Mardin Fatwa : The Jihadis Blank Cheque

The Mardin Fatwa is a little known edict produced by Ibn Taymiyyah which is often seen as a religious justification for the immoral actions of the Salafi Jihadists. This short article will outline what is the Mardin Fatwa, its context and implications for modern times.


Many people look at the acts of terror committed and think “Why are Muslims doing theses things?”, this has partly been addressed in a previous article, this article however is more specific and will focus on the ideology of these Muslims and their rationale for committing their terror acts. The first thing to note is that the ideology is from a Sunni background, specifically Salafi, this is a version of Islam that is propagated from Saudi Arabia, however it is not the main, or original version of Islam.


What is particularly shocking is the predictability of the Salafi Jihadists such as ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, Al Shabab, Boko Haram etc. In 2004 the  National Intelligence Council made up of various intelligence experts that report to the CIA released a report in 2004 called “Mapping the Global Future (PDF)“ this document outlined a scenario where a caliphate is declared by the future successor to Al Qaeda. Some interesting quotes from the document :


“…We expect that by 2020 al-Qa’ida will have been superceded by similarly inspired but more diffuse Islamic extremist groups.”


“…A radical takeover in a Muslim country in the Middle East could spur the spread of terrorism in the region and give confidence to others that a new Caliphate is not just a dream.”


Remember, that document was written over ten years ago. The EU commissioned a report in 2013, called :




It can be downloaded here. Again, it points to Salafi’s role in terror and attempts to dominate the region by force.


The London School of Economics even has a course on “Political Islam: From Ibn Taymiyya to Osama bin Laden”, it seems there is little dispute about the religious source of the modern terrorist groups. 


London School of Economics offer a course on Ibn Taymiyya to Bin Laden Politcs

So are these authors clairvoyant? or do they know something about Salafi views that predisposes their followers to certain activities?


The Mardin Fatwa



Ibn Taymiyya was born in 1263 in modern day Turkey, by the age of 7 his hometown was ravaged by the invading Mongols, and Ibn Taymiyyah and his family escaped to Damascus. After his studies, the Mongols had converted to Islam, but Ibn Taymiyyah was still not tolerant of them, despite them converted to Sunni Islam, he still issued a fatwa that Jihad against them is Obligatory, and even canceled Ramadan so that the fighters would not be weakened. A precedent had been set, the ends now justify the means, so to establish Sharia, there is now nothing that is taboo, killing other Muslims, halting religious obligations, to Ibn Taymiyyah and his followers whatever it takes is allowed.


Osama Bin Laden famously quoted this exact Fatwa to justify attacks against Muslims and Non Muslims in Arab lands, as have many of his followers,  Ayman al-ZawahiriAnwar Al Awlaki, etc etf


Abdul Salam Faraj (the mastermind behind the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat) argues that unbelievers are not only non-Muslims, but also those Muslims who do not adhere to Sharia. Evoking the ideas of classical Muslim scholar Ibn Taymiyya to state that an unbeliever is someone who does not believe or does not adhere to any of the prescripts of Islam, even if he pronounces the Islamic confessions of faith. He applied this to any and all of the laws of Islam and is a standard for the ruler and ruled alike.


For many, Ibn Taymiyyah’s shadowy past represents a major problem, on the one hand people have been brought up to love and follow his texts, on the other, the texts appear to be incompatible with Islam and morality. To try to dodge this paradox some argue that Ibn Taymiyah did not actually say this, and it was a misprint, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf has this view.



However, this view sounds like it fixes the problem that people who hold Ibn Tamiyah highly, however, this fatwa was not one off, and even more damning was Ibn Taymiyah actually fought the Muslim Mongols and other groups who did not explicitly agree with him, such as the Shia and some Ismaili groups. This is one of the most important lessons we can draw from Ibn Taymiyyah, he feels that merely saying what it is right or wrong is not nearly enough, he feels that Muslims must actively put into practice what he says. This is not to mention his views on the Christians or other groups, for example Ibn Taymiyyah led a campaign in 1293 to have a Christian executed for blasphemy, destruction of sacred artifacts in 1305 etc.


This Salafi preacher (watch from 29 mins for 5 mins) gives his view on the greatness of Ibn Taymiyyah, and also explains the many “miracles” he performed and compares him to a Prophet. 


Essentially Muslims today are facing a problem, the books that are on their shelves, the speakers in their Mosques are all mentioning Ibn Taymiyah, but at the same time, his books are the inspiration for the worst of the worst terrorists. The Saudis resurrection of Ibn Taymiyah ideas and their spreading of his work has confused the Muslim masses and it is now up to the Muslims to counter the Saudi propaganda and change the narrative in the Muslim masses mind.




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13 thoughts on “Mardin Fatwa : The Jihadis Blank Cheque

  1. incomplete article – what are the counter arguments? your article presents Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s attempt, but if that is not definitive, what are the more acceptable counters?

    1. Feisal, when you say counters what are you referring to? The point is that it is clear Ibn Taymiah had these views which are in line with Isis of today. It is written all over his books, and he put them into action, this is undeniable. The reality is, Saudi regime has made this self admitted outcast, the one whom all his peers of his time said was extreme , the one who sent years in prison for deviant beliefs, now the Saudis try to make him out as mainstream. What did we expect to happen if people think ibn taymiah is mainstream?

  2. Indeed You are a full, if u think you are civilised and can change Allah’s Shari’a. Say, Die in ur range

  3. Hi “Die in your range Kuffar”

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am not changing the sharia, I think there are some Muslims who have mis-understood, or mis-interpreted the religion. It is this mis understanding that I wish to highlight.


  4. If you check the old Fatawa ibn e Taimiyah book, u will find a change in this fatwa, I claim that something has been changed in the original fatwa

    1. This idea is frankly ridiculous.

      Not only does Ibn Taymiah have similar fatwas in other places, but he actually did what he said. His fatwa on the shia, the druze for example, are even more harsh than what ISIS say today.

  5. “The first thing to note is that the ideology is from a Sunni background, specifically Salafi”

    This ideology is NOT from a sunni background and has nothing to do with salafism/wahhabism. This ideology is from a KHAWARIJ background. These monsters are KHAWARIJ, not SALAFISTS, not SUNNIS.

    “Osama Bin Laden famously quoted this exact Fatwa to justify attacks against Muslims and Non Muslims in Arab lands, as have many of his followers, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Anwar Al Awlaki, etc etf…Abdul Salam Faraj (the mastermind behind the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat)”

    Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawhiri, Anwar al-Awlaki and Abdul Salam Faraj were KHAWARIJ. They were NOT salafis/sunnis.

    “killing other Muslims”

    These Mogols were not muslims but kafirs.

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