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Suicide attacks and Islamic law

  • Muhammad Munir


Suicide attacks are a recurrent feature of many conflicts. Whereas warfare heroism and martyrdom are allowed in certain circumstances in times of war, a suicide bomber might be committing at least five crimes according to Islamic law, namely killing civilians, mutilating their bodies, violating the trust of enemy soldiers and civilians, committing suicide and destroying civilian objects or properties. The author examines such attacks from an Islamic jus in bello perspective.



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1 Muhammad Munir is Assistant Professor of Law at the Department of Law, International Islamic University, Islamabad.

* The author wishes to express his gratitude to Taimoor Aly Khan for his invaluable comments on the first draft of this article. He is also very grateful to Maria Jamshaid, Sundus Khan, Mishal Faheem, Shamsul Haq and Kwaja Muhammad for editing this article, and appreciates the help of Professor Tahir Hakeem, Mufti Abdur Rasheed and Habib-ur-Rahman in providing some material. The author alone is responsible for the views expressed and any radical simplification. The quotations from the Qur'an in this article are taken from the English translation by M. Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Qur’an: Text and Explanatory Translation, Begum Aisha Bawany, Karachi, n.d.

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Suicide attacks and Islamic law

  • Muhammad Munir


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