Written by Shaykh Abu Mahmud al-Filistini:
“The group that is closest to the truth on the arena of a defensive Jihaad, which repels the transgressing enemy and is waging a battle of the Ummah, carrying this enormous weight and accepted this heavy trust which is hated by the souls as Allah said “fighting is prescribed for you though hate it” and sacrificed dozens and thousands of martyrs and wounded. While the majority of the Ummah is observing and those whom Allah granted success support it by their words. It is obligatory for the Ummah to support such a group and dismiss their stumbles and forgive their mistakes as long as they are in the realms of jurisprudential exertion (Ijtihaad). And they must follow the manners of leniency and mercy in giving advice and correction. The scholars throughout history were supportive of the people on the fronts even if they were from the people of innovation and immorality. So let alone if they were from the righteous methodology and they belonged to the people of truth and upheld the principles. Do we not have patience with jurisprudential exertion made by them on the arena in which they are facing all kinds of executed conspiracies and the efforts of the disbelievers and the apostates are combined to bury this group after eradicating it?
Should we not be patient with the political maneuvering carried out by them because of their strong presumption that this will rescue them from eradication and create disorder in the world government. Yes, the world government is quick in classification. So there is no harm in maneuvering and gaining time to neutralize the opponents who can be neutralized. And prioritizing the enemies is from the Sunnah and the Sharia and it was done by the most noble of creation (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) and his companions. We have a guarantee that this organized group has long years of history and experience on the land of Jihaad and we did not see anything from them except constant efforts to reach the truth and to achieve the goals of Jihaad.
Is it the instrument that counts or is it achieving the goals of Jihaad? If the goal of Jihaad is achieved with a certain instrument or with a certain name or by following politics which are allowed in the Sharia, then what is wrong with that? Or is it wrong for this group to gather the general people around them and those who are steadfast in fighting against the transgressing enemy, even if they were from the wicked people or innovators and people with a fogy doctrine?
Leave those who took on the command of repelling the transgressing enemy and the implementation of the Sharia. We have experienced their sincerity, they act accordingly to what Allah has chosen for them. And we should likewise act accordingly to what Allah choose for us. They are the people of the arena who hold guard and fight, and they know the merits of the battle. And we in all our categories, scholars, students, supporters of the Jihaad and its people, we are obligated to support them by the word and we must defend the honor of the Mujahideen and we must advice them in a matter which meets the intent of advice and the attempt of correction. Because these people are the closest to the truth, and they are the people on the arena, and the Ummah has no other choice but to fight the battle with them. So toppling them and spreading internal problems among them equals a disaster for the Jihaad and ruining its goals. And this opposes the Sharia because the Sharia imposes the fight upon us with every pious and wicked person and with the innovator, to protect the existence of the Ummah and to achieve the goals of Jihaad. And the one who opposes this works towards defeat.
This is why the scholars of the Salaf stood with the Sufis against the Mongols and the Crusaders, moreover they even stood with the Mamluks while they would kill one and another for power. Because the Ummah did not have any other choice but to fight with the Mamluks or their existence would be whipped out. So here is where the jurisprudence of our scholars becomes clear and the balance between harms.
And advising this group does not happen by following every slip or rather every word which exits from those who have joined them recently and does not have the knowledge we have or the knowledge our brothers have. So that is why we should be patient with the slips as long as our brothers come with that which proofs their adherence to the principles and a healthy methodology. And we must not forget that they are dealing with general people. They could likewise be speaking from military expertise or in the field of politics or a legitimate necessity which places someone in contradictions or mistakes. And our basis of what we know from our brothers is that they hold on to the uniting joints and not the other way around.
This is the reality, or we accept a unity with all those who accept the minimum Sharia requirement and we neutralize those whom we can neutralize politically. Or we crawl inside a bottle we scaled and scream inside it declaring our methodology and do not hear anything except our echo. As opening up to the Ummah comes with a price and it demands very great efforts, great minds and elite souls. Because opening up in a wilderness filled with diseases, problems, diversity and intolerance, etc. all of this comes with a price which must be tolerated to the achieve the goals of Jihaad.
Let us leave those alone whom we know are sincere and truthful to do their job and elevate the general people and recruit them for the sake of Jihaad instead of turning them into arrows against them, like the renegade Khawarij did in Iraq and Shaam. Iraq and its people and religion are lost. And what is sad and sorrowful is that the general people of the Sunnis in Nineveh and Mosul have started to accept the Rawafid regime after it softened their stance against them and were paid their salaries and because of what they lived and saw under the Khawarij from extremism and crimes.
The battle now is to win popular support and enter the general people into your project and make the task of uprooting you impossible. And this is what the Taliban has done, all the NATO allies were not able to uproot it for more than fifteen years in a row and it is still not abandoned by the general people. Popular support is what protects you from eradication and it prevents you from falling into civil ruin when the necessity arises to clean the arena from corruption and apostasy. And to win it they must uphold justice and establish the Sharia and increase the heat of Jihaad and strike the enemies severely.
Some were quick to accuse Hay’at Tahrir Shaam after they published a statement responding to the American envoy, because the statement did not suit their fossilized Najdi minds concerning the terminology which did not satisfy their psychological illness and did not scratch their itch of fanaticism. Any statement which does not include the terms that satisfy the hotheads is not liked by them. Statements must be filled with the words apostasy and apostates and Sahawaat and diluters. As if the Ummah only exists of these people; the pure and infallible people of truth and the people of postponement and ignorance.
As if the Ummah does not have any general people in it who aren’t deceivers, they are sincere, loyal and righteous, and among them you have sinners. It is necessary to address them with a speech that introduces them to the concept of Jihaad and mobilizes them under a general slogan.
When will these people understand that fanaticism and forcing people with their trapped minds into a specific mind with a specific methodology does not bring about anything except narrow-mindedness and the loss of gains and the revolt of people against you. Do they not learn from the experience in Benghazi in specific and Libya in General. And from the experience of ISIS, when they leave any territory how their influence and remnants leave completely as if there wasn’t any Islamic group present to begin with.
When will we vilify the one who opposes the Sharia and the Sunnah and not the one who opposes our methodology only. Is the methodology of some a decided matter and is not permissible for the Ummah to work except through it. The sideline is what awaits them because the Ummah will perform its duty anyway.
The problem is that our adversaries used to oppose us in issues of faith (Imaan) in the past, but now the problem is inside the current itself. And if these differences are not approached with knowledge, fairness, justice, reason and calmness, they will turn (into issues of) faith and disbelief, and monotheism and polytheism.
Because of the circumstances and conditions, especially after the events of ISIS, the Jihaadi current at the moment started to have differences, the majority of whom in jurisprudential and tactical issues. So we must understand each other, it is not permissible to keep raising the banner of monotheism and disbelief between us and our opponents at this moment. If Imaam Al-Shafiee raised it against Imam Malik, and Imam Malik raised it against Imam Abu Hanifa, then the issue would have become a disaster and a catastrophe in Takfir.
If I have a disagreement with someone which is personal about my rights, whether symbolic or material rights, then we still remain brothers in religion and the brotherhood in methodology remains. I could also disagree with you on the way you dealt with a case, this does not expel me and does not make me classified by you and others. The problem is also raising slogans without clarity and certain evidence, this should not be; diluters or other such classifications. Until it is proven and clear and a person is able to outline it scientifically in the mind of the listener.
It is from deviation to turn any organizational disagreement to a theological disagreement, and this was the beginning of the deviation of ISIS and them slipping towards extremism and Takfir and spilling of blood. When the disagreement with some is organizational it is necessary that it remains within this point and the statements and refutations should stay within this point. And any objection and statements concerning an organizational disagreements should not be dressed with theology and you should not use theology to pass your organizational point of view.
It is also from deviation to hasten in launching terms against your organizational adversary which have a legal theological meaning. Using terms like dilution and deviation and neglecting principles and fighting against the advocates of the Sharia, all of these released statements indicate a haste towards hostility and raising an organizational dispute to a theological dispute and loyalty and disassociation (Al-Walaa wal-Baraa). So they should fear Allah; those who hasten towards hostility and those who undermine the Jihaad by instigating strife and spread differences inside the ranks of those who are guarding the fronts and repelling the transgressing enemy. Jihaad will continue and will not stand still at any methodology, and the inheritors are those who understood the reality and digested the changes and dealt with it with every available and permissible means.
If every speaker knew what the consequences are of what he is saying in reality on the ground, and especially if he was from the scholars or those who are followed, then he would not build any position nor judgment on any statement or act based on an opinion. And especially if this statement or act was within the boundaries of Sharia politics and what is permitted by the Sharia.
And the mistake becomes more harmful if the circumstances have turned the dispute to the battle of Imaan and Kufr. Because this places the disputer in the field of monotheism and the one who is wrong is suppose to be closer to the heat of Kufr or he has even fallen into it. And this consequence splits the ranks and spreads turmoil and disputes on the arena; which is repelling the transgressing enemy at the moment. Because the matter will not be tolerated any longer, and the youth fears that he is fighting under a banner which abandoned monotheism. So people become puzzled and rumors spread and disagreements creep in.
After that the situation will not be corrected by clarifications and comments, because the first statement was spread, and this remained hanging in the minds. And the dispute will also be received by the fanatics and the extremists and they will use it to proof their statements and opinions; that the group has walked the path of deviation and that they have started to dance around monotheism. And the phony shouts and cries rise which seek to increase the level of hotheadedness and nothing else.
The basis is that we have good suspicions about those whom are known for their piety and religion, and we know their methodology and history. So let us lessen our speech about them and let us give them a chance to work. We correct, we draw near, we advice, and we cure. And there is a vast gap between advice and treatment and toppling and destruction.
The fanatics are the hatches of ISIS. They have criticized Al-Baghdad and ISIS only because of his rebellion against Al-Qaedah and because he denied his pledge to it. While Dr. Zawahiri and the senior leaders and scholars, and we follow them, have criticized Al-Baghdadi and ISIS and fought them theologically and in he media, and the Mujahideen military, only after Al-Baghdadi and ISIS followed the methodology of Takfir and bombing and slaughtering the Mujahideen. While the disagreement of the fanaticis with ISIS was about the organizational relationship only. If Al-Baghdadi remained and killed and slaughtered like he was doing in Iraq since 2007 and he attributed himself to the methodology and established the organizational relationship, he would have stayed dear and a partner to these fanatics.
While our disagreement with Al-Baghdadi and ISIS was about the relationship with the religion and the Ummah. So when he started to follow the methodology of the Khawarij sect and turned against the Ummah with his sword killing both its pious and wicked, we opposed him and we declared our innocence from him and his innovation and we fought him with everything made available to us by Allah, until Allah broke their horn and extinguished their turmoil. And here is where the difference becomes clear between those who made their organization and group the end, and Islam and the Ummah a means, and those who made everything they posses a means, and Islam the end.
They say we follow the scholars. But if the opinions of the scholars reach them or they requested them what is contrary to their desires, they do not pay any attention as if they are struck with blindness. By Allah you are a people of turmoil and you seek turmoil, as your market rises with turmoil, because turmoil is an opportunity for the ignorant and a satisfaction for the souls. But you will fall with turmoil like ISIS fell and everyone who entered their turmoil, while Jihaad remained standing.
The extremists likewise came out in Peshawar and ignited turmoil, one after the other. And they slandered the Mujahideen and made Takfir on them. But they fell and entered the world of forgetfulness while the Jihaad came out of Peshawar and its brightness reached the whole Islamic world. So turmoil will fall and you will disappear with it and Jihaad will continue with those who are present or those who will still come. And pathetic is the one who thinks that Jihaad will not pass except through him and will not be correct unless he blesses it.
For it is an Islamic Jihaad, obligatory upon every Muslim, not exclusive for Salafis or Asharis or Sufis. The one who prevents Muslims from fighting except through him or by setting a pledge or allegiance as condition, he has opposed the Sharia which imposes the repelling of the transgressing enemy on everyone present.
More than three years ago the control of the factions reached more than one third of the territory in Shaam, as the driver was able to travel in his car from Latakiyah to Hasakah, and he was able to travel from Hasakah to Daraa. While military assistance was able to travel from Aleppo until Damascus. And Al-Qalamoun was completely under the control of the Mujahideen, as the vast territories were under the control of the Mujahideen. When did the situation start to change and the regime regained its strength and the Iranian and Lebanese militias started to spread? Was there any American or Russian intervention or..? Who closed the road between the provinces, the regime or the Khawarij? Who prevented assistance from Damascus to Qalamoun and insisted on continuous battles against the factions?
Now the reasons have become clear for the decline of the revolution and the Jihaad, and why more than one third of the territories which were liberated before 2014 were lost. This was the result of extremism and dilution, and dilution is a reaction to extremism, so we must not subject extremism to dilution. Nobody was able to pronounce the word negotiations or political solution before. But due to the blessings of extremism and the spilling of blood it gave rise to the diluters and they now have an audience. So learn the lessons and return to unity under the slogan of toppling the regime and ruling with the Sharia.
Defeat comes when you fail to mobilize the people and make our battle (the elite) their battle. Our methodology is inciting the Ummah to do its duty and work towards toppling the tyrants who replaced the law of Allah with man-made laws, and placed the land and people under colonialism and created regimes which protect the state of Israel. Our methodology is making the Ummah wage a battle for the Sharia and escape the clutches of colonialism. Our methodology is to make the Ummah raise its awareness and learn that it is fighting for its creed and not for its wealth and resources. And the theft of wealth and resources is done only to keep them under the weight of the tyrants as they suffer from poverty and their worries and thoughts become exclusively occupied with how to collect the bread of the day, so that they will not pay any attention to the call of Islamic doctrine of monotheism; the doctrine of superiority. Thus the Ummah stays humiliated and weak under the weight of the treacherous tyrants. So it is necessary to ignite the fire of Jihaad in the straw of the Ummah after drying it.
And those who stand in the face of the fire of Jihaad when it is lit with ideologies and deviates it towards psychological battles: he will extinguish this fire and make it burn in an incorrect place. When the revolution was the battle of the Ummah, everyone was fighting to topple the regime, and everyone was competing to liberate the land; the liberation of the territories did not stop. But when the people of methodologies jumped, and the battle turned into the battle for Shaykh so and so, and group so and so, and the methodology of so and so, and the school of so and so; the situation changed. At the beginning of the revolution many areas were liberated daily, and today many areas are lost. So is there anyone who will learn? I doubt it because ‘each faction is happy with what it has’. And everyone wants to impose his battle and people must follow it while he is the father of dismissal. (As if they are saying) A happy new revolution and our grandchildren will avoid our mistakes with the will of Allah.
The problem is when criticism becomes a method for everything which contradicts the ideas that some think is the literature of the Jihaadi current. While if we read what the leaders stated of the current and the original scholars we will find that they are on the opposite end of those ideas. Shaykh Usama bin Laden and Shaykh Abu Musab Suri as intellectuals represent these ideas which some want to impose on every Jihadi arena. And Shaykh Abu Qatadah and Abdullah Azzam and Atiyatullah and Abu Yahya, all of their literature pushes towards turning the battle of Jihaad to the Jihaad of an Ummah, to push the nation to what is has been entrusted with.
And we have not seen them turn the battle to a battle of methodology or a battle of Salafism against Sufism. The issue of excuse due to ignorance is not the issue of Jihaad, nor the Names and Attributes of Allah, nor the Imams of Najd. The Jihaad today is a battle to topple the tyrants and trying to re-establish Dar Al-Islam, and this battle must not be confined within a certain school or within ideas of a particular methodology. Whoever wants confinement in his methodology should withdraw from this battle because his role will come after the fall of the tyrants and the establishment of an Islamic State, so he can practice the hobby of imposing methodologies or certain schools of jurisprudence or engage in fighting media battles.
Intellectual terrorism is unfortunately the weapon of those who complain about it themselves. And there is no one who practices intellectual terrorism like them, because the accusations of deviation and misguidance are ready to be opened and used. Leave the back of the nation and let it fights its battle. Do you not comprehend, are your eyes blinded? The Rawafid have occupied the Arab world. Iraq has gone due methodologies and ugly disagreements practiced by the schools of entopplement, from the fanatics and the extremists and the diluters. Yemen and Shaam are about to be occupied by the Rawafid. Shaam is being lost while some have busied themselves with overthrowing Hay’at Tahrir Shaam, some of them want to topple it with the accusation of dilution and the other with the accusation of extremism, and both of them are sitting and abandoned Jihaad. His only function is harassment and discouragement and dropping mines on the land of Jihaad.
Is there any greater misery than a Muslim who claims to be on the truth and that sudden wisdom has ascended on him while he is sitting at home not taking part in repelling the transgressing enemy and he does not ride his horse to answer every scream or scare. If they were wise they would know that they are in a very dangerous situation so Jihaad is to be waged with the righteous and immoral. The harm of dissolving the pledge (Bayah) is smaller in front of the harm of creating turmoil and breaking the ranks and causing defeat and the occupation of the Rawafid. And some are fighting the battle of Erdogan and claims that he is fighting the battle of Shaam. They made Erdogan Umar ibn Abdul Aziz, sometimes with their ignorance and sometimes with their hypocrisy and sometimes with their deviance. Evil people who destroyed the wall of the Sharia and distorted the doctrine of Al-Walaa wal Baraa (allegiance and dissociation) and they claim that they are Mujahid revolutionaries while they are abhorrent hypocrites.
The battle in Shaam is a battle for existence, and whoever comes with any excuse to justify his backwardness, using issues that are present in Shaam, is wrong no matter how beautiful the devil makes the legitimacy for doing it. As repelling the transgressing enemy is the most obligatory duty after having faith in Allah, and leaving it is the greatest evil after disbelief in Allah. Put aside your methodologies and leave your partisanship and raise the level of your awareness, and be the fuel of the battle for the existence of Islam in Shaam. And remember that history deliberately forgot the injustice of some Sultans when they achieved victories for Islam, while history completely ignored to mention the insignificance of those who adhered to the methodology or took part in creating turmoil or stood in the ranks of the disbelievers. So take heed and fight the battle of the Ummah and follow the path of patience with some of the injustice for the interest of the Ummah.
When we see Hay’at Tahrir Shaam negotiate about the type of government and constitution, and negotiate about the role of Bashar in the transitional period, and negotiate about the status of the Russians and reach agreements with it, and negotiate about the rule of the Sharia, and see them follow the Turkish and Qatari intelligence services and implement the orders of the backers and open fronts in the benefit of the backers. Then we will say that Hay’at Tahrir Shaam has become like the rest of the factions.
But if we see Hay’at Tahrir Shaam still perform its duty of repelling the transgressing enemy and seeks to unite the arena, and rules with the Sharia in its courts, and spreads Dawah, and carries more than two-thirds of the military efforts against the regime and its militias, while the US airplanes are still assassinating their leaders, and the Russian bombardments turn the cities into ashes. Despite that Hay’at Tahrir Shaam is still grasping on to their weapons with the mission of toppling the regime and ruling with the Sharia. And it still is better than the Taliban in its theological doctrine and methodology. But these tongues which are backbiting Hay’at Tahrir Shaam swallow them when it concerns the Taliban, just because Al-Qaedah has a pledge to the Taliban. And soon you will hear these tongues backbite the Taliban and they will follow the footsteps of their brothers from ISIS in making Takfir on them or at least they will topple it.
It is from religion and justice that we do not topple a group or person unless it is based on real and legitimate violations which clearly oppose the religious principles of the religion. While everything that is broadened in the Sharia politics, which does not oppose something from the religion, stays exclusively in the field of judicial exertion (Ijtihaad), or expansion at times or leniency at times and Sharia politics at times. And the one who follows the Sunnah of our Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) will find expansion and leniency which is excused because we are aware of his piety, his religion and the righteousness of his methodology.
The campaign is fierce and the plot is great and the changes are quick. In every moment there are new facts and fluctuations in alliances. It is from the Sharia obligation on those whom Allah entrusted with the leadership over this Jihaad to do his duty and do what is in the interest of the Jihaad and rescue it from these twists that are put on his path. For the leader is responsible in front of Allah over his leadership and his subjects entrusted on to him by Allah. If he did not do what is in his reach he will be held accountable, there is no escape from it. And his fear for the methodology of so and so will not be of any benefit for him, nor his fear for the fanatics who are not pleased except with slogans filled with Takfir, threats, thunder and foaming.”