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SITE Publications
26 Saudi Scholars Address Message to the Iraqi People
November 7, 2004

26 Saudi scholars addressed a message to the Iraqi people in which the scholars call upon them to unite, resist the occupation, and stop internal fighting. The message was posted to the website of Salman Al-Awda, a well-known cleric who was jailed in Saudi Arabia in the past for his radical rhetoric. In the message, the scholars emphasize the legitimacy of the resistance, and the need for the Iraqi people to defend themselves, their honor, and their land. They issued a ?fatwa? [edict] that forbids collaborating with the occupation against resistance activities.

An open message to the Mujahid Iraqi people:

Thanks to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and prayer and peace upon His loyal Prophet.

This message was written due to the unusual circumstances that our brothers in Iraq are going through, that require support, solidarity, exchange of opinions, consultations, and advice, that every Muslim is entitled to from their Muslim brothers.

We will not spare an effort that we deem right and in the best interest of our Muslim brothers, in this old and historical country [Iraq], that is under a dangerous war on all levels; especially that this country is at risk of having an internal [civil] war that would lead to its division, and to the establishment of a controlling pro-occupation government.

Following is a summary of our point of view [vision]:

1. The greatest advice is to have loyalty to Allah, and abide by His will through renouncing earthly personal, partisan, and discriminative ambitions. Allah above said: {That home of the Hereafter, We assign to those who do not desire exaltedness upon the Earth or corruption. And the [best] outcome is for the righteous} Sūrah Al-Qasas (83).

People of Iraq! Let Allah know [see] in your hearts, - especially those of you with prestige, power, and material or moral influence - truthful conduct, good intentions, renouncement of fortunes for your souls and follow the Law of Muhammad, prayer and peace upon him; just as the Praised One said: {If Allah knows [any] good in your heart, He will give you [something] better than what was taken from you, and He will forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful}. Sūrah Al-Anfal (70).

Let this begin with co-operation, justice, and fairness amongst yourselves. Show compassion towards one another and avoid causes for discord that will erupt during this critical stage. The greatest causes for discord are stubbornness, conceit, everyone thinking that they are right and truthful, and having doubts about others, suspecting them of bad intentions. This makes way for the war expected by many enemies of this Ummah [Nation], who will be happy with it taking place at our hands, not theirs.

2. Good understanding of the circumstance, phase and reality, in which a human being is living is a requirement for success. Any ambition that is not backed by a realistic vision and a good reading of the map with all its intersections, contradictions and colors [aspects] will lead to failure. If Allah above said {And prepare against them whatever you are able of power…} Sūrah Al-Anfal (60), then the greatest power is the power of the brain, vision and strategy.

Most misunderstandings come from different views of reality, improper perception of it, looking at it from one angle, or from relying on making the future without taking into consideration the present or realizing its difficulties. This issue is not realized by many and needs collective vision of those with experience, understanding, knowledge, training, and wisdom.

3. There is no doubt that the Jihad against the occupation is a duty of those who are capable of it. It is a Jihad of resistance that seeks to push away the aggressor. It does not go by the same requirements of the initiated or requested Jihad; it does not require the existence of a general leadership but one must do what they can as He above said, ?Fear Allah as much as you can?.

There is no doubt that those occupiers are aggressive fighters [assailants], and that all laws [Muslim Laws] agree on fighting them until they are driven away in humiliation and defeat, God willing. Earthly laws have acknowledged people?s rights to resist them as well.

Permission for the Jihad stems from such a case as He, may He be praised, said: {Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory}. Sūrah Al-Hajj (39). He, may He be praised, established the law of pushing one another through which life is preserved, justice is established, and the Shariah [Muslim law] is disciplined. He said that {And were it not that Allah pushes people one against the other, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned, would have been demolished. And Allah will surely support Him. Indeed, Allah is powerful and exalted in Might.} Sūrah Al-Hajj (40).

Hence, the resistance is a legitimate right and is even a lawful duty of the Iraqi people to defend themselves, their honor, their land, their oil, their present and their future, against the colonial coalition, just as they had resisted the British colonization before.

4. It is not permissible for a Muslim to harm any of the resistance men, nor to point them out, in addition to not harming any of their families and sons. They must support and protect them.

5. It is forbidden for every Muslim to provide any support or assistance in military operations carried out by the occupation troops, for this is considered to be a contribution to sin and aggression.

Regarding the interest of the country and its people - such as providing utilities: electricity, water, sewage, services, traffic organization, continuation of business, schools, and general interests, preventing theft, etc. - one must work on providing those services as much as possible.

6. The safeguard of Muslim blood, their money and their honor is a fixed stipulation by the Shariah [Muslim Law], over which there is no dispute amongst Muslims.

The Qur?an has not mentioned a bigger menace after polytheism than the menace to those who intentionally kill a believer. Allah, may He be praised said, {But whoever killed a believer intentionally - his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally and Allah has become angry with him, has cursed him, and has prepared for him a great punishment} Sūrah An-Nisa? (93).

And in Sahih Al-Bukhary, it was reported by the tongue of Abu Bakra about the Prophet of God - prayer and peace upon him - saying, ?If two Muslims encounter each other with swords in their hands, the killer and the killed both go to Hell?. [More religious quotes from Sahih Al-Bukhary on forbidding the spilling of Muslim blood by another Muslim].

There is no stronger, clearer, or more truthful language than the prophetic language, firm in proving the need to safeguard Muslim blood and honor. It provides no excuse for those who try to find a way around it. Hence, we must always return to the origin that forbids the spilling of Muslim blood, stealing their money and violating their honor. There is no room for discussion in this matter.

7. It is in the best interest of Islam and Muslims in Iraq and the rest of the world, to not target the weak and helpless, who are not part of the conflict, and whose country did not participate in the military campaign against Iraq. Examples are those who work in the humanitarian field, for the media, or who live a normal life that is not related to any military activity. Allah above said: ?And fight for the sake of Allah those who fight you and do not attack, as Allah does not like aggressors?.

It was proven in the Sahih that the Prophet, prayer and peace upon him, discarded the killing of the hypocrites and justified it by his saying, prayer and peace upon him, - ?Let no people say that Muhammad is killing his companions?.

If the Prophet of Allah, prayer and peace upon him, showed mercy towards those who deserve to be killed by letting them go, how can we not show mercy to those who are innocent?! Especially that the media nowadays has brought to light the situation in Iraq and every action performed by the People of Islam [Muslims].

It is our duty to look into the repercussions of the actions and their impact on the peoples, Muslims and non-Muslims.

8. Preserving the unity of Iraq is vital and necessary.

There are invisible fingers [hands] that are trying to fan the fire of discord, tear Iraq into sects, and incite internal battles between the Shiites and the Sunni, or between the Kurds and the Arabs.

This kind of internal fighting - which hasty individuals from each category could be drawn to - causes a clear harm [to the country] and provides a free service to the Jews who infiltrate into Iraq, and to the coalition forces that take advantage of the dispute to re-instate their control. It pits each party against the other, killing their symbols [leaders] and revealing their secrets. As a final consequence, each party says ?It is better to be with the Americans, than with the other party?. Hence, all Iraqis must be humble and must agree that it is their right to live in peace - under the banner of Islam - all together. This critical situation is not new to Iraq, as for many centuries throughout history, each party has tried to grab the golden opportunity and use it for their own interests. At this stage, the priority is to reinforce the unity of the country and the internal entente, and avoid the causes of discord and fighting. It is a common interest to all sects to stop fighting each other.

9. If the people of Islam, in general, and the proselytizers in particular, can move forward towards reform, moral and material construction, humanitarian, educational, scientific, and vital activities, by being close to the people and their feelings, showing wisdom and patience and leaving their differences aside - if they can do that - then they will have a great influence on the reconstruction of the country and the leadership of its institutions. The country is now in a stage of formation, and seniority has priority, especially when seniority involves people competent in management, training, and institutional collective work.

Therefore, we should make use of the mosques and schools to provide guidance to people and talk to them. We must also take advantage of the media forums, such as radios, satellite TVs, newspapers, magazines, lectures, and conferences to provide guidance, enlightenment, and knowledge that will lead to a good formation, away from partiality, whims, personal and partisan preferences. We should keep people away from personal preferences, narrow-minded attitudes, and denominational disputes that lead to dispersion, separation, and fighting.

10. We recommend that our Muslim brothers in the world stand by their brothers in Iraq, through truthful prayer, sympathy, mercy, and support, as much as possible. Such was the command of the Prophet, prayer and peace upon him, especially that they [Muslims in Iraq] are suffering from arbitrary bombing, destruction and indiscriminate killing that has affected most regions in Iraq, namely the most recent bombing of the city of Fallujah and its surroundings, that Allah willing, will remain resistant and victorious.

We recommend that the Muslims help their brothers by providing the right opinions, well balanced and reasonable vision, and to keep away from hasty decisions. The release of erratic Fatwas [edicts] that cause confusion among the Muslims must come to an end.

We recommend that the Muslims support the Iraqi people during their painful crisis, and request that charitable organizations try to attend to the needs of the Iraqis providing them food, medicine, clothing, and other necessities of life.

We pray to Allah for the safeguard of the people of Islam in Iraq, Palestine, and everywhere, and for the weakening of the blasphemers. Allah is stronger and more powerful. Allah knows better. Prayer and peace upon His subject and messenger Muhammad, upon his family and his companions.

Thanks to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

Signed by:

[26 scholars among whom are: Sifr Al-Hawali, Salman Al-Aouda, Awad Al-Qarni, Sulaiman Al-Rashoodi, Ahmad Al-Khudairi, and Saiid Al-Ghamidi]

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