Community: Does ISIS Represent Islam?

Assalamualaikum dear brother in Islam,

I am a 17-year-old female Muslim. 

Today at school I heard on the announcement that something happened in Ottawa and if anybody is grieving can go seek help. I did not know what the principal was talking about so after school I went to search it up. I found that a soldier was shot by a man that might be connected to ISIS. 

I have heard about ISIS at the news and such, but I don’t understand anything especially since I am still a teenager. But I like to understand and know things to have a better judgement and not be ignorant. But at the same time, I’m afraid I might be more confused if I go deep into the matter.

When I researched about ISIS, I got different perspectives. Why do Muslims kill people and behead them? I read about this British humanitarian guy getting beheaded. These kind of actions sounds so un-Islamic to me. But at the same time, I understand (or I think so) that their goal/mission is to help those Muslims who are oppressed in Syria and Iraq.

So how do we as Muslims deal with these confusing topics? 



First of all, thank you for asking questions when you don’t know the answer to something. That is better than keeping quiet and remain confused.

Second of all, I applaud you for having the desire to remove ignorance from your mind and soul. May Allah reward you for your noble intention. Ameen.

Regarding ISIS or any other organizations like it, I invite you to consider what Ibn Qayyim said:

“The foundation of the Shari’ah is wisdom and the safeguarding of people’s welfare in this life and the next. In its entirety it is about justice, mercy, wisdom, and good. Every rule which replaces justice with injustice, mercy with its opposite, the common good with mischief, and wisdom with folly, is a ruling that does not belong to the shari’ah, even though it might have been claimed to be according to some interpretation…” (I’lam al-Muwaqqi’in, vol.1, p.333)

If an organization claims to represent Islam, then that organization should uphold the foundation of Shari’ah as what Ibn Qayyim brilliantly summarized above: justice, mercy, wisdom, and good. Anything that goes against those 4 main things are not from Islam, even if they claim it to be so by some interpretation.

Take this as a benchmark to filter all the information you hear about Islam, whether it be on the newspaper, on TV, or on the internet. Indeed we are living in confusing days where falsehoods can be made to look like the truth. Insha Allah if we equip ourselves with the right knowledge and understanding, we can shield ourselves from misguidance.

I hope that answer helps.

May Allah guide us all. Ameen.