Muslims must not join the IS movement

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Question: As Salaamu Alaikum Shaykh. For the past months I’m really confused about the Islamic state because I’ve got people I know very well that migrated. According to you Shaikh are we in a time of jihad right now.


Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

الجواب و بالله التوفيق

In truth, there is no Islamic State. Based on the situation that Muslims are affected with, they may have a right to announce Jihad based on consultation with, and guidance from their reliable scholars. However, what ISIS is calling towards is not Jihad (Holy War). Their movement is not based upon the authentic teachings of Islam.

Based on what they stand for, and what they do, a great number of authentic, reliable and trustworthy Scholars around the globe including the senior Muftis of Makkah, Madinah, Egypt and Syria itself, have all condemned this movement known as ISIS.

Some statements of these reputed and well accepted Scholars which are mentioned in the article ‘Conclusive Scholarly opinions on ISIS’ are as follows:

Sheikh Sulaiman b. Nasser al-Alwan:

The Sheikh began pursuing knowledge at the age of fifteen. He has written comprehensive explanations of Hadīth books including Sahīh al-Bukhari, Jāmi’ Abū Issa al-Tirmidhi, Sunan Abī Dāwūd, Muwata’ Mālik among many others. He quotes:

“Al-Baghdadi is not the Khalīfah of the Muslims for him to do whatever he pleases; rather he is a leader of a faction. Requesting a pledge of allegiance, killing those who refuse is the action of an aggressor, not the action of a person of good and righteousness.” He further said: “If his own leader does not agree with his actions, how can he expect allegiance from others?”


Sheikh Muhammad b. Salih al-Munajjid:

Sheikh Mohammad al-Munajjid is a renowned scholar of Islam with an array of recognised works (including His teachers include Sheikh Abdul Aziz b. Abdullah b. Baz, Sheikh Abdullah b. Abdul Rahman b. Jibreen and Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Barrak. He is currently the imām of the Mosque of Omar b. Abdul Aziz al-Khobar. He says:

“If a group thinks, for example, that it has established the Islamic state, its leader is the ‘Leader of the Believers’, that he should be listened to and obeyed by everyone, that anyone not under his command has rebelled against him, that [this ‘state’] has the authority to draw up borders, elect leaders over towns, that it has authority over public wealth, petrol, wheat and so on, that others should forcefully submit to them while they can stop whoever they want, that they have the sole authority of establishing Islamic courts and judges and that every court besides theirs is void, it has deviated. This will no doubt create competition over control of regions and eventually lead to a great Fitnah and bloodshed.”


Dr. Hassan Saleh b. Hamid:

Dr. Hassan Saleh has a PhD in the principles of Fiqh and Sharī’ah, he is the Director of the Institute of Higher Islamic Education at the Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah and is a Member of the (Islamic) Advisory council. He says:

 “No one going to Syria to fight is excused to be part of al-Baghadi’s faction for even a moment… they are a faction that brings Fitnah, whenever they are called to a court for religious arbitration they turn away and whenever a truce is declared, they reignite the war.”


Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Fawzan:

Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Fawzan is a member of the Council for Human Rights, a Professor in Islamic Jurisprudence and the Head of the Department of Comparative Jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Imam Muhammad b. Saud in Saudi Arabia. He says:

“ISIS is a rogue, external criminal organisation. Whoever knows of what afflicted us in Iraq and Afghanistan and the blood that was spilled unjustly at the hands of some ignorant individuals in our nation will understand the gravity of what is happening in Syria.”


Dr. Abdul Karim Bakkar:

Dr. Abdul Karim Bakkar is one of the leading authors in the field of education and Islamic thought, who seeks to provide a deep-rooted analysis into matters concerning Islamic civilisation, renaissance and Da’wah. He has more than 40 books in this area. Dr. Abdul Karim Bakkar is a member of the Advisory Board for the Islam Today magazine (Riyadh). He says:

“I met a number of students of knowledge and Islamic jurists returning from Syria. I swear by the One besides whom there is no god that the only thing they spoke about were the repulsive actions of ISIS and their crimes. ISIS and the Assad regime are two faces of one evil.”


Dr. Shafi al-Ajmi:

Dr. Al-Ajmi sought knowledge under the supervision of Sheikh Muhammad b. Saalih and Sheikh Yahya al-Yahya. He studied at the University of Imam Muhammad b. Saud and is now the Imām of al-Ghazali Mosque in Kuwait.He quotes:

“I have not heard of a single scholar inside or outside of Syria who has praised this faction, had good suspicion of them or defended them, rather they have unanimously agreed that they are aggressors. Al-Baghdadi’s aim, since entering Syria is to weaken the fighters and he has indeed weakened al-Nusra Front and Ahraar al-Shaam and continues to do so.”


Sheikh Abu Basir al-Tartusi:

Sheikh Abu Basir al-Tartusi has played the effective role of the Syrian revolution’s Mufti. It is said that Sheikh al-Tartusi was the first Arab fighter to travel to Afghanistan in 1981, accompanying Abdullah Azzam on one of his trips. He has authored many books and is the founder of several of the revolution’s coordination groups. He says:

“The group known as ISIS are from the fanatical Khawārij, rather they have surpassed theKhawārij in many of their characteristics and actions, combining between fanaticism, aggression, hostility and shedding inviolable blood.” He further said: “We call upon all sincere individuals who have been fooled by them while still with this misguided group to severe their ties with it and to declare their freedom from it and its actions.”


Sheikh Abdullah Saad:

The Sheikh and notable Muhadtih Abdullah b. Abdul Rahman b. Mohammed Al-Saad Al-Mutairi is one of those at the forefront of 20th and 21st century Muslim scholars. His teachers include, Sheikh Abdul Aziz b. Baz, Sheikh Mohammed b. Saalih and Sheikh Abdullah b. Abdul Rahman al-Jibreen. He has authored tens of books and has explanations of Bukhāri, Sunan Abī Dāwūd, Jāmi’ al-Tirmithi and others.He says:

“I plea to whoever joined this faction (ISIS) to leave it and move away from it, and for its leaders to return to the truth and to repent to Allāh from the grave mistakes they have fallen into…”


Sheikh Abdullah al-Mahiseny:

Sheikh al-Mahiseny is a specialist in Islamic Jurisprudence, acquiring a PhD in Comparative Fiqh in the subject: “Rulings Concerning War Refugees in Islamic Jurisprudence.” He says:

“By Allāh, I have never witnessed the scholars who speak about matters of Jihād agree on criticising and opposing a Muslim movement as they have agreed on condemning ISIS.” Sheikh Mahiseny concluded by saying: “I implore you by Allāh O Baghdadi to allow a general Islamic court mediate to uphold the injunctions of Allāh.”


Sheikh Adnan Mohammed al-Aroor:

Sheikh Adnan al-Aroor is currently the Director of Research and Publishing in Riyadh. He grew up seeking knowledge in Syria under several scholars including Sheikh al-Albani and Sheikh b. Baz. He is one of the most notable scholarly icons of the Syrian revolution and has a multitude of published works. Sheikh al-Aroor says, directing his question at ISIS:

“Did Allāh set conditions that must be met before accepting that the Qur’ān arbitrate [in the affairs of difference]? Then where did you get these conditions [that you set] from? Why do you leave military fronts such as Homs and dedicate your efforts to the areas near the Turkish borders? … Who are the people of religious authority (ahl al-hal wal-’aqd) who you consulted before establishing your ‘state’? Do you aim to overthrow the sectarian dictator or to fight others [who want to achieve this]? … What is your Islamic proof that justifies your pledge to someone unknown?” He furthermore states: “ISIS are either Khawārij or infiltrated by the [Syrian] regime. It is composed of three groups of people: brutal Takfīrīs, wicked infiltrators and people deceived by them.”


The Scholars of Aleppo Front:

The Scholars of Aleppo Front issued a statement encouraging the sincere members of ISIS to leave this faction and join the legitimate revolutionary forces in Syria for the crime that has been perpetrated by this group, including:

Accusations of disbelief (takfīr), their shedding of inviolable blood without a second thought, kidnappings and documented armed robberies of weapons and ammunition from other rebel factions, their refusal to allow the Sharī’ah to arbitrate between them and the other factions and sowing the seeds of discord between fighers. ISIS’ takfīr sometimes extend to the entire population of Syria. This includes takfīr boldly levelled at the Free Syrian Army, accusing Ahraar al-Shaam that they are misguided ‘Surūrīs’ and that al-Nusra Front have defied their alleged ‘Khalīfah’.


A Joint Statement of 47 Scholars in Saudi Arabia

Including Al-Ghunaymaan, Al-‘Umar, Al-Mahmoud and Al-Jalali Al-Mahmoud

The joint statement asserted that it is impermissible and of tyranny for one faction to impose itself as the only holder of legitimacy and that it is necessary that all other groups pledge allegiance to it without consulting the Muslims, otherwise they become of the Khawārij and their blood becomes permissible. It argued that this is the main reason for divisions and internal fighting. Sheikh Hamoud b. Ali al-Omari added: “The reality of the matter is, every drop of blood shed between the (rebel) factions in Syria is due to al-Baghdadi’s refusal to allow the Sharī’ah to arbitrate while implementing his own innovated Sharī’ah.



In a statement released by Hay’at Al Sham Al Islamiyya (The Islamic Syria Association) concerning the Caliphate of Al Baghdadi, ‘the official announcement’ of the Syrian Scholars included the following:

‘All praise are due to Allah the Lord of the worlds and there exists no enmity except towards the oppressors. May peace and blessing be upon his family, his companions and all those who follow him until the last day.’

‘Trials and tribulations continue to arrive in succession, afflicting the Muslims until the Muslim Ummah is purified just as fire removes impurities from iron. The most recent of these trials (fitnah) is the declaration of a ‘Khalifah’ or an Islamic Caliphate, announced by Al-Baghdadi’s group. This follows the countless wounds afflicted on the people of Syria; killing, Takfir (accusations of disbelief), intended hindrance of their revolution and Jihad and breaking apart their unity.’

The Scholars of Syria went further to prove the invalidity of the Caliphate of Al-Baghdadi and stated ‘The declaration of the ‘Caliphate’ was by a dissident group that practices Takfir and sheds blood as religion in and of itself. This methodology is totally perverted from the example of the Prophet (S.A.S) who taught the Ummah true leadership and how to establish a noble and upright Khalifah exemplified by his companions.’

These Scholars went on in their official announcement to condemn the ISIS movement and the self-acclaimed Caliphate of Al-Baghdadi. While concluding the official announcement, the Syrian Scholars gave the following advice to all Muslim Youths:

  1. To be patient with regards to what is happening and to ask scholars and people of knowledge about the confusing matters. Muslim youth should know that there is not a single scholar in the ranks of al-Baghdadi that the Muslim Ummah testifies to (the knowledge of). Ibn Abbās radiy Allāhu ‘anhu said to the ancestors of these people from the Khawārij,exposing their ignorance: “I came to you from amongst the companions of the Messenger of Allāh salla Allāhu ‘alayh wasalam, theMuhājirīn and the Ansār, to tell you what they say. Upon them the Qur’ān was revealed. They are more knowledgeable concerning the revelation than you and amongst you there is not a single one of them.”[3]
  1. To avoid being dragged towards emotions or behind the glorification (of this group) by the media. It is now clearer than ever that ISIS uses lies and fraud while copying the Shi’ites in their Taqiyya, concealing the truth of their matters.
  1. To rest assured that the Caliphate declared by ISIS is invalid since they are far away from the prophetic methodology in both form and substance. ISIS is an oppressive group, one that has transgressed from the Path of Allāh. Allāh gives the Khilāfah to those who believe and do righteous deeds. Not to those who kill the Muslims and leave others.
  1. To revere the people of knowledge, to defend them and not to accuse them of being envious to al-Baghdadi’s faction, competitors of it, against the establishment of a Caliphate or subdued by dictators. All of this is slander.
  1. To maintain the instructions of Allāh concerning lives, and to be patient before any resulting harm, repelling falsehood and being wary of the whispers of the Shaytān in confining the commandments of Allāh to be all about dying for His sake as opposed to living for His sake. Martyrdom is through Divine selection by Allāh, not a decision that can be taken by the individual.

Finally, our advice to all of the Muslims who compose the Ummah and are its pillars, is as follows:


  1. To expose the reality of this group and its danger upon the Ummah to the layman, as much as one is able.
  1. To be careful where your charity is going. You are responsible for this and the genuine charities are well known.
  1. Your children are your responsibility “and each and every one of you is responsible for his flock.”[4] Look after them and ensure that they do not join this heretical group, thus becoming a tool in the hands of criminals which will be used to fight the Muslims.

All praise and thanks are due to Allāh alone.’ (End Quote)


(Source –  ‘The ‘Caliphate ‘ of Al-Baghdadi Announcement from Syrian Scholars – Bayaan Hawl Ilan ‘Khalifah’ Al Baghdadi – Hai’a As Sham Al





The following has also been mentioned in ‘The International News’ (Pakistan) dated Oct. 02 2014:

‘Islamabad: Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) Wednesday issued a religious decree (fatwa) against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) commonly known as ‘Daesh’, declaring it unislamic and its activities against the teachings of Islam’.


Similarly, ‘The New Indian Express’ mentioned the following, in its publication dated 9th September 2015.


‘NEW DELHI: For the first time ever, over 1000 (1050 to be exact), including Muftis and Imams of India, have issued a 15 volume fatwa against leader, fighters and followers of the self-declared Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State (IS)..’


‘Referring specifically to the ISIS reign of terror and horror, these Islamic Scholars, through their fatwa, said ‘the latter is guilty of committing heinous murders of innocent human beings, clicking images of their horrific misdeeds and showing them to the world through live videos and internet posts, and at the same time, wrongly claiming these to be ‘Islamic Acts’ done lawfully as per the Sharia (Islamic Law)’. (End Quote)


The above are only a few of the official Fatawas given, condemning the movement of ISIS and its activities. The scholars of different territories who have issued such verdicts are sound, authentic, reliable and are experts in Islamic knowledge. They are renowned and well accepted throughout the Muslim world and by Muslims who live in different countries. These verdicts are based on first hand information which they have with regards to what is taking place in Syria and with the ISIS movement, and have thus issued their respective Fatawas.


Based on sufficient and reliable information that has come before us, we wish to state that ISIS is not a legitimate Islamic State. Their activities are not based on the teachings of Islam, and they are guilty of many acts of wrongdoings which are all against the teachings of Islam. Hence, their ‘call’ is not a call towards Jihad, and their ‘cause’ is not an Islamic one.

We call on all Muslims, especially the youths, to stay away from this group and refrain from joining them in their activities and ‘cause’.


And Allah knows best

Mufti Waseem Khan


This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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