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Religious Scholars Challenge “Noble Martyr” Myth

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Suicide bombings are haraam and their perpetrators are mistaken if they believe paradise awaits them, scholars and clerics warn.

By Shahriar Sharif

With extremist groups continuing to distort Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) teachings in an effort to lure young recruits, religious scholars are calling for more awareness concerning the true message of Islam. Acts such as suicide bombings are offensive to God, they say, and their perpetrators are destined for punishment rather than paradise. “Islam doesn’t permit suicide under any circumstances. It is haram in our religion,” Abdul Munim Khan, Chairman of Islamic Studies and Dawa at Darul Ishan University in Dhaka, told Khabar South Asia. “Unfortunately though, some misguided Islamists use suicide bombers to advance their own agenda,” he added.
Such groups typically seek to portray suicide bombings as an act of noble martyrdom, bound to bring rewards in the afterlife. But the holy scriptures, scholars insist, indicate this is not so.
“Do not take your own lives,” the Qur’an states (Sura An- Nisa; Verse 29). According to Kazi Nurul Islam, professor of World Religion and Culture at Dhaka University, the message is unambiguous. “It is clear from this verse that Islam does not support this kind of self-killing at all,” he told Khabar.
Many suicide bombers have been denied a full Islamic burial as a result of their actions. Last September, a 17-year-old Pakistani youth died in Afghanistan after falling in with the Taliban, and was buried without a funeral prayer. His family never got to see their son’s body or bury him. “Suicide bombers are the most unfortunate people on the surface of the earth, as they are neither bathed nor buried,” Central Asia Online quoted a Pakistani cleric, Maulana Aminullah Shah, as saying.
“The act of suicide bombing is condemnable,” said Ajmal Shah, a prayer leader in Peshawar. “All those blowing themselves up and killing innocent people wouldn’t find a place in paradise as they had been promised by their trainers.” Parents have a big responsibility in grooming their children to follow the right path of Islam. Saleha Begum, mother of Maruf Raihan, a business administration student at East-West University in Dhaka, agrees.
“It is the primary responsibility of any guardian to ascertain that his/her children do not get caught up in extremism and fundamentalism. No one can take responsibility for my children. I have to keep an eye all the time watching what are they eating, where they are going, who are they hanging out with, in order to make sure they are on right path.Any letup in this responsibility could land a child in the trap laid by miscreants masquerading as Islamists”, she said.
(Khabar South Asia)