December 1, 2004 Special Dispatch No. 820

An Open Letter from a Saudi Islamist to Those who Shirk Jihad

December 1, 2004
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 820

The Islamist website recently posted an open letter from a Saudi sheikh urging all Muslims to join Jihad, and emphasizing the obligation to fight the Saudi rulers, who, he claims, are at the service of the infidels. The letter is signed by "Abu 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Athari Sultan Ibn Bijad, of the occupied land of the two sacred mosques." The following are excerpts: [1]

Your Brethren in Iraq Suffer Greatly while You are with Your Wives

"In the name of Allah the Compassionate and the Merciful… Praise be to He who has guided me to the way of glory and honor, and praise be to Allah who gave me the honor of knowing the heroes of this Islamic nation and being in their company – people like the martyred leader Abd Al-Aziz Al-Muqrin, Sheikh Isa Al-Awshin and Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Rayyis, Faisal Al-Dakhil, Nasir Al-Rashid, Ibrahim Al-Durayhim, Turki Al-Mutayri, Abd Al-Ilah Al-'Utaybi, and others of our brethren. These men taught us the meaning of courage and valor and of sacrificing everything precious and dear in order to come to the aid of 'There is no God but Allah.'

"You who shirk Jihad – it is reported on good authority that the Prophet said: None of you is a real believer unless he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself. It is also reported on good authority that he said: The meaning of Islam is giving good advice. Therefore, I give you honest advice.

"Today, you act without taking account of what you are doing, but tomorrow you will be called to account, and there will be nothing you can do. You who shirk Jihad, are you content with sitting with those who stayed behind? Allah said [in the Koran]: 'They were content to be with those who stayed behind; a seal was set upon their hearts, and so they do not understand' [9:87]. This is the bitter truth from which you have been fleeing for a long time. Are you content to be sitting with the hypocrites and those who seek excuses? What have you done for your religion, when you see [your fellow Muslims] being slaughtered every day and every place?

"You who shirk Jihad, how can you enjoy sitting idly while your brethren in Iraq suffer greatly under the oppression of Allah's enemies, while you are with your wives? How can you enjoy life and comfort while your noble sisters are being raped and their honor is defiled in the Abu Ghreib prison.

"You who shirk Jihad, what excuse can you give Allah while your brethren in the prisons of Abu Ghreib and Guantanamo and Al-Ruways and Al-Ha'ir are stripped naked? I believe you saw those pictures that came out of the Abu Ghreib prison. These pictures [also reflect the situation] of our brethren in the prisons of Israel, in America, and [in the prisons of] their collaborators in this region. You who shirk Jihad, the Crusaders and the Jews violate the honor of noble women and oppress the heroes of the [Islamic] nation in the detention camps of America, Israel, and their accomplices – so what are you waiting for?"

Koranic Verses Sanctioning Jihad

"You who shirk Jihad, Allah has said: 'Fight them until there is no more discord and Allah alone shall be worshipped' [8:39]. Don't you know Allah's words: 'Slay the idolaters wherever you find them and take them prisoner and besiege them and lay an ambush for them wherever you can' [9:5]? Allah has said: 'Fight them, so that God will chastise them at our hands and shame them. He will grant you victory over them, will satisfy the believers' spirit and remove vexation from their hearts' [9:14]. Allah has said: 'Fight those from among those who had been given Scriptures, who do not believe in Allah and in the last day and do not prohibit that which Allah and His Messenger prohibited and do not follow the true religion, until they pay the jizya [the poll tax] out of hand, while being humiliated' [9:29]. Allah has said: 'You who believe, the unbelievers who dwell around you; let them find you tough, and know that Allah is with those who fear Him' [9:123].

"Allah said: 'Do you think that he who gives water to the pilgrims and visits the holy mosque [in Mecca] is equivalent to one who believes in Allah and the last day and fights Jihad for the sake of Allah? For Allah these are not the same. Allah does not guide the iniquitous…' [9:19]. You who shirk Jihad: 'Say: if your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your tribes, the wealth that you have gathered and merchandise that you are afraid will have no buyers, and homes that you like – are all these dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and fighting Jihad for His sake? Then wait for Allah to bring his judgment, and Allah shall not guide the evildoers' [9:24].

"You who shirk Jihad: 'Believers, why is that when you are told: go forth [to fight] for the sake of Allah, you linger slothfully in the ground? Are you more content with this world than with the world to come? The blessings of this world as compared to the world to come are few. If you do not go forth to fight, He will punish you sternly and will choose another people instead of you. You will not do Him any harm, for Allah has power over all things' [9:38-9].

"You who shirk Jihad: 'March on, whether poorly or heavily equipped, and fight for the cause of Allah, with your property and your lives. This will be best for you, if you only knew it' [9:41]…"

Shirking Jihad Outweighs Previous Good Deeds

"You who shirk Jihad: Don't you know the story of the three laggards? [2] Don't you know what their sin was and what offense it was that they committed? It was [the crime of] shirking Jihad … Consider this: [even though they were] companions of the Prophet, and the best of men, and they went out with Muhammad on some of his raids, what was their punishment? Allah's Messenger exiled them for fifty nights despite the fact that they repented – and Allah only accepted their penitence after fifty nights! Indeed, the matter is grave, so take a look at yourselves, and make a reckoning, before you are called to reckoning.

"You who shirk Jihad: We haven't seen you coming to the aid of your brethren in the Arab peninsula, nor have we seen you fighting the Crusaders. Why do you shirk Jihad ? What is the matter with you?

"You who shirk Jihad: The people of the Jahiliyya [i.e., the pagans in the pre-Islamic era] would not have tolerated the humiliation that the nation of Islamis experiencing these days. They would not have tolerated seeing their sisters in the hands of their enemy, violating their chastity and defiling their honor.

"You who shirk Jihad: If you claim that our war [in Saudi Arabia] is flawed [from the Islamic legal point of view], then, according to your claim, what about Iraq – where the millstone of war has been grinding, the chastity of noble women has been violated, innocent Muslims are being killed and Muslim property has been plundered. Why do you shirk Jihad then?

"You who shirk Jihad: If you resent the warriors of Jihad in general, and those in the Arabian peninsula in particular [because we are fighting against these troops that serve the tyrants], and would defend them [these troops] because they are Muslims – then, by Allah, who are the ones who hunt us? [Who are the ones who] enter our women's chambers [without permission]? [Who are the ones who] imprison our heroes and our sheikhs? [Who are the ones who] kill the best of our men? And [who are the ones who] attack our wives and our property? I ask you by Allah, who serves as the spying eye of the tyrant, as his striking hand, and his eavesdropping ear? Aren't they the special security and emergency troops and patrols and secret police? I'm asking you by Allah, aren't they defending the cross? Who is defending the Americans and Crusaders in our country? Who stands against us to defend the cross? By Allah, we did see the troops of the National Guard risking their lives to defend the gates of the CIA in Riyadh."

Those Who Assist the Infidels are No Longer Muslims

"You who shirk Jihad: I ask you, by Allah, don't most of these troops know well that the Jihad warriors are the enemies of America and its allies? Hasn't Allah said: 'He who allies himself with them [the infidels], Allah does not guide the iniquitous…' [5:51] Haven't the ulama … stipulated, with regard to causes that nullify Islam, that whoever assists infidels with his life, money, advice, or even with a single word, is considered an infidel and an apostate. I was very pleased with what one of my brethren said on this matter: 'What is the difference between Peter and Hammud? Peter comes from the desert of Nevada in America, and Hammud comes from the desert of Najd [in Arabia], but both of them fight under the banner of the cross.'

"You who shirk Jihad: 'Let not pity for them overcome you and hold you back from obeying Allah's law, if you believe in Allah and the last day' [24:2]. Why is it – when you call whoever collaborates with the Jews in Jerusalem and Gaza a spy, in Kabul an agent, in Baghdad and Falluja a traitor – you regard him [the collaborator] in Riyadh with awe? Allah's religion is one. His messenger is one. And the Islamic law is one. He who hunts our brethren in Palestine is the one who hunts them in Iraq and Afghanistan and is the same one who hunts us in Riyadh. The scholars of Islam are all in agreement that it is permissible to fight the despotic enemy, and if this one is not despotic, and above all, a traitor, then what is he? By Allah, I saw with my very eyes soldiers from the traffic police, who are falsely called ' Jihad warriors', block the roads and brandish their arms in the faces of our brethren. These troops know very well that Ibn Sa'ud and his brothers are American agents. Has anything survived of their manhood and honor, and above all, of their religion?

"You who shirk Jihad: You claim that you are defending a front-line position, but indeed we find, after considering the matter, that the positions you are holding are your wives and the love of this world and hatred of death. This is your real state. Fear Allah and return to religion, which is Jihad. As Allah said: 'Oh ye who believe, answer Allah and the messenger when He calls you to that which gives you life' [8:24]. Ibn Abbas said: 'That which gives you life' means Jihad." [3]

Beware the Evil Ulama who Serve the Rulers

"You who shirk Jihad: I warn you against the temptation of the evil ulama and the hermits who are at the service of rulers. The Prophet said: 'The thing I fear most for you are Imams who will mislead you.'Allah said: 'Oh you who believe – Many of the rabbis and the monks devour the property of people falsely and bar the path of Allah' [9:34]. And He said: 'They have taken their rabbis and monks and the Messiah, the son of Mary for deities instead of Allah, though they were ordered to worship only one god, and that there are none beside Him. Be he exalted far above those who they associate him' [9:31].

"You who shirk Jihad: I ask you by Allah, do you call those who cry over the Crusaders' ulama ? Our brethren in the Arabian Peninsula are being killed and imprisoned but they do not say a single word in their own circles in their defense. But when Allah graced the Jihad warriors with the capturing of one barbaric Christian infidel, the hypocrites and the agents of the tyrannical rulers started screaming. How can you trust these people and follow their example in matters of your religion.

"You who shirk Jihad: These ulama, these monks, who are at the service of the government, did not help our brethren imprisoned in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Al-Ruwais, Al-Ha'ir, 'Aleisha, and Al-Rasifa and they have not issued even a single fatwa on the obligation to set them free. May Allah disgrace those who stand up for the children of the Crusaders but do not stand up for the children of Muslims. It was said to Khalid Ibn Al-Walid: 'Where was your mind, oh Khalid, for 20 years while the light of prophecy was among you?' And he said: 'Leading us were men whose minds we saw as mountains…'" [4]

Those Who Shirk Jihad Are Like Women

"You who shirk Jihad: I am saying to you what Ibn Al-Jawzi said to the people of his time: 'Oh people: the millstone of war is turning round and the call for Jihad was made and the gates of heaven have opened. And so, if you are not among the knights of war, then let your women grind the millstone of war and you go and makeup your eyes, you women with beards and turbans!'

"You who shirk Jihad: Join the caravan of Jihad. Here are your brethren in the Arabian Peninsula, fighting Allah's enemies – the Crusaders. Help them and join them, and if you cannot join them – here are the Crusaders, moving about freely in the Prophet's [Arabian] Peninsula, so kill one infidel so that you should have a portion of the Prophet's saying: 'Never shall an infidel and his killer be together in hell,' as recorded by Muslim. [5]

"You who shirk Jihad: ' Cast not yourselves to perdition with your own hand' [2:195]. 'Perdition' is the abandonment of Jihad and occupying one's self with this world.

"You who stay away from Jihad: Don't be strong in Paganism and weak in Islam.

"You who stay away from Jihad: Do you know who the real believers are? They are, as Allah said: 'Those who adopted Islam, and left their homes, and fought for the sake of Allah, and those who gave them shelter and helped them, these are the true believers' [8:72].

"In conclusion, I beseech Allah, the glorious and exalted, to guide your hearts and keep us firm on the way of Jihad until we meet Him. Oh Allah, the living, the eternal, glorious and magnificent, guide the nation of Muhammad to Jihad. Oh Allah, direct the youth of Islam to help you and to help your religion, oh lord of the universe.

"Oh Allah: take care of the Crusaders and the Jews and their agents. Oh Allah: put fear in their hearts, and bring down on them all the forces of heaven and earth. Oh mighty and omnipotent, oh creator of heaven and earth. Oh Allah: assist us and give us victory. Make the [people of the] cross and their helpers and agents choke on us. Oh Allah: strengthen our resolve, steady our feet, tighten our hearts and provide us with your provision. Oh Allah: help our oppressed brethren everywhere: in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the lands of Islam, oh lord of the universe. Oh Allah: grant me martyrdom for your sake through which you will forgive my sins and be pleased with me and content, Oh the most magnificent of all."

[1] November 17, 2004.

[2] This refers to an incident related to Muhammad's military campaign on Tabuk, where three of his companions avoided participation. Muhammad punished them by declaring that they be boycotted for fifty days. The incident is referred to in the Koran 9:117–118.

[3] 'Abdallah ibn 'Abbas, the son of Abbas, Muhammad's uncle, was one of the most prolific transmitters of traditions of the Prophet and an early exegete of the Koran.

[4] Khalid Ibn Al-Walid (ca. 584–642 CE) was one of the greatest military commanders of early Islam. He first fought with his tribe Quraysh against the Prophet Muhammad. In the Battle of Uhud he led the army of Quraysh and defeated the Muslim army. He accepted Islam after the conquest of Mecca (630 CE) and put himself at the service of the Prophet. He won the sobriquet "Allah's Sword" ( Sayf Allah ) for his military feats on behalf of Islam.

[5] Abu Al-Husayn Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj Al-Nisapuri (815–875 CE) was a famous Islamic scholar of Hadith, whose collection of prophetic traditions is second only to Bukhari's collection in authority.

Share this Report: