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Enemy Insights III: After Anwar al-Awlaki
C&C Review Editors, 10/1/2011

Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical cleric and senior AQAP operative who was both a leading editorial voice and active contributor to Inspire magazine, was killed on September 30th in a U.S. drone strike in northern Yemen. He was a U.S. citizen, the first to be directly targeted for assassination by the United States since the War on Terror began. al-Awlaki was spiritual advisor to 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar in addition to several other jihadists who took aim at America -- including Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan, the would-be underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad. Before that he was an Imam in Colorado, California, and Washington D.C., and served as Muslim chaplain at George Washington University.

As the Wall Street Journal editorialized on October 1 ("Killing Awlaki"), "His sermons were cited as an inspiration by attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad. He said that 'jihad against America is binding upon myself, just as it is binding on every other able Muslim.' Now a Hellfire missile fired from an American drone somewhere over Yemen has brought Awlaki's career of incitement to an abrupt close." And in his September 30 ICSR Insight, research fellow Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens writes that the “demise of Anwar al-Awlaki, if reports of his death are accurate, represents a significant milestone in the fight against al-Qaeda. Despite his involvement with a number of both successful and abortive terrorist attacks against the West, it is Awlaki’s ability to project Salafi-jihadi ideology and mobilize Western Muslims through his sermons that has constituted his most potent threat” -- and even dead, his “corpus of work (much of it widely disseminated on the internet) may therefore remain a key tactical asset in the jihadist movement’s strategy of radicalizing and recruiting Western Muslims. Indeed, although he does not have the stature of some of his predecessors, it is worth noting that the works of jihadist thinkers such as Sayyid Qutb and Abdullah Azzam remain very relevant to modern jihadists.”

While it is still “too soon to tell what effect Awlaki’s reported death will have on the global jihad movement,” Meleagrou-Hitchens observes that as it “becomes an increasingly decentralized network, the movement has relied less upon charismatic leaders than it once did” and adds that “Awlaki’s influence has always been limited among jihadist actors in primary theaters of conflict – the Middle East and South Asia. The real significance of his death will be felt among his substantial following in the West for whom he convincingly argued about the necessity of jihad.”

As described by J.M. Berger in Foreign Policy's "Argument" section on September 30th ("Gone but Not Forgotten: Anwar al-Awlaki might be dead, but his legacy of hatred and radicalism will live on"): "Awlaki's exploits as a working terrorist are small potatoes compared with his impact as a personality, a storyteller, and a manipulator of minds. Before most Americans ever heard of Awlaki the terrorist, Muslim Americans were very familiar with Awlaki, the inspirational speaker. Over the course of several years, Awlaki issued an incredible body of work that -- on the surface -- had little to do with terrorism or al Qaeda. His primary format was audio, where his compelling voice and personality could best serve his message. ... Awlaki took traditional Islamic sources and breathed life into them, transforming religious texts into gripping and emotional stories, often with substantial embellishment. He tailored his idiom and analogy to Western language and culture, but his most important skill was the ability to transform often skeletal sources into gripping tales."

As ICSR's Meleagrou-Hitchens describes, “Awlaki’s role in al-Qaeda and, more generally, within the global jihad movement was principally as an ideological cheerleader. He was not an operational commander in the way that Osama bin Laden or Atiyah Adbul-Rahman were, and will not therefore require direct replacement;” and, as “[f]ew English speaking preachers have the same background and following that Awlaki enjoyed over the last decade,” it remains “unlikely that a comparable replacement will emerge.” But as J.M.Berger cautions in the pages of FP, even if no replacement does emerge, the "ghostly voice of Anwar al-Awlaki will stream over the Internet for a very long time to come. We should not assume it will be any less persuasive just because he's dead."

Below, as an illustrative example of that "ghostly voice," is al-Awlaki's 2009 essay on "44 Ways to Support Jihad."

* * *

44 Ways to Support Jihad

“Jihad is the greatest deed in Islam and the salvation of the ummah is in practicing it. In times like these, when Muslim lands are occupied by the kuffar, when the jails of tyrants are full of Muslim POWs, when the rule of the law of Allah is absent from this world and when Islam is being attacked in order to uproot it, Jihad becomes obligatory on every Muslim. Jihad must be practiced by the child even if the parents refuse, by the wife even if the husband objects and by the one in debt even if the lender disagrees.”

“Dear brothers and sisters the issue is urgent since today our enemy is neither a nation nor a race. It is a system of kufr with global reach. The kuffar today are conspiring against us like never before. So could we be heading towards the great battle between the Romans and the Muslims - Al Malhamah - which the Prophet (saaws) spoke about?”

“Again, the point needs to be stressed: Jihad today is obligatory on every capable Muslim. So as a Muslim who wants to please Allah it is your duty to find ways to practice it and support it. Following are 43 ways for the brothers and sisters to support Jihad fi sabeelillah:”

1. Having the right intention

“You must make the intentions of joining the ranks of the mujahideen. The Messenger of Allah says: ‘Whoever dies and has not fought or intended to fight has died on a branch of hypocrisy’ (Related by Muslim)” “A sign that an intention of a person is true is whether they are preparing for Jihad or not. Allah says: ‘And if they had intended to go forth, they would have prepared for it” (9:46). The conditions for Jihad al Dafi’ (the defensive Jihad) are five as stated by scholars such as Abu Qudamah: Islam, puberty, sanity, financial ability, and to be free of physical disabilities. If a person lacks the financial ability and doesn’t find anyone to finance him or suffers from an illness or a disability that excuses him from Jihad then a sign of the true intention of such a person is that he is sad that he is exempted from Jihad. Allah says about the ones who could not afford the expenses of joining in the battle of Tabuk: “Nor [is there blame] upon the those who, when they came to you that you might give them mounts, you said, ‘I can find nothing for you to ride upon.’ They turned back while there eyes overflowed with tears out of grief that they could not find something to spend [for the cause of Allah]’ (9-92)”

2. Praying to Allah to award you with martyrdom

“The Messenger (saaws) says: ‘Whoever sincerely asks Allah to award him with martyrdom would be given the rewards of martyrs even if he dies on his bed’ (Related by Muslim)”

“Asking Allah to die as a shaheed pleases Allah because it shows him that you are willing to give your life for him. But you need to be careful not to be merely paying lip service. A person who truly asks for shahadah would respond to the call of Jihad whenever he hears it and would eagerly search for death in the path of Allah.”

“The reason why the enemies of Allah succeeded in defeating some Muslims and taking over their land is because they have lost their love for martyrdom. The Messenger of Allah (saaws) says: Nations will attack you like a group of people eating from a plate. The sahabah said: ‘Is that because we will be few in numbers?” He said: ‘No, you will be numerous but you will be like the foam of the sea, and Allah will take away from the hearts of your enemies the fear from you and Allah will cast in your hearts ‘waha’ They said: ‘What is ‘wahan’ O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘The love of this world and the hatred of death’ (Related by Abu Dawud)”

“Our culture of martyrdom needs to be revived because the enemy of Allah fears nothing more than our love of death.”

3. Jihad with your wealth

“The financial Jihad has preceded the physical Jihad in every verse except one. This is to point out to us the importance of the Jihad of wealth because Jihad depends on it. In other words, no money no Jihad, and Jihad needs lots of it. That is why according to Al Qurtubi in his tafseer he states that the reward for money given as Sadaqah is multiplied by ten, but the reward for money spent in Jihad is multiplied by 700!”

“Allah says: ‘The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills’ (2:261)”

4. Fundraising for the mujahideen

“In addition to paying from your own money you should also encourage others to do the same. Rasulullah says: ‘The one who guides others towards a good deed would receive rewards equal to those who practice it.’ By fundraising for the mujahideen you are also fulfilling a sunnah of Rasulullah (saaws) which he would often practice before going out for a battle.”

5. Financing a Mujahid

“Rasulullah (saaws) says: ‘Whoever sponsors a fighter in the cause of Allah has fought’ (Majma’ al Zawa’id)”

“This includes all the expenses of the mujahid including his travel expenses. This gives a chance for the rich and the poor to receive the rewards of Jihad, the poor by fighting and the rich by sponsoring them.”

6. Taking care of the family of a Mujahid

“Taking care of the family of the mujahid could be by protecting them, tending to their needs, providing them with financial assistance and protecting their honor.”

“The Messenger of Allah (saaws) says:

  • “Anyone of you who takes care of the family and wealth of a mujahid will receive half the reward of the mujahid (Muslim)”
  • “The duty towards protecting the honor of the wives of the mujahideen on the ones who stay behind is like their duty towards protecting the honor of their mothers. If a person who stays behind promises to take care of the wife of a mujahid but then betrays him, on the Day of Judgment the mujahid will be told that this man betrayed you so take whatever you want from his good deeds. So he will take whatever he likes. (Muslim)”
  • “Whoever does not fight, sponsor a fighter, or take care of the family of a fighter, will be afflicted with a disaster before he dies. (Abu Dawud)”

“If a person fears for the safety of his family, Shaytan can take advantage of that and prevent that person from going to Jihad. Even if such a person disobeys Shaytan and does go to Jihad, Shaytan can come to him and weaken his heart by whispering to him about the loved ones he left behind. Therefore, taking care of the families of the mujahideen would help their morale and that is why Islam devoted this attention to taking care of the family and wealth of the mujahideen.”

7. Sponsoring the family of a shaheed

“The shaheed has fought for Islam and Muslims. He gave up his life for me and you. Therefore the families of the shaheeds need to be honored and served.”

“When Ja’far bin Abi Talib was killed in the battle of Mu’tah, the Messenger of Allah (saaws) told his wives: ‘Prepare food for the family of Ja’far because they are preoccupied with their affair’ and he visited Ja’far’s house. (Related by Abu Dawud and al-Tirmithi). Imam Ahmad narrates that when the Messenger of Allah received the news of the martyrdom of Ja’far he visited his house and asked Ja’far’s wife to bring the children. When they came to him he hugged them and kissed them while his eyes were shedding tears. Asma – the wife of Ja’far – said: ‘I asked the Messenger of Allah (saaws) if something has happened’ He said: ‘Yes, Ja’far was killed today’ Asma said: ‘When I heard that I started crying and screaming. Then the Messenger of Allah (saaws) left and told his wives: ‘Don’t forget to prepare food for the family of Ja’far because their affair has overwhelmed them’.”

“The children of the shaheed need to find in the men of the ummah the care of their father. The wife of the shaheed should be given the opportunity of remarrying if she has the desire to. This requires two cultural changes.”

“First: The Muslim society needs to change its negative view regarding the divorced and widowed woman. Unfortunately, today men avoid women who are divorcees or widows. This stigma attached to our divorced and widowed sisters needs to be overcome.”

“Second: The Muslim society today is very intolerant towards polygamy - which becomes a social necessity especially in times of war. So isn’t it unfair to deprive millions of Muslim sisters from the blessings of marriage?”

“No woman in the time of the sahabah was left without a husband - a partner who would take care of her psychological, physical and financial needs. When Ja’far died Abu Bakr married his wife and took care of her children.”

8. Sponsoring the families of the prisoners of war

“Taking care of the family of a prisoner is equal in reward to taking care of the family of a mujahid. It is extremely important for such a practice to become the norm so that in the future when our brothers go out in the path of Allah they would know that if they die or if they are captured their families would be taken care of.”

9. Paying your zakah to the mujahideen

“The distribution of zakah is restricted to eight categories: ‘Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler’ (9:60)”

“In the cause of Allah ‘fi sabeelillah’ refers to the mujahideen. The Maliki jurist Abu Bakr bin al Arabi states: ‘Malik says: ‘The causes of Allah are many, but there is no difference of opinion that ‘in the cause of Allah’ here (in the verse) refers to fighting’”

“Today not a lot of people pay their zakah to the mujahideen. But if Muslims would rid themselves from the whispering of Shaytan they would come to realize that the best way to spend their zakah nowadays is by giving it to the mujahideen because the Messenger of Allah (saaws) says: ‘Charity cannot be given to a wealthy person except in five situations’ The Messenger of Allah (saaws) listed one of them as: ‘The fighter in the cause of Allah’ (Related by Abu Dawud). Now if zakah can be paid to the mujahideen even if they are rich what about when the mujahideen of today fulfill four out of the eight categories of zakah: They are poor, they are in need, they are wayfarers and they are the ones in the cause of Allah! So pay your zakah to the mujahideen and encourage others also.”

10. Contributing to the medical needs of the mujahideen

“The mujahideen are in great need of any medical assistance they can get. They need physicians, they need hospitals and clinics that would open their doors to them and they need medicine. There are hundreds of thousands of Muslim physicians and nevertheless we hear many stories of injured mujahideen who suffered from simple wounds but because of the absence of medical help they had to suffer in agony until they died. Those Muslims who studied medicine and claim that they are doing it for the sake of Allah and to benefit the Muslims, we say to them: Where are you?”

“It is said that Khattaab - the great Muslim commander in Chechnya - was injured in a battle and his brothers found no Muslim doctor to take care of him so they had to take him to the Red Cross and have them treat him under gun point!”

“Muslim health care workers have a great responsibility and their contribution to Jihad is indispensable. In fact their rewards could be even greater than those of the fighters.”

11. Providing Moral support and encouragement for the mujahideen

“When the mujahideen hear Imams making dua for them, scholars giving fatwas supporting them and the Muslim masses praising them, this boosts their moral and gives them the strength to carry on. However, we find that many Muslims betray their brothers by speaking against them. We see scholars issuing fatwas in support of the apostate governments in their fight against the mujahideen. One should not underestimate the detrimental effect such betrayal has on the mujahideen.”

12. Defending the mujahideen and standing up for them

“The Messenger of Allah (saaws) says: ‘Whoever protects the reputation of his brother, Allah will protect his face from Hell Fire on the Day of Judgment’ (Related by al irmithi)”

“He also says: ‘Any person who betrays a Muslim whose sanctity is being violated and reputation is being dishonored, Allah will betray him when he is in need of help and any person who protects a Muslim whose sanctity is being violated and reputation is being

“It is therefore our Islamic duty to stand up for the ones who are defending us and our religion. As a rule of thumb, we should never side by word or deed against our brothers in Islam especially the ones who have given up their lives for Islam and we should never side by word or deed with the disbelievers who are the enemies of our most beloved, Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala. And if one cannot speak the truth then at least they should remain silent.”

13. Fighting the lies of the Western Media

“The perceptions of many Muslims are formed by the Western media. Allah says: ‘O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one (fasiq) with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful’ (49:6) So what about when the news is coming from a kafir rather than a fasiq?!”

“The danger of the Western media stems from the fact that it puts on the cloak of truth and objectivity when in reality it is no more than the mouthpiece of the devil. Can’t you see that the Western media is constantly trying to underplay the atrocities committed by the West while exaggerating the violations – which are few and far in between - committed by Muslims? Can’t you see how the Western media succeeded in presenting the awlyaa’ (friends) of Allah, the ones who are fighting in His cause, as the followers of evil, while it presents the Pharaoh of this day and his armies as the army of good? The Western media is so good in its deception that its lies pass on a wide section of the Muslim ummah.”

“The fact is that this media demonizes the mujahideen, spreads lies about them, blows out of proportion their mistakes, tries to sow the seeds of disunity amongst them, attempts to ruin the reputations of their leaders, and ignores or demonizes the scholars of truth when on the other hand, it glorifies and promotes the scholars of falsehood.”

“So my dear brothers and sisters part of your duty is to campaign amongst Muslims to raise their awareness regarding this issue. You should encourage them to be careful and critical of the Western media. A Muslim should not believe Western sources unless they are confirmed by a trustworthy Muslim one. I say a ‘trustworthy’ Muslim source because the verse was warning us from accepting the news of a disobeying Muslim. Now that is not to say that we should not believe the media in anything it says even in its weather forecasts! No, what we are saying is that you should not believe what they say about Islam and Muslims. A media source that could otherwise be very objective and truthful could become a fabricator when it comes to covering news on Muslims. That is how the disbelievers dealt with Muslims since the dawn of history…and there is no reason for us to believe why that would change.”

14. Exposing the hypocrites

“The hypocrites represented a great danger to the Muslim community during the time of the Prophet, and they still do. The Messenger of Allah would fight them by exposing their lies. If the battle with the kuffar was primarily a battle of swords, the battle against the hypocrites was primarily a battle of words. Since the hypocrites hide behind the cloak

“Some of these hypocrites could be very charismatic. They could appear to be very impressive, but they are fake. Allah says: ‘And when you see them, their forms please you, and if they speak, you listen to their speech. They are as if they were pieces of wood propped up – they think that every shout is against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?’ (63:4)”

“The fake scholars and deviant ideologies need to be exposed for what they are.”

15. Encouraging others to fight Jihad

“Inviting others to do good is an encouraged act of worship since it falls under enjoining good and forbidding evil. In addition to that, encouraging others to participate in Jihad was an act of worship we were specifically asked to do.”

“Allah says: ‘O Prophet, urge the believers to battle.’ (8:65) and He says: ‘So fight, [O Muhammad], in the cause of Allah; you are not held responsible except for yourself. And encourage the believers [to join you] that perhaps Allah will restrain the might of those who disbelieve. And Allah is greater in might and stronger in [exemplary] punishment.’ (4:84)”

16. Protecting the mujahideen and preserving their secrets

“We need to guard our tongues. Sometimes you could end up endangering your brothers unwillingly by your words. A Muslim should develop the habit of being able to keep secrets. We have an incident from seerah where a sahabi refused to tell his own wife about a secret mentioned to him by the Messenger of Allah. Sometimes you want to protect the secrets from the closest people to you: your wife, parents, children and brothers, because they might be the most vulnerable. A Muslim should learn to not say more than what needs to be said, to work on a ‘need to know basis’.”

“A lot of Jihad work is secret and clandestine by nature. Therefore, brothers and sisters should be very careful with their words. A lot of harm was inflicted on Jihad work because of otherwise good and sincere brothers who had loose tongues.”

“The enemies of Allah will try to recruit Muslims to infiltrate Islamic work. They will tell them that we are doing this to protect the Muslims. They may carry along with them scholars who would approve that. Part of your role in protecting the mujahideen is by warning the Muslim community that spying on a Muslim for a non-Muslim is nothing less than kufr. Allah says: ‘And whoever is an ally of them among you – then indeed, he is one of them.’ (5:51)”

17. Praying for the mujahideen

“Never underestimate the power of a sincere dua’.”

“The Messenger of Allah (saaws) says: ‘This ummah is given victory through the weak among them, through their dua’, prayers and sincerity’. Make dua for them in your sujood since that is when you are closest to Allah.”

18. Following the news of Jihad and spreading it

“Following the news of Jihad and the mujahideen is important because”

  • “It keeps your attachment to Jihad alive.”
  • “It strengthens your belongingness to the ummah.”
  • “It encourages you to join Jihad when you see the heroic acts of the mujahideen. It kindles your desire for martyrdom when you see the courage of martyrs.”
  • “Those who follow the news of the mujahideen will see how Allah is protecting his servants and guiding them towards victory. They will see how the ummah is heading towards the era of Islam under the leadership of: ‘al Ta’ifah al Mansoorah’ mentioned in the hadiths of Rasulullah (saaws).”
  • “Reading history or Fiqh books on Jihad provides you with the theory. Following the news of the mujahideen provides you with practical examples of how our brothers are applying the theory in today’s world. It provides you with something tangible, something real.”
  • “The news of Jihad is the news of the conflict between good and evil which has existed since the time of Adam and will continue until the end of time. Following the developments of this conflict brings Quran into light. When you read Quran with this awareness you would have a more engaged relationship with the book of Allah than a person who is living in the seclusion of his ivory tower. This engagement with the book of Allah reaches its height when you yourself are engaged in this conflict by joining the ranks of the mujahideen. I need to repeat what I mentioned in point 13 that you should only spread authentic information from authentic sources. Because spreading rumors is an attribute of the hypocrites: Allah says: ‘And when there comes to them something [information] about public security or fear, they spread it around. But if they had referred it back to the Messenger or to those of authority among them, then the ones who [can] draw correct conclusions from it would have known about it.’ (4:83)”

19. Spreading the writings of the mujahideen and their scholars

“Unfortunately we hear some Muslims claiming that the mujahideen lack scholars who support them and they lack a clear strategy and that what the mujahideen are doing is spontaneous and reactionary. Such claims are the furthest from the truth. There are plenty of scholars and strategic thinkers who are supporters of Jihad today. The problem is that because they are on the true path most of them are killed, jailed or forced to go underground. Nevertheless there is still an abundance of material supporting Jihad work

“This makes their works the most clear and the most convincing. To counter the fact that no publishers or media outlets are willing to risk sponsoring their works, it falls upon the mujahideen and their sympathizers to do that work. It is therefore our responsibility to spread their knowledge.”

“Some ways in which you could contribute:”

  • “Handing out books and pamphlets to your friends and family.”
  • “Posting material online”
  • “Setting up websites that publish such works”
  • “Guiding others towards such websites.”
  • “Email lists”
  • “Placing such information in masjids”
  • “Distributing such material in gatherings”
  • “Holding private circles in which these writings are studied”

20. The issuance of fatwas supporting the mujahideen

“There are scholars who are willing to speak out the truth. Such scholars should be encouraged to do so and brothers should support these scholars and let them know that they would stand by them. The fatwas of these scholars should be widely distributed to the masses. There are many young brothers and sisters who agree with the methodology of the mujahideen but they are not willing to fully embrace it until they see scholars approving this methodology. At the end of the day the masses are followers and they would like to see scholars guiding them.”

21. Providing the scholars and Imams with information and news about the mujahideen

“Just because a person is a scholar doesn’t mean he knows everything. In fact there is a tendency for people who are specialists in a particular field to ignore, and thus become ignorant, of other fields. Scholars and Imams need to be provided with good material. In my conversations with many scholars – some of whom are on a world class level – I was amazed at their lack of knowledge regarding the mujahideen. They lack information on where the mujahideen stand on issues, their publications and their news. The enemies of Islam know the influence that Muslim scholars have on the ummah. Therefore they give scholars special attention. The enemies of Islam would love to see our scholars debating and fighting over trivial issues in order to divert their attention from the real issues that are facing the ummah.”

“What the brothers and sisters alike can do is to influence the scholars, because by influencing the views of one scholar you could change the views of thousands of Muslims. Provide the scholar with carefully chosen material to read. In the beginning you should give them concise material. Remember scholars tend to be very busy and have a lot of material on their table to read so you need to follow up with them on whether they read what you gave them or not. Discuss with them issues covered in what they read, and discuss it with them as a student and not as an opponent. Avoid confronting them with controversial questions because their fear or cautiousness could cause them to give you a watered down opinion which they might not sincerely believe in and then try to stand by it and defend it just because they said it. Suggest to Imams issues to discuss in Friday khutbahs and provide them with information that could be used in the khutbahs.”

22. Physical fitness

“The Messenger of Allah (saaws) says: ‘The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer and there is good in both’ (Related by Muslim)”

“Physical fitness is part of the preparation for Jihad. What Jihad needs is not body builders. What Jihad needs is mujahideen who have the ability to walk for long hours, to run for long distances (important for guerrilla warfare), to sprint (important for urban warfare), and to climb mountains. The mujahid needs to be able to perform all of the afore-mentioned while carrying a weight. In Jihad lands such as Bosnia and Chechnya unfit brothers represented a burden on the mujahideen because they would slow down the whole group. Also the unfit can more easily fall in the hands of the enemy. So endurance exercises should take precedence over exercise for strength and flexibility. Even if a Muslim is not going to fight, physical fitness is still important. For example, a fit person can withstand prison and torture more than a person who is not.”

“The early Muslims were fit since they led a military lifestyle. The companion Amr bin al Aas who opened Egypt in the time of Umar and was appointed as its governor used to say in Jumu’ah khutbah: ‘I don’t want to see any one of you gaining weight while your horse is losing weight. If I see that I will reduce your salaries accordingly’.”

“So dear brothers, exercising with the right intention is an act of worship. Our sisters are not exempt from this. They also need to be fit and the Muslim community needs to work out halal alternatives for the sisters to exercise.”

23. Arms training

“Preparing for Jihad is obligatory since Jihad today is obligatory and the sharia rule states that: ‘Whatever is needed for an obligatory act becomes obligatory’.”

“Arms training is an essential part of preparation for Jihad. Allah says: ‘And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you don’t

“The issue is so critical that if arms training is not possible in your country then it is worth the time and money to travel to another country to train if you can.”

24. First aid training

“In many situations the mujahideen have no access to hospitals. In such situations first aid becomes the only available option. In addition to first aid brothers and sisters need to get any medical training that would be relevant to the tough conditions of Jihad. This needs to be determined by brothers and sisters who are in the medical field in coordination with brothers who have an experience in Jihad.”

25. Learning the fiqht of Jihad

“Learning the fiqh of Jihad includes the fatwas of scholars regarding the issues that face the mujahideen today such as the ruling of Jihad today, rulings of dar-ul-Harb, the issue of civilians and collateral damage, the issue of the covenant of security with non-Muslim governments, fighting in the absence of an Imam, and the ruling on present governments in the Muslim world. It is equally important to study the virtues of Jihad. One also needs to study the writings of scholars and thinkers who are charting out the course for today’s Jihad.”

26. Protecting the mujahideen and supporting them

“Allah says:’ Indeed, those who have believed and emigrated and fought with their wealth and lives in the cause of Allah, and those who gave shelter and aided – they are allies of one another.’ (8:72) And He says: ‘But those who have believed and emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided – It is they who are the believers, truly. For them is forgiveness and noble provision.’ (8:74)”

“When the mujahideen are in danger we need to offer them with protection. It is true that such a protection could be very costly but this is a sacrifice that we are offering for the sake of Allah. The Taliban paid the price for offering a safe haven for the foreign mujahideen: They lost their government. But that is not a defeat but a victory because in the eyes of Allah you have won, no matter what the worldly costs are, if you have held on firmly to your religion, and you have lost, no matter what the worldly gains are, if you have wavered in your religion. We should open our houses for the mujahideen among us and we should offer them with the support they need. Isn’t that precisely what awarded the Ansar the high status they have achieved?”

27. Developing the Aqeedah of Walaa’ and Baraa’

“The issue of loyalty towards Allah, His Messenger and the believers and the declaration of our animosity towards the disbelievers and their gods has not had its fair share of attention in Islamic circles. Allah says: ‘There has already been for you an excellent example in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people, ‘Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have denied you, and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone’ (60:5)”

“The hatred of kuffar is a central element of our military creed. We need to realize that Allah will not grant us victory as long as we still have some love towards his enemies in our hearts. The spiritual condition of total loyalty towards Allah and total animosity towards his enemies was a necessary precursor to the judgment of Allah between His prophets and their disbelieving nations. Never was victory attained by the Prophets of Allah and their people until their loyalty towards Allah was complete and their disassociation with the kuffar was complete.”

28. Fulfilling our responsibilities towards the Muslim POW

“Rasulullah (saaws) says’ ‘And free the prisoner’ (al Bukhari). Our scholars say that it is a duty on Muslims to free the POWs even if they have to expend all their money. Many mujahideen are forgotten, lingering in prison cells in every continent around the world. Not even the islands of the sea are spared. We need to raise the awareness of the ummah regarding their issue, keep them in our dua and fight for their release.”

29. WWW Jihad

“The internet has become a great medium for spreading the call of Jihad and following the news of the mujahideen. Some ways in which the brothers and sisters could be ‘internet mujahideen’ is by contributing in one or more of the following ways:”

  • “Establishing discussion forums that offer a free, uncensored medium for posting information relating to Jihad.”
  • “Establishing email lists to share information with interested brothers and sisters.”
  • “Posting or emailing Jihad literature and news.”
  • “Setting up websites to cover specific areas of Jihad, such as: mujahideen news, Muslim POWs, and Jihad literature.”

30. Raising our children on the love of Jihad and the mujahideen

“Our children need to be raised up with the love of Jihad and the mujahideen. The stories we narrate to them need to stem from our rich Jihad history. We should have them grow up with Ali bin Abi Talib, Khalid bin al Waleed, Abu Ubaidah, Sad bin Abi Waqqas, Muhammad al Fatih, Muhammad bin al Qasim and Salahudin. Their role models should be the heroes of today’s Jihad. On the other hand they should learn to despise Pharaoh, Qaroon, and Abu Jahl as well as today’s Pharaohs, Qaroons and Abu Jahls. Our children should not be taught to ‘stay away from trouble and be a good boy’ but to ‘do the right thing even if it’s going to get you in trouble’. They need to be taught to be proactive rather than passive. Al Zubair bin al Awam – one of the ten given the glad tidings of Paradise – used to take with him to the battlefield his son Abdullah when he was still a child. But since Abdullah was still a child and therefore couldn’t fight, his father would have him carry a small knife and go around the battlefield searching for injured disbelievers in order to finish them off. Abdullah then grew up to become one of the great fighters of this ummah.”

“Even though the physical Jihad is primarily within the men’s domain, our sister still needs to live the ‘life of a mujahid’ which her husband lives. She needs to be supportive of him if he goes for Jihad, content if he is a shaheed and patient if he is taken as a POW. A mujahid sister would be like the women of al Ansar. They saw that Islam was taking away their fathers, brothers, husbands and sons and they were still welcoming the muhajireen and opening their homes for them, spending their money on them when they knew very well the consequences of these actions.”

31. Avoiding the life of luxury

“Sheikh Abdullah Azzam used to say: ‘Luxury is the enemy of Jihad’. Jihad is difficult and demands sacrifice. Therefore avoiding the life of luxury removes some of the obstacles that may stand between a person and Jihad. You need to be able to sleep on the floor, eat food different than what your mother or wife cooks for you, use cold water for wudu or ghusl, and not mind being unable to take a shower everyday. A brother who aspires to be a mujahid should be able to control his desires and to disobey his nafs. On should train himself to get used to breaking some habits such as his sleeping and eating habits by praying qiyam ul layl and fasting on Mondays and Thursdays. A true mujahid should be able to give up all attachments to this world for the sake of Allah.”

32. Learning skills that would benefit the mujahideen

“The field of Jihad is wide and it demands many skills. The brothers and sisters need to learn these skills and then use them to serve Islam. I emphasize on using them to serve ‘Islam’ because we hear a lot about Muslims claiming that the reason why they are studying and pursuing degrees is to serve Allah but in the end they end up serving their pockets and selfish desires.”

33. Joining groups that work for Jihad

“Collective work is an obligation on Muslims today because the application of the law of Allah – which is an obligation - cannot return without a jama’ah (a group). But there are plenty of groups working for Islam so which one should you join?”

“Since Jihad is the greatest deed after believing in Allah and is the most needed - yet most neglected - act of worship today, it is necessary for you to join a group that has Jihad as its main objective. Every Islamic group that does not work for Jihad is deficient to say the least. That is because from the time Jihad was prescribed after the hijrah of the Messenger of Allah (saaws), the jama’ah that the sahabah were members of always had Jihad as its primary focus. That was true in the time of Rasulullah (saaws), Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali and Mu’awiyah. Seerah documents nineteen battles in which the Messenger himself joined and 55 which he sent out. All within a span of ten years! The same can be said about the righteous Khulafa’ after him.”

34. Spiritual preparation

“Therefore, spiritual preparation is needed for any difficult religious duty. Because the Messenger of Allah (saaws) was going to carry a heavy burden, Allah told him to prepare himself spiritually: ‘O you who wraps himself [in clothing]. Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little – Half of it – or subtract from it a little. Or add to it, and recite Quran with measured recitation. Indeed, We will cast upon you a heavy word.’ (73:1-5)”

“Since Jihad is one of the heaviest commands of Allah, it needs lots of preparation.”

35. Guiding others to the scholars of truth

“We need to be aware that we are living in a time when scholars can be ‘made’. The enemies of Islam through their control of the media and Muslim governments can promote certain figures who they deem as representing a benign form of Islam and consequently, turn them into celebrities. An appointment of a scholar to the post of grand mufti in a particular Muslim country could turn that person into a world class scholar instantly. Arranging for a scholar to have a program on TV or radio makes that scholar famous. On the other hand the scholars of truth are threatened, jailed, and killed. The media ignores them so not many people know them. So does this make them less knowledgeable than the government scholars? The truth is that the scholars who speak out are the most knowledgeable scholars simply because they recognized the truth and proclaimed it. It is therefore the responsibility of our brothers and sisters to guide others towards them.”

36. Preparing for Hijrah

“Muslims living amongst non-Muslims have put themselves at the mercy of the kuffar. When the Islamic state was established in Madinah the Messenger of Allah (saaws) declared it illegal to live amongst the disbelievers. Muslims should therefore prepare themselves to leave when the opportunity arises. Preparation for hijrah is not restricted to Muslims living in non-Muslim countries but applies to every Muslim because more often than not Jihad in its self demands hijrah. That is why the Messenger of Allah (saaws) said: ‘Hijrah does not stop as long as there is an enemy to fight.’ (Narrated by Ahmad)”

37. Giving naseehah to the mujahideen

“The mujahideen make mistakes and have shortcomings and need to be given naseehah. You can deliver the naseehah directly to them, you can send it, and you can post it on the internet; whatever way you choose, make sure that you are doing it for the sake of Allah and not to be critical of your brothers.”

“The naseehah not only includes pointing their shortcomings but also suggesting to them new ideas and warning them of danger.”

38. Studying the hadiths of fitan

“The hadiths of fitan (plural of fitnah) are the hadiths in which the Messenger of Allah (saaws) spoke about events that would happen to his ummah after him. The word fitnah means ‘trials’.”

“Studying the hadiths of fitan is important for the following reasons:”

  • “There is an abundance of hadiths in this category which indicates its importance.”
  • “The speeches of the Messenger of Allah (saaws) were concise and short. However it is narrated that once the Messenger of Allah (saaws) spoke to some companions continuously from fajr until Isha with no breaks except for salah. What was the topic? The trials that would befall this ummah from the time of his death until the end of time. If this topic wasn’t important why would Rasulullah (saaws) speak about it for an entire day?”
  • “The sahabah were interested in knowing about fitan and would ask the Messenger of Allah (saaws) about how to protect themselves from them.”

“There are great benefits for the mujahideen in learning and teaching the hadiths of fitan:”

  • “The most important benefit is to learn how to protect one’s self from failing in the trails.”
  • •“The Muslim gets a general understanding of where the ummah is heading and how it would achieve victory.”
  • • “Jihad plays a major role in the history of this ummah. Learning about the hadiths of fitan puts Jihad in its proper perspective. The greatest two leaders of this ummah in the end of time will be men of Jihad: al Mahdi and Isa the son of Mariam.”
  • • “The hadiths of fitan clearly reveal that the ascension of this ummah to victory will not be through elections or peaceful dawah, but through fighting in the path of Allah.”
  • • “Studying the hadiths of fitan and seeing the role Jihad plays clears the vision of a Muslim and encourages him to join the ranks of the mujahideen.”

39. Exposing Pharaoh and his magicians

“The current governments of the Muslim world are playing the role of Pharaoh with Musa and the court scholars are playing the role of the magicians of Pharaoh in deceiving the masses. The governments and their court scholars are the third side of the triangle of enemies of the ummah alongside the Crusaders and the Zionists.”

40. Nasheeds

“Muslims need to be inspired to practice Jihad. In the time of Rasulullah (saaws) he had poets who would use their poetry to inspire the Muslims and demoralize the disbelievers. Today nasheed can play that role. A good nasheed can spread so widely it can reach to an audience that you could not reach through a lecture or a book. Nasheeds are especially inspiring to the youth, who are the foundation of Jihad in every age and time. Nasheeds are an important element in creating a ‘Jihad culture’. Nasheeds are abundant in Arabic but scarce in English. Hence it is important for talented poets and talented singers to take up this responsibility. The nasheeds can cover topics such as: Martyrdom, Jihad is our only solution, support of the mujahideen, support of the present day leaders of Jihad (to connect the youth to them), the situation of the Ummah, the responsibility of the youth, the victory of Islam and defending the religion. The nasheeds should focus on Justice rather than peace and strength rather than weakness. The nasheeds should be strong and uplifting and not apologetic and feminine.”

41. Boycotting the economy of the enemy

“When Thumama bin Athaal became Muslim he boycotted Quraish by preventing the caravans carrying wheat to Makkah from passing through his land. Today Muslims should boycott the economies of the enemy by boycotting their products.”

42. Learning Arabic

“Arabic is the international language of Jihad. Most of the Jihad literature is available only in Arabic and publishers are not willing to take the risk of translating it. The only ones who are spending the money and time translating Jihad literature are the Western intelligence services…and too bad, they would not be willing to share it with you. Arabic also happens to be the predominant language of the foreign mujahideen in every land of Jihad so without it you might end up talking to yourself. It is important for the mujahideen to able to communicate through a common language and Arabic is the proper candidate.”

43. Translating Jihad literature into other languages

“As I stated in the previous point most of the Jihad literature is in Arabic. Brothers and sisters who speak a foreign language in addition to Arabic should translate the most important works into their languages.”

“Every movement of change is preceded first by an intellectual change. It is said that the time of Salahudeen was preceded by an upsurge in writings about Jihad. We are seeing this happen today. This revival of Jihad needs to take place among Muslims of every tongue.”

44. Teaching others about the characteristics of al Ta’ifah al Mansoorah

“The Messenger of Allah (saaws) says: A group of my ummah would continue fighting, obeying the command of Allah, defeating their enemies and they would not be harmed by those who are against them until the hour starts (the Day of Judgment)’ (Related by al Hakim and he stated that the hadith is authentic)”

“This is the victorious group which each one of us should strive to join. You can recognize this group by their attributes which are as follows:”

  • “They are a ‘group’: They work collectively and cooperate for the cause of good.”

“‘Fighting’: This is a key feature of this group. This characteristic alone would eliminate many of the groups working for Islam today.”

  • “‘They are not harmed by those who disagree with them’: This is because they have Allah on their side. I heard an English nasheed and even though the singer was a male but the voice and content was so feminine it gives you nausea. All what he was singing In another narration it says: ‘they are not harmed by those who betray them’ which means that they would be betrayed by a lot of Muslims, yet, that won’t harm them.”
  • “‘They are victorious’: Victory here doesn’t necessarily mean against their enemies in this world. It means that they would succeed in preserving the religion and fighting for it until they die and meet Allah. It means they will never give up, compromise, or falter in carrying on the banner of Islam.”

“Teaching others about al Taifah al Mansoorah would help them find the truth. Any Muslim who has basic knowledge of Islam, common sense, is willing to give up taqlid (blind following) of groups or Shuyukh, and think objectively would easily recognize which groups represent these attributes today. These characteristics fit them like a glove.”

“So brothers and sisters, these were some suggestions on how you can support Jihad in this day. These words don’t really mean much unless they are applied. So please apply as much as you can yourself and advise others to do the same.”

“In the end, we ask Allah to guide us to the straight path and to make us of those who listen to the words and follow the best of them. We ask you O Allah to make us among the mujahideen and to grant us victory over your enemies. Ameen!”

-- Anwar Al Awlaki

 


 
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