Open Letter
To Al-Baghdādī

Response To Daesh (Not ”IS”)

Part 02 - Introduction

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With over 125 leading ulemas' signatures*

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds

Peace and Blessings be upon the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers

{ By the declining day, Lo! man is a state of loss, Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.} (Sura Al-‘Asr, 103: 1-3)

Open Letter To Al-Baghdādī

Part 02

To Dr. Ibrahim Awwad Al-Badri, alias ‘Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’,
To the fighters and followers of the self-declared ‘Islamic State’,
Peace and the mercy of God be upon you.

During your sermon dated 6th of Ramadan 1435 AH (4th July 2014 CE), you said, paraphrasing Abu Bakr Al-Siddīq radiyaa : ‘If you find what I say and do to be true, then assist me, and if you find what I say and do to be false, then advise me and set me straight.’ In what follows is a scholarly opinion via the media. The Prophet ﷺ  said: ‘Religion is [rectifying] advice1.’ Everything said here below relies completely upon the statements and actions of followers of the ‘Islamic State’ as they themselves have promulgated in social media—or upon Muslim eyewitness accounts—and not upon other media. Every effort has been made to avoid fabrications and misunderstandings. Moreover, everything said here consists of synopses written in a simple style that reflect the opinions of the overwhelming majority of Sunni scholars over the course of Islamic history.

In one of his speeches2, Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani said: ‘God bless Prophet Muhammad who was sent with the sword as a mercy to all worlds.’3 This statement comprises compounded confusions and a mistaken paradigm. Yet it is often repeated by followers of the ‘Islamic State’. Now God sent the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  as a mercy to all worlds: { We did not send you, except as a mercy to all the worlds.} (Al-Anbiya’, 22: 107). This is true for all time and place.
The Prophet ﷺ  was sent as mercy to people, animals, plants, to the heavens and to subtle beings—no Muslims disagree about this. It is a general and unconditional statement taken from the Qur’an itself. However, the phrase, ‘sent with the sword’ is part of a Hadith that is specific to a certain time and place which have since expired. Thus it is forbidden to mix the Qur’an and Hadith in this way, as it is forbidden to mix the general and specific, and the conditional and unconditional.

Moreover, God has prescribed mercy upon Himself: {… Your Lord has prescribed for Himself mercy …} (Al-An’am, 6:54). God also states that His mercy encompasses all things: {… My mercy embraces all things …} (Al-A’raf, 7:156). In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet ﷺ  said: ‘When God created Creation, He wrote in place above His throne, with Himself “Truly, My mercy is greater than My wrath4.”’ Accordingly, it is forbidden to equate ‘the sword’—and thus wrath and severity—with ‘mercy’. Furthermore, it is forbidden to make the idea ‘mercy to all worlds’ subordinate to the phrase ‘sent with the sword’, because this would mean that mercy is dependent upon the sword, which is simply not true.

[continue with part 03]

(This text has only been slightly edited, such as brackets, some linebreaks, coloring for Quran and hadith, using the title ”Open Letter To Al-Baghdādī” instead of just ”Open Letter”, and the emphasis after ”as it is forbidden to mix”. Ed. Omar KN)

  1. Narrated by Muslim in Kitab al-Iman, no. 55.

  2. Published by SawarimMedia on YouTube on April 3rd, 2014.

  3. Ibn Taymiyyah says in Majmu’ Al-Fatawa (Vol. 28, p. 270), ‘The Prophet ﷺ  said, “I was sent with the sword as a sign of the Final Hour so that none would be worshipped save God, alone, with no partner. My sustenance has been placed under the shadow of my spear. Lowliness and humiliation will come to those who disobey my teachings. Whosoever imitates people is one of them.” Ahmad narrates this hadith in his Musnad [Vol. 2, p.50] on the authority of Ibn Umar, and Bukhari cites it.’ However, the Hadith has a weak chain of narrators.

  4. Narrated by Bukhari in Kitab al-Tawhid, no. 7422, and by Muslim in Kitab al-Tawbah, no. 2751.

Read the full letter here: Open-Letter-To-Al-Baghdadi [pdf] (problem with this site 20230130)

* 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: 2022-09-24 update: 2014-12-26

* living Islam – Islamic Tradition *