The Role of the Holy Mosques in Countering Terrorism

Praise is to Allah and peace and blessings are upon His Prophet.
Terrorism has become a global phenomenon which requires the cooperation and collaboration of intellectuals, government officials, and scholars in order to battle the enemies who exploit Islam to serve a violent political vision or a radical ideology. The Imams of the Two Holy Mosques have had a positive impact in our battle on terrorism through the Friday sermons they deliver at the Two Holy Mosques, which shed light on the destructive reality of terrorism. Other preachers and Imams must follow their example in condemning extremism and promoting moderation in Friday sermons.

Scope of the study:

1. To study more than thirty sermon of the Two Holy Mosques that condemned terrorism, since the bombing incidents which took place in three locations in Riyadh on Monday, 11/3/1424 H.

2. The study represents examples for some sermons.

3. The original text of the sermon, date and title was extracted from Al-Minbar website.

4. The study included sermons of the following Imams of the Two Holy Mosques:

The Grand Mosque:

• Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdullah as-Subaiel.

• Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Bin Saleh Bin Humaid.

• Sheikh Dr. Abdul-Rahman Bin Abdul-Aziz al-Sudais.

• Sheikh Dr. Saud Bin Ibrahim al-Shuraim.

• Sheikh Dr. Osama Bin Abdullah Khayyat.

• Sheikh Dr. Saleh Bin Mohammed Bin Taleb.

The Prophet’s Mosque:

• Sheikh Dr. Ali Bin Abdul-Rahman al-Hudhaifi.

• Sheikh Dr. Abdul-Bari Bin Awad Al-Thubaiti.

• Sheikh Hussein Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Sheikh.

• Sheikh Abdul-Muhsin Bin Mohammad Al-Qasim.

• Sheikh Mohamed Salah Bin Budair.

5. Themes:

• The role of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in countering terrorism.

• The importance of security systems.

• Significant provisions and regulations.

• The characteristics and actions of terrorist groups.

• Methods of treatment and prevention.

6. This research is concluded with a detailed glossary of all the sermons that I referred to in this research.
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The sermons of the Two Holy Mosques were one of the key factors in the battle on terrorism. The significant elements that these sermons contain can be summarized as follows:

First: Condemnation and clarification should be mentioned in sermons directly after any incident, to immediately alert and enlighten the nation. Following are four examples:

• The first Riyadh bombings took place in three residential compounds (Hamra, Ishbelia, and Finil) on Monday 11/3/1424. Sheikh Dr. Saleh Bin Humaid, Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, delivered a sermon on Friday 15/3/1424 entitled ‘Reflections on the Riyadh Bombings.’ Sheikh Dr. Ali Al-Huthaifi delivered a sermon on the same day entitled ‘The Crime of Bombing.’

• When a terrorist cell was captured in Mecca in 1424, Sheikh Dr. Osama Khayyat, one of the Grand Mosque’s Imams, delivered a sermon entitled ‘Crime in the Country of the Holy Mosque’ on Friday, 20/4/1424, and Sheikh Dr. Saleh Bin Humaid, delivered a sermon on Friday, 27/4/1424, entitled ‘The Events of Mecca.’ The Imam of the Prophet’s Mosque, Sheikh Dr. Abdul-Bari Al-Thubaiti delivered a sermon entitled ‘Beyond the Events of Mecca’ on 20/4/1424.

• On Tuesday, 23/2/1425, two security officers were killed by terrorist. Three days after this incident Sheikh Dr. Saleh Bin Humaid delivered a sermon entitled ‘Radicalism and Terrorism’ which placed emphasis on the prohibition of these atrocious acts. Also, the Imam of the Prophet’s Mosque, Sheikh Dr. Ali Al-Huthaifi delivered a sermon entitled ‘The Importance of Security.’

• After the Riyadh bombings of the security building located in Al-Washem street on Wednesday 2/3/1425, Sheikh Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais delivered a sermon on Friday 4 / 3/1425 entitled ‘The Condemnation of the Despicable Bombings,’ and Sheikh Dr. Ali Al-Huthaifi delivered a sermon on the same day entitled ‘The Aggression of Corruptors.’ Also, Sheikh Dr. Saud Al-Shuraim delivered a sermon entitled ‘The Sedition of Breaching Security’ on 11/3/1425, and Sheikh Dr. Abdul-Bari Al-Thubaiti delivered a sermon in Madina entitled ‘The Close Destruction and Aggression on the Nation.’

Hence, the Imams of the Two Holy Mosques delivered sermons that condemned extremism and promoted moderation after each incident.

Second: The context of every sermon is full of religious evidences that are inferred from the Quran, Sunnah, and the Companions’ deeds.

Third: The Imams of the Two Holy Mosques used the most explicit phrases and the strongest terms in the condemnation of these heinous acts in order to demonstrate the severity of the offenses, the fact that they are sinful, and to raise peoples’ awareness of the danger terrorists pose to a peaceful society. Following are examples of these phrases:

• The Imam of the Grand Mosque, Sheikh Mohammed As-Subail, described the terrorist acts in his sermon entitled ‘The Sanctity of Blood in Islam,’ saying, “This act is a form of massive corruption, and a reprehensible and heinous crime.”

• In his sermon entitled ‘Extremism and Terrorism,’ Sheikh Dr. Saleh Bin Humaid described the assaults on security officers saying, “Attacking security officers is a sinful assault and aggression, a violation of the sanctity of blood, and an attempt to spread destruction. This is an atrocious crime triggered by terrorists’ misconceptions and misleading views.”

• In a sermon entitled ‘Recession of Corruption in the Country of Glory,’ Sheikh Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais described the terrorist bombings saying, “These bombings are heinous and terrible crimes, massive corruption, a war against Allah and His Messenger, and a violation of the sanctity of the blood of treaty-makers.”

• In his sermon entitled ‘The Sedition of Breaching Security,’ Sheikh Dr. Saud Al-Shuraim said, “The bombings that violated the blood of innocent treaty-makers are crimes our religion condemns, and the denunciation of these crimes is every Muslim’s duty, for supporting terrorists is treachery.”

• In a sermon entitled ‘Countering the Imminent Danger,’ Sheikh Dr. Osama Khayyat said, “Every true believer must denounce the criminal acts that violate sanctities and spread massive corruption and aggression that is forbidden in the texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah.”

• Sheikh Dr. Saleh Bin Talib condemned the terrorist acts in a sermon entitled ‘Moderation,’ by saying, “They shed blood, destroyed property, and murdered believers and treaty-makers, which is a tremendous catastrophe.”

• In a sermon entitled ‘The Kharijites’ Sedition,’ Sheikh Dr. Ali Al-Huthaifi said about the criminal acts of terrorism, “Everyone must work hard in countering terrorists in order to avoid the unimaginable consequences of this sedition. Terrorists must realize the crimes they have committed and repent, for they are waging a war against Islam and Muslims, and plotting to breach the security of Muslim countries, their interests and economy.”

• In his sermon ‘The Close Sabotage and Aggression on the Nation,’ Sheikh Dr. Abdul-Bari Al-Thubaiti described these terrorist acts, saying, “These acts, which kill dozens of Muslims, are reprehensible and heinous deeds, and a violation of Islam’s limits. Killing others and threatening people with weapons and attacking their cars are things that mercenaries – not true Muslims – do.”

• Sheikh Hussein Al-Sheikh demonstrates the dangers of the deviant groups’ accusations of non-belief, which was the reason behind their terrorist acts, in his sermon ‘Recalling the Dangers of Non-Belief Accusations,’ saying, “Accusing others of non-belief is one of the most serious issues that the terrorist groups are trying to promote. The trusted scholars of Islam have clarified, and set principles for this matter in order to refute the misleading concepts of these terrorist groups.”

• Sheikh Abdul-Muhsin Al-Qasim said in his sermon ‘The Blessings of Security,’ “People will face hardships in their worship once security is breached, and Muslims will be prevented from practicing their religion. Allah says, ‘But no one believed Moses, except [some] youths among his people, for fear of Pharaoh and his establishment that they would persecute them.’ [Yunus: 83] Treaties will be broken, poverty will spread, the economy will be affected, and innocent people will be killed.”

• Sheikh Salah Budair emphasized the risk of revolting against Muslims and their leaders in his sermon ‘Governors’ Rights,’ and said, “Revolting against Muslim rulers, fighting them, or spreading sedition is impermissible in the Quran and Sunnah.”

Forth: The Imams of the Two Holy Mosques addressed the nation in these events, using various terms and phrases in order to place emphasis on peoples’ rights. Some of the people that were mentioned the sermons are the following:

• Rulers

• World leaders

• Scholars

• Preachers and Imams of Mosques

• Security officers

• Intellectuals

• Media

• Educators

• Parents and educators

• Youth

Aspects:

1.The Role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Countering Terrorism:

A. Emphasizing the Role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in serving Islam and Muslims:

• Hussein Al-Sheikh said, in ‘The Right of Rulers and People,’ “The constitution of Saudi Arabia is the Qur’an and Sunnah, and Islam is its methodology; therefore, it always shows nothing but commitment to this religion, a thing that our rulers will always ensure.”

• Sheikh Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais said in ‘Love of the Homeland,’ “We will always love the land where Islam emerged, the Qur’an was revealed, and the Two Holy Mosques are located.”

• Sheikh Dr. Saleh Bin Humaid said in ‘Extremism and Terrorism,’ “Saudi Arabia is the country of the Two Holy Mosques, the land of Islam, the place that ensures the safety of the frightened vulnerable, and the source of righteousness and charitable acts.”

B. Demonstrating the Rights of Rulers:

• Shaykh As-Subail said in ‘The Sanctity of Blood in Islam,’ “The Prophet, peace be upon him, ordered us to obey rulers and advise them kindly and gently, as the Prophet, peace be upon him, said,”Whosoever obeys me, obeys Allah; and he who disobeys me, disobeys Allah; and whosoever obeys the Amir (leader), in fact, obeys me; and he who disobeys the Amir, in fact, disobeys me.” ‘Ubada Bin Samit said, “We pledged to the Messenger of Allah to hear and obey during times of hardship and ease, when we felt energetic and when we felt tired, and when others were preferred over us.”

• Sheikh Abdul-Muhsin Al-Qasim said in ‘The Right of the Ruler,’ “The ruler is the one who executes religious provisions, protects the sanctity of peoples’ souls and properties, ensures peoples’ rights, and promotes virtue so that the religion of Islam will always spread.”

C. The Role of Rulers in Countering Sedition:

• Sheikh Osama Khayyat said in ‘Crime in the Country of the Grand Mosque,’ “The rulers of this country will always counter sedition, protect the nation’s unity and eradicate corruption, so that this country will always remain the land of Islam and a source of enlightenment.”

• Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid said in ‘Extremism and Terrorism,’ “This country will not be shaken, God willing, by any kind of threat that is trying to endanger its Islamic policy and sovereignty. This nation will always remain righteous, courageous and patient since it has been founded on the well-established rules and principles of Islam, and the structure of the state reflects the approach in combining the commitment to the religion of Allah with the process of development and modernization in education, economics, sociology, planning and decision-making. Thus, it will always manage to counter these terrorist acts, to reassure the safety of the people of this country, the residents and their families, and their rights.”

D. Saudi Arabia’s Initiative to Hold a Global Conference to Combat Terrorism:

• Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid delivered a sermon regarding this conference in which he said, “Although Saudi Arabia is the terrorists’ first target, the country of the Two Holy Mosques manifested the utmost responsibility as an Islamic destination, by launching an initiative for a global conference, to bring together leaders and politicians and discuss the problem of terrorism that disturbed countries’ security. Thus, this country will forever remain the land of peace and safety.”

2. The Importance of Security:

A. Recalling the Benefits of Security:

• Dr. Sheikh Ali Al-Huthaifi said in ‘The Importance of Security,’ “Security is a blessings Allah bestowed upon us, for Islamic rituals cannot be practiced unless security is ensured.”

• Sheikh Dr. Saud Al-Shuraim said in ‘The Concept of Security,’ “Anyone who looks back at ancient history will realize that all nations and communities strived to achieve security and safety, for insecurity will always breeds poverty and famine.”

B. Raising Peoples’ Awareness about the Hazards of Security Breaching:

• Sheikh Dr. Saud Al-Shuraim said in ‘The Sedition of Insecurity,’ “The violation of security will not just harm a certain country, but it will adversely affect all Muslims and peoples, their children, and families.”

• Sheikh Abdul-Muhsin Al-Qasim said in his sermon ‘The Blessings of Security,’ “People will face hardships in their worship once security is breached, and Muslims will be prevented from practicing their religion. Allah says, ‘But no one believed Moses, except [some] youths among his people, for fear of Pharaoh and his establishment that they would persecute them.’ [Yunus: 83]. When security is breached treaties are broken, poverty spreads, the economy is affected, and innocent people are killed.”

C. Criminalizing the Assaults on Security Officers:

• Sheikh Dr. Saleh Bin Humaid said in his sermon ‘Extremism and Terrorism,’ “Attacking security officers is a sinful assault and aggression, a violation of the sanctity of blood, and an attempt to spread destruction. This is an atrocious crime triggered by terrorists’ misconceptions and misleading views.”

• Sheikh Ali Al-Huthaifi said in his sermon ‘The importance of security,’ “These Kharijites have perpetrated ruthless and abominable crimes, fell into major sins, and shed lots of blood, serving the enemies of Islam and Muslims, and harming our peaceful society. May Allah have mercy on the security officers who were killed while serving their religion and country.”

D. Emphasizing the Significant Role of Security Officers in Battling Terrorism:

• Sheikh Ali Al-Huthaifi said in his sermon ‘Kharijites’ Sedition,’ “May Allah guide and help our security men who are facing major risks in order to protect Islam and our country, and may Allah have mercy on our martyrs.”

• Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais said in his sermon ‘The Condemnation of the Despicable Bombing,’ “Those criminal acts have targeted our dear protectors and brave soldiers, May Allah bestow His Blessings upon our honorable soldiers who serve and protect their religion and their country… Every Muslim must support security officers in their great mission, by maintaining the security of this country and reporting terrorist and their supporters to the police. We send our sincere condolences to the families of the murdered security officers, may Allah have mercy on them and consider them martyrs.”

E. Collaborating with Security Officers by Reporting Criminals in order to Maintain Security:

• Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais said in ‘Recession of Corruption in the Country of Glory,’ “We must cooperate with each other by reporting terrorists, their supporters, and whoever attempts to destabilize our society to authorities, in order to protect this country’s religion and security.”

• Sheikh Ali Al-Huthaifi said in ‘The Importance of Security,’ “Everyone is religiously obliged to report these criminal terrorists to the authorities. Whoever supports them is a traitor.”

3. Important Provisions and Regulations:

A. Identifying the Concept of Terrorism:

• Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid said in ‘Reflections on the Riyadh Bombings,’ “Terrorism is the act of intimidating people with murder, kidnap, sabotage, destruction, loot and corruption. Terrorism is also the violation of the sanctity of blood without a legitimate reason.”

• Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid said in ‘The Anti-Terrorism Conference,’ “Terrorism is the act of violating the sanctity of blood, spreading corruption in the land, frightening people, breaking covenants, and spreading disorder.”

B. Alerting Muslims that Extremism leads to Terrorism:

• Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid said in ‘Extremism and Terrorism,’ “Extremism contradicts the teachings of Islam that call for moderation, compassion and kindness, and distorts the peaceful image of Islam, for extremists blindly follow their leaders and superiors, revolt against rulers, accuse Muslims and Islamic rulers of disbelief, and do not pray behind Muslim Imams the in Mosques.”

• Sheikh Abdul-Bari Al-Thubaiti said in his sermon ‘Beyond the Events of Mecca,’ “These heinous acts inflict disasters on our country. Accusing Muslims of disbelief is one of the most dangerous forms of extremism because it leads to terrorism and bloodshed.”

C. Placing Emphasis on the Sanctity of Blood through the Prohibition of Killing One’s Self, Other Muslims or Treaty-makers:

• Sheikh Ali Al-Huthaifi said in his sermon ‘The Crime of Bombing,’ “These murderers who kill innocent people will face a painful punishment in Hell, for Allah has vowed to punish whoever kills himself, so how about someone kills innocent souls?! Allah the Almighty said, “Do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah Ever-Merciful toward you. We shall cast into Hell anyone who does so in aggression and injustice, and that is ever easy for Allah.” [An-Nisa: 29-30]. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself will be in Hell falling down into it and abiding therein forever; whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in Hell, wherein he will abide forever; whoever kills himself with an iron weapon will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in Hell, wherein he will abide forever.”

• Sheikh Muhammad As-Subail said in his sermon ‘The Sanctity of Blood in Islam,’ “Islam has banned murder, and emphasized the sanctity of the blood of Muslims and non-Muslims by criminalizing attacks on treaty-makers. Whoever betrays and breaks the treaty is worthy of punishment. Abdullah Ibn’ Amr narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Whoever kills a person who is granted the pledge of protection by the Muslims shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise, though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years.”

• Sheikh Osama Khayyat said in his sermon ‘The Critical Position of the Imminent Danger,’ “The criminal acts that took place in Riyadh and Yanbu, are heinous crimes that violated the sanctity of blood, money and property. Allah said, “Whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah will be angry with him, curse him, and prepare for him a great punishment.” [An-Nisa: 93]. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said in his farewell sermon, “Your blood, your property and your honor are inviolable to you all like the inviolability of this day of yours, in this city of yours and in this month of yours. You will soon meet your Lord and He will ask you about your deeds. So do not turn to disbelief after me by striking the necks of one another. Behold! Let him who is present here convey (this message) to him who is absent, for some who hear messages at second hand comprehend it better than those who hear it directly.” He said again, “Have I conveyed the message to you? Behold! Have I conveyed the commandments to you?” We said, “Yes.” He then said, “O Allah, bear witness.”

D. Identifying the Dangers of Disbelief Accusations:

Shaykh Osama Khayyat delivered a sermon entitled ‘Warning People of Disbelief Accusations,’ and Sheikh Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais delivered a sermon entitled, ‘Disbelief Conditions,’ to clarify this important and serious issue. Also, Sheikh Hussein Al-Sheikh delivered a sermon entitled ‘Recalling the Dangers of Disbelief Accusations’ which included very important points such as:

• Taking priorities into account.

• The dangers of disbelief accusations.

• The corruption that results from immediately accusing others of disbelief.

• Religious texts that prohibit disbelief accusations.

• Scholars’ warnings of disbelief accusations.

• Only Allah can judge peoples’ beliefs.

• Disbelief conditions.

• The need to avoid accusing others of disbelief.

• Warning people from falling into extremism.

• To differentiate between action and belief.

• The issue of governance.

•To not accuse others of disbelief unless there is evidence and proof.

• The excuse of ignorance and interpretation.

• Islam condemns this radical thought.

• The causes of disbelief accusations.

• How to solve this problem.

• To not fall into extremism or negligence.

E. The Call for Moderation:
Sheikh Saleh Bin Talib delivered a sermon entitled ‘Moderation,’ and Sheikh Salah Budair delivered a sermon entitled ‘Islam’s Moderation,’ which demonstrated the following important themes:

• The reason of creation and revelations.

• The Conclusive Sharia.

• Feature of Islamic law.

• The reasons behind referring to moderation.

• The concept of moderation.

• Islam is moderate.

4. Deviant groups’ characteristics and actions:

A. Deviant groups resort to destruction, intimidation, abuse, and corruption:

• Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais said in his sermon ‘The Condemnation of the Despicable Bombing,’ “The obscenity of these crimes is beyond comprehension, for these murderers have petrified people, sabotaged properties, murdered innocent souls, and didn’t even spare children and women.”

• Sheikh Ali Al-Huthaifi said in ‘Corruptors’ Aggression,’ “These corruptors exploit Islam to spread destruction across the land, yet they will never obtain Paradise by killing themselves, Muslims and treaty-makers, for they are waging a war against Allah and His Messenger, and deserve eternal punishment for such deeds.”

B. Deviant groups Never take into account the Sanctity of Mecca, the Quran, or the Month of Ramadan:

• Sheikh Osama Khayyat said in ‘Crime in the Country of the Holy Mosque,’ “Allah the Almighty has blessed this country with Islam, and endowed it with peace and security. However, these mislead corruptors committed a heinous crime on Saturday in Mecca, the city of the Holy Mosque, by shooting the security officers who were in charge of protecting our country from these murderers, who hid their weapons and bombs in copies of the Qur’an in order to kill innocent worshipers and spread corruption in the sacred city of Mecca, the place where no one is permitted to shed blood, or cut down a tree.”

• Sheikh Abdul-Bari Al-Thubaiti said in ‘Beyond the Events of Mecca,’ “These terrorists have violated the sanctity of the Grand Mosque and Islamic rituals. Islam condemns all forms of violence and aggression, and whoever commits such acts in the Holy Mosque, claims the permissibility of taking the lives of security officers and citizens, and sheds the blood of innocent people without any legitimate reason, is a ruthless criminal who has committed a major sin.”

• Sheikh Hussein Al-Sheikh said in his sermon ‘Factors that Reduce Criminality,’ “These corruptors have spread fear, devastation, and insecurity by murdering security officers and threatening people in the peaceful city of Mecca, the capital of Islam, about which the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “He who commits an innovation [in Mecca] will be cursed by Allah, the angels, and all humans, and Allah will not accept him on the Day of Resurrection.”

C. Emphasizing that deviant groups have revolted against the Muslim community:

• Sheikh Dr. Ali Al-Huthaifi said in his sermon ‘The Importance of Security,’ “Allah has bestowed security and faith upon this country, but some corruptors with creeds contrary to the Book of Allah and Sunnah revolted against Muslims and their ruler, disobeying Allah and his Messenger, who ordered them to obey rulers. Allah said, “O you who believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority over you.” [An-Nisa: 59]. Ibn ‘Umar narrated that Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “It is obligatory upon a Muslim to listen [to the ruler] and obey [him], whether he likes it or not, except when he is ordered to commit a sin.” These Kharijites have committed sinful crimes and targeted Muslims’ unity, for Abu Dhar narrated that Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “He who separates from the community within a hand-span takes off the noose of Islam from his neck.”

• He also delivered another sermon entitled, ‘Kharijites’ Sedition,’ which compared between ancient and current Kharijites.

D. The Dangers of Kharijites’ Sedition:

• Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid said in his sermon ‘Extremism and Terrorism,’ “This forbidden heinous act must be condemned, rejected, and criminalized. It is well known that the Kharijites were initially pious people, as the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “A group of people will appear among you whose prayer, fasting and deeds will make you think little of your own prayer, fasting and deeds. They will recite the Qur’an, but it will not get past their throats.” These Kharijites appeared in the era of the Companions and killed Caliph Uthman after revolting against the Muslims. This indicates that religious ignorance, isolation from society, arrogance, and extremism are the greatest causes of deviation in these groups, as the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Beware of going to extremes in religious matters, for those who came before you were destroyed because of going to extremes in religious matters.” Extremism contradicts the teachings of Islam and distort the religion’s peaceful image. Islam calls for moderation, compassion and kindness. Extremists blindly follow their leaders and superiors, revolt against rulers, accuse Muslims and Islamic rulers of disbelief, and do not pray behind Muslim Imams in Mosques.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, described the Kharijites as the worshipers who recite the Qu’ran but not comprehend it’s meanings and teachings, and regard the killing of Muslims permissible, by accusing sinners of disbelief. Unfortunately, the Kharijites’ religious ignorance has led them to kill and oppress innocent people, and they will be punished for their grave sins as the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Beware! Extremists shall perish, extremists shall perish, extremists shall perish.”

E. The Terrorists’ Distortion of the Image of Islam with their Actions:

• Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais said in ‘Sedition’s Important Lessons,’ “These terrorists have tainted the beautiful image of Islam and spread a lot of misconceptions about it, thereby wasting lots of opportunities to call people to Islam, and allowing malicious critics and media to distort the image of our religion, insult our religious figures, and degrade the values of our society.”

• Sheikh Abdul-Bari Al-Thubaiti said in ‘Beyond the Events of Mecca,’ “These terrorists have given disbelievers an excuse to belittle Muslims and their beliefs. They also distorted the image of Islam and the Muslims, which prevented people from converting to Islam. Allah said, “Do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge.” [Al-Anaam: 108].

F. The secret meetings of the deviant group are the proof of their erroneous and deviant approach:

• Sheikh Ali Al-Huthaifi said in ‘Corruptors’ Aggression,’ “These corruptors meet in secret dungeons to interpret the Qur’an and Hadith, and then come up with an interpretation that contradicts that of the Companions and scholars. These corruptors must come out from their dungeons and debate trusted scholars in order to understand the true interpretation of Qur’an, for Omar Bin Abdul Aziz, said, ‘People who secretly meet to discuss the matters of religion will go astray.'”

G. Examples of the Alerts of the Imams of the Two Holy Mosques to Deviant groups and their supporters:

• Sheikh Ali Al-Huthaifi said in his sermon ‘The Importance of Security’, “Allah forgives those who repent, thus those who revolted must repent, and revert to righteousness, for the door of repentance is right in front of them, where ever they are, they just need to extend their hands to Allah before it is too late and ask for His Forgiveness, and that is when they will finally achieve atonement. Allah said, ‘Allah will not let a people stray after having guided them until He makes clear to them what they should avoid.’ [Al-Tawbah: 115]. He also said, ‘Repent to Allah all together, O believers, so that you may prosper.’ [An-Nur: 31]. I call upon those who hold these corrupt ideas to return to their senses, to accept Islamic knowledge from the Qur’an and Sunnah, to ask scholars about what they can’t comprehend, and to refrain from these terrorist acts that violate the sanctity of blood and property, as the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, ‘The extinction of the whole world is less significant before Allah than killing a Muslim man.’ We call upon these criminals to thank Allah for the blessing of security, and to remember the misfortunes and inflicted upon nations because of revolts against rulers. Allah said, ‘O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority over you.'” [An-Nisa: 59].

• Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais said in ‘Seditions’ Important Lessons,’ “The Imams of the Holy Mosque call upon all those involved in violence and criminality to accept the Royal Amnesty, revert to righteousness and join the Muslim community, for they must realize that their villainous actions only serve the interest of the enemies of their religion and their country. Thus, they must be rational and seize the opportunity to repent for time is running out, and Allah forgives and accepts whoever repents, as Allah said, ‘Except for those who return [repenting] before you apprehend them. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.'” [Al-Ma’idah: 34].

• He said in his sermon entitled ‘The Way Out of Alienation and Vandalism,’ “The deviant groups were misled by vicious parties who used them to serve their ulterior motives. We must all help them come back to their senses, in order to save them and prevent any further bloodshed, and ensure the stability of our society. We alert Muslims that supporting and harboring these corruptors is a felony against their religion and their nation. By Allah, nothing is more dreadful than dying and meeting your Lord with hands tainted with blood. Hence, the rulers have granted amnesty to those who repent, and this is the greatest amnesty in history. These criminals must all repent immediately, for whoever remains part of the deviant group will eventually face eternal punishment, as Allah said, “[Due to] arrogance in the land and plotting of evil; but the evil plot does not encompass except its own people. Then do they await the way of the former peoples? But you will never find in the way of Allah any change, and you will never find in the way of Allah any alteration.” [Fatir: 43].

5. Means of Prevention and Solutions:

A. The Need to Refer to Religious Scholars:

• Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid said in ‘Reflections on the Riyadh Bombings,’ “Scholars should always remain patient and answer all peoples’ questions, regardless of the nature of the question, in order to avoid future confusions and misconceptions, and purify their minds of misleading ideas. We must increase mutual trust between scholars and youth, and never ignore their questions no matter how bizarre or naive they may seem, for youth can be easily swayed when they do not refer to trusted scholars. We can never reach out to them without directly addressing the issue and refuting it with religious evidences.”

• Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais said in ‘Recession of Corruption in the Country of Glory,’ “Religious scholars are our generation’s information sources, especially in this crisis whereby distorted ideas and false principles have become widespread. Therefore, scholars need to kindly and cleverly direct, guide, and enlighten our youth, particularly in the issues of the accusations of non-belief, the concepts of loyalty and disavowal, the methods of reformation, and the Imamate and Jihad, by using rational methods, and credible refutations that raise their curiosity to learn more about the religion instead of fueling their emotions with provocative speeches. We also need to develop practical mechanisms for resolving the issue of unemployment.”

B. The Need to Take Care of Young People by Opening Channels of Communication with Them:

• Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais said in his sermon ‘Recession of Corruption in the Country of Glory,’ “Our beloved youth, you have got to realize that your religion is the religion of moderation and compassion. So never allow these villainous corruptors to use you to serve their ulterior motives. You need to be aware of the blessings of security and prosperity that Allah has endowed you with. Thus, we call upon you to become the chivalrous protectors of our country, and walk the path of our Prophet and predecessor.”

• Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid said in his sermon, ‘The Mecca Incidents: Causes and Solutions,’ “O Muslims, we can never address the problem and come up with solutions unless we facilitate open dialogue between scholars and young people, and allow all people to participate, no matter how preposterous or fanatic their concepts are, for we can never guide and enlighten people, and solve this problem, unless we refute their concepts and deviant ideas with rational arguments. A recent debate conducted by some scholars was successful: they managed to enlighten and convince some mislead groups with rational arguments.”

• Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid said in ‘Reflections on the Riyadh Bombings,’ “When youth become estranged from scholars, they can be easily tempted by deviant groups, and thus develop the tendency to unconsciously accept erroneous concepts. Therefore, scholars must meet youths’ needs and open channels of communication between them in order to enlighten and direct them to the righteous path.”

C. Demonstrating the Role of Preachers and Imams, Parents and Educators, Intellectuals, and the Media in Resolving this Problem:

• Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid said in ‘Reflections on the Riyadh Bombings,’ “The media must help scholars by refuting misconceptions and clarifying similarities, without resorting to emotional and provocative speeches or arbitrary interpretations that may estrange people from preachers and scholars, and affect society’s unity. Also, preachers and Imams should implement righteousness by delivering sermons that interest, guide, and enlighten people. Teachers should also promote proper social behavior and social unity through education. Moreover, parents have to look after their children and meet their needs so that they won’t fall prey to the conspiracies of the deviant groups. O Muslims, this is a serious matter, therefore we need the cooperation of all community groups in order to root out radicalism.”

• Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Al-Sudais said in “Recession of Corruption in the Country of Glory,’ “Parents must raise their children’s level of awareness and build their character according to Islamic principles. Also, the media can positively impact youth by broadcasting programs that raise peoples’ awareness of the moderate teachings of Islam, so that youth won’t associate Islam with terrorism.”

• Sheikh Abdul-Bari Al-Thubaiti said in ‘Beyond the Events of Mecca,’ “The duty of scholars and preachers is to guide and enlighten young people, and refute misconceptions with rational arguments so that they won’t be easily tempted by corrupt groups who exploit them to serve their political conspiracies. In addition, educational curricula should intensify the religious classes that implement the principles of moderation, in order to overcome this crisis.”

• Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid said in his sermon, ‘Reflections on the Riyadh Bombings,’ “Intellectuals must revise the sources of information in order to remove the elements that contradict Islamic principles from them.”
D. Not Confusing Muslims:

• Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid said in his sermon, ‘The Mecca Incidents: Causes and Solutions,’ “The media must help scholars in refuting misconceptions without resorting to emotional and provocative speeches or arbitrary interpretations that may estrange people from preachers and scholars, and affect society’s unity.”

• Sheikh Saud Al-Shuraim said in ‘The Sedition of Security Breaching,’ “We need to properly analyze this problem and search for the most appropriate solutions, instead of placing the blame on irrelevant matters by attributing the causes to religion, religious sciences, or trusted scholars and preachers. Religious misconceptions can never be associated with Islamic principles. Internal confusion can be far more dangerous than any external confusion, since these enemies tend to use religion and trusted scholars as an alibi for terrorism in order to spread confusion among people and target their unwavering convictions and beliefs. To conclude, we must refute religious misconceptions and deviant thoughts with religious knowledge and evidences, and not allow these erroneous concepts to weaken the religion, for when Caliph Ali was killed because of the misconceptions of some sects, they attributed the reasons to the actual perpetrators, instead of placing the blame on the religion.”

• Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid said in his sermon ‘Reflections on the Riyadh Bombings,’ “O Muslims, it is not fair to say that the educational curricula are the reasons behind the deviation of some groups, for these curricula have been applied and practiced since the establishment of this country, and managed to bring up lots of scientists, intellectuals, doctors, and engineers. Moreover, extremism is a recent phenomenon and this proves that there are external factors other than the curricula that encouraged these extremist to adopt radical thoughts and different views. It is up to scholars and intellectuals to search for the accurate causes of these problems.”

Conclusion:

Praise is to Allah and peace be upon His Prophet. I did my best to include a lot of the sermons of the Two Holy Mosques in my research, which tackled the issue of terrorism. My success is through Allah, upon him I have relied. May Allah grant this country grace, security, and stability, and protect us from any enemies that target our religion, country, scholars, or rulers, and guide our leaders and support them. [From Sheikh Saleh Bin Humaid’s sermon ‘Extremism and Terrorism’].

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The Sermons’ reference

• ‘Corruptors’ Aggression’, Al-Huthaifi, 4/3/1425.

• ‘Reflections on the Riyadh Bombings,’ Ibn Humaid, 15/3/1424.

• ‘The Crime of Bombing,’ Al-Huthaifi, 15/3/1424.

• ‘The Importance of Security and the Importance of Religion,’ Al-Sheikh 22/3/1424.

• ‘Alerts About the Dangers of Non-Belief Accusations,’ Khayyat, 22/3/1424.

• ‘Recession of Corruption in the Country of Glory,’ Al-Sudais, 29/3/1424.

• ‘The Concept of Security in Islam,’ Al-Shuraim 6/4/1424.

• ‘Beyond the Events of Mecca,’ Al-Thubaiti, 20/4/1424.

• ‘Crime in the Sacred Country’, Khayyat, 20/4/1424.

• ‘The Mecca Incidents: Causes and Solutions,’ Ibn Humaid, 27/4/1424.

• ‘Factors that Reduce Crimes,’ Al-Sheikh, 27/4/1424.

• ‘Actions of the Heart,’ Ibn Humaid, 19/9/1424.

• ‘Recalling the Dangers of Non-Belief Accusations,’ Al-Sheikh, 25/10/1424.

• ‘Extremism and Terrorism,’ Ibn Humaid, 26/2/1425.

• ‘The Importance of Security,’ Al-Huthaifi, 26/2/1425.

• ‘The Condemnation of the Despicable Bombing,’ Al-Sudais, 4/3/1425.

• ‘The Sedition of Security Breaching,’ Al-Shuraim, 11/3/1425.

• ‘The Nation: Between Close Aggression and Destruction,’ Al-Thubaiti, 11/3/1425.

• ‘The Critical Situation of Imminent Danger,’ Khayyat, 18/3/1425.

• ‘Non-Belief Conditions,’ Al-Sudais, 25/3/1425.

• ‘ Kharijites’ Sedition,’ Al-Huthaifi, 30/4/1425.

• ‘The Sanctity of Blood in Islam,’ Muhammad Al-Subail, 7/5/1425.

• ‘You Must Join the Group,’ Al-Huthaifi, 14/5/1425.

• ‘Important Lessons from the Despicable Seditions,’ Al-Sudais, 14/5/1425.

• ‘The Blessings of Security,’ Al-Qasim, 6/6/1426.

• ‘The Way Out of Alienation and Vandalism,’ Al-Sudais, 6/6/1425.

• ‘Moderation,’ Ibn Taleb, 13/6/1425.

• ‘The Greatest Losers,’ Khayat, 28/10/1425.

• ‘The Conference on Combating Terrorism,’ Ibn Humaid, 25/12/1425.

• ‘Love of the Homeland,’ Al-Sudais, 1/2/1426.

• ‘The Right of Rulers and Citizens,’ Al-Sheikh, 30/6/1426.

• ‘The Right of Rulers,’ Al-Qasim, 7/7/1426.

• ‘The Rights of the Governors,’ Budair, 14/7/1426.

• ‘The Moderate Islam,’ Budair 23/3/1427.