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Lunacy in the Levant: Deconstructing the ISIS Crisis

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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

      • Aly Balagamwala

        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.

  3. Avatar

    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

      • Aly Balagamwala

        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.

    • Aly Balagamwala

      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.

    • Avatar

      markibnmark

      August 20, 2014 at 8:10 PM

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

      • Avatar

        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.

        • Aly Balagamwala

          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

This Eid And Beyond Boycott Goods Made With Enslaved Labor Of Uyghurs Even If It Is Your Favorite Brand

Bidding farewell to Ramadan, celebrating Eid?

Well, the Muslims of East Turkestan under Chinese occupation had neither Ramadan nor will they have Eid…

Not only that, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) run government has transferred Uyghurs and other ethnic minority citizens from East Turkestan to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Nike, Gap, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Carters and others. Read Uyghurs for Sale for more information

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CCP is also pressuring governments across the world to extradite Uyghurs back to occupied East Turkestan.

Here is what you can do to help them:

Action Items

  1. Keep making dua for the oppressed of East Turkistan and the world.
  2. Boycott Chinese products! Do not be complicit in slave labour. Start with focusing on the companies in the graphic. Share it with #SewnWithtTears, #StopChina, #BoycottChina. Write to them and demand that they do better.
  3. Raise awareness on the plight of Uyghurs and the East Turkistani cause. Learn more at SaveUighur.org
  4. Work towards reducing your country’s economic dependence on China.
  5. Build alliances with all people of conscience to demand a cessation of China’s oppression of all faith groups, be it Muslim Uyghur, Hui; Chinese Christian; or Tibetan Buddhist.
  6. Encourage and promote fairer trade and commerce with Muslims and others rather than China.
  7. Inquire about Uyghur diaspora members in your area. Organize to help out orphans, widows, and students.
  8. Pressure governments to provide legal protection to Uyghur refugees-exiles by granting either citizenship or refugee/asylee status. Stop the “extradition/repatriation” of Uyghurs to China!
  9. Get your universities/endowments to divest from China. Raise awareness about Chinese espionage and hired guns in academia. Demand academic and financial support for Uyghur scholars and students. Request more academic attention and funds for Central Asian, Uyghur, Turkistani studies. 

Read a greater discussion of action items in A Response to Habib Ali Al-Jifri’s Comments on the Uyghurs, which also contains a greater discussion on East Turkistan’s history and its current situation. A condensed Arabic version of the article can be found here

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Coronavirus

Alternative Eid Celebrations In The Midst Of A Pandemic

“Eid-al-Quarantine” is what my sister has so fondly dubbed our upcoming Eid al Fitr this year. I find myself asking, “How are we going to make Eid a fun and special celebration this year in the midst of a dangerous pandemic?” With a little bit of creativity and resourcefulness, this Eid can be fun–no matter the current circumstances. This post will provide you with some inspiration to get your alternative Eid preparations underway! 

Special note: Shelter-in-place restrictions are lessening in many places in the United States, but this does not give us the green light to go back to life as normal and celebrate Eid in the ways we usually would have in the past. I am no health expert, but my sincerest wish for all Muslims throughout the world is that we all err on the side of caution and maintain rigorous precautions.

In-person gatherings are going to be much riskier in light of public health safety concerns. I do not recommend that people get together this Eid. Keep in mind, as well, that this is a big weekend for all Americans, as it is Memorial Day Weekend and crowds may be expected in places like parks and beaches. 

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Eid Day Must’s

Just because you are staying in, doesn’t mean that all of the Eid traditions have to go. Some may be exactly the same, some may be slightly adjusted this year. 

  • Get dressed up, even if it’s just for an hour or two. This might be a good chance to do hair and make up for sisters who normally don’t on Eid because of hijab or other modesty concerns. 
  • Take your family pictures, as usual. 
  • Decorate your house, even if it’s just with some fresh flowers in a vase or hanging up some string lights. (This time, I think sharing pictures of your setup may  have some more wiggle room.)
  • Find a way to pray Eid salah at home, if your local imam mentions a way to adapt for the current situation or check out this MM article
  • Eat some good food, and make sure to feast. 
  • Take that infamous Eid nap. 
  • Greet loved ones (phone calls, video calls, text messages, voice/video messages, make and send Eid cards).
  • Give and receive gifts. (Electronic ways to transfer money/checks in the mail, dropping off gifts to homes/sending gifts in the mail/having an online order pick-up in-store. You may also choose to do a gift exchange, if not this weekend, next). 

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Virtual Parties

Virtual celebrations are a great, safe, option. The best thing about virtual hangouts is that people from all over the world can “come together” to celebrate Eid. This can be as simple as talking and catching up, or can be as orchestrated as a full-out party including games. Keep in mind, the games and virtual parties aren’t only for the kids–everyone should have fun this Eid! We recently threw a virtual birthday party for our one-year-old and it was quite the experience. 

  • Split guests into different calls (kids’ call, adults’ call; men’s call, women’s call)
  • Party agenda for a rigorously planned party so everyone knows what to expect
  • Party games, either with certain items that everyone has (or can easily and quickly purchase) or games that do not require much else besides an internet connection 
    • Games requiring physical items (think of items that everyone is likely to have and think of carnival-type games):
      • Soccer ball juggling or basketball shooting competition
      • Water balloon toss
      • Timed races (three-legged, holding an egg in a spoon, etc.)
    • Games with little to no special equipment
      • Online Pictionary https://skribbl.io/
      • Online Scrabble
      • Video games
      • Charades
      • Taboo (we do this for our cousin game nights with pictures of cards that one person sends to people from the opposite team)
      • Scattergories
      • Bingo
      • Mad libs
      • Speaking games that take turns going around a circle (going through the alphabet saying names of animals or colors or foods, rhyming words [we played the last two lines of “Down by the Bay” for our son’s birthday party])
      • Movement game (Simon says, dancing if you’re into that [“Cha Cha Slide,” dance-off, passing along dance moves as was a TikTok trend I heard of, simply dancing…])
      • Games like in Whose Line is it Anyway? or like the “Olympics” (specifically the “middle games”) that I wrote about way back
  • Performances
    • Skits prepared by one family or even across households
    • Reciting a poem or surah or singing
    • Other showcases of talent, by individuals or not
  • Gift Exchanges (I’ve been doing this virtually since 2013 with friends/distant family members.)

Alternative Virtual/Group Celebrations

Being “together” isn’t always gathering for a party, and that’s what I think most people miss during the forced isolation caused by the pandemic. There are many things you can do to get ready for or celebrate Eid with loved ones even if you’re not together. 

  • Share special recipes with each other or plan to serve the same meals.
  • Coordinate Eid outfits or attempt to do matching henna designs.
  • Send Eid pictures to family and friends.
  • Prepare and cook meals or clean or decorate while on a video call (you don’t have to be talking the entire time).
  • Watch the same movie or show (whether that’s something everyone does as separate households or you do concurrently/even with a video or phone call running. This might be a good time to watch Hasan Minhaj’s “Homecoming King” and do the 10 things it invites us to do.)
  • Go through family pictures or old videos together. Maybe even create a short slideshow/video of your favorites. 
  • Story time full of family legends and epic moments (the best Eid, a difficult time of sickness, immigration or moving story, new baby in the family, etc.). Someone build the fire and get the s’mores going.

Alternative “Outings”

In the same breath, it’s so refreshing to go out and do something fun, not just stay cooped up in your house, right? Seriously. 

  • Check out a virtual museum tour
  • Go on a nice drive to some place you love or miss going to, like drive by the masjid or school or a beautiful area (but stay in your car if there are other people around)
  • Watch an Eid Khutbah (or a regular one) on Eid day (make it special by listening outside in your yard or as a family where you pray).
  • Create a movie theater experience inside the home (that might just mean some popcorn and homemade slushies).
  • Get carry out from a favorite restaurant (if it’s open), and finally have the motivation to take a longer drive if needed
  • Make fruit or gift baskets for friends and family and drop them off at their homes
  • A “paint night,” or some other craft, that everyone in the family participates in
  • Decorate your car and drive around to show it off to friends (I’ve heard there’s an actual Eid car parade at various masaajid in Chicago

Interesting Alternative Community Celebrations I’ve Heard About

Some communities are getting super creative. As I mentioned above, a handful of masaajid in Chicago (Orland Park Prayer Center, Mosque Foundation, and Islamic Center of Wheaton as well as Dar Al Taqwa in Maryland) are putting together Eid drive-thru car parades. I’ve heard of different communities, whether officially sponsored by the masjid or just put together by groups of individuals, having a drive-in Eid salah, in which families pray in their cars in a rented drive-in theater or parking lot (Champaign, Illinois and a community in Maryland). I’m  definitely impressed with that last option, and I’m waiting to hear about more creative ways to get together and worship and celebrate.

So, what am I doing for Eid (weekend) this year? All the must’s, inshaAllah, including getting extra dolled up and making donuts from biscuit dough. A “game night” (virtual party) with alumni from my MSA. A gift exchange party with my cousins as well as another gift exchange party with classmates from my Arabic program (we’ll send unboxing videos out instead of meeting at the same time.) Check out a local college campus we’ve been dying to drive around. Binge a few episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender newly released on Netflix and do some online Memorial Day sale shopping. Le’s put a tentative on all of those, haha.

At the end of the day, Eid al Fitr is about acknowledging the month of worship we engaged in during Ramadan and spending quality time with loved ones. It doesn’t really matter what that quality time looks like–as long as it is intentional, this Eid will be special no matter what, inshaAllah. Who knows, this might be one of the best, most memorable holidays ever!

Eid Mubarak!

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#Islam

Eid Prayer During the Pandemic

Introduction

We have observed a Ramadan that was unlike anything we have experienced before. The community and individuals everywhere have shown dedication, commitment, and creativity. We learned to pray tarāwīḥ on our own in our homes. We read the Qur’an everyday consistently. We attended daily lectures and reminders delivered by our imams, teachers, and scholars online. We gathered virtually to hold iftars and check in on each other. We donated to our organizations to gain the blessings of charity in Ramadan. All of this and more is only possible through the guidance of Allah and resilience of our faith.

We now find ourselves approaching Eid al-Fitr. Eid is an occasion of celebration, joy, gathering, and gratitude to Allah for his countless blessings. We all have cherished memories of past days of Eid. However, we face the prospect of an Eid that is difficult and challenging. Similar to our mindset in Ramadan, we can and should find a way to have a joyous and meaningful Eid. Shāh Walīullah al-Dihlawi writes in his Hujjatullah al-Bālighah, “Allah provided us with two days of celebration that commemorate the markers of the Islamic tradition. He associated celebration with the remembrance of Allah and acts of devotion on the day of Eid, ensuring that the congregation of believers would not be for mere vanity. Rather, the gathering of Muslims would revolve around exalting the Word of Allah.”

The Obligation of Eid

The scholars of the four major schools of thought have differed regarding the obligation of the Eid prayer. Their differences stem from their methodologies in interpreting the verses of the Qur’an and the Prophetic tradition ﷺ. The Shāfiʿī and Mālikī schools agree that the Eid prayer is an established Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ, and the prayer is highly recommended for every individual to attend.[1] However, the Ḥanafī school has deemed the prayer as wājib, necessary, for every believing man of age.[2] The Ḥanbalī school has ruled the Eid prayer as farḍ al-kifāyah[3].[4] 

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The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ prayed the Eid prayer in congregation with the Companions from the time it was prescribed until he passed. The Ḥanafī school has considered this consistency demonstrated by the Prophet ﷺ as an indication that the Eid prayer cannot be merely a recommendation. Additionally, the Prophet ﷺ did not go out of his way to inform his Companions of the lack of obligation as he did with ṣalāh al-tarāwīḥ.[5] The scholars of the Ḥanbalī school referenced the command in the Qur’an, “Pray to your Lord and sacrifice,”[6] and concluded the Eid prayer is farḍ al-kifāyah.

The Shāfiʿī and Mālikī schools quote a well-known Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ in which he informs an inquisitive Bedouin regarding the Islamic mandates. The Prophet ﷺ tells the man about the five obligatory daily prayers. The man asks the Messenger ﷺ if there are any additional prayers that are required and he responds, “All other prayers are optional.”[7] Therefore, they regard the Eid prayer as voluntary.[8] 

The Khutbah of Eid

On the day of Eid, it is recommended, according to the majority of scholars, to have a khutbah given by the Imam. The Imam advises the people in the congregation and reminds them of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ. Unlike the Friday khutbah, the Eid khutbah is given immediately after the congregational prayer is completed. The Friday khutbah is considered an essential pillar of the Jumu’ah obligation. However, the scholars of the four major schools have all come to the conclusion that the khutbah on the day of Eid is not required for the validity of the Eid prayer.[9]

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Congregations

The following question has emerged in light of our current situation: Are we excused from the obligation to gather together and worship Allah for Friday, Eid, and congregational prayers? Is the concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 a legitimate reason for individuals to not attend religious services in person?

The scholars of the Ḥanafī school list reasons that excuse individuals from attending congregational prayers. The list includes inclement weather, sickness, paralysis, old age, and notably, fear of harm. It is reported in an authentic Hadith that the Prophet ﷺ once excused the Companions from attending congregational prayers by instructing the Mu’adhdhin to call the adhān and announce, “Pray in your homes.”[10] The Ḥanafī scholar al-Ṭahṭāwī uses this Hadith as proof that those exposed to immediate danger should be excused from congregational prayer, including Friday and Eid prayers.[11]

Al-Shurunbulālī[12] reminds us that the reward is still obtained by individuals who are not able to attend due to challenging circumstances. If an individual is prevented from fulfilling an obligation due to an acceptable and valid excuse, that person will still be rewarded (if Allah wills) according to his or her intention.[13] The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ taught us, “Actions are rewarded based on their intentions. Every person will be rewarded according to his or her intention.”[14]

Recommended Eid Rituals

While our ability to congregate for Eid may be limited, this should not prevent us from observing the rituals recommended in our tradition.[15] 

  1. Supplicate to Allah ﷻ the night before Eid and ask Him for forgiveness for any shortcomings.
  2. On the morning of Eid, recite the Takbīrāt of Eid[16], glorifying Allah and rejoicing in the occasion.[17]
  3. Take a shower and celebrate by donning your best garments. It is also customary to apply perfume.
  4. Demonstrate the end of the month of fasting by eating something after Fajr on the morning of Eid. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would not leave his house on the day of Eid without eating some dates.[18]
  5. Be kind and generous.
  6. Congratulate others.
  7. Fulfill your obligation of contributing zakat al-fir before the morning of Eid. The majority of scholars are in agreement that zakat al-fir is mandatory for every believer male or female, young or old.[19] This serves the purpose of uniting Muslims on the day of Eid so they may celebrate regardless of financial circumstances.

Requirements to Conduct Eid Prayer

When performing the Eid prayer, one should, first and foremost, observe the requirements of ritual prayer (ṣalāh) such as being in a state of purification and facing the qiblah. The scholars have agreed that the prescribed time of the Eid prayer begins shortly after sunrise and ends before Ẓuhr time starts.[20] 

For the validity of the Eid prayer, the scholars among the Shāfiʿī, Mālikī, Ḥanbalī,  and Ḥanafī schools have stipulated: the prayer should be conducted during the prescribed time of Eid prayer.[21] The Ḥanafīs and some Ḥanbalīs[22] have additionally stated that the Eid prayer must be conducted in a group.[23] The Ḥanafīs specified that this requirement is fulfilled with 2 or 3 adult males other than the imam.[24] Moreover, the Ḥanafī scholars have stated that an Eid prayer should be accessible by the general public and not be in a restricted or an exclusive space.

Conducting the Eid Prayer

The Eid prayer itself is conducted very similarly to any other congregational prayer. The four major schools agree that the Eid prayer should be performed out loud with 2 rak’āt, units of prayer, just like the Fajr congregation. However, there is a difference of opinion in regards to the number of extra takbīrāt that are said in the Eid prayer. The format of the prayer has been detailed below based on the different opinions.

Mālikīs[25]

  • Make wuḍū’, face the qiblah and begin the prayer with Allāhu akbar
  • Perform 6 additional takbīrāt[26], say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Finish the first rak’ah
  • After standing for the second rak’ah, perform 5 additional takbīrāt, say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Complete the prayer as usual

Ḥanbalīs[27]

  • Make wuḍū’, face the qiblah and begin the prayer with Allāhu akbar
  • Perform 6 additional takbīrāt, raise your hands and say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Finish the first rak’ah
  • After standing for the second rak’ah, perform 5 additional takbīrāt, raise your hands and say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Complete the prayer as usual

Shāfiʿīs[28]

  • Make wuḍū’, face the qiblah and begin the prayer with Allāhu akbar
  • Perform 7 additional takbīrāt, raise your hands and say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Finish the first rak’ah
  • After standing for the second rak’ah, perform 5 additional takbīrāt, raise your hands and say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Complete the prayer as usual

Ḥanafīs[29]

  • Make wuḍū’, face the qiblah and begin the prayer with Allāhu akbar
  • Perform 3 additional takbīrāt, raise your hands and say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Finish the first rak’ah
  • After standing for the second rak’ah, recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Perform 3 additional Takbīrāt, raise your hands and say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Say Allāhu akbar and bow into rukū’
  • Complete the prayer as usual

Conclusion

Eid is an occasion of glorifying Allah, praying for the acceptance of our deeds, and enjoying the blessings of Allah. It is a day to spend time with family and loved ones. The regulations of social distancing have limited our ability to congregate and spend time together as a community. However, these restrictions do not prevent us from fulfilling the rituals and traditions of Eid.

We recommend that every Muslim observes the Eid rituals as mentioned above. It has been authentically reported that the Companion of the Prophet ﷺ Anas ibn Mālik did not make it to the Eid prayer, so he gathered his family and offered the Eid prayer at home in the same manner the imam would with the congregation.[30] Furthermore, the Mālikī, Shāfiʿī, and Ḥanbalī schools allow people to perform the Eid prayer individually or with family at home. While the Ḥanafī school traditionally does not allow this, many senior Ḥanafī scholars have eased the condition of performing the Jumu’ah prayer in a public place during the current pandemic. Therefore, we recommend that individuals and families who are not able to attend an Eid congregation pray the Eid ṣalāh as detailed above at home.

May Allah accept our deeds. May Allah provide us with a joyous Eid. May Allah alleviate the current crisis. May Allah protect us all.

Allah knows best.

AbdulNasir Jangda

Sohaib Sheikh

26 Ramadan 1441 AH/19 May 2020 CE

Qalam Institute’s  mission is to educate humanity about Allah, His message, and His Messenger ﷺ. This article is written by the instructors at Qalam. Please consider supporting them as they create beneficial content for people to study their religion. 


[1] al-Majmu’ 5:2, al-Jumal ala sharh al-Manhaj 2:92

[2] Bada’I al-Sana’I 1:274

[3] farḍ al-kifāyah: An obligation that is mandated at a communal level. If a community fulfills the obligation, any other people that did not participate are excused from the obligation.

[4] al-Mughni 2:304

[5] Bada’I al-Sana’I 1:274, al-Hidayah 1:60, Tuhfah al-Fuqaha 1:283

[6] Qur’an 108:2

[7] Sahih al-Bukhari 2678

[8] Jawahir al-Iklil 1:101, al-Majmoo’ 5:3

[9] al-Lubab 1:118-119, Maraqi al-Falah 91, Tabyin al-Haqaiq 1:226, Fatawa al-Hindiyyah 1:141, Fath al-Qadir 1:428, al-Durr al-Mukhtar 1:782-784, al-Sharh al-Saghir 1:530, al-Sharh al-Kabir 1:400, al-Qawanin al-Fiqhiyyah 86, Mughni al-Muhtaj 1:311, al-Muhadhab 1:120, al-Majmoo’ 5:36, al-Mughni 2:384-387, Kashaf al-Qina’ 2:61-62

[10] Sahih al-Bukhari 10:29, Sahih Muslim 6:32-33, Sunan Abi Dawud 2:672-673, Sunan Ibn Majah 5:989-991, Sunan al-Nasa’I 7:660, Sunan al-Nasa’I 10:78

[11] Hashiyah al-Tahtawi ala Maraqi al-Falah 297

[12] Hanafi scholar who authored the famous work Nur al-Idah

[13] Nur al-Idah 65, Hashiyah al-Tahtawi ala Maraqi al-Falah 299

[14] Sahih al-Bukhari 1:1, Sahih Muslim 33:222

[15] al-Fiqh al-Islami Wa Adillatuhu 1412-1416

[16] Takbirat of Eid: Saying Allahu Akbar and La Ilaha Illa Allah

[17] al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah 13:213-214

[18] Sahih al-Bukhari 13:5

[19] al-Zayla’I 1:307, Ibn Abidin 2:110, Fath al-Qadir 2:30, Bulghat al-Salik 1:200, Sharh al-Minhaj 1:628, Kashaf al-Qina’ 1:471

[20] Fath al-Qadir 1:424, al-Lubab 1:117, Maraqi al-Falah 90, al-Dur al-Mukhtar 1:779, al-Bada’I 1:276, al-Sharh al-Saghir 1:524, al-Qawanin al-Fiqhiyyah 85, Mughni al-Muhtaj 1:310, al-Muhadhab 1:118, Kashaf al-Qina’ 2:56

[21] al-Dasuqi 1:396, Asna al-Matalib 1:279

[22] Imam Ibn al-Qudama stated both opinions in the Hanbali school regarding the requirement of a congregation to conduct Eid prayer. Some Hanbali scholars require a group of people for the validity of the Eid prayer while others said that an individual can pray Eid by him or herself. al-Mughni 2:291

[23] Kashaf al-Qina’ 1:455, 2:50, Bada’I al-Sana’I 1:275

[24] Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad stated that 2 congregants other than the Imam are the minimum required to be considered a congregation. Imam Abu Yusuf was of the opinion that 3 congregants other than the Imam are required.

[25] al-Sharh al-Saghir 1:525, al-Sharh al-Kabir 1:397, al-Qawanin al-Fiqhiyyah 86, Bidayah al-Mujtahid 1:209

[26] Takbirat of Eid: These are extra Takbirs unique to the Eid ṣalāh. According to the majority of scholars, these Takbirs are conducted by the Imam raising his hands as he does when he starts the prayer and saying Allahu Akbar. The stronger opinion according to the Malikis is that when performing the extra Takbirs, the Imam does not raise his hands but says Allahu Akbar.

al-Sharh al-Saghir 1:525, al-Sharh al-Kabir 1:398

[27] Bidayah al-Mujtahid 1:209, al-Mughni 2:376-384, Kashaf al-Qina’ 2:59-65

[28] Mughni al-Muhtaj 1:310, al-Muhadhab 1:120, al-Majmoo’ 5:18

[29] The famous Companion, Ibn Masood, said in regard to the ritual of Eid prayer, “The Imam of the prayer should say Takbir to initiate the prayer. Afterwards, he should perform 3 additional Takbirat followed by the recitation of Surah al-Fatihah and another Surah following it. Then the Imam should continue his prayer, go into Ruku’, Sujood until he stands up (for his second Rak’ah). He should read Surah al-Fatihah and another Surah and proceed to perform 3 Takbirat followed by the Takbir to go into Ruku’” – Sharh Ma’ani al-Athar 4:347

al-Lubab 1:117, Maraqi al-Falah 90, Fath al-Qadir 1:425-427, Tabyin al-Haqaiq 1:225, al-Dur al-Mukhtar 1:779-782, al-Bada’I 1:277, al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah 1:141

[30] al-Sunan al-Kabir 3:503, al-Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah 2:183, Sahih al-Bukhari includes this Hadith in his Tarjamtul Baab 2:23

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