Last updated on: 6/25/2008 10:47:00 AM PST

Does Islam Condone Suicide / Martyrdom Attacks?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

Reem Raiyshi, a Hamas suicide bomber/martyr, posing with Qur'an before her mission. She blew herself up at the
major border crossing point between Israel and the Gaza Strip, on Jan. 14, 2004, killing herself and four Israelis

PRO (yes)

Hamas, in an article posted on its website (accessed Apr. 1, 2004) titled "Martyrdom Operation in Islam," stated:

"Despite the attempts to discredit Martyrdom Operations by the modernists, by those who seek to pacify and tame Islam, and by those who ally themselves with the infidels, it is clear that martyrdom operations are justified and lawful, according to Islam."

Apr. 1, 2004 - Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) 

Abdel-Samie Mahmoud Ibrahim Moussa, head of the Grand Mosque of Rome, was quoted in a June 10, 2003 World Net Daily article titled "Rome Imam: Destroy Islam's Enemies":

"From an Islamic viewpoint there is no doubt that the operations of the mujahedin [Muslim fighter] against the Jews in Palestine are legitimate. They are missions of martyrdom and those who commit them are martyrs of Islam because all Palestine is a 'Dar al-harb,' a territory of war."

June 10, 2003 - Abdel-Samie Mahmoud Ibrahim Moussa 

Sheik Hamed Al-Bitawi, head of the Palestinian Islamic Scholars Association, was quoted by Al-Hayat on Apr. 5, 2001, and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute:

"If infidels conquer even an inch of the Muslims' land, as happened with the occupation of Palestine by the Jews, then Jihad becomes an individual duty, and therefore, suicide attacks are permissible."

Apr. 5, 2001 - Hamed Al-Bitawi 

CON (no)

Hussein bin Talal, the late King of Jordan, in a Mar. 13, 1996 address to the "Summit of the Peacemakers," Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, stated:

"Islam strictly forbids the killing of civilians."

Mar. 13, 1996 - Hussein bin Talal 

Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti (Islamic judge who can issue a fatwa -- legal pronouncement), as quoted in an Apr. 25, 2001 Gulf News article titled "Suicide bombings are un-Islamic, says Grand Mufti":

"He who blows himself up to attack enemies is also performing an act contrary to Islamic teachings. These acts are clearly not Islamic, and whoever chooses to commit them is a non-believer."

Apr. 25, 2001 - Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, an Islamic educational website, in an Oct. 1998 article titled "Islam - A Religion of Terror?" posted the following:

"Unfortunately many Muslims have taken suicide bombing as being a virtuous act by which one receives reward. This could not be further from the truth. The Prophet (saws) said: 'Those who go to extremes are destroyed'. Suicide bombing is undoubtedly an extremity which has reached the ranks of the Muslims. In the rules of warfare, we find no sanction for such an act from the behavior and words of the Prophet Muhammed (saws) and his companions."

Oct. 1998 -