Yusuf Qaradawi: ‘Obey the Prophet, Even If He Tells You to Kill’

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi—one of the most influential Islamic clerics in the world, author of over 100 books on Muslim doctrine, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, and spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood—maintains that Muslims must obey the commands of Islam’s prophet Muhammad, even unto murder.  This would be the same Dr. Qaradawi that American academics like Georgetown professor John Esposito praise for engaging in a “reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism, and human rights.”

Missed in the West, Qaradawi made this declaration two years ago on his popular Arabic program, Al-Sharia wa Al-Haya (“Sharia and Life”), broadcast by al-Jazeera to an estimated audience of 60 million worldwide.

Towards the end of the show, the host asked Qaradawi what he thought about the fact that Sheikh Ahmad Hassoun, the grand mufti of Syria, had earlier said to an American delegation:  “If [Muslim prophet] Muhammad asked me to reject Christianity or Judaism, I would have rejected him.” Visibly agitated, Qaradawi erupted as follows:

No scholar of Islam or even average Muslim would ever say such words.  If you believe that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, then you must obey him—for he does not command except that which is good.  So, even if he tells you to kill, you must— … The story about our prophet Musa [Moses], when al-Khidr killed the boy and Musa said “you killed and you did!” But then he [Khidr] revealed why he killed the boy, and why he punctured the boat.  So we cannot distort the facts in order to please the people.  Let the people be satisfied with the Truth [Sharia teachings], not the false.

Syria’s grand mufti said many other things concerning goodwill for Christians that roused Qaradawi’s ire. For instance, before a large Christian gathering in Syria, where he was a guest speaker, he insisted that there were no differences between Christians and Muslims:

If Christianity is about believing in one God, so I believe in one God; if Christianity is about believing in Jesus, so I believe in Jesus; if Christianity is about believing in the New Testament, so I believe in the New Testament; if Christianity is about believing in the Old Testament, so I believe in the Old Testament; if Christianity is about believing that Mary was a pure virgin, so I believe she was a pure virgin, untouched by man; and if Christianity is about believing in the resurrection, so I believe in the resurrection—so what is the difference between me and Christians?

Qaradawi offered correct Muslim doctrine in response to this otherwise egalitarian talk, confirming that, yes, Islam believes all these things—but according to its own narratives, not the ones recorded in the Bible, which, as the Quran teaches, have been distorted.  Hence, if Muslims believe all those things that the Syrian grand mufti mentioned, they do not believe in the fundamentals of Christianity—including the Trinity, Christ’s divinity or resurrection, and atonement of sins—hence they reject Christianity, as understood and practiced by over a billion Christians.

As for believing in the Old and New Testaments, the Quran claims that, once upon a time there were “true”  versions, but that the current texts which we possess—and which are many centuries older than the Quran itself—were “corrupted”  (to include, for instance, the aforementioned fundamentals of Christianity).  Thus the only “authentic” remnants of Christianity and Judaism are the ones Muhammad narrated in the Quran—where we meet many doppelgangers, like Isa, a very different “Jesus” who was never crucified and will return to break all Christian crucifixes and kill all pigs.

Indeed, it is this Muslim proclivity to create “parallel” characters based on biblical figures that explains Qaradawi’s justification to murder people in blind obedience to the prophet.  His reference to “Musa,” based on the Hebrew Moses, is a reference to a story—possibly rooted in the 3rd century Alexander Romance and popularized by the 1970s martial arts movie, Circle of Iron—which, nonetheless, occurs in Quran, and so must be accepted literally.

According to the Quran’s narrative (18:65-82), Musa seeks out al-Khidr—“the Green Man,” who possesses powers of sight—and asks if he may follow and learn from him.  Al-Khidr reluctantly agrees, on condition that Musa not question anything he, the Green Man, does, until such time as the latter chooses to reveal the significance of his actions.

However, the Green Man does strange things—randomly killing a young boy and destroying the boat of people who helped give them passage—to which Musa demands immediate answers.  The Green Man eventually explains that he killed the boy because his parents were good Muslims, while the boy was an infidel who would have burdened them with his transgressions; and he destroyed the boat of the good people because a king was about to seize it anyway.

Such is the alternate worldview and value system of Islam.  Just as Islam introduced parallel characters based on Christian and Jewish figures, so did it introduce a parallel system of ethics and morality—one not to be questioned, for, as the Quran’s Green Man shows, who are we mortals to know what good these ostensibly bizarre or murderous actions will lead to? Only the prophet of Allah knows—hence why he must be blindly obeyed, even if he commands you to murder.

Which leads to another parallel, one lethal in its implications: Just as a Western general’s orders—including to kill—are not open to question by his soldiers, in Islam, the orders of “general” Muhammad are not open to question by the world’s 1 billion plus Muslims, all of whom become, according to top Islamic scholar Qaradawi, Islam’s “soldiers,” ever ready to kill for their prophet-general.

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  • Mary Sue

    Well at least the Grand Mufti of Syria sounds reasonable.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "Which leads to another parallel, one lethal in its implications: Just as a Western general’s orders—including to kill—are not open to question by his soldiers, in Islam, the orders of “general” Muhammad are not open to question by the world’s 1 billion plus Muslims, all of whom become, according to top Islamic scholar Qaradawi, Islam’s “soldiers,” ever ready to kill for their prophet-general."

    There's your moral equivalence.

    OK, Islamic leaders and followers are like our military, except for the fact that they blindly follow texts believed to be handed down by the god of cheese, and that god commanded that they also create a totalitarian state with compulsory religious laws that can't ever change, and unlike other religions, even their "houses of worship" are in fact military barracks.

    No problem. Just remember when you're talking to them, you're talking to a soldier sworn to destroy all other ways of life. Don't judge them as lessor people, just deal with them as you would any mortal enemy, with respect.

  • jakespoon

    How can anyone think there is a comparison between islam and Christianity. Jesus Christ ,never,ever harmed anyone or told anyone to kill,for any reason. Even when his enemies came for him he forbade his followers to use violence to protect him. "He who lives by the sword,dies by the sword." As far as the mufti believing in Christ,even the devil in hell believes and trembles.

    • JoJoJams

      I like this version comparing islam to Christianity that I heard a few years ago: "One religion tells you to send your sons to die for its "god", and another religion tells you its God sent his son to die for you….." I know which one I would prefer.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "I like this version comparing islam to Christianity that I heard a few years ago: "One religion tells you to send your sons to die for its "god", and another religion tells you its God sent his son to die for you….." I know which one I would prefer."

        Your remark is valid but not transcendent. You'd have to rethink your position if Muslims had evidence that God really does want it their way. Of course they don't have any evidence at all, and we know they are wrong because we have physical evidence of the lies of Mohammed. However, it helps to remember that preferences are fine to make note of, but not an entire argument.

        I'm not trying to be contentious, but to help you make more effective arguments. Muslims are not taught or programmed to care about rational thoughts on preferences. They're programmed to follow their narcissistic feelings while justifying it with sharia whenever possible. Making rational appeals to preferences will have the opposite effect you intend.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "How can anyone think there is a comparison between islam and Christianity"

      There are far more liars and lies than there are Christians teaching the facts.

      • jakespoon

        You want to know the truth,read The Bible. That's all I got to say about it.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "You want to know the truth,read The Bible. That's all I got to say about it."

          I don't dispute the Bible at all, but it is easier to destroy the historical lies and prove history first some times. Many say "it's spiritual" meaning it's limited to spiritual evidence and that simply isn't true. If you teach the true facts contained in the Bible, using empirical sources to back up those facts, and then make a spiritual presentation, you haven't harmed the Bible and you've become more effective.

          Why? Because most people who have rejected the Bible, have done so because of lies taught using bogus analysis of empirical evidence or just plain lies that become popularly accepted.

          In any case, I'm not saying you're wrong, just that those bases are well covered and extending our tactics will extend our effectiveness. The Bible has been around for so long that most people hear the propaganda against it before ever seeing it. This is the essence of Islam; take all of the folk beliefs from those who reject the Bible and codify those objections. Now you seem a little smarter because you've taken a lot of diverse objections and made it in to some kind of comprehensive narrative. As lame as it is, confidence (on the part of the brainwasher) and coercion go a long way in indoctrinating susceptible people.

  • Demetrius M

    Scenario: The prophet has placed messages inside my head to assassinate Yusuf al-Qaradawi in Cairo next Tuesday, he says it's allah's desire. So Dr. (yeah right) Yusuf, what do I do? What do I do?
    Be careful of your fatwas because someday they may turn negatively toward you.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Scenario: The prophet has placed messages inside my head to assassinate Yusuf al-Qaradawi in Cairo next Tuesday, he says it's allah's desire. So Dr. (yeah right) Yusuf, what do I do? What do I do?
      Be careful of your fatwas because someday they may turn negatively toward you."

      If you convince them you're a Muslim, you'll be ok as long as his loyal faction doesn't get to you. The rest won't denounce you. Islam is fatalistic and many will simply believe you. Just remember that narcissism rules fatalism.

  • JacksonPearson

    "Iranophobia," an irrational fear of all things Iranian, has become the Islamic regime's catch-all excuse for international criticism. Groups like the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the representative body of the world's Muslim nations, are pushing for a United Nations resolution to ban denigration of Islam and other religions.

    But hate towards Jews remains a key part of political speech and culture throughout Islamic countries, even those touched by the Arab Spring. A "Million Man March against the Judaization of Jerusalem," organized by Egyptian- American Imam Salah Sultan, is planned for Monday in downtown Cairo. Sultan, a former Columbus, Ohio imam who is the rapporteur of the Jerusalem Committee of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, said that his organization would soon issue a fatwa "permitting the blood of Zionists." He also stated that "there is no excuse for anyone to refrain from Jihad after God has removed the affliction, which obstructed us from jihad to liberate Palestine."

    Attaching the epithet of "Jew" or "Zionist" to hated leaders has been common of late, such as former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It is meant to portray repression as a Jewish theme. Old anti- Semitic libels and conspiracy theories are also combined with hate of Israel, to attempt to legitimize these attitudes.

    Several recent examples from the Middle East Media Research Institute [MEMRI] highlight how this hate finds expression in popular political discourse. These examples serve as the tip of the iceberg, showing that even in countries without a significant Jewish population, anti-Semitism is rampant.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Groups like the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the representative body of the world's Muslim nations, are pushing for a United Nations resolution to ban denigration of Islam and other religions. But hate towards Jews remains a key part of political speech and culture throughout Islamic countries, even those touched by the Arab Spring. "

      It's always good to remind people who history's biggest hypocrites are.

      • JacksonPearson

        Yes on all you say. Add, the UN can pass anything they want and probably will. However, our Constitution trumps them. Our First Amendment pisses them off to no end.

        Islamist apologists show their religious hypocrisy about criticizing their faux prophet, and yet want to maintain the right to murder and/or hate Jews in the Qur'an.

  • BLJ

    Bring it towel head. My dream is to grease one of these creeps.

    • Mary Sue

      with lard or bacon grease for bonus points!

  • gary fouse

    Qaradawi's book, "The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam" is featured in the bookstore of the Islamic Center of Orange County-under Muzammil Siddiqi the director. I personally saw it there a few weeks ago during Open Mosque Day.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Open Mosque Day"

      Another fraudulent concept that can't actually exist in Islam without takiyya.

  • Mrs M

    A brainwashed mind like this is the most sadest thing ever as Satan comes and marks you with his mark and you are removed from the presence of God. A chip in your flesh is not the mark of the beast, the mark of the beast is how you developed under your corrupt master, anything outside the Character of Christ/Messiah and His Spoken Word, throws you into this jeopardy and you lose your soul. A chip in your flesh is the work of criminals to control you as they refuse to vacate their illegitamate seats of power and authority causing the masses to live in a global mental prison of lies whereas there is free air, water, sun, soil and divine love and you are a free moral agent and can think and decide for yourself as we have all been given a conscience to control oursleves. If we cannot enjoy this then we are beasts ! Human beasts always looks out for a human sacrifice and it comes in all forms, shapes and sizes. Very very sick cowards !

  • Stuart Parsons

    Oh my Dr Yusuf appears to be another of those, like dear sweet Mr Morsi, who is receiving direct advice from the Might Infallible Mythical Allah, He who is reputed to have 99 names. Wow the mind just boggles and boggles at the clear inferiority of those of us who do not pray five times a day.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "He who is reputed to have 99 names"

      The cheese god has at least 100 names…and counting…

    • Mary Sue

      So he has 99 names.

      I wonder if Son of a ___ch ain't one?

  • Ghostwriter

    "Iranophobia." That's rich. The mad mullahs have given the world lots of reasons to be scared of them.

  • jemaasjr

    Perhaps this whole business of trying not to upset the crazies by respecting the religion is exactly the wrong thing. The clerics seem to be a major part of the problem. It it was internal to the US you could use the Rico Statutes to go after them and treat them as co-conspirators in any crime that is committed. Externally, treat them as enemy combatants if their followers act out.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Perhaps this whole business of trying not to upset the crazies by respecting the religion is exactly the wrong thing."

      This is a huge understatement, because they read our "respect" as fear, which is what Mohammed taught them would be evidence that they are correct. Mohammed obviously knew many traditions and behaviors of Christians and Jews. If it's common for them to be respectful and deferential relative to say, the Pagans, then it's easy to twist this in to "evidence."

      Showing respect for Islam is absolutely the worst thing in the world. Show respect for the Muslim by disabusing him of the lies that bind him to the death cult. Show respect for Muslims collectively my speaking out against the lies of Islam.

  • Ghostwriter

    "Obey the Prophet,even if he tells you to kill." And many Muslims wonder why many Americans have little respect for their religion. That quote is one of the myriad of reasons why.

  • TiredOfIgnorance

    Out of context. Standard, everyday, misunderstood, copy-paste information.

    I'm thinking nobody on this site has ever been in a sit-down open conversation with a real Imam.
    If anyone of you really care, you'd get out of your chair, walk into a masjid and talk to a real Muslim.
    Not debate(that'll take forever) just casual talk. No brainwashing. Think for yourself.
    Discuss this(over coffee?) with the right people, not among yourselves like gossip girls.
    At least get the facts straight from the horse's mouth not the other side. =.="

    Closed-mindedness is the easiest way to go because it requires almost no thinking whatsoever. No need to hear the other side. Just half the information and half opinion.

    And please don't reply to me. I'm no Imam.
    Here we go. =.="