Late on Friday the French capital was hit by a series of terror attacks. As a result France declared a state of emergency, its security services scrambling to understand how their country and their people became murderous radicals’ target.
An estimated 120 were killed this Friday – a tragedy which millions around the world are already mourning. And so they should, any loss of life to violence is a tragedy and an injustice against humanity as a whole.
But as anger will certainly rise in people’s heart let us remember to direct such ire towards those who are indeed guilty.Let’s not allow racism, bigotry and intolerance dictate our actions. If ISIS came to claim responsibility for Paris attack, the crimes of this one terror organization should not fall on Islam and its people. Radicals might call themselves Muslims it does not make it so. Radicals might call themselves righteous, it does not make it so.
Those Wahhabi hordes, those men who espoused the violence, deviant and fascist ideology of Wahhabism positioned themselves outside the realm of Islam when they purposely rejected its tenets of peace, compassion and moderation for bloodletting.
In his forthcoming book Restoring The Balance, Dr John Andrew Morrow, a prominent scholar of Islam writes: “Islam, it should be recalled, is a religion of moderation. Muslims should be neither extremely lax nor extremely strict in their observances. As we read in the Holy Qur’an, “Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope” (2:286); “[Allah] has not laid upon you in religion any hardship” (22: 78); and “Allah does not want to place you in difficulty” (5: 6). As Almighty Allah warns in the Holy Qur’an, “Do not exaggerate in your religion” (4:171), a verse that can also be translated as “Do not be fanatical in your faith.” The Qur’an also warns believers to “Beware of extremism in your religion” (5:77). In short, Muslims are supposed to be “a justly balanced nation” (2:143).
Although some scholars may argue that the reproach against extremism contained in the Qur’an applies to the People of Book, the Prophet explained that it was equally applicable to Muslims. In fact, he warned his followers to “Beware of extremism in your religion for it is that which destroyed the nations which came before you” (Nasai and Ibn Majah). In another tradition, he stated that “The religious extremists [mutanatti‘un] are destroyed” (Muslim). And again, “Let it be known, the religious extremists [mutanatti‘un] are destroyed” (Abu Dawud). The Messenger of Allah also warned: “There are two groups of people from my Ummah who will not receive my intercession: oppressive rulers, and religious extremists” (Tabarani).”
Extremism and radicalism, whatever their forms and purposes are by definition anti-Islamic as they negate God’s commands to mankind, that Islam is the religion of the middle – that piety and Grace are found by subduing passion and excess.
Paris attack was commandeered and carried out by the enemies of Islam and Islam can never be found in those murderous cries radicals insist on screaming as they kill and plunder, sowing destruction as they go, striking fear at the heart of every man, woman and child.
If Almighty Allah and the Prophet denounced all forms of religious extremism, so did the Twelve Imams. As Imam ‘Ali warned, “Two types of people will be destroyed because of me: the extremist and the enemy.” He stated that “The best stance towards me belongs to those who choose a moderate way.” Imam Muhammad al-Baqir professed that “There are two categories of my Ummah which do not benefit from Islam: the extremists and those who believe in predestination.” As Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq warned, “Beware of the exaggerators lest they deviate your children.” He stated that “The smallest thing that diverts a believer from his faith is sitting next to an extremist, listening to him, and confirming his words.” As Imam ‘Ali al-Rida said, “We, the Household of Muhammad, are the middle nation. The extremists cannot reach us, and the laggard cannot keep up with us.”
Wahhabism is a cancer onto the world which needs to be eradicated. Muslims more than most have suffered under its banner. And so when you look at terror do not see Islam but see Wahhabism, the very ideology western powers insist on rubbing shoulders with when they bow to Riyadh’s will.
Islam, real Islam, the Islam which our prophets and our Imams so bravely and brilliantly taught to their communities is not the faith now practiced in Riyadh.
Wahhabism is the enemy lurking in the shadows not Islam.