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The latest issue of "Voice of Khurasan," an English-language monthly magazine published by Al-Azaim Foundation, the media arm of the Islamic State's Khurasan Province (ISIS-K), accuses the Afghan Taliban of working with the CIA, attacks the Muslim Brotherhood, eulogizes Umar at-Tajiki, who bombed a bus in Herat city, and has a number of articles promoting jihad.
The issue, Issue 16, is dated Rabi-ul-Awwal 1444, in the Hijri calendar, which corresponds with the lunar month beginning September 28, 2022.
The cover of the magazine's latest edition
The magazine's cover article, titled "They Meet CIA Operatives In Secret," accuses the Afghan Taliban of working for the CIA and Pakistani military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to further their objectives in Afghanistan.
"[The Afghan Taliban] were controlled by the CIA and were connected with other infidel nations around the world. High-ranking Taliban officials, who do not bark without the permission of the CIA and the ISI, have readily accepted all the conditions of the infidels," the article says, discussing the U.S.-Taliban talks in Doha before and after the 2020 Doha agreement.
The article adds: "Through this [Doha] agreement, they have done business with the blood and the honor of the Muslims, for the sake of the symbolic authority over Kabul and some worldly benefits, as the Taliban murtadeen [apostates] are now amalgamating themselves with the former murtad [apostate] regime of Afghanistan."
ISIS-K accuses Muslim Brotherhood of supporting "Rawafidh [rejectionist, a pejorative term for Shi'ite]."
The magazine's another lead article, titled "Hamas In Sham [Syria] And Taliban In Khurasan," says the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Taliban are being used by America or Iran. However, the article especially attacks Muslim Brotherhood for its long-standing endorsement of the 1979 Iranian revolution, which, it says, was a cause of war against Sunni Muslims worldwide.
This article criticizing the Muslim Brotherhood is the first part of a series of articles expected to appear in the magazine's later issues. It digs up information about how the Muslim Brotherhood leadership endorses the Iranian revolution and supported a meeting of Ayatollah Khomeini with leaders of Sunni Muslim organizations and youth groups from across the world after the revolution.
"This meeting was one of the greatest celebrations of Islam," it says, adding: "Then, this delegation [meeting of Islamic leaders from around the world] also assured Imam Khomeini that their Islamic movements will always be at the service of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, whether it is in Iran or anywhere in the world."
"The main goal of the Brotherhood is that... all madhabs [theological sects] and their followers shall gather under the same thought and belief in the name of Islam – a belief that will be conflicting with the true Islam," the article says, describing Muslim Brotherhood as an apostate group outside the fold of Islam.
The magazine accuses Taliban leaders of meeting CIA in secret in Doha
In its recent issues, the Voice of Khurasan has been publishing a series of articles titled "Memories Of Shuhada [Martyrs]." The current edition eulogizes Umar Al-Tajiki, an ISIS-K fighter whom the magazine says bombed a bus carrying Afghan Taliban members in Herat city, possibly referring to a bus attack in January 2022.
"Umar at-Tajiki (may Allah accept him) hailed from Tajikistan, and he grew up in a poor family. He had three brothers, and eldest brother's name was Yahya. Yahya went to Russia to earn living for his family. He was guided to the path of Tawheed [Islamic Monotheism], and he returned to Tajikistan with the intention of inviting his family members and relatives to the straight path of Tawheed," the article notes. Umar Al-Tajiki would later move to Afghanistan and join ISIS-K.
"One night, Umar (may Allah accept him) had a dream and narrated his dream to his brother, 'I saw a virgin in my dream who placed a rosary on my hand, and I had never seen such a beautiful girl before.' His brother replied, 'It's a glad tiding for you, O lion of Allah!'" Soon therefore, Umar registered his name for an inghimasi ("deep strike]") operation, the article says and describes him as "pursuer of martyrdom."
"With great courage, Umar at-Tajiki, with his gun and magazines, stood in front of a bus carrying dozens of Taliban murtadeen [in the center of Herat city]. He stormed the bus with gunfire, as a result of which more than 35 Taliban murtadeen were killed...," it says and adds that "he attained martyrdom at the hands of the Taliban militias – the new U.S. mercenaries and the brethren of the Rafidah [rejectionist, a pejorative term for Shi'ites pagans."
The magazine features a photo of a group of children studying the Koran under the shade of a tree, most probably in some kind of makeshift madrassa run by jihadi commanders. The picture is part of an article titled as "Some Actions That Nullify One's Islam." The article, citing Koranic verses and Sunnah (traditions of Muhammad), discusses what actions take one out of the fold of Islam.
"The matter of making takfir [the practice of declaring a particular Muslim to be an unbeliever] of someone is not concerned with whims and desires of people. Rather, it is up to Allah the exalted [as he speaks in the Koran] and His Messenger [Muhammad]. This is one of the rulings of shari'a that is to be referred to the Koran and Sunnah, so we should be very careful and base our judgment on clear proof. No one may be judged to be a kafir or fasiq [one who violates Islamic law] except the one whom the Koran and Sunnah have termed as a kafir or fasiq," it says.
Then the article goes on to discuss at least ten nullifiers, a host of beliefs and deeds, that can be used to declare takfir on someone. According to the article, the first nullifier is the "setting up partners in the worship of Allah" – in other words, believing in multiple gods and worshipping them is an act that renders one outside Islam. It cites a Koranic verse (Al-Maidah: 72) in which Allah says: "whoever sets up partners with Allah (in worship), then Allah has forbidden paradise to him, and his final abode will be the Fire...." It adds: "The Messenger of Allah also defined shirk [idolatry] to be the greatest sin made by man."
According to the article, also liable to be declared unbelievers are "whoever makes between him and Allah intermediaries supplicating them, asking them for intercession, and relying upon them." According to Muslim practices, this principle nullifies the belief of all Muslims in Islam who follow Sufism and Sufi mystics.
A large number of Sufi mystics across the Islamic world, both living and dead, have many followers. The third nullifier is for anyone who is passive about acts and beliefs of kufr ("unbelief"). It says: "Whoever does not declare the kufr of the pagans; or has doubts about their kufr; or considers their madhab [sect] as correct or valid. Such a one has fallen into disbelief."
The remaining nullifiers include anyone accepting someone other than Muhammad as judge or for guidance; hating anything that Muhammad brought; believing in sorcery or magic; and helping idolaters and unbelievers against the Muslims; believing that some people are exempted from abiding by shari'a – such as Sufis who believe that the wali (a pious Muslim) are thus excempt; and anyone who does not pray or fast and or care at all for his religion.
Recently, the magazine has begun a series titled "Reasons For Staying Away From Jihad." In its latest issue, it stresses the significance of jihad: "Jihad is the pinnacle of Islam after bringing faith. There is no deed of Islam that can equal jihad in terms of rewards and status. The status of the mujahideen in the sight of Allah is the highest of all people after the prophets. Allah has created hundred ranks in the Jannah [Paradise] for the mujahideen and the distance between two consecutive ranks is like the distance between the heaven and the earth."
Having underlined the importance of jihad, the article goes on to discuss the reasons that Muslims give for staying away from the field of jihad and deems these reasons as contradictory to shari'a, adding: "Staying away from jihad is a disease of heart which needs to be cured."
It says: "People stay away from jihad even in the fear of death, but a mujahid says, 'Victory and martyrdom! Either I will enjoy victory, or I will sacrifice my beautiful body for the sake of this sweet religion.'" As per its argument, fighting and death are ordained by Allah. "Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction," quoting Koran 4:77-78.
It notes that a believer is not permitted in shari'a to doubt Allah's promises of rewards: "When a person possesses strong faith in the promises of Allah, the Lord of the worlds, then he will advance to jihad." According to the article, any of the following reasons to stay away from jihad are not permitted in Islam: preferring the ephemeral life over the eternal life; becoming friends of the enemies of Allah; being with people who avoid a jihadi battle; or being with children or a wife – "the reason behind the abandonment of jihad by many pious men and mujahideen."
The magazine also carries the second part of a series of articles, titled "Advice For The Leaders Of The Islamic State – Shaykh Abu Hamza al-Muhajir (May Allah Accept Him)." Abu Hamza al-Muhajir was a former spokesman of the Islamic State. Aimed at teaching ISIS commanders, it lists a number of guidelines: planting spies, reconnaissance of targets, feigning an intent to attack, and being on guard against your enemy at all times.
Some of the guidelines also include: allowing someone to undertake a martyrdom-seeking mission if such a mission will incite Muslims for jihad, taking advantage of opportunities, and not being deceived by a seemingly easy operation.
One of the articles is titled "The Prophetic Method Is Uniting The Scattered Ummah." It argues that the division of the global Islamic Ummah into many branches is "only benefitting the enemies of the religion" and blames it on Jews and Christians.
"The Islamic Ummah is divided into many branches and fragments. These divisions have paralyzed the Ummah. Each of these branches is rapidly losing tolerance for the other branches, with the passing of time. Such divisions are now only benefitting the enemies of the religion, as Jews and Christians have been trying to divide this Ummah from the early stage of Islam, to the extent that they separated some factions from the Muslims and ultimately succeeded in driving them away from the fold of Islam," it says.
The magazine's table of contents
The article also blames the ideologies of socialism, democracy, and nationalism advanced by unbelievers for dividing the Islamic Ummah. "Sometimes, hypocrites infiltrated the ranks of the Muslims in disguise of scholars and sometimes in disguise of fake sympathizers of the righteous predecessors," it says, blaming them for the disunity.
However, it also notes that theological differences between different schools of Islamic jurisprudence never caused disunity among Muslims because the unity was enforced by the Caliphate: "With the destruction of the Khilafah [caliphate] system, Muslims have been going through the darkest chapter of their history in terms of internal divisions and oppressions at the hands of the infidels," the article adds.
Therefore, the article's key argument is that the ISIS fighters are working to re-establish a single global caliphate through the prophetic method to unite the Islamic Ummah. "Truly, it is the [ISIS-led] Khilafah that opens the door for unity of all the Muslims, not only through words but also with blood of the sincere slaves of Allah striving for that noble cause...," it says.
 October 17, 2022. The original English of the quoted text in this dispatch has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization.
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