Is Abdul Rahman Kassig’s death a turning point for ISIS supporters?

Peter Kassig, also known as "Abdur Rahman" was executed by an ISIS fighter.

In response to the murder of US citizen Abdul Rahman Kassig by ISIS, Bilal Abdul Kareem says the group has ignored every scholarly consensus regarding its general affairs.  

Abdul Rahman Kassig, may Allah have mercy on him, was murdered by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s men and displayed on the internet for the world to see. Kassig set up field hospitals and operated on those who needed it – both fighter and civilian. He did more for Islam and its people than so many others.

kassigToday the sadness I feel really isn’t for him. He got what so many Muslims want – to be martyred insh’Allah. I ask Allah (swt) to accept him as such and reward him, Ameen. I feel sadness for his family who had to see their suffering go into a new phase today by hearing of their son’s death, and especially in such a gruesome fashion.

What must they think of Islam and its people? “My son went to help these people and look at what he got”, they must be thinking. To them, I would say that their son did not die for nothing, and there are over a billion people who are praying for your son, who is our brother.

ISIS and scholarly consensus

If there are any ISIS supporters out there who may be confused about this issue because you feel that you trust ISIS and they “know” what is going on, I would say listen to the words of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw), who said:

“Allah will never allow my Ummah to unite upon misguidance and incorrect beliefs.” [At Tirmidhi]

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This above statement doesn’t refer to the average Muslim – this refers to the people of knowledge. I ask any ISIS supporter to name me three respectable people of sound knowledge who support their group. I know of none.

ISIS fighters in Syria.
ISIS fighters in Syria.

I am not just referring to Sheikh’s who appear on TV, I’m referring to any Sheikh of reputable knowledge. Even within the Taliban movement there were some people of clear knowledge who supported them even though it wasn’t popular to do so at that time.

We cannot simply dismiss every single person of knowledge and simply hold fast to our desires.

The issue with ISIS isn’t even an issue of a difference of opinion amongst the people of knowledge. Would you feel comfortable appearing in front of Allah knowing this hadith and explaining to Him (swt) why you chose to ignore a total consensus amongst the people of knowledge on an issue? Or will you simply say: “All of the real scholars are in prison and can’t speak.”

So then you would have no trouble telling me who that “real imprisoned scholar” is that shares your opinion. What is his name? Unknown. Just empty talk. Here some real talk:

“Allah will never allow my Ummah to unite upon misguidance and incorrect beliefs.” [At Tirmidhi]


Did you think that Allah (swt) did not know we would be facing this issue when he had his Prophet (saw) uttered these words? Of course he did! And He (swt) gave us the map to get out of this mess.

Our people of knowledge have lots of problems and issues. I will be the first to admit that. However, an ijma (consensus) is something that cannot be ignored.

Unless someone is willing to say that the Messenger of Allah (saw) did not understand? Anyone willing to go there?

Do any of those who support ISIS even know who these “scholars” are that ISIS claim they consult? Does anyone know who they are? This is the mentality and lack of transparency that has hurt Muslims for so long.

The previous images of al Baghdadi have matched his most recent images.
The previous images of al Baghdadi have matched his most recent images.

Who are the unknown “Ahl al-Hal Wal Aqd” (people of influence) that elected al-Baghdadi as Caliph?

Who are these secret “scholars” who only go by their kunya (Abu so and so)?

Even al-Baghdadi is an unknown figure that has not been seen by his own men, let alone the whole world except his direct inner circle and even his inner circle are unknown!

That’s enough for now! During my time filming with many of ISIS’ senior commanders in Syria, none of them had any idea what al-Baghdadi was doing or why they murdered and tortured other rebels. And these are the same people who are still are on the ground.

I pray this is a turning point. ISIS’ gaining strength does not mean victory for the Ummah. They will not hesitate to kill any Muslim, like Abdul Rahman Kassig, who gets in their way.

Bilal Abdul Kareem is an American journalist and filmmaker who spent two years in Syria documenting the rebels.


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