It’s undisputable fact that all divine and man-made laws stipulate that innocent people must not be made to account for the crime of others. When punishing an act, we must strike the guilty hand. This is what Islam has made clear in all its rulings: “Every soul draws the meed of its acts on none but itself: no bearer of burdens can bear of burdens can bear the burden of another.” (Al-An`am:164)
So, turning a blind eye to negative consequences that might ensue from imposing any sanction, be it economic or military, on a state or a nation is totally rejected in Islam, for two wrongs do not make a right, and we don’t solve a problem by creating another one. History attests to this fact. In all the countries on which such blind sanctions were imposed, innocent civilians happen to be the victims. This explains why you see in those countries, as the effect of sanctions, the alarming rate of death among the civilians, children, aging people who are in constant need of medical treatment.
Thus, such an uncalculated policy normally give rise to injustice, oppression and brutality, the thing that Islam totally goes against.
The eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states: “In Islam, everyone is held accountable for his own acts, not others’. No one bears the consequences of others’ faults, even his close relatives. This is the ultimate form of justice, clarified in the Glorious Qur’an, as Allah, Most High, says, “Or hath he not had news of what is in the books of Moses and Abraham who paid his debt: That no laden one shall bear another’s load.” (An-Najm: 36-38)
Therefore, it’s very disgusting to see some people – whether Muslims or non-Muslims – launching aggression against innocent people and taking them as scapegoats for any disagreement they have with the state’s authority!! What is the crime of the common people then?!”
The prominent Muslim scholar, Dr Ahmad `Umar Hashim, chancellor of Al-Zhar Univ., states: “It’s not possible, under any pretext, to punish a whole state for a crime of an individual, as long as the state doesn’t employ such individual to carry out his crime, for nobody can be held accountable for another’s faults.
The Glorious Qur’an upholds the individual responsibility in more than one verse. For example, it says, “And one who attacketh you, attack him like manner as he attacked you. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who ward off (evil).” (Al-Baqarah: 194) This glorious verse maintains that in case of attack and aggression, only the aggressor should be attacked.
Also, the Qur’an says, “Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not, aggressors.” (Al-Baqarah: 190)
In the light of these two Qur’anic verses, it becomes crystal clear that in case of aggression launched by an individual, only the aggressor should be punished, not all people surrounding him, as long as the latter don’t approve and assist him. All divine and man-made laws agree on this principle.
It is the duty of all Muslim and Arab countries as well as the international community to maintain this principle and act accordingly.”
If we reflect on the Islamic history, we will see wonderful examples in maintaining this principle. For example, when `Umar ibn Al-Kattab, the second Caliph of Muslims, was murdered at the hands of Abu Lu’lu’ah, the Magi, Muslims didn’t launch a war against all his people.