Over 120 Islamic scholars from around the world, many of them leading Muslim voices in countries like Egypt & Saudia Arabia have issued an open letter denouncing Islamic State militants and refuting their religious arguments.
The 22-page letter, written in Arabic and heavy with quotes from the Quran and other Islamic sources not only denounces Islamic State militants but unintentionally resolves another key issue in the Muslim World.
Since 1974, Ahmadis have been forcefully declared “non-Muslim” under Pakistani law and this mix of religion and state has lead to an increase in sectarian violence. Extremist religious groups in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia have used the non-muslim label to ruthlessly attack Ahmadis.
The religious ruling as to who is Muslim and who is not has also claimed lives of Shia believers, In Pakistan over 1,000 Shias Muslims from minority Hazara community have been killed in the last decade.
But the Muslim leaders who endorsed the “Open Letter to Al-BaghdadI” plan to change all that, Point number 9 of the letter states:
It is forbidden in Islam to declare people non-Muslim unless he (or she) openly declares disbelief.
a. Quintessentially in Islam, anyone who says: ‘There is no god but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God’ is a Muslim and cannot be declared a non-Muslim. God says: ‘O you who believe, when you are going forth in the way of God, be discriminating and do not say to him who offers you peace: ‘You are not a believer, desiring the transient goods of the life of this world.
With God are plenteous spoils. So you were formerly, but God has been gracious to you. So be discriminating. Surely God is ever Aware of what you do.’ (Al-Nisa’, 4: 94). The meaning of ‘be discriminating’ in the above verse is to ask them: ‘Are you Muslims?’ The answer is to be taken at face-value without questioning or testing their faith. Read the full details
The letter was presented by Nihad Awad of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Wednesday in Washington. Few of the prominent signatories include:
- Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri (Founder of Minhaj-ul-Qur’an International, Pakistan)
- Dr. Muhammad Suheyl Umar (Director of Iqbal Academy, Pakistan)
- Seyyed Abdullah Fadaaq (Islamic Preacher and Scholar, Saudi Arabia)
- Sheikh Wahid Abdul-Jawad (Fatwa Council Dar al-Ifta’ – Egypt)
- Prof. Sheikh Shawqi Allam (Grand Mufti of Egypt)
- HE Prof. Sheikh Shawqi Allam (Vice-President of Al-Azhar University – Egypt)
- Azhar Aziz (President of the Islamic Society of North America ISNA – USA )
- Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson (Founder and Director of Zaytuna College, USA )
- Sheikh Mahmood As’ad Madani (Secretary-General of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, India)