a life of cheerful simplicity
January 2016: I’ve just finished reading this powerful piece by Shaykh Al-Yaqoubi, in which he issues a fatwa concerning the entity calling itself Islamic State. This is a summary of what he argues.
Detailed analysis of ISIS’s claims about the Caliphate, Islam and apostasy, and then a total debunking of them. Primarily, and explicitly, aimed at young Muslims in danger of being radicalised, at Western journalists (who often seem not to know much about the subject, and at politicians. Short and persuasive.
Shaykh Al-Yaqoubi is Syrian and from a long and distinguished line of jurists and imams. Having spoken out repeatedly against the Assad regime, he now lives in exile in Rabat, Morocco.
ISIS members are not Muslims. They have left Sunni Islam, as can be seen from their actions and declaraions, esp:
Note that the Khawarij were very early heretics. ISIS are effectively modern-day Khawarijites. Permissible to kill them.
“All of thse transgressions bring forth the obligation to fight this group in order to shatter its forces, stop its crimes, and rid mankind of its evil”.
ISIS deem anyone who opposes them a disbeliever, even Salafis and Mujahidun. They select phrases from the Qu’ran out of context and use those to “prove” that their victims and enemies are evil. Their actions are “the furthest possible actions from Sharia rulings, Prophetic morals and the tolerance of Islam”. They use the claim of apostasy to adjudge their Muslim enemies permissible to kill. This is wrong.
Here, there are discussion of arguments on both sides. The shaykh comes to no firm conclusion, though his final word is a quote from Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Ibn Baz that “they are disbelievers”.
One cannot fight ISIS without telling them where they have erred and giving them a chance to change. The Shaykh and other Muslim scholars have written to them doing so, but in vain. Thus “fighting them has become an obligation for Muslims.”
Here, the Shaykh issues a fatwa:
“fighting the group known as ISIS is a communal obligation (fard kiffaya) upon Muslims.”
He declares that it is not permissible to neglect fighting ISIS, since that would be a sin. He makes a final call to members of ISIS to repent.
[I find some difficulty with the arguments here, esp in the first part]
The Caliphate is a public affair linked to the entire Muslim Nation. “Dignitaries who exert authority within the Muslim Nation are the ones who have the sole right to it.” [That latter sounds dangerously close to taking all the power for a nation ONLY into the hands of ‘acceptable’ authorities, but who decides who those are and what is acceptable? Why, those auths themselves. What about calls for democracy throughout Islamic world? Or does this pertain to the Caliphate alone and not to more normal government?]
Al-Baghdadi’s own mentor (al-Mansur, a top man in the Salafi-Jihadi movement) condemned him as villainous, ignorant and deviant, and incapable of mastering a single book on theology or jurisprudence. Hence, ISIS cannot be based on understood Islamic principles. The Shaykh calls on followers of ISIS to defect, as a religious obligation. One cannot obey a religious leader if his commands go contrary to the law of Allah.
It is permissible to seek such assistance, both in war and in peace (more so), so this nullifies a basic argument that IS have used as grounds for killing Muslims.
IS rely on hadith of Aisha when Mohammed refused assistance from polytheists. But the circumstances here were that Mohammed either didn’t seek help from anyone at that time or he told the man to return in the hope that he would convert to Islam. In fact, Mohammed sought help from Safwan ibn Ummaya before he (bin Ummaya) converted. Seeking assistance from N-Ms can actually benefit Islam so it is a good thing.
Islam is a religion of mercy, wisdom, justice, tolerance and peace. It has always respected covenants and this was one reason why it spread so far and so fast. Seeking assistance is not the same as accepting their religion, but rather an exchange of mutual benefit. In fact, the benefits to Muslims are greater than for non-Muslims, at least in current situation. This is affirmed by Shaykh Abd al-Aziz Ibn Baz, former grand mufti of Saudi and a leading figure in the Salafi movement.
Muslims entered these countries under contract and covenant, and agreed to be peaceful and law-abiding. Treachery is not permitted, and they cannot go against their contract. There is no war between Muslims and Western Countries today.
War cannot be waged by individuals but only by a legitimate ruler.
Millions of Muslims live in peace and security in Western Countries, often with a degree of religious and political freedom they may not find in Islamic countries. Violence and terrorism are impermissible, even in the face of oppression. They can only use legal and peaceful means to gain their ends and if they cannot change the government’s policies then they should leave that country.
Any non-Muslim who enters an Islamic country under contract and covenant cannot be harmed.
“Whoever kills a non-Muslim under contract will never smell the scent of paradise” (Al Bukhari, quoting the Prophet).
Even if it is only one Muslim who has made the contract with the non-Muslim, all Muslims must abide by it. ISIS utterly violates Islamic laws by kidnapping and murdering foreigners and broadcasting these acts.
Some jurists argue that even to say to a Jew, Christian or Zoroastrian, “You are an infidel”, is a sin, since it hurts him.
Islam aspires to a life of co-existence based upon respecting others in their faith, feelings and rights.
Islam disavows IS. The Messenger of Allah disavows IS. The scholars disavow IS.
Author: Jolyon Patten
Created: 2016-01-15 Fri 19:04