British Islamic State (ISIS) member Omar Hussain, aka Abu Saeed Al-Britani, from High Wycombe, England, published an article advising young women aspiring to marry a jihad warrior on choosing a future spouse before embarking on a journey to Syria. The article, titled "Hijrah Advice for Sisters Marrying Mujaahideen from Twitter", cautions women on the perils of choosing a spouse online. He advises interested women to refrain from being overtaken by the glamourous image some ISIS members present on their social media accounts, mentioning that not all men who post photos of themselves with guns are actual warriors. Moreover, he warns, some men boast about their heroic participation in battle when in fact they were not on the frontlines.
Abu Saeed instructs women to pose certain questions to these men in order to gain a clearer insight into their character. Questions include how long he has been in Syria, what is the longest amount of time he has spent on guard duty, how long since he has last been on the frontlines, and what his role is in the Islamic State. He stresses that there are many wonderful eligible men in Syria who are not active on social media platforms; therefore, he concludes, women should not "be hasty in accepting a proposal because he has a gun." Rather, they should look for more important character traits, namely keenness to fight and die, and the potential husband's zeal for gaining divine reward.
Abu Saeed Al-Britani resides in the town of Al-Baab, northeast of Aleppo, Syria. He uses the Twitter alias Aboo Awlaki (@_abu_awlaki_5). His Twitter byline reveals that he was a former Jabhat Al-Nusra fighter. In October he appeared in an ISIS video threatening the U.S. and Britain. See British ISIS Fighter Abu Saeed Al-Baritani Calls on Muslims to Carry Out Terror Attacks in the West.
Abu Saeed Al-Britani
Following are excerpts from the article. The Original English has been lightly edited for clarity:
"There seems to be a rise in many sisters doing hijrah [emigrating] after having links with people in Sham [Syria] who are on Twitter. This is good if their links are other sisters. However, many sisters tend to marry brothers they may have interacted with over the net.
"Although there may be nothing wrong with marrying a brother who is constantly online, I would just like to say that its best one does not rush into a marriage contract.
"I have been in Sham for just over a year now and I have seen many beautiful brothers who are constant on their ibaadah [worship], warriors in front lines, have amazing military minds, generous towards others, humble, funny, etc. yet are unknown on social media.
Abu Saeed's Twitter profile
"Marriage is not a small thing, it's a major factor in one's life, so I sincerely advise my sisters to not be hasty in choosing a brother [for marriage].
"For example, I personally know of a brother who ran away from the front line when it was only me and him defending a post. I can recall myself shouting at him to come back as he ran away leaving me alone to defend the position. The ironical thing here was that the brother went online the next day and praised how Dawlah [ISIS] managed to defend an onslaught by the enemy, and how people in the West need to 'stop being cowards.'
"On other occasions, I have noticed how some brothers praise how 'we' attacked such and such village, how hard the battle was for 'us', etc. yet they were not there. [Such vanity is] a form of tadlees (twisting the truth to get self-praise), not a characteristic stemming from humbleness and sincerity.
"So sisters, please be careful and deliberate when choosing a spouse. We are still human beings, we err and we make mistakes. Some people's intentions can sidetrack, especially when on social media platforms...
"Many sisters will feel the excitement when they're new to Sham and this excitement to marry a mujahid may blur one's mind and logic. Not every mujahid is as how one imagines. If someone is always on Twitter posting pictures of himself, then question why he is not on ribat [guard duty], especially considering the fact that it's impermissible to take electronic devices to the front lines.
"The only reason a brother can be constantly on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms, is if he's not on front lines. And there are limited reasons why a person is not constantly [present] on the front lines. These could be because he is injured, he is working in administration, the police force, the bomb-making department or something of this nature.
"Just because someone is in Sham and has a gun, does not mean they are a mujahid. Immaturity makes a person over excited. And being over excited leads to posting pictures online with a gun. Any practical benefit of this? I'll let you ponder over this.
"So what questions should you ask a potential spouse before marrying him? To list a few, I would say:
"1) What his role is in the [Islamic] State.
"2) Why he is not currently on front lines.
"3) How long has it been since he has not been on front lines.
"4) What's the longest duration he spent on ribat [guard duty].
"5) How long he has been in Sham [Syria]...
"Now a quick rundown of these 5 questions.
"Question 1: His role in the state will let you know whether he is a mujahid or a helper of the State. No doubt both are good, but the honor of a mujahid, someone on front lines shooting the enemy is indeed a more noble role. But due to the simple mindedness of many sisters, they falsely believe that everyone here who is carrying a gun is a mujahid. Every "Dawlah brother" has a gun, whether he's a murabit [fighter on the front lines], police officer, manning checkpoints, doctor, judge, or caretaker at the safe-house. So don't be hasty in accepting a [marriage] proposal because he has a gun.
On March 18th the fighter uploaded a photo of himself with children wielding ak-47s at a school.
"Question 2 & 3: Why he's not currently on front lines, and for how long he's been off will again help you assess his keenness to fight and die [for Allah]. As a few come here and after experiencing the hardship of ribat and war, tend to go for other roles. No amir [commander] of a battalion allows his soldiers to go off ribat for long durations of time without a valid excuse, so ask about his reason for not being on front lines. Do not be afraid to ask blunt questions which may put him on the spotlight. It's your right to know...
"Question 4: Knowing the longest duration he's been on ribat will again, help you assess his eagerness and love for gaining ajar [divine reward]. As ribat life can become very tough at times and is a real test of patience. The usual [rotation] is either 2 weeks on ribat and 2 days off, or 3 weeks on ribat and 3 days off. However this differs for each battalion. His response will give you an indication of whether he loves ribat or sees it as a burden.
"However do not be put off by someone who stays on ribat longer thinking he will have no time for you. In fact the shift pattern for married brothers differs from those who are single. So the time you spend with your husband will consequently be the same...
"Question 5. How long he has stayed in Sham [Syria] is not necessarily a major issue, however most brothers tend to mature the longer they have been here. A year of being in Sham is a good amount of time for a person to get his experience of Sham and being a mujahid. And by now, he's most likely gone past the stage of self-admiration...
"Conclusion: I conclude by reiterating what I said above; do not be hasty in choosing a spouse. There are many brothers here in Sham. Do not let your eagerness to marry a mujahid make you hasty on the issue.
"Do not be afraid to reject a proposal, there are many brothers here in Sham. And some of the most beautiful are those who are always on ribat and completely unknown on social media platforms.
"Be deliberate, take your time and [seek Allah's advice] over the issue.
"Furthermore, I do not mean to degrade any brother here in Sham. Allah knows my intentions and He rewards according to intentions. No doubt doing hijrah and jihad are great characteristics in a man. But these two are not the only traits that make a perfect husband..."
 Twitter.com/_abu_awlaki_5, March 4, 2015.