By Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam
(Co-author (Jointly with AshfaqueUllah Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009)
15 September 2015
Over the last three decades, many European and Western politicians, academics, writers and intellectuals have been pouring invectives against Islam and the Muslims. But the sight of thousands of helpless refugees fleeing mostly the ISIS controlled territory or Syrian civil war has achieved what not one single political analyst would have imagined. Thousands of people are gathering at different transit stations in European cities and towns to welcome the emaciated refuges – who are predominantly Muslims.
If a broad based live material proof of the evil and anti-Islamic character of the ISIS were needed, it is in the exodus of the predominantly Muslim refugees from the lands ISIS wrenched away by shear brutality. The plight of these refugees is truly indescribable: they fled their homes in panic leaving all their belongings behind with no provisions, no security, no transport, no food or water, no destination except where their feet or vehicles took them and risking untold miseries that lay in their paths. While none may dare to openly call the ISIS as antithesis of Islam as the Muslim mind is overwhelmed by its (ISIS’s) cloak of religiosity, if Caliph Umar, the son-in-law and the fourth among the Rightly Guided Caliphs were to come alive this day, he would have surely declared the leaders and activists of ISIS and other terror outfits operating in the name of Islam (Boko Haram, al-Shibab, Taliban and al-Qaida) as renegade-apostates of Islam (Kharijite) who lost any claim to the faith of Islam and deserved to be killed without any trial . But in the absence of Caliph Ali, who is going to bell the cat?
This writer has done two critical articles [1, 2] and followed up with four reminders [3-6] as part of his literary crusade against ISIS and its other terror affiliates. These articles failed to make any impact for the obvious reason that no Muslim scholar, Imam or intellectual has any courage to put his signature to a campaign outlawing the ISIS and its affiliates both for fear of life and fear of God: the ISIS sword that beheads humans in the name of God and with cry of jubilation and the lack of spiritual conviction to expunge any group that recites the Shahadah from the pale of Islam even if this group epitomized evil in its worst form.
This article is prompted by the U-turn in the attitude of a tacitly hostile Europe/ West and is probably his penultimate move in his literary crusade against the ISIS and other terror groups operating in its style. If the common people of the West can break the deeply entrenched fear and hatred of Islam – a feeling that has been waxing and waning with time for over a millennium, the Muslim Religious leadership of this era must muster courage to call a spade a spade – even if has to go break deeply entrenched notions.
There is a deeply entrenched notion in Islam that Caliphs may commit all kinds of crimes including murder, plunder rape, forced conversion and genocide as divine mandates. Thus, if somebody creates a geographical identity and declares himself as a Caliph, and unleashes a reign of terror upon common civilians many Muslim Ulema of the world are tongue-tied in declaring him an outlaw, though they condemn his acts as un-Islamic in no uncertain terms. Thus, while there has been no dearth of condemnation and denouncement of ISIS and other terror outfits of this era, none has openly challenged the ISIS ideology as an antithesis of Islamic faith and none has called upon the Muslim Umma to boycott it as an evil and un-Islamic outfit and warn the Muslim youths at grass roots level to shun it.
The truth is, the protagonists and ideologues of terror in today’s Islam are far worse than the hypocrites of the Prophet’s era who schemed to kill the Prophet and destroy Islam and create a new creed with a new mosque of its own. The Qur’an refers to them as Rijz (spiritually unclean) (9:95) curses them (9:68, 33:73) calls them liars (9:42 , 9:107, 58:18, 63:1) and deviants (Fasiqun) (9:96, 9:67), charges the nomadic Arabs among them to being intense in Kufr and hypocrisy (9:97, 9:101), condemns them as the most despised among the Prophet’s followers for opposing God and His Messenger, singles them out as the comrades of Satan (58:19/20) and relegates them to the lowest depths of the hellfire (4:145).
Now our Religious Leadership has not uttered such words against Abu Bakr Baghdadi and the leaders of other terror-outfits operating under the umbrella of Islam. They have issued strong denunciation and condemnation of their deeds but not condemned them the way the Qur’an condemned the hypocrites of its era – who were, no doubt, immeasurably better than the terror champions and ideologue of this era in their moral character. So they continue with their carnage and the sharp and unequivocal castigation of this writer falls in deaf ears. Even the follow Muslims are afraid to post any comments.
The author believes that in the wake of the just unfolding refugee Crisis that shatters any credibility of an Islamic state, it is time that Islamic Religious Leadership issues a religious decree calling upon activists and fighters and passive supporters of ISIS, Boko Haram, al-Shibab, Taliban and their affiliates that the terror ideology of their groups as well as their aspiration to form a pan-Islamic state by murder, rape, plunder, and creating anarchy represents the antithesis of Qur’anic message and has run out its course in history. So it must be eliminated once and for all. Since it uses its captive population as human shield and source of suicide bombers, it will be impossible to eradicate it by invasion or occupation without decimating the captive population – a non-starter in the first place. The only way to achieve it could be by way of an internal uprising by the saner elements of their forces, who may then form democratic governments or give up arms.
The only way to achieve this could be launching of massive campaign of a magnitude and weight never undertaken since the birth of ISIS such as issue of a proclamation or decree from the Custodian of the Sacred Mosques calling for an overthrow of its leadership by its own followers. Whether this is going to happen or not in the short/ middle term, time will show. But the greater time it takes, the greater the stakes and the graver the consequences. Muslims will only console themselves with diverse conspiracy theories but their masses will bear the fatal consequences for the inaction of their religious leadership – the Custodian of the Sacred Mosques.
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.
[I] 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
[II] Declare The ISIS As The Kharijites (Those Who Seceded From Islam) As This Article Demonstrates And Declares: Global SOS To The Ulema, Muftis, Intellectuals And Scholars Of Islam
[III] The Heinous Crimes That ISIS Is Perpetrating Totally Opposed To Islam And Those Killed Fighting For ISIS May Earn Divine Wrath Instead Of Paradise And ‘Hurs’ – An SOS To All Mosque Imams
[IV] The ISIS And Its Likes – The Muslim Violent Extremists Of This Era Must Be Outlawed On Historical Precedent To Save The Middle East From A Tsunami Of Bloodshed And The World From A Clash Of Civilizations
[V] Countering Violent Extremism – Muslim Community Leaders Must Warn Youngsters against the Dangers of Radicalization
[VI] Countering Violent Extremism – Muslim Ulema and Custodians of Faith Must Avert a Potential Holocaust
Dear Yunus Sheb, you lament "that no Muslim scholar, Imam or intellectual has any courage to put his signature to a campaign outlawing the ISIS and its affiliates both for fear of life and fear of God."
Let us not forget that no Muslim scholars, at least the ulema in India, responded even with the mildest criticism when self-declared Khalifa al-Baghdadi said: "Islam has never been a religion of peace, not even for a day; it has always been a religion of war and strife."
I kept carefully monitoring 11 Urdu newspapers published from various parts of India, for several days, but couldn't find even a editorial or column. One column from a Shia journalist was all I could find. So expecting anything good from these worthies is futile.
Imagine a non-Muslim leader, even a writer, making this assertion. Heavens would have fallen down in that scenario. You can well imagine what would have happened. Most of what Islamophobes say is precisely what Islamists do; only their conclusions are different. But note the difference in Muslim reactions.
Let us try and go beyong the ulema, reach the Muslim masses directly with a coherent, moerate theology. But we will ourselves need to go beyond the accepted scholarly norms.
Check the European comments over internet
against Islam and Muslims. Their turn from hatred to compassion is just
illusion made by illusion. Plz check the currently put comments over multiple
websites of Europe and their comments.
Saudi Arabia has received around 2.5 million Syrians since the
start of the conflict in their country, an official source in the Saudi
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has revealed, elaborating that the
Kingdom has adopted a policy not to treat these Syrians as refugees, or
place them in refugee camps “in order to ensure their dignity and
READ ALSO: Saudi FM: Assad has no place in Syria’s future
to the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the MoFA official explained
that Saudi Arabia initially did not “intend to speak about its efforts
to support Syrian brothers and sisters, during their distress, as it
has, since the beginning of the problem,” adding that “Saudi Arabia
dealt with the situation from a religious and humane perspective, and
did not wish to boast about its efforts or attempt to gain media
READ ALSO: Saudi Crown Prince orders help for Syrian refugee
given what he slammed as media reports containing “erroneous and
misleading information,” the Saudi official told SPA that the Kingdom
now considers it important to discuss its efforts with “appropriate
facts and figures,” as he stated the following:
1. The Kingdom
has received around 2.5 million Syrians since the beginning of the
conflict. In order to ensure their dignity and safety, the Kingdom
adopted a policy that does not treat them as refugees or place them in
refugee camps. They have been given the freedom to move about the
country and those who wish to remain in Saudi Arabia (some hundreds of
thousands) have been given legal residency status. Their residency comes
with the rights to receive free medical care, to join the labor market
and to attend schools and universities. This was contained in a royal
decree in 2012 that instructed public schools to accept Syrian students.
According to government statistics, the public school system has
accepted more than 100,000 Syrian students.
2. The Kingdom’s
efforts were not limited to accepting our Syrian brothers and sisters
after their crisis; it also extended its efforts to support and care for
millions of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries such as Jordan,
Lebanon and others. Efforts included providing them with humanitarian
assistance, in coordination with the host governments and with
international human aid organizations. Aid was provided, in cash and
3. The aid provided by Saudi Arabia to the Syrian people
totals around $700 million, according to the statistics of the Third
International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, which took
place in Kuwait on March 31, 2015. Government aid and aid provided by
the National Campaign, are included in that number.
Humanitarian aid provided to Syrians by the Kingdom consisted of food,
medical, academic, residential supplies and included the establishment
of Saudi specialized clinics in refugee camps, especially at Zaatari
Camp in Jordan. The Kingdom was able to provide medical care in the form
of immunization, preventive treatment and medical procedures. In
addition, Saudi Arabia sponsored a large number of Syrian families
living in Lebanon and Syria (specifically, through paying for their rent
and living costs).
READ ALSO: Diary of a Syrian retiree in Saudi Arabia
ministry official concluded his statements to SPA by saying that: It is
apparent from the previous facts, that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will
remain a leader among other countries supporting Syrian people and it
is impossible to outbid its efforts in this matter, or to question its
position in any way or form, the statement concluded