Tag Archives: Sahih Muslim

ISIS – What’s not to like?


If you liked regular Islam then you’ll love ISIS.

Why? Well, because their version of Islam is the back-to-basics genuine article, indistinguishable from the original Islam as practised by Mohammed and then by the first Caliph Abu Bakr. On the other hand, if you don’t like ISIS then you shouldn’t like Mohammed, and if you don’t like Mohammed then you shouldn’t like Islam.

“That’s an appalling thing to say” you might respond, “Everyone knows ISIS is just the most primitive, brutal manifestation of a religion which has many different versions, some benign and some maybe not so benign.”

Okay, okay. So I haven’t been to AL-Azhar, and I haven’t even had it all explained properly to me by my local imam, so let me tone down my claim. It merely appears to me that ISIS’s Islam is the modern equivalent of Mohammed’s Islam, which was itself fairly primitive and brutal, and I await correction. While we’re waiting (it could be a while) let me try to persuade you.

It is striking how closely the jihadis of ISIS appear to follow both the scriptural precepts of the Koran and the example of Mohammed (the Sunnah) in their activities. Robbery, beheading, ransoming, crucifixion, amputation, sex slavery, forced conversion, jizya, stoning and the use of terror have all been well attested and even filmed for propaganda purposes. These were all trademark items of Mohammed’s rise to power. Takfir, another ISIS speciality, came a little later.

a. Robbery. We have all read the reports of ISIS supplementing their income by robbery, for instance from the Mosul central bank, originally claimed to be to the tune of $400 million but later downgraded to merely “millions”. Their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is simply following the example of Mohammed who started his political and military career as a caravan raider who was given divine guidance on the division of the spoils:

And know that anything you obtain of war booty – then indeed, for Allah is one fifth of it and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and the orphans, the needy, and the [stranded] traveler… (Koran 8:41)

We do not yet know al-Baghdadi’s formula for sharing out the loot but, judging by the Rolex, he does not appear to be stinting himself.

b. Beheading. ISIS’s enthusiasm for beheadings comes both from the Koran:

So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them]… (47:4)

and from the example of Mohammed who had 600 members of a Jewish tribe beheaded in Medina.

c. Ransom. As above, (47:4). ISIS attempted to ransom James Foley for $100 million – before beheading him.

d. Crucifixion and amputation. The brutal punishments we saw in Syria were in line with this sura:

Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land… (5:33)

e. Sex slavery. There are reports of non-Muslim women being married off to jihadis or sold as sex slaves, or to use Allah’s charming phrase “those your right hands possess”.

And also prohibited to you are all married women except those your right hands possess…. (4:24)

f. Stoning. There have also been detailed reports of both men and women stoned to death for adultery.

Verily Allah has ordained a way for them (the women who commit fornication), When a married man (commits adultery) with a married woman…there is (a punishment) of one hundred lashes and then stoning (to death)…(Sahih Muslim 17:4192)

g. Forced conversion. Did you see the photo of a room full of very glum looking Yazidi men repeating the shahada?

We are often told that “There is no compulsion in religion” and that “Islam was not spread by the sword”. Anyone who has checked out the sources knows better. For instance, Mohammed’s last military excursion was to engage a Byzantine army in what is now Syria. Not finding the army, Mohammed had a letter delivered to the nearby Christians of Aylah, a fishing town at the head of the Red Sea:

To John ibn Rubah and the Chiefs of Aylah. Peace be on you! I praise God for you, beside whom there is no Lord. I will not fight against you until I have written thus unto you. Believe, or else pay tribute. And be obedient unto the Lord and his Prophet….If ye desire to have security by sea and by land, obey the Lord and his Apostle, and he will defend you from every demand, whether by Arab or foreigner, saving the demand of the Lord and his Apostle. But if ye oppose and displease them, I will not accept from you a single thing, until I have fought against you and taken captive your little ones and slain the elder; for I am the Apostle of the Lord in truth. (Sir William Muir The Life of Mahomet)

h. Jizya. This is the tribute referred to above, a tax which Christians and Jews were required to pay to be allowed to survive and practise their religion, and which is being reinstated by ISIS:

Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled. (9:29)

i. Terror. ISIS have cannily broadcast their atrocities as they went, encouraging surrender, or in the case of the Iraqi army, running away.

Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand.” (Bukhari 4:52:220)

j. Takfir. This is where Abu Bakr the first Caliph comes in. After Mohammed’s death he fought a series of bloody campaigns (known as the Ridda or Apostasy Wars) throughout Arabia to force reneging tribes to resubmit. The Islamic practice of takfir, adopted by al-Baghdadi, is regarded as originating with Abu Bakr, not Mohammed. Takfir means declaring other Muslims not real Muslims and therefore apostates…and you know what happens next.

Just as the current ISIS leader styles himself the second Abu Bakr, will what is currently happening in Syria and Iraq one day be known as the Second Ridda Wars?

[Update – Perhaps you are wondering where the more recent immolation of the Jordanian pilot and the throwing of homosexuals off high buildings come from.

Although supposedly learned authorities have claimed that burning people is specifically unIslamic there are at least two incidents which show Mohammed was quite comfortable with the practice:

“Certainly I decided to order the Mu’adh-dhin (call-maker) to pronounce Iqama and order a man to lead the prayer and then take a fire flame to burn all those who had not left their houses so far for the prayer along with their houses.” (Bukhari 1.11.626)

Regarding Kinana ibn al-Rabi, the treasurer of a conquered Jewish tribe, Mohammed said…..“Torture him until you extract what he has.” So he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad b. Maslama and he struck off his head, in revenge for his brother Mahmud.” (Ishaq:515)

Regarding homosexuality, this is the relevant hadith from the collection of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the founder of the Hanbali school of jurisprudence: “….The Sahaabah [companions of Mohammed] were unanimously agreed on the execution of homosexuals, but they differed as to how they were to be executed. Some of them were of the view that they should be burned with fire, which was the view of ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) and also of Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him), as we shall see below. And some of them thought that they should be thrown down from a high place then have stones thrown at them. This was the view of Ibn ‘Abbaas [the cousin of Mohammed] (may Allaah be pleased with him).” Ahmad (2915)

What next…. the tearing apart of someone by camels like that poor Umm Qirfa? End of update]

Muslims have asked ISIS when they would launch a jihad against Israel. Their response was:

“Allah in the noble Quran does not command us to fight Israel or the Jews until we fight the apostates and the hypocrites”.

Naturally this has sent waves of alarm through the region, as there are plenty of hypocrites and “Muslims who are not Muslim enough” to be found there, even to the extent of Saudi Arabia calling on the US to fight ISIS (for them).

All this seems to show that ISIS’s motivations, strategy and tactics are very Islamic indeed.

And yet there is an almost unanimous chorus from Muslims, non-Muslims, politicians, church leaders and the media denying that the ISLAMic State has anything to do with ISLAM at all. Despite all the cries of “ISIS is unIslamic”, I have yet to see any serious attempt to show how it contradicts Islamic teachings.

Here are a couple of Muslim reactions:

Egypt’s top religious authority, Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, condemned ISIS, saying,

“An extremist and bloody group such as this poses a danger to Islam and Muslims, tarnishing its image as well as shedding blood and spreading corruption”.

In his statement the Mufti made no attempt to show how ISIS are in fact extremist or unIslamic. His concern appears to be primarily for the image of Islam.

The Muslim Council of Britain:

“ISIS does not speak for Islam, and has been repudiated by all Muslims. Their message only appeals to those who are easily duped by their twisted message purporting to be Islam”.

Perhaps the MCB should explain which of the so called “terror verses” of the Koran ISIS have actually twisted?

Come to that, why do the imams of the mosques where British born jihadis learned their Islam not point out in detail where they have actually got it wrong? Is it not because it would necessarily involve denying Mohammed? It is one thing fobbing off the kuffar with “The Koran in no way encourages violence” and suchlike platitudes but explaining to a fellow Muslim why Mohammed is not actually calling for bloody jihad until “Islam is superior over all religions” might be a stretch.

Among our leaders no discussion of ISIS takes place without the ritual “It has nothing to do with Islam” caveat. How do the people who say it know? Here are a selection of our politician theologians:

Barack Obama “ISIL speaks for no religion”.

Philip Hammond, British Foreign Secretary “Isil’s so-called caliphate has no moral legitimacy; it is a regime of torture, arbitrary punishment and murder that goes against the most basic beliefs of Islam”.

Yvette Cooper, British Shadow Home Secretary “[Isis] extremists are beheading people and parading their heads on spikes, subjugating women and girls, killing Muslims, Christians and anyone who gets in their way. This is no liberation movement — only a perverted, oppressive ideology that bears no relation to Islam”.

The media too are at pains to dissociate ISIS from Islam. In fact the only place you will see the connection made is in the comments columns of the papers. You might expect that in the Telegraph but when it’s the same in the left leaning Independent and Guardian you know there is a major disconnect between what we are being told and what we can see for ourselves.

And then there is the church, represented here by the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge who said

“The extremists’ barbarism seems apocalyptic. It has nothing to do with real Islam or God and is blasphemy of a kind”.

So the Archbishop knows what the real Islam is. Would it not be nice for him to tell us what it is and back it up with some theology? Not a chance. Perhaps he has a deep but private understanding of Islam but if so, why did he then call on Christians to launch a 21st-century “prayer crusade”? Even you or I would realise how offensive that phrase would be, not just to ISIS but to Muslims generally.

Let us end though with another Archbishop, the exiled Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, Amel Shimoun Nona, who does see the connection and warns us of what is coming our way:

“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future. I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.

Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home”.

Who says Islam is supremacist?

“He it is Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad SAW) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), that He may make it (Islam) superior over all religions. And All-Sufficient is Allah as a Witness.” (Koran 48:28)

“Allah hath promised such of you as believe and do good work that He will surely make them to succeed (the present rulers) in the earth even as He caused those who were before them to succeed (others)…” (Koran 24:55)

Mohammed, in a letter to Haudha bin Ali, governor of Yamama inviting him to convert or take the consequences:
“Peace be upon him who follows true guidance. Be informed that my religion shall prevail everywhere. You should accept Islam, and whatever under your command shall remain yours”. (The Sealed Nectar:Biography of the Noble Prophet)

Likewise to Jaifer, King of Oman:
“Allah has sent me as a Prophet to all His creatures in order that I may instil fear of Allah in the hearts of His disobedient creatures so that there may be left no excuse for those who deny Allah”. (The Sealed Nectar:Biography of the Noble Prophet)

Also according to Sahih Muslim (41:6904):
“Allah drew the ends of the world near one another for my sake. And I have seen its eastern and western ends. And the dominion of my Ummah would reach those ends….

And according to Sahih Bukhari (1:7:1331):
“The Prophet said, ‘I have been given five things which were not given to anyone else before me. 1. Allah made me victorious by awe by His terrorizing my enemies. 2. The earth has been made for me. 3. Booty has been made lawful for me yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me. 4. I have been given the right of intercession. 5. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only but I have been sent to all mankind‘ “

And according to Ibn Ishaq, Mohammed’s earliest biographer, on hitting a stone with his pickaxe during preparations for the Battle of the Trench:
“The first spark means that Allah has promised me the conquest of Yemen ; the second that Allah has granted me the conquest of Syria and the West ; and the third that Allah has bestowed upon me victory over the East.”

Ibn Taymiyyah, mediaeval theologian and the inspiration for Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, founder of Wahhabism:
“Since lawful warfare is essentially Jihad and since its aim is that religion is entirely for Allah and the word of Allah is uppermost, therefore, according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought”.

Ibn Kathir, mediaeval Koranic commentator:
“Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said, while delivering the glad tidings to the believers that the Messenger will triumph over his enemies and the rest of the people of the earth.

Ibn Khaldun, mediaeval historian:
“In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.

The Reliance of the Traveller, the authoritative 14th century Shafi’i manual of Islamic Jurisprudence:
“Among the things that entail apostasy from Islam are…to deny that Allah intended the Prophet’s message (Allah bless him and give him peace) to be the religion followed by the entire world.

The Hedaya, the equally authoritative 12th century Hanafi manual of Islamic Jurisprudence:
War must be carried on against the infidels, at all times, by some party of the Mussulmans. The sacred injunction concerning war is sufficiently observed when it is carried on by any one party or tribe of the Mussulmans; and it is then no longer of any force with respect to the rest. It is established as a divine ordinance, by the word of God, who has said, in the Koran ‘SLAY THE INFIDELS’; and also by a saying of the prophet, ‘war is permanently established until the day of judgment’.”

Encyclopaedia of Islam, standard reference work:
“The spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general.… Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam.… Islam must completely be made over before the doctrine of jihad [warfare to spread Islam] can be eliminated.”

Hassan Al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood:
“It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.

Sayyid Qutb, Muslim Brotherhood ideologue:
“We understand the true character of Islam, and that it is a universal proclamation of freedom of man from servitude to other men, the establishment of the sovereignty of God and His Lordship throughout the world, … and the implementation of the rule of the Divine shari’ah in human affairs.”

Abdul A’la Maududi, founder of Jamaat-i-Islami:
“… The purpose of the Holy Prophet’s appointment as a Prophet was not merely to preach this Religion, but to make it prevail over all others… so that it should be the dominant Religion of life and any other religion should survive, if at all it survives, only within the limits in which it allows it to survive”.

Ayatollah Khomeini:
“Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled and incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of [other] countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world. Those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world…Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless”.

Bernard Lewis, doyen of Islamic historians:
“The basis of the obligation of jihad is the universality of the Muslim revelation. God’s words and God’s message is for all mankind; it is the duty of those who have accepted them to strive (jihada) unceasingly to convert or at least subjugate those who have not. This obligation is without limit of time or space. It must continue until the whole world has either accepted the Islamic faith or submitted to the power of the Islamic state.”
(this is the same Bernard Lewis who said that by the end of this century “Europe will be part of the Arabic west, of the Maghreb.”)

Majid Khadduri, scholar of Islamic law:
“The Islamic state, whose principal function was to put God’s law into practice, sought to establish Islam as the dominant reigning ideology over the entire world…. The jihad was therefore employed as an instrument for both the universalization of religion and the establishment of an imperial world state.”

Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, Professor of Sharia:
“This leaves no doubt that the primary goal of the Muslim community, in the eyes of its jurists, is to spread the word of Allah through jihad, and the option of poll-tax [jizya, extortion tax] is to be exercised only after subjugation [of non-Muslims].”

Hilali-Khan translation (aka the Wahhabi Koran)
“And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.” (sura 8:39)

Omar M. Ahmad, co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):
“If you choose to live here you have a responsibility to deliver the message of Islam… Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”

Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Bouti
, Al-Azhar University Islamic scholar (assassinated Damascus 2013):
“The concept of Holy War (Jihad) in Islam does not take into consideration whether defensive or an offensive war. Its goal is the exaltation of the Word of Allah and the construction of Islamic society and the establishment of Allah’s Kingdom on Earth regardless of the means. The means would be offensive warfare. In this case, it is the apex, the noblest Holy War. It is legal to carry on a Holy War.”

Taqiy al-Din al-Nabahan, founder of Hizb ut-Tahrir:
“The foreign policy of Islamic states must be to carry the Islamic mission to the world by way of holy war. This process has been established through the course of the ages from the time the apostle settled down until the end of the last Islamic state which was ruled by Islamic law. This process has never been changed at all. The apostle Muhammad, from the time he founded the state in the city Yathrib, prepared an army and began holy war to remove the physical barriers which hinder the spread of Islam.”

Osama bin Laden:
“It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah’s Word and religion reign Supreme.”

Samantha Lewthwaite, the “white widow”:
“Verily Allah has purchased the lives of the believers that theirs shall be paradise. They fight in Allah’s cause, so they kill and are killed… it will NEVER be over until the day that we see our lands governed by Allah the almighty, whose law is complete”. (quoting sura 9:111)

IS (Islamic State), from their magazine Dabiq issue 7:
“…the sword will continue to be drawn, raised, and swung until ‘Īsā (Jesus – ‘alayhis-salām) kills the Dajjāl (the Antichrist) and abolishes the jizyah. Thereafter, kufr and its tyranny will be destroyed; Islam and its justice will prevail on the entire Earth.”

Sam Harris, anti-religious author:
“While there are undoubtedly some moderate Muslims who have decided to overlook the irrescindable militancy of their religion, Islam is undeniably a religion of conquest. The only future devout Muslims can envisage—as Muslims—is one in which all infidels have been converted to Islam, politically subjugated, or killed. The tenets of Islam simply do not admit of anything but a temporary sharing of power with the ‘enemies of God’.”


George Bush, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, David Cameron, Theresa May (theological competence uncertain).


Everyone at the Guardian.

The entire interfaith dialogue industry.

CAIR (when talking to non-Muslims eg “My jihad is building new friendships. What’s yours?”).

Tariq “double talk” Ramadan (Oxford Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies and grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood).

Mehdi “the kuffar live like cattle” Hasan (Journalist and deceptive apologist).

John Esposito (Saudi funded academic, champion of the mythical higher jihad and author of “The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?”).

Your local smiley imam