ISIL's 'caliphate' makes a mockery of Islam: clerics

Sahwa fighters man a position on the front lines with the 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant'. [Karim Sahib/AFP]

Sahwa fighters man a position on the front lines with the 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant'. [Karim Sahib/AFP]

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The recent announcement in which the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) said it was creating an "Islamic caliphate" and installing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as caliph makes a mockery of Islam, clerics and experts told Al-Shorfa.

In a June 29th audio recording, ISIL spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani announced the group was establishing an "Islamic caliphate" and that al-Baghdadi had "accepted the pledge" to serve as "Caliph of the Muslims".

The declaration means Muslims must pledge allegiance to al-Baghdadi and that the legitimacy of all other "Islamic states, emirates and organisations" will be annulled, al-Adnani said.

The ISIL would now be known as the "Islamic State", he said.

'Distortion of Islam'

With this declaration, ISIL "reached the peak of its exploitation and distortion of Islam", said Al-Azhar University professor of sharia and law Sheikh Mahmoud al-Jabali.

"This announcement demonstrates the extent of its disrespect for the centuries-old Islamic legacies," he told Al-Shorfa.

"What this gang is doing in announcing the caliphate and the instalment of the caliph is nothing but lies and fabrications and an indication of the growing injustice exercised over people in the areas where they are now present in Syria and Iraq," he added.

In Islam, there are religious conditions and guidelines to be met in the creation of a caliphate which are not found in the case of the al-Baghdadi state, al-Jabali said.

ISIL's declaration "is a void announcement because it lacks the minimum pre-requisites of the Islamic state, which assumes the state has extended its control and authority on all territories", he said. "And what is meant by 'control' is control through words and persuasion, not by blood and killing, as ISIL is doing".

It is clear ISIL is distorting the concept of the caliphate for its own purposes, "which is something that no one can be convinced with except he who is ignorant in his faith", he added.

Furthermore, when choosing a legitimate caliph, multiple candidates should be presented in order for one of them to be chosen in a process similar to an election, al-Jabali said. There would be six initial candidates, with a final selection between the remaining two, rather than a unilateral declaration of authority.

ISIL's declaration forewarns an increase in the rift between ISIL and other al-Qaeda linked groups, said Maj. Gen. Yahya Mohammed Ali, a specialist on terror groups who is retired from the Egyptian army.

The announcement "foretells of further bloody fighting between ISIL and those opposing it in the areas under its control in Iraq and Syria, especially against al-Nusra Front (ANF), and other al-Qaeda-linked organisations", he said.

"Al-Adnani's announcement was a clear message to al-Qaeda, because the announcement of the caliphate annuls other 'Islamic states' and the mandate of their rulers, whether they belonged to ISIL or any other organisation," he said.

Thriving on ignorance

"Regrettably, ISIL, al-Qaeda and others thrive on the presence of those who lack religious knowledge and exploit their ignorance to brainwash them, turning them into obedient tools in their hands," Ali said.

The declaration of the "Islamic caliphate" and the naming of al-Baghdadi as caliph is "the completion of the bloody farce being played out in Syria and Iraq", said Sheikh Moaz Abdul Kareem, who was a preacher at the al-Omar Mosque in Aleppo, Syria, before moving to Cairo.

ISIL's resort to the title of caliph is nothing but an attempt to hide behind an Islamic, historical symbol in the face of opposition from most people who are not convinced with their presence to begin with, he told Al-Shorfa.

"One of the conditions for a caliph is that he should possess extensive knowledge in religious sciences and be a scholar of religion, but this condition is not found in al-Baghdadi, who is not one known for extensive knowledge in religion," Abdul Kareem said.

"If, for argument's sake, we accepted that ISIL is seeking to create a caliphate, the pledge of allegiance would not be made by his entourage and his soldiers, but by all the people of the territories which will be ruled by the alleged state," he said.

"This is one of the first conditions which must be fulfilled in appointing the new caliph, which is not found in this case, especially in the wake of the huge revulsion shown by the people of Syria against ISIL due to its unacceptable practices, which it conducts in the name of religion, such as oppressive detentions, the imposition of 'jizya tax', extortion and executions," he added.

'Empty words lacking meaning'

The purpose behind declaring the state is to "ensure the existence of this gang known as ISIL" and the existence of additional gangs that follow it through voicing their allegiance, Abdul Kareem said.

Furthermore, ISIL is trying to lay its hands on available funds and resources in the areas it controls, he added.

Al-Adnani's claims regarding setting up all the religious aspects of the "Islamic state" are no more than "empty words lacking any meaning or substance", he said.

"Everyone knows how sharia and hadd punishment are applied in ISIL controlled areas, and against whom, as the majority of those on whom religious rulings are being applied are those opposing ISIL, not the criminals or the murderers, and clearly they are being killed in cold blood under the cover of religion," Abdul Kareem said.

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    2014-8-18

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  • ابن بغداد

    2014-7-30

    No to ISIL and yes to Iraq. I swear if you see them in battles, they would be like rats. During the most recent battle in Al-Atheem area, they ran away like rats. Yes to Iraq.

  • قاسم الكتلوني

    2014-7-29

    God willing, there is going to be a victory soon, with the help of God, against the challenges that they are facing

  • بحر الهدوء

    2014-7-29

    ISIL are just animals who were living in caves. Then these animals ran away to modern cities, so they destroyed all modern things and created their own religion and Sharia because the final prophet has nothing to do with them.

  • اكرمالعراقي

    2014-7-26

    God curse ISIL for they distorted the image of Islam

  • موراد احمد

    2014-7-26

    Peace be upon you. My brothers and sisters in Islam and faith, what I’m going to say is not wild imagination but from reality. Let us first list the facts. First of all, ISIL is nothing but a terrorist foreign organization that works for pay. This organization was established by Russian intelligence service and its main goal was to maintain the Assad regime in Syria in order to safeguard its interest. The simplest evidence is that they own Sam weapons and short-range Scud missiles and that there are Western command officers, including 450 Britons. Secondly, ISIL’s invasion of Iraq was at the request of Mr. Nuri Al-Maliki who made an ambiguous statement when he said his goal was to limit and restrict them to the Right Sector in order to eliminate the Sunni revolution (knowing that the Sunni revolution has nothing to do with the dissolved Baath party). However, as the saying goes, sometimes Santa doesn't bring you what you ask for. Thirdly, in order to go back to the main plan, which is to eliminate the Sunni revolution in Iraq, and so that Iraq could buy weapons from the previous millennium from a country that found no customer other than Maliki, Al-Baghdadi started to issue Fatwas (religious rulings) that are in contrary to the solid believes of our religion, such as saying that the Kaba should be set on fire. It is impossible that they are Muslims except for the ignorant ones who were fooled by their lack of faith. How could they say the Kaba should be destroyed? No one could say that because what happened to Abraha is the best example. I ask God in this blessed night of Ramadan to guide us to the straight path, bring Muslims together and bring peace to countries all over the world, especially those with Muslim majority. I ask God to afflict wrongdoers with wrongdoers and make us emerge from their midst safe and sound.

  • صكر حريجة

    2014-7-23

    ISIL are the Baathists and Fedayeen Saddam and they are dreaming about ruling Iraq, but again and again, we are not going to give it to them

  • محمد محمود

    2014-7-23

    This is a distortion of the image of Islam. Anything that is based on falsehood is definitely false

  • صفا الدين

    2014-7-22

    Our fathers and we are Muslims and we know our religion and need no one to teach us how to worship the creator

  • عبدالله

    2014-7-21

    I think that the Sheikh of the Azhar is not able to make any comment except from further afield. He doesn’t see what Sisi is doing to Muslims. Regarding the statements made by the Major General, I don’t find them strange because he is definitely one of the orphans of Abdul Naser and Abdul Hakim Amir, the heroes of the biggest setback that was incurred by Islam and Arabs at the hands of the greatest enemy

  • مسلمه

    2014-7-19

    ISIL is run by Israel and is used as a tool to defame Islam.

  • سعيد سماك

    2014-7-16

    ISIL is a filthy group

  • محمد

    2014-7-16

    This is nonsense and is completely baseless. You are the ones who are fighting against religion and not ISIL

  • ام ايه

    2014-7-16

    God curse ISIL and all those who belong to it

  • لا ابو بكر البغدادي ولا غيرير اي حثاله

    2014-7-16

    ISIL, what is ISIL? We Iraqis are not fearful and we will trample them with shoes

  • عراقيه وافتخر

    2014-7-14

    May god rid us from ISIL rats

  • عماد

    2014-7-13

    ISIL are followers of America and Bashar

  • علي عبد الحسين

    2014-7-12

    Yes

  • ام عصام

    2014-7-11

    The ISIL or whatever! We ask God to save us from such filthy people.

  • امين

    2014-7-10

    Let us assume that the ISIL is as bad as you say, you should have quoted some scholars who have not participated in shedding the blood of the Muslims.

  • علي الساعدي

    2014-7-9

    ISIL is cowardly

  • نبراس

    2014-7-9

    ISIL is nothing but scum and religion has nothing to do with them

  • حامد العراق

    2014-7-8

    All of these Wahhabi groups are based on falsehood and are made by Israel, America and Britain. Wahhabism is followed only by murderers, criminals and morally and sexually decadent people

  • ريما الصالحي

    2014-7-8

    I think Iraq and Syria do not need ISIL leaders to rule them and run their affairs. The two countries do not want a state run by people who shed blood and impose rules that have nothing to do with religion. Hence, we have to strongly disagree with what is happening now in both countries. ISIL members are nothing but a bunch of people who resemble human beings only in shape. Even if they are said to belong to animals, they would distort the image of animals due to heinousness of their acts against human beings, including indecent violations, destruction, devastation, acts of rape and others.

  • ريما الصالحي

    2014-7-8

    This is a nice article. Keep it up

  • ابو هشام الحميري

    2014-7-7

    http://www.mahdi-alumma.com/showthread.php?18740- a call from the Guided Imam Naser Mohammed al-Yamani to the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

  • عمر

    2014-7-7

    Why are they distorting the image of Islam? Is there any Islam anymore these days when pants are going down and skirts are getting shorter? Obey Islam and don’t act as if we represent Islam because we are the ones who distorted the image of Islam and not the Islamic State (aka Da’ish). God willing, God will be with that which is right and truthful.

  • Steven Buckley

    2014-7-7

    Muhammad said:"Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. 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 withold 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. Then invite them to migrate from their lands to the land of Muhairs and inform them that, if they do so, they shall have all the privileges and obligations of the Muhajirs. If they refuse to migrate, tell them that they will have the status of Bedouin Muilims and will be subjected to the Commands of Allah like other Muslims, but they will not get any share from the spoils of war or Fai' except when they actually fight with the Muslims (against the disbelievers). 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." Sahih Muslim, Book 019, Number 4294

  • لؤي البغيدادي

    2014-7-7

    The analysis is hundred percent accurate

  • مجهول الاسم

    2014-7-7

    I’m against ISIL, support forming a Sunni region, and am against foreign intervention or any intervention by any informal group

  • رياست خان علي أستان

    2014-7-6

    Da’ish (ISIL) is a Kharejite, misguided group that has nothing to do with Islam and we are ready to resist them once our father, King Abdullah – may god grant him longevity and make him beneficial to Islam and Muslims – asks us to do so. Riyast Khan Ali Al-Pakistani, student at the Islamic University of Medina.

  • مسلم

    2014-7-6

    The testimony of the Azhar is something that would only confer legitimacy upon the Islamic State because the Azhar is currently a failed institution, because it has become the Azhar of Sisi the murderer

  • العراقي الاصيل

    2014-7-6

    May god punish the wrongdoing infidels who insulted god’s religion. May god take revenge at them.

    • ابن العراع

      2014-7-9

      This is absolutely credible

  • رنا

    2014-7-6

    Yes, this is not an Islamic state but rather a state of killing, looting and rape. God is letting them get carried away with their tyranny so that they may be punished twice over. I would like to ask, what are they going to say tomorrow when they stand in front of God? Aren’t they fearful of God?

  • طه حسن السيد

    2014-7-6

    ISIL was created by America for a specific goal in the region and it is the same thing as al-Qaeda’s creation which led to the fragmentation of the Soviet Union for the benefit of the US. After that, America disposed of them and it is now creating ISIL to get rid of Iran and to distort the image of Islam

  • سمسم المدريدي

    2014-7-5

    ISIL is a dog begotten by a dog

  • حيدر السلطان

    2014-7-5

    May god curse them. They are now imposing martial laws in Mosul city and are chopping off hands, legs and tongues

  • جمال خلف

    2014-7-4

    May God punish them; Islam is innocent of them and they have distorted Islam. But the end of ISIL is near.

  • حمودي الصغير

    2014-7-4

    May God spare us their evil and afflict the wrongdoers with wrongdoers. I swear these people are seditious, difficult and evil.

  • محمد ترك

    2014-7-4

    This is blatant sedition. Who are these people and where did they come up with this ideology? Since when did Islam rule with force and bloodshed?

  • مصطفى الخزاعي

    2014-7-4

    ISIL is an infidel terrorist organization made and supported by America and Israel to destroy and defame the true Islam of Muhammad and our Islamic countries, particularly the Arab ones. The almighty God, and his Messenger, peace be upon him, and his community, are innocent of them and their dirty acts that wouldn’t be committed even by the Jews. Besides, all those supporting them and their criminal acts are enemies to the almighty God and Muhammad, peace and prayers be upon him, and the pure people of his house, peace be upon them.

    • عراقي

      2014-7-19

      Even if it was made by America, who is committing such criminal acts after all? Aren’t they Muslims committing them in the name of religion?!

  • عبدالقادر العجارمه

    2014-7-4

    What is ISIL going to do about Jerusalem? Are you still talking about Islam? Shame on you

  • تلبخؤتع

    2014-7-4

    No, of course no

  • حيدرالشالجي

    2014-7-4

    This hocus pocus sugarcoated hiding behind Islam has nothing to do with the true religion brought by the mighty messenger, Mohammed. God considers Islam as the sole religion and it is built upon monotheism, justice, prophethood, Imamhood and the Day of Judgment is the meeting day. So what does ISIL have to do with these fundamental values? They are following Satan in an antihuman, anti-Islam and anti-Sunnah Zionist fashion. They are like their Kharejite grandfathers who disobeyed the Imam of their time. Due to that, they disbelieved in god’s religion and in the Sunnah of his mighty messenger who brought truth and peace to all creatures.

  • حسين

    2014-7-3

    The ISIL members are mercenaries who were prepared by Bashar Al-Asad. They have nothing to do with Islam. They fight the armed resistance groups in Syria on orders of Bashar. Following the siege of Syria, the only way to get arms was through agreement between Iran, Iraq, and Syria to push the forces of the ISIL to seize the arms of the Sunnis in the north to prevent these groups from fighting. This is a hateful crisis between the Sunnis and the Shia. Shortly, the fighters of the ISIL returned to Syria with all kinds of arms.

  • محمود الرمحي- الأردن

    2014-7-3

    The USA and its tools undermined the approaches of the largest political Islamic groups. First, the Muslim Brotherhood, which was trying to establish an Islamic state peacefully and gradually through reform of the individual and the society as well as assuming power through the modern democratic means. The military coup in Egypt, which was supported by the fake Salafists of Al-Nour Party. The second is Tahrir Party, by stealing the idea of the caliphate by the barbaric fake Salafists of the ISIS. The party has been working for many years to change the corrupt ruler peacefully by the support of some powerful parties. Is it a coincidence that the fake, fanatic and ignorant Salafists are parties on both sides, whether the supporters of the opponents (or the Muji’ah and Khawaarij) are involved in the conspiracy to kill the reform methodologies of the oldest reform groups on the political Islamic arena in the modern times? We belong to God The Almighty and to him we shall return. the wrongdoers would eventually lose. O God! guide us to the right in any dispute, as you guide whomever you wish to a right path. Amen.