As noted previously, Mu'assasat al-Turath al-'Ilmi ('Ilm Heritage Foundation) is one of the main pro-Islamic State (IS) outlets that can be seen as representing a more 'moderate' trend within the organization. Derided as 'suspect' by its critics, the foundation takes a particular interest in the position and fate of Abu Ya'qub al-Maqdisi, an IS scholar of Jordanian origin who has come under the suspicion of the organization's security apparatus multiple times.
In light of the latest instance of his arrest, Mu'assasat al-Turath al-'Ilmi has published a lengthy statement in defense of Maqdisi by a group of individuals described as "students of 'Ilm in the Dawla" (i.e. religious students and scholars within IS), though no specific names are given. The statement calls for Maqdisi to be subject to a fair and open trial, while also responding to ten general accusations that have circulated about Maqdisi. One of the general accusations seems to be particularly colorful: namely, that Maqdisi was in contact with the U.S. RAND Corporation.
The response to another of the allegations- namely, that Maqdisi published material without the permission of IS- can also be seen as a defense of Mu'assasat al-Turath al-'Ilmi's project. For among the criticisms directed against the foundation by supporters of IS official media is that it publishes material without central authorization: the response to such criticisms though is that since the foundation is concerned with publishing heritage of 'Ilm (Islamic knowledge), then there is no need for authorization from a governing authority to publish since spreading 'Ilm is a duty anyway.
Some other interesting snippets of information emerge in this text, such as the claim that there are IS soldiers and subjects still receive salaries from Iraq's central government. Does that refer to IS operatives who operate in secret and present themselves to outsiders as ordinary employees and civilians?
Also of interest is the confirmation of contact between prominent pro-al-Qa'ida ideologue Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and IS during the affair of the Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh, who was captured and burned alive by IS in early 2015.
Below is the text with full translation by me.
Statement from the students of 'Ilm in the Dawla
In defense of the honor of the mujahid Sheikh Abu Ya'qub al-Maqdisi (may God deliver him)
Rights of printing and publication are available for every Muslim man and woman provided the content of the book is not violated through deletion or addition.
First printing: Dhu al-Hijja 1439 AH- September 2018 CE
Second printing: Muharram 1440 AH- September 2018 CE
Mu'assasat al-Turath al-'Ilmi
A media foundation concerned with publishing the 'Ilm heritage of the mashaykh of jihad and the mujahideen. Launched in Safr 1439 AH- October 2017 CE.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds, with no enmity except against the oppressors, and the outcome is for the pious. And God's blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and all his family and companions.
As for what follows:
News has reached us of accusations directed at the Sheikh Abu Ya'qub al-Maqdisi the extent of whose truth we do not know because the man is in prison and likely facing compulsion. Omar bin al-Khattab (may God be pleased with him) said: "There are four things that are loathed: prison, striking, threat, and shackles."[i] And Ibn Mas'ud (may God be pleased with him) said: "Words will not avert from me two lashes unless I am asserting them";[ii] and "The accused is innocent until proven guilty." Therefore we in these words will undertake the obligation of defending the honor of our brother:
First: on account of SAWS' words: "Whoso defends the honor of his brother, God will avert the fire from his face on the Day of Judgement."[iii]
Second: correcting some of the misunderstandings that have spread among the people. Are the accuser's mere accusations the opposing party and the ruling? Why is the sheikh not put on trial in a public court with the attendance of the judges and students of 'Ilm, rather than being put on trial in the depths of the prisons where we cannot hear his confession or opposition?
The Almighty has said: "They said: then bring him before the eyes of the people, that they may bear witness" (al-Anbiya' 61).
Al-Qurtubi (may God have mercy on him) said: "In it is one issue, and that is: that when the news reached Nimrod and the nobles of his people, they loathed punishing him without proof, so they said: bring him in the open before the sight of the people that they may see him: 'that they may bear witness' against him in what he said, so that that may be a proof against him." He (may God have mercy on him) said: "And in this is proof that no one is to be condemned merely by the call of anyone in what he has presented, on account of the Almighty's words: 'So bring him before the eyes of the people that they may bear witness.' And the matter is likewise in our law and there is no disagreement on that."[iv]
So this Taghut- al-Nimrod bin Kan'an- refused to put his adversaries on trial in secret, so what then of those who have belonged to the successors?!
And God (Almighty and Exalted is He) censured David (peace be upon him) when he heard from one side. The Almighty has said: "Oh David, indeed We made you a khalifa in the land so judge between the people with truth and do not follow whims, for they mislead you from the path of God. Indeed those who go astray from God's path will have a painful punishment for what they have forgotten on the Day of Reckoning" (al-Anbiya' 26).
Written by the students of 'Ilm in the Dawla: Dhu al-Hijja 1439 AH.
Responding to the accusations attached to him
First accusation: contact with Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi
This matter needs proof, and even if proven it is not absolute kufr. Even if we suppose for argument's sake the kufr of al-Maqdisi, the one who contacts him is not a disbeliever, because contact with the disbeliever is not kufr by consensus, but rather it will be authorized or necessary if need requires it, such as the exchange of prisoners and business, for 'what is required to carry out the obligation is an obligation.' And the Dawla had contact with al-Maqdisi in the case of Mu'adh al-Kasasbeh.
So is contact with Abu Muhammad by the Dawla's permission permitted and without its permission forbidden and also kufr? Even if it is claimed that he told him some of the secrets of the Dawla, that is not kufr, and it does not necessitate killing, because even though Abu Muhammad has a quarrel with the Dawla, he does not have the force and power for the Dawla to fear him.
And even if we concede that there is harm, even partially, against the Dawla by contact with him, Sheikh Abu Ya'qub has good qualities that should prevent him from being killed, indeed from rebuke and imprisonment. And among the greatest of these good qualities is that he is among the authors of the 'aqeeda of the Dawla represented in the 'Ilm series ad other words, which were a cause in quelling the fitna of the extremists at one point, and his deed, even if proven, is no worse than the deed of Hateb (may God be pleased with him) who revealed the secret of the Prophet (SAWS) to the disbelievers of the Quraysh, in whose kufr and war with the Prophet (SAWS) there is no difference. Despite this, SAWS chose to forgive and pardon him, and he did not imprison or reprimand him, but rather he rebuked the one who declared takfir on him.
Moreover, Sheikh Abu Ya'qub was a mufti in the Dawla in some of its stages, and met with its amir and debated with the extremists in his council and in front of him and God supported him over them and rebutted them. So Sheikh Abu Bakr commended him and promoted him to the position of al-Buhuth wa al-'Iftaa'. So if the mufti of the Dawla and writer of its 'aqeeda is an agent and spy, what are we to make of the malicious joy of the enemies among us?! What are we to make of a state that professes to God an 'aqeeda of the spy, if you say that is true and insist?! For you have brought down the Dawla and destroyed what remains of it, and you have made it a laughing stock for the adversaries and opponents.
The poet said:
"And it grew emaciated until it appeared from its kidneys appeared from its emaciation, and even its poison was all insolvent."
And our Prophet (SAWS) refrained from killing the hypocrites well-known for their hypocrisy, so that the people would not say that Muhammad kills his companions. So how can we kill our companions beneath that?
Second accusation: the coincidence of the sheikh's fatwa regarding the Diwan al-'Ilam with the RAND institute's study on this matter
The fatwa of the sheikh was due to the religion and evidence- as we reckon it and God is its reckoner- and it was based on the witness testimony of a large number of the media brothers, and by this fatwa of his, he made clear the reward and two rewards of the hadith.
As for the fact that it came at the same time as the RAND institute's study or others besides it, it does not speak against it, and people are not condemned except by what they have wrought. So if he was ignorant of this study, there is no censure, and if it is proven that he know of it, that is not an obstacle to the issuing of the Shari'i ruling he professes to God, for the Almighty said: "That you should make it clear to the people and not conceal it" (Al Imran 187). So the student of 'Ilm says what he believes by his evidence, even if he contravenes the whims of the authority. The Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya (may God have mercy on him) said: "And when the knowledgeable one abandons what he has come to know from the Book of God and the Sunna of His Messenger and follows the ruling the ruler who contravenes the ruling of God and His Messenger, he is a disbelieving apostate who deserves the punishment in this world and the Hereafter."[v]
And the sheikh rather issue his fatwa desiring to reform the media: "I only desire reform as far as I can, and my success is in God alone"- (Hawd 88).
And the Dawla admits the existence of corruption and extremism in the media, and therefore five media personnel were removed, among them the amir of the media.
And accusing the Muslim, let alone the student of 'Ilm, by these conjectures and delusions is ugly in law and mind, for were this matter palatable with freedom of action in the law, not one of the amirs and soldiers would remain untouched by these accusations. And if it is permitted to punish people by the coincidence of their deeds with the will of the disbelievers, it would be more appropriate and of greater priority to put on trial the committee of Abd al-Nasir and Abu Hafs for the killing of the two sheikhs Turki and al-Qahtani- may God accept them both- for the two of them were killed at the hands of the coalition aircraft and that was at the same time as and coincided with a dispute with the committee, and responses to the innovative statement of extremism. And likewise what happened from the killing of the eminent Sheikh Abu Abd al-Birr al-Kuwaiti- may God accept him- in the security prison through the bombing of the coalition, for it coincided with his response to the statement of the committee: and God is the One whose help is to be sought.
Third accusation: covering for the brother Abu Muhammad al-Hashimi after he was marked for death in the Dawla
The ruling of death against the brother Abu Muhammad al-Hashimi has no text precept basis from Book or Sunna, but rather it is an reprimand ruling of ijtihad subject to debate and response, for the man is not an apostate or ashab al-hudud such that the one who covers for him should be punished, even if we suppose for the sake of argument that Sheikh Abu Ya'qub deemed the ruling of death to be erroneous and covered for Abu Muhammad on the basis of this error. So he should not be condemned for that. On the authority of Sa'ad bin Abu Waqqas (may God be pleased with him): he said: "When it was the day of the conquest of Mecca, the Messenger of God (SAWS) gave security to the people, except four men and two women, and he named them and Ibn Abu Sarh." Then he mentioned the hadith, he said: "As for Ibn Abu Sarh, he took cover with Othman Bin Affan." So when the Messenger of God (SAWS) called the people to pledge allegiance, he brought him until he made him stand before the Messenger of God (SAWS), so he said: oh Prophet of God, accept the allegiance of the servant of God." So he raised his head, and looked at him three times, refusing during all of that, but he accepted his allegiance after three times. Then he [the Messenger of God] turned to his companions, and said: "Was there not among you a wise man who would rise up to this man when he saw me withholding my hands from his allegiance and kill him?" They said: "Oh Messenger of God, we do not know what is in your heart. Why did you not signal to us with your eye?" He said: "A Prophet should not play tricks with the eyes." Abu Dawud said: Abdullah was Othman's brother from nursing, and al-Waleed bin Uqba was Othman's brother by his mother, and Othman struck him with the hadd punishment when he drank wine."[vi]
So this Othman gave refuge in his house to a man who had apostasised after al-Ma'sum (SAWS) had condemned him to death. Despite that, Othman was not declared a disbeliever for that, and he was not killed or even rebuked.
And there came in the authentic hadith of the blind man that his housemaid was blaspheming against the Prophet (SAWS) such that she blasphemed against him by night so he killed her, and he did not report that he informed the Prophet (SAWS) of her blasphemy in advance. Rather he infored the Messenger of God (SAWS) of that after he killed her, but he did not order for him to be detained or killed.
And likewise what came in the two authentic collections regarding the woman who hid the letter of Hatib to the Quraish in her plaited hair,[vii] so it did not come down that the Prophet (SAWS) imprisoned her or punished her despite the fact that he deed aided espionage. So which of the two is more worthy of being unpunished: covering for Hatib's letter or al-Hashimi?
And it is not hidden to the reader of the Sira what came in the two authentic collections: that the Prophet (SAWS): "Arose and forgave on that day Abdullah bin Abi Ibn Salul." She said: so the Messenger of God (SAWS) said while on the pulpit: "Oh Muslims, who will help me against a man news of whose slander against the family of my household has reached me? For by God I have only known good upon my family, and they have mentioned a man upon whom I have only known good, and he only came upon my family with me." So Sa'ad bin Mu'adh al-Ansari arose and said: "Oh Messenger of God, I will defend you against him. If he is from al-Aws, I will strike his neck, and if he is from our brothers from al-Khazraj, you order and we will do your order." Then Sa'ad bin Ubada arose, and he was the lord of al-Khazraj, and he was before that a just man, but he displayed partisan zeal towards his tribe and said to Sa'ad bin Mu'adh: "By God's eternal existence, you have told falsehood. You will not kill him and cannot do so." Then Usaid bin Khudayr arose and he was the cousin of Sa'ad bin Mu'adh and said to Sa'ad bin 'Ubada: "By God's eternal existence, you have told falsehood. We will certainly kill him, for you are a hypocrite defending the hypocrites, so both the tribe of al-Aws and the tribe of al-Khazraj were flared up to the point of fighting each other, while the Messenger of God (SAWS) remained on the pulpit and tried to calm them until they fell silent and he fell silent." [viii]
So this Sa'ad bin 'Ubada (may God be pleased with him)- the companion of Badr- was taken by tribal partisan zeal, and these Khazraj tribesmen were supporters of the Messenger of God (SAWS) and were almost fighting al-Aws for the sake of a hypocrite who attacked the honour of the Messenger of God (SAWS), but SAWS did not punish them for that. So which of the two by your Lord is greater: unsheathing swords for the sake of a hypocrite or covering for the believing al-Hashimi?
Fourth accusation: contact with Abu Suhaib al-Najadi and taking money from him
The brother Abu Suhaib is in the fold of Islam- even if we disagree with him in some of his ijtihads- and contact with him is not forbidden in law, let alone being kufr. So if it is proven that the sheikh contacted him for an interest like bringing money and the like, what is the objection to that? For we have found many of the soldiers of the Dawla and its subjects who receive until today their salaries from the Rafidite al-Abadi government, and the hawala offices have become crowded with them to the sight and hearing of all.
So which of the two is of more priority- Billah alaykum: taking money from a Muslim who disagrees or from a disbeliever at war? "And if you say, be just"- (al-An'am 152).
And all who have smelt the odor of the Sunna know that al-Muqawqis- the king of the Egyptians- gave to the Prophet (SAWS) a she-ass as well as Maria the Copt (may God be pleased with her), the mother of Ibrahim (may God be pleased with him). And SAWS was given a jubba Rumiya by the Romans. And the Jews would give him good and SAWS would eat it. And the story of the poisoned Shah is not far from you.
Fifth and sixth accusation: presence of the archive of the distant provinces and the stamp of al-Buhuth in the possession of the sheikh
Accusing Abu Ya'qub of stealing the archive is a matter that requires evidence. As for its mere presence on the sheikh's own hard-drive/hard-disk does not condemn him for the presence of a suspicion, and the hudud are warded off by doubts, because Abu Ya'qub is a friend of Abu Ahmad al-Iraqi. So the latter must have deposited it with him as a reserve copy, and because much of the Dawla archive has spread among the soldiers in recent times.
And the best evidence for that is the spread of the meetings of the manhaj committee of Abu Muhammad Furqan on the Internet.
This suspicion, and the one that follows- that is, his preserving the al-Buhuth stamp- is no greater than forging the stamp of the Amir al-Mu'mineen Omar bin al-Khattab (may God be pleased with him), and al-Faruq was content in that with reprimand through flogging, and were the forger from those of the committees, we only imagine that Omar would have dismissed his lapse and relieved him from reprimand.
And even if the presence of these documents on his computer were to be proven, that is not kufr, because it has not been proven according to your words that he sent them to the intelligence services or others from the disbelievers.
Note that the brothers in Jaysh al-Siddiq found a laptop containing files and maps of the distant provinces, discarded without a password, called GEMAR. And it was settled with Abu Malek al-Qahtani- may God accept him- and there were found on the laptop four Telegram accounts.
And why wasn't an interrogation done on the publication of the archive of the Furqan committee with the Diwan al-'Ilam, which was published at the time of the removal of the media personnel?
Seventh accusation: that he has never performed ribat or fought
And this is a plain lie, for the Sheikh performed ribat in the city of al-Khayr by the witness testimony of Abu Hamza al-Masri al-Qari' and Abu Jandal al-Jazrawi.
And Abu Osama al-Yemeni informed us that when Abu Ya'qub was assigned to them, he asked for him to assign him to ribat, but Abu Osama refused this as they needed him in the Shari'i field.
And it is not hidden to anyone, even the wali, that he participated in the last 'al-Shamiya raid' in Ramadan, by the witness testimony of Abu Hamza al-Masri and Abu al-Abbas al-Harbi, and they both said to him: "Return to your house: we need you in fatwa and hadith." He said: "The place of the 'ulama is in the frontlines." And he took food and ate in the daytime of Ramadan in order to oblige us to take him out to the raid, and he participated in it. Note that Sheikh Abu Ya'qub suffers from illnesses that impede him from jihad, for he is injured in the first place with a fracture in the spinal disc and an illness in the heart- we ask God to give him good health. In addition, through his time in the Dawla, he has not separated from his frontline, for he remained as a mufti and researcher with Sheikh Turki al-Bin'ali- may God accept him- for more than a year, and he remained for around that time as a judge in al-Raqqa, and he worked in the Shari'i office for Wilayat al-Kheir. Then he was an amir for the Buhuth and 'Iftaa', then a member of the 'Ilm council and in the Shari'i ouncil for Jaysh al-Siddiq. And Sheikh Abu Hafs al-Hamdani- may God protect him- made him available then to research a number of issues, and the most important of these were the rulings on spoils. Is not all this frontlines?
Eighth accusation: urging to abstain from jihad
Many of the brothers have borne witness that he incited to jihad in the siege of Gharanij in the grand mosque, and indeed when he advised the media personnel to abandon media, he guided them to the frontlines, and even Abu al-Mandhar al-Harbi (al-Madani): when Abu Ya'qub advised him, he guided him to embrace the frontlines, and the one who bears witness that he was inciting to embrace the frontlines is Sheikh Abu Hafs al-Hamdani (may God protect him).
Ninth accusation: bringing out books without the permission of the Dawla after he promised not to publish
Well-known are SAWS' words: "Inform about me, even an ayah,"[ix] as well as SAWS' words: "Whoso conceals knowledge, God will bridle him on the Day of Judgement with a bridle of fire."[x] And it is well-known that the student of 'Ilm must broadcast his knowledge and not conceal it, and no one of the Ahl al-'Ilm has made it conditional to publish knowledge on the basis of the agreement of the authority to it, but rather were we to be content with this condition, we would thus create 'ulama of the authorities, and interfere between the Ahl al-'Ilm and the word of truth, and they are indeed the 'ulama and preachers and reformers who still call to God and classify and write without the permission of any of the authorities. Indeed al-Khidr (peace be upon him) was judging and teaching in front of Moses (peace be upon him) and it has come in the two Sahih collections: "Arabi came, and he said: 'My son was a slave for this man so he committed fornication with his wife, so they said to me: your son must be stoned, so I ransomed my son with 100 sheep and a female slave, then I asked the Ahl al-'Ilm and they said: your son must be flogged with a 100 lashes, and exiled for a year."[xi] So the Imam of the Muftis and master of those sent did not condemn the fact that the Ahl al-'Ilm should give a fatwa despite the fact that SAWS was present among their backs and was more knowledgeable than they. And in this hadith there is permission to classify, compose, write and give a fatwa without the permission of the authority, so long as the person is qualified to do so.
And whoso calls to publish the books anonymously has called for something besides the Sunna and life of the predecessors, for it is better for knowledge to be attributed to its people, and indeed without knowing who its people are, there is no value to it. The Almighty has said: "Ask one who is knowledgeable about al-Rahman" (al-Furqan 59). So if you don't know the name of the one of knowledge and his path and life, how can you know whether he is knowledgeable or ignorant of al-Rahman? Indeed publishing knowledge without the aims of its authors opens the door for attacks on the religion and for the falsifiers to add and take away from it. We are an Ummah of isnads and this is particular to us, for without an isnad the one who wishes can say whatever he wants, and therefore the Torah and Gospel were distorted, because they were written and transmitted without isnads and without names of the transmitters, so distortion entered to it, and as for the Qur'an and Sunna, God the Exalted protected them through isnads. Muhammad bin Sirin (may God have mercy on him) said: "This knowledge is religion, so consider from whom you take your religion."[xii]
And Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (may God have mercy on him) transmitted that Omar (may God be pleased with him)- when he was the Amir al-Mu'mineen and the authority- disagreed with Ibn Mas'ud (may God be pleased with him) on 100 issues, but he did not imprison him or punish him because of his disagreement and his issuing opinions in what disagreed with the madhhab of Omar, and knowledge is two forms: rational knowledge, and transmitted knowledge, for the soundness of the rational is in itself like accounting, logic and other things from mental faculties. As for transmitted things, their soundness and truth depend on considering the one who says them like jurisprudence, interpretation and explanation of the hadith.
And whoso calls for publishing books without the names of their authors is an innovator contravening the path of the believers, work of the predecessors and the Ahl al-'Ilm without exception. We do not know of a disagreement in that. For the one who reads the book of unknown author has no idea if its writer is a Rafidite or Jew or Christian.
Tenth accusation: that he has given a fatwa in what contravenes the manhaj of the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama'a
We say- seeking help in God- "the burden of proof is on the plaintiff." The Almighty has said: "Say: bring your proof if you are truthful" (al-Baqara 111). So if that is present, there is no surprise and no sacrosanctity for anyone after the Messenger of God (SAWS), and the mujtahid who considers the Book and the Sunna, whether he errs or gets it right, is between one reward and two rewards in principles and derivatives, and it is not allowed for the authority to punish him.
The Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya (may God have mercy on him) said "As for the one who says: what I said is my words or the words of a group of the Muslim 'ulama, and I said it in ijtihad or taqlid: this person by agreement of the Muslims cannot be punished even if he has erred such that the error contravenes the Book and the Sunna, and were this person to be punished, all the Muslims would be punished, for there is not one of them who has not made pronouncements in which he has performed ijtihad or taqlid and made an error in them. Were God to punish the one who errs, he would punish all of creation. Indeed God Almighty has said in the Qur'an: "The Messenger has believed in what has come down to him from His Lord, and the believers have all believed in God, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers. We make no distinction between any of His Messengers. And they have said: we have heard and obeyed. Forgiveness is Yours, our Lord, and to You is the final destination. God does not charge a soul except what it is capable of. For it is what it has gained and on it is what it has gained. Our Lord, do not blame us if we forget or err. Our Lord, do not make us bear a burden as You made those before us bear. Our Lord, do not make us bear that which we cannot bear. And pardon us and forgive us and be merciful to us. You are Our Lord, so give us victory against the disbelieving people"- (al-Baqara 285-286).
And it has been established in the authentic collection on the authority of the Prophet (SAWS): "God has heeded this call." And when the believers said: Our Lord, do not blame us if we forget or err." God said: "I have done so." And likewise in the rest of the prayer and the Prophet (SAWS) said: "Indeed God has forgiven my Ummah for error and forgetfulness and what they have been compelled to do." So the mufti an soldier and ordinary person, if they say something according to their effort out of ijtihad or taqlid intending to follow the Messenger to the best of their knowledge, they do not deserve punishment by the consensus of the Muslims, even if they have erred by consensus. And when they have said: indeed we spoken the truth; and they have cited the Shari'i lines of evidence, none of the rulers has the right to compel them merely by his pronouncement and he cannot rule that what he says is the truth without considering their words. Rather there must be judgement between him and them by the Book, Sunna and the truth with which God sent His Messenger, not concealed but open. For if it appears, all return to it. And if it doesn't appear, this falls silent on this, and this falls silent on this."[xiii]
So after all this, these accusations do not make the blood of Sheikh Abu Ya'qub fair game and do not give a pretext to kill him. Indeed the killing of him has clear oppression in it. And we declare to God our innocence from the shedding of his blood if he has been killed, and we ask God to establish his right in the face of his killer in this world and the Hereafter. And if he has not been killed, we remind those responsible for his matter of God and the Hereafter, and that they should not forget the Day of Reckoning, when "the killed will come hanging by his killer, with his jugular veins flowing with blood and saying: 'Oh Lord, ask this person why he killed me.'"[xiv] And "the believer will continue to guard his religion so long as he has not shed someone's blood unlawfully."[xv]
And know that God values the state of justice even if it is a disbelieving state, and He does not value the state of oppression even if it is a Muslim state. And oppression is the reason for the destruction of villages and states. The Almighty has said: "And those villages, We destroyed them when they committed oppression" (al-Kahf 59). And thus was the destruction of al-Hajjaj after the killing of Ibn Jubayr (may God have mercy on him).
The threat in what has come in the killing of the Ahl al-'Ilm
The Messenger of God (SAWS) said: "There will come on the 'ulama a time in which they are killed as the thieves are killed. So would that the 'ulama feign stupidity on that day."[xvi]
And in another narration on the authority of Ibn Abbas (may God be pleased with him) that is raised: "....As the dogs are killed, so would that the 'ulama in that time feign stupidity."[xvii]
And the Messenger of God (SAWS) said: "Indeed among the features of the hour is that knowledge should be taken away"[xviii]- "on account of the frequency of the killing of the 'ulama on account of the strife."[xix]
The Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya (may God have mercy on him) said: "When Hussein bin Ali (may God be pleased with them both) was killed on the Day of Ashura', the oppressor, transgressor group killed him, and God ennobled Hussein with martyrdom, just as He thus ennobled those He ennobled of the family of his household. Thus He ennobled Hamza and Ja'afar and his father Ali and others besides them. And His martyrdom was that by which God raised his rank, and made high his place."[xx]
al-Ifriqi mentioned in al-Mahn that al-Hajjaj said: bring me a man from the prison. So they brought him. Then he said: bring the sword. So they brought it. Then he said: oh Salim bin Abdullah bin Omar, take this sword and strike the neck of this man. And indeed al-Hajjaj wanted Ibn Omar to say to his son: don't do that. So he says: I am an imam and have ordered something and you forbid it. Then he says: take it. So Ibn Omar knew what he wanted so he complied, so Salim took the sword and brandished it, then he went to the man being held prisoner, and said to him: stretch out your neck. So the man stretched out his neck. Then Salim said to him: oh man, did you commit fornication after a state of chastity? The man said: no, I did not do that.
Then he said to him: so you apostasised from Islam? The man said: no, I did not do that.
Salim said to him: did you take a life without a life? The man said: no, I did not do that. Salim said: oh Hajjaj, I heard my father and he hears what I say: that the Messenger of God (SAWS) said: 'It is not allowed for a believing man to be killed except for three offences: fornication after chastity, apostasy from Islam, or killing a believing life without a life.' This man has none of this against him, so why kill him? Al-Hajjaj said: strike his neck as I tell you. Salim said to the man: stretch forth your neck. So the man stretched forth his neck. Then Salim said to him: brother, did you pray in the morning with the two rak'as of the dawn? The man said: yes, I prayed. Salim said: oh Hajjaj, I heard my father and he hears what I say: that he heard the Messenger of God (SAWS) saying: 'Whoso prays the two rak'as of the dawn is in God's protection and the protection of His Messenger such as to be concealed with the veil.' Oh Hajjaj, how can you kill a man in God's protection? Al-Hajjaj said: oh Salim, put the sword aside. So he called one of the damned of this Ummah. Then he said to him: strike this man's neck. So he struck his neck and killed him. Then al-Hajjaj said to Salim: drag him along the ground so as to mangle him, so Salim took the slain man's foot, dragging him and saying: oh brother, your dragging is easier upon me than your killing, and I bear witness to you tomorrow on the Day of Judgment that you are oppressed. So Abdullah bin Omar arose and was praising God, until he came out and called: of Muslims, bring me Salim my son. So they brought him, and Ibn Omar said to him: oh Salim, come near to me so that I may kiss you my son. I called you Salim that you may be safe, so keep safe from this world, my dear son."[xxi]
And know, oh amirs, that God Almighty has associated the punishment for killing the 'ulama with the punishment for killing the prophets. He said: "Indeed those who disbelieve in the verses of God and kill the prophets without right and kill those who command fairness from the people, inform them of a painful punishment" (Al Imran 21).
On the authority of Abu Obeida bin al-Jarrah (may God be pleased with him): he said: I said to the Messenger of God (SAWS): which people will face the harshest punishment on the Day of Judgement? He said: "A man who killed a prophet or a man who commanded right and forbade wrong." Then the Messenger of God (SAWS) recited: "Indeed those who disbelieve in the verses of God and kill the prophets without right and kill those who command fairness from the people, inform them of a painful punishment" (Al Imran 21).[xxii]
Abu al-Abbas al-Mubarrid said: "There were people of the children of Israel: prophets came to them calling them to God- Almighty and Exalted is He- but they killed them. So people arose after them from the believers who commanded them in Islam but they killed them. So among them came down this verse."[xxiii]
And it was narrated from Ibn Mas'oud (may God be pleased with him): that he said: the Prophet (SAWS) said: "Wretched are the people who kill those who command fairness from the people. Wretched are the people who do not command what is right and do not forbid what is wrong. Wretched are the people among whom the believer walks with taqiyya."[xxiv]
Al-Shinqiti (may God have mercy on him) said: "On account of this oppression and transgression, God forbade to the some of what was previously halal for them, as He said here: "That was Our reward to them for their transgression" (al-An'am 146).[xxv]
And al-Hassan al-Basri (may God have mercy on him) said: Abdullah bin Mas'oud said: "The death of a knowledgeable person is a gap in Islam that cannot be closed whether by night or day."[xxvi]
"And he led al-Junaid and his companions to the authority, and brought them to the sword. Then God was kind towards them. And their story: that the jurists of Baghdad said to al-Mutawakkil: that al-Junaid and his companions had committed heresy. So al-Malik said to them- and he was inclined towards al-Junaid: "Oh enemies of God, what have you wanted if not to wipe out the allies of God from the earth, one by one? You killed al-Hallaj, and you see for him every day an admonition and you are not restrained.[xxvii] And this al-Junaid, there is no path for you to him until you overcome him with the proof, so gather for him the jurists and make for him a council.
If you overcome him and the people bear witness that you overcome him, I will kill him. And if he overcomes you, by God I will come upon you with the sword, such that I will not leave any one of you alive on the earth." They said: yes..."[xxviii]
Therefore: We ask for the sheikh to be put before a Shari'i court which the judges and well-known students of 'Ilm should attend, with the presence of Sheikh Abu Ya'qub in order to hear from him and his adversaries, so that they may publicise what they have heard, because what you have mentioned in the statement for distribution is challenged among most of the people in the Dawla, and the reality is the best evidence. The Almighty said in the story of Nimrod and Ibrahim (peace be upon him): "Bring him before the eyes of the people, that they may bear witness" (al-Anbiya' 61). So bear witness for us- may God make right your path:
I see the fault of the ashes, the sparkle of a fire,
And I fear that there should be a conflagration for it.
For indeed the fire is kindled with two sticks,
And war's beginning is words.
So if the reasonable of the people don't extinguish it,
Its fuel will be the corpses and heads,
So I said out of astonishment: I wish I knew:
Illiterate people who are awake or people who are asleep?[xxix]
[i] Fatah al-Bari by Ibn Hajer (12/314)
[ii] Fatah al-Bari by Ibn Hajer (12/314); see also Hilat al-Awliya' (4/127)
[iii] Brought out by al-Tirmidhi (4/327) no. 1931
[iv] Tafsir al-Qurtubi (11/299)
[v] Majmu' al-Fatawa (35/372-3)
[vi] Brought out by Abu Dawud (3/11) no. 2685, with an authentic transmission.
[vii] i.e. Her plaits
[viii] Muttafiq alayhi: brought out by al-Bukhari (6/101) no. 4750, and Muslim (8/112) no. 2770.
[ix] Brought out by al-Bukhari (8/567) no. 3461
[x] Brought out by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrik (1/182) no. 346, and Ibn Haban (1/298) no. 96
[xi] Muttafiq alayhi: brought out by al-Bukhari (7/35) no. 2695, and Muslim (3/1324) no. 1698
[xii] Brought out by Muslim (1/12)
[xiii] Majmu' al-Fatawa (30/378-9)
[xiv] Brought out by al-Nisa'i (7/85) no. 3999, and al-Tirmidhi (5/240) no. 3029
[xv] Brought out by al-Bukhari (17/242) no. 6862
[xvi] Al-Sunnan al-Warida fi al-Fitn, lil-Dani (3/661) no. 302
[xvii] Al-Firdous bi-Ma'thur al-Khattab (5/439) no. 8971
[xviii] Muttafiq alayhi: brought out by al-Bukhari (1/84) no. 80, and Muslim (4/2056) no. 2671
[xix] Sharh al-Qastalani= Irshad al-Sari li-Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari (8/115)
[xx] Al-Fatawa al-Kubra, by Ibn Taymiyya (1/196)
[xxi] Al-Mahan (pp. 226-228)
[xxii] Brought out by al-Bazar (1/223) no. 1285 and see: Mukhtasir Tafsir al-Baghawi al-Musamma bi-Ma'alim al-Tanzil (1/119)
[xxiii] Tafsir al-Qurtubi (4/46) and Tafsir Fatah al-Qadir (1/327-328)
[xxiv] Al-Jami' li-Ahkam al-Qur'an (4/46)
[xxv] Al-Adhab al-Namir Min Majalis al-Shinqiti fi al-Tafsir (3/393)
[xxvi] Tafsir al-Baghawi (4/327) and brought out by al-Darami (1/106) no. 324, and Ibn Abd al-Birr in Jami' Bayan al-'Ilm (p. 260) on the authority of al-Hassan
[xxvii] i.e. Cease
[xxviii] Iqazh al-Hamam fi Sharh al-Hukm, by Ibn Ajeeba al-Hasani
[xxix] Nasr bin Sayyar: when the rough draft appeared in Khorasan he wrote to al-Waleed asking for his help. Al-Aghani (7/67).