If suicide (bombing) is haram, how is dying for a cause different from killing yourself for a cause?
I completely understand that suicide is haram. And suicide bombing on a civilian population, be it any where in the world is completely haram. But I thought suicide bombing in a war zone, when the target is military is just another tool of combat/battle? Isn’t death a possible outcome when one goes to war anyways?
And isn’t going to war itself suicidal, its like knowingly you push yourself into realms of death, even though not literally killing yourself, but being in line for death. Why is war legitimate in the first place then? Even if its enforced upon Muslims, why should they fight because going to war, means death could be expected, hence again in a broader perspective, going to war is suicidal? Should the people instead run and hide, or surrender or use ancient methods of war craft (swords, daggers etc) in the absence of lack of modern weaponry? How different is “dying for a cause” from “killing yourself for a cause”?
Also, you will be surprised to know, I spoke to a few people my age yesterday regarding suicide bombing to get their perspective, people from different backgrounds. And all of them were confused as to whether it is haram or not.
A war or battle is an encounter between two forces who have declared that they are fighting with each other. The participants in it are clear as indeed are the non-participants. You do risk your life in a war but you don’t kill yourself normally unless there is an unavoidable strategy.
If we apply the principles I have mentioned above to the case of Palestine, the question is who is at war with whom? Are the Israeli forces at war with the entire Palestinian population? If that is the case, then let’s not blame the Israelis for killing the civilians. Indeed they kill many innocent civilians, but a part of the reason for that is that those civilians are involved in an open war with the Israeli forces.
Killing oneself as a matter of routine is a very dangerous thing. It is even worse when such a technique is being adopted to kill civilians on the other side. What message do we want to put across? What image of Islam are we presenting? And if you condone suicide bombing in Palestine, how can you condemn it in Pakistan? After all, when there is a genuine war strategy which Muslims are allowed to follow, it is for them to decide as to who are their enemies and who should be killed in what manner.
The fact that suicide bombing is getting popular as a way amongst the intelligent youth of our country is really very scary. Let’s try to understand what is a legitimate war strategy and what is not. Those who kill themselves in such a manner also arrange to get many others killed. Human life becomes so cheap that nobody cares for it. The Almighty on the other hand has informed us that taking a single life is as if you have killed the entire humanity.
It was precisely for the reason that Muslims should not allow themselves to be killed unnecessarily that the Almighty did not make it binding on them to fight their enemies even when there was an otherwise legitimate reason to do so if their military strength was less than half as much as that of their enemies. God doesn’t want us to be desperate. He wants us to be bold enough to face the realities of life and to live with them. If we are militarily weak, we should strengthen ourselves instead of resorting to desperate ways.