An Open Letter to Boko Haram

Posted on May 15, 2014


Recently, Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad of the Sacramento Mosque wrote a very moving appeal to the extremist child abductors of Boko Haram, and it outlines very clearly the Islamic position on such horrendous behavior by “Muslims”.  Here is part of  his letter verbatim:

I address you with the blessed greeting of Islam, under the assumption that you are a Muslim and taking into account your statement that you are working in the cause of Allah. It is my understanding that you have received an Islamic education, and have been accustomed to delivering the khutbatul Jum’ah (Friday Sermons). Therefore, I pray to Allah that you remember the good of your teachings, that which upholds the honor and respect due to a Muslim. And, I implore you, as well as myself, to fear Allah be He Exalted and Glorified.

I am the imam of a mosque in California in the United States of America, and although I am an American, I do not represent any government, any organization, any group or sect in my address to you. However, I represent myself as a Muslim of conscience whose intention is to offer you sincere advice (naseeha), as it is your right,, and who finds your taking hostage of blameless young women, and murder against the innocent to be a reprehensible act that warrants condemnation as well as reprisal.

First of all, let me remind you of the words of our Lord, Allah, which there are no other gods beside Him; “Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain success. [3:104]” By these words, I am therefore obligated, to condemn your act of taking innocent female hostages, who were not armed, were not engaged in any military action against you, and with whom you had no legal contract of guardianship according to the laws of Islam.

This obligation is also based upon the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (saw)*; “Whomever sees that which is detestable, he should change it with his hands, and if he is not able then (change it) with his tongue, and if he is not able, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith. [Muslim]”

The blood, the property and the honor of a Muslim is sacred according to the laws of Islam, based upon the hadith of the Prophet (saw); “the blood, property, and the honor of a Muslim is sacred. [Muslim]” Without any justifiable claims to these young women according to the divine laws of our faith, your taking them hostage against their will, can only be regarded as disobedience to Allah, a criminal act, and in contradiction of our divine laws, warranting the condemnation of Allah.

Your removing them from the shelter of their beds is an affront and a violation of their safety guaranteed to them by the law of God; “The Muslim is the one from other Muslims are safe from his hand and his tongue. [Muslim]” It is also a violation of their honor which is sacred according to the edict of our holy Prophet (saw). These young women bear no crime which warrants their captivity and being held against their will. It is my duty to advise you that you are in violation of international law, and more importantly, the laws of God Almighty, Allah be He Exalted and Glorified.

[Please click here to read the remainder of his letter to Boko Haram.]