Unanimous Fatwa


The Unanimous Fatwa issued on May 26, 2017, addressed the major concerns and questions:

متفقہ فتویٰ

5.1 Request for Fatwa (Istifta)

What the Ulama (Religious Scholars) opine about the issue of continued involvement of certain groups in insurrectionary acts against the Government and Armed Forces of Pakistan. In the name of implementation of Shari‘ah, these groups allege that the Government of Pakistan and its armed forces are infidels and apostates as they have yet to implement Shari‘ah in its entirety. Basing on this analogy, these groups attract the youth for an armed uprising against the state, terming it as jihad. And during the process, they carry out suicide attacks to target innocent citizens and army personnel declaring these as righteously rewarding activities. In this context, answers to the following questions are required:

  1. Whether Pakistan is an Islamic state or an un-Islamic state? Further, can a state be declared un-Islamic and its government and armed forces as non-Muslim if Shari‘ah is not implemented in its entirety?
  1. Under the given circumstances, is armed rebellion against the government or army permissible, in the name of struggle for implementation of Shari‘ah?
  1. Whether the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah provide any justification for suicide attacks that are being carried out all over Pakistan in the name of implementation of Shari‘ah and jihad?
  1. If the answer to the above three questions is in negative, then whether the actions taken by the government and armed forces of Pakistan to combat insurrection are permissible according to Shari‘ah?

Should the Muslims come forward and support these actions?

  1. Several armed sectarian clashes are also taking place in our country aiming to impose one’s ideology on others by force. Are these activities justified in Shari‘ah?

5.2 Unanimous Fatwa (Response to the Istifta)

In the Name of Allah the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful


The Response:

All praise belongs to Allah and peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger… Response to the questions is as under:

  1. Indeed Islamic Republic of Pakistan is an Islamic State according to its Constitution that begins with the following sentence of the Objectives Resolution, “Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Pakistan within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust.” This Objectives Resolution was made part of the Constitution with the consensus of all religious and political parties and remained part of every constitution from 1956 to 1973, and does exist as such in the current constitution. Additionally, Article 31 of the Constitution provides detailed policy principles to enable the Muslims of Pakistan to order their lives in accordance with the Islamic way of life. Likewise, in Article 227 it is affirmed that all existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to Islamic injunctions.

The Federal Shariat Court and Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, established under the Constitution, are empowered to ensure that these constitutional principles are respected. Every citizen of Pakistan has the right to challenge laws that are repugnant to the injunctions of Islam in these courts for bringing them in conformity with Islam.

Based upon the foregoing, Pakistan, without any doubt, is an Islamic State and merely due to some functional issues, declaring the country, its government or its armed forces as infidel is not permissible, rather it is a sin.

  1. Since Pakistan is an Islamic State and its government and armed forces operate under and testify its Constitution upon oath, therefore, armed struggle against Pakistani government or its armed forces certainly fall within the category of rebellion that is categorically HARAM (illegal) as per the Shari‘ah. Indeed, it is the responsibility of the government to fully implement Islamic Provisions of the Constitution. And undoubtedly, peaceful and constitutional struggle for its attainment is an important responsibility of every Muslim. However, taking up arms to achieve this purpose is to mischief on the earth i.e. “fasaad fi’l-Arz”. And those who take part in such armed struggle or assist and support in any form, openly disobey the commandments of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

Mind you! One who has a governor appointed over him and he finds that the governor indulges in an act of disobedience to Allah, he should condemn his act, in disobedience to Allah, but should not withdraw himself from his obedience. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 4768)

This subject is discussed in several concurrent (mutawatir) Ahadith that bloodshed and taking up arms against an Islamic government are grave sins.

  1. Suicide is unacceptable in Islam and considered a grave sin. The Holy Qur’an says:

And do not kill yourselves. (Qur’an 4:29)

It is stated in several Ahadith that committing suicide calls for severe punishment. In one Hadith the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

He who killed himself with a steel (weapon) would be the eternal denizen of Hellfire and he would have that weapon in his hand thrusting that in his stomach in Hellfire for eternity. (Jami‘ al-Usul, with reference to Bukhari and Muslim)

Likewise, when the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was informed about the people who committed suicide, he (peace be upon him) issued serious warnings for such people and for one such person the Prophet (peace be upon him) even did not offer his funeral prayer. (Abu Da’ud, hadith 1395)

This is the ruling against committing suicide where an individual only kills himself, however, if suicide is committed to kill another believer then such suicide is like committing a double crime; one for committing suicide and the second for killing another person about whom the Holy Qur’an says:

But whoever kills a believer deliberately – his recompense is Hell, wherein he shall remain forever, and Allah shall become angry with him and shall caste curse upon him, and has prepared for him a mighty punishment. (Qur’an 4:93)

Furthermore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has issued the following strict warning about the one who kills non-Muslims living in an Islamic state peacefully:Indeed, whoever kills a Mu‘ahid that has a covenant from Allah and a covenant from His Messenger (peace be upon him), then he has violated the covenant with Allah, so he shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise. (Jami‘ Tirmidhi, Hadees: 1403)

The suicide attacks which are being carried out in Pakistan, constitute three different types of grave crimes; first, the suicide; second, killing an innocent person; third, rebellion against an Islamic State. Therefore, these attacks are not justified through any interpretation. Supporting such attacks is like supporting a collection of sins (crimes).

  1. It is clear from the above three points that all those people involved in violent activities against the government, in the name of implementation of Shari‘ah or in the name ethnic groupings are in fact commiting High Treason against an Islamic State, as per the Islamic injunctions. The Holy Qur’an is clear about it when it states:

Then fight the one that commits aggression until it comes back to Allah’s command. (Qur’an 49:9)

Therefore, it is not only permissible for the Government of Pakistan and its armed forces, by restraining themselves within the limits of Shari‘ah, to fight against these rebels but is obligatory under Qur’anic injunctions. In this regard, it is also obligatory on all Muslims to support and assist, within one’s means, armed forces of Pakistan in their operations.  

  1. Ideological differences among various schools of thought are reality which can not be denied, however, these differences must be restricted within the limits of scholarly and ideological debates. In this regard, it is our duty to respect the sacredness of all the Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of them), the Companions (Allah’s pleasure be with them), the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and members of the family (Ahl-e-Bayt). And there is no justification for anyone to abuse or defame others, or to incite violence and spread hatred among people. Moreover, on the basis of ideological differences, it is completely prohibited (HARAM) to kill each other, or to impose one’s ideology on others by force and to commit homicide. And Allah, the most Praiseworthy and the Almighty, knows the best.


Note: Ijmāʿ (Arabic: إجماع‎) is an Arabic term referring to the consensus or agreement of Islamic scholars on a point of Islamic law. The consensus of the jurists and scholars of the Muslim world, or scholarly consensus; or the consensus of all the Muslim world, both scholars and laymen. Sunni Muslims regard ijmā’ as the third fundamental source of Sharia law, after the Qur’an, and the Sunnah. The hadith of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which states that “My ummah will never agree upon an error”and similar hadiths are cited as a proof for the validity of ijmā’ (consensus).  Sunni Muslims (majority group of Muslims in the world) regard ijmā’ as the third fundamental source of Sharia law, just after the divine revelation of the Qur’an, and the prophetic practice known as Sunnah.

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