By Shaikh Mashhoor Hasan aal-Salmaan 
The Prophet sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told us about ISIS and said, as collected by Bukhaari on the authority of ‘Ali, ‘The hour will not be established until a people come with new teeth and foolish whims if you compare your salah (prayer) to theirs…’
The root of evil is [one of] two things; either evil in understanding or evil in intent. So some people have a good understanding but evil intent. Others have energy and gusto but an incorrect understanding.
Who has the greater potential for evil – the one who has an error in their understanding or the one who has an error in their intent? [It is] the one with the error in their understanding. So how about if they combine – wrongness of understanding and wrongness of action? (And incorrectness of action is the result of incorrectness of understanding) This is evil in its entirety.
ISIS are Khawaarij – and what is to be considered is the reality of matters, not their names – as is well known to the scholars. ISIS hold the ideology of the Khawaarij, making takfeer of all the Muslims. They consider everyone who has a government-related job or position a disbeliever.
Actually, I hoped that ISIS would bring their scholars to the fore so that there could be a meeting between the major scholars and them – because if the head is not correct, neither will the rest of the body. Some of the brothers who attend the lesson [I give] and those studying for their doctorates brought to me a fatwah given by ISIS, fatwa number sixty by their records, in which they claim the permissibility of burning captives. In it, they lie about the scholars of the Shaafi’i madhab (school of jurisprudence); they lie about the scholars of the Hanafi madhab; they lie about al-Haafith Ibn Hajr; they lie about Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah; and the speech of al-Haafidh and Shaykh al-Islam are present and clear. And, by the will of Allaah in the lesson after Fajr tomorrow, I will explain this in detail . I will show how they have lied about these major scholars, may Allaah have mercy upon them.
I suggested to the brother who showed me this fatwa that the focus of his doctorate should be an in-depth academic rebuttal of ISIS in order to show their deviation as many people are deceived by their apparent ascription to the Islamic legislation. But they fabricate against the Sharee’ah and take from it [only] that which they want. And this is a sign of the Khawaarij, as the Khawaarij are from the people of innovation and the people of innovation always have the methodology, as Waqee’ bin Jarrah said, that they mention that which supports their view and ignore that which does not. They take the Sharee’ah, the Book and the Sunnah, as an armoury, taking from it that which they want in the manner they desire and they make the Legislation revolve around them but they do not revolve around the Legislation. And the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told us about their characteristics. They are inexperienced, ‘having new teeth’, so do not see the consequences of their actions and are as the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayi wa sallam described them, ‘Foolish in their whims’. They are young, so have little experience, and foolish in their whims – anything they want to do, they will without considering the consequences.
The Prophet sall Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said they will kill the people of Islam and leave alone the people of idolatry. They do not aim to kill a disbeliever but their way, from the very first day of their coming into being, until the Hour is established, is that they kill the people of Islam and leave alone the people of idolatry. So, consider with me, the statement of the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘they will kill’. He didn’t say, ‘they will fight’. The Khawaarij never fight the non-Muslims, they fight the people of Islam. For this reason, the history books mention that when they were found in strength in Koofah (Iraq) and a woman asked A’isha about being over-stringent in the religion, asking ‘Why is it that a woman makes up her fasting but not her salah?’ A’isha replied by saying, ‘What’s with you? Are you a Haarooriyyah?’ Haaroor was a place in Koofah in which those Khawaarij spread. They have many names. Their characteristics are confined to a limit but their names could never end. The Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam called them the Maariqah. Al-Qaadi Iyyaad, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said that they like all the names attached to them except for al-Maariqah, despite the fact that this wording is established in the two Saheehs. From their strength was that if they passed by a Muslim man they would kill him and never leave him be. So what an individual would do to be safe from their evil would be to say that they were Jewish or Christian and they would be left alone. As for if they said they were Muslim, they would kill them.
They, as the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said about them, kill the people of Islam and leave the people of idolatry. They will never fight the people of disbelief and idolatry. For this reason, they do not make jihad but wait for opportunities that present themselves so they can show their malice and the illness of their hearts in the worst possible way. The incident that happened with the (Jordanian) pilot Muaath – we ask Allaah to accept from him and have mercy upon him – is not the first incident that has happened at the hands of the Khawaarij. Rather there are many incidents that have occurred in a number of despicable ways when the Khawaarij have tortured [captives].
The Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘The Hour will not be established until at the end of days…’ and we are living in the final days. So [these descriptions of the Khawaarij] are not specific to those Khawaarij who manifest themselves at the time of ‘Ali. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah says in his book Minhaaj as-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah:
‘…and the people of knowledge have all said without exception that the Khawaarij are not that specific military unit that arose against ‘Ali. Rather, they are a people and ideology that rejuvenates and renews and will continue to do so until the Hour is established.’
And for this reason, the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said about the Khawaarij in a hadeeth reported by Ibn Maajah, ‘…whenever a generation of them appears they will be held back and the last of them will arise with the Dajjaal.’
So the Khawaarij revolt; [they] have [a number of] generations, which rise and fall but the Prophet said that whenever a generation of them will appear they will be held back. He didn’t say, however, that they would be severed or stopped totally.
Consider with me – and I do not want to prolong this – but consider this characteristic that Allah revealed to His Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from the knowledge of the unseen. The Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam never mentioned cause them to be held back. Will it be by the hands of the Muslims or non-Muslims? Will it be by the scholars with evidences and proofs, or by those in authority and the rulers – by use of [military] might? The Prophet simply said they will be held back – and this is from Allah’s organisation. Allaah sorts His affairs; Allaah is sorting their affair.
Allah has decreed in His Legislative and Universal Will that they will pass through the religion, not remaining [in a constant state of power] and whenever they arise, their ascent will be curbed. And this is how it is stated, in the passive voice – without explaining what or who refrains them. So it is Allah who holds them back and delegates the means by which this happens. And every matter that is left to Allah to execute is from both his Legislative and Universal Will at the same time.
Furthermore, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah in Minhaaj as-Sunnah states, describing the Khawaarij, that when they initially gain strength, so do the Rawaafidh. He said, expressed in modern language, that the Khawaarij and Rawaafidh are two wings on the opposite side of a body. He said that history demonstrates that there has never been prevalence of the Khawaarij without there being at the same time prevalence of the Rawaafidh. And the Rawaafidh have never been prevalent except that the Khawaarij have been too. What is it that has made ISIS prevalent now? [It is] the extremities of the Rawaafidh in killing the people of the Sunnah, And may Allaah forgive the Iraqi brothers – I have requested from tens of them to make public the evil actions Saddam did against them so that the Raafidah could not accuse Ahlus Sunnah of doing such-and-such to the Raafidah. And I said this before the Raafidah gained strength – I said that tomorrow the Raafidah will slaughter you because Saddam slaughtered them so it is upon you to pre-empt this and show what suffering you faced under Saddam. What has made them commit what they commit is what has happened to them, which has taken humanity out of them and any mercy from their hearts.
So the Raafidah did what they did [to Ahlus Sunnah] and they became prevalent – the uprisings against them [khurooj] become prevalent. They are two horns – when one occurs, so does the other. And with sadness, they do not retaliate for Allah or for His religion, they build their retaliation upon a very dangerous belief-based foundation, which is takfeer. And whoever makes takfeer of a Muslim makes their blood lawful. So the spilling of blood is nothing but a fruit of takfeer. And look at the speech of the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the hadeeth will be with us in Saheeh Muslim, ‘If a man says to his brother Muslim, “O kaafir”, it will be true for one of them.’ So if an individual declares another to be a kaafir but they are not, the statement is true for the one who made it. So making takfeer of the Muslims is the most dangerous crime they commit.
After committing takfeer, slaughtering and bombing occur as a result. For this reason, waging war against the ideology of takfeer is from the greatest of today’s obligations and from the most important priorities. And none can fight against this but the scholars and distinguished students of knowledge who have mercy in their hearts for the lands and hearts; those who do so to rectify and spread good; those who seek to lift the people and make them draw closer to their Lord so they are upon the Book and Sunnah. ISIS is a faction from the factions of the Khawaarij and it is important to name things for what they are.
Finally, the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the Prophet of mercy and he said that Allaah never released a disease except that it has a cure. Ibn Katheer mentions this hadeeth in his tafseer of Surat an-Nisa, when he mentions the coming of ‘Isa (Jesus) ‘alayhis salaam. He says that ‘Isa (Jesus) has to come, as a disease has preceded him – the Dajjaal (Anti-Christ) – and his remedy is ‘Isa (Jesus). The Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told us about the disease of the Khawaarij – and he was the Prophet of mercy – and mentioned to us the cure. Do you know what the cure is? He said, ‘If I met them I would kill them the killing of ‘Aad’. This is the cure – meaning that these people – those who have this belief established from them, there is no way to cure them except through killing them. Ponder over with me the statement of the Prophet sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘…the killing of ‘Aad’. What does the killing of ‘Aad mean? It means that there would be none of them left. The people of ‘Aad were punished by Allah and not one of them remained. The Prophet of mercy – and this is from his mercy, because what is for the good of the Muslims as a whole is given priority over fighting this group who, if they could, would fight all the Muslims.
However, those who do not have these ideas established in their hearts, it is obligatory upon us to take care of them; to advise them and act for their rectification, not isolation. With sadness, many of the youth are beguiled by this ideology. And it is an ideology the Prophet sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told us about. He told us about this phenomenon and where it would begin. He told us it would occur from the direction of Iraq. And anyone with intellect will see that this [ISIS] is something that was not established correctly – in a difficult environment; a land of fitnah (trials and tribulation), an environment that loves fitnah and the shedding of blood; slaughtering of people is beautified there, as is the killing of the Muslims. They [ISIS] love making takfeer and those who are in positions of authority over them are young and foolish. We do not know one scholar from among them. We do not know that they have sound knowledge-based references that they source. They take some of the statements of scholars who have passed but have no connection with the modern-day scholars, whom they make takfeer of – like Shaykh Bin Baaz, Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen and Shaykh al-Albaani. They are disbelievers in their eyes so they make takfeer of our scholars. So we have to protect our youth, give them what they are due, make them far from them (ISIS) and make them aware of the consequences of their actions. This is ISIS.
And may Allah send peace, blessings and salutations upon our prophet Muhammad and upon his family and followers.
 As justification for their abhorrent act in burning alive the Jordanian pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh [Translator’s Note]