In the last few nights of Ramadan 1444/ 2023, the Muslim world witnessed an alarming escalation in internal military, government, and paramilitary tensions and subsequent violence in the 13th largest Muslim nation and Africa’s third-largest country by land mass. 
Stretching beyond Eid al-Fitr and into the present day, the results have thus far been disastrous, with figures from 25 April suggesting that at least 559 have died, with more than 4,000 injured. May Allah have mercy upon the deceased and allow this bitter conflict to come to a rapid end. 
But what has caused this violence and what can we do to aid our brothers and sisters affected by the conflict? These are the topics that this article will briefly cover.
On 15 April, tensions between the country’s top military government leaders came to a head. This friction came about during ongoing discussions on transferring to civilian governance after just over four years of the most recent spell of military rule. 
With the hugely powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – led by General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (or Hemeti as he is commonly known) – launching air and artillery strikes on key government locations, the de facto leader of Sudan, army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, responded in kind by seizing various parts of the country through the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). 
In Sudan, 24 doctors who legally reside in UK but are not British have been denied boarding and instructed to make their own way out of a war zone. Contrast it with how Pen Farthing rescued 150 animals out of Afghanistan through UK govt contacts . Border policy based in racism. https://t.co/RFIBKomIHg pic.twitter.com/scI935sEua— Dr. Ruby (@PaperWhispers) April 28, 2023
Some of the key locations claimed by al-Burhan are the Khartoum International Airport, the presidential palace, the general military headquarters, his own official residence, as well as the Sudan National Broadcasting Corporation (SNBC) head office. 
In the days that have followed, numerous parts of the country including the capital city of Khartoum, Darfur, and Port Sudan have been rocked by factional attacks. 
Persistent accusations of war crimes committed by the RSF have further fuelled anger among the Sudanese population and this is understood to have formed some of the initial tension regarding the transfer to civilian power. 
On 18 April, the first ceasefire was announced. However, local reports showed that fighting continued, with explosions and gunfire heard in Khartoum. 
A number of further ceasefires were announced, with none of them holding. One of the most upsetting was during Eid al-Fitr (21 April): a ceasefire was declared with al-Burhan apparently calling for unity and Hemeti also agreeing to pause fighting; this did not stop attacks from continuing in Khartoum, al-Bagair, and other areas. 
It is upsetting to see that there are no signs of the violence letting up as yet.
What can we do?
It goes without saying that we must pray for our brothers and sisters in Sudan, as they are at the brunt of this RSF–SAF infighting that is only going to cause continued damage to the country.
Yes, there may be a number of foreign actors at play, along with various other elements that have not been covered in this article, but the focus must be on keeping the people of Sudan in our prayers.
In a message given to khatībs, Shaykh Dr. Haitham al-Haddad, who is a senior jurist sitting at the Islamic Council of Europe, states,
“There have been hundreds killed, thousands injured, and millions affected by the recent fighting in Sudan. The enemies of Islam and Muslims have long been trying to fracture the unity and strength of Muslims in this key region of the Muslim Ummah.
“But this Ummah has an immense amount of potential energy and strength that Allah placed within it, alhamdulillah.
“We call on all khatībs to encourage their congregations this Jumu’ah to:
- Make du’ā for the stability of Sudan and the protection of our brothers and sisters there, and that the plan of their enemies fails;
- Encourage sadaqa to be distributed via reputable charities;
- Show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Sudan by any means possible.”
Shaykh Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge and treasurer for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom’s Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities.
He is highly respected, having specialised knowledge in the field of Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Maqāsid al-Shari’ah, Ulum al-Qur’ān, Tafsīr, Aqīdah, and Fiqh al-Hadīth. He provides complex theories that address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a Western environment, whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a Western sociopolitical context.
Shaykh Dr. Haitham al-Haddad has many well-known students, most of whom are active in da’wah and teaching in the West. The shaykh also sits on various boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.
- More than 30 killed in Sudan crackdown on protests
- Sudan protests turn violent as police fire live ammunition
- Sudan and Israel agree to ‘normalise’ diplomatic relations
- Sudanese leaders in the UAE for talks with Emirati and US officials
- Sudanese officers arrested for refusing to enact violence on protestors
- Mossad the master puppeteer as Sudan trip & Haftar presidency hopes emerge