|Wa`alykum As-Salamu wa rahmatullahi wabarakaatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear brother in Islam, we appreciate your forwarding the question to us, with the aim of getting acquainted with the teachings of your religion. This is what is required of all Muslims, to strive hard in seeking knowledge with which he will benefit Muslim Ummah.
First of all, we have to bear in mind that when we, Muslims, state that Islam is a religion of peace, we are not trying to prove something unreasonable or solve a crossword puzzle. Rather, we are just stating a fact backed by clear-cut evidence and unquestionable proofs. Even we don’t need to state this fact, for Islam, in itself, is self-explanatory, in terms of its meaning, its noble teachings and the core of its message conveyed by the Prophets Allah sent to mankind. At the same time, all peoples believe that peace and security should be attained through justice and equity.
Regarding the martyr operations, following is a relevant quotation of the resolution ofthe Islamic Fiqh Academy affiliated to the OIC in its fourteenth session, held in Duha (Qatar) 5–13 Dhul-Qi`dah1423 A.H., 11–16 January 2003 C.E.:
The Islamic Fiqh Academy stresses that martyr operations are a form of jihad, and carrying out those operations is a legitimate right that has nothing to do with terrorism or suicide. Those operations becomeobligatorywhen they become the only way to stop the aggression of the enemy, defeat it, and grievously damage its power.
Martyr operations are not suicide and should not be deemed as unjustifiable means of endangering one’s life. Allah says in the Glorious Qura’n: (And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good) (Al-Baqarah 2: 195).
The verse obviously indicates that failing to spend in Allah’s Cause is like casting oneself into ruin. That is the reason behind the revelation of the noble verse. Reviewing the Islamic rule: “Words should be construed as imparting general meanings regardless of their specific occasions”, the meaning of the afore-mentioned verse is bound to extend to include any negligence of a religious duty; i.e. forsaking a religious duty entails casting oneself into ruin. The same applies to committing sins.
Therefore, it’s quite an abysmal analysis for someone to focus on the afore-mentioned verse through a narrow a perspective, without taking into consideration all relevant points.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) strictly forbade suicide and made it clear that anyone who commits suicide would be cast into hell. But in such case suicide means Muslim’s killing himself without any lawfully accepted reason or killing himself to escape pain or social problems.
On the other hand, in martyr operations, the Muslim sacrifices his own life for the sake of performing a religious duty, which is jihad against the enemy as scholars say. Accordingly, a Muslim’s intention when committing suicide is certainly different from his intention when performing a military operation and dying in the Cause of Almighty Allah. So it is natural that the religious legal status would differ in each case, as Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) says in a hadith:“Actions are but by intention, and every man shall have but that which he intended.”
This means that martyr operations are totally different from the forbidden suicide. Concerning the Palestinians, they carry out the operations in showing resistance to the aggression launched by the enemy who has occupied their land, destroyed their houses, desecrated their sacred places and driven about four million of them out of their houses, replacing them with even larger numbers of Jewish settlements.
The enemy relies on sophisticated military equipments while, at the same time, denying the Palestinians their basic human rights, killing their women, children and men mercilessly, and rendering the Palestinians powerless and incapable of defending themselves—even all the Arab countries face the same fate, lacking necessary weapons.
So the Palestinians have nothing in their disposal but stones which they throw at their enemy in order to defend their country. This, despite its indication of a high morale, cannot deter the enemy this way. So the Palestinians resort to martyr operations, in which the martyr blows himself/herself up, sacrificing his life for the sake of his country and inflicting serious but reciprocal harms on the enemy.
In the light of the above-mentioned facts, I believe that those missions are a sacred duty carried out in form of self-defense and resisting aggression and injustice. So whoever is killed in such missions is a martyr, may Allah bless him with high esteem. I call on every Palestinian not to hesitate in carrying out such operations as long as they are the only way of making jihad and are made with an intention of sacrificing one’s life for the Sake of one’s religion and nation. I wish that other scholars who hesitate concerning such a matter to reconsider their views according to what I have said and what other scholars have said. May Allah guide us all to what is right.