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memri
July 1, 2014 No.
5782

ISIS Declares Islamic Caliphate, Appoints Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi As 'Caliph', Declares All Muslims Must Pledge Allegiance To Him

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

On June 29, 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released an audio message by the group's spokesman, Abu Muhammad Al-'Adnani. In it, Al-'Adnani announced that ISIS have decided to establish an "Islamic Caliphate," and that its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has been appointed as the new "caliph." In that regard, Al-'Adnani noted that the name ISIS is no longer to be used and that only "the Islamic State" shall be used from now on to reflect those changes. On the conditions that led to establishing the caliphate, Al-'Adnani said that ISIS's shura council studied the matter and arrived at the conclusion that there were no shari'a-based constraints justifying any delay in announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate.

Adding that establishing the caliphate has become a collective obligation for all Muslims, and that the ummah would be sinning if it did not do so, he stated that Muslims everywhere must pledge allegiance to the caliph (Al-Baghdadi), support him and obey him: "Listen to your caliph and obey him... so that you may return to [the status] you once held for ages, of kings of the earth and knights of war." Al-'Adnani noted further that Al-Baghdadi had "fulfilled all the conditions for the caliphate mentioned by the scholars," and that "the land now submits to his orders and authority." Addressing the mujahideen and anyone else working for the support of Islam "on the face of the earth", he said that they too had no shari'a-based excuse to refrain from supporting the caliphate and its leader. He also declared that any group, state or organization becomes invalid the minute it comes under the authority of the caliphate.

Speaking to ISIS's men, Al-'Adnani urged them to remain united, and added that, if anyone tried to break away, they should "split his head with bullets and empty its insides, whoever he may be." Finally, Al-'Adnani offered ISIS's men a number of responses they could use against anyone criticizing ISIS's decision to proclaim a caliphate and appoint a caliph.

The message, which is 34:02 in duration, was first released in Arabic on the Twitter page of ISIS's media company Al-I'tisam. ISIS also released English, German, Russian, and French translations of the message, produced by its subsidiary media company, Al-Hayat.

The following are excerpts from the English translation, lightly edited for clarity.

"The Time Has Come For The Ummah Of Muhammad... To Wake Up... The Sun Of Jihad Has Risen"

"Praise be to Allah, the Mighty and Strong. And may peace and blessings be upon the one sent with the sword as a mercy to all creation....

[It is said in Koran 24:55]: ' Allah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion, which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear – (provided) they worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me...'

"Succession, establishment, and safety – a promise from Allah reserved for the Muslims, but with a condition...Having faith in Allah, keeping far from the gateways to shirk [polytheism] and its various shades, along with submitting to Allah’s command in everything big and small... Only after this condition is met will the promise be fulfilled...

"Allah... also gave honor to the ummah... [which] does not accept submission to anyone or anything other than Allah. It does not accept transgression nor oppression... This is the ummah of Muhammad...which, whenever it is truthful with Allah, He brings about His promise for them...

"Allah... sent His Prophet... while the Arabs were in the depths of ignorance and blinding darkness. They were the most naked, the hungriest, and the most backwards of peoples, sinking in depths of lowness... This was the condition of the Arabs before Islam...Then, when Allah blessed them with Islam and they believed, Allah unified them, united their ranks, honored them after their humiliation, enriched them after their poverty, and brought their hearts together, all through Islam. Thus, by the grace of Allah, they became brothers...

"Our dear ummah – the best of peoples – Allah... decrees numerous victories for this ummah to occur in a single year, which He does not grant others in many years or even centuries...

"The time has come for those generations that were drowning in oceans of disgrace, being nursed on the milk of humiliation, and being ruled by the vilest of all people, after their long slumber in the darkness of neglect – the time has come for them to rise. The time has come for the ummah of Muhammad...to wake up from its sleep, remove the garments of dishonor, and shake off the dust of humiliation and disgrace, for the era of lamenting and moaning has gone, and the dawn of honor has emerged anew. The sun of jihad has risen. The glad tidings of good are shining. Triumph looms on the horizon. The signs of victory have appeared."

After ISIS Established Just Rule In The Areas Under Its Control, Only One Matter Remained: To Declare The Caliphate

"Here the flag of the Islamic State, the flag of tawhid... rises and flutters. Its shade covers land from Aleppo to Diyala. Beneath it, the walls of the tawaghit [tyrants] have been demolished, their flags have fallen, and their borders have been destroyed. Their soldiers are either killed, imprisoned, or defeated. The Muslims are honored. The kuffar [unbelievers]... are disgraced. Ahl Al-Sunna [Sunnis] are masters and are esteemed. The people of bid’ah [forbidden religious innovation]... are humiliated. The hudud [Koranic punishment] are implemented...The frontlines are defended. Crosses and graves[1] are demolished. Prisoners are released by the edge of the sword. The people in the lands of the State move about for their livelihood and journeys, feeling safe regarding their lives and wealth. Wulat [governors] and judges have been appointed. Jizya [the poll tax levied on non-Muslims living in Muslim lands] has been enforced. Fay’ [a kind of booty taken from the Muslims' enemies] and zakat [alms paid by the Muslims] have been collected. Courts have been established to resolve disputes and complaints. Evil has been removed. Lessons and classes have been held in the mosques and, by the grace of Allah, the religion has become completely for Allah.

"There only remained one matter, a wajib kifaya [collective obligation] that the ummah sins by abandoning. It is a forgotten obligation. The ummah has not tasted honor since they lost it. It is a dream that lives in the depths of every Muslim believer. It is a hope that flutters in the heart of every monotheistic mujahid. It is the khilafa [caliphate]...the abandoned obligation of the era...

"Therefore, the shura council of the Islamic State studied this matter after the Islamic State – by Allah’s grace – gained the essentials necessary for khilafa, which the Muslims are sinful if they do not try to establish. In light of the fact that the Islamic State has no shari'a[-based] constraint or excuse that can justify delaying or neglecting the establishment of the khilafa... the Islamic State... resolved to announce the establishment of the Islamic caliphate, [and to appoint] a khalifa (caliph) for the Muslims:... the sheikh, the mujahid, the scholar who practices what he preaches, the worshipper, the leader, the warrior, the reviver, descendent from the family of the Prophet, the slave of Allah Ibrahim Ibn 'Awwad Ibn Ibrahim Ibn 'Ali Ibn Muhammad Al-Badri, [who is] Al-Hashimi Al-Husayni [and] Al-Qurayshi by lineage, Al-Samuraa'i [i.e. from Samarra in Iraq] by birth and upbringing, Al-Baghdadi [i.e., from Baghdad] by residence and scholarship. And he has accepted the baya' [pledge of allegiance]. Thus, he is the imam and caliph for Muslims everywhere. Accordingly, the "Iraq and Sham" in the name of the Islamic State is henceforth removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name is the Islamic State from the date of this declaration.

"We clarify to the Muslims that with this declaration of khilafa, it is incumbent upon all Muslims to pledge allegiance to the caliph Ibrahim and support him... The legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organizations, becomes null by the expansion of the caliphate's authority and arrival of its troops to their areas...

"The caliph Ibrahim... has fulfilled all the conditions for caliphate mentioned by the scholars. He was given baya' in Iraq by the people of authority in the Islamic State as the successor to Abu 'Omar Al-Baghdadi... His authority has expanded over wide areas in Iraq and Al-Sham. The land now submits to his order and authority from Aleppo to Diyala. So fear Allah, O slaves of Allah. Listen to your caliph and obey him. Support your state, which grows everyday – by Allah’s grace – with honor and loftiness, while its enemy increases in retreat and defeat."

"By Allah, If You Disbelieve In Democracy, Secularism, Nationalism, As Well As All The Other Garbage And Ideas From The West... Then By Allah, You Will Own The Earth, And The East And West Will Submit To You"

"So rush O Muslims and gather around your caliph, so that you may return as you once were for ages, kings of the earth and knights of war. Come so that you may be honored and esteemed, living as masters with dignity... By Allah, if you disbelieve in democracy, secularism, nationalism, as well as all the other garbage and ideas from the west, and rush to your religion and creed, then by Allah, you will own the earth, and the east and west will submit to you. This is the promise of Allah to you...

"And a message to all the platoons and groups on the face of the earth, consisting of mujahidin and people working to support the religion of Allah and raising the Islamic banners – a message to the heads and leaders of these groups – we say:

"Fear Allah with regards to yourselves. Fear Allah with regards to your jihad. Fear Allah with regards to your ummah...We – by Allah – do not find any shari'a [-based] excuse for you justifying your holding back from supporting this state... It is time for you to end this abhorrent partisanship, dispersion, and division, for this condition is not from the religion of Allah at all. And if you forsake the State or wage war against it, you will not harm it. You will only harm yourselves..."

After The Establishment Of The Caliphate, All Other Groups And Organizations Are Null And Void

"As for you, O soldiers of the platoons and organizations, know that after this consolidation and the establishment of the caliphate, the legality of your groups and organizations has become invalid. It is not permissible for a single person of you who believes in Allah to sleep without having loyalty to the caliph. If your leaders whisper to you claiming it is not a caliphate, then remember how long they whispered to you claiming that it was not a state but rather a fictional, cardboard entity, until its certain news reached you. It is a state. Its news will continue to reach you showing that it is a caliphate, even if after time. And know that nothing has delayed victory and delays it now more than these organizations, because they are the cause of division and disagreements that ruin strength. Division is not from Islam at all...

"As for you, O soldiers of the Islamic State, then congratulations to you. Congratulations on this clear victory, congratulations on this great triumph. Today the unbelievers are infuriated in such a manner after which there will be no similar infuriation. Many of them almost die from anger and sorrow. Today the believers rejoice with victory from Allah, feeling great happiness. Today the hypocrites are degraded. Today the Rafidites [i.e. Shi'ites], Sahawat [awakening movement], and apostates are humiliated. Today the idols in the east and west are frightened. Today the nations of unbelief in the west are terrified. Today the flags of Satan and his party have fallen..."

The Mujahideen Must Rally Around The Caliphate, And If Anyone Refuses, "Split His Head With Bullets And Empty Its Insides, Whoever He May Be..."

"Also know that one of the biggest factors that brought about this victory that Allah...has blessed you with is your support of each other, the absence of disagreement, your listening to and obedience of your leaders, and your patience with them. So keep this factor in mind and preserve it. Unite with each other and do not disagree with each other. Accept each other and do not argue with each other. Be very wary of breaking the ranks...And if anyone wants to break the ranks, split his head with bullets and empty its insides, whoever he may be...

"O soldiers of the Islamic State, there is one more matter that I wish to call your attention to. They [i.e. ISIS's opponents] will look for something to criticize and will attempt to raise misconceptions. So if they ask you, 'How can you announce the caliphate when the ummah has not rallied behind you?... Then say to them [that]...they have never united on a single issue, nor will they ever unite on any issue except for those whom Allah has mercy upon. Furthermore, the Islamic State will bring together those who want unity.

If they tell you, 'You have stepped over them and acted on your own judgment. Why did you not consult the other groups, pardon them, and tolerate them?' Then say to them, 'The issue is too urgent.'...And say to them, 'Whom would we consult? They never recognized the Islamic State to begin with, although America, Britain and France acknowledge its existence. Whom would we consult? Should we consult those who have abandoned us? Those who have betrayed us? Those who have disowned us and incited against us? Those who have become hostile towards us? Those who wage war against us? Whom would we consult, and whom did we step over?'...

"And if they tell you, 'We do not accept your authority'. Then say to them, 'We had the ability to establish the caliphate, by the grace of Allah, so it became an obligation for us to do so. Therefore, we hastened in adherence to the command of Allah...And say to them, 'We spilled rivers of our blood to water the seeds of the caliphate, laid its foundation with our skulls, and built its tower over our corpses. We were patient for years in the face of being killed, imprisoned, having our bones broken and our limbs severed. We drank all sorts of bitterness, dreaming of this day. Would we delay it for even a moment after having reached it?' And say to them, we took it forcibly at the point of a blade. We brought it back conquered and compelled. We established it in defiance of many. And the people’s necks were violently struck, with bombings, explosions, and destruction...Our caliphate has indeed returned with certainty...

"In conclusion, we congratulate the Muslims on the advent of the blessed month of Ramadan. We ask Allah...to make it a month of victory, honor, and consolidation for the Muslims, and make its days and its nights a curse for the Rafidites, Sahawat, and the apostates..."

Endnote:

[1] Refers to tombs of saints, whose worship the Salafis consider forbidden.