WITH THE NAME OF GOD, MOST GRACIOUS, MOST MERCIFUL
FATWA ON THE SO-CALLED “ISLAMIC STATE”
(FORMERLY “ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ & SYRIA”)
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessings be upon His final messenger Muhammad.
Due to recent events in the Middle East and their impact on some people in Britain, we as imams and scholars based in the UK, would like to issue the following clarifications in the form of a fatwa:
1. There is no doubt that President Assad’s regime in Syria is oppressive, unjust and brutal, and has committed numerous atrocities against its own people.
2. The same is true of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) or self-styled “Caliphate,” formerly known as “The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”: it is an oppressive and tyrannical group.
3. By murdering prisoners of war, journalists and civilians, including mosque imams who
refused to endorse their campaign, and by enslaving the women and children of their
opponents, ISIS has violated international agreements such as the Geneva Conventions and conventions on slavery that everyone, including Muslims, have signed up to. God says in the Qur’an, “Believers, fulfil your covenants!” (5:1)
4. The IS persecution and massacres of Shia Muslims, Christians and Yazidis is abhorrent and opposed to Islamic teachings and the Islamic tolerance displayed by great empires such as the Mughals and Ottomans.
5. Based on all of the above: IS is a heretical, extremist organisation and it is religiously prohibited (haram) to support or join it; furthermore, it is an obligation on British Muslims to actively oppose its poisonous ideology, especially when this is promoted within Britain.
6. British and other EU citizens are bound by their duties to their home countries according to Islamic theology and jurisprudence: it is therefore prohibited ( haram) to travel to fight with any side in Syria, including non-state actors, since this is forbidden by laws in EU countries.
7. It is a moral obligation upon British Muslims to help the Syrian and Iraqi people without betraying their own societies: “If they ask for your help in religion, you must help, except against a people with whom you have a treaty.” (Qur’an 8:72)
Sheikh Mohammad Shahid Raza OBE
Executive Secretary, Muslim Law (Shariah) Council of UK. Head Imam, Leicester Central Mosque.
Sheikh Qamaruzzaman Azmi
Secretary General, World Islamic Mission. Head Imam, Manchester Central Mosque.
Sheikh Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims.
Sheikh Dr Qari Mohammad Asim MBE
Head Imam, Makkah Masjid, Leeds.
Sheikh Dr Usama Hasan
Author, ISIS Fatwa. Former Imam, Masjid Al-Tawhid Mosque, Leyton. Head Theologian, Quilliam Foundation.
Mufti Abu Layth
Founder, The Islamic Council, UK.
The Faith of Sir Isaac Newton
This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being. And if the fixed Stars are the centers of other like systems, these, being form’d by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed Stars is of the same nature with the light of the Sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems. And lest the systems of the fixed Stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those Systems at immense distances from one another.
This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all: And on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God Pantokrator, or Universal Ruler. For God is a relative word, and has a respect to servants; and Deity is the dominion of God, not over his own body, as those imagine who fancy God to be the soul of the world, but over servants. The supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect; but a being, however perfect, without dominion, cannot be said to be Lord God; for we say, my God, your God, the God of Israel, the God of Gods, and Lord of Lords; but we do not say, my Eternal, your Eternal, the Eternal of Israel, the Eternal of Gods; we do not say, my Infinite, or my Perfect: These are titles which have no respect to servants. The word God usually a  signifies Lord; but every lord is not a God. It is the dominion of a spiritual being which constitutes a God; a true, supreme, or imaginary dominion makes a true, supreme, or imaginary God. And from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a Living, Intelligent, and Powerful Being; and, from his other perfections, that he is Supreme or most Perfect. He is Eternal and Infinite, Omnipotent and Omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from Eternity to Eternity; his presence from Infinity to Infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. He is not Eternity and Infinity, but Eternal and Infinite; he is not Duration and Space, but he endures and is present. He endures forever, and is every where present; and, by existing always and every where, he constitutes Duration and Space. Since every particle of Space is always, and every indivisible moment of Duration is every where, certainly the Maker and Lord of all things cannot be never and no where. Every soul that has perception is, though in different times and in different organs of sense and motion, still the same indivisible person. There are given successive parts in duration, co-existent parts in space, but neither the one nor the other in the person of a man, or his thinking principle; and much less can they be found in the thinking substance of God. Every man, so far as he is a thing that has perception, is one and the same man during his whole life, in all and each of his organs of sense. God is the same God, always and everywhere. He is omnipresent, not virtually only, but also substantially; for virtue cannot subsist without substance. In him b  are all things contained and moved; yet neither affects the other: God suffers nothing from the motion of bodies; bodies find no resistance from the omnipresence of God. ‘Tis allowed by all that the supreme God exists necessarily; and by the same necessity he exists always and every where. Whence also he is all similar, all eye, all ear, all brain, all arm, all power to perceive, to understand, and to act; but in a manner not at all human, in a manner not at all corporeal, in a manner utterly unknown to us. As a blind man has no idea of colours, so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things. He is utterly void of all body and bodily figure, and can therefore neither be seen, nor heard, not touched; nor ought he to be worshipped under the representation of any corporeal thing. We have ideas of his attributes, but what the real substance of anything is we know not. In bodies, we see only their figures and colours, we hear only the sounds, we touch only their outward surfaces, we smell only the smells, and taste the savours; but their inward substances are not to be known, either by our senses, or by any reflex act of our minds; much less then have we any idea of the substance of God. We know him only by his most wise and excellent contrivances of things, and final causes; we admire him for his perfections; but we reverence and adore him on account of his dominion. For we adore him as his servants; and a God without dominion, providence, and final causes, is nothing else but Fate and Nature. Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and every where, could produce no variety of things. All that diversity of natural things which we find, suited to different times and places, could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being necessarily existing. But, by way of allegory, God is said to see, to speak, to laugh, to love, to hate, to desire, to give, to receive, to rejoice, to be angry, to fight, to frame, to work, to build. For all our notions of God are taken from the ways of mankind, by a certain similitude which, though not perfect, has some likeness, however. And thus much concerning God; to discourse of whom from the appearances of things, does certainly belong to Natural Philosophy. 
Hitherto we have explain’d the phaenomena of the heavens and of our sea, by the power of Gravity, but have not yet assign’d the cause of this power. This is certain, that it must proceed from a cause that penetrates to the very centers of the Sun and Planets, without suffering the least diminution of its force; that operates, not according to the quantity of surfaces of the particles upon which it acts, (as mechanical causes use to do,) but according to the quantity of the solid matter which they contain, and propagates its virtue on all sides, to immense distances, decreasing always in the duplicate proportion of the distances. Gravitation towards the Sun, is made up out of the gravitations towards the several particles of which the body of the Sun is compos’d; and in receding from the Sun, decreases accurately in the duplicate proportion of the distances, as far as the orb of Saturn, as evidently appears from the quiescence of the aphelions of the Planets; nay, and even to the remotest aphelions of the Comets, if those aphelions are also quiescent. But hitherto I have not been able to discover the cause of those properties of gravity from phaenomena, and I frame no hypotheses. For whatever is not deduc’d from the phaenomena, is to be called an hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, whether of occult qualities or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferr’d from the phaenomena, and afterwards render’d general by induction. Thus it was that the impenetrability, the mobility, and the impulsive force of bodies, and the laws of motion and of gravitation, were discovered. And to us it is enough, that gravity does really exist, and act according to the laws which we have explained, and abundantly serves to account for all the motions of the celestial bodies, and of our sea.
And now we might add something concerning a certain most subtle Spirit, which pervades and lies hid in all gross bodies; by the force and action of which Spirit, the particles of bodies mutually attract one another at near distances, and cohere, if contiguous; and electric bodies operate to greater distances, as well repelling as attracting the neighbouring corpuscles; and light is emitted, reflected, refracted, inflected, and heats bodies; and all sensation is excited, and the members of animal bodies move at the command of the will, namely, by the vibrations of this Spirit, mutually propagated along the solid filaments of the nerves, from the outward organs of sense to the brain, and from the brain into the muscles. But these are things that cannot be explain’d in few words, nor are we furnish’d with that sufficiency of experiments which is required to an accurate determination and demonstration of the laws by which this electric and elastic spirit operates.
~ Extract from the General Scholium to Isaac Newton’s Principia mathematica
Happy Eid Al Fitr! (1435/2014)
Happy Eid al Fitr 1435! Whichever day you are celebrating, may your Eid be joyous & full of Grace!
Statement on the Humanitarian Emergency in Palestine.
Bism’Allah al Rahman al Raheem.
We express our deepest condolences to Palestinian families who have lost loved ones due to Israeli attacks in some of the most densely populated residential areas in the world. Whatever the Israeli government’s purported motivations, there is no excuse for killing children or bombing hospitals! Life is Sacred, a teaching common to all three Abrahamic faiths, and the lives of children especially Sacred.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has stated that the humanitarian emergency in Gaza, following a severe escalation in hostilities involving intense Israeli aerial and navy bombardment, has claimed the lives of at least 697 Palestinians, of whom 170 were children and 86 women. Over 3,993 people have been wounded and 140,000 have been displaced, currently staying at 83 UNRWA schools. 32 Israelis have lost their lives, including 3 civilians and 29 soldiers.
The Association of British Muslims expresses our most heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of all those who have lost their lives and call upon everyone to support and stand in solidarity with the People of Palestine. The Israeli government and IDF are demonstrating a complete lack of concern for the civilian population of Palestine, that verges on unjustified cruelty.
Israel claims to be responding to rocket attacks launched from Palestine, but a genuine response would be proportional to the threat. The returned fire from the IDF takes the lives of hundreds of Palestinians, including 170 children, unprotected women and elderly people. Over 697 people so far, and still counting…
We are living in dark times, with tragic events occurring in neighbouring Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the region. Like the Prophet, peace be upon him warned, the day has come where Jews and Muslims are fighting and Muslims are fighting each other, where everyone claims that they are on the path of “jihad” (struggle/striving), and no one really knows why they are killing one another. This is not the meaning or way of jihad, or even the modern concept of a “Just War”.
In these times of jahiliyya, widespread ignorance, corruption and confusion, it is absolutely imperative we make Education, Culture, Science and Spirituality our jihad.
In this most holy month of Ramadan, we join our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world, along with every concerned soul in our Human Family (Bani Adam), in prayer and remembrance of the children and innocent people who have lost their lives in Palestine, and those still suffering under the onslaught of military operations.
We pray for the restoration of Peace, Security and Justice in Palestine and call upon the Israeli government to end the war against Palestinians forthwith, including the blockade against Gaza. All sides must fully and sincerely commit to meaningful negotiations to find ways for an authentic sustainable peaceful solution.
Shaykh Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims.
Mr Mohammed Abbasi, Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims.
Mr Muhammad Hamzah, Cultural Director, The Association of British Muslims.
Islam: Sunni/Shia Conflict?
Ahl al Sunnah wal Jamaat (Sunni) and Ahl al Bayt (Shia) are the two largest denominations of Islam, themselves comprised of many subgroups and schools of thought (madhab). Contrary to some media reports, the two denominations are not at war with one another.
While it’s true a profound disagreement over who should lead the Muslims after Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was the root that caused this split; that was nearly one and a half millennia ago!
Until relatively recently, there was no conflict at all between any Sunnis and Shias. When scholars got together, they debated and discussed with proper adab. Renowned scholars of each denomination respect one another to this day, regardless whether or not they disagree on some matters.
Any conflict attributed to sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia is between extremist factions, who have nothing to do with mainstream Sunni/Shia Islam.
We must be on our guard against this fitnah, and encourage people to return to the teachings of Allah SWT in the Holy Qur’an, which all Muslims believe to be the revelation of Allah SWT to his messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims Director, KhilafahOnline —
Islam and Life: Danger of Takfiri ideology for Islam
The rise of Takfiri movements has caused outrage all across traditionally majority Muslim regions of the world and elsewhere. Tariq Ramadan discusses this frightening phenomenon with Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, Co-Director of the Association of British Muslims.
What does Islam mean?
MUSLIM SCHOLARS FATWA (RULING) ON FGM
There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.
MUSLIM SCHOLARS FATWA (RULING) ON FGM
My problem is that I feel angry and get mad at everything other than my three children. I cannot stand to see my husband, who loves me. I cannot stand touch him or to go to bed with him. I cannot stand him. I cannot stand him. I hate men. I hate sex. I find no satisfaction in it whatsoever. I am not moved at all, when I have intercourse with my husband as happens with other couples.[i] The above quote is from a victim of the appalling practice of Female genital Mutilation which is destroying the lives of many people across the world. The World Health Organization estimates that between 100 and 140 million women and girls have been subjected to FGM worldwide and that each year a further 2 million girls are at risk. In the UK it is estimated that over 100 thousand women have undergone FGM and that some 25 thousand girls are at risk. More shockingly is that London has become the place where “Girls are being cut”.[ii] The public health minister, Jane Ellison states that “FGM is child abuse but because of cultural sensitivity we have failed to protect vulnerable young girls”.[iii] FGM is practiced by community members who are Muslims, Christians, and people of no faith. Those Muslims who practise FGM rationalise it as a religious obligation in spite of the fact that FGM predates Islam. Continue reading…
The letter Khalifah Ali ibn Abi Talib wrote to Malik Ashtar
While it may have been written 14 centuries ago, the letter Khalifah Ali ibn Abi Talib wrote to Malik Ashtar is just as, if not even more relevant to us today.
May Allah SWT help us return to the noble wisdom of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and his loyal companions, may Allah bless them.
Sheikh Daoud Rosser-Owen, on the AOBM
Sheikh Daoud Rosser-Owen, Amir of the Association of British Muslims (AOBM) summarises its history and objectives.
Our appreciation to Stephen Sizer, pastor of Christ Church, Virginia Water (see http://cc-vw.org) for recording this interview. (1 September 2011).