The Humble "I"

Knowing, Doing, Becoming

Khawarij Ideology, ISIS Savagery: Part 1 of 3

guns-wallpaper-ak47-2As ISIS continues its murder and violence across the provinces it controls and seeks to control, and as it continues to plague the conscience of the great majority of Muslims around the world, what’s worth recalling is that we’ve seen this before in history with the sect called the Khawarij (anglicised to Kharijites). So before tackling ISIS, let’s look at their forerunners; the Kharajites, to whom their pedigree can be traced.

I

The hadith canons relate that shortly after the battle of Hunayn while the Prophet ﷺ was distributing charity to a few people whose hearts needed to be reconciled, there came a man with a thick beard, prominent cheek bones, deep sunken eyes, protruding forehead and shaven head. He exclaimed: Fear Allah, O Muhammad! The Prophet ﷺ responded: ‘Who will obey Allah if I were to disobey him? Am I not [sent as the] most trustworthy person on earth; and yet you trust me not?’ The man then turned back, whereupon one of those present asked for permission to kill him. But the Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Verily, from the progeny (di’di) of this [man] shall come a people who will recite the Qur’an but it won’t pass beyond their throats. They will slay the followers of Islam and would spare the people of idolatry. They will pierce through the religion just like an arrow which goes clean through a prey.’1

Another hadith records that this man’s name was Dhu’l-Khuwaysirah, from the tribe of Tamim, about whom the Prophet ﷺ alerted: ‘Leave him; he has comrades whose prayer and fasting will make your prayer and fasting seem insignificant. They recite the Qur’an but it doesn’t go beyond their throats. They shall pass through the religion as an arrow that pierces clean through its prey such that, on inspecting the head; then the shaft; then the fletching; then the nock, would see no traces of blood or viscera on it whatsoever.’2 Ibn al-Jawzi said: ‘The first of the Khawarij, and the most wretched of them, was Dhu’l-Khuwaysirah … His problem was that he was too puffed up with his own opinion. Had he been granted grace, he would have realised that no opinion was above that of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ. The followers of this man were those who fought against ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, may Allah ennoble his face.’3

A few decades after this post-Hunayn happening, and as had been prophesied, Dhu’l-Khuwaysirah’s ideological comrades and offspring took on the shape of the very first sect (firqah) to deviate from the main body of the Muslims: the Khawarij (culled from the Arabic word kharaja – “to go out” or “to leave” the main body of Muslims). Indeed, their very name was mentioned by the Prophet ﷺ himself, who said: al-khawarij hum kilab al-nar – “The Khawarij are the dogs of Hellfire!’4 The emergence of the Khawarij as a sect occurred during the caliphate (khilafah) of ‘Ali, in the immediate aftermath of a civil war and its arbitration at Siffin. Ibn al-Jawzi tells us: ‘‘Ali returned from Siffin and entered Kufah: the Khawarij did not follow. Instead, they settled in Harura. There were twelve thousand of them, and they were declaring: la hukma illa li’Llah – “There is no judgement, except Allah’s.” This is how they initially started.’5

Imam Muslim narrates from ‘Ubayd Allah b. Abi Rafi‘, a freed salve of the Prophet ﷺ, that the Khawarij came out against ‘Ali, and declared: ‘There is no judgement, except Allah’s.’ So ‘Ali replied: ‘A word of truth, intended for something false (kalimatu haqq urida biha batil).’6

Imam al-Nawawi explains: ‘Meaning, the basis of their statement was true. Allah says: The judgement is for none but Allah. [12:40] What they intended by it, however, was to reject ‘Ali’s [acceptance of] arbitration, may Allah be pleased with him.’7

As with Dhu’l-Khuwaysirah who, blinded by his warped piety and self-righteousness, thought he had a keener sense of justice than the Prophet ﷺ, the Khawarij were also possessed of holier-than-thou pretensions and smug convictions. It is this puritanical, embittered self-righteousness – devoid of any true glimmer of knowledge or spiritual wisdom – that is the hallmark of the Khawarij and their ideological cousins who drink from the same murky theological waters today. Of course, along with such fanatical zeal, their other great infamy was takfir – declaring other Muslims to be disbelievers, and spilling their blood because of it.

II

The historians al-Tabari and Ibn Kathir chronicle alarmingly precise accounts of their intimidation, violence and terror. Under the events of 37H/657CE they detail how the Khawarij began terrorising the countryside around Nahrawan, Iraq, subjecting those whom they caught to an imtihan or “inquisition”. If the answers failed to satisfy their zeal for purity, or agree with their understanding of things, then the punishment was death. Things came to a head when they chose ‘Abd Allah, son of an early companion, Khabbab b al-Aratt, as their victim. A number of the Khawarij rode into his village for supplies and thought to make an example of him. They fired their loaded questions at him. They first asked him about the caliphates of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman. ‘Abd Allah extolled them all and praised their successive caliphates. So far, so good. They then asked him about ‘Ali, and his state before and after the arbitration or tahkim. ‘He has far greater knowledge about Allah than you do,’ replied ‘Abd Allah, ‘and has much more piety in terms of his religion and possesses greater insight.’ With that, his fate was sealed. They bound and dragged him and his pregnant wife to an orchard ladened with date palms, next to a river. As they were proceeding to kill him, a date fell to the ground, so one of the Khawarij picked it up and put it in his mouth. ‘Do you do that without the owner’s permission and without paying for it?’ said one of his Kharajite comrades. He spat it out instantly. Another Khariji, wielding his sword in threatening circles, accidentally killed a cow that had been wandering behind him. His comrades insisted he should go and find the owner and pay him the full price of the animal. They waited whilst he did so. Thus, having acted most righteously in the matter of the date and the cow, they slit ‘Abd Allah’s throat and then disemboweled his wife. Date spat out, cow paid for, husband, wife and unborn child butchered; and with the clearest of consciences, they purchased their supplies and went on their way.8

Theologians have differed as to the precise meaning of the Prophet’s words ﷺ: ‘They will pierce through the religion (yamruquna min al-din) as an arrow which goes clean through a prey.’ The idea of maraqa – an an arrow ‘piercing’ or going ‘clean through’ its prey with such force and velocity that it exists its prey without any trace of blood or flesh sticking to its tip or shaft, describes emphatically how the Khawarij immerse themselves in religion, but exit straight through it. The question, however, is do they exit the fold of orthodoxy (and become heterodox, deviant Muslims), or do they leave the actual fold of Islam? A minority of scholars went with the latter view; most went with the former.9 The majority view takes its cue from ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, who was asked: Are the Khawarij mushrikun? He said: ‘They flee from shirk.‘ Are they munafiqun? He said: ‘The hypocrites remember Allah only a little.’ Then what are they? He said: ‘They are our brothers who transgressed against us (ikhwanuna baghaw ‘alayna), so we fought them for their transgression.’10

III

We may be forgiven for thinking that the Khawarij are an anachronism; a thing of the past, that have no bearing upon Muslims and today’s world. But we would be terribly wrong! The Khawarij, as we shall soon see, were prophesied as raising their ugly heads throughout time, until the Dajjal appears at their tale end. It is crucial, therefore, that we acquaint ourselves with their traits, attitudes and bent of mind:

1. Their first trait, as was mentioned, is that they will keep on rising throughout time. The Prophet ﷺ warned: ‘A group of young men will rise up reciting the Qur’an, but it won’t pass beyond their throats. Whenever a group appears, it is to be cut off; until the Dajjal arises at their tale end.’ Ibn ‘Umar said: I heard the Prophet ﷺ saying: ‘Each time a group appears, it is to be cut off’ more than twenty times.11 Thus the Khawarij will continue to plague Islam and the Muslims, till the Dajjal arises in what remains of them.

2. Another typical trait is their ignorant, over-simplistic understanding of religion. To this reality, there are these following words of the Prophet ﷺ: ‘There will arise at the end of time a people young in age and weak in intellect (hudatha’ al-asnan wa sufaha’ al-ahlam). Their speech will be that of the best of creation. They will recite the Qur’an but it shan’t go beyond their throats. They will shoot through the religion just like an arrow goes through the game. When you meet them, kill them; for in their killing you will receive a great reward from Allah on the Day of Judgement.’12

Ibn Hajr wrote: ‘The Khawarij, what led them to judge those who opposed them to be disbelievers, making their blood lawful … and engage in fighting and killing Muslims? All this is from the vestiges of those who worship upon ignorance; those whose hearts haven’t been expanded by the light of knowledge. nor do they hold tightly to the firm rope of knowledge.’13 Indeed, more than any other fitnah today, the ummah is beset with takfiri violence, murder and mayhem, wreaked upon it mostly by those ‘young in age and weak in intellect.’

3. Extremism and fanaticism is another quintessential character. The Prophet ﷺ said about them: ‘There will arise among you a people whose prayer will make your prayer look insignificant, whose fasting will make your fasting look insignificant, and whose deeds will make your deeds look insignificant. They will recite the Qur’an but it won’t pass beyond their throats …’14 Ibn ‘Abbas said about the Khawarij, when he went to debate them: ‘I came to them at midday and entered upon a people, the likes of whom I hadn’t seen in terms of their exertion in worship. Their foreheads were grazed from [constant] prostration. Their hands were rough, like [the knees of] camels. They wore recently washed, girded up tunics. And their faces were pale from staying up at night [in prayer].’15

Despite their ostensibly impressive religiosity, which has ensnared many a youth into their misguided, brutal embrace, Ibn Hajr puts things into perspective for us: ‘It was said of them [that they are] “Reciters,” because of their tireless exertion in reciting the Qur’an and [devotion in] worship. Except that they would interpret the Qur’an upon other than its intended meanings, were obstinate, and went to extremes in regards to worldly detachment (zuhd), humility in prayer (khushu‘) and other [such] things.’16

4. Their speech is impressive, but their actions are abhorrent and wicked. One hadith states: ‘There shall appear in my ummah schisms and divisions, and a people who will beautify their speech, but their actions will be evil. They shall recite the Qur’an, but it will not pass beyond their throats …’17 A clear case that the Khawarij can talk the talk, but not walk the walk – and how yesterday resembles today.

5. They demean the seasoned scholars well-known for their depth of knowledge, fiqh and piety, and cut-off from them. The Prophet ﷺ described the Khawarij as: ‘young in age, weak in intellect,’18 Ibn ‘Abbas, in his parley with them, told them this home truth: ‘I come to you from the Emigrants (muhajirun) and the Helpers (ansar), and the son-in-law of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ. To them the Qur’an was revealed. They are more learned about its meanings than you are; and there is not a single one of them among you.’19

Fewer things are as repugnant as the blind, holier-than-thou absolutism of the newly reformed sinner (as the Khawarij saw themselves to be). In their purer than the pure self-righteousness they declared ‘Ali, Mu‘awiyah, and other sahabah to be unbelievers or kuffar. For they had failed to cross over to their puritanical way of seeing things. In fact, Khariji bigotry has always treated with contempt the true people of knowledge. The mediating voices of the scholars become, for the Khawarij, religious compromise or betrayal. Juristic nuances are seen by them as pharisaic, there to hide the simplicity of passing judgement on others. The Prophet ﷺ said about such murderous misfits: ‘They shall recite the Qur’an thinking it is for them, but it is against them.’20 And that: ‘They would call to the Book of Allah, but would not be from it at all.’21 Such can be the tragedy of those who, not withstanding their religious zeal, are wet behind the ears in terms of age, experience and knowledge.

In contrast to those ‘young in age, weak in intellect,’ the Prophet ﷺ said: al-barakah fi akabirikum – ‘The blessings are with your senior ones.’22 Indeed, cutting-off from the senior scholars in particular, and the people of knowledge and spirituality (ahl al-‘ilmi wa’l-ihsan) in general, is the root causes of how zeal for religious purity is taken over the brink into all-out fanaticism.

6. Along with the murder and violence, their most infamous trait is making takfir of a person for a major sin, or something for which takfir cannot be made. I have written at length about Takfir: Its Dangers & Its Rules elsewhere on this blog, so I’ll limit myself to this one hadith. The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Truly what I most fear for you is a man who will recite the Qur’an until its radiance appears on him. So he becomes a support to Islam, changing it to whatever Allah wills. He then separates from it, casts it behind his back and raises the sword against his neighbour, accusing him of idolatry (shirk).’ I asked: O Allah’s Messenger who most deserves to be imputed with shirk; the accused or the accuser? He replied: ‘The accuser.”‘23 

Ibn Taymiyyah said: ‘The Khawarij were the first to declare Muslims to be unbelievers due to committing sins. They declared as disbelievers whoever opposed them in their innovation, and made lawful the shedding of blood and the seizing of wealth.’24

7. One final trait. They do not venerate the Prophet ﷺ, even if they zealously observe some of the outward sunnahs. We should recall that the precursor to these Khawarij, Dhul-Khuwaysirah, rebuked the Prophet ﷺ, telling him to ‘fear Allah’ and ‘be just!’25 Such disrespect towards the Prophet ﷺ, and towards his compassion and his concern to reconcile hearts (for that was the context in which he spoke these insolent words), still courses through Kharijite veins today.26

More than any other attribute, rahmah – compassion, mercy and clemency – was the defining quality of the Prophet ﷺ. Allah says about His Prophet: We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds. [21:107] The Prophet ﷺ once said: ‘I am indeed a merciful gift.’27 That being so, seldom will you find this profound prophetic attribute manifest upon them, save in some limited way. Anger, hostility, resentment and vengeance are more what animate them than mercy, humanity and tolerance. For theirs is the way of political agitation, not reconciliation; of demolishing, not building; of insulting the people of knowledge, not honouring or being guided by them; of “learning” via books, not at the feet of seasoned ‘ulema.

Again, seldom will you find one of them having a daily wird, or set portion, of sending salutations (salawat) upon the Prophet ﷺ, by which the bonds of profound love and attachment to him are cultivated. In fact, veneration (ta‘zim) of the Prophet ﷺ, and that ambition to emulate something of his inward states, are generally conspicuous in them by their absence.

Yet without this deep prophetic attachment, dehumanising the Quranic message and making faith appear utterly repugnant becomes more than a possibility; it becomes a hideous, living reality. What is clear is that those unschooled in ihsan – in the beauty of shari‘ah-rooted spirituality – will only bring ugliness into the world.

To conclude: Part 1 of this blog mapped the origins, significance and extremist nature of the first heterodox sect in Islam: the Khawarij. Section one recounted the genesis of the Khawarij, personified in the hubris of Dhu’l-Khuwaysirah – the ‘father’ of this violent, brutish, self-righteous sect. We saw how they made la hukma illa li’Llah – “No judgement except Allah’s” – their clarion call, dressing it up in their false meaning and misapplication. The second section gave us a window into their lopsided piety: acting most justly when it came to the price of a date, but having no conscience whatsoever when it came to butchering and killing those who did not share their political views. Such superficial piety is what the prophetic warnings about them allude to: ‘a people who will recite the Qur’an, but it won’t pass beyond their throats.’

Section three discussed some of their defining traits and attitudes: a black and white grasp of religious realities because of being ‘weak in intellect’; extremely puritanical; that Muslims would be the main victims of their violence and murder; they will keep appearing throughout time, but will be identified by the learned for what they truly are; their political rabble-rousing and denigration of the scholars; and, of course, their wanton takfir of Muslims for matters wherein takfir is not permitted.

In the second part of this blog, we’ll look at how Kharijite beliefs, ideas and methods have surfaced in modern times; especially in the form of the outfit known as ISIS or ISIL The claim of ISIS as being the legitimate Caliphate will be examined, as will core aspects of their ideology and their ‘Management of Savagery.’

And Allah’s help is sought.

1. Muslim, no.1064.

2. Al-Bukhari, no.3610.

3. Ibn al-Jawzi, Talbis Iblis (Beirut: Dar al-Qalam, 1982), 88; also see: al-Shahrastani, al-Milal wa’l-Nihal (Cairo: Dar al-Halabi, 1967), 1:118.

4. Ibn Majah, no.176. Al-Albani graded it as sahih in Sahih al-Jami‘ al-Saghir (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1987), no.3347.

5. Talbis Iblis, 89.

6. Muslim, no.1066/157.

7. Al-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1995), 7:152.

8. Consult: al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Rusul wa’l-Muluk (Egypt: Dar al-Ma‘rifah, 1964); 5:81-2; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah (Dar al-Hijr, 1998), 10:584.

9. Ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari (Cairo: Dar al-‘Alamiyyah, 2013), 8:225, 15:392-94, where he says that those who considered the Khawarij to be outside the fold of Islam include: Ibn al-‘Arabi in his Sharh al-Tirmidhi, al-Subki in his Fatawa, and al-Qurtubi in al-Mufhim.

10. Al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah, 10:591.

11. Ibn Majah, no.174. The hadith was graded hasan by al-Albani, Silsilat al-Ahadith al-Sahihah (Riyadh: Maktabah al-Ma‘arif, 1991), no.2455.

12. Al-Bukhari, no.5057; Muslim, no.1066. ‘There will arise at the end of time’ has been explained to mean: the end period of the rightly-guided khalifahs. See: Ibn Hajr, Fath al-Bari, 15:376.

13. Fath al-Bari, 15:394.

14. Al-Bukhari, no.5058; Muslim, no.1063.

15. Cited in Ibn al-Jawzi, Talbis Iblis, 89.

16. Fath al-Bari, 15:371. Point to note: No doubt, the early Khawarij exerted themselves in worship. But this is not necessarily a trait of theirs in later times; nor even today. In fact, many of today’s Khawarij often have, despite their political zeal, rhetoric and commitment to carnage, little attachment to sustained religious practice (although in these religiously lax times, just praying a few prayers a day or growing a full beard can seem religiously impressive to some).

17. Abu Dawud, no.4765. It was classified as sahih in al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami‘ al-Saghir (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1986), no.3668.

18. Al-Bukhari, no.3611; Muslim, no.1066.

19. Talbis Iblis, 89-90.

20. Muslim, no.1066.

21. Ahmad, no.1338, and it is sahih. See: al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami‘ al-Saghir (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1986), no.3668.

22. Ibn Hibban, Sahih, no.559; al-Hakim, Mustadrak, no.210, where he said: ‘It is sahih according to the conditions of al-Bukhari.’

23. Ibn Hibban, Sahih, no.282. Ibn Kathir said: ‘Its chain is excellent (jayyid).’ See: Tafsir Qur’an al-‘Azim  (Beirut: Dar al-Ma‘rifah, 1987), 2:276.

24. Majmu‘ al-Fatawa (Riyadh: Dar ‘Alam al-Kutub, 1991), 3:279.

25. Al-Bukhari, no.6933; Muslim, no.1064.

26. In fact, similar resistance to reconciling hearts can be seen in Kharijite hostility to the tahkim or arbitration at Siffin. Moreover, the same disrespect towards the Prophet ﷺ can be seen in their insults against, and takfir of, ‘Ali – the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law; and thus a member of the Ahl al-Bayt.

27. Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, no.100; and it is sahih. See: al-Albani, Silsilat al-Ahadith al-Sahihah (Riyadh: Maktabah al-Ma‘arif, 1995), no.490.

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24 thoughts on “Khawarij Ideology, ISIS Savagery: Part 1 of 3

  1. Masha’Allah. Good piece as I have thought of this before and waited for someone to shed light on the similar traits of ISIS/Khawarij.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Salam. a well constructed and balanced read. Our faith is one based on mercy – yet this is so often overlooked. Perhaps, because the soul has not been completely purged of pride.

    Shukran.

    Like

    • Although ISIS has a clear command structure, currently it is an umbrella under which there are all sorts which degrees of extremism (the devout, the sincere, the misguided, thugs, murderers, those looking for identity and belonging, plus more). Please pray that Allah guides me to knowledge and justice when writing Part Two.

      Many people are looking for some guidance and clarity on the matter. They deserve a just and knowledge-based portrayal; not a partisan, emotionally rant.

      Like

  3. guess flying a plane into the twintowers and murdering 3000 peopleby Aq wasnt savagery?

    Like

  4. Ali Shah on said:

    SubhanAllah! This piece should be in every masjid’s curriculum for their youth.

    Like

  5. Assalaam Alaykum wr wb:

    Please be careful to refrain from calling all jihadi groups as khawarij if you continue to analyze ISIS and how they came about. Not saying that this is what you will write, but others have written and lectured as such. ISIS fell into the fitnah of khawarijism for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons is because their leadership and many of their members are new to Islam (being former baathists) and rather than taking the time to learn Islam and how to implement it (while agreeing to take orders and listen to their emirs and scholars)…they rushed for power, control, and establishing a Khalifah even though the conditions were not right for the return of the Khalifah. ISIS is using the underlying and repressive infrastructure that Saddam Hussein established in order to run his police state. However, as Islam teaches us to be fair and honest…we mustn’t focus only on the savagery of ISIS but rather, admit that such savagery can be found in all the surrounding states and in all the parties that are currently at war (including those fighting ISIS).

    ISIS went overboard in matters of takfir and thus, are shedding the blood of their own Mujahid brothers. Today, ISIS has many of the same enemies and are fighting the same Mujahideen as the western Zio-Crusader alliance. It is unfortunate that this has happened, but the reasons are based on human nature (the nafs which the shaytan attack). It is for a desire for power, control, worldly gain, believing that you have knowledge of the unseen (whether in takfir or future prophecies), etc. The essence of a Mujahid is to be selfless and to leave his affairs to Allah and be mindful of the Muslim Ummah as a whole (which he claims to be a defender of). The method ISIS used to establish their so-called Khalifah and the subsequent rulings that they now apply on any Muslim that disagrees with them or refuses to accept their authority – is far away from the method of the Prophet (saaws). Rather, it is the method of tyrants, baathists, monarchies, and kingdoms!

    and Allah knows best.

    Like

  6. This is i.e. http://elyaswhitworth.com/hypocrisy/ where all what author treats about right above takes its please from indeed.

    And Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) no needed to be a Phd himself in order to predict such scenario.

    For in such environment where hypocrisy is being notably hidden & accepted within the society, it is just a question of time and not, whether if or if not?

    We had a Holly Inquisition along with its Crusades’ military campaigns sanctioned by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages and now, we have got exactly the same scenario yet suctioned under the different flag only.

    Good luck you all true believers out there ha ha ha ha!

    Ps. Hope this one is accurate enough to be posted for doesn’t contain exact names of prime hypocrites in East London Hypocrisy Centre. Names such as of some Imams and their “pupils” who advocate their vile, nationalistic activities under the slogan “Muslims want dialogue”, but when dialogue is being prepared to take its place, there is nobody there eager so ha ha ha ha!

    Like

    • Assalamu’alaikum shaykh

      May Allah swt reward you for this blog and educating us ordinary people.
      Everyone is against ISIS but only few people have refuted them with evidence from Quran sunnah and history of islam. I personally saw for myself that many youth including myself discarded those refutations on isis which failed to use any evidence from islam.

      Infact many voices did what they accuse ISIS of; takfir. They said isis are not muslim because they kill innocent people.
      Others have refuted them using conspiracy theories stating they are agents of iran or the west. I think these claims actually made more people sympathise with Isis rather than oppose.

      However your blog Alhamdulillah is tackling the problem in the correct way I beleive, and i cant wait for part 2 inshaAllah.
      Using hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in which he warns us against the khawarij, and comparing todays khawarij to yestderdays khawarij is an excellent way to expose isis for what they really are.
      Alhamdulillah i thank Allah for opening my eyes and to see the true ugliness of isis.

      Like

      • Assalaam Alaykum wr wb:

        Sul – it is because the most mainstream ulema stay far away from topics regarding politics and jihad and takfir and so forth. This also explains somewhat the issue of conspiracy theories. Takfir is a part of our religion. Going overboard in it leads to Khawarijism while abandoning it leads to the way of the Murji’ah. Ahlul Sunnah wa Jamma is the middle path. The Muslim youth are waiting for Islam to rise again rather than be constantly abused and humiliated. They are waiting for Islam to once again be the leader of humanity and to once again be the conqueror rather than the conquered (as is the case now). But if any scholars or intellectuals speak up on this and raise awareness on these matters…they are killed, silenced, or imprisoned. Hence, the rise of the extremism of ISIS as a counter-balance to the extremism of tyranny, police states, occupation, the theft of the Ummah’s natural resources, secularism, our own divisions on account of nationalism/tribalism/ethnicity/madhab, and our own ignorance regarding even the most basic matters of aqeedah as well as the unity and priorities of the Ummah. And everything that happens is by the will and permission of Allah.

        Shaykh Muhammad al-Maqdisi (ha) – a salafi-jihadi scholar who emphasized that ISIS has nothing to do with the salafi-jihadi manhaj (though ISIS claims this to be what they were once on) said it best…

        “”…Due to that I am saying one thing, the matter of people getting deceived by this group, its reason is that the Muslims desire for a thing whose name is Khilafah and Islamic state and those people (Dawla) know how to laugh at the youth by using these two great terms which are in the hearts of the Muslims. And I will give you an example with which I will close my talk.

        When darkness becomes long, and there is no doubt that the Muslims in the east and the west of the earth are surrounded by darkness and a lot of oppression falls upon them from their enemies and because of that that the darkness has caused confusion…, the people would long for the appearance of dawn. And the person who lives in darkness, he would think of any ray of light that he sees as dawn.

        And the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam has stated that there are two dawns, the false dawn and the true dawn.
        If they see the false dawn then it is not allowed for them to pray the salath. And these people have thought that they are the true dawn and they thought that they are a khilafah and they went to them. And in reality if they look with a discerning eye they will know that this is not the real dawn and it is just the false dawn. And that whoever rushes for a thing before its actual time he will be punished by being deprived of it.

        And we have not despaired and we are still waiting for the true dawn which will arrive by the permission of Allah, but not at the hands of the likes of these extremists, but at the hands of those who know the hadith of the Prophet salallahu alayhu alayi wa salam and honour it and do not give preference over it to the statements of humans…”

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      • wa alaykum al-salam wa rahmatullah.

        Thank you for your commendation Sul. In truth, I must acknowledge that whatever is beneficial and correct in the blog, is from Allah; whatever isn’t, is from my ownself and the devil’s promptings.

        I also wholeheartedly agree with you when you say that some of the current ‘refutations’ on ISIS (built less on knowledge, and more on political theorising, conspiracies, etc) actually push some people towards them.

        Once again, jazakallahu khayran for your comment.

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    • Thank you for your comments Elyas. The reason why I deleted your first two posts was that they didn’t make sense to me. I thought they were responses to an ongoing dialogue you were having with someone else and then accidentally posted them here!

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  7. Jazak Allah Khair

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  8. Barakallahu fikum.

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  9. Salam, this is an excellent article. Would you kindly add the reblog button?

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  10. Tushar Imdad-ul-Haque on said:

    An extremely insightful article. I came across this searching for answers after the third recent terror attack in two months. Our youth need to be taught this history. Have you tried to write similar articles – particularly regarding the Khawarij history – for non-Muslim newspapers/magazines/websites? I think it’s so important that they see this type of information in the mainstream media. The very hadith is a chilling prophecy of these ISIS terrorists and explain so clearly the Muslims’ view of them from the words of our very Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)
    [‘They recite the Qur’an but it doesn’t go beyond their throats. They shall pass through the religion as an arrow that pierces clean through its prey…]. Please let me know of any success or published articles appearing in non-Muslim spaces.

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    • Thank you for you kind comment Sidi Tushar; and may Allah bless you abundantly for the excellent work that my wife tells me you are involved in, in the field of education.

      Like you, I too feel that such history is a great teacher. Unfortunately, I’ve not really attempted to write anything of this sort for a non-Muslim audience. My hope was (and still is) that someone more capable will pick up things from such works and repackage it in a more digestible manner for mainstream consumption. Perhaps someone with your background and skill sets could take up the task?

      I’m more concerned with the material reaching a larger audience than with getting any recognition as such. So I wouldn’t even mind if someone reedited the article, taking whatever quotes or info they needed from it, and put out something shorter and more reader friendly.

      Again, jazakallahu khayran for the comment and suggestion.

      Wa’Llahu wali al-tawfiq.

      Your brother, and at your service,
      Surkheel Abu Aaliyah

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