Al-Qaeda Affiliate Group For Support Of Islam And Muslims (GSIM) Releases Video Of Allegedly Slain Leader Declaring Ramadan 'The Month Of Jihad'

April 2, 2023

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On March 27, 2023, the media arm of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Jama'at Nusrat Al-Islam Wal-Muslimeen (Group for Support of Islam and Muslims - GSIM) released the second part of its "Faith-Based Stances" video series.

The video is devoted to the month of Ramadan, which this year began on March 23. It includes a lecture in Arabic delivered by a senior cleric and commander in the Al-Qaeda affiliate, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and in GSIM.

The cleric lists the virtues of the month of Ramadan, asserting that chief among them is its being "the month of jihad." He stresses that during this time jihad is a personal obligation, and expresses hope that throughout Ramadan, Allah will grant victories and conquests to Muslims across the world.

The first episode in the series was released on February 23, 2023, and includes a lecture from a slain Ansar Al-Shari'a in Tunisia (AST) leader on the topic of reviewing and revising intentions in Islam.

The video features a declaration that Ramadan is "the month of blessings," and that Muslims are commanded to rejoice during this month, for according to Islamic tradition the Prophet Muhammad informed his companions that during Ramadan the gates of heaven open and the gates of hell close. The cleric also states that Ramadan is the month of fasting, as is written in the Quranic verse: "O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you – as it was for those before you – so perhaps you will become mindful of Allah." (Quran 2:183)

The cleric also says that fasting is one of the gates to heaven and is intended primarily for the sake of moving nearer to Allah; of strengthening faith and piety; of increasing mutual assistance among Muslims; and of extending aid to the poor and the hungry among them.

He remarks that Ramadan is also the month of repentance and mainly, "the month of jihad," and "the month of conquests and victories," in which the Prophet has granted the greatest victories of all, starting with The Battle of Badr which took place on March 13, in the year 624, (on the 17th day of the month of Ramadan) and the Conquest of Mecca, which occurred on January 13, 630, (on the 20th day of the month of Ramadan). He claims that in current times jihad is a personal obligation incumbent on each and every Muslim and that the mujahideen are moving closer to Allah "with their blood."

At the conclusion of the video, he prays to Allah that He will make this month a month of victory for the Muslims all over the world and restore to the Islamic nation its greatness and its glory.

It is notable that it is not clear from the video whether this cleric is still alive, as there were unconfirmed reports of his death in 2022.


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