This lengthy text was published by al-Andalus Media, the media wing of al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The text consists of two principal parts: an introduction written in April 2017 CE and then the text of the advice that was offered in October 2011 CE for the Nigerian jihadists who dissented from Abu Bakr Shekau, then the leader of 'Boko Haram' (proper name: Jama'at Ahl al-Sunna lil-Da'wa wa al-Jihad), on account of what they saw as Shekau's extremism.
It is of course worth comparing this text with the self-history of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and critique of Shekau. The overlap of multiple themes between this text and the ISWAP's book illustrates that some of Shekau's extreme ideas have been long-standing problems, such as dismissal of the concept of excuse in ignorance and espousing the notion that those who profess affiliation with Islam but reside in the abode of kufr [disbelief] are not in fact Muslims and thus they and their property become legitimate targets. A further common thread is documenting Shekau's tendency to demand absolute obedience to himself and his harsh approach towards his critics.
In advising the dissidents, AQIM explored the following points, which can be summarized thus:
- Excuse in ignorance is a nuanced issue. The concept exists but it is not an absolute obstacle to takfir.
- The wealth and lives of Muslims living in the abode of kufr are sacrosanct. One cannot declare takfir on someone merely for living in the abode of kufr. Those who talk of an obligation to migrate to the abode of Islam today have not considered the practical issues of the current circumstances (e.g. what is defined as the abode of Islam today and how could you get hundreds of millions of Muslims to migrate there, especially with travel issues like visa issuance).
- In some circumstances, it is justifiable for 'taxes' to be imposed on the wealthy when an Islamic army faces an existential threat from forces of kufr and there are no resources in the Bayt al-Mal. Based on this reasoning, if an Islamic group cannot find willing contributors for financial support, targeting certain people in kidnapping operations to demand ransom money is permissible as a last resort, despite the risks of alienating the wider populace.
- It is preferable for efforts to be unified. However, Islamic groups should not act as though they are the only true 'group of Muslims' (jama'at al-muslimeen) and accuse those who leave/go outside of them of dying a death of Jahiliya (pre-Islamic ignorance) or committing apostasy.
A considerable amount of this advice takes the form of quotations of 'ulama (scholars) such as Ibn Taymiyya and modern jihadi thinkers such as Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and al-Qa'ida operative Attiyat Allah.
Although ISWAP has levelled many similar criticisms of Shekau's ideas that can be found in this work, ISWAP also takes the view that the 'Boko Haram' dissenters who eventually formed the group Jama'at Ansar al-Muslimeen (aka Ansaru) were too lax on the issue of excuse in ignorance. ISWAP critiques in particular the excusing of those who vote in elections on the basis of ignorance.
The issue of takfir of voters is in fact mentioned in the introduction section of this AQIM text, documenting a letter written by the 'Boko Haram' dissenters, who mention Shekau's takfir of those who participate in elections as individuals without proper regard for the fondations and regulations of takfir. Alongside this point, they highlight Shekau's dismissal of the concept of ignorance in greater shirk (idolatry).
For the historian of the jihadi movements, the introduction section of the text is arguably more important than the advice section. The particular subject of interest is the nature of relations between 'Boko Haram' and AQIM- a controversy that played out in part in a debate between Jacob Zenn on the one hand and five academics on the other. This AQIM text, among other jihadist texts, is mentioned by the five academics in their response to Zenn.
On a general note, I would agree with the authors' caution about taking jihadist primary sources too much at face value in terms of reliability and coherence. However, I believe that the following assessment of theirs is too conservative in relation to what the primary sources tell us:
"All that the primary sources have conclusively shown about the post-2009 period is that some training occurred (the numbers are not yet known) and 200,000 euros may have been transferred."
When differing sources give details that corroborate each other, those details should be taken as reliable. Reading this AQIM document and comparing it with the ISWAP self-history show that the AQIM-'Boko Haram' links were more extensive than some training and a possible transfer of 200,000 euros. Both texts talk in a general sense about AQIM providing assistance in wealth (mal/amwal) to the Nigerian jihadists, so I would say the financial assistance was more than a possible one-time transfer of 200,000 euros.
In addition, this AQIM document explicitly mentions weapons assistance being provided to the Nigerian jihadists, and notes one incident in which weapons and ammunition were seized from the Mauritanian Army and then conveyed to Nigeria. Is there a reason to dismiss these parts of the text as unreliable?
Note that it is not my aim here to assess whether AQIM was crucial to the development of the 'Boko Haram' insurgency after 2009. The above notes are just some observations that came to my mind.
From the archive of the correspondences of Sheikh Abu al-Hassan al-Belaidi, may God Almighty have mercy on him.
Shari'i pieces of advice and directives from Sheikh Abu al-Hassan Rashid to the mujahideen of Nigeria.
With an introduction by the Mujahid Sheikh Abu al-Nu'aman Qutaiba al-Shinqiti, may God Almighty protect him.
Publications of al-Andalus Foundation for Media Production/1438 AH.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon the noblest of those sent, his family, companions and whoso has followed them with ihsan to the Day of Judgment. As for what follows:
Introduction: Some of the dear brothers asked me to introduce and comment on this valuable message by the martyr Mujahid Sheikh Abu al-Hassan al-Rashid al-Belaidi, may God Almighty have mercy on him. So I responded to their request, and I have decided to be content in introduction to explain some of the circumstances of the writing of this message, and that is so that it may remain an important historical document, expressing by itself a time of the history of this blessed jihad, and God Almighty is the Guarantor of Success.
I highlight that I was not present at the period of time about which the document speaks and the events that were the reason for its writing. At the time I was far removed from the field of events, as I was living in the Wagadou forest[i] known within the "Andalus Squadron" that was there under the command of the martyr mujahid commander brother al-Maymun bin Amino al-Kanat al-Shinqiti known in the jihad as Khalid Abu Dhakir, may God Almighty have mercy on him. So what I mention from events and realities connected with this document, my source on it are two things:
1. Transmission from trusted people who witnessed the stage, and I may name some of them.
2. What I preserve from the archive of correspondences of that time.
So I say and in God Almighty is success:
After the bloody events and massacres occurred against the Muslims in northern Nigeria (Sha'aban 1430 AH corresponding with August 2009 CE) and the martyrdom of Sheikh Muhammad bin Yusuf (may God have mercy on him), the ember of jihad lighted up in the souls of the people there, and Abu Bakr Shekau gained control of the emirate, so they sent an official delegation to the Sahara to demand support and cooperation, and the delegation reached the martyr mujahid commander Sheikh Abd al-Hameed Abu Zaid (may God have mercy on him), and this is a part of the message that Sheikh Abd al-Hameed sent to Sheikh Abu Mus'ab Abd al-Wadud- may God Almighty protect him- about the matter.
"In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
Praise be to God and prayers and peace be upon the Prophet of God (SAWS). As for what follows:
From Abdullah Abu Zayd Abd al-Hameed to our sheikh and amir Abu Mus'ab Abd al-Wadud. As-salam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuhu.
Matter: message from the amir of the Nigeria group.
Three brothers came to us, sent from the side of the amir of the Nigeria group- that is, Abu Bakr Shekau, who took over the command after the killing of Imam Muhammad Yusuf (may God Almighty have mercy on him)- and the three brothers are the brother Abu Muhammad amir of the delegation and the two brothers Khalid al-Barnawi and Abu Rayhana, and previously they had lived with us in this trench of Katibat Tariq ibn Ziyad so we know them well and they mentioned to us the reason they came and it is the recent event that occurred in Nigeria, so on this basis they agreed to come to us in order to study with us the possibility of the existence of a solution, exit or connection that should be strong between us and them...and for you is the content of their message.
1. They demand that there should be a connection between their amir and the amir of the Islamic Maghreb and under this...
b) The presence of a midway point between us and them, which they defined in Niger.
2. Demanding cooperation between us and them and they mentioned that they have a big problem in arms and money.
3. Getting out the brothers from Nigeria to here in order that they may receive training.
4. Consulting with us on establishing the jihad in the land of Nigeria.
And I advised them, having clarified to them some points:
1. Beginning with the issue of training, I mentioned to them that training is divided into two tyes:
True training, whereby the mujahid, after ending the period of training, must undertake what he studied in the training camp on the ground of reality, and this we cannot define in time. As for theoretical training, and it is limited to information obtained in the training camp, this is of little benefit to the mujahid.
2. Likewise, the issue of a centre to be a mid-way point between us and them in Niger: by God's grace and will, this should be easy, but according to experience, its duration should be short, particularly if its matter spreads among the brothers.
And the interest in this matter is that it should be in complete secrecy and that it should be limited to a small number of the brothers and it should not be written in the records of the Diwans.
3. As for the issue of contact, I mentioned to them that this matter is easy and can be realized on every occasion and be valid if God wills.
Our dear sheikh, they now await your response to their message.
Published on Monday 3 Ramadan 1430 AH."
And this is a part of the message of response of Sheikh Abu Mus'ab Abd al-Wadud (may God protect him).
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Tanzim al-Qa'ida in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb.
Diwan no. 91/1430
Date: 10 Ramadan 1430 AH/31 September 2009 CE.
Firstly, we raise to you- originally from myself and representing all the mujahideen- our condolences and consolations to you and all your soldiers and the rest of the Muslims in the land of Nigeria following the terrible tragedy of the killing of the outstanding Imam Muhammad Yusuf, whom reckon as a martyr with God and we do not vouch for anyone over God, and the killing of hundreds of our innocent brothers who committed no fault except that they said our Lord is God.[ii] And we affirm to you in this painful event that your brothers in Qa'idat of the Islamic Maghreb stand by you, support you, emphasize assistance to you and share your joys and pains.
And we pledge to you that- God willing- we will refer back that pure blood as fire burning the bodies of the Tawagheet, and a light that our brothers will use in their path to raise as supreme the word of God and render as the lowest the force of those who disbelieve, by greater determination and stronger will, and we were overjoyed at the arrival of your delegation to us. And we think that it is a great initiative towards a new era, which will confound the plan of the Jewish-Crusader alliance that is hostile to Islam and its people in the states of the Sahel and Africa generally: "And do not despair or be sad, as you are the ones supreme if you are believers."
As for what you have demanded from us in terms of help and support, we ask the Lord- Almighty and Exalted is He- to place us in service of our brothers, and we consider that possible and accepted if God Almighty wills. To explain the matter, we say:
1. The issue of establishing lasting and firm contact between us: we welcome and encourage this, and we consider it to obligatory to try to strengthen it, diversify it and raise it to the level of continuation and lasting duration.
2. The issue of defining the point of contact: it is among the important and necessary issues, and we consider that this case is left for the brothers to study the lines of evidence, and the people with knowledge of the ground from among us and you.
3. The issue of receiving contingents of the Nigerian brothers for the purpose of training. In principle, we agree to offer what we can from support in this regard, and there remain issues of arrangements of entry, the number of one contingent, and the period of training: I leave these to the assessment of the brothers are who officials in the southern region, for they are more knowledgeable of their capabilities and abilities.
4. The issue of financial assistance is not a problem in the limits of what we can offer, but our income from money is weak generally, and thus, the limited financial assistance with which the amir of the Sahara area or whoso represents him can be entrusted and the large sums in general depend on the possibility of conveying them to you, so the matter is under consideration and we will expend all effort in that, God willing.
5. As for what concerns armed assistance, it is likewise not a problem naturally with its availability and the matter is being considered with the specialist commanders in terms of quantity of ammunition and means of providing support. Then we will respond to you, God Almighty willing.
6. The issue of declaring jihad in Nigeria: we advise not to take the decision or declare it at risk of confrontation, but rather it should be delayed until the matter is completely considered from all angles with calm nerves and broadening of the consultation to the rest of the imams of jihad in the Islamic world, for the stage now is the stage of fine preparation, getting ready and planning. So one must prepare the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria to receive the mujahideen, then one must undertake excellent preparation to train and educate the mujahideen, and also in gathering the necessary equipment for the war and especially explosive material.
As for if our brothers decide to launch the jihad, we only bless their decision, then our advice is that the focus be on special operations in the largest cities with targeting of the heads of criminality, Western foreigners and organizations focused on converting Muslims to Christianity, while avoiding exposure of the Muslims and the weak of the people to harm.
7. And among the forms of cooperation we consider to be possible: using our media to serve your cause, like publishing your news, broadcasting your speeches and statements, defining your group, and exposing the crimes of the Tawagheet in Nigeria. This is what concerns your demands. And we reaffirm that we welcome this contact and connection, and we ask God- Almighty and Exalted is He- to bless it, and ordain for us prosperity and success. And we ask the Almighty to guide our hearts, make right our opinion and aim, and keep us away from error in word and deed. Indeed He hears prayer, is near and responds.
The issue of securing the contact with us remains. This is an easy matter, God Almighty willing. And we advise to take all the necessary security procedures, and adopt complete secrecy in correspondences, whether content, path of sending and means.
- Do not publish news that there is no reason to publish among the mujahideen.
This is so, and do not forget to convey our salam to all the brothers among you and to inform them that our hearts are with them, and for them to be patient and considerate, for victory is with patience, and ease with adversity. As-salam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuhu.
Your brother Abu Mus'ab Abd al-Wadud amir of the organization."
And this is part of the message of Sheikh Abd al-Hameed Abu Zayd- may God have mercy on him- to Abu Bakr Shekau containing the terms of what he agreed with his official delegation:
"This is what Abu Zayd Abd al-Hameed agreed with the representatives of Abu Bakr Shekau (Abu Muhammad al-Hausawi and Khalid al-Barnawi and Abu Mus'ab).[iii]
1. We will not define specifically the number of Nigerian brothers who will be trained with us but it depends on our capability. As for the expenses in transferring them from Nigeria to us, they are on us.
2. Defining the number of brothers who will be returned to Nigeria while this matter remains bound to secrecy and concealment.
3. The brothers who receive training must hear and obey in munshat and mukrah whether in the training camp or the squadrons.
10. We have defined the competencies of the brother who will be trustee over the brothers who receive training.
Lastly this covenant will be binding on every brother who comes to us from you.
Published on 26 Dhu al-Hija 1430 AH."
And indeed contingents of the youth began to come from Nigeria to the Sahara to receive training by the dozens, and the brothers in the Sahara would be trained and dispatched, and the cadres from the Nigerian brothers who were in the Sahara returned there,[iv] and entered under the command of Abu Bakr Shekau.
In addition, the mujahideen were strengthened by opening of paths and crossings and wealth, and from that is this message by Sheikh Abu Mus'ab Abd al-Wadud- may God protect him- to Sheikh Abd al-Hameed (may God have mercy on him), about the first financial sum handed to Shekau's group, and the financial situation for the organization at that time was generally difficult.
"In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, in whom we seek refuge, and there is no power or force except in God the High, the Exalted. From the amir of the organization to his brother Abu Zayd as-salam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuhu.
As for what follows: I ask God- Blessed and Almighty is He- that this letter of mine finds you in blessing and a right path, carrying out the command of the One God, the Benefactor. I sent a message to you before this one seeking your advice in it on the sum that we pay to the Nigerian brothers as assistance to them and implementing what we outlined for them previously in our message to them, and perhaps the consultation did not reach you or was impeded for some reason, for I assessed helping them in the first instance with a sum of 200,000 euros, then we will look in the future to increase that, so if you have no guidance or anything to add, I will pay their amir that sum from the dividends of the organization.
Tuesday 23 Rajab 1431 AH.
Your brother and beloved Abu Mus'ab."
The mujahideen were also strengthened with weapons, and that is so because when the battle of Hassi Sayyidi[v] occurred with the Mauritanian Army and the mujahideen took in it a large amount of war spoils, the brothers participating in the battle refrained by the goodness of their souls from all that the weapons encompassed from western arms and ammunition, and the brothers in fact conveyed them to the mujahideen in Nigeria.
And what must be mentioned here also is a message from Abu Bakr Shekau to the brothers in the Sahara thanking them and recognizing what they did from efforts in supporting the mujahideen there, and this is a copy of the message.
"In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Message of thanks 28 Shawwal 1431 AH:
From Abu Muhammad Abu Bakr bin Muhammad Shekau to my uncle Abu Zayd Abd al-Hameed, may God protect you and guide you.
Praise be to God who has fixed the causes by their causes and made faith in Him, reliance on Him, and working to obey Him the strongest cause in realizing happiness and attainment in this world and the Hereafter and for their every essence, and has granted His allies truth in dealing with Him, so they have reaped its fruits. I praise Him- the Exalted- for the secret of His pleasures and abundances of His blessings that man cannot count, and I bear witness that there is no deity but God alone with no partner for Him in His lordliness, divinity, names and qualities, a true complete witness by its necessities and meanings.
And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger who broke the system of profits by his miracles whose signs appeared in the revelation of the great Qur'an and the Mi'raj, splitting of the moon, life of inanimate things, the pebbles' glorification of God, and complaints of the animal to him by themselves. Oh God, bless Your servant and Messenger Muhammad, his family and companions, the people of truth and resolve in matters, and straightening what was bent from the path, and making clear its customs and obligations. And may He grant many salutations on them.
As for what follows: to you, my uncle, to you, my beloved, to you, our trainer, to you, my brother in God, I sent words of my thanks, and the one who does not acknowledge the good turns rendered to him does not give thanks. SAWS said: "God does not thank the one who does not than the people." And in a narration on his authority he said: "Whoever does not thank the people does not thank God." The first was brought out by Abu Dawud, the second by al-Tirmidhi.
And his words: "God does not thank the one who does not thank the people." The meaning: that all who by their nature and custom are ungrateful for the blessing of the people and abandon thanking them, are also by their custom ungrateful for God's blessing and abandon thanking Him. And it is also said: its meaning: God does not accept His servant's thanks to Him for a good turn rendered to him, if the servant does not thank the good turn of the people, and the well-known of them is ungrateful, for the two matters are connected to each other.
And whoso helps you in religion, you request Paradise for him with God- Exalted and Almighty is He- as he rendered a good turn to you, and you must only follow the path of thanks to him in word and deed and in all that is possible, and therefore if I were to write 'oh my uncle'- whenever I want to write it in thanks to you- I would run out of room, but all that I say is for thanks and it is exceeded and what is left is may God reward you best on our behalf and reward you generously, and convey from me my salam greeting to Abu Ammar the amir of the Sahara region- may God protect him and guide him- and to Abu Mus'ab Abd al-Wadud, the amir of Tanzim al-Qa'ida in Bilad al-Maghreb al-Islami, may God protect him and guide him.
We are with you, oh our uncle, in every time and occasion by the help of God- Blessed and Almighty is He and we do not see the difference between our group and your group, our jihad and your jihad. We all proceed on the path of the Book and Sunna and our aim is to make supreme the word of God over the face of the Earth, and our desire is to seek the contentment of God (Exalted and Almighty is He).
News of problems that are happening among the brothers there reached me, and this is a matter we spoke about some time ago and we said that all who do something unnecessary, we disavow those who do and say it, and this is written in our conditions that we agreed with you. Patience, then patience after patience, our uncle.
Patience is like its name: its taste is bitter, but its outcomes are sweeter than honey.
And it is said: patience is seeking help in God, so seek help in God, my uncle.
For if God makes patience a generosity not emptied, something cohesive not broken, a soldier not defeated, and a strong fortress not destroyed, and an animal whose rider does not err, so it and victory are two brothers, for victory is with patience, and it is of greater support to the one who possesses it than men regardless of equipment and number, and its place in victory is the place of the head in the body, and it is the path of success and prosperity, and it is a virtue that man needs in his religion and this world of his. For the state of man is between patience over a matter that he must follow and implement, and interdiction he must avoid and abandon, and in so far as it makes an agreement binding upon him, and a blessing he must thank the bestower for, and if these circumstances do not depart him, patience is necessary for the tasks, for life is not straight except with patience, for it resolves problems for the abode of tribulation.
And patience is the provision of the mujahid when patience keeps him waiting, and the provision of the preacher when the people keep him waiting for the response, and the provision of the knowledgeable one in the time of the exile of knowledge. Indeed it is the provision of the old and young, the man and the woman, for to patience they cling and to it they seek refuge and in it they set out.
Imam Ahmad- may God have mercy on him- said in the Book of al-Zahad on the authority of Omar bin al-Khattab may God be pleased with him: "We found the best of our living in patience." God characterized the patient with unique characteristics and features, and He has mentioned patience in up to 90 instances in the Noble Book, and He added the most degrees and benefits to patience and made them a fruit for it.
The patient have company with God. Through it they have attained the best of this world and the Hereafter, and they have obtained through it the open and internal blessing of God, and God the Exalted has made the Imamate conditional on patience and certainty. The Almighty has said: "And We have made imams of them, guiding by Our command when they have been patient and have been certain of our signs." The Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya (may God have mercy on him) said: "In patience and certainty the imamate is obtained in the religion." For great is the rank of patience and great is the creation of patience and great are the people of patience, for patience is the path of Paradise: "Or you reckoned to enter Paradise when there had not yet come to you what those who passed on before you went you through? They were afflicted with poverty and hardship and were shaken until the Messenger and those who believed with him said- 'Where is the help of God?' Indeed the help of God is near."
And lastly we ask God- the Exalted and Almighty to make us guided guiders, not in error and not misleading, and to forgive us for our sins entirely. Oh God, bring blessings on Muhammad and the family of Muhammad just as You brought blessings on Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim: indeed You are praiseworthy, glorious. Bless Muhammad the family of Muhammad just as You blessed Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim. Indeed You are praiseworthy, glorious. Oh God, be please with the four Caliphs and the remaining six of the ten, and the family of the household of Your Prophet al-Mustafa, and the rest of the Companions entirely and the followers and those who follow them with ihsan until the Day of Judgement. And be pleased with us by Your bestowal and generosity, oh akram al-Akrameen. Oh God, forgive us, even the lowest, and all the Muslim men and women, and the believers and the female believers, the living among them and the dead. Oh God, show us the truth and provide us with the means to follow it and show us the falsehood and provide us with the means to avoid it, and do not deceive us in the matter of guidance, oh Lord of the Worlds. Oh God, provide us with repentance by which we may meet the enemy. Oh God, prepare this Ummah with the matter of guidance in which the people of obedience to You are made mighty, while those who disobey You are lowered, and by which right may be commanded and wrong forbidden. Oh God, make us a shelter in which the Muslims make seek refuge and do not make us an evil and tribulation for the Muslims. Oh God, make our jihad in Your path, and make it without riya' in it or fame seeking and make it pure to Your noble face. Oh God, give us victory over Your enemies, our enemies, and the enemies of Islam. Oh Lord of the Worlds, raise Your banner and support Your Shari'a. Oh God, destroy the usurping Jews and the hateful Americans, and the secularists, hypocrites and apostates. Oh God, destroy them, for they cannot incapacitate You.
Oh God, count them in number and kill them in dispersal. And do not let any of them escape. Oh God, destroy democracy, the foreign schools and the rest of the houses of corruption, ya Jabbar. Oh God, tear up the man-made laws of kufr and those who put them in place and implement them against the Muslims. Ya Aziz, ya qahar: oh God, defeat every government that does not rule by Your book and the Sunna of Your Prophet, oh Lord of the Worlds. Oh God, establish the Islamic State, and its development with the banner of Tawheed, and protect it through Your mujahideen servants, and make it beautiful with the Sunna of al-Mustafa, ya aziz, ya hakim.
"Exalted is Your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And salam be upon those sent, and praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds.""
And the matter proceeded as such: delegations would come, receive training, and return, as well as weapons, money, support, until it was first noticed how Abu Bakr Shekau permitted as fair game and seized the wealth of the Muslims on the grounds of their living under the rule of the disbelievers by choice, so the martyr Sheikh Abdullah Abu al-Hassan al-Shinqiti- may God have mercy on him- wrote a message of advice to Abu Bakr Shekau,[vi] and I don't remember if a response from Abu Bakr Shekau to that message arrived, and God knows best.
And it seems that Abu Bakr Shekau did not benefit from the message, and increased in making the wealth of the Muslims fair game, and the first signs of deviation and extremism began to appear from him, for a group of those closest to him began to oppose him.
And the martyr Sheikh Abu Muslim al-Ibrahimi[vii]- may God Almighty have mercy on him- wrote his message: "Important warnings against the error of the one who contravenes the Imams, and makes as fair game the blood and wealth of the Ummah."[viii]
And these people raised messages of condemnation and warning, and among them that to which Sheikh Abu al-Hassan al-Rashid (may God have mercy on him) responded, and among those who advised also was the mujahid Sheikh Abu Abd al-Rahman Ishaq- may God free him. And he was at the time the general judge for Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad bi-ilad al-Maghreb al-Islami, as he sent them a fine message dated 22 Dhu al-Hijja 1432 AH and some of these condemners warning about Shekau's deviation came to the Sahara, making clear what they saw and noticed.
And I was not present at their coming as I mentioned,[ix] and the matter ended with the separation from Shekau of those rejecting the deviation, and separating from his group, and some of them forming a new group. So Shekau killed some of them and God saved others, and to God is the matter before and after.
And this is a message from the same group that wrote the message to which Sheikh Abu al-Hassan al-Rashid responded,[x] making clear in it some of their observations on Abu Bakr Shekau:
"In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful:
Praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon the most fortunate of the Prophets and noblest of those sent- our Prophet Muhammad, and all his family and companions, and whoso has called with his da'wa and followed his Sunna to the Day of Judgement.
As for what follows: to the mujahid Sheikh Abdullah al-Shinqiti, may God protect you and guide you, and make Paradise his dwelling, and to the rest of his brothers from our sheikhs and our model mujahideen in the path of God.[xi]
As-salam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuhu. May God accept from us and from you the justness of deeds. May your Eid be blessed and your days be happy, wa kull aam wa intum bi-khayr.
And as for what follows: your precious messages reached us, and we benefited from them greatly, and took much delight in them. What we most rejoiced in was what they contained from encouragement to vie for good, and the attraction in initiative in an effort towards the path, and the authentic moderate path that has come as appropriate for the circumstances and state of affairs we are in. For we wish that Abu Muhammad Shekau (the amir of our group) would implement what is in them to make right what he corrupted from our affairs, for he began on that day- and as you saw in that message of his- to show something of the marks of extremism and deviation from the authentic manhaj, and think badly of the one of the brothers who would advise and warn him about his error.
For if only he believed what is in them and implemented it, but by no means! For after types of the tribulations have come in series and they have shaken the brothers. And in this comes a statement of something from them so you can picture them in their true form, and guide us to what we must do in the likes of these circumstances:
1. Among the greatest problem is extremism in takfir. For Abu Muhammad Shekau declares takfir on all those who participate in elections (takfir of the individuals) without regard for the foundations of takfir and its regulations, affiliating himself with the opinion of those who proclaim lack of excuse in ignorance in greater idolatry, and he relies on their pronouncements and writings, like the book "al-Mutamima" by Sheikh Ali bin Khudayr, despite the errors and inconsistencies in it made clear by other 'ulama, and the book "No excuse in ignorance in greater shirk" by the one called Deyaa al-Din al-Qudsi, that person well known for extremism and insolent conduct with the 'ulama with theft from their treasures, Among the 'ulama who exposed his affair is Sheikh Abu Basir al-Tartousi- may God protect him and guide him- after he stole his book "al-Taghut" and changed the name of the book and claimed he is the author.
And among the documents he relies on as well is the book "al-Afaq al-Mubin" by the one called Bashir Abdullah, which he and his ilk obtained from some members of a deviant group, well-known for extremism and ifrat, not considering anyone besides themselves to be Muslim despite their small number: the greatest of the foundations of the religion in their view is "whoso does not declare takfir on the disbeliever is a disbeliever"- to great injustice in their use of the basis, and among their propositions is declaring takfir on Sheikh Osama bin Laden- and indeed the masses of the mujahideen in the path of God today- because they do not declare takfir on the masses, but rather they call them "Muslims" and consider them brothers, and feel sorrow when the oppression of the Tawagheet and Crusaders strikes them, and wage jihad to save them. And all this in the view of Bashir and his group is part of kufr that takes one outside the path! Because it is loyalty to the disbelievers (the people).
Our sheikh Abu Yusuf[xii]- may God have mercy on him- debated with the during his life and among the results of the debate was the pronouncement of takfir against Abu Yusuf, so that they should not become disbelievers by his lack of pronouncing takfir, because he refusd to declare takfir on the people generally: "and whoso does not declare takfir on the disbeliever is a disbeliever"! To make things worse, Shekau has not stopped at that point, but has added to that making fair game the blood and wealth- as you saw the beginning of that in that message of his- as though he studied on the basis of al-Zawabari and graduated from his school!
2. And what the brothers have been afflicted with as well: is a strange opinion on the issue of the imamate by which Shekau has deviated: he claims that he is in the rank of the greatest imam, and he is not content for us to deal with him except as the Caliph.
Indeed it is not allowed to conflict with him on opinion, or debate with him on truth, and in this he resembles the Jews! In addition, separating from him, or removing a hand from obedience to him is considered among the greatest taboos- even if he brings about great innovations and by them brings about distortion, loss, failure and destruction for the call of Tawheed and jihad- "unless you see clear kufr among you with proof in it from God"! And the one who commits one of these taboos is judged to be executed in his view: to be killed because he is from the Khawarij and transgressors! The obligation on all of us (in his view) is to obey him in our adversity and ease, in our manshat and mukrah, and its consequence is on us, even if he strikes the back, takes the money and attacks the honour, indeed even if he were to invalidate the da'wa and the jihad!
What makes clear his meaning in the necessary obedience upon us towards the "Imam" is that perhaps he has demanded from some of the brothers to hand over what they have prepared for jihad, while forbidding them from keeping even an iota with themselves- as he affirms- and indeed the obligation is to hand them over entirely in obedience to the Imam! His pretext is that Abu Bakr al-Siddiq- may God be pleased with him- spent all his money in the path of God and he left nothing of it for his family!
And by this basis of his he has confronted some of the leaders of our mujahid youth (who have not agreed with him on some of his opinions), so he has taken the weapons they have and rendered them idle, for the Imam- according to his understanding- has the right to do that and by any means! On the basis that these people however began preparing them from their gain and toil on the day it became clear to them that he is not interested in the issue of preparation!
As for the mechanism of war booty and the fifth part of the spoils for him, it is among the greatest reasons for which the papers are blackened and the clips are recorded for publication and distribution among the members of the group in order that they might know the rights of the "Imam" that are incumbent upon them. But the really strange thing is that he affirms- in the same publications- that preparation to fight the enemies is not among the obligations with regards to himself! His pretext is the words of God- Blessed and Exalted is He: "Nor is there upon those who, when they come to you in order for you to provide the mounts, you say- 'I cannot find them for me to provide you with such.' Thus they have turned back with their eyes flowing with tears out of sadness as they could not find what to spend"- al-Tawba 92. Just has he announces that concern for the affairs of the oppressed is also not among the obligations with regards to himself (despite the fact that the greatest Imam is responsible for the great rights!). His pretext: the words of God Almighty: "Piety is not that you assume responsibility for your faces before the dawn and sunset, but rather piety is the one who believes in God, the Last Day, the angels, the Book and the Prophets, and gives wealth on the basis of his life for relatives, orphans, the poor, the wayfarer and those asking and dependents, and establishes prayer, and gives zakat; and those who fulfill their pledge when they make a pledge, and those who endure in poverty and hardship, and at the time of might are those who have been truthful and those are the pious"- al-Baqara 188. And erhaps this makes clear to you the type of his understanding of the texts and his way in deduction! For his reaching the rank of ijtihad- so he claims- is what has made him suitable for the position of the greatest Imam.
And with all the preceding is another major foundation: "Jihad is not permitted except by the Imam's permission."
So if someone is martyred in a battle he waged without his permission, he is rebellious! And his martyrdom- as some of them affirm- is not accepted!! But also it is not allowed for any of the members of the group to travel to one of the lands of jihad- like Somalia or Algeria, for example- in order to wage jihad with his brothers there, and if he does that without the Imam's permission, his ruling is he must be killed!
3. And peradventure the first of these calamities and the mother of them is his tyranny in matters and sidelining of the Shura behind his back, or at least his excess in disparaging it, contrary to what our state of affairs was before the martyrdom of Abu Yusuf, for frequently he would say and affirm that it is necessary for us to gather and consult with each other in our affairs as God thus described His believing servants in "Shura," and as our just predecessors were on with what they had from perfection of 'Ilm and faith, and we can only reach what one of them reached when we gather. As for Shekau, he has turned away from this and pushed it aside. He has adopted a foundation that is of great importance to him and among the fundamentals of his policy: "Matters of jihad are entrusted to the Imam and his ijtihad." This is so despite the fact that the brothers here are in weakness and paucity of goods and qualifications, and lack true experience, but indeed he acknowledged himself more than once that he- despite his suitability for the Imamate- does not know anything about the schemes of war!
And he has dismissed the best of us (as 'ulama and commanders), and indeed he has declared his disengagement of the amir of the army himself, all that because he warned of error, or contravention in opinion, or debate in truth.
Indeed these people (those who have been dismissed) are those by whom the da'wa of Tawheed and jihad arose in different lands, and it was possible for some of them to be independent in their matter in their realm, but they gathered and pledged allegiance to Abu Yusuf and from them was formed the Majlis al-Shura and among them were leaders of jihad, which makes clear that their dispersal is a grave matter whose outcome should not be praised, but the man has ridden the errors of guidance and the falsehoods of fate, so he did what he did. And today we don't know anyone close to him from those well-known for learning or education except the one who agrees with him in all his opinions or imitates him, and if he were to show his disagreement in one opinion he would dismiss him!
4. And among the worst of his faults is what concerns our jihad: divulging secrets, betraying trusts, holding back wealth, and he has refused to prepare to fight, and he revealed secrets and ripped apart the veils. The most recent of this is three recordings issued under the name of "al-Bayan al-Kamil" in which he has done his utmost to expose everything! And now it is in the hands of the Tawagheet!! And among its results was the loss of some of the plans, and the Tawagheet seizing some of the commanders.
We suffice with this while noting that there was much that we have not mentioned.
Then it is well known among those of reason, that acts of corruption and bad consequences must follow on from the likes of these condemned acts, and we have tasted their evil consequences and we are still recovering from them God knows what.
. For among them- for example- the division and separation, and also the mutual hatred and disparity happening among the youth of jihad, and the matter has reached the point of the threat to kill, and separation among spouses, and joy or lack of concern for what afflicts the other, and regrettably, Shekau (the Imam!) is the greatest one who lights its fire and kindles it to the point that he pronounces- as in some of his publications- that so-and-so and so-and-so are among those who don't agree with him in some of his opinions- for them is their religion, and for me is my religion!
. And among them: corruption of the path of the youth, and the successor and the enemy would use them as the example in adherence and obedience, modesty and frugality, and fulfilling trusts and advising the Ummah. As for today, lying and deception have spread among some of them, and divulging secrets and betrayal, and disgracing the taboos of the Ummah, and it has become apparent that the reason for that is that they have been shaken by different types of tribulations, for the role of Shekau (the Imam!) has been to turn away from them, then issue fatwas in which there is allusion to declaring takfir against the people, and statement allowing for their wealth to be fair game, then distinguishing between them and the adherent students of 'Ilm, and distorting the picture of all who organize them and forbid them from the likes of these vices.
. And among them: many members have been lost, among the those who have noticed matters and so have preferred restraint and separation, and those who have been surprised by the innovative opinions (extremism in takfir, making fair game the sacrosanct blood and wealth) so the doubt of the people of irja' has taken hold of them: "they are the Khawarij of this age." And many do not think it is permitted to wage jihad alongside him. So they have kept aloof, waiting for a movement to appear that is devoid of the likes of these condemned acts.
. And among them: keeping people away from the straight path, and criminals' exploitation of the opportunities to distort the religion and the jihad in the view of the masses, and they do not need to expend any effort in that, for the people, even if they originally love this religion and are eager for jihad for its sake, they do not however consider us now to be a people of religion and jihad in the path of God on account of the crime committed from taking sacrosanct wealth, and disgracing the respected taboos, and killing the 'ulama, and indeed killing the innocents from the masses on the basis of spurious suspicions.
. And among them: chaos in matters of war, for previously we made clear to you that Shekau does not know anything of the ruses of war, and is not interested in seeking the consultation of the best, and disparages the matter of preparation, then he is "The Greatest Imam" without whose permission one cannot wage jihad, with no review after his order!
So today there is no strategy or system for the war. They have been roused to make plans but they not lifted a head in that, and they have noted to observe the Shari'i intentions, the interests and matters of corruption but they have become haughty and said: "Rather that is only Satan who makes you afraid of his allies."
This is so in addition to consideration of the stage and Shari'i politics, and from there, the movements are according to the planning of the enemies, and when the sensible one views them he sees open signs of failure and collapse at hand, and realizes that the outcomes will not be commendable, and that even if they were to hold back today, correcting what they have corrupted requires years of effort and ijtihad.
These are among the faults of Shekau and his fruits. Efforts and attempts have been made to correct, but without success, and the one who wants to make amends himself is either made to repent and join the Imam, or he is charged with great sins and is considered among the "Khawarij" and "transgressors," and perhaps even threatened with execution!
And in this we have sent to you something of the efforts of some of the brothers in attempts to correct and warn against the likes of these mistakes.
And after, because of these and those, we have ceased to work with Shekau, as he expelled many of us before that, and indeed does not permit us to wage jihad with him except on condition of agreeing with him in all his opinions in other conditions, and despite that he flees from the students of 'Ilm and shuns them.
And we have begun a process of conscious raising and advising the youth, and rousing the one who sleeps, and restrain the one who has arisen so that he does not exceed his place, and likewise we have warned about the manhaj of ifrat and the manhaj of tafrit, and have encouraged adherence to the straight, middle manhaj, and preparation in so far as it is possible, and we have seen- and continue to see- much good in that.
From that, what God Almighty facilitated for us from stopping the increase in dispersal and separation, and realizing agreement among a great number of the leaders and students of 'Ilm: we have thus united our rank and our force has come together in all that we do now, and from that is this attempt to renew and gain mastery over the relations and contacts between us and you, and it is as though our only problem now is the "Imamate of Shekau" and only. And may God repel every scheme or attempt to strike up discord and inflame mutual resentment and hatred between us and for Him- Blessed, Almighty and Sanctified is He- is praise and gratitude for His blessing.
Indeed, we, until now, did not affirm separation from him out of hope of obtaining more from the interests, and cautious about committing acts of corruption.
And finally we make clear that we have written to you desiring direction and guidance, help and assistance so that the jihad among us may be set right, and send that to the one who must benefit from it in this matter.
And by God we ask Him to grant you success for what He loves and is pleased with, and to open our hearts, and make easy our affairs, and make right our matters, and not entrust us to ourselves. Indeed in everything He is fine, the One who suffices, and He is our reliance and excellent is He as a guardian, and on Him is the intention of the path.
And prayers and peace be upon the benevolent, the merciful, and on all his family and companions, and whoso has followed them with ihsan to the Day of Judgement.
Your brothers in God:
Abu Muhammad al-Hausawi, amir of the army, and one of the members of the Majlis al-Shura.
Abu Ahmad al-Kashanawi, amir of the northern region, and one of the members of the Majlis al-Shura
Khalid al-Barnawi: commander of the Tareq bin Ziyad Battalion.
Abu al-Bara' al-Nurini al-Akinawi, commander of the al-Bara' bin Malek Battalion.
Abu Obeida al-Kanawi, commander of the Nur al-Din Battalon.
Abu Abdullah al-Imam, member in the Research and Fatwa Issuing Council.
Abu Muslim al-Ibrahimi, one of the Shura members.
Abu Khalid al-Yarawi, amir of the da'wa and irshad division, and member in the Research and Fatwa Issuing Council.
Abu Nusaiba al-Bauchawi, commander of a battalion.
Abu Maryam al-Ya'qub, commander of the Mus'ab bin Umair Battalion.
Abu Asim al-Hasani, member of the Research and Fatwa Issuing Council."[xiii]
This is some of what I wanted to write and introduce to this message that I ask God that the reader of it should benefit from, and to accept the one who wrote it and have mercy on him, and make high his rank in the lofty abodes, and to allow us to join him, neither tempting nor tempted. And the last of our calls is praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds.
Qutaiba Abu al-Nu'man 12 Rajab 1438 AH corresponding to 13 April 2017 CE.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Date: 20 Dhu al-Q'ida 1432 CE/18 October 2011 CE.
From Abu al-Hassan al-Rashid to the mujahideen brothers in Bilad al-Sudan (Nigeria).
As-salam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuhu
Praise be to God alone, and God's peace and blessings be upon Muhammad, his family and companions, and there is no power or force except in God, the Lofty, the Great. As for what follows:
After reviewing the message directed to the brother Abd al-Hameed Abu Zayd, may God protect him, signed by the brothers:
Abu Muhammad al-Hausawi, amir of the army, and one of the members of the Majlis al-Shura.
Abu Ahmad al-Kashanawi, amir of the northern region, and one of the members of the Majlis al-Shura
Khalid al-Barnawi: commander of the Tareq bin Ziyad Battalion.
Abu al-Bara' al-Nurini al-Akinawi, commander of the al-Bara' bin Malek Battalion.
Abu Obeida al-Kanawi, commander of the Nur al-Din Battalon.
Abu Abdullah al-Imam, member in the Research and Fatwa Issuing Council.
Abu Muslim al-Ibrahimi, one of the Shura members.
Abu Khalid al-Yarawi, amir of the da'wa and irshad division, and member in the Research and Fatwa Issuing Council.
Abu Nusaiba al-Bauchawi, commander of a battalion.
Abu Maryam al-Ya'qub, commander of the Mus'ab bin Umair Battalion.
Abu Asim al-Hasani, member of the Research and Fatwa Issuing Council.
And after reading the message "Important warnings about the mistake of the one who contravenes the Imams and permits as fair game the blood and wealth of the Ummah" written by Abu Muslim al-Ibrahimi, may God protect all the brothers and bless them:
I say: after reading the two aforementioned messages it becomes clear that to me that the root of the disagreement and conflict go back to differences on the following issues:
. Issue of excuse in ignorance.
. Issue of ruling- life and wealth- on the one who resides in the abode of kufr (war by choice)
. Issue of ruling on the wealth of the banks.
. Issue of whether the one who goes outside a jihadi group is to be dealt as the transgressor.
What is not in doubt is that every issue arises from a principle and it has derivations, and undertaking the obligation of advice that the Shari'a has commanded, we will try to explore the issues indicated by God's help, as we ask Him for success and the right path. For we say success is in God.
First: the issue of excuse in ignorance
We will explore the issue as it pertains to the other issues by exploring the following matters.
First matter: the danger of takfir without knowledge.
Ibn Taymiyya, may God have mercy on him, said: "Know that issues of pronouncing takfir and tafsiq are among the issues of names and rulings to which the promise and the threat pertain in the Hereafter. In addition, loyalty, hostility, killing, sacrosanctity and other matters pertain to them in this world. For God- Exalted is He- has mandated Paradise for the believers, and forbidden Paradise to the disbelievers. And this is among the wholesale rulings in every time and place"- Majmu' al-Fatawa 12/468 al-Kaylaniya, and see Jami' al-'Ulum wa al-Hukm 1/114.
The Legislator has warned against declaring takfir against anyone from the Muslims when it is not as such, for on the authority of Abu Dhir- may God be please with him- that he heard the Prophet (SAWS) saying: "Man does not charge a man with grave immorality, or charge him with kufr, unless the accusation turns back on him, if his companion is not as such"- brought out by Bukhari, Kitab al-Adab, section on what is forbidden from vituperation and cursing 10/46- hadith no. 6045, and Muslim the same, Kitab al-Iman, section making clear the state of faith of the one who loathes his father and he knows- 1/79 hadith no. 61.
Ibn Daqiq al-Eid says in stating the meaning of this hadith: "This is a great threat to the one who declares takfir on any of the Muslims and it is not as such, and it is a great predicament into which many people of those who speak fell, and among those affiliated with the Sunna and the Ahl al-Hadith when they differed on doctrines, so they became harsh on those who disagreed with them and ruled that they were disbelievers"- Ihkam al-Ahkam Sharh 'Amadat al-Ahkam li-Ibn Daqiq al-Eid- 4/76.
And the sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya affirms that in his words: "I am among the strongest of people in prohibiting tying a specific individual to takfir, tafsiq and act of disobedience, unless it is known that there has been established upon him the proof of message, which, if contravened, makes someone a clear disbeliever in one regard, a gravely immoral person in another, someone disobeying in another. And I affirm that God has forgiven this Ummah for its mistakes, and that includes error in issues of news by mouth and practical issues"- al-Fatawa 3/229,-3/282, 283 (Qa'ida fi Ahl al-Sunna) 35/103.
Imam al-Shawkani warns about hurrying to declare takfir, saying: "Know that the ruling on the Muslim man by his going out of the religion of Islam and entry into kufr requires for a Muslim who believes in God and the Last Day to offer proof against him that is clearer than the Sun of the day, for it has been established in the authentic hadiths narrated through a group of the Companions that the one who says to his brother- 'oh disbeliever'- one of the two has incurred it.
And another thing confirming the importance of this matter is that the first conflict that happened in the Ummah was the conflict on takfir, and among "the faults of the people of innovations was: takfir against each other, and among the praiseworthy qualities of the people of 'Ilm is that they err and do not declare takfir"- see manhaj al-Sunna al-Nawabiya by Ibn Taymiyya 5/251.
Note that when these knowledgeable people and others besides them declare the risk of this issue, and warn against takfir against the one who is not a disbeliever, it does not mean disdain for this issue, and closing the door of apostasy and ruling by Islam for the one whose kufr appears with evidence and proof, for this conduct is no less deviant and dangerous than the one preceding, and both paths are to be condemned.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab says: "In sum, the one who advises himself must not speak on this issue except with knowledge and proof from God, and beware of taking man outside of Islam merely by his understanding and deeming his mind sound, for taking man outside of Islam or bringing him into it are among the greatest matters of religion...and Satan has misled most of the people on this issue, for shortcoming has arisen in a group as they have ruled on the Islam of the one whose kufr is shown by the text precepts of the Book and Sunna and consensus, while others have gone too far and declared takfir on the one who is ruled to be Muslim by the Book, Sunna and consensus"- al-Dorar al-Sunniya 8/217, and see the message "the kufr for which the person responsible is excused in ignorance"- by Abdullah bin Abd al-Rahman Abi Batin- 21.
Second matter: the difference between takfir of principle and takfir of the specific individual.
The Ahl al-Sunna differentiate between takfir of principle and takfir of the specific individual, for in the first the pronouncement of takfir of the person who adopts kufr is set forth as: it is said that the one who says such-and-such or does such-and-such is a dsbeliever, but the specific individual who says or does it, is not to be judged by his kufr absolutely until the conditions come together in him, and the obstacles are removed from him, as when the proof arises against him- if one abandons this proof, then he commits kufr.
Ibn Taymiyya says: "No one has the right to declare takfir against anyone from the Muslims, even if he errs or is in error, until the proof is established against him, and the proof is made clear to him. And the one whose Islam is established with certainty, that is not removed from him through doubt. Indeed it is only removed after establishing the proof and removing the doubt"- Majmu' al-Fatawa 12/466- al-Kaylaniya.
Then he says: "Takfir has conditions and obstacles that may be banished regarding the individual, and takfir of principle does not necessitate takfir of the individual, unless the conditions are present and obstacles removed. This makes clear that Imam Ahmad and the Imams in general who set forth these general principles, did not declare takfir more than speaking on in these words by themselves"- Majmu' al-Fatawa 12/487-488 (al-Kaylaniya).
Ibn Taymiyya takes into account some of the excuses that come regarding the individual, for he says: "The pronouncements by which the one who says them is a disbeliever. It may be that the obligatory text precepts to know the truth did not reach him, and they may be present with him, but not established with him, or he has not managed to understand them. And it may be that doubts were exposed to him by which God excuses him. For whoso from the believers makes an effort in seeking truth and errs, God forgives him for his mistakes whoever he may be, whether in theoretical or practical issues. This is what the Companions of the Prophet (SAWS) and majority of the Imams of Islam have adopted"- Majmu' al-Fatawa 23/326.
To the point that he said: "Imam Ahmad- may God have mercy on him- declared takfir on the Jahmites who condemned the idea of names and attributes of God, because their words contravened what the Messenger of God (SAWS) brought as open evidence, but he would not declare takfir on them as individuals, for the one who calls for the pronouncement is greater than the one who merely pronounces it, and the one who punishes the contravener of it is greater than the one who only calls for it...despite this, those who were the guardians of matters asserting the pronouncement of the Jahmites, calling the people to that and punishing them and declaring takfir on the one who did not like them- despite this Imam Ahmad was merciful to them, and sought forgiveness for them, as he knew that it had not been made clear to them that they were declaring the Messenger to be a liar, and that they were not objecting to what he brought, but rather they interpreted and erred, and followed the one who told them that...and likewise al-Shafi'i when he said to Hafs al-Fard when he said the Qur'an is created: "You have committed kufr against God Almighty." He made clear to him that this pronouncement was Kufr, and did not rule that Hafs had apostasised merely for that, because the proof by which he commits kufr was not made clear to him. Had he believed he was an apostate, he would have striven to kill him"- al-Majmu' 23/348-349 in summary.
If the difference between takfir in principle and takfir of the specific individual, we will realize the mistake of two groups of people: for there is one group of people who are extreme and claim takfir of the specific individual absolutely, without regard for the conditions and obstacles, while another group refuses to declare takfir on the specific individual absolutely, so the door of apostasy has been closed.
Third matter: Excuse in ignorance
What is considered one of the obstacles to takfir of the specific individual: excuse in ignorance, and this is an issue in which people have quarreled excessively, for there is the one who makes ignorance an excuse absolutely, and the one who bars it absolutely, and both of them erroneous and both paths of matters are to be condemned, for the truth is in the middle between them, for it is not true that there is no excuse in ignorance absolutely but rather there is well-known elaboration on the issue among the 'ulama, and we will try by God Almighty's power to affirm it in the following clauses:
1. The meaning in ignorance: the soul being devoid of knowledge or lack of knowledge about what the matter is.
2. The 'ulama in excusing ignorance differentiated between issues known from the religion by necessity in which claims of ignorance cannot be accepted, and hidden matters in which excuse in ignorance can be accepted, and likewise they- may God have mercy on them- distinguished between the person who can remove ignorance from himself and the opposite like the new convert to Islam, and the one raised in the desert and the like.
al-Qarafi says in al-Furuq 4/264: "The Shari'i foundation has shown that all ignorance can be repelled by the one entrusted, with no pretext for the ignorant one, for God Almighty sent His Messengers to His creation with His messages, and obligated them entirely to know them and implement them. So knowledge and implementation of them are two obligations, and the one who abandons learning and implementation and remains ignorant, has committed two acts of disobedience as he has abandoned two obligations."
And Ibn al-Laham says in al-Qawa'id wa al-Fawa'id al-Usuliya 58: "The one ignorant of the ruling is to be excused if he does not fall short and is not lax in getting to know the ruling, but if he falls short and is lax, he is absolutely not to be excused."
And al-Suyuti says in al-Ashbah wa al-Naza'ir 200: "Unless he should be a recent convert to Islam or raised in a desert far removed in which the likes of that is concealed."
And Imam al-Shafi'i was asked about the qualities of God and what he believes. He said: "God Almighty has names and qualities brought in His book, and of which His Prophet informed His Ummah, and it is not allowed for anyone of God's creation to reject the proof established on him. After that- once the proof is established upon him- he is a disbeliever. As for before the proof is established on him, he is to be excused for his ignorance, because knowing of that is not possible through mind, nor consideration and heart and thought, and we do not declare takfir against anyone for ignorance of t except after the message has been conveyed to him"- Mukhtasir al-Alu' lil-Dhahbi 177.
And Ibn Hazim says: "And there is no disagreement that if a man converts to Islam and he does not know the rituals of Islam and thus believes that wine is halal and that man need not pray, and the ruling of God Almighty has not come to him: that person is not a disbeliever, and there is no credible disagreement on that matter- that is, until the proof is established on him. If he then persists, he is a disbeliever by consensus of the Ummah"- al-Mahalla 13/151.
Ibn Taymiyya says in his Response to al-Akhna'i 21/62: "The one who calls on the one besides God or makes a pilgrimage to the one besides God is an idolater, and the one who does that is a disbeliever, but he may not be aware that this is forbidden idolatry, just as many of the people have entered into Islam from the Tatars and others besides them, and they have their idols to which they get close and glorify, and they do not know that that is forbidden in the religion of Islam, and they get close to the fire as well, and they do not know that that is forbidden. So there are many types of idolatry that may be hidden to some of those who have entered into Islam and do not know that it is idolatry."
And the Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya stipulated in his expounding of the "Aqeeda Wasitiya," the majority of which is in the chapter on the names and qualities, and that was because some of the disputers opposed his words in it- "this is the belief of the saved sect": he, may God have mercy on him, said: "And it is not necessarily the case that all who disagree on something from this belied are doomed, for the one who disagrees may be mujtahid and mistaken so God forgives his mistake, and the knowledge by which the proof is established on him may not have reached him"- al-Fatawa 3/116.
He also said: "For example the one who says that wine and al-raba are halal, as he has newly adopted Islam, or he was raised in a far-away desert, or he has heard words that he has denied and has not believed them to be from the Qur'an or ahadith of the Messenger of God (SAWS), just as some of the predecessors would deny things until proven to them that the Prophet (SAWS) said them, and just as the Companions would doubt things like vision of God and the like, until they should ask the Messenger of God (SAWS) about that, and like the one who said: If I die, destroy me, and scatter me in dust, for perhaps I have erred from God; and similar such things. These people are not disbelievers until the proof in the message is established on them, as God Almighty said: "That there should not be a proof for the people against God after the Messengers." And God has forgiven this Ummah for error and forgetfulness."
And perhaps the one who has not shown the proofs in considering ignorance as an excuse, has not been firmly established in the authentic hadith of Abu Huraira: that the Messenger of God said: "A man who did no good at all said to his family that when he should die, they should burn him then scatter half of him in the land and half of him in the ocean, for by God, if God should gain power over him, He would certainly punishment with a punishment by which He does not punish anyone from the worlds, so when the man died, they did as he ordered them, but God ordered the land to gather his parts and He ordered the sea to gather his parts, so he was standing before Him. Then He said: 'Why did you do this?' He said: 'Out of fear of You, oh Lord, and You know best.' So God forgave him"- al-Bukhari, as stories of the prophets- 6/514 no. 3478, and Muslim, as Repentance- chapter on Sa'a, may God have mercy on him- 4/2109 no. 2756.
Ibn Taymiyya said: "And I would always mention this hadith...for this man doubted God's power and ability to restore him should he be scattered. Indeed he believed he would not be restored. And this is disbelief by agreement of the Muslims, but he was ignorant and did not know that, and he was a believe fearing God's punishment of him, so He forgave him for that"- al-Majmu' 3/231 and 28/501,11/409, and see the section of Ibn Hazim 3/296.
And he also said: "And like this are many of the Muslims, and the Prophet (SAWS) would bring stories of predecessors, in order for that to be an example to this Ummah"- al-Safadiya 1/233 and see Madarij al-Salkeen 1/338,339, Ithar al-Haqq 'Ala al-Khalaq by Ibn al-Wazir 436, and see the collection of works of Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab 3/11.
So what must be observed in this issue is that the excuse in ignorance has consideration in the issue of takfir regarding the one over whom adoption of kufr predominates, such as the new convert to Islam and the one raised in a desert and the like.
In this context Ibn Taymiyya says: "But from the people, the one who is ignorant on some of these rulings out of ignorance is to be excused for it, so no one is to be judged with kufr until the proof is established on him through conveying of the message, as the Almighty has said: "That the people should not have a proof against God after the Messengers." And this is if a man converts to Islam and does not know that prayer is obligatory on him, or does not know that wine is forbidden. He is not a disbeliever because he does not believe this is obliged or this is forbidden. Indeed he is not to be punished until the prophetic proof reaches him"- al-Majmu' 11/406.
He also says: "Takfir is the right of God Almighty. For no one except the one God and His Messenger declare takfir on is a disbeliever, and also takfir of the specific individual and permission to kill him are conditional on the prophetic proof being conveyed to him, as the one who contravenes it is a disbeliever. Otherwise, it is not the case that all who are ignorant of something of the religion are disbelievers...and thus I would say to the Juhamiya from the al-Halulya and deniers who deny that God Almighty should be above the throne: were I to agree with you, I would be a disbeliever, because I know that your words are kufr, but you are not disbelievers in my view because you are ignorant"- al-Radd 'ala al-Bakari p. 258, and see al-Fatawa 12/500.
And despite the fact that we are in a time in which the means have proliferated to convey and spread the da'wa of the Prophet (SAWS) in the lands through different means that have made the rest of the parts of the world like one country: excuse in ignorance is nonetheless still apparent in our age, as the numbers of the knowledgeable people of 'Ilm have diminished, while preachers who promote falsehood and disbelief to the masses have proliferated, and they deceive them. And Ibn Taymiyya pointed to the people of his time- and it is without doubt less evil than our present time- and the falling of many into the types of kufr. Despite that, he excused them in this ignorance, saying: "Even if these sorts have become many in this time, on account of the paucity of preachers of knowledge and faith, and diminishing of traces of the message in most of the lands, and most of these people do not have from the traces of the message and heritage of the Prophets what by which they may know guidance, and that has not reached many of them, and in these occasions of times, and these places of times, man is rewarded over what he has from the scarce faith. So God forgives the one on whom the proof has not been established, whereas he does not forgive the one on whom the proof has been established, as is in the well-known hadith: 'There comes upon the people a time in which they do not know prayer, or fasting, or Hajj, except the elderly man and elderly woman, and they say: We recognized our fathers as they would say there is no deity but God. So it was said to Hudhaifa bin al-Yaman: what is the benefit to them of there is no deity but God? He said: it saves them from the fire'"- al-Fatawa 35/165.
3. When we affirm that excuse in ignorance has a consideration in the issue of takfir, it does not mean that ignorance is an accepted excuse for all who claim it. And therefore Imam al-Shafi'i says: "From knowledge is what does not become far-reaching, and ignorance of which one's mind can overcome, like the five prayers, and that God imposed on the people fasting in the month of Ramadan, and Hajj to the house if they can, and zakat in their wealth, and that He forbade them from fornication, theft and wine, and what was in the meaning of this"- al-Risala 357.
And Ibn Qudama says during his discussion of the one who abandons prayer in al-Mughni 2/442: "If he opposes its obligation (i.e. prayer), his case is to be considered: for if he is ignorant of it, and he is among those who may be ignorant of that like the new convert to Islam and the one who grew up in a desert, he is to know the obligation of it and be taught that and not judged by his kufr because he is excused. But if he is not of those who may be ignorant of that like the one of the Muslims raised in the cities and villages, he is not to be excused and the claim of ignorance is not be accepted from him, and he is to be judged by his kufr, because the lines of evidence for the obligation are open in the Book and Sunna, and the Muslims perform them regularly, so the obligation is not hidden to the one in this state of his, and he cannot oppose it unless he deems God Almighty, His Messenger and the consensus of the Ummah, and he becomes an apostate from Islam, and I don't know of a disagreement on this."
So it is important to know that excuse in ignorance is based on and connected with a number of matters, among them the type of unknown matter such as being among the hidden issues and likewise the state of the ignorant person like the new convert to Islam or the one raised in the desert, and the state of the milieu, for there is a difference between the presence of presumption of knowledge and lack of it.
Ibn Taymiyya says in al-Sab'iniya: "The places and times in which the prophets languish: the ruling on the one for whom traces of the prophets have been hidden such that he has disavowed what they have brought as erroneous, is not the same as the ruling on the one in the places and times in which traces of the prophets have appeared."
And Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab says: "The one on whom the proof has not been established is the new convert to Islam or the one raised in a desert, or if the matter is in a hidden matter like sarf and 'ataf so that person is not a disbeliever until he knows. As for the principles of the religion that God made clear in His Book, God's proof is the Qur'an, so the one whom it has reached is the one whom the proof has reached"- collection of works of Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab 3/11 (al-Fatawa), and see the Fatawa of Ibn Taymiyya 3/54,12/180.
And he says in another places: "...and this is in the hidden issues, the evidence for which may be hidden to some of the people. As for what comes from them in the open clear issues or what is known from the religion by necessity, this is not an obstacle in the kufr of the one who pronounces it, and this word is not made a crutch by which to prevent slaughter regarding the kufr of the land that refrains from tawheed of worship and qualities after the proof has come and the proof has been made clear"- al-Dorar al-Sunniya 8/244, and see Fatawa of Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim 1/73
Al-Khitabi said: "So if it is said: How have you interpreted the matter of the group that has forbidden zakat in the matter it has adopted, and have you made them a people of transgression, and if a sect of the Muslims in our time disavows the obligation of zakat and they refuse to carry it out, is the ruling on them the ruling of the people of transgression?
We say: No, for the one who disavows the obligation of zakat in these times is a disbeliever by consensus of the Muslims, and the difference between these people and those people is that they have rather been excused for reasons and matters the likes of which do not apply in this time, among them new adoption in the time of the Shari'a in which replacement of rulings was occurring by abrogation, and among them that the people were ignorant in matters of the religion and were new converts to Islam, so doubt entered them and they were excused.
As for today, the religion of Islam has spread, and the knowledge of the obligation of zakat has spread among the Muslims, such that the particular and the masses know it, and the knowledgeable and ignorant have participated in it, so no one is to be excused by an interpretation he may adopt in disavowing it, and likewise is the case for all who disavow something on which the Ummah has agreed from the matters of the religion if knowledge of it is spread, like the five prayers, fasting for the month of Ramadan, cleansing from ritual impurity and prohibition on fornication, wine, incestuous marriage and the like from the rulings. The exception is that he should be a man who has newly converted to Islam and does not know its hudud, so if he disavows something of them out os ignorance of it, he is not a disbeliever, and his path is the path of those people in that the name of the religion remains upon him"- Sharh al-Nawawi li-Muslim 1/205.
So the ruling on the person as to whether he should be excused on matters of religion differs according to conveyance or lack of it, the question of the issue itself in clarity and hidden nature, and the difference of people's faculties in strength and weakness.
And on the issue of excuse in ignorance's connection with takfir, it pertains to a right that purely belongs to God Almighty, and on it depends the ruling on the apostasy of the specific individual, and what is appended to that from the rulings of the apostate- something that requires strong caution.
And through the preceding, we realize the error of applying the assertion in an absolute sense that ignorance is an excuse in the principle of the religion and the like, and that applying the assertion in an absolute sense that ignorance is not an excuse is also an error, but rather there must be distinction between what was the violation in it regarding its contradiction of the principle of the religion and the like from the open matters and things well-known from the religion by necessity, and what was the violation in it pertaining to matters that require clarification and explanation. In addition one must also distinguish between the rulings of this world (open) and the rulings of the Hereafter (internal)- nullifiers of the faith in word and deed by Dr. Abd al-Aziz bin Muhammad bin Ali al-Abd al-Latif.
And Sheikh al-Maqdisi said: "And as for excuse in ignorance, it is not true that there is no excuse in ignorance absolutely but rather in the issue is well-known detailing among the 'ulama, for they have distinguished in it between the new convert to Islam and others besides him...and the principle of the religion and what is known in the religion by necessity and what is not. There are also in the divisions of jurisprudence matters in which the ignorant one is not excused, and others in which he is excused...so the absolute assertion that there is or isn't excuse in ignorance, both of them are reckless. And the truth is detailed"- see Hassan al-Zafaqa fi Ajwibat Su'alat Sawaqa 23.
Fourth matter: Considering and pondering objections and conditions
Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (may God protect him) said: "The objections are made clear: it must be applied to the one over whom power is gained and must not be applied to the one who refrains or is at war: and refraining has two meanings: the first is refraining from implementing the Shari'a in part or whole, and the second is refraining from power: i.e. the power of the Muslims to detain him, hold him to account and make him face trial by God's law. And the two types are not necessarily bound to each other, for the one who refrains from implementing the Shari'a may have power gained over him, and the two may come together, for the one who refrains from implementing the Shari'a may refrain by being in the land of kufr or by force. And the 'ulama have stipulated that the one who refrains from the power, his repentance is not to be sought, and all the more so for the one at war. So the one who refrains from the rituals of Islam and the one who refrains from relinquishing the rule of God and the one waging war against the Muslims outside their power and rule, whether refraining through the state of kufr, its laws, armies or courts: this brings together the two types of refraining so it is not necessary to make clear the conditions and the banishment of the objections with regards to him before declaring takfir and fighting"- al-Thalathina.
And Sahib [al-Jami'] after he affirmed that the demand for repentance is to be applied to all that falls within the council of judgement from making clear the conditions and objections before judgement and from demanding repentance after it: "And this demand for repentance is obligatory with the one caught, and is to be applied according to possibility with the one who refrains in that if there reaches the one who judges on the matter of the one who refrains from whom kufr has appeared the presence of an objection in his view, he must consider it. But it is not necessary for the one who judges on his matter to look for the objections or that the ruling on him should depend on that, especially if there should follow from refraining in that an act of corrupting evil against the Muslims."
Merely the presence of the possibility of the objection must be pondered and thought about, as Sheikh Abu Qatada- may God release him from his imprisonment- mentioned in his commentary on Sahib al-Jami' in the message Ahl al-Qibla wa al-Muta'wwilun: No one can deny the presence of objections among the masses of the individuals of the Muslims, so pondering them is obligatory...and if the 'ulama of jihad like Sahib al-Jami' and al-Maqdisi and Abu Qatada and Abu Yahya assert to consider the objections in individuals of the group that refrains if those objections appear, so how can the it be otherwise for the individuals of the oppressed Muslims who are caught under power?!"
Sahib al-Jami' said: "There is a distinction between the judicial ruling in this world and the religious ruling in truth for if the one who claims ignorance is capable of knowledge in the manner we have outlined previously, he is not to be excused and his claims are of no use to him in the eyes of God Almighty, and his excuse is as the excuses of the hypocrites who used to excuse themselves to the Prophet (SAWS), for these excuses warded off the danger from them in the ruling of this world and did not benefit them in the Hereafter, so this person who is capable despite his ignorance is a disbeliever who is not excused by his ignorance in truth in the eyes of God, an even if he were to die in this state he would be a disbeliever confined for eternity in the fire, unable to get out of it.
As for the judicial ruling: acceptance of his excuse goes back to the Shari'i judge to whom his case is raised, if it is found, and the judges of the predecessors did not accept excusing the likes of this person by ignorance, and see the fourth section of the book al-Shafa lil-Qadhi Iyadh in order to realize this. And some of the judges may consider this excusing as a doubt that averts the hadd punishment from him, especially as the hadd punishment of apostasy is among the rights of God and is built on showing tolerance in the rights of men, and so if the judge does not accept his excuse, he must judge on him with apostasy, with fulfillment of the rest of the conditions, and his repentance must be demanded from it after the ruling and before fulfilling the punishment to kill him, so if he repents, he is to be judged in his Islam, but in the lands ruled by man-made laws, there is no Shari'i judiciary."
Sheikh Abu Qatada said in Jihad and Ijtihad: "And it will be made clear to us that application of these foundations differs from one imam to another and that is according to what appeared to him from signs and connections with the reality. And this shows that excusing is agreed on but excusing Zayd from the people or one group from the people and not excusing Amro or another group is a matter of ijtihad, relative and considered."
Second: The Ruling- Life and Wealth- On The One Who Is Established In The Abode of Kufr (War by Choice)
Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi- may God protect him- mentioned this issue in his long message al-Thalathina fi al-Tahdhir min al-Ghuluw fi al-Takfir under the title "Takfir according to the foundation that the principle in people is kufr because the abode is the abode of kufr"- from which I transfer portions with some paraphrasing. He- may God protect him- said: "Among the hideous errors in takfir is takfir according to the basis of 'the principle in the people is kufr' because the abode is the abode of kufr and dealing with them and permitting as fair game their blood, wealth and property according to this foundation that they have made to be a principle derived from the fact that the abode is the abode of kufr.
And to this day I have not found among them what they can cite to support their making this a principle, except an expression of the Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya that they have taken out of context from a fatwa by him about the locality of Mardin, and it is his pronouncement on it: "And not in the position of the abode of war whose people are disbelievers"- and they have distorted it and made it "the abode of kufr whose people are diseievers"- so they have derived from that this that the people of every abode of kufr- even if it incidentally becomes an abode of kufr and is not originally so- are all disbelievers, except the one the details of whose belief they know.
And all who consider the fatwa of the Sheikh of Islam from which they have taken their proof, will find that from its first until its last is a proof against them, for he- may God have mercy on him- was asked about the locality of Mardin that the Tatars had occupied and gained controlled over it and there were Muslim people in it, so he- may God have mercy on him- responded: "Praise be to God, the blood and wealth of the Muslims are sacrosanct whether in Mardin or elsewhere...and the one who resides in it, if he is unable to establish his religion, must migrate. Otherwise it is desire and not obligatory...and it is not allowed to curse them in general and charge them with hypocrisy, but rather cursing and charging with hypocrisy fall under the aforementioned qualities in the Book and the Sunna for some of the people of Mardin and others besides them enter into them (i.e. the issue of those qualities does not depend on the abode, but rather the presence of those qualities or their requirement in the person himself in any land). As for the fact that it is an abode of war or piece, it is incidental: in it are two meanings. It is not in the position of the abode of piece on which the rulings of Islam are applied because its soldiers are Muslims, and nor is it in the position of the abode of war whose people are disbelievers, but rather it is a third type, in which the Muslim is dealt with as he deserves while the one going outside the Shari'a of Islam is fought as he deserves- summary from Majmu' al-Fatawa 28/135.
So he establishes:
. That the blood and wealth of the Muslims- that is the original principle for them- are forbidden and sacrosanct wherever they are, and has nothing to do with the abode or locality, but rather that sacrosanctity depends on the person's showing of Islam, and not whether the abode shows Islam.
. It is not allowed to charge the Muslims with any of the qualities of hypocrisy and the like for the mere fact that the abode has come under the dominance of the disbelievers, without those Muslims bringing about some innovation.
. The land he was asked about and the likes of it, even if the jurists' description of the abode of kufr is applied to it for the dominance of the disbelievers over it, is nonetheless incidental to the ruling on its people.
And therefore the ruling on its people and dealing with them are not attached to any of those terms because of the lack of their validity, but rather the one who shows Islam, his wealth and blood are sacrosanct, and he is to be dealt with as the Muslims, and the one who goes outside the Shari'a of Islam, he is to be dealt with as he deserved, so the words of him- may God have mercy on him- was clear without doubt.
But the matter as he- may God have mercy on him- mentioned in another place...that the coming together of desire with doubt strengthens the push towards doubt and brings about corruption of knowledge and understanding.
This is so, and I had long followed the technical term of abode of kufr and abode of Islam and I collected the pronouncements of many of the 'ulama and their definition of the abode, and I looked into a trace of this term application among them on its inhabitants, and I did not find among any of the verifying 'ulama something from this that these people charge...especially on the incidental abode of kufr, the majority of whose people are Muslims.
Yes, I found something similar in their articles, among some of the sects of the erroneous Khawarij. For the al-Azariqa, followers of Nafi' bn al-Azraq, asserted that "the one who resides in the abode of kufr is a disbeliever, which can only be changed by leaving." And it is well known that they considered the abode of those of the Muslims who disagreed with them to be an abode of kufr.
And the Bayhasiya and Awfiya asserted: "If the imam is a disbeliever, the subjects are disbelievers- the absent among them and the witness." And this is all from their foolishness and ignorance.
As for applying this foundation and this terminology and considering it as an absolute against the inhabitants of the abode on which kufr has come despite the fact that the majority of its people are of those who claim affiliation to Islam, without considering the oppression of the Muslims and lack of presence of an abode of Islam to which the Muslim may migrate and take refuge, and without the Muslim's cooperating with or helping kufr: I have found no basis for this.
And I was struck at the end of the investigation by the words of al-Shawkani in al-Sil al-Jarar 4/576: "Know that exposure to the mention of Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Kufr is of very little benefit, for what we have presented to you in discussion on the abode of war, and that the harbi disbeliever, his blood and wealth are permissible in every case so long as there is no guarantee for him from the Muslims, while the wealth and blood of the Muslim are sacrosanct by the bond of Islam in the abode of war and elsewhere."
So this is what we care about here, and it corresponds with the summation of the words of the Sheikh of Islam on the people of Mardin and others besides them, and all the 'ulama on that matter.
So you depart from following their definitions of the abode of disbelief and abode of Islam in that these terms are jurisprudence terminology that has no bearing on the ruling on the one whose religion can be known from the inhabitants of the abode, and that the one who shows Islam and does not commit one of its open nullifiers, his blood an wealth are sacrosanct wherever he is.
And even if some of their definitions differ somewhat, the majority of them are of the view that this terminology is applied according to the rulings and dominance that rules over the abode, so if the abode is ruled over by the rulings of kufr and the disbelievers dominate it in ruling they have used the terminology of abode of kufr, even if the majority of its people are of the Muslims. And if the dominance in it and rulings are of the Muslims, it is the abode of Islam, and even if most of its inhabitants are of the disbelievers, as if the case in the land inhabited by the dhimmis and ruled by the Muslims.
Ibn Hazim said: "And the words of the Messenger of God (SAWS): 'I disavow every Muslim who resides among the backs of the idolaters'- by that he meant the abode of war, and nonetheless he- upon whom be peace- used his workers on Khaybar and they were all Jews, and if the dhimmis are in their towns with no others mingling with them, the one who resides among them to assume command over them or to do business among them is not called a disbeliever or evil, but rather he is a just Muslim, and their abode is the abode of Islam, not the abode of idolatry, because the abode belongs to the one who dominated over it, rules over it and possesses it"- al-Mahalla 11/200.
And the judge Abu Ya'ala al-Hanbali said: "Every abode in which the rulings of kufr dominated without the rulings of Islam is an abode of kufr"- al-Mu'atamid fi Usul al-Din 276.
And Ibn al-Qayyim said: "So long as the rulings of Islam do not come upon it, it is not an abode of Islam even if next to it. For this place of al-Ta'if is very near to Mecca and did not become the abode of Islam by the conquest of Mecca"- Ahkam Ahl al-Dhimma 1/366.
And al-Shawkani said in al-Sil al-Jrar 4/575: "The consideration is in accordance with the supremacy of force: so if the commands and prohibitions in the abode belong to the people of Islam, this abode is an abode of Islam and the dominance of kufr traits in it does not affect that because they have not shown the supremacy or triumph of the disbelievers, as is the case of the dhimmis from the Jews, Christians and people with a pact residing in the Islamic towns. And if the matter is otherwise, the abode is otherwise.
And Suleiman bin Sahman (1349 AH) said in a poem:
When a disbeliever becomes dominant over an abode of Islam and fear fills it,
And he implements in it the rulings of kufr publicly and shows them in them proudly without slowness,
And smashes in it the rulings of the law of Muhammad an Islam does not appear supreme in it and is not professed,
So this is an abode of kufr in the view of every verifier as the people who know the faith have asserted.
And it is not that all who are it are asserted to be disbelievers, for man in it has control over doing just deed."
So you see from reading these definitions and others that they applied this terminology to indicate the type of dominance and rulings that are supreme in the abode, and they note as you have mostly seen that the Muslim's blood and wealth are sacrosanct where he is and that whether most of the inhabitants of the abode are Muslim or disbelievers has no bearing in the rule over the abode, just as the rule over the abode alone has no bearing on their Islam or kufr, especially if it is an incidental new abode of kufr, not one by origin.
When Al-Aswad al-Anasi claimed prophethood in Yemen and some of its people apostasised and followed him such that he gained dominance over San'a- and that was in the last days of the Prophet (SAWS) in this world- and al-Aswad killed its wali Shahar bin Badhan whom the Prophet (SAWS) had established over it, and some of the workers of the Prophet (SAWS) fled to Medina when al-Anasi's matter deteriorated, and a portion apostasised with him and the Muslims there dealt with him through taqiyya (see al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya 6/308) so they were not disbelievers by their remaining in the abode of apostasy and lack of fleeing, but rather there were among them Fayruz al-Dailami and his companions who remained steadfast and endured until they killed al-Aswad al-Anasi and dominance returned in Yemen to the Muslims.
And also after that when Egypt fell in the hands of the disbelieving Fatimids from the Bani Obaid al-Qadah and they seized it and gained dominance over the rule in it, the land became an abode of kufr and apostasy after it was an abode of Islam with the majority of its people from the Muslims, so it remained under the rule of the Fatimids for around 200 years during which they showed their rejectionism, disbelief and heresy, such that Ibn al-Jawzi wrote his book 'Victory over Egypt.' Despite that, none of the verifying 'ulama said that this ruling of kufr that came upon the abode and those controlling it included its oppressed people, but rather there were many 'ulama, jurists and just people among them, for among them was the one who concealed and could not show his creed among the Fatimids, or even cite the hadith of the Messenger of God (SAWS) in fear of being killed (as Ibrahim bin Sa'id al-Habal the companion of Abd al-Mughanni bin Sa'id said that he refrained from narrating the hadith in fear that they would kill him.
The point of all this is that the circumstances of the Muslims under the rule of the dominant disbelievers in every time in which they have gained dominance over some of the abode of Islam would vary between an oppressed lowly person, the one adopting taqiyya or the mujahid arising on the religion of God- Blessed and Almighty is He. And the 'ulama did not charge any one of these people with kufr so long as they did not adopt any of the nullifiers of Islam and open causes of kufr.
But rather they declared takfir on the one who supported the disbelievers or apostates or shows loyalty to them or became among the people of their state and kufr rule as Ibn Kathir transmitted in al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya 11/284 from the words of the judge al-Baqlani regarding the Fatimids: "Their madhhab is pure kufr and their doctrine rejectionism and likewise the people of its state who obey it and support it and are loyal to it- may God uglify them and it."
He said in Rawdat al-Talibeen 10/282: "Section: if the Muslim is weak in the abode of kufr, unable to show religion, it is forbidden for him to reside there and he must migrate to the abode of Islam, but if he is unable to migrate, he is excused until he can. If the land is conquered before he can migrate, migration falls from him, and if he can show religion, as he is obedient among its people, or because there is for him a clan who protect him, and he does not fear fitna in his religion, migration is not obligatory, but it is desirable lest their blackness grow, or he become sympathetic to them, or they harm him, and it is said: migration is obligatory. The Imam said it, an al-Sahih al-Awal."
Al-Mawurdi said: "If there arise for him in it- that is, the abode of kufr- a people and clan and it enables him to show his religion, it is now allowed for him to migrate because the place in which he is has become an abode of Islam."
Rashid Ridha said in commenting on that: "This pronouncement is false, because man merely showing his religion does not make the abode an abode of Islam when the rulings in it are not Islamic- for all the lands of Europe, no one is opposed in them if one shows one's religion or calls to it even in the event that they are waging war on the Muslims- and because migration from the abode of Islam to another is permitted by consensus. And if he were to say migration is not obligatory on him in that case, he would be near to the truth, and perhaps this is the principle, and error has fallen in the transmission"- from Sharh al-Arba'een al-Nawawiya 13 within Majmu'at al-Hadith al-Najadiya.
And the Exalted and Almighty said in the details of the killing of the believer in error: "For if he is from a people hostile to you and he is a believer, free a believing woman." So the Blessed and Almighty called him a believer, and made in his killing by error an atonement, despite the fact that he was living with our enemies in the abode of war, and in the shade of the existence of an abode of Islam, migration to it was obligatory.
Abu Dawud (2642) and al-Tirmidhi narrated from a hadith of Jarir bin Abdullah, who said: "The Messenger of God (SAWS) sent a squadron to Khath'am, so people among them clung to prostration, so killing among them was hastened. That was conveyed to the Prophet (SAWS) so he ordered for half blood money to be paid, and said I disavow every Muslim living among the backs of the idolaters. They said: Why, oh Messenger of God? He said: their fires should not be visible to each other."
And the hadith has been doubted as Jarir was not mentioned in the narration of the group, but some of the 'ulama have authenticated it in its various ways and all this is among the lines of evidence that the likes of this person is not a disbeliever despite his shortcoming in migration, and his act of disobedience in residing among the backs of the idolaters, and there is nothing clearer in the evidence for that the fact that the Messenger of God (SAWS) calls the person Muslim and does not remove this quality from him, and this is not invalidated by the fact that the Prophet (SAWS) disavows him, and total disavowal is only of the disbeliever because the meaning of disavowal here is disavowal of the pact from its blood money as a whole.
But if God forbid, he not only resides in the abode of kufr and falls short in the obligatory migration to the abode of Islam, but he also supports the idolaters and wages war on the Muslims, then the disavowal is a total disavowal declaring takfir.
Then Ibn Hazim said: "And likewise the one of the Muslims who resides in India, Sindh, China, Turkic lands, Africa and Roman lands, if he cannot get out from there on account of burden, or lack of wealth, or weakness of body, or blocking of path, he is excused. But if he is there waging war on the Muslims as an individual for the disbelievers in service or writing, he is a disbeliever."
And here you must beware of understanding from his words- 'as an individual for the disbelievers in service or writing, he is a disbeliever'- takfir by merely helping the disbelievers in the absolute sense of service or writing, as some of the extremists assert. Rather, you have seen how Ibn Hazim has tied this support to war against the Muslims, and so then this is kufr. That is, war on the Muslims and aiding the disbelievers and supporting them against the Muslims in their war even if in writing and the like- not serving them and writing for them in the absolute sense. For this matter, an exposition will come in the detailing of work among the disbelievers.
So when the abode of Islam to which the Muslim migrates is lacking, he is by his residing in the abode of kufr excused if he fears God and avoids idolatry and helping its people against the Muslims, as there is no way to the abode of Islam for him to migrate to such that he should sin by his shortcoming in that, let alone being a disbeliever!!
And the Prophet (SAWS) said in what al-Bukhari and Muslim narrate: "The Muslim man's blood is not permissible to be shed, unless in one of three cases: the adulterous divorcee, life for a life, and the one who abandons his religion and separates from the group."
And SAWS said: "The believer will not vanish in the wide space of his religion so long as he does not shed sacrosanct blood." Narrated by Bukhari from a hadith of Ibn Omar and in it: and Ibn Omar said: "Among the predicaments whereby there is no exit for the one who gets himself into them is the spilling of sacrosanct blood without it being made permissible to do." And in Bukhari as well Maymun bin Siyah asked Anas bin Malik: oh Abu Hamza, what makes man's blood and wealth sacrosanct? He said: "The one who bears witness that there is no deity but God, and accepts our qibla, and prays our prayers, and eats our slaughtered meat. Thus he is a Muslim. He has what the Muslim has and on him is what is on the Muslim."
And the judge al-Iyadh offered what he mentioned in al-Shafa 2/277 from the verifying 'ulama: "Permitting the blood of the monotheists who pray to be shed is dangerous, and the error in leaving alone 1000 disbelievers is less than the error in spilling the blood of a single Muslim."
And he quoted al-Qabisi's words: "Blood should not be spilt except in the clear matter, and in disciplining with the whip and imprisonment is exemplary punishment for the foolish"- 2/262.
And on account of the importance of the sacrosanctity of the believer in God's eyes, the Prophet (SAWS) mentioned that in the last of what he entrusted to his ummah, on the Day of the Greater Hajj, in the farewell speech when he said: "Your wealth, blood and honour are as sacrosanct upon you as this day of yours in this month of yours in this land of yours."
Sheikh Abu Baseer- may God protect him- said: "If it is said: those people are not compelled because they can migrate and go out from the authority of the Taghut...and so they are not excused! I say: there is no doubt that the one who can migrate or can find for himself a means to be secured from the compulsion of the Tawagheet must migrate to be rid of falling under the compulsion, but this ruling is not easy and straightforward to apply to hundreds of millions of people and obligate them y it, such that the one who does not embrace it is a disbeliever, and especially as the problem is as observed a general one and not concerning one area rather than another, or one city rather than one, so who migrates to what, and who receives who: and the totality must migrate. This all suffers from the same problem!!"
Add to that the other problems created in this time that prevent many from freedom of movement or moving about for the person, like the problem of travel documents without which one cannot move about. If one obtains them, one faces the problem of obtaining the visa of the country to which one will migrate. And if one obtains the visa of the country to which one will migrate, one is faced with the problem of obtaining an official residence permit that enables one to live in that land etc. The long list of problems that one lives through and knows even when God allows one to migrate and reside in the land in this time.
Add to these problems and those problems: the problem of the absence of the Islamic State that will be an abode for migration and the muhajireen! For the muhajir Muslim in this time moves about from a major abode of kufr to another that is less in kufr, and from a major abode of oppression to a minor abode of oppression, so he moves from the greater evil to the lesser evil and not from a goofd to a greater good. And this is the reality that must be considered and observed when demanding that people migrate or issuing the rulings on them if they do not heed the call to migrate.
For all that our Lord exempted the oppressed who cannot devise a means or be guided to the path, as the Almighty has said: "Except the oppressed from the men, women and children who cannot devise a means or be guided to a path, for those people, perhaps God will forgive them. And God s ever-forgiving"- al-Nisa' 98-99.
It is easy for you oh servant of God to say to the people- while you are sitting on your chair sipping tea or coffee- you must migrate, but when it is said to you: whither, how, when, and whence- you will find yourself unable to respond to all of these questions, especially if hundreds of millions of people direct these questions to you.
For it is not from fiqh that the issue is applied without consideration of its impacts and results, and the possibility of realizing it and the extent of its realism and concordance with the eminent, general Shari'i intentions!
Sheikh Abd al-Rahman bin Hassan said: "It is not said that merely being among or residing with idolatry will make someone a disbeliever, but rather the point is that the one who cannot go out from among the backs of the idolaters when they have got him out with them out of compulsion, his ruling is their ruling in killing and taking wealth and not in kufr"- Majmu'at al-Rasa'il wa al-Masa'il 2/135.
Sheikh Abu al-Waleed al-Ghazi al-Ansari said in al-Fatwa no. 52/13/1312- Who is the mujahid?: "The principle in the blood of the people of Islam is that it is forbidden to shed it, as it is sacrosanct and nothing from it is to be spilt except through indisputable proof from the Book of God Almighty and the Sunna of His Prophet (SAWS).
Second: and this is what must be believed by all who profess Islam today in the east and west of the earth, whether in the land of Islam or elsewhere, and everyone who shows something from the signs of Islam and prays the Muslims' prayer, accepts their qibla, eats their slaughtered meat and so is a Muslim who has what the Muslims have and on him is what is on them. As the Almighty's words have shown: "Oh you who believe, if you go forth in the path of God, investigate, and do not say to the one you gives you the salam greeting: you are not a believer." So in this verse is evidence for what we have mentioned, and a prohibition on killing the one who shows Islam.
And the quality of Islam has been adopted by professing the words of the two shahadas or by the greeting of salam which is: as-salam alaykum, as the verse has shown. And all words otherwise contravene this that we have mentioned, like the pronouncement that the principle among the general populace of the people of Islam is kufr! Or refraining from ruling by their Islam until their state becomes clear! And other things besides that, like new, contrived pronouncements on the religion and erroneous innovations that we disavow to God Almighty, and we ask Him for soundness and sufficiency.
If you know this, you know the one who is right from the one who is wrong, and the one who pronounces truth from the one who pronounces falsehood, and the one who knows the truth knows its people, and indeed the mujahid is the one who wages jihad to make supreme the word of God, and adheres to His commands and prohibitions and does not exceed them, and it is not that all who claim affiliation with the mujahideen are among them, and it is not that all that is attributed in deed to the mujahideen has been done by them, especially as the enemies of the religion and its supporters and those aligned with them from those claiming affiliation with the Muslims adopt that as a pretext to attack the people of jihad and turn away the masses from them.
Sheikh Attiyat Allah said in the message Ta'dhim Hurmat Dima' al-Muslimeen: "And we have clarified that we regard our Islamic peoples on the basis that they are people overcome in their matters, and we do not exempt them or ourselves from shortcoming, and the thing is attributed to the most open of its qualities upon which are the extent in the specified issue, and that the peoples of our Ummah ruled by the apostate tyrants and secularist traitor systems that are collaborators with the enemies and loyal to the West are Muslim peoples who we must, as every person capable from the persons of these people must, strive to save them and free them and guide them and nurture them in the gradations of justice and might and dignity, and not bring about massacres among them, plundering of their property and increasing their sufferings, despair and harships.
And we remind our mujahideen brothers in every place- may God grant them success- of the necessity of disseminating and spreading knowing of the importance of the sacrosanctity of the Muslim's blood, and the obligation of caution over it, and maintaining and preserving it, and fearing that it should be spilt without right, and the obligation of closing any path that opens up to contempt for the blood, wealth and property of the people of Islam, and that the war, its atmospheres, circumstances, impacts and hatreds should not prevent us from adhering to the Shari'a of our Lord- Almighty and Exalted is He- in this matter and in every matter. Nor should they prevent our complete servitude to Him- the Exalted and Almighty. For we are servants of God- Almighty and Exalted is He- and soldiers for Him. We go on the path of Muhammad (SAWS) with entire compliance, patience and certainty."
Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Libi (may God protect him) said: "Conclusion: truth is realized through following, keeping distant from new contrivances and innovation, that every group should disseminate the bond of Islam to its followers with certainty, so it is not allowed to judge them with kufr by mere probabilities, and when it is known that there are obstacles to takfir in their regard, they must be considered, open and internal."
Section on the Wealth of the Muslims
We have mentioned that the Muslim's blood and wealth are sacrosanct, so his wealth is not fair game except in what the law has permitted or what he has given readily but is it allowed for the mujahideen to impose taxes on the wealthy of the Muslims to pay for the needs of jihad?
The army has a variety of costly expenses, especially in the modern age, and in order to cover the various expenses of the army Islam has mandated a number of financial sources for this purpose, and Islam has counted those resources so that the wealth can continue to be poured onto the Islamic army with munificence, in order to fulfill all of its requirements, such that the weakness of the budget that concerns it should not be a reason for the weakness of the Islamic military force, and unable thus to undertake duties and assignments concerned with it, as it may happen that the one of those financial sources on which the army relies in fulfilling its needs becomes stingy or depleted. And in this case, if this source in which that crisis has begun were the sole source on which the army relies, it would lead to many negative consequences whose bad effects could be seen, not only in the army apparatus and its war machine only, but also would extend to affect the existence of the entire Ummah in confronting its enemies from the inside or from the outside. Thus multiple sources of financial income for the army has been the means to prevent those negative consequences- i.e. a breach that penetrates through them to the entity of the Ummah or its protective shield.
But the question that arises is: are financial taxes to be imposed on the Muslims in order to spend them on the army, to prepare it with what it needs from weapons and equipment in order to make it capable of undertaking the obligation of jihad as required?
Response: from the 'ulama are those who have affirmed the obligation of jihad through wealth in an independent sense. There has come in the fatwas of Ibn Taymiyya what he specified: "And whoso cannot wage jihad with his body, but can do so with his wealth, the jihad with his wealth becomes obligatory on him. And it is the specification of Ahmad in a narration of Abu al-Hukm, and it is the one that the judge asserted in the rulings of the Qur'an in the sura of disavowal on the Almighty's words: "Go forth, lightly and heavily armed, and wage jihad with your wealth and lives in the path of God. That is best for you if you know"- Tawba 41. So the well-off must spend in the path of God, and thus the women must wage jihad in their wealth if there is means in that, and likewise is the case with the wealth of the young if there is a need for it, as spending and zakat are obligatory. And it is necessary that the place of the two accounts should be in the collective obligation. As for when the enemy assaults, there remains no face for disagreement, for repelling their harm from the religion, lives and sacrosanctity are an obligation by consensus"- see Ahkam al-Qur'an by Ibn al-Arabi 1/944, and Ahkam al-Qur'an lil-Jisas 4/316, and Fatawa of Ibn Taymiyya 4/607, and see al-Sir al-Kabir 1/253.
And there came in the message of al-Madhalim al-Mushtarika by Ibn Taymiyya in Majmu'at Rasa'il 218 as well: "The Muslims, if they need wealth to gather to repel the enemy, it is obligatory on those capable to participate in that."
Ibn al-Qayyim said in Zada al-Mu'ad by Ibn al-Qayyim 3/558-559 about the jurisprudence of the Tabuk raid as follows: "And from that it, that is the jurisprudence of the raid: the obligation of jihad through wealth, as it is obligatory with life, and this is one of the two narrations from Ahmad, and it is the correct one in which there is no doubt, for indeed the order for jihad with wealth is the brother of the order for jihad with life in the Qur'an and its associate. Indeed it has come as an introduction to jihad with life in every instance except one instance in the Almighty's words: "Indeed God has purchased from the believers their lives and wealth, such that paradise should be for them"- Tawba 111. And this shows that jihad through it is more important and certain than jihad with life, and there is no doubt that it is one of the two jihads, as the Prophet (SAWS) said: "Whoso has prepared a raider has himself raided"- al-Bukhari 2843, Muslim 1895. So the one capable of it is obliged as is the one capable with body, and jihad with body is not done except through its expenditure, and is not victorious except in numbers and equipping. So if the numbers can't be increased, help must be provided with wealth and equipment. And if there is the obligation by wealth on the one incapable of body, the obligation of jihad through wealth has greater priority."
This is so, but the majority of the 'ulama have made as a condition on the permissibility of attaining wealth from the people for the sake of preparing the army to fight: that the Bayt al-Mal and what is affiliated with it should be devoid of the wealth that covers the needs of the army, and in that is the words of al-Kamal Ibn al-Hamam in Fatah al-Qadir 5/443: "And know that the requirement to consider is that the expenditure on the wealth of the raider is obligatory, because he is ordered to perform a religious practice for which wealth and body are required, as it is like the Hajj. And know that the obligation to prepare them from the Bayt al-Mal on the Imam is so when they cannot prepare, let one their needs and reinforcing them. And as for when there is no booty in the Bayt al-Mal- it is not disliked that the Imam should entrust the people with that as is fair, because in it is repelling the greater harm- and that is the infringement of the evil of the disbelievers- to the Muslims by enjoining the lesser harm."
And there has come in Sharh al-Sir al-Kabir 1/139: "Should the Imam wish to prepare an army- if there is in the Bayt al-Mal a capacity, he must equip them with the wealth of the Bayt al-Mal, and not take anything from the people. And if there is no capacity in the Bayt al-Mal, he can imposed on the people that by which those who go out to jihad may be strengthened, because it is an exertion in consideration for them, and there has been appropriate review in that"- and see al-Sil al-Jarar by al-Shawkani 4/520.
And there has come in al-Nujum al-Zahira by Ibn Taghri Baradi al-Atabaki 7/72-73: "In the events of the year 657 AH, after the movement of the Tatars towards the land of al-Sham, one of the Muslim authorities in Egypt, called Qutuz, demanded the judges, jurists and elders to come together, that he might consult the on the matter of imposing on the people money to be taken from them to prepare an army to fight the Tatars, and consensus was attained.
And they were verbose in speech, so the reliance was on what Ibn Abd al-Salam said, and the summation of what he said: "If the enemy surrounds the land of Islam, all must fight them, and it has been permitted for you to take from the subjects what you seek for your jihad on the condition that nothing remains in the Bayt al-Mal, and you sell what you have from gold jewels and precious things, and all the soldiers be limited to their riding animal and arms, and they and the masses be equal. And as for taking wealth from the populace when there remain in the hands of the soldiers the wealth and precious things they have, this is not allowed. And the council was dismissed on that.
Therefore, the one who has authority can oblige individuals from the wealth to bear the burden of jihad in its financial meaning- army expenditures- in order to undertake the obligation of jihad, and that is according to what the interest requires also. And if the distribution of this burden on the wealth is with fair proportion to what they have from wealth while observing what is upon them from the obligations, it is what fulfills the interest. So the one of authority is required to embrace this method in entrusting expenditure for jihad through wealth. And that implements the Shari'i basis: "The Imam's disposition on the subjects depends on the interest"- al-Ashbah wa al-Nadha'ir by al-Suyuti 121.
This is when the jihad is a collective obligation. As for when the jihad is an individual obligation on all the Muslims when the enemy assaults them, as it is obligatory on all those entrusted from those who can fight here, that they go out to jihad in combat, all according to his ability, it is likewise obligatory on the rich to spend their wealth for the mujahideen.
On this basis, when there is not what suffices for the need of the army in the general wealth specified for the interests or the stock of jihad from the wealth of zakat, there arises obligation of jihad of wealth on the people in the mandated sense, or what are called taxes on the well-off and their distribution on them, for the sake of undertaking this obligation. This is so from the principle that "what is required for the obligation to be carried out is an obligation." From here also jihad with wealth is among the obligations that must be undertaken to undertake combat jihad- (this study is compiled from: al-Umda' fi 'Idad al-Udda by Sheikh Abd al-Qadir bin Abd al-Aziz, and Ahkam al-Mujahid bil-Nafs by Dr. Mara'i bin Abdullah Mara'i, and al-Qital wa al-Jihad fi al-Sayasa al-Shari'iya by Muhammad Khayr Haykal).
And Sheikh Attiyat Allah responded to the issue and said in summary:
There is no problem, God willing, in taking some of the very wealthy and people of abundance, and demanding them to pay money for jihad according to their state of affairs, for the sake of the strong need in which you are, and the summation of this issue is as follows:
So long as they are Muslims, the principle on their wealth is sacrosanctity as are their blood and property and lives, and none of their wealth is made permissible except by two means:
. Either (and it is the first means) by readiness from him, and this is lacking now, because the issue requires that they do not pay anything, donate anything or give anything to the mujahideen, and the need is pressing to take some of their abundant wealth to take help in it for jihad. Indeed this need may reach the point of necessity or something like it.
. Or (and it is the second path): by right, that is by law, and this second path has forms:
Among them: taking zakat from him by force and compulsion if he refuses to spend it out of obedience, as in the hadith that is in the Sunnas: "Take it from him by force and a portion of his property, for it is one of the rights of our Lord." On taking it from him by force, there is agreement among the jurists. As for taking part of his property, they have differed on the matter. For some of them have adopted its open meaning, and have made it the matter of reprimand by taking the property (financial penalty), and some of them have asserted that it is abrogated, and this is weak, and some of them have refrained from adopting its open meaning with interpretations that are also weak.
Among them: taking the rights that are obligatory upon them like the expenses that are obligatory upon them for spouses, support and others besides them.
Taking indemnities and blood money of crimes whenever it is obligatory on one of them, and the lke.
Taking the guarantee in the event it is deserved on one of them and its obligation on him in the judgement.
Taking the compensation for violation from them if they were violating something, so it is restored to its people, it is public or private wealth, and they guarantee its value in the event it is lost and consumed.
Taking the guest fee from them if a guest comes down among them and they refuse to host him, so its value for three days is to be taken from them.
Is one of the interpretations taking something from their wealth to pay the needs of the mujahideen and frontlines and freeing prisoners and paying the needs of those who oversee the loss?
The answer: yes, it is among it: that is, what is allowed and mandated. There is no doubt about this.
And that has been decided by the jurists, and its essence is that the state and its like now in our state of affairs- the jihadi group in a land or area- if it is unable (i.e. the Bayt al-Mal is unable) to pay these needs, and the matter is such that if we do not take the surplus wealth of these rich people, the door of jihad is closed or impeded or the Muslims become weak (i.e. their mujahideen and army) in resisting the enemy, and are exposed to defeat and collapse, that permits us to take from their wealth what meets the need, and we do not exceed the extent of the need.
This is a true issue and true jurisprudence, and the evidence for it is numerous:
. That this is a matter of necessity as is clear, and it is an interest of necessity as a whole as will come God willing. As the judge Abu Bakr bin al-Arabi (may God have mercy on him) said: "And as for His words: 'And those who have believed and have not migrated. There is nothing for you from their guardianship until they migrate.' This is a general statement on support and inheritance, for the one who is living in Mecca on his faith: that is no guarantee for him in it or resort for him until he should migrate. Then God abrogated that with the conquest of Mecca and inheritance by relation, whether the inheritor is in the abode of war or abode of Islam, for the consideration of migration has fallen in the Sunna unless they should be oppressed prisoners. For the guardianship is with them, and supporting them is obligatory by body such that an eye among us should not blink until we go out to save them if our number can bear that, or we spend all our wealth in getting them out, until there should not remain for anyone a dirham. Likewise Malik and all the 'ulama said. Indeed we belong to God and to Him do we return for what has happened to people in their abandoning of their brothers in the captivity of the enemy, and in their hands were stores of wealth and surpluses of circumstances, furnishing, number, force and skin."
And Ibn Hazim (may God have mercy on him) said in al-Mahalla: "The issue of what Abu Ahmad said: and the obligation on the rich of the people of each land that they undertake their payments to their poor, and the authority can compel them to do that, if the zakat payments are not paid by them, and not in the rest of the wealth of the Muslims, so there is established for them the food that they must eat, and clothing for the winter and summer as such, and shelter to protect them from the rain, and summer, and sun and eyes of passers-by, and the proof of that is the words of God Almighty: "And give the relative his right, and poor and the wayfarer." And He said: "And to parents is due good treatment, as well as relatives, orphans, the poor, the nearby neighbor, the neighbor further away, the companion at your side, and the wayfarer and what your right hands have possessed..."" Until the last of his words, see them in al-Mahalla in the last book of Zakat, for it is very good.
Khalil bin Ishaq said in his "Mukhtasir fi Kitab al-Jihad wa Ahkam al-Musabiqa": "Jihad in the most important aspect of every sunna, even if one fears being at war, is, like visiting the Ka'aba, a collective obligation, even with a tyrannical wali, on every free, entrusted male who is capable, like undertaking the sciences of the law and the fatwa, and repelling the harm from the Muslims."
al-Dosaqi: "His words- And repelling the harm from the Muslims- i.e. by securing food for a hungry person and covering shame when the sadaqat and Bayt al-Mal have not sufficed in that, and helping to restore to what the thief has taken to its owner, and by addressing the grievance of the one who has been wronged against the oppressor, and other things besides that."
And al-Ghazali (may God have mercy on him) said in al-Mustasfa fi Bahth al-Masalih after he likened his words to the issue of arming, and prolonged the discussion on that and said: "So if it is said: employing the kharaj for the interests, is there a path to that or not? We say: there is no path to it with the abundance of wealth in the hands of the soldiers, but if the hands are bereft of wealth and there is not from the wealth of interests what suffices in the kharajat of the soldiery, even if the soldiery is dispersed and they work in profit to deter the disbelievers from entering the land of Islam or deter the stirrings of fitna from the people of violence in the land of Islam: in such a case it is allowed for the Imam to impose on the rich a sum to suffice for the soldiers. Then if he decides in the path of distribution on the allocation by the lands, there is no objection, because we know that when two evils or two harmful things come up against each other, the law has intended to repel the greater harm and greater of the two evils, and what each one of them undertakes is little in comparison with what he runs the risk of to his life and wealth if the plan of Islam were to be devoid of force to protect the system of matters and cut off the substance of evils. And this has not been devoid of the testimony of specific principles, for the guardian of the child has the right to building canals and taking out the fee of bloodletting and the price of medicines and all that brings about a loss to prevent what is more than it."
Imam al-Haramain (may God have mercy on him) said in al-Ghayathi: "And as for third section of it, and it is its most important, for the purpose is to mention what the Shari'i administration and religious politics in it require if the hand of overseer of the subjects is devoid of wealth and the needs are pressing. I wish I knew how the manner of the ruling and what is the face of the issue, for if the Imam waits for wealth to arise to be received, the men of combat are lost and their loss brings about the worst of circumstances, even if he gives himself free rein in stretching the hand to what he can find from wealth without the regulation of the law in words and deeds. And we have submitted in what has preceded that we are not striving to bring about methods to nurture the kingdoms in the display of sanction for which we do not see faculties from the law of al-Mustafa. For if the Imam is tested in that, let him hesitate and consider further in this matter, for he has been pushed to two great plans. One of them is exposure of the plan to loss, and the second is taking wealth in an undeserved dependence for a well-known, familiar dependence. And God is the guarantor of success and facilitation, and it is worthy in complying with His hopes, so we say when the Bayt al-Mal is empty, matters are divided and we categorize them in three types and we bring in each type of them what is taken for the rulings and we mix the political cases with the Shari'i obligations, for the state of affairs is not empty when Bayt al-Mal has been empty from three angles:
One: that the disbelievers and enemies of God should infringe on the abode of Islam.
Second: that they are not infringing on it but we sense from the soldiers of Islam a deterioration and we expect a dissolution and breaking if we do not find wealth and as a result the disbelievers become emboldened in the regions and it can be anticipated that they will infringe on the peripheries of the abode.
Third: that the soldiers should be in the frontlines and observation posts, alert, ready, strong and prepared, and if they were to be stopped and be assigned for the raid and jihad they would need more in preparation and extra help, and if they were not helped, they would be cut off from the jihad. So these divisions are the foundation of the section, so let us speak on them first, and let us mention in every division of them what is decided, then we will review what is behind it and God is the One whose help is to be sought for what we will try to clarify.
Section: as for when the disbelievers infringe..."
And al-Shatibi (may God have mercy on him) said in the summation on his words about al-Masalih al-Mursala in the fifth example from the ten examples he used: "The fifth example: when we assume an Imam to be obeyed and who is in need of increasing the soldiers to fill the frontlines and protect the extended dominion of the regions, and the Bayt al-Mal is empty and the needs of the soldiers have risen to the point of what is not sufficient for them, for the Imam if he is fair has the right to impose on the rich what he sees as sufficient for them until there should appear the wealth of the Bayt al-Mal. Then he should consider the imposition of that on the crops and fruits and other things, lest the apportionment of the people in it should lead to the desolation of the hearts, and that rarely happens in that no one is harmed and the desired result arises. And indeed the lies of this has not been transmitted from the forebears as wealth of the Bayt al-Mal was abundant in their time unlike our time. For indeed the case in it is most adequate and the face of increase here is open, for if the Imam were not to implement that system, the force of the Imam would falter and our abode would be exposed to seizure at the hands of the disbelievers, and indeed the organization of all that is the force of the Imam with his justice, so those who warn of calamity if the force were cut off from them deem as lowly in comparison with that their wealth in its entirety let alone being at ease from it, so if this great harm is displayed in comparison with the subsequent harm for the in the taking some of their wealth so there is no contradiction in preferring the second over the first, and it is what is known from the intention of the law before considering the examples.
And for the other appropriate case: that the father for his child or the trustee for his orphan or the guardian for whosoever has a guardian is commanded to observe what is the greater interest for him, and so he spends his wealth for concerns of expenses or provisions needed for that, and all that he considers to be a cause for the increase of his wealth or protection of it from ruin, he is allowed to spend money in realizing that, and the interest of Islam in general does not conflict with the interest of a child, nor does the consideration of the Imam of the Muslims conflict with the consideration of one of the individuals in respect of his minor. And were the disbelievers to infringe on the lad of Islam, it would be obligatory to undertake support and if the Imam calls on them, response is obligatory, even if it entails tiring the souls, exposing them to destruction, not to mention spending of wealth. And that is not only to protect the religion and the interest of the Muslims.
And if we assess their attack and the Imam senses weakness in the force, it is obligatory on the collective to support them, all the more so as jihad in every year is an obligation on the people, and it falls with the employing of mercenaries, so there is no contradiction in spending wealth for the likes of that. And if we assess an absence of the disbelievers whose side is feared, it is not to be secured from opening the door of strife among the Muslims, so the issue is the same as it was. And the expectation of corruption is familiar, so one must be on guard against it, for this is true adequacy, but it is in a place of necessity so it is assessed by its extent. For this ruling is not sound except with its existence, and loan requesting in crises will be through requesting for the Bayt al-Mal income to be expected or hoped for. But if nothing is hoped for and the aspects of income have become weak in that there is no large enrichment, one must apply the ruling of imposition. And this matter is stipulated by al-Ghazali in places of his books and Ibn al-Arabi followed him in verifying them in the rulings of the Qur'an for it, and he made the permissibility of all that among them conditional on the fairness of the Imam and exercising discretion in the taking of wealth and giving it in the legitimate sense."
Then on your issue there was added to the principle of the issue something else, and that is:[xiv]
Kidnapping the one of wealth with the goal of taking some of his money by force, harming him, and requiring him to be terrified and terrifying his family and relatives. And to that has been added another thing, and that is: fear of a greater act of corruption or greater condemned act arising, and that is turning away the people and turning them away from the path of God, if they think that the mujahideen are attacking the wealth of the people!
So one must consider these things, so I say seeking help in God: what I advise my brothers is the following:
It is permitted for you to take something from their wealth by which you may pay for your necessities, and if that depends on kidnapping the person and taking him to prison such that he should pay the amount desired from him, it is okay, and what is within that from some harm and terrifying for him and his family is to be forgiven, but on conditions:
1. You do not take from each individual except the sum that does not destroy him or bringing him to ruin, but rather you take the known amount and you divide taking upon the heads of wealth according to their wealth, and the need will be met God willing without destroying anyone.
2. Kidnapping should be the last resort, as burning is the last medicine, for if you can speak to the people and correspond with them such that they pay you what suffices for you, it is not allowed to kidnap, imprison and harm.
3. It is allowed in the event that kidnapping has become necessary as last resort that you imprison the person for a period and terrify him such that he pays what you impose on him, and that for necessity of paying the need of jihad and the mujahideen.
4. All that must not lead to bringing about a greater act of evil corruption than the evil corruption of deficiency and absence of wealth. That is, this deed of yours must not lead to a greater condemned act, for if it leads to that, we are forbidden from it, and this is something of consensus with no disagreement in it. That is, the condition is that the order and prohibition should not lead to a greater condemned act and greater act of evil corruption.
So you must consider the states of affairs, and choose in every area and with every people what is appropriate for them, and it is not conditional that you deal with all the people and all the areas by the same means and method, but rather you exercise discretion in each case and with all peoples as appropriate, realizing the interest and not bringing about a greater act of evil corruption as a result.
And you take the minimum amount that suffices (according to need and even less than it, to make it easy on the people), and you apportion takings on the people according to their wealth and riches, and so on.
And deal with the people well: admonish them, do good to them, and conciliate them. And make clear to the that this is an obligation for us to take it from you for necessity because you have not paid for one of the reasons either lack of your trust in us because you do not know us, or the strength of your love for wealth, and your gathering of it and your shortcoming in spending and being thankful for the blessing, or your fear of the enemy etc.
So we will take from you the extent of need for jihad and the interest of Islam and the Muslims, and we will not destroy you or attack you or harm you, and what is within this work from some harm is inevitable and we are compelled to it, and in that we implement the law and fatwa of the 'ulama of Islam...etc. and likewise from making to understand.
And you make one of them understand that if he were to pay you every year or six months or the like a specific sum through such and such means, he will not be exposed to anything after that, and likewise for indeed money is the brother of life, and do not forget the testament of the Messenger of God (SAWS) to Mu'adh: "And beware of the precious things of their wealth." So this matter- taking the wealth of the people- is a path of alienation and path of very great risk!
But we have permitted what we have permitted out of necessity, and we have made it conditional that there should not happen a greater condemned act from the likes of alienating the people from jihad and the mujahideen and turning the people away from us and supporting us and their going to the tanks of the apostate enemy which they think protects their wealth and protects them!!
Therefore, may you exercise discretion in light of this jurisprudence through what is right. And God be with you and He is the best of providers (end of Shekh Attiyat Allah's response on the issue).
As for the issue of the banks, I don't know what has led you to condemn taking their money. Among us in Algeria, we don't see an objection in targeting the wealth of the banks because they are a government institution, and the wealth of the people deposited in it is guaranteed in exchange for use of it. As for the situation among you, I don't know. Are the banks private or affiliated with the state? And what is the picture of their work among you?
Third: the multiplicity of groups and the ruling of the one outside the group
First issue: the unity of the mujahideen and the obligation of 'imara
Sahib al-'Umda said on the preparation of numbers: "The Shari'i obligations like jihad, commanding right and forbidding wrong and the like, there has arisen no evidence that they fall from the Muslims for lack of an Imam, but rather Ibn Qudama warned on this and said: "The lack of the Imam has not delayed the jihad." And these obligations, as Ibn Taymiyya said: "Are not fulfilled except by force and 'imara." I have said: and the force, from it is the group. The Almighty has said: "And cling to God's rope entirely and do not separate." And the Almighty has said: "And do not conflict, for you will fail and your strength will vanish." And the command to come together in a group has come clearly in the words of the Messenger of God (SAWS): "And I order you with five things God has commanded me: coming together, hearing, obeying, migration and jihad"- narrated by Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi and authenticated on the authority of al-Harith al-Ash'ari.
And if coming together is an obligation for the force of the entity of the Muslims, so what is the position on the multiplicity of groups working for Islam? And with who does the Muslim work? The greatest of the Shari'i obligations in this time is jihad in God Almighty's path in order to support the religion of God the Exalted and save the Ummah from degradation and humiliation, and to establish the Islamic Caliphate- that obligation by whose absence the Muslims all sin on account of the words of the Messenger of God (SAWS): "Whoso dies without a bay'a on his neck has died a death of Jahiliya"- narrated by Muslim on the authority of Ibn Omar may God be pleased with them both. And the meaning is bay'a to the Imam and no other, and in the multiplicity of the jihadi groups in the one area are acts of corruption, because the jihad does not rise except with power and force, and the multiplicity makes the power disappear, and if the Muslims are divided among dozens of groups how will a force and power for them be formed by which they can confront their enemies, and the power of Islam will only be constituted by the wala' of faith through the Muslims' loyalty to each other and their gathering, as the Lord- Almighty and Exalted is He- has said: "And the believing men and women are allies of each other, commanding what is right, forbidding what is wrong, establishing prayer, giving zakat, and obeying God and His Messenger. Those people, God will have mercy on them. Indeed God is mighty, wise." And the Almighty has said: "And those who have disbelieved are allies of each other. Unless you do this, there will be fitna and great corruption in the land."
And the Sunna is that the Muslims have one Imam, and the rest are his deputies. But if it were to occur that the Ummah goes out from that to disobedience from part of it, and refraining from the rest, or something else besides that such that it has multiple imams, it would still be incumbent on each imam to establish the hudud, and fulfill the rights, and for this reason the 'ulama have said that there is to be implementation from the rulings of the people of transgression what is implemented from the rulings of the people of justice.
And likewise if they share the 'imara and they become parties, it is still incumbent on every party to do that among the people obeying them. So this is so on the separation of the amirs and their multiplicity, and likewise even if they do not separate but their obedience to the greater amir is not complete obedience, in such a case if the requirement to oblige them to that is removed from him, their undertaking of that is not removed, but rather they must establish that. And likewise if it happens that some of the amirs are unable to establish the hudud and rights, or he loses the ability to do so, that obligation would still be incumbent on the one capable.
So we do not disagree that the 'imara is an obligation for the community of Muslims on account of the Almighty's words: "Oh you who have believed, obey God and obey the Messenger and those of command among you." And likewise the words of the Messenger of God (SAWS): "Three people cannot be in an open space of land unless they appoint one of them as an amir over them"- narrated by Ahmad bin Abdullah bin Amro may God be pleased with them both. And the Messenger of God (SAWS) said: "If three go out on a journey, let them appoint one of them as amir over them"- narrated by Abu Dawoud on the authority of Abu Sa'id, may God be pleased with him. Because in that is safety from disagreement that leads to coalition for with the lack of appointment of an amir, each one becomes tyrannical in his opinion and does what concords with his whims, so they are destroyed. And with the appointment of the amir, discord is diminishes and the power is fathered and if this is mandated for three people being in an open space of land or travelling, then its Shari'i nature for a greater number living in villages and cities and needing to repel mutual oppression and separate quarrel is all the more important and appropriate. And in that is the evidence of the words of the one who said that it is incumbent on the Muslims to appoint the imams, walis and rulers- al-Nail al-Awtar 9/157.
And the Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya said: "It must be known that the wilaya of the matter of the people is among the greatest obligations of the religion, for the religion and this world do not arise without it, for indeed the interest of the children of Adam is not fulfilled except through gathering as they need each other, and they must have a head when they gather, such that the Prophet (SAWS) said: "If three go out on a journey, one of them is to be appointed as an amir over them"- narrated by Abu Dawud, from the hadith of Abu Sa'id, and Abu Huraira, may God be pleased with them both. And Imam Ahmad narrated in the chain from Abdullah bin Amro (may God be pleased with them both), that the Prophet (SAWS) said: "It is not allowed for me to be in an open field of the land without their appointing one of them to be an amir over them." So SAWS made obligatory giving command to one in the small group setting out to travel, indicating by that the rest of the types of gathering, and because God Almighty has made it obligatory to command what is right and forbid what is wrong, and that is not realized except through force and 'imara, and likewise the rest of what He has obligated from jihad, justice, establishing the Hajj, gatherings and feasts and supporting the oppressed and establishing the hudud: this is only established through force and 'imara- as per His Words- so the obligation is to take up the 'imara in religion and getting close to God, for indeed closeness to Him in that, through obedience to Him and obedience to His Messenger, is among the best of relations, but in that the condition of most of the people is corrupted for wishing for leadership or wealth in that, and Ka'ab bin Malik- may God be pleased with him- narrated from the Prophet (SAWS) that he said: "Two hungry wolves sent into a flock of sheep are no more harmful to it than man's greed for wealth and fame is to his religion"- (al-Tirmidhi said this is a sound, authentic hadith).
So he reported that man's greed for wealth and leadership corrupts his religion as or more than the harm of two hungry wolves to a flock of sheep"- Majmu' al-Fatawa 28/390-392.
And when the Companions bestowed Khalid bin al-Waleed (may God be pleased with them) on the Day of Mu'ta the legitimacy of command in the absence of the Caliph, Ibn Hajar said: "And in this is the permissibility of assuming command in war without the bestowal of command- i.e. without stipulation from the Imam." Al-Tahawi said: "This is a principle from which it is taken: that the Muslims must bring forth a man if the Imam is absent to fill his place until he is present" (Fatah al-Bari 7/513). And Ibn Qudama al-Hanbali said: "The lack of the Imam has not delayed the jihad because its interest expires with its delay and if there arise war spoils, its people divide it as per the law. The judge has stipulated, and the apportioning of the slaves is delayed until an Imam appears, out of reserve for the openings. For if the Imam sends an army and appoints an amir over them and he is killed or dies, the army can appointed one of them to be an amir as the Companions of the Prophet (SAWS) did with the army of Mu'ta when their amirs whom the Prophet (SAWS) had appointed were killed. They appointed over them as amir Khalid bin al-Waleed, so the Prophet (SAWS) was informed and he was pleased with their matter and right opinion, and he called Khalid the Sword of God"- al-Mughni wa al-Sharh al-Kabir 10/374.
For this group and its amir apply the rulings of the Shari'i 'imara as regards the obligations of the amir and the obligations of the members, as per the words of the Prophet (SAWS): "Each of you is an overseer, and each of you is responsible for his subjects"- muttafiq alayhi. And the Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya said: "Those of command- those who have command and their associates, and they are the ones who command the people, and the people of hand and power as well as the people of 'Ilm and words participate in that, so for this reason those of command have been of two types: the 'ulama and the amirs, for if they are just, the people are just, and if they are corrupt, the people are corrupt, as Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (may God be pleased with him) to the Ahmasiya when they asked him: 'What is our remaining on this order?' He said: 'what your imams have established for you.' And among the come the kings, mashayakh and people of the Diwan, and everyone who if followed is of those of command. And every one of these people must command what God has commanded, and forbid what He has forbidden, and every one of those who must obey him must obey him in obedience to God, and not obey him in act of disobedience to God"- Majmu' al-Fatawa 28/170.
And in what concerns the conditions of this 'imara, the judge Abu Ya'ala said: "As for 'imara over jihad, it is concerned with fighting the idolaters and it is two forms. One of them is that it be limited to the policy of the army and managing the war, so in it are considered the conditions of the particular 'imara. The second is that there be entrusted to the amir in it all its rulings from the division of spoils and holding of conciliation, so in it are considered conditions of the general 'imara"- al-Ahkam al-Sultaniya 39.
And Abu Ya'ala said in distinguishing between the particular 'imara and the general 'imara: "And the conditions of the particular 'imara are less than the conditions of the general 'imara by one condition and that is 'Ilm, because the one whose 'imara has become general has the right to judge whereas the one whose 'imara is particular does not" (p. 37).
So, if the obligation in this time is group work to support the religion, and we have been tested through the division of the Muslims and the multiplicity of the groups, the obligation first is to strive to unite the mujahid groups of the Muslims, because jihad does not arise except through power and force, and the multiplicity takes away that power, and there is no doubt that the Muslims, through their division, are responsible to a large extent for this corruption. God Almighty has said: "And whatever strikes you from calamity, it is in what your hands have earned, and He forgives much."
And in my view- and God Almighty knows best- the new groups should join the oldest groups, and likewise, the obligation is on every Muslim to work with the oldest group of those working in jihad, and my evidence for this is a hadith of Abu Huraira (may God be pleased with him) raised as follows: "The Bani Israel were ruled by the prophets. Whenever a prophet died, a prophet succeeded him. And there is no Prophet after me, and there will be successors, many in number. They said: What do you command us? He said: fulfill allegiance one by one and give them their right, for indeed God will ask them about what He observed of them"- muttafiq alayhi.
And what I have mentioned previously about work when there is a multiplicity of the groups from the joining of the subsequent to the former, and the new to the old, I consider to be a principle to be implemented, and it is not sound to consider other qualities like abundance or increase of knowledge, for these are changeable qualities, for the numerous sect, it is possible that a sect more numerous than it arises in number after it, and the sect that includes some of the 'ulama, it is possible that there will be another like it or arises after it, so these are changeable qualities and the foundation of the Shari'a is fulfillment and what is confined and defined, and from here we say that the example is in oldness for this quality is confined and defined, and it concords with the virtue of precedent and initiative, as the Almighty has said: "Not equal among you are those who spent before the conquest and fought. Those people are of greater ran and those who spent afterwards and fought"- on the basis that the older should be the one of correct Shari'i principles, embracing the Shari'a and implementing it and waging jihad for its supremacy over all of the religion and honest in implementing it. And even if unity is the priority, if circumstances cannot permit that, then there should at least be cooperation between the groups in the multiple lands in fields of expertise and preparations.
As for the other non-jihadi groups, it is okay to work with them on two conditions: first, this cooperation should not be taken as a pretext to refrain from the obligatory jihad. Second, the cooperation with these groups should not conflict with jihadi work, and there should be continuation in advising them of the obligation of jihad (end-quote, with paraphrasing).
And perhaps it is appropriate in this context to transmit a note mentioned by Sheikh al-Maqdisi- may God protect him- in the al-Thalathina, and perhaps it has a connection with the issue preceding: "Note: and it is appropriate here to note the mistake of the one who charges with sin every person who did not give bay'a to his Imam to whom he gave allegiance in the shade of oppression.
So the one who wishes to obligate himself with an allegiance pledge to the one he wills of the Muslims whom he considers to be fulfilling the conditions of the Caliphate and striving to fight those around him to realize and support the establishment of God's religion in the land, he can do so. But it is not right for him to charge with sin the one besides him whose ijtihad has led him to disagree with him on that, or the one who does not give allegiance to his imam, especially as there were found from the likes of this imam many who were not capable, and they were given allegiance before him by others, with each claiming the priority in that and demanding allegiance for himself, and citing the words of the Prophet (SAWS): "...there is no Prophet after me, and there will be successors, numerous. They said: so what do you command us? He said: fulfill the allegiance one by one, and give them their right." And the Muslims in their weakness between charging these and those with sin. This is so if they are safe from takfir of the first!!!
Despite the fact that the Imam of each one of these people is incapable and has no power and is not a shield by which the one who gives allegiance to him can protect himself, on what basis does he oblige the Muslims to give allegiance to him?
For it has been verified from the Prophet (SAWS) that he said in describing the Imam established over the people of Islam: "Indeed the Imam is a shield by which the one behind him can fight and protect himself"- narrated by Bukhari, Muslim and others besides them.
And the meaning is that one can seek protection in the Imam and that he constitutes something sacrosanct and a protective covering for the subjects, as the shield and armour for them, and so the one covered with the shielding as protected himself from the harm of the enemy.
al-Nawawi said: "That is, like the covering because he prevents the enemy from harming the Muslims and protects the people from each other and protects the abode of Islam, and the people fear him and fear his assault."
And this has been explained in what the jurists stipulated as a condition from what obliges the Caliph from protecting the abode and fulfilling the rights of the Muslims and undertaking what obliges them from establishing the jihad and protecting their religion and the necessities of their material world, in that were he prevented from undertaking that, he would be taken prisoner, detained, rendered incapable or the like, and so he would be removed and no longer considered an Imam or Caliph. And likewise were he weak and oppressed, with no power or force, what sect would be content with him as an amir for it on the basis of his weakness? But it is not its right or his own likewise to compel the Muslims to give allegiance to him, and make him a greater Imam or caliph over the masses of the Muslims and charge with sin those who do not give allegiance to him. And he does not possess from his matter and the matter of the people of his household anything in the shade of the rule of the Tawagheet and their weakness, let alone being a shield for others besides him from the Muslims.
Ibn Hajar said in al-Fatah: "And his words- 'Indeed the Imam is a shield'- by including the Jeem that is a protection because he prevents the enemy from harming the Muslims and keeps them from harming each other. And the meaning of Imam is everyone who undertakes the affairs of the Muslims."
And al-Qalqshanadi said in Ma'athar al-Anafa fi Ma'alim al-Khilafa 1/13: "And the one on whom is the custom spread from the heart of Islam and likewise the application of the name of Caliph to all who undertake the affair of the Muslims generally..."
The Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya said in Manhaj al-Sunna 1/141: "So the one who proclaims to become an Imam by the agreement of one or two or four, and they are not those of power and might: that person is mistaken."
And Sheikh al-Maqdisi (may God protect him) said as well: "And the worst extremists are the ones you see who deal with all outside the cocoon of their group or limits of their group as though they are disbelievers, so they do away with their Islamic rights, and permit their property as fair game, or they exceed the limits of God among them, so they do not observe for them a pact nor Shari'i right, and if it is on inquiry for details, they do not openly declare takfir of them!! And all this is among the falsehood and clear error we disavow to God Almighty.
And it is of a type of what has been presented from takfir of the one who does not give allegiance to a specific Imam, for some of those who espouse this proposition also cite as evidence of the kufr of the one who has separated from their group a hadith of Muslim: "Whoso separates from the group has died a death of Jahiliya." Then they afflict and make narrow what God made broad, as they restrict the expression of the group here to their group, and the response to the threat of death in Jahiliya has come forth and that its lines of evidence for kufr are not clear.
The Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya said in the Book of Faith: "And whoso says that every one of the 72 sects is in kufr that takes one outside the faith: he has contravened the Book and the Sunna and the consensus of the Companions (may God be pleased with them all), and also the consensus of the four Imams and those besides the four, for there is not among them one who declared takfir on each one of the 72 sects, but rather some of them declare takfir on each other, by some propositions"- Majmu' al-Fatawa 7/139.
Al-Shatibi also spoe about this hadith in al-Itisam 2/226 and made clear that these aforementioned sects in the hadith: "are probably going outside the path because of the innovations they have brought, so they have separated from the people of Islam absolutely, and that is nothing except kufr."
So it has been established that the evidence of the hadith for the kufr of the sects contravening the saved sect is not decisive, and in all likelihood it is the case that in those sects are those who are of the doomed who have turned back, and among them are those whose contravention has not taken them outside the fold of Islam.
This is one aspect of it. Another is that the fortress and pot of the "saved sect" or "group" are not limited to a specific gathering, group or party from the masses of the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama'a, but rather all those who are on its principles are among them, even if they do no follow a specific gathering, imitate a certain tradition, or pledge allegiance to or follow one of the persons besides the Messenger of God (SAWS), regardless of acts of disobedience and contraventions that do not result in kufr.
The Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya says in Majmu' al-Fatawa 3/215: "And therefore he described the Saved Sect as the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama'a, and they are the greatest mass and majority."
And he says in the same place: "For many of the people report about these sects through thought and whim, so they make their sect and those affiliated with it as the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama'a, and make those who contravene it as the people of innovations, and this is error. For indeed the people of truth and the Sunna only follow the Messenger of God (SAWS), who does not make a pronouncement through whim. Indeed he is only driven through the inspiration of revelation, so he is the one must be believed in all he has brought, and obeyed in all he has commanded. And this position is not for one besides him from the Imams. Indeed everyone from the people, there should be taken from his words and left, except the Messenger of God (SAWS).
So the one who makes one of the persons besides the Messenger of God (SAWS) such that the one who loves him and agrees with him as being of the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama'a and the one who disagrees with him as of the people of innovation and division as that is found among the sets from the followers of imams in talk on the religion and things besides that- such a person is of the people of innovations, error and division.
And thus it becomes clear that the people most deserving to be the saved sect are the people of the hadith and Sunna who are not partisan in their following except for the Messenger of God (SAWS).
On this basis, it is not sound to restrict the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama'a who are the saved set and limit it and specify it to a group or gathering among it, with loyalty and hostility to it, excluding the rest of the Muslims. As the 'ulama have mentioned, this is the path of the people of innovations.
This is so, and I advise to read al-Risala al-Thathiniya for in it are useful studies concerning the issues suggested.
The Second Issue: the ruling on the one who breaks the allegiance pledge and revolts from the group
Sahib al-'Umda said in 'Idad al-'Adda: "Breaking the pledge- whatever it is- is one of the great sins on account of the threat that comes in that, and among it: the words of God Almighty: "And those who break the pledge of God after it is drawn up as a covenant and cut off what God has commanded to be reached and sow corruption in the land. Those people have the curse and for them is an evil abode."
And the Almighty's words: "Oh you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do? It is a great sin in God's eyes that you say what you do not do." So the one who pledges and does not fulfill, he is among those who say what they do not do. And the Messenger of God (SAWS) said: "Four things make a person a hypocrite if present in them: and whoso has one of them, has a feature of hypocrisy until he abandons it: if he lies, makes a promise then goes back on it, argues and acts in an immoral manner, and makes a pledge and then betrays it"- (muttafiq alayhi on the authority of Abdullah bin Amro).
Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said in explaining this hadith: "And treachery is forbidden in every pact between the Muslim and the one besides him, even if the one in the pact is a disbeliever and for this in the hadith of Abdullah bin Amro on the authority of the Prophet (SAWS): "Whoever kills a life under pact without right, he will not smell the scent of Paradise, even if its fragrance be detected from a distance of 40 years" (brought out by al-Bukhari). And God Almighty has commanded in His Book to fulfill the pledges of the idolaters if they establish their pledges and do not violate anything from them. As for pledges of the Muslims among themselves, fulfilling them is all the more necessary and violating them is an even greater sin. And among the greatest of those pledges is the pledge of the Imam upon the one who has followed him and been content with him, and in the two Sahih collections on the authority of Abu Huraira from the Prophet (SAWS): that he said: "There are three people God will not address on the Day of Judgment and not vouch for them and for them is a painful punishment, and he mentioned from them: and a man who has given allegiance to an imam and does not give allegiance to him except for material gain, for he gives him what he wants in fulfillment for him but he does not fulfill for him." And that includes the pacts that must be fulfilled, and treachery has been forbidden in all the pacts of the Muslims among them when they mutually agreed upon from pledges of allegiance, marriage contracts and other types of binding pacts that must be fulfilled and likewise what must be fulfilled for the Almighty and Exalted for what man pledges to His Lord from vows of piety and the like.
As for the particular threat that comes in breaking the allegiance to the Imam of the Muslims, regarding that:
- A hadith of Ibn Omar that is raised: "Whoso dies without a pledge of allegiance on his neck, dies a death of Jahiliya"- narrated by Muslim.
- A hadith of Ibn Abbas that is raised: "Whoever hates something from his amir, let him endure, for whoever goes out from the authority by an inch dies a death of Jahiliya"- muttafiq alayhi, and in another narration by Ibn Abbas that is said: "Whoever sees something from his amir that he dislikes, let him endure it, for if he separates from the group by an inch, he only dies a death of Jahiliya"- muttafiq alayhi.
Ibn Hajer said in commenting on this hadith: "Whoso hates something from his amir let him endure"- added in the second narration "[endure] it." As for "whoso goes out from the authority"- i.e. from obeying the authority, and there occurred among Muslim: "whoso goes out from the authority" and in the second narration "whoso separates from the group" and "an inch" by kasr al-mu'ajama and sukun al-muwahhida and that is an allusion to rebelling against the authority and waging war on him. Ibn Abu Hamza said: The meaning of al-mufaraqa is striving to dissolve the pledge of allegiance that was contracted to that amir, even in the lowest thing, thus it was denoted by the extent of the inch, because doing results in bloodshed without right. The words "has died a death of Jahiliya"- in the other narration "he dies only a death of Jahliya" and in Muslim's narration "his death is a death of jahiliya" and also in the hadith of Ibn Omar that was raised: "Whoever raised a hand from obedience encounters God and has no proof for himself, and whoso dies witout an allegiance pledge on his neck dies a death of Jahiliya."
Al-Karmani said: the exception here is in the meaning of the rhetorical question: i.e. no one separates from the group unless he does as such, or omitting 'ma' so it assesses, or 'except', za'ida or 'atifa in the opinion of the Kufis, and the meaning of death of Jahiliya with kasr of the mim is a state of death like the death of the people of Jahiliya in error and they had no Imam to be obeyed, because they did not know that. And the meaning s not that he dies as a disbeliever but rather he dies in rebellion, and in all probability it is resemblance on its open aspect and its meaning is that he dies like the death of the person of Jahiliya even if he is not a person of Jahiliya, or that that has supplied the origin of alienation and turning away and its open meaning is not meant. Supporting the idea that the meaning in Jahiliya is resemblance are the words in another hadith of his: "Whoso separates from the group an inch, it is as though he has lifted the noose of Islam from his neck"- (brought out by al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Khazima and Ibn Habban and authenticiated from the hadith of al-Harith bin al-Harith al-'Ash'ari may God be pleased with him).
Note: the previous hadith of Ibn Abbas, that came in a narration by him- "whoever goes out from the authority by an inch dies a death of Jahiliya"- and in another narration "for if he separates from the group by an inch, he only dies a death of Jahiliya"- the word "group" in the second narration means the group of the Muslims that are in obedience to the authority, not merely any group. What has led us to this understanding are two things:
- First: the obligation of tying the use of the term "group" in the second to the word "authority" in the first narration, and that is for the unity of ruling and cause in the two narrations, for the meaning of group is the coming together of people on the authority, and it is what is understood from the Ibn Hajer's explanation of the hadith as came before. This understanding supports hadiths of 'Arafja from Muslim regarding the one who comes out against the Imam of the Muslims, for the Messenger of God (SAWS) described such a person as splitting the rank of the Muslims, and separating their group, and the meaning of this is that coming out against the authority is coming out against the group of the Muslims.
On the authority of 'Arafja: that the Messenger of God (SAWS) said: "There will be corruptions and corruptions, and whoso wants to split the matter of this Ummah when it is united, strike him with the sword, whoever he may be"- narrated by Muslim and he clarified from this narration that follows on the authority of 'Arafja also that he heard the Messenger of God (SAWS) saying: "Whoso comes to you and orders you entirely against one man wanting to split your ran or separate your group, kill him"- narrated by Muslim.
Second: the lam in 'al-jama'a," is for the pledge and not for the type: i.e. this threat in the hadith is against the one who comes out against a specific group and not merely any group. So what is the linkage that has come in the context of the hadith and makes this the most probable meaning? The words of SAWS: "Whoso sees something from his amir that he hates, let him endure," for the addition of the amir to the conscience with the address of the Prophet (SAWS) to the masses of the Muslims means that this is the amir of the group of the Muslims and he is the authority as he is called in the first narration, so the group meant is the group of the Muslims that are in obedience to the authority, as in the hadith of Hudhaifa: "Binding the group of the Muslims and their imam"- muttafiq alayhi.
And among the clearest text precepts in this matter is the hadith of Abu Huraira that is raised: "Whoso goes out from obedience and separates from the group and then dies, he dies a death of Jahiliya"- narrated by Muslim. Al-San'ani said: "Concerning obedience: i.e. obeying the Caliph on whom the gathering has occurred. And he said 'and separates from the group'- i.e. he goes out from the group who have agreed on obeying an imam by whom their coming together has been organized, and by whom their power has come together and their protection against their enemy"- Subl al-Salam 3/1228- Bab Qital Ahl al-Baghi.
I ask from this that one of the Islamic groups- as happens in reality- does not put this hadith in the wrong place, and describes the one who revolts against as one who dies a death of Jahiliya, saying to the one who abandons them rightly or wrongly: you have separated from the group and the Messenger (SAWS) says "the one who separates from the group by an inch only dies a death of Jahiliya." This is placing text precepts in the wrong place, and the group in this hadith is the group of the Muslims that are in obedience to the Shari'i authority, as has been previously made clear, and not just any group.
It is correct that Ibn al-Athir- may God have mercy on him- took the meaning of group in the general sense, for he considered the lam to indicate generality, so that is correct when that is applied to any group, for he- may God have mercy on him- said: "Whoso separates from the group, his death is one of Jahiliya"- meaning that every group that strikes a pact according with the Book and the Sunna, so it is not allowed for anyone to separate from them in that pact, for if he contravenes them in it, he deserves the threat, and the meaning of his words "his death is one of Jahiliya"- i.e. he dies on what the people of Jahiliya died from error and ignorance (al-Nihaya fi Gharib al-Hadith 3/439). And the matter is not as he- may God have mercy on him- said in that this particular encompasses all who go out against a group gathered on one of the matters of obedience, but rather the correct view- if God Almighty wills- is what has been realized above in that the group in this hadith is the group of the Muslims that is in obedience to the authority and not anything else, and the meaning of this is not that the one who violates his pledge to a group on truth is not bound in any way by the threat, but rather the correct view is that he is bound by the pact and threat that comes in general matters of violating the pacts as I have mentioned at the beginning of this issue.
And the group that brings down this hadith on itself, among them the one who interprets one word from this hadith and the one who interprets two words:
Those who have interpreted from it one word- the word 'al-jama'a' to mean any group and thus their group, and so the one who comes out against them is bound by the aforementioned threat, and the response to this has come previously.
And there are those who have interpreted two words: the word 'al-jama'a' as before, and the word 'Jahiliya' to mean kufr.
And therefore they have pronounced takfir of all who come out against their group, and made permissible their blood, for they consider themselves the group of the Muslims and the one who comes out against them becomes an apostate, and fighting the apostate takes priority over fighting the original disbeliever, and this is the doctrine of the Khawarij that some of the groups sometimes adopt so they make fair game whoso contravenes them- on account of that person's apostasy in their view- what they do not make fair game from the original disbeliever, as the Prophet (SAWS) said about them: "They kill the people of Islam and leave alone the people of idols."
And we have another line of evidence: and that is that the transgressors who go out from obedience to the Imam- God has called them believers, for the Almighty has said: "And if two groups of the believers fight each other, conciliate between them, and if one of them has transgressed against the other, fight them until they return to God's command, so if they return, conciliate between them with justice and be just, for God loves those who are just. Indeed the believers"- so God has called them believers despite the transgression and fighting, so they have gone out against the group of the Muslims and not become disbelievers.
And we have a third line of evidence: and that is that Ibn Omar narrates the hadith 'Whoso dies and does not have a pledge of allegiance on his neck dies a death of Jahiliya'- Ibn Hajer mentioned in explaining the hadith the allegiance of Ibn Omar to Abd al-Malek Ibn Marwan. He said: "Abdullah bin Omar in that time refused to give allegiance to Ibn al-Zubayr or Abd al-Malek, just he had refused to give allegiance to Ali or Mu'awiya, then he pledged allegiance to Mu'awiya when he conciliated with al-Hassan bin Ali and the people gathered on him, and he gave allegiance to Yazid after the death of Mu'awiya as the people had gathered on him, then he refused to give allegiance to anyone in the event of disagreement until Ibn al-Zubayr was killed and sovereignty belonged to Abd al-Malek entirely so he gave allegiance to him them"- Fatah al-Bari j13/195.
I say: despite this position of Ibn Omar (may God be pleased with him), the majority of the companions and the followers and the Ahl al-Sunna have taken view of the obligation of the victory of the one in the right and fighting the transgressor, without any of the companions who refrained from fighting the transgressors being in error because they made an ijtihad in this position of theirs. And this has previously been affirmed at the end of the third chapter, but the point is from the deeds of Ibn Omar- even as he narrated the hadith of 'Whoso dies and does not have an allegiance on his neck'- is that were Jahiliya kufr, he would have had to give allegiance to the nearer of the two of them to truth, despite the fact he had an interpretation to abandon allegiance because of disagreement of the people.
And here we must note the one who declares takfir on the one who goes out against their group by the interpretation of the hadith of Ibn Mas'oud that is raised: "The Muslim man's blood is sacrosanct except in one of three cases: the immoral adulterer, life for a life, and the one who leaves his religion and separates from the group" (muttafiq alayhi). And the corrupt interpretation is that they have made "the one who abandons his religion" a description of "the one who separates from the group" and consider that their group is the group of Muslims, so the one who separates from them abandons his religion. The correct view is that "the one who separates from the group" is a description of "the one who leaves his religion" and not the other way around, and that is because the one who apostasises from his religion has separated from the group by his departure from the bond that unites him with the Muslims and it is the bond of Islam and faith. And this is what Ibn Hajer mentioned in explaining the hadith of Ibn Mas'oud "The blood of a Muslim man is sacrosanct..."
Ibn Hajer said: "And the meaning of the group is the group of Muslims: i.e. the one who separates from them or abandons them through apostasy, for it is quality of the one who abandons or separates, and not an independent quality. Otherwise, the qualities would have been four"- Fatah al-Bari 12/201-202.
I say: and therefore it is possible to say that all who abandon their religion (the apostates) separate from the group, but not that all who separate from the group are abandoning their religion (e.g. the transgressor), and there have come narrations of another for the same hadith without mentioning the word group, like the narration of al-Tirmidhi on the authority of Othman bin Affan (may God be pleased with him) that is raised: "A Muslim man's blood is sacrosanct except in one of three cases: a man who becomes a disbeliever after his Islam, or commits fornication after his chastity, or takes a life without right"- so this narration makes clear that the meaning in the first narration is the apostate- end of summary.
After this itinerary with the transmissions of the 'ulama- with apology for the excursus that the context of words and following issues imposed- and our thought that it is not devoid of benefit that the mujahid needs in building himself and his rank, we come to the conclusion so we say and God is the One whose help is to be sought.
. The absence of the Islamic Caliphate has brought about a complicated reality, made all the more complicated and debased with the longevity of the period of absence in which there has been the intervention of the operations of destruction and distortion that the Crusader colonialism and its trustees after it have dealt in. And the state of the Muslims is as has been narrated from the Prophet from multiple faces among the Ahl al-Sunan wa al-Masanid: that he said: "My Ummah will divide into 73 sects, all of them in the fire except one, and it is the group." And in a narration: "whoso is on the likes of what I and my Companions are today." And the Messenger of God (SAWS) spoke the truth and the Sunnah of God Almighty has been realized in His people and the Ummah has divided as al-Sadiq al-Masduq said, and the banner of the saved sect and victorious sect has remained present, distinguished and confronting internal and external challenges. And God ordained 'ulama for it in every age, defending its havens from every intruder from knowledge, understanding and work, so praise be to God and may God reward them best.
. All are agreed on the necessity of complying with the manhaj and path of the Ahl al-Sunna, and as for disagreement in assessing the problems of the situation and means of confrontation, the disagreement begins in the method of work. And what makes it regrettable is that every gathering holds that it alone is the Ahl al-Sunna and the victorious sect, and it alone is responsible for this religion, and capable of standing in all the frontlines and waging all the battles, and beginning always from zero until it establishes the Caliphate and receives its administration.
. The organized jihadi work is a Shari'i obligation and reasonable and realistic quest whether for the Muslims or others besides them. This is one of the Sunnas of God in His creation, for the results required from the group are not undertaken by an individual or scattered individuals, just as the group cannot achieve what is required of it unless it exploits the different capabilities and talents of its members, doing so in a knowledgeable and organized way for the general interest.
. To be fair, impartial and honest with oneself, we must acknowledge that the camp of the Ahl al-Sunna is- very regrettably- the least of the camps in organization, planning and cooperation between its groups in the face of the fierce attack that threatens it in its existence and manahij.
Remarkably, many of these Sunni groups abandon the first enemy and true danger and fight among themselves with partisanship for names and personalities, with that mostly accompanies with weakness in Shari' knowledge and awareness of the reality, and without considering the Shari'i corruptions that arise from that conflict.
. Rectifying the situation of the Muslims requires taqwa of God, in order for man to prepare an answer to the question before God. As for in this world, quarrel and escaping from the fiqh consequences of choices is easy for the one who does not fear God. We ask God for sufficiency.
. With regards to the obligation for the mujahideen to come together and unite to regain their lost glory, it appears to me that the opinion of the Sahib al-'Umda on the new joining the old is correct and sound, on condition that it be of correct manhaj and complying with the Shari'a of God- as far a is possible- and soundly administers the battle so that the efforts of the Muslims do not go to waste.
. And with regards to the fact that the amir of any group has no right to assume the position of the Caliphate, I say: that claiming the Caliphate and what results from it from describing the one going outside it as transgressor and that he dies a death of Jahiliya, this should not be assured except with evidence clearer than the light of the sun, for the danger of its consequences.
. And likewise softening the issue, and slipping away from the obligation of uniting the mujahideen or going out from the amir in pursuit of arbitrary whim is forbidden and an act of rebellion against God the Lord of the Worlds, and therefore I said the mater requires taqwa before and after the evidence.
And in the limits of what we have lived through in our Algerian reality, I advise my brothers and say:
. The obligation always is to consider the general interest of the jihad, before the interest of the individuals and groups, and to consider the state of the Ummah generally, and the mujahideen in particular, and excusing the organizational coming together does not cancel the coming together of brotherhood that requires mutual affection and support.
. Emphasis on the qualities of the amir, for the words of the judge Abu Ya'ala preceded: "As for 'imara over jihad, it is concerned with fighting the idolaters and it is two forms. One of them is that it be limited to the policy of the army and managing the war, so in it are considered the conditions of the particular 'imara. The second is that there be entrusted to the amir in it all its rulings from the division of spoils and holding of conciliation, so in it are considered conditions of the general 'imara."
As for the 'imara of jihad in our time from the second angle, one must emphasize in that the nasiha for God, His Book, His Messenger and the Imams of the Muslims, just as it is necessary that the exception- appointment of the one less excellent for the interest as successor- should not become a principle. I say this so that we do not appoint one falling short of the conditions and give him the competencies of the entirety, and then we find ourselves in a crisis with two bitter choices: "Continuing on a crooked, closed path or going out."
. I advise my brothers to broaden the Shura before taking the decision to go out, and that advice take precedence, and that we should not resort to the choice of going out unless compelled. And I reckon you as you have done- and indeed I have mentioned it in passing- and the issue of coming out against the oppressive and immoral amir is explained in the books of Shari'i politics, and there is no reason to mention them here.
. Concern for nurturing and education- side by side- and designating an elite from brothers who possess competency of seeking with good manners, free to seek 'Ilm, in order that they may preserve for the mujahideen their religion, for war eats men, and I advise not to get involved in the issues that have not matured and the picture of whose ruling has not become clear among you, but rather perhaps it remains a place of discussion among the authorities of jihad, so prudence is to be praised especially in the situation of jihad and the cocoon of arms.
. And so there should be among the goals of this stage working to spread our important, influential ideas that raise people's awareness about the meaning of 'there is no deity but God', the main pillar in our addresses should be interest in clarifying the meaning of 'there is no deity but God' and warning the people of shirk by different methods and entrances, as warning of the state of the Islamic groups that are loyal to the rulers and whose ideas conflict with the Shari'a and Hakimiya of God while observing calmness of assertion such as not to alienate the people and especially those influenced by those groups, while being keen to build a big popular support base as far as we can in what we wish from establishing a state that implements the ruling of God Almighty's law. And the importance of this matter is not hidden to you- it requires a wide interest in da'wa and giving priority in interest in the areas that will be according to degree of acceptance among the people.
. And in the same line I advise my brothers not to hasten to battle before being sure of completing preparation, for one must observe with exactness and be certain in the utmost manner of the completion of the desired preparation on all the important fronts, for the greatness of the standing of work that we want to undertake does not change the Sunnas that God placed on this earth and we have been ordered to take up the causes with entrusting- of course by consultation of the people of opinion and trust.
Also among the most important of skills of the local and international adversaries in destroying the Islamic movements and thwarting them is luring them and dragging the into a conflict above their power when its components have not yet been completed. So the enemy are the one who defined its time and place, so the zeal of youth is an element that must be there to win the battles but that does not at all mean that it should be what defines the course of the war, such that the leadership ends up running behind the zeal of the youth. Indeed:
Consideration before the courage of the courageous...it should come first, the latter second.
For war eats men like food, and preparation from inside the battle is difficult. I say this when there is a choice. As for if we are compelled for necessity there are its rulings, and war, indeed the man who does not hasten is appropriate for war, as al-Faruq (may God be pleased with him) said.
. I cannot fail to advise my brothers on the etiquette of disagreement, with continual discussion.
. And I advise myself and my brothers to beware of the perils of Satan. Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned in his valuable book (Ighathat al-Lahfan min Masa'id al-Shaytan) about some of the predecessors: "God Almighty has not commanded anything except Satan has in it two inclinations: either tafrit and shortcoming or excess and extremism, neither of which a successful one cares for." And many of the people think that truth is supported through narrow-mindedness and sympathy for the most intense madhhab until the matter ends with their broadening of takfir, and takfir of the one whom God and His Messenger (SAWS) have not declared takfir on. So let them know that truth is with the most relevant madhhab corresponding with the lines of evidence, not the most intense madhhab, and just as it is not with the indulgent madhhab of tafrit.
. And beware, beware...that narrow-mindedness should lead us away from the probability of legitimate disagreement to innovating and takfir and splitting the ranks of the Muslims. Imam al-Shafi'i said: "The people of innovation, if you contravene them, they say: you have become a disbeliever. As for the Sunni, if you disagree with him, he says: you have erred."
And lastly I hope that my brothers benefit from the experiences of the groups that have previously engaged in da'wa and jihad- causes of failure and success- and especially from the experience of the Algerian jihad, for there appeared in it the one who declared takfir on the Muslim people and made permissible their blood and wealth, and considered the one going outside of him as a transgressor whose ruling was death, and the one rank was split and the brothers fought each other, and the message need not be broadened to explain it, and were it not for the grace of God, the jihad would have disappeared, and praise be to God first and last.
And God's blessings and salutations be upon Muhammad, his family and companions. And God is our reliance and He suffices as a trustee.
Written by Abu al-Hassan al-Rasheed from the Shari'i Committee for Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad bi-Bilad al-Maghreb al-Islami
Tuesday 20 Dhu al-Q'ida 1432 AH corresponding to 18 October 2011 CE.
[i] Our arrival to the Wagadou forest was at the end of Rabi' al-Awal 1432 AH and our return from it was at the beginning of Dhu al-Hijja from the same year. We ask God- Almighty and Exalted is He- for ikhlas and acceptance.
[ii] Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad bi-Bilad al-Maghreb al-Islami issued an official statement in those painful events titled "Bayan Ta'ziya wa Nusra wa Muwasat Ikhwanina wa Ahlina fi Nigeria" dated Monday 26 Sha'aban 1430 AH/17 August 2009 CE.
[iii] It is to be observed that two of the members of the delegation are among those who raised the message of disavowal to which Sheikh Abu al-Hassan al-Rasheed responded.
[iv] That the Nigerian brothers joined the jihad in the Sahara is an old thing: there have long been relations between the mujahideen brothers in Algeria and Nigeria: a link whose thread has been knitted since 1994 CE and beyond. And a number of them were martyred in this frontline, whether in Mali, Nigeria or Algeria. We ask God to have mercy on them and place their dwelling in the highest.
[v] A number of the mujahideen brothers from Nigeria who were present at the time in the Sahara participated in this battle (more than 20 brothers), and the total number of mujahideen brothers participating in the battle was 81, with one brother among them killed in the battle. We ask God Almighty to have mercy on him and place his dwelling in the highest.
[vi] This was- if God Almighty wills- at the end of 1431 AH.
[vii] Sheikh Abdullah Abu al-Hassan al-Shinqiti- may God have mercy on him- told me about Sheikh Abu al-Muslim al-Ibrahimi- may God have mercy on him- for he praised him and characterized him as knowledgeable. Indeed he told me that Sheikh Abu Muslim was among the exemplars of students of 'Ilm in the jihadi movement, and Sheikh Abu Abdullah told me that he asked Sheikh Abu Muslim what prevented him from publishing his message ('Tanbihat Muhimma') and he said that he did not want the first thing by him to be published in Arabic to be a response. And Sheikh Abu Muslim was killed (perhaps in the year 1433 AH) at the hands of Shekau and his group, as I was told of that by one of those enamored with Shekau at the time.
[viii] What came in the introduction of this message: "This is advice for the Ummah, and pauses with the youth of correctness, and a reminder of what the Imams are on. I have called this "Important warnings against the error of the one who contravenes the Imams, and makes as fair game the blood and wealth of the Ummah" because the meaning is made clear from the title. The reason for bringing these words together: what I have seen from some of the brothers from venturing to assert the permissibility of taking oneself upon the wealth of the Muslims and taking it without readiness on their part to do so, even if that leads to vanquishing them and spilling ther blood and violating their sacrosanctities, because they- in their words- have taken up residence in the abode of war by choice. And I had a discussion with them and the result was that they began to spread words, fabricate and slander shamelessly: saying that so-and-so says that 'booty is forbidden'! So-and-so is a hypocrite! So-and-so hates jihad! Then I remained for a while, and then I was surprised by a message 'on booty'! In it, the author tries to strengthen the aforementioned opinion by what he reckons to be evidence! So the matter causes terror and alarm!! So I sought help in God and tried to present before them what I was provided with from the breaths of the imams, after what this opinion of theirs lacked from any reading of the Qur'an and authentic hadiths. Perhaps if they came upon them they would take heed and cease, but these people distorted the truth, and went to publish this opinion of theirs among our devoted youth- as I reckon them- embellishing the words for them, with measure and reasoning! And they attacked the one who disagreed with them, and whoso was made to attack, they enticed and sought such that they committed the acts of corruption they know!!! And among the greatest of these acts of corruption: the disagreement that happened between the youth, for some of them defended this opinion because it is the opinion of so-and-so and so-and-so! And perhaps they used those "standards" shamelessly from al-Rahman! Others disavowed this and warned about it, even if they did not find from evidence what they could rely on! A third group were confused, and the equitable were asking, investigating and seeking advice. So I saw that the most appropriate thing was for me to be with the equitable and bring- as far as I could- an answer to the question of those asking: out of nasiha for God and His trusted Messenger, and pride for His authentic religion, and maintaining our great jihad, and out of concern that the mujahideen would fall into God's resentment and anger, even as I wanted someone to precede me in this work from the one who was more right than I from the knowledgeable ones, and I feared that it would be driven by what was on me from the traits of the destitute. This was the reason for my delay until I feared falling into a prohibition of the failure of truth, and delaying the statement beyond the time of need. And God Almighty has said: "Those who conceal what We have revealed from proofs and guidance after what We made clear to the people in the Book. Those people, God's curse is upon them, as is the curse of those who curse, except those who have repented, correct, and made clear. Those people, I will accept their repentance and I am the One who accepts repentance, the merciful"- al-Baqara 159-160. This, oh dear reader, is what I present before you to receive from you retention with honour or dismissal with ihsan. And by God I as that He make it pure to His noble face, and in accordance with the manhaj of His trusted Prophet: "I only intend reform as much as I can and my success is only in God: on Him I have put reliance and to Him do I return." And God's peace, blessings and salutations be on the Prophet, the benevolent, the merciful, and on his family, companions and their followers with ihsan till the Day of Judgement. And our last call is praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds. Written by Abu Muslim al-Ibrahimi Rajab 1431 AH." Here ends the words of him, on whom may God's mercy be.
[ix] Those whose names I remember from the brothers who came to the desert are Sheikh Abu Muslim al-Ibrahimi (may God Almighty have mercy on him) and the brother commander Khalid al-Bernawi (may God deliver him from his oppression)
[x] Had I found a copy of the message to which Sheikh Abu al-Hassan- may God Almighty have mercy on him- responded, I would have liked to include it with his response, so that the reader should have a complete picture of the situation.
[xi] In my archive is a copy of this message directed to the brother mujahid commander Khalid Abu al-Abbas but it is a condensed version of this copy, so therefore I preferred to mention this copy, and in God Almighty is success.
[xii] Sheikh Muhammad Yusuf, may God Almighty have mercy on him.
[xiii] Thus is the message in my archive without any date, and likewise a copy directed to the commander brother Khalid, and if I can recall, it was written at the beginning of 1433 AH, but in truth I have great doubt, regarding whether this message reached Sheikh Abdullah- may God Almighty have mercy on him- as I never heard him mention it. God Almighty knows best.
[xiv] This issue was raised to Sheikh Attiyat Allah, and he made clear its ruling, and set exact restrictions, and emphasized dealing with the wealth of the Muslims or exposing them to terrifying on account of that, and he put in place for that precise restrictions (publisher's note).