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Lunacy in the Levant: Deconstructing the ISIS Crisis

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by Imam Luqman Ahmad

Genocide, murder, rape, mass executions, beheadings, the persecution of Christians, the persecution of Muslims, the persecution of Yazidis, a religion that most of us have heretofore never heard about, and a level of Muslim extremism that sends chills down your spine. This is the perceived reality of the ISIS phenomena which many people call a crisis. Despotic, bloodthirsty leaders, foolish followers, whole families slaughtered, and the image of a prepubescent Muslim boy holding up a decapitated head as if it were a fish that he might have caught in the local creek. Such are the workings of people who claim to be the puritans of Islam, sanitizing the path. Babies, shot point blank in the head, and scenes of outright savagery, all in the name of Islam. Thanks to world-wide (and largely controlled and censored) broadcast and social media, this is part of what makes up the images of Islam and Muslims in the 21st century.

The ISIS crisis in the Levant is not the only episode of Muslim ideologues run amok, or of Muslim on Muslim fratricide or of tribal wounds flared into full scale civil war; it’s going on in many places, and it just didn’t start during this century, or the last century for that matter; this is centuries old behavior and a chronically diseased spiritual and mental state that has always plagued parts of the Muslim world, and which traditionally has largely been ignored by the rest of it. The gruesome scenes of bloodshed that we are witnessing today are just individual examples of a much larger issue, which is total lack of regard for the most sacred things of our faith by people who claim to act in the name of our faith.

It seems that the most prominent casualties in all of this carnage, specifically in the case of ISIS, are the very things that our Prophet ﷺ had declared sacred on the day of Arafat during his Farewell khutba (sermon); Innocent blood, honor, and wealth and property. The very things that we were commanded to hold dear, are the very things that have become casualties of sacrilege. This is not to dismiss the carnage that recently took place in Gaza or the sectarian violence of Muslim on Muslim killing and strife that is going on in Syria, Libya, in the Mali, and in Northern Nigeria with Boko Haram.

There are so many theaters of violent and visceral discord going on in the Muslim world that if you were to pay attention to or weigh in on any one of them, you run the risk of being accused of ignoring the other. Some of it is Muslim against non-Muslim and some of it is Muslim against Muslim. If you talk about the carnage in Iraq, then someone will say; well what about the Palestinians in Gaza (another tragedy), and if you talk about the civil war going on in Libya, that seems to be engineered by the West, then someone will say well, what about BOKO Haram, and their kidnappings and murders, and so on.

The sad reality is that there is a very deep rooted mindset in parts of Muslim world, and even amongst Muslims living in the West, that is prone to dismiss the sacredness of blood, honor and wealth, in favor of your group, your sect, your spiritual leader, your race, your ethnicity, or your nationality, or your profit margin. There is a pandemic culture of sectarianism that drapes the Muslim world and that has extended well beyond its borders. It represents itself as racism, tribalism, nationalism, regionalism, terrorism, sect, sub-ideology, and political aspirations, all with the same result; Muslim killing, violence, savagery and butchery, all in the name of Islam, in the name of Allah, or in the name of, of all things, justice. People make, break, and change alliances and allegiances all the time in the Muslim world, so many times, we don’t even know the difference between the good guys and the bad guys. We’ll cheer on one group one moment and demonize them the next. We never really know who is paying who, to do what, who is supplying who, who’s selling out to who, who is lying and who is telling the truth, who it is that are simply misled, who it is who are profiting, and who is it that are just plain evil.

Most of us are just online, and media driven spectators to all of this, for various and sundry reasons. Some of us are drawn to the sensationalism but indifferent to the underlying problem, others are truly concerned and looking for answers and still others have given up, and see no hope to the problem of widespread Muslim on Muslim killing and what it means to our civilization. Still, this confluence of spectacularly violent, and unconscionable incidents of Muslim savagery, all converging at once in real time, is leaving its mark of death, trauma, suffering, anger, and confusion. Yes, it is enough to make your head spin and propel you into a complete state of apoplexy. In the middle of it all, some of us are concerned, and rightfully so, about the image of Islam and Muslims in the world. On this point, I got news for you; what we need to be really concerned about is not just our public image; but about the people that we have become, and the state of our collective morality. This is not about public relations here; what we are dealing with is a severe and seemingly growing moral dysfunction in our ranks.

I’m not ignoring the horrendous acts of violence, aggression, and political manipulation directed at Muslim groups and countries by non-Muslim actors, states, and military corporations; the bombs, bullets, grenade launchers, armored personnel carrier, flak jackets, goggles, boots and uniforms, and all the instruments of war and mass destruction cost money, and their non-stop use is making some people very wealthy. Some of these instances of violence going on in the Muslim world is simply a matter of pre-orchestrated warfare engineered and financed by outside entities, where they supply all the tools of carnage and sit back and watch as Muslims kill each other, while wealthy financiers, greedy contractors, and unscrupulous weapons manufacturers count their profits.

Network and cable television is replete with political analysts opinions about which Muslim group should be armed to fight which other Muslim group, and with what kinds of weapons, for how long, and how many advisors, and at what level of technical assistance. Knight to King’s rook four; like a chess game with the Muslim people as pawns. After the destruction of homes, towns and infrastructure, they send in contractors to profit again at the expense of poor indigenous Muslim populations. Why so many of us fail to see the pathetic irony in that, is beyond me. But that’s a topic for another article.

The bottom line is that there are more Muslims killed, maimed, and made homeless refugees by other Muslim than by anyone else. There is absolutely no justification for rape, the killing, torture and maiming of the innocent, for murdering women, children, and elderly men tending to their farms, no matter what their race, religion, nationality, or ethnicity.

There is no moral justification for forced conversion to Islam; not ever. We have become almost completely desensitized and nearly oblivious to our own moral failings as a Muslim civilization. Muslims certainly are not the only people with modern moral challenges. However, as Muslims, we are responsibly for our own moral condition. I’m relatively certain that these sad but news worthy events we are talking about will soon fade into history and will be all but forgotten about in our short term memory, but the diseases of violent, Muslim on Muslim sectarianism, and the unhealthy penchant for massacre and the taking of innocent lives, will remain, only to raise its ugly head again in the near future. I don’t claim to have the solution to all of this but I will say this; things will not change for us, until we change. And Allah knows best.

 

Imam and Executive Director of Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento CA, Shaykh Luqman graduated from the language and usool ud-deen program at Omdurman Islamic University in Sudan and received his ijaazah in Hafs Quran recitation from the Quranic village of Wad al-Faadni in the Jazeerah Province of Sudan. Shaykh Luqman also studied at Umm Al-Quraa University in Saudi Arabia and at the Haram al-Makki. While in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, in addition to the teachers at Um al-Qura, the Imam studied with Sheikh Suleiman al-Hazmi, Sheikh Sayyid Sabiq who was his sheikh of tafseer al-Quran, and Sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazaali. Shaykh Luqman learned usool al-hadith from Sheikh Muhammad bin Humayad a classic era Az’harian trained in the Ottoman period. Imam Luqman also took lessons from the late African American Shaykh; Muhammad Ghulaam Al-Haarith, one of the first indigenous American Muslims to attend Azhar University. Other Shuyookh of Imam Abu Laith Luqman: Sheikh Abdul-Karim MuhammadAhmad , Tajweed, Fiqh, Aqeeda, Hadeeth Umm Luqman – Aqeedah, Fiqh, Adab, Seerah Sheikha Fareedah Umm Hannaan,-Aqeedah, Fiqh al-Mu’aamalaat Sheikha Aminah Abdullah-Aqeedah, Seerah Sheikh Ameer Saab-Aqeedah, Usool al-Eemaan Sheikh Sulaimaan Abdul-Haadee-Language, Modern Urban logic and Expression, Sheikh Muhammad As’lam-Fiqh Sheikh Abdullah bin Baaz-Aqeedah Sheikh Muhammad Ghulaam al-Haarith-arabic Language, Seerah, usool al-Fiqh Sheikh Zainul Aabideen al-Costi- Fiqh, Usool al-Fiqh, Usool al-Hadith, Qiraa’tul Hafs Sheikh Daf’ Allah Hajj Yusuf-Arabic Grammar, al-matan al-Ajroomiyyah Sheikh Muhammad Hadeeya al-Umdurmaani-Fiqh, Tafseer, Usool al-hadith, Aqeedah Sheikh Muhammad Taqlaawi- Aqeeah, Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Humayd, Hadith Sheikh Sayyid Saabiq- Tafseer, Fiqh Sheikh Ridda Mu’tee-Aqeedah Sheikh Sulaimaan al-Hazmi- Hadeeth Sheikh Muhammad Mutaphah Bilaal-Hadeeth, Sahih Muslim Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Fad’Allah-Usool al-Fiqh, Sheikh Abdullah Ali al-Mekki, Aqeedah

32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Aaron Hamm

    August 19, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    Fantastically insightful article. I’m glad i managed to wander my non-believing self here.

  2. Avatar

    Faris Mee

    August 19, 2014 at 6:09 AM

    The man is an echo chamber for the kuffaar. No civvies have been killed by the Islamic State. The executions r of enemy combatants in accordance with the sunnah. Same for Hudd punishment straight down the line Qur’an & Sunnah. This is what this munafiq truly hates. Full-on Islamic sharia. Forced conversions? U liar. Kiddies executed. u liar. All propaganda by your beloved arab amerikan christians. If this munafiq really cared he would have spotted instantly all their footage was stolen from Syria 2012-3 where Assad killed sunnis. One scene his christian brothers used was of buddists in burma killing muslims. If this munafiq cared he would have spotted it. Same with a scene from Egypt which they said was Iraq.

    Rasoolallah SAW said the Khilafah will return on the way of prophethood. That means full-on Islamic Sharia. This hadith negates the munafiqeens’ chance to cry “We r in Makkah time”.

    • Avatar

      John Howard

      August 19, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      I thought this web site was for reasoned discussion by rational people who could talk in a reasoned manner We may not necessarily agree with all points of view but act in a polite way It seems the fanatics are coming here as well

      • Avatar

        Aly Balagamwala

        August 20, 2014 at 2:57 AM

        Dear John

        We get comments from people with all viewpoints. We try to allow all comments as long as they comply with our Comments Policy. Our purpose is to have a dialogue in a civilized manner with as little intrusion from Comments Team as possible.

        Thanks for being polite. :)

        Best Regards
        Aly
        CommentsTeam Lead

      • Avatar

        Ali Abdul Rahman

        August 20, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        I thought freedom to express thought was something you guys cherished. Does it only apply when you want to draw a cartoon of the Prophet(SAW)?

        Or maybe you didn’t get OPs point.

        So let me explain. He is suggesting the writer’s knowledge of the ISIS/IS’s aqeeda/ fiqh comes directly from CNN/BBC/NBC/FOXNews. As well as the knowledge of IS’s actions in Iraq and Syria.
        This is like learning about the Palestinian hardships in Gaza from the IDF spokesperson.

        However the writers armchair analysis is hardly surprising, when you take it to account that he is in a country where he pays taxes to a government whose army is directly or indirectly oppressing almost every Muslim land on the face of the earth.

        These armies kills, murders, burns, decapitates babies, steals land, robs Muslim wealth, commits “collateral” genocides on a regular basis with hardly anyone batting an eye. Those who do are labelled extremist sympathisers void of “proper” Islamic knowledge.

        One the other hand the “house Muslims” only wishes this would all go away so that he/she can enjoy that new Halaal Angus beef restaurant that just opened.

        The writers long and impressive educational credentials while being blissfully ignorant of these obvious truths seems to suggest he is no more than a glorified Orientalist.

        I know I am coming across as overly harsh and I apologise for it. But we Muslims deserve better leaders who can stand up for the dheen of Allah. Not the cowards we have now.

        Maybe these cowards are the reason that we have groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram, and others.

    • Avatar

      Zebram

      August 20, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      Ridiculous. Your claim of ‘no civilians’ killed is simply a lie. You define anyone you want as an ‘enemy combatant’ including people who are acting in self defense against your friends ISIS and then kill them. Such people do not count as ‘enemy combatants’ if you are on the offensive against them. You and your ilk are not part of this Ummah, and you are certainly not obeying any legitimate Khilafa.

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    ahmedn1986

    August 19, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Very well written article. I agree with the whole of it. It seems that the intrusion of the Western powers is, or has, created a cancer in the Umma today. We only have ourselves to blame for adopting certain western methods and ways-of-life into ours. But I do believe that this is a trial from Him and that we all need to change who we are and we urgently need to refresh our faith so that we stick ONLY the the values of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

    • Avatar

      John Howard

      August 19, 2014 at 8:56 PM

      I am more than a little tired of the blame that keeps being placed on the west for Islam’s disasters. Most certainly the majority of Islamic nations leave a lot to be desired in the areas of justice liberty and freedom. In fact one of the recent articles on this site has stated that 8 out of 10 of the most corrupt nations on this planet are Islamic and if you extend that further I suspect that it would include the majority of them. The reality is that the west has played and supported many of the so called secular dictatorships in the Muslim world not only because of self interest (which is normal in all nations regardless of religion / philosophy) but because there has been no alternative in those countries. When we have interfered as in Iraq which was an unmitigated disaster we have ended up with a more than bloody nose. But really can anyone state that Saddam Hussain was a shining example of democracy or even tolerance? And after that invasion when there was an opportunity to start afresh and create a nation that could have been a shining example of Islamic standards as well as a modern Islamic society its own people reverted to tribalism and began massacring each other. The Arab spring was supposed to bring a new enlightenment to Islam but it has only allowed the fanatics to rise to the fore and begin their “final solution” to the minorities in these countries whether they are branches or sects within Islam or other minorities such as the Christians. I have to say that I yearn for the secular dictatorships to come back where at least everyone was suppressed more or less equally. Islamic fundamentalism has not brought peace to the middle east it has brought anarchy and death on a scale not seen since the 2nd world war.

      As regards to the Palastinian issue I cannot but look on the Muslim rage as more than a trifle confected. This issue has been in continuance since 1948 with the birth of the Israeli state and yet in the main most Muslim nations have at best paid lip service to the Palestinians and at worst done business with the Israelis. The fact is that Israeli Arabs are far better off than their brothers and sisters in any Muslim country. They have representation in Parliament by their own people and in welfare, education health etc don’t seem to be discriminated against. I may stand corrected on this but at least there have not been anywhere like the massacres or murders seen in Iraq Libya Syria etc. Even those murders of the Arab lad in Israel are now in jail awaiting trial for that horrific crime.

      The biggest failure as an outsider I see in your religion is that the tribalism has never been attended to It has been suppressed under the the secular dictatorships but never dealt with in a logical and civilised manner. And when the fundamentalists rise to the top as they have in Iran Iraq etc we see this maniac butchery that defies imagination.

      Islam claims it is not a racist but again articles on this site have laid testimony to the fact that what is practiced is opposite.

      You blame the west for interference and we have but in reality is there an option ? None of your countries have shown that they are capable of treating their peoples fairly or with dignity. Why else have tens of millions of you fled to the west ? It is only here in the west that you have the freedom from persecution and death that you can voice opposition to what you see as persecution of Muslims. We have had our failings in dealing with Islam that is for certain but it would seem to many kuffars that before you can give us a lecture you need to get your own house in order. Until then many of us will treat Islam with not unreasoned distrust and fear.

      Finally I would commend the Imam Luqman Ahmad for his article he shows great insight and understanding of the political aspect of what is today’s modern Islam It is not easy for anyone from any faith to openly critique his beliefs and his own people like this. He seems to me a man of integrity and honesty and I am afraid to say this one of the few in your religion prepared to say so

      • Avatar

        Aly Balagamwala

        August 20, 2014 at 3:18 AM

        Thank you John for this comment that gives us a look at the Muslim community as viewed by an outsider. I may not agree with everything you say but there are some points we need to understand and reflect on.

        Aly
        *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

      • Avatar

        Riaz Quadir

        August 22, 2014 at 6:34 PM

        Sir the sheer simple-minded naivete of your comment could mean only one of two things: 1: you are totally ignorant of the history of the Middle-East since the fall of the Ottoman Empire (which is forgivable on the basis of ignorance, a common enough disease); or much worse, 2) that you are and Orientalist playing the same old card and blaming the Muslims, as orientalist having always done; blaming the subject race.
        The Islamic world spreads over a very large geographic area covering many cultures, people and ethnicities. The European colonisers have simply been dividing them (the Muslims) further and further (and it becomes easier and easier to do so) till we have the chaos that we have today. It has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the religion of Islam.
        Your obeservation about the West supporting “secular dictatorships in the Muslim world not only because of self interest (which is normal in all nations regardless of religion / philosophy) but because there has been no alternative in those countries” is a joke considering the very best friend of the West in the Arab muslim world is Saudi Arabia for the last 70 plus years. Need I say more? On the other hand the West drove Gamal Nasser; a true secular leader to the Russians.

        The West has had only one interest: to secure the wealth and power of the world to itself. Just like The Berlin Conference of 1884 that divided Africa between the European powers, modern West has divided the world between themselves. Anyone who opposes them is in for a regime change. And who can challenge them on the narrative; they own the media globally. Sorry, I forgot North Korea, Cuba and Iran… but who read or listens to them…

        Sir, like the occassional disgruntled postman in the USA who suddenly loses his sanity and goes on rampage killing as many people as he can before he is mowed down, some of the jihadist are showing similar symptoms because people like you have taken away their voice, their freedom, their very right to exist in their own lands away from them. But rest assured that the law of Universe that guides our lives on Earth will not let the real perpetrators of such evil get away. Or to use the words of your own celebrated bard, Shakepeare:
        “But in these cases
        We still have judgment here, that we but teach
        Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
        To plague th’ inventor: this even-handed justice
        Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice
        To our own lips”.

        • Avatar

          John Howard

          August 23, 2014 at 8:33 AM

          Your comments re Egypt have some merit but look at the other fact that are also in the the mix regarding this benighted country. The Suez crisis of 1956 had a lot to do with this as much as anything else when France Britain and Israel attacked Egypt over the Suez Canal nationalisation. Because of the Americans along with the USSR threatening to sanction both France and Britain over this act lead them being forced to pull out of this affair.
          Also in that period islamism was not strong anywhere with the possible exception of Egypt where the Brotherhood was attempting to reach some sort of status. Fundamentalism really began to take shape with the fall of the Shah in Iran in 1979. This was exported by the Iranians all over the middle east as well as being taken up by others as you obviously well know The islamic fervour had no real substance until then.
          Regarding the Saudis you may call it a kingdom but it is a despotic one which makes it very similar to the dictatorships It has never been a democracy and like all states it will ally itself with the devil to keep the status quo. The fact that Saudi and Iran are as hostile to each other as much as Palestine versus Israel hasn’t surley escaped your attention has it? Did I mention tribalism ? Arab versus Persian is that not tribalism Wahhabi versus Shia versus Sunni and all have the same “faith’ but all dedicated to their own agendas which don’t include each other.
          As for Saudi Arabia being the west’s best friend some friend its ultraconservatism that it exports to the west is as much to fear as your friends in ISIS. They are just not as violent and are a lot more subtle. Their intentions are still the same and represent the extremes of Islam.
          Your sarcasm of my remarks makes you arrogant sir and the trite comparison between a post office worker gone mad and the madness that is now happening in Iraq is at best ridiculous and at worst seeks to trivialise the savagery that is occurring. You talk of the frustration of these jihadist demanding freedom and justice? Where is the justice to the muslims Christians and others they are slaughtering? As I said the west has made many many mistakes due to arrogance, greed and many other things. but to say we want all the wealth for ourselves is as ludicrous as it is peurile. The rise of the BRIC nations gives lie to that The huge muslim immigration to the west also asks where all the wealth is going. I don’t claim to be an expert at all in muslim affairs as you but what I have written is what we see today occurring in muslim lands You can keep blaming the west for all your religion’s problems but that is scant consolation for the muslims and christians lying dead in the ditches

    • Avatar

      Zebram

      August 20, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      I don’t agree with this. If we Muslims actually do what we say we do, then any interference from western powers should not have thrown the entire Muslim world out of wack. As far as I’m concerned, about 95% of the people on this earth are barbarians, whether in the east or west. About the only people I have any respect for left are small children, who are innocent of any crimes.

      • Avatar

        pollywho

        August 20, 2014 at 6:18 PM

        I know what you mean but I think that the problem really is that power tends to be concentrated in the hands of people who are prepared to fight for it – either in the ballots or in the battlefields. Most ordinary people in the west, sitting at home, watching the TV or reading the news, probably consider themselves ‘good’. The trouble is that ‘good’ people don’t really want to go out and kill or campaign. Being born in a place where there is no war is a matter of luck – in other places, the same people would be dying from their inability to fight back. Switching channels or turning the page is their only response to the actions of others they don’t understand and have no idea how to overcome. I’m one of them and I’m lucky, more good than bad on an average day I hope, and helpless.

  4. Avatar

    Mujahid in Shaam

    August 19, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    I read 50% of the first paragraph, and stopped there. The author is just sitting on his comfy couch and doesn’t have a clue what on Earth is going on in the Shaam, and is just slandering the mujahideen, and promoting the fake Western fairy tales that these filthy governments encourage in the media. [text removed] You better keep quiet if you have nothing good to say.

    *This comment was edited by the MM Comments Team in order to comply with our Comments Policy*

    • Avatar

      John Howard

      August 19, 2014 at 9:01 PM

      I hope you don’t live here in the west You will do more disservice to your fellow Muslims than can be imagined

    • Avatar

      Zebram

      August 20, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      There is no need for anyone to ‘slander’ you with lies. When you yourselves continuously post pictures of decapitated bodies on twitter (and yes, I have seen them from your army and supporters), innocent children holding up heads and smiling as you teach them it’s fun to kill, and essentially take slave women to have sex with since you guys got horny, then forgive me if we do not embrace you as saviors of this Ummah. Noone else needs to defame you, you are doing a great job of it yourselves.

  5. Avatar

    Saf

    August 20, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    In India the renowned Darul Uloom’s top Nadwa scholar Maulana Salman Nadvi has written an open letter greeting ISIS Baghdadi and accepting him as Capliph, and writtten to the Saudi govt offering 500000 muslim youth to join ISIS,to mitigate Shias and other minorities. One cannot blame the Indian govt if they decide to ban the Darul Uloom next or US designates the age old school as a terrorist organization.The rest of Ummah needs to censor such scholars to save our schools and Ummah.Why not debate with such scholars? I do not get why there is no intra-sunni-scholar debates at all within the Ummah? Muslim youth need to be taught how to think with diversity,weigh pros and cons, see perspectives of both sides.Today kafirs and muslims are simply 2 sides of the same greedy coin, the print on both being different does not matter.That even other scholars within Darul Uloom are too scared to speak up openly, shows the level of cowardice that has seeped in.Beheading innocents is
    not masculinity,its just bad adrenalin, restraint and self control,is true courage.

    • Avatar

      Aly Balagamwala

      August 21, 2014 at 8:48 AM

      Saf

      See Yahya Ibrahim’s post yesterday https://www.facebook.com/yahya.adel.ibrahim/posts/720330491354220

      Aly

      *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

    • Avatar

      Islam

      August 26, 2014 at 8:43 AM

      Everyone is talking about “behading” like this was never done in Islamic history. Did you know that the sahabah beheaded people? Did you know that our Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him ordered sometimes heads to be brought to him? I suggest you read the seerah to get more informed. fyi: by no means do I agree with the isis group however; that disagreement is not around pitty things that most Muslims complain about them.

  6. Avatar

    markibnmark

    August 20, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    These so-called ISIS guys completely disregard the Sunnah of combat and of general behavior. They have no religious legitimacy, and think they can make up their own rules (or lack thereof).

    Where in the Prophet’s (SAW) Blessed Sunnah is it sanctioned to go on killing sprees of non-combatants? The gruesome execution of sojourners in the Muslim lands will earn them severe punishment on the Day of Judgment if they don’t repent and change their ways. Islam prohibits abuse and murder of prisoners. Why do these so-called religious people know the basics of their religion? There is a reason that none of the Ulema support these psychos. They only know how to kill kill kill. Where is the mercy? Where is the humanity? Where is the hikmah?

    Islam spread in large part due to the upright behavior of the Muslims, even in times of war. Posting beheadings of civilians online is causing the kuffar to run away from Islam and leading them to believe that we are a savage and unmerciful ummah.

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      markibnmark

      August 20, 2014 at 8:10 PM

      I meant: “Why do these so-called religious people not know the basics of their religion?”

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        Riaz Quadir

        August 22, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        Simply because they are not who they pretend to be. They are the creation of the people who want to discredit Islam and the true muslims. They are the enemies of Islam. They are a propaganda against Islam.

    • Avatar

      islam

      August 26, 2014 at 8:47 AM

      More non-muslims run away from Islam due to our poor adhab (manners) than anything else. After 9/11 more non-muslims came to Islam than due to any dawah project in the West. What does that tell you? Allah guides whom He wants, and nothing will deter those whom He wants to guide.

      • Avatar

        John Howard

        August 27, 2014 at 5:07 PM

        Are you implying that by killing non believers more will join Islam? Because if you are then you are portraying a course that will lead to a war between the civiliations.

        • Avatar

          Aly Balagamwala

          August 28, 2014 at 8:04 AM

          John

          Actually no he is not implying that from what I can understand from his comment. He is saying that sometimes negative news leads to people investigating more about the truth and accepting it.

          Aly

          *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

  7. Avatar

    yazir

    August 21, 2014 at 1:59 AM

    Isis the hottest topic of de year… Can anybody remember the previous hot topic of the decade called alqaeda…?same beheadings,same mass murders? After the sudden death of Mr.laden or the performance of alqaeda is fading away, another bunch of barbaric monstrous murderers pop up from nowhere to take that place…ring any bells..?? Where does all these groups get funding,weapons, men…??who is the biggest beneficiaries of a war,..???
    the west clearly needs an enemy to justify their presence in middle east…Israel needs a threat to justify the occupation..the enemy was alqaeda,and now its isis and who knows wat in the future…?

    HOW DID ALL THESE MINORITIES LIVE IN PEACE FOR THOSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE AMERICA BROUGHT DEMOCRAZY TO IRAQ…????

  8. Avatar

    Riaz Ahmed

    August 21, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    Assalaamualaikum brother I agree with you on many points, today many Muslims are going back to jahiliya period for which Islam was introduced, Islam which means peace in other words is now framed as barbaric, intolerant and violent religion now bcoz of the few jahiliya in our community, middle east is always an interest place for elites to control it, by any means, they want to control it. The war on terror created more terrorists than it was when they started it, Muslims are being killed by non-Muslim and Muslims too, may be this is the day which Prophet Muhammad prophesied that a day will come when the killer will not know why he is killing and the person who getting killed also won’t know why he is getting killed.

  9. Avatar

    Syed

    August 24, 2014 at 2:02 AM

    Salam Alaikum dear brother,
    Thank you for the eloquent and touching article.
    Yesterday, the imam of our Southern California masjid mentioned after the Isha prayer the murder of Muslims in a masjid in Iraq’s Diyala province. “This is what’s really going on in Iraq. They are trying to rid the country of Sunnis,” he said before making an emotional prayer for the dead and against the perpetrators.
    It was saddening news, certainly, and a touching prayer, but it pained me further to suddenly realize that in the past ten years, I have never heard any imam mention the many other Muslims killed in mosques by suicide bombers whether in Iraq and elsewhere (Muslims who just happen to be “shia”). Could it have been because the mosques I frequent happen to identify as “sunni” and not “shia.”
    I am just speaking from my own experience – and certainly there are exceptions. I’m praying God willing to someday experience that freedom from the tribalism made prohibited to us.
    When the “Arab Spring” broke out, I heard high ranking “sunnis,” who so passionately supported the Egyptian people against Mubarak, dismiss the popular movement in Bahrain as a “shia” ploy. And then I heard “shias,” who also supported the Egyptian people, throw their support behind Assad despite his brutality against the Syrian people. Today, in addition to the monstrous situation in Iraq and Syria, we also have a fractured Palestinian people under constant bombardment, and no nearby Muslim nation willing to lift a finger. Could we expect anything else from our own tribalism? I’m afraid to say, we have only ourselves to blame.

    • Avatar

      islam

      August 26, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      This article is partially informed and biased. Yes, there are actual facts in this article that most people read somewhere else or saw pictures posted on some social media outlet. Now, not to completely discredit some of the facts in the article, but let us be fair, first ask yourself what is my source of information and why is this happening to begin with? Did you know that when the houses of Muslims were burned during the Balkan wars some media used this as propaganda tool to recruit more non-Muslims by telling them that those houses were their orthodox Christian brethren? Why are we quick to label a group of Muslims khawaraj (whether it being true or not) yet when the “Muslim” governments imprison, torcher or kill Muslims and their scholars we are staying silent? Has anyone but a few mentioned to us about the killing and torturing of Muslims and their scholars? Isn’t that the primary reason for militarized extremism in the Muslim groups fighting? Nobody, teaches the fiqh of engagement but everyone of those “scholars”, “da’ii” are quick to scream “khawaraj”. Is it fair to give your student a test and grade it without even teaching him? Wake up ummatul Muhammed, learn your history. Beheadings are not our problem, they are a part of our history.

  10. Avatar

    Saf

    August 26, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    Thank you brother Aly.On a personal capacity, I believe the problem lies in the way islamic scholars teach the concept of justice.
    Justice is not simply laying out the laws of the sharia,
    Because sharia is codified laws, just like any legal constitution is.
    The reason why we have been given a Quran and Sunnah,is so that we have laws and we are shown a process of implementation.
    I mean a process because being Just requires being Merciful also. Both are not contradictory, just like the way Allah has given us
    Destiny and a Free Will. A righteous muslim’s journey is to balance both.
    If we do not have taqwah, it will look like they are contradictory and the muslim then picks one side of the
    Balance, some resign to fate and some simply think they can do anything as there is free will.
    Similiarly, we have muslims who enforce harsh and brutal punishments in the name of Islamic justice
    while others let the basest of criminals get away in the name of mercy for their own brethren or community etc.
    For example, Sunnis support of Saddam Hussein, while he was brutal with the minorities like Kurds and used chemical weapons.
    It was brethren mercy there,that he did not have an ISIS to oppose him from the Sunni ranks then against his injustices.
    Same goes to Shia Iran and some Palestinians supporting Assad in Syria. Even the Egypt conundrum is-who is the worst,
    Sisi or Morsi? How are the 2 different,when they do exactly the same autocratic crap when they come to power?

    Even when we learn Tawheed we must not forget humanity.Our love for our Creator is best exemplified in our love for His creations after all.
    We need Islamic classes on true justice and mercy. Families need to learn justice, where both mother and wife are treated with respect in balance,
    not enough to say your Jannah is at your mother’s feet – what about justice to your wife?

  11. Avatar

    Abdullah Khan

    August 27, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    I think nowadays the majority of muslims believe anything they hear without verifying with evidences and this includes people of knowledge.
    I have heard all sorts of conspiracy theories and also claims of killing innocent civilians, making takfir on muslims etc.. The images that IS places on twitter are enemy combatants.

    O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful. Quran 49:6

    Most muslims among those of knowledge are ignorant these days about the world and what is going on in it and how to relate their knowledge of the deen to it. The non-muslim have think tanks with their own agendas trying to finds ways to further them. I don’t see the same in the Muslim world for the Islamic agenda among those who have knowledge.

    What I see and here from muslims and those of knowledge reminds me of Kidhr and Musa in suratul Kahf, and how Musa (a.s) reacts to Khidr.when he sinks the ship, kills the youth, and builds the wall for the two orphans.

    Also, remember Musa(a.s) had more knowledge than Khidr over all, but Khidr was more knowledgeable than Musa in a particular area.

    Similar to scholars today and IS (how they deal within event in their localities they are in).

    Yes, we as muslims have compassion for the victims of the events that are shown if they are really the total story, but most likely there are events we are not shown, which makes us short sighted to the realities on the ground and the long term out comes.

    I’m not saying IS is Khidr, but the events between Musa(a.s) and Khidr are very symbolic to what we are seeing happening in the world today.

    Don’t rush to judgment on partial information about what is happening in different places around the globe, and I’m referring to those people of knowledge.

    We need to be patient and just wait and see how things play out in the end.

    That is why the messenger of Allah said if only Musa (a.s) had been a little more patient we would have found out so much more.

    This is my own personal view when I read suratul Kahf.

    There are some who have been on the ground within the state i.e Vice News and others to reveal what is happening, it all on YouTube, but still not even that is the whole story.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzugUht_1_U&feature=youtu.be&a

  12. Avatar

    Daniel Ray Jones

    September 4, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    I have my own religion….

    I respect the efforts made by others in my behalf who expected no rewards in return…..

    When we take Love from others for granted and then elevate the material above the spirit so we can view them as
    not worthy of our Love in return we begin to view a place in Hell that holds us in one place in ourselves and we become a slave to sin.

    ISIS is and will always be people who no longer follow their heart and instead walk the path of power. To be with Allah one needs to resist as much as is possible in this top layer of Hell, Evil in all its forms.

    This means being kind to others even when it is the most difficult thing to do.

    The iSIS terriorist are lost in Hell to Hell’s delight and when they die they will be claimed by the Evil they sowed while they lived.

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#Current Affairs

Sri Lankan Muslims To Fast In Solidarity With Fellow Christians

Raashid Riza

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On Sunday morning Sri Lankan Christians went to their local churches for Easter services, as they have done for centuries. Easter is a special occasion for Christian families in ethnically diverse Sri Lanka. A time for families to gather to worship in their churches, and then to enjoy their festivities. Many went to their local church on Sunday morning to be followed by a traditional family breakfast at home or a local restaurant.

It would have been like any other Easter Sunday for prominent mother-daughter television duo, Shanthaa Mayadunne and Nisanga Mayadunne. Except that it wasn’t.

Nisanga Mayadunne posted a family photograph on Facebook at 8.47 AM with the title “Easter breakfast with family” and had tagged the location, the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. Little would she have known that hitting ‘post’ would be among the last things she would do in this earthly abode. Minutes later a bomb exploded at the Shangri-La, killing her and her mother.

In more than a half a dozen coordinated bomb blasts on Sunday, 360 people have been confirmed dead, with the number expected to most likely rise. Among the dead are children who have lost parents and mothers & fathers whose families will never be together again.

Many could not get past the church service. A friend remembers the service is usually so long that the men sometimes go outside to get some fresh air, with women and children remaining inside – painting a vivid and harrowing picture of the children who may have been within the hall.

Perpetrators of these heinous crimes against their own faith, and against humanity have been identified as radicalised Muslim youth, claiming to be part of a hitherto little-known organisation. Community leaders claim with much pain of how authorities were alerted years ago to the criminal intent of these specific youth.

Mainstream Muslims have in fact been at the forefront not just locally, but also internationally in the fight against extremism within Muslim communities. This is why Sri Lankan Muslims are especially shaken by what has taken place when men who have stolen their identity commit acts of terror in their name. Sri Lankan Muslims and Catholics have not been in conflict in the past, adding to a palimpsest of reasons that make this attack all the more puzzling to experts. Many here are bewildered as to what strategic objective these terrorists sought to achieve.

Sri Lankan Muslims Take Lead

Sri Lankan Muslims, a numerical minority, though a well-integrated native community in Sri Lanka’s colourful social fabric, seek to take lead in helping to alleviate the suffering currently plaguing our nation.

Promoting love alone will not foster good sustainable communal relationships – unless it is accompanied by tangible systemic interventions that address communal trigger points that could contribute to ethnic or religious tensions. Terror in all its forms must be tackled in due measure by law enforcement authorities.

However, showing love, empathy and kindness is as good a starting point in a national crisis as any.

Sri Lankan Muslims have called to fast tomorrow (Thursday) in solidarity with their fellow Christian and non-Christian friends who have died or are undergoing unbearable pain, trauma, and suffering.  Terror at its heart seeks to divide, to create phases of grief that ferments to anger, and for this anger to unleash cycles of violence that usurps the lives of innocent men, women, and children. Instead of letting terror take its course, Sri Lankans are aspiring to come together, to not let terror have its way.

Together with my fellow Sri Lankan Muslims, I will be fasting tomorrow from dawn to dusk. I will be foregoing any food and drink during this period.

It occurs to many of us that it is unconscientious to have regular days on these painful days when we know of so many other Sri Lankans who have had their lives obliterated by the despicable atrocities committed by terrorists last Sunday. Fasting is a special act of worship done by Muslims, it is a time and state in which prayers are answered. It is a state in which it is incumbent upon us to be more charitable, with our time, warmth and whatever we could share.

I will be fasting and praying tomorrow, to ease the pain and suffering of those affected.

I will be praying for a peaceful Sri Lanka, where our children – all our children, of all faiths – can walk the streets without fear and have the freedom to worship in peace.

I will be fasting tomorrow for my Sri Lanka. I urge you to do the same.

Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ. Surah Maidah

Raashid Riza is a Sri Lankan Muslim, the Politics & Society Editor of The Platform. He blogs here and tweets on @aufidius.

 

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My Heart Shook In New Zealand

Mohsin Ansari

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One would imagine that a person would be dead-tired and ready to crash in his bed after a grueling, 36-hour journey from Christchurch, New Zealand to Washington, DC. And I will admit, that was the way I felt. Yet somehow, all my somnolence vanished as soon as my head rested on my pillow and I closed my eyes to rest. A wave of recollections fell over me: memories of the survivors, the emotions they expressed, and their feelings of an uncertain future as they planned their lives after the loss of their family members. These feelings instantly took away all the desire to get rest and sleep. I sit upright now and begin writing this reflection of a once in a lifetime experience- a voyage of grief and hope to Aotearoa- land of the white cloud as the indigenous people call New Zealand.

With lost baggage, long flights and too many connections, at times it seemed unlikely that my eldest son Moaz and I would make it to Jumm’ah and Janazah prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand. But Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accepted our prayers so that we could fulfill the guidelines set by our beloved, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). We were able to fulfill one of the rights of a Muslim over the others; that when he is sick visit him, and when she dies, offer her funeral and be part of her burial.

Hagley Cricket Ground was supposed to have a cricket test match between Bangladesh and New Zealand that Friday. Commentators reckon that it would have been the final day of that test match. But the 22nd of March 2019, brought a much bigger crowd to this world-famous cricket ground than what anyone would have seen on the final day of that test match.

Officials and security directed us towards the VIP area as they wanted to pay respect to the guests who traveled all the way from the USA, Canada, and Australia. The environment of love, solidarity, and respect, coupled with the hijab-clad women standing in solidarity with Muslims in that enormous crowd, created an impact which cannot be articulated by mere words. Every single uniformed female officer was carrying their firearm while donning a hijab; creating a welcoming gesture in a rather somber and gloomy atmosphere.

I do not have the words to thank the leadership of Charity Australia and the Islamic Forum of Australian Muslims (IFAM) for providing us with logistics, facilitating meeting the families of the “shuhudaa” (martyrs) and arranging to visit those injured in the tragedy. ICNA, Helping Hand, and Charity Australia banners highlighting the slogans of “American Muslims stand in solidarity with Victims of Christchurch New Zealand” were the center of attention for thousands of local New Zealanders gathered in solidarity that day. Their hugs, sincere prayers and tearful eyes were the greatest gift that I want to share with everyone reading these reflections.

Right after Jumm’ah, the majority of the crowd attended the collective Janazah prayer of 27 of the martyrs. In those emotional moments, I met with the most courageous woman on earth, the wife of 51-year-old Shaheed Naeem and the mother of 21-year-old Talha Naeem, the two spirited souls who gave their lives to save others in the mosque that day. She is one of the strongest women I have ever met. She mentioned that her husband, Naeem, was a person who lived the life of a man of service, always ready to help others. She described Talha as an angel who was too pious and too noble to be away from Jannah too long. We heard similar feelings from Naeem’s mother (grandmother of Talha) the next day when we visited their home.

The visit to the home of New Zealand’s national soccer team player, Atta Elayyan (33), was not only emotional but also deeply inspiring. Atta lost his life and his father (the founder of Al-Noor Masjid) was severely injured during this brutal and hateful attack. There were several scholars from the United States, including Sheikh Omer Suleiman, in the visit to Atta’s home. We could offer nothing to console the brave mother of this shaheed, who greeted us with words of courage and wisdom. We had no words to accompany the tears in our eyes, except prayers for the most noble young man who helped so many in coming close to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Our visits to Al-Noor Masjid and the Linwood Islamic Center were also filled with memories of love, harmony, and reverence. There was a continuous influx of hundreds of visitors, not only from New Zealand, but also from different countries including, but not limited to, Australia, Fiji, and Canada.  Thousands and thousands of flower bouquets and other items of love were left by these visitors. I was really thrilled to see that local Muslims left many Qur’ans and flyers with basic concepts of Islam and addressing the common misconceptions about Islam for those visiting. I witnessed many people visiting these mosques were taking those Qur’ans and other books with them in order to learn more about Islam.

We also met Mr. Aziz, the unsung hero who repeatedly attacked the killer with different objects including an empty gun —which the killer had discarded. The terrorist fired on Aziz multiple times, but Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) not only saved him, but he also forced the killer to flee from the Linwood Islamic Center. Mr. Aziz was one of the reasons why the number of casualties in this mosque was only seven, compared to the 43 martyrs in Masjid Al-Noor. We also met certain individuals whom Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) saved miraculously. A young man showed his trousers fenestrated with holes of bullets but had no signs of injury. The husband and wife who entered the premises of the mosque and only to be showered with a burst of 26 bullets while in their car, leaving it completely destroyed. Yet Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) saved both of them while they took shelter in their vehicle.

The visit to the hospital’s ICU was simply heartbreaking but at the same time increased our resolve and commitment to help these families as much as possible. We encountered a Turkish brother who was in a coma for nine days and met his elderly parents, who spoke to us in the very little English they knew. The only thing which we could understand from their hushed voices was the request for du’a and tears of helplessness in their eyes. The 71-year-old father of a local Pakistani from Hafizabad, who had arrived two weeks ago to visit his son, was now on a ventilator fighting for his life. As a physician who has worked in ICU settings for a long time, I simply did not have enough medical reasoning which could have provided him any words of hope!! Similarly, I was not able to provide any glimmer of hope to a brother from Bangladesh whose wife will never be able to walk again and will be paralyzed for the rest of her life.

While I saw hope and felt resilience from every victim in that hospital, this hospital visit was brutally heartbreaking.

Lastly, I cannot imagine the pain, agony, and helplessness that the father of Mucad Ibrahim must feel after losing his 3-year-old son in his own arms. I gave him the longest hug possible, as he taught the whole world the meaning of Beautiful Sabr (Patience).

After seeing the devastation caused by the terrorist attack, and the work that must still be done to heal the community, Helping Hand USA, ICNA Relief Canada, and Charity Australia have formed an organization called the “Christchurch Family Support Network”. The operations have already begun, and our team is on the ground. The first group of mental health professionals with a background in Islamic Integrated counseling are set to leave to provide victims and their families immediate psychological assistance.

We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to accept our work, bring healing to the community, protect our brothers and sisters, and accept the shuhadaa’ in the highest level of Paradise.

Dr. Mohsin Ansari is the Vice President Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Chairman of Helping Hand USA (HHRD)

 

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#Current Affairs

Because Muslims Matter | Honoring The Martyrs Of #Christchurch

Hena Zuberi

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As the days go by, it is easy to forget the names and faces of the people who passed away. The horror of the act eclipses their memories. We do not want that to happen to our brothers and sisters in New Zealand.

اللهُـمِّ اغْفِـرْ لِحَيِّـنا وَمَيِّتِـنا وَشـاهِدِنا ، وَغائِبِـنا ، وَصَغيـرِنا وَكَبيـرِنا ، وَذَكَـرِنا وَأُنْثـانا. اللهُـمِّ مَنْ أَحْيَيْـتَهُ مِنّا فَأَحْيِـهِ عَلى الإِسْلام ،وَمَنْ تَوَفَّـيْتَهُ مِنّا فَتَوَفَّـهُ عَلى الإِيـمان ، اللهُـمِّ لا تَحْـرِمْنـا أَجْـرَه ، وَلا تُضِـلَّنا بَعْـدَه

Allaahum-maghfir lihayyinaa, wa mayyitinaa, wa shaahidinaa, wa ghaa’ibinaa, wa sagheerinaa wa kabeerinaa, wa thakarinaa wa ‘unthaanaa..

O Allah forgive our living and our dead, those who are with us and those who are absent, our young and our old, our menfolk and our womenfolk… [7]

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