Open Letter
To Al-Baghdādī

Response To Daesh (Not ”IS”)

Part 06 - Killing Emissaries & Jihad

→ FLIP TO LANDSCAPE VIEW for smartphone usage

With over 125 leading ulemas' signatures*

The slaying of a soul—any soul—is haraam (forbidden and inviolable under Islamic Law), it is also one of the most abominable sins (mubiqat). God swt  says in the Qur’an: { Because of that, We decreed for the Children of Israel that whoever slays a soul for other than a soul, or for corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers have already come to them with clear proofs, but after that many of them still commit excesses in the land.} (Al-Ma’idah, 5: 32). You have killed many innocents who were neither combatants nor armed, just because they disagree with your opinions13.

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: ‘The 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 Sotloff, even after Sotloff’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).

8. Jihad

All Muslims see the great virtue in jihad. God swt  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 Shafi’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 swt  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).

The 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. The proof for this is that a man came to the Prophet ﷺ asking him to permit him to perform jihad, upon which the Prophet ﷺ asked him: ‘Are your parents alive?’ to which he replied: ‘Yes.’ And the Prophet ﷺ told him: ‘Then 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 ﷺ said: ‘We have returned from the greater jihad to the lesser 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 ﷺ 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?’ They said: “Yes.” The Prophet ﷺ 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 swt  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).

13 The Prophet ﷺ did not kill the hypocrites who disagreed with him, nor did he permit that they be killed. Indeed the Prophet ﷺ 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). 


[continue with part 07]

Read the full letter here: Open-Letter-To-Al-Baghdadi [pdf] (problem with this site 20230130)

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

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

STARTGo to next part 07

next page





latest update: 2022-09-24 update: 2015-12-11

* living Islam – Islamic Tradition *