The Periods of Insanity and the Murders Committed for the Sake of Religion


In his latest talk, Fethullah Gülen pointed out that humanity virtually goes through periods of delirium after certain intervals, and he referred to the possible causes and underlying reasons for the cases of madness in those periods. No matter the perpetrators or the reasons, Gülen stated that every suicide attack is a multi-dimensional murder. He made particular emphasis on the following points:

  • God Almighty decrees: “And it has never been the way of your Lord to destroy the townships unjustly while their people were righteous, dedicated to continuous self-reform, and setting things right in society” (Hud 11:117). Such people are referred to with the Arabic noun “muslihun.” Such a noun-sentence in Arabic denotes having the stated quality as an established character, and that the people mentioned do such things continuously. Then the muslihun refers to the altruistic souls who are continuously concerned about the miserable condition of humanity, and plan to elevate others to peaks of humanity, who generate projects for that goal, and put them into practice. They are devoted souls who virtually have no other concerns other than that. God will not destroy a land as far as such people reside there. Reading this verse, it is possible to say, “As far as there is a group of people who take the Qur’anic teaching to heart, and wish to serve humanity, who take this as the ideal of their lives, and strive on this path, men and women alike, then God will not send heavenly or earthly calamities to that land.” Nevertheless, it is narrated that after the earthquakes in Izmir and Erzincan, Bediüzzaman expressed his opinion that either nobody served there as their faith required, or they were very few in number and inefficient.
  • Answering about the reasons for the troubles in their time, sheikh Najmaddin al-Kubra1 said: “The reason for them is our failure to keep up our line. For disunity and love of the world, God sent wrongdoers as retribution upon us. After we serve our time, God will give wrongdoers their just deserts.”
  • When Muslims deserve to be punished, God Almighty uses wrongdoers to teach them a lesson: the oppressor is the sword of God. Firstly, He uses it for retribution. And then He gives the oppressors their retribution.
  • The means for reaching a lawful and righteous end must also be lawful and righteous. For people who adopt an Islamic course of life, it is a right to have an ideal at every issue, and it is a necessity that the means of obtaining that right be lawful. As the good pleasure of and reunion with God cannot be attained without sincerity, serving Islam and directing Muslims to their true path can absolutely not be realized through devilish means. Others might act brutally; but Muslims cannot, and must not, abandon upright conduct.
  • A murder is especially dangerous if it is considered “holy,” and is committed under the assertion of religious reasons. If the perpetrator is not under the influence of psycho-active drugs, then it is not possible for the murderer to be saved in the next world. Even if suicide bombers commit their act in the name of religion and meet death by making the proclamation of faith, the attackers themselves fall headfirst into the Hell. Because, what needs to be done during peace and warfare are clearly defined by certain laws and disciplines in Islam. Just as nobody is authorized to declare war on his own, or make a decision to kill a person during peace, nobody is authorized to kill children women, or the elderly during warfare. For this reason, from whatever perspective they are viewed, it is absolutely impossible for suicide attacks or similar terrorist acts to be compatible with Islam.
  • When Usama ibn Zayd, one of the blessed Companions of the Prophet, was about to kill somebody during battle, the man proclaimed faith. Still, Usama ibn Zayd thought that the man did not say it sincerely but for fearing the sword and killed him anyway. It was unthinkable for such a great Companion to act emotionally and kill a person out of hatred. It seems that he did not know the main idea of the issue at that point. In that period, the Messenger of God taught everything freshly, and the Companions practiced the teaching right away. How could they know without the Prophet telling them?
  • When the Messenger of God learned what happened, he reprimanded Usama by asking if he cleft that man’s heart open to see whether there was faith (asking how could one be sure the man did not have faith). That brave commander, who was the son of Zayd ibn Haritha, wished he had newly accepted Islam so that he could avoid that severe reprimand by the Messenger of God.
  • This age is an era of conflict and antagonism. During such a period, people of sound mind and faith in God must balance the delirious currents of extremism with their love and logic. They should be saying, “How is it possible for us to abate this violent anger and restore a peaceful balance?” and make relevant efforts to achieve that goal.
1. Rumi’s father Bahauddin Walad was among the disciples of Najmuddin al-Kubra.

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