Concerning suicide bombings
In his explanation of Riyaadhus-Saaliheen (Volume 1, Pages 165-166), whilst giving some points of benefit from the hadeeth of Suhayb, Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen said:
"That Allaah¹s Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), said:
((There used to be a king amongst those who came before you, and he had a sorcerer. So when he grew old he said to the king: "I have become old so send a boy to me so that I can teach him sorcery?"
) ...the hadeeth. (refer to Riyaadhus-Saaliheen - hadeeth no.30 for full text).
Fourthly: That it is permissible for a person to expose himself to danger for a matter of general benefit to the Muslims, because the boy indicated to the king the way in which he would be able to kill him, and which would lead to his demise, which was that he should take an arrow from his quiver ? etc.
Shaykh al-Islaam (Ibn Taymiyyah) said:
((Because this was a Jihaad in Allaah¹s cause, which caused a whole nation to truly believe, and he did not really lose anything, since although he died he would have to die anyway, sooner or later)).
But as for what some people do regarding activities of suicide, tying explosives to themselves and then approaching disbelievers and detonating them amongst them, then this is a case of suicide _ and Allaah¹s refuge is sought. So whoever commits suicide then he will be considered eternally to Hell-Fire, remaining there forever, as occurs in the hadeeth of the Prophet, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam). (i.e., his, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), saying:
((and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, then the iron weapon will remain in his hand, and he will continuously stab himself in his belly with it in the Fire of Hell eternally, forever and ever)). Reported by al-Bukhaaree, no. 5778 and Muslim, no. 109, in the Book of Eemaan.)
Because this person has killed himself and has not benefited Islaam. So if he kills himself along with ten, or a hundred, or two hundred other people, then Islaam will not benefit by that, since the people will not accept Islaam, contrary to the story of the boy. Rather it will probably just make the enemy more determined, and this action will provoke malice and bitterness in his heart to such an extent that he may seek to wreak havoc upon the Muslims.
This is what is found from the practice of the Jews with the people of Palestine _ so when one of the Palestinian blows himself up and kills six or seven people, then in retaliation they take sixty or more. So this does not produce any benefit for the Muslims, and does not benefit those amongst whose ranks explosives are detonated.
So what we hold is that those people who perform these suicide (bombings) have wrongfully committed suicide, and that this necessitates entry into Hell-Fire, and Allaah¹s refuge is sought and that this person is not a martyr (shaheed). However if a person has done this based upon misinterpretation, thinking that it is permissible, then we hope that he will be saved from sin, but as for martyrdom being written for him, then no, since he has not taken the path of martyrdom. But whoever performs ijtihaad and errs will receive a single reward (if he is a person qualified to make ijtihaad)."
Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen
Riyaadhus-Saaliheen - Volume 1, Pages 165-166
Translated by: Abu Talhah Daawood Burbank