The current leader of the Islamic State (IS), Ibrahim al-Badri (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi), released his first “proper” speech on July 21, 2012. But this was, in fact, his second public statement: Al-Badri had mourned Usama bin Laden in an audio message released on 9 May 2011 and vowed “blood for blood and destruction for destruction”. The 2012 speech, entitled, “Allah Will Not Allow Except That His Light Should Be Perfected”, was released by Al-Furqan Media and an English transcript—reproduced below—was issued by Fursan al-Balagh Media.
[UPDATE: an interesting fact, highlighted by Craig Whiteside, is that the two-year delay between Al-Badri’s appointment as emir and this speech was quite deliberate. An IS—then-Islamic State of Iraq (ISI)—Shura Council member, Abu Ubayda Abd al-Hakim al-Iraqi [whom we now know to be Wael al-Ta’i (Abu Muhammad al-Furqan], gave an interview in April 2011 explaining that the leader’s absence from the media was necessary as the movement rebuilt the foundations to wage their insurgency against the Iraqi state. Once the Americans were out, and with IS(I) clearly on the upswing, Al-Badri broke his silence.
Probably the most historically important aspect of this speech is Al-Badri’s announcement of Operation Tadmir al-Judran (“Breaking the Walls” or “Demolishing the Walls”) to break IS members out of Iraqi prisons. By the time the campaign formally ended on 23 July 2013, it had replenished the IS movement’s ranks with some of their most loyal and capable operatives, who would be crucial over the next year as IS constructed its caliphate. One prominent example is Adnan al-Bilawi, freed in the massive jailbreak at Abu Ghraib on 21 July 2013, who planned the takeover of Mosul in June 2014.]
“Fain would they extinguish Allah’s light with their mouths but Allah will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the unbelievers may detest it” [Al-Tawba: 32].
Praise be to Allah, we praise Him and seek help and forgiveness, and we seek refuge with Allah from the evils of ourselves and our evils, of Allah guides not misleading him, and not mislead guide him, and I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone with no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, to proceed:
Allah Almighty says: “And certainly Our word has already gone forth in respect of Our servants, the messengers -171- Most surely they shall be the assisted ones. And that our forces—they surely must conquer” [Al-Saaffat: 172-3].
O umma [community or nation] of Islam, my dear umma, victory, triumphant and empowerment for the soldiers of Allah is a divine promise, and a universal divine tradition that will continue to the day of Judgment, no matter how much obstacles and barriers were kept in front of it, and no matter how much the falsehood allocate for it from the powers of fire and iron, and no matter how much it used from the means of propaganda, slander and forgery, and no matter how much it prepared for it from the forces of war and resistance, the Almighty says: “Fain would they extinguish Allah’s light with their mouths but Allah will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the unbelievers may detest it” [Al-Tawba: 32], Tamim Al-Dari said: I heard the messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah upon him say: “This religion will reach any place covered by day or night. There will be no house of brick or wool, which this religion won’t enter regardless of the strength or weakness of Muslim leaders. This is something which Allah will make a source of pride for Muslims and a source of humiliation for the disbelievers”. This victory, triumphant and prevailing is a true promise from Allah Almighty which will always continue and it isn’t limited to a certain period or stage or time, but rather it is standing and waiting for the Muslim group that carries the banner and goes with tracking the trait of the messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah upon him, not fearing an authority except that of Allah, and not being afraid from a tyrant no matter how much he owned from the means of oppression, tyranny and torture, with their hearts reassured by the saying of their Lord Almighty: (Allah will not allow except that His Light should be perfected).
When jihad was possible on the land of Mesopotamia a believing group rose up, raising the banner—the banner of true religion—and it was only a few years until Allah Almighty fulfilled His promise, gave victory to His soldiers, and gave them empowerment on earth, and the Islamic state of Iraq was established ruling with what Allah has revealed, implemented the limits of Allah, and enforced the Sharia of Allah with pride to who liked it and humiliation to who refused it, and all the spiteful allied armies couldn’t stop or prevent it from being established, and they were unable to flex or change its path by all the conspiracies of the Jews, Christians, Rafida and all the treacherous oppressive regimes that rule the lands of the Muslims with its supporters, agents and lackeys, and Allah fulfilled His promise to the mujahideen, and they tasted the sweetness of victory, and knew the taste of pride, and the spirit of jihad spread in the land of Mesopotamia, and the people entered in groups into the ranks of the mujahideen, since Allah knew our weakness He gave us empowerment without real testing, until the world saw the inability of America, its allies and all its lackeys against a small group of believers, and the people were certain that light of Allah cannot be extinguished by mouths, and that the victory of Allah cannot be prevented by the armies and its arsenals, the situation turned upside down for the young state, and the tradition of testing and scrutiny came out, the Almighty says: “Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested. And certainly We tried those before them, so Allah will certainly know those who are true and He will certainly know the liars” [Al-Ankabut (Spider): 2-3], so the testing intensified, and the appeal was great that the eyes were turning around, the hearts rose up to the throats, the earth became strait to them notwithstanding its spaciousness, and diverse thoughts were imagined about Allah, but the Muslims can never be defeated even if they lost one battle or several battles, and if falsehood has an assault and round but the truth has the triumphant and state, as Allah have prescribed in His book: “Allah has written down: I will most certainly prevail, I and My messengers” [Al-Mujadila: 21].
O umma of Islam, my dear umma; a long period has passed and the people were waiting for the appearance of poor slave and his speech to his umma, but what could he say! When he was took under duress what the heavens, earth and mountains refused to take and were afraid of it, so he was burdened by responsibility, and I swear by Allah I never sought for this issue and didn’t ask for it or wish it neither in secret or in public, but my brothers obliged me, and Allah is a witness that I tried to push it away as much as possible and I still seeking to push it away and I wish to hand it over to whom the mujahideen see is capable, but I’m sufficient by the saying of messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah upon him: “Do not seek to be a ruler, for if you are given authority on your demand then you will be held responsible for it, but if you are given it without asking (for it), then you will be helped (by Allah) in it”. What could he say! While he came in a hard time at the height of ordeals and the peak of obstacles, and in the most severe quakes and crises, headed by the death of the best leaders and figures of jihad that enlighten for us the path with their spending, giving, sacrificing, blood, skulls and carnage.
People who when they wear iron don’t think that death has been created. Look wherever you see shining swords they will be over their heads
From them is the martyr of Islam—as we reckon him to be—the Imam of his time and master of his era: Abu Abdullah Osama bin Laden the pride of the umma and the crown of its new time, and from them is the annoyer of the tyrants: sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki lion of the Dai’is, and from them is the active Mujahid scholar: Ateyatalla, the person of knowledge and dignity, and from them is the deceased of umma: Abu Musab the martyr—as we reckon him to be—Amir of the martyrdom seeker, and his helpers and wings: Abu Umar al-Baghdadi and Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, the engineers of the State of Islam and the builders of its edifice. What can I say in lamenting these people! I bear witness that they are excused, and our consolidation is that their swords are still shedding, and their horses are still saddled, and they have left men behind:
They like their deaths like they don’t leave the life when they are killed and our consolidation is that this umma is prolific.
My dear umma, as we didn’t lie to Allah when we declared the State of Islam, and we don’t lie to Allah when we say that it will remain.
It will remain, despite of all the opacity, deception, distortion and slander.
It will remain, despite of all the hardships, obstacles and testing, and despite of all intrigues of the enemies of Islam inside and abroad.
It will remain, on its creed and methodology and won’t change or deviate them, inshallah [God willing].
It will remain, a land of hijra [migration (to an Islamic state)] and jihad.
It will remain, a spear in the chests of the Safavid Rafida.
It will remain, and you will hear its news and see its actions.
And it is now returning once again, marching to dominate the territory as before and more, so have glad tidings and hope for the good my umma, this is the State of Islam—may Allah give it pride—enters its seventh year, challenging all hardships and passing through it, and not being stopped by the intrigues of the agents or fallen by the conspiracies of the envious, and not silenced by the mouthpieces of the enemies or discouraged by the traitors of jihad, and it still remains a spear in their chests of the evildoers, and a hope in the hearts of the righteous believers.
My dear umma, as for our power, Allah is with us so we won’t be defeated for our few numbers, and regarding our condition, it pleases the friend and annoys the foe, All praises are due to Allah, unity of the ranks and words, richness in livelihood and blessing, and who used to think that the people don’t want the State of Islam let him know that most of Sunni people in land of Mesopotamia support it and are waiting for its return.
And I can only commend our tribes and people in Mesopotamia [the Land Between the Two Rivers (Euphrates and Tigris)]—the shaykhs and individuals—who were and are still the material of jihad in Iraq, and shelter of the mujahideen and their stronghold, who will inshallah remain helpers of Allah, His messenger and the mujahideen in His sake, and this is the fact proven by the reality despite of the fraud of the fraudulent, deception of the deceptive, and the cutters of the way to Allah the Lord of the Worlds, and their hopes were shattered on the rock of steadfast, resistance and sacrifice of the proud generous tribes, we ask Allah to make them steadfast and give them the best reward for Islam and the Muslims.
So be patient O Sunni tribes, you are on the truth and your enemy is on the falsehood.
And on the occasion of starting the return of the State to the regions that it withdrew from as you see, I call upon you and urge you to spend more, and push your sons to the ranks of the mujahideen to defend your religion, property and honors, and obeying and subordination to the order of Allah, the Almighty says: “Fighting is enjoined on you, and it is an object of dislike to you; and it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you” [Al-Baqara: 216]. He said: “Go forth light and heavy, and strive hard in Allah’s way with your property and your persons; this is better for you, if you know” [Al-Tawba: 41]. O our tribes you must know that you have no solution except jihad for the sake of Allah, so come closer to the mujahideen and clings to them, because they are—after Allah—your fortified fort, and they have no benefit but implementing the Sharia of Allah among you, and they don’t want from you any wage or prestige or authority, and they will remain sacrificing their souls to defend your land and honors.
As for those who were deceived from some of the sheikhs and individuals from our tribes who stood next to crusade America, then they became followers and lackeys of the Safavid government, we say to them: What harm will happen to you if you followed the truth and supported the religion of Allah as you have fought against it, so repent and rectify and Allah will forgive you and He will change your sins to righteous deeds, and if were told that the State of Islam kills everyone who fought it and doesn’t accept any justice from it; that what has been fabricated on us—and they are many—and know that we don’t ask from anyone who wants to repent a justice or intercession.
As for America the head of Kufr the protector of the cross, I say to it: your war on the Muslims is a loss and soon inshallah you will collapse and declare defeat, so look what have you reaped and what the mujahideen reaped in two decades of your heading of the war against them. As for your economy it has become almost on the brink of the abyss, and as for your people and soldiers their morale is shattered and their souls are desperate, and the spirit of defeat runs on them until that it become for who wanted to win in the elections to promise to withdraw the armies and stop the war, and as for your security, your citizens travel to any country while they are scared looking about in a state of fear, then the mujahideen set off behind your armies that fled and have promised to make you taste worst than that you have tasted by Osama and you will see them in your home land by Allah willing, since our war with you only began now so be ready.
As for the mujahideen, how much were their numbers and number of their fronts and how much are they now? Woe to you (America), the defeat has made you not find anything that makes you claim victory except killing from year to year a man from the Muslims who spent his life seeking death at places where it can be expected until his time came after he made you taste horrors, and you consider that an unmatched great victory.
As for you malicious Rafida, we are the sons of Al-Hassan and Al-Hussien, and the descendants of Abu Bakr, Omar and Thun-Nurayn, and our grandfather is Haydara Al-Karar Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali, and you are Magian Shiites descendants of Abu Lulu, Ibn Saba’, Rostam and your grandfather is Khosrau, and it will never be that the Magian Shiites overcome the sons of Hassan and Husayn, the Almighty says: “Say: Do you await for us but one of two most excellent things? And we await for you that Allah will afflict you with punishment from Himself or by our hands. So wait; we too will wait with you” [Al-Tawba: 53], and we ask Allah that your punishment be on our hands.
Then I address to our mujahideen brothers all over the world and I reassure them on the arena of Iraq, and I say: Have glad tidings of what pleases you inshallah, Allah Almighty says: “Most surely We help Our messengers, and those who believe, in this world’s life and on the day when the witnesses shall stand” [Ghafir: 51], and we swear by Allah that we see and feel the care of Allah to the mujahideen in land of Mesopotamia and His patronage to them, and I’m certain with no doubts that victory will inevitably occur, so no one think that the massive and great hardships on the mujahideen in Palestine or Iraq or Afghanistan or Chechnya or Somalia or any place else is a victory for the Kuffar, no, it is only a dignity, elevation of status, a lot of benefit, and a testimony and selection to who was killed from the Muslims seeking His Countenance, and the support of Allah cannot be without trail and appeal, as there is no victory without sacrifices, so be sufficient of the saying of the Almighty: “O ye who believe! Endure, outdo all others in endurance, be ready, and observe your duty to Allah, in order that ye may succeed” [Ali lmran: 200], and we will meet in Al-Quds inshallah.
And I congratulate the umma in general, and Sunni people in the land of Mesopotamia in particular, headed by the soldiers of the Islamic State of Iraq by the blessed month of Ramadan the month of conquests and fighting, since it is from the favors of Allah Almighty on His slave to make him reach Ramadan, Abu Hurayrah may Allah be pleased with him narrated, that the prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said: “Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven”, and he also narrated that prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him ascended the minbar and said: “Amen, Amen, Amen.” It was said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, you ascended the minbar and said, ‘Amen, Amen, Amen.” He said: “Jibreel (peace be upon him) came to me and said: ‘If Ramadan comes and a person is not forgiven, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Amen.’ So I said Amen. He said: ‘O Muhammad, if both or one of a person’s parents are alive and he does not Amen them and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Amen.’ So I said Amen. He said: ‘If you are mentioned in a person’s presence and he does not send blessings upon you and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Amen. So I said, “Amen”. O umma of Islam take the opportunity of the blessed month to perform jihad, it has been authentic from Muaz may Allah be pleased with him that that a woman came to the prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and said to him: “O messenger of Allah, my husband has gone to jihad, and I use to follow him in his prayers when he prayers and all his deeds so tell me a deed that I can do reach what he is doing until he returns”, he said to her: “Can you pray continuously, and fast and never break your fast, and make Thikr of Allah without stopping until he returns”, she said: “I cannot bear that O messenger of Allah”, he said: “I swear by Whom my soul is in His hands if you beard that you wouldn’t have reached the tenth of his work until he returns”. And the messenger of Allah—peace and blessings of Allah be upon him—and the honorable companions—may Allah be pleased with them—used to incite to perform jihad in Ramadan and get martyred in it, because jihad is from the best deeds, until Ramadan became the months of conquests, and who looks at the conquests of the Muslims throughout history realizes that.
So, o mujahideen, be eager to come closer to Allah in this month with the blood of the Kuffar since we found it that best offering to Allah, and O you who stay behind join the caravan of jihad because we swear by Allah that we found it the best worship that no one who tasted it sweetness can abandon.
And I cannot forget to commend on our people in the beloved, blessed Bilad al-Sham [lit. “the Land of Syria”, the Levant], who shot the bullet of mercy on the fear that perched for decades on the chest of this umma, and rose up casting off from its forehead the dust of humiliation by their carnage, and wash from the dress of its dignity the stigma by their blood, you have taught the world lessons in bravery, jihad and patience, and taught the umma and proved to it with conclusive evidence and compelling argument that the oppression can be lifted only by force and might, and degradation cannot be erased except by sacrificing souls and lives, spilling blood, scattering carnage, skulls, martyrs and injured all along the way, you have made the Kuffar wakeful so their “fear” Council and League of “nations” stood up watching your storm, stunned, helpless, terrified, confused. Stunned from your jihad and resistance. Helpless from suppressing and subjugating you. Terrified from the future of your volcano. Confused for a solution to quench your jihad.
Go ahead Allah bless you, and don’t accept a rule or constitution other than the rule of Allah and His pure Sharia so that you don’t waste your blessed revolution, which will not give its fruit unless it was culminated by ruling of the Sharia, uniting the umma by demolishing the Sykes-Picot borders, burying the rotten nationalism and abhorrent national fanaticism, and restoring the Islamic state that doesn’t recognize the artificial borders and a nationality except Islam, and don’t think that there is right, justice and good in a constitution or law or system other than our pure Sharia, since Allah made the creed of this religion and its methodology and methods of empowerment from Him Almighty, and the believing Muslim can only walk within this divine plan drawn for him, and avoid all the spurious false earthly human movements and regime, which are based on fancy and confusion, which try to regulate life away from religion and without any guidance from Allah, so be steadfast O people of Syria because the good end is for those who are righteous.
As for you men of the State of Islam, go ahead in your plans, certain of the victory of Allah, don’t be submissive or relentless, you inshallah are the soldiers of Allah, work for the victory and adjust yourself to trails, and adjust yourself to death, imprisonment, amputation and fracture to the end of the day, if victory comes then it is from the Allah, and if it was delayed then we aren’t qualified for it, Allah Almighty has ordered us to perform jihad and imposed it on us and He didn’t assign us with victory or demand us of that, but He specialized that to Himself and made it come from Him, and we also weren’t promised of safety, the Almighty says: “and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward) 74 Surah An-Nisa, and the Almighty says: (and that He may take martyrs from among you” [Ali Imran: 140], that’s why our death and trails only increases our determination, persistence and patience, and we only consider death as honor from Allah Almighty which He gives whom He wishes from His slaves, so you have to reflects on that and understand it well, since who realizes that fact is liberated from the servitude of the desires and looks at a high life which he owns and not it owns him, since who sees the reward then the costs will be easy, O men of the State, love martyrdom for the sake of Allah and wish for it, but you have to work for the victory but not to martyrdom, and seek for the victory but not martyrdom, and we give you glad tidings of the beginning of a new stage from the stages of our struggle, which we begin with a plan which we called “Demolishing of the walls”, and we always remind you of your highest priorities, which is releasing the Muslim captive everywhere, and making the hunt down, pursuit and liquidation of their butchers from the judges and interrogators, and their henchmen from the guards on the head of your targeting list. And know our prisoners that we didn’t forget you for a day or overlooked you, since you are in our eyes and hearts, and we sleep with your pictures in our imagination, and it is sufficient for you that you are excused by Allah, the messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah upon him said: “ There are people whom we left behind in Medina who accompanied us in spirit in every pass and valley we crossed”. They said: “While they are in Median, O messenger of Allah?!” he said: “Yes, they remained behind for a valid excuse.”
Also I direct my call to all the Muslim youth and men all over the world, and call them to make hijrah to us to consolidate the pillars of the State of Islam and perform jihad against the Safavid Rafida—the Magian Shiites—since the camps and homes of the State are opened for every Muslim, and Baghdad is the heart of the battle of Sunni people with the Safavids, so rise up O youth of Islam, who excuses the messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah upon him in people who harmed him?! Come since the battle needs fuel.
And I cannot miss to address a call to all the students of knowledge, Dai’is and scholars one by one, no matter what was his stance from the State, and I say to them: anyone from you fears Allah, calls to the truth and supports the religion sincerely in his loyalty to Allah Almighty, let him send to us a representative from him or let him come by himself, to inform him about the details of our matters, methodology, policies and mechanism of our action, and look at our real presence and power, and stand on the reality of our battle with the Rafida—Shiites of the Satan—so that he may see all that with his own eyes, and touch it with his hands, away from the means of covering up, obfuscation, misrepresentation and fraud, and horns of insult, distortion and defamation. And as for those who lost contact we say to them: O sleepers wakeup, O those who stay behind rise up, O walkers linger, the nets the nets, the ropes the ropes, be behind or advance may Allah give you success.
O Allah you have imposed jihad on us and ordered us to fight the polytheists, so we will perform jihad against your enemy as long as you make us alive, and we will fight who deviate and worshiped with you another god, we only seeking from that to please you, O Allah give victory to your Muslim worshipers over your enemies the enemies of the religion, O Allah give them a glorious conquest, and give them from you a supportive authority, O Allah gather them and unite their word and crowd their ranks, O Allah make their cowardice courage and their feet steadfast, O Allah convulse everyone who feud the mujahideen for your sake, enter horror in their hearts, eradicate them from their origins, cut off their roots, and make us inherit their earth, homeland and money, be our guardian, and be hospitable to us, and fix all our matters, and fix our intentions, decisions and implications, and make us thankful to your graces, forgive us, the believing men and the believing women, Muslim men and Muslim women, the living and dead of them, O Allah steadfast us by a firm saying in the life of the world and in the Hereafter, Our Lord, pour down upon us patience, and make our steps firm and assist us against the unbelieving people.
And peace and blessings be upon our prophet Mohammad, his household and companions, and our last pray is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
Abu Bakr al-Husayni al-Qurayshi al-Baghdadi
Emir of the Islamic State of Iraq