Anachronism & Fiction in the ISIS Letter

I have to be blunt – I could not force myself to read beyond page 2 of the ISIS letter sent to South African scholars. It pains me to read something written by an adult in the style of a 6 year old.Yet, as a lover of history and the truth, I thought I should share some facts in regards two of the statements made.

They claim that the scholars of the era opposed Ṣalāḥuddīn, and issued rulings against joining his army, because those worldly scholars feared for the loss of their luxuries.

I have read biography after biography of Ṣalāḥuddīn. They were written in three different languages, from his immediate era, up until recent years, and are from the pens of both Muslims and non-Muslims. I have NEVER heard such an allegation before. If there is any substance to the allegation, why do they not produce at least ONE name?

There may possibly have been rulings from the Shīʿah side, but if that is what they are referring to, why are they so misleading with something which is utterly irrelevant to us anyway? Another possibility is that there may theoretically have been Sunnī scholars who did not recognise his initial claim over Syria, but that again is utterly irrelevant to the ISIS letter claim that the scholars opposed joining his anti-Crusade army.

The closest I can think of, is the historian, Ibn ʾAthīr (no, that is not a typo for Ibn Kathīr). He was not a fan of Ṣalāḥuddīn, but his not liking Ṣalāḥuddīn is a far cry from scholars issuing rulings against him.

Rather than being opposed by the scholars, Ṣalāḥuddīn, was surrounded by scholars who served the cause by serving him as their ruler and general, or those who guided him when he went to them. And unlike the nameless fictional scholars of the letter, the scholars I speak of have names. Off-the- cuff I can mention Qāḍī Yūsuf of Mosul, Qāḍī Ibn Zakī of Aleppo and the great traditionalist, Ibn Asākir.

ISIS makes Barbarossa into the king of France. I wonder what would the German Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa and Philip, the actual King of France at the time, feel about such a change of thrones?

Barbarossa only marched against Ṣalāḥuddīn after the liberation of Baytul Muqaddas, which was visited by the all the major scholars of the region by the invitation of the victorious Sulṭān. What Fatwā would they then have given against the Emperor or King or whatever, who drowned along the way and never fought against the great liberator?

Sheer utter nonsense.

In writing this brief article, I have not opened a single book, nor internet-searched a single sentence, fact or word. Idiocy does not deserve such respect.

سليمان الكندي
Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi

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