Open Letter
To Al-Baghdádí

Response To Daesh (Not ”IS”)

Part 11 - People of The Scripture & Yazidis

With over 125 leading ulemas' signatures*


So how can anyone take up a sword against others just because he or she believes that they do not worship God swt  as He deserves? No one worships God as He deserves except by His swt  permission. More fundamentally, the issue of shirk among the Arabs is moot, as the Prophet MHMD said: ‘The Devil has lost hope that those who pray in the Arabian Peninsula will worship him, but [aims] to sow discord among them40.’

People of The Scripture

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 flee 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 MHMD 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 swt  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). The 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 swt  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 first? Are you afraid of them? God is more worthy of your fear if you are believers.} (Al-Tawbah, 9:13)41. The 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). The jizyah is then deposited to the state treasury and is distributed among citizens, including needy Christian citizens as Omar radiyaa did during his caliphate42.


11. Yazidis: 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 MHMD said: ‘Treat them as you treat People of the Scripture43.’

40 Narrated by Muslim in Kitab Sifat al-Qiyamah wal-Jannah wal-Nar, no. 2812.
41 Al-Tabari says in his Tafsir (Vol. 6, p. 157): ‘In God’s swt  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.
43 Narrated by Al-Imam Malik in al-Muwatta’, in Kitab al-Zakat, no. 617, and by Al-Shafi’i in his Musnad, no. 1008.  .-.

[continue with part 12]

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: 2015-12-08

* living Islam – Islamic Tradition *