly followed this guideline and if by mistake any non-combatant civilian was killed then the tradition was to tender an apology and the responsible Muslim soldier was warned against such an act.
The Quran accords extreme inviolability and sanctity to human life (7/32-33). Even if an innocent person is unintentionally killed by accident or by mistake, a Muslim is required to pay compensation for such a mistake. The Quran declares that for such an unintentional killing, the Muslim has to fast for two months and pays compensation (Di’aat).
The Prophet PBUH has commanded that, “the sanctity whatsoever enjoyed by this House of Allah (Kaabah), this sacred month of Hajj and this holy city of Makkah is the SAME as enjoyed by a human life”.
Thus I shall conclude by saying that Islam neither permits any intentional killings of any non-combatant civilians in any war (such killing shall be treated as homicide) nor is it permissible to kill an innocent person of the opponent side, in an act of revenge for any murdered person of a Muslim Family.
The common sense of a person does not allow any enactment of such a law and Islam is, indeed, the religion of nature and common sense.