Why It Is Impermissible to Deal With ISIS “Slave Trade”?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it permissible to buy slaves from ISIS, since they obtain them through war?

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum, thank you for writing in.

It is not permissible to buy slaves from ISIS. This is not only because ISIS and their like are not a legitimate army / state, but also because their actions are in clear contradiction of the sacred law and its purposes, regardless of how much they may distort or manipulate the ‘proofs’.

Moreover, in accordance with the Geneva Convention Treaty of 1926 and subsequent years, signed by various Muslim countries, keeping prisoners of wars as slavery is not permitted.

I sincerely encourage the questioner to keep himself far removed from extreme groups and their ideologies, and instead learn his faith and practice through traditional and qualified scholars and institutes. Religion is never grotesque, and if a people appear as such, then know that their practice is gravely amiss and that one should stay well clear of them.

Please refer to the following important articles and lectures:

ISIS Archives

ISIS – is it a Legitimate Expression of Islam?

Sincerely your brother,

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

What Can Be Termed Jihad?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalamu alaykum

1. Can fighting for the freedom of Syria and Palestine be termed as Jihad and is it in Allah’s cause? Or it is a fight for land and cannot be termed jihad?

2. Is Jihad the best of deeds as one of the Sahih Hadith regarding jihad says that one cannot do a better deed than it?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Shukran for writing to us.

1. The first part of your question is rather complex. Fighting, like jihad, holds many different meanings. Dr Buti emphasized that picking up arms is only one of its several meanings. These alternatives meanings should all be exhausted prior to any physical combat. I am not suggesting, as many apologists may have, that jihad or religious fighting should never exist again. As Muslims, similar to all religions and all nations, we acknowledge that there will be times where we may be required to pick up arms.

Due the complexity of the situation in the middle east; the amount of misrepresentation of Islam; extremism; unjust killing in the name of Islam; Muslims killing Muslims; we advise the questioner to be active in his home country by doing the following: 1. Seek to understand the situation in the middle east from reliable scholars, ideally from those afflicted countries, 2. Create awareness among the public, 3. Pray for them, for prayer is the weapon of a believer.

2. Regarding the second part of your question, RasuluLlah sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam when asked what are the best or actions, responded differently based on two things, the state of the questioner or the time of his question. By way of example, if the questioner showed signs of cowardice, the Prophet would advise him that jihad is the best of actions; if he showed signs of stinginess, the Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam would advise him that giving charity is the best of actions. Also, if there was a need for companions to leave home and partake in battle, the Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam would advise that jiahd, at this hour of need, is the best of actions; while at another time he sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam may have advised Salah to be the best of actions.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan


Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

How Should I Understand the Concept of ‘Jihad by the Pen’?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

1. Can you tell me what is the concept of ‘Jihad by the Pen’?

2. I have a dream (in sha Allah) that- after finishing my study and getting a job, I will donate in Dawah related works. Will my current study also be considered as ‘Jihad by pen’ or sadaqah in terms of sharia’h?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

Commanding the good and forbidding evil.

The concept of ‘Jihad by pen’ can be understood in one of two ways. The first could be an extension of speaking out to encourage others to do good or to deter them from wrong actions as commanded by the Messenger of Allah in the narration of Sahih Muslim: ‘Whoever of you sees something wrong let him change it with his hand. If he is able to, then with his tongue. If he is unable to [do that too], then with his heart [though duʿaʾ]; and that is the weakest of faith.’

There are, however, conditions which relate to the application of this hadith. You can learn more about them in this answer. In general, if one needs to speak out against something it can also be done in the form of writing. Imam al-Nawawi was one of many scholars of this umma who were known for their fearless critique of the rulers of their time through letters and books (may Allah shower His mercy on them all).

The Difference in Ranks

Another way this concept can be understood is the contribution scholars make towards defending and spreading Islam. There are a number of weak narrations which state that the contribution of the scholars is greater than that of martyrs, which is an indication of the respective rewards. A martyr lives only once, whereas the works of the scholars endure for generations, benefitting millions. Take the creed of Imam Abu Jaʿfar al-Taḥawi, for example; after over a millennium people still learn and benefit from it.

Imam ʿAbd al-Raʾuf al-Munawi, when commenting on the weak narration ‘The ink of the scholars was weighed against the blood of the martyrs and the former was heavier’, said,
‘This is used as a proverb to show the superiority of the scholars over the mujahids, and the vast disparity in the ranks of the two groups.

The reason being is that if we say the ink of the scholars is superior to the blood of the martyrs – when the greatest thing a martyr can offer is his blood, and the least of what a scholar can offer is his ink [through written works] – then what do you think of the greatest of what a [true] scholar has? Such as divinely gifted knowledge, reflecting on the blessings of Allah, defending the truth, explaining the Sacred Law, and guiding creation!’ (al-Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir).

Your current study could come under this category if you intend to make the word of Allah paramount by it, and can use it to support and defend Islam.

May Allah grant you every success.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Does Islam Permit Collateral Damage in Warfare?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Could you provide me with an explanation of the following hadith?

During a night raid, some of the women and children of the polytheists were the killed. The prophet (PBUH) was asked about this and responded “they are from them.”

Collateral damage makes me deeply uncomfortable because it is used by militaries to justify the murder of civilians and it shows their callous disregard of the sanctity of life of the enemy civilians.

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for your question.

The first thing to do when we come across texts which seem problematic is to first put our own initial understanding aside, and find out about the context of the text by referring to what the scholars have discussed in regards to it.

The hadith ‘They are from them’

The narration you have mentioned is found in different hadith books, including the two Sahih collections.

‘It is reported on the authority of Sa’b bin Jaththama that the Prophet ﷺ, when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said, ‘They are from them’. [Sahih Muslim]

Prohibition of killing women, children and old people

The first thing we should mention is that the Prophet explicitly forbade deliberately killing women and children, saying to the commanders of the Muslim army, ‘Do not kill children or women or old men.’ [Sunan al Bayhaqi].

There are a number of other hadiths which mention similar commands not to harm non-combatant women and children, and the prohibition is something scholars agree upon.

Context

The context of the hadith in question is in a specific situation of warfare, where it is necessary to attack a group at night. The night would have been pitch black, as of course there was not the electricity or light pollution we have around us today.

During these night raids, it would have been impossible to distinguish one person from another. The Muslim soldiers found it impossible to know who they were attacking, and in the attack some women and children may have got killed unintentionally. It may also have been that some of these women and children were involved in the fighting themselves.

It is in this context that the Sahaba consulted the Prophet and the answer was given. If the Muslim soldiers were able to distinguish the women and the children from the men, or the attack was not necessary, they would not have been permitted to kill them, unless the women and children were attacking the Muslims.

Al Hafidh Ibn Hajr, explains, ‘The words ‘They are of them’ is in regard to the ruling in that [specific] situation. It does not mean that it is permissible to kill them deliberately.’

[Fath al Bari, Sharh Muslim, Sharh Muhammad Fu’ad Abdul Baqi]

Ruling

Imam al Nawawi states in his commentary of Sahih Muslim, ‘The scholars are unanimously agreed … that it is prohibited to kill women and children if they are not involved in the fighting. But if they are involved in the fighting, then the majority of scholars said that they may be killed.’ And later he goes onto say, ‘Those children [unintentionally slain] who have not reached puberty will be in Paradise.’

Collateral Damage?

It would be a wrong to apply what we understand now as the coined expression in modern military parlance as ‘collateral damage’.

While it is true that the basic meaning of ‘collateral damage’ may apply here, in that non-combatants are incidentally killed during an attack, we should remember that this is a very different situation to the type of indiscriminate and avoidable collateral damage on a huge scale we see in modern warfare. The most the armies would have had to fight with were swords and arrows, not machine guns and jet bombs.

War is never agreeable, and the Shariah commands us to seek peaceful measures of resolving conflicts first. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, war a part of this life, and because of this, tragedies will necessary take place at times even if incidental. However, at all times, God-fearing armies must only act in accordance to the law of God, and to minimise the risks and unnecessary fatalities in these times as much as possible.

Islam recognises that people prosper at times of peace and social order, and war should always be a last resort, and if necessary to enter into, it only lasts as long is necessary. This is why Muslim armies traditionally always took the quickest route to ending combat, always sought to minimise fatalities, and swiftly re-establish peace and order.

I pray this answer has shed some light on the hadith and your concerns.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Are Acts of Terrorism by Muslims Ever Justified? (Video)

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Are acts of terrorism by Muslims ever justified?

Answer:  Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

Photo: Gigi Ibrahim

Is It Wrong to Feel Guilty About Muslim Acts of Violence? [Video]

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it wrong to feel guilty about Muslim acts of violence?

Answer:  Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).