Being consistent with the true understanding of Islam will reserve and deter a Muslim from falling into terrorism.
One of the values and richness of Islam is that our tradition is verifiably preserved. Muslims from various corners of the world are privileged to collectively recite any verse in the Quran, identify whether it is Makkiyah (revealed in Makkah) or Maddaniyah (revealed in Madina), can verify the circumstances surrounding the reason it descended, can find elaboration of that particular verse from an authentic narration of our beloved prophet, or commentary from his pious companions.
We can go on and on from any extraction or aspect of this honorable and preserved way of life (Al-Islam). In fact, the our creator vowed that he will preserve his religion forever. The Almighty stated that: surely!, we have revealed this reminder; and we will surely preserve it ourself. (Quran 15:09).
The religion of Islam is so informative that revelations from both the Quran and the Sunnah explained and touched on all the basic necessities we confront in our day to day lives. Most importantly, it erected a singular paradigm for its adherence to follow, and it likewise warned its adherence to steer clear of the dangers of deviating from the correct path. Hence, it is mind-boggling to conceptualize how one sees a clear path to guidance and willingly takes it upon him/herself into the channels of deviancy. For it is Allah who guides and misguides due to our willingness to accept or reject known and comprehensive facts.
The heinous phenomenon, and inconceivable terroristic attacks we witnessed recently in Paris, supposedly orchestrated by Muslims is an example of clear deviation. We should not use the same sentiments of the terrorist by making Takfeer (declaring another Muslim an apostate) on them. The appropriate phrase ought to be that those individuals are criminals with a distorted interpretation of Al-Islam. Rushing and carelessly making Takfeer on Muslims is the classical trait of the forefathers of these criminals, the khawaarij.
Any conscious and reasoning person (Muslims or non-Muslims), can substantiate and verify the fact that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are free from these barbaric actions. In fact, these perverts have killed more Muslims now, and in past than non-Muslims. Even the son in law of our prophet and pious third Khalifa of Islam, Uthman ibn Affan (radiallahu anhu), was not excused from the likes of these criminals we are witnessing today.
The mistakes and dogmatic statements we often make upon seeing terrorist who shroud themselves with Islamic identity, is that “they are not Muslims and we are indeed free from them”. We all undoubtedly agree, that their actions and ideology is at odds with orthodox Islam, but it is nonetheless arduous to sell a simple narrative of excommunicating the evil doers and the unwanted vise within us, in an attempt to vindicate ourselves from blames. Running away from our issues is a serious mistakes. Our reaction to the bitter reality of the reasonably small extremist we have within our midst should be that of confrontation and education. We should confront this reality by proportionately countering it with irrefutable Islamic knowledge, since they excerpt texts from our books to justify their evil.
All who adheres to the tenets of Al-islam believes that the truth within the religion rest with the prophet and his companions, all of whom were praised by the Almighty. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) stated that: And the first forerunners in the faith among the Muhajireen (companions from Makkah) and the Ansar (companions from Madina) and those who followed them with good conduct, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment (Quran 09:100). The creator did not only limit his praise to the prophet and companions. He went on to praise anyone thereafter who makes it his/her duty to firmly follow what the prophet and his companions were upon.
The issues of Aqeedatus islamiyyah (Islamic creed) is not ambiguous or up for various interpretation within the respective denominations of Al-Islam. Aqeedah is not Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) that is open for interpretations. It is a comprehensive and known doctrine that Ahlu Sunnah (people of The traditions of the prophet Muhammad) have past down from generation to generation. The prophet and his companions never differed on Islamic creed, the generations that they preceded never differed on Islamic creed, the classical scholars of Ahlu Sunnah never differed on Islamic creed, and the contemporary scholars of the Sunnah still adheres to the correct Islamic creed today.
The recipe for pacifying the evils of extremist sentiments in our community can only be attained by going back and being consistent towards the true teachings of Al-Islam, as understood by the prophet and his companions. Those criminals who attacked innocent people in Paris on November, Friday the 13th are deviant Muslims who are victims of ignorance. Young Men who were known criminals just few years, now espouse to raise the flag of Al-Islam and vow to vindicate Muslims from the oppression of western civilization. A closer look at the common denominator between the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo shootings and the recent attacks in Paris points to stark socio-economic issues. The gradual deviation towards extremism in France amongst the young North African descent who resides in the marginalized suburbs, (away from the glimmers of Paris), were alienated thugs who now attack innocent people in the name of religion to avenge for the non-religious grudges they have against a political system.
For it is impossible for anyone Muslim who truly practice the Sunnah of our beloved prophet with understanding, to indulge in such nonsensical and inhumane act against innocent people.