The PJ Tatler

ISIS Issues Fatwa to Justify Burning of Jordanian Pilot

This MEMRI Report was reprinted with permission.


Following the immolation of the Jordanian pilot, Mu’adh Al-Kasasbeh, the Islamic State’s “Fatwa and Research Authority” issued a ruling which stated that burning non-Muslims alive “is completely permissible”.

The fatwa was distributed in the streets of Raqqa and also posted on February 3, 2015 on the Twitter account of an ISIS activists’ group called “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” (@Raqqa_SI). The following are translated excerpts from it:

“Q: What is the ruling on burning an infidel with fire until he dies?”

“A: The Hanafi and Shafi’i schools [of Islam] hold that burning is completely permissible. They interpreted the saying of the Prophet that ‘Only Allah shall torture with fire’ as [a call for] humility. [The scholar] Al-Muhallab said: ‘This ban is not [an actual] prohibition, but rather a means for [advocating] humility.’

“[Shafi’i scholar] Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy on him, said: ‘[This saying] indicates that it is permissibile to burn, as the Companions did. The Prophet blinded two men from ‘Arina [whom he judged to be apostates and criminals] with a branding iron. Khalid bin Al-Walid, [one of the Prophet’s Companions], also burned apostates with fire.’

“Some scholars hold that burning with fire is essentially prohibited, but is permissible while acting in retribution, as the Prophat did with the two men of ‘Arina. He blinded them with an iron as an act of retribution, as is mentioned in authentic [hadith]. And this is the most prominent among the proofs.”