Islam & Places of Worship

[They are] those who have been evict­ed from their homes with­out right — only because they say, “Our Lord is Allah .” And were it not that Allah checks the peo­ple, some by means of oth­ers, there would have been demol­ished monas­ter­ies, church­es, syn­a­gogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much men­tioned. And Allah will sure­ly sup­port those who sup­port Him. Indeed, Allah is Pow­er­ful and Exalt­ed in Might. [Al-Qur’aan (TMQ) 22:40]

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gra­cious, the Most Merciful.

As-salā­mu ‘alaykum wa-rah­mat­ul­lāhi wa-barakā­tuh (Peace, Bless­ings & Mer­cy of Allah be upon You).

This state­ment is being issued on the 26th of July 2016 and super­sedes all pre­vi­ous state­ments on the subject.

The pro­tec­tion of monas­ter­ies, church­es, syn­a­gogues and mosques (as hous­es of wor­ship) is an enshrined prin­ci­ple in the Qur’aan which can­not be vio­lat­ed. Com­men­ta­tors of the Qur’aan have con­sis­tent­ly explained this verse to mean that despite dis­agree­ments in the­ol­o­gy and nature of wor­ship, it is the respon­si­bil­i­ty of Mus­lims to not only avoid harm but to (active­ly) pro­tect these places of wor­ship from harm.

The prece­dence for pro­tec­tion of places of wor­ship was set by Prophet Muham­mad (Peace be Upon Him) by sign­ing many treaties with the Chris­tians.

Umar (may God be pleased with him) at Jerusalem fol­lowed the exam­ple and it has been con­sis­tent­ly fol­lowed through­out the cen­turies by Muslims.

The covenant of Umar (may God be pleased with him) begins with the fol­low­ing words:

In the name of God, the Mer­ci­ful, the Com­pas­sion­ate. This is the assur­ance of safe­ty which the ser­vant of God, Umar, the Com­man­der of the Faith­ful, has giv­en to the peo­ple of Jerusalem. He has giv­en them an assur­ance of safe­ty for them­selves  for their prop­er­ty, their church­es, their cross­es, the sick and healthy of the city and for all the rit­u­als which belong to their reli­gion. Their church­es will not be inhab­it­ed by Mus­lims and will not be destroyed. Nei­ther they, nor the land on which they stand, nor their cross, nor their prop­er­ty will be dam­aged. They will not be forcibly con­vert­ed. No Jew will live with them in Jerusalem.…

Prophet Muham­mad (Peace be Upon Him) placed the fol­low­ing words in his treaty with the Chris­tians of Najran:

…He who pre­serves it, respects it, and abides by its dic­tates, will have ful­filled his oblig­a­tions and will have adhered by the covenant of the Mes­sen­ger of Allah. He, how­ev­er, who breaks it, oppos­es it or changes it, will car­ry his crime on his head for he will have betrayed the Covenant of Allah, bro­ken his faith, resist­ed His Author­i­ty and con­tra­vened the will of His Mes­sen­ger: he will thus be an imposter in the eyes of Allah. For pro­tec­tion is oblig­a­tory in Allah’s reli­gion and the covenant con­firmed. He who does not abide by this covenant will have vio­lat­ed his sacred oblig­a­tions, and he who vio­lates his sacred oblig­a­tions is unfaith­ful and will be reject­ed by Allah and by all sin­cere Believers…

It is in con­tra­dic­tion to the teach­ings of Islam to harm places of wor­ship or those inhab­it­ing those places of wor­ship. It is the duty of Mus­lims to pro­tect these places and the wor­ship­pers. We, there­fore con­demn attacks on all places of wor­ship from Nige­ria to France and stand in sol­i­dar­i­ty with human­i­ty in con­demn­ing these attacks.

(Shaykh) Hashim Sacha (Inter­faith Lead, Wifaqul Ula­ma) was asked about the devel­op­ing events at the church in Saint-Eti­enne-du-Rou­vray and he responded:

These are dis­turb­ing times. We are being con­front­ed by yet anoth­er sad, deplorable tragedy. We offer con­do­lences to all those affect­ed, share their grief and offer our sup­port. It is ever more impor­tant for all of human­i­ty to stand togeth­er and resist attempts to divide us. Our strength is in our uni­ty. All Human life is equal­ly pre­cious. The devel­op­ing sto­ry about the loss of life and prop­er­ty at Bang­hazi by alleged French aer­i­al bom­bard­ment is equal­ly trag­ic and regrettable.

Thank You