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What does Islam say about extremism?

Religious extremism has been denounced since the early days of Islam, with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) warning against it. In several hadiths (sayings of the Prophet), he has identified those who will use religion for their extreme actions.

“There will be dissension and division in my nation and a people will come with beautiful words but evil deeds. They recite the Quran but it will not pass beyond their throats. They will leave the religion as an arrow leaves its target and they will not return until the arrows returns to its notch. They are the worst of the creation.”

Source: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 4765, Grade: Sahih

IS recruiters have been known to use attractive propaganda tools, particularly on social media to entice Muslims to join them. They also use legitimate political grievances that Muslim communities around the world are going through to justify their actions.

In Sri Lanka, the mob violence against Muslims in Mawanella, Aluthgama, Digana and Teldeniya was used as justification that coexistence with other communities was impossible.

The above saying refers to how they will recite the Quran but it will not go beyond their throats, and they will not understand it, nor will the principles of religion enter their hearts. Such people were termed ‘Kharijites’ which means “to go out,” because they left Islam and the Muslim community and started harmful practices, ‘like an arrow that does ot return to its bow.’

However, all credible and recognized Islamic scholars have denounced IS and any related radical ideology.

Letter to IS leader Baghdadi by Islamic scholars was signed to denounce IS ideology as being deviant and against Islam.


In Sri Lanka, IS was denounced in 2014 by the ACJU and the Ahlus Sunnah organizations.