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Suicide Bombers & Shahadat

28 January, 2008

By Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)


There is no denying the fact that suicide is not permitted in Islam. Some even say that  the Namaz e Janaza of the person committing suicide cannot be held. The holy  Qura’n is very clear about the killing of the innocent persons and decrees  killing of one innocent person equal to the killing of the entire humanity.  Then, in spite of such clear injunctions, it is matter of great concern for us all, how is a breed of the suicide bombers being nurtured in the name of Islam?  Has it to do something with the concept of shahadat?  Apparently it looks so.

A friend travelling from Pindi to Peshawar by bus had this horrific tale to tell. A somewhat over clad young man of about seventeen on boarding the bus went to the driver and showing him something under his woollen shawl talked to him in a rather conspiratorial manner. He then sat next to my friend behind the driver seat and the bus rolled on. The young man remained quiet and uncommunicative mostly with eyes closed all along till the bus reached Peshawar.  Before alighting he again went to the driver, shook him by the hand and whispered something to him. The moment he got down the bus the driver shrieked hysterically and shouted to the passengers that the boy was wearing a suicide jacket and had instructed him to run the bus into any military vehicle that came their way. As they had not come across any such vehicle the boy had now felt sorry for the driver that how unlucky they both had been to have not been able to  embrace shahadat and go to Jannat where the Holy Prophet (SAW) himself had been waiting in person to embrace and welcome them!. 

Such naive young men are being prepared for such the  ‘shahadat’ in a very well planned manner. Great care is taken in their initial selection and then they are brain washed in a professional psychological manner. Even given psychopathic drugs to help them accept and assimilate the beliefs readily. Recently a new dimension has been added to this indoctrination. That is; to convince them of their attaining the shahadat not only for themselves, but also for all those whom they will kill in the process. For, they will all be also shaheed. What could be more rewarding for a young man that he will be able to open the gates of the paradise for others also. Such belief that he will be instrumental in securing shahadat for many others along with his own shahadat makes them still more resolute in their conviction. “How lucky would they all be – like the driver in this case – who will also be blessed with the shahadat through him?”, could be a great motivating thought process for anyone.

This kind of indoctrination is not new in the annals of our (Islamic) history. Hiring of the paid assassins had been an old trade. However, Hassan bin Sabah in the later part of the 11th century, introduced it as an organised institution. But first a little about Hasan-i Sabah.  There is a popular legend about the three classmates of Neshapur University of olden Iran. In a spirit of healthy competition each of them – Hassan i-Sabah, Omer Khyam and Nizam al–Mulk resolved to outdo the other two in his achievements in life. There was also a pact amongst the three: whoever was the favoured of fortune would, in turn, help the other two. Nizam al-Mulk rose to a position of prominence in the court of the Turks who then ruled those areas. He got Omar Khayyám, who had by them also made a name in mathematics, poetry and astrology, appointed as court poet and mathematician. Hassan too was granted an office of the Intelligence Chief in the court but soon began eyeing and aiming at the post  held by Nizam al-Mulk. Getting a whiff of Hassan’s ambition, Nizam al-Mulk engineered his banishment from the state. During the days of his extradition once the boat he was travelling in got caught in a severe sea storm. Everyone including the sailors feared of their lives, except Hassan who calmly and composedly assured all that he had received the divine revelation that no harm would come to the them. As luck would have it his gamble worked and the storm subsided after a while. As the boat ran ashore safely and no sooner the passenger alighted, they all were at Hassan’s feet revering him to be the most divine person. Soon he had a great following of the faithful whom he indoctrinated in a particular mystic philosophy. He bought the fort of Alamut (Castle of Death), a mountain fortress located in central Elburz mountains, south of the Caspian Sea, Iran, from where he controlled his terrorising operations against  the state and the rich. He would demand gold and silver from the rich and noble and anyone not obliging was put to death. His highly indoctrinated killer followers would leave a dagger inscribed with the court of arm  of Hassan in the chest of the victim as a signature mark of Hassan bin Sabah’s doing. From this point on his community and its branches spread throughout Iran and Syria and came to be called Hashashins - an Islamic mystery cult. The English word assassin is derived from Hashashins or Assassins.

The legends abound as to the tactics used to induct members into his quasi-religious political organization. A future assassin was subjected to rites very similar to those of other mystery cults in which the subject was made to believe that he was in imminent danger of death. But the twist of the assassins was that they drugged the person to simulate a "dying" to later have them awaken in a garden flowing with wine and served a sumptuous feast by virgins. The supplicant was then convinced he was in Heaven and that Sabbah was a representative of the divinity and that all of his orders should be followed, even to death.

Other accounts of the indoctrination attest that the future assassins were brought to Alamut at a young age and, while they matured, inhabited the aforementioned paradisiacal gardens and were kept drugged with hashish; while Hassan occupied the gardens as a divine emissary. At a certain point of the initiation the drug was withdrawn from them, and they were removed from the gardens and flung into a dungeon. There they were informed that, if they wished to return to the paradise they had so recently enjoyed it would be at Sabbah's discretion, and that they must, therefore, follow his directions exactly, up to and including murder and self-sacrifice.  (source Wikipedia)

That was the modes operandi ten centuries ago. The world has advanced much since then.  Now is the age of audio/video teaching aids, mobile and radio communications, explosives and remote detonations, psychopathic drugs and tranquilizers to keep the naive perpetrator remarkably calm, cool and fearlessness under the extreme trying conditions. As a final product he is groomed into a young pious, devout and determined man with a mission, who has no ambiguity of any kind about his being a shaheed after his death and go straight to Jannat. Similarly he knows that all those killed in the blast will also be called and remembered as shuhada by all those mourning their demise. When shahadat is all around, so abundantly and that easily, what can stop him for attaining it?

We, as a nation too, subscribe unwittingly to strengthen their such precepts by declaring every one who dies in such an attack a shaheed. A case in point is the recent BB’s death, whose followers for political reasons insist upon her being called a shaheed.  God alone knows who is a shaheed and who is not, but we do add to the wrongly held conviction of the suicide bomber by calling every one shaheed that he killed. Should we, therefore, not confine the use of word shaheed and shahadat only for those who lay their life in the way of Allah (SWT) only?  This could make the suicidal bombers have a second thought about his mission – who knows.

Reader Comments:

Can you elaborate on your context

As I failed to conclude where you are coming from and where you are intending to go.
In short one remains to conclude from your comments if you would be so kind to restate your expression.
Thank you

Matloob Zaman, Pakistan - 03 February, 2008

A terrorist is a terrorist & no more

The word Jihad has been abused and misused as well while the urdu term Jado'jahad appropriately replaces the term Jihad in peaceful context.
When you struggle that falls under the definition of Jihad in Arabic, and your struggle could be to attain an education or to fulfill your task at work, while in some crowded large cities one also has to struggle with the traffic to reach to a destination. As such the media should begin to pay special attention to refraining from abuse of word Jihad and replace it with the term Jad'o'Jahad since to people lacking an understanding of languages and vocublary tend to mistake the term Jihad strictly in context of war.

Matloob Zaman, Pakistan - 03 February, 2008

Period or period (.)

I dont find any reason for attempting to tear up the author who has simply put together an article based on his research & observations.
The author should be commended for speaking up against the evil acts committed by the corrupt or corrupted brains that cant think beyond killing themselves while taking the lives of many other innocent people without any basis.
When it comes to claiming as to who is responsible for the 9/11 and who is claiming responsibility you certainly dont appear to be an authority over as to who orchestrated that disaster and for what reasons, amplifying what the US Govt. says for it's propaganda purposes to justify their actions does not reflect a whole lot of wisdom.
Yes it is definitely hurtful to see so many innocent people killed without any reason in that event as well as every life that has been lost anywhere in the world similarly does not qualify any recognition of the perpetrators.
like you stated in your comments, Suicide/homicide bombing is a despicable and cowardly act, it most certainly is and I fully agree with this statement in your posting while I take exception to what appears another reverbation of the propaganda machinery.


Matloob Zaman, Pakistan - 03 February, 2008

Shahadat(martyrdom)

Islam has clearly as a pure and natural religion defined what martyrdom is. If one sacrifies his self fighting against the enemies of God Almighty in his defence or for the cause of the truth, is regarded a martyr. Many a times there are chances upto none to survive the battle or similar situation but that can not be termed as a suicide as Muslims have often in history fought back enemies much more stronger technically or numarically than that of their size while others may term that as a suicide or self sacrificing act.
Now is the question of the actions taken by suicide attackers to gain some political or unwanted momentum which is totally an unwanted and inhumanely act as many a innocent people fall victim to this ongoing practice.

Mohammad Ilyas, Pakistan - 04 February, 2008

GOD Bless You

World class education doesn’t mean, you are an industry competent! Look at Anwar, he was successful in his career. If you are graduated from world class institution and still without a proper profession, something is wrong with you, not with Canada or fellow citizens or our leaders. GOD bless you.


Jones, Canada - 04 February, 2008

one last note

This is pakistan:

The Urdu-language website of Pakistan’s popular television channel Geo TV quoted Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi, the influential leader of President Pervez Musharraf’s political party Pakistan Muslim League (Q), as saying that the country will be guided by the principle of "Islam First, Pakistan Next." He said that the upcoming February 18 elections were for the defense of religion and national security, and that the ulema will play extremely important role in the polls.

Speaking at his residence to the religious scholars’ wing of his party, Pervaiz Elahi said that Pakistan is the only Islamic nation that was created in the name of Islam, and that therefore "it was the duty of the julema to defend this fortress of Islam." According to the report, the senior politician said that his party would turn Pakistan into an Islamic welfare state.
I'm done. As i understand it, you want my head cut off because I don't believe as you. You folks are on your own.

amesha, United Kingdom - 05 February, 2008

Not my way.

Asha you did not even read what I have said, and perhaps you are referring to someone else other than me, I did not even mention Kentucky.
No, I am not for killings at all and that is not what I said. I am all for co-existence and tolerance, if you like to wear a striped shirt thats your option and privilege while if I care for solids thats mine.
I believe that the world is like a garden full of flowers of a variety of colors & fragrances. You don't have to be anti Muslims for any reason and should specifically oppose terrorism which can sprout from the so-called believers of any faith and even the atheists. It is not the place of a human to take another human life or else I wont be following my faith. Intolerance, killing and suicides are not the acts of anyone with faith, since in my belief no faith teaches violence and killing.
I hope you will read it over, review & revise your opinion you chose to target me and even if you did not I will forgive you.

Matloob Zaman, Pakistan - 05 February, 2008

weak minds and good points

Your quite right, Mr. Zaman. I shouldn't have torn the author apart for writing an informative article from which we can learn something. You have a point and I apologize to Col. Jafri.

Are you saying, Mr. Zaman, that I don't know who is responsible for 9/11? Are you saying Mr. Bush & Co did it?

I recently read an article written by a man from Pakistan, in which he said, "those who think 9/11 was an act of Mr. Bush and his government have weak minds." Those were his words, not mine. I only agreed with him.

I believe theories are created for those who can't seem to face the truth - so they put together their own set of beliefs in order to see what they want to see.

Did you know that those killers called the tragedy of 9/11 an act that God loves?

One of those responsible wrote in a journal the night before 9/11. The journal was found in his hotel room. It was a sort of journal of encouragement for his followers. He wrote that the others must "Remember, we do a deed that God loves." That's a paraphrase, but, basically, its what the man said.

But why should you believe me? You could look it up - using several sources and journeying to both sides of your ideology.

Even though we often seem to live in a world of opinion and deliberate misstatement, you might just get lucky find some truth. Then, some day, if you haven't already, you may develop the will to face the truth for what it is, not what you want it to be.

Something wicked this way comes, Mr. Zaman. To deny it, to avoid it with theories, is folly. It could even be the death of us.

Please stop hating America, Mr. Zaman, for just a while while we deal with our common enemy. Then, please take the time to see with unclouded eyes, who the true villains are.

When we win - and we will, then you can go back to disliking or hating America. O.K.?

You have the courage to face up to things. We can see that in what you write. You said "suicide/homicide bombing is a despicable and cowardly act, it most certainly is."

That you dare say that in a public forum shows that you are a decent and brave man. We need more of you. We need huge crowds of you. After all, they can't kill us all...

BTW, asha of the United States of America - you wouldn't be trying to impersonate me would you? Or, am I being paranoid?

Just in case, please allow me to say I am not, nor have I ever been "anti-Muslim."




AYASHA, United Kingdom - 05 February, 2008

Suicidal Quad pro Quid Garden of Eden Road

Are you having increased islamically forbidden Suicide attacks lately? Islam came after early religion of Mayan Pyramid Zoroastrian Parses Hinduism Buddhism .They were modified by Torah then Bible then Quran( only authentic verses remained).Nowhere in Islam it recommended attack on none Muslims .Where are suicide bombers coming from lately or killing themselves while Oil LNG being pumped. Muslim economic countries are at loss with insults where building dynamite is available.Dynamite is used in Road Building Rock demolition. In movie effect suicide killings manmade blood colour skin PVC Skil colour latex rubber on moulded or real skull or skeleton can be made normally or robotically like in Car Plant And R&D labs. Double Bamian Afghan Buddha called Maitreya(friend) Rocan Being called (since 2000 Taliban demolition ) as Roshan Rock .This brought Protest by BJP Vajpayee Myanmar Thailand Japan Chinese Cambodia Vietnam Laos cults attacking Alaqaida Islamists in the format of growth Of suicide bombings Muslim Harakari as Muslim way of life in the heart of Muslim world (everywhere near foreign troops or worker). This include vanishing entire Islamic enlightened or hadith way of life with total loss of economic finance.Suicides routes seem to be in the path siratal mustaquim Straight Road Hiway “path to heaven – garden of Firdaus (paradise Garden of Eden tsunami shipping plane train development Quad pro quid transportation of Canada development region”.


B_LaL, Hungary - 05 February, 2008

asha, Amesha and Ayasha

Dear Mr. Zaman,

First of all please believe I didn't mean to target you in any way. I was targeting theories. At least I meant to. I see now that I should have been more clear about that.

Perhaps I was mistaken about what you wrote in regard to 9/11 in your comment to me on another thread. If that is the case, I apologize. In fact, I apologize whatever you meant. You do have a right to your opinions whether I like them or not.

If you look at the names of those who have commented on Col. Jafri's article, you will see that along with me, AYASHA, there is an ahsa - even an Amesha, all of the United States of America.

It does get confusing, which might be the idea? But who knows...

Anyway, I said nothing about Kentucky either. asha did.

I wish you all the best...

AYASHA, United Kingdom - 05 February, 2008

I can quote for support of my letter.

There are numerous sorces on the net that support my views.

Yes, I did enjoy very sussessful profession in gas engineering. I was P.Eng in CANADA IN 1978-79.

I did very extensive gas engineering work at consultant advisory level in process appilcations and assessments of north American and European(German materials)for many consulting companies and gas producers. I waseven key engineering support to a major lawsuit.I have several world class pubilcations in gas engineering and those were from my professional industry work. in 2004 my name was in almost all main Gas engineering places of gas, refinery and pipe line integrity work in the annual international conferences of Gas Processors of America, Lawrence Reid Gas Conditioning annual International Conference in Oklahoma(2004). I was a rare publisher of two papers in the same annual international NACE conference 2004, in Kyoto annual international conference and in US military publications.All these publications were out of my professional work on gas plants of Duke energy(north America's one of the largest,for Canadian Energy 88, for Petro Canada and for several consulting companies like Alliance Engineering, Jacobs Engineering, Canspec, Skystone and others. this was all professional work.

And I still have to meet an energy engineer in America or Canada who can straddle into almost all areas of gas processes with most diversified education and professional experience.

I would'nt write the article here without documented read into supporting my views here.

I can discuss all that with any body.

and I can tell you that if Pakistan falls due to some outsider vicious and malicious meddling, the whole region will destabilize with destabilized Pakistan.I can lecture any body for years on energy insecurity of nations.Can you imagine how miserable life will be even with 30 percent cut backs in driving.The alternatives of energy are dismal and the world simply does not have the engineering to take chances.Even in the equipment integrity areas, you just do not have expertise who can straddle into multi disciplines.America imports 16 million bpd of oil out of its 20-21 mbpd.Syncrude in Canada is only 2 percent of energy basket in the world and i found this crude as refinery killer during my assessment of now closed down PC refinery that I did in 2005 in Canada.

Stability and security of Pakistan must be the prime concern of all and all foreign meddling must be be declared terrorist acts.I have documented proof and lots of that has been viewed by me.

Anwar Mahmood, Canada - 06 February, 2008

Dont know why

Mr./Ms.Ayasha
If you look at the thread, my comments that are attached to Asha as you will notice it is indented below and were not meant to address you at all.
I hope Asha is able to read those I am not concerned whether Asha responds or not but I simply meant to clarify my position for Asha's understanding.
Thanks for your humility though.
Best regards.

Matloob Zaman, Pakistan - 06 February, 2008

The act is despicable

Regardless of who did it, the acts of 9/11 are definitely despicable and when the real perpetrators are known they should be treated accordingly.
In as much as Bush is concerned in my opinion he does not have the intellect to accomplish such an act, from my lenses I see him no more than a cattle auctioneer.
It is the clique of Chenney & his cronies who even got Bush elected to the presidency by quite unfair means.
The principal of Haliburton that has been eyeing the oil rich nations for quite sometime and have been working on their plans since even before 1998 is responsible for placing Bush the lesser where he is now in order to take advantage of his naive nature and to carry out their own missions from behind the scene.
Even the UNOCAL a Californian oil conglomerate's vice president testified at the US capitol in 1998 drawing the map of Afghanistan and other surrounding states that are oil rich and because they are land locked including Afghanistan they need to build a pipeline through Afghan territories all the way to the ocean banks of Pakistan so that the US may be able to acess the oil more easily and economically, all these events starting from 9/11 & onwards are the links to the same chain that has been in assembling since.
I know it is overwhelming to ponder on all this and not possible through this forum but there is a lot more that adds up to 9/11+Afghanistan+Iraw & now possibly Iran and God forbid Pakistan.
In simple words all I would say is a prayer that May God protect us all from the violence that this attempt to access cheap or free oil is leading to, amen.
Best wishes.

Matloob Zaman, Pakistan - 06 February, 2008

Difference between Suicide and Shahadat

Col. Saab , In your age you should have been the source of enlightment not the other way round. Anyway, since you have broached the subject, the suicides on whom Namaz E Janaza is refrained are the ones who needlessly kill themselves and commit suicide because of failed love-affairs, afraid of poverty and afraid of their inability to settle their outstanding commercial or personal debts and etc and etc and etc and etc and etc.

Current Shahadat bombers are very different from your Majnus and Kenneth Lays and are off-shoots of atrocities and massacares committed by infidels upon the faithful as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine , Kashmir, Somalia etc.

A Shahadat bomber to allievate the sufferings of fellow Muslims personally Gifts his life to please Allah SWT in quest of his Lord's personnal hospitality as is assured to him in the teachings of Holy Koran and in the preachings of the Great Muhammad PBUH.

By the way will you pen an article highlighting the way Criminal Bush destroyed Iraq, destroyed orphanages, destroyed families, destroyed their dignities, destroyed hospitals, destroyed water and power supplies , rendered millions and millions of children as orphans wandering the streets aimless, homeless, foodless and parentless.

These heart-wrenching atrocious attrocities have given rise to these glorious Lions, The 100% Shahadat bombers.

O Allah bestow upon us the basic Islamic wisdom to differentiate between the "Haram Suicide" and the "Glorified Shahadat"

O Allah, O Allah, Strike and Strike at the heart of those who misinterprete, misrepresent and misguide the faithful in their quest to please the worldly masters.

Sadat Khan, Pakistan - 08 February, 2008

Dreams

Mr. Zaman,

I wasn't going to respond to you and your blatant hints about 9/11, Mr. Cheney and stealing oil. You don't care what I have to say, so why would I bother?

It seems you have found your truth and it's what you want it to be. Perhaps that's the only kind of truth many can bear in days like these. The comfort of a truth that agrees with them.

Today I received word from friends who had been nearby in Rawalpindi when the bombs went off.

People, just like us were blown into pieces. A pregnant woman, anyone nearby was hurt or killed. For what? What had they done???

You just hold onto those angry charges regarding 9/11, Mr. Cheney and stealing oil. Be very sure not to look for another side to that story.

You wouldn't want your anger to be shattered like the bodies of those innocent people in Rawalpindi.

Meanwhile, your country is burning and you can't even see it. You're too busy blaming others, namely America, a country not without fault, I admit. Our policies in your part of the world have been at times ignorant and self serving - or just plain wrong.

But right now, right at this moment, we are all being challeged and responding to that challenge is very scary. I know that.

But, what's the choice?

Ayasha, United Kingdom - 08 February, 2008

tis the same

Shahadat is a scarey thought. To think that someone could kill people and then think they are saving them is simply too much too grasp. Personally I would rather see them go to whatever hell or heaven they were after, without taking others with them. Pakistan, prepare yourselfs for those who murder for the sake of religion. It appears it's on it's way. Ghandi said it best when he stated "I leave punishment for God". You guys are as we say in America,"screwed, blued, and tattooed." It appears the Taliban is about to overrun you. Judging from your comment feedback, that would be just fine with you. Except from the Indian folk who think most of you are fanatical nut cases. But hey, I'm just reading feedback, so what do I know? Sucks to be you,
Best Regards
Asha

Asha, United Kingdom - 11 February, 2008

Shadat is something else

I wrote the article of Jafri sabib which is update my knowledge about shadat.Todays It is difficult to define the shadat. Sucide bombers thinks that they will go directly to jannat it is their sin they are innocent they are trained to do so. But those people who trained them to do so they never get up theimself from Jhanam. They were be the flame of Jhanam. I really thankful to jafri Sahib who told the world what is shadat.


Hammad Ahmed Shah, Solomon Islands - 11 February, 2008

Leave the country

Who is forcing you to live in Canada? Protest to the Canadian govt. and then boycot.
Canada, as part of NATO is carrying out cleansing operation of Talibans. This is inhuman. But, the history and present activity of Talibans are not very much human. They are killing development workers and forcing schools to close down. In that respect, they are criminals and Afghanisthan Govt. has allowed the NATO forces to kill Taliban. Are NATO killing people in Kabul or in Northern Areas of Afghainstan?
Muslims are not above law. Everybody has to stick to humanitarian values ( freedom, tolerance etc...). If you are violating the basic human code of conduct, then you will be targetted. Taliban is not targetted for false reason.

Nikus, Hungary - 12 February, 2008

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