By 120 leading religious scholars and academics from across the Muslim world
24th Dhul-Qi’da 1435 AH / 19th September 2014 CE
7. Killing Emissaries:
It is known that all religions forbid the killing of emissaries. What is meant by emissaries here are people who are sent from one group of people to another to perform a noble task such as reconciliation or the delivery of a message? Emissaries have a special inviolability. Ibn Masoud said: ‘Te Sunnah continues that emissaries are never killed14.’ Journalists—if they are honest and of course are not spies—are emissaries of truth, because their job is to expose the truth to people in general. You have mercilessly killed the journalists James Foley and Steven Sotlof, even after Sotlof ’s mother pleaded with you and begged for mercy. Aid workers are also emissaries of mercy and kindness, yet you killed the aid worker David Haines. What you have done is unquestionably forbidden (Haraam).
All Muslims see the great virtue in jihad. God < says: ‘O you who believe, what is wrong with you that, when it is said to you, “Go forth in the way of God', you sink down heavily to the ground”’ (Al-Tawbah, 9: 38); and: ‘And fight in the way of God with those who fight against you, but aggress not; God loves not the aggressors.’ (Al-Baqarah, 2: 190); and many other verses. Imam Shaf’i, the other three imams, and indeed all the scholars see that jihad is a communal obligation (Fard Kifayah) and not an individual obligation (Fard Ayn) because God < says: ‘yet to each God has promised the goodly reward, and God has preferred those who struggle over the ones who sit at home with a great reward’ (Al-Nisa’, 4: 95). Te word ‘jihad’ is an Islamic term that cannot be applied to armed conflict against any other Muslim; this much is a firmly established principle. Furthermore, all scholars agree that jihad is conditional upon the consent of one’s parents. Te proof for this is that a man came to the Prophet U asking him to permit him to perform jihad, upon which the Prophet U asked him: ‘Are your parents alive?’ to which he replied: ‘Yes.’ And the Prophet U told him: ‘Ten perform jihad (struggle) through [serving] them. 15’ Moreover, there are two kinds of jihad in Islam: the greater jihad, which is the jihad (struggle) against one’s ego; and the lesser jihad, the jihad (struggle) against the enemy. In regards to the greater jihad, the Prophet U said: ‘We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad16.’ If you say that this Hadith is weak or apocryphal, the answer is that evidence for this concept is in the Qur’an itself: ‘So do not obey the disbelievers, but struggle against them therewith with a great endeavour [lit. a great jihad].’ (Al-Furqan, 25:52). ‘Therewith’ in this verse refers to the Qur’an, which is ‘a healing for what is in the breasts’ (Yunus, 10: 57).
This is clearly understood from the Hadith in which the Prophet U said: “‘Shall I tell you about the best of all deeds, the best act of piety in the eyes of your Lord which will elevate your status in the Hereafter and is better for you than spending gold and paper and better than going up in arms against your enemy and striking their necks and their striking your necks?’ Tey said: “Yes.” Te Prophet U said: “Remembrance of God. 17”’ Thus, the greater jihad is the jihad against the ego and its weapon is remembrance of God and purification of the soul. Furthermore, God has clarified the relationship between the two kinds of jihad in another verse: ‘O you who believe, when you meet a host, then stand firm and remember God much, that you may succeed.’ (Al-Anfal, 8: 45)
Thus, standing firm is the lesser jihad and is dependent on the greater jihad which is the jihad against the ego through the remembrance of God and purification of the soul. In any case, jihad is a means to peace, safety and security, and not an end in itself. This is clear from God’s words: ‘Fight them till there is no sedition and the religion is for God; then if they desist, there shall be no enmity, save against evildoers.’ (Al-Baqarah, 2: 193). In your speech of July 4th, 2014, you said: ‘There is no life without jihad’. Perhaps this was based on Al-Qurtubi’s exegesis of the verse: ‘O you who believe, respond to God and the Messenger, when He calls you to that which will give you life …’ (Al-Anfal, 8: 24). True jihad enlivens the heart. However, there can be life without jihad, because Muslims may face circumstances where combat is not called for, or where jihad is not required, and Islamic history is replete with examples of this.
13 Te Prophet U did not kill the hypocrites who disagreed with him, nor did he permit that they be killed. Indeed the Prophet U said: ‘So that people do not say that Muhammad killed his companions.’ Narrated by Bukhari in Kitab Tafsir al-Qur’an, no. 4907, and by Muslim in Kitab al-Birr wal-Silah, no. 2584
14 Narrated by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, (Vol. 6, p. 306)
15 Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Kitab al-Jihad, no. 3004
16 Narrated by Al-Bayhaqi in Kitab al-Zuhd, (Vol. 2, p. 165), and by Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi in Tarikh Baghdad, (Vol. 3, p. 523).
17 Narrated by Imam Malik in Al-Muwatta’; Kitab al-Nida’ Lissalah, no. 490, also narrated by Al-Tirmidhi in Kitab al-Da’awat, and by Ibn Majah in Kitab al-Adab, no. 3790, and corrected by Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak (Vol. 1, p. 673).
a. Te Intention Behind Jihad: God < says: ‘and that man shall have only what he [himself] strives for’ (Al-Najm, 53: 39). Prophetic Tradition relates that on the authority of Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari, a man came to the Prophet U and said: ‘A man may fght out of zeal, out of bravery or out of pride. Which of these is in the path of God?’ Te Prophet U replied: ‘Whoever fghts for the Word of God to be supreme is in the path of God18.’ Te Prophet U also said: ‘Te frst to be judged on the Day of Resurrection is the man who died as a martyr. He will be brought forth and [God] will make His favours known to him, which he will recognize. He will be asked: “What did you do with them?” to which the man will reply: “I fought for your sake until I was killed.” He [i.e. God] will say: “You have lied. You fought so that it would be said that you are bold, and so it was said.” He will then be ordered to be dragged on his face and flung into the Fire …19’.
b. The Reason behind Jihad: Te reason behind jihad for Muslims is to fght those who fght them, not to fght anyone who does not fght them, nor to transgress against anyone who has not transgressed against them. God’s words in permitting jihad are: ‘Permission is granted to those who fght because they have been wronged. And God is truly able to help them; those who were expelled from their homes without right, only because they said: “Our Lord is God”. Were it not for God's causing some people to drive back others, destruction would have befallen the monasteries, and churches, and synagogues, and mosques in which God's Name is mentioned greatly. Assuredly God will help those who help Him. God is truly Strong, Mighty.’ (Al-Hajj, 22: 39-40). Thus, jihad is tied to safety, freedom of religion, having been wronged, and eviction from one’s land. These two verses were revealed after the Prophet U and his companions suffered torture, murder, and persecution for thirteen years at the hands of the idolaters. Hence, there is no such thing as offensive, aggressive jihad just because people have different religions or opinions. This is the position of Abu Hanifa, the Imams Malik and Ahmad and all other scholars including Ibn Taymiyyah, with the exception of some scholars of the Shaf’i school20.
18 Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Kitab al-Tawhid, no. 7458, and by Muslim in Kitab al-Imarah, no. 1904.
19 Narrated by Muslim in Kitab Al-Imarah, no. 1905.
20 Cf. Wahbi Al-Zuhayli’s Ahkam al-Harb fl-Islam.
c. Te Goal of Jihad: Scholars are in agreement regarding the goal of jihad, because God < says: ‘Fight them till there is no sedition, and the religion is for God; then if they desist, there shall be no enmity, save against evildoers.’ (Al-Baqarah, 2: 193). Te Prophet U further said: ‘I have been ordered to fght people until they say: “Tere is no god but God”, so whoever says: “There is no god but God” is safe in himself and his wealth except as permitted by law, and his reckoning is with God21.’ Tis is the goal of jihad once war has been waged on Muslims. These texts specify what victory looks like in the case that Muslims are victorious, and that the reason for jihad must not be confused with the goal of jihad; all scholars are in agreement on this matter. Te Hadith above refers to an event that has already taken place and is conditional upon God’s words: ‘It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it prevail over all religion. And God sufces as witness.’ (Al-Fath, 48: 28). It took place in the Arabian Peninsula at the time of the Prophet U, for God < says: ‘... and that you may warn the Mother of Towns [Um al-Qura] and those around it ...’ (Al-An’am, 6: 92); and: ‘O you who believe, fght those of the disbelievers who are near to you ...’ (Al-Tawbah, 9: 123). Te Prophet U also said: ‘Evict the idolaters from the Arabian Peninsula22.’ How could this not have come to pass when God < promises the Prophet : ‘It is He Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it prevail over all [other] religions, though the disbelievers be averse.’ (Al-Saf, 61: 9). What is meant here must be the Arabian Peninsula since this is what happened during the life of the Prophet U. In any case, if the commanders of jihad see that it is in the best interest of Muslims, it is permissible for them to cease combat, even if this goal has not been achieved, because God < says: ‘... then if they desist, there shall be no enmity, save against evildoers.’ (Al-Baqarah, 2: 193). Te circumstances and events of Sulh al-Hudaybiyah are proof of this.
d. Te Rules of Conduct of Jihad: Te rules of conduct of jihad are summarized in the words of the Prophet Muhammad U: ‘Wage war but do not be severe, do not be treacherous, do not mutilate or kill children ...23.’ Te Prophet U also said on the day of the Conquest of Mecca: ‘Those retreating are not to be killed, nor are the injured to be harmed, and whoever shuts his door is safe. 24’ Similarly, when Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq prepared an army and sent it to the Levant, he said: ‘You will fnd people who have devoted themselves to monasteries, leave them to their devotions. You will also fnd others whose heads are seats for devils (i.e. armed deacons25), so strike their necks. However, do not kill the old and decrepit, women or children; do not destroy buildings; do not cut down trees or harm livestock without good cause; do not burn or drown palms; do not be treacherous; do not mutilate; do not be cowardly; and do not loot. And truly God will support those who support Him and His Messengers while not seeing Him. Truly, God is Strong, Mighty.26’
21 Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Kitab al-Jihad, no. 2946.
22 Narrated by Bukhari in his Sahih, Kitab al-Jihad, no. 3053, and by Muslim in Kitab alWasiyyah, no.1637.
23 Narrated by Muslim in Kitab al-Jihad, no. 1731, and by Al-Tirmidhi in Kitab al-Diyyat, no. 1408
24 Narrated by Ibn Abi Shayba in Al-Musannaf (Vol. 6, p. 498).
25 Te deacons were armed, combatant priests.
26 Narrated by Al-Bayhaqi in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, (Vol. 9, p. 90), and by Al-Marwazi in Musnad Abi Bakr, no. 21.
As for killing prisoners, it is forbidden in Islamic Law. Yet you have killed many prisoners including the 1700 captives at Camp Speicher in Tikrit in June, 2014; the 200 captives at the Sha’er gas field in July, 2014; the 700 captives of the Sha’etat tribe in Deir el-Zor (600 of whom were unarmed civilians); the 250 captives at the Tabqah air base in Al-Raqqah in August, 2014; Kurdish and Lebanese soldiers, and many untold others whom God knows. Tese are heinous war crimes.
If you claim that the Prophet U killed some captives in some battles, then the answer is that he only ordered that two captives be killed at the Battle of Badr: Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ayt and Nadr ibn Al-Harith. Tey were leaders of war and war criminals, and the execution of war criminals are permissible if the ruler orders it. Tis is also what Saladin did upon conquering Jerusalem, and what the Allies did during the Nuremberg trials after World War II. As for the tens of thousands of captives that fell under the jurisdiction of the Prophet U over a span of ten years and 29 battles, he did not execute a single regular soldier; rather, he entrusted that they be treated with kindness27. Te Divine Decree regarding captives and prisoners of war is in God’s < words: ‘…Thereafter either [set them free] by grace or by ransom …’ (Muhammad, 47: 4). God < commanded that captives and prisoners of war be treated with dignity and respect: ‘And they give food, despite [their] love of it to the needy, and the orphan, and the prisoner.’ (Al-Insan, 76: 8). Indeed, the true Sunnah of the Prophet U regarding captives is pardon and amnesty, as was demonstrated during the Conquest of Mecca when the Prophet U said: ‘I say as my brother Joseph said: “There shall be no reproach on you this day”. Go, for you are free!28’
Finally, one of the most important principles when it comes to the manner of jihad is that only combatants may be killed; their families and non-combatants may not be killed intentionally. If you ask about the instance when the Prophet U was asked about bystanders and women being killed with idolaters and he said: ‘They are from them29’, this Hadith refers to the killing of innocents by accident and in no way indicates that the intentional killing of innocents— such as in bombings—is permitted. As for God’s < words: ‘… and be harsh with them …’ (Al-Tawbah, 9: 73); and: ‘… and let them find harshness in you …’ (Al-Tawbah, 9: 123), this is during war, not after it.
27 Narrated by Ibn Abdullah in Al-Isti’ab (Vol. 2, p. 812), and by Al-Qurtubi in his Tafsir (Vol. 19, p. 129): ‘Qatada said: “God ordered that prisoners be treated well.”’
28 Narrated by Al-Bayhaqi in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, (Vol. 9, p. 118); Cf Fayd Al-Qadeer Sharh al-Jami’ al-Sagheer, (Vol. 5, p. 171).
29 Narrated by Muslim in Kitab al-Jihad, no. 1745
9. Declaring People Non-Muslim (Takfir):
Some misunderstandings about Takfir are a result of the exaggeration of some Salaf scholars in matters of Takfir (declaring people non-Muslim), and in their exceeding of what Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Al-Qayyim have said in many important aspects. In brief, Takfir can be summarised correctly as follows:
a. Quintessentially in Islam, anyone who says: ‘Tere is no god but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God’ is a Muslim and cannot be declared a non-Muslim. God < says: ‘O you who believe, when you are going forth in the way of God, be discriminating and do not say to him who offers you peace: 'You are not a believer, desiring the transient goods of the life of this world. With God are plenteous spoils. So you were formerly, but God has been gracious to you. So be discriminating. Surely God is ever Aware of what you do.’ (Al-Nisa’, 4: 94). Te meaning of ‘be discriminating’ in the above verse is to ask them: ‘Are you Muslims?’ Te answer is to be taken at face-value without questioning or testing their faith. Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad U said: ‘Woe to you! Look! After I die, do no return to being non-believers, striking each other’s necks30.’ Te Prophet U also said: ‘... so whoever says: “Tere is no god but God” saves himself and his wealth except as permitted by law, and his reckoning is with God31.’ Ibn Omar and the Lady Aisha also said: ‘Declaring the people of the Qiblah as non-Muslim is not permissible32.
b. This issue is of the utmost importance because it is used to justify the spilling of Muslim blood, violating their sanctity, and usurping their wealth and rights. God < says: ‘And whoever slays a believer deliberately, his requital is Hell, abiding therein, and God is wroth with him and has cursed him, and has prepared for him a mighty chastisement.’ (Al-Nisa’, 4: 93). Moreover, the Prophet U said: ‘Whoever says to his brother “O disbeliever”, it will certainly be true of one of them33.’ God < has warned, in the strongest terms, against killing anyone who verbally declares his Islam: ‘… And so if they stay away from you and do not fght you, and offer you peace, then God does not allow you any way against them.’ (Al-Nisa’, 4: 90). Te Prophet U warned against accusing people of polytheism and of taking up the sword against them; he said: ‘Te person I fear for you the most is the man who has read the Qur’an … cast it off and thrown it behind him, and taken up the sword against his neighbour and accused him of polytheism34.’
30 Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Kitab al-Maghazi, no. 4403, and by Muslim in Kitab al-Iman, no. 66
31 Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Kitab al-Jihad, no. 2946.
32 As related in Al-Hafz Al-Haythami’s Majma’ Al-Zawa’id, (Vol. 1, p. 106).
33 Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Kitab al-Adab, no. 6104.
34 Narrated by Ibn Habban in his Sahih, (Vol. 1, p. 282).
It is not permissible to kill any Muslim, (nor indeed any human being), who is unarmed and a non-combatant. Usamah Ibn Zayd narrated that, after he killed a man who had said: ‘There is no god but God’, ‘the Prophet U asked: “He said: ‘There is no god but God’ and you killed him?!” I replied: “O Messenger of God, he only said it out of fear of [our] arms.” He said: “Did you see inside his heart to know whether or not he meant it? 35”’
Recently, Shaker Wahib—who was affiliated with what was known at the time as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)—appeared in a YouTube video where he stopped unarmed civilians who said they were Muslims. He then proceeded to ask them the number of prostrations (rak’ahs) in specific prayers. When they answered incorrectly, he killed them36. This is absolutely forbidden under Islamic Law and is a heinous crime.
c. Peoples’ deeds are tied to the intent behind those deeds. Te Prophet U said: ‘Actions are but by intention, and every person will have what they intended…37.’ Furthermore, God < says: ‘When the hypocrites come to you they say: ‘We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of God’. And God knows that you are indeed His Messenger, and God bears witness that the hypocrites truly are liars.’ (Al-Munafqun, 63: 1). God < thus describes the words of the hypocrites regarding the Prophet’s message— an indisputable fact—as lies, because their intention when saying it was to lie even though it is true in itself. It is a lie because they uttered with their tongues a truth that God < knows their hearts reject. Tis means that disbelief requires the intention of disbelief, and not just absentminded words or deeds. It is not permissible to accuse anyone of disbelief without proof of the intention of disbelief. Nor is it permissible to accuse anyone of being a non-Muslim without ascertaining that intention. It is, after all, possible that the person was coerced, ignorant, insane or did not mean it. It is also possible that he misunderstood a particular issue. God < says: ‘Whoever disbelieves in God after [having affirmed] his faith—except for him who is compelled, while his heart is at rest in faith—but he who opens up his breast to unbelief, upon such shall be wrath from God, and there is a great chastisement for them.’ (Al-Nahl, 16: 106).
35 Narrated by Muslim in Kitab al-Iman, no. 96. Another narration reads: ‘“Did you kill him after he said: ‘There is no god but God”. I said: “He was trying to save himself ”. [Te Prophet] kept repeating his words ...’. Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Kitab al-Maghazi, no. 4369.
36 YouTube video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yrVPE_-f9I , June, 2014.
37 Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Kitab Bad’ al-wahy, no. 1; also narrated by Muslim in Kitab al-Imarah, no. 1907
It is forbidden to interpret the implications of a person’s deeds; only the person himself or herself may interpret their own deeds—particularly when there is a difference of opinion among Muslims regarding that particular deed. It is also forbidden to declare others non-Muslim (Takfir) based on any matter in which there is a difference of opinion among Muslim scholars. It is forbidden to declare an entire group of people non-Muslim. Disbelief applies only to individuals depending on their deeds and intentions. God < says: ‘No laden soul will bear another’s load.’ (Al-Zumar, 39: 7). Finally, it is forbidden to declare people who do not doubt the disbelief of others, or refuse to declare them non-Muslim, as non-Muslim.
Te reason this point has been discussed in such detail is because you distributed the books of Muhammad bin Abdel-Wahhab as soon as you reached Mosul and Aleppo. In any case, scholars—including Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah—distinguish between the actions of a disbeliever (kafr) and declaring people non-Muslim (Takfir). Even if a person performs a deed that has elements of disbelief, this does not necessitate that that person be judged as a disbeliever for the reasons presented earlier. Al-Dhahabi38 related that his teacher, Ibn Taymiyyah, used to say near the end of his life: ‘I do not declare any member of the Ummah non-Muslim ... Te Prophet U said: “Anyone who maintains his ablution is a believer”, so whoever observes the prescribed prayers with ablution is a Muslim.’
This is a crucial point; the Prophet U said: ‘Subtle shirk [i.e. associating partners with God] is when a man stands to pray and embellishes his prayer for an onlooker39.’ He thereby described ostentation in prayer as ‘subtle shirk’, which is minor shirk. Tis minor shirk, which some worshippers fall into, is not considered major shirk and cannot lead to takfr or to being cast out of the fold of Islam. For other than prophets and messengers, everyone else worships God < according to their capacity, and not as God < deserves. God < says: ‘Tey measured not God with His true measure …’ (Al-An’am, 6: 91); and: ‘And they will question you concerning the Spirit. Say: “Te Spirit is of the command of my Lord. And of knowledge you have not been given except a little”.’ (Al-Isra’, 17: 85). Nevertheless, God < accepts such worship. And people are not able to conceive of God < as He deserves? No one worships God as He deserves except by His permission. More fundamentally, the issue of shirk among the Arabs is moot, as the Prophet U said: ‘Te Devil has lost hope that those who pray in the Arabian Peninsula will worship him, but [aims] to sow discord among them. 40’
38 Al-Dhahabi’s Siyar A’lam Al-Nubala’, (Vol. 11, p. 393).
39 Narrated by Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Zuhd, no. 4204.
40 Narrated by Muslim in Kitab Sifat al-Qiyamah wal-Jannah wal-Nar, no. 2812
10. People of the Scripture:
Regarding Arab Christians, you gave them three choices: Jizyah (poll tax), the sword, or conversion to Islam. You painted their homes red, destroyed their churches, and in some cases, looted their homes and property. You killed some of them and caused many others to fee their homes with nothing but their lives and the clothes on their backs. These Christians are not combatants against Islam or transgressors against it, indeed they are friends, neighbours and co-citizens. From the legal perspective of Shari’ah they all fall under ancient agreements that are around 1400 years old, and the rulings of jihad do not apply to them. Some of their ancestors fought alongside the Prophet’s U army against the Byzantines; and thus have been citizens of the State of Medina since that time. Others are under agreements that were guaranteed to them by Omar ibn Al-Khattab, Khalid ibn Al-Walid, the Umayyads, the Abbasids, the Ottomans and their respective states. In short, they are not strangers to these lands, but rather, of the native peoples of these lands from pre-Islamic times; they are not enemies but friends. For the past 1400 years they have defended their countries against the Crusaders, colonialists, Israel and other wars, how, then, can you treat them as enemies? God < says in the Qur’an: ‘God does not forbid you in regard to those who did not wage war against you on account of religion and did not expel you from your homes, that you should treat them kindly and deal with them justly. Assuredly God loves the just.’ (Al-Mumtahanah, 60: 8).
As for Jizyah, there are two types of Jizyah in Shari’ah (Islamic Law). Te first type is that which is levied while the subjects are ‘readily being subdued’. This applies to those who fought Islam, as is understood from God’s < words: ‘Fight those who do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day, and who do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, nor do they practise the religion of truth, from among of those who have been given the Scripture, until they pay the jizya tribute, readily being subdued.’ (Al-Tawbah, 9: 29) As is clarified by a preceding verse in this Surah (chapter of the Qur’an), those intended by this verse are parties who pre-emptively attacked Muslims: ‘Will you not fight a people who broke their oaths and intended to expel the Messenger - initiating against you frst? Are you afraid of them? God is more worthy of your fear if you are believers.’ (Al-Tawbah, 9:13) 41. Te second type of Jizyah is levied on those who do not wage war against Islam; it is levied on them instead of Zakat (which only Muslims pay and which is higher in percentage than the Jizyah) through a covenant and without harshness. Omar ibn Al-Khattab agreed to call it ‘charity’ (Sadaqah). Te jizyah is then deposited to the state treasury and is distributed among citizens, including needy Christian citizens as Omar did during his caliphate.42
41 Al-Tabari says in his Tafsir (Vol. 6, p. 157): ‘In God’s < words: “Fight those who do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day ...” there is no negation of the meanings of pardon and amnesty ... If they agree to being subdued and pay the Jizyah after combat, it is permissible to order that they be pardoned for intended treachery or oaths they planned to break as long as they do not wage war without paying the Jizyah or refuse to follow laws that apply to them.
42 Jurists permitted the lifting of the Jizyah if some of them joined the Muslim army, as happened in the time of Omar bin Al-Khattab.
You fought the Yazidis under the banner of jihad but they neither fought you nor Muslims. You considered them Satanists and gave them the choice to either be killed or be forced into Islam. You killed hundreds of them and buried them in mass graves. You caused the death and suffering of hundreds of others. Had it not been for American and Kurdish intervention, tens of thousands of their men, women, children and elderly would have been killed. These are all abominable crimes. From the legal perspective of Shari’ah they are Magians, because the Prophet U said: ‘Treat them as you treat People of the Scripture43.’ Thus they are People of the Scripture. God < says: ‘Truly those who believe and those of Jewry, and the Sabaeans, and the Christians, and the Magians and the polytheists - God will indeed judge between them on the Day of Resurrection. Assuredly God, over all things, is Witness.’ (AlHajj, 22: 17) Even if you doubt that they are People of the Scripture, from the legal perspective of Shari’ah, many scholars of the Pious Forebears considered them to be commensurate with Magians based on the aforementioned Hadith. Te Umayyads even considered Hindus and Buddhists to be dhimmis. AlQurtubi said: ‘Al-Awza’i said: “Jizyah is levied on those who worship idols and fre, as well as on unbelievers and agnostics.” This is also the Maliki position, for Imam Malik’s opinion was that Jizyah is levied on all idol worshippers and unbelievers, be they Arab or non-Arabs … except for apostates44.
12. Slavery: No scholar of Islam disputes that one of Islam’s aims is to abolish slavery. God < says: ‘And what will show you what the obstacle is?, the freeing of a slave, or to give food on a day of hunger’ (Al-Balad, 90: 12-14); and: ‘… then [the penalty for them is] the setting free of a slave before they touch one another …’ (Al-Mujadilah, 58: 3). Te Prophet Muhammad’s U Sunnah is that he freed all male and female slaves who were in his possession or whom had been given to him45. For over a century, Muslims, and indeed the entire world, have been united in the prohibition and criminalization of slavery, which was a milestone in human history when it was finally achieved. Te Prophet U said regarding the pre-Islamic ‘League of the Virtuous’ (hilf al-fudul) during the time of Jahiliyah: ‘Had I been asked to fulfl it in Islam, I would oblige46.’
43 Narrated by Al-Imam Malik in al-Muwatta’, in Kitab al-Zakat, no. 617, and by Al-Shaf’i in his Musnad, no. 1008.
44 Al-Qurtubi’s Tafsir, (Vol. 8, p. 110)
45 Cf Ibn Kathir’s Al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah (Vol. 5, p. 284) in which he says: ‘Te Prophet U freed male and female slaves ... and after the Prophet U died, there were absolutely no slaves of his to be inherited.
46 Ma’rifat as-Sunan wa Al-Athar, Bayhaqi (Vol. 11, p. 135); As-Sunan Al-Kubra, Bayhaqi
After a century of Muslim consensus on the prohibition of slavery, you have violated this; you have taken women as concubines and thus revived strife and sedition (Fitnah), and corruption and lewdness on the earth. You have resuscitated something that the Shari’ah has worked tirelessly to undo and has been considered forbidden by consensus for over a century. Indeed all the Muslim countries in the world are signatories of anti-slavery conventions. God < says: ‘… And fulfil the covenant. Indeed the covenant will be enquired into.’ (Al-Isra’, 17: 34) You bear the responsibility of this great crime and all the reactions which this may lead to against all Muslims.