On March 11, 2015, the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, a Calgary-based body headed by Imam Syed Soharwardy, issued a ‘historic fatwa’ against joining the Islamic State (ISIS). The fatwa states that ISIS is a ‘khawarij’ group, and that whoever joins it or encourages others to do so in any way is committing a grave sin that excludes him from the fold of Islam.
The fatwa, signed by several dozen imams from across Canada, explains that ISIS is actually a group of ‘strangers’ that was ‘created by the funding of Western countries to overthrow the Syrian regime,’ and that it was ‘planted in Muslim countries to serve anti-Islam interests by deceiving Muslims in the name of Islam.’ It adds that ‘ISIS and other terrorists are using the policies of the United States and other Western countries in the Middle East as an excuse to control Muslim sentiments and then use them for their own political and personal gain.’
The authors of the fatwa clarify that they strongly condemn those policies of the Western countries, including Canada itself, which are ‘completely unjust, based upon Islamophobia, bias and intolerance towards Muslims.’ They also ‘condemn the highly destructive and hateful role of the media in intentionally promoting intolerance towards Islam and Muslims.’ However, they say, Muslims cannot counter anti-Islamic efforts by choosing the path of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram, and other organizations of their ilk. This is because, even while countering anti-Islamic aggression, Muslims are utterly forbidden to commit many of the deeds that ISIS has committed, such as beheading enemies, Muslim or non-Muslim, or driving them from their homes; murdering Muslims, including religious scholars, who disagree with them; and destroying mosques and tombs. The fatwa also stresses that only governments are authorized to declare a war, and that the Islamic State does not have the status of an actual state or government.
Turning to the issue of Canada’s security, the authors emphasize that Canadian Muslims have a religious duty to protect this country against anyone who wishes to harm it. They note that Canada is home to over one million Muslims who enjoy complete freedom of worship, with over 1,000 mosques and over 700 Islamic schools across the country. Hence, any attack on Canada is an attack on the freedom of Canadian Muslims. The fatwa therefore states that ‘any person who inspires people to cause harm to Canada and Canadians must immediately be reported to the Police.’
The following are excerpts from the fatwa:
“A Few Years Ago, ISIS/ISIL Was Created By The Funding Of Western Countries To Overthrow The Syrian Regime”
“[The] overwhelming majority of worldwide Islamic scholars have already individually declared ISIS/ISIL un-Islamic ‘outsiders’ (KHAWARIJ) group. The attached Islamic edict (Fatwa) by the Canadian Muslim Imams and scholars is the first formal Fatwa in the world regarding ISIS/ISIL and its recruitment activities… This Fatwa has been issued in order to help Muslims especially youth to understand what Islamic laws and ethics stand for and how ISIS/ISIL is violating those laws and ethics. The consistent and constant misinterpretation and misuse of the verses of the Holy Qur’an and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by the ISIS/ISIL to control Muslim lands and people should be exposed and condemned.
“We hope this Fatwa will help Muslims and non-Muslims to understand what Islam requires from its followers. We also hope this Fatwa will help the Canadian government, Ministers and the Media not to link Islam, Muslims and Islamic terminologies e.g. Jihad with the violence and extremism caused by terrorists organizations like ISIS/ISIL.
We encourage other Muslim Imams and scholars to endorse this Fatwa OR issue their own fatwa in order to help Muslims not to be misguided by ISIS/ISIL…
“O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done. (49:6) When the Hypocrites come to thee, they say, ‘We bear witness that thou art indeed the Messenger of Allah.’ Yea, Allah knoweth that thou art indeed His Messenger, and Allah beareth witness that the Hypocrites are indeed liars. (63:1). There are several other verses in the holy Qur’an and there are several Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) clearly warning Muslims that there are and will be people apparently claiming to be Muslims but who, in fact, will be imposters who deceive Muslims in order to destroy them. Muslims must not trust such individuals or groups…
“No Muslim ever heard the name of ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)’ OR ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL)’ OR ‘Da’esh’ (داعش) OR the names of its leaders until few years ago. The sudden appearance of hitherto completely unknown persons, trying to take over the Muslim lands and the leadership of the Muslims in the Middle East, is very doubtful and suspicious. A few years ago, ISIS/ISIL was created by the funding of Western countries to overthrow the Syrian regime. These strangers cannot be trusted. Their claim to establish a ‘Caliphate’ (Khilafah Al-Islamiyah) is very suspicious, and cannot be trusted. The reasons are discussed later in this Fatwa…”
Like The Khawarij, ISIS Is Destroying The Muslim Ummah; It Was “Planted In Muslim Countries To Serve Anti-Islam Interests”
“During the first century of Islam a similar group emerged in Syria and Iraq. They were extremely violent people who murdered many members of the family and the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The SAHABAH and AHLUL BAIT (the Companions and the Family of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) identified and isolated that group and called them ‘the outsiders’ (KHAWARIJ). They did not accept them as a part of the Muslim community.
“The strategy that the Khawarij used to destroy the Ummah is precisely the same as that being used by the ISIS/ISIL and other terrorist organizations in current times. The Khawarij wanted to establish a ‘Caliphate’ (Khilafah) based upon their own political agenda. Today, ISIS/ISIL is using the same word, ‘Caliphate (Khilafah)’, to misguide and manipulate Muslims. ISIS and other terrorists are using the policies of the United States and other Western countries in the Middle East as an excuse to control Muslim sentiments and then use them for their own political and personal gain. In our opinion, these aforementioned terrorist organizations are planted in Muslim countries to serve anti-Islam interests by deceiving Muslims in the name of Islam.
“We, the undersigned Imams, strongly disagree and condemn those policies of the United States, Canada and other Western countries in the Middle East which are completely unjust, based upon Islamophobia, bias and intolerance towards Muslims. We also understand and condemn the highly destructive and hateful role of the media in intentionally promoting intolerance towards Islam and Muslims. However, in order to counter the anti-Islam and anti-Muslim efforts, a Muslim cannot choose the path of ISIS or other terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram, Al-Shabab, Al-Nusrah, Lashkar Taiba, Lashkar Jhangwi, etc.”
ISIS’s Actions Are Absolutely Forbidden In Islam And Cannot Be Justified Under Any Circumstances
“There is very clear guidance in the holy Qur’an and in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) clearly guiding Muslims on how to handle anti-Islam and anti-Muslim aggression on the part of groups and governments. Under no circumstances Islam allows the following. The following actions are un-Islamic and completely forbidden.
1. Capturing opponents; Muslim OR non-Muslim civilians and beheading them.
2. Killing Muslims who disagree with beliefs and actions of ISIS/ISIL.
3. Destroying mosques.
4. Demolishing the graves of Prophets (peace upon them), Aulia Allah (Saints) and ordinary people.
5. Forcing out Muslims OR non-Muslims from their houses and making them refugees. There are now more than eight million refugees because of the atrocities of ISIS/ISIL.
6. Murdering Islamic scholars who oppose ISIS/ISIL.
7. Encouraging Muslim girls and facilitating their travel secretly to Syria and Iraq to fight for an organization like ISIS/ISIL.
8. Burning enemy soldiers alive.
9. Mutilating a human body alive or dead.
10. Throwing enemy combatants or civilians from a height to kill them.
“ISIS/ISIL have committed all of the above violations in the most horrific and inhumane way. These actions are not allowed under any circumstances in Islam. Such actions are absolutely HARAAM (forbidden and major sin) in Islam and cannot be justified under any circumstances.
ISIS’s Struggle Cannot Be Considered Jihad
“Nor can the struggle of ISIS/ISIL be considered ‘JIHAD’. The clear guidance of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) regarding armed struggle (war) is as follows. During a war (Jihad), a Muslim army cannot do the following. These are the Jihad ethics of Islam that no one has the authority to change. These are also the Sharia laws about Jihad that no one can change.
1. Do not kill children, even if they belong to the enemy.
2. Do not kill noncombatant men or women, even if they are from the ranks of the enemy.
3. Do not kill elderly, sick or weak people, even if they are from the ranks of the enemy.
4. Do not cut trees.
5. Do not contaminate water.
6. Do not destroy the places of worship of any religion.
7. Do not force people against their will to convert to Islam.
“War (Jihad) cannot be declared by individuals or groups of people. Only an Islamic government with its authority on a state can declare war (Jihad) if the state is being attacked. (Note: ISIS/ISIL was not a government of any state. They were created by western interests in the region to benefit western interests by removing the Syrian government.).
“ISIS/ISIL has violated all of the above prohibitions of Islam. They have disobeyed the Qur’an and the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) therefore, their struggle cannot be an Islamic struggle and their war cannot be called ‘Jihad’. Rather, it is pure terrorism and HARAAM. The behavior and the actions of ISIS/ISIL has consistently proven that they are NOT Muslims and they cannot be trusted by the Muslims…
“We, the undersigned Imams inform all Muslim youth, girls, boys and general public that:
§ Joining ISIS/ISIL and groups like ISIS/ISIL is HARAAM (forbidden) in Islam.
§ Any Muslim who joins these KHAWARIJ (ISIS/ISIL) groups actually disconnects and disassociates himself/herself from the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
§ Any Muslim who joins ISIS/ISIL OR similar groups disobeys Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
“And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment. (4:14)
§ Any Muslim who helps, facilitates travel, provides funds or encourages a Muslim to join ISIS/ISIL and groups like ISIS/ISIL commits HARAAM. Such a person will not only be punished by Allah for misguiding Muslims but will also be responsible for the crimes committed by the people he/she has motivated.
§ Any Muslim who helps, directly or indirectly, any organization, agency, group, individual or government which supports facilitates or motivates Muslim girls or boys to travel secretly OR without the consent of parents to join ISIS/ISIL or any other terrorist organization commits Haraam and will face the wrath of Allah in this world and in the next world. (No Muslim parents will ever give consent to join ISIS/ISIL knowing the un-Islamic nature of ISIS)
“Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. (3:110)
“Any Person Who Inspires People To Cause Harm To Canada And Canadians Must Immediately Be Reported To The Police”
“We strongly urge every Muslim, especially the youth, not to be influenced by the speeches, songs and the literature available on the Internet or on social media produced by the imposters pretending to be Muslims. This is a trap for young Muslims. They must visit their local mosques and discuss any questions or points of confusion with the Imam publicly. Any person who inspires people to cause harm to Canada and Canadians must immediately be reported to the Police. This is our Islamic duty, as Canada is a country where more than 1.1 million Muslims live, more than 1000 mosques have been built in every part of the country, more than 700 Islamic schools (madrasah) are educating Muslim children and adults, where large gatherings on Islam, Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are freely and publicly held, and where every day several non-Muslim ‘Canadians embrace Islam. Muslims have complete freedom to practice Islam in Canada.
Therefore, any attack on Canada will be an attack on the freedom of Canadian Muslims. It is the duty of every Canadian Muslim to safeguard Canada. May Allah save Canada and the entire world from the evil ISIS/ISIL and other of wrong doers…”
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 The Khawarij were an infamous early Muslim school that rebelled against the central authority and was quick to declare other Muslims apostates.
 Islamicsupremecouncil.com, March 11, 2015.