The Spokesman’s Response When the Islamic State Went to War With the Syrian Rebellion

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 24 May 2021

Taha Falaha (Abu Muhammad al-Adnani) is probably most famous for the September 2014 speech he made as the official spokesman for the Islamic State (IS) calling for international terrorist attacks, which initiated a wave of atrocities in Europe and beyond lasting about three years. But Falaha had been in office by that time, formally, since the summer of 2011, and in total he would make two-dozen speeches before he was killed at the end of August 2016. The twelfth speech, entitled, “The Scout Doesn’t Lie to His People”, and reproduced below,[1] was made on 7 January 2014, four days after the onset of a massive assault on IS by the Syrian rebellion that inter alia killed senior jihadist commanders like Samir al-Khlifawi (Haji Bakr or Abu Bakr al-Iraqi). What is interesting about this speech, as revealed in the recent Al-Naba profile of Falaha’s great friend and collaborator, the media emir Wael al-Ta’i (Abu Muhammad al-Furqan), is that Falaha composed this speech while he was besieged by the rebels in Aleppo. Al-Ta’i had evacuated the IS media department and their families, then slipped back into the area surrounded by the rebels to help Falaha compose IS’s first political counter-measure to this unexpected development in Syria, which was followed nearly a fortnight afterwards by a speech from the caliph himself, Ibrahim al-Badri (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi).

*                   *                   *                   *                   *                   *

“The Scout Doesn’t Lie to His People”, a speech by Taha Falaha (Abu Muhammad al-Adnani), 7 January 2014

We praise God that he blessed our umma [Muslim community] with the grace of jihad, and opened its door widely for us, and facilitated it for us everywhere, especially in Iraq and Syria, this a great blessing from God Almighty to his slave, and no one realises and recognises its value except the one who lost it. In the past, the Muslim used to spend months and even years dreaming of jihad, searching for the path to it, languishing under the rule of the tawaghit [idolatrous, heretical regimes], rambling stranded, helpless eager, who can only cry in the night between the Hands of his Lord, making du’a and asking Him to open a door of jihad for him, and facilitate a path for him, but today, with the grace of God, jihad now is at the door of every Muslim in Iraq and Syria, and is easy for every Muslim on the face of the earth, except whom God excludes. This has made the tawaghit worried and concerned, and the Muslims have tidings and hope, so alhamdulillah [praise be to God] for what we love and hate.

The idol has been smashed, and the defect of pacifism has been revealed, and jihad will continue until the establishment of the Hour [Apocalypse]. As for Iraq: the jihad has travelled a long way, the masks are falling, and the facts are appearing, and the ranks are almost distinguished. Woe for America! Woe for the Jews!

As for Syria: the journey is still in its early stages, everything got mixed up, gloomy black tribulations were waiting, causing corruption, and when the fitna [strife] comes the believer says: “This will perish me”, then it is unfolded, and then (another) fitna comes and the believer says: “This is the one!”

Darkness, cavities, going astray, hyenas and wolves and dogs and dishonourables: “Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, We believe, and not be tried? And certainly We tried those before them, so God will certainly know those who are true and He will certainly know the liars” [Al-Ankabut 2-3]. “And most certainly We will try you until We have known those among you who exert themselves hard, and the patient, and made your case manifest” [Muhammad 31].

But my umma have glad tidings, God Almighty ensured Syria and its people, so he is always praised.

Our dear umma: your enemies today are plotting for the jihad in Syria the same scheme they used in Iraq ten years ago. The mujahideen were wary of that plot going in, we warned about it, and are still warning about it to this day. So, Ahl al-Sunna [Sunni people, lit. “people of orthodoxy”] in Iraq and Syria know that America and its Crusader alliance—and behind them the Jews and all the religions of kufr [disbelief]—will never accept the establishment of an Islamic state, to give pride to Islam and its people, and humiliate the adherents of shirk [polytheism], and retrieve the caliphate! As far as they are able, the religions of disbelief will never allow Islam and the Muslims to dominate the world once again.

Therefore, no Muslim can wish for the state of Islam to be established except on skulls, bodies, and blood. The disbelieving West realized that the life of this umma is with the life of its sons, so they ran away from direct confrontation, and resorted to sly methods. They brought in weapons to kill the Muslims, but they remained alive and did not [directly] spill blood, so they called to peace; they brought democracy and the alleged freedom, and used proxies in their war.

O’ umma of Islam, my dear umma:

We have to always remember the reality of the conflict, and that our war is with the Jews and Crusaders, and we have to bring them back to direct confrontation with us.

O’ Sunni people in Iraq and Syria:

The Americans are fighting you with two cards, and if they are burnt then you will find yourselves in confrontation with the Jews and Crusaders without proxies. The first: a democratic civil state similar to the states of the tawaghit in the lands of the Muslims. And the second: a national state called “Islamic” similar to the Kingdom of the Traitors of the Haramayn [Two Sanctuaries; Mecca and Medina], Al-Salul [Saudi regime], a state that doesn’t frighten America, the Jews, or the Kaffir West; the Nusayris [Alawis] and the religions of unbelief are secure in it, and polytheism and polytheists [mushrikun] aren’t humiliated in it. They prefer the civil state card, and they do not resort to the second except when they have no other option, so be cautious O’ people of Syria.

O’ Sunni people in Iraq and Syria:

The situation you have reached today with the Rawafid is one the mujahideen warned about ten years ago. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said about the Rafida [derog. “Shi’is”]: “[They are] the insurmountable obstacle, the lurking snake, the crafty and malicious scorpion, the spying enemy, and the penetrating venom. … They”—referring to the Rafida—“have declared a secret war against the people of Islam. They are the proximate, dangerous enemy of the Sunnis, even if the Americans are also an archenemy. The danger from the Shi’a, however, is greater and their damage is worse and more destructive to the umma”. Elsewhere, Shaykh Zarqawi said: “So you should be cautious of any plan of the enemy allegedly to implant democracy in your country. That is only a pretext to remove what is left of the good from you. So it is that they tightened it in Iraq in the form of a malicious trap that aims for the Rafida to seize the reins of power”. Here end of his words, rahimahullah.

And that was indeed what happened, and they were only able to do this by the silence and betrayal of many who falsely claim the shari’a, who diluted the aqeeda [creed] of al-wala wal-bara [loyalty to Muslims and disavowal of non-believers] in the hearts of the Muslim masses, and deluded them that the Rafida are their brothers and loving neighbours. So, our people in Iraq, what did you gain from your treacherous politicians’ participation with the Rafida in their alleged political process? Only the building of a filthy Safavid army and enabling the Rawafid to step on your necks, having you fill out their prisons, shedding your blood, and violating your honour. They are still plundering the riches and resources of the country to this day.

O’ Sunnis:

The Rawafid have cooperated and collaborated, made a pledge to fight you everywhere, and you have seen their real face in Syria. They had began to reveal it in Iraq, and soon you will see the Safavid warplanes and tanks shelling your neighbourhoods and storming your homes and you will see the Rafidi militias plundering your money and killing your sons and raping your women in the streets of Sidon, Beirut, Diyala, and Baghdad. This is a matter about which we warned you ten years ago and have continued trying to warn you. The scout doesn’t lie to his people. What has happened is Damascus and Homs is the best proof [of what we said].

O’ Sunnis:

You went out a year ago, demonstrating peacefully in Iraq, and we told you then that seeking tolerance from the Rawafid is useless and that pacifism doesn’t work with them. We swore to you that they will force you to carry arms, and a scout doesn’t lie to his people. And now you have carried them, you carried them despite your insistence on pacifism, and letting yourselves be led by the fatwas and statements from the scholars of the satellite channels and the supporters of the rulers, who kept calling on you to foreswear arms, and surrender and kneel, for fear of their positions and thrones, and to preserve their titles and money, especially that the idiot Nuri have realized or will realise the evil he brought to the Rafida, and will work hard for pacification.

O’ Sunnis:

You were forced to carry arms, and that is a grace from God. “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, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and God knows, while you do not know” [Al-Baqara 216].

Beware from laying arms down, because if you lay it down this time you will be slaves for the Rawafid, and will never stand on your feet again, except if God wills it. “Those who disbelieve desire that you may be careless of your arms and your luggage, so that they may then turn upon you with a sudden united attack” [An-Nisa 102].

So, save your Sunni people, save your people and honour and properties in Diyala, Tal Afar, Basra and Baghdad. The Rawafid today want to snatch you up and occupy you [with the struggle] in Anbar, Salahuddin, and Ninawa, and limit the battle to those areas so they can isolate and attack your people in Diyala, Basra, and Baghdad. This is only possible if they can call on the remnants of the Sahwa [Awakening], and activate these traitors as auxiliaries.

The reality of the Rafida approach towards the Sunnis has become clear: it isn’t a secret even to elderly women anymore; it is a reality which the mujahideen pointed out ten years ago. “As for those who strive in us [i.e. in our cause], we will surely guide them to our paths. For verily, God is with those who do good” [Al-Ankabut 69].

The mujahideen realised that the Rafida are the most dangerous enemy to Islam and Muslims, a pickaxe that destroys the pillars of the religion. And the Islamic State took upon itself the war against the Rafida everywhere, a fierce relentless war, wherein either we defeat the Rafida and end their evil against Islam and the religion, or the last soldier of the State will perish.

On this we say:

Firstly: our battle with the battle with the Rafida is one battle across Iraq, Syria, Yemen, the rest of the Arabian Peninsula, and Khorasan [Afghanistan]. There is no difference between one location and another, and everyone who stands with them or allies with them or supports them or cooperates with them in any way is an enemy for us, and we will not differentiate between [the Rafida/Shi’is] and [those who support] them.

Secondly: the remnants of the Awakening in Iraq were and are still a fortress for the Rafida, a stick in their hand, a shoe on their feet, and a poisonous dagger in the side of the Sunnis—the best supporter and aide for the Rafida and Crusaders. The Rafida would never be able to do what they have done [in terms of dominating Iraq] if it wasn’t for the treachery of the Awakening, and the plan of the Rafida today is gathering these remaining Awakening [militias] and uniting them with their dogs from the police and army, to make the Sunnis busy in Anbar and Salahuddin, to isolate the Sunnis and keep them in captivity while they kill, enslave, plunder, and displace them, preventing the Sunnis from marching on Baghdad.

Based on this: we call upon all the remaining members of Awakening, without exception, and all the politicians considered to be from among the Sunni people, to repent and declare that they have ceased the war against the mujahideen, and to disown their support and assistance to the spiteful Rafida. Anyone who does this before our hands reach him will be given safety, regardless of anything he did against us before, about which we will not ask.

We also call on all the police and soldiers, and all associated with the Safavid apparatus, both its secret agencies and public institutions, to repent and hand over their arms and equipment to the Islamic State. Anyone who does this before our hands reach him will be given safety, regardless of anything he did against us before, about which we will not ask.

As for those who insist on staying in the ranks of the Awakening of treachery and betrayal, or the scum of the army or police, and everyone who allies or supports them in the war against the mujahideen: his blood is permissible, and he will be at the top of our wanted list. The soldiers of the Islamic State and its supporters have to pluck the heads [qataf ru’uws] of these people. Chase and purse them everywhere, demolish and burn their homes after expelling their families and children from it. It is a fitting penalty for them.

Thirdly: we call all the Sunni tribes in all the wilayats, to prevent their sons from continuing in or enrolling in the Safavid army or police or Awakening, and to repudiate those who insist on joining up and not to protect them or give them shelter or to avenge his blood [when the Islamic State kills him]. Since targeting any of the allies of the Rafida or their partners or lackeys is not targeting the tribe, beware, O’ our people, of being dragged by your fools and some of your deviants into being aides for the Rafida against us. Be a shield that protects them from us [by stopping them joining the Iraqi state]. We call on the proud, purebred tribes of the Sunni people to give bay’a [an oath of allegiance] to the Islamic State, gather around the mujahideen for the sake of God, and support and adopt them, and if you do that I swear by God you will seize the world and the earth will submit to you.

“O you who believe, be God’s helpers. As Jesus, son of Mary, said to the disciples, ‘Who will come with me to help God?’ The disciples said, ‘We shall be God’s helpers.’ Some of the Children of Israel believed and some disbelieved: We supported the believers against their enemy and they were the ones who came out on top” [As-Saff 14].

O’ tribes of the Sunni people, what will you lose if you adopt jihad and the mujahideen, and renounce the treacherous politicians, and be the supporters of God?!

Fourthly: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria opens the door of recruitment to every Muslim who wants to do jihad for the sake of God, from the muhajireen [foreign fighters] and ansar [“partisans”; local fighters]. So come, O’ youth of Islam from everywhere, especially the people with competencies in specialised fields, and we can allocate them to where they are needed, particularly judges now the courts of the Islamic State are opened. So those who are eligible for the judiciary, come to these courts and rule by what God has revealed, without equivocation or favouritism, implement the right and repel the unjust. The soldiers and individuals of the State will be the first to submit to these judgments.

Are you, O’ sons of Islam, going to die for the good of the dunya [temporal world] or the good of the hereafter? Come to the life, since there is no life without jihad. “O you who believe! Answer [the call of] God and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life” [Al-Anfal 24]. So come before the way is cut off.

O’ our people in Iraq:

The game of democracy has ended: the plot of the national partnership has been nullified and the card of the civil state [al-dawla al-madaniya] burned, so be cautious and beware of the project of an national state presented as “Islamic”, and don’t think that the mujahideen—after all their sacrifices and martyrs—will remain silent or will accept governance by other than the shari’a of God. Beware of Al-Salul and their scholars, who implicated you in their national project under false, glamorous slogans, like “moderation” [­al-atadal].

We have fought, with the grace of God alone, against the Crusaders and the Rawafid and their lackeys and dogs from the Awakening, army and the police for ten years. By God’s grace, our certainty, insistence, determination, steadfastness, and solidity has only increased, and we will not be harmed or weakened, God willing [inshallah], if we have to fight for another tens of years. Even if the world united against us, today we are more capable, and—by the grace of God—more worthy. So we send this call to the Awakening, army, police and politicians who insist on fighting the mujahideen, we say to them: Stop your arrogance and stubbornness.

For how long will remain a pawn in the hands of the Rafida?! It will not hurt to repent and return to your Lord; you may gain in your dunya and you will be safe in the hereafter. Aren’t you tired of being humiliated by the Rawafid?! Don’t you long for the pride of your religion and dignity of the people?! Return to your people and tribes, since they have expelled you, and the falsity of your claims have become clear.

Do not flee from the paradise of the mujahideen to the hell of the Rawafid. Return to us. We are your people, if you repent and return [to us]. The Rawafid are your enemies, and you know that very well, so turn your weapons upon them. Return [to us] and do not remain where you are, between two enemies, between the hammer of the mujahideen and the anvil of the Rawafid. Return to your people and repent to your Lord and you will preserve your homes. “Say [this is God addressing the Prophet]: O my slaves, who have acted recklessly against their own selves, do not despair of [receiving] the mercy of God. Verily, God forgives all sins, for He is Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful” [Az-Zumar 53].

Return and you will be freemen. Return, since we have returned, as we promised you. We will return, God willing, to all the regions we withdrew from and more. We will return, God willing, to the Anbar of chivalry and the Diyala of heroism. We will return, God willing, to the Ninawa of the muwahideen [strict monotheists], and the dear Salahuddin. We will return, God willing, to the Baghdad of the caliphate, and the Basra of the Sahabah [Companions] and Al-Tabeen [“Successors” (of the Sahabah)]. We will return, God willing, to the Fallujah of pride, the Fallujah of martyrs.

[Arabic poetry] I long for her whenever I remember its horrors / We will not forget the blood of our brothers, the best company in the Fallujah of heroism / We will inflame all the land with our blood, lava that erupts and takes revenge / We swear we will restore the pride in it, and we will rule with our shari’a and we will triumph.

O’ our people in Syria:

Take a lesson from what happened in the arena of Iraq: “Verily, in all this is a reminder for whoever has a heart or and whoever listens with an attentive mind [for the truth]” [Qaf 37]. History will repeat itself. These Awakenings are raising their heads and will be hastened, by the grace of God, to their deaths.

O’ people of Syria:

You are under the patronage of God, and He has shown you the reality of the Crusaders and Kaffir West, and showed you the reality of the Rawafid, and that there is no salvation or shelter for you except from God.

O’ people of Syria:

Anyone who calls for a civil state is an agent and collaborator with the Jews and Crusaders, and a new tawaghit. So gather around the mujahideen: what else do you have, after the Lord of the worlds?

O’ people of Syria:

Don’t let the media cheat and deceive you with its output. We are among you, so judge only by what you see with your own eyes and can touch with your hands. By God, I swear it is the Iraq conspiracy all over again, the same story. It is, by God, the civil state and the national project [that the Americans use to mislead people] and [those that have listened,] they are the Awakening, we know it, and know its nature. Yesterday in Iraq, there was a Coalition and National Council, and blocs and political parties, a Jaysh al-Islami [Army of Islam] and a Jaysh al-Mujahideen, plus various factions and jamaats [groups]. Today, they are being put back into use in Syria, with the same sponsors, supporters and financers, and even with the same names.

As for you who are known as Jaysh al-Mujahideen and Jabhat Thuwar al-Suriya [The Syrian Revolutionaries’ Front], and those who pushed and supported them, or fought with them from under the table and behind a curtain, or turned a blind eye or remained silent about them, even from the brigades that drape themselves in Islam [a reference to groups like Ahrar al-Sham]:

Who deceived you?! Who forced you to sign on to fight the mujahideen and betray the muwahideen?! What happened to you?! Stirring up the ansar in hostility against the muhajireen—the muhajireen who in their religion left their countries, families, and children to come to defend your honour, putting their bodies [in harm’s way] before yours, their blood before your blood. They came to help turn you away from infidel patriotism and to disown nationalism.[2] They came to you as brothers in the religion and this is how you reward them?!

Who deceived you?! Who deceived you, O’ miskin [poor, needy or deficient (spiritually and materially), wretched], to antagonize the soldiers of the Lord, and to be an ally and supporter to the Nusayris, Jews, and Crusaders?!

Listen to one who has compassion for you, and will give honest advice [or “be a faithful advisor”]:

Will you stand between the hand of God and your opponents, be they ansar or muhajireen?! How can you hope for the mercy of your Lord if you are engaged in shedding the blood of the prayerful mujahideen?! How did you get bewitched?! Where is your [commitment to the] Book of your Lord?! Where are you when it comes to the Sunna of your Prophet?! Or were your eyes are blinded by misconceptions, and your ears blocked by [deviant] desires?!

God, Blessed and Almighty, says: “Whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is eternal Hell. The wrath and the curse of God are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him” [An-Nisa 93].

And the messenger of God peace and blessings of God be upon him said: “Reviling a Muslim is fusuq [disobedience of God] and killing him is [tantamount to] disbelief”, and peace and blessings of God be upon him said: “The first thing of the human body to stink is the abdomen, so he who can eat nothing but good food (Halal and earned lawfully) should do so, and he who does as much as he can that nothing intervene between him and Paradise by not shedding even a handful of blood, should do so” [Hadith].

What will you say to your Lord if a mujahid attaches to your neck saying: “O’ Lord, ask this why he killed me?!”

Will you say because he is an infidel?! I swear by God we aren’t infidels. Will you say [because we are] “Khariji”?! I swear by God we aren’t Kharijites.

O’ Lord, ask why he killed me?! What will you answer?! Will you say to your Lord?! “I killed a mujahid to establish a kufri civil state, though I do not know what it means”?!

Learn you poor man, learn before you fight and your elders get you implicated.

Learn the difference the civil state and the Islamic state, O’ miskin, learn who are the Kharijites, and how to know the Kharijites, before you kill the mujahideen. If you didn’t take a lesson from the Book of God and the Sunna of the Messenger of God, then take a lesson from your predecessors in Iraq, and ask about who opposed the mujahideen, and look you will find all of them in three categories: either in the belly of the earth [i.e. dead], or [you will find him] lowly and humiliated, enslaved by the Rawafid, ostracized from his people and umma, or else a homeless runaway, who is scared every day.

O’ you who have signed up to fight the mujahideen:

Don’t be deceived that you injured us in your cowardly, treacherous attack. You stabbed us in the back when our headquarters were empty, except for a few guards. If you were brave, you would have warned us, but these outrageous sins are in the nature of the Awakening.

O’ you who have signed up to fight the mujahideen:

Repent and we will give you safety, amnesty, and forgiveness. Otherwise: know that we have armies in Iraq and an army in Syria of hungry lions, who drink blood, and forget not that there is no blood more delicious to them than the blood of the Awakening.

I swear by God, we will take you down, thousand after thousand. I swear by God, we will not leave a single one among you [alive]. We will make an example out of you for others to follow. I warn you, I have seen the death dealt out by our hungry forest lions.

This is an appeal to the mujahid brigades seeking to implement the shari’a of God, to all our brothers the leaders and soldiers:

I swear by God that it is the battle of the umma, and I swear by God you know the truth, and know the chapters and threads of the conspiracy, so take a clear stance towards us and seek only the pleasure of God. If you don’t do that, we will ask you before God [on the Day of Judgment]. Stop the oppressor; do not pierce the ship [of the State] and let us all drown. I swear by God, we have carried a sacred trust [or responsibility], which the heavens, earth, and mountains were unable to carry, and damnation awaits the organizations, groups, and leaders who try to separate us [from our burden and mission] and try to make us forget the brotherhood of iman [faith]. If we lose this responsibility, it will be a let-down for the entire umma; don’t be deceived by the media and the soft words of the Awakening.

[Arabic poetry] The vicious loving for the young man is contemptible for him, and their praise doesn’t give him prestige

Stop the oppressor, or you will regret it.

And this is an appeal to all the muhajireen who didn’t join the ranks of the Islamic State in Syria:

Be careful: the Awakening does not differentiate between muhajir and muhajir. Joining the ranks of the State is better for you. Do not think that belonging to a [different] faction will save you from them, even if it delayed them [in attacking you] for some days—and I don’t think it will, since the Awakening are hostile to the jihadists in general, and their bitterest enemies are the foreigners.

This is advice to the ulema [scholars, clerics], who carry the responsibility to inform:

Hear it from us: even if you think we aren’t worthy to advise you, the one who sees isn’t equal to who listens, and the narrator isn’t like the witness. Some of you have ruled previously and given fatwas on the basis of false messages and misleading stories. So be careful: don’t let a word or part of a word issue from you that can lead to the shedding of Muslim blood because that will be hung around your necks on the Day of Judgment, and do not conceal a word that reveals the truth, or a word that will prevent the shedding of Muslim blood, for that will also be held against you on the Day of Judgment. And do not be like those described as:

[Arabic poetry] If they know something good, they conceal it, and if they know something bad they spread it, and if they don’t know (anything), they lie

The Messenger of God peace and blessings of God be upon him said: “He who believes in God and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent”.

As for you, the soldiers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria:

O’ you delight of the eyes, and the crown of the heads, the gloss of hope in the time of depression, O’ you lions among men, O’ you mountains atop the mountains: go forward with your steadfastness and certainty, since I swear by God you are on the [path of] revealed truth [al-haq al-mubeen].

O’ soldiers of Iraq:

You have sowed, and the harvest is near, so be patient; victory is on the horizon, so inflame the battle, fight the enemies, defend the [Muslims’] honour—and free the confined. The prisons, the prisons, the prisons, the prisons: may you not survive if you spare any effort in rescuing the prisoners.

As for the Awakening: accept the repentance, and then cleanse [your ranks], and know that the State has offered a bounty [or reward] for the one who plucks the head [yaqtaf ras, i.e. assassinates] the traitor Ahmed Abu Risha, the scion of treachery and betrayal. [Seemingly turning back to advice to IS’s legions:] When you enter the regions, show kindness and gentleness, amnesty and forgiveness, since your people don’t know [any better].

O’ soldiers of the State in Syria:

I ask God, blessed and exalted is He, that you be, God willing—for certain not suspending on it—whom your beloved Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him, said about them: “Who oppose them shall not be able to do them any harm”. I say for certain not suspending on it, because we didn’t see over the last ten years this blessed banner, except assistance, support, and aid from God Almighty, and maybe you felt that by yourselves, since whenever this banner enters, God Almighty throws into your heart tranquillity, pride, and fortitude, boldness and courage, and throws into the hearts and souls of the people your love and veneration, just as He throws fear of you into the souls of your enemies.

Jihad has taught us that any ordeal that falls on us turns into a reward, and the mujahid comes out of it more solid and steadfast, more determined and with more equanimity.

O’ soldiers of Syria:

I swear by the Lord of Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him, they are the Awakening.

I swear by the Lord of Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him, they are the Awakening.

We have no doubt or confusion; we expected them to appear, and didn’t doubt they would, because this is the [story of the] Sunna of jihad since the time of [the first caliph] Abu Bakr al-Siddiq [who, by Tradition, died in 634], may God be pleased with him, up to this day, albeit they took us by surprise in appearing earlier than expected. Perhaps this is a blessings for Syria, whose hypocrites [munafiqun] are now exposed to its believers; beware of being soft towards them.

[Arabic poetry] Let us go to battles to cool with its coldness the thirst / Islam has a right which the souls of the honourable are sacrificed for it / Will we let it down when we are its protectors?! Then who will defend and protect it?! / Will we hand it over to the Awakening voluntarily?! That is the nature of the scoundrels / Will Syria accept the rule of the Coalition which has not spilled blood?! / And the brother from us and them in battle walks on corpses and heads / Will we leave it in their hands plundered while in the quiver there is an arrow?! / The enemies had false thoughts about us like confused dreams / They saw us fewer than them so they called for war and confrontation against us / And filled the earth with knights that your eyes don’t see their end / We met them with hungry lions that see the meat of the enemies the most delicious food / I swear our power hasn’t weakened to resort to peace in humility / God forbid there be fear and weakness, and committing a disgrace and disparagement / I swear by God we don’t accept humility like an oppressed abject / Suppose that we as they claim are weak won’t the Lord of the people support us?! / We He fail us when we all of us pray to Him sitting and standing?! / So there is no despair if the war prolonged, victory is expected in the end / We will never leave fighting without in flaming a fire / Either we live under jihad or die in war

Carry on the campaign [against “the Awakening” (Syrian rebels)] like the campaign of [Abu Bakr] al-Siddiq: crush them, and smother their conspiracy in its cradle, and take strength from [knowing you have] the support of God.

[Arabic poetry] If the young man is accustomed to engaging with death then the easiest thing to him is passing on mud

It is enough for you that you didn’t plan for this war, and initiate it. Rather, it is a divine measure, and this agony will pass, God willing, and your State will emerge from it—more solid, purer, and clearer in its standard [raya] and methodology.

[Arabic poetry] When war comes to a people it brings out the flaws of men whom you like during the safety / And war has people who fight in it, while you will not profit nothing from the one who has prestige

Thus, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria declares that the National Coalition and Council, with the Chiefs of Staff and Military Council, are a sect of apostasy and unbelief, and they have declared a war against the State and begun [hostilities against it]. Therefore, everyone who belongs to this entity is a legitimate target for us everywhere, unless he publicly disowns this sect and its fight against the mujahideen. Know, O’ soldiers of the Islamic State, we have set a reward for everyone who plucks the heads from their leaders and commanders, so kill them wherever you find them; there is no dignity for them, and without you there is no goodness in the dunya or the hereafter. We warn the shaykhs of the tribes, and elders of the cities, villages, and regions, and all the factions and brigades, not to receive or protect them. We do not authorise and will not abide by any covenant given to them: we will target them wherever we find them, except those who repent before we lay hands on him. We advise you, soldiers of the Islamic State, to accept those who apologise to you, and pardon and forgive when that is possible.

O’ Muslims, I will say a du’a so say “amin”.

O’ God, grant victory to the mujahideen for your sake everywhere. O’ God, grant victory for the mujahideen for your sake everywhere. O’ God, give them support, and help them to victory, sooner rather than later, O’ God, release their prisoners [or “free their captives”], and heal their wounded, and accept their dead.

O’ God, who wants to do evil to Islam and Muslims, take him—with the grasp of the Mighty, the Powerful, O’ God—and those who schemed against the mujahideen for your sake, and conspired against them, and repay his cunning by exposing him before everyone, O’ God, smite the hypocrites from our people and the traitors. O’ God, silence the tongue of those who fought against the mujahideen, cut his hands and break his back. Thwart those who deliberately legitimized [the taking of] the blood of a mujahid or a Muslim.

O’ God we complain to you about those who let us down and abandoned us, and we only say to them what Hud Alayhi As-salam said: “I have put my trust in God, my Lord and your Lord. There is no moving creature that He goes not hold by the forelock [i.e. control]. Verily, it is my Lord that is on the straight path” [Hud 56].


*                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *



[1] IS put out an English transcript of Falaha’s January 2014 speech through Fursan al-Balagh Media and that is mostly what’s used here. There are some editions, though, in the form of grammatical corrections, alterations in spelling and/or transliteration, and in a few places direct changes from the Arabic.

[2] The word translated here as “patriotism” is “al-wataniya” and “nationalism” it is “al-quwmiya”. The connotations of wataniya relate more to the state, so IS is attacking people who are loyal to governments or (more neutrally) their countries, while qawmiya is very much more related to people or peoplehood and has ethnic overtones: “Arab nationalism” is “al-qawmiya al-Arabiya”, for example. IS is claiming its multinational forces have swept away these petty distinctions and identities that—in its conception—have been imposed against the law of Islam and created false separations in a Muslim community that is truly universal and whole.

Leave a Reply