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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Martyrdom Operations

Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi
Question 1:

Some people say that martyrdom operations are considered suicide and that they are haram because they contradict Islam. They quote ahadith such as this one by Imam Ja'afar As-Sadeq(a.s.): "A Muslim may fight and get killed [by the enemy] but will never shed his own blood" and ayat such as "Do not kill yourselves, for Allah is compassionate towards you. Whoever does so, in transgression and wrongfully, We shall roast in a fire, and that is an easy matter for Allah" (An-Nisaa 4:29-30). They say this even about the martyrdom operations against the military targets such as the ones used by Hizbollah Lebanon or the ones used by the Iranian Army against Saddam's army (as I was told). The question, are martyrdom operations where a person detonate himself into the army of the enemy haram? Is it suicide? Why or why not? Please answer this question as there is lots of discussion and confusion about this issue.

It is regrettable that the propaganda of the enemies of Islam has influenced the Muslim `Ummah so much that Muslims instead of planning for the uprooting of the Zionist regime and its arrogant supporters have occupied themselves with questioning and discussing the legitimacy of the Palestinian's self-defence which is carried out under the most oppressive conditions imaginable. For sure, when protecting Islam and the Muslim `Ummah depends on martyrdom operations, it not only is allowed, but even is an obligation (wajib) as many of the Shi'ah great scholars and Maraje', including Ayatullah Safi Golpayegani and Ayatullah Fazel Lankarani, have clearly announced in their fatwas. Consider the rewayah from the prophet of Allah (SA) who said: "Whoever is killed in defence of his belongings, he/she is Shahid." (Wasa'il al-Shi'ah, v.15, p.121)

Question 2:

Now about targeting civilians in the Zionist state, some people say that according to the teaching of Ahlul Bayt(a.s.) and the Quran it is haram to target civilians in any case. They also say that Israelis are civilians like any other people while others believe they are settlers and uspurers not civilians. Are the operations done by Hamas and Al-Jihad against Israelis "civilians" haram? Why or why not? How about the Israeli children killed in such attacks? If it is not haram, what is the answer to those who quote the hadith about not targerting non combatants.

Muslims should not attack those civilians of the occupied territories who have announced their opposition to their government's vicious crimes, except for situations in which they are used as human shield and fighting the aggressors depends on attacking those civilians.

Question 3:

About civilians in general. Given the fact that there are mass destruction weapons and that it is not always easy to prevent civilians death in wars like at the old times, what would be the ruling about attacks that unintentionally kill civilians in wars (as in the case of the Iran-Iraq war)? Also, say we live in a Muslim country, and there is another country which attacked one of our cities with nuclear weapons and wiped it out. Then this country announced it will destroy our cities one by one using nuclear weapons. Supposing that country had all their nuclear weapons in one of their cities, would it be ok for the Muslim country to attack this city and destroy the nuclear weapons there before they are used to annihilate the Muslims eventhough that would mean lead to the death of the enemies' civilians in that city. This is supposing that this is the only way to protect the Muslims' life?

With Du'a for Allah to protect the Ayatollah.

In the case of conflict between two Muslim nations, Muslims should assist the oppressed against the oppressor. But before the war is waged, initiating attacks for the purpose of prevention depends on a permission from Valyy-i Faqih.

With prayers for your success.

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