New Al-Qaeda-Affiliated English Jihadi Magazine 'Al-Risalah': Jihad Is More Important Than Ramadan Fast

July 6, 2015

The following report is a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On July 4, 2015, a new jihadi media group, Al-Risalah Media, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda's Syrian branch Jabhat Al-Nusra (JN), published the first issue of its English-language magazine "Al-Risalah" (The Message).[1]

A short unsigned article in the magazine, titled "Ramadan, The Month Of Striving," encourages readers to join the jihad and achieve martyrdom during the month of Ramadan.[2] It calls upon readers who cannot physically join the jihad to participate by financially supporting the struggle. The author stresses that jihad is such an important ritual in Islam that it even renders the Ramadan fast insignificant. Moreover, according to the article, Ramadan provides a special opportunity for supporting jihad, or for immigrating to join it, because those doing so during this holy month gain greater spiritual reward. The article backs up its argument with numerous quotes from hadiths and the Koran.

Following are excerpts from the article. The original English has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization:

"All praises be to Allah, who has given us an opportunity to live to see yet another sacred month of Ramadan, the month in which the Koran was revealed... A month that contains the luminous Night of Qadr [when the first verses of the Koran were revealed], a night wherein worship is better in reward than a thousand months... amonth wherein sins are forgiven, deeds are multiplied, and nearness to the Lord is sought. The virtues of this great month are numerous and well-known to most Muslims...

"I also wish to highlight another of the illustrious rituals of Islam, one which we also hope will assist us in attaining taqwa [piety] and nearness to the Most High. Although it should be borne in mind that this ritual makes the fasting of Ramadan and standing in tarawih [nightly Ramadan prayers] throughout the month including the precious Night of Qadr seem insignificant... It is Jihad in the path of Allah. By that, I mean fighting the enemies of Allah. In the same way as Allah says: '...fasting has been prescribed upon you...' He also says in exactly the same fashion: 'fighting has been prescribed upon you...'

"In the same way that there is no difference of opinion regarding fasting during the month of Ramadan being an individual obligation upon all of us, jihad is also an individual obligation upon all of us at this time wherein the enemies of Allah have invaded, divided up, and looted the Muslim wealth and land, and the honor of women, children and elderly are violated in the most unthinkable and despicable of ways. Our scholars and heroes are slandered, jailed, and murdered ruthlessly...

"Regarding some of the rewards for jihad... Dear brothers and sisters, I remind you that this is 60 years of worship, 60 Ramadan, 60 Nights of Qadr etc.... The month of Ramadan has dawned upon us, giving us the opportunity to multiply our rewards, and participating in (amongst others) two great forms of worship, fasting and jihad, in the month that every good deed is multiplied...

"To those who have been delayed.

"To our dear brothers and sisters in the West (and elsewhere), who up until now have not been able to travel to the 'open fronts' of jihad (i.e. lands in which there is actual fighting that is taking place such as Ash-Shaam [Syria], Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Waziristan, Kashmir, Somalia, Mali, the Caucasus, etc). Rejoice! For all is not lost. Verily, the opportunity is still available to participate in Jihad with your wealth....

"So dear brothers and sisters, please don't let this fantastic opportunity pass you by, especially as we are in the blessed month of Ramadan, where even these tremendous rewards will be multiplied! ...So let no one feel excused from failing to participate in jihad, or feel that they have been deprived of this great opportunity to seek the pleasure of Allah. Oh Allah forgive us! Give us the ability to gain your pleasure by fasting and Jihad for your sake alone and finally grant us shahada (martyrdom)."

[2] For more information on the relationship between jihad and the month of Ramadan, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6085, Ramadan – The Month Of Spirituality, Devotion, Jihad And Martyrdom, June 29, 2015, and MEMRI JTTM report ISIS Video Touts Ramadan As 'Month Of Jihad', June 29, 2015.


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