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The Archivist: Unseen Islamic State Fatwas on Jihad and Sabaya

25 October 2015

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Islamic State [IS] fatwas are the product of the Diwan al-Eftaa' wa al-Buhuth (Fatwa Issuing and Investigation Department), which is also responsible for the production of Islamic State training camp textbooks such as the basicMuqarrar fi al-Tawhid ("Course in Tawheed"). The Diwan al-Eftaa' wa al-Buhuth was founded following the declaration of the Caliphate and is illustrative of the wider trend of more complex IS government organization since the Caliphate declaration embodied in the diwans, ostensibly functioning as a conventional central government with provincial and local branches of administration departments.

The main centre for the Diwan al-Eftaa' wa al-Buhuth is the de facto IS Syrian capital of Raqqa. This should not be surprising considering the leading role in this diwan played by Bahraini cleric Turki Binali, who most recently appeared in public IS propaganda at Eid al-Fitr prayers in the al-Nur mosque in Raqqa. At the diwan's centre in Raqqa, new fatwas are devised, printed and distributed, with distributions also occurring in the de facto IS Iraqi capital of Mosul.

The fatwas presented below- previously unseen- come from the latest printing of 50 IS fatwas. The numbering of these fatwas should therefore not be confused with earlier fatwas collected by me and Cole Bunzel, which are now much harder to come by even within IS territory. Indeed, the fatwas differ from other IS publications such as the pamphlets of the Diwan al-Da'wa wa al-Masajid in that the latter are intended for distribution to the masses through local offices, 'media points' and the like.

In contrast, the fatwas- particularly pertaining to the conduct of war- are most relevant for those formally affiliated with the ranks of IS. As Bunzel notes, prior to the 32 fatwas uploaded by a low profile IS account that called itself Abu Umar al-Masri, the only publicly known fatwa was the onejustifying the burning alive of Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasesbeh that circulated alongside the release of the video, widely circulated and intended to illustrate the principle of mumathala (retaliation in the literal sense of an 'eye for an eye'). Besides these documents, I know of only two other fatwas that came to public light at random: one on whether one could eat meats imported from Turkey, and another on whether one could shorten prayer or break the fast in Ramadan while making hijra to Dar al-Islam (Specimens 3K and 3L in my main archive of documents).

Below is each fatwa presented and translated, with notes where applicable.

Specimen A: Purpose of Jihad

al-Buhuth and al-Eftaa' Committee
Wilayat al-Raqqa
al-Eftaa' Centre

Jihad and its rulings
No. 11

Q: What is the goal of jihad and why do we wage jihad?

A: The principle aim of jihad is to make people worship God alone, and move people away from servitude to men towards servitude to the Lord of men. God Almighty has said: "And fight them until there is no more fitna and religion is for God, and if they cease, there is no enmity except upon the wrongdoers" [Qur'an 2:193].

And Ibn Jubayr said: "So fight them until there is no shirk, and only God alone is worshipped with no partner for Him, and thus affliction is removed from the servants of God from the Earth (i.e. fitna) and religion is wholly for God, and obedience and servitude will be wholly pure without any besides Him."

The Almighty has ordered to fight the kuffar until there is no more fitna- i.e. shirk- and religion is for God- i.e. it is the religion of God, prevailing over the other religions. And SAWS said: "I was sent before the Hour with the sword so that God alone should be worshipped, with no partner for Him.

Repulsing the aggressors against the Muslims.
Removing fitna from the people.
And the fitna is of multiple types:

First: what the disbelievers deal in regarding forms of torture and stranglehold on the Muslims so that they apostasise from their religion.

Second: fitna of the disbelievers themselves and their refusal to listen to and accept the truth.

Protecting the Islamic State from the evil of the disbelievers.
Terrorising the disbelievers, subjugating them and humiliating them.
Exposing the munafiqeen [hypocrites] and testing the believers regarding their sins.

Specimen B: Imam's Permission to Wage Jihad

al-Buhuth and al-Eftaa' Committee
Wilayat al-Raqqa
al-Eftaa' Centre

Jihad and its rulings
No. 12

Q: Is the Imam's permission required for jihad in the path of God?

A: Ibn Qudama, may God have mercy on him, said: "And the order for jihad is entrusted to the Imam and his reasoning, so one must be sure to obey him in what he considers from that." The Imam's permission serves to prevent the chaos that may arise from the announcement by some of the Muslims of war on the enemies of God without reckoning their circumstances, their own force and the force of their enemy. And in the present circumstances, it is allowed to disregard all governors of affairs in the event of hindering the jihad, as is the case of the 'ulama of the taghut today who have forbidden jihad out of fear of their sultans.

Similarly we see many families who fear for their children to venture on jihad and killing in the path of raising the banner of the Caliphate. But their agreement or listening to them are not validated as consultation for going out in the path, and a mother's rage, ruling prevention or any hindrance from jihad in the path of God in the forms that God has mandated is not valid. But it is not allowed to attack the land of disbelief without an amir's order or consultation of the Dawla [IS], for defensive jihad is valid in every state and situation, while offensive jihad is not validated by an order without the wali's order for the Muslims.

Specimen C: Spoils of War for the Mujahideen

al-Buhuth and al-Eftaa' Committee
Wilayat al-Raqqa
al-Eftaa' Centre

Jihad and its rulings
No. 13

Q: What is the ruling on the spoils that the mujahideen of the Islamic State seize?

A: The spoils are to be distributed according to the necessity dictated by the Islamic State's military situation. God Almighty has said: "Know that whenever you have seized something, a fifth goes to God, His Messenger, and to his relatives, the poor and wayfarer" [Qur'an 8:41]. Exempted from this is what is found with the slain from personal possessions and money, and this constitutes 'plunder', and this wealth will be the property of the one who killed him, and not to be subject to partition of a fifth part.

As for heavy vehicles like tanks, aircraft and heavy mechanisms, they should go to the treasury of the Dawla [IS] with the observation to pay in compensation for the sum of the spoils to the mujahideen who took the spoils.

And in the event of a deficiency of income for the Dawla, the amir may according to the requirement of the situation preserve the spoils for the interest of the Islamic State. As for the spoils from the public possessions and property of the apostates and disbelievers, they are to be spent in the services of the Muslims, their distribution is to be ensured for the interest of the Muslim populace, the regions are to be occupied and payments distributed for the poor among them.

As for the spoils of the battle- that is, what the mujahid seizes from his enemy in an operation separate from the efforts of the soldiers- the mujahid who seizes them is to take them or be recompensed in the event that the Dawla needs them. The property that regime forces leave behind and the mujahideen seize them without a fight- i.e. "shadow"- are to be spent in the general interests and for the poor in need.

Notes: For more on division of spoils of war by proportion, cf. Archive of Islamic State Administrative Documents, Specimen 5E

Specimen D: Fleeing from Battle

al-Buhuth and al-Eftaa' Committee
Wilayat al-Raqqa
al-Eftaa' Centre

Jihad and its rulings
No. 14

Q: What is the ruling on fleeing from battle?

A: Muslims have been obliged to remain steadfast in battle against the enemies of the Ummah. And steadfastness has been required in every battle to defend the walls of the Islamic State. And when the two armies meet, it is forbidden to flee from the ranks except in two states:

Manoeuvring for fighting, and joining another contingent.

God Almighty has said: "Oh you who believe, when you meet those who disbelieve marching, don't turn your backs on them [to flee], and whoever does this on such a day, unless manoeuvring for fighting or joining another contingent, will return incurring God's anger, and his fate will be Hellfire, and evil it is as a destination" [Qur'an 8:15-6].

It is only allowed in these two states for the fighter to withdraw from battle. In all other circumstances, all who flee from encountering the enemy will be killed, out of fear of the dispersing of the Muslim army, its defeat and weakening of morale for the soldiers.

Notes: cf. This report in late August of IS executing 8 members in Tel Afar for fleeing from battle.

Specimen E: Ruining and Destroying Enemy Possessions

al-Buhuth and al-Eftaa' Committee
Wilayat al-Raqqa
al-Eftaa' Centre

Jihad and its rulings
No. 15

Q: What is the ruling on ruining and destroying the enemies' possessions?

A: It is allowed on necessity, need, or interest to burn the fortresses of the enemies by fire, destroy their homes, bring them down upon them, and cut their trees, and ruin their agriculture, when in that there is breaking their thorn, weakening their determination, and dispersing their gathering.

And it is allowed to strike the disbelievers with weapons even if they are shielding themselves with the Muslims, for necessity and preventing the cause of corruption that may become organized if they are not killed.

God Almighty has said: "What you have cut off from the palm trees or left standing on their trunks, it is by God's permission and so that He may law low those who are disobedient"- al-Hashr 5 [Qur'an 59:5]. And God Almighty has said: "They [the enemies] destroy their homes by their own hands and the hands of the believers, so take heed, those of vision" [Qur'an 59:2].

Specimen F: The Banner of Jihad

al-Buhuth and al-Eftaa' Committee
Wilayat al-Raqqa
al-Eftaa' Centre

Jihad and its rulings
No. 16

Q: What is the banner under which the Muslim fights?

A: The Muslim fights under the esteemed Islamic banner uncorrupted by shirk, disbelief or nefarious agendas. For after fighting in Bilad al-Sham to support their people and establish the Caliphate, all the factions that were in Bilad al-Sham have come out to fight the Islamic State on account of its banner. That is, that the disbelieving West has moulded them and dragged them behind it so they have entered into deep shirk.

It is not allowed for the Muslim to fight except under the banner of the Islamic State and pledge allegiance to a caliph besides the amir of the Dawla. And the banner does not only mean the flag or mast that is raised but also the goal for which the Muslim fights: i.e. it is obligatory that it only be to declare the banner of no deity but God, fighting the mushrikeen until they enter Islam or pay the jizya, fighting the apostates who have left the religion of God until religion is uncorrupted, establishing the law of God in the land and not being content with shirk laws of the moment that the West has placed for the Muslims.

Specimen G: Allegiance to the Caliph

al-Buhuth and al-Eftaa' Committee
Wilayat al-Raqqa
al-Eftaa' Centre

Jihad and its rulings
No. 17

Q: Is allegiance to another caliph allowed?

A: Allegiance to one caliph only is allowed. The Messenger of God (SAWS) said: "If there is allegiance to two caliphs, kill the second of the two of them." So allegiance to a caliph is not allowed in the event that there already exists a caliph for the Muslims even if he is weak. And allegiance to the caliph is required among the Ahl al-Hal wa al-'Aqd among the people of consultation for jihad and Islam.

And if one of them were to appoint a caliph upon us after the Caliphate of Sheikh Abu Omar [sic: Bakr] al-Baghdadi- may God protect him- we would fight him upon it with swords because he has split the ranks of the Muslims. And the Caliphate is transferred to another person in the event of the caliph's resignation for health reasons and the like or his death. And in that case consultation is carried out in the council of al-Hal wa al-'Aqd for a caliph for the Muslims.

Specimen H: Martyrs

al-Buhuth and al-Eftaa' Committee
Wilayat al-Raqqa
al-Eftaa' Centre

Jihad and its rulings
No. 18

Q: What are the rulings on the martyr?

A: Martyrs in the path of God are of two types:

First: whoever is killed in the path of God in front of the enemy, for this person is not to be washed. But he is to be shrouded in his garments in which he was martyred, and it is desirable to shroud him with a garment or more above his clothes. And for these martyrs of the battle in the path of God, the imam has choices regarding them: if he wishes, he can recite funeral prayers for them, or if he wishes, he can leave that. The prayers are preferred. And the Sunna is to bury them as they died, as the Messenger of God (SAWS) did with the martyrs of Badr and Uhud.

Second: every misfortune that may befall the martyr in the battle in the path of God, like the one who drowns, and whoever dies defending his property and their likes from among the martyrs in the recompense of the Afterlife. For these people, the martyr among them is to be washed, shrouded, and prayed for, and he is to be buried in the cemeteries of the Muslims like others besides him from among the dead.

Specimen I: Organ and Body Transplants

al-Buhuth and al-Eftaa' Committee
Wilayat al-Raqqa
al-Eftaa' Centre

Jihad and its rulings
No. 19

Q: What is the ruling on transplant of organs?

A: If a living person from a mujahid or someone besides him needs a transplant of an organ or part from a living person:

If the transplant leads to serious harm like cutting the hand or kidney, it is forbidden.
If the transplant leads to death like removal of the heart or lung, this constitutes killing the soul, and it is among the great of the great sins after shirk against God.

If the transplant is from a dead person to a living person:

If the living person's interest is one of necessity on which his life depends, like the transplant of the heart or lung, or the kidney, this is allowed on necessity if the dead person allowed it before he died, the one to whom it is transferred is content, the cure is confined to it, and a competent doctor undertakes that.

Specimen J: Fighting alongside FSA factions

al-Buhuth and al-Eftaa' Committee
Wilayat al-Raqqa
al-Eftaa' Centre

Jihad and its rulings
No. 20

Q: What is the ruling on fighting alongside the factions of the Free Army [FSA]?

A: God Almighty has said: "Oh you who believe, do not take the Jews and Christians as allies: they are allies to one another. And whoever from you takes them as allies, is one of them. Indeed God does not guide the people who are wrongdoers"- al-Ma'ida 51 [Qur'an 5:51].

For all the factions of the Free Army have become allies of the mushrik West in a number of ways, among them support offered on the basis of conditions, including fighting the Islamic State and whoever raises the banner of tawheed, as well as leaving the path [of Islam] through to a creed of shirk. As these factions have been organized on the basis of a creed of idolatrous popular nationalism alone, they bring the mujahid into shirk that takes him outside of his religion.

Specimen K: Taking Sabaya [Female Prisoners as War Booty, incl. Sex Slavery]

al-Buhuth and al-Eftaa' Committee
Wilayat al-Raqqa
al-Eftaa' Centre

Rulings on slavery and the slave
No. 29

Q: What is the ruling on taking as sabaya women of the Nusayris [Alawites] and disbelievers?

A: It is allowed to take captives of women from all of the following:

Nusayris
Disbelievers who have no allegiance pact [with the Islamic State]
Yezidis
Shi'a
Ghayru Awali al-Kitab [i.e. disbelievers who are not people of the Book: Jews and Christians]

Specimen L: Taking Women of the Apostates as Sabaya

al-Buhuth and al-Eftaa' Committee
Wilayat al-Raqqa
al-Eftaa' Centre

Rulings on slavery and the slave
No. 30

Q: Is it allowed to take women of the apostates as sabaya?

A: It has been allowed on the authority of many of the 'ulama with their words on the disbelief and apostasy of the women of the apostates in the event that they have not abandoned their husbands. And circumstances may be reckoned according to the caliph of the Muslims in every era.

And the 'ulama of the Ummah who consider there to be a need for the step towards acts of legislation have split between two views: some have deemed it permissible, others have condemned it.

There has been no fatwa issued from the Shari'i authorities of the Islamic State on the permissibility of taking women of the apostates as sabaya, particularly for their ignorance of the apostasy of their husbands from the religion and the loyalty of the disbelievers.

Notes: cf. A Diwan al-Eftaa' wa al-Buhuth pamphlet released last year that is reluctant to accept the idea of taking women of the apostates as sabaya. 

 

  EsinIslam.Com

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