Muslim Clerics Must Accept Responsibility in Fighting Takfiri Groups in Modern World

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Majid Kianinejad
Middle East Analyst

Emergence of Takfiri groups has been a source of concern and threat for western and eastern countries alike, though some of these countries have played a special role in the creation of al-Qaeda, Daesh and similar groups. At present, everybody tries to enumerate reasons behind the creation of these cancerous tumors. Most of these reasons can be put in one of the following categories:

1. Some analysts blame poverty and joblessness among Muslim youths as the main reason behind creation of Takfiri groups;

2. Some analyst point out psychological and mental reasons and note that humiliation of Muslims by powerful countries and dependent governments has caused them to lose dignity and reach the conclusion that they must pursue the revival of the Islamic caliphate and exact vengeance on their enemies;

3. Another group yet puts the highest emphasis on political and security reasons and says Takfiri groups are tools of expansionism, which are used by certain countries to develop the scope of their influence in the region, though such groups have gotten somehow out of hand now.

In the meantime, the factor that seems to be more important is the role played by some clerics in the Islamic world and their inciting fatwas and sermons, which have paved the way for Muslim youths to be attracted to these groups. If it were not for such religious justifications, few people, if any, could have convinced Muslim youths to commit such murders and crimes.

This dangerous virus has grown in certain religious schools and in the lap of some clerics in the Muslim world and should be stifled in its birthplace. Otherwise, it cannot be suppressed through military means and the root causes of this dangerous way of thinking cannot be addressed in this manner. Any idea should be fought and corrected with its opposite idea, but the question is who in the modern world has taken responsibility for making intellectual and cultural efforts against Takfiri groups?

Fighting off the Takfiri groups in the Muslim world; inviting all people to promote peace, friendship, brotherhood and interaction among various religious denominations on the basis of wisdom, good advice and logical argument; making efforts to make Muslims aware of the ugly and heinous nature of Takfiri groups; and creating a single front in addition to providing grounds for convergence among Muslim in order to fight Takfiri thought are major steps that must be taken by social leaders in Islamic societies.

Labeling Muslims, and in fact other denominations of Islam, as infidels has important practical consequences and reactions in the Islamic societies. A case to the point is Takfiri fatwas (religious decrees) that are behind many acts of terror in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon and even behind the criminal killing of Shias in Egypt, and if the current trend continues, it may lead to a grave catastrophe.

The best solution is to give rational answers to Takfiri fatwas and to challenge their apparently attractive slogans. The most important terms and concepts that they resort to include Hijrah (immigration), Jihad, Dar-ul-Islam (House of Islam), Dar-ul-Kufr (House of Infidelity) and the Islamic caliphate. Correct explanation of these concepts, therefore, must be put on the agenda of Muslim clerics.

Although history of Islam is teeming with individual and collective examples of excommunication and Takfiri ideas, the viewpoints expressed by ulema and jurists belonging to important denominations of Islam have been effective in reducing such tendencies. This is true because Muslim jurists have relied on Islamic traditions to opine that excommunicating other Muslims with not good reason deserves punishment. Also, in order to foster unity within the Islamic Ummah, some jurists have even refrained from excommunicating the followers of certain ideas, though those ideas were incorrect, and have instead recommended all Muslims to avoid excommunicating other Muslims as far as possible.

In the meantime, we have seen that Takfiri groups give precedence to killing other Muslims over fighting the real infidels and have issued fatwas to that effect. When asked why they do not fight against Israel, Daesh Takfiri group has claimed that according to the verses of the Holy Quran, they must first fight against hypocrites, then against pagans and infidels.

This allegation hit the headlines in hundreds of news channels including the CNN Arabic, Ad-Dastour newspaper, Egypt’s Al-Yaum newspaper and so forth.

Even if we assumed that those Muslims who have not pledged allegiance to Daesh are hypocrites and worse than infidels, even then the above claim could not be documented by the Holy Quran, because there is not a single verse in the Quran which has given precedence to fighting hypocrites over fighting the infidels and there is no precedent to endorse this in the conduct of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

One of the regrettable examples from Takfiri thought, which was both derogatory to Islam and represents an approach that moves far from ration and Islam’s tradition, was the strange fatwa issued by Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz, the former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia. In his fatwa, he said all those people who believe that the Sun is not moving and it is the Earth that orbits around it, are infidels, adding that if such people insisted on their conviction, they must be killed. He also wrote a book titled Al-adilla al-Naqliyya wa al-Ḥissiyya ala Imkan al-Suʾud ila al-Kawakib wa ala Jarayan al-Shams wa al-Qamar wa Sukun al-Ardh (Treatise on the Textual and Rational Proofs of the Rotation of the Sun and the Moon and the Motionlessness of the Earth and the Possibility of Ascension to Other Planets) in which he underscored this issue.

Revelations on the true nature of those people who issue Takfiri fatwas, and enlightenment about the nature and true colors of Takfiri thought must be done by all clerics at seminaries and religious schools across the Islamic world, so that, the youths and other people would come to know this sect and would not fall in its lethal vortex.

It is cause of shame for Muslims that in the modern world and in the 21st century that many organizations are established to defend the rights of animals, there are still people in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Muslim world who issue fatwas prescribing mass murder and killing. What person and what institution and what mechanism and what tools are there to put a leash on these vampires of the century? Every day, hundreds of children and elderly people and youths, with or without having done anything wrong, meet a painful fate at the hands of these misguided people in an indiscriminate manner.

Without a doubt answering in kind is not the best way to fight this horrendous phenomenon and giving a violent response to them is not the final solution. If Muslim clerics do not find a remedy for this dangerous scourge, its flames will certainly engulf them as well.

One of the most important ways of fighting this current is for great ulema and thinkers of the Muslim world to enter the arena. If true nature of Takfiri thought is explained by Muslim ulema and baselessness of their beliefs is proven, Muslims will certainly listen to them and obey them and the flames of this blaze, which only benefit the enemies of religion and faith, will be put out.

Key WordsMuslim Clerics, Responsibility, Takfiri Groups, Modern World, Al-Qaeda, Daesh, Muslim Youths, Islamic Caliphate, Fatwas, Sermons, Religious Justifications, Religious Denominations, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Excommunication, Kianinejad

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*Photo Credit: Islam Times

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