Article In Islamic State (ISIS) Weekly: Jews Behind All Muslim Misfortune, Jihad Against Them And Their Allies Among The 'Greatest Deeds'

November 20, 2023

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Issue 417 of Al-Naba', the official weekly magazine of the Islamic State (ISIS), released on November 16, 2023,[1] contains an article titled "Lessons from the Battle of the Confederates," also referred to as the Battle of the Trench, which the Prophet Muhammad and his army fought against the tribe of Quraysh and several allied tribes, including the Jewish ones of Banu Qurayzah and Banu Al-Nadir. From analyzing various stages of the battle, the one-page article derives lessons relevant for ISIS mujahideen today, emphasizing the treacherousness of the Jews and need to wage jihad against them.

Jews Violate Agreements, Kill Prophets, Reject Islam Out Of Obstinacy

Stating that all Muslims, particularly the mujahideen, should learn from Muhammad's biography and the wars he fought, the article asserts that "the Jews are the chief disease in every era and city." Claiming that the Jewish tribes were responsible for forming the confederation which besieged the Muslims in Medina, it further asserts that Jews are "violators of pacts and killers of prophets, and there was no affliction [striking] the ummah in which the Jews did not have a part." Al-Naba' quotes Quran 5:82: "You will surely find the most hostile towards the believers to be the Jews and polytheists," and 14th-century classical commentator Ibn Kathir, who explained that this hostility stems from "the Jews' unbelief [being] based on stubbornness, rejection, slandering the truth, contempt for others and disdain for those bearing knowledge." It is for this reason, according to Ibn Kathir, that the Jews killed many prophets and tried to assassinate Muhammad. The article's writer concludes: "Therefore, waging war on them is one of the best deeds that brings closeness to Allah and targeting those allied with them is one of the best [forms of] jihad for the sake of Allah."

A Leader Must Personally Lead The Fighting, Believers Eventually Gain Victory But First Suffer Hardships

During the Battle of the Trench, the allied tribes besieged Medina, leading Muhammad and his followers to dig a defensive ditch. Muhammad's personal participation in digging the ditch, and the difficulties endured by his Muslim followers in the process, show that "the leader's place is in front" and that the "affliction and hardship" are the lot of the believers.

Declaring that "as trouble intensifies relief appears," the article claims that the battle teaches "a lesson and consolation for […] the mujahideen everywhere that victory is Allah's, He brings it down whenever and however He wills. However, we are not commanded to [achieve] it; rather, He commanded us only to wage jihad. Victory may be delayed to purify the ranks, or for Allah to choose those whom Allah has willed to become martyrs, or to increase the reward of His servants and raise their ranks, or to atone for their sins."

Commanders Should Consult With Their Men, Gather Intelligence, Enemies Will Gather Against Mujahideen

Noting that Muhammad asked two of his Companions whether to give one of the enemy tribes a third of Medina's produce in exchange for peace, to which they declared: "We will give them nothing but the sword until Alah decides between us and them," Al-Naba' states that one should ask advice from those whose "religiosity and opinion can be trusted," and that a commander should seek to lighten his soldiers' burden when they are confronted with a predicament.

A "security lesson" learned from the battle is that "a commander must never overlook his enemy and must seek to discover reports about them and learn of their movements" by employing spies and scouts. Furthermore, a soldier must follow orders and not use his independent judgment, as he may thereby endanger the entire Muslim community.

Most importantly, according to the article, the battle teaches that "[the road to] victory inevitably passes through confederations and enemies ganging up, and what happened to the Prophet will happen to everyone who walks on his path and follows his example."

Following the eruption of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, Al-Naba' detailed "practical steps to fight the Jews" as a "means of support for Muslims in Palestine," calling to target Jews worldwide and attack embassies of Israel and its allies in the West.[2] Subsequent issues of the magazine also commented on the conflict, deeming it a war on Islam, and encouraged jihad against Israel and Jews, as well as against countries that support Israel.[3]


[1] Telegram, November 17, 2023.

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