H.E. Shaikh Salih bin Muhammad Al-Luheidan
Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council
Condemnation of Terrorism
September 14, 2001
Praise be to God Almighty:
In the midst of the catastrophic events that have hit America, questions and
queries have been raised as to how such acts are judged and interpreted by Islamic
Shariah [Law], which encompasses all things and gives clear rulings on every
calamity: any calamity that affects humans has its ruling in Islamic Shariah.
Many questions have been raised by officials and by the public as to the ruling
of Islamic Shariah on such acts, and whether it is considered acceptable or
permissible by Islamic scholars, who shoulder the responsibility of clarifying
rulings and Islam's point of view with respect to disasters.
God Almighty, the Master of all Rulers, has prohibited injustice among humans.
Aggression against those who have committed no crime, and the killing of innocent
people, are matters that Islamic Shariah has dealt with: these are not permissible
even during wars and invasions. Killing the weak, infants, women, and the elderly,
and destroying property, are considered serious crimes in Islam. Acts of corruption
and even laying waste to the land, are forbidden by God and by His Prophet.
Viewing on the TV networks what happened to the twin towers [of the World Trade
Center] was like watching Doomsday.
Those who commit such crimes are the worst of people. Anyone who thinks that
any Islamic scholar will condone such acts is totally wrong.
Aggression, injustice and gloating over the kind of crime that we have seen,
are totally unacceptable, and forbidden in Islam.
God Almighty says: And let not the enmity and hatred of others make you
avoid justice. Be just, that is nearer to piety. Inflicting a collective
punishment is considered by Islam as despicable aggression and perversion. Killing
innocent people is by itself a grave crime, quite apart from terrorizing and
committing crimes against infants and women. Such acts do no honor to he who
commits them, even if he claims to be a Muslim. These sorts of crime are pernicious:
in fact, the Kingdom's Islamic scholars, at the time when Saudi Arabia was looking
into the phenomenon of hijacking planes, resolved to forbid such acts regardless
of the religious belief of the passengers, whether Muslims or non-Muslims, since
terrorizing any person is forbidden in Islam.
Accordingly it is incumbent upon the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as a state governed
by the spirit and rulings of Islam, to deplore any criminal and corrupt act,
irrespective of whether the perpetrators are Muslims or non-Muslims. Those who
are truly versed in the fundamentals and reality of Islam know that such acts
are crimes of endless harm.
Considering the numerous questions and queries that arise regarding such acts
and our position as a judicial board, from an Islamic perspective, we view them
as despicable. It has been narrated that the perpetrator alone shall carry the
burden of his crimes. I have been telling the press that Muslims do not condone
such brutal acts nor should they be held responsible for them, since the creed
of Islam urges that no person be responsible for a crime committed by others.
This is a prerequisite for justice: No bearer of burden shall bear the
burden of another.
With respect to what has been reported in the media about reactions and how
Americans view Arabs and Muslims residing in the United States, I have in the
past said that Americans as guardians of democracy cannot deal with Muslims
on the basis of crimes committed by a few. Criminals and aggressors cannot be
equated with the innocent and the peaceful.
I would like to reiterate that Islam rejects such acts, since it forbids killing
of civilians even during times of war, especially if they are not part of the
fighting. A religion that views people of the world in such a way cannot in
any sense condone such criminal acts, which require that their perpetrators
and those who support them are held accountable. As a human community we have
to be vigilant and careful to preempt these evils.
Islamic Shariah is based on the principle that prevention is better than treatment;
one of its goals is looking into causes.
I would like to confirm that the Islamic World and its religious and political
leadership cannot condone such acts; and I am convinced that western and American
society cannot deal with Islamic nations and peoples from the basis of the crime
Muslims have to deal in good faith with those who live beside them in all societies,
since Islam does not discriminate between humans: for they are all brothers.
This barbaric act is not justified by any sane mindset, or any logic; nor by
the religion of Islam. This act is pernicious and shameless and evil in the
I pray to God to guide the devious to the path of righteousness, and to protect
us from all evils and from our own bad deeds, and to be gracious to us.