The popular Riyad-based Islamic preacher Shaykh Tauseefur-Rehman ar-Rashidi openly criticized ISIS in a video interview last month.
He said, “Islam is the religion of peace and mercy. It’s the plot of enemies of Islam to distort its image by attributing it to ISIS.”
He quoted the popular Hadith or saying of Prophet Mohammed ﷺ where he prophesied the emergence of renegade groups among Muslims who shall be out of the fold of Islam as an arrow leaves its bow.
Islam calls towards monotheism but there’s no room to burn or decapitate those who don’t accept Islam, he expressed.
Interviewer asked him why ISIS calls themselves Salafi. He academically responded, “Ahlul-Hadith or Salafi is the pristine face of Islam as it calls towards Quran and Sunnah in all the matters so it’s the conspiracy to disparage followers of Salafi group in the name of Daesh or ISIS.”
He expressed, since the affairs and issues of Muslims can be resolved through following the pristine form of Islam that is the Salafi way, ISIS is made to call themselves Salafis so that people hate truth.
Condemning the burning of the Jordanian pilot alive by ISIS, he quoted the incident where Prophet Mohammed ﷺ cursed the man who burnt the ant hill.
Islam prohibits cruelty against animals, then how does it allow to burn humans alive, or to decapitate or to drown them, he asked.
News took headlines last year when the great grandson of Mohammed ibn abdul-Wahab, and the current Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Abdulazeez Aal-e-Shaykh called ISIS enemies of Islam.
Other Saudi-based preachers like Shaykh Mohammed bin Ramazan al-Hajiri, Shaykh Saleh as-Suhaymi, Shaykh Ali ar-Ramali declared ISIS to be renegades or Khawarij no sooner the self-claimed caliph al-Baghdadi declared caliphate of Iraq and Levant back in 2014.
King Salman in the recent past ordered construction of Hadith Complex in Madina to counter radicalization and terrorism through the teachings of Prophet Mohammed ﷺ.
Saudi Arabia is at the cross-roads of reverting to moderate Islam that existed pre-1979 Iranian revolution and the authorities make major attempts to eradicate extremism and terrorism.
[Watch the Interview: Urdu]