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Suicide bombers receive no death rituals
Scholars say bombers are the most unfortunate of people
By Ashfaq Yusufzai
PESHAWAR – Suicide bombers who believe they will go to paradise are mistaken, ulema scholars say.
“The suicide bombers are the most unfortunate people on the surface of the earth, as they are neither bathed nor buried,” unlike undisgraced Muslims,” said Maulana Aminullah Shah in Par Hoti Mardan.
Shah, a prayer leader in Mohallah New Islamabad, Par Hoti, Mardan, said he felt sorry for Rehmanullah, a 17-year-old suicide bomber who attacked Afghan and coalition forces last September and was buried without a funeral prayer.
Rehmanullah’s father, Ghufran Khan, a day labourer, continues to grieve over his son’s death, saying the Taliban kidnapped and brainwashed him. He never got to see his son’s body or to bury it and remains uncertain of his son’s fate.
Some escape militant clutches
Saifullah, another boy from the same area, had to flee for his life when the Taliban accused him of informing the intelligence agencies after senior al-Qaeda operative Abu Faraj Al-Libbi was captured in Mardan in May 2005.
“The Taliban failed to abduct Saifullah, and finally he landed in Germany,” said his father, whom others congratulate on his son’s safety. “I know the Taliban would have used my son as suicide bomber ... he would have missed a bath, funeral and burial, which are important rituals for dead Muslims.”
Ajmal Shah, a prayer leader in Daudzai, Peshawar, is blunt about the importance of those rituals.
“The act of suicide bombing is condemnable. All those blowing themselves up and killing innocent Muslims wouldn’t find a place in paradise as they had been promised by their trainers,” he said of the promises the Taliban use to lure teenage boys into becoming suicide bombers.
Taliban brainwashing tools
Taliban recruiters kidnap or lure under-educated, jobless youth, using literature and videos to brainwash them into committing terrorism. They never tell the youths that they lose their birthright to a Muslim burial and funeral rituals. They also misinterpret the Koranic description of paradise.
“It is a great (tragedy), those teenagers who think they invite the pleasure of Almighty Allah after committing suicide attacks,” Shah emotionally told Central Asia Online. “In reality, they will face the wrath of Allah.”
“There’s no disputing that suicide attacks aren’t allowed in Islam,” he said. “Those disobeying divine commandments and opting to become suicide bombers ... land in hell.”
Playing on the youths’ religious sentiments, the recruiters call those targeted ‘infidels’ and issue decrees sentencing them to death. Families who grieve for their missing boys are told by trainers they have become “martyrs.”
An ignoble end for bombers
Authorities treat the remains of bombing victims with care, said Dr. Shiraq Qayum, head of the Lady Reading Hospital Accidents and Emergency Department, observing that workers will exhume and re-bury initially unidentified victims when DNA techniques yield their names.
The remains of suicide bombers, however, are treated differently.
“… We never bury the remains of suicide bombers ... (we) just use them for forensic purposes,” he said of Pakistan as a whole.
Suicide bombers don’t merit a funeral because the public despises their acts. The contempt for bombers’ remains is even more striking when compared to how Pakistanis hold funerals in absentia for relatives who died abroad and whose bodies cannot be repatriated, Qayum noted.
“Assaying the role of suicide bomber means abandoning Islam, which clearly states that killing one person amounts to killing the entire humanity,” said Rahimullah, a resident of Shabqadar and father of Qari Naqibullah, a 19-year-old Pakistani suicide bomber who killed 10 coalition soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in March 2011.
A resident of Surkh Dheri Charsadda, Wahidullah, disappeared in January 2008. Two months later, a group of Taliban militants informed his elderly father, Juma Gul, that his son the “martyr” had gone to paradise.
“First, I didn’t believe it when the Taliban walked into the mosque early one morning,” the father told Central Asia Online. “To my displeasure, they kept congratulating me, but I am still cursing them for my son’s act.”
Wahidullah’s father had to mourn his son alone.
“Offering condolences ... is an important act of kindness, displayed by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and his followers, but I am very unlucky that I didn’t receive a single mourner over the death of my lone son,” he said. “The people disapprove of suicide attacks; therefore, nobody offered me condolences.”
Such deaths cause agony for parents, who have no hope Allah will extend mercy to their sons who blew themselves up and violated Islamic injunctions, he said.
Nobody ever says anything merciful like “May God bless him” or “God rest his soul” for suicide attackers, adding to their families’ pain, Juma Gul added.
While suicide is forbidden by Islam, those who kill only themselves often receive the ritual washing, prayer and burial from their relatives. But the bodies of suicide bombers who kill others go unclaimed and are denied the rituals in accordance with Islamic teachings, Shah and others said.
Another slight that suicide bombers suffer haunts their families forever. Since nobody will bury them, relatives and friends have no grave to visit for the purpose of seeking advice and contemplating the hereafter.