Bismillah. – Please add a comment if you’re a religious scholar and would like to add your name to the list of signatories. Female scholars are especially welcome.
WITH THE NAME OF GOD, MOST GRACIOUS, MOST MERCIFUL
FATWA ON THE SO-CALLED “ISLAMIC STATE” (FORMERLY “ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ & SYRIA”)
30th August 2014
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessings be upon His final messenger Muhammad.
Due to recent events in the Middle East and their impact on some people in Britain, we as imams and scholars based in the UK, would like to issue the following clarifications in the form of a fatwa:
- There is no doubt that President Assad’s regime in Syria is oppressive, unjust and brutal, and has committed numerous atrocities against its own people.
- The same is true of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) or self-styled “Caliphate,” formerly known as “The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”: it is an oppressive and tyrannical group.
- By murdering prisoners of war, journalists and civilians, including mosque imams who refused to endorse their campaign, and by enslaving the women and children of their opponents, ISIS has violated international agreements such as the Geneva Conventions and conventions on slavery that everyone, including Muslims, have signed up to. God says in the Qur’an, “Believers, fulfil your covenants!” (5:1)
- The IS persecution and massacres of Shia Muslims, Christians and Yazidis is abhorrent and opposed to Islamic teachings and the Islamic tolerance displayed by great empires such as the Mughals and Ottomans.
- Based on all of the above: IS is a heretical, extremist organisation and it is religiously prohibited (haram) to support or join it; furthermore, it is an obligation on British Muslims to actively oppose its poisonous ideology, especially when this is promoted within Britain.
- British and other EU citizens are bound by their duties to their home countries according to Islamic theology and jurisprudence: it is therefore prohibited (haram) to travel to fight with any side in Syria, including non-state actors, since this is forbidden by laws in EU countries.
- It is a moral obligation upon British Muslims to help the Syrian and Iraqi people without betraying their own societies: “If they ask for your help in religion, you must help, except against a people with whom you have a treaty.” (Qur’an 8:72)
SIGNATORIES (as of 11th September 2014)
- Sheikh Mohammad Shahid Raza OBE, Executive secretary of the Muslim Law (Shariah) Council of UK; Head Imam at Leicester Central Mosque
- Sheikh Qamaruzzaman Azmi -Secretary General of the World Islamic Mission; Head Imam at Manchester Central Mosque
- Sheikh Muhammad Manwar Ali, founder and CEO of JIMAS, Ipswich
- Sheikh Dr Qari Mohammad Asim MBE, Head Imam at Makkah Masjid, Leeds
- Mufti Abu Layth, founder of The Islamic Council UK, Birmingham
- Sheikh Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, Co-Director of The Association of British Muslims, Birmingham
- Sheikh Dr Usama Hasan, Author of the fatwa, Head Theologian at Quilliam and Former Imam at Al-Tawhid Mosque, London
- Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari OBE DL, Chief Imam, Karimia Institute, Nottingham
- Sheikh Dr Hafiz Ather Hussain al-Azhari – Imam, Leicester
- Cllr Yakub Hanif al-Naqshbandi – Imam, Luton
- Sheikh Irfan Chishti al-Azhari MBE – Imam, Greater Manchester
- Sheikh Dr Irfan al-Alawi – Executive Director, Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, Birmingham
- Sheikh Osman Saeed Dar al-Azhari, Imam, Greater Manchester