Previously Asked Questions
Defense Questions:

Most of your questions about this topic will be answered by reviewing the Explanatory Notes and Notes of Sources for the beginning part of Song 41.
An important note about the discussions below is that our din does not allow independent individuals to initiate attacks on non-Muslims regardless of whether the target is a miliary target or a civilian target (attacking a civilian target is unlawful in our din even in times of war).
Thus, the authentic scholars of our din (whose voice has been muffled by the mass media) do not support terrorism and physical attacks on non-Muslim civilians.
The only context in which it is currently permissible for the members of our din to engage in warfare is the act of responding to military attacks on Muslim civilian population or on Muslim public places. In such a case, our din requests the individuals under attack to defend themselves and drive away the attacker.
References: Explanatory Notes for Song 41 of the Guiding Helper and associated entries in the Notes of Sources.

> Some people are saying that female
> captives of war that are enslaved are permissible to have sex
> with WITHOUT thier permission. If captives of war include children
> (who would one day come of age,) and if they are essentially
> non-combatants who may not have had any say in whether or not
> their people should pay the Dhimmi tax (as often these issues
> are decided by men,) it seems unfair that they should have thier
> bodies violated thus. I understand that slavery was a means
> of reintroducing people back into society, giving them rights
> not enjoyed by refugees today, or even many free people, but
> if this were true I would find this deeply problematic, esp. since
> I recall a verse in the Quran declaring slave women lawful but
> if they wished to keep thier chastity that they could (I can't find
> the source off hand.) What do the scholars say regarding the rights
> of slave women, esp. over thier sexuality?

The rulings for this subject is detailed and we would assume
that the people you are referring to are over-simplifying
the matter. 

The decision about the non-Muslim subjects returns to the leader of the
victorious Muslim army.  Individual soldiers *may not* violate the
human rights of captured women or children (as the bad Serbian soldiers
did to the Bosnian women (it is narrated that they even raped pre-pubescent

This topic is further discussed at the following location:

   [QF: volume 1: page(s) 128-129 : {book 7, chapter 3}]

A summary of the above is:

The leader of the victorious Muslim army may do one of three things with
the captured non-Muslim women and children:

   a) Let them go free (this is called mann and is mentioned in verse 4
       of chapter 47) of the Qur'an).  We would say that in a time that
       there is a general bad attitude and feeling towards militant Muslims
       (such as today), this is the best decision the leader of the army can
       make for the good of the din.  In other words, we would say that
       this (a) or (b) below would be his only rational choices.
   b) Ransom them (this is called fida') either for the exchange of
        Muslims prisoners or for money.
   c) Make them slaves to the Muslims *if they don't convert to Islam*. 
        However, there are many restrictions to making them slaves.  For
        example, the child may not be separated from his mother.  And there
        are many other restrictions mentioned in other books.

> Another thing I know I will be asked about is the famous matter of
> suicide bombers. I have been checking in Sidi Khalil and what I can see
> is that it is possible to attack the enemy alone even knowing that one
> is going to be killed for sure if that attack will demoralize the enemy.
> But the matter of suicide bombing is that it is not the enemy who kills
> the attacker but it is the attacker who kills himself in order to kill
> the enemy. This makes it difficult. Nevertheless, next to this hukm in
> Sidi Khalil, there is an injunction about the permissibility to throw
> oneself to a secure death if the person knows that he is going to die in
> another way. This has make me reflect about this matter of suicide
> bombing, but I am not sure about it. I can see a clear judgment in this
> matter. If you don't want to answer me on this matter you don't have to
> do it.

This issue on the top level involves two issues:
    a) The means of attack
    b) The object of attack

In today's media, we often hear about suicide bombers (and we will not
delve into whether such acts are actually performed by Muslims or if in
many cases it is only made to "appear" that they are performed by Muslims
to defame Islam).

As for the means of attack, there are five basic possibilities:

   a) Attack the enemy from where the enemy is not on equal footing with one and
   is less likely to harm one.
   b) Attack the enemy from where the enemy is on equal footing with one and may
      well harm one
   c) Attack the enemy from where it is most probable that the enemy will harm
   d) Attack the enemy from where it is almost certain that the enemy will
      harm/kill one
   e) Attack the enemy using oneself as an "intelligent" bomb

It is provable that the Companions of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give
him peace) used methods (a), (b), (c), and (d). For example, Badr (on a
statistics scale) was of level (c). And Khandaq was at level (a) [since the
Prophet had built a trench and signed treaties to make sure that the disbelievers
were not on equal-footing in that battle]. Uhud was on level (b) as statistically
speaking, both armies were well-equipped to fight and on near equal-footing.

We would label (a), (b), and (c) as generally permissible.

And we would label (d) as permissible in exceptional circumstances in which
the Muslims are far outnumbered or under-equipped. For example, in a battle
with the Persians (in which the enemy was throwing heated iron hooks from
aloft their fort], many Companions committed attacking maneuvers (e.g.,
climbed the fort walls) which almost certainly (statistically speaking)
would lead to death invoked by the enemy. This is all in conformity with
what Sidi Khalil has said and what most of the scholars of Jurisprudence
have said about this matter.

As for level (e), which is what a suicide bombing is, we have been unable to
find a reference in the stories of the early Muslims that justifies it.
And the difference between (d) and (e) is that the person who initiates the
death of the attacker is the enemy (in (d)) and is the attacker himself
(in (e)).

In (a), (b), (c), and (d) the enemy is the person who kills the attacker.
Whereas in (e), it is the attacker who kills himself. And that is a big difference.

To further clarify this, we will give two scenarios:

   i) A Muslim attacker enters an enemy fort and opens fire until he is shot down.
      This is a level (d) attack.
   ii) A Muslim attacker enters an enemy fort and detonates a bomb strapped to
      his body when in a strategic location. This is a level (e) attack.

We would not see (e) as being part of our traditional military training that
the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) left us with. Rather,
those who claim that (e) is permissible and is not the same as suicide must
provide their proofs and also demonstrate that such was the practice of the
Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) and the early Muslims. If
they cannot demonstrate that the Prophet taught such and the early Muslims
performed such, then their form of attack is a bid`ah, untraceable to the
military training of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace).

Second section:

As for the object of attack, it cannot be civilians (e.g., a bus,
a public/commercial building, a plane, etc.) but must be a military target.
This is regardless of the level of attack that is used (i.e. (a), (b), (c),
(d), or (e)).

After reading the above, you can see how much confusion exists because people
do not know how to distinguish between various categories when dealing with
an issue of Jurisprudence. 

    Footnote 2546 of the explanatory notes

> I have a query which pertains to "people of the book".
> Are Zoroastrians considered to be people of the book? I have read innumerous
> websites that say yes and no!! I am confused , is there any mention of them
> in the Quran specifically anywhere or as people of the book?

The Zoroastrians are mentioned in the Qur'an as the "Majus".

The only location that we are aware of in which the Majus are mentioned
by name in the Qur'an is in Surah Hajj (Chapter 22, verse 17) (We are
huffaz of the Qur'an but it is not always easy to make such a universal
statement without error):

     "Indeed those who believe, those who are Jewish, those who are Sabian,
     those who are Christian, those who are *Zoroastrian*, and those who
     are polytheists - indeed Allah will judge/decide among them on the
     Day of Resurrection.  Indeed Allah is a Witness over all things."

This answers your third question.

Your first question is whether the Zoroastrians are considered "linguistically"
People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab).  The answer to this question is
that "No.  The Zoroastrians are not considered linguistically to be People of
the Book."  The proof for this is that they have no "Book" with them which
we recognize as originally divinely revealed.

    Footnote 221 of the Explanatory Notes and Associated Entries in the
    Notes of Sources.
    [QF: volume 1: page 14: line(s) 8-10: {Book 0, chapter 6, books revealed via
     Angel Jibra'il}]

Your second question is whether the Zoroastrians are considered "legally"
People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab).  What this means is that they are afforded
safety and freedom to practice their own religion within the Islamic Territory.

The answer to this question is that "There is difference of opinion among the
past scholars about this."

The majority (e.g., 80-90%) of the past qualified Fiqh Mujtahids have ruled that
Zoroastrians are treated like People of the Book legally.  Thus, Islam tolerates
this religion and allows it to exist peacefully alongside with itself even within
an Islamic territory.

Now, the popular Maliki view on this which we note in footnote 2545 of
the Explanatory Notes is the *all* religions are treated like People of
the Book legally within an Islamic territory.  Thus, with this view, even
Hindus, Buddhists, and Atheists (if not originally declared Muslims)
may peacefully co-exist within the Islamic Territory - again until
Prophet `Isa descends on earth at which time he will declare all other
religions besides Islam as absolutely invalid both spiritually and legally.

     [QF: volume 1: page 136: line(s) 4-5: {Book 7, chapter 9, issue 1}]
     [KH: volume 3: page 144: line(s) I1-2: {Explanation of Sheikh
      Khalil's words "Jizyah is enacted with the permission of the Imam
      on [any] kafirā€¦"}]

[Please note that there is general agreement among the scholars of our
 din that Muslim men may not marry Zoroastrian women until they convert
 and the same applies to Muslim women who are interested in marrying
 Zoroastrian men.  As a side note, the Zoroastrian religion explicitly
 and strongly prohibits its members from marrying spouses of different
 religion.  Ref: [QF: volume 1: page(s) 177: line(s) 21:
 {Book 11, chapter 5, women who one may not marry (until they
  convert or other circumstances change}] ]

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