The Scholars of ISIS

Many people wonder “Why are people joining ISIS?” or “Where did they get their religious ideas from?”, this article will detail the exact origins of the ISIS ideology, why they are acting as they are and what can be done about it.


ISIS is not new


The first thing to understand about the ISIS phenomenon is that it is not new, previously there was Al Qaeda, and many similar groups, Al Shabab, Al Nusra, Boko Haram etc however there is a common denominator, and that is they are all from Sunni Islam. So why is this happening? If it is simply a “Sunni” thing, then why aren’t all Sunni behaving this way?


The History


There are different interpretations of Sunni Islam, and the one that the Saudis prefer is that led by scholars like Ibn Taymiah, Abdul Wahab and Ibn Jawzi. These individuals and their books have been spread throughout the globe using Saudi oil money, to the point now where lay Muslims have called Ibn Taymiah the “Sheikh of Islam”. So whats the problem? The issue is that these individual’s books are filled with divisive, hateful, violent ideas that are a recipe for ISIS. The average Sunni layperson will now have no problem saying how wonderful “Sheikh Al Islam” Ibn Taymiah is, yet are they aware of their statements?


“They are more evil than most of the people of desires, and they are more deserving of being killed than the Khawaarij.”

[Refer to Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (28/482) of Ibn Taymiyyah]


The scholar Abdullaah b. Abdurrahmann b. al-Jibreen, may Allah preserve him, was asked a question in which it states: ‘We have a Raafidhi who works as a butcher. Sunni Muslims bring their animals for him to slaughter. There are a few restaurants that do business with him. What is the ruling of doing business with this Raafidhi? What is the ruling of their slaughtered animals?  Wa alaikum as salam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakatuh.

He responded:

The animal slaughtered by the Raafidhi is not lawful for us, nor is it lawful to consume. The majority of the Raafidhah are polytheists, for they call upon Ali in times of need, even during Arafah, the Tawaf and Sa’ee.

They call unto his children and their Imaams, as we have heard on numerous occasions. This is a form of greater Shirk. It is also apostasy which one should be killed over.


In one of his classes al-Tabari asked: “What is the status of one (the Shia) who says: Abu Bakr and ‘Umar are not two Imams of guidance?” Ibn al-A’lam replied: “He is an innovator.” Al-Tabari said: “An innovator? Just an innovator? Such a person is put to death! Whoever claims that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar are not two Imams of guidance is definitely put to death!”

Lisan al Mizan, Ibn Hajar In Ibn Hajar, Lisan al-Mizan (5:101)


bn Taymiyyah had another fatwa on “collateral damage ,” which stipulated that the “mujaheddin” (fighters) who intended to target “infidels” were allowed to kill other Muslims who might stand in the way of reaching the mujahedeen’s goal. Al-Qaeda used this fatwa to justify the killing of large numbers of Iraqis with car bombs and improvised explosive devices  after the US invasion in 2003. 

The most important fatwa upon which IS bases its holy war or jihad is the “Mardin ” fatwa. The historical frame of this fatwa can give us an image of the cause of this extremism, which marked all Ibn Taymiyyah fatwas. He was born in Mardin on the border between present-day Syria and Turkey in 1263. When he was 7 years old, the Mongols attacked and overran his town. Ibn Taymiyyah was moved to Damascus to live with his grandmother. Jihadists believe that when he became an Islamic jurist, Ibn Taymiyyah issued a fatwa encouraging the fight against Mardin and its people (although the fatwa has been a source of disagreement among Muslim scholars for a long time). Many hard-liners and advocates of the Salafist jihadi ideology perceive this fatwa as a permission to wage war to impose Sharia even within Islamic countries.


The Saudi regime has ensured that the majority of Mosques and Imams lecture from Ibn Taymiah, about how great he is and how he was correct, even giving major universities multi-million dollar donations who then publish papers on the “greatness” of Ibn Taymiah. Here is what Yasir Qadhi had to say after finishing his Phd dissertation at Yale university regarding Ibn Taymiah:


Some two centuries later, one of the greatest thinkers of Islamic history, hailing from the city of Damascus, produced a ten-volume magnum opus refuting this alleged ‘Universal Rule’. The name of this man was Shaykh al-Islām Taqī’l-Dīn Ahmad b. Abd al-Haleem Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah), a genius whose intellectual brilliance is hardly seen during or after his era.

Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi, who regards Shaykh’l-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) as an intellectual mentor, spent eight years examining the above-mentioned work,



The Results


Armed with the ideology of hate, bigotry and religious fervor, there can be no surprise when groups emerge that put those evil ideas into practice. There are thousands of examples of massacres and terrorist behavior, most of which is too disturbing to show, I have selected just a few clips just to get a taste of the fruits of the Saudi regime’s hard work:



In this clip an Iraqi Sunni explains how ISIS has killed hundreds of Sunnis as they didn’t agree with their hate-filled ideology.



Sunni Imams uncovering the Saudi regime plots to spread Ibn Taymiah as mainstream Islam :



This young boy explains the terrible events of the day his school was attacked by terrorists, 1000 unarmed, innocent children were attacked leaving over 200 dead, the same group was responsible for the suicide bombing on the Mosque above.



Most evenings simply watching any news channel will show the terrorist attacks of the salafi groups, whom most Muslims will try and explain away by either saying its a CIA/Israeli plot, or they are just crazy loners or part of the Khawarij  sect, whom seems to have identical beliefs to that of the current phase of salafis. So what can be done?


The treatment


Now the root cause of the terrorist behavior is identified (there are other causes), the treatment can be prescribed. What is disappointing, almost embarrassing, is that most educated non Muslim people who have looked into the matter have already worked this all out, and the EU published a paper identifying the exact issue already. It seems its only the bulk of the Muslims who are either afraid to question what has become mainstream, or they are so indoctrinated they are not able to identify what is Islam and what is Saudi interpretation. 


The first thing that needs to happen is education, educating the Muslim masses via the mosques about the authentic version of Islam, not the Saudi version that so many have become used to. This is no easy task, as the average lay Muslim who means well and just wants to be a good person has been indoctrinated with a deficient and perverse version of Islam, however it is the only version they know, so asking someone to change is not going to be easy. Its important to understand that not every Sunni is going to go down the path of ISIS, but if they read the books of Ibn Taymiah and his associates, then a certain number will go on to put into practice his theories. Its distressing to see the innocent and confused Sunni’s labeling ISIS as “khawarij“, and thinking that ISIS is nothing to do with them, when they don’t even know what the khawarij believe, nor what traditional Sunni believe, yet they continue to say “Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiah”. 



Any thoughts or comments? Disagree? Feel free to comment.


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