certifired_img

Books and Documents

Islamic Society (24 Oct 2015 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Let Us Call a Martyr a Martyr

By Syed Mansoor Hussain

October 24, 2015

Today we commemorate the most famous martyr in Muslim history. For Muslims who believe in the sanctity of the Prophet (PBUH) and his immediate family, and accept the commonly presented history of what happened in Karbala more than 1,400 years ago, the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS) is indeed an important part of Islamic history. The appropriate way for believing Muslims to commemorate this event is not the purpose of my discussion today. Personally, I believe that all people of all faiths must have the freedom to practice their faith as they see fit as long as they stay within established legal and social limits. For me today, the more important question is that of martyrdom. Martyrdom comes in different shapes and sizes. Over the last few years, the definition of martyrdom in Pakistan has, at least in my opinion, been expanded a bit too much. On one side we have the martyrs of Karbala and then we have all others who are called martyrs in the media as well as by our politicians.

Most believing Muslims will agree that Imam Hussain (AS) and his companions who perished in Karbala were martyrs. Based upon my understanding of the concept of martyrdom not just in Islam but also in other religious, political and even secular traditions, three things distinguish a martyr. First is devotion to a particular point of view or cause, religious or political, which in the opinion of that person is just. Second is that the cause that he or she is fighting for is also generally perceived to be a righteous one and, third, that the option of not fighting the ‘good fight’, and with it survival, exists. Most of the famous martyrs especially in Muslim history had available to them the option to withdraw or recant from their point of view and, if they did so, they could escape certain death. Both the people I am named after had that option but chose death with honour. Is there honour in death is a question for another day.

The history of Muslims is full of war and, depending on the choice of enemy, those who died fighting were often called martyrs. The question that bothers me is that if a soldier dies during combat while performing his expected duty, is that death an act of ‘martyrdom’ and should he then be called a martyr? For instance, does an army cook who dies when a shell explodes in his field kitchen deserve the label of martyrdom? In any army, all those who join know that they will have to fight if so ordered and that they might die during battle. When we as Pakistanis refer to members of our armed forces who gave their lives defending this country, we accept them as martyrs. But even among them there are those who went beyond the call of duty and received awards for gallantry. Do the armed forces then separate the ‘real’ martyrs from those it calls martyrs just for the sake of appearances?

The need for such appearances has led to a situation where we in Pakistan even refer to civilians killed accidentally during cross border actions as martyrs. Also, all victims of terrorism are now referred to as martyrs. If on a sightseeing trip to the border areas I were killed by an errant bullet from across the border, or if I were killed as a bystander when a particular sect was being targeted, would I automatically achieve martyrdom? And one must remember that martyrdom in Islamic eschatology provides a direct path to heaven. No, I do not think that being an accidental victim of cross-border or sectarian violence justifies my direct entry into heaven. The same in my opinion is true of others who are victims of such violence. All of them are not martyrs but rather victims of circumstance. The worst case scenario recently was that of the pilgrims who died during the recent Hajj. They are being referred to as martyrs. These pilgrims went to the holy city for religious reasons and the last thing they expected or were looking forward to was being suffocated and trampled to death. To call them martyrs is obviously an attempt to absolve the perpetrators of the crime that killed them.

Terrorists justify accidental deaths during sectarian attacks and other acts of religious terrorism through an interesting and rather twisted logic. Those who die during such attacks, if they are deserving of such death were justifiably killed. Those who are innocent, especially children, are martyrs and as such will go straight to heaven. By dispatching all these good people to heaven, the religious terrorist has done them a favour. What better goal in life can a good Muslim aspire to besides martyrdom and immediate ascension to heaven? So, perhaps inadvertently and possibly deliberately many in the media and the political system who carry sympathy for the religious terrorists label the victims of terrorism as martyrs to somehow make their deaths seem as if it was almost a favour to those who died. The same could be said for those who call the victims of Hajj martyrs.

There was a time our religious establishment became completely confused. When the Taliban types were killed by US drones, the dead Taliban were called martyrs. When the same Taliban types that were being targeted by the US drones killed ordinary Pakistanis, the Pakistani victims were also called martyrs. So, it seemed that martyrs-to-be were being killed by martyrs-to-be. For an ordinary Pakistani keeping track of the martyrs, all this became rather complicated. Fortunately, the Pakistani army eventually stepped into the fray and resolved this confusion.

My point basically is that today, as we think of the martyrs of Karbala, perhaps we should also make an effort to separate those who truly deserve the label of martyr from those who we call martyrs for the sake of ‘public relations’.

The author is a former editor of the Journal of Association of Pakistani descent Physicians of  North America (APPNA)

Source: dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/24-Oct-2015/let-us-call-a-martyr-a-martyr

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-society/syed-mansoor-hussain/let-us-call-a-martyr-a-martyr/d/105035




TOTAL COMMENTS:-   5


  • Fight for serving God or else if God really wants you to fight saving Godism, if people want to destroy entire Godism then only we need fight but that should be started from the other side. These folks can consider under Islamic Martyr. Martyr have special respect compare to those who fight for their country and killing a human being

    Fighting for Good or bad deed shouldn’t be justified (unless God wants you to fight), Either by ISIS or Israeli because it ended by killing, these people cannot come under martyr according to my point of views.

    Killing is not liked by God, We ought to avoid fighting. Now Islam doesn’t need fight, such people who think that Islam and Godism is in danger.

    If we carefully ponder the history of Imam Hussain (AS) has tried all the time not to fight. He tried most adequate way to let Yazeedian understand, but it ended with the bloodbath. The same way prophet Mahound never wanted to fight with anyone, but surely he used to hate, and I don’t see anywhere in the Islamic history, Either Prophet Mahound has fought with his own sword and neither he said a bad word to anyone.

    The Man of Revolution never used the bad word even for anyone and served his entire life for God, and came out with the light of oneness of God, he is one whom God loves most, he didn’t kill anyone in the same of God, what do you think? And he changed the entire world in all the fields.

    It clearly indicates that fighting is not required. No one can justify the killing, either for country, love, hate, in name of Islam or God and for any other cause unless God wants to fight as per Qu’ran.


    By Mahound Observer - 10/25/2015 5:03:01 PM



  • Quran only permits defensive fighting instead of aggressive.
    (سورة البقرة, Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #190)-Mohsin Khan translation:
    And FIGHT in the Way of Allah THOSE WHO FIGHT YOU, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors. [This Verse is the first one that was revealed in connection with Jihad, but it was supplemented by another (9:36)].
    As the phrase, fight...those who fight you, is mentioned above, it implies that Quran only permits Muslims to fight for defensive purpose.  Or in other words, Muslims should not fight if their enemies do not fight with them.  The phrase, could only be justified for aggressive fighting unless the phrase has changed to, fight...those who fight you (not).  If the phrase, fight...those who fight you (not), has been replaced above, it would turn up that Quran demands Muslims to fight even if non-Muslims do not fight with them.  However, Quran forbids fighting when non-Muslims do not fight since the phrase, fight...those who fight you, is mentioned above.
    Thus, Quran forbids martyrdom if enemies cease fighting or they do not fight with them.
     (سورة النساء, An-Nisaa, Chapter #4, Verse #90)-Mohsin Khan translation:
    Except those who join a group, between you and whom there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with their breasts restraining from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. Had Allah willed, indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. So IF THEY WITHDRAW FROM YOU, AND FIGHT NOT AGAINST YOU, and offer you peace, then ALLAH HAS OPENED NO WAY FOR YOU AGAINST THEM.
    By zumamusa - 10/24/2015 7:55:21 PM



  • Quran discourages the act of martyrdom.  The following is the extract:
    (سورة النساء, An-Nisaa, Chapter #4, Verse #29)-Mohsin Khan transation:
    O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent. And DO NOT KILL YOURSELVES (NOR KILL ONE ANOTHER). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.'
    The phrase, do not kill yourselves, as mentioned above certainly forbids Muslims to perform martyrdom so as to kill themselves physically with others.
    The same concept is supported by another Quranic verse:
    (سورة المائدة, Al-Maaida, Chapter #5, Verse #32)-Mohsin Khan translation:
    Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a personnot in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and IF ANYONE SAVED A LIFE, IT WOULD BE AS IF HE SAVED THE LIFE OF ALL MANKIND. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidence, and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits (e.g. by doing oppression unjustly and exceeding beyond the limits set by Allah by committing the major sins) in the land!'
    As Quran forbids violence or killing themselves through martyrdom, it promotes peace making.  The following is the extract:
    (سورة البقرة, Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #11)-Mohsin Khan translation:
    And when it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "WE ARE ONLY PEACE-MAKERS."
    As Quran promotes peace-making, it demands Muslims to cease fighting if their enemies withdraw from them for fighting.  The following is the extract:
    (سورة النساء, An-Nisaa, Chapter #4, Verse #90)-Mohsin Khan translation:
    Except those who join a group, between you and whom there is a treaty (of PEACE), or those who approach you with their breasts restraining from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. Had Allah willed, indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. SO IF THEY DRAW FROM YOU, AND FIGHT NOT AGAINST YOU, and offer you PEACE, then ALLAH HAS OPENED NO WAY FOR YOU AGAINST THEM.'
    Quran also encourages peace treaty between male Muslims and their wives so that there would not be violence in the families.  The following is the extract:
    (سورة النساء, An-Nisaa, Chapter #4, Verse #128)-Mohsin Khan translation:
    And IF A WOMAN FEARS CRUELTY or desertion ON HER HUSBAND'S PART, THERE IS NO SIN on them both IF THEY MAKE TERMS OF PEACE BETWEEN THEMSELVES; and making peace is better. And human inner-selves are swayed by greed. But if you do good and keep away from evil, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.'
    As the phrase, if a woman fears cruelty...on her husband's part, is mentioned above with the phrase, making peace is better, it encourages women to seek peace with her husbands if those would torture and fight with them.
    As Quran discourages violence, it forbids Muslims to fight, if there is peace treaty, regardless what kind of religions the other party holds or whatsoever.
    (سورة التوبة, At-Tawba, Chapter #9, Verse #1)-Mohsin Khan translation:
    FREEDOM FROM (ALL) OBLIGATIONS (is declared) FROM ALLAH and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to those of the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), with WHOM YOU MADE A TREATY.
    The phrase, obligations...from Allah, includes a must to become Muslims; a must to follow Sharia law; a must for non-Muslims to pay certain sum of money to Muslim rulers or etc.  The phrase, freedom from (all) obligation...from Allah, as mentioned above implies the right to exempt from practising Sharia law.  As the phrase, freedom from (all) obligations...from Allah, is mentioned above with the phrase, whom you made a treaty, it implies that Quran permits freedom of speech and religion when there is a treaty.
    By zumamusa - 10/24/2015 7:42:03 PM



  • Quran forbids Muslims that are practising Wahhabism to kill innocent Muslims that are not from Wahhabism and also innocent non-Muslims.  

    (سورة المائدة, Al-Maaida, Chapter #5, Verse #32)-Mohsin Khan translation:
    Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that IF ANYONE KILLED A PERSON NOT IN RETALIATION OF MURDER, OR (AND) TO SPREAD MISCHIEF IN THE LAND- it would be AS IF HE KILLED ALL MANKIND, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidence, and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits (e.g. by doing oppression unjustly and exceeding beyond the limits set by Allah by committing the major sins) in the land!"

    The phrase, a person not in retaliation of murder or (and) to spread mischief in the land, as mentioned above, certainly refers to innocent Muslims that are not practising Wahhabism and those innocent non-Muslims that never murder anybody and or spread mischief in the land.  As the phrase, if anyone killed a person not in retaliation order murder or (and) to spread mischief in the land, is mentioned above with the phrase, it would be as if he killed all mankind, it certainly forbids Muslims to perform suicide bombers to explode himself so as to kill innocent people, if they are, that never kill anybody before.  This verse certainly forbids ISIS too attack Turkey or other countries in Europe that have never kill anybody.  Thus, the act of ISIS is not justifiable.

    Besides, the subsequent verse, if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of mankind, as mentioned in the extracted Quranic verse promotes the act of saving life of human beings instead of killing.

    By zumamusa - 10/24/2015 6:23:07 PM



  • In the indian subcontinent, those declaring the Karbala revolution as political battle and thus revering Yazeed bin Muawiya as a pious sahabi and hence calling him "hazrat" and using "radi allahu anhu" for him, most particularly Wahhabi preachers like Zakir Naik base thier aurguments on an urdu book an indian author, Akbar Shah Najeebabadi.
    But they grossly ignore the fact thatAkbar shah Najeebabadi is not as old, authentic and reliable in Islamic history as the early classical Islamic scholars: Allama Ibn Aseer, Ibn Hisham, Ibn Abideen and even the caliph Umar bin Abdul Azeez.

    By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi - 10/24/2015 6:32:02 AM



Compose Your Comments here:
Name
Email (Not to be published)
Comments
Fill the text
 
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles and comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of NewAgeIslam.com.

Content