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Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn on Suicide Bombings: The Suicide Bomber Is Not a Martyr

Posted by Abu Iyaad
Translated by Abū Ṭalḥah Dāwūd Burbank
Filed under Miscellaneous

Translated by Shaykh Abū Ṭalḥah Dāwūd Burbank (رحمه الله).

Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله) said in his explanation of Riyāḍ al-Ṣāliḥīn (1/165-166), whilst giving some points of benefit from the ḥadīth of Ṣuhayb, may Allāh be pleased with him:

That Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), said, “There used to be a king amongst those who came before you, and he had a sorcerer. So when he grew old he said to the king, I have become old so send a boy to me so that I can teach him sorcery.” the hadīth.[1]

Fourthly: That it is permissible for a person to expose himself to danger for a matter of general benefit to the Muslims, because the boy indicated to the king the way in which he would be able to kill him, and which would lead to his demise, which was that he should take an arrow from his quiver etc.

Shaykh al-Islām (Ibn Taymiyyah) said: “Because this was a Jihād in Allāh’s cause, which caused a whole nation to truly believe, and he did not really lose anything, since although he died he would have to die anyway, sooner or later.”

But as for what some people do regarding activities of suicide, tying explosives to themselves and then approaching Unbelievers and detonating them amongst them, then this is a case of suicide, and Allāh’s refuge is sought. So whoever commits suicide then he will be consigned eternally to Hell-Fire, remaining there forever, as occurs in the ḥadīth of the Prophet, (صلى الله عليه وسلم).[2]

Because this person has killed himself and has not benefited Islām. So if he kills himself along with ten, or a hundred, or two hundred other people, then Islām will not benefit by that, since the people will not accept Islām, contrary to the story of the boy. Rather it will probably just make the enemy more determined, and this action will provoke malice and bitterness in his heart to such an extent that he may seek to wreak havoc upon the Muslims.

This is what is found from the practice of the Jews with the people of Palestine, so when one of the Palestinian blows himself up and kills six or seven people, then in retaliation they take sixty or more. So this does not produce any benefit for the Muslims, and does not benefit those amongst whose ranks explosives are detonated.

So what we hold is that those people who perform these suicide (bombings) have wrongfully committed suicide, and that this necessitates entry into Hell-Fire, and Allāh’s refuge is sought and that this person is not a martyr (shahīd).

However if a person has done this based upon misinterpretation, thinking that it is permissible, then we hope that he will be saved from sin, but as for martyrdom being written for him, then no, since he has not taken the path of martyrdom. But whoever performs ijtihād and errs will receive a single reward (if he is a person qualified to make ijtihād).

1. Riyāḍ al-Ṣāliḥīn, (no. 30).
2. I.e., his (صلى الله عليه وسلم), saying, "Aand whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, then the iron weapon will remain in his hand, and he will continuously stab himself in his belly with it in the Fire of Hell eternally, forever and ever." Reported by al-Bukhārī, no. 5778 and Muslim, no. 109, in the Book of Īmān.

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