Dear Fellow Muslim: A Message to the Modern Jihadist

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

“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]

Based on the above, it is not appropriate for a Muslim to cite evil done by the western governments to inhabitants of Muslim lands as justification to do evil to western inhabitants. We have our own principles and standards, mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah, with which we abide by and need not lower ourselves to their standards. We even have rules of respectful engagements with prisoners of war! During the Prophet’s (pbuh) time, when a Muslim was captured, he was tortured, beaten, murdered and even mutilated, but the Prophet (pbuh) never returned this type of behavior towards non-Muslim prisoners. And if you have trouble understanding or believing any of the above, then you have never studied his biography and you need to enroll yourself into a seerah(try this, this, this or this book) program and study his life from beginning to end.

So enough of your emotional arguments rooted in ignorance and more practicing the faith with actual knowledge and understanding. You can never truly understand your religion unless you sit at the feet of the scholars, and thus far every self proclaimed jihadist is so ignorant of his religion that he cannot even answer basic fiqh questions. Prophet (pbuh) called the scholars of Islam the inheritors of the prophets for the very reason that we should go to them and learn! And you will find this self-proclaimed jihadist take everything from a particular scholar except his fatwa on terrorism and killing innocent people. Afterwards, he has the audacity to call this scholar, whom he takes everything else from, a sell out! This goes further to show that these guys are notreally rooted in knowledge or understanding of their faith but are infected with serious emotional problems, ignorance of basic principles of their religion, and wanting to fulfill their false fantasies of adventure and danger.

It is also interesting to note that during the Prophet (pbuh) life, a man by the name of Abdullah bin Ubayy was a confirmed munafiq (someone who pretends to be Muslim but does not really believe in its doctrines) who was always causing trouble for the Muslims and plotting against them with their enemies. When Umar, one of the closest companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh),  advised him to have him killed, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) “turned down his proposal on the grounds that it did not become of a Prophet (Peace be upon him) to be accused of killing his people.”  This goes further to show that the Prophet (pbuh) did not want people to have a bad image of Islam and Muslims including himself. This notion is even more clearly stated in the following narration from his wife Aisha:

“The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, placed me on his shoulder so I could look at the Abyssinians [who were playing with shields and spears] until I felt tired and turned away from them.” Urwa [Aisha’s nephew] said: “Indeed, I heard Aisha say that the Messenger of Allah said on that day, ‘So the Jews will know that there is flexibility in our religion; verily, I have been sent with a lenient, upright religion.’” [Musnad Ahmad, Number 24333, Sahih]

The Jews are pointed out specifically in this version of the narration while in other versions, idol worshipers (mushrikeen) and Christians are mentioned. However, these self-proclaimed jihadists go around giving a really bad name to Islam and its followers without thinking twice. Not only that but they’re actually proud of it and falsely believe that their doing some sort of service to the religion.

If we further reflect on the case of Abdullah bin Ubayy mentioned earlier, it is astounding how far off the right path the modern jihadists really are.  Here you have a prophet of Allah forbidding execution of a confirmed hypocrite in order to not give a bad name to Islam, but the modern jihadists will slaughter fellow Muslims through accusations of apostasy just because those Muslims disagree with them.  There is no doubt that the greatest number of those killed by the hands of the jihadists are either fellow Muslim civilians or rival Muslim rebel groups.

For even more in depth refutation of the modern jihadists, see:

The Modern Jihadists: Khawarij or Mujahideen?   – In this scintillating look at the past, Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi examines the histories of these movements, tracing their development to the turbulent times of the early 70’s in Egypt. In fact, some of the people alive now that are involved in current movements were active in these past movements of three decades ago as well.

On Jihad and Jihadist Thought – Young overzealous youth, angered by the transgressions of Western powers, are often swayed by fancy rhetoric and enticing slogans into entering a military conflict that eventually ends up harming the very people they claim to protect.

Should Muslims in the West go to Syria and join the Jihad? – It is the duty of every Muslim to help against any oppression whether it be towards Muslims or Non-Muslim, whether it be towards humans or animals it is our God-giving responsibility that we stand up against injustice & oppression wherever and whenever it may be. Does this mean that we here living in the west have a duty to go and fight in Syria and join the Jihad (struggle) against the evil forces of Bashar?

Open Letter to Al-Baghdadi – Muslims scholars refute ISIS and it’s leader on a theological level in great detail.  As VICE News points out, “More than a hundred Muslim scholars and leaders from around the world released an open letter addressed to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Wednesday, telling the self-proclaimed caliph, in no uncertain terms, that the group’s use of Islamic scripture is illegitimate and perverse.”

Ruling on Wiping Over Modern Socks in the Hanbali School

It is well-known that many Hanbali scholars today allow wiping over modern cotton socks. As examples, you can view this link and this link for more information. Sh. Kareem Helmy al-Hanbali even wrote a detailed research paper defending the opinion. Sh. Abdul Wahid al-Hanbali has also strongly argued for its permissibility.

However, not all Hanbali scholars today believe that wiping over modern cotton socks is allowed. Examples include the Hanbali scholar at Al-Azhar University Sh. Muhammad Sayyid al-Hanbali and Sh. Faris Falih. The latter recently wrote a piece in Arabic on his Facebook page briefly explaining why he believes that it is not permissible to wipe over modern cotton socks according to the Hanbali school. I have not come across a Hanbali defense for this position in the English language, therefore, I decided to provide a translation of his post below.

Ruling on Wiping Over Modern Socks in the Hanbali School

By Sh. Faris Falih

There are two specific words and their features to consider in this discussion: khuff (الخف) and jawrab (الجورب). This is because the features of a jawrab and its rulings are based on the features of a khuff and its rulings. So let’s define them.

Khuff: It is whatever covers [the feet] up to the ankles. Most of it is made up of leather or something similarly thick like it.

Jawrab: It is whatever is worn on the feet in the form of khuff but is made from something other than leather. Its covering is made up of wool and is used to keep warmth.

Imam Ahmed required certain conditions for it to be considered valid to wipe over the khuff. The right of the jawrab to be wiped over is based on the rulings related to the khuff, because the Hanbalis consider the jawrab to be the same as khuff in its ruling and description through qiyaas (analogical deduction).

There are two conditions that we need to focus on:

Condition 1 – The socks must be thick enough and completely cover the feet so that nothing from them can be seen

What does it mean to be ‘thick’? It means that the socks are firm and evidently infused thickly in their weaving.

Abdullah, the son of Imam Ahmed, said, “I asked my father about the khuff without a heel.” He replied, “It is not permitted to wipe over it if anything from the foot shows. He doesn’t wipe over them unless they are these thick jawrab that are worn with shoes and they remain standing firm on the leg.” Abdullah then asked, “What if they do not stand firm on the leg?” Imam Ahmed replied, “They are not wiped over unless they are like khuff.” [Masa’il Abdullah 125]

Notice how Imam Ahmed described the jawrab with the attribute of thickness. There is no doubt that modern socks are not thick enough nor is their weaving thick enough.

Certainly, when it came to wiping, the Prophet (pbuh) associated the jawrab with a jurmooq, a type of overshoe worn over the khuff to protect it from mud and the like. All of these words [jawrab, khuff, jurmooq] had the same meaning as that of a khuff [for them]. However, if we compared the modern leather khuff with the modern sock, then we would certainly see a huge difference between the two. Therefore, it is more appropriate [to consider that] the khuff in their times was thicker and the jawrab was related to it [in its similarity].

Condition 2 – It is possible to walk continuously in them

The companions of Imam Ahmed (Ashaab) required the possibility of walking in them as a condition even if they are the type not usually worn, for example, socks made up of glass, wood, iron, etc. They also included felt, which is [thickly] woven using wool and [animal] hair. The strongest inference that can be derived from this stipulation is that due to the clarity of the thin glass, there is no harm if the foot can be described. Based on this, some have understood that the Ashaab did not intend thickness [by mentioning glass] but transparency. However, this does not mean that they allowed the glass to be thin.

Wiping is only permitted when one is able to walk in them according to custom, because [this shows] it is possible to do so due to the [thick] nature of its weaving. Qadhi Abu Ya’la said, “Analogical deduction (qiyaas) of the school allows wiping over them [the jawrab] because the khuff [similarly] covers and one is able to walk in them. It resembles leather.

I say: Anything that resembles leather, then one is able to wipe over it. Modern socks, however, do not resemble leather in terms of thickness at all.

What does it mean to be possible to walk in them?

It is said in the Hanbali fiqhi text الرعاية الكبرى that, “It is possible to walk in them as much as a traveler who would repeatedly use them [while traveling] due to need. If he is unable to continuously walk in them, then you cannot call it a need, thus, it would not be related to [the rulings of] concession.

It is not possible to walk repeatedly while wearing modern socks according to custom except in the house or mostly on carpets. If a person was required to continuously walk in them while on travel due to need on other surfaces, it would not work.

Imam Ahmad said, “The wiping of the people over the jawrab is only due to the position of khuff with them. It takes the status of a khuff on a person’s foot. He goes and comes while wearing it.” Imam Ahmed here explicitly says that they take ‘the position of khuff‘ and then describes the walking as ‘he goes and comes.’

Extracted Issues From the Above Discussion

Absence of the permissibility of wiping over modern socks due to the following two reasons:

1 – They do not resemble the khuff in any way especially with regards to their thickness. We have explicit text [from the school] that indicates that the jawrab must be similar to the khuff in meaning and status.

2 – It is not possible to continuously walk in them according to custom due to their thinness.

It should be noted, however, that Ibn Taymiyyah did not require the socks to be thick. He permitted wiping over thin jawrab. It is a [valid] ijtihadi issue.

We have presented the Hanbali school’s position on the modern sock and we do not make it binding on anyone.