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memri
June 29, 2015 No.
6085

Ramadan – The Month Of Spirituality, Devotion, Jihad And Martyrdom

The month of Ramadan, the month of fasting, has a special status as the month of religious spirituality and devotion. However, in Muslim tradition it is also perceived as a month of jihad and martyrdom, a month in which Allah grants military victories to His believers. It was during Ramadan that Muslims triumphed in many of their battles, among them the battle of Badr in 624 between supporters of Muhammad and a merchant caravan of the Quraysh tribe; the conquest of Mecca in 630 and of Andalusia in 711; the battle of Al-Zallaqa in 1086, in which Spanish Muslims defeated the Castilians near the city of Badajoz on today's Portuguese border, and the 1973 War (called The Ramadan War).

Given the historic religious and military significance of Ramadan, Islamist and jihadi groups, and sometimes also mainstream Arab organizations and Arab media, escalate incitement to jihad and martyrdom during this month. Messages, articles and sermons that are published on the occasion of Ramadan and explain the connection between Ramadan and jihad and often stress the following themes:

-The commandment of jihad, which is of supreme importance at all times, assumes even greater importance during this holy month and gains precedence over all other commandments. 

-There is a close connection between fasting and jihad, for the former is jihad of the soul, aimed at restraining it from sinning, while the second is jihad against the enemies, aimed at preventing them from spreading "corruption" in the world. Moreover, fasting is a powerful means to prepare the soul for jihad, i.e., to school oneself in obedience, devotion, resilience and endurance, which are the virtues of the jihad fighter that allow him to vanquish his enemies. On Ramadan Allah grants fighters special strength, despite - or rather by virtue of - their fasting. 

-Those who gain martyrdom during the month of Ramadan are doubly rewarded in Paradise.

-During Ramadan, the Muslims are especially beholden to protect the sanctity of the Muslim holy places and keep the infidels from "desecrating" or threatening them.

The following are excerpts from a sampling of messages, articles and sermons on this topic, published across the Arab world from 2001 until today, compiled from previous MEMRI documents.


"Ramadan - The Month of Jihad and Victories" (image: Saraya.ps)

Former Egyptian Grand Mufti: Ramadan Is The Month Of Jihad And Victories

In an article published in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram in July 2012, then-mufti of Egypt 'Ali Gum'a wrote that Ramadan is, and has been throughout Muslim history, the month in which Allah helps the Muslims to prevail over their enemies and grants them mighty victories. He reviewed the conquests of Muslims throughout history during Ramadan.

"[Throughout the history of] Islamic civilization, Ramadan has been not only a month of worship and of growing close to Allah the Almighty, but also a month of action and jihad aimed at spreading this great religion. When the soul grows stronger and the spirit soars, it inevitably affects the body, which [also] grows stronger - [for] the body is the mirror of the soul. That is why, throughout [Muslim] history, Ramadan has been a month of great conquests, which were an important factor in spreading Islam, [with] its righteousness and tolerance, across the world. Ramadan saw [many] events that were milestones in the history of Islamic civilization.

"On Ramadan 22 of the year 1 AH [623 CE], the Prophet's brigades were first sent forth... On Ramadan 17 of the year 2 AH [624 CE] was the great Battle of Badr, in which the Muslims under the command of the Prophet defeated the infidel armies. On Ramadan 21 of the year 8 AH [630 CE], the Messenger of Allah conquered Mecca. [This] conquest was the pinnacle of the efforts of the Prophet and his Companions in their Islamic da'wa for the sake of Allah. It bore the message of Islamic sovereignty in the Arabian Peninsula, where, following [the Prophet's] example, people [started to] convert to Allah's religion in groups. On Ramadan 8 in the year 9 AH [631 CE] was the Battle of Tabouk, and the Prophet returned from this battle on Ramadan 26, having received great support from Allah.

"After [Muhammad's] death, his Companions followed his example in spreading da'wa, and their era, too, saw great Islamic conquests during the month of Ramadan. On Ramadan 13, 15 AH [636 CE], the Commander of the Faithful, 'Umar bin Khattab, arrived in Palestine after waging hard battles to conquer Al-Sham [Greater Syria]. He received the keys to the city of Jerusalem and granted its people a charter of protection guaranteeing their property and lives, [and today] we ask Allah to return [Jerusalem] in its entirety to the Muslims. On Ramadan 1, 20 AH [641 CE], [also] in the period of 'Umar bin Khattab, the Muslims entered Egypt under the command of 'Umar 'Ibn Al-'As, after he vanquished the army of the oppressing Byzantines.

"On Ramadan 6, 23 AH [644 CE], Muhammad ibn Al-Qasim defeated the Indian armies near the Indus River and conquered the Indus Valley.  It was at the end of the era of Walid bin 'Abd Al-Malik. The conquest of Al-Andalus started on Ramadan 1, 91 AH [710 CE], when the Muslims, under the command of Tarif ibn Malik Al-Berberi,[1] landed on its southern coast and conquered several port cities...

"Ramadan also saw the Muslim victory over the Byzantine state, in the Battle of Amorium, under the command of the 'Abbasid Caliph Al-Mu'tasim. Heeding the cries of his Muslim brothers, he came to their help with a large army and punished the Byzantine state on Ramadan 19, 223 AH [838 CE]. On Ramadan 25, 658 AH [1260 CE] was the Battle of 'Ain Jalout, led by Muzaffar Sayf Al-Din. Allah the Almighty granted the Muslims a decisive... victory that halted the spread of the Mongols and saved the Muslim civilization from perdition

"Ramadan 10 went down in history as a day of victory not only for the Egyptians but for the entire Arab and Muslim nation, and it will remain forever etched in the memory of every Arab and Muslim. This was [the day of] the Egyptian army's victory over the Israelis in the war of 1973. On October 6, 1973 was the Battle of Al-'Ubour, in which the Egyptian army crossed the Suez Canal, and, with Allah's help, re-took the Sinai Peninsula. Centuries before that, on Ramadan 10, 648 (December 10, 1250), the Muslims defeated Louis IX in the Battle of Al-Mansoura, killing and capturing many of his soldiers.

"The month of Ramadan has thus gone down in Muslim history as the month of conquest; the month in which Allah the Almighty wished to spread the light of Islam, its morality, and its values among all of mankind."[2] 

Al-Azhar Lecturer Dr. Fuad Mukheimar: "Fasting Is A Continuous Commandment, Until Judgment Day And The Same Is True For Jihad"

Egyptian cleric and Al-Azhar lecturer Dr. Fuad Mukheimar devoted an article to the topic of Ramadan in November 2001. In it, he clarified the connection between fasting and jihad: "Education for fasting has not been limited to preparing Muslims for battle and imbuing them with the meaning of soldiering, but also included waging a number of honorable battles during the month of Ramadan - to the point where this month came to be called 'The Month of jihad.' The nation of Islam came to be called 'the jihad-fighting nation,' and its moral values came to be called 'the values of warfare'"

"Fasting is closely connected to jihad in two aspects: First, determination and steadfastness until The Hour [Judgment Day]. Fasting is a continuous commandment, until Judgment Day and the same is true for jihad, because Muslim society needs it to defend [its] faith, honor, and homeland The nation's fasting is [itself] education for jihad, and as long as the nation fasts it will continue to be a jihad fighter."

"Second, fasting and jihad are connected [to each other] in body, spirit, and soul. To this end, Allah has set some jihad battles for the month of fasting in order to gather together the army of Allah"[3]

Article On Muslim Brotherhood Website: "Transform The Month Of Fasting Into A Training Camp That Will Aid You In Jihad When The Time Comes"

In a September 2012 article published on the occasion of Ramadan on the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) website, MB member Hussein Shehata, a lecturer at Al-Azhar University, praised the jihad waged by Muslims against their enemies around the world: against the Jews - "the descendants of apes and pigs" - in Palestine, against the Americans in Iraq, against the Russians in Chechnya, and against the Muslims' enemies in Kashmir, Bosnia, Eritrea, and Somalia. He also emphasized the similarity between one who fasts and one who wages jihad on the battlefield, and urged Muslims to "transform the month of fasting into a training camp that will aid [them] in jihad when the time comes."

"Fasting [during Ramadan] is one of the most powerful means to educate the human spirit for jihad. Fasting involves a spiritual effort to act in a way contrary to what is accepted, and to completely abandon desires... It also schools the Muslim in patience, resilience, endurance, and sacrifice, which are all traits of the jihad fighter...

"There are similarities between one who fasts to please Allah and one who wages jihad for Allah, and we will mention several of them:

"1. Obedience to Allah is the purpose of both...: A Muslim fasts out of obedience to Allah and in accordance with his decree... [He] asks Allah to forgive his sins in the hope of being released from Hell and attaining Paradise... Similarly, the jihad fighter answers Allah's call for jihad, hoping [to achieve] either victory or martyrdom... The purpose of one who fasts and of one who wages jihad is [one and the same] - to please Allah and to gain Paradise.

"2. Devotion is a trait of both...: Devotion to Allah is embedded in the very act of fasting... Similarly, the jihad fighter wants to please Allah with jihad, and does not do it in order to be perceived as courageous. One who fasts and one who wages jihad both require a high level of faith and fear of Allah...

"3. Patience is a trait of both...: Fasting accustoms the soul to bearing hunger and thirst with patience, and to holding back desires - so much so that the soul becomes immune to weakness, and stronger under pressure... Similarly, we find that the jihad fighter is able to go for long hours without food or drink while fighting the enemy. Apparently, fasting trains a Muslim in endurance and in tolerating [hardship]...

"4. Sacrifice is a trait of both...: One who fasts sacrifices food, drink, carnal desires, and money... During a fast, there is a sacrifice of things that the soul loves, in order to become closer to Allah. Similarly, the jihad fighter sacrifices his life and his money for Allah. Sacrificing life, money, food, drink, and desires are traits of both... and are the basis for victory over both carnal desires and the enemies of Islam. He who cannot conquer his own desire cannot conquer his enemies.

"Ramadan is the month of victory for those who wage jihad for Allah. Ramadan has seen the following battles, conquests, and victories: the great Battle of Badr [624 CE],... the conquest of Mecca [630 CE],... the Battle of Hattin [1187], the Muslims' entrance into Al-Andalus [Andalusia, 710 CE], the conquest of Constantinople by Muhammad the Conqueror[4] [1453 CE], and the battle of 'Ein Jalut [1260 CE], in which the Muslims defeated the Mongols..."

"We call upon those who fast, the jihad fighters, to liberate Jerusalem: Oh fasting Muslim, know that your ultimate purpose is to answer Allah's decree. Be devoted in your fast and honest with Allah and yourself, and do not hold back expenses for Allah. If you act thus, you will reach the level of jihad fighters in terms of payment and reward. Take this opportunity and draw close to Allah with good deeds...

"Know, oh fasting brother, that jihad continues until the Day of Judgment, and that the Day of Judgment will not arrive until the Muslims fight the Jews, defeat them, and liberate Jerusalem. Transform the month of fasting into a training camp that will aid you in jihad when the time comes. Be prepared, since the Muslims' victories over their enemies occurred during the month of Ramadan, when the jihad fighters were fasting..."

"We call upon those who fast... to remember their brothers, those who wage jihad for the sake of Allah: in Palestine, against the Jews, the descendants of apes and pigs; in Iraq, against the Americans; in Bosnia-Herzegovina, against the crusader Serbians; in Chechnya, against the Russians; in Kashmir, against the idolatrous Indians; in Eritrea, against the Zoroastrian Habeshas; in Somalia, against the arrogant Americans; and everywhere in [the lands of] the Islamic ummah, against those who fight the Muslims.

"We call on Allah to receive our martyrs' souls, to liberate our prisoners, to rescue those who are arrested for His sake, to accept jihad from those who fast, and to let them conquer their desires and their enemies, and cause them to rejoice in the liberation of Jerusalem."[5]

MB General Guide: "Allah Did Not Mandate [The Fast] Of Ramadan So That [We] Sit Idly And Avoid Jihad"

MB General Guide Muhammad Badi' wrote on the movement's website in August 2012: "Since [the Battle of Badr] and until today, the month of Ramadan has been a time of victories for the [Muslim] nation - [victories] which repeatedly confirmed that the [Muslim] nation has an essence in which its sons take pride and which is embedded in them; that the nation has power that emanates from its first [sovereign] state, which was established by Allah's Messenger in Al-Medina and subsequently spread across the globe; and that the nation [consists of] peoples that feel its might and strength, for it is supported by the succor and providence of Allah even [when] its ranks are thin and its equipment meager. They draw their strength from their Maker, the Lord of all might, which he bestowed upon His Messenger and the believers.

"Allah the Almighty wanted the [Ramadan] fast to coincide with fighting, so that the Muslims would win and deal their enemies a crushing blow that the world would speak of... Allah did not mandate [the fast] of Ramadan so that [we] sit idly and avoid jihad, action, and da'wa for the sake of Allah. The fast is not intended to be an excuse to avoid one's obligations at work or one's social commitments. Rather, it is a month of action and movement, of conquests and victories - the month in which most of the defeats of the nation's enemies occurred. Is this not [incentive] enough for us to shake off the dust of sloth, inaction, and apathy, and spin the wheel of life with all the power and might [that Allah] has bestowed upon us?

"The victories of the month of Ramadan are actually lessons for the Muslim peoples. They lifted [the Muslims'] spirit; maximized their ability to give, commit and improve; created a new reality in building the modern Islamic state; and gave rise to a generation of [people who are like] sturdy bricks - [people] who conquer their urges and can defend the nation, achieve its freedom, and restore its glory. The victories during the month of Ramadan are generally [achieved] only thanks to the help bestowed [by Allah] on humanity, [help] that has changed its history, improved its situation, and contributed to its advancement.

"In the nation's most recent victory - in the 'Ramadan 10' War [i.e. the 1973 war between the Arabs and Israel] - the winds of Ramadan blew upon the Egyptian people, which consisted of [Muslim] soldiers, who fasted and prayed, and also their Christian partners and brothers, who joined them in sacrificing for the defense of justice, freedom, and the homeland, and even participated in the fast out of respect for [Muslim] feelings. This influenced the achievement of victory and the reserves of faith that preceded it and provided momentum for dedication and sacrifice.

"If we desire victory for our revolutionary peoples; stability in our assaulted homelands; an end to the inhuman slaughter of our brothers in Palestine, Syria, and Burma; and the rescue of the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Zionists' attempts to destroy it and Judaize Jerusalem - we must rally around Allah, act in His name, persevere with His help, and put our trust in Him...

"This is the month of might and victory, in which the fasting believers defeat their own [urges], as well as their enemies. Allah decreed that the Islamic nation, throughout its long history, should [experience] momentous events during this holy month... This month saw the glorious conquest of Mecca, in which the Messenger of Allah, peace by upon him, stood at the entrance of the Ka'aba and said: 'There is no God but Allah, who fulfilled His promise, granted victory to His servant, and defeated the [enemy] hosts by himself.' This month is a month of war within one's soul and struggle against one's desires. The spirit is the greatest battlefield on which a fighter is trained [to fight] his enemies. If one vanquishes one's urges, one can certainly vanquish others...

"The month of Ramadan was given to the nation so that we remember these victories, these meanings, and our duties: to commit to being God-fearing, to conquer the spirit, to unify our ranks, to turn only to Allah, [and to engage in] action, jihad, preparation, and training. This, so we can enjoy the victories of the month of Ramadan, which will not end until Judgment Day, with hope for the coming victory of our nation..." [6]

Hamas Official Ahmad Yousuf: Gaza Participated In Historic Ramadan Battles

In an article he published on July 23, 2014 in the independent Palestinian news website Maan, Hamas official in the West Bank Ahmad Yousuf stressed that the Palestinians are on a path of jihad and resistance that will inevitably bring them to victory, and that they will continue to tirelessly dig tunnels under the Israeli border until they achieve this victory. Yousuf also mentioned that Ramadan is the month of conquest and victory, and that Gaza played a role in all the decisive battles in Islamic history, such as the Battles of 'Ain Jalut and of Hattin:

"Throughout Muslim history, Ramadan has been the month of conquest and clear victory, and Gaza has been the road to Muslim victory in all our decisive battles, such as the Battle of 'Ain Jalut [in 1260] and the Battle of Hattin [in 1187]. Just as the Crusaders and Tartars who invaded Palestine were defeated... Gaza the strong now stands steadfast, like a solid structure.[7]  The [current] war [in Gaza] is destined to write the annals of a clear and mighty victory, and the foundations of the cursed imperialistic Zionist entity will collapse in the face of the courage of the ['Izz Al-Din] Al-Qassam fighters, the Al-Quds Brigades, the Mujahideen Brigades and the Al-Nasser Salah Al-Din Brigades, and the banners of our [Muslim] nation will fly again..."[8]

Hamas Leader Ismail Haniya: West Bank Shootings Were Heroic Ramadan Victories

On September 2, 2010, following two shooting attacks carried out by Hamas in the West Bank, in which four Israelis were killed and two were wounded, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya said in a sermon: "Anyone who studies the history of Islam discovers that most of the great victories and decisive battles took place in the blessed month of Ramadan... Even the mujahideen in Palestine - Allah has granted them success in the holy month of Ramadan, crushing their enemy, thus pleasing the hearts of the believers. This happened in the heroic Jihadi operations which took place in the West Bank yesterday and the day before yesterday. These are some of the victories of Ramadan."[9]

 


"Ramadan - The Month of Glory and Victory" (image: Taliban Arabic-language magazine Al-Somod, June-July 2015)

Al-Qassam Brigades: We're The Leaders In Ramadan Jihad Operations

On August 11, 2010, Hamas' armed wing, the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, released a Ramadan communiqu├® titled "In the Month of jihad and Victories, We Continue With Our Resistance - and Our Eyes Are Lifted Towards The Longed-For Victory." In it, they said that the month of Ramadan is meant to remind the Muslim ummah of the glorious battles of the early Muslims against the infidels, waged during Ramadan, including the Battles of Badr, Hattin, and 'Ain Jalut. The Brigades noted that they were continuing in the path of the Muslim forefathers, and boasted that in 2001 and 2002, they were the leaders in jihad operations during Ramadan, killing 67 Israelis and wounding over 100. They also promised to continue the jihad, the resistance, and the steadfastness against "the enemies of God and humanity."[10]

Ramadan Story In Hamas Children's Magazine Glorifies Jihad

The 16th issue of Al-Fateh, an online children's magazine published by Hamas, featured a Ramadan story titled "The jihad-Fighting Group," which says: "Sheikh 'Abd Al-Rahman loves jihad and the jihad fighters. He speaks of them with wonder and says that if he were a youth he would take up arms, fight the war of jihad for the sake of Allah, and liberate the Muslim lands, and the land of Palestine in particular, from the hands of the pillagersÔǪ

"In the lesson of the day, the Sheikh sat smiling and said: 'Oh children, write the Hadith [you learned] today. It is the message to continue the jihad until the day the dead are resurrected and the Muslims, the jihad fighters, are victorious against the Jews and their followers, the enemies of Allah. We are [in the month] Ramadan, which is the month of jihad.'"[11]

Ramadan Communique By Fatah's Military Wing: "We Call Upon You To Intensify Your Jihad Attacks Against The Enemy"

A special Ramadan communiqu├® issued in November 2003 by Fatah's military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, stated: "The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, in the month of victory and strength, the blessed month of Ramadan, conveys its finest blessings of jihad to the Arab and Islamic nation in general and to the Palestinian people standing at the [battle] front in particular. In addition, on the occasion of the blessed month, they send their blessings to all fighters of the Palestinian people, headed by the fighters of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

"We call upon you to intensify your jihad attacks against the enemy wherever it may be throughout the beloved homelandÔǪ Oh, our peopleÔǪ swear to continue to be loyal always to the blood of the martyrs, to bear a blessing in this tremendous month, the month of victories. Our martyrdom operations and operations of quality will continue." [12]

Sermons On Palestinian Television: It Is Surprising That The Soul Of A Muslim Who Fasts On Ramadan "Does Not Urge Him To Fight The Battle Of Jihad To Liberate... Palestine"

In his Friday sermon broadcast live by Palestinian Television on October 31, 2003 at the Sheikh Zayid bin Sultan Al-Nahyan Mosque in Gaza, Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris, a Palestinian Authority employee, said: "...It is surprising that the soul of a Muslim who says 'there is no God but Allah,' fasts during the day, and prays and reads the Koran through the night does not uge him to fight the battle of jihad to liberate the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the land of Palestine."[13] 

In the following week's sermon at the same mosque, which was also broadcast live by PA television, Muhammad Jamal Abu Hunoud said "...One of the victories in our time in the month of Ramadan was the day of the crossing of the Suez Canal [i.e. the 1973 War], the day of the great crossing that shattered the attackers' fortifications and undermined the entity of those who act with [such] tyranny in the land [that] their houses are destroyed by their own hands as well as by the hands of their enemies."[14] 

ISIS Leader In 2014 Ramadan Message: "And There Is No Deed In This Virtuous Month [Of Ramadan] Or In Any Other Month, Better Than Jihad In The Path Of Allah"

It is no coincidence that the Islamic State (ISIS) chose to declare its caliphate in June 2014, during the month of Ramadan. In the June 29, 2014 audio message in which ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al-'Adnani announced the establishment of the caliphate, he indeed emphasized the special significance of this month: "...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..." [15]

In a Ramadan message released two days later, on July 1, 2014, the group's leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi also emphasized the issue of Ramadan: "We congratulate the ummah  of Islam, in the East and in the West, on the advent of the blessed month of Ramadan, and we praise Allah  for allowing us to reach this virtuous month

"And there is no deed in this virtuous month or in any other month better than jihad in the path of Allah, so take advantage of this opportunity and walk the path of your righteous predecessors. Support the religion of Allah through jihad in the path of Allah. Go forth, O mujahideen, in the path of Allah. Terrify the enemies of Allah and seek death in the places where you expect to find it, for the dunya [worldly life] will come to an end, and the hereafter will last forever.

"And blessed is the one who parts with his dunya in Ramadan and meets his Lord on a day from amongst the days of forgiveness. O mujahideen in the path of Allah, be monks during the night and be knights during the day. Bring joy to the hearts of a believing people, and show the tawaghit [idols] what they are wary of..."[16]

And several days later, in a July 4 sermon, Al-Baghdadi said: "Oh Muslims, the arrival of the month of Ramadan is a great blessing and grace granted by Allah. It is a month that begins with mercy, continues with atonement, and concludes with salvation from the Hellfire... It is a month in which the marketplace of Jihad opens. In this month, the Prophet Muhammad would prepare the brigades, and would mobilize the armies, in order to fight the enemies of Allah and to wage Jihad against the polytheists. So seize this blessed month, oh servants of Allah, to perform acts of obedience to Allah, for your reward is doubled in this month..."[17]

In a video posted on the Internet on August 18, 2014, a preacher at a mosque in ISIS's stronghold of Al-Raqqah in Syria says: " In the month of Ramadan this year, the whole world has witnessed the greatest events in contemporary history: The caliphate has been declared, and the Muslims have been appointed a caliph, who would preserve the religion and guide this world, in accordance with the law of Allah and His religion. This was the fulfillment of the promise of the Prophet: 'A caliphate will be established on the prophetic path.' In this blessed month, the borders of the nation states, which had divided the Muslims, were shattered after decades of dispersal and disintegration. In this blessed month, Allah enabled His Muslim monotheistic mujahideen to conquer countries and lands, and to liberate military bases, airports, and headquarters of large units. All this was achieved by the grace of Allah."[18]

 

 

ISIS Spokesman In 2015 Ramadan Message: "Blessed Is He Whom Allah Selects To Be A Martyr During This Honorable Month, [For] Allah May Multiply The Martyr's Reward Tenfold"

This year, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al-'Adnani also issued a Ramadan statement, in which he urged Muslims to engage in jihad and attain martyrdom during this month, because good deeds performed during Ramadan are rewarded by Allah tenforl. He said: "O Muslims everywhere, we congratulate you upon the arrival of the blessed month of Ramadan. We praise Allah for granting us this eminent month, so take advantage of it, O slaves of Allah. Rush towards the most virtuous deeds and seek out the best of them. Indeed, the best of pious deeds is jihad, so rush towards it and strive to [carry out] raids during this eminent month and to attain martyrdom during it. An optional act of worship [performed] during this [month] is on a par with an obligatory act [performed] in other [months in terms of the reward it yields], and an obligatory act of worship is on a par with ten similar acts [carried out during the rest of the year.] A wise, intelligent man is one who strives to persist in jihad and raids during Ramadan... Jihad during Ramadan is not equal to jihad during the rest of the year.       

"[I] congratulate the one who spends Ramadan carrying out raids for the sake of Allah. Blessed is he whom Allah selects to be a martyr during this honorable month, [for] Allah may multiply the martyr's reward tenfold compared to other [months of the year]. So hurry, O Muslims, hurry to jihad! Go forth, O mujahideen everywhere, set out bravely so you can turn Ramadan, with Allah's permission, into a month of disaster for the infidels."[19]    

Al-Qaeda Online Magazine 'Sawt Al-Jihad': "How Wonderful It Is To Delight In The Breaking Of The Fast And To Taste The Killing Of Infidels"

In October 2004, Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia devoted some of the articles in the 27th issue of online magazine, Sawt Al-jihad, to the topic of Ramadan. The articles discussed the importance of jihad during this month and called for jihad fighters to intensify their efforts during it. The following are excerpts from two of the articles that appeared in the magazine:[20]

"Come Closer To Allah Through The Blood Of Infidels"

Sa'ud Bin Hamoud Al-Utaybi, a prominent operative in Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed in 2005, wrote the following in the journal's opening editorial: "Muslims! Go out to [fight] jihad for the sake of Allah! Paradise has already flung open its gates and the virgins of paradise are already decked out in anticipation of their grooms - this is Allah's promise. No man of heart can allow himself tranquility and peace of mind until he goes out to fight against Allah's enemies, as he was commanded by Allah. He who does not act [i.e., fight the jihad ] out of obedience to Allah's command, and out of zeal for the honor of the Muslim women which was defiled at Abu Ghreib and in the other prisons of the leaders of unbelief, and out of fervor, and out of mortification at [the thought of] shirking [battle] - what else could arouse him [to go to battle] other than all of these?

"Jihad fighters everywhere! This month of jihad has come with all its blessings and with the double reward [granted to jihad fighters] in its course. Come closer to Allah through the blood of infidels, do not relent in spilling [their blood], and through [this blood] wipe out humiliation and disgrace from among your Muslim nation! Make this month like the month of the Battle of Badr, the conquest of Mecca, [the conquest] of Shaqhab, and other Islamic victories.

"We ask Allah to turn this Ramadan into a month of glory, victory, and might, to hoist high in [this month] the banner of religion, to strengthen Islam and the Muslims, to humiliate polytheism and polytheists, to wave the banner of monotheism, to firmly plant the banner of jihad, and to smite the perverts and the obstinate"

In The Month Of Ramadan "The Heads Of The Bravest Infidels From The Tribe Of Quraysh Were Sent Flying"

Another editorial was penned by Sheikh Aamer Bin Abdallah Al-Aamer, titled "Men of jihad, This Is Your Festive Season." He wrote: "Men of jihad, this is your festive season, since jihad in a state of fasting has a particularly delectable taste for the believers, especially [when together] with the dignity of the month of Ramadan. How wonderful it is to delight in the breaking of the fast and to taste the killing of infidels, to delight in the sound of the wailing of tyrants and lowly degenerates, and [in the sound of] the voices of the condemnations on the part of evil people and their collaborators broadcast on the TV stations... condemning the death of their infidel masters and their servants. [This is a] month of fighting, of self-sacrifice, of military victories, of the victory of religion and the humiliation of the infidels. The most courageous and finest forays took place in Ramadan: in the battle of salvation - the Battle of Badr - the heads of the bravest infidels from the tribe of Quraysh were sent flying, and Allah gave His Prophet and the believers victory [aiding them with] an army of His Hosts....

"In [the month of] Ramadan a great conquest was made, [both] of lands and of hearts - [I mean] the conquest of Mecca - in whose wake people adopted the religion of Allah, whether by choice or by coercion, and the [Arab] tribes adopted Islam  and this is what the Glorious and Exalted One said: 'You will see the people adopting Allah's religion in droves' [Koran 110:2]...

"Oh, men of jihad everywhere! There are two types of jihad in Ramadan: The diurnal jihad [expressed by] fasting and the nocturnal jihad [expressed by] prayer. Perform the J jihad against your enemies with your [own two] hands, sacrifice your souls and your property in fighting your enemy, as an imitation of [the acts of] your Prophet [Muhammad] in the month of Ramadan [and in order to] enrage your enemies...

"Know that Allah grants you victory and supports you as He promised. Make use of this glorious month because it brings together great elements: fasting, nocturnal prayer, the reciting of the Quran and other good deeds. Therefore, trust in your Lord, fight your enemies, and cleanse the Arabian Peninsula of the unbelievers."

On Ramadan one year earlier, in October 2003, an article in the magazine stated: "Jihad for the sake of Allah and fighting against the enemies of Allah is the peak of Islam and the greatest observance of the commandments and good deeds. The sanctity of Ramadan does not preclude jihad in its various formsÔǪ Bearing arms and jihad for the sake of Allah during the month of Ramadan is empowering Allah and his sanctity in this month of jihad for the sake of Allah, and it is the endeavor and the culmination of observing the commandments and in worship."[21]

Jihadi Forum: During Ramadan, the Commandment of Jihad Takes First Priority

In August 2010, many Ramadan-related posts appeared on the jihadi forum Al-Fallujah. On August 11, 2010, the forum marked the beginning of Ramadan with the publication of a letter of greetings to the Islamic ummah and to its mujahideen. The letter stated, inter alia: "The month of Ramadan is the month of victories for Islam and the Muslims. The Muslims fought most of the battles of Islam during Ramadan, and reaped great victories in them... We call on you to take advantage of [Ramadan] to return to Allah and to draw closer to Him by means of good deeds and support for your mujahideen brothers by all possible means - with [your] soul and [your] valuables." 

The forum also published, on the same date, an article by a writer calling himself "Abu Mu'adh Al-Maqdisi," titled "The Month of Victories Is Here - Woe to You Who Fight against the Religion of Allah." It opened by enumerating the victories of early Islam in battles during Ramadan, and then stated: "And in this era, during this time, we are witnessing the victories of our brothers the mujahideen in all the Islamic lands where jihad is being waged: in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Somalia, in Chechnya, in the Islamic Maghreb, in the Arabian Peninsula, and in other regions where the mujahideen have considerable impact [by virtue] of their adherence to the Koran of Allah and the Sunna of the Prophet, their renunciation of the pleasures of this world, and their proximity and loyalty to Allah."

Finally, the author calls on the mujahideen: "Oh our beloved brothers, the mujahideen: Restore for us our previous way of life; please us with your victories. We want to live as our forefathers did... [In their time], the infidels could not oppose the Muslims, because they knew that if they did their hands would be cut off, and they would be torn to pieces... Show us something that will gladden us and provoke the ire of the infidels - something that will please our mothers and our sisters and our brothers who have lost what is most precious to them [i.e. their loved ones]...  The month [of Ramadan] has arrived. Allah will make your deeds successful, will strengthen your hearts, will give you victory, and will reward you for your jihad."

On August 12, 2010, a member of the Al-Falluja forum calling himself "Mushtaq Al-San'ani" wrote in an article titled "Ramadan and Those Who Evade Going Out to jihad": "Most people forget that the greatest commandments, [which are worth] double the ordinary ones, are intensified [even more], and take first priority during Ramadan. One of the tremendous commandments that Allah likes, [and] the height of the summit of Islam, is jihad for Allah and fighting His enemies. The sanctity of Ramadan does not prevent the various types of jihad - [on the contrary,] what is sacred at other times becomes more sacred during [Ramadan]... One of the [expressions] of glorifying and sanctifying Allah during this month is jihad for His sake, and one [of the expressions] of exertion and effort to observe the commandment and work of God is bearing arms and waging jihad for Allah in the month of Ramadan."

"Mushtaq Al-San'ani" called on Muslims to blow up and destroy the infidels living in Saudi Arabia, who are violating the country's sanctity by their presence: "The month of Ramadan is one of the sanctities [of Islam]. Allowing Crusaders to enter the Land of the Two Holy Mosques [i.e. Saudi Arabia] and to stay there during Ramadan [is an act that] desecrates the [holy month]. It is incumbent upon the Muslims to avenge the desecration of [our] sanctities... [They must] defend the Land of the Two Holy Mosques, and protect its sanctity, by fighting, blowing up, and destroying the infidels [residing] in it. They must protect the sanctity of the honored month of Ramadan by purging the land of the infidels in it, and by protecting the wounded honor of the Muslims, by fighting their enemies until the infidel enemy's strength is broken."

Sheikh Abu Sa'd Al-'Amili: Ramadan Is A Way Of Preparing The Muslim's Soul So He Can Answer The Call To Jihad When The Time Comes

Also on August 11, the forum posted a document titled "Ramadan - The Month of Preparation, of jihad, and of Martyrdom," by pro-Al-Qaeda sheikh Abu Sa'd Al-'Amili, a prominent writer on jihadi websites. He wrote that Ramadan is a station "for preparing the soul to enter the fever of jihad," and Muslims must now, more than ever, take advantage of this month, making it a means for emotional preparation that will enable them to respond to the call for jihad whenever it comes.

Al-'Amili called upon the mujahideen to step up their jihad activity during Ramadan, as did the Prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Badr. He added: "War against the enemies is one of the greatest commandments, and it is the height of the summit of Islam, and when it is conducted during Ramadan - which is the best month in Allah's eyes - these two heights intersect and, without a doubt, become a great zenith that none can reach - except he to whom Allah chooses to grant this great honor of fasting and war, both of which constitute jihad: The first [i.e., fasting] is jihad of the soul, aimed at restraining it from sinning, and the second is jihad against the enemies, aimed at restraining them from [spreading] corruption and warmongering throughout the world. Blessed be he whose path Allah has made successful and who is chosen by Allah to win the honor of martyrdom during the blessed month of Ramadan, so that he can break his fast with the [Prophet] Muhammad and his Companions on high, in the highest places [of Paradise], who will be with him at his marriage to the 72 virgins who await him on an honored seat next to the Lord of the World."

Forum Member: To Those Engaging In Media Jihad, Continue And Step Up Your Activity During Ramadan

A forum member calling himself "Mu'awiya Al-Qahtani" called on all the forum's writers and readers to continue the media jihad during Ramadan, and not to heed preachers calling for dedicating the month strictly to worshipping God and to reading the Koran. He wrote: "Some preachers call for worshipping God during this blessed month, and for drawing closer to Allah... This is wonderful, and we [too] call for this, and more. But many preachers are likely to ignore [an additional way of] great and honorable worship of God... and that is jihad, and attack, for the sake of Allah... including repelling attackers of our jihad websites, calling for monotheism, and jihad for [the sake of monotheism] via the Internet...  The Prophet attacked Mecca with 10,000 companions during Ramadan, and did not say to them, '[Let us] postpone the attack until after Ramadan, and dedicate ourselves to worshipping God.' His companions likewise did not desist during Ramadan from attacking for the sake of Allah. On the contrary; it was customary to call this blessed month 'the month of conquests.'

"This is a message to you, 'knights of the jihad websites'... and I remind you, and myself, of the Hadith in favor of attacking for the sake of Allah - according to which the Prophet said: 'Don't you want Allah to forgive you and bring you into Paradise? [If so,] fight for the sake of Allah.''

Sheikh Abu Sa'd Al-'Amili, in his aforementioned article, likewise addressed those engaged in media jihad and those who post on the jihadi websites, and called on them to "continue covering the affairs of the mujahideen, more diligently than ever, and to keep the Muslims informed about what is happening on the battle arenas, so that they increase their prayers and their financial support for the mujahideen.

Afghan Taliban's Ramadan Statement: 'Islamic History Shows That Major Victories Have Been Achieved In The Month Of Ramadan'

A statement issued in June 2015 by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the shadow government of the Afghan Taliban) emphasized the importance of the month of Ramadan: "...Ramadan is a month of success and victories on behalf of Allah the Almighty for the mujahideen. Islamic history shows that major [military] victories have been achieved in the month of Ramadan. The great victories of mujahideen in the Battle of Badr on the 17th of Ramadan, in the second year of Hijra (Islamic calendar), and the Conquest of Mecca on the 23rd of Ramadan, in the eighth year of Hijra, show the help of Allah the Almighty and demonstrate that Ramadan is a month of glories and victories for the Muslim Ummah.

"The month of Ramadan is symbol of glory and greatness. It is a great reward and grace of Allah the Almighty. It is a symbol of the demonstration of patience, determination, piety, and strong faith of the Muslims...[22]

On Ramadan, Uzbeki Jihadist Leader Encourages Followers to Rob Banks and Promises Terror Attacks in Washington, Moscow, London, Paris, Delhi, Beijing, and Elsewhere

In a December 2007 Ramadan speech, Muhammad Taher Al-Farouq, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, said: "I would like to congratulate the nation of Muhammad, and especially the mujahideen. In this holy month of Ramadan, we ask them that, as part of their resistance to the enemies of God, His Prophet, the enemies of the Koran, Islam, and the Muslims, they increase their martyrdom and Jihad operations, and fight the sworn enemies of Islam - the Jews, the Christians, and the hypocrites - and carry out the best Jihad operations..."[23]

 

 

Endnotes:

[1] Tarif ibn Malik was a Berber commander under Tariq ibn Ziyad, the prominent Umayyad general who led the conquest of Hispania. In July 710 CE, Tariq sent Tarif with a force of 500 men to begin the conquest of Al-Andalus.

[2] Al-Ahram (Egypt), July 29, 2012.

[3] Lailatalqadr.com (Egypt), November 21, 2001.

[4] Mehmed II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire between 1444-1446 and 1451-1481.

[5] Ikhwanonline.com, August 27, 2012

[6] Ikhwanonline.com, August 2, 2012.

[7] An allusion to Koran 61:4: "Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in rows (ranks) as if they were a solid structure."

[8] Maannews.net, July 23, 2014.

[10] Alqassam.ps, August 11, 2010.

[11] Al-Fateh, November 2003.

[12] http://moltaqa.fateh.tv/showthread.php?s=13db5be1ba58af00bff10f43aa66231&threadid=1745

[13] Palestinian Television (PA), October 31, 2003.

[14] Palestinian Television (PA), November 7, 2003.

[19] Shamikh1.info, June 23, 2015.

[21] See Memri Special Dispatch No. 613, "Escalation of Incitement to Violence During the Month of Ramadan," November 20, 2013.

[22] Shahamt-english.com (Afghanistan), accessed June 24, 2015. The original English of the statement has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization. Afghan Taliban's Ramadan Statement: 'Islamic History Shows That Major [Military] Victories Have Been Achieved In The Month Of Ramadan',