The following report is a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
The June-July issue of Al-Somod, the Taliban's online magazine in Arabic, features two articles on the occasion of Ramadan, both of which emphasize that Ramadan is a month of jihad, victories and conquests. The first article discusses the important military victories that took place during this month throughout Islamic history, from the days of the Prophet Muhammad to the days of Saladin. The author notes that many Muslims ignore the fact that Ramadan is traditionally a month of jihad and victories, and highlights especially the Battle of Badr (624 CE), which Islamic tradition views a milestone victory by Muhammad and his army. He quotes at length from the writings of radical Islamic thinker Sayyid Qutb, who viewed the Battle of Badr as a model that should inspire contemporary Muslims to overcome the jahiliya (i.e., state of pre-Islmaic ignorance) of the present age.
The second article states that, on Ramadan, Muslims have a duty to support the cause of jihad, and calls on the readers to fulfil this duty by donating money to the Taliban jihad fighters.
The following are excerpts from the two articles.
"Ramadan - The Month of Glory and Victories" (image: Al-Somod, June-July 2015 issue)
Muslims Must Not Forget That Ramadan Is The Month Of Jihad And Conquests
The first article, by an author named "Momand," says: "A blessed month has arrived, the great month of Ramadan, a month in which memories are renewed, as well as the eras of purity and virtue. [It is] a month of giving, mercy, compassion, innocence and purity, a month of consolation and [the observation of] commandments. [This month] gladdens the hearts of the righteous and the devoted. Suffice it [to say that] its grace begins with mercy, continues with absolution and ends with liberation from hellfire. In this blessed month, the believers' souls are uplifted through obeying Allah's commandments and removing desires and lust. Clearly, lustful impulses hide within one's soul and impulses of anger and vengefulness are concealed within one's breast. In life we encounter misfortunes and difficulties that cannot be repulsed except through patience and forbearance, and by understanding that this month is the month of patience, steadfastness, fasting, mercy and charity.
"During Ramadan the Koran was revealedÔÇª a book of unlimited miracles that does not wear out from repeated readings...
"Yet there is an aspect of Ramadan that people disregard, namely that Ramadan is the month of steadfastness, jihad, conquests and victories. We find that, when Ramadan arrives, many Muslims take it as an opportunity to rest. They forget or ignore [the fact] that Ramadan is a month of jihad, steadfastness and conquests. Many of the famous battles between the Muslims and infidels took place during Ramadan, [including] the great Battle of Badr, in which Allah separated truth from falsehood, as Allah says in the Koran: 'We sent down Our Servant on the Day of Distinction, the day when the two forces met [in Badr], and Allah has power over all things (8:41).' [Commentaries say that] the Day of Distinction is the day on which Allah distinguished truth from falsehood, the day of [the Battle of] Badr, and this was the first vision revealed to the Messenger of Allah. The head of the polytheists was 'Utbah Bin Rabi'ah, and they met on the sixth day of the month of Ramadan. The Companions of Allah's Messenger numbered a little over 300, while the polytheists numbered between 900 to 1000. On that day Allah defeated the polytheists, 70 of whom were killed or taken captive. In this battle Allah granted victory to the Muslims, who were inferior in number and gear, while the infidels were many and well-equipped.
"In Ramadan of the eighth year after the Hijra, the conquest of Mecca occurred, which Allah had foretold to Muhammad and graced him by telling him: "Verily, We have given you (O Muhammad ) a manifest victory, that Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future, and complete His Favor on you, and guide you on the Straight Path. And that Allah may help you with strong help. (48:1-3).' Allah opened the hearts to our Prophet Muhammad by revealing the Koran to him in Ramadan, and [also] conquered Mecca, [the city] of monotheism and jihad, in Ramadan. In this raid [on Mecca] faith emerged triumphant, the Koran was exalted, the faction of the Merciful was victorious, tyranny was defeated, the idols were shattered and Satan's faction failed.
"Reading about the important events of this month throughout generations, we find that:
"1. The great Battle of Badr took place on the 17th day of Blessed Ramadan in the second year after the Hijra. Allah placed the Muslims' swords upon the napes of their enemies, and one after the other they quickly fell to the ground.
"2. The raid on Tabuk took place during Ramadan in the ninth year after the Hijra. It was the last raid in which the Messenger of God took part. The Byzantines fled and dread seized the polytheists.
"3. The conquest of Andalus [the Iberian Peninsula] occurred during the month of Ramadan in the 93rd year after the Hijra. The Muslims, led by Tariq bin Ziyad, were victorious and established [in Andalus] Islamic rule and built a noble culture.
"4. The battle of 'Ayn Jalut took place in Ramadan in the year 658 after the Hijra, when an Islamic army set out to fight the Mongol armies who attacked like a devastating flood, destroying and exterminating [everything in their path]. The battle concluded with masses of Mongols torn to shreds and they sustained a terrible defeat.
"[During this month there were] also other raids in which Allah decreed a victory for his servants, the believers.
"The great Battle of Badr was a victory for truth and a defeat for falsehood. We read about this battle in [Sayyid Qutb's] book, In the Shade of the Koran: The Battle of BadrÔÇª remains and will always be remembered in history as a story of faith, a profound victory that distinguishes truth from falsehood. It is the story of the triumph of truth, supported by a small, poorly equipped host over enemies that boasted great superiority in numbers and equipment. It is the story of the triumph of hearts that have been purged from their own weakness and that have established a firm bond with God. Not only so, but it is the story of the triumph of a small band of hearts that included quite a few who were reluctant to fight. As these hearts still had firm conviction of the soundness of the values of the message they believed in and were certain where true power lay, they were able to triumph first over their own desires. They went into the battle when every indication showed the side of falsehood to be overpowering, but through faith that community overturned the scales and the truth was triumphant.
"In all its particular circumstances, the Battle of Badr sets a great example in human history, setting out the law that brings victory or defeat and revealing the true factors of each. It is an open book to be read by all generations at all times and in all places, giving the same message that remains always true. It speaks of a law that God willed to remain operative as long as the heavens and the earth remain in existence. The Muslim community that struggles today for the rebirth of Islam on earth, after the whole world has succumbed to jahiliya, should reflect deeply on Badr and the decisive values it presentsÔÇª
"The Muslim community which tries today to re-establish Islam in human life may not have attained the standard of that small Muslim community that fought the Battle of Badr. However, the standards, values and general directives that applied to Badr, its circumstances and outcome, as well as the Koranic comments on that Battle, remain applicable to it. They point out the attitude the Muslim community should adopt at every stage, because those standards, values and directives remain valid as long as life continues in the heavens and on earth, and as long as there remains on this planet a Muslim community facing up to fahiliya and trying to reestablish Islam in practiceÔÇª"
On Ramadan, Muslims Must Send In Donations To Support The Mujahideen
In the second article, by Wasil Khalil, the Taliban urges the Muslims to fulfill their duty towards the organization's fighters by donating money during Ramadan. It states: "During these long, hot [summer] days, the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate [i.e., the Taliban] continue their jihad against the occupying forces and their agents in Afghanistan. These heroes have been guarding the vast Muslim front and sacrificing all they have, refusing to let their faith be humiliated by the enemies of Allah.
"The Muslims owe a debt to these heroes, and therefore they have a duty to stand beside them, support their cause, pray for them and aid them with their souls and their wealth. Our Muslim brethren! If you are prevented from [waging] jihad, it is your duty to wage jihad by [donating] money. Every Muslim is aware of the importance of jihad through money and its role in bringing the ship of jihad to the shore of victory and power. Money is the life-blood of jihad and the means by which it continues and persists. The jihad arenas require vast sums of money, for their expenditures are great and they need vast resources. Hence, we find that, [in the Koran], the Supreme Legislator [Allah] mentioned jihad by means of wealth before jihad by means of the soul in every instance except one."
The article goes on to mention four causes to which Muslims can donate: arming and supplying the mujahideen; freeing Taliban prisoners; supporting the widows and orphans of Taliban fighters who were killed, and supporting the Taliban's media apparatus. It concludes: "O Muslims, an honorable month is approaching, a month of good and blessing, of duties and observances, of pardon and expiation, of grace and charity, of sacrifice, giving, generosity and open-handedness. O servants of Allah! Our Prophet was the most generous of men, and on Ramadan his generosity was greatest. Be generous with your wealth in aiding these jihad programs."
 In the Shade of the Koran, Volume 7, Chapter 8, pp. 73-75. Archive.org/stream/InTheShadeOfTheQuranSayyidQutb, accessed July 1, 2015.