Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani, issued a fatwa on June 13, 2014, calling on Iraqis to take up arms to defend “their country and their people and their holy places” as well as join the security forces. This fatwa, known as the “righteous jihad fatwa,” came after the so-called “Islamic State (IS)” occupation of Mosul, Salahuddin, Anbar, Diyala and Kirkuk provinces and its threats to occupy Karbala, Najaf and Baghdad, and was a major turning point in the war.
Ayatollah al-Najafi added that these Takfiri groups are tools of the Zionists and their allies. “They use the righteous religion of Islam as a cover to cause chaos, mass murder, rape, and honour killings against Muslims,” he said.
The Indian-born source of emulation explained that Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen have suffered the greatest impact from these Takfiri groups, adding that in Iraq, the people have tried with all their power to control the crisis, but these Takfiri groups have still attacked the holy shrines.
His Eminence said that it is national, moral, and an obligatory religious duty for Iraqis to stand against these groups and due to this, the Najaf-based sources of emulation have emphasized the importance of this fatwa in order to eliminate the Takfiri danger and save Iraq.
Ayatollah al-Najafi prayed for the victory of the Iraqi warriors in the war against Takfiri terrorism and for the quick recovery of those who were wounded.
He also congratulated the parents of the martyrs and stressed that people should be at the service of the families of those martyred and cooperate with the sources of emulation in various fields so that we can serve these families. He added that visiting those wounded in the war is also the responsibility of all Iraqis.
At the end of his statement, Ayatollah al-Najafi noted: “The entire world and all those who have bad intentions towards Islamic Iraq must know that God is our helper and that the Takfiri terrorist groups are enemies of Islam will be defeated just as Islam’s enemies have been defeated throughout history.”