The legitimacy of suicide attacks against the enemy has mounted to a e a controversy between Saudi and Egyptian clerics.
The debate started when the daily Al Sharq Al Awsat asked the Saudi Mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz Ben Abdullah Al Sheikh about his opinion regarding Muslims carrying out suicide attacks against enemies, as with the case of the Palestinians.
“There is no evidence in Sharia [Islamic Law] I know of to legitimize such operations,” the mufti replied.
The head of the top religious authority in the kingdom added that the attacks are more of a suicide than jihad, or holy war.
According to the Islamic teachings, suicide is a sin that leads to punishment in the other life.
However, the opposition Egyptian daily Al Ahrar has published a contradictory fatwa the prominent Egyptian cleric, Yousef Al Qardhawi as saying that “self-detonation of Muslim mujahideen against the occupiers is a legitimate resistance act and far from being self killing.”
For his part, Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi of Al Azhar, the top Sunni authority, ruled out that the Saudi mufti meant that such operations are considered as un-Islamic.
An official from Al Azhar cited him as saying “I think that neither the Saudi mufti, nor any other Muslim cleric in the world would say that people who explode themselves among enemies are committing suicide.”
But when such acts target women, children or old people, they are not legitimate, according to Tantawi.
But Al Sheikh stood firm on his fatwa when he told The Associated Press in an interview that a Muslim who terminates his life is violating the Islamic teachings.
He went farther to judge suicide bombers as non-Muslims who should not be buried in Islamic graveyards, or given Islamic funerals.
Such ruling is customarily issued by clerics in extreme case, when a Muslim is definitely considered outside the circle of Islam – Albawaba.com