Letter to Baghdadi
Letter to Baghdadi is an open letter to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as a theological refutation of the practices of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It is signed by numerous Muslim theologians, lawmakers and community leaders.
The letter includes a technical point-by-point refutation of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria's actions and ideology based on the Qur'an and other classical texts, using a style that is unfamiliar to liberal or even uninformed Muslims.
In September 2014, the letter, initially signed by 122 Muslim scholars from around the world and was presented at Washington, D.C. by Nihad Awad of the Council on American Islamic Relations. Stating that the purpose of the letter was not to warn Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi but to dissuade potential radicals from joining the ranks Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, he said:
- Islam forbids the issuing of fatwas without all the necessary learning requirements. One must consider the entire Qur’an and Hadith, when delivering them;
- It is forbidden in Islam to issue legal rulings about anything without mastery of the Arabic language;
- It is forbidden in Islam to oversimplify Shari’ah matters and ignore established Islamic sciences.
- It is permissible in Islam [for scholars] to differ on any matter, except those fundamentals of religion that all Muslims must know.
- It is forbidden in Islam to ignore the reality of contemporary times when deriving legal rulings.
- Islam forbids killing of the innocent, emissaries, ambassadors, and diplomats; hence it is forbidden to kill journalists and aid workers.
- Jihad in Islam is defensive war. It is not permissible without the right cause, the right purpose and without the right rules of conduct.
- It is forbidden in Islam to declare people non-Muslim unless he (or she) openly declares disbelief.
- It is forbidden in Islam to harm or mistreat—in any way—Christians or any ‘People of the Scripture’.
- It is obligatory to consider Yazidis as People of the Book.
- The re-introduction of slavery is forbidden in Islam. It was abolished by universal consensus.
- It is forbidden in Islam to force people to convert.
- Islam forbids to deny women and children their rights.
- Enacting legal punishments without following the correct procedures that ensure justice and mercy.
- It is haraam to mutilate the dead and to torture people.
- It is forbidden in Islam to attribute evil acts to Allah.
- Armed insurrection (baghy) is forbidden in Islam for any reason other than clear disbelief by the ruler and not allowing people to pray.
- It is forbidden in Islam to declare a caliphate without consensus from all Muslims.
- Loyalty to one’s country is permissible;
- After the death of the Prophet, Islam does not require anyone to emigrate anywhere.
Principle signatories include:
- Abdullah bin Bayyah, Maliki jurist and President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, Abu Dhabi;
- Prof. Sheikh Shawki Allam, The 19th and current Grand Mufti of Egypt.
- Sheikh Dr. Ali Gomaa, the former and 18th Grand Mufti of Egypt.
- Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, founder and Director of Zaytuna College, United States.
- Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, founder of Minhaj-ul-Qur'an International, Pakistan
- Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, Professor of Islamic Studies, Rhodes College, United States;
- Faraz Rabani, Islamic Scholar and Founder of Seekers Guidance, Canada;
- Sultan Sa'adu Abubakar, The Sultan of Sokoto, Head of the Nigerian National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs;
- Prince-Bola-Ajibola, Islamic Mission for Africa (IMA) and Founder of Crescent University, Nigeria.
- Ibrahim Saleh Al-Husseini, Head of the Supreme Council for Fatwa and Islamic Affairs, Nigeria.
- Prof. Din Syamsuddin, President of Muhammadiyah, and Chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulama.
The MuslimMatters.org website endorsed the letter but questions the inclusion of Ali Gomaa, who supported the August 2013 Rabaa massacre and Ed Husain, proponent of the Iraq War and an adviser to Tony Blair's controversial Faith Foundation as signatories.
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- Ioannou, Filipa (25 September 2014). "Scholars' Open Letter Adds to Chorus of Muslim Leaders Condemning ISIS". The Slate. Religion News Service. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
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- Smith, Samuel (25 September 2014). "International Coalition of Muslim Scholars Refute ISIS' Religious Arguments in Open Letter to al-Baghdadi". The Christian Post. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
- "Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter To Islamic State Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology". Huffington Post. Huffington Post. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- "Letter to Baghdadi". Letter to Baghdadi. Retrieved 25 March 2016.