This Response by Sheykh Abu Mus’ab Az-Zarqawi was published on 12 July 2005 In Alhesbah network
Praise be to Allah, whose Help glorifies Islam, irresistibly humiliates shirk (rejection of oneness), whose Command manages all affairs, whose Planning draws the Kuffaar (unbelievers) in little by little, whose Justice causes days of blessings and days of suffering to alternate, and whose Grace makes final victory belong to the pious. And peace and prayer be on the one that with his sword, Allah elevated Islam’s status.
Praise and Glory be to Allah, the Most High. He puts his servants through trials, days and nights, with all sorts of adversities and hardship in order to purge those that are true in faith and to deprive of blessing those that resist faith. Allah, the Most High said:
“And We shall try you until We test those among you who strive their utmost and persevere in patience; and We shall try your reported [mettle].” (Al Qur’an 47:31)
According to Saheeh Muslim, Allah the Most High said this to the Messenger of Allah:
“I have sent you [with the message] to try you and to test others through you.”
What we are witnessing now in the Land of the Two Rivers is just one form of trial. The crusaders invaded the land to sway people away from their religion and rip off their wealth, by force, in the biggest campaign against Islam in modern times.
With Allah’s blessing, we have chosen the path of jihaad in His cause to defend His religion and establish the word of Allah, above all others. This stand has prompt people to slander us, to misrepresent our mission, and to drive Muslims away from us. But we continued on our mission as we were guided by this saying of the Prophet:
“They will not be harmed by those who disagreed with them or those who disappointed [did not answer their call] them.”
The fact that those who opposed us and disagreed with us were of corrupt ‘aqeedah caused us no distraction from our mission. And Allah has blessed His truthful mujaahideen with a victory in the battle of Ahzaab, the first Fallujah battle. Allah has disgraced and humiliated their enemies and made them (enemies) retreat in total defeat. But while the mujaahideen were watching how the shadow of that victory turns around, an arrow aimed at their hearts came straight to spoil that victory.
However, this time, the arrow did not come from any of those whose ‘aqeedah is corrupt, but it came from a man who is considered to be a supporter of our path. I am referring to an article titled, “Az-Zarqawi; help and advice – hopes & pains” (Dated 2004) by Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, may Allah preserve him. I will not forget how Sheikh Abu Anas, may Allah have mercy on him, started to cry when he saw sadness on my face as I was reading the article. Yes, I was saddened because the article misrepresented me and misrepresented the facts. Abu Anas said to me then:
“Verily Allah will defend (from ill) those who believe…” (Al Qur’an 22:38)
I thought that the whole thing might have been a flop from which the Sheikh will recover. But Sheikh al-Maqdisi, may Allah preserve him, affirmed his position in another article titled: “Fruits of Jihaad Revisited”,(Dated 2004) and then reaffirmed all that in his recent(6 July 2005) interview with Al-Jazeera Channel (watch or read the transcript). During that interview, he made a point of saying that he was speaking freely and was not under undue pressure from anyone. At this point, I have concluded that what was supposed to have been sincere advice has gone beyond that and therefore has been misdirected and lost its legal bases. He appeared to have had ulterior motives, especially now that everyone can see the cross worshippers military machine has crumbled under the intense pressure from mujaahideen. Therefore, I felt compelled to clarify some issues and facts and correct some errors that were presented in both of Sheikh Maqdisi’s articles as well as his interview with Al-Jazeera.
I start by putting all my trust in Allah and realizing that success comes only from Allah.
Firstly: My response will focus on clarifying some facts about the path of our jihaad in Iraq and any related matters.
I will begin by discussing what appeared in his (Sheikh Maqdisi, may Allah preserve him) articles as a record of my relationship with him and things that we talked as these items do not serve anyone but the enemies of Allah.
Secondly: The Sheikh, may Allah preserve him, began his first article by indicating that he tried very hard to find a way to get the document or at least most of it to me before publishing it but he was not successful and therefore, he had to publish it. If that was true, what was then the reason for repeating his so-called advice during his interview with Al-Jazeera? If his primary concern has been to communicate an advice to me, well this goal has already been accomplished by publishing the article. I must not only ask why had the matter been repeated on Al-Jazeera Channel but I must also ask why now? Doing things of that nature now does not serve anyone but the cross worshippers and their apostate servants.
Thirdly: The Sheikh, may Allah preserve him, alleged that I benefited from him, sought sanctuary in his Sheikhdom, and never said anything that contradicted his position. There is no doubt that the poor servant (referring to himself) is indeed indebted to Sheikh Abu Muhammad, may Allah preserve him, he was one of those whom I learned details of Tawheed (unity of Allah) from, and my position with respect to many issues was similar to his.
However, he must have known that following him or being close to him was only because I believed that his views agreed with the Book (Qur’aan) and Sunnah (the practice of the Messenger of Allah), and it was not blind following. If the matter was nothing more than blind following, we have blindly followed those who are far more knowledgeable and have higher status than him. The bases for our religion are the Book and the Sunnah. Therefore, we accept whatever is in full agreement with them (Book and Sunnah) and reject whatever contradict with them.
So just as I benefited from Sheikh Maqdisi, may Allah reward him many times over, I have also benefited from other righteous scholars. This does not mean that I have to implement everything Maqdisi says, besides, he does not and should not have a monopoly on knowledge, and not everything he says is correct, especially when it comes to jihaad and the current state of affairs of the Ummah in view of the crusader’s campaign against Islam.
As I continue on the path of Allah and as I make decisions on matters of jihaad, I do not take one step forward without consultation with reviewing the Sharee’ah and certainly without consulting righteous, truthful, mujaahideen scholars. Allah knows that I keep constant communication with some righteous scholars who are far more knowledgeable than Maqdisi to get their opinion on most of what I am faced with on daily bases. They (the righteous) scholars are behind bars and if it was not for their safety, I would have disclosed their names here.
Anyone who knows the poor servant and who is familiar with my relationship with the Sheikh (Maqdisi) inside and outside prison must know that I disagreed with many of his positions, especially matters related to jihaad and team work. When I was freed from prison and decided to do for active jihaad, I did not consult Abu Muhammad, may Allah preserve him. I believed that there is another way to effectively help the religion that is different from his.
It is sad and regrettable indeed that the article is written by Abu Muhammad whose way of inviting people to the path of Allah gravitates around total submission to Allah and to Allah belongs everything, but in his article he says things like:
My Sheikhdom . . . My shadow . . . They benefited from my name…
All I can say is: Allah’s help is sought.
Have you come across a case in the Book, or Sunnah, or the history of earlier generation of righteous people, in which a person becomes a slave to his mentor? Have you come across any case such as the one above in which a person is not supposed to disagree with his mentor and is not suppose to accept opinions from other scholars?
Fourthly: The Sheikh, may Allah preserve him, mentioned that I insisted that Sheikh Osama bin Laden, may Allah preserve him, teach the ideology of Sheikh Abu Muhammad in his training camps as a condition for working with him. This is totally false. I have never sat down with Sheikh Osama, may Allah preserve him, to discuss this particular subject. I would like to ask the Sheikh about his phrase “Manhaj Abu Muhammad” (Abu Muhammad’s Ideology). Is this a manhaj (methodology) that is unique to him and not one else has adopted before? Or is it the manhaj of righteous scholars of earlier generations that he chose to follow? If he answers yes to the first option, then we do not need his manhaj because our religion is one of following the straight path of Allah and His Messenger and not one of innovation. If he answers yes to the second option, we ought to ask him why is he crediting himself with this manhaj which has been preached and propagated by many of scholars of jihaad and none of them claimed credit for it?
But what surprised me the most is how could the Sheikh allowed himself to make such statement without verifying it with me? Besides, why now?
This is a very sensitive time and I am now a soldier in the army of Sheikh Osama, may Allah preserve him, so what good would Sheikh Maqdisi’s allegations do and who is the real beneficiary?
Fifth: The Sheikh has mentioned that I was adopting his position regarding martyrdom operations but now I am expanding them in Iraq, contrary to an earlier position of disapproving them. The Sheikh did not accurately represent the stages and circumstances of my position. I disapproved of martyrdom operations when I was in Afghanistan. My position was based on opinion of respected scholars at that time under the specific circumstances that prevailed then. I had not yet met Maqdisi, at that time. Upon my return from Afghanistan, I met Maqdisi, and my position on martyrdom operations happened to agree with his. After we were released from prison, I went back to Afghanistan, and there I met Sheikh Abu Abdullah al-Muhaajir and we discussed the matter of martyrdom. He considered it permissible, and I read an excellent paper written by him on the subject and I listened to some of his tapes as well. Allah has expanded my breast to accept his position on martyrdom operations. Not only did I see that they (martyrdom operations) are permitted but I was convinced that they are desirable. I proceeded then to arrange for Sheikh al-Muhaajir to give a 10-days work shop in Hirat Camp to explain the legality of these operation to the brothers there- this had a very positive impact on the brothers.
But the question is: why does Maqdisi object to changing my position while he himself has gone from prohibiting martyrdom to allowing it under certain conditions? Why didn’t he present the whole story including his own position which has also changed?
Sixth: The Sheikh has mentioned that I named the party of mujaahideen working with me “The Party of Tawheed wal-Jihaad”, same name as his website, “Mimbar at-Tawheed wal-Jihaad”. Well, the words “tawheed” and “jihaad” are standard vocabulary in our Sharee’ah. So what is wrong with using them to name a particular group? Why would anyone claim a monopoly over these two words?
If I organize a group and name that group, “The Salafi Party of Preaching and Fighting” does that mean I need to operate under our brothers in Algeria?
Many of our scholars have given same names to books written by different authors and we have never heard anyone objecting to that. For example “az-Zuhd” was a title for books written by, Ibn Mubaarak, Ibn Abu A’sem, and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal; “Fath al-Baari” was a title given to books written by Ibn Rajab, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, and others. The Sheikh will only have a point if we called our group “The Party of Tawheed wal-Jihaad”, an off-shoot of Mimbar at-Tawheed wal-Jihaad”, or if I used his logo or his name.
But the pressing question here is: what is it to gain by raising this matter over and over? Especially now that the “Party of Tawheed and Jihaad” is a thing of the past. This group is now unit working under the leadership of the Central Al-Qaida Organization.
Seventh: The Sheikh has shown his reservation about our decision to fight the “Raafidah” (Shee’ah who slander ‘Aa’ishah – the wife of the Prophet, curse the Companions, and hold their Imaams as infallible). He further went on to say that the ordinary Raafidah is no different from an ordinary Sunni. As to fighting the Raafidah, we have indicated many times that we did not start any conflict with them, but it was them who started a campaign to liquidate all Sunnis, disperse them, confiscating their mosques, etc. Not to mention their alliance with the crusaders. Does he expect us to watch all this and do nothing?
As to equating the ordinary Raafidah with the ordinary Sunni, I swear by Allah that this totally unfair to the Sunni. Does the Sheikh really think a person who understands and practices tawheed is equal to a person who seeks help from Ali and Hussein instead of Allah? Don’t you know that their Imaams are thought to be infallible, know part of the unknown, and they manage events in the universe? Is that shirk or not?
They are no longer the ordinary, innocent citizens you think they are, but they have become soldiers serving the Infidel Kaafir and spying on the mujaahideen. How do you think Ja’fary got to be prime minister? It is also incorrect and inappropriate to use Ibn Taymiyyah’s fatwaa, which was applicable to his time and conditions therein, and apply it to the Raafidah today without examining their current state of affairs. Furthermore, there are a number of righteous scholars, such as, Sheikh Hammod al-Uqla, Sheikh Sulayman al-Alwan, Sheikh Ali al-Khudair, Sheikh Abu Abdullah al-Muhaajir, and Sheikh ar-Rashoud, who pronounced the Raafidah, including their ordinary ones, Kufaar.
Eighth: The Sheikh indicated that he does not support sending mujaahideen from Muslim youths to Iraq as it is going to be “an inferno for them,” according to his statement.
I swear by Allah, this is a grave misfortune. Can anyone believe that such fatwaa comes from Abu Muhammad? What inferno are you talking about? The real inferno awaits those who shy away from implementing the verdict of Allah and refuse to answer the call to jihaad:
“Go you forth (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, and strive, and struggle, with your goods and your persons, in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if you (but knew).” (Al Qur’an 9:41)
The real inferno awaits those who ignore the consensus of this Ummah with regard to aiding and protecting the weak and ill-treated Muslims whose homes, dignity, and chastisement, have been violated by the invading crusaders. Allah, the Most High, says:
“But if they seek your aid in religion, it is your duty to help them…” (Al Qur’an 8:72)
The real inferno awaits those who do nothing to free Muslim prisoners from Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and other locations. The real inferno awaits those who betray our honoured sisters who are being raped day and night by the cross worshippers and the Raafidah.
Sheikh, didn’t you know that practicing this fatwaa means abandoning jihaad and surrendering Muslim lands to the cross worshippers? Didn’t you know that answering the call to jihaad does not cause death to come quicker and does not delay sustenance? Death and sustenance have been determined by Allah before one’s birth, and nothing will change that.
Khaalid bin al-Waleed, who has participated in over 100 expeditions, died on his bed. He was not going to die on the battlefield, no matter how hard he tried.
Therefore, I urge Muslims to ignore this fatwaa in which the Sheikh believes that defending our religion, glory, and honour, is going to turn into an inferno that will ill burn all mujaahideen. This fatwaa contradicts the consensus of the Ummah. I urge Muslims to seek the scholars and leaders of mujaahideen, such as: Osama bin Laden, who swore by Allah that if he knows of a way to get to Iraq to fight alongside of mujaahideen there he would not have waited one minute, Sheikh Ayman az-Zawaahiri, who is of the opinion that fighting the invading crusaders in Iraq is a duty of every Muslim, Sheikhs: Sulayman al-Alwan, Abu Abdullah al-Muhaajr, Abu al-Laith al-Libby, Abdullah ar-Rashoud, Yousuf al-Uyeyri, and Hamd al-Haamidi, all are of the opinion that jihaad in Iraq is obligatory. Therefore, our source of knowledge must be the Book of Allah and the Sunnah. We will not accept anything that contradicts them.
O Abu Muhammad! I swear by Allah, if the entire Ummah told me that jihaad in Iraq is going to throw the mujaahideen into an inferno, I would not listen to them unless they bring forth an irrefutable evidence. How could I take such fatwaa knowing that Allah says:
“And why should not fight in the cause of Allah, and of those who, being weak, ill-treated (and oppressed)?-men, women, and children, whose cry is “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town. Whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from you one who will protect; and raise for us from you one who will help!” (Al Qur’an 4:75)
Isn’t this fatwaa and its timing, especially now that only a blind or a hypocrite cannot see the American army’s defeat in Iraq, a way to save Bush and his mercenaries, whether we know it or not and whether we mean it or not?
I could not find an evidence to discard the Sheikh’s fatwaa better than the Sheikh’s own words in an introduction he wrote for a book written by Sheikh Abu Qataadah, may Allah preserve him. In this introduction, Sheikh Maqdisi wrote: “We should not come up with short-sighted fatwaa that fail to take the intent of our Sharee’ah and current events on Muslim land into consideration. Such fatwaa would be an obstacle in the face of jihaad and fighting the invading enemy.”
However, if you want to practice jihaad that is totally free of any defects and if you decide not to sacrifice yourself for the cause of Allah unless your conditions are met, more power to you because in this case we are talking about one body and one soul, you that is. But I must caution you not to discourage others from jihaad which is duty mandated by our Sharee’ah. I will even go beyond that; I will caution you to discourage jihaad even if those who are fighting the enemies of Allah are not following the way of the believers.
Finally: If we were to determine whether or not what you have said or written follow our Prophet’s hadeeth: “Ad-Deenu un-Naseehah” (religion is advice or counselling), I say to the Sheikh that what you have done as neither advice, nor counselling, nor help, nor support. You have mentioned matters that have nothing to do with advising or counselling; you have talked about events throughout our history of preaching tawheed, but regrettable, you were not fair and you failed to stick to the accuracies of matters. I want you to know that I am quite capable of exposing and discrediting many of your misrepresentation with vigour, but I prefer to save this vigour, force, and harshness for the enemies of our religion and not use them against my brothers. This is what Allah commanded us:
“Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against the Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other.” (Al Qur’an 48:29)
I have news for you, Abu Muhammad: The cross worshippers, secularists, Raafidah, Islamic Party, and all other deviant groups in Iraq, are busy distributing printed copies of your interview with Al-Jazeera to all people in order to discourage any would be mujaahid from joining the mujaahideen caravan. Let me also tell you, our honoured Sheikh, after you gave your interview to Al-Jazeera Channel, the enemies of Allah had a very good night sleep.
There you see the tail of Al-Sulul, (Al-Awaji), making the following announcement, at the order of his masters:
“Al-Maqdisi has reversed his position, a development that will create a rift amongst mujaahideen.”
When you see or hear about this you may say that these people misquoted you, just as you did before. If that happens, I will have to say, may Allah forgive you Sheikh, since when those satellite channels and news media have been known to stand by the truth? Were you not one of those who have always warned us about their tactics? Why didn’t you wait until you hear directly from us about the exact situation we are in? After that, you could have chosen any of the legal (according to Islamic Sharee’ah) ways to advise or counsel us. Our reaction would have been simple; we would have accepted whatever was right, and we would have rejected anything else, based on our current situation which we know and live in it and you do not.
Let me tell you this, our honoured Sheikh: this matter does not harm me personally but it does harm this jihaad. I am only one man whose soul could be ordered back to its Lord any time. But the sad thing is that we now have jihaad that is blessed by Allah and it bore fruits already but the enemies of Allah are working hard to dismantle it from its foundation. If that happens, I can assure you, Abu Muhammad, that in terms of who get credit for that, you will walk away with the lion’s share.
I ask you in the name of Allah to avoid following Satan’s footsteps, and be ware of plots of the enemies of Allah, and do not fall for their trap that is designed to use you to drive a wedge between the mujaahideen.
Didn’t you notice the extraordinary attention paid and coverage given to your interview with Al-Jazeera?
Before I end my response, I would like to say that Sheikh Maqdisi, may Allah preserve him, is one whose services and sacrifices are known and should be credited to him, he is worthy of being given the benefit of the doubt and he capable of clarifying or correcting the mishap. Having made a mistake does not mean that we look down to him and to his knowledge. If it was not for the seriousness of the matters that the Sheikh opted to discuss openly to millions of viewers, and if it was not for its negative impact on jihaad and mujaahideen, I would have not bothered to write this response.
May Allah forgive us and him, and may Allah not allow His enemies to have a way to harm us.
Peace and prayer be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his Companions.
Abu Mus’ab az-Zarqaawi
6 Jumada Al-Akhiah 1426 AH
12 July 2005