Mudafi’ al-Mazlum: Defending the Civilians


In the Name of God, the All-Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Gentle reader, Peace upon those who follow right guidance!

I am honored to present the following fatwa or “response by a qualified Muslim Scholar” against the killing of civilians by the Oxford-based Malaysian jurist of the Shafi`i School and my inestimable teacher, Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti, titled “Defending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless against the Killing of Civilians.

The Shaykh authored it in a few days, after I asked him to offer some guidance on the issue of targeting civilians and civilian centers by suicide bombing in response to a pseudo-fatwa by a deviant UK-based group which advocates such crimes.

Upon reading Shaykh Afifi’s fatwa do not be surprised to find that you have probably never before seen such clarity of thought and expression together with breadth of knowledge of Islamic Law applied (by a non- native speaker) to define key Islamic concepts pertaining to the conduct of war and its jurisprudence, its arena and boundaries, suicide bombing, the reckless targeting of civilians, and more.

May it bode the best start to true education on the impeccable position of Islam squarely against terrorism in anticipation of the day all its culprits are brought to justice.

Translator’s Note

Dear Muslim reader, as-Salamu `alaykum wa-rahmatullah:

Read this luminous Fatwa by Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti carefully and learn it, distribute it, publicize it, and teach it. Perhaps we will be counted among those who do something to redress wrong, not only with our hearts as we always do, but also with our tongues, in the fashion of the inspired teachers and preachers of truth.

I have tried to strike the keynote of this Fatwa in a few lines of free verse, mostly to express my thanks to our Teacher but also to seize the opportunity of such a long-expected response to remind myself of the reasons why I embraced Islam in the first place.


Praise to God Whose Law shines brighter than the sun! 
Blessings and peace on him who leads to the abode of peace! 
Truth restores honor to the Religion of goodness. 
Patient endurance lifts the oppressed to the heights 
While gnarling mayhem separates like with like: 
The innocent victims on the one hand and, on the other, 
Silver-tongued devils and wolves who try to pass for just! 

My God, I thank You for a Teacher You inspired 
With words of light to face down Dajjal’s advocates. 
Allah bless you, Ustadh Afifi, for Defending the Transgressed 
By Censuring the Reckless Against the Killing of Civilians! 
Let the powers that be and every actor-speaker high and low 
Heed this unique Fatwa of knowledge and responsibility. 

Let every lover of truth proclaim, with pride once more,
What the war-mongers try to bury under lies and bombs:
Islam is peace and truth, the Rule of Law, justice and right!
Murderous suicide is never martyrdom but rather perversion,
Just as no flag on earth can ever justify oppression.
And may God save us from all criminals, East and West!

By permission of Shaykh Afifi, I have done some very light editing having to do mostly with style, spelling, or punctuation such as standardizing spacing between paragraphs, providing in-text translations of a couple of Arabic supplications, adding quotation marks to mark out textual citations, and so forth.

I also provided an alphabetical glossary of arabic terms not already glossed by the Shaykh directly in the text.
May Allah Subhan wa-Ta`ala save Shaykh Muhammad Afifi here and hereafter, may He reward him and his teachers for this blessed work and grant us its much-needed benefits, not least of which the redress of our actions and beliefs for safety here and hereafter. 
Blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and all his Companions, wal-Hamdu lillahi Rabb al-`Alamin. 

G.F. Haddad
Day of Jumu`a after `Asr
1 Rajab al-Haram 1426
5 August 2005
Brunei Darussalam