Q: What is the rule on someone who carries out a bombing-attack in western countries? Is that considered jihad?
Shaykh Abdur Razzaq al-Mahdi: We have to come down to the basis of this matter. It was narrated from the prophet, peace be upon him, in Kutubu Sittah and Muwatta, that in one battle, the prophet (pbuh) passed by a dead women, it is clear that she is from the polytheists. So he restrained from killing women. In another narration, from killing women and ghilman, i.e. children who have not reached puberty and are not able to fight. These are not fought or killed basically, except they are fighting. And there is no disagreement on this. If he fights in the rows of the enemies, he may be killed. Now, coming to these attacks in Europe, USA etc. Those who carry out such attacks there, they say, ‘they are killing us, sending war planes, firing missiles and weapons on us, etc. to fight us, our women and children, so we are avenging them’. If we look into the issue of these operations, disregarding the fact that killing women and children is not permitted, but pursuant to the principle of ‘harms and benefits’. If we analyze those attacks, as part of the fundamental principle ‘harms and benefits’; we observe that they cause many harms. The benefits on the other side, claimed by some youth, who regard these attacks as legitimate or even obligatory, the benefit is nothing compared to the harms it brings along. A simple benefit shall be that it frightens the disbelievers, so the women etc. are worried and do not send their men hither anymore, ‘we’re going to kill them’ etc. This is a mistake. Contrary to that, it will gather the East and the West against us, increase the bombing and the support for the [Syrian] regime. This is what we have experienced. Because of such attacks in the USA, Australia, France etc., the world has joined forces against us, and come with their war planes, naval fleets and missiles and started killing – an increase in killing. We have a known principle, whereupon there is no disagreement:
Repelling harm takes precedence over procuring benefit
‘‘repelling harm…” e.g. chasing harms away, fending them off, ”..takes precedence over procuring benefit.” For example, to explain this principle; Applying the hudood (laws) is a basic rule. Someone perpetrated theft, definite and witnessed. The ruling upon him is his hands to be cut off. Allah says:
﴾ As for the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent punishment from Allah. ﴿ [Quran, al Maidah 38]
If the amputating of one person’s hand will result in a war, for example. For example because that person belongs to a strong tribe, and it will result in a great carnage. Cutting off the hands is a benefit – the implementation of the sharia. And it deters other thieves and people [from stealing]. That is a benefit. But it will lead to a great war, carnage, and cause many harms. Let’s say one [singular] great harm, but it weighs more compared to the benefit we gain. In such a situation, we would refrain from amputating the hand of that woman. This is the explanation of the principle ‘‘repelling harm takes precedence over procuring benefit’’
This a principle, agreed upon by the (fiqh and ‘usool) scholars. Hence me, and many scholars are against any operation, bombing, VBIED attacks etc. neither in Europe nor in the USA or any other country. The war takes place here, and we fight the [Syrian] regime with all we have and are capable of.