Afghan Taliban's Arabic-Language Magazine Urges Palestinians To Learn From Afghans' Jihad Against U.S., Predicts 'Liberation' Of Al-Aqsa Within Five Years, Declares Jihad Against Jews Superior To Other Forms

October 29, 2023

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Appearing on October 24, 2023, issue 214 of the Al-Somood monthly magazine, released in Arabic by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban),[1] focuses on the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, launched by the militant Palestinian group in an October 7 surprise attack against the Jewish state.[2] The 42-page magazine contains an editorial comparing the Palestinian struggle to the Taliban's twenty-year jihad against the U.S. and calling all Muslims to participate in the jihad against Israel; a "Message to the People of Gaza" copied from the Al-Arab Blog, glorifying those who took part in the October 7 assault and predicting that Israel will be eliminated within five years; a religious article asserting that waging jihad against Jews is greater than other forms of jihad; and a poster on the back cover stressing the importance of the Palestinian cause.

Editorial: Palestinians Should Learn From Afghans' Jihad Against The U.S., Every Muslim Must Play A Part In Liberating Al-Aqsa

The one-page editorial claims that the "aggression of the Zionist occupation against the Palestinian people, particularly in Gaza," has reached "a level of savagery and cruelty unmatched by the fiercest predators of the world." Noting that the Hamas-affiliated Health Ministry in Gaza claimed (as of the writing of the editorial) more than 4,500 killed and over 13,000 wounded in Israeli bombings, it accuses Israel of conducting a "genocidal war" in Gaza, in which it "intentionally targets children, infants, pregnant women, and the wounded in hospitals," as well as annihilating entire neighborhoods in airstrikes. This "viciousness in shedding blood" attests to the degree of "the Zionist occupation's domination, not just over Palestine but also over the countries of the region and the entire world," adding that "purifying the blessed land […] from the filth of the occupation is an urgent necessity" and describing the "Zionists" as "invading occupiers of a land that was never theirs and will never be – Allah willing."

The editorial accuses the "Zionist occupiers" of "playing with world opinion" by propagating the "ridiculous idea" that "the Palestinian resistance and the Palestinian people are two separate things" and that the actions of the former are the reason for Israel's measures against Palestinians. Comparing this narrative to the one spread by the "American occupation in Afghanistan" to justify its actions, the Taliban magazine asserts that "the Palestinian citizen is killed, displaced, and has his home demolished […] in Gaza, the West Bank, or Jerusalem, both after the emergence of the Islamic Resistance and beforehand"; the editorial warns against believing the Jews, stating that "Allah has informed you […] in His noble Book about their falsehood, treachery, perfidy, and killing of the prophets."

Addressing the Palestinian people, the author states that "the Afghan people suffered for twenty years from the savagery of the American occupation and its allies, exactly as the Palestinian people currently suffers from the savagery of the Zionist occupation," adding that the U.S. actions "did not shake [the Afghan nation's] determination to resistance or extinguish the blaze of jihad in its heart." Afghans waged "all forms of jihad" against the Americans, "with warfare, by the pen, through politics, and through preaching and [religious] guidance," until "Allah showed them favor and showered down a clear victory and conquest on their efforts." The editorial urges Palestinians to "adopt from the story of the Afghan people's resistance and from the stories of other nations' and peoples' struggles what suits their situation," reassuring them that "nations' sacrifices are sparks from which the lanterns of their freedom and glory are lit."

Calling on Palestinians to act "each one according to his capabilities, arena of jihad, and field of expertise," the Taliban magazine asserts that "the gates of jihad against the occupier are many and numerous […] the brave fighters' arena is in the battlefields; the arena of writers, journalists and intellectuals is in the media and the fields of ideas and awareness; and the arena of the preachers and [spiritual] guides is in preaching, education, and reform." The author expresses confidence in "the victory of the Muslims in Palestine and the liberation of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque," declaring: "It is not important when the victory will be achieved. What is important is that every Muslim make his unique mark and separate imprint in this victory."

Effusive Praise For Mujahideen Who Attacked Israel, Prediction That Al-Aqsa Will Be "Liberated" Within Five Years

A one-page "Message to the People of Gaza" was originally published on October 13 on the Al-Arab Blog by Lebanon-based writer Dr. Adham Sharkawi.[3] Describing his words as "an impudent substitute for the lack of the rifle,"  Sharkawi praises the "crowns of our heads" who attacked Israel, declaring that this conflict's "outcome precedes its conclusion," as Hamas has already "created a crack in this entity [i.e. Israel] which will never be repaired and knocked a nail into its coffin which it will never be able to remove." Asserting that "Allah chooses for His purest battles only His purest soldiers," the writer expresses his envy of those whom Allah "chose" to torment the "descendants of apes" [i.e. the Jews].

Noting that within ten years of the Battle of the Trench, in which the Prophet Muhammad and his Companions were besieged by their enemies, victory was achieved, and "the Byzantine and Persian Empires crushed," Sharkawi tells the Palestinian mujahideen: "Today you are paving the road toward the Al-Aqsa Mosque. By Allah, in fewer years than the fingers on one hand, we will pray in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, liberated by Allah's grace and thanks to your jihad and steadfastness." Assuring the Palestinian fighters that they are not alone and that the entire Islamic ummah [nation] stands behind them, even if Muslim governments have abandoned them, Sharkawi concludes: "Peace upon you and on your jihad. I kiss your feet before your heads."

Jihad Against Jews And Christians Is Better Than Against Other Unbelievers, Divine Reward For Jihad Is Compounded

A three-page article by Abu Sa'id Rashed quotes extensively from hadiths and other Islamic sources to prove that the reward Allah bestows on those who wage jihad against Jews – being martyred in the process – is greater than the reward for jihad against other infidels.

Rashed declares jihad to be "one of the duties Allah [imposed] in the Muslims," and celebrates that "Allah has graced the Muslims with opening the gates of jihad on the outskirts of Bayt Al-Maqdis [Jerusalem]." Asserting that the Salaf [early generations of Muslims] "raced to gain reward by fighting the People of the Book [Jews and Christians]," he notes that eighth-century scholar 'Abdallah bin Al-Mubarak traveled from his homeland in today's Turkmenistan to wage jihad against the People of the Book. In the article, the author describes that he collected hadiths discussing "the compounded reward for waging war on the People of the Book, especially the Jews," with the hope that "Allah may strengthen resolve in the battlefield thorough it, and Allah may use it to incite those of the Islamic ummah behind them."

Rashed quotes a hadith in which Muhammad said of Mahmoud bin Maslamah, who was killed fighting the Jews of Khaybar, that he "has the reward of two martyrs," and similarly told the mother of a martyred fighter that her son would receive the reward due to two martyrs "because he was killed by the People of the Book." The author further states that "raiding the Byzantines and other People of the Book is better than [raiding] others," noting that 'Abdallah bin Al-Mubarak explained that he traveled from Central Asia to fight the Byzantines "because they fight for their religion." The article also quotes Mansour bin Younus Al-Buhouti Al-Hanbali, a 17th-century jurist, who stated explicitly that "in a situation where the distance between two enemies is equal, and one of them is from the People of the Book, then waging jihad on the People of the Book is better."

After citing works of Islamic jurisprudence stating that anyone killed on the battlefield or slain while defending a Muslim settlement is considered a martyr, Rashed references a hadith which describes that a martyr "is forgiven [for his sins] from the first drop of his blood that is shed; is shown his place in Paradise; is spared the torment of the grave; is kept safe from the Great Fright; is adorned with a garment of faith; is married to [wives] from among the black-eyed virgins; and is permitted to intercede for seventy of his relatives."

Rashed also cites a hadith stipulating that one who spends money for the cause of jihad while remaining at home will receive seven hundred times the reward for every coin spent, while one who personally wages jihad and also contributes financially will receive seven hundred thousand times the reward. Another hadith referenced in the article states that one day of ribat [guarding at the frontline] during jihad is better than a thousand days spent in other acts of worship.

At the article's conclusion, Rashed writes: "Fortunate is he who participates in jihad for Al-Aqsa. Fortunate is he who participates in jihad for Jerusalem. Fortunate is he who fights at the gates of Bayt Al-Maqdis, Fortunate is he who spends his money [for jihad]. Fortunate is the martyr's mother, sister, and wife, be patient, o brothers on ribat, for Allah will help those who help Him."

Every Fair Person In The World Supports The Palestinian Cause

The back cover of the magazine depicts a model of the Dome of the Rock erected by the Taliban in Kabul's Fifth District,[4] and features a quote by 'Ali Al-Tantawi, a Syrian-born Salafi scholar who died in Saudi Arabia in 1999: "The Palestinian cause is a just cause. No fair person in the world cannot side with it. Is there one fair person in the world?"

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