Islam ru: The mighty word "Shakhid"
- The mighty word "Shakhid"
The dictionary meaning of Shakhid is "the one who died for faith, a
martyr, a witness". In Shariat the term "Shakhid" means a person who
died in the just war against aggressors defending Islam and freedom
for the Muslims to practice and study their religion. In the
Prophet's (peace and blessing be upon him) hadithes call Shakhids
people killed in self-defence at the hands of bandits, also those
died of various epidemics and even the lovers who passed away without
tarnishing their honor. This term is also used in law practice with
reference to witnesses of crimes, at celebration of marriage, etc.
Today Russia has declared freedom of conscience vested in the
Constitution. The Muslims have a right to freely publish religious
literature, build mosques, study and follow the norms of Islam,
disseminate information about their religion. As Yusuf Kardavi, one
of the leading Islamic scholars of the present day, said the very
existence of the Internet reduce almost to nothing all appeals for
In Shariat terminology jihad (effort and intension in faith) in
general means the aspiration for the noblest and highest aim that a
man tries to achieve with all his might, i.e. Allah's mercy and
complete abidance by His Will through good deeds. This requires long
and persistent inner fight of a man against his passions, sins that
may lead him astray from the path of good and piousness.
Apart from inner fight a Muslim should fight against social ills by
disseminating authoritative information about Islam. Another form of
jihad is the war waged in cases mentioned above, when war becomes
Martyrdom for faith is to this or that extent typical of all
monotheistic religions. First of all it is related to the sacrifice
of Ishmael, son of Abraham (Ibragim), peace be upon both of them. In
Christian and Judaic interpretations Abraham at the will of God was
ready to sacrifice Isaac his other son. But in this case it is not
What is important that both Islam and Christianity greatly appreciate
those who died for faith? "The death of martyrs is the obvious defeat
of the killers and the brilliant victory of those who are killed",
one of the Orthodox apologists Jan Chrysostom used to say.
However Islam does not distinguish worldly and spiritual entity of a
man, which is why it has a broader view on who can be regarded a
martyr. Islam as compared to Christianity considers martyrs died at
war, at the hands of criminals defending themselves, their family,
their faith. And sincere intention of a man is the most valuable
thing as well as in all human activities workings of the human heart.
Shakhids also include those who died of plague, pleurisy,
tuberculosis, gastrointestinal diseases, the drowned, women who died
during pregnancy and after childbed of bleeding, those killed in self-
defence, defence of their family, property, fighting for their faith.
In the sacred hadith the Prophet said, peace be upon him, that "The
one who falls in love and dies without committing fornication sin is
equaled to a Shakhid". It corresponds to people who failed to marry
lawfully for this or that reason.
Thus for instance Shakhids are the Muslims who died at the fronts of
the Great Patriotic War, defending their land and faith from the
occupants with sincere intention. An example of the greatest heroism
and sacrifice has been proclaimed and still remains for many people
(with the exception of several marginal figures) the deed of
Alexander Matrosov, Nicholas Gastello, Lenya Golikov, battalion of
Commander Panfilov and etc, of all those who gave their lives for the
sake of their Motherland freedom.
It won't be irrelevant to remind that today in Daghestan it is
considered that the mufti of the republic Saidmohammad Abubakarov
died as a Shakhid at the hands of terrorists. He was among the first
who appealed to the society to pay attention to the growing threat of
terrorism of wahhabism. But his words were not timely heard either in
the official cabinets or elsewhere.
Almost all denominations regard self-defence and defence of faith as
benefaction. Such actions are approved of all healthy powers of the
society including religious institutions. Even Buddhist monks in
Burma were in the forefront of Resistance to colonial government, and
orthodox Christians with the blessing of the Church took to arms
against fascist occupants.
It's quite another story when ideals of sacrifice and martyrdom are
hypertrophied as it happens in modern consumer quasi-culture. For
only it could produce such slogans: "Live fast, Die young", drug
addiction cult, promiscuity, etc.
It has its own heroes: Jim Morrison whose life was a systematic self-
destruction and who died of drug overdose, Janis Joplin shared the
same fate, Jimmy Hendrix suffocated in his own vomit, Kurt Cobain who
sang that he "hates himself and wants to die" put a pistol to his
head. And this list is far from being complete.
Islam does not accept death in the course of hostage taking or any
other act of terror. In this respect sheikh Ibn Jibrin in his
book "Kaifa nu'alidj uaki'una al-alim" writes: "There is no doubt
that hostage taking is by no means approved by Islam, it is a deeply
ignorant and false action. Moreover it is a crime that goes beyond
all boundaries, terrifying hostages".
Ibn Jibrin calls terrorists that take hostages bandits and says
that if there are well-trained people among those who are in trouble,
they may try and frustrate the plans of terrorists. Therefore the one
who is trying to save the hostages dies at the hands of those who may
call themselves "shakhids", becomes himself a shakhid at Allah´s Will.
Turning to Nord-Ost musical seizure it is important to notice that
people who committed nothing but a crime do not represent a different
view on jihad or death for faith in Islam. Though this opinion was
voiced in certain Mass Media.
The contradiction of their activities to Islam is proved by complete
religious ignorance of the head of terrorists that took hostages in
Moscow, Movsar Barayev who called himself a shakhid whereas only a
dead man can be considered shakhid by definition. Moreover Barayev
did not even know the translation of his "brigade" name "Riyadus-
Salikhin". Thus he said that bandits became "kamikazes of Islam",
which prompted by NTV, for instance, to state that "terrorists are
called shakhids in the language of Shariah".
Meanwhile "Riyadus-Salikhin" means literally "Gardens of the
righteous". It is the name of a collection of hadithes by Imam Navavi
who obviously has no relation to terrorism. It is possible that in
his short life Barayev saw or heard this name from someone.
Generally speaking the lack of due number of Islamic theologians and
madrasah aggravated by a number of unsolved social problems that
caused the exceeding of the critical level of criminogenic situation
almost became a decisive factor of pseudo-Islamic trend, wahhabism,
spreading in Chechnya. Its ideologists under cover of Islamic
terminology pursued a policy contrary to the interests of the
Muslims. For example, as Russian television broadcasted, a delegation
from Israel received a warm welcome at the celebration of the 6th
Anniversary of Chechnya's independence.
A year later in at the end of November 1998 Kommersant published
information that "the Chechens expect to sell oil to Israel and
adduced the words of Ichkeria parliament representative Khamid
Khatuev that "Israel wants to possess" the oil of Ichkeria.
Here we can remember still remaining ties of thugs with Boris
Berezovsky and "amirs" artifices with a British tycoon, descendant of
the Jewish dynasty of bankers James Goldsmith who is no less famous
and odious than George Soros.
In this connection Caucasus-American Trade Chamber formally governed
by Ichkeria former vice prime minister Khozh-Akhmet Nukhayev was set
up in Washington in 1997, and a group of experts was headed by the
former chairman of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Jacques Attali. It is a remarkable fact that Russian Mass Media
concentrated on the issue of wahhabites at the moment when
international oil companies and financial groups were at the top of
their activity in the market of Caspian oil.
Hence the statement of the prominent politologists Dmitry Olshansky
in the program Vremena (The Times) in which he nearly asserted that
terrorism is one of the trends of Islam and all attempts of Muslim
scholars to confute this opinion are useless, make us think who and
why frightens Russia with "Shakhids" and their "belts"?