In a video released yesterday, Jordanian pilot Moaz al Kasasbeh who was captured by ISIS in December has been executed by burning. He was locked inside a steel cage wearing clothes that had been doused with some type of flammable liquid and burned alive.
The Jordanian pilot riled the anger of many Muslims around the world when his country of Jordan decided to participate in a coalition to bomb ISIS positions while totally abandoning the army of Bashar Assad who has killed more than 300,000 innocent men, women, and children.
ISIS demanded the release of attempted suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi who was convicted in connection to a 2005 in exchange for Japanese… Jordanian authorities offered to release Rishawi in exchange for Kasesbah. However negotiations broke down. In retaliation, Jordanian authorities executed Rishawi a few hours ago.
Now that we’ve refreshed our minds with that which has taken place let us see what we have learned from these recent events.
1. The members of ISIS are Grossly Ignorant of the Sunnah
Abu Dawud entitled a chapter in his Sunan “The Detestable Nature of Burning the Opposing Forces with Fire”. Below are a few relevant hadeeth.
-2673. It was reported from Muhammad bin Hamzah Al-Aslami from his father, that the Messenger of Allah appointed him as a commander over a military expedition. He said: “So I went along with them, and he (the Prophet) said: ‘If you find so-and-so, then burn him with fire.’ Then I turned to depart. He called me to come back,so I came back to him. He said: ‘If you find so-and-so, then kill him, and do not burn him, for nobody punishes with fire except the Lord of the Fire.”
-2675. It was reported from ‘Abdur-Rahmãn bin ‘Abdullah, from his father who said: “We were with the Messenger of Allahin a journey. He went to relieve himself. We saw a Humrah with two chicks of hers, and we took one of her chicks The Humrah came and started shaking her spread out wings. The Prophet came and said: ‘Who distressed her because of her chicks, give her chick back to her. And he also saw an ant colony which we had burnt, so he said:’Who burnt this down?’ We said: ‘We did.’ He said: ‘It is not allowed to punish with fire, except for the Lord of the Fire.”
Both of the above mentioned hadeeth were classified by Shaykh Al Albani as authentic in his checking and review of the book.
In Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah (#487), he adds a discussion of the authentic narration of when ‘Alee, the fourth Caliph of the Muslims, ordered some people to face the death penalty by fire. When news of this reached Ibn ‘Abbaas, he disapproved of the decision and relayed a hadeeth of the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) with a similar wording:
“Do not punish with the punishment of Allaah!”
It was collected by Imaam al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh (#3017).
Imaam at-Tirmithee also collected it in his Jaami’ (#1458), adding that when this comment got back to Ali, he said, “Ibn ‘Abbaas has spoken correctly.”
The ruling on this issue is extremely clear. The Messenger of Allaah did not even accept for ants to be killed in this fashion. How much more so a human being? Best case scenario is that ISIS members and leadership are so ignorant of the sunnah that they didn’t know of these ahadeeth. In which case, they should be declared too Islamically ignorant to be carrying out the actions they are undertaking. Worst case scenario, they area fully aware of these ahadeeth and don’t care. If there is a third option, I’d like to know what it is because I do not see what else it could be. I am honestly stuck to find how even the most hard core ISIS supporter can explain away this action.
2. Thirst for Blood has taken Precedence over all else
By demanding the release of Sajida al-Rishawi they placed a spotlight on her. Surely they must have known that in doing so would have potentially exposed her to a reprisal should negotiations fail. ISIS has maintained that the blood of one Muslim is worth the blood of a thousand non Muslims or so they have said on numerous occasions (see the murder of Alan Henning). Using their logic they considered the Jordanian pilot Kasesbah to have apostated from Islam. Why not make the exchange then if they truly placed such a high value on Sajida Rishawi’s life? Or perhaps the group is more bloodthirsty than serious about the very statements they make?
Sajida Rishawi was on death row since 2005 and yet her sentence was not carried out. Now through their actions, a sentence that had not been carried out for more than 9 years was expedited in a matter of hours. Those who support ISIS, how can you defend the handling of this affair? They had to have known that Rishawi would have been killed should they kill Kasesbah. Did they consider that displaying to the world the burning of this pilot was worth the life of Rishawi? This seems to defy their logic, or is there another logic at work?
3. Who is Benefitting from ISIS?
ISIS has succeeded in uniting the worlds powers not just against them, but against Muslims in general. At best we could say they are horrible tacticians, at worst we could say that they have done it purposely. It is difficult to imagine how anyone could support a group that displayed the burning of this pilot KNOWING full well the clear Islamic ruling regarding burning. Unless that was the point exactly, to turn all popular opinion away from any just and legal Islamic struggle. They must have known that popular opinion would not discriminate against ISIS or other Islamic groups, thereby hurting every Islamic cause around the world.
Message to ISIS Members and their Supporters
ISIS members and their supporters you must listen to reason, Islamic reason. You made a mistake in supporting the unknown Abu Bakr Baghdadi and his group. It is not the end of the world to recognize your mistake. As we saw in the hadeeth mentioned above, Ali Ibn Abi Talib made a mistake and freely admitted it instead of trying to defend it or explain it away. The worst mistake is to compound the original one and try to justify and explain away clear violations of the Quran and Sunnah. Abandoning ISIS doesn’t mean abandoning Islam or abandoning the desire that Muslims around the world share which is to see a just and fair Islamic state. So it is now up to you to decide. What will you do now? Accuse the umma of being against you because you are “on the truth” and they are not? Spit another takfir laced diatribe about how Muslims really don’t want Islam and only you do? Truly it is a time to see who supports Islam and who merely supports Baghdadi.