Open Letter
To Al-Baghdádí

Response To Daesh (Not ”IS”)

Part 15 - The Caliphate, National Affiliations, Patriotism

With over 125 leading ulemas' signatures*


So, there are three levels of those who do not implement the Shari’ah: disbelief (kufr), evildoing (fusuq) and wickedness (dhulm). Whoever prevents the Shari’ah from being practiced at all in a Muslim country is a disbeliever, but one who does not implement part of it or only implements its higher purposes is merely an evildoer or wicked. In some countries, the implementation of Shari’ah is restricted due to matters of sovereignty on which national security depends, and this is permissible.

In summary, Ibn Abbas52 radiyaa says that whoever does not implement Shari’ah is a wicked evildoer, but he is not a disbeliever and rebelling against him is forbidden. Ibn Abbas radiyaa said that ruling by other than God’s commandments is ‘disbelief short of disbelief.’ He also said: ‘It is not the disbelief that they mean; it is not a disbelief that casts one from the fold of religion.’

The Caliphate

22. The Caliphate: There is agreement (ittifaq) among scholars that a caliphate is an obligation upon the Ummah. The Ummah has lacked a caliphate since 1924 CE. However, a new caliphate requires consensus from Muslims and not just from those in some small corner of the world. Omar ibn Al-Khattab radiyaa said: ‘Whosoever pledges allegiance to a man without due consultation with Muslims has fooled himself; and neither he nor the man to whom he pledged allegiance should be followed for he has risked both their lives53.’

Announcing a caliphate without consensus is sedition (fitnah) because it renders the majority of Muslims who do not approve it outside of the caliphate. It will also lead to many rival caliphates emerging, thereby sowing sedition and discord (fitnah) among Muslims. The beginnings of this discord reared its head when the Sunni imams of Mosul did not pledge allegiance to you and you killed them.

In your speech you quoted the Companion Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq radiyaa : ‘I have been given authority over you, and I am not the best of you.’ This begs the question: who gave you authority over the ummah? Was it your group? If this is the case, then a group of no more than several thousand has appointed itself the ruler of over a billion and a half Muslims.

This attitude is based upon a corrupt circular logic that says: ‘Only we are Muslims, and we decide who the caliph is, we have chosen one and so whoever does not accept our caliph is not a Muslim.’ In this case, a caliph is nothing more than the leader of a certain group that declares more than 99% of Muslims non- Muslim. On the other hand, if you recognize the billion and a half people who consider themselves Muslims, how can you not consult (shura) them regarding your so-called caliphate?

Thus, you face one of two conclusions: either you concur that they are Muslims and they did not appoint you caliph over them—in which case you are not the caliph—or, the other conclusion is that you do not accept them as Muslims, in which case Muslims are a small group not in need of a caliph, so why use the word ‘caliph’ at all? In truth, the caliphate must emerge from a consensus of Muslim countries, organizations of Islamic scholars and Muslims across the globe.

National Affiliation, Patriotism

23. National affiliations: In one of your speeches you said: ‘Syria is not for Syrians and Iraq is not for Iraqis54.’ In the same speech, you called on Muslims from across the globe to immigrate to lands under the control of the ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and the Levant. By doing so, you take the rights and resources of these countries and distribute them among people who are strangers to those lands, even though they are of the same religion. This is exactly what Israel did when it invited Jewish settlers abroad to immigrate to Palestine, evict the Palestinians and usurp their ancestral rights and lands. Where is the justice in this?

Simply, patriotism and loving one’s country does not contradict Islam’s teachings, rather, loving one’s country stems from faith, being both instinctual and a Sunnah. The Prophet MHMD said, addressing Mecca: ‘How goodly a land you are, and how beloved you are to me. Were it not that my people forced me to leave, I would not have lived anywhere else55.’ Patriotism and love for one’s country have many proofs from the Qur’an and Sunnah. God swt  says in the Qur’an: { And had We prescribed for them: “Slay yourselves” or “Leave your habitations”, they would not have done it, save a few of them…} (Al-Nisa’, 4: 66).

Fakhr Al-Din Al-Razi commented: ‘Leaving one’s land is equal to slaying oneself56.’And on the authority of Anas Ibn Malik radiyaa, the Prophet MHMD ‘would, upon seeing the walls of Medina when returning from travel, hasten the pace of his she-camel. If he was riding a mount, he would move it out of love for [Medina]57.’ Ibn Hajar said: ‘This Hadith is proof of the virtue of Medina, and of the legal validity of loving one’s country and longing for it58.’

52 Narrated by Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak ‘ala as-Sahihayn, (Vol. 2, p. 342).
53 Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Kitab al-Hudud, no. 6830.
54 BBC news online, 1st July 2014.
55 Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi in Kitab al-Manaqib, no. 3926; and in Sahih Ibn Hibban (Vol. 9, p. 23).
56 Mafatih Al-Ghayb, Al-Razi (Vol. 15, p. 515) in the exegesis of Al-Anfal, 8:75.
57 Narrated by Al-Bukhari in Kitab al-Hajj, no. 1886. 58 Fath Al-Bari, Ibn Hajar (Vol. 3, p. 621).
58 Fath Al-Bari, Ibn Hajar (Vol. 3, p. 621).


[continue with part 16]

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 *