Renowned Scholar Qaradawi: Islam Urges Humane Treatment of All Prisoners

Renowned Scholar Qaradawi: Islam Urges Humane Treatment of All Prisoners

Islam considers prisoners of war vulnerable, deserving compassion, care and good treatment. Islam urges humane treatment of prisoners, to protect their dignity, their rights, and their humanity. Quran uses very gentle terms while urging kindness and generosity to prisoners.

I would like to stress that it is not right to blame Islam for the actions of some Muslims whose thinking has been clouded with exasperation or whose Islamic education or knowledge is lacking.

Certainly, Muslims can and should be measured or judged according to the rules and teachings of Islam. The reverse, however, is not true. Islam cannot be measured or judged by the actions of misbehaving Muslims. In fact, Islam has often been blamed for actions by nominal Muslims whose behavior causes more damage than enemies who secretly plot and openly fight against Islam

Moreover, much of the intolerance and extreme behavior we see and touch in some religious people emanates from non-religious causes, though it often appears in religious attire. Indeed, closer inspection and analysis may well reveal social, economic or political reasons for such extreme behavior. That is why it emerges in some regions only; because inherited or accumulated social conditions and complications have sown the seeds and helped them grow.

Undoubtedly, mistaken are those who hold that the interests of Islam and the nation lie in such erroneous behavior, those who insist that Islam allows the killing of, cruelty or violence to prisoners. Those are indeed blind to the truth, the interests of the nation and Islam.

One is always shocked at those who portray Islam and Sharia as a brutal monster with murderous talons seeking to prey on all people, fighting them while they commit to peace, attacking them as they hold back, and when victorious it attacks with severity that is relentless and unforgiving, including treatment of prisoners – all of which, of course, is the exact opposite of what Islam really is. Killing prisoners in such brutal ways, slaughtering or burning them alive, violates the teachings of Islam. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: "If you must kill, kill well" (i.e. according to merciful rules and teachings of Islam).

He also said: "No one must punish with fire, except the Lord of Fire" (i.e. God Almighty Himself).

International community responsibility in these events:

While we condemn the brutal practices of the so-called Islamic State (IS), which deliberately seeks to distort the image of Islam, blur its good features and hide its merits, we should remind the international community, great world powers, the Security Council, and the United Nations that they are complicit in the emergence of these extremist organizations, whose origins are totally unknown, and questions are constantly raised regarding their objectives, sources of funding and arming, and facilitation of movement of fighters to join their ranks.

The international community has witnessed how the Syrian people is bombed by warplanes, naval warships, tanks, barrel bombs and chemical weapons, with people slayed and slaughtered, limbs severed, organs scattered, bodies torn apart, and women and girls raped, while houses are destroyed with families inside, without anyone moving a finger.

The international community’s inaction vis-a-vis a president who kills his people when he should be protecting them, is what has produced these extremist organizations and provided them with a fertile environment.

The free world was not at all perturbed by the killing of hundreds of thousands of Syrians in the most horrid manners of murder. The civilized world was not angered by the predominance of sectarian militias which kill and displace tens of thousands of Iraqis because of their ethnicity. The international community never shed a real tear for victims of repeated Zionist aggressions on Palestinians. This clearly reflects the injustice and hypocrisy of the international community.