The Nigerian jihadist scene today is primarily represented by two factions: the Islamic State’s West Africa Province led by Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi and Abu Bakr Shekau’s group. Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi is the son of Abu Yusuf al-Barnawi (Muhammad Yusuf), who was the founder and first leader of the group that became commonly known as Boko Haram, though the appellation was never formally adopted by Yusuf for his group. After Yusuf’s death in 2009 amid clashes between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government, Shekau became the overall leader. In March 2015, Shekau, whose group formally controlled a substantial portion of Nigerian territory, attracted headlines through an official allegiance pledge to the Islamic State, thus inaugurating Islamic State’s West Africa Province with Shekau as the first provincial governor (wali).
However, Shekau was eventually removed from his position by the Islamic State, and Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi, who was announced to be the wali of West Africa Province in August 2016, has led the Islamic State affiliate ever since. Perceptions that Shekau’s ideas are too extreme even for the Islamic State, his rejection of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s authority as caliph, and Shekau’s ruthless conduct against his internal critics, are the main reasons why Shekau was removed from his position as wali of the West Africa province.
It has been claimed that Shekau’s group and the Islamic State’s West Africa Province represent two rival factions professing loyalty to Baghdadi and competing for recognition as the Islamic State’s wing in the West Africa. In fact, this claim is incorrect. Shekau clearly does not recognize the Islamic State as a legitimate authority whatsoever, and on multiple occasions his group has actually fought the Islamic State’s West Africa Province, which deems Shekau and his followers to be Khawarij.
Some of those instances of conflict are documented in this book released by the Islamic State’s West Africa Province. The book is ascribed to two sons of Abu Yusuf al-Barnawi but at times it is difficult to discern who exactly is writing, as the author voice in the book alternates between the first person singular and first person plural pronouns. The book, written in Arabic (not the authors’ first language), features some typos and some instances of awkward phrasing.
To summarize the contents, this book consists of two principal parts. The first part features a history of the original group founded by Muhammad Yusuf and then the subsequent tenure of Shekau as leader of the group. The second part consists of a refutation of Shekau’s ideas that are deemed too extreme by the Islamic State, as well as an account of the harmful consequences of those ideas and the ‘true story’ behind Shekau’s allegiance pledge to the Islamic State.
The main ideas of Shekau that are critiqued in this book:
– Shekau’s concepts of takfir (declaring someone to be a disbeliever/kafir). The book claims that Shekau goes too far in espousing the idea that takfir can be declared against anyone living in the abode of kufr (disbelief). In addition, Shekau is said to believe in the concept of ‘chain takfir,’ which works according to the following reasoning:
. Whoever does not declare takfir on the idolaters, declares their madhhab to be valid or doubts their kufr is himself a disbeliever (third ‘nullifier of Islam’ according to the Wahhabi concept of ‘ten nullifiers of Islam’). Let us call this person A.
. The person (B) who doubts the disbelief of A is a disbeliever.
. The person (C) who doubts the disbelief of B is a disbeliever.
And so on, potentially ad infinitum. This concept of ‘chain takfir’ has always been rejected by the Islamic State.
Indeed, it is worth noting that the lines of reasoning followed in this book regarding takfir and the controversial concept of ‘excuse in ignorance’ (a concept rejected by Shekau) parallel those found in the training camp theology manual Course in Monotheism, which was likely written by the deceased Islamic State Bahraini cleric Turki Binali.
At one point, shortly before his death, Binali seemed to have fallen out with the Islamic State leadership for what he saw as a position on takfir that was too extreme, in particular the idea that takfir is an essential foundation of the religion. That position was later retracted by the Islamic State leadership after Binali’s death.
Similar to the Course in Monotheism, this book by the Islamic State’s West Africa Province allows for the idea of excuse in ignorance regarding some issues (e.g. issues of prayer and wine consumption that are not necessarily known from the religion ‘by necessity’) in limited circumstances, such as if the person was raised in a desert far removed from sources of ‘Ilm (Islamic knowledge) and scholars, or if someone is a new convert to Islam. Similarly, takfir is not to be declared immediately on the one who excuses on grounds of ignorance an act of kufr by someone professing affiliation with Islam. Rather, the excuser’s objection is to be reviewed: if the objection is valid in that there is a genuine excuse in ignorance, then no takfir is applied on the excuser at all. If the objection is not valid, the proof for why it is not valid is to be displayed to the excuser. If the excuser persists after that, he too is to have takfir declared on him.
– Shekau’s idea that the original principle (asl) in people is kufr, rather than belief in God.
Besides Shekau’s extreme ideas, the Islamic State also takes issue with his disobedience of Baghdadi’s orders, such as on the controversy over whether it is allowed to take captive and enslave the women of those deemed ‘apostates’. Though the Islamic State accepts that there has been disagreement on the matter, Baghdadi has adopted the stance that it is not permissible. Instead, only the women of original disbelievers at war with the Islamic State (e.g. Yezidis, Christians etc.) can be taken captive. Since Baghdadi is deemed the caliph/imam, he is to be obeyed on this matter despite the disagreement.
In general, I would say this book is of importance for the following reasons:
. Discussion of the nature of relations between al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and ‘Boko Haram’ after Muhammad Yusuf’s death. It should be noted that ‘Boko Haram’ never became a formal affiliate of al-Qa’ida in the manner of AQIM or al-Shabaab in Somalia, but there were very much concrete links and correspondence between AQIM and ‘Boko Haram’.
. An idea of what exactly is ‘too extreme’ for the Islamic State and how that has played out on the ground.
. Understanding the nature of relations between ‘Islamic State central’ and its distant affiliates beyond Iraq and Syria. For example, note the case of a question raised by the affiliate to the central research and study office of the Islamic State regarding taking out ID cards, passports and other government documents.
Cutting out the tumour from the Khawarij of Shekau by the allegiance pledge of the people of nobility
By the two brothers, the sons of Sheikh Abu Yusuf al-Barnawi, may God protect them.
1439 AH/2018 CE
Channel of Facts for Media
First Printing: Shawwal 1439 AH
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
“Lord, increase me in knowledge.”
Praise be to God, whom we praise and whose help and forgiveness we seek. We seek refuge in God from the evils of ourselves and the evils of our deeds. The one God guides, there is nothing to mislead him, and whoso is misled has no guider.
And I bear witness that there is no deity but God the Great, the Almighty, distinguished by Majesty. For Him is praise in every state. Exalted is He and severe He is in assault.
And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, the cheerful and the slayer, the one who gives and gets. God’s peace and blessings be upon him, his family and his brave, heroic companions, who were steadfast with him in the epic battles and clash in fighting the vile mushrikeen, and those who follow them with ihsan till the Day of Banishment and Outcome.
“Oh you who believe, fear God, seek truth and do not die except as Muslims.”[i]
“Oh people, fear your Lord who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear God whom you beseech an the wombs. Indeed God is ever watchful over you.”[ii]
“He will make right for you your deeds and forgive you for your sins and whoso obeys God and His Messenger has attained a great reward.”[iii]
As for what follows:
Some of my brothers- hard it is for me to reject their request- asked me to write a condensed summary about the efforts of Abu Yusuf in da’wa and renewal in West Africa, from the time of his beginning until his martyrdom, showing his humbleness and nobility, and making clear and distinguishing them from the innovative extremists of the erroneous followers of Shekau, and I acceded to their desire when I became convinced that the matter is entrusted to me, and God is the One whose help is to be sought.
And despite my humble efforts and my scarce faculties in knowledge, I decided to put my pen onto this pleasant notebook, and accede to their request, refuting and silencing with arguments that group of innovators, and critiquing their principles in which they have violated the Book and the Sunna, refuting them and destroying them through what I have been provided from the nursery of the Imams, and the first principles of reason and intellect from their brilliant and exemplary lives.
It could not be otherwise, as God distinguished them through the honour of knowledge, and dignified them with the quality of intelligence, and made them a light to the religion and its people, and for mankind imams, masters and light.
To them do they hasten when misfortunes arise, and to them do they turn for help when in need, for they remove from them the darkness of oppression with the knowledge that God gave them and through which He distinguished them over others. For they have not left alone a problem that has come down previously without showing us the truth in the Qur’an and the best in interpretation that does away with it, such that we have become without confusion when the same problem appears after them.
So may God reward them on behalf of the Ummah of their Prophet with the best of what He rewarded the knowledgeable one of an Ummah on their behalf, and may He make us among those for whom He has ordained from righteousness what He has ordained for them, and may He join us with their dwellings and dignify us with love of them and knowing their truths, and may He give us refuge from the destructive powers of arbitrary whims and the misleading aspects of opinions. Indeed He hears prayer.
The heart lives when those people are mentioned,
And God is mentioned if mention of them comes.
The Imams of transmission and interpretation,
Only have as a reliance the Book and the words of al-Mustafa,
Authorities of his path, the supporters of his Sunna,
They do not equate them with what anyone has said.
They have spread their symbols, supported their rulings,
They have broken their enemies, and have examined their transmitters.
They are the missiles against the thief of the hadith,
Just as the meteors of the sky observe every thief.
Full moons of perfection,
Just as the full moons are never absent and the diminishing is invariable.
And they are the extent of prosperity whose traces remain,
In rebirth and manifestation since the time they have passed away.[iv]
And among the reasons that compelled me to answer the call of those noble ones are as follows:
– I had intended to write a foundational response regarding the Khawarij of Shekau in which I make clear their doctrines and impacts and then conclude them with its separation and removal, so this suggestion and request of theirs came to me, so I welcomed that as a note of summary on the da’wa and its reviver and making clear its principles and origins, including a response to and refutation of every innovator who claims affiliation with it. And that is so lest we relinquish our heritage and it should be lost until it should be obtained by hired pens mobilized by authority of kufr, or a hypocrite filled with what he has not given, writing with the immorality attributed to him, so he acts tyrannically with his pen and so everything becomes confused.
– Because I have not found anyone from the brothers more suited to undertaking this than I am who previously wrote a comprehensive study about the rise of the jihad of the brothers, and documenting their efforts to be a story from which one may benefit and a lesson from which one can learn throughout the generations.
– And were a book to be found about this matter written by a monotheist, he has not observed what we have observed especially as many disasters subsequently happened, and the informer is not like the observer.
– So that I may destroy for the brothers the bonds of those dilettantes, and that they should beware of the ideas of the extremists, and know the evil, so that they may correctly avoid it because whoso does not know the evil may fall into it as the poet said:
“I have known evil not for evil but to avoid it, and whoso of the people does not know evil falls into it.”
So the believer must know the circumstances of the people of innovation, that he may be distinguished from them and protect his creed against their innovation. Therefore the law has permitted for man to be rebuked and criticized, alive and dead, for a Shari’i purpose, which can only be attained through those means. And some of them have brought them together in this saying:
“Rebuking is not slander in six cases: lodging a complaint, definition, warning, the one who engages in blatant sin, consultation, and the one who has sought help in removing a condemned act.”
And on this matter the Sheikh of Islam says: “The imams of innovation from the people of articles that contravene the Book and the Sunna or acts of worship that contravene the Book and the Sunna: making clear their state and warning the Ummah against them is an obligation by the consensus of the Muslims, such that it was said to Ahmad bin Hanbal: ‘Who is more dear to you: the man who fasts, prays and frequents the mosque, or the one who speaks against the people of innovation? He said: ‘If he arises, prayers, and frequents the mosque, he is for himself. But the one who speaks against the people of innovation is for the Muslims. This one is more preferable.’ So he made clear that this one benefits the Muslims in general in their religion from the type of jihad in God’s path, and the corruption of those people [the innovators] was greater than the corruption of the conquest by the enemy from the people of war. For these people, if they seize control, do not corrupt hearts and the religion in them except subsequently. As for those people [the innovators], they corrupt hearts from the outset.”[v]
For these reasons I wanted to bring together a book distinguishing the two parties, noting the quality of truth and its particular and the quality of falsehood and the refutation of its likeness, so that the reviewer of it can be more certain in his religion and verifying his certainty and not be deceived by the falsifiers or deceived by those who contravene the religion.
And my intention is not to defame others, nor is there a personal enmity between me and any of those about whom I will write. After all, I was just an adolescent boy in youth when we were in the strategy of the war of cities. So the cause is not defamation or enmities, but rather the truth.
And I decided to write it- despite its simplicity- in Arabic, because it is the dominant language and the one of eternal heritage, so I wanted to immortalize the book. Perhaps one will profit from it one day, and I have observed emphasis in it, so as to conform with the requirement of the stubborn condemner, and so that the one of rightly guided essence may benefit from its lessons and curiosities, and the ignorant one who has been distinguished by evil deeds and has thought he is in the right will not neglect it. And I have called this text by what makes real its meaning and expresses its requirement, and that is: “Cutting out the tumour by the allegiance pledge of the people of nobility.”[vi]
My approach in the book
1. I wrote this investigation by God’s grace and power according to chapters and sections. Perhaps God will benefit peoples through this and others will be deterred by the content. And perhaps the Exalted will bring about something after that: namely, that He should bring about affection between us and them. And God is powerful, forgiving and merciful. And I have divided the chapters as follows:
Chapter One: The Beginning and the Most Important Things in It:
– Defining the Reviver Sheikh
– Mentioning the Principles and Foundations of Da’wa
– The Situation in which the Preachers and Students of ‘Ilm Were Killed.
– Appearance of the First Signs of Extremism and Its Development
Chapter Two: The Khariji Doctrines That Appeared.
I have made clear in them their ignorance and disdain for ‘Ilm, then I have turned to the doctrines that appeared on that basis, the most of important of which are:
– Saying that the principle in people is kufr [disbelief]
– Takfir of those living in the abode of kufr
– Chain takfir
Chapter Three: The Impacts These Corrupt Doctrines Have Left And The End
Chapter Four: Rulings of Fiqh Concerning Them
2. I have made sure in them to avoid filling and meandering, so I have not elaborated in enumerating the course of events except when there is benefit in them, and in responding I have not tried to bring lines of evidence except in what leads to proof, and that is to shorten the time of the dear reader, and so as not to confuse him, for whoso wants expansion on issues and precision in them, let him consult the books of the Ahl al-‘Ilm.
3. I begin in responding on each issue by showing their words as they have come in their messages and recordings, and I do not insert in them except what the translation requires. Then I begin in responding to them by discussing them and comparing them with the innovations of the erroneous sects, and I try to make clear the madhhab of the just predecessor in each issue, to clarify how they have tried to distort it.
4. And in so far as the followers of Shekau affirm that their only point of reference is the Book of God and the Sunna of His Messenger, and that they do not accept anything besides them from pronouncements, I have tried to make sure that the response should be from the ayahs and remains, and words of the Imams on whose fairness we agree with the other party. For the other party relies on them and cites their pronouncements as evidence, because citing as evidence the one whose fairness is not established among the two parties leads to falling into another disagreement over fairness, instead of investigating the ruling. Thus the ‘ulama say: “Among the conditions of the principle: that it should be established between the two parties.”
5. I have organized the transcription well, for whatever is a hadith, I have put between two round brackets. And whatever is a saying of the predecessors or the like from sayings I have put between straight quotation mars, whereas I put the words of the innovators between curly quotation mars, and an explanation on my part regarding some transmission I have put between square brackets, while pointing out in the margin the derivation of all that and its attribution to the transmitted source, except in what the pen has erred, and perfection is to God alone. And as for the ayahs, their transcription and framework are not hidden.
In conclusion I say: we have put in efforts to publish, and we have tried to condense it and not burden it. If we have been granted success for what we have desired, that is due to the grace of God (Almighty and Exalted is He), and if I have erred, it is from myself and my shortcoming and failing of my tongue and pen, so take heed of what is right in here, and avoid what is erroneous, and advise me to keep myself away from the error, for if you do that, for you is its purity and on me is its distress, and I have desired what is best, and God is the One whose help is to be sought and on Him is al-taklan.
So by dear merciful Lord, I seek refuge in You that my intention should not be pursuing defects and sensing for lapses and looking for faults in order that I should disgrace Your allies, or empty out what is in the vessel of Your servants. And reward all who helped me and participated in the book even by part of a word out of good. Have mercy, my Lord, on the one who has pointed out my faults and warned me of my errors, and I seek refuge in You from a scheming friend whose eye sees me and whose heart cares for me.
If they hear a suspicion, they fly with it in joy away from me,
And what they have heard from righteousness, they have buried.
Deaf they are when they hear good in which I am mentioned.
And if I am mentioned in evil among them, they listen,
Out of ignorance against me and shrinking from their enemy.
These two dispositions are truly wretched: ignorance and cowardice.
Chapter One: Brothers From The Inside
First Section: Activity and The Building of the Ummah.
Firstly, we shed light on the da’wa from its beginning, and we mention a summary about its reviver, pointing out the circumstances he went through from the beginning of his da’wa to his death, so that the reader may have clear pictures- even if simple- of that noble generation, whose reputation and students’ reputation have been distorted, as they have lived far from the historians and writers t document their efforts and the harsh tribulations they went through: the steadfast, wouned contingent, the brave and intrepid knights, whose Ummah were ignorant of them and forsook them, for they were alone as a nation, so I will try, seeing help in God, to illustrate the book with some of their positions.
And the time has come for the likes of me- despite my poor situation, my shortcoming in statement, and inexperience in the world of writing- to wet the lips of the hearts that are thirsty for this history, but also to quench their thirst with reports of glory and dominion, and it is all the more incumbent on me to venture on the life of the one to whom I cannot give them their due in making clear their virtue and honour, even as the words cannot support me, but, your brother is compelled, not a hero.[vii] For I cannot help being compelled to ride the obstinate horses of writing. My reliance is that I should spare no effort, out of fulfillment for them and our Ummah and fulfilling the trust and the witness of truth for God, then paving the way for history, on the basis that we should illustrate something from their patience and steadfastness, and protecting them- by presenting something from the realities of the da’wa- against the attribution to them of the ideas of the Khawarij of Shekau,[viii] and so that we may establish that the extremism and deviation are incidental on the grop and not in any way the result of its manhaj, and God is the One whose help is to be sought and on Him is al-taklan.
First Study: Defining the Reviver Sheikh
He is the father Imam sheikh, the reviver of jihad and tawheed, Abu Yusuf: Muhammad bin Yusuf bin Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Dagheri[ix] by origin, al-Maiduguri by residence, al-Jakusi by birth, and al-Barnawi by tribe and ancestry.
One of the symbols of Islam, one of the knights of the clashes, free of spirit, great of intelligence, distinguished in patience, judicious in opinion, eminent manners, sound in intention, strong in endurance, enduring over arrogance, ample in agreement, fine in disagreement, determined to help, good in conduct, very pious and generous in expenditure. If you speak about the lightness of his spirit and politeness of his manners and the goodness of his kinsfolk, you will not be able to give him his full due, as no one mingled with him and did not love him.
He was born on 20 Dhu al-Q’ida 1389 AH in Jakusko in the northern countryside of Yobe in northeast Nigeria, in a family with deep roots, and to two religious parents who embraced the religion.
The sheikh was raised among two noble parents and his father was among the ‘ulama of the Sufi Zawaya,[x] who teach the young the Qur’an, and from his father Sayyid Yusuf was known for hostility to the Western colonialists and their ideas, which made him migrate with his son Muhammad from the state of Yobe after pressure from the apostate dogs against him to put his son in their school. And so he moved to the city of Maiduguri.
The sheikh grew up in a religious environment in Maiduguri, and he mastered the Qur’an in the Qur’an school his father ran, and he studied the sciences of Arabic and the sciences of Qur’an, hadith and jurisprudence at the hands of the ‘ulama of al-Zawaya in the states of Borno and Yobe in particular and the north of Nigeria in general, and he joined the night course classes in the al-Kanemi institute,[xi] and the period of his study in it was one year.
And after being guided to knowledge and God’s granting of its keys to him, he applied himself to the books, coming upon issues and deriving the rulings by his reasoning, and he gained what God granted him from a welcoming heart, capability in statement, sharpness of tongue, quickness of understanding, abundance of knowledge, and little contravention.
When he spoke, his style was pure. When he narrated, he made people understand. And when he delivered a sermon, he made people cry: neither a pedant nor a braggart, elevated by gravity and respect.
And when Sheikh Abu Yusuf reached the age of men, and attained good fortune from mental maturity, he was frightened by the state of the Muslims in the land of West Africa, and their support for democracy and Western sciences and their throwing behind their bacs the Shari’i sciences and the teachings of the Hanif religion.
And he burned with desire to see the law of God applied and ruling over the lands, and for acts of innovation and shirk to be wiped out through its supremacy. So there was nothing from the movement striving for societal reform except that he was among the first to join in support of it, for his state was as the Messenger (SAWS) said about it: “If the religion were in the Pleiades, men would have obtained it from these.”[xii]
So his organizational and da’wa beginning was with the Muslim Brotherhood group in Nigeria led by the Rafidite apostate Ibrahim al-Zakzaki who presented himself under the guise of reform and Sunnism, and kept secret his Shi’i tendency to the heretic Majous Rafidites, and this- i.e. taqiyya- has been a foundation of their religion. And he misled many youth from the north of Nigeria as he adopted the method of inciting the youth, using fiery slogans of hostility to America and its all the state of the Jews, and inciting emotions against the kafir government.
But when the Sheikh noticed the first signs of Rafidism and Iranian Shi’ism, which began to expand in 1994 CE, he separated from them and became an enemy against them, declaring them to be a danger and exposing their dark faces. And likewise a great portion of those who had been deceived in the beginning by the group defected.
Then the sheikh became near to the “Group to Remove Innovation and Establish the Sunna,” following in tradition the mashayakh of the Arabian Peninsula, worshippers of the palaces coming hard down against the worshippers of the graves. The sheikh even occupied a high position among them and had a good reputation among all of them, distinguished by a unique personality and an excellent acumen, so he taught and gave lessons such that it was said about him: No one is known to be more knowledgeable than he is in tafsir in northeast Nigeria among the Salafis. Indeed they made him amir of the youth of the Salafis in the area.
Then he separated from them in 2002 CE, though he did not resign by himself, nor was he hostile to them. He was pleasant with them and called on them not to be allies of and enter into the democratic government, for it is a greater evil than your becoming feverish with scabies, and you cannot be treated by entering into it.
Second Study: The Beginning of Da’wa
On Dhu al-Q’ida 1423 AH, the mujahideen of the Qa’idat al-Jihad Organization led by Sheikh Imam Osama bin Laden- may God accept him- carried out the Manhattan raid, which targeted American hegemony, broke its nose, and trampled on its arrogance. The event that shook the world, and divided into two camps alone without a third:
. The camp of faith without hypocrisy, and they are the group that was incited by the battle cry of this raid, and their jihadi spirit was restored, as well as their will to fight. Annd among them are those who migrated to the land of jihad, and those who remained in their land trying to kindle the flame of war in it, or sitting giving support to them as they could not do otherwise and had not been guided to a path.
. And the camp of kufr without faith, and they are the Crusaders and Jews, and those who supported the Crusader campaign, from the sons of the Arabs in particular and Islam in general, for they went about attacking the mujahideen with harsh tongues, accusing them of qualities that the Crusaders fabricated against them, to harm their reputation and keep people away from them.
And the head of the camp of kufr came out saying: “You are either with us or terrorism”- that is, either your loyalty and support are in the Crusaders’ ranks against slam, or you are in the ranks of the mujahideen.
Abu Yusuf al-Barnawi was on that day on the Hajj of the House of God, and among the effects of that blessed raid was that it awakened in him what was tranquil, and set alight in his mind a conscious that until now had been reprimanding him: as he had been pained very much by the state that the Ummah had reached in all areas of the world, from division, loss, humiliation, and being divorced from earnestness, and how far the Ummah had fallen after time-old glory, for the news continued striking his ear and keeping him awake at night, in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and the rest of the lands. Indeed it is what prolonged the insomnia and from that he tossed and turned in bed, not to mention those mass killings the Christians were committing in his land and at a distance of steps away from him. So if by day one rides the porcupine’s back, and by evening one lays down the arms of concern, and here it is as though I am in his conscience reprimanding him: What do you say to your Lord tomorrow when He asks about the blood that was shed? Where was your support for them [the people whose blood was shed]? Or were you content towards it with lamentation, wailing and address!!
So this raid came to save him from this nightmare of his, and revived his heart and outlined the way for him, and planted in his soul a pressing desire to reform the circumstances of the Ummah in his land, wage war on innovations and idolatry that that disseminated in it, and those anxieties did not remain confined in the cage of his heart, but rather he turned them to a life and it was expressed as a real path as he expressed them saying:
What always keeps me sleepless in what is happening in this land: the unity of the Crusaders, their arming and storing of wealth, preparing to wage war on the Muslims. They are aided by the rulers and retirees from the army, for they are conspiring and marshalling secretly, then they intend for a Muslim land, eager to kill them, until when they become tired and drained, the army intervenes to prevent the Muslims from taking revenge: that is, whenever they massacre your brothers and you become angry and go out for revenge, the army intervenes. You have come enraged at what has happened, from burnt bodies, disembowelment of women’s wombs and the likes, then the army arrests you there and then, on the pretext that the situation has calmed and you want to stir up strife again.
This is exactly what happened in Kafanchan and Zangon Kataf.[xiii] In Zangon Kataf, the massacre took up Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and the air was free for the Crusaders, so they settled down and whistled, and when the bodies of the victims were moved on Saturday to the city of Kaduna, the Muslims of the town rose up and by their agitation and rising, the city became filled with the army, and they said in the beginning that the army was delayed for lack of availability of transports for soldiers. This is what they said to justify their shortcoming and hide their conspiring, but on Sunday when the pampered Crusaders would go out to the churches, the city’s interior and exterior were surrounded with soldiers on transports to protect the Crusaders. I saw this and understood matters and I learnt what was behind the hill, and likewise what happened in Tafawa Balewa in Bauchi when a woman from the Christians converted to Islam.
And then what followed these massacres: what happened in Sagamu and Lagos, and likewise in different parts of the country, and likewise what they do in Plateau state, so all of these events taught me that they will not stop killing the Muslims until they exterminate them in this manner.
And likewise their coming out in the newspapers blaspheming our Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him), and all these crimes they commit then they lay down on the couches and delight in the pleasant life without anyone opposing them, so these events were manifest in my mind so I would ask myself: Why every day when they attack us, heads come out to calm us and order us to be patient and wait for the kafir rulers to take the appropriate measures: every day this is our response only?! So God inspired me that the matter is not so, and so what will deter these people to put an end to their cursing the Prophet and besieging the Muslims and killing them en masse is jihad alone. Then I ask myself: how do we wage jihad? And with whom? So God inspired me to begin with da’wa, for this is the principle of this da’wa. It has been established to kindle the fire of jihad-[xiv] his words (may God have mercy on him).
And he said: “‘And fight them, God will punish them at your hands.’ Will that be by counting the rosary?! Indeed you throw away the rifles. ‘And He will destroy them and give you victory over them and heal the hearts of a believing people.’ Does not what is happening in Iraq sadden you? And what is happening in Palestine, Kashmir, and what has happened in Chechnya has not enraged you? And the different events that have happened in these lands, like Kafanchan and other places: does it not make you grieve? You will never be cured of this until the day you fight in God’s path, for there is no day like the day of jihad in which the chests are healed: ‘And the rage of their hearts is extinguished’ by jihad in God’s path.
And thus he- may God accept him- was determined to break the shackles of delusion in which he was burned between the murji’a of the age- the agents of the authorities, for they were blind t error, and he became certain of the lack of benefit of going behind them, for they discarded truth behind their backs and thus purchased a small reward.
So he called to Tawheed and jihad, and complete disavowal of democracy and its Satanic agents, in the year 1424 AH, with what was known about him for his harshness against them previously, in his speeches and sermons since 1422 AH, but he did not part from them except this time, as the motive of faith predominated in him over all emotions, so he proceeded to incite against the tawagheet, encouraging aversion to foreign schools and the rule of democracy, and inciting jihad and striving hard to bring together the ansar and unite the ranks of the monotheists.
And he conducted many da’wa tours in most of the states of Nigeria and he opened schools and mosques to teach people tawheed and disbelief in taghut.
And he was granted success to mobilize a great group of the monotheist brothers, spurring pride in God’s religion in them, and zeal to establish an Islamic state, so they came to him from everywhere pledging allegiance.
Third Study: Principles of Da’wa
The group declared its stance towards the Tawagheet rulers and their laws multiple times: namely that democracy is an idolatrous religion that contravenes and opposes tawheed.
Sheikh Abu Yusuf- may God accept him- said: “And we do not believe in, deal with, or apply democracy, because it is a madhhab of disbelievers. Following it, dealing with it or applying its system is kufr. So the Muslim is not allowed to submit himself as a candidate or vote for someone besides him under the shade of the democratic system.”[xv]
And the sheikh made clear that the application of Shari’a and recovery of glory will only be through force and arms, and that healing the hearts could only be realized through jihad, and that da’wa is da’wa for jihad and not peaceful.
The sheikh- may God have mercy on him- said: “God Almighty has said- ‘They have wished you would soften so they would soften.’ They will not order you to abandon your religion entirely, for they know that if anything were to be diminished from your religion, it would all be closed off. And their religion will not chance by diminishing [or increase, but rather it remains on its falsehood]. Consider the Almighty’s words: ‘They have wished you would soften so they would soften.’ That is, for you to meet at the half-way point, and they will not be content for you to compromise except in principles. They will not be interested- for example- in your abandoning some of the things taken for granted or abandoning the rest session [in prayer]. They will say: ‘No, this is good custom and you need not abandon it. But what they detest is a technical term: al-bara’a and al-wala’; displaying religion, jihad. This is what they demand you to abandon. And this is what they are waging war on in the whole world. They say: ‘Jihad has ended, and democracy is the solution now, so abandon the jihad, and whoso wants democracy, make the way for him!!!’
As for us, we do not want democracy! If they were to say: the whole people has voted for you and your party is the only party- ‘the party of the Muslims!’- and you choose the candidate from your party and there will be no competitor with him, and the whole parliament were emptied for us, we would say to them: We do not want that! Because this is not the way of the Prophet (SAWS) and if we accept it [the position] from this way, we would be ruined.
We receive from them rule without shedding blood! Without pain, without breaking the back! And without fracturing the head! And without disemboweling the insides! And without filling the graves! Without our doing anything! Without our burning a shop! Without blowing anything up. This for free only! That you thus withdraw and hand us power! We have not understood this way. By God I have not understood it. What we have understood is: ‘And they have made the honoured of their people lowly.’ This is what we understand.”[xvi]
And the sheikh- may God accept him- said about da’wa: “This da’wa- let people if they are ignorant know- is not a da’wa for admonition, but rather admonition will be within it. It is not a da’wa for education, but rather education will be among its requirements. It is not a da’wa for teaching, but rather teaching will be among its necessities. It is actually a da’wa for jihad, all who have thought it is da’wa, or education, or teaching, or a call without identity: they have not understood the da’wa. It is da’wa and a jihadi movement, a fighting group, and not only a group for da’wa.
We educate the brothers because it is among the necessities of the path, and we teach them in it because it is required by the path. The principle of this da’wa has been established and called to for the sake of jihad. Therefore let no one say it is only a da’wa movement.( No. This movement is not a da’wa movement or one for education and teaching. It is rather a da’wa for combat jihad, so let the one who does not know it know that).”[xvii]
As for the group’s stance on the erroneous sects, it made that clear in its books and statements, among them as follows:
About the Rafidites: “And as part of the manhaj of our da’wa, we reject the Imamite Rafidites (the Majusis), because we believe that exposing the creed of the ‘Shi’a’ and exposing their secrets and disavowing them is from the essence of the creed of the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama’at, because the ‘Shi’a’- known as the Rafidites- have been applying the name of Shi’a to themselves in the present time, and confining themselves to it, such that they have deceived many of the Muslims by calling themselves ‘the Shi’a of Ali.’ And the matter is the opposite. They are the Rafidites among the people of truth, and their zeal is Majusi, and their origin is from the Jews, and not from Islam in the end: they have disbelieved in God and His Messenger.”[xviii]
About the Sufis: “And the path of Sufism that has spread in our land and has become like the epidemic in the Ummah. And among the strongest Sufi sects in kufr and error is the Tijani order founded by Ahmad al-Tijani, more erroneous than the donkey of his people.”[xix]
In general about the sects: “And the da’wa is contrary to these people just as it has been contrary to the erroneous sects and the rest of the Sufi orders. And it refutes them because they have contravened the Book and the Sunna and the Jama’a, and they have differed from them they are not on the guidance of al-Mustafa.”[xx]
Fourth Study: Teaching and Education Program
The sheikh and his students had centres in Bauchi state, Kano state, Gombe and other places from the towns of north Nigeria, in so far as Borno state was the base and the directorate house for the brothers. In most of its local governorates they had centres and agents, and in the capital of Maiduguri alone they had different schools and centres, and at the top of them were five councils for teaching, and they were:
1. Ibn Taymiyya centre: Sheikh Abu Yusuf would give in it the sermon every Friday, and teach on Saturdays and Sundays the tafsir of Ibn Kathir, and Rahiq al-Makhtum. And he would teach Sahih al-Bukhari on Wednesday, after finishing Riyadh al-Saliheen. And the mashayakh would give general lectures in it.
2. The Ta’ifa Mansura mosque in the Unguwan Doki neighbourhood. In it he set up a council for tafsir of the Qur’an every Friday night.
3. Millionaire’s Quarter: in which he would give tafsir of the Qur’an every Thursday in the Kanuri language. But he transferred the lesson to the Ibn Taymiyya mosque for security reasons.
4. Fezzan mosque: he would give some lessons, and appoint some preachers on his behalf in his absence.
5. Lawan Bor neighbourhood: he used to teach in it Riyadh al-Saliheen on Saturday evening in Kanuri language, which is spoken by the majority in the states of Borno and Yobe.
6. Abu Hurairah mosque in Gomari Iyabut neighbourhood: da’wa meeting and gathering for the brothers who were distant from the centre and they would advise each other for purifying the souls, and sometimes the mashayakh would visit them for the same purpose.
The father Sheikh- may God accept him- did not separate from the Muslims under a special name, and he did not transfer to his students any naming from it. But rather he would say in his statements we are the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama’a, and the saved sects, as he established in his book: “This is our creed and the manhaj of our da’wa.” As for the brothers, they are only muhajireen and ansar.
The sheikh devoted attention to educating the brothers, and cleared up all his time for the councils and lessons in ‘Ilm, such that they became his work throughout the week. Scarcely did a council of lesson miss him, unless we was going to a lecture or special conference in some of the towns and states, and this was his exertion, giving and effort: the foundations of the group were rooted in the just predecessors, and drank from their pure wells.
So the brothers were thus organized and regulated, and they embraced the Sunna of al-Mustafa in all their deeds, for you could hardly arrive at a point near one of their centres in the states of the north of Nigeria without being received by the pleasantries of the recital of the Qur’an, and their commission would remind you of the days of the Companions, especially the city of Maiduguri, in which there was their source and in which arose their nucleus.
You could not have seen them without thinking to yourself that the Qur’an was walking among them, for their fraternity, their compliance and their integrity. For the woman was wearing niqab and hijab, covered by her jilbabs, and the men let the beards grow and raised the shawl, and they walked on the land with humility, and if the ignorant addressed them, they said salam. They were humble. Their strong protected their weak, their reach helped their poor, and these elevated manners, and humble conduct made them distinguished from the general Ummah. You would see them bowing and prostrating, seeking grace from God and contentment with zeal.
As for the young, special schools were opened for them to memorize the Qur’an, and in particular the school attached to the Ibn Taymiyya mosque, and the school of Salafiya in the Bulunkutu neighbourhood, learning the Qur’an with tajwid, and memorizing the prophetic transmissions, and likewise embracing the Islamic appearance and dress through wearing the skull cap for boys, and hijab for girls.
Fifth Study: The Most Important Things The Group Waged War On
The group waged war on innovations in all their types, and in particular the innovation that had become predominant over West Africa, such as visiting the graves and performing tawaf around them, the Prophet’s birthday and other acts of innovation and prattles of the Tijanis and their acts of idolatry.
But the greatest condemned act the sheikh incited against was the idolatry of democracy and the foreign colonialist schools: i.e. what has been called Boko. For they are the Wadd and Sawa’, the Yaghuth and Ya’uq, and the Nisr of this time and the Lat and Uzza of this age, and they had trumpets and charlatans to promote them, and they faced no resistance in West Africa generally and there was proclamation in truth in no uncertain terms and there was no flattery besides it.
And from the intensity of the war of him and his students against them and encountering the ‘ulama of evil and their supporters and challenging them to mubahala over it, he and his students were called by the name of “Boko Haram”- i.e. Western ideas are forbidden.
And there is nothing more indicative of their war against them than the words of one of his students: Sheikh Muhammad III Wudil in a lecture he gave in the Ibn Taymiyya centre.
He said in it: “We are condemned because there is no admonition or lecture that we establish without mentioning in it democracy and the colonial schools! So have you heard that Noah (PBUH) frequently mentioned prayers? But he frequently mentioned the idols of al-Wadd and Sawa’ and Ya’uq and Nisr: for they were the idols of his time.
And the Prophet of God: Shu’aib. Did you hear in the stories of God brought down to us, that he ordered his people to give zakat, while detailing to them the rulings of prayer, but in general he warned them of what, pray tell? ‘Fulfill the mikyal’; ‘And do not make people lose their things and do not cause mischief in the land through sowing corruption.’ Why? Because the incompleteness of the measure was the corruption that prevailed in his time, so therefore most of his da’wa was about the incompleteness of measure.
And likewise the Prophet of God: Lot. Has it reached you that he ordered for prayer, fasting, zakat and Hajj? All of this is a praised act of worship, but his efforts were not expended towards that. Rather he forbade them from the greatest obscenity, and all his efforts were limited to condemning it, because it is what prevailed.
So we also will expend our efforts to wage war on the idols that have spread in our time: the Western schools and democracy and working under the kafir system, so we do not establish a lecture about prayer without also adding to it: avoid the idolatry of democracy, and working under it is forbidden, and not to be permitted. And when the month of Ramadan begins and we establish symposia and lectures about searching for the new moon, we add to them that you must not follow the Tawagheet in their reckoning, and likewise when the month ends, we do not recognize an occasion without warning against them: because they are what we are preparing to wage war against.”[xxi]
And he said on another occasion in the lecture: “This is what we decide and proceed on: that building 100 churches is lighter and less dangerous than the building of one school on this Western form. We have no doubt about that. This is our creed and this is what we have understood from God’s religion.
Consider a clear example: if 100 churches were built, would you see the sons of the Muslims in them! Or would you see the sons of the imam of the mosque in them? No, but rather they alone [i.e. the Crusaders] would be worshipping in them, so what we lack towards these churches is their destruction because they ascribe a son to God. As for the ‘Boko’ schools: you find in them the sons of Imams and the sons of sheikhs claiming affiliation with ‘Ilm, and the sons of so-and-so and so-and-so from those claiming affiliation with the Sunna, an what is taught in these schools is a greater danger than what is taught in the churches, so this is the main point.”[xxii]
Note that the father sheikh- may God accept him- believed that they- the schools that is, are forbidden and that they constitute kufr because they contravene much of God’s law, and many of their studies are contrary to many of the clear texts, and their graduates adopt the ideas of the Western crusaders and imitate them in conduct and dealings, and imitate them in dress, greeting and conduct, but also they are loyal to them in the name of civilization and urbanization, so thus it is not allowed to enter into the likes of these schools.[xxiii]
And his opinion on the school was that it is forbidden and kufr, but he did not derive from it that he takfired its students at random, as he did not see the proof established against them yet, for the alienation of religion and the hidden nature of those issues and the deception of the ‘ulama of evil against the people and the spread of ignorance, and this is what he decided in his book “This is our creed and the manhaj of our da’wa.” For if he had takfired them at random he would not have hesitated to mention that in the book as it was among the most important sources of reference for the group.
For this is what he believed and said in a discussion he had with the BBC outlet, when the outlet asked him: “It is rumoured that you forbid study in the government and foreign ‘Boko’ schools. Is this rumour true?”
The sheikh- may God accept him- replied saying: “Praise be to God alone and prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of God. In truth I said- ‘These schools on this form that the Crusaders design, it is not allowed to use them for teaching, and it contradicts tawheed, because we have noticed in them matters that contradict tawheed, and I am not the one who concluded they are forbidden, for there are among the contemporary ‘ulama those who have realized their danger in mixing matters that contradict tawheed, such as when they say that the Sun evaporates water from the ground to the sky then it returns and rains, for this contradicts the aya that is in Surat al-Mu’mineen, when God Almighty says: ‘And We have brought down water from the sky in measure, then We have settled it on the earth.’
And then there is the hadith of the Messenger of God (SAWS): that he would lay bare his garment until rain hit it and then say: ‘Because it is new by His Lord.’
And likewise their words that the earth is spherical and goes around the Sun, for this is reasoning, and when reasoning conflicts with the text, it cannot be applied.[xxiv]
And likewise also their theory on the origin of man and that he was a bug that went through multiple stages of development such that it became a man. And this is kufr, a disavowal and denial of the truth of God’s ayahs, for this disbelief in God and the likes of it are what we demand to be cancelled and disavowed. Then one can teach the sciences that are useful on the program of the Islamic Shari’a, so we leave alone the one who studies medicine to become a doctor and provide treatment, and you now have learnt journalism and media so we have given you news.”
And he ordered for the repentance of the one who entered them and graduated from them and knew that he was in error, and the one who did not enter them, it was fair for him to study the truth. As for those things mixed in this way: it is not allowed for them to give teaching and to study in them after knowing of the corruption they sow, and God does not blame the one who has done something in ignorance.
And he said in response to another question on the same discussion: “And we intend to open schools free from vices and what contradicts the Shari’a, resembling those schools from the angle of the useful sciences from engineering, medicine, calculation and other things, according to the Shari’i frameworks, and currently we have primary and secondary schools on this form”- (recorded and publicized).
You have sufficed and fulfilled, our sheikh, and you restrained the extremists as an overwhelming ember, so may God place you in the ample room of His paradise and be pleased with you. So not attributable to you is the innovation of those who became extreme in takfir, and did not observe any Shari’i condition for takfir, for they takfired by conjecture, generalized it against the Ummah and then implanted it as principle among them, so they killed and took slaves in untold numbers.
Sixth Study: Role of the ‘Ulama of Evil
It is from the wisdom of God the Exalted and Almighty in His creation: that He leads to truth those who oppose it stubbornly and thus quarrel about it, for in this war the truth becomes clear, and its verses and symbols are shown, and the falsehood of the falsifier becomes clear. And there is no outright fact to it, and were it not for His undertaking in the counterpart of truth, perhaps its condition would not have become clear to most of creation, for by the opposite things are illustrated. Were it not for the night, the grace of the day would not be known, and were it not for the ugly, the grace of goodness would not be known, so likewise the truth: were it not for falsehood, it would not be openly clear. So praise to Him for that.
So in this age, the ‘ulama of evil are the ones who undertake the role of the falsifier, for they have been made to defend the apostate rulers, and put out any movement that shakes their throne, for if the encouragement to the obligation to fight grows, they say, ‘This is the way of the heretical Khawarij, and if the talk about the pains of the monotheists grows, it corrupts splendor of the councils of the jurists of the authorities, so it compels them to defend the authorities and the obligation of prudence and waiting for the “rulers” to take the appropriate measures, and there is no reason to arise for da’wa and jihad, unless they have worn out their heads and bragged from their mouths in order to protect their gods: the apostate rulers of the palace, and they clamour on the obligation to obey them and taking permission for jihad from them.
And this is precisely what they did against the sheikh, for he continued to face challenges from those turbaned people, and they had an important role in distorting the reputation of the brothers, for they established courses and symposia to meet the sheikh and surprise him in front of witnesses, but he turned the tables on them.[xxv]
For the sheikh argued with them, rebutted them and challenged them to mubahala over da’wa, such that they despaired from dissuading him from his da’wa through discussion and debate and meetings, so they fled in defeat, and they crept away in fear of his mubahala, and their considered agents fled from confronting him, so they sent their barking dogs who feign erudition to babble and provoke trouble and thus cut off the sheikh from speaking and lead him to delirium, and bring talk contradicting his principles, in order that they might make the masses of people be suspicious of him at the least. If they were no good at peeling away his students from him, they would put their hands on the rulings of God and the ayahs of al-wala’ and al-bara’ in the Book of God entirely just as the Jewish ink did to the stoning verse in the Torah.
And this is what the wretched Isa Ali i- God hasten his destruction- did.
For he would say: “He forbids entering the schools, so why does he seek medical care and treatment from government hospitals? Aren’t their doctors from the graduates of those schools? So why he forbids us to study in them and comes to live as a parasite in them?”
And he would say: “The cars that we ride, the bikes we use, and the streets we walk on: all of these are among the offspring of the ideas of that school, so if he wants us to do away with that, he must bring us an alternative.”
And he would say: “The Prophet (SAWS) rode the donkey and he would seat and be seated on it. So the man who has come to you forbidding you from modern innovations and ordering you by the Sunna: he has come on a donkey or something else?”
And so on from the list of sayings and falsehoods that make papers heavy by their enumeration and narrow by their number, by which they laugh at the naïve from the people who have no fathom or measure in knowledge. But indeed they do not resist proof, tell truth or nullify falsehood. The time has come for that.
Seventh Study: The Effort to Reduce The Vehemence of The Da’wa
When the enemies of God became convinced that the sheikh had become a leading problem that burdened the shoulder of the ‘ulama of Nigeria generally, and that their dogs and agents had failed to repress the da’wa and subdue it, they resorted to using violence and thuggery through the intelligence services in monitoring, inspection and frequent arrests of him by their security apparatuses as well as imprisonment on multiple occasions. Their aim in all that was to lighten his vehemence and subdue his da’wa, test his material and terrify his students.
The sheikh was imprisoned- as a result of this- on spurious distorted accusations with no truth to them: for they imprisoned him once on the accusation that he had links with ‘the al-Qa’ida organization’ and that he had a link with the ‘Taliban of Kanamma’ group, which was led by the one called Muhammad Ali. The group killed Ja’afar Mahmoud Adam, the Taghut of al-Murji’a.
And despite the fact this group declared takfir on the sheikh and tried to assassinate him, they nonetheless accused him of establishing it, so they inspected him and monitored him heavily but they found no proof as evidence for those accusations.
And the sheikh endured their offence and responded to their calls to him with an open heart, out of a desire to realize a great gathering of the brothers, and establish the proof against the stubborn disbelieving opponents, despite their degradation of him and throwing him in underground prisons for different periods.
He said in the Open Message (well-known) describing their scorning of him:
“I am summoned by them so I respond and sometimes I am asked by the intelligence services by phone to come immediately so I respond and go to their office, so they keep me waiting- despite their knowledge of my presence- and show no interest in me until I sit with them for around three hours, the one of them comes and says: ‘The head is the one who wants to see you and now he has gone out on an assignment, so return, you will be asked for another time.’ So I return home tired, then I am summoned on the next day, so I to them, and they have done that to me multiple times and I do not tell anyone about this matter and I do not complain of it, because I know that this is from the nature of the path and the Ummah will not be awakened unless we endure all this, and now the time has come because we do not heed anyone’s call.”[xxvi]
Eighth Study: Stage of Development and Strategy of the Organization
The brothers developed by God’s help, established committees undertaking their affairs administratively and in terms of security, in order to educate the brothers, arouse their zeal and conform with the known circumstances, so it was as follows:
– Majlis al-Shura: comprising nine of the sheikhs, who joined the sheikh and subsequently supported his da’wa. The sheikh would discuss with them to deduce matters that arose for the group, and issue orders appropriate to the interest of the brothers. He would also have them review his sermons, messages and books, to avoid the presence of a defect that the opponents could exploit to attack the group.
– The walis and amirs of the areas: deputies for the sheikh in the states in which they had their influence and centres, and they would refer to him new developments in the state that would pertain to security or fear, so the sheikh would help them or contact the kafir government in order to investigate the matter, and likewise they would examine the work of the committees and would track them.
– Investigation committee: this would investigate all the committees, monitor the course of their works, and inform the Majlis al-Shura of them.
– Da’wa committee: comprising ‘ulama and students of ‘Ilm, and those who serve them and accompany them in da’wa tours and travel to give lectures and tafsir of the Qur’an in Ramadan in different lands.
– Hisba committee: commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong, like the stumbling block of shopping when we conduct prayers on Friday, preventing shouting during lessons, preventing adorned women from attending centres, and likwsie undertaking the interests of the brothers and guarding their passengers from theft and organizing them in a way that does not narrow the road for pedestrians and passers-by.
– Economic committee: concerned with financing of the group, and providing the necessities to facilitate matters of da’wa through the following ways:
. Financial donations offered by the rich of the people to develop the da’wa and its expenditure in God’s path.
. Financial contributions paid for by the brothers in what they had accumulated themselves from their particular jobs and businesses.
. Agricultural resources that the group planted, harvested and then sold.
– Men of security: concerned with the group’s security and preventing them from doing anything that would stir up the government against them, thus falling into an unnecessary problem.
Also they would uncover spy cells overseeing the works of the brothers and investigating their statements and lectures, then they would refer their names to the sheikh, so he would know of their position and beware of them.
– Charity commission: receiving guests and their relatives, and helping the oppressed from the elderly, widows and orphans.
– Awareness-raising committee: a “Good of Guidance” foundation recording the lessons the Sheikh and his students gave in different place, and broadcasting video clips on DVD format and audio in the form of audio clips. The committee was also concerned with printing and distributing books through the Ghuraba’ office.
– Military committee: cells confined to protecting the security of the sheikhs and guarding the centres, and trained secretly to bear arms and explosives, and after that it developed and grew big.
And so, these committees were established gradually and their work was limited to the centres of the brothers, which the sheikh used in developing himself and the brothers and cultivate them. An the last of the committees to be established- according to my knowledge- was the military committee as the group feared for itself.
Ninth Study: The Fear of the Tawagheet and First Signs of Persecution
This development and organization made the Tawagheet of Nigeria perceive an imminent danger diminishing their sovereignty, limiting their authority[xxvii] and rallying their subjects against them. So they let loose their barking dogs to bark with their distortion to alienate the masses from them, and authorize the killing of them, such that it should be possible to uproot them in one moment.
Embodying that phenomenon were obedient collaborators, and the donkeys, obedient bearers of the books. At the head of them was the taghut Ja’afar Mahmoud Adam, as he said in a message in which he urged to uproot the brothers: “If an ember can be put out, douse water on it, for it will flare up if I disdain it and let it blaze, until it can no longer be put out with tanks of water.”
And the fiercest of the dogs in barking and the most evil of them was the one called Bashir Kashira. This evil person did not forgo a hadith obligating to fight the Khawarij without directing it against the brothers, and he did not forgo an assembly or funeral without defiling its container through cursing and attacking the servants of God, and he glorified his masters and Shayateen, until it got to a point where he wrote a book to rebuke the brothers, and he did not cease pursuing a variety of means to attack the monotheists, until God healed our hearts from this dog and freed our ears from his barking, with a silencer that silenced his breath and a bullet that struck his head. We ask God to make him drink the mud of insanity.
And in the time that the barking dogs of the agents of the authorities were inciting against the group, the Tawagheet were harassing the brothers in all the states in which they had their influence.
For example in Kano state, they tried to prevent the brothers from Friday prayer in their mosque: the mosque of ‘Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’. And they mobilized the pigs of the police and obstructed them, spreading false rumours to the people that “There is no place for these despicable scum in the homeland, and they will not pray today on Friday.” But the brothers did not fear threats, but rather it increased the determination of the youth, and- the flies when a wounded person is protected from them – they thus contacted Sheikh Abu Yusuf and informed him of the news, so he ordered them to go to the mosque early on Friday and increase the recital of the Qur’an, and he ordered them to establish the Friday prayer when the time comes for it and not to be interested in those lowly people, just as the dog barks at the clouds above it. And he told them that the danger to them was not real but rather the significance for them from this was provocation and harassment to see the response. So the brothers obeyed the orders of their Imam, and the mosque was filled with the people early, such that worshippers had not gathered with such frequency before this, as was affirmed by the preacher of the mosque and the wali of the state before the sheikh: Sheikh Muhammad III Wudil.
And likewise they did in Borno, when the reckoning of fasting differed between the brothers and the apostate government, so the Day of Eid differed because of that. For the brothers fasted on the Day of Eid of the government, and they wanted to pray Eid on the next day, so the ‘ulama of the authority screeched and brayed, and authorized to obstruct the brothers and prevent them from Eid prayers, and they said to their Tawagheet was what the eminent of Pharaoh said to him: “Will you let Moses and his people sow corruption in the land and abandon you and your gods?”[xxviii] That is, “Will you let them corrupt your citizens to follow their impudence and uprising against you, exploiting your mildness towards them?”
Then they said: “And the law has obligated to fight the Khawarij and has made it among the top priorities, so how can you let these people establish fitna and break your rod!!”
The Tawagheet responded to the call of their allies and supporters from their collaborators, so they established forces composed of the army and police, designating it Operation Flush Out, and that was in 1429 AH, putting in place strong restrictions for riders of bikes, and that was through wearing a plastic helmet and orange clothing, while preventing them from seating more than one passenger.
And that was to get rid of the skull caps that the brothers wore and their white Arabic clothing according with the Sunna, and replacing them with the helmet and unified dress, thus striving to subjugate them and make them comply with the government, thus desiring that disorder and rebellion should arise from the side of the brothers, thus adopting it as a pretext to suppress the da’wa and stop the spark of jihad implanted in the souls of the youth.
They manifested with the smooth skin of the snake at first, and pretended that they did not wish ill on the brothers, and informed them that they only feared that terrible accidents for passengers of bikes would happen, so if the brothers should come out, they should be distinguished and proceed in a particular grouping for them, lest their dogs should touch them with evil, but soon they returned to their old ways,[xxix] and showed their true intentions and bared their teeth against the allies of God.
For they had confrontations with the brothers multiple times, and arrested the private and public of them. Among these incidents I remember that one of the brothers came to a checkpoint for these forces, so they greeted him with salam and he refused to reply to them, because they were a mixture of apostates and Christians. Regarding the apostate, he is not suitable for returning the salam to him or greeting him thus from the outset. And as for the Christians, Muslim narrated from Abu Huraira that the Messenger of God (SAWS) said: “Do not greet first the Jews or Christians with salam.”[xxx] So the brother did not greet them first with salam in accordance with this hadith, so they said salam to him, so he did not respond to them, as they did that out of mockery and most of them were from the apostates, so the criminals became enraged, and bound the brother’s hands and gave him a sound beating.
The brothers endured this and more and took no action. And the sheikh reminded them of what afflicted the first Muslims from the likes of Bilal, the family of Yasir, Khabab and Ibn Mas’ud. So the brothers endured the suffering and took from the lives of the Companions as consolation for them,[xxxi] and they endured and were cautious, waiting for the appropriate circumstances and an order from their sheikh to mobilize to take revenge and transform the abode into pools of the blood of the apostates and Crusaders, so the last crime those forces did against the brothers was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
That took place on Thursday 11 Jumada al-Akhira 1430 AH, when the brothers were on their way to the janaza of four brothers who had died in a traffic accident.
They saw a brother being tortured by the soldiers of “Operation Flush Out” so they stopped to help him in accordance with the words of the one upon whom be blessings and peace: “Support your brother, oppressor or oppressed.”[xxxii] So those scoundrels opened live fire on the brothers, and worded 20 people from the brothers, most of them gravely so, but no case of death was recorded, by God’s grace and blessing.
To make things worse, and what enraged the hearts of the brothers: they went to donate their blood to the wounded after they were transferred to the hospital, so they found the army besieging the hospital to which they were transferred, and they threatened the brothers that they would open fire on them as well if they dared to cross the path separating between them.
At the time the sheikh was travelling, so the preachers from his Majlis al-Shura calmed the angers of the brothers and made them be patient lest there should be a violation against the sheikh. And in the evening of the incident he returned from his travel, and ordered the economic committee to gather donations to treat the wounded, and on the next day he gave a fiery lecture, during which he sent his famous open message, in which he mentioned the leaders of kufr from the government, making clear to them that he would not forgive this crime, and it would not go without reckoning.
And what he said in his statement: “We will heed no one, and we have decided: we will not write a message to any man, or listen to any man, or negotiate with any man, and we repeat that we have not been content with this crime. We will not be pleased with this attack, and we will never forgive, and we will take revenge…and we praise God the Exalted and Almighty that He showed us order from the brothers. We did not think that they rose to that [from endurance and steadfastness] so to Him be praise for that, because it was not for us to know that from them except in the likes of this field. This is a gift from God, a lesson, a development and source of joy for which God deserves prostration in thanks. For there was no bravado or arrogance in that: rather it showed the lack of fear of the rifle, and it is not that bearing it shows your lack of fear of it, but rather you are struck but do not turn your back, and you see blood but do not flee. So praise be to God.”[xxxiii]
Tenth Study: Beginning of Arming and Confrontation
The sheikh knew that the time had come to mobilize to jihad, for among the lessons he realized from this incident:
– If hid not mobilize and take the initiative, the Tawagheet would harvest them,
– He knew that the brothers had matured and could be steadfast and endure the fight.
So the sheikh ordered the brothers to sell their real estate, their cars and their possessions to be armed with their prices. The brothers responded to this call with unprecedented zeal, and they went offering what was dear and precious, so the businessman sold his entire business and spent it in God’s path, and another putting it in accordance with jihad, and the owner of a taxi offering it cheaply in God’s path, and the woman sold her jewelry and most possessions of her house and offered it in God’s path. And the sheikh- of course- was not among those who order and do the opposite, but rather he was at the forefront and spent all he owned in God’s path, imitating al-Sadiq in the days of adversity. The Lord made wet with mercy the soil of this great man, for he by God was a knight, second to none.
The sheikh proceeded on his mission, not caring for the numbers of the falsehood or its puffing up, for he reformed the soldiers, organized his brigades and mobilized his squadrons. He appointed Sheikh Abu Aamer al-Barnawi as amir over the army and placed under him three amirs he named: amir of the contingent. And he ordered each of them to recruit four commanders with each commander among them having 1000 mujahids. And he tied for each squadron of it a banner by his hand, and he raised in the square of the Ibn Taymiyya centre a huge banner on which the words of the shahada were inscribed, proclaiming from it the jihad. So the eyes wept because for the first time in their life they saw the banner of Tawheed raised.
In a wondrous and surprising sight, the eyes were made to weep in joy at something they witnessed for the first time in the history of the Ummah, only heard of in the books of biographies and history: how great those faces were and God made their deeds shine!
The sheikh sent what they had gathered from wealth to buy what they could from weapons and could be smuggled to them, and he ordered the brothers trained in explosives to make what they could before the apostasy army could mobilize.
Some Kalashnikovs, pistols and some ammo reached the brothers. But most of the weapons were seized by the gendarme men as the way of the smugglers was a path revealed to the eyes of the enemy, so the Nigerian government discovered that and mobilized before the other weapons arrived, and they spread their soldiers around the centre while the brothers were gathered as most of them did not leave the centre. And they began acts of harassment against the brothers.
The sheikh and his students did not choose the path of humiliation. Nor did they forgo their religion for the material world, but rather the sheikh gathered his students and addressed them through a moving sermon in which he incited them to be bold and not be shaken by the uncovering of the issue of weapons and lack of existence of other things. And from the summary of what he said to them:
“God has imposed on us to fight, and ordered us to prepare. And he did not impose on us that our force should be adapted to the force of our enemy, but rather he imposed on us to prepare the force we can, and you have known what is happening today from harassments and preparation to destroy the da’wa, and you have also known that we have not been able to prepare what suffices to ready you and press you into fighting a very large enemy, but we see that this matter is merely a test from God for our words.
I said many times that this da’wa of ours is a jihadi da’wa and you were pleased and agreed. So he time has come to test these words. Are they just vain, empty words or will you fulfill them in deed? And I have determined for you not to turn your backs to these disbelievers. Put your reliance in God and defend your abode.”
And this was the evening of Friday for two nights of Sha’aban 1430 AH. The brothers cried the takbir and took heart, and took all their weapons and equipment- of course edged weapons- and to each contingent composed of 20-30 men was given a Kalashnikov machine gun to be borne by the leader of the group, while the rest of the members would assist him with swords, spears and arrows, and cells were formed to protect the centre, and the brothers spent the night awake in vigilance, expecting at any moment the attack on them by the companies of the apostates.
The apostates did not venture to attack on that night. And the people became safe for Saturday and the sheikh gave a lesson that morning, and this day proceeded calmly without a flare-up of fighting, and the brothers were in complete readiness for any danger that may strike them, and the enemy was also bristling with its weapons, waiting for zero hour to pounce as they thought, for the hope itself was that their mission would not be more than a picnic or ordinary hunting operation, scorning a stubborn adversary not knowing defeat: either victory or death, but considering death an honour to be handed to him or a source of pride to boast about.
Those who exert themselves for their king
To death on the day of embracing each other and determination,
They complain not of death,
If meteors that hold together and blaze come upon them.
They purify themselves as though it is a sacrifice for them
With the blood of those of the disbelievers who have been hanged.
And as for the situation in Bauchi state, the police and army had mobilized and had assaulted the brothers’ centre there, but the brothers did not surrender and defended their den till the point of death, and they launched a counter attack against the main police station in Dutsin Tanshi[xxxiv] and some of the government buildings in the state but they had no weapons and ammunition to seize those places, which made it easy for the kafir police to regain them after violent clashes, and they took many of the brothers prisoner and crammed them into a prison inside the state, which was subsequently opened and the prisoners inside it were freed, praise be to God.
And on that morning the ember of the flame of war broke out from that state for its burning log to blaze in the towns of Damaturu and Potiskum in the state of Yobe, and the brothers seized many stations in the town of Potiskum and seize many weapons, but there did not have expertise or experience in them, nor were they trained in them. So the Tawagheet recovered them after attacking their centre, and the mujahideen dispersed pell-mell.
And let us return to Maiduguri the centre of the brothers and their motherland. The night had becomes dark on Saturday 3 Sha’aban, and the men and voices calmed, and the eyelids gave in to sleep, but the monks of the night stood in formation before their Lord seeking His sympathy and entreating him and sobbing and seeing the aid of His victory, until dawn broke and the vigil was broken by undertaking the duty.
The brothers prayed and took up their guarding positions lying in wait for a likely attack, and the enemy did not prove false their thoughts on that day, for on the afternoon of that day, the vanguards of the enemy advanced towards the centre, so the servants of God resisted with bare chests, and routed and repelled them by God’s power.
This advance from the enemy of God aimed to undertake an attack of reconnaissance to get the mujahideen to react, therefore the enemy hurried to withdraw as it encountered violent resistance, but the brothers did not allow them to attack again, but rather they attack them in a counter-attack on that night.
The balance tipped in the brothers’ favour on Monday and Tuesday, as they attacked the police stations and God blessed them through seizing many weapons and they burned most of the police stations in the city of Maiduguri, and they slaughtered many of them like sheep.
The reins began to slip out of the kafir government’s hands, and the mujahideen brothers seized the main neighbourhoods of the city except the airport neighbourhood and a few neighbourhoods, and they cleansed those neighbourhoods of houses of idolatry and corruption entirely like the churches, prostitution houses, and taverns of wine until Monday evening. The sun set and announced ts departure in red and as though it was swimming in pools of blood that seemed to be flowing.
The night let down its gowns and the movement calmed, and the brothers kept ribat on their frontlines taking their caution and weapons, and some of the brothers slept from excess tiredness and pressure and some struggled to their feet alternating between their legs and fronts, imploring for relief from the One God, the Vanquisher, asking him for help and steadfastness, for they were certain they had no power, endurance or forces except in God the Exalted and Almighty, for He alone is the relief and help in this stern tribulation.
The muezzin indicated the dawn on the morning of Wedneday 7 Sha’aban 1430 AH, and with the rising of the Sun and the crowing of the cuckoo a new era, as the sheikh came and gave news that the enemy had mobilized and landed at the airport.
And that was so because the Tawagheet had realized the firm will to fight among the monotheists, and their interior ministry had been unable to put an end to the battle, so it realized the danger of the situation, and sent huge reinforcements, and let loose the dogs of their special forces to come down to the field, and they allowed them to use all violence to wipe out the mujahideen, so the tribulation reached its peak as the Nigerian army undertook a vicious campaign against the brothers on Tuesday, and violently bombed them with tanks and heavy artillery, and confronted the mujahideen with heavy machine guns and armoured vehicles, and the bloody fierce confrontations occurred between them, and many lives were thus lost on both sides.
But the killing intensified in the ranks of the mujahideen as they could not find counters to confront the armoured vehicles and tanks of the enemy, nor could they find barricades to shield them from the bombing of its artillery, and the general commander Abu Aamer al-Barnawi- may God accept him- fell on that day as he came face to face with a tank, bearing the banner that Abu Yusuf had made for him and a group of the brothers who were with him were killed. And Abu Aamer was a true lion, precise in figure, small in size, tall in stature. You could imagine if you noticed him that you could bear him on the palm of your hand without burden, similar to al-Bara’, may God be pleased with him.
You see the slender man so you despise him,
But in his garments is a fierce lion.
You admire the beautiful one, so you test him,
But the beautiful deceit disappoints your thoughts.
And after him Sheikh Abdullah Maiduguri bore the banner- the wali of the city of Maiduguri before the sheikh- one of the lions, dignified, humble and loved by all who mixed with him. He was also killed and fell with a number of the brothers- may God accept them- as they were overcome on Wednesday morning.
The attack intensified and the war flared up, and the fighting killed the best of the men, and the siege led to the killing of those who remained alive from the mujahideen brothers, as the thrust of the enemy was intense from three fronts, so the sheikh was compelled on the evening of Wednesday to take a bold decision, for he ordered the soldiers to withdraw from the northern front as it was the only front that was calm, and by a stroke of luck there was a nearby area filled with trees and barely accessible, and there were gardens in it that could allow the brothers to escape through them, so the sheikh ordered them to change their features so as to become disguised, and mix with the masses, and turn to a new chapter in the stages of struggle- guerrilla warfare- or migrate to other lands because of their mujahideen brothers in the world.
But the sheikh vowed not to turn his face to his enemy, and that his enemy should not rejoice in it, and he offered himself to protect the back of his students as they withdrew, and we were informed by those in whose reliability we trust, that the sheikh, when he remained among a small number of the soldiers, they said to him: ‘Save yourself sheikh, for we fear for the da’wa after you.’ The sheikh said to them: “No, but rather I will stay here until I meet my Lord in endurance; if the enemy becomes certain I escaped, the pursuit will renew and so it will oppress the mujahideen a lot. But if they are certain of my killing, they will lighten the pursuit, and take delight in my killing such that the elation of victory will make them forget the pursuit of the brothers, so they can subsequently plot against their enemies will they are neglectful, and If I die I will go to Paradise by God’s permission, and as for the religion it has a Lord who will protect it.”
And during this incident a group of his students were martyred and among the most prominent leaders of the group the shekh leader Abu Aamer al-Barnawi and Dr. Abu Adam al-Adamawi, Sheikh Abdullah Maidugur and the amir of the Hisba Muhammad Kashari, and many of the mujahideen were taken prisoner, and the father sheikh was captured on Thursday 8 Sha’aban 1430 AH, and he was killed that evening, so may God extend his wide mercy on him, and place him in the room of his Paradise.
He departed and went forward as a martyr as we reckon him and God is his reckoner, he raised his head, was great of spirit, free, defiant, noble and fulfilling his duty. He did not forgo his religion for the material world, and he never slept over injustice, and he did not deceive anyone in truth, inciting to fight and stir up war even if fate had given him a respite.
And among the sayings of him, upon whom be God’s mercy: “Imagine! If God reprimands you over a dying servant you did not feed, an ill person lying on the bed in hospital or his house that you did not infect- and you are not the one who caused his illness- He will reprimand you for not treating this ill person! So what then of a Muslim slaughtered in Jos? And the one slaughtered in Zangon Kataf? And the one slaughtered in Kafanchan, Lanta, Ibi, Bantajih, Yalwanshandam, Tafawa Balewa, Kano and Kaduna? The Muslims who have been slaughtered in Sagamu and Lagos? If God stops us and says to us: ‘I have sought your support but you did not support me’- what will we say? This is a tragedy, if you are asked about a starving man you did not feed, so the question about your Musim brother who is fought and whom you did not support, all the more so.”
And he said: “How can the Muslim’s honour be violated in front of us as he calls to us, oh Muslims! Oh Muslims! Relieve me and help me?… You know what happened in Zangon Kataf! Zangon Kataf, this, this that is in Kaduna 1992, when the war began- you know that the likes of this fitna when it happened, the Muslims fled to military barracks or police stations, for the Muslim women cried for help to the police station and gathered there, but the police were also Crusaders and from the same tribe that carried out the massacre.
So when Crusaders hurried to the station, the police pretended that they were afraid so they scaled the walls running away, and left the women, so the Crusaders came and besieged those women, and ordered them to say: ‘Oob Jesus’- i.e. ‘Jesus is the highest’. So they said that, and what happened after they said that? They did not leave them alone, but rather they asked them to dance as they sang the song of the church, and of course they sang and all of the women danced, including the wet nurse and pregnant. And once they were tired, they bound them, poured petrol on them and burned them alive! And even if all the Muslims were to forget this, I will never forget it, and thus I repeat it in most of my admonitions because I have not forgotten it and will never forget it, and I have recorded it in a black diary of mine that I will arise and take revenge.”[xxxv]
And he won the affection of the Muslims, and the estimation of the enemies of the religion, and the eyes of the young and old wept at his departure, and the spirit of jihad spread in the souls of the youth by his death, and they kindled the flame of war in west Africa and that is truly the life of God, the life of the noble ones:
High in life and death, their life is a light and victory for the Ummah, and their death is a revival and resurrection for the people, so God’s mercy be upon you Muhammad for you left a vacuum that no one could fill and you made the hearts to inherit a torment whose flame cannot be silenced except by meeting you there in Heaven by God’s permission.
Truly great is the poet who once said about you and the likes of you:
A hero dies between the strike and the stab
A death that takes the place of victory if victory escapes him.
And he has not died until the point of his sword,
Has died from the strike and the brown tip upon it becomes weak.
For he has planted his foot in the morass of death,
And said to it: ‘Under your sole is the group of the dead.’
He has had his last meal and praise be to God, there is the fabric of his gown.
For he has not gone forward unless also his shrouds are the reward.
He has put on the red garments of death, for the night has not come to them,
Unless they are also green from a silk brocade.
The pure one of garments has gone forward,
No meadow has remained when he perishes tomorrow,
Unless it has desired to be a grave.
Upon you be God’s peace,
For I have seen that the noble, free person has no age.[xxxvi]
Second Section: The Stage of Jihad
As for what follows: it was from God’s direction that the war lasted for four whole days, a very standard length, a length where it does not feasible for an isolated group to hold out bearing some firearms and edged weapons even in the face of an armed gang, let alone an army reinforced with weapons, tanks and a huge arsenal like the Nigerian army. Different balances in all measures: a trained, powerful and experienced army incapable of decisively finishing the battle with a small group that did not know anything about war except its war. This can only be the blessing and grace of God. Praise be to Him in the first and last.
First Study: Gathering of the Remnants of the Brothers
Only a month or two passed after the bloody incident- which in truth was a victory and clear conquest- until the noble leaders arose- those whom Abu Yusuf by himself had appointed as walis and chosen as amirs for his soldiers- to revive their activities and shake off the dust of humiliation from their Ummah, for the Ummah of Muhammad (SAWS) has a will to fight that cannot be extinguished. So they chose Abu Bakr al-Sheikawi upon them to be a successor to the deceased imam, and that was by testament and indication from the sheikh (God have mercy on him), when he thought highly of him.
Perhaps you, dear reader, would like to know who is al-Sheikawi, and by what disposition he obtained that rank that he won from the sheikh’s trust in him and the brothers’ love for him and satisfaction with him.
Yes, you have the right to know from his condition something that you can use to understand the events in his days, so indulge us your interest so that we can show you a simple overview of his life, under this following question:
Lights on the personality of al-Sheikawi:
His kunya is Abu Muhammad al-Sheikawi. As for his name, it is Abu Bakr bin Muhammad. He was born in a remote desert called Sheikau in the countryside of Yobe state in northeast Nigeria.
He was raised in a harsh upbringing, in which he did not know the colours of luxury or the phenomena of wealth, in a harsh nomadic life, which led him to serve under farmers to support himself with money they gave him in exchange for work they commissioned for him, according to what he said about himself- and this harsh life had a very negative impact on himself, and imbibed in him the bad conduct of nomads, like rudeness, avarice and estrangement, though he also gained fine qualities from it, like the ability to endure, determination, decisiveness and self-confidence, as well as insistence and exemplary tenacity.
And he moved in the circles of the ‘ulama of al-Zawaya until he memorized the Qur’an among them- as he claims- and then he moved from a nomadic life to Maiduguri and entered the High Islam institute, in which he obtained some information of ‘Ilm, but he abandoned the institute, disavowing it without completing the study when he met some of the Salafi sheikhs. For it was a Tijani Sufi school. He then continued his education in reading the books despite his lack of his suitability for them, which made his ‘Ilm superficial, connected with review of the books, devoting himself to them, translating from them and benefiting, seeking help in what he learnt in that institute from some of the Arabic sciences.
And when Sheikh Abu Yusuf (may God have mercy on him) came out with his da’wa to pure Tawheed and rejecting the idolatry of democracy, he was among the first of the students of ‘Ilm to heed him, for he was the best help for the sheikh in his da’wa.
And at the time he was strongly devoted to and reviewing the books, seeing the sheikh and whoso was outstanding like Abu Aamer al-Barnawi (may God accept him) when he was in doubt.
The subjects of his lectures were distinguished with zeal, simplicity, banter and multiplicity of examples, for the youth did not take his lessons as advice to follow only, but rather as entertainment and banter as well, for his lessons were more attended than the lessons of others, and he was skilled in persuasion and debate.
And al-Sheikawi was strongly determined, pious and God-fearing- so it seemed- and ascetic in this material world, wearing rough clothes and eating ground food. Note that his livelihood at the time was estimated, but he appears to take positions that might demonstrate his asceticism. I remember that he had a motorbike on which he ate the handles and drank,[xxxvii] so some of the charitable brothers wanted to buy him a different one, which he totally rejected. And he was not convinced until they insisted on him to replace it, and if he were given new clothes he would not accept them or he would donate them if he received them.
And indicative of his piety at the time was that one day he came by a seller of dates so he wanted to buy from him, but the seller gave him them as a gift and refused to do a transaction for them out of regard for him, but he refused to accept those dates or buy them from him, cautious of eating anything by his debt.
On account of these praiseworthy qualities that appeared in him, and the love of the brothers for him and attachment to him, Sheikh Abu Yusuf preferred him over all the preachers, made him close to him, and made him a deputy to him whenever he had to travel for a da’wa assignment or other thing.
We suffice with this- dear reader- to return to finish the talk of the course of events after the allegiance to al-Sheikawi.
Thus the banner was united by that allegiance, and the leaders mobilized the remnants of the monotheists and gathered their dispersal, in order to light the ember of jihad, so they gathered the brothers they could and called them by the name of ‘Jama’at Ahl al-Sunna lil-Da’wa wa al-Jihad.’
And a numerous group of the youth of Islam answered them and joined them, for it was for the steadfastness of Sheikh Abu Yusuf and his students and their wholehearted dedication to truth: a living example that mobilized the zeal, revived the determination and awakened the spirit of jihad.
So the efforts came together, the path was formed out, and efforts were expended to revive the zeal and blow into the fire that was lit.
And glad tidings were carried to the Ummah in an audio message from the general commander Abu Fatima al-Salafi- may God accept him- and perhaps we would like to enjoy giving a purview of the content of that message, for it bore delightful glad tidings, for hope radiated again, in the souls on whose throne despair almost sat. So dear ones! What is there for you to see in that message? He- may God accept him and make highest his dwelling- said:
“Praise be to God alone, and prayers and peace be upon the one after whom there is no prophet. Rejoice in what delights you by God’s help, oh Ummah of Muhammad, for the Islamic State is coming at the hands of the mujahideen in Nigeria. Do not despair at the oppression of the state of kufr and the overt support for it from the ‘ulama of evil, and rejoice in what troubles you, oh apostate tyrants, for the dawn of Islam is coming, and as for the blood of our brothers in Borno, Bauchi and the rest of the land that you spill, it will be fire, a volcano and destruction for you, and a curse till the Day of Judgement.
And as for you oh ‘ulama, falsifiers with lies, who take delight in what struck Ibn Yusuf al-Maiduguri, the imam of the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama’a in the land of Africa, have you not known that it is a martyrdom and blessing! And it was his destiny and the highest of his aspirations?! Save yourselves from death if you can, as God the Exalted and Almighty said: “Say, and save yourselves from death if you are truthful.’
And as the poet said:
The one who dies not by the sword dies by another means. The reasons are many and death is one.
And God is predominant over His affair but most of the people don’t know it.”
So by that simple message, glad tidings of the establishment of a great jihad in a land most of whose people had tasted humiliation and degradation, so the lions heeded that da’wa, and returned to the field even as the blood of their martyrs was not yet dry, and they strove to light the fire of fighting even as their prisoners were not yet sunk in shackles, so they lit the fire of war again: the fire that the apostates thought they had extinguished for good, but behold here it lit up to burn them in the depth of their homes, and it did not leave the smiles of their fake victory standing. May God bring them to ruin and keep the fire burning upon them.
And their path developed as they came to see the al-Qa’ida organization in the Sahara, in order to benefit from their experiences and their guidance, as they were the people of virtue and eminence in proximity, so they coordinated contact with them and the connection with them was strong at that time and visits and correspondences occurred between them, as they went to see them so they [al-Qa’ida] trained them and assisted them with what was from God upon them in terms of wealth and skills of expertise.
And thus- by God’s help- the ember of jihad flared up, and the mujahideen took revenge against their butchers, and healed the hearts of the bereaved and orphans, as they launched assaults and raids across the width and length of north Nigeria, for they did not call a centre for the police without assaulting it and terrorizing it.
And there were dozens of assault and martyrdom operations against the churches of the Christians at war, who have always made the Muslims taste woes and bitterness, and made them swallow inferiority and degradation.
Thus proceeded the battles in this land in bloody insurgency, as the mujahideen attacked their victims when they chose to, and the apostates were awaiting the perdition that might seize them at any moment, and the rans of the mujahideen became more cohesive and firm, until we woke up one morning for all to be surprised by a thin tumour that began to spread in the body of the group.
Second Study: Beginning of the Deviation of the Path
Al-Sheikawi began to show the first signs of extremism bit by bit in silence, from denying the excuse in ignorance in kufr absolutely, and takfiring the Muslims dwelling in the land of kufr as individuals, deeming their blood and wealth not to be sacrosanct for protection, and the group’s method in conveying the da’wa and dealing with the masses changed fundamentally, and al-Sheikawi treated those in the group close to him with tyranny and unfairness.
So the Maghreb branch of the ‘organization’ wrote him a message of advice but he did not benefit from it but rather went further in deviation and extremism, and these ideas produced fundamental acts of corruption, leading to the brothers’ quarreling and disagreeing because of that and splitting into divisions:
– One division supporting the direction and defending it.
– The other strongly disavowing it and contravening it.
– And another that exchange the extremism for another extremism, exchanging ifrat with tafrit, thus adopting the path of murji’a, and abstaining from the jihad.
But the vast majority of the mujahideen stood confused, because they did not find evidence from the two sides to rely on, for al-Sheikawi ordered the commanders to prevent the soldiers from listening to any of the contrarians, and he kept away from them messages and statements except what came out from him, so thus the proofs of the contrarians did not spread among the soldiers, except what they heard from the leaders that ‘so-and-so prohibits booty, and so-and-so is a munafiq, and so-and-so contravenes and mocks the imam.’
So there was no message except what came from al-Sheikawi ornamented with arbitrariness and elaboration in displaying the lines of evidence to embellish his ideas and provide a false cover for his innovation.
And those who remained fair, opining and striving for conciliation between them: he slandered those people in his statements and rebuffed them. He also killed some of them, which made the group be flooded in a sea of ignorance and transgression.
What made the vast majority of the mujahideen stand with al-Sheikawi, reinforcing them in that, was the fact that the majority of the field commanders did not split from al-Sheikawi, like Abu Sa’ad al-Bamawi and Muhammad Salafi- may God have mercy on them- which made him stronger than those who came out against him. And indeed these commanders who stood with him were able- by God’s help- to check his obstinacy and reduce it to an extent until they were martyred, because he was previously hidden in the land and did not meet with anyone except those commanders, just as he subsequently accused them of betrayal, as they distinguished between him and his soldiers for years, and not one heard that these men had betrayed him and kept him away from his soldiers for years.
So he began at first by stripping contrarians of their weapons. He also impeded them and marginalized. This is what led the contrarians to split from him and form a new group called Ansar al-Muslimeen fi Bilad al-Sudan, led by the amir of the soldiers: Abu Muhammad al-Bauchawi, and with him most of the Shari’is of the group from the likes of Sheikh Abu Osama al-Ansari Muhammad Awal al-Gombawi[xxxviii]– may God have mercy on him- but they also were too lax in excuse in ignorance, for they excused the voters by their ignorance, and there became numerous in their ranks the coveters of luxury, which weakened their entity at the time.
They had the Shari’is because they were more knowledgeable than he, while he had the soldiers and leaders because he was more powerful than they, and so it was until al-Sheikawi ordered to catch the figures of the contrarians and execute them, and the knowledgeable Sheikh Abu Osama al-Ansari- may God have mercy on him- fell victim to that. He was head of the group after the capture of al-Boshawi, and as for the rest of the members and figures, most of them were captured by the apostate government. May God deliver them and all the Muslims’ prisoners.
And after the killing of these people and captivity of some of them the group that separated from al-Sheikawi turned into gangs aiming to gather wealth only and concentrate it in the name of preparation, so it assaulted banks, kidnapped hostages and ransomed them for wealth, and if you saw them attacking a police station or inspection checkpoint that was in order to disperse and disrupt the enemy, in order to facilitate their operation to assault banks an kidnap. They were interest in their bellies and pockets, and many of them were influenced by the ideas of al-Qa’ida, and there is no power or force except in God, as I was informed of that by their leaders who joined the convoy of the Caliphate.
As for the field of Shekau, since it was devoid of ‘ulama and students of ‘Ilm, some of the youth in Maiduguri adopted the path of extremism by acts of ignorance, as they committed excesses in their dealing with the populace, and they became among them like highwaymen.
I remember that they had wide neighbourhoods in the northeast of the city of Maiduguri, near the train station. They had seized them almost entirely, and called them ‘Fallujah’,[xxxix] so no one approached this neighbourhood, even if he supported of them but was not known to them, or came desiring to join them without tazkiya, such that they did not also charge him with espionage and execute him, on the pretext that he would be intending as such. They cite as evidence the hadith of the army that would attack the Ka’aba,[xl] for the interior in it became lost, and the exterior of it born, and the response to these ideas will come by God’s permission.
And God willed that because of these ideas a number of the brothers transgressed, when they met one of the youth in that neighbourhood who did not know them. As for their dealing with the populace in this neighbourhood, I will tell it as it is, and there is no power or force except in God.
For there were added to the ideas of the youth in that neighbourhood from contempt for the populace: takfir against them and stealing their property. For example if they were hungry they would rob the populace, and if they were barefoot, they would steal their riding animals, and if they requested to marry a girl and her guardian refused to marry her to them, they would threaten him by showing weapons until he should marry her to them.
And this harsh treatment is among the main reasons why the people became resentful and alienated from the mujahideen, and why they stood with the Tawagheet in the war against the mujahideen: a mass war in an event known by the name of “Kato Da Gora”: i.e. the mutiny campagn, and they totally sided with the army after the removal of the mujahideen from that neighbourhood in particular and the city of Maiduguri in general. And they launched against the ‘Civilian Joint Task Force’, and they brought themselves into a state of apostasy, and God is the one whose help is to be sought.
Fourth Study: Stage of the Appearance of Extremism Publicly and Its Development
The days passed as such and the years followed in stumbling and advancing, and tribulation and reward, from the war of cities to entering the forests and woods,[xli]until the leaders of the jihad and the ember of the wars were martyred, whom Abu Yusuf al-Barnawi had appointed as walis, and some of them were taken prisoner, the last of them being Abu Sa’ad al-Bamawi.
Thus the opportunity was laid open for Abu Bakr al-Sheikawi and he exploited this situation to replace the manhaj of the group publicly, and change the principles on which it had been built in the clarity of day to his extreme Khariji doctrines, which remained- by God’s grace and then that of those leaders- spreading in a hidden manner throughout the years, and he replaced the Shura- indeed, what Shura!- with the arbitrariness of his opinion and held the ‘ulama in contempt and removed them.
So he violated the forbidden and killed through distrust, and he followed his whims, and the people no longer felt secure over their blood, wealth and honour, so they became a chaotic mess such that the soldiers of the group became like highwaymen, robbing what they wanted and seizing what they wanted, and killing and taking prisoner whomsoever they wanted.
And he killed those of the ‘ulama who competed with him in advising and condemnation, like Sheikh Abd al-Malek al-Ansari al-Kadunawi, and Abu al-Abbas al-Bankiwani, and the matter continued in this disgraceful war, until the edifice of the Caliphate appeared and established its nucleus in the land of Iraq, which impacted the hearts of the leaders proud for their religion, such as to give allegiance to the Caliph in order to extirpate the tumour, which almost destroyed the group and brought it into perils, and spread into the bodies of those who remained from its just elements, or killed them.
And the story of the allegiance pledge is very long and cannot be explained now lest we divert far from our foundational matter, but in short: al-Sheikawi was compelled to give allegiance, and that was through a coming together of the military commanders, and after he became convinced that the matter was about to go out of his hand, and that his throne would be shaken and emptied of him if he did not give allegiance, he gave allegiance to remain on his throne, and we will make that clear in its appropriate place.[xlii]
And here the following question suggests itself: why did we reject calling the group khawarij previously, and now we call it so:
The answer is as follows:
We rejected calling them Khawarij because the Ummah did not have a group at that time or a Caliph for the Muslims to come out against him.
And since extremism did not become critical and did not become an observed program by which all the soldiers were bound as has happened recently. Thus we said about them at the time: they are in extremism and resembling the Khawarij but we do not call them Khawarij. Also previously he did not notice takfir of the masses and permitting their blood to be shed and their wealth to be taken in his statements without knowingly correcting his meaning.
And from his study of jurisprudence and knowledge of the disease from them he could not diagnose it or give the remedy, for al-Sheikawi was not indifferent towards striving to put out any movement threatening his interests and throne, and he killed all who stood behind them regardless of who they were, and by a cunning evil method, as happened with the general commander Abu Anisa (may God accept him)- and there is no power or force except in God- then by meeting them, flattering them and secretly disavowing them.
Or he may be ignorant while loving jihad and supporting truth and thus he got lost, and did not find someone to advise him and guide him, for the ‘ulama were barred from giving a fatwa that contravened the words of their imam, while the one who imbibed extremism and defended it as a doctrine of his, these people are a small gang.
And as for now, we call them Khawarij because they have declared revolt from the just Imam, our lord the Caliph of the Muslims Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in 1437 AH, and in a way that is not permissible, and that is that the Caliph removed al-Sheikawi from the wilaya and appointed Sheikh Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi as the wali, for he charged him with kufr because he did not declare takfir on the Muslim masses who dwell in the abode of kufr, and al-Sheikawi proclaimed his Khariji creed without equivocation.
Thus the tumour of extremism and Kharijism was removed from the group, and the people divided into two camps: the camp of the people of truth and fairness, and the camp of the people of oppression and revolt, and all inclined to the one who agreed with them in opinion and doctrine, and not one person from followers of Shekau remained with the people of fairness except the hypocritical swindler, and no one from the people of fairness remained in Shekau’s abode except an oppressed one incapable of joining the convoy of the Caliphate.
This response brings us to another question:
Is the Islamic State on the prophetic methodology? Is Sheikh al-Baghdadi’s Caliphate legitimate?
Yes, the Islamic State is on the prophetic methodology, and after it arose, it revived for us from the religion what had been wiped out from its rituals and what had been effaced from its rulings. It has built the edifice of the Caliphate, put in place judges and muftis, preachers and accounters, and it has opened courts for those who have a dispute, made zakat an obligation from those who can pay it and made them spend it in their expenditures, and it has imposed the jizya on the people of the Book, and obliged the with the conditions of the Pact of Omar, and it has been clear in what our noble Shari’a has brought, and proclaimed truth without equivocation or flattery.
And Sheikh Abu Bakr bin Awad- may God protect him- was made Caliph by choice of the Ahl al-Hall wa al-‘Aqd as the conditions of the imamate were present in him.
And what the contraveners circulated that ‘the Caliph Abu Bakr has not fulfilled the conditions of the imamate, as he cannot protect the abode and fill the gaps, because the enemy is now taking the land and occupying it, so the Caliph has no strategy to prevent them from violating the honour of the virtuous, nor can anyone prevent them from bombing the towns by air with aircraft, and the religion of God and its law cannot be established so long as this state of affairs persists.’
Braggarts in filling their mouths, they take cover in that to attack the soundness of the Caliphate and assail the allies of God, and say: all the Muslims must be content with it, and assert violation of one of the conditions of the imamate, and that is: ‘That he must have expertise and considered opinion in ordering for war and managing the armies, filling the gaps and protecting the abode’: thus they make protection of the abode an independent condition for the imamate.
And to make clear the falsity of their claim we say: the ‘and’ in ‘managing’ and ‘protecting’ that are attached to the command of war, does not indicate something separate, and the conjunction is attached to the conjunction in its ruling, and thus the condition is that he should have expertise and considered opinion in these matters, and the enemies of the Dawla have attested to its prudence and craft in war and have been dazzled by it, and the truth is what the enemies have attested to.
So the meaning in this condition is not that he should protect the abode such that the enemy cannot manage to occupy one land, or that it should not afflict any of the Muslims with evil, for if that had been so the Caliphate would have fallen as they claimed, and indeed it could not be contracted originally if the abode of Islam is threatened by the disbelievers and the danger is imminent to it, for thus they have claimed the lack of soundness of the Caliphate in this time. Subhanullah this is a great slander.
And if ‘protection’ were a condition as they claimed, how can we rule on the state of al-Mustafa, the Imam of the mujahideen (SAWS), the sayyid of the Caliphs, who must be imitated and whose footstep must be followed?!
For the Messenger of God (SAWS) established his state in Yathrib, the state whose did not exceed some kilometres, and it was surrounded by powerful enemies, which it suffices to point to the balance of force between them and the people of the town: what happened when the parties mobilized against them on the Day of the Trench, as not one of them dared to fulfill his need on account of the strength of fear and dread, and were it not that God sent on them a wind and unseen soldiers, a disgraceful matter would have happened from killing of men and enslavement of the women and children.
So did the Messenger of God make as a condition for establishing the state in al-Madina, that one should delay until God should destroy these enemies, or did he hurry to establish it by merely treading his foot in al-Madina, despite the mushrikeen’s pursuit of himas he was on route to it?
So does anyone who claims to belong to Islam dare to say that the Prophet’s state was not legitimate so long as circumstances were so, and as long as its area was small and besieged by 10000 soldiers alone?!
And how could they have been ignorant of the state of the Muslims when the Companions pledged allegiance to al-Siddiq in the Caliphate: the Arabs in the entire Peninsula had apostasised, except for Mecca, al-Madina and al-Ta’if, and they terrorized and cut off the paths, until it got to the point for the Companions whereby they tried to dissuade al-Siddiq from his opinion in dispatching Osama, as they feared for al-Madina if the army came out and the apostates attacked it, such that the state of affairs got to the point whereby the Companions were coming out to the suburbs of al-Madina awaiting the coming of the enemy.
As Abu Huraira reported describing the state of affairs, he said: “By God- and there is no deity besides He- had it not been that Abu Bakr had become the successor, God would not have been worshipped.” Then he said it a second time and then a third time, so it was said to him: Why, Abu Huraira? He said: Indeed the Messenger of God (SAWS) directed Osama bin Zayd in 700 to al-Sham, so when he came down with the one of wood the Messenger of God (SAWS) had departed, and the Arabs around al-Madina had apostasised, so the Companions of the Messenger of God came to him and said: Oh Abu Bakr, bring back these people. You direct these people to the Romans and the Arabs around al-Madina have apostasised? He said: “By the One besides whom there is no other deity, had the dogs been dragged by the feet of the wives of the Messenger of God (SAWS) I would not have sent back an army that the Messenger of God directed, and I would not have torn down a banner that the Messenger of God contracted.”[xliii]
And the state of affairs reached the point where the apostates were killing some of the Caliph’s emissaries and vanguards of his army as happened with Okasha and his companion who were killed by Taliha al-Assadi. So did the Companions say: ‘Your Caliphate is not valid, oh Abu Bakr, until you reclaim all the abode of Islam, or restore security and stability and protect the abode at the minimum??’
But rather most of the areas of apostasy, there remained in them those who were steadfast on their Islam, deceiving the apostates, and the apostates imposed their authority on them and killed who they wished from them without the Caliph being able to support them in that situation.
Just as Malek bin Nuwaira dealt with the Muslims of al-Rabab from Bani Tamim, and as al-Aswad al-Anasi did when he had authority over Yemen and killed the agent of the Messenger of God (SAWS), took captive his wife and threw Abu Muslim al-Khowlani into the fire. So did one of the Companions say that the Caliphate was not established while this was the state of affairs? Or did they hurry to appoint the Caliph and give allegiance before everything?
So how can it not be permitted for us to appoint an Imam when the Companions are for us the best precedent and highest example? But indeed even if we were to concede to them for the sake of argument- and we will never concede it- and say that protection of the abode is a pillar without which the Imamate cannot be fulfilled, the foundational basis permits us to appoint an Imam and gather the Ummah under one force and one Imam, even if we don’t have the components of the state.
– What is considered invalid in law is: “that in which it has not gathered, its influence is not to be considered and a condition or pillar is not fulfilled with power.” This basis gives us the legitimacy of the Caliphate and prevents us from hindering it, when we have been incapable of that supposed condition as they claim, as the condition of the ‘ulama is “power” in the foundation and that the condition and pillar become invalid with lack of capability.
Al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam al-Hanafi, may God have mercy on him, said: “If the one who has been entrusted with something from acts of obedience is capable of some but incapable of others, he is to undertake what he can and what he is incapable of falls from him.”[xliv]
al-Zarkashi al-Shafi’i and Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (may God have mercy on them both) said: “If the act of worship is legislated in itself and he is incapable of part of it, he undertakes what he can. Thus: the one who is capable of some of al-Fatiha is to undertake what he can, because every verse of al-Fatiha must be recited by itself.”[xlv]
The meaning of this is that the obligation is to undertake the principle, fulfilling the conditions and pillars entirely, but if it is not possible to fulfill it and perform it in fulfillment, the ruling transfers to licence, and does not fall entirely, such as prayer at its time and with the group, for if its time passes it is to be undertaken at a replacement time and it is fulfillment after passing of the group or after the time goes out.
So we cannot say that prayer has fallen because the time has passes, or it is to be entirely obstructed because we could not fulfill it at its time. Likewise in the rest of the acts of worship there is no obligation in bringing together the pillars and conditions with lack of capability and ability.
So likewise doing away with division and gathering the force under one Imam and protecting the abode: all of them must be applied by themselves, and we must fulfill what we can and leave what we are incapable of. For the Qur’an has come obliging us to come together and not separate and multiply the groups. The Almighty has said: “And cling to God’s rope entirely and do not separate.”[xlvi] The Almighty and Exalted also said: “Do not be like those who separated and differed after the proofs came to them. For those people is a painful torment.”[xlvii]
In those two noble verses God commanded us to cling together entirely to his rope and to stand with each other and gather on that, and He forbade us from the path of those who separate, who have enjoyed separation and disagreement, attacking each other. And all these commands are valid by themselves, and when God commands something, He commands that without which it cannot be fulfilled, so the command to come together in this verse was commanded by Him in the path of the goal, and He commanded that without which it cannot be fulfilled: and that is through appointing an imam as the means.
As for what they say about the need for all the Muslims to be content with him.
Subhanullah! When was it ever a condition that all the people should be content in the appointment of the Caliph and choosing an imam?
Oh ignorant one! We have learnt on the issue of the allegiance pledge of choice that it is contracted in one of two ways and no others:
1. By the pact of the first Imam.
2. By choice of the Ahl al-Hall wa al-‘Aqd.
Badr al-Din said: “The first path in choice: the allegiance pledge of the Ahl al-‘Aqd wa al-Hall from the amirs and ‘ulama, and heads and notables of the people if they can be present in the land of the Imam on allegiance pledge, like the pledge of allegiance of Abu Bakr (may God be pleased with him) on the day of al-Saqifa, and a specific number is not imposed as a condition on the people of allegiance, but rather the who one can attend on its contracting, and its soundness is not impeded on account of the allegiance pledge of the people of the cities. In fact when he reaches them he binds them in agreement if the one contracted for the allegiance pledge is appropriate for it.”[xlviii]
And the least number of them by which the Imamate can be contracted is five, as mentioned by Imam al-Mawardi in the al-Ahkam al-Sultaniya, as he said: “And one of them can contract it, so it is permissible with the contentment of four, as shown by the allegiance pledge of Abu Bakr.”[xlix]
So if five of the Ahl al-Hall wa al-‘Aqd appoint the Caliph and choose him, what is the problem in the best of the Muslims choosing him and being content with him- and the virtuous of them in this time, from muhajireen and ansar of the thousands of mujahideen in different lands from the regions of the world?
For what the predecessor said is that he can be appointed by the contentment of four of the Ahl al-Hall wa al-‘Aqd if they choose their fifth person, or is it so?! They- the contraveners- will explain the four as the four parties, and the fifth- what will it be: the earth or the sky?!
So what we have learnt from the master ‘ulama is that they do not make as a condition the contentment of the Muslims in general. Otherwise they would not have defended the Caliphate of the one who gained dominance over them by his sword, and how is the meaning of the ‘ulama adding that in the principles of the creed of the Ahl al-Sunna explained to us? For you can hardy find a book about their principles in which they do not defend the Imamate of the one who gained dominance over them by his sword. Is there contentment in dominance? Or how do they explain contentment? Is it surrender?
So the one who asserts this is bound to assert the lack of soundness of the Imamate of the rightly-guided Caliphs (may God be pleased with them), or assert the kufr of the one who did not pledge allegiance to them and their exclusion from the Muslims.
And he is bound to declare takfir on all the companions of Mua’wiya as he was with them on the Day of Tahkim, when Ali (may God be pleased with him) wrote his name in the Book of Conciliation: the Amir al-Mu’mineen, Ali bin Abi Talib, and Mua’wiya appointed someone as an arbitrator, so Mua’wiya (may God be pleased with him) contended with him saying: “If he were the Amir al-Mu’mineen I would not fight him, but let him write his name and let him begin by it before my name for his grace and precedent.” And Amro (may God be pleased with him) said: “Write his name and the name of his father. He is your amir, but not our amir.”[l]
So these people were not content with the Imamate of Ali (may God be pleased with him), so do we declare takfir on these people or declare the Caliphate of the Amir al-Mu’mineen invalid?! No, by God, indeed grandeur incites them to deviate from the truth. Listen: Jaber al-Ja’afi said on the authority of Abu Ja’afar al-Baqir and Zayd bin Anas and others, they said: “Ali had 150,000 of the people of Iraq and Mu’awiya was accepted by the same number from the people of al-Sham.”
Others said: “Ali was accepted among 100,000 or more, and Mu’awiya was accepted among 130,000.”
So how can your conditions be imposed on us- oh contravener- so as to be appropriate to this matter?
Look at those serious numbers- including those of the Companions (may God be pleased with them) who were not content with the Caliphate of Ali (may God be pleased with him), so how can we be bound by your conditions even as we don’t see them among the predecessors!?
So it does us no harm after this that the contravener should yell that all the Muslims must pledge allegiance to him or be content with him, for the caravan goes on and the dogs are still barking.
This is so and the last of our calls is praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds and peace be upon those sent.
Our sources in what we write about al-Sheikawi
We have relied in what we transmit on what events our eyes have witnessed, for we lived through more than three years of them, and we have seen his method, attended his lectures and messages in proximity, and we had discussions with him more than once. Also, more than once, we were printing his messages for him, and we recorded videos for him. Indeed we were also among those close to him and some of his commanders, no one need teach us of a lizard we have cornered.
And we limit ourselves in displaying his words to what was spread through their recording or necessity has required to illustrate, and we are not writing them so as to bring four witnesses to bear on them, and we have no interest in displaying his words except in what the translation requires as we have stated before.
Chapter Two: The Creed of the Khawarij of Shekau
Who are the Khawarij?
The Ummah over the eras and recurrence of fortunes has remained divided, as al-Mukhtar (SAWS) informed us that his Ummah would split into multiple sects, all of them in the fire except one, and all of them claiming to embody the one sect, and the truth is that they are the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Athar, and the people of Fiqh and consideration, and some of the sects may establish on their claims a proof weaker than a spider’s dwelling, and among these erroneous sects are the Khawarij in all their creeds.
And in this age the extremists of the people of whims have become numerous, and for each of them is a predecessor they imitate by intention or agree with him in theory, but their innovation differs on most occasions from their predecessors, and is coloured with the colour of the chameleon.
And here we must define the Khawarij, and is it permissible for us to call the followers of Shekau Khawarij? If the answer is yes, in what way have they corresponded to the Khawarij such that we have called them by this name? This is what we will examine in what follows from this book.
Qualities of the Khawarij
The texts that have come on the qualities of the Khawarij are numerous, and I am bound in this book not to burden it with material boring the reader or detracting his determination to reach its end, so I will limit myself to one hadith that contains most of their qualities.
On the authority of Abu Sa’id al-Khidri: he said: Ali- may God be pleased with him- while he was in Yemen, sent a piece of gold in its dust to the Messenger of God (SAWS), so the Messenger of God (SAWS) divided it between four men: al-Aqra’ bin Habis al-Handhali, Ayina bin Badr al-Fazar, ‘Alqama bin Alatha al-Ameri (then one of the Bani Kilab), and Zayd al-Khayr al-Ta’i (then one of the Bani Nabhan). He said: so the Quraysh were angry, for they said: So you give to the chiefs of Najd and ignore us? The Messenger of God (SAWS) said: “I have rather done that to conciliate them.” So then came a man with a heavy beard,[li] prominent cheeks, deep sunken eyes, a protruding forehead[lii] and a shaven head. He said: “Fear God, oh Muhammad.” So the Messenger of God (SAWS) said: “Who will obey God if I disobey Him? Does he not entrust me over the people of the Earth, and yet you do not trust me?” Then the man turned back, so a man from the people sought permission to kill him. They say that Khalid bin al-Waleed was the one who sought it. The Messenger of God (SAWS) said: “Indeed from this person’s offspring[liii] there would arise people who read the Qur’an and it does not exceed their throats.[liv]
They kill the people of Islam and spare the people of idols, glancing through Islam as an arrow passes through prey. If I were to find them I would kill them like ‘Ad'”- narrated by Muslim.[lv]
And on the authority of the predecessors in defining them: Imam Ibn Hajr (may God have mercy on him) said: “As for the Khawarij, they are a revolting group and a people of innovators called as such because they have gone out from the religion and come out against the best of the Muslims, and they were called the readers for the strength of their efforts in reciting the Qur’an and acts of worship but they were interpreting the Qur’an in ways that were not intended and they were tyrannical in their opinion and they were fastidious in asceticism and humility and other things besides that.”[lvi]
And Mustafa al-Bagha said in his commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari: “[The Khawarij] are a revolting group: that is, a sect that have come out from the authentic religion and they are innovators and called as such because they have come out against the best of the Muslims, and anyone who comes out from the group of the Muslims that implements the Book of God Almighty and the Sunna of His Messenger (SAWS) and what the Ummah has agreed on: that person is a Khariji.”[lvii]
That is: the meaning is that they are a sect who have innovated with a creed that is not the creed of the predecessors, and they have come out against the best of the Muslims and their imams with flimsy arguments, as when they came out against the Caliph of the Muslims Ali bin Abi Talib because he appointed Abu Musa al-Ash’ari as arbitrator between him and Mu’awiya (may God be pleased with them all), so this people interpreted it as being ruling by something besides that which God brought down- so they claimed- so they came out against him, declared takfir on him, and declared takfir on the Companions of the Prophet (SAWS), and it was among their quality that they would recite the Qur’an such that the Companions considered their prayer, fasting and recital as insignificant compared with theirs, but it did not go beyond their throats as al-Sadiq al-Masduq (SAWS) informed us.
And they interpret the Qur’an according to their opinion and desire, and all their partisanship and extremism derives from this. For if they were to interpret the Qur’an according to the tafsir of the just predecessors, they would have accorded with God’s desire, but they follow what resembles a desire for fitna.
These are the qualities of the people in short and in summary, and now we will try to see those qualities with the followers of Shekau, and so that this may become clear to us, let us turn to the application of the definition of them by their deeds as follows:
The Messenger of God (SAWS) said: “They kill the people of Islam and spare the people of idols.” Subhanullah! Since 1435 AH al-Sheikawi has directed the aperture of his weapons against the Muslims, killing them and taking their offspring captive. Since that year Sheikawi has also been observing gathering places in which monotheists are presumed to be present, like stations, Sunni mosques and places of prayer on feast occasions, then he sends a suicide bomber to blow himself up amid the gathering.
Since that time the Muslims have not prayed their feasts in peace, without an explosion or pursuit from al-Sheikawi while he threatens the Crusaders with empty threats ‘like the brayer in the enclosure,’[lviii] for no explosion has been heard, nor trampling, nor even a hollow spit at a Crusader while they hold their feasts in their churches in security and safety, and perhaps he has resorted to killing the Muslims while abandoning the Crusaders because they have strong resistance, enjoying strong bodyguard protection and protected by security apparatuses, while there is no difficulty to strike the Muslims, as no one stands in his face as soon as he considers them for his suicide bombing operations.
Ibn Hajer said: “They are a people of innovators called as such because they have gone out from the religion and come out against the best of the Muslims.”
Have they not innovated in a way that is to be condemned from applying kufr as principle to the inhabitants of the abode of kufr!? And a creed that declares takfir on all the people except those with them?! Have they not come out against the Caliph of the Muslims, Ibrahim bin Awwad (may God protect him), because he entrusted over their affairs the most contemptible people in their eyes and most hateful towards them.
And he also said: “They have interpreted the Qur’an in a meaning not intended.” Has not their Sheikawi rabbi been interpreting the Qur’an according to what his ego and whim desire? For example, he has interpreted the two ayas of al-Bara’a: “Those who believe in God and the Last Day will not seek your permission to be excused from waging jihad with their wealth and lives.” The two verses: he has interpreted them to mean that the one who seeks permission to go out does not believe in God, and the truth is that he will not seek your permission to refrain, as Ibn Kathir and others besides him have said. But the man wanted to use it as evidence for his claim that the Imam is not responsible for the expenditure of the mujahideen and strengthening the fronts, and they must secure the necessary things for raids. So he has gone, becoming despotic and twisting the neck of the texts to suit his ends.
And they twist things from their places for worldly ends, or for the wretched whims of the self, and God is the one who guides to the straight path. And Ibn Omar- may God be pleased with him- considered them the evil of God’s creation, and said: “They have seized on verses brought down against the disbelievers and applied them to the believers.”[lix]
What correspondence there is in deeds and likeness of hearts between them. See- may God have mercy on you- and judge for yourselves. Is this description not to be applied completely to the Shekau-Khawarij?!
And the followers of Shekau concord with the erroneous sects in innovation as follows:
. They have agreed with the Khawarij in all their doctrines on takfir of the one who commits a great sin, though they have not announced this clearly from their creed and they have not declared takfir for every great sin as is the case among their advanced predecessors, but they cite the condemned acts of some of the sects of the people and acts of disobedience as evidence of their kufr as we will mention in the appropriate place, God willing.
. They have agreed with them in takfir of those who disagree with them from the people in general and particular, as affirmed by their leader in tafir of all the madhahib and groups from the sects of the Ummah without exception, even their takfir against the soldiers of the Islamic State in West Africa wilaya, and categorizing them under kufr on the basis of their abode is far removed from us.
. They have agreed with the al-Azariqa in takfir of the one who does not migrate to their abode among those who agree with them even if he intends to move to them.
. They consider a multiplicity of imams to be permissible, by analogy with the Mamluks state, the Bani al-Abbas and the Umayyads in Andalusia.
. They have also agreed with the al-Azariaqa on their customs applied to the one who migrates to them: that they test him by handing him one of the prisoners of those who contravene them, and ordering him to kill him, or they marry him off to the women of those who contravene them, and this has happened to many brothers, and God is the one whose help is to be sought.
. And they have agreed with the al-Ma’lumiya from the al-‘Ajarida who claimed that the one who does not know God in all His names is ignorant of Him and the one ignorant of Him is a disbeliever, as they have asserted the kufr of the one does not memorize and recite by heart the seven conditions of there is no deity but God and the ten nullifiers of Islam, on the basis that he is outside the path.
. And they have agreed with the Khawarij of this era in asserting that the principle in people is kufr.
And the Mu’tazilites:
. As for the Mu’tazilites, they have agreed with them in chain takfir that has no end.
. And they have agreed with them in likening the deeds of God to the deeds of creation, as the Mu’tazilites thought that what is good from creation is good for God, and what is not, is not. And these people have reflected that.
And we will try to present all these falsehoods and establish through evidence that these are practiced by al-Sheikawi and the followers of his madhhab. And we will expose their falsehood through irrefutable evidence. And God grants success and guides to the straight path.
First Section: His Ignorance and Disparagement of ‘Ilm
Indeed, they do not know how closely they have imitated the erroneous sects, and how they have followed their footsteps in many matters of innovation, except in monstrous ignorance of the principles of the religion, and remoteness from seeking firm ‘Ilm.
And I think- if it has not reached to the extent of ‘Ilm- that their leader, whenever he reads on an issue in a computer program, he looks for what supports his opinion from the books of the Imam, and looks at them without regard for the context, even when it illustrates the words of the innovators to refute them, so he misappropriates them and adopts them, and perhaps he has used them as evidence by attributing the innovative discourse to the author of the book, who illustrates the innovation to refute it.
Therefore we wanted to make clear these analyses and place them on the ground of reality in this section God willing. And our intention is to expose this person and make clear his mindset by which he brings out rulings for his ‘mujahideen’ followers (ignoramuses) and that will be in studies as follows.
First Study: His Aversion to Knowledge
al-Sheikawi’s aversion to knowledge and giving the ‘ulama their place, while mocking them and disparaging them, are things that are not hidden from the general populace before those in the know.
For he thinks that he has come towering above ‘Ilm, not needing with it more reading and study, for he has been convinced by what he has from crammed goods, back when he was with the Imam Abu Yusuf (may God accept him), forgetting that he at the time was helped and supported by mashayakh on whose wall he relied. And he does not know that he has fallen into mud by his distance from them.
And he is wholly convinced by tracking what the computer produces from a program containing hundreds of books for different skills, and by one touch and writing the beginning of the issue, all the talk of the ‘ulama about the issue in its aspects is sent out for him.
But he does not know that he has deemed the one of tumour to be fat, and has filled with air a non-fire, and by pressing on the buttons he has wanted to precede the convoy, and correct the ‘ulama, and the time has come for him to attain from a far-away place, for when his device was stolen from him, everything was stolen from him.
Even more amazing: that he attributes everything he copies from that study to himself, concluding it in his name and surname so he has committed a crime against himself as he reckons that he is master of something and superior to the people, for he has misrepresented the books, so he has gone astray, misled many, and has gone astray from the straight path.
And among some of his lapses in his misspelling: what happened in a release by him, while he recited the hadith of the seven grave sins, and after reaching the seventh grave sin the page needed to be turned because it was on the following page, and he did not know on what movement of voice it was, so he said while turning the page: “Wa qadhafi [jar: lowering the voice to pronounce a kasra] aw qadhafu [raf’: raising the voice to pronounce a damma] wa qadhafa [nasb: raising the voice to pronounce a fatha].”
Despite the fact that the word of the beginning is not explained, it is nonetheless possible to say that it is a mistake or falsehood, for had he stopped on raf’ and nasb: had he applied raf’ to it we would have said he got it right, and if he had applied nasb we would have explained to him and said it was wrong but he applied nasb to it instead of al-Saba’ to which nasb is applied, but he also applied jarr to it as well! And I do not know of a noun that is pronounced with the three movements of voice in one subject except from al-Sheikawi!
Yes and perhaps you will say: the matter is no more than a stumble from a knight, almost rising from it! But he has disappointed your hope when he added to the preceding without shame a mending to his torn clothes, and a reinforcement to his destroyed edifice when he said: “All this path is possible if I know Arabic grammar.”[lx]
That is, all the three paths- jarr, raf’ and nasb- are possible if I know the grammar of the language, but if you oppose, you do not know the grammar of the language!
Poor man! He forgot that in elaborating a prophetic hadith he reckoned that the matter is among issues of language so he tried to correct his fault, so he said putting on a contemptuous mien: “All that is possible if I know the grammar of the language.”
Subhanullah! How amazing! I have left the response to his admirers now.
Among them: like when he was teaching attainment and conveyed the hadith of good omen, he said on the word “al-tarajjul” that it is derived from al-rijl, and he extended his foot pointing to the students, and when the students notified him that the commentator said extending the hair, he said: “I will review that.” Subhanak rabbi! Thus he deceived himself and thought he had attained utmost knowledge so he overlooked reading and investigating.
In addition: when he was teaching the ‘Tafsir of Ibn Kathir’! When the Almighty said: “So do not make equals to God.” So when he reached the hadith of al-Tufail bin Sakhbara:….then I came to the Prophet (SAWS) and informed him, so he said: ‘Did you inform anyone of it?’ I said: yes. So he arose, praised God and praised him, then said: “As for what follows, Tufail had a vision…”
Here he has erred for he has distorted the expression and so the meaning, as it reads: “You have said such and such which I was prevented from…” He distorted it by reading: “Something that was with such and such meaning.” So he interpreted it as follows: “The Messenger deemed himself to be above repeating what they said because of its hideousness, so he said: ‘With such and such meaning’, ‘I forbid you’. So they have ceased to do this now!” Then the students notified him that the word is “preventing me” so he re-interpreted it saying: “‘And you have said such and such that I was prevented from.’ The meaning is that: You have said such and such, which God prevented me from saying. So I also ‘that I forbid you from it’- I have forbidden you from it now!”[lxi]
Thus he would commit misrepresentation in the books and this ‘Imam’ would explain to his group the issues and rulings! And he would rule on individuals and sects as kufr and that they have gone out from the path, even if he did not know the principles of those sects. Indeed he did not even get their names right, as when he declared takfir on the Naqshbandi Sufi order, and he called it Kashbandiya!
And the one who considers his recordings and messages sees countless examples of this type of ugly performance. And if it were the case that he paid attention to the ‘ulama and abandoned glorifying himself and sought their opinion, the right would become clear to him.
But if he looks down on the students of ‘Ilm from the brothers, why has he not paid attention to the ‘ulama of jihad who have filled the regions with knowledge, choosing from them the one he wants and consulting for opinion! But the man’s limitation in his knowledge, combined with a type of narcissism, has prevented him from realizing what is right. We seek refuge in God from that, and may God have mercy on the man who has realized the extent of himself.
So he used to consider the ‘ulama of the Dawla his relatives and brothers, learning from him as he was allowed to learn from them, but he would say: “Indeed the Dawla does not think it is permissible to hold women captive, even as I held the ‘Chibok’ girls captive and brought together in this, so when they saw the message they knew that it was the truth, so they took the Yezidi women captive.”
And this is what made him reject what he wanted from their orders and directives. Indeed by God Almighty he did not submit to any of their orders except not to appear in releases! But also he was irritated by that, as he liked to hear his name in transmissions and broadcasts and become gleeful- like al-Jowlani- when his name or group were mentioned. And there is no power or force except in God.
Even supposing he is a person of knowledge and has become a sea in ‘Ilm, it is not more preferable for him to seek to increase it? Has he been capable of what the Prophets were not capable of? The Exalted Lord urged on His trusted Messenger, for the Almighty and Exalted said: “And do not hasten in reciting the Qur’an before its revelation to you is complete. And say: ‘My Lord, increase me in knowledge.'”[lxii]
Ibn Kathir said: “That is, supply me with knowledge from you. Ibn Ainiya (may God have mercy on him) said: SAWS continued to seek to increase his knowledge until God- Almighty and Exalted is He- brought about his death.”[lxiii]
Ibn al-Qayyim (may God have mercy on him) said: “And He was content with this in honour of knowledge: that He ordered His Prophet to ask Him to increase it.”[lxiv]
And in the story of the Kalim Allah Moses (prayers and peace be upon him) as narrated in the Noble Qur’an, when he desired more knowledge for himself, he undertook the depression and hardship of travel, God said speaking about his Kalim: “From this journey of ours we have suffered much fatigue.”[lxv]
From Qatada who said: “If anyone were to be content with anything from knowledge Moses- peace be upon him- would have been content, but he said: “Will I follow you on the basis that you teach me what you have been taught in guidance?”[lxvi]
Ibn al-Jawzi (may God have mercy on him) said: “The best of things is to increase in knowledge: for the one who confines himself to what he knows and thinks it is sufficient becomes tyrannical in his opinion, and his self-glorification becomes an obstacle to benefiting…and perhaps he was glorified in the minds of others so no one dared to respond to him.”[lxvii]
And this is the state of affairs al-Sheikawi has reached: tyranny in opinion, not accepting that he is in error, and self-glorification, as he thinks all he says is right, and that the truth is known through him. And if he were to abandon his self-glorification, the youth of the writers would render their opinion to him, and their truthfulness would become clear to him.
Instead he has gotten to the point where he resents that citizens should become enlightened with knowledge, for he would say: “The uncouth ignorant obedient one among me is more dear to me than the student of ‘Ilm and the bold reciter of the Qur’an.”
And this is what tyrants like him prefer: it is not hidden to him, however stupid they may be, that they cannot be tyrannical and monopolize unless the citizens remain ignorant, collapsing into the darkness of ignorance and blind labyrinth.
Second Study: His Issuing of Fatwas
Islam has opened the door of ijtihad on its panels, for whosoever fulfills the criteria of a mujtahid, and among the most important are:
– Knowing the language, grammar and purity.
– Knowing the principles of fiqh
– al-Nasikh and al-Mansukh in the Book and Sunna.
– Knowing the state of narrators for the hadith, and distinguish the authentic from the weak.
But al-Sheikawi lacks all these qualities, and when he was called by the nickname of imam he reckoned that he deserved the nickname so he turned away from the demand, and loathed to write or mention his name after any occasion unless following it with this nickname, so thus the nickname has become a conceit by which he deceives himself.
And if only he were content with that, but he has reclined on the sofa and couch display, and has issued fatwas, and in a message by him in which he condemned those who contravened him in the “Ansar al-Muslimeen fi Bilad al-Sudan” group, he said that he had fulfilled the criteria of mufti, and reached the stage of ijtihad whereby he can now write “I have said” on any Shari’i issue.
Had he written that about the presence of its criteria in him, and taken the nickname because he was suitable and deserved it, the matter would be insignificant, but the opposite is true, for how does the eagle arise without wings!
And despite his lack of knowledge, he was strongly insistent on being called by this nickname in every gathering. He said on the same say responding to his adversaries: “I am an imam even for prayer”!!
Indeed he becomes enraged if anyone disavows that and he considers that a crime worthy of death, as when he killed the commander Abu Hanifa Mujahid al-Ansari.
So he has given opinions without qualification to do so, like the one who eats without things hanging in front,[lxviii] for he has fabricated lies about God without knowledge, so he has gone astray and misled many from the straight path. Indeed, and by my Lord, the removal of a mountain from its place is less significant than this, for it is among the most dangerous matters in God’s religion. Indeed it is that in which there is no necessity in the religion of God, Almighty and Exalted is He.
The Almighty has said: “Say: ‘Indeed my Lord has forbidden immoralities both open and hidden: sin, oppression without right, and associating with God that for which He did not bring down authority, and saying about God that which you do not now.”[lxix]
The Messenger of God (SAWS) said: “Indeed God does not take knowledge by snatching it away from His servants, but rather he takes knowledge by taking away the ‘ulama, such that if He does not preserve a knowledgeable one, the people adopt ignorant heads, so they are asked and give opinions without knowledge, so they go astray and mislead.”[lxx]
Thus: he was asked one day- while we were attending- about the ruling of the divorcee before the spouse cohabits with her. Does she perform ‘idda or not? He said: “God has required her to perform ‘idda for the presence of a clear verse showing that, but wait until I review the issue for the ‘ulama disagree about it”!!!
We do not know what verse he means, but if it is the one in Surat al-Ahzab, it shows the opposite of his fatwa, and if it is said that he has been wrong or mistaken, why does he slander the ‘ulama? Who of our just predecessors dares to overstep a clear verse showing a ruling then say its opposite?
In addition: he was asked about a man who has married four women. He divorces one of them in a non-irrevocable divorce and wants to marry another fourth woman. Must he wait for the ‘idda of the divorced woman? He smiled, laughing, and said: “Is he the divorced such that he must wait ‘idda? No. He has nothing on him, but rather he can get married even an hour after divorcing her!!!”
Also: he was asked about a woman whom her husband divorces in a non-irrevocable manner, then he dies before she entire ‘idda is finished, so does she complete the ‘idda of divorce or does she perform the ‘idda of death? He said: “No, rather she completes her first ‘idda, and I do not know of a disagreement of the ‘ulama in this”!!!
And these are all farces that we attended, and if you were to ask me to provide more I would provide you with more of this kind, and if I were to go and count and investigate them, we would blacken big sheets of paper. But let us suffice in that we wanted that the people should know that this Imam of theirs issued pronouncements on matters for which he has no competence.
And among their theories that they have contrived:
– al-Sheikawi thinks it is allowed to have a multiplicity of imams, by analogy with the Mamluk state, the Abbasid Caliphate in al-Sham and the Umayyad Caliphate in Andalusia, and the ‘ulama did not condemn them for that despite the fact that there were brilliant ‘ulama in that age, and he brought together a message about the issue and called it “Doubt about the Abode of Islam” and on this basis he is keen to call himself “Imam.”
– That there is no Shura in Islam unless the Imam demands it, for God Almighty’s words: “And consult with them on the matter.” And it is not “and consult with him,” bur rather it is the citizens’ right to advise him only, for his words “and for the Imams of the Muslims.” And advising the Imams is not sound except through God said or the Messenger said, and there is no space for opinion in that.
– That there is no endurance among Muslims for harm to each other, but rather conciliation, and if that is not pleasing, then blood money should be paid for friendliness, on account of the Almighty’s words: “And conciliate among yourselves.” As for endurance, it is over the harm of the disbelievers, for the Almighty’s words: “Endure what they say.” Ibn Abd al-Wahhab: “Enduring the harm in it.”
– The one fearing the one besides God is not a Muslim at all, on account of God Almighty’s words: “So do not fear them and fear me if you are believers.” So if he makes lack of fear of one besides Him as part of the soundness of the conditions of faith, he has pursued this.
– The one who does something and desires material worldliness through it or in it is a disbelieving idolater, for the Almighty’s words: “The one who desires the immediate, We will hasten for him from it what We will for whom We intend, then We have made Hell for him, in which he will burn, condemned and banished.” So the mujahid, if he goes out for raiding and desires war spoils, is a kafir!
– The one who envies something from the property of the Bayt Mal al-Muslimeen, Islam orders for him to be killed, if possible by one shot. I have not found their evidence for this!
Third Study: Taqlid In His View
It is condemned altogether, even taqlid of the Companions (may God be pleased with them), as he would say: “Don’t say to me: Abu Bakr or Omar said. But rather say to me: Abu Bakr said on the authority of the Messenger of God.” He cites the words of Ibn Taymiyya: “If you claim, then you must have evidence, and if you transmit, it must be sound.” And likewise the words of Ibn Abbas: “I say to you: God said, the Messenger said. And you say: Abu Bakr said and Omar said. A meteor from heaven may strike you.”
This is a diminishment of the rank of the Companions, and this proof of his is a misinterpretation of it, for the reason Ibn Abbas issued this pronouncement of his is one thing, and what these people have taken it to mean is another thing.
Ibn Abbas said this because he gave an opinion with a prophetic hadith so they opposed him with sayings of the two Companions, so he was angry at their rejection of the hadith of the Messenger of God (SAWS) through the words of those two. And this is well-known among the Ahl al-Sunna: that it is not right to adopt the words of a Companion if it opposes a saying or deed established on the authority of the Messenger of God. Imam al-Shafi’i said: “The ‘ulama have agreed that the one to whom the Sunna of the Messenger of God (SAWS) has become clear is not allowed to pass over it for the words of anyone else.”
This is what Ibn Abbas meant, as for these people, they have denied ijtihad on the authority of Abu Bakr or Omar whether or not it contravenes the text, and they have forbidden transmitting their traces based on them whether right or wrong. This is what is understood from the meaning of their words, and this is what al-Sheikawi means exactly.
For he does not have any idea of what is its transmission on the authority of the ‘ulama of the predecessors even for support and consideration, for he is disgusted at hearing transmission from them as he considers that to be following that which God did not bring down, and worshipping the ‘ulama. So this book of ours, which we have furnished with transmission from the ‘ulama, will only make him more averse to the truth.
Subhanullah! The people have thought they have disregarded the ‘ulama by their memorizing some dozens of hadith, and their knowing of the Ajrumiya, and they hae thought that they are thus capable of ijtihad, without having any link with the mothers of the books of principles, fiqh and tafsir, and without recourse and reliance on the words of the predecessors from the Companions and Followers, so they have fallen into morasses of ignorance, and have fallen into countless inconsistencies, and God is the One whose help is to be sought. And there is no power or force except in God.
Second Section: That The Principles In The People Is Kufr
And among the marks of their ignorance of the religion and its principles is that they have adopted this ugly pronouncement, and disgraceful doctrine, saying that “The principle in the people is kufr” on the basis of what they consider to be the lack of opposition of the people against their rulers who oblige the people to resort to arbitration by man-made laws, and they think that this is sufficient to show they are content with what their rulers have done in legislating without God, and that the conclusion from this is that they are loyal to their rulers, and thus kufr, for the Almighty’s words: “If they believed in God and the Prophet and what was revealed to him, they would not take them as awliya”- al-Ma’ida 81.
And the adoption of the rulers as awliya’ only suffices in showing open following, and the understanding of following among them is not just support through deed, but also it is abandoning opposition which in their view is evidence of acceptance and contentment. So if the people don’t oppose and disavow the implementation of the ruling of man-made laws, this is sufficient evidence in their view of their contentment, and that they are therefore disbelievers, and this is the principle among them. So they have deduced to deal with the inhabitants of the abode of kufr and permit as fair game their blood, wealth and property on this basis that they have established as the principle.
If it were the case that they had been sound in this interpretation, the deduction would have been sound, and they would have kept us from the provisions of responding and writing. And this innovation was not previously found in the field of adjudication, so what made al-Sheikawi adopt this innovation? To find out the answer, keep reading.
The Circumstances In Which This Idea Was Established
The Ahl al-‘Ilm disagreed in the ruling on making captive the female apostate according to two lines of pronouncement, but the Islamic State- God make it mighty- leans towards the saying of the majority that the female apostate only has the option of Islam or the sword, according to the saying of the Prophet (SAWS): “Whoso changes his religion, kill him.” And his words: “Indeed the women are siblings of men.” So the apostate woman has been judged as the apostate: Islam or the sword!
On this basis the Dawla has obliged its soldiers and walis in all the wilayas- including Abu Bakr al-Sheikawi- and they had to obey even if someone among them disagreed.
But al-Sheikawi is another story, unlike the rest of the walis, for he took captive the women of the apostates in the land he conquered, especially in the towns of Bama and Baqa, and he took some of them as concubines and others as mothers of children, so the order was a subsequent obstacle, and he realized that he would differentiate between his mistresses and concubines, but he found no way to avoid that except by innovation in God’s religion, so he strove in being despotic to be rid of this matter, and here spread the greater disease from the fever.
In trying to be rid of the matter, al-Sheikawi said: “He has held you back in implementing the second pronouncement of the Ahl al-‘Ilm.” For it was said to him: ‘You are obliged to obey the Caliph and follow his order by not taking captive the women of the apostates even if you disagree in opinion on them. Otherwise you are rebelling against God by your rebellion against the order of your Imam.”
For if the Imam or his deputy deal in something on which the ijtihads disagree in accordance with one of the considered pronouncements, no one can contravene what that person has done, and the matter proceeds as agreed on.
Ibn Taymiyya: “If the issue is one of those of ijtihad in which disagreement has spread, it is not for anyone to condemn the Imam or his deputy who has ruled or the one besides him, and there is not to be contravention of what the Imam and his deputies have done from that.”[lxxi]
Then his excess increased as his blindness and following of whims without guidance became evident, and his disgrace was uncovered and his evil became apparent, for he wanted to revive something of his dignity, by evasion of course and not recourse to the truth, for he devised a strange stratagem, saying: “God has ordered me to take captives and kept blame away from me, saying: ‘And those who guard their private parts, except from their wives or those whom their right hands possess, they are not blamed. But those who seek beyond that are the transgressors.’ Thus has my Lord ordered me, then an Arab orders me to contravene the order of my Lord in taking captives and forbids it to me, so who is more right to obey? God or the ‘Caliph’?!!
And also he wanted to prolong his wrong, not having regard for what that had directed him, despite the truth that was its concern, so he came out with this innovation and said that the principle among them is kufr, and that he took original disbelieving women as captives.
And that was through fraudulence and allusion as is his manner, and the stances that he began to derive from his innovation, and from this idea of his were expounded in truth two stances that we attended and heard.
– The first stance: which occurred to him by bringing forth this idea. One day a brother quarreled with one of the students of al-Sheikawi, regarding the kufr of Muhammadu Buhari- the Taghut of Nigeria: was he an original disbeliever or a murtadd? So the student went to his sheikh and informed him about the dispute that happened between him and the brother, so al-Sheikawi arose raging and thundering, and raised his voice saying: “Disbeliever! Disbeliever! By God a disbeliever! Disbeliever.” So the people gathered around him- of course the people of his centre and we were in attendance- and he began with idle talk and bleating for a period of around two hours, building one and destroying another, making an argument at one moment and then contradicting it in another, until he drew the following result as a conclusion:
That the principle regarding Muhammad Buhari, Ja’afar Mahmoud Adam and other noteworthy names of those who claim affiliation to Islam, is that they are original disbelievers. And he said- and the recording of it is available and published: “The one who asserts the apostasy of Bukhari from Islam is a disbeliever. Yes, asserting that they are apostates is not allowed. They are not apostates but rather original disbelievers.”
– The other stance: one day when we finished one of the midday prayers- I forget whether it was afternoon or noon- and he turned his face to us and said: “There is a question I want to test you with, and this is Sunna as you know: what is the ruling on us as we were born in the abode of kufr after the fall of the state of Othman bin Fudio?
One of his Shari’is responded to him- Malim Shari, who appeared in the allegiance release and then appeared similarly in its violation- saying: “We were born from apostate fathers because they were content with the rule of democracy, and we are a branch derived from the principle of disbelieving apostate people, so the principle in us is kufr.” Al-Sheikawi said: “This is right. Our fathers became disbelievers after the fall of the state of Ibn Fodio, and we were born and raised in kufr, so the principle in us is kufr.”
The response to this:
This innovation is what the extremist Khawarij of the age have devised, and al-Sheikawi has agreed with them in that. The reviver Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani- may God have mercy on him- said: “The affirmation that the principle in the people is kufr is among the innovations of the Khawarij of the age, and the Dawla disavows this assertion, and from its creed and manhaj and what it professes to God: is that the Ahl al-Sunna populace in Iraq and al-Sham are Muslims. We do not declare takfir on anyone except the one whose apostasy is established among us through Shari’i lines of evidence. The certainty of evidence is the certain of proof.”
And the response to these people will be from multiple angles:
– The first angle: Their pronouncement of the apostasy of the Muslims after the fall of the Islamic state in Bilad al-Sudan at the hands of the occupiers, who did not leave the land except after they made the religion absent, and hindered its programs of ‘Ilm, and replaced them with what they deposited from their fatal poison that they spread among the Muslims, like their foreign schools that teach in the sciences what contradicts the Hanif law.
If they mean that the Muslims apostasised after this, this is recklessness divorced from the truth, and its assertion is a blatant falsehood. It has not been transmitted on anyone’s authority that the Muslims have fallen into mass apostasy as those who harbour these ideas think. In fact many have continued to oppose them and despise their western ideas, as opposition to the colonists was learnt from most of the ‘ulama of al-Zawaya and the students of ‘Ilm, and they are the ones who called the schools by the name of ‘Boko’: that is, condemned ideas. This is what has been transmitted to us by multiple lines of corroboration that cannot be denied.
So if that is established: there is nothing left for these Khawarij except for them to assert that they have become disbelievers because they do not show hostility to these Tawagheet, for their lack of opposition to their rulers who oblige the people to resort to man-made laws for arbitration, and they have not fought them or opposed them at least.
And also…even if they do not show their hostility to them, showing hostility is not a condition for a person’s Islam if he disavows them in his soul and hates them on the inside.
As Sheikh Abd al-Latif Al Sheikh- may God have mercy on him- responded when asked about the one under the authority of the idolaters, who knows tawheed and practises it, but does not show hostility to them or separate from them?
He said: “The issue of showing enmity is not an issue of the presence of enmity: so the first is to be excused if one is incapable and afraid, as the Almighty said: “Unless you fear them.” The second- the presence of enmity- is a necessity because it pertains to disbelief in the Taghut.”[lxxii]
And we will discuss this in detail in a study of the takfir of those who dwell in the abode of kufr, God willing.[lxxiii]
And when it was decided among the predecessors that the pronouncement- “If the ruler is a disbeliever, the subjects are disbelievers, the absent among them and the witness”- is the pronouncement of the people of extremism, al-baihasia and al-awfiya of the Khawari, and only the one who is on moving on their path says it, of those who have deviated from the middle path: we have learnt that the kufr of the rulers and their apostasy do not make the subjects apostates, let alone implanting kufr as the principle among them, and refuge is to be sought in God. So it has become clear to us that the disbelievers’ seizing of a land does not make its people disbelievers, and does not implant kufr as principle among their sons because of the lengthening of times and succession of fate over their ruler of that land. So the heretical Fatimids who occupied the land of the Maghreb and took hold of it for around two centuries: it has not been transmitted from the predecessors that there was takfir of the inhabitants of their abode or implanting of kufr as principle on their sons, but rather they sufficed with the pronouncement that only by their kufr are they disbelievers.
Ibn Taghti Baradi says, reporting on the condition of Obeid Allah al-Qadah and his descendants: “Then he went on to become king of the Maghreb and the Bani al-Mahdiya and he took on the name of al-Mahdi: and he was an evil heretic, an enemy of Islam, and this was so from the first of their state till their last, and that was from Dhu al-Hijja 299 AH until 567 AH.”
Ibn Kathir says about them: “This ruler in Egypt: he and his predecessors are immoral disbelievers, corrupt, heretics, deviants, impeding and rejecting Islam, and adopting the madhhab of Zoroastrianism and idolatry. They have hindered the hudud and made permissible the private parts, they have declared wine halal and spilt blood, blasphemed the prophets, cursed the predecessors and claimed divinity.”
So look you muftis, look at these Fatimids. Despite the fact that they committed the nullifiers and fell into acts of wrongdoing one after another, did the Ahl al-‘Ilm declare against the inhabitants of their abode what you declare against the inhabitants of the abode of Islam on which kufr has fallen through its occupation by the Crusaders?!
In fact there were many ‘ulama, jurists and just people in the Fatimids’ state, among them were the ones who lay hidden, unable to show their creed among the Bani Obaid, not even to narrate a hadith of the Messenger of God (SAWS) in fear of being killed, as the memoriser Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Sa’id al-Habal, the companion of Abd al-Ghanni bin Sa’id, said that he refrained from narrating the hadith in fear that they would kill him.
– The second angle: His pronouncement: “We are a branch of origin of apostate disbelieving people, so the principle in us is kufr.” This contravenes what the predecessors held, as the sons of the apostate in their view are categorised according to the apostasy of the parents, from entering into the elections or supporting the disbelievers against the Muslims, and from changing their madhhab from the Sunna to a madhhab of kufr like the Rafidite, or moving away from Islam to another belief system.
*** The first type: that the parents apostasise by committing a nullifier of Islam particular to them like blaspheming God Almighty, or supporting the disbelievers against the Muslims and the like[lxxiv]: their sons are Muslims in principle, as they claim affiliation to Islam and the predominant thought is that their sons are raised on Islam.
On the authority of Abu Huraira: that he said: the Messenger of God (SAWS) said: “Someone born is only born on fitra, so his parents are the ones that make him a Jew, Christian and Zoroastrian as beasts produce their young whole. Do you see in them any deficiency?” Then Abu Huraira said: “The fitra of God on which men have been created.”
Thus Imam al-Nawawi said about the one whose parents fall into apostasy: “As for the apostate’s son, if he is separated, or was conceived before the apostasy, he is a Muslim, even if the woman apostasised while pregnant, the son is not judged through apostasy.”[lxxv]
***Second type: that the parents apostasise by committing one of the nullifiers of Islam with their adoption of a madhhab and way, like the Rafidite Shi’a, and heresy and the like that they have adopted as a madhhab, so their sons are apostates in the majority opinion as their sons are raised on that.
Imam al-Qarafi said: “And all born to an apostate after his apostasy [which he has adopted as a madhhab] are judged as apostates.”[lxxvi]
The ‘alama Suleiman al-Bujjairami al-Shafi’i said: “And this defines true apostasy. As for the apostate’s son conceived in apostasy, he is an apostate in ruling, as Islam is not cut off from him.”
***The third type: the parents apostasise by converting to a new religion like Judaism or Christianity, so their sons are original disbelievers.
Imam al-Zarkashi said: “They are to pay jizya, for they were born to two disbelievers, and the ruling of Islam did not previously apply to them, so they are to pay the jizya as children of disbelievers at war [from the people of the Book].”
It becomes clear to us from this division that the one whose father apostasises by supporting the disbelievers against the Muslims, does not tarnish his children with disbelief as a result of being offspring, let alone implanting original disbelief in them.
And the apostate in the view of the Ahl al-Sunna is of two types: the one who embraces Islam outwardly and inwardly and then commits one of its nullifiers, so he is an actual apostate, because he has cut off Islam or gone back on it, and the one who embraces Islam outwardly then nullifies it or claims affiliation with Islam and then commits what nullifies it, so he is an apostate in ruling, as he did not disavow kufr originally.
The Maktab al-Buhuth wa al-Dirasat in the state of the Caliphate has said in commenting on the words of Imam Ibn Abi al-Izz al-Hanafi- may God have mercy on him- when he said: ‘And here are issues on which the jurists have spoken: the one who prayers but does not profess the two shahadas, or fulfils something besides that from the particulars of Islam but does not profess the two shahadas: if he a Muslim or not? And the truth is that he is a Muslim in all that is from the particulars of Islam.’
The office said in commentary: “Thus know that all who profess affiliation with Islam and carry out what nullifies it are apostates, so the sects claiming affiliation with Islam like the Shi’a sects: they are apostates and not original disbelievers, and we have not found a transmission from an imam of the imams of the predecessors who called the one claiming affiliation with Islam and falling into kufr an original disbeliever.”[lxxvii]
What shows their odiousness and narrow-mindedness, is that they besiege themselves and tighten the noose on them, for if we were to concede to him that the principle in them is kufr, they must be judged in their Islam by the mere fact that they profess the shahada or do some of the particulars of Islam, as Ibn Abi al-Izz mentioned in his words cited above, and one must refrain from killing them even if they profess Islam after gaining power over them by the consensus of the Ahl al-‘Ilm. Ibn Hajar (may God have mercy on him) said: “If the prisoner professes Islam, the punishment of killing vanishes by agreement, and whether he becomes a slave or remains free, there are two opinions for the ‘ulama.”[lxxviii]
And this is the opposite of the apostate who commits ridda mughladha, for he is to be killed even if he repents so long as his repentance comes after gaining power over him, on account of the general principle of the words of the one upon whom be prayers and peace: “Whoso changes his religion, kill him.” And we will explain the words about this at the end of the study.
So if that is established, let us suppose that the people of Barnawa are all original disbelievers, but they have professed the two shahadas in the call to prayer and establishment of prayer, so one must leave them be in this case and they are not to be targeted until they show the contrary of that, and the one who targets them, God and His Messenger are innocent of him, and the story of Khalid in Jadhima and the innocence of the Prophet (SAWS) from what he did is not far removed from us.
And on the authority of al-Meqdad bn al-Aswad, that he informed him, that he said: “Oh Messenger of God, have you seen that I found a man from the disbelievers who fought me, struck off one of my hands, then sought refuge away from me by a tree and said: ‘I have submitted to God.’ So do I kill him oh Messenger of God after he has said this?” The Messenger of God (SAWS) said: “Don’t kill him.” So I said: Oh Messenger of God, he cut off my hand. The Messenger of God (SAWS) said: “Don’t kill him, for if you kill him, he will be in your position before killing him, and you will be in his position before saying the words that he said.”[lxxix]
So from this we understand that it is not allowed to target them or try to attack them in operations in the mosques so long as they are original disbelievers on this basis, regardless of what they did to the Muslims from killing and transgression before professing the word of Tawheed, so whoever shows us Islam, we accept it from him and leave him be until he shows the opposite. This is what God has obligated on us.
The Almighty said: “And do not say to the one who gives you the greeting of salam.”[lxxx] Imam al-Qurtubi said on the tafsir of the verse: “If the Muslim encounters the disbeliever with no pact on him, it is allowed to kill him, but if he says there is no deity but God, it is not allowed to kill him, because he has clung to the bond of Islam that makes his blood, wealth and family sacrosanct, so if he kills him after that, he is to be killed for it, as these people are not to be killed since they have come into the fold of Islam and this is so even if he said it seeking to be safe from and out of fear of weapons, and the one who clings was made to say it seeking safety, for the Prophet (SAWS) said that he is one who clings regardless of why he says it, and therefore he said to Osama: “It is not for you to tear out his heart to know whether he said it or not”- narrated by Muslim. That is, can you see whether he is truthful or lying in his words? That is not possible, so it is only possible to go by what his tongue professes, and this is an important part of jurisprudence: that is, rulings are applied by presumptions and what is open, not on the basis of cutting out and reviewing the inner secrets.”[lxxxi]
Thus we understand from the words of al-Qurtubi- may God have mercy on him- that we cannot refrain from ruling by Islam on the one who shows us Islam, and if someone kills him deliberately the punishment of qisas is to be applied to him, and if he did so accidentally blood money is to be paid.
Thus we deal with those who claim affiliation with Islam and do not show us a nullifier, whether in the abode of Islam or abode of kufr, and as for the one who adopts a nullifier that is well in evidence, like al-Qaburiya and the Rafidite creed, democracy and other nullifiers, and we have clear proofs of that like the one we see dressed in the dress of the army or police or one of the other apparatuses of the apostate government that others besides them do not wear, we judge him by his kufr and apply to him the rulings of the apostate at the time and we target him.
For the sacrosanctity of blood, wealth and other things from the rulings God entrusted us with are one thing whle the religious ruling on which success in the Hereafter and attainment in Paradise are based is another thing. This must be understood and considered, and that is through considering the words of the ‘ulama
For the Muslims from the perspective of ruling are two types: a true Muslim and a Muslim in ruling. For the Muslim I ruling is the one who has contracted Islam- i.e. the two shahadas- or professed affiliation with Islam or displayed something from its open rituals, so we rule for this person in Islam and apply to him the rulings of Islam in this world, even if he harbours kufr inwardly while displaying Islam outwardly.
And the true Muslim is the one who believes openly and inwardly, and applies the conditions of there is no deity but God and avoids its nullifiers, and he is a Muslim in truth in this world and the Hereafter.
The Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya- may God have mercy on him- said: “The open acceptance of Islam requires that the open rulings of Islam be applied to the person who does as such, like the sacrosanctity of blood, wealth, marriage, inheritance, and so forth and this suffices for him merely by open profession even if it is not known what is in the person’s interior, as SAWS said: “So if they say it, they obtain from me sacrosanctity of their blood and wealth except what is held against them and their reckoning is upon God.” And he said: “I have not been ordered to inspect the hearts of people or tear out their insides.” Thus the disbeliever is fought until he professes Islam or gives jizya so he will be compelled to one of the two. And the one who said the jizya should not be taken from an idolater said that he is to be fought until he professes Islam and as for the faith inside, that is what saves one from the punishment of God in the Hereafter, but it only suffices for him to profess outwardly. Indeed the man may well be a hypocrite despite his outward Islam, and in the time of the Messenger of God (SAWS) there were hypocrites and God Almighty mentioned them in the Qur’an in more than one place, and the Exalted distinguished between the believers and the hypocrites in another place.”[lxxxii]
So this is the principles of the Ahl al-Sunna and this is the authentic religion of God but these heretical people have committed the likes of this wondrous inconsistency through their ignorance of the religion and its principles, then they claim that they are the strongest of the people in hatred of kufr and deanthropomorphising Islam from the idea that an apostate professing affiliation with it was not sound in Islam from the outset.
As that rabbi of theirs said in responding to the brothers: “I am stronger in defiance and hatred of kufr than they are. They assert apostasy merely by claiming affiliation with Islam, and the Qur’an says: “Oh you who believe, whoso of you apostasises from his religion.” And these people, since did they believe while neither fulfilling the conditions of Islam nor refraining from its nullifiers?!”
They have reckoned that characterizing the man with kufr and implanting it in him as principle is the severest and strongest of ruling against him, and this is profound ignorance, and they have violated the words of the predecessors on that.
The Sheikh of Islam said: “And the Sunna has established that the punishment of the apostate is greater than the punishment of the original disbeliever from multiple angles, including that the apostate is to be killed in every case and is not to have jizya imposed on him, and he is not to have dhimma contracted for him, unlike the original disbeliever who is not from the people of war, for he is not to be killed in the view of most of the ‘ulama like Abu Hanifa, Malek and Hamad, and therefore the madhhab of the majority has been that the apostate is to be killed as per the madhhab of Malek, al-Shafi’i and Ahmad, and among that is that the apostate does not inherit, nor does he have the right to marriage and the meat he slaughters is not to be eaten, unlike the original disbeliever to the contrary of that from the rulings.”[lxxxiii]
Here it becomes clear that they do not realize this impertinence of theirs as they try to make us overlook for the apostates many rulings and references beneath the original disbeliever, and what the Sheikh of Islam said is what we entrust to God, and this is the authentic manhaj, and the straight path, on which the Messenger of God (SAWS) and his companions were, and by God no one contravenes this except the one who goes astray and deviates from the Hanif religion, and his faulty understand blinds him to the purity of the knowledge and correct faith, as he desires to arbitrariness in program to provide evidence for his falsehood through distortion. This is the case with these people.
Moreover, from their wondrous frivolity and inconsistencies! They have not sought the repentance of anyone or asked him to profess the two shahadas if he comes desiring to join them despite the fact they make kufr the principle among them! Or maybe by just joining the convoy of al-Sheikawi it is Islam, and separating from it is kufr and error! Otherwise how can we explain that kufr is generalized on the people and implanted in them as principle, then we see the one who joins their convoy is dealt with as the muhajir and not the one who repents! So God is the One whose help is to be sought on the basis of their characterization!
Third Section: The Bases By Which He Declares Takfir
Takfir is a ruling clarified and dependent on a feature, and this feature must be proven with Shari’i evidence, and will not be realized against the one judged as such unless there are present in him the conditions that necessitate his kufr and have negated obections that might prevent takfir of him. And no one contravenes that except the one whose soul has been made to drink the proposition of the extremists and has followed the paths of the Khawarij.
But for the group of al-Sheikawi there are bases by which they declare takfir on the people in addition to the basis and nullifiers that the Imams of the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama’a implanted as principle.
For they have employed the swords of takfir and its tips against the Ummah of Muhammad (SAWS), and they have not distinguished between its pious and immoral, so they have declared takfir by presumptive inferences and conjectures, without proper observances of the regulations and objections that the Ahl al-‘Ilm have established, and there is no power or force except in God.
The Sheikh of Islam said: “The proposition that is disbelief in the Book, the Sunna and the consensus is said to be kufr beyond doubt, as proven by Shari’i lines of evidence for that, for faith is from the rulings received from God and His Messenger. And that is not that in which people judge on the basis of their thoughts and whims. And it is must not be that every person who has said that is to be judged as a disbeliever until the conditions of takfir are proven against him, and its objections are negated…”[lxxxiv]
First Study: Citing As Evidence Condemned Acts and Great Sins For Takfir
We say here out of fairness and not to be impartial: al-Sheikawi’s group have not asserted the kufr of the one who commits the great sin frankly as their predecessors adopted. Note that their leader has fallen into multiple great sins, like lying, deception and betrayal- and we will explain that subsequently God willing- but they do declare takfir on the basis of some of the great sins and deal with the one who commits them as an apostate, and nothing is more indicative of that than the fact that he buried the commanders he killed without the janazah, as I was informed by those who participated in the burial of the two commanders Mustafa and Kaka al-Hajj. As for the story of the killing of Abi Anisa, it is not hidden.
Examples of that as follows:
al-Sheikawi, in a recording of him responding to those of the soldiers of the Dawla who disagreed with him, said: “How can you assert the Islam of the one who likes football and steals and enters the cinema to watch films?”
And one of his students who issued the fatwa said: “The kufr of the inhabitants of the abode of kufr is not only embodied in the lack of hijra, but rather is compounded in their abandoning of many of the rituals of Islam in following the command of the Tawagheet, like the jalabib that God ordered the believing women to wear, on the grounds that the Tawagheet will not allow them to do so, so this is a contravention of God’s command and obeying of the Tawagheet, and that is kufr.”
And this conduct of theirs is contrary to the path that the group was on previously in the time of Sheikh Abu Yusuf- may God accept him- for he would make clear in his words that he avoided exposure to takfir unless a nullifier were added to the sins, and that it suffices to forbid the deed and warn against it in the event that the person committing it does not commit a nullifier, as that man- may God accept him- did so in his study of Ibn Kathir’s tafsir, concerning God Almighty’s words: “And do not bow to the oppressors, for the fire will touch you.”[lxxxv]
He- may God accept him- said in his summary:
“The enemies of the religion have goals in their broadcasting of films and displaying of sporting games, for their intention is not entertainment and bringing joy into the spectators’ souls. You enjoy and take entertainment out of watching horse racing and killing of someone, diverted from the true intention of your enemies in that.
In ball games they have put a means of gaining sympathies for the disbelieving enemies of God, as they make the Muslim youth like and support the disbelieving player, taking their names, adopting their dress and hanging photos of them in their rooms. This is the highest of their aspirations. As for their programs and films, in them they disseminate what makes the Muslim hate Islam and glorify idols.
And that is so by the fact they show a man they choose as the leader of a criminal gang and claim that he is Muslim, lowering his beard and dressed as a Muslim, undertaking the most barbaric crimes and abhorrent condemned acts from killing, forced displacement and burning of houses. Then they show the star of this film, an idolater who worships idols, and they show that leader killing the star’s father and mother and burning their home, and he may take a youth prisoner, violate him and inflict torture on him, then years later this child arises and intends to take revenge on that oppressor so he goes an idol of his and calls on it and implores it, and here lies the secret! As you sympathize with this immoral disbeliever and hope that this idol will respond to him, or shed a tear of pity for him! Yes, do not rule it out, for this happens, and this is the enigma of their goal from issuing those films. Beware, oh Muslim youth, and be warned, and do not turn to those who have oppressed, for the fire will touch you”- may God have mercy on him.
Consider the words of the sheikh- may God accept him- for he did not declared takfir on the one who watches the football match simply for that reason, but rather he tied kufr to loyalties to the disbelieving player. So the fact the women don’t wear the jilbab, and the lack of hijra, and pursuit of football and other such things: these are acts of disobedience alone, and not kufr, and none of the Muslims is to have takfir declared on them by simply doing an act of disobedience unless he deems it halal, for on the authority of Abdullah bin Shaqiq who said: “The Companions of the Messenger of God (SAWS) did not consider abandoning any of the deeds to be kufr except prayer.” So it has been transmitted from the Companions that they did not see kufr in abandoning some of the rituals except prayer. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (may God have mercy on him) said: “We do not declare takfir on any of the Muslims for a sin except abandoning prayer.”
And this is well-known from the creed of the Ahl al-Sunna: that they do not declare takfir on the one who commits the great sin for the sin until he deems it halal, and it does not reach in their view to the point of kufr.
The Almighty has said: “God does not forgive ascribing a partner to Him and He forgives whom He wills for something besides that.”[lxxxvi]
The Messenger of God (SAWS) said while narrating on the authority of His Lord (Almighty and Exalted is He): “….Oh son of Adam, were you to come to Me with an earth load of sins and encounter Me while associating nothing with Me, I would match it with an earthload of forgiveness.”[lxxxvii]
There is no doubt here that these two lines of evidence blow away the edifice of the one who declares takfir through the great sin.
But there are innovations that may reach the point of kufr, new innovations, the misfortunes of innovations in the religion that may reach kufr, because innovation is the mail of kufr. And as for sins themselves, even great ones, and even if he has deliberately done them, he is not to have takfir declared on him, but rather he is not to have takfir declared on him so long as he acknowledges that they are sins and forbidden. For example, the fornicator and eater of pork is not to have takfir declared on him so long as he acknowledges that it is a sin and forbidden, and likewise with other sins that do not reach the point of kufr, unless he believes they are halal so he is thus a disbeliever, for the one who deems the forbidden sin permissible is a disbeliever even if he does not do it.
Those who disagree with this are the Mu’tazilites who make the sinner neither a believer nor a disbeliever, and the Khawarij who make the sin kufr.
Second Study: Takfir By Residence In The Abode Of Kufr
Although this study deserves its own independent section and elaboration, we have nonetheless placed it here as we made it a condition not to weigh down the book and prolong it, and therefore we will suffice with showing his words then responding to them in general unless we need to explain in detail.
Displaying his words:
al-Sheikawi said in a recording of his responding to the soldiers of the Dawla who asserted the Islam of the masses of the Ahl al-Sunna wherever they are provided they did not commit one of Islam’s nullifiers:
“If man is a Sunni muwahhid who has not associated partners with God, and also does not let down his garment, and does not slacken from worship, indeed even if the enumeration of his breaths are all in worship, if he is in the abode of kufr and does not show his hostility to them, he is a disbeliever.”
And he said in another recording responding to the Dawla: “Asserting the Islam of the one who does not show his hostility to the Taghut or does not wage war on him is contrary to the Book and Sunna.”
And he said in another recording responding to one of the students of ‘Ilm who said to him in a discussion: Do we declare takfir on all those who come out from here to the abode of kufr? He said: “Yes.” The brother said to him: Don’t we inquire on the reason he went out, so that we may know whether he left out of oppression that befell him so he feared he would be oppressed and killing so he fled by himself, then we judge him according to his state, as the Ibn Hazam asserted that it is permissible: i.e. to flee to the abode of kufr for fear of oppression?
al-Sheikawi said: “Listen, Ibn Hazam did not say that, and whatever the reason is for his going, he is a disbeliever. And there is no excuse in fear. The Almighty said: “Do not fear them, and fear me if you are believers.” So fear of one besides Him means negating the condition, so he is a disbeliever, and whatever the reason for why he went out, he is a disbeliever.”
al-Sheikawi is unhinged in his tyranny in order for his theory to be faultless to him, hastening to defend against whatever condemnation will be stirred against him, for he has slipped away from his concession of the Islam of those residing in the abode of kufr that he and his sheikh- Sheikh Abu Yusuf- had granted as he described them as the slain of the Muslims. He said: “We did not know that we had fallen into kufr when we were in “Ibn Taymiyya” as we considered the Islam of those who were killed from Plateau and Kafanchan and Lagos and other places from those who claimed Islam, but it is innocent of them.”
This by God is exactly the opinion of the Khawarij, for al-Ash’ari- may God have mercy on him- mentioned about one of the sects of the Khawarij. He said: “The al-Azariqa have claimed that whoever resides in the abode of kufr is a disbeliever, which cannot be removed except by going out.”
To refute these doubts, we say: we do not deny the obligation of hijra from the abode of kufr to the abode of Islam, and that residency in the abode of kufr and the lack of hijra from it is a very great act of disobedience and the one who commits it deserves the torment of the fire as the Almighty said: “Those on whom the angels bring death oppress themselves. When they say to them: “Why were you so?”” They say: “We were oppressed in the land.” They say: “Was not the earth of God wide enough for you to migrate in it?” For those people, their abode will be Hell, and evil it is as a destination.”[lxxxviii]
But it does not follow from the kufr of the land and its rulers and systems that there is to be takfir of those under its rule and those who reside there, and the spread of kufr and removal of the ruling of Islam from an abode do not necessitate the ruling by apostasy of the one who resides in it. Merely residing in the abode of kufr is not a nullifier by which Islam is nullified.
Imam al-Shawkani- may God have mercy on him- said: “Know that objecting to mention of the abode of Islam and the abode of kufr is of very little benefit: that is, in ruling on their inhabitants, for what we have presented to you in talking about the abode of war, and that for the disbeliever at war, his blood and wealth are permissible to be targeted in every state of affairs, so long as he is not a believer from among the Muslims, whereas the wealth and blood of the Muslim are sacrosanct by the bond of Islam in the abode of war and other places.”[lxxxix]
And that is because the foundational principle has been decided in that the “the principle is that one remains as one was,” so the principle in the Muslim is that his Islam remains above every land, and under every sky, so long as he does not commit one of the nullifiers of Islam, and what has been established with certainty is not raised except with decisive evidence and is not ruled except by its removal of all doubt.
Otherwise, the content of the Almighty’s words would be objectionable and have no benefit: “Oh you who believe, when you go forth in the path of God, investigate.”[xc]That is, if there were no Muslim in the abode of war- as per their claim- it would not be necessary to establish and consider the state of those the believers encounter in the abode of kufr, and this is contrary to the meaning of the verse, and necessitates that the revelation of this verse is frivolous, and frivolity is refused in the right of God Almighty, so the reason for its revelation makes clear to us the falsity of their claim and falsehood of their doubt.
On the authority of Ibn Abbas who said: the Messenger of God (SAWS) sent a squadron including al-Meqdad bin al-Aswad so when they became to the people, they found that they had separated but a man of much wealth remained who did not leave. He said: I bear witness that there is no deity but God. Al-Meqdad made for him and killed him, so a man of his companions said to him: Did you kill a man who bore witness that there is no deity but God? By God I will mention that to the Prophet (SAWS) so when they came to the Messenger of God (SAWS) they said: Oh Messenger of God, a man bore witness that there is no deity but God but al-Meqdad killed him. So he said: Call al-Meqdad to me. He said: Oh Meqdad, did you kill a man saying there is no deity but God, so how is it for you without a deity but God tomorrow? He said: for God- Almighty and Exalted is He- brought down the verse, so the Messenger of God (SAWS) said to al-Meqdad: “A believing man would hide his faith with the disbelieving people so he showed his faith but you killed him, and likewise you were hiding your faith in Mecca before.”[xci]
And what must be realized as we establish the lack of takfir by merely residing in the abode of war or going to it, is that it is not the case that every person residing or going to the abode of kufr is safe from kufr, as the Imams- may God have mercy on them- established in their books, for Sheikh Ahmad bin Atiq- may God have mercy on him- divided the circumstances of the residents of the abode of kufr into three types, and here they are:
1. That he lives among them out of desire and choosing their companionship, so he is pleased with or praises them for their religious condition, or he pleases them by shaming the Muslims, or he provides them with any type of support against the Muslims. This person is a disbeliever.
2. That he lives among them for the sake of wealth or family and does not show his religion despite his ability to do hijra, but he does not help them against the Muslims and is not loyal to them. So he is disobeying God by his abandoning of the hijra and residing in the land of kufr.
3. The one for whom it is not forbidden to reside among them, of two types:
. He shows his religion by disavowing them and their religion and he makes that clear to them, so this is showing the religion, which does not necessitate hijra with it.
. He resides among them oppressed, longing for the abode of Islam but not able to do so.
It will be observed from all this that the circumstances of the Muslims involved coming under the rule of the disbelieving conquerors, as in every age they conquered some of the abode of Islam. The circumstances of these Muslims differed between the oppressed, disdained one, the one adopting taqiyya, or a mujahid fulfilling the religion of God the Blessed and Almighty. The ‘ulama did not attach the label of kufr to anyone of these people so long as they did not adopt any of the nullifiers of Islam or open causes of kufr, so concealing the faith, not showing enmity, and residing in the abode of war do not by themselves take one outside the path unless there is added to them one of the nullifiers of Islam, like the one who supports the disbelievers or apostates, or shows loyalty to them or becomes of the people of their state and rule of disbelief.
Ibn al-Qayyim- may God have mercy on him- said regarding the Almighty’s words- “Were it not for believing men and women whom you did not know, you might trample them”-: “So these people concealed their faith among their people and cold not show it, and from these people was the believer of the Pharaoh’s family who concealed his faith, and among these also was al-Najashi for whom the Messenger of God (SAWS) prayed, for he was the king of the Christians in Abyssinia and he was a believer on the inside.”[xcii]
And these people, although they were in Mecca, God did not rule on them with kufr on the basis of the majority as the extremists do, and this also shows that they did not show their hostility to their disbelieving people.
And the texts that have come showing that are very numerous, including:
*** The words of the Almighty and Exalted: “And those who believe and have not migrated, there is nothing for you from guardianship of them until they migrate.”[xciii]
God here has brought together their characterization of them with faith and their abandoning of hijra, so the fact God describes them with faith negates its opposite, so we have learnt here that the Muslim is not a disbeliever simply because he has abandoned migration.
*** And the Almighty’s words: “And a believing man from Pharaoh’s family concealing his faith.”[xciv]
Ibn Kathir said: “This man was concealing his faith from the Egyptian people for he did not show it except on this day when the Pharaoh said- “Let me kill Moses and let him call on his Lord.” So the anger of God- Almighty and Exalted is He- took hold of the man.”[xcv]
And again it should be observed here that God described him as being of faith despite the fact he concealed his faith from his people, and concealing of faith requires lack of showing hostility to the Pharaoh and his people.
*** Imam Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab said: “On the Almighty’s words: “Oh my servants who believe, My Earth is wide, so worship Me alone.”[xcvi] Imam al-Baghawi- may God have mercy on him- said: the reason for the revelation of this verse lies in the Muslims who were in Mecca and had not migrated, so God called on them in the name of faith.”[xcvii]
This needs no further comment or explanation, for the stubborn denier will not withstand before these words except by distorting and mocking the words of God.
*** The Almighty said: “The believers do not take the disbelievers as allies besides the believers. And whoso does that, that is not from God in anything except that you beware of them in prudence.”[xcviii]
Imam al-Tabari said: “Except that you beware of them in prudence- except that you should be under their authority so you fear for yourselves at their hands, so you show them loyalty by your tongues and inwardly you harbour hostility to them.”
And Suleiman bin Abdullah said: “Except that you beware of them in prudence- i.e. that the man should be under their conquest and cannot be hostile to them, so he shows them allegiance while his heart is filled with hatred and hostility, awaiting for the obstruction to be removed, so if it vanishes he returns to hostility and hatred.”[xcix]
And as for the mastur al-hal in the incidental abode of kufr: whereby we don’t know his Islam from his kufr, if we take it by what is in the open, God will take responsibility for the inward secrets, so if he shows to us the rituals of Islam or shows some of the particulars of the Muslims like adoption of their dress or we find a Qur’an in his pocket, we judge by his Islam and it is not permitted to declare takfir on him so long as he does not show us a nullifier, and as for whether he is truthful in his interior or not, we have nothing to do with holding them to account for it, but rather God- Almighty and Exalted is He, the knower of the unseen- will be their reckoner, and He has only entrusted us to take into account what is open, and we have not been ordered to pull out hearts and examine inner creeds.
Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab said: “But the one who shows Islam and we think that he has committed a nullifier, we do not declare takfir on him by thought, because certainty does not arise from thought, and likewise we do not declare takfir on the one from whom we do not know kufr because of a nullifier mentioned about him and which we have not verified.”[c]
We appropriately conclude this matter with a section from a fatwa of the Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya- may God have mercy on him- about the well-known locality of Mardin. He- may God have mercy on him- said about it: “Praise be to God, the blood and wealth of the Muslims are sacrosanct whether they are in Mardin or elsewhere…and it is not allowed to curse them as masses and charge them with hypocrisy, but rather cursing and charging wth hypocrisy depend on the features mentioned in the Book and the Sunna so some of the people of Mardin and others come under them, and as for the mere fact that it is the abode of war or peace is incidental. In it are two meanings: it is not in the position of the abode of peace on which the rulings Islam are applied because its soldiers are Muslims, nor is it in the position of the abode of war whose people are disbelievers, but rather it is a third type in which the Muslim is dealt with as he deserved and the one outside the Shari’a of Islam is fought as he deserves.”[ci]
And we will suffice to this extent, for it is enough for the one who has a heart or can hear and is witness, and Jahiza has cut the words of every suitor, and the tongue of every stubborn objector has been cut, and in his face the doors of quarrel have been closed, and God has sufficed the believers with the fighting.
And the one who wants further explanation, let him consult the inner parts of the books of the Ahl al-‘Ilm, and the “series of ‘llm in clarifying issues of manhaj” that was published by Idha’at al-Bayan is not far removed from us. And we advise the brothers to benefit from it: for it is exceptionally valuable and useful in its own right.
As for his words: “No excuse in fear.” What does he say about the Almighty’s words reporting on His two prophets Harun and Moses: “The two said: ‘Our Lord, we fear that he will hasten punishment on us or will transgress.”
Imam al-Qurtubi said: and this verse responds to whoso says he is not afraid, as fear of the enemies is the Sunna of God among His Prophets and allies with their knowledge and trust of Him, and al-Basri- may God have mercy on him- was right when he said to the informer on the authority of Aamer bin Abdullah- that while with his companions on the al-Sham route he came across water, but the lion was in the way between them and the water, but Aamer came to the water and took his need from it, so it was said to him: You put yourself at risk. He said: for the tips in my belly to differ is more dear to me than God knowing that I fear something besides Him. Al-Hassan said: The one who was better than Aamer was afraid: Mousa- peace and prayers be upon him- when the man said to him: “The rulers are conspiring to kill you, so get out. I am among those who advise you. So he got out, fearful and anticipating.”
And He said: “For in the city he became fearful, anticipating.” And He said when He cast the spell on their ropes and staffs: “For Moses sensed fear inside him. We said: Don’t be afraid, you are the superior.”
The ‘ulama have said: the one who claims about himself the opposite of what God has imprinted as nature in the souls of men is a liar, and He has made it natural for them to flee from what harms them, pains them and troubles them.[cii]
Third Study: Nationality Card
As for the nationality and other ID cards, I will say frankly about the extent of how fierce the disagreement about them has become: for the matter has led to the takfir and killing of the one who does not declare takfir on the bearer of them, as happened with Sheikh Abu al-Abbas Bana Bola Shiri al-Bankawi when he issued a fatwa permitting them to be taken out for the one who wants to travel freely in the lands of the Tawagheet. Even if this is not the sole reason for his killing, it is the straw that broke the camel’s back when it was added to the buried resentment against him, and God is the One whose help is to be sought.
We directed a request for opinion about this matter to the al-Buhuth wa al-Dirasat Commission in the Islamic State, so it came decisively by God’s grace and power and astonished the contraveners who were obstinate against God and made pronouncements by what He did not bring down as authority among them, and judging against people by kufr without decisive evidence, and here is the question and the fatwa.
Question about the Card
Our question today is about the ruling on taking out the nationality card in the land ruled by man-made laws, for the brothers disagree on the matter such as to require review.
Some thing that it constitutes allegiance to the homeland, affiliation with the disbelieving government, contentment with what Sykes-Picot did to the land of the Muslims and acknowledging its borders, and it points to al-wala’ and al-bara’, as God Exalted is He in His Lotftiness said: “And whoso of you gives allegiance to them is of them.”
But the other side considers it a means of survey only, defining the number of inhabitants belonging to a specific geographic area, and it does not mean affiliation with the government but rather affiliation with the land in which man was born, and it has been known from the ‘ulama of the predecessors the one who is called al-Iraqi, al-Shami, al-Masri and al-Andalusi, and we find in the books of the hadith what is known by the chain of transmission of al-Shamiyin and al-Hijaziyin.
Then these people suggested a question: if it is kufr and idolatry how can it be allowed for the muhajir in a remote land far away from the land of Islam like American for example, as he cannot leave without it, for how can he bear it. So if you say it is permissible in the likes of this case, is he compelled to commit kufr? And if you say it is not allowed, how will he migrate? Or will he remain in the land of kufr on the grounds that he is oppressed? The Shari’i officials have been unable to settle this matter, so give us a fatwa oh noble ones, may God reward you for good and may God reward you best.
Wilayat Gharb Afriqiya.
Wednesday, 18 Sha’aban 1437 AH.
In God is success, on Him is al-taklan, and there is no power or force except in Him, the Exalted in His Loftiness. We do not think that taking out these cards and other ID documents that have spread in the lands over which the Tawagheet have become dominant necessitates allegiance to the Taghut, contentment with him, supporting him and loyalty to him.
For the Tawagheet do not require under their authority that the general oppressed masses should swear to support them and be loyal to them in exchange for obtaining these cards and documents, but rather this is requires from the one who is not under their authority in exchange for obtaining the ‘nationality’ of the land, like the Nigerian who ‘obtains American nationality’, for he is required to disavow every state and entity except the U.S. and support the American constitution and law against every internal and external enemy and to be devoted and loyal to America and its constitution and to bear arms when that is required of him in defence of the U.S. etc. So there is no doubt about the kufr of this oath and its likes.
The Exalted and Almighty has said: “And whoso of you gives loyalty to them is one of them.” And He has said: “Have you not considered the hypocrites who say to their disbelieving brothers from the People of the Book: if you are expelled, we will surely go out with you, and we will not obey anyone with regards to you, ever, and if you are fought, we will surely support you. And God bears witness that they are liars.”
So God- Exalted and Almighty is He- has noted the brotherhood between the hypocrites of al-Madina and the disbelievers of the people of the Book as these hypocrites promised to support these disbelievers against the Prophet (SAWS) despite the fact the hypocrites broke their promises.
As for the Nigerian who takes out the personal Nigerian ID card so that the executive authorities don’t imprison him, we don’t know a reason to declare takfir on him except by false inferences from what God brought down as authority, contrary to the reality: and is the owner of the card pledging to kufr to obtain it as the newly ‘naturalized’ person does? We do not know of this in any of the lands, and the one who proclaims takfir through this is obliged to proclaim takfir on whoever has been affiliated with the lands of the disbelievers and their peoples from past centuries, as the one who was affiliated with the Persians, Romans, Abyssinians and others, and refuge is to be sought in God.
We expect that the distinction between the newly ‘naturalized’ person and taking out cards and documents that are used to prove a person’s identity in settlement and travel will have become clear.
As for the last question, it is built on the preceding. We say: it is not allowed to proclaim or do kufr except out of compulsion. The Exalted and Almighty has said: “Except the one who has compelled and his heart is filled with faith.” And this is a consensus without disagreement, and travelling to the abode of Islam has nothing to do with compulsion, but what we know is that taking out personal ID cards and passports don’t include clear kufr, unlike the ‘naturalization’ process, and the muhajir affiliated with any land need not undergo ‘naturalization’ to take out a passport, for the Tawagheet give passports to the oppressed masses under their authority without obliging them to undergo the ‘naturalization’ process, but rather they oblige the ‘foreigner’ from outside to do that.
This is so, and God knows best, and God’s blessings and peace be upon the Messenger, the honest, trusted Prophet, and his wives and good, pure descendants.
Yes, and God knows best, because He is above every knowledgeable one but by God’s grace and granting of success He has been healing the hearts, and refuting the doubts of the immoral ones, for they are their worn wodden post, and their propped up vine, and I will not allow anyone to tell me I have not understood this matter now, and to dispute it after this response that closed every door of quarrel except the squeamishly foolish, and to God is praise due in the first and the last.
Fourth Section: Chain Takfir
In chain takfir, al-Sheikawi has two powerful crutches by which he pushes on the people, and by which he judges against them in groups and as individuals through kufr: and they are the excuse in ignorance, and the basis of “the one who does not declare takfir against the disbeliever or doubts his kufr is a disbeliever.” And we will discuss both of these issues in two studies. And we have presented them such that each one is separate as the rulings on the two are intertwined and resemble each other on the illness of the hearts and ignorance. So we will discuss them seeking help in God, asking Him for guidance and the right path.
First Study: Excuse in Ignorance
This is an issue on which people have disagreed, been stingy and quarrelled. For the mufrit the matter is an extremist who proclaims absolutely the lack of excuse on the matters of kufr, while the mufrit on the other end asserts excuse absolutely. Both of their words are reckless without truth, for the truth is in the middle between the two of them.
And this is the most important means for al-Sheikawi in takfir, for there is no excuse for anyone in this regard whom he has called a disbeliever to reside in the abode of war, or the one afraid or others besides those two, and the one excusing them or doubting their kufr is a disbeliever absolutely without distinction, as such a person has excuse the one who has no excuse in his favour, and likewise that person is also not to be excused and so one ad infinitum, and no one has been safe from that and has has compiled a book on the matter, filling it with the breaths of extremists who have composed books in support of their innovations.
Displaying his words:
al-Sheikawi says: “There is no excuse in ignorance for the one who commits kufr, whether ignorant, aware or mistaken.”
And he said to us one day- in words- when we intended to migrate and go out from his authority to another wilaya: “I know what impels you: no one contravenes me unless excuse in ignorance is at the head of what he disagrees with me about.” And it is by God as such.
Response to him:
To respond to him about this issue, let us define the term then begin to elaborate the issue through transmitting the words of the preeminent Ahl al-‘Ilm.
Ignorance: Conceiving of something as the opposite of what is, or not knowing about it beforehand.
Excuse: removing blame from the person who commits a condemned act that deserves blame and reprimand against him, as there exists a line of proof that prevents that.
And the term “excuse in ignorance” was not originally known by this name among the predecessors, but rather they called it the “proof of message”: so those of the committers of kufr on whom the proof of message had been established, they declared takfir on them, and those who had not had the proof of message established on them, they did not do so. As for the idolater, they called him by the name of shirk whether ignorant or knowledgeable, and in sum the issue is thus of three circumstances: what is excused, what is not excused in any case, and what is excuse in one case but not another, and we can summarise this as follows:
First: the principle of the religion: and thus what nullifies the complete meaning of the two shahadas:
i.e. Whereby the proof arises merely by understanding the two shahadas, and that is so as when one utters them then associates partners with God in worship, as when one mandates a law to which men have recourse, or elects someone to represent him in legislation. This is not to be excused in any circumstances except under compulsion, as it nullifies his shahada that no one has the right to delegate to him any act of worship except God alone- something that arises through giving himself or someone else besides him a position of the sovereignty of God (Almighty and Exalted is He), and the competency of managing men.
And since the proof is established by merely understanding the two shahadas and the committer of idolatry after uttering them is one of two people- either he understood the meaning of the two shahadas and did what nullifies them, so he is a true apostate, or he did not understand that in the meaning of the two shahadas do he did not fulfil the conditions of Islam from the outset and that is knowing their meaning in denial and conviction, so he is an apostate by ruling- we thus judge them in apostasy because they uttered the two shahadas and professed affiliation with Islam. We have mentioned this in a previous study.
So these people are not to be excused in any circumstance, whether they are ignorant or otherwise, by evidence of the Almighty’s words: “If one of the idolaters seeks your protection, grant it to him that he may hear the word of God.”[ciii]
For the one seeking protection in this verse has been called an idolater before he hears the word of God and the proof arises on him, because he turns away from his Lord to partners and idols whom his forefathers named for him, and He has established their ignorance in the verse with His words: that is because they are a people who do not know.
And al-Shawkani- may God have mercy on him- said: “The one who falls into kufr out of ignorance is not to be excused, because the proof has been established on all creation through the mission of Muhammad (SAWS), so whoso is ignorant is responsible for that himself, because of turning away from the Book and the Sunna, and if not, in them is the clear statement.”
And this classification is what the Sheikh of Islam- Ibn Taymiyya- means in his words: “And the name of idolatry is established before the message.”
And we affirm that there is no excuse for anyone in ignorance of this issue, which is from the principle of the religion of the Messengers, because it is among the necessary stable forms of knowledge in all innate natures and minds, and thus we know that whoever nullifies the principle of his religion is an idolater, but his torment in this world and the Hereafter depends on whether the proof of message has reached him.
Second: Open Issues: that is, well-known issues from the religion by necessity, and they are the open, corroborated obligations and taboos: like knowing that God is capable over everything and that the Qur’an is the word of God, the obligation of resorting to the law of God, the taboo of fornication and the taboo against killing and stealing and the like from open issues in which men have been entrusted and it is not forbidden to compromise on them.
So the one who believes that prayer is not obligatory on him for example, or the one who abandons it and was raised among the Muslims and knows that the Muslims do that regularly and build mosques for that purpose: this person is a disbeliever and is not to be considered if he claims ignorance, but rather he is in truth turning away from ‘Ilm, and turning away to this extent is one of the types of kufr.
So claiming ignorance is not be considered on turning away from knowing the truth and implementing it despite being capable of knowing it, such as: that he is informed that this action of his is kufr so he does not consider it carefully, or the Muslims see from the people of his land that they are agreed on doing something so he does not inquire.
For no one is to be excused for ignorance on this issue and its likes- that is, what is known from the religion by necessity- unless the person is newly converted to Islam or was raised in a desert far removed from the presence of the Ahl al-‘llm, so he did not know that they are among the most important issues among Muslims, and he did not know the ruling of God in them.
And on these people the Sheikh of Islam- may God have mercy on him- says: “But among the people, whoso is ignorant of some of these rulings out of ignorance is to be excused, so no one is to be judged in kufr until the proof is established on him through conveying of the message, as the Almighty has said: “So the people should not have a proof against God after the Messengers.” Therefore if a man converts to Islam, and does not know that prayer is obligatory on him or does not know that wine is forbidden, he is not to have takfir declared on him for lack of believing that this is obliged or this is forbidden, but rather he is also not to be punished until the Prophetic proof reaches him.”[civ]
Ibn Hazam- may God have mercy on him- says: “And there is no disagreement that a man who converts and does not know the rituals of Islam so believes that wine is permissible and that man does not have to pray, and the ruling of God Almighty has not reached him- he is not a disbeliever without the contrary being considered, until the proof is established on him, so persistence after that means that by consensus of the Ummah he is a disbeliever.”[cv]
And this classification: its ruling is as the ruling on the one who ordered his sons that if he should die, they should pulverize him and disperse half of him in the ground and his other half in the sea, as perhaps he went astray from God, as came in the hadith agreed on by al-Bukhari and Muslim in their transmission.
So his thought that God would not be capable over him if he was pulverized and scattered is kufr by consensus of the Ummah, so when God forgave him we knew that God excuses those who in their affairs are ignorant on account of their remoteness from the ‘ulama and their new conversion to Islam, and they are not to be judged in their kufr in His eyes, because he does not forgive idolatry and kufr except by clear repentance, and this person did not repent.
The Sheikh of Islam said: “I always used to mention the hadith in the two Sahih collections, for this is a man who doubted God’s capability and his resurrection if he was dispersed. Indeed he believed he would not be resurrected, and this is kufr by agreement of the Muslims, but he was ignorant and did not know that, and he was a believer who feared that God would punish him, but God forgave him for that.”[cvi]
Third: Hidden Issues: and they are issues the evidence for which may be hidden, like issues on the promise and the threat, and some of the issues of names and features, like revelation, vision, and the two hands of God and other issues that only particular people know, not the general masses.
And this happens even with the Companions when they doubt things like the Prophet’s vision of God, or hear words and don’t believe that they are from the Qur’an, as was the case with Omar (may God be pleased with him) and it is known that the one who doubts something from the Qur’an commits kufr, but this man was excused for the issued had eluded him, and other things were hidden to the Companions so they would ask the Messenger of God (SAWS).
So this makes as a condition of declaring takfir on such a person removing doubt from him and establishing the proof on him, and on this the Sheikh of Islam Ibn Taymiyya says[cvii]: “No one has the right to declare takfir on anyone from the Muslims- even if he is wrong and erroneous- until the proof is established on him, and the means is made to clear to him, and the one who establishes his Islam with certainty, that is not to be removed from him by doubt. Indeed it is only to be removed after the proof is established and the doubt is removed.”
And he said on the mujtahid who errs in his ijtihad: “And it is not that all who disagree on something of this doctrine will be doomed, for if the one who disputes makes an error in ijtihad, God will forgive his mistake, and it may be that the required knowledge on that issue to establish the proof for him did not reach him.”
Oh you who condemn the mistake in excuse, how many times did you trample on the Qur’an, or kick it with your foot, or it fell in your hand onto the ground and you did not realize? And how many times did you say a word of kufr in a state of anger or hoy? If you were to ask me, I would count them for you, but you are the most stubborn adversary, and you will not be content with that, but what do you say about the one who said when he found his riding camel: oh God, you are My servant and I am your Lord? For the Messenger of God said: “He erred from the intensity of joy.” And the hadith is corroborated and narrated by Muslim.
Ibn al-Qayyim said in ‘Alam al-Muwaqq’in[cviii]: “And it has been submitted that the one who said when he found his riding camel- oh God, you are My servant and I am your Lord- erred from the intensity of joy and thus is not to have takfir declared on him, even if he commits a clear act of kufr, as he did not intend it.”
Second Study: The Basis of “The One Who Does Not Declare Takfir On The Disbeliever Is A Disbeliever”
This basis is the second means by which he strikes, and he would ride this basis without observing its conditions and rulings, and in it he realizes whims in his soul, so he has gone astray and misled, so he has deserved shame and humiliation, for he has contravened the Ahl al-‘Ilm wa al-‘Amal, and he has shown disdain for the minds of the people of ignorance, so God is our reliance, and He suffices as guardian.
Showing his words:
There came in a statement of his in which he says in conclusion: “So the one who does not declare takfir on them or deems their madhhab correct or doubts their kufr is a disbeliever, for so long as the doubter is a disbeliever, the one who does not declare takfir on him or doubts his kufr is a disbeliever, and likewise the one who does not declare takfir on him until and even if their number is like goat hairs.”
And he said on another occasion: “Kufr: everyone who commits this is a disbeliever, and he is not to be excused even for a moment, so if you think that the moment is a long time, you are a disbeliever, and if you think I am too harsh in this, you are a disbeliever. And whoso doubts your kufr is a disbeliever, and so on and so forth…all of them are disbelievers. This is what I profess to God. I follow no one else on the face of the Earth in something besides this, and thus I ask to conclude my breaths, and this is the creed of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS).”[cix]
How wondrous!!! This by God contravenes all the difference of opinion on which the da’wa was built. For the father Sheikh- may God accept him- said in a statement of his: “The ruler who rules by these laws, his kufr is not kufr beneath kufr. Rather he is a disbeliever in the meaning of the word, and the one who works under them is a disbeliever. This is what we have understood, but if there is something that prevents us from specifying someone, it is the regulations of takfir. This is what we have adopted from the beginning of the da’wa, and it is well known that no one hesitates more from declaring takfir on the specific person at random more than I do. The students are sometimes extreme, so we summon them, and teach them that it is not to be specified until such and such is applied to him. And many people had come to me desiring to join me, and they would have discussions with me on takfir, but I would tell them I do not agree with your opinion on this so they would disperse, and likewise the people of extremism from ‘Jama’at Dar al-Islam’ came to me and had discussions with me and I went to them and had discussions with them on takfir, but we did not agree with them on declaring takfir on the masses of people, nor on specifying the individual at random. Indeed in the end they declared takfir on me.”[cx]
Response to them:
To respond and clarify the doubt that has descended on the masses regarding this issue, let us dive into the sea of the working Ahl al-‘Ilm, seeking guidance and light through the guidance God granted them and His lighting of the path through them for us, especially our sheikh Abu Malek al-Tamimi- may God accept him- for we take water from his pasture, and we plunge and sail in the efforts he expended to interpret this issue, and we come out with the precious of his breaths in explaining the basis. And we undertake some edits in what we have transmitted to be appropriate for our book.
We say and in God is success: this issue is very sensitive and we establish it as the Ahl al-‘Ilm established it, for a group of the Ahl al-‘Ilm- predecessors and successors- mentioned the ruling on the one who does not declare takfir on the disbeliever.
The judge Ayadh said: “We declare takfir on the one who does not declare takfir on the one who professes one of the creeds besides that of the Muslims, or on the one who stands in their kufr, or doubts, or deems their madhhab correct, even if he shows Islam from that, adopts it as creed and believes in the falsehood of every madhhab besides that, he is a disbeliever by the fact he has shown what he has shown from the contrary to all that.”[cxi]
al-Nawawi said: “The one who does not declare takfir on the one who professes non-Islam like the Christians, or doubts the takfir of them, or deems their madhhab correct, is a disbeliever.”[cxii]
And the reviver sheikh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab said: “The one who does not declare takfir on the idolaters, doubts their kufr or deems their madhhab correct is a disbeliever by consensus.”[cxiii]
But we note that this issue is not in absolutes, but rather it has a condition and cause by the presence of which takfir is declared and by the absence of which it is excused. For the ruling depends on its cause in presence or absence: and the cause is rejection and deeming to be false, not from the angle of nullifying the principle of the religion, but rather from the obligations of the religion that one knows by necessity. So the one who refrains from takfiring the one whom God and His Messenger have declared takfir on is a disbeliever for his rejection and opposition to God and His Messenger, and his declaring them to be liars, and his kufr is not as the one who has nullified the principle of the religion, and judging the people on this basis is divided into multiple types as the Ahl al-‘Ilm divided them.
First type: People for whom a clear precept text has come to declare takfir on them and these people are divided into two types, by sects and individuals:
For the individuals are like Pharaoh, Haman, Qaroon, Iblis, Abu Jahal and Abu Lahab, and others of those for whom the precept text has come to declare takfir as specific individuals.
And the sects are like the Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, atheists and worshippers of idols. So whoso refrains from declaring takfir against these people as specific individuals is a disbeliever, for his rejection of the precepts of Shari’a and his declaration that they are false. And all whom the proof of message has reached are not to be excused in ignorance for that, and the evidence for the kufr of such people is in ever verse that points to the kufr of the one who opposes and turns away from the ruling of God.
Ibn al-Wazir al-San’ani said: “And there is no doubt that the one who doubts the kufr of the worshipper of idols must have takfir declared on him and the one who does not declare takfir on him. And there is no reason for that except that his kufr is known from the religion by necessity.”[cxiv]
Second type: Words and deeds for which the text precept has come to declare takfir on those who do them, like slaughtering and calling for help in the name of one besides God in a matter that only God is capable of, and likewise resorting to arbitration and ruling by something besides what God has brought down.
For these deeds, the text precept has come clearly, ruling on the kufr of those who commit them, and the perpetrators of this type of kufr must be claiming affiliation with Islam, and on this basis the kufr is considered incidental on them, and the ruling on the one who refrains from declaring takfir on these people is divided into three types:
. That he refrains from takfir against them because what is considered a legitimate obstacle in law is present, like the one compelled to utter or do what is kufr, so this is outside the basis, and indeed the ruling goes against the one who declares takfir on him.
. The one who refrains from takfir against them because he does not admit in principle that what they have committed is kufr. E.g. He says that slaughtering to one besides God is permitted, or resorting to the arbitration of something besides what God has brought down is permitted! So the kufr of this person is not only because he did not declare takfir on the disbeliever, but also added to that is his objection to the clear precept against the deed, and his rejection of God’s ruling against the perpetrator.
. That he refrains from declaring takfir against the perpetrators of kufr from those who claim affiliation to Islam because there is an objection in his view whether it is considered legitimate in law or not, and this is the crux of the issues of this basis.
For this person admits that the deed is kufr, and as we have made clear that the anchors of takfir on this basis are objecting to and rejecting God’s ruling, this person who excuses has not rejected God’s ruling but there has appeared to him an obstacle that prevents him from declaring takfir against the person who commits that kufr, so the ruling is not attached to him and he is not to have takfir declared against him until his obstacle is reviewed.
For if the objection is considered legitimate in law, like ignorance of the open issues as per the one who is a new convert to Islam or was raised in a desert far away from the presence of the Ahl al-‘Ilm, for this excuser, the ruling is not appended to him and he is not to have takfir declared on him because the ruling in principle is kept away from being applied to the one judged as we have established in the study on excuse in ignorance.
And as for the one not considered legitimate in law, the proof is established on him, by verifying the applicability of the ruling of God against the committer of the deed, but if he insists and objects after that, he is appended to this basis and he is to have takfir declared on him because he did not declare takfir on the disbeliever after the establishment of the proof.
On this matter Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd al-Latif Al Sheikh commented when he was asked about the one who specifies some of the places like some of the stones that they believe that the one who stands on them in the day of 9 Dhu al-Hijja , his reward is like the one who stands on al-‘Arafa, and the like.
He- may God have mercy on him- responded: “This issue is like the one before it, because the one who specifies some of the places in worship or believes that one should stand on them during the Hajj, his kufr is not in doubt from the smell of the odour of Islam, and the one who doubts his kufr must have the proof established on him, with clear explanation that this is kufr and idolatry, and that adopting these stones is analogous to the rituals of God that God made the performance of to be worship of God. So if the proof is established on him and he insists, there is no doubt about his kufr.”
So we understand from the generalities of what we have mentioned that there is an open case in which the ruling on those who commit kufr becomes clear. Indeed their kufr is known from the religion by necessity, like the Jews and Christians, so the one who doubts their kufr or deems their madhhab correct is a disbeliever, and there are those whose open kufr is beneath that, so the secrecy of it is to be taken into account.
Therefore one must observe the openness and secrecy of the deed and doer in declaring takfir on the disbeliever, and therefore it is not the case that all who do not declare takfir on the disbeliever are disbelievers absolutely, but rather this is according to the type of issue.
In general, those who refrain from declaring takfir against the idolaters have degrees by which the force of the Shari’i evidence is impacted, and the openness or secrecy of the kufr or idolatry matters regardless of its intensity.
The reviver Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab, may God have mercy on him, said: “These Tawagheet, whom the people believe to be from the Ahl al-Kharaj and the like, are well-known for that in the particular and in general, and that they are suited to it and thus command the people: all of them are disbelievers who have apostasised from Islam, and the one who disputes that about them or condemns the one who declares takfir on them or claims that this deed of theirs, even if false, does not take them out to kufr: at the very least you can say that this disputer is gravely immoral. His line and testimony are not to be accepted, and one is not to pray behind him.”[cxv]
So consider the words of this imam: how he made circumstances for the one who refrains regarding these Tawagheet: the least of which is grave immorality. This confirms that there are differing circumstances and degrees for those who refrain regarding the idolaters.
And we note that all we have mentioned from rulings concerns the first excuser: the one who refrains from declaring takfir against the disbeliever, and the second excuser: the one who excuses the one who refrains from takfir against the disbeliever. As for the third excuser, who does not declare takfir on the one who refrains from takfir against the one who did not declare takfir on the disbeliever, kufr is not added to him by consensus of the Ahl al-Sunna, but rather they deem him to be gravely immoral. And the Mu’tazilites are the first to have declared otherwise.
Abu al-Mudhaffar al-Isfarayini said when he spoke about the Mardaya Mu’tazilites: that they asserted the kufr of the one who asserted the vision of God, and whoso doubts that person’s kufr is a disbeliever, and whoso doubts the kufr of the one who doubts his kufr is a disbeliever, and so on, and he said: “And all who engage in this sort of proposition are misguided, with no doubt about their kufr.”
Imam Abu al-Hassan al-Malati, speaking about these Mu’tazilites in summary, said: “The Mu’tazilites of Baghdad would declare takfir on all who did not believe in their erroneous principles and would declare takfir on all who doubted the kufr of those people, then they proceeded by chain series after this so they would declare takfir on the doubter of the doubter of the doubter of the doubter ad infinitum.”
As for the Mu’tazilites of Basra, they would declare takfir on the one who did not believe in their erroneous contrived principles, and whoso doubted that person’s kufr only, but they did not engage in a chain series of declarin takfir against the doubter of the doubter of the doubter of the doubter.
Thus Imam al-Malati said: “The pronouncement of the Mu’tazilites of Basra is better than the pronouncement of the Mu’tazilites of Baghdad”- and what he means by deeming them better is that the Mu’tazilites of Basra were less extremist than the Mu’tazilites of Baghdad, for the al-Mardaa Mu’tazilites of Baghdad on account of their extremism and partisanship, would declare takfir on the Mu’tazilites of Basra because they contravened some of their principles and disagreed with them, in addition to declaring takfir on others besides them from the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama’a.
So it has appeared in this that these followers of Shekau have no just precedent for transmitting their principles. We seek refuge in God from failure, and following whims and Satan.
Chapter Three: The Resulting Impacts and Their End
First Section: The Evil Fruits
Thanks be to God Almighty and Exalted is He, the most important and most dangerous of their doctrines have been exposed with investigation and exactness as far as possible, and the matter is worthy of attention and concern because of its great importance and the danger it poses to the one who speaks on it without knowledge.
As for the results and fruits that their evil doctrines have produced, they are many. In this section we will try to expose their yield from the barbarity of al-Sheikawi’s actions, his bad conduct and immorality if he opposes, then we will conclude this by expounding the story of the allegiance pledge and the subsequent removal and disavowal of him, and that will be in sections we will divide and discuss by God’s power and decree, and there is nothing in them- by God’s permission- except what is in the interest to discuss, pure or probable. And we will only mention what he used to mention in relation to the public interest, then we will reveal and expose the evil of the imam to his followers.
Sheikawi’s seizure of large parts of northeast Nigeria was merely what God chose for him, to see his work and to reveal to His servants his secret and expose him to the heads of witnesses.
And no sooner had he gained authority in the land than he strove to sow corruption and ruined the cultivation and animals, and he was in truth the one about whom the Exalted’s words are recited: “And among the people there is the one whose words impress you in this worldly life and calls God to bear witness what is in his heart, and yet he is truly vicious. And if he gains authority he strives in the land to sow corruption in it and ruin the cultivation and animals, and God does not love corruption.” And we fear for him this outcome if he does not repent from his transgression and return to His guidance.
And by God this is the way of the Khawarij, from Laden Dhu al-Thadiyain till this day of ours, whereby God does not let them conquer a land or gain authority over the necks of His servants without their tiring themselves in killing the Ahl al-Sunna and others besides them from those they consider to be disbelievers, and they have striven to wipe out creation and destroy the earth in so far as they can.
Imam Wahab bin Munbih said while advising Dhu Khowlan: “Do you not see, Dhu Khowlan, that I have comprehended the heart of Islam, for by God the Khawarij have not had a single group that God did not break up over the evil of their states of affairs, and not one of them displayed his words without God striking his neck, and nor have the Ummah gathered around a single man from the Khawarij. Had God enabled the Khawarij for their opinions, the land would have been corrupted, the paths cut and the Hajj cut from the Sacred House of God.” And he also said: “But God, by His ruling, knowledge and mercy, looked at this Ummah and thought well for it, so he brought them together and made their hearts conciliated on one man not from the Khawarij, for God prevented through him their blood from being shed and concealed through him their defects and the defects of their followers, and through him brought together their division, and through him secured their paths, and trough him warded off the enemy from the abode of the Muslims, and through him established their hudud, and through him was fair to their wronged one, and through him waged jihad against their oppressor: mercy from God, may God have mercy on them through it. God Almighty said in His Book: “Were it not that God keeps in check the people, some by means of others”; “and cling to God’s rope entirely” until it reached “you are guided.” And God Almighty said: “We support Our Messengers and those who believe” until “Surely I bear witness?” So where are they from this verse, for if they had been believers, they would have been supported.”
And this is the truth of what we have lived through in this land, for God- by His grace as the Almighty then by the honesty of the commanders who were with him- opened up the land for conquest to al-Sheikawi, and as soon as what was truly in his conscience came forth, and he killed the commanders openly, God broke his back and broke his force, and cut his root, and thus today he has despaired of life and the first signs of defeat have appeared in his statements.
First Study: Permitting the Blood of the Masses To Be Shed
Among the fruits they have produced by those dubious thoughts of theirs and their innovations is that they have got to the point of declaring takfir against the Muslims residing in the abode of kufr in general, and they have declared takfir on the Muslims by chain series, and they have made their blood, wealth and property permissible for targeting, whether or not kufr has appeared in them, but rather it merely suffices that they remain in the abode of kufr as a pretext to declare takfir on the without exception.
Displaying their words:
In a recording of his, al-Sheikawi said: “In my view the world is of two categories: either the man is with us [in our group], or I see him avoiding us so I kill him. This alone is my work now.”
And he said: “If you come out to fight my brothers, meet the village to fight and go thus: all you encounter before you, whether women, children and elderly, if mature of age, kill him, unless you are sure and convinced of his brotherhood with you, and if you don’t know him, let him know that he is the one who has committed a crime against himself, so kill him. Kill and destroy the lad and burn it.”
And he said in the “Black Book”: “Oh brothers! When you take up your arms, kill all you see, and do not leave anyone except the women and the elderly, and all you find, kill without compromise or dispute. I am the one who has ordered you. On The Day of Judgement, oh God, seize me for that.”[cxvi]
And he said: “When Our order came, we made the highest its lowest and rained upon it stones of hard-baked clay.” An entire locality! God uprooted it, raised it to the sky, turned it over and inverted it. Were there not children in it? Wasn’t there a pregnant woman in it? Wasn’t a small child in it? Ask God why He did that.”
The response to them:
First: we affirm that the religion of Islam is not content with fluctuation, nor with half solutions, and it does not accept compromises: either the believer or the disbeliever, and nothing in between the two. The Exalted has said: “We have guided him, either grateful or ungrateful.”[cxvii] And He said: “It is He who created you, for among you is a disbeliever and among you a believer.”
For there is no Islam in the one who is loyal to the enemies of God and friendly with them, not is there any Isla in the one who rejoices at the victory of the enemies of the religion over its people. This is what we believe in God’s religion and this is from the principle of al-wala’ and al-bara’. So either one is with the believers, loyal to and supporting them, or one is with the disbelievers. And no one is to be extreme in the religion or compromise on its essential bonds to flatter and please the disbelievers, unless one falls into clear error, and Islam is innocent of him, whoever he may be.
And from the soundness of Islam man is not obliged to go to the abode of Islam, for the believer is a believer in any land and under any sky as we have previously established, and the disbeliever is a disbeliever even if he is in the abode of Islam. As for what these people mean, it is targeting and making permissible to be targeted the blood of anyone who is not with them in their state whose area does not exceed 100km in length and width, in which military barracks and bases are adjacent to it, so whoso they find outside the areas of their control is in the firing range of their weapons, and they have deprived him of Islam just like that.
And I do not know how you can protect the whole Ummah which you want to enter with you into your jungle by force, and you, you of all people! You cannot even protect the dependents and offspring of your soldiers, let alone the masses who were with you. Plus, you don’t give your soldiers sufficient ammunition to repel the aggression unless when it comes incumbent on you and you are convinced that the enemy is at your threshold and their shots can reach you, not to mention giving the one of them who questions what shuts off his last breath. And to support that you invoke flimsy pretexts the extent of whose weakness are known by young and old.
Second: God- Almighty and Exalted is He- is the One who mandated jihad in his path, and has made permissible to us the blood of the sons of the One to whom He made the angels prostrate, when they have opposed and pursued the path of the one who made their parents slip and misled them. So one must beware of the blood of His servants, for among them the disappearance of the material world is easier in God’s eyes than spilling one’s blood, and it is well known among our jurists the Ahl al-Sunna, that the principle in bloodshed is prohibition, for not even the extent of a cup-glass should be spilt from it except through proof and evidence.
The Hanbalis have said: “The principle on bloodshed is prohibition except with the certainty of allowance.”[cxviii]
The Hanafis have said: “The Adamite is sacrosanct so that he may manage to bear the burdens of entrustments and the permitting him to be killed is an obstacle that has only been permitted to repel his evil.”[cxix]
So one must take care and beware of spilling sacrosanct blood, in accordance with the directives and guidance of the One who has permitted the shedding of blood. The Almighty has said: “Oh you who believe, heed God and the Messenger when he calls you to what gives you life.”[cxx]
And what He has guided us to is that when we conduct a raid in the land, we must be cautious regarding the one we counter and his matter to us is ambiguous until we are certain of it, for God did not send us to jihad and permit to us shedding the blood of His servants except that we might make His word supreme and get the servants out from worshipping one besides Him to worshipping Him, not for the mere sake of killing, plunder, burning and gratification.