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Full Access Suicide Bombers or Martyrdom Operatives? Their Status among Muslim Thinkers, Jurists and Activists

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Suicide Bombers or Martyrdom Operatives? Their Status among Muslim Thinkers, Jurists and Activists

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This article aims to expound the divergent shades of opinion on the phenomenon of suicide by employing the cardinal principles undergirding the philosophy of Islamic law. An overview of the attitudes to suicide amongst different societies and faith communities is given before focusing on this topic from a Muslim perspective which accommodates the setting provided by the higher intents of Islamic law, thus enabling us to assess those deeds substantially. It is noted that perspectives vary considerably and depend on the legal and ethical priorities of different individuals. In the process, the rich legacy of nuances adopted by scholars on either side leaves an impression of flexibility in their thinking. Consensus on this debate appears distant.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Religious Studies and Arabic, University of South Africa P. O. Box 392, UNISA 0003 South Africa, Email: dadooy@unisa.ac.za

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