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Question: If it is proved that a Muslim carried out the London bombings and I know something about him. Shall I call the non-Muslim police to arrest him? Or hand him to a Muslim scholar or imam who can talk to him and convince him no to do that heinous act again? Does this case have an origin in Fiqh literature? Please answer as soon as possible.

If you have some definite information about a person or persons who have carried out or are planning to carry out such acts of terrorism, then it is at once your religious and civic duty to pass it on to the law enforcement authorities as soon as possible so that they can deal with it appropriately. But, while saying this, I must rush to add that we are certainly not allowed in Islam to act based on mere rumor, gossip or tattle tale, for by doing so we may end up harming an innocent person or persons, which is clearly a grave sin. Allah, the most Exalted and Glorious, says, “O you who believe! If a person of questionable (moral) integrity comes to you with some news, verify it first lest you should harm others unwittingly and afterwards be sorry for what you did.” (Qur’an: 49: 6).

Islam condemns acts of terrorism in all shades and colors, no matter who the perpetrator is, and against whom it is perpetrated. By terrorism we mean targeting innocent people; there is no justification in Islam whatsoever under any circumstances for targeting innocent people.

As Muslims we must at all times uphold law and order. Islam teaches us to abide by the laws of the land we live in and help protect the law and order at all times and contribute our level best to enhance the quality of life for everyone: Allah says, “And whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all humankind.” (Qur’an: 5: 32). So don’t hesitate to pass on the information you have to help bring the perpetrators of such heinous crimes to justice. Allah teaches us in the Qur’an, “To act as steadfast witnesses of justice for the sake of Allah”-- even if it hurts own interests.

If, God forbid, you were to fail to provide some vital information about a perpetrator or perpetrators of such acts, then you are condoning evil; and let us remember there is no evil greater than terrorism. Therefore, as Muslims it is our religious duty to stand united against terrorism in all forms.

If, on the other hand, you don’t have any definite information and yet you have a strong suspicion that someone is being inclined towards extremism or being brainwashed by such people, then you are best advised to direct them to the recognized, knowledgeable Imams/scholars in the community whose duty it is to wean them of such highly pernicious ideas. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Perish the extremists! Perish the extremists!! Perish the extremists!!!”

Extremists do more harm to the cause of Islam and Muslims than any external enemy. This is the wisdom that has been passed on to us by the pious Caliph Umar b. Abd al-Aziz, may Allah be pleased with him, who said that extremism is bred by lack of sound knowledge of Islam, and, therefore, "When a person acts without sound knowledge, by his actions, he destroys more than he builds!” So it is the duty of our scholars and imams to preach against extremism in all forms.

Finally, let us also heed the Prophet's categorical statement, “He cannot be a true believer! He cannot be a true believer!! He cannot be a true believe!!!” The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, asked, “Who you mean, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “He from whom their neighbors cannot feel safe/secure!”

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