There’s a Huge Catch in the ‘Imams Refuse Funeral Prayers for London Jihadis’ Story

When news broke that Imams were refusing funeral prayers for the London jihadis, it appeared positive that elements of the Islamic community were taking a stand against political Islam.  And although these reactions did not compensate for the horrendous terror attacks, they remained somewhat pleasing.

However, my prior diagnosis was mistaken along with much of the mainstream media, as the true reasons behind Imams refusing funeral prayers for the slain terrorists, delve far deeper.


PJ Media, by Robert Spencer, June 12, 2017:

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) gained worldwide headlines — and praise — for its announcement last week that 130 imams in the United Kingdom were refusing to perform funeral prayers for the London jihad mass murderers.

But as is so often the case, there was less to this much-heralded display of Islamic moderation than met the eye.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the following last Monday in New Zealand:

I was actually encouraged when I heard on the news this morning that a number of imams in London have condemned these attackers and said they will not perform prayer services over their funerals, which means they’re condemning their souls. And that is what has to be done, and only the Muslim faith can handle this.

Moderate Muslims stood up at last, right? It certainly seemed so. From the MCB statement:

Imams and religious leaders from across the country and a range of schools of thought have come together to issue a public statement condemning the recent terror attack in London and conveying their pain at the suffering of the victims and their families.

In an unprecedented move, they have not only refused to perform the traditional Islamic prayer for the terrorist — a ritual that is normally performed for every Muslim regardless of their actions — but also have called on others to do the same. They said:

“Consequently, and in light of other such ethical principles which are quintessential to Islam, we will not perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer over the perpetrators and we also urge fellow imams and religious authorities to withdraw such a privilege. This is because such indefensible actions are completely at odds with the lofty teachings of Islam.”

This all sounds great, but there’s just one catch.

Muhammad himself is depicted in hadiths as forbidding funeral prayers formartyrs.

Islamic law forbids such prayers as well.

To be clear:

Withholding funeral prayers is an HONOR reserved for those who die while committing jihad.

In one hadith — hadith are reports about Muhammad’s words and deeds that, when deemed authentic, are normative for Islamic law — the prophet of Islam ordered:

[Two martyrs to] be buried with their blood (on their bodies). Neither was the funeral prayer offered for them, nor were they washed.

One of the martyrs’ sons recalled:

When my father was martyred, I started weeping and uncovering his face. The companions of the Prophet stopped me from doing so but the Prophet did not stop me. Then the Prophet said, “(O Jabir), don’t weep over him, for the angels kept on covering him with their wings till his body was carried away (for burial)” (Bukhari 5.59.406).

Muhammad told Jabir not to weep because his father was not dead, but alive:

But do not think of those that have been slain in Allah’s cause are dead. Nay, they are alive! With their Sustainer have they their sustenance (Qur’an 3:169).

Based on the hadith in which Muhammad orders the bodies of the martyrs not to be washed and funeral prayers not to be said over them, as well as others like it, Islamic law states:

[It is] unlawful to wash the body of a martyr … or perform the funeral prayer over him.

[A] martyr (shahid) means someone who died in battle with non-Muslims” (Reliance of the Traveller, g4.20).

What Rex Tillerson — and much of the Western world, and certainly much of Western media — took as a great show of Muslim rejection of terrorism was actually a display of Muslim adherence to Islamic law, Muslim acceptance of terrorist deaths as Islamic martyrdom, and application of Muhammad’s dictum “war is deceit” (Bukhari 4.52.268).

War is deceit, indeed. The Qur’an warns believers not to take unbelievers as “friends or helpers” (َأَوْلِيَا — a word that means more than casual friendship, but something more like an alliance), “except when taking precaution against them in prudence” (3:28). This is a foundation of the Islamic idea that believers may legitimately deceive unbelievers when under pressure. The word used for “guard” in Arabic is tuqātan, from taqiyyatan — hence the now familiar term taqiyya.

The renowned Qur’an commentator Ibn Kathir says that the phrase “except when taking precaution against them in prudence” means:

… believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers … [may] show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda’ said, “We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.” Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, “The Tuqyah [taqiyya] is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.”

The MCB made sophisticated use of this weapon last week, fooling the international media and even the secretary of State into thinking that a demonstration of what they would call “extremism” was actually “moderation.”

It was an object lesson in the dangers of trying to formulate counter-terror policy without understanding the motivating ideology of the terrorists themselves.

14 thoughts on “There’s a Huge Catch in the ‘Imams Refuse Funeral Prayers for London Jihadis’ Story

    1. Thanks mate for the link! Did you find the translation very readable? It seems there is a lot of relevant stuff in there

    2. Did you notice the link to the Reliance itself?

      Yes, I found it very clear, unlike the other 2 Islamic Law manuals, the Risala and the Hedaya, which are a complete jumble and not worth bothering with IMO.

      And unlike this biography of Mohammed which I think is equally important:

      Happy reading!

    3. Thanks mate! So this guide to Islamic law appears to be the classic approach for sharia in Sunni Islam. Is that correct? If not, what specific sort of authority does it provide?

    4. Thanks mate! So this is a guide to the nature of Sunni Islam, am I correct? Or one particular school of Sunni Islam? Or just Islam?

    5. No, more specific than just Sunni. It’s the Islamic Law manual for the Shafi’i school of Islamic Jurisprudence (aka Sharia Law). The other Sunni schools are Maliki, Hanafi and Hanbali but they don’t differ much. Shias have one too but I don’t know what it’s called.

      I struggle to nail down exactly what sort of authority it provides today. As I say in the article, some Muslims will tell you it’s just a mediaeval textbook with no relevance today and others take it very seriously indeed. Everyone gives you a different story. I hope to get more of a handle on that in time but as an outsider it’s not straightforward. For instance, I’ve been told there is a book called the Study Quran which shows how the vicious stuff in the Reliance has been left behind but I’ve heard that it’s just a collection of weaselly evasions, and I’m not forking out 30 quid to find out.

    6. Yeah alright thanks for your insights! It appears what you’ve linked is a very good guide, despite Muslims often using ‘mistranslation’ and other dodging tactics to escape from the harsh reality of their ideology/ religion.

  1. Let’s hope they at least sprinkled them with a little Old Spice after shave. After all, they’re going to meet their 70 virgins. I mean, have a heart, Imams.

    1. Haha can you imagine these jihadists coming across 72 virgins after living a devout Islamic life? Their looks and whether or not these virgins say no to jihadists requests, would barely be a consideration in them getting their way.

  2. That is what happens when you don’t know the enemy. One would hope there would be someone knowledgeable advising the Secretary of State of all people. Apparently not. Lets hope Tillerson can rise above Killary’s level of competence.

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