Fatwas Condemning the September 11 Attacks

After the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York on Washington, many Muslim leaders and clerics from around the world condemned the specific incidents and terrorism in general. Many of these responses are collected at the website of Professor Charles Kurzman at the University of North Carolina. Some of the most important are reproduced below:

(1). On September 14, 2001, a group of 46 intellectuals, scholars and leaders of Islamic movements from around the world issued a statement, published in the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, which declared:

“The undersigned, leaders of Islamic movements, are horrified by the events of Tuesday 11 September 2001 in the United States which resulted in massive killing, destruction and attack on innocent lives. We express our deepest sympathies and sorrow. We condemn, in the strongest terms, the incidents, which are against all human and Islamic norms. This is grounded in the Noble Laws of Islam which forbid all forms of attacks on innocents. God Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: ‘No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another’ (Surah al-Isra 17:15).”

The signatories included the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Sudan, Syria and Jordan, Pakistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami, Palestine’s Hamas movement, Tunisia’s Nahda movement, Malaysia’s PAS, Indonesia’s PKS, Morocco’s PJD, and scholars from al-Azhar University.

Full English translation: MSANews, September 14, 2001.

Arabic original: al-Quds al-Arabi (London), September 14, 2001, p. 2.

(2). On 15 September 2001, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia ‘Abd al-Aziz b. Abd Allah Al al-Shaykh condemned the September 11th attacks as “a form of injustice that cannot be tolerated by Islam, which views them as gross crimes and sinful acts.” He further stated that “any Muslim who is aware of the teachings of his religion … will never involve himself in such acts”. Read the statement here.

(3). On 27 September 2001, a fatwa was issued by six senior Middle Eastern Muslim clerics, including Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi of Qatar, and Shaykh Muhammad Salim al-Awwa of Egypt, responding to the September 11 attacks. The fatwa stated that the terrorists' acts, from the perspective of Islamic law, constitute the crime of hiraba (waging war against society). Link to English and Arabic.