By Ghulam Ghaus, New Age Islam
29 April 2016
ISIS: The Knife That Slaughters Islam
داعش : السكين التي تذبح الإسلام
Authors: Dr. Najih Ibrahim and Dr. Hisham Al-Najjar
Paperback: 150 pages
Publisher: دار الشروق Dar al-Sharuq (2015)
Edition Language: Arabic
If you want to know what makes ISIS a slaughterer of Islam, Dr. Najih Ibrahim and Dr. Hisham Al-Najjar are your men. In the book “ISIS: The Knife That Slaughters Islam”, the authors report shocking facts about the world’s most merciless terrorist organization known as ISIS or ISIL or ‘Islamic State’ or Daesh; its roots, background and violent ideologies.
The authors excavate deep into the ISIS threat, shining a hard light on how this calamity has come about, and analyzing the suspicious roles of ISIS in regional and international conflicts. ISIS is merely a tool secretly driven by powerful elements that do not seek for the Muslim Ummah any sort of betterment, advancement or independence of will, strangling them into the sectarian conflicts and breaking their unity apart, the authors tell us.
Dr. Ibrahim and Dr. Najjar offer a set of important questions about ISIS, presenting a case study of ‘ISIS’—its roles and what is the hidden power behind it—on various aspects; political, strategic, intellectual, cultural, and constitutional legitimacy.
The authors devote four chapters of this book revealing the hidden face of ISIS, its background and its growth. They explain why ISIS is so successful at recruiting young people, how it has contributed to distort the civilized image of Islam and Muslims and how it has hindered the effective, positive cultural journey of Muslims in the name of Islam, Sharia and Jihad.
Like others, this book too presents the oft-repeated report that ISIS is originally based on the ideology of Takfeer (declaring someone a Kaafir or infidel) and suicide bombing as legitimate; the ideology that Al-Qaeda originally propagated in Mesopotamia, declaring all the Arab armies, icons and political parties as Kuffar, without any exception, just as it described all Shiites as Kuffar. It has been clear that ‘ISIS’ has surpassed even Al-Qaeda and does not believe in anything but killing as a way for the establishment of the religion and the state.
The idea of non-violent Takfir is widespread among the sects of Muslim community. However, it is unlike the Takfeeri ideology of ISIS that leads to violence, indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians and destruction of Muslim lands.
Like the Kharijites, ISIS describes the perpetrator of a major sin as a Kaafir and prosecutes the sinner. It does not accept any excuse from anyone, even if the sin is done by mistake or ignorance. It does Takfir of those who do not join ISIS or ‘the Islamic State’ and those who do not consider it “the state of Muslims”. According to ISIS, the Muslims not expressing their loyalty to the Amir or pledging their allegiance to him are Kuffar who are to be basically killed.
The book reports that the violent Takfeeris of ISIS describe democracy, political participation, elections and the devolution of power as forbidden [Haram] acts. According to their interpretation of the verse “And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the disbelievers” (5:44), all the rulers “who do not judge by what Allah has revealed” are Kuffar. So, on this basis, they make Takfeer of secularists, liberals, leftists, nationalists, Nazarenes and other Islamic movements which do not comply or pledge allegiance to the ‘ISIS’ and its Amir, in addition to doing Takfir of the supporters of the rulers and the institutions of their countries approximately at all levels; military, civilian, official, diplomatic, political, social, cultural and educational etc.
The authors say, “ISIS has unsheathed the knives to implement the Hudud, cutting off hands, slaughtering the hostages and civilians and spreading fear and panic in the hearts of the people who oppose it. In fact ISIS is only a tool and a knife in the hands of the rivals and foes of the Muslim Ummah; which is slaughtering Islam and ripping the body of the Ummah apart”.
The book poses a question: can ISIS outfit establish a state? It then answers that any organization that adopts the ideology of Takfeer and suicide bombing can never establish a state, as the Kharijites could not get success at establishing any state, despite having huge armies. Similarly, never can this Takfeeri outfit establish a state, because it has only the potential of bombing and destroying countries and not establishing any state. The ideology of ISIS is hostile towards all the people and legitimizes shedding their blood. It is also the reason that the countries or states throughout the world are mostly based on ideologies of pluralism and tolerance with others, regardless of religion, culture, caste and country. So, “if the violent Takfeeri ideology of ISIS happens to establish a state, the country will explode from inside, as it is like the bomb that may explode at any point of time”.
The authors adopt some juristic methodologies to tell the readers how Islam is innocent of those teachings that lead to killing civilians and of the violent acts perpetrated by ISIS and Al-Qaeda that issued a fatwa to kill every American and Jew. The holy companions fought the Romans and the Persians, but they never asked their armies to kill Roman or Persian civilians. The authors cited that whenever the armies of Hazrat Umar bin Al-Khattab [may Allah be pleased with him] set out for fighting, he would decree, “Fear Allah regarding farmers who do not wage war against you”. He pronounced the ruling to forbid killing the farmers who were “civilians in his times”, explaining the reason that “they are not combatants”, because Allah Almighty says, “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you” (2:90). Explaining this verse the authors say, “those who fight us, we will fight them. But, it is forbidden to fight those who do not fight us”.
The interpretation of this verse [2:90] was first made by the prophet -peace be upon him- who, at the sight of a slain woman, said, “This is not one with whom fighting should have taken place” (Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 15, Hadith 193). This was followed by the several recommendations of the prophet [peace be upon him] and his rightly guided caliphs at various different occasions. For example, "Do not kill a child, nor a woman, nor a old man, nor a monk in monastery”, as all of them are civilians in the language of the international law originally presented by Islam more than 1400 years ago.
According to the authors, killing of civilians was not known to the Islamic jurisprudence since the advent of Islam until Al-Qaeda appeared to commit the greatest violation against Islam and issued fatwa [decree] of killing civilians, forgetting there are Americans, Muslims, Japanese or Chinese or those who are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause or those who love Arabs or those who have nothing to do with the politics. Let alone talking about differences among Americans and others here, the Al-Qaeda even forgot the message of the Quran in which Allah Almighty talks about the people of the book and says, “They are not [all] the same; among the People of the Scripture is a community standing [in obedience], reciting the verses of Allah during periods of the night and prostrating [in prayer]” (3:113). This is the justice of the Quran.
To elucidate this point further, the authors present an example that ISIS and its likes understand the Qur’anic verse “we have not sent you but as a mercy to the entire world” in a very strange manner i.e. “we have not sent you but as a slaughterer to the entire world” or “devastator to the entire world” or “destructive to the entire world”. Hardly will you find the ISIS and its likes report or cite any account of mercy, sympathy, compassion and affection.
The reason is that ISIS is living in a big fallacy. They claim that all verses of forgiveness, pardon, compassion, and religious pluralism have been abrogated by one “sword verse”. They make Islam appear as if this religion throughout its history after the descending of the sword verse did not and would never apply to others mercy or patience or forgiveness or alliance or acceptance of pluralism on the religious, political, moral, humane and juristic grounds.
The authors say, “ISIS has openly flouted the Islamic principles and its core values—the Shura, freedom, justice, equality, respect for diversity and pluralism, personal freedom, responsibility of the ruler, monitoring his performance and holding him accountable, in case he makes any mistake or transgresses or oppresses. ISIS has showed its adherence only to establish the criminal Hudud [plural of ‘Had’] which deal with the laws and punishments and are of non-basics [Juziyat] in Islamic Sharia. Such non-basics are not greater in rank than the importance of the higher principles and core values of Sharia that ISIS has abandoned and destroyed in order to present a distorted and limited image of Islamic rule —an image that has nothing to do with the system of government in Islam”. If such non-basics are presented in a twisted way, “they will cause a catastrophe, calamity and indelible historical condemnation.” The authors then assert that ISIS has twisted such non-basics. Therefore, if the scholars and the responsible people of Islam do not play their role in defending Islam and presenting to the world the ideal cultural models of the Islamic Sharia, the world in common and the Muslim community in particular will continue to face events of destruction and affliction.
This book seems to be intended for the new readers who have just now started learning about ISIS, and if so, this can hopefully meet their needs.
As for me, this book has not presented any new information or studies. However, I regard it as a significant work that offers some fine suggestions to the Arab world to cope with their searing ordeal. I completely agree with the authors when they opine that many Islamic preachers and politicians are living farther away from the reality of the people’s life and their needs. Our Muslim community has failed in exercising the Islamic ethics and morals; similarly, ISIS can never evaluate any of such morals, the authors tell us.
The finest thing about the book is that the authors have refuted several arguments of ISIS, citing the authentic and irrefutable evidences from the Qura’n and Hadith; which can help most of the gullible Muslim youth save themselves from falling prey to ISIS recruitment process.
A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Ghulam Ghaus is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar) with a Sufi background. He completed the classical Islamic sciences from a Delhi-based Sufi Islamic seminary Jamia Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Zakir Nagar, New Delhi with specialization in Tafseer, Hadith and Arabic. He completed his Alimiat and Fazilat respectively from Jamia Warsia Arabic College, Lucknow and Jamia Manzar- e- Islam, Bareilly, U.P. He did his graduation in Arabic (Hons) and post-graduation (Arabic) from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.