Muslim Reaction to Bin Laden’s Death
Which Side Does One Support?
Last night here in Pakistan an event of special significance to the entire world was reported. In a televised address US President Barack Obama confirmed that al-Qaeda founder and leader Osama Bin Laden had been killed during a US Military operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Reaction to Bin Laden’s death is coming in from all quarters and has taken every type of electronic and print media go full throttle. Some rejoice the alleged assassination, while a few see this as a tragic event. In any case a lot of questions are being asked from Muslims about their reaction to this event. I too was enquired by such, hence a brief statement making my position very clear.
All forms of bloodshed, whether in the name of religion or country is Un-Islamic
Its perpetrators, no matter which side they are on have not committed a commendable act. The way for conflict resolution is not bombing & killing people, but civil dialogue and peaceful negotiations. There are also non violent ways available to capture dangerous criminals that can be ingeniously employed. War and warriors are never ‘Holy’ as they defy Divine orders which explicitly say no blood shed should be done:
وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ لاَ تَسْفِكُونَ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَلاَ تُخْرِجُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ مِنْ دِيَارِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ
“And (remember) when We took your covenant (saying): Shed not the blood of people, nor turn out people from their dwellings. Then, (this) you ratified and (to this) you bear witness.” Al Baqara 2:84
Whether they be religious zealots waging war believing it to be their divine duty as Bin Laden and cohorts were presented, or men in uniform who have sworn an allegiance to their country to go to war and believe it to be a righteous act as the US Military and its allies – are both wrong, as Allah’s injunction is: Shed not the blood of people”. Both parties defy the orders of Allah. God Almighty has never ordained war as a path of righteousness, but His invitation is to peace, and all of His messengers from Noah to Muhammad were messengers of peace.
وَاللَّهُ يَدْعُو إِلَى دَارِ السَّلاَمِ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ
“Allah calls to the home of peace and guides whom He wills to a Straight Path.” Yunus 10:25
يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيرًا مِمَّا كُنْتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنْ الْكِتَابِ وَيَعْفُو عَنْ كَثِيرٍ قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ مِنْ اللَّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُبِينٌ
يَهْدِي بِهِ اللَّهُ مَنْ اتَّبَعَ رِضْوَانَهُ سُبُلَ السَّلاَمِ وَيُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنْ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَيَهْدِيهِمْ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ
“People of the Book, now there has come to you Our Messenger, making clear to you many things you have been concealing of the Book, and effacing many things. There has come to you from God a light, and a Book Manifest, whereby God guides whosoever follows His good pleasure in the ways of peace, and brings them forth from the shadows into the light by His leave; and He guides them to a straight path. ” Al Maida 5:15
Allah “calls to the home of peace” and messenger and revealed Book guide to “ways of peace” are a declaration to humanity that instead of building horrible weapons of mass destruction and residing in bloody conflicts and war, human beings need to co-exist peacefully and resolve differences in a peaceful manner. This is the very purpose of their existence and the goal of divine guidance. Can one say that those who kill, maim and shed blood are working towards that goal? The answer is a definite no. And so is the answer clear to the question as to which party in last night’s encounter in Abbottabad, Pakistan was on the true path.
Sunnat Allah is in Practice in the Entire Universe, Including Human Affairs
The type of actions people do, that type of wages they get in return. There are numerous forms of punishment mentioned in the Qur’an for human misconduct. Torment that oppressors receive in this life, [prior to afterlife] which is for none else but their own doing and is embedded in their own action. One of these is the law that if people commit oppression and unjust aggression, then one day they too will have to face an oppressor who will unleash tyranny and aggression on them in the same manner that they used to unleash on others.
وَكَذَلِكَ نُوَلِّي بَعْضَ الظَّالِمِينَ بَعْضًا بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ
“Thus do we make the wrong-doers turn to each other, because of what they earn. ” Al Anam 6:129
We see that dictators, despots, terrorists, militants, murderers are one day destroyed by forces similar to them and with greater power, and this phenomenon is living commentary of the words: “the wrong-doers turn to each other, because of what they earn. “. I do not need to give names, but the principle is in action and for all to witness. Furthermore we read in the Qur’an about a timeless principle:
اسْتِكْبَارًا فِي الأَرْضِ وَمَكْرَ السَّيِّئِ وَلاَ يَحِيقُ الْمَكْرُ السَّيِّئُ إِلاَّ بِأَهْلِهِ فَهَلْ يَنْظُرُونَ إِلاَّ سُنَّةَ الأَوَّلِينَ فَلَنْ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّهِ تَبْدِيلاً وَلَنْ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّهِ تَحْوِيلاً
“(because of their) arrogance in the land and their plotting of evil. But the evil plot encompasses only him who makes it. Then, can they expect anything (else), but the Sunnah (way of dealing) of the peoples of old? So no change will you find in Allah’s Sunnah (way of dealing), and no turning off will you find in Allah’s Sunnah (way of dealing). ” Al Fatir 35:43
The words: “But the evil plot encompasses only him who makes it.” makes it evident that anyone who resorts to aggression and bloodshed in the world, will one day face the same. And this is confirmed as a timeless law which will never change through the words: “So no change will you find in Allah’s Sunnah (way of dealing), and no turning off will you find in Allah’s Sunnah (way of dealing).”
The law of Allah is in operation in the world. The type of actions one does, that type of consequences he will eventually face. The truth of the Quranic statement can never be belied. One should repent and amend his or her conduct before the penalty occurs. When two parties engage in bloodshed against each other, then neither is right. It is actually a war between two wrongs.
No sides are to be taken.