Terrorism: Its meaning and Reality
Shaykh Hamood bin 'Uqlaa ash-Shu'aybi
May Allah have mercy upon his soul
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 trying to define terrorism, and the opinions and understandings have been contradictory with regards to the concept, and despite the many definitions and terms which have been placed for the meaning of terrorism, except, 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], then it is not considered a correct definition, and despite many of the researchers in this field mentioning over one hundred definitions, except all of them lack in definining terrorism a correct and meticulous definition, by which a reader can differentiate between terrorism and other than it, and so that you know how some of these definitions were lacking, I will mention a few examples:
1 - Terrorism is the act that naturally cause one to feel insecure and frightful.
2 - Terrorism results in a gathering of fear within people, by way of violence.
3 - Terrorism is the use of intentional and organised means that naturally stir fear, to attain particular objectives.
4 - Terrorism is a barbaric horrific act.
5 - Acts that contradict societal modes, and form a violation of the honour of man.
And you, the reader, if you were to analyse these aformentioned definitions, and study the level of specification, and the degree to which one can rely upon them to declare if an act somewhere is terrorism, would come to conclude that all of them lack in making a clear categorical explanation of the concept of terrorism, because all those definitions are either too broad or too precise, or not broad or precise, and these difference in the definition of terrorism goes back to the different views, interests and idealogies of the different countries, in that, 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; for this reason, you'll find an act, done by a group of persons or individuals is described as a "terrorist act", and you'll find another similar act, or perhaps even more barbaric is conducted by others, and is not considered terrorism, and I will mention one example here:
The issue of Palestine: For more than fifty years, the envious Zionists have been giving our Palestinian brothers a taste of the severest of punishment, from killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation caused to homes upon the heads of its occupiers, and this act is considered - in the eyes of the sons of monkeys and pigs and their crusading masters in America and Europe - as self-defence, and what those surpressed people do with the stones is called violence and terrorism.
If this is understood by yourself, then know, that the correct definition of terrorism is based on two folds:
1. Defining it according to the Arabic language.
2. Defining it according to the Sharee'ah texts.
As for language, then terrorism comes from the terrorise, terrorised, terrorism, and it comes from the root word rahiba (to cause fear). Terrify, scare, intimidate, horrify, frighten and affray are all synonymous words, all leading to fear, except some of them are deeper in meaning than others, and if we were to follow up on this subject in the noble Qur'aan, we will find that it means extreme fear, Allah, the Majestic says: "And have fear of Me", and He said, "They call upon Us, in hope and fear", and He said, "And prepare for them what you can, from the power and steeds of war, to terrorise the enemy of Allah and your enemy," i.e. to scare them.
Ibn Jareer says: "It is said, 'I panicked the enemy', in that I terrorised them, with terror.
And from it, is the statement of Tufayl al-Ghanawi:
Woe to the Mother of Hayy, you striked in their cores,
The People of Kulaab, the mornings of panic and terror.
I.e. you striked fear in them.
Ibn Jareer says: "Bishr, narrated to us, Yazeed mentioned, Sa'eed mentioned, from Qataadah, "and draw your hand close to your side to be free from ar-ruhb" i.e. from fear. This is the tafseer; ar-ruhb (terror) is explained as ar-ru'b (fear), which proves that ar-ru'b is synoymous with ar-ruhb, and its meaning is extreme fear, and this is supported by his statement, sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam, "I have been given victory through striking fear (ru'b) in the enemy, equivalent to the distance of one month (in battle)"
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, then it is of two categories:
Firstly: A category that is detested and forbidden, it is from the major sins, its doer deserves punishment and criticism, it is at the level of the states and groups and individuals, and its reality: is to attack the calm people through plundering undertaken by a criminal state or group or individuals, this occurs by robbing of the wealth and property and taking the prohibitions and making the pathways outside the cities unsecure, the overcoming of the nations by the oppressive governments and by surpressing freedoms, and ruling by whims and desires, and the likes.
Secondly: A terrorism that is legislated by Allah for us, commanded by him, and it is prepearing the sufficient preparation and inclination to fight the enemies of Allah and His Messenger, Allah says, "And prepare for them what you can from power and the steeds of war to terrorise the enemies of Allah and your enemies," in this noble passage, are explicit words on the obligation of exerting the efforts to terrorise 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. I say: the obligation of preparation for fighting is an issue upon which all the Muslim scholars agreed upon, whether this fighting is defensive or offensive. One should point out that physical and financial preparation is not sufficient for victory, it must be backed up by morale strength and this is found through having strong belief in Allah, relying upon him, increasing in good deeds and staying far from what displeases him. The one who studies history realises the truthfulness of this; the Most High says: "Truly Allah has given you victory on many battle fields, and on the Day of Hunain (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."
When the commander of the army in the Battle of Yarmook wrote to Ameer al-Mu`mineen, 'Umar bin al-Khattab he said: "We are facing a people who are like sand [in numbers], so equip us with strength and supply us with men."
'Umar, radiallahu 'anhu wrote back to him saying: "In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. From the slave of Allah, 'Umar bin al-Khattaab 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 you win and if you corrupt them 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, from them is the battle of Yarmook, when the enemy surpassed the Muslims by number and preparation. One narration concerning the numbers states they were one hundred and twenty thousand Romans equipped with the latest weaponry like catapults, flame throwers and other than it, and the Muslims were a dozen thousand equipped with simple weaponry like swords and arrows, yet despite this the Muslims were still victorious upon their enemy due to the strength of their morale, the basis of which is 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 criminal Zionists understand terrorism in another light. To those low disbelievers, terrorism is:
Islaam and Jihaad; the terrorists are the Mujaahid Muslims. For this reason the disbelievers gathered from all over the earth to fight the Islaamic Emirate of Afghanistan, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, despite the fact that there is no evidence from far or near that links the Islaamic Emirate or Usaamah bin Laaden with what happened in America. The Crusaders and Zionists know for certainity that what happened in New York and Washington occured at the hands of radical Zionist or Christian movements, but because they saw an Islaamic awakening in Afghanistan and they were terrorised by 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 like cluster bombs, bunker busters and others through which they killed thousands of civilians - men, women and children - and the one who knows the harshness of the hatred of disbelievers to Islaam and Muslims, is not surprised by this, as Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, says: "They will continue to fight you until they make you return back from your religion if they can", but what is surprising is the siding of many of the rulers of the Arabs and Muslims and some of the scholars of Islaam alongside those disbelievers and their support of the war against the Muslims in Afghanistan without themselves knowing any evidence that links what happened in America with the Taaliban government, and without knowing the meaning of terrorism as understood by America and its friends in disbelief.
All those who read what I have written on this issue will assume that the sole aim of the Crusaders in their campaign against the Afghan is to crush Islaam and Jihaad only. The reality is this is the chief aim but they have other aims from this campaign, from it is their quench for control over the nuclear reactors in that area, like the ones 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 'Iraaq, and their present attempts to harm the nuclear reactors in Pakistan through a conspiracy.
From their aims aswell is the control of the oil fields in Central Asia, and other than this from their filthy aims by which they seek to have further control of this world. Otherwise, the whole world is filled with organised terrorist movements in South America, like those in Peru, Argentina, Colombia, and the North of America, Europe in Spain, Italy and Russia. Why did they not launch campaigns and declare their war on those countries in which these criminal terrorist movements exist. As for state-sponsored terrorism then the Zionists in Palestine, the Americans in Afghanistan, the Serbians in Bosnia and Kosova [are examples].
This is all that I have to say, and I ask Allah to grant success to all the Muslims to abide by the Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger, sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam, 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 his companions.
Dictated and written on the 5/9/1422 AH.