Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim

The Relevance Of Non-Hanbali Fatawa In Direct Contradict Hanbali Fiqh

Salamu aleykum,

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)

or (martyrdom)?

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,