“This has nothing to do with Islam or These people are not Muslims”

Istanbul, Dhaka, Baghdad, Madinah and Nice. All in all – over 400 innocent lives. A bloody month.  I wrote this piece earlier after the Istanbul tragedy. However, I binned it as I didn’t want the usual confrontation from my Muslim brothers and sisters. This has to be said now, as it’s gone on far too long.

This has everything to do with Islam and everything to do with Muslims. It’s a form of insincerity and cognitive dissonance.

We can argue all day long that most Muslims don’t do this and that most Muslim leaders have condemned Daesh and ruled against their acts. However, that’s not the problem.

The problem is that everything Daesh, Taliban and others do can be entirely traced back to Sunni texts. This includes Hadith, scholarly works and speeches. Look at Ibn Tamiya, Albani, Moudodi, Qutb, Thanvi and Abdul Wahhab to only name a small selection. Look at the Hadith – it’s all there, and the Daesh can can prove it you.

The problem is we don’t censor or condemn. We say, “well Islam is plural and very marginal people have extreme views”. Many scholars have issued fatwas against extremists from classical schools of thought. What you may not know is that the same scholars who write fatwas and condemn isis – will defend erroneous Hadith and Academic scholars of old and new. The hypocrisy is vile. For example, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf and Sheikh Yaqoobi  are two heavyweight Maliki scholars, who command respect. However, they do both have a soft spot for Ibn Tamiya. You may argue, well this is an intellectual dispute. However, we’ve gone past the rubicon now. Beyond the pale. There has to be a point where you draw a line and say – this is acceptable and this is not.  I’m not talking about a codification of Shariah law – that will never happen. It is fantasy. I am talking about highlighting the non-acceptance of certain ideas. Ideas such as – death in apostasy, stoning, wife beating, burning of homosexuals, throwing homosexuals from a height, suicide bombing, killing of non-combatants. It is your duty to reject them and purge them from your mosques and bookshelves.

Here are some examples, that are in our Hadith Books. For the sake of academic honesty, they are without context, mustalah (methodology) and any other expanded explanations. Even then, I’ve hand  picked only Hadith – because hadith are more open to interpretation than the Quran and I’ve only handpicked those hadith which don’t need an awful amount of context. I’ve also not detailed isnad or authenticity at this stage.

Bukhari – Volume 4, Book 52, Number 261:

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

“A group of eight men from the tribe of ‘Ukil came to the Prophet and then they found the climate of Medina unsuitable for them. So, they said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Provide us with some milk.” Allah’s Apostle said, “I recommend that you should join the herd of camels.” So they went and drank the urine and the milk of the camels (as a medicine) till they became healthy and fat. Then they killed the shepherd and drove away the camels, and they became unbelievers after they were Muslims. When the Prophet was informed by a shouter for help, he sent some men in their pursuit, and before the sun rose high, they were brought, and he had their hands and feet cut off. Then he ordered for nails which were heated and passed over their eyes, and whey were left in the Harra (i.e. rocky land in Medina). They asked for water, and nobody provided them with water till they died (Abu Qilaba, a sub-narrator said, “They committed murder and theft and fought against Allah and His Apostle, and spread evil in the land.”)”

“Bukhari:V5B59N512 “The Prophet offered the Fajr Prayer [Prayer of Fear] near Khaybar when it was still dark. He said, ‘Allahu-Akbar!’ [Allah is Greatest] ‘ Then the inhabitants came out running on their roads. The Prophet had their men killed; their children and woman were taken as captives.”

Apparently, the Prophet (saw) Got 17 year old Safia as his share of booty.

Bukhari vol 3,Book46, No. 717

“Narrated Ibn Aun:

The Prophet had suddenly attacked Bani Mustaliq without warning while they were heedless and their cattle were being watered at the places of water. Their fighting men were killed and their women and children were taken as captives; the Prophet got Juwairiya on that day. (Ref: Waqqidi, Tabari)

Sahih Bukhari (52:177) – Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.” 

Sahih Bukhari (52:256) – The Prophet… was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, “They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans).” In this command, Muhammad establishes that it is permissible to kill non-combatants in the process of killing a perceived enemy. This provides justification for the many Islamic terror bombings.

Sahih Bukhari (52:65) – The Prophet said, ‘He who fights that Allah’s Word (Islam) should be superior, fights in Allah’s Cause. Muhammad’s words are the basis for offensive Jihad – spreading Islam by force. This is how it was understood by his companions, and by the terrorists of today. (See also Sahih Bukhari 3:125)

Sahih Bukhari (52:220) – Allah’s Apostle said… ‘I have been made victorious with terror’

Abu Dawud (14:2526) – The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Three things are the roots of faith: to refrain from (killing) a person who utters, “There is no god but Allah” and not to declare him unbeliever whatever sin he commits, and not to excommunicate him from Islam for his any action; and jihad will be performed continuously since the day Allah sent me as a prophet until the day the last member of my community will fight with the Dajjal (Antichrist)

Abu Dawud (14:2527) – The Prophet said: Striving in the path of Allah (jihad) is incumbent on you along with every ruler, whether he is pious or impious

Muslim (1:33) – the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah

Bukhari (8:387) – Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’. And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally.”

Muslim (1:30) – “The Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah.”

Bukhari (52:73) – “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords’.” 

Bukhari (11:626) – [Muhammad said:] “I decided to order a man to lead the prayer and then take a flame to burn all those, who had not left their houses for the prayer, burning them alive inside their homes.”

Muslim (1:149) – “Abu Dharr reported: I said: Messenger of Allah, which of the deeds is the best? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause…”

Muslim (20:4645) – “…He (the Messenger of Allah) did that and said: There is another act which elevates the position of a man in Paradise to a grade one hundred (higher), and the elevation between one grade and the other is equal to the height of the heaven from the earth. He (Abu Sa’id) said: What is that act? He replied: Jihad in the way of Allah! Jihad in the way of Allah!”

Muslim (20:4696) – “the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: ‘One who died but did not fight in the way of Allah nor did he express any desire (or determination) for Jihad died the death of a hypocrite.'”

Muslim (19:4321-4323) – Three separate hadith in which Muhammad shrugs over the news that innocent children were killed in a raid by his men against unbelievers. His response: “They are of them (meaning the enemy).”

Muslim (19:4294) – “When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him… He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war… When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them… If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.”

Muslim (31:5917) – “Ali went a bit and then halted and did not look about and then said in a loud voice: ‘Allah’s Messenger, on what issue should I fight with the people?’ Thereupon he (the Prophet) said: ‘Fight with them until they bear testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger’.” The pretext for attacking the peaceful farming community of Khaibar was not obvious to the Muslims. Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali asked the prophet of Islam to clarify the reason for their mission to kill, loot and enslave. Muhammad’s reply was straightforward. The people should be fought because they are not Muslim.

Muslim (31:5918) – “I will fight them until they are like us.” Ali’s reply to Muhammad, after receiving clarification that the pretext for attack Khaibar was to convert the people (see above verse).

Bukhari 1:35 “The person who participates in (Holy Battles) in Allah’s cause and nothing compels him do so except belief in Allah and His Apostle, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty ( if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise ( if he is killed).” 
For example, one would argue well all these Hadith are out of context or are completely daif (weak or rejected). Okay, not a problem. Why were they recorded in the first place? For posterity?

Many of you will be shocked by content. I’ve posted these Hadith, because these are the very Hadith that Tamiya, Thanvi and others have used.

Much of the problem started during the time of Imam Ahmed Hanbal.  For example, the opinion of someone leaving the religion by intentionally neglecting the Prayer has generally been the view of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ishaq ibn Rahwaiy, Abdullah ibn Mubarak based on apparent reading of some texts. Many scholars such as Ibn Arabi and Al-Tabari were critical to an very extreme degree of the literalist approach that Imam Ahmed upheld of Islam and all it’s secondary texts. Interpretation wasn’t allowed. This was further exacerbated by Salafi kingpin Ibn Tammiyah and then furthered by Abdul Wahhab and all his oil created monsters in the desert.
Not all Hadith are created equally, for some reason we do deem them as all being the unimpeachable word of God. They’re not words of the Prophet. They’re REPORTEDLY the words of the Prophet. So don’t even begin think that Hadith have not been infiltrated and sabotaged. They very clearly have, and any layman who picks up a Hadith book – will either leave Islam or become an extremist.

Whilst I recognise other factors such as foreign policy playing a pivotal role in radicalising the youth. It’s a political side that’s always been the enemy of Islam. I fully accept this but It’s not the key to this topic. Realpolitik discussion like this requires another article of a million words.

Another small example is this fiery chap who trivialises the crimes of rape and murder to being nothing   – as long you don’t miss a prayer. Have a look at this literalist mind set here. I use him as an example, as there are plenty like him misleading our youth. Click here to see the video.

I’ll go even further, in a recent article it seems Sheikh Hamza was struggling to find a panacea to an outbreak to a disease. He says:

“This sect of Islam, however, is not the sole source of our current crisis, and it would be wrong to place all blame on it alone; many of its adherents are peace-loving quietists, who want only to be left alone to practice their faith as they see fit. Their exclusivism is a necessary but not sufficient cause for the xenophobic hatred that leads to such violence. The terroristic Islamists are a hybrid of an exclusivist takfiri version of the above and the political Islamist ideology that has permeated much of the Arab and South Asian world for the last several decades. It is this marriage made in hell that must be understood in order to fully grasp the calamitous situation we find our community in.”

Than when you read the comments here come the “good cop/bad cop” comments.

Because Ibn Tamiya is part of a minority Sunni Muslim school, the Hanbali, and so the champions of the other three schools are opportunist taking advantage of Non Muslim ignorance.

Look don’t get me wrong I welcome the critique of Ibn Tamiya but will these same people critique view points and statements attributed to Imam Shafi and Imam Malik that are odious and dangerous?

To pretend that ISIS does not take their views from classical Sunni Islam on a number of issues is head in the sand approach.

The real struggle that people like Hamza Yusuf and  Sheikh Yaqoobi  have is to be consistent on critique of ISIS and still apologetically explaining death for apostasy, wife beating and stoning amongst other things.

For the all detractors  – no, I am not talking about moral relativism here. I really can’t go down that tedious and boring path of that old argument. My arguments against these ideas are firmly grounded in a common sense approach to fiqh and interpretation.  All of which are in my previous article, this article is merely to highlight our double standards. Talk to me about moral relativity when fathers stop telling their children to chop off heads in war.

We condemn extremism out of convenience and not conviction. The convenience is that we condemn this insanity as humans. These are the key words – Sanity/Insanity. A sane person would never think this is right. So we’re condemning this as sane people, but when you condemn this as a Muslim – you can’t do that if you still believe your religion legitimises stoning, killing of gays, pre-emptive war, beating of wives, niqab and lots of other silly oppressive things – then don’t condemn the Daesh as a Muslim who believes in all these things. As a sane human, of course you should condemn it.

Now I believe all the above doesn’t exist in real Islam. That is the Islam prior to it being convoluted by our ‘esteemed’ scholars of past and today.

I believe my beautiful, universal religion of mercy, tenderness and inclusive human values has been hijacked for centuries by the likes the usual suspects in our history. The Quran and the real image of Prophet is the awe inspiring revolution it claims to be. It doesn’t stand a chance against terrorism and Isis. Unfortunately, today that is not the case. We’re actually afraid to criticise and condemn past scholars, and we would rather say nothing just to be safe.

These villains are not the ones that we conveniently portray as Islamophobes, but they our own Muslim scholars like ibn-Tamiyah, Qutb, Thanvi, Banna and others. No doubt, they have written some good stuff, but all that so-called good gets wiped out with some of their poisonous write ups.

If we want Islam to be Islam, a religion of peace, we need to muster the courage to stand up and reject those interpretations that are anathema to the pluralistic nature of Islam. Those secondary books are mistakenly elevated to be divine by a few Muslims.  Bold actions are required. The past scholars time has gone, Ijma has gone and so have the ideas of old, they were human beings and were nothing special. Time for a change.
By Benny Lava