Stealing for Islam is an accurate viewpointFebruary 2, 2011
Islamic cleric and terrorist mentor Anwar al-Awlaki recently made headlines for advocating theft and other financial crimes against “hostile” powers like the United States. The position al-Awlaki has adopted, however, is not held by him alone.
In an interview with World Net Daily (h/t RoP), British Islamist rabble-rouser Anjem Choudary said of al-Awlaki’s statement that, “That is an Islamic viewpoint, and that is based on the Quran and the traditions of the messenger Muhammad, that originally there is no sanctity for the life and the wealth of non-Muslims unless they embrace Islam or unless they covenant with them in a covenant of security.” Choudary says that Islam permits killing and stealing against non-Muslims whose countries are at war with Muslim countries. There is no “sanctity of life” or of wealth possessed by infidels.
But don’t take Choudary’s word for it either. Let’s go straight to the source.
Sura 8 of the Koran is entitled “The Spoils,” which refers to the booty that shall be taken from the infidels. Al-Awlaki says that taking money by force from disbelievers as booty is the “best and purest form of income.” The basis for his statement comes from the Hadith Sahih Bukhari, when Muhammad said, “the spoils of war are made halal for me” (see Volume 1, Book 7, Number 331).
Al-Awlaki also cites a Hanafi scholar who says stealing from people in the dar al-harb “is considered mubah (permitted) just like hunting or wood gathering.” Al-Awlaki references other traditional Muslim sources who say that theft and embezzlement are different from booty because they are taken by deception or trickery rather than by force, but that such theft and embezzlement is still legal. Al-Awlaki’s full “ruling” is available at Jihadology.
How mainstream the view is within Islam is unclear, but it is clearly a commonly held view among jihadists. It is noteworthy that Muhammad himself, the greatest example for Muslim men to follow, abandoned business and trade after declaring himself to be a prophet and lived off of looting and the spoils of war for the rest of his life.
See additional coverage on robbery for Islam here.