Bullet-proof soldiers

Q81 :In our un-conquered Bansamoro country, a great number of Moro Mujahedeen are famous for being invincible. They fight with the ferocity of a tiger and bravery of a lion. Rain of bullets from firearms do not touch their bodies, even when fired from a close range. If any such bullet touches them, it only leaves a mark on their skin similar to that of a cigarette burn. Their fearlessness is an inherent characteristic. What makes them highly confident is their belief that it is Allah's will, not bullets, which may kill them. I have seen some of them totally unaffected by the passing of any cutting tool with a sharp blade over their bodies. They say that they derive their invincible power from Allah, the Almighty. They do a great deal of "thikr," remembering Allah's name, and they have special skills which enable them to face great weapons rather than fight them. May I ask whether we have in our history any stories of invincible Muslim fighters. Is it possible for us to perform miracles or do extraordinary things if we are absorbed with thikr, or remembrance of Allah?

A81 : According to Islamic beliefs, Allah is able to do everything and He has power over all people and all forces. Indeed, nothing operates without His permission. That permission is given when He creates something and gives it its essential and inherent characteristics. He has, for example, given the sun its heat. Therefore, when the sun shines over something, it warms, heats or burns it. It does so by Allah's permission since He has given it the ability. He is always able to withdraw this permission and stop any characteristic or power from working. Perhaps the clearest example of how this works is the case of Ibrahim, when his people threw him in the fire. Ibrahim destroyed the idols worshipped by his people on a day when they were absent from town. On returning, they questioned him and established that this was his own doing. They sentenced him to death by fire. They lit up a huge fire and threw Ibrahim in it. According to the laws of nature, which have been set in operation by Allah, Ibrahim should have been burned, since Allah has given fire the ability to burn human flesh and bones. However, with a simple command from Him, Allah stopped the fire from burning Ibrahim. There is nothing strange in that, despite its miraculous aspect. Miracles appear to us to be supernatural, because we classify as "natural" only what is familiar to us. To Allah, however, everything is natural. Setting a certain natural law in motion is as natural as stopping that law. For an essential characteristic to be operative and evident in a particular situation for millions of years is as natural as stopping it in a particular case, and for a particular purpose. If we apply this to war and firearms, we say that, with Allah's permission, bullets kill human beings when they are shot in certain parts of their bodies such as their hearts or brains. This is the total sum of several inherent characteristics which are fulfilled in the firing of a bullet from a shotgun. The bullet which has a piercing head travels at high velocity and penetrates through the body causing a fatal injury. Allah can withdraw His permission and stop the bullet from either penetrating through the body or killing the person hit by it, or indeed He may prevent it from being fired. If he decides to do any of these things, the bullet will not kill the person at whom it is shot. To do this is as easy and simple as setting the original laws and giving the essential characteristics to the firearm and the bullet in the first place. There is nothing unnatural or supernatural in it, because everything is natural to Allah. To sum up, Allah is able to make a particular group of fighters immune from the effects of their enemies' arms, if He so chooses. He may do so in any way He likes, whether by rendering the weapons un-operational, or making their operation ineffective. Now the question which we need to answer is whether Allah does this sort of thing and orders that certain phenomena be overruled, in order to allow Muslim fighters to be saved. We have already said that He is able to do so, but whether He acts on that ability or not is a different matter. The answer is that He normally does not, for a variety of reasons. Allah defines the struggle by the believers in support of His cause in terms of a deal which He has concluded with them. He says in the Qur'an: "Allah has bought from them in return for giving them paradise; they fight for Allah's cause and kill and get killed." These terms mean that being killed by the unbelievers is part of the bargain. Indeed, without it, the deal is meaningless. If Muslim fighters were to understand that they are immune from being killed, everyone will join the fight. But everyone must know that when he takes part in a campaign of jihad, he runs the risk of being killed. Indeed, that is the best of sincerity. Jihad is the prefect translation into practice of our claim that we truly believe in Allah. This is because jihad involves a real risk of losing one's life. Jihad means sacrifice of life and property. It is for this reason that it earns such a great reward, namely, a certitude of being admitted into heaven. When the risk element is taken away from jihad, there is no way of knowing who is a true believer and who is not. We cannot say that those who are given the special power of being hit by their enemies bullets and are not saved by Allah are the ones who are true believers. If so, how is it that Allah did not save millions of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the cause of Islam throughout its history? A large number of the companions of the Prophet were killed in battle, including some who were most distinguished and best loved by the Prophet. Perhaps the most famous among these is Hamza, the Prophet's uncle, whom he had described as "the most honored of martyrs." We remember that Hamza was not only killed in battle, but he was disfigured as well. How is it that Allah permitted his killing, if it is His will to save those who fight for his cause in the Moro country? Are they better servants of Allah than Hamza? Indeed not. It may be suggested that if those fighters were to be defeated, the whole country might be turned away from Islam. Nevertheless, this has not been a reason for Allah's direct interference to save a certain community of believers. Allah tells us in the Qur'an about disbelievers who set up a huge fire and threw the believers in it. That is the story of "The People of the Pit" of fire. According to the story told to us by Allah, all the believers in that community were thrown in the fire and all of them died. . What I am driving at is that Allah wants us to prove our faith in the setting He has chosen for human life. We are influenced by natural forces in the same way as our enemies are. He says to us: "If you suffer pain, they (i.e. the disbelievers) suffer pain in the same way as you do." In other words, the laws of nature affect us in the same way as it affects them. We make our achievements, with Allah's help, by our efforts. You ask whether it is possible for a person to achieve miraculous powers through the remembrance of Allah, i.e. thikr. The answer is that the remembrance of Allah gives us great support. We are able to show greater courage. Through this remembrance, we are also able to weigh matters up in the proper perspective. We do not give undue importance to life or to any other factor. We realize that life on earth is not our ultimate goal. Indeed, happiness in the hereafter is our greatest prize. Therefore, we seek it even if we have to risk our lives in the process. The remembrance of Allah gives us the courage to make such a decision and the strength to carry it through. It may be said that in certain events, miracles happened and believers were able to escape from the effects of natural phenomena. Some might not have been drowned despite being thrown in the sea and not knowing how to swim. That is certainly possible, but only if Allah wills it. However, Allah does not issue His orders to overrule the laws of nature He has set in operation simply to fulfill the desire of His servants. Indeed the believers have no say in the matter. If He chooses to take such a decision and overrule the laws of nature, He does so at His own time, and in accordance with His own free will. No one, not even the greatest of believers, can say that He will be performing a miracle in the next five minutes, or five months, or five years or even five centuries. Miracles happen by instructions given by Allah at the time and in the way He pleases. That is not related to what believers may feel to be the appropriate purpose. In view of this, I wish to add that I am not convinced of the story of the "invincible" fighters, not because it cannot happen, but because Allah wishes His laws of nature to operate smoothly.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )