Open Letter
To Al-Baghdádí

Response To Daesh (Not ”IS”)

Part 08 - The Rules of Conduct of Jihad

With over 125 leading ulemas' signatures*


These texts specify what victory looks like in the case that Muslims are victorious, and that the reason for jihad must not be confused with the goal of jihad; all scholars are in agreement on this matter. The Hadith above refers to an event that has already taken place and is conditional upon God’s words: { It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it prevail over all religion. And God suffices as witness. } (Al-Fath, 48: 28). It took place in the Arabian Peninsula at the time of the Prophet MHMD, for God swt  says: { ... and that you may warn the Mother of Towns [Um al-Qura] and those around it ... } (Al-An’am, 6: 92); and: { O you who believe, fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you ... } (Al-Tawbah, 9: 123).

The Prophet MHMD also said: ‘Evict the idolaters from the Arabian Peninsula.22 How could this not have come to pass when God swt  promises the Prophet MHMD: { It is He Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it prevail over all [other] religions, though the disbelievers be averse. } (Al-Saff, 61: 9). What is meant here must be the Arabian Peninsula since this is what happened during the life of the Prophet MHMD. In any case, if the commanders of jihad see that it is in the best interest of Muslims, it is permissible for them to cease combat, even if this goal has not been achieved, because God swt  says: { ... then if they desist, there shall be no enmity, save against evildoers. } (Al-Baqarah, 2: 193). The circumstances and events of Sulh al-Hudaybiyah are proof of this.

The Rules of Conduct of Jihad

d. The Rules of Conduct of Jihad: The rules of conduct of jihad are summarized in the words of the Prophet Muhammad MHMD: ‘Wage war but do not be severe, do not be treacherous, do not mutilate or kill children ...´.23 The Prophet MHMD also said on the day of the Conquest of Mecca: ‘Those retreating are not to be killed, nor are the injured to be harmed, and whoever shuts his door is safe24.’

Similarly, when Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq radiyaa prepared an army and sent it to the Levant, he said: ‘You will find people who have devoted themselves to monasteries, leave them to their devotions. You will also find others whose heads are seats for devils (i.e. armed deacons25), so strike their necks. However, do not kill the old and decrepit, women or children; do not destroy buildings; do not cut down trees or harm livestock without good cause; do not burn or drown palms; do not be treacherous; do not mutilate; do not be cowardly; and do not loot. And truly God will support those who support Him and His Messengers while not seeing Him. Truly, God is Strong, Mighty26.’

As for killing prisoners, it is forbidden in Islamic Law. Yet you have killed many prisoners including the 1700 captives at Camp Speicher in Tikrit in June, 2014; the 200 captives at the Sha’er gas field in July, 2014; the 700 captives of the Sha’etat tribe in Deir el-Zor (600 of whom were unarmed civilians); the 250 captives at the Tabqah air base in Al-Raqqah in August, 2014; Kurdish and Lebanese soldiers, and many untold others whom God knows. These are heinous war crimes.

If you claim that the Prophet MHMD killed some captives in some battles, then the answer is that he only ordered that two captives be killed at the Battle of Badr: Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ayt and Nadr ibn Al-Harith. They were leaders of war and war criminals, and the execution of war criminals is permissible if the ruler orders it.

This is also what Saladin did upon conquering Jerusalem, and what the Allies did during the Nuremberg trials after World War II. As for the tens of thousands of captives that fell under the jurisdiction of the Prophet MHMD over a span of ten years and 29 battles, he did not execute a single regular soldier; rather, he entrusted that they be treated with kindness27. The Divine Decree regarding captives and prisoners of war is in God’s swt  words: { ...Thereafter either [set them free] by grace or by ransom ... } (Muhammad, 47: 4). God swt  commanded that captives and prisoners of war be treated with dignity and respect: { And they give food, despite [their] love of it to the needy, and the orphan, and the prisoner. } (Al-Insan, 76: 8).

Indeed, the true Sunnah of the Prophet MHMD regarding captives is pardon and amnesty, as was demonstrated during the Conquest of Mecca when the Prophet MHMD said: ‘I say as my brother Joseph said: “There shall be no reproach on you this day”. Go, for you are free!28’

22 Narrated by Bukhari in his Sahih, Kitab al-Jihad, no. 3053, and by Muslim in Kitab al-Wasiyyah, no.1637.
23 Narrated by Muslim in Kitab al-Jihad, no. 1731, and by Al-Tirmidhi in Kitab al-Diyyat, no. 1408.
24 Narrated by Ibn Abi Shayba in Al-Musannaf (Vol. 6, p. 498).
25 The deacons were armed, combatant priests.
26 Narrated by Al-Bayhaqi in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, (Vol. 9, p. 90), and by Al-Marwazi in Musnad Abi Bakr, no. 21.
27 Narrated by Ibn Abdullah in Al-Isti’ab (Vol. 2, p. 812), and by Al-Qurtubi in his Tafsir (Vol. 19, p. 129): ‘Qatada said: “God ordered that prisoners be treated well.”’
28 Narrated by Al-Bayhaqi in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, (Vol. 9, p. 118); Cf Fayd Al-Qadeer Sharh al-Jami’ al-Sagheer, (Vol. 5, p. 171). 


[continue with part 09]

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 *