By Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam
[Co-author (Jointly with Ashfaque Ullah Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009.]
4 Feb 2015
An on open letter dated 24 September addressed to Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi by more than 120 Muslim scholars from around the world posted on this website per the link referenced below charges the ISIS chief as follows:
Doctoring the interpretation of the verse 21:107 which reads ‘We have sent you as a mercy to all the worlds. ’(Al-Anbiya’,22: 107), He quotes: “We have sent you (with a sword) as a mercy to all the worlds”
Killing thousands of prisoners
Killing 600 unarmed captives at el-Zor.
Destroying churches, and looting the homes and properties of the Christians.
Killing some Christian civilians and forcing many others to flee their homes with nothing but their lives and the clothes on their backs.
Fighting the Yazidis under the banner of jihad though they neither fought you nor Muslims.
Giving the choice to Yazidis to either convert to Islam or be killed.
Killing hundreds of Yazidis and burying them in mass graves.
Had it not been for American and Kurdish intervention, tens of thousands of their men, women, children and elderly would have been killed.
Coercing everyone living under their control in every matter, great or small, even in matters which are between the individual and God.
Engaging children in war and killing. Some are taking up arms and others are playing with the severed heads of their victims.
“Implementing Hudud (amputation) punishment without exercising utmost restraint and extending it to minor offences as well, which defy the spirit of the Qur’an and Sharia Law.
(As per eye witnesses and their own claims) torturing and terrorizing people through beatings; murder, burying alive, decapitation with knives
Committing massacres — their fighters mock those they are about to kill by telling them that they will be killed like sheep, bleating and then indeed butchering them like sheep. Not satisfied with mere killing; they add humiliation, debasement and mockery to it.
Not only have they mutilated corpses, they have stuck the decapitated heads of their victims on spikes and rods and kicked their severed heads around like balls and broadcast it to the world during the World Cup.
Jeering at corpses and severed heads and broadcasting these gruesome acts from the military bases they overran in Syria.
Tying Syrian soldiers of the 17th Division in North-eastern Syria to barbed wire, cut off the heads of some of them with knives and posting a video of this on the internet …’.
The scholars issuing the letter unanimously agreed that each of the above listed crimes that ISIS committed in the name of Islam stands in stark contradiction with the Qur’anic message. Far from having any synergy with the short-lived Caliphate of Islam that heralded the greatest social and intellectual revolution of its era (632-660 CE), ISIS is a simply a terror outfit that has created a geographical identity by filling the political vacuum in Iraq and adjacent regions in the aftermath of America invasion of Iraq. In broad historical perspective, it is a bloody reaction by extremists Sunni warlords and terror groups to American devastating war against a predominantly Sunni land, on a ground that proved to be false. So let this be absolutely clear that Islam has nothing to do with the rise of this monster, which is purely a product of recent history – the ugly fallout of a just and clean war. However, much as the Muslims condemn and denounce this outfit, they share the global disgrace ISIS evokes for claiming an affiliation with Islam.
The object of this document is to declare the ISIS as having forfeited its claim to the faith of Islam based on the precedent left by Caliph Ali. A brutally fanatic sect was born in his era that “raised swords against the caliphs and made lawful their blood and their wealth and justified the killing of the children of polytheists, one’s own parents, and all the non-Muslims of the world  and “caused rivers of blood to flow in the first three centuries of Islam” . Caliph Ali compared them with mad dogs and declared them as Kharijites (as having forfeited the claim to the pale of Islam). In historical synergy, ISIS has appropriated the terroristic ideology of this sect and therefore deserves to be treated as such.
Agreed that it is not possible for any person to annul the validity of the Shahada (declaration of faith) of any fellow Muslim, however intense he may be in the denial of the Qur’anic message or in perpetrating crimes against humanity. But that did not prevent Caliph Ali from outlawing them in his personal capacity as the leader of the young Muslim community. Thus, the present day leaders of Muslim community such as mosque Imams and community leaders can follow his example and regard the ISIS as having forfeited its claim to the religion of Islam.
The author of this document, who earlier proposed for an international fatwa against terrorism (link below)  hereby declares the expulsion of ISIS from the pale of Islam in his personal capacity and calls upon the Muftis and Ulema of different countries of the world where there is at least one mosque, to declare them as such and to have nothing to do with them and warn all members of the community to disown them and have no sympathy for them as their Islamic title may evoke.
Faith is between man and God but ISIS leadership has overstepped the limits of faith by inflicting the punishment of burning alive a fellow human (the just reported case involving a Jordanian captured Pilot) – a punishment that the Qur’an reserves only for God, albeit in the Spiritual Realm. Hence, this humble writer entertains no doubts in his mind that ISIS ideologues have nothing to do with Islam – and have broken the bond of faith by virtually acting like God on earth.
To conclude this Renunciation, the author would like to quote the following from a related article as a warning to all Muslim readers regardless of whether they endorse this Renunciation or not:
“The most brutal campaign of terror, which is unfolding before our eyes in different forms, from sectarian killing, suicide bombing at mosques and churches, blowing up girls schools, acid attacks on women, kidnapping of school girls, throwing to killing the Christians and Yazidis, all dissident fellow Muslims, beheading of journalists and posting of the gruesome barbaric acts on the Internet and storming airports, civil courts and Parliament houses, is nothing but a viscous campaign to transmute the character of Islam from a religion of peace and enlightenment to a cult of bestial violence and “Naked Terrorism“ and “Ignorance”(Jahilliyah). In historical perspective, it is a grand conspiracy to take Islam back to the “Pre-Islamic” era, which is bound to fail as history’s clock cannot be set fourteen centuries backwards.
Abdul Quader Jilani, Ghunit al-talebin, Urdu translation by Shahir Shams Barelwi, Arshad Brothers, New Delhi p.178-180.
Philip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs, 1937, 10th edition; London 1993, p. 247.
Call for international Fatwas to declare the terrorists who advocate wanton killing of innocent people in the name of Islam as ‘Terrorist Apostates’, like the Kharijites of early Islam – New Age Islam.
Muhammad Yunus, a Chemical Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, and a retired corporate executive has been engaged in an in-depth study of the Qur’an since early 90’s, focusing on its core message. He has co-authored the referred exegetic work, which received the approval of al-Azhar al-Sharif, Cairo in 2002, and following restructuring and refinement was endorsed and authenticated by Dr. KhaledAbou El Fadl of UCLA, and published by Amana Publications, Maryland, USA, 2009.
While I agree with the
spirit of the article and its intention, I have doubts about how practical the
If the Ulema of this
world thought like Mr Yunus, the problem would not have occured in the first
place. The problem has occurred precisely because the mainstream Ulema of every
sect (past and present) hold views that form the fault lines of our theology
which have been systematically exploited to use extremism as a tool to achieve
political objectives by the US. It is beyond doubt and argument that Religion
was misused to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan to meet the political
objectives of the US. The US war on Iraq as part of the war on terror was based
on deliberate lies and has produced more extremists. Its war on Afghanistan was
equally immoral. The US and its NATO allies have systematically exploited the
I have shown what these
fault lines are in my article:
Action Points for Defeating the Extremist Ideology
As long as these fault
lines remain, the extremists are only extreme in their actions and
interpretations and for the same reason, the mainstream Ulema of every sect
have no moral authority to declare the extremists as Kharjites while they continue
to fulminate about their extremism from time to time for the sake of political
The first step the
mainstream Ulema should take is therefore to acknowledge the false notions that
have become part of our theology. It is only then that they will be able to
take a moral stand against the extremists and declare them Kharjites.
The war on terror
to be effective must be short and decisive. What we find is that it goes on for
decades. This produces more extremists not less. Perhaps this is part of a deliberate
policy of the Superpower.
Declaring the extremists
as Kharjites from the weak moral ground on which the mainstream ulema now stand,
will only make these Ulema the laughing stock and make the extremists look even
better to those who are attracted to extremism. It will make matters worse, not
However, if the mainstream
Ulema first openly clean up their theology of the false notions, then that act by
itself will have a tremendous impact on the whole world (both Muslim and
non-Muslim). Thereafter, they will have the moral authority to declare the
extremists as Kharjites. Honesty is the first requirement for gaining