Monday 9 March 2015

Prominent Islamic Scholar Refutes Claims of ISIS’s Links to Islam

Hamza Yusuf, one such Islamic scholar trained in traditional Islamic theology and jurisprudence, finds both the arguments and the conclusions in Wood’s piece lacking in merit. Yusuf is the co-founder of the first Muslim liberal arts college in the United States,Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California, and has studied the Islamic tradition for decades in many countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Mauritania. He has been described as “the Western world’s most influential Islamic scholar” and was ranked 35th on Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre’s list of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.
“ISIS is very similar to the Kharijites, who were a toxic off-shoot of Islam,” Yusuf told us. “It’s not Islam; it’s a perversion of Islam, and to label these militant externalities as Islam is to legitimize their actions.” The Kharijites were the 7th century self-proclaimed Muslims who sowed discord in early Islamic history. They were known for their extremist doctrines and their penchant for declaring other Muslims as disbelievers—an act known as takfir—and engaging in murderous violence against them. Amongst their acts was the assassination of the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin, Ali ibn Abi Talib, who was the first Imam of Shia Muslims and regarded as the fourth and final “rightly guided” Caliph by Sunni Muslims.
Yusuf, who has been declared an apostate by ISIS, further states that Islamic scripture and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (known as hadith) foretold the coming of groups like ISIS. “The Prophet said there will be people who look like us and speak with our tongue, but they are preachers at the gates of hell.” He added, “We’re not denying the fact that these people are motivated by ‘religion,’ but it’s a perversion according to our own tradition.”

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