[ by Charles Cameron — reading the Quran & hadith concerning the fates of Fr Hanna Jallouf, Alan Hemming, and Peter Kassig ]
I rejoice that Jabhat al-Nusra has released the Franciscan priest Fr Hanna Jallouf, remembering Qur’an 5.82:
Thou wilt surely find the nearest of them in love to the believers are those who say ‘We are Christians’; that, because some of them are priests and monks, and they wax not proud;
I grieve because IS / Daesh has executed the aid worker Alan Henning, remembering Quran 60.8:
God forbids you not, as regards those who have not fought you in religion’s cause, nor expelled you from your habitations, that you should be kindly to them, and act justly towards them; surely God loves the just.
As a sizeable group of British imams put it:
Mr Henning was a volunteer who travelled to Syria to help innocent civilians.
Acts of humanitarianism are an essential element of religious practice for all Muslims, and of course they are just as significant to other people too. Islamic teachings call for charity and selflessness. Most importantly, acts of beneficence do not, and cannot, exclude non-Muslims.
In Islam, concern for fellow humans and the duty to help everyone is a religious obligation. Anyone undertaking a humanitarian act is paving his or her way to receive help from heaven, should be commended and held in the highest esteem.
In contrast, the senseless kidnapping, murder and now the despicable threats to Mr Henning at the hands of so-called ‘Muslims’ cannot be justified anywhere in the Quran and the Sunnah (Prophetic traditions).
The un-Islamic fanatics are not acting as Muslims, but as the Prime Minister has said, they are acting as monsters. They are perpetrating the worst crimes against humanity. This is not Jihad – it is a war against all humanity.
And I pray for the life of Peter Kassig, a Muslim convert now captive and under threat of death by IS / Daesh, remembering Quran 16.125:
Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.
and the hadith found in Sahih Bukhari, vol 1, bk 2, # 25:
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
Allah’s Apostle said: “I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah.”