Recently, a rare statement issued by the ISIS (the so-called Islamic State) regarding the responsibility of the Istanbul nightclub shooting that killed at least 39 people and wounded dozens more claim that "a hero soldier of the caliphate" carried out the shooting. “A hero soldier of the caliphate attacked one of the most famous nightclubs, where Christians celebrated their pagan holiday,” reported by New York Times.

How could one call them heroes when they're killing dozens of innocent people? How can we counter a threat which knows no limit and with which we cannot reason?

Let the Muslim experts speak

The expression Islamic terrorism is now an oxymoron and there are many Muslim voices speaking out against violence and aggression.

Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, for example, issued a 600-page religious edict dismantling the arguments supporting terrorist acts and suicide bombings. This edict was certified and approved by Al-Azhar University, one of the authorities on Islamic doctrine. Dr. Qadri is unequivocal in his assertion that terrorism and suicide bombing are criminal acts and there's no single justification supporting these acts in Islam. In many public lectures, he presents a detailed legal opinion in which he sets out what is the true meaning of jihad.

What's is the true meaning of jihad?

Acts of terror and suicide bombing are not jihad. Jihad means struggle. Dr. Qadri describes this struggle as being of five kinds.

  1. The first is jihad of the soul. It's the struggle for the purification of oneself and against the inclinations towards wrongdoing. This is the duty of the Muslims to resist greediness, dishonesty, wickedness, intolerance and hate and to cultivate in themselves faith, moral virtue, honesty, integrity, compassion, and understanding.
  2. The second is jihad by knowledge, which is the struggle to spread knowledge, to promote education and understanding.
  3. The third form is jihad by works. It's a struggle in working for the benefit of society, peacefully working against corruption, discrimination, abuses of human rights and other social ills and for a democratic system and social reform.
  4. The fourth form is jihad by money, which includes charitable giving, alleviating poverty and improving the life of the poor.
  5. Last of all is the armed jihad, which is a form of just warfare. This is only permissible if a number of conditions are fulfilled and it can only ever be defensive, never offensive.

If an action does not fulfill all these conditions then it becomes offensive which does not qualify as just war and cannot be considered as jihad.

This is then a criminal act.

Bottom line

Terrorists can't claim their suicide bombers are martyrs or heroes of the Muslim world. No, they are the heroes of hellfire, and they're leading towards hellfire. They are the rebels rather than legitimate martyrs or heroes of Islam.