British Sunni and Shia imams urge Muslims not to travel to Syria

Qari Mohammed Asim from Leeds Makka Mosque was one of the signatories

Imams from across the UK, of various denominations of Sunni and Shia, have come together to urge British Muslims not to fall prey to sectarian divisions and to call on people not to travel to Syria or Iraq to fight in the escalating conflicts.

Qari Mohammed Asim, Imam at Leeds Makka Mosque, who played a key role in developing an open letter signed by more than 100 Imams from across major theological backgrounds, said: “The scale of the humanitarian disaster in Syria and the escalating violence in Iraq calls for an unprecedented response. As we near the end of the first week of Ramadan our message is simple, we have come together to urge British Muslim communities not to fall prey to any form of sectarian divisions or social discord.

“Here in the UK we are Sunnis and Shias, brothers in Islam – and brothers in Britain too. The conflict in Syria and Iraq can never change that no matter how bitter the fighting. We urge members of the community to echo this sentiment by adding their signature to this letter, joining the many others that have done so already.”

And Imam Shahid Raza from Leicester Central Mosque added: “Like everyone I am immensely proud of the response to the humanitarian crisis from communities across the UK. As the scale of the crisis escalates we need to appeal to our communities to ensure they are helping Syria and Iraq in the safest possible way and that sectarian divisions do not divide us here in the UK.”

Here is the letter in full:

“Today is an historic occasion with representatives from across British Muslim communities coming together to show a united front and commit to engaging with their communities to advise and protect our young people who might be thinking about going to Iraq or Syria. We are proud to have played a role in supporting this important initiative.”

“The month of Ramadhan is a time of reflection and compassion for humanity. The ethos of this month is to demonstrate generosity and solidarity especially towards those who are less fortunate.

As the crisis in Syria and Iraq deepens, we the under-signed have come together as a unified voice to urge the British Muslim communities not to fall prey to any form of sectarian divisions or social discord.

Ramadhan, the month of mercy, teaches us the value of unity and perseverance and we urge the British Muslim communities to continue the generous and tireless efforts to support all of those affected by the crisis in Syria and unfolding events in Iraq, but to do so from the UK in a safe and responsible way.

The Muslim communities have already generously contributed over a hundred million pounds to the Syrian relief effort. We welcome the British Government’s commitment to spending £600 million to support the Syrian people.

With more than 9 million Syrians internally displaced and requiring help, 2.8 million living in refugee camps and 60% of the countries medical infrastructure destroyed, this is the largest human crisis since World War II.

The Holy Qur’an’s guiding principle states:

And they give food for the love of God to the needy, the orphan and the prisoner. They say to them, ‘We give you food, only for the sake of God – we do not seek any reward or thanks from you.’ (76:8).”

We the undersigned:

Sheikh Ahmed Babikir, Islamic Advisor Islamiyyah School Network, London

Qari Mohammed Asim MBE, Senior Imam Makkah Masjid, Leeds

Sheikh Muhammad Manwar Ali, JIMAS, Norwich

Mualana Shahid Raza OBE, Leicester Central Mosque, Leicester

Imam Rafiq Sufi Patel, Vice Chairman Lancashire of Mosque, Blackburn

Mufti Zymer Salihi, Chairman Albanian and Turkish Islamic Foundation, London

Prof Masood Akhtar Hazarvi, Al Hira Education Centre, Luton

Dr Musharraf Hussain, Director Karima Foundation, Nottingham

Sheikh Mohamed el Sharkawy, Al Azhar Academy, London

Sheikh Tahir Fayyaz, Abu Bakr Masjid, Southall London

Sheikh Sabazada Jeelani, Wycombe Islamic Mission/ South East Imams Forum, High Wycombe

Chairman Abdul Hameed Qurashi, Lancashire Council of Mosque, Preston

Moulana Ghulam Rasool, Trustee Sultan Bahu Trust, Birmingham

Sheikh Sayed Ali Raza, Majlis Ulama-e-Shia, London

Sheikh Mustafa Jaffar, Masjid, London

Imam Asif Ali, Karima, Nottingham

Mr Dilwar Hussain, New Horizons, Leicester

Dr A Majid Katme, Brent Maglis, London

Shaykh Sulaiman Egeh, Brent Muslim Multicultural Centre, London

Shaykh Talat, Palmers Green Mosque, London

Shaykh Haythim Al-Sahlani, Al Khoei Foundation, London

Shaykh Salah Bilal, Al Khoei Foundation, London

Imam Shakil Ahmed, Ayesha Masjid and School, London

Imam Mohammad Talha Bokhari, Birmingham Central Mosque, Birmingham

Maulana Amir Hussain, YEME, Bradford

Maulana Swaleey Khan, YEME, Bradford

Qari Abdul Latif, Jammia, Alyesbury

Hafiz Khush Bakht, Jamia Ramania, High Wycombe

Mufti Muhammad Arif, Saeedi Ashrafi, Chesham

Maulana Muhammad Sarfraz Madni, Black Heath Mosque, Birmingham

Imam Hafiz Hamid Uddin, Castlefield Mosque, High Wycombe

Imam Sultan Mahmud, Totteridge Mosque, High Wycombe

Qari Tariq Mahmud Qadri, Al Hira Education Centre, London

Muft Riaz Ahmed, Samdani Anjuman Islamia, London

Imam Ihsanullah Nazshbandi, Ilford Islamic Centre, London

Imam Sheikh Muhammad Ismail Al-Rashid, Birmingham Central Mosque, Birmingham

Maulana Ejaz Ahmed,Nairvi Siqqiqia, London

Mulana Sayed Noor Ahmed Shah, Barking Masjid, London

Hafiz Muhammed Yaqoob, Canning Town Mosque, London

Qari Muhammad Amin Chidhti, Southall Islamic Centre, Ealing London

Maulana Iqbal Awan, Madina Masjid, Luton

Hafiz Naseerullah Naqshbandi, Mohi-ul-Din Trust, Birmingham

Hafiz Arshad Jamil, Masjid, London

Allama Abdul Bari, Masjid Centre, Milton Keynes

Imam Hafiz Hafiz Ahmed Ibrahim Patel, Birmingham Central Mosque, Birmingham

Mulana Mehrban, Chesterfield Mosque, Chesterfield

Mulana Mohsin, Islamic Centre, Derby

Mulana Sohail Bawa, Stepney Centre, London

Mulana Aslam, Southall Islamic Circle, London

Imam Abu Sayeed, Darul Ummah, London

Mulana Hafiz Rehman, West Drayton Mosque, London

Mulana Mehboob, Harrow Mosque, London

Mulana Attaaa Ullah Khan, Oxford Mosque, Oxford

Mulana Tahir Awan, Abu Bakr Masjid, London

Maulana Jamshaid Ahmed, East London Mosque Forum, London

Mulana Kasim, Central Jamia Masjid, Ealing London

Mulana Bismillah, Central Jamia Masjid, Ealing London

Mulana Sadath, Abu Bakr Masjid, Ealing London

Ustahd Yahya Birt, Interfaith Forum, Ilkley

Ustahd Mahbub Nazir, The Good Deeds Project, Leeds

Molana Rayan Mahmud, Iqra TV, London

Imam Yaseen Mohammed, Bradford Council of Mosques, Bradford

Imam Rafiq Sehgal, Bradford Council of Mosques, Bradford

Shah Fazal Karim, Council for Mosques, Bradford

Imam Iftikhar Ali, Jammat Tableegul Islam, Bradford

Mr Zulfiqar Ali, Jammat Tableegul Islam, Bradford

Mr Amjad Pervez, Bradford Council of Mosques, Bradford

Imam Sayed Tariq Masud, Shah Redbridge Islamic Centre, London

Mr Abdul Sattar, Kanzul Iman Mosque

Shaykh Dr Abbas Mohammed, Islamic Unity Forum

Imam Mohammad Saddiq, Khanzul Iman

Imam Rafiqur Rehman, Jamia Mosque Newport, South Wales

Mr Ghulam Mohayuddin Hafiz, Medina Mosque Trust, Southampton

Hafiz Mohammad Sajaad, Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira, Leeds

Mulana Abdul Khaliq, Hayes Islamic Centre / Hayes Muslim Centre, London

Sh Mr Tarik Nasrullah, Mosque, London

Mr Zia ul-Haq, Madina Masjid, Walsall

Mr Qari Muhammad Asim, Makkah Mosque

Imam Irfan Chishti MBE, Light of Islam Academy, Rochdale

Mr Choudhary Noor-Hussain, Dudley Central Mosque, Dudley

Mulana Aqram, Hayes Masjid / Hayes Muslim Centre, London

Imam Shokat, Abu Bakr Mosque, Southampton

Imam Azizurehman, Abu Bakr Mosque, Southampton

Dr Ataf Sabir, Community Member, Dudley

Molana Ahmad Nisar Beg Qadri, British Muslim Forum

Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, The Muslim Council of Britain, Leciester

Director and Imam Anas Al-Korj, Taqwah Mosque Trust, Southampton

Alqadri Muhammad Ikhlaq Mubarak, Islamic Society Jamia Mosque Al Madina, Middlesbrough

Mr Mahmood Hussain, Dudley Muslim Association, Dudley

Mr M Ammar Khan, Dudley Central Mosque, Dudley

Mr Muhammad Fazal, Al-noor Educational, London

Imam Monawar Hussain, The Oxford Foundation

Chairman Ragih Muflihi, Muslim Inclusive Action Network IMAN, Sandwell

Sahibzada Naeem Rabbani, Black Country Sunni Ulema Council

Imam Hafiz Abdul Rehman Sultani, Qamarul Islam Masjid, Birmingham

Mr Naseerullah, Siddiquia Education Trust, Birmingham

Mr Khurshid Drabu, Chairman, Southampton Medina Mosque Trust Ltd, Southampton

Imam Hamid Qudoos Hashmi, Dudley Central Mosque, Dudley

Qaril Noman Yousaf, Head Teacher – Harem Academy, Coventry

Hafiz Abdul Satar, Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust (HSBT), Sandwell

Imam Shaikh Sajid Mahmood, Aminah Trust, Bradford

Yousef Hansa, Noor Ul Islam Trust, London

Hafiz Zaheer Shabir, Bristol Council of Mosques, Bristol

Dr Sheikh Omer El-Hamdoon, Muslim Association of Britain

Maulana Muhammad Sarfraz Madni, Black Heath Mosque, Birmingham

Mufti Muhammd Farooq Alwi, Jammia Masjid, Birmingham

Mufti Abdual Majid Nadeem, Alum Rock Mosque, Birmingham

Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Jammia Masjid, Birmingham

Maulana Muhammd Iqbal, Masjid Oldham, Oldham

Hafiz Rahmat Aziz Salik, Hull Islamic Centre, Hull

Molana Wajid Ali Ansari, Kariamia Masjid, Nottingham

Sadat Qadri, Kariamia Masjid, Nottingham

Imam Muhammad Hussain Sajid, Ghousia Masjid, Burnley

Imam Muhammed Arshad, Masjid e Ibrahim, Burnley

Qari Blouch, Armley Welfare Society, Leeds

Molana Sadat Ahmed, Kariamia Masjid, Nottingham

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