August 3, 2017 Special Dispatch No. 7039

Iraqi Journalist To Young Muslims Contemplating Joining ISIS: Suicide Attacks And Murders Were Not The Way Of The Prophet Muhammad

August 3, 2017
Iraq | Special Dispatch No. 7039

On February 11, 2017, 'Ali Zuheir Al-Furati published an article on the secular Iraqi website, in which he called on young Muslims who are considering joining the Islamic State (ISIS) and carrying out suicide attacks to change their minds. He suggested that they learn from the path and the deeds of the Prophet Muhammad, who showed tolerance toward Jews and Christians, lascivious idol worshippers, and Muslims who had strayed from the path of Islam. To strengthen his argument, Al-Furati quoted from the main two compilations of reliable hadiths, the Sahih Al-Bukhari and the Sahih Muslim.

'Ali Zuheir Al-Furati (image:

The following are excerpts from his article:[1]

"Anyone who claims to be following the path of the Prophet Muhammad and to love him must read history, specifically the history of Islam, and especially the history of the Prophet. This is because his words, his deeds, and his decisions constitute evidence [for how one should behave]. Allah said [in Quran 33:21].' Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much.' Therefore, I appeal to anyone who carries out attacks and kills people on the grounds that they are infidels, sinners, extremist Shi'ites, etc.: Let us examine the history of  the Prophet and his attitudes toward 'the infidels,' i.e. the idol worshippers. Did he kill them and booby trap their homes? Or did he trade with them, visit their sick, accept their gifts, and so on[?] Since ISIS members and those who think like them have confidence in quotations from the Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, I will present to them quotes from these books about the Prophet's attitude toward the Jews:

  1. The right to choose your religion. In the Covenant of Medina[2] it is written: 'The Jews have their religion and the Muslim have theirs. This will also apply to those under their patronage.'  

  1. The right to patronage and protection. In the Covenant of Medina it is written: 'The Jews must bear their own expenses (in War) and the Muslims their own expenses. If anyone attacks one [of the parties to] this covenant, the other must come to his help.' [Similarly], when [the Muslim] Al-Ash'af bin Kays and a Jewish man came to trial before the Prophet and the believer in Allah did not have evidence, the Prophet ruled in favor of the Jew, after [the Jew] swore [to the truth of his claim]. This is how it is presented in Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

  1. He would visit their sick. Al-Bukhari relates a story narrated by Anas bin Malik: A young Jewish man who served the Prophet fell ill. The Prophet went to him and visited him in his illness. He sat by his head and said to him: Convert to Islam. [The young man] looked at his father who [also] stood by his head. And then [his father] said to him: Obey Abu Al-Qassem [another name for Muhammad],[3] and he converted to Islam.

  1. The Prophet had commercial dealings with the Jews and he paid them what he owed them in full. According to Ibn 'Omar: The Messenger of Allah gave Khaybar [an oasis north of Medina] to the Jews so they could sow [crops] and work the land, and [also let them keep] some of the harvest, according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

"It was in this way, and according to these ethical principles, that the Prophet conducted himself with respect to the Jews: [allowing] freedom to choose one's religion, [providing] patronage and protection, visiting their sick, and conducting business with them. Did he ever entrap, blow up or kill someone just because he chose or believed in some other religion?! This is [how he treated] the People of the Book [i.e., Jews and Christians]. Examining the history of [the Prophet] in Mecca... we find that he did not treat the sinners and heretics there, who hurt and oppressed him, the way ISIS treats, or the way Ibn Taymiyya treated, [other] Muslim schools of thought. And after all, the lawlessness and licentiousness prevalent in Mecca during the period of the jahiliyya were the ugliest of all, and have no parallel throughout history and to this day.

"In his 16th lecture, [contemporary Iraqi Shi'ite religious authority Mahmoud Al-Hasani] Al-Sarkhi said:.. 'What did the infidels do to the Prophet and his companions during the early days of Islam in Mecca? You all [know] the story of what happened. Search the entire world, in all the cities and houses, in all places of licentiousness... Any corruption and perversion that you find there is no more than one percent of what took place during the period of the jahiliyya in Mecca. In other words, if you search even in the countries of the West and in the most degenerate countries, you will not find licentiousness like what existed in Mecca. Here a simple and clear question is posed: Did the Prophet and his companions blow themselves up among the idol worshipers of Mecca?!! Did they booby trap the Kaaba?! [People's] homes?! Did they carry out attacks in the markets?! Did they burn bodies?!'

"This important question demands an answer from what remains of the conscience of those who have been seduced by, and have embraced, the idea of takfir [the practice of proclaiming other Muslims heretics, thus making their killing permissible] and the murder of human beings, or those who attempt to do this while claiming that they [those they seek to kill] are heretics, idolaters, Muslims who have strayed from the tradition of the Prophet, and so on.

"The ways of the Prophet and his companions were the ways of peace and amiable persuasion."



[1], February 11, 2017.

[2] The Covenant of Medina, written in 622, immediately after the Prophet Muhammad's migration from Mecca to Medina, was meant to regulate the relationships among all the groups and communities in the city and to ensure cooperation between them in the event of an attack by outsiders.

[3] Qassem was the son of the Prophet's wife Khadija by her previous marriage, and Muhammad was also known as Abu Qassem.

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