Open Letter
To Al-Baghdádí

Response To Daesh (Not ”IS”)

Part 05 - Practical Jurisprudence & The Killing of Innocents

With over 125 leading ulemas' signatures*

When there is a difference of opinion among eminent scholars, the more merciful, i.e. the best, opinion should be chosen. Severity should be avoided, as should the idea that severity is the measure of piety. God swt says: { And follow the best of what has been revealed to you from your Lord ...} (Al-Zumar, 39: 55); and: { Indulge [people] with forgiveness, and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant.} (Al-A’raf, 7: 199). God swt  also says: { [Those] who listen to the words [of God] and follow the best [sense] of it. Those, they are the ones whom God has guided; and those, they are the people of pith.} (Al-Zumar, 39: 18).

In an authentic Hadith, it is related that the Lady Aisha said: ‘Whenever faced by more than once choice, the Prophet MHMD always chose the easiest one8.’ The more severe opinion should not be considered more pious, religious or sincere to God swt . Indeed, in severity there is exaggeration and extremism; God swt  says in the Qur’an: { ... God desires ease for you, and desires not hardship for you ...} (Al-Baqarah, 2: 185).

Moreover, the Prophet MHMD said: ‘Do not be severe with yourselves lest God be severe towards you. A people were severe with themselves and then God was severe towards them9 .’ There is delusion and vanity in severity, because severe people naturally say to themselves: ‘I am severe. Anyone less severe than me is deficient’; and thus: ‘I am superior to them.’

Herein lies an inherent attribution of ill-intention to God swt , as if God swt  revealed the Qur’an to make people miserable. God says: { Tā hā. We have not revealed the Qur’an to you that you should be miserable}. (Ta Ha, 20: 1-2).

It is worth noting that most of the people who became Muslims throughout history, did so through gentle invitation (da’wah hasanah). God swt  says: { Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and dispute with them by way of that which is best. Truly your Lord knows best those who stray from His way and He knows best those who are guided.} (Al-Nahl, 16: 125). The Prophet MHMD said: ‘Be gentle, and beware of violence and foul language10.’And while Islam spread politically from Central Asia (Khurasan) to North Africa due to Islamic conquests, the majority of the inhabitants of these lands remained Christian for hundreds of years until some of them gradually accepted Islam through gentle invitation, and not through severity and coercion.

Indeed large countries and entire provinces became Muslim without conquest but through invitation (da’wah), such as: Indonesia; Malaysia; West and East Africa, and others. Hence, severity is neither a measure of piety nor a choice for the spread of Islam.

5. Practical Jurisprudence

5. Practical Jurisprudence (fiqh al-waq’i): What is meant by ‘practical jurisprudence’ is the process of applying Shari’ah rulings and dealing with them according to the realities and circumstances that people are living under. This is achieved by having an insight into the realities under which people are living and identifying their problems, struggles, capabilities and what they are subjected to. Practical jurisprudence (fiqh al-waq’i) considers the texts that are applicable to peoples realities at a particular time, and the obligations that can be postponed until they are able to be met or delayed based on their capabilities.

Imam Ghazali said: ‘As for practicalities that dictate necessities, it is not far-fetched that independent reasoning (ijtihad) may lead to them [practicalities], even if there is no specific origin for them11.’ Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah said: ‘Indeed, [a jurist] must understand people’s propensity for plotting, deception and fraud, in addition to their customs and traditions. Religious edicts (fatwas) change with the change of time, place, customs and circumstances, and all of this is from the religion of God, as already elucidated.12’

6. The Killing of Innocents

God swt  says in the Qur’an: { And do not slay the soul [whose life] God has made inviolable, except with due cause ...} (Al-Isra’, 17: 33); and { Say: “Come, I will recite that which your Lord has made a sacred duty for you: that you associate nothing with Him, that you be dutiful to parents, and that you do not slay your children, because of poverty - We will provide for you and them - and that you do not draw near any acts of lewdness, whether it be manifest or concealed, and that you do not slay the life which God has made sacred, except rightfully. This is what He has charged you with that perhaps you will understand.”} (Al-An’am, 6: 151).

8 Narrated by Bukhari in Kitab al-Hudud, no. 6786, and by Muslim in Kitab al-Fada’il, no. 2327.
9 Narrated by Abu Dawood in Kitab Al-Adab, no. 4904.
10 Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Kitab al-Adab, no. 6030.
11 Al-Ghazali, Al-Mustasfa fi Usul Al-Fiqh, (Vol. 1, p. 420).
12 Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, I’lam Al-Muqi’een ‘an Rabbil-‘Alamin, (Vol. 4, p. 157). 5 


[continue with part 06]

Read the full letter here: Open-Letter-To-Al-Baghdadi [pdf]
Original URL: [ ]

* One of its signatories is Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, from Syria.

Other Links:
CNN: Syrian Scholar, Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, condemns ISIS [ youtube ]

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latest update: 2015-12-11

* living Islam – Islamic Tradition *