Reminder: Fatwa Issued Against Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaida

Posted on September 22, 2007


In light of the recent involvement of Muslim professionals (i.e. doctors) in acts of terrorism, I am reprinting this fatwa issued by the Islamic Commission of Spain against Osama Bin Laden, and the fatwas by the US Fiqh Council of North America and British Muslim clerics against religious extremism and terrorism as a reminder to all.

According to the Associated Press, the fatwa issued on the first anniversary of the Madrid train bombings, calls bin Laden an apostate and urging others to denounce the al-Qaida leader:

The ruling was issued by the Islamic Commission of Spain, the main body representing the country’s 1 million-member Muslim community. The commission represents 200 or so mostly Sunni mosques, or about 70 percent of all mosques in Spain. [. . .]

The commission’s secretary general, Mansur Escudero, said the group had consulted with Muslim leaders in other countries, such as Morocco – home to most of the jailed suspects in the bombings – Algeria and Libya, and had their support. [. . .]

The fatwa said that according to the Quran “the terrorist acts of Osama bin Laden and his organization al-Qaida … are totally banned and must be roundly condemned as part of Islam.”

It added: “Inasmuch as Osama bin Laden and his organization defend terrorism as legal and try to base it on the Quran … they are committing the crime of ‘istihlal’ and thus become apostates that should not be considered Muslims or treated as such.” The Arabic term ‘istihlal’ refers to the act of making up one’s own laws.

Please click here to download the fatwa against Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaida in English, French, and in the original Spanish.

1. Spanish Muslims decry Al Qaeda, Christian Science Monitor, March 14, 2005

2. ‘Spanish Muslims Outlaw Bin Laden.’ The Irish Times, European News, March 12, 2005, p. 11.; Daily Telegraph (U.K.), March 11, 2005.

Please also read the following articles or posts:
1. A Ramadan letter to Osama bin Laden.
2. Bin Laden Now a Target in Arab Media; Criticism Emerges as Scholars Emphasize Distance From ‘Distortion of Religion’, Washington Post, November 23, 2001.
3. U.S. Muslim Scholars to forbid terrorism, Washington Post, July 28, 2005. Please see below.

Fatwa against Religious Extremism by the Fiqh Council of North America

The Fiqh Council of North America wishes to reaffirm Islam’s condemnation of terrorism and religious extremism.

Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians’ life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram – prohibited in Islam – and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not “martyrs.”

The Qur’an, Islam’s revealed text, states: “Whoever kills a person, unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a person, it is as though he had saved all mankind.” (Qur’an, 5:32)

Prophet Muhammad said there is no excuse for committing unjust acts: “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

God mandates moderation in faith and in all aspects of life when He states in the Qur’an: “We made you to be a community of the middle way, so that (with the example of your lives) you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind.” (Qur’an, 2:143)

In another verse, God explains our duties as human beings when he says: “Let there arise from among you a band of people who invite to righteousness, and enjoin good and forbid evil.” (Qur’an, 3:104)

Islam teaches us to act in a caring manner to all of God’s creation. The Prophet Muhammad, who is described in the Qur’an as “a mercy to the worlds” said: “All creation is the family of God, and the person most beloved by God (is the one) who is kind and caring toward His family.”

In the light of the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah we clearly and strongly state:

  1. All acts of terrorism targeting the civilians are Haram (forbidden) in Islam.
  2. It is Haram for a Muslim to cooperate or associate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.
  3. It is the duty of Muslims to cooperate with the law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians.

We issue this fatwa following the guidance of our scripture the Qur’an and the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad –peace be upon him. We urge all people to resolve all conflicts in just and peaceful manners. We have deep concern for the suffering and pain of millions of Muslims in different parts of the world. We deplore those who cause death and destruction to them. However, we urge Muslims to not lose their moral grounds. God’s help is with those who follow the right path.

We pray for the defeat of extremism, terrorism and injustice. We pray for the safety and security of our country United States and its people. We pray for the safety and security of all inhabitants of this globe. We pray that interfaith harmony and cooperation prevail both in United States and every where in the world.

Please click here to view the above fatwa by the Fiqh Council of North America .

British Muslim Clerics issue fatwa against terrorism

In the name of Allah, the all-Merciful, the most Compassionate

A special meeting of imams (leaders) and ulama (scholars) held at the Islamic Cultural Centre, Regents Park, London on 15th July 2005 endorsed the following declaration:

Along with all Londoners and the people of Britain, we are deeply shocked and saddened by the bombing attacks of 7 July 2005 that caused the loss of at least 52 innocent lives, wounded hundreds and disrupted the peace and order of the civic and community life of the metropolis. We regard these acts as utterly criminal, totally reprehensible, and absolutely un-Islamic.

On behalf of our communities and congregations, we express heartfelt sorrow and extend condolences to the families and friends of the victims. We pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. We extend our sympathy to the entire British public, a nation to which we all belong by the Grace of God.

There can never be any excuse for taking an innocent life. The Qur’an clearly declares that killing an innocent person was tantamount to killing all mankind and likewise saving a single life was as if one had saved the life of all mankind. (The Qur’an, Al-Maidah 5:32) This is both a principle and a command.

We are firmly of the view that these killings had absolutely no sanction in Islam, nor is there any justification whatsoever in our noble religion for such evil actions. It is our understanding that those who carried out the bombings in London should in no sense be regarded as martyrs.

It is incumbent upon all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims – to help the authorities with any information that may lead to the planners of last week’s atrocity being brought to justice. The pursuit of justice for the victims of last week’s attacks is an obligation under the faith of Islam. Islam is the middle path and the Qur’an designates Muslims as the ummatan wasata – the middle community. Any form of extremism is to be utterly and completely rejected. What we need, therefore, in our troubled world, more than ever before is to stick to the middle and balanced way of Islam.

We need also to remind ourselves, young as well as old, that the solution to our problems and concerns lies in following and adhering to the noble discipline of Islam and to the way of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and not falling prey to a culture of conflict and discord. The social culture of Islam is based on the principle of inviting people towards good, courteously and wisely – with Hikmah and mawizah Hasana (The Qur’an, Al-Nahal 16:125). The Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, was sent as a mercy to mankind and that is the ideal and norm that we ought to be following all the time.

The tragedy of 7th July 2005 demands that all of us, both in public life and in civil and religious society, confront together the problems of Islamophobia, racism, unemployment, economic deprivation and social exclusion – factors that may be alienating some of our children and driving them towards the path of anger and desperation. Islam prohibits both anger and desperation. Anger and desperation are haram (forbidden) and may lead to some people being targeted by people with a sinister and violent agenda. There is, therefore, a great deal of positive work to be done together with everyone in our own and wider community in order to channel the energy and talent of our youth particularly into constructive avenues, serving God and society for the common good. The youth need understanding, not bashing.

We do naturally feel deeply for the sufferings, injustices and oppression the world over. Yet we also remind ourselves of the verse of the Qur’an, “O you who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity and let not abhorrence of any people make you swerve from justice. Deal justly, that is nearer to God-fearing. Fear Allah. Allah is aware of what you do.” (Al Maidah, 5:8) [more]

Please click here to download the complete text of the British Muslim Clerics’ Fatwa against terrorism.

Leading Muslim Scholars and Jurists against Bin Laden, terrorism or extremism

Source: The American Muslim.  This website maintains a comprehensive list of Muslim Ulemas and Imams who have taken a stance against terrorism and extremism.  We are only citing a few of their names here.

Abdulkadir, Dr. Deina FCNA (U.S.) Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Abdullah, Shaikh Muhammad Nur (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Afghan clerics issue fatwa against bin Laden 1999

al Alwani, Shaykh Taha Jabir (U.S.) against 9/11 attack 9/01

Al Alwani, Dr. Taha Jabir (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Al-Awdah, Shaykh Salman (Saudi Arabia) condemns terrorism 5/03

Al Hanooti, Shaikh Muhammad (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

al-Hanooti, Sheikh Muhammad Ali – against 9/11 (U.S.) 9/01

al-Hitar, Judge Hamoud (Yemen) he and four other Islamic scholars used Qur’an to challenge Al Qaeda’s views on terror 2/05

al Luheidan, Shaikh Saleh Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council (Saudi Arabia) against 9/11 9/01

al Qaradawi, Shaykh Yusuf (Qatar) against 9/11 attack 9/01

Al-Qaradawi, Shaykh Yusuf – condemns Bali attacks 10/02

al-Qaradawi, Shaykh Yusuf – against harming places of worship (specifically a Jewish synagogue) 4/02

al Sabil, Shaykh Muhammad bin ‘Abdallah member of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars (Saudi Arabia) against terrorism, obligation to protect non Muslims 12/01 Agence France Press

al Saffar, Hasan Shiite Islamic Spokesperson (Saudi Arabia) 2/06 Danish cartoons

al-Shaykh, Shaykh Abd al-Aziz bin Abdallah Aal of Saudi Arabia issues fatwa against suicide terrorist attacks 4/2001

al-Sistani, Grand Ayatollah Ali issues fatwa to Muslims in Western nations, urging them to obey the laws of the countries in which they live. 6/06

Al Tantawi, Shaykh Muhammed Sayyid Imam of al Azhar Mosque (Egypt) against 9/11 attack 9/01

Al-Tantawi, Sheikh Muhammad Syed (Egypt) Condemned suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, and all terrorism 12/01

Alush Shaykh, Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Grand Mufti (Saudi Arabia) against 9/11 attack 9/01

Alush Shaykh, Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘AzizGrand Mufti (Saudi Arabia) against suicide terrorism 5/01

Awwa, Muhammad S (Egypt) against 9/11 attack 9/01

Badawi, Dr. Jamal (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Bagby, Dr. Ihsan (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Bayyoumi, Abdel Mo’tei al Azhar Islamic Research Academy, Cairo (Egypt) against 9/11 attack 9/01

Belkaziz, Dr. AbdelaouahedSecretary General of the OIC against 9/11 attack 9/01

Bishri, Tariq (Egypt) against 9/11 attack 9/01

 120 Canadian Imams issue fatwa against terrorism and extremism 7/05

Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti of Bosnia – A Declaration of European Muslims

Fadlallah, Muhammad Husayn Renowned Shiite Scholar (Lebanon) against 9/11 9/01

French Muslim Leaders Rioting, 11/05

Ghannoushi, Rashid President, Nahda Renaissance Movement (Tunisia) condemning 9/11 attack 9/01 signed by 46 scholars & leaders

Hammad, Dr. Nazih (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Hindi, Shaikh Yahya (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Huwaydi, Fahmi (Egypt) against 9/11 attack 9/01

Jackson, Dr. Abdul Hakim (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Khamene’i, Ayatollah Ali supreme jurist ruler of (Iran) ** “Killing of people, in any place and with any kind of weapons, including atomic bombs, long range missiles, biological or chemical weapons, passenger or war planes, carried out by any organization, country or individuals is condemned. … It makes no difference whether such massacres happen in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Qana, Sabra, Shatila, Deir Yassin, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq or in New York and Washington.” ** Islamic Republic News Agency, September 16, 2001,

Khatami, Muhammad President (Iran) at U.N. against 9/11 attack 9/01

Khayyat, Haytham (Syria) against 9/11 attack 9/01

Maghraoui, Dr. Mukhtar (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Mustafa Mashhur General Guide, Muslim Brotherhood (Egypt) condemning 9/11 attack 9/01 signed by 46 scholars & leaders

Muhammad, Dr. Akbar (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Nizami, Mufti Rahman, Ameer Jamaat e Islami (Bangladesh) condemning 9/11 attack 9/01 signed by 46 scholars & leaders

Nour, Fazil President, PAS Parti Islam Se (Malaysia) condemning 9/11 attack 9/01 signed by 46 scholars & leaders

Qadri, Tahirul head of the Awami Tehrik Party (Pakistan) against 9/11 attack 10/01

Qazi Hussain Ahmed Ameer, Jamaat e Islami (Pakistan) condemning 9/11 attack 9/01 signed by 46 scholars & leaders

Qazwini, Shaikh Hassan (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Rabbani, Shaykh Faraz on kidnapping and terrorism

Saudi religious scholars issue fatwa against terrorism 6/04

Sayf, Ahmad NurDirector of Islamic Sciences & Research Institute (UAE) 2/06 Danish cartoons

Al-Tantawi, Shaykh M. Sayyid condemns bin Laden 11/01

Shah, Dr. Zulfiqar Ali (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Shleibak, Dr. Ahmad (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Sheikh, Dr. Muhammad Adam (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Shinwari, Fazli Hadi Council of Islamic Leaders (Afghanistan) against kidnapping & harming foreigners 5/05

Siddiqi, Dr. Muzammil H (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05 – on jihad and terrorism 7/07

Sultan, Dr. Salah (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

Taisaruddin Mufti of Darul Ifta Majidia (Varanasi, India) attacking houses of worship & terrorism

Ul-Qadri, Tahir – condemns bin Laden (Pakistan)

U.S. Muslim scholars issue fatwa against terrorism FCNA 7/05

Usmani, Sh.Grand Mufti, Dar ul Uloom (Punjab, India) terrorism 7/06

Yilmaz, Mehmed Nuri Directorate of Religious Afairs (Turkey) against 9/11 attack 9/01

Yassin, Shaykh Ahmad Founder, Islamic Resistance Movement HAMAS (Palestine) condemning 9/11 attack 9/01 signed by 46 scholars & leaders