Hamid al-Zawi (Abu Umar al-Baghdadi), the second leader of the Islamic State movement, known at the time as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), made his ninth speech out of what would prove to be twenty-three, entitled “Al-Deen al-Naseeha” or “Religion is Advice” (الدين النصيحة), on 14 February 2008. The speech was something of a rarity in that it focused on Palestine. A transcript of the speech was put out by ISI and is reproduced below with edits for grammar and clarity.
* * * * *
In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful. All praise be to God; we thank Him, we seek His guidance and forgiveness, we seek His refuge from our evils and bad deeds. Whoever is guided by God can never be led astray, and if someone is led astray by God nobody can ever guide him. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, He has no partner, and Muhammad is His slave and messenger.
As for what follows:
Our speech today is about the blessed land in which the latest dangerous events were a proof for every sane person that the Jews and their agents do not respect the dhimmi covenant with the Muslims in Palestine, who are subjected to an unjust siege. This land, God has honoured and said: “Glorified be He who took His slave [Muhammad] for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haram [in Mecca] to al-Masjid al-Aqsa [The Farthest Mosque in Jerusalem], the neighbourhood whereof we have blessed, in order that we might show him [Muhammad] of Our Ayat [proof, evidence, lessons, signs]. Verily, He alone is all-hearing and all-seeing” [Qur’an 17:1].
And He recommended worship in Palestine’s mosques. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said [in a Hadith]: “No mosque is to be specially journeyed to, except for three: al-Masjid al-Haram [the Ka’ba in Mecca], my mosque [al-Masjid al-Nabawi, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina], and al-Masjid al-Aqsa”.
And He honored its people with jihad, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “A sect from my umma [Islamic nation or community] still being firm on the truth, fighting their enemy, and not harmed by the discord of the others except the distress from which they suffer till the order of God is destined”. They [the sahaba or companions of the Prophet] said: “O Messenger of God, where are they? He said: ‘In Bayt al-Maqdis [Jerusalem] and the areas around it’.”
We believe that the crux of our battle is about our sacred things, so turning people away from [those sacred things] is an aim the Jews and their agents among the enemies of the religion are planning for, whether with the direct occupation, as in the case of Al-Quds [Jerusalem], or indirect occupation as their agents do in the Sharif Haramayn [lit. “the two sanctuaries”, Mecca and Medina, i.e. Saudi Arabia].
Because the Jews are the origin and core of the corruption [in the region] and the real battle revolves around Jerusalem, the battle against them will last until the stones and trees will fight with us [at the end of time] and the victory will be for the religion of Islam and its people.
Our speech today is on our viewpoint about the battle with the Jews in the land of resurrection. We would like to preface this by emphasising some facts that we believe are necessary [to stipulate] before talking about a solution:
First: the issue of Al-Aqsa is an Islamic affair that concerns every Muslim and it can’t be restricted by any abominable nationalism nor any infamous patriotism, whatever the merchants of Al-Aqsa offer to try to silence the voices of truth. Every Muslim is concerned about and is responsible for freeing Al-Aqsa, just as every Palestinian Muslim is responsible for freeing Iraq, Chechnya, and all other Islamic countries.
God said: “Truly, your umma is one religion, and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me (alone)” [21:112].
This fact is constant in the hearts of the umma in general and in the people of Jerusalem in particular, praise be to God. It makes us cry, me and my brothers, to recall the old man (he was over 100-years-old) from Jerusalem, who replied to the Jews, when they asked him to sell his house and gave him a blank check to write down the amount that he wants [in order to give up his home], by telling them: “I will give you my house—on one condition, that you obtain the signature of every Muslim from all over the world, even those who are just two-months-old. If you get all of those signatres, then I will give you the house for free and delegate my affairs to God”.
Second: Israel is founded on a religious basis; it is a religious state, and anyone who claims that it is a secular state or that it is secular and exploiting religion is a liar. It is a malignant virus [or virulent germ, jarthuma khabeetha] implanted in the body of the umma and it must be uprooted, no matter if the traitors sign a thousand surrender treaties with it.
Third: There is no difference for us between the Judaism and Zionism, and restricting the battle to Zionists is an intentional, malicious forgery, because the doctrines of the Jews, mentioned in God’s Book, extend back into history and have been inherited, generation after generation. God said: “Every time they kindled the fire of war, God extinguished it; and they (ever) strive to make mischief on the earth. And God does not like the mufsidun (mischief-makers)” [5:120].
Fourth: The Arab nationalists, with their ill-fated Arab revolution [in 1916, supported and indeed led by the British against the Ottoman Empire], had a hand in the foundation of the state of Israel, by their collaboration that enabled the British army to enter Jerusalem as conquerors [in 1917], fragmenting the Islamic umma and dividing it according to the Sykes-Picot Treaty, creating weak, puppet Kingdoms in Jordan, Iraq, Al-Sham [Syria], and the Arabian Peninsula.
Fifth: The Palestinian organizations, with their strange mixture of Ba’thism, Communism, and secularism, dominated the scene for decades, noisily repeating that they will free Al-Aqsa, while they are actually the cause of the Nakba [“catastrophe” in 1947-8], the origin of the problem. If there is something that should have been realized after all these years of lies, it is that God exposed and disgraced them, and every Muslim knows that these people lost Palestine.
Sixth: The armed organizations subsequent to Jamaat al-Ikhwan [the (Muslim) Brotherhood group], especially in this epoch, with HAMAS as their leader organization, excepting some of the faithful ones from Kataib Izzadeen al-Qassam [military wing of HAMAS], have really betrayed the religion and the umma. They abandoned the martyrs’ blood and the series of political betrayals by their leaders is continuous over many years. The Palestinians know the story of the unjust material blockade imposed on the Qassam Battalions by this leadership for a long time, even before the Second Intifada, and the loyal people of Al-Qassam submitted to their sinister political decision. The result was the arrest and killing of all the faithful armed ones by the Jews and their agents from the Authority of Betrayal [i.e. Palestinian Authority].
The milestones of the HAMAS leadership’s betrayal are defined in the points that follows:
A — Their participation in the political process under a secular man-made constitution and upon the basis of Oslo Accords, which gave up more than three-quarters of the land of Palestine to the Jews.
B — Implied recognition of Israel, as they recognized the nationalist [Palestinian] Authority, which was founded on the basis of the “Oslo Accord”, and their recognition of its apostate president [Yasser Arafat and then Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen)], the loyal client of the Jews.
C — Declaring that they respect the international resolutions issued by the United Nations. The mere recognition of the U.N. is a recognition of its man-made laws, as well as recognition of Israel, which is a member of the U.N.
D — Their indulgence of a strange alliance with the apostate regimes, especially in Egypt and Syria, covering themselves in the blood of their brothers [who were killed] in the Hama massacre (majzara Hama). [The political leader of HAMAS Khaled] Meshal described the butcher of his brothers, the treacherous killer Hafez al-Asad, a dozen times as: a faithful Muslim, who cares for the Arab nation, and a defender of Palestinian rights!
Doesn’t he [Meshal] know that the Syrian Nusayri army assaulted and humiliated the Sunnis in Lebanon, especially the Palestinians in the camps? [Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin says about the Syrian interference in Lebanon that Israel finds no cause to want to prevent the Syrian army’s deep penetration into Lebanon, for this army fights the Palestinians, and “if we stopped or hindered it, then we are helping the Palestinians”!
Hence, allying with the Syrian Rafidite regime on the pretension of liberating Palestine, is a high treason. Saladin was only able to conquer Jerusalem [from the Crusaders] after he had first put an end to the rejectionist slave state (dawla al-rafida al-abaydiyya) [the Ismaili Fatimid caliphate] in Egypt and the Levant. The Nusayri state in Syria is more malignant and its beliefs the most malevolent.
Ibn Taymiyya says: “The Nusayris are infidels, according to the consensus of the Muslim scholars. It is not permissible to eat the meat of their sacrifices, nor to marry their women, and they are not to pay the jizya because they are apostates from the religion of Islam [and therefore should be killed], unlike the Jews and Christians”.
E — They let down all the mujahideen, moreover they implicitly agreed to the killing and displacement of the people of monotheism. For example, when their leader was in Moscow, he said: “The Chechnya issue is an internal affair for Russia”, and then there was their declaration that they have nothing to do with the jihad in Iraq, and have not and will not fire a single bullet in it.
F — Their saying they “do not seek the Islamization of society”, therefore they didn’t demand that the political process be in accordance with the shari’a or that arbitration be undertaken on the basis of the shari’a, and they have not ruled by shari’a despite having full authority over Gaza.
G — Their extreme enmity towards Salafi-jihadism (al-salafiyya al-jihadiyya), especially at the present time, and their serious and continuous effort to abort any project based on Salafism. Their story with the Army of Islam (Jaysh al-Islam) is well-known, and the story with the British journalist [BBC correspondent Alan Johnston] who was kidnapped by Jaysh al-Islam [in March 2007] is even more famous. We learned that the brothers from Jaysh al-Islam were about to gain a lot from Britain before HAMAS interfered in the issue and freed the journalist [in July 2007].
H — Their claim that Palestinian blood is sanctified, even if he is a heretic (al-zandaqa) in a hundred ways, like the Baha’i apostate [Mahmud] Abbas and his like, as if God Almighty didn’t say in his book: “O you who believe! Whoever from among abandons his religion, [know that in his stead] God will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him” [5:54].
As for the solution:
First, we should know that what Jahiliyya (pre-Islamic pagan ignorance) built over years will take a long time to demolish. Add to that [the time needed in] building a solid structure of right, which will not be rattled by the wind. God says: “Whoever rejects [belief in] the Taghut (false gods) and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy bond [or handhold] that is indissoluble” [2:256].
We are also in a time of alienation [or estrangement] and the extinction of a lot of Islam’s rules and signs. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says: “Islam began in a strange way and it will return to being strange once again. So blessed are the strangers.”
I hope our people in Palestine realise that the solution is the jihad under the banner of pure monotheism that does not differentiate between the white and black, nor between the Jewish infidel and the Palestinian apostate, recognizing no difference between [Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert and his criminals (mujrameeh) or Abbas and his gang (asabat), except that they [the apostates] are first [i.e. worse].
God says: “O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you and let them find harshness in you” [9:123].
And He said: “There is an excellent example for you to follow in Ibrahim [Abraham] and those with him, when they said to their people: ‘Verily, we are dissociated from you and whatever you worship besides God; we have rejected you, and there has arisen between us and you enmity and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allah alone’. The only exception is the saying of Ibrahim to his father: ‘Verily, I will ask for forgiveness [from God] for you, but I have no power to get anything for you [such as protection] from God’. Our Lord! In You [alone] we put our trust, and to thee we turn in repentance, and to you is [our] final return” [60:4].
Sheikh Hamad bin Ateeq says: “So many people do not commit shirk (idolatry, polytheism) yet fail to show hostility to the al-mushrikeen (idolaters, polytheists). God says: ‘We have rejected you, and there has arisen between us and you enmity and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allah alone,’ and as He says, ‘Eternally’, that is back and forth, introducing enmity to hatred, because the first is more important than the second. A man may hate the mushrikeen but, if he does not show enmity towards them, then he is not fulfilling his obligations [as a Muslim]; enmity and hatred must be shown together [against idolaters].”
God says: “O you who believe! Whoever from among abandons his religion, [know that in his stead] God will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him. They will be humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, striving in the Way of God, and never afraid of the blame of the blamers. That is the grace of God which He bestows on whom He wills. And God is sufficient [for His creatures’ needs and] all-knowing” [5:54].
The Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya—may God have mercy on him—said: “God raises people whom He loves and they love Him, they fight for His sake against those who have apostatized from the religion or part of it, such as the apostate Rafida [lit. “rejectionists”; derogatory term for Shi’is], and only God is responsible for making us the people whom He loves and who love Him, who fight the apostates [and their supporters] without fear of the blame of the blamers.”
The other important category of people that must be targeted strongly, especially their leaders, are the Rafida. This malignant cancer has begun to take root among our people in Palestine, taking the chance of the ignorance and poverty of our people there, and the protection from a group of traitors and agents of Iran’s, operating under the banner of “resistance”. The is the same crime that was committed before in Iraq. Since when was Basra a Rafida city?! Yet today it does have a Rafidite majority, after the criminals succeeded in converting some tribal shaykhs and heads of the people (ru’us al-naas) to their doctrine [or ideology or school, madhahabuhum] through the pressure of material need and the inducement of a vice called al-mut’a [lit. “pleasure”; temporary marriages], and other ignoble means. This led to the Shi’ization of whole tribes in which there had been not a single Rafida, for the era of rejectionism in Mesopotamia only came about in the last fifty to seventy years, not more. [In fact, Iraq has had a Shi’a majority probably since the sixteenth century, though there was a Sunni ascendancy until 2003—KO]
Know, O soldiers of God, that rejectionism (al-rafid) [i.e. Shi’ism] is a different religion to the religion of Islam that was revealed to Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him). Rejectionism is a religion is based on creating partners beside God and worshipping them [i.e. idolatry], and on the cheap pleasures that enabled it to become widespread.
The rejectionists did not leave us [Muslims] anything sacred; they stabbed [at the heart of all elements of the faith] in one way or another—God himself, the Qur’an, and the Messenger (peace be upon him).
The Rafidi Nematollah al-Jazayeri [d. 1700] said: “They [i.e. Sunnis] say that their Lord (rabaham) is Muhammad, the one who is Prophet, and the successors [caliphs] after him [starting with] Abu Bakr. We do not say that he is Lord or Prophet; rather, we say that the Lord who succeeded the Prophet, Abu Bakr, is not our Lord, nor is the Prophet our Prophet”.
Things which may help our people in their jihad against the Jewish-Magian campaign (al-hamla) and its agents are:
First: That wise and experienced men from the sons of the Salafi method, try to organize their efforts and form a Salafist group, in method and belief, which takes upon its shoulders the burden of correcting and rationalizing the path of the volcanic jihadist uprising (al-intifada al-jihadiyya), which is flourishing in the hearts of Al-Aqsa’s youth, to make it more mature. They should base their launch on the spark of the monotheistic youth and the sons of the mosques, in effective communication with the ulema [scholars, clerics], mosque shaykhs, and community leaders to educate the stone-throwing children according to the ultimate aims of the jihad: making God’s word supreme, and uprooting from their souls the malicious patriotic and nationalist thinking, which has made the umma backward for a long period and made the blood of Palestinian apostates inviolable, even when they turn a blind eye to the shedding of Chechen mujahid blood and consider that an internal affair [for Russia].
Second: The pure sons of Al-Qassam Brigades should announce their separation from HAMAS and isolate its deviant, corrupt political leadership. We know that many of the Qassam youth and some leaders are fed up with the perversion of their political leaders. Had it not been the case that this [political] leadership had deviated so far from the law of the Lord of the Worlds, we should have never have called for the Qassam soldiers to turn against their leadership. We are the ones who will never cease calling for unity among the factions and we know that this call [for Al-Qassam to rebel against HAMAS’ political leadership] opens the door wide for criticism, mainly from their affiliated and subordinate media outlets. Yet God’s pleasure is first and last, advice is our aim, and the hope of reform is more beneficial! We ask wise and experienced men to start a campaign of da’wa [missionary activity] among Al-Qassam soldiers, ensuring that none of them will be left behind, and using enough secrecy and sophistication, gather as much arms and as many men as possible using all legitimate ways to do that so they can act if the advice, secret or overt, does not succeed in changing this deviant leadership. Why not?! Their counterpart brothers in HAMAS al-Iraq, Hizb al-Islami [the (Iraqi) Islamic Party (IIP)], Jaysh al-Islami [the Islamic Army] are fighting nowadays alongside the bearers of the cross against the people of monotheism. He who doesn’t believe this can take a glance at the “Baghdad” [television] channel and listen to the speeches of [the IIP leader] Tareq al-Hashemi and Abu Azzem al-Tamimi, the deputy emir of the Islamic Army. The same fate will meet those who lie in the arms of Iran’s Majus and Syria’s Nusayriyya, or who boast of their intimate relationship with Omar Suleiman, the head of Egyptian intelligence who has violated the honour of thousands of the chaste women in Egypt’s prisons.
As for the role of the umma to support the liberation of Al-Aqsa, it can have multiple roles, including:
First — Opening new fronts to relieve the American-Jewish pressure on our brothers in Palestine and continuing in the process of sustaining and strengthening existing battlefields, mainly those which witness a direct war with the American cow boy as in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here we send our thanks to the champions of Nahr al-Bared, the muhajireen [lit. “migrants”; foreign fighters] and ansar [lit. “partisans” or “supporters”; local jihadists] whose wonderful Islamic epic in the Levant proved that a small handful of monotheists can inflict an incurable wound on the body of disbelief. I am sure that God won’t let the fruit of your bloodshed to be lost and with God’s help your blood will be the spark to jihad in Bilad al-Sham, mainly against Jews on three fronts: Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
We congratulate the umma with the rescue of the conqueror of the crusaders and the Knight of the Levant, Shaker al-Absi. We ask God to make him the imam for jihad in these countries country. We have heard only good things about him; he is a man possessed of the correct methodology (manhaj), determination, and sincerity, may God grant him victory.
Second — The umma should break the shameful barriers which are besieging our brothers in Palestine and the way to do this is for the Palestinians in Jordan to revolt and break the frontiers with the West Bank, while the Egyptians should revolt, especially the Shami part of them, breaking the borders with their brothers in Gaza, since, as it is known, the first Egyptian territory starts from Al-Arish.
Al-Maqrizi [d. 1442] said: “Al-Arish is a town between the land of Palestine and the region of Egypt”. It is a shame for the Palestinian weapon in Syria and Lebanon to stand incapable of lifting the siege from their brothers. At least, they should open secret loopholes to help our brothers with arms and food. If the apostate governments betrayed, the Muslim peoples should never be silent and share in their governments’ crimes.
Third — Peoples should break the material siege and blockade imposed on our people. We suggest that every Muslim should save two dollars monthly from his income, half of it should be sent to Palestine and the other half to other fronts. This can be achieved through forming secret associations, spread on every street and in a every small space to gather this money, whether in cash or in kind, so it can be saved until the appropriate opportunity presents itself and then it can be delivered to those who need it by loyal people of the umma, especially the ulema. We suggest that every mosque should form an independent association and I warn you against expansion. I advise you of the need for secrecy and that we should start with the pious, committed people.
Fourth — For the ulema, to break the barrier of fear from them will spring—as one virtuous man said—“the ulema martyrs”. This will demonstrate the danger of the apostate regimes to the religion and the earthly life, creating support for the mujahideen with opinions and fatwas [from other ulema who have to react to the killings of clerics and issue rulings] warning against continuing support for secular and defeatist organizations.
Fifth — Real media supporting for the mujahideen, showing their merits and overlooking their faults—unless they contravene the creed of monotheism (aqeeda al-tawheed); [at that point] they should be admonished both privately and in public.
As for the role of the Islamic State of Iraq in the liberation of Palestine, we have hope in God and we ask him to make our State like that of the martyr Nuradeen and his student Saladin, who built on the Hattin battle [in 1187 that shattered the Crusader state of Jerusalem] to get back al-Masjid al-Aqsa. We hope to enter Jerusalem as [the second caliph] Umar Al-Faruq [“the one who distinguishes (right from wrong)”], may God be pleased with him, did [in 637/8 at the head of a conquering army]. We ask God that the Islamic State today should be the cornerstone of the effort to recover Jerusalem. The Americans and the Jews have recognised this, so they try to by every means from achieving this goal. Their fierce campaign against Al-Anbar, and the excessive pride they take in it, is because they knew that the mujahideen could easily bomb Israel from some regions of al-Anbar using medium-range missiles, as the late Saddam [Husayn] had done. They know that some of these missiles are still around, and that more can be easily made.
The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] groups in Mesopotamia [the Land Between the Two Rivers], namely HAMAS al-Iraq, the Islamic Party, Jaysh al-Islami, and the spreading apostate Awakening councils are merely a means of getting us out of Al-Anbar, under direct contract from the Americans, to prevent us from helping [the Islamists in Palestine fighting against Israel], even from afar. But cheer up! What’s coming is good for us all, with God’s help. We won’t be deviated from the truth by the discouragement of a weak-hearted, nor the betrayal of [enemy] agents.
In spite of all this, we are ready to help with what we have of little money we have, and we are ready to train your cadres, starting with al-abuwat [lit. “packages”; improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or roadside bombs] and ending with manufacturing missiles. Before that, we implore our women and children not to forget you are being hit with arrows and to make du’a bi dhahri al-ghayb (prayers in secrecy).
Finally, we admit our faults and we ask forgiveness and success from God. “God has full power over His affairs, but most men know not” [12:21].
Your Brother, Abu Umar al-Qurayshi al-Baghdadi.