How Islamic is ISIS’ Islamic Caliphate?

29 May, 2017
Q How Islamic is ISIS Islamic Caliphate?


Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Dr. Shabir Ally addresses this question in the video below:


Safiyyah Ally: Dr. Shabir, before we end, can you speak very briefly about the Islamic State and about al-Baghdadi as well? How Islamic is what they’re doing?

Dr. Shabir Ally: Well, to me what they’re doing is very un-Islamic. To begin with, they are a faction within a rebellion.

So, you have already a state that’s governing the region. And nobody likes that state, the heavy-handedness, the oppression, and all of that.

At the same time, there needs to be a way of opposing that state and bringing about justice for the people. What needs to be done is that other states need to step in, invoking the right to protect.

And come into the, to help the oppressed people. And bring the oppressive government to justice.

For individuals to take this up as a matter for themselves, this is really to have a civil war. And you already have that civil war. And then within the rebellion there are various factions. If one faction just simply proclaims themselves to be the governing faction, then the others will oppose them.

And then there is obviously going to be in-fighting among the factions. So, this is no easy solution.

Safiyyah Ally: Well, they’ve already taken over large swathes of the territory. So, you know, they’re already successful in some sense.

Dr. Shabir Ally: All the more power to them [those fighting ISIS]. And then, how will that power be used? Now we are hearing reports and we’re seeing from their [ISIS’s] manifesto that they want to implement and the laws as they were implemented many hundreds of years ago in a way that would not fit the present situation.

They, for example, rule against the person who opposes them. And according to their manifesto, you should split his head with bullets. Well, if that’s the way you’re going to deal with dissenters, then that throws up a red flag right away.

It shows your policy to be one of violence. And that will not fit very well with our modern world. It does not fit with the Islamic faith, and Muslims will not accept this.

I hope this helps answer your question. Please keep in touch.

Walaikum Asalam.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Out Of Context – Do Muslims Support ISIS?

A Guide to Refuting Jihadism in Radical Claims

Muslim Scholars Refute ISIL’s Ideology (Folder)

About Dr. Shabir Ally
Dr. Shabir Ally holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, with a specialization in Biblical Literature. He also holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Quranic Exegesis. He is the president of the Islamic Information and Dawah Centre International in Toronto where he functions as Imam. He travels internationally to represent Islam in public lectures and interfaith dialogues. He explains Islam on a weekly television program called "Let the Quran Speak". Past episodes of this show can be seen online at: