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Save Aleppo: Islam Says

By Mohamed Ramadan
The ongoing massacre in Aleppo which has overstepped all the religious and international conventions is a real shame in the face of humanity and history.

When Almighty Allah created Adam (peace be upon him), Allah commanded Angels as well as Iblis (Satan) to prostrate before Adam. It was a great honoring to Adam, the new creature who excels other creatures. Iblis (Satan) refused to follow the orders of God claiming superiority over Adam. The Qur’an reads,

[Allah] said, “O Iblis, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant [then], or were you [already] among the haughty?” He said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.” (Sad 38:75-76)

In this verse, God tells Iblis that He has created Adam with His Own Honorable Hands which implies how dear to God Adam (i.e. man) is. It is a special honor that God bestows upon man more than other creatures, including Angels and the Jinn. The verse also illustrates that God loves his dear creature, i.e. man, and deems his dignity and life more sacred than anything else. In another verse, God stresses his honoring of Adam over other creatures saying,

And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them to much of what We have created, with [definite] preference. (Al-Israa’ 17:70)

This verse also tells us that Almighty Allah has given humans, referred to by Adam and his offspring, special honor, esteem and preference over much of His creatures. The above verse does not refer to humans in any religious, cultural or racial context, nor does it assign this honoring to certain doctrine without the other. It is general and involves the whole offspring of Adam until the Day of Judgment. The same concept is further asserted by the actions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who shows full respect to people regardless of their religion. `Abdur-Rahman ibn Abu Layla narrated that Sahl ibn Hunayf and Qays ibn Sa`d were sitting in the city of Al-Qadisiya. A funeral procession passed in front of them and they stood up. They were told that funeral procession was f one of the inhabitants of the land i.e. of a non-believer, under the protection of Muslims. They said, “A funeral procession passed in front of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he stood up. When he was told that it was the coffin of a Jew, he said, “Is it not a living being (soul)?” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Moreover, Islam strictly prohibited any kind of encroachment against the human soul and life. Islam considers bloodshed of people as a heinous major sin whose doer is penalized with eternal residence in the Hellfire where he will be subjected to great torment. Almighty Allah says,

But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment. (An-Nisaa’

The Qur’an also considered killing a person as an aggression against the whole humanity. It reads,

Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors. (Al-Ma’idah 5:32)

The prohibition of bloodshed in Islam is not confined to Muslims without others. Rather, the people of other religions, classed as Mu`ahid (a person who has a pledge of protection with Muslims) must be defended and protected. `Abdullah ibn `Amr narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever killed a Mu`ahid (a person who is granted the pledge of protection by the Muslims) shall not (even) smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of traveling). (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) Also, the Qur’an prohibits killing any person, except through the legal ways,

And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.” (Al-An`am 6:151)

This command is general involving the souls of Muslims and non-Muslims on an equal terms because justice in Islam is not to be parted. Imam Al-Qurtubi (a great Muslim scholar of the Qur’an Exegesis) comments on this verse saying, “This verse is clear in forbidding killing souls, whether it is of a Muslim or a Mu`ahid (non-Muslims) except through the rights, which entails its killing.”[1]

This clear stance of Islam rejects any aggression against the human soul, even by half a word. It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever supports the killing of a believer, even with half a word, he will meet Allah (Glory be to Him) with (the words) written between his eyes, ‘He has no hope of the mercy of Allah.” (Ibn Majah)

Indeed, this is a reminder for everyone who disregards the sanctity of people’s life and finds it easy to assault against them. The ongoing massacre in Aleppo which has overstepped all the religious and international conventions is a real shame in the face of mankind and history. It is obligatory upon the international community to stop and have a united situation against these heinous actions by all possible means and on all levels. Neither Islam nor any religion admits this heinous genocide. The coming generation will damn us all for standing helpless against this wretched farce. It is an assault against our conscience, morals, faiths and cultures. In Aleppo, civilians are hunted like pigeons and ducks everywhere without any attention to the young children, women or the aged ones. What a shameful dilemma we live in today!! What is the guilt of those armless innocent ones who are subject to horrific murder day and night? The international institutions must undertake their responsibility in stopping this carnage.The required Muslim reaction:

  • The Muslim governments have to take a powerful stance against this great genocide going on in Aleppo at all spheres. Almighty Allah says,

The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. (At-Tawbah 9:71)

Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “The relationship of the believer with another believer is like (the bricks of) a building, each strengthens the other.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Nu`man ibn Bashir (may Allah be pleased with them) reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

  • Muslim individuals should make sincere supplication to Allah to help the people of Aleppo, bring them victory and preserve their lives. It is reported that the Prophet remained for a full month praying to Allah to save the oppressed Muslims in Makkah who have been subject to the torture and harms at the hands of the disbelievers. Abu Hurairah narrated “When the Prophet (peace be upon him) raised his head after bowing [in the prayer] he said, “O Allah, save Al-Walid ibn Al-Walid and Salama ibn Hisham and ‘Aiyyash ibn Abu Rabi`a and the helpless weak believers of Makkah. O Allah, be hard on the tribe of Mudar. O Allah, send on them (famine-drought) years like the (famine-drought) years of (the Prophet) Yusuf (Joseph).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
  • The imams of mosques should make Qunut (du`aa after raising from bowing during the prayer), following the above action of the Prophet during the times of aggression against any Muslim anywhere.
  • Supporting by donations: It is highly required upon all of us who have financial capacity to help the people of Aleppo by whatever he can offer of money and in-kind aids. You can donate via this link: http://bit.ly/2hwEZOl
  • Supporting the rights and the issue of the people of Aleppo via various platforms and on the social media to spread their issue worldwide, create global support and make a state of awareness of their conditions among all people.
  • Use of the various legal means to request the governments to take actions in supporting the rights of civilians and humanitarians of Aleppo.
  • Repenting to Allah and making use of the Islamic identity that gathers all Muslims, regardless of their nationality or culture, under one umbrella, namely Islam.

May Allah save our brothers in Aleppo, heal the injured among them, shelter them and accept their martyrs!

[1] See Al-Jami` li-ahkam Al-Qur’an p. 7/1332.

About Mohamed Mohamed