Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim
The Relevance Of Non-Hanbali Fatawa In Direct Contradict Hanbali Fiqh
Dear Sir, I know that you have probably been asked questions on
suicide bombings a thousand times before, but if I could please bring
your attention to a fatwa by Sheikh al-Buti:
Q) Would you please inform me of the legal judgment concerning the
Palestinian brother who explode themselves when performing suicidal
operations. Is it permissible to call such operations (suicidal)
A) Such operations are (martyrdom). They are not suicidal. The
difference between both is that the one who commits suicide seeks
death aiming at killing himself and putting an end to his life;
Where as the one who seeks martyrdom aims-through the operation he
is performing at killing the enemy, while his death is mere a path
sought for his realizing that aim.
Previously you had posted a fatwa by Sheikh Uthaymin about suicide
bombings, and I know of many other scholars who are opposed to such
operations. I am not trying to cause you to contradict al-Buti's
fatwa but is this not just a difference of opinion. After all, Sheikh
al-Buti is a very popular scholar of Ahl Sunnah. I personally find
the evidence in favour of suicide bombing to be weak, but still find
it hard to believe that a great scholar could adhear to such an
opinion without it having some basis, or even support from other
Wa `alaykum al-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
This is not the first email that refers to Dr. al-Buti's fatwa.
Sheikh Dr. Sa`id Ramadan al-Buti (may Allah preserve him) is a Shafi`i faqih. Sheikh Ibn `Uthaymin (may Allah be merciful with him) was a Hanbali faqih. The proper place for Shafi`i fatawa is on the Shafi`i list, not the Hanbali list.
While there may be differences of opinion across the four schools and among particular schools, is there a difference of opinion among the Hanabila? If someone had such a fatwa it would merit posting to the Hanbali group.
As for what we should call such operations, the Hanbali madhhab is quite clear that someone who dies on the battle field as a result of running himself through with his own sword is not considered a martyr in this world: he is washed, buried in a shroud, and janaza is prayed for him.
Popularity does not make a fatwa correct. One of the most popular sheikhs in Damascus gave a fatwa that it is permissible for a married couple to watch pornographic films in certain situations. Despite this mufti being on of the most popular in the city, a significant number of fuqaha from this mufti's madhhab outright rejected the fatwa.
There is also a question of whether a given fatwa is based on ijtihad and whether the person giving it is qualified to make ijtihad or whether the fatwa is a matter of bringing to light what is contained in the books of the madhhab.
And in closing, it would be good for us all to put these fatawa into context: who gave them and for whom, whether any authority has been put behind these fatawa, the impact they have on Muslims living within the country where they were issued, and whether such fatawa have brought us any closer to realizing an Islamic solution.
And Allah knows best.
Wa al-salamu `alaykum,