An interview with Jihadi ideologue Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi after his second release from Jordanian prison. (February 6 2015)
Exclusive Interview by Al Ru’ya Channel with Abu Muhammad Al Maqdisi
Interviewer: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this exclusive interview with Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al Maqdisi, a theorist of the Salafi Jihadi movement.
Sheikh Muhammad, Welcome…!
I begin with the question surrounding the recent developments and the issue of the martyred pilot “Muadh Kasasbeh”, have you tried to intervene in this matter?
Shaykh: All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all that exists. And prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and his companions all of them.
Yes, Ever since I heard about the Jordanian pilot falling unfortunately into the hands of the group “Dawla” I have attempted to contact in order to achieve a Shariah benefit, to convince the rational ones among them, if at all they have rational people, to agree for exchanging the Jordanian pilot for the prisoner Sajida Rieeshawi, and I contacted them for that, yes.
Interviewer: You contacted Daesh (i.e. ISIS) for this reason … how did Daesh respond to this and was there any response?
Shaykh: Before contacting them, I attempted to contact noble brothers from the Mujahideen in the east and the west around the globe, in the Islamic Maghrib (Morocco), in Yemen and in Syria and some of the noble brothers in Kuwait and Bahrain, and I sought from them to assist me in this issue, and they did assist me. May Allah reward them with good and I thank them here. They assisted me in the matter of letters to remind the rational people in the group “Dawla” that this is a golden opportunity to exchange Sajida for the pilot ….. They assisted me with that and they assisted me with names…. They gave me names and addresses of operatives which I benefited from, and so I began to contact them following that.
I communicated with influential people in the group “Dawla”, I communicated with Abu Muhammad Al Adnani, I corresponded with Al Bagdadi, I corresponded with Shaykh Turki Banali and other jurists…..And I struggled to achieve this Shariah Benefit and convince them them of that.
Interviewer: And how serious were Daish? How was their response to these attempts and communications? Did they reply to you? Were there responses between you and them for example?
Shaykh: With much regret, I thought that they would be yearning for their sister and for achieving this type of Shareeah benefit, but sadly there was no reaction, rather the opposite. Some of them didn’t pay attention to my audio messages which I sent them, some of them were not concerned about this issue, to the extent that one of them who was communicating with me lied to me….. They had killed the pilot Muadh and he lied to me and and was swearing a solemn oath that “We are serious..and we want.. and we are truthful with you.. and you will see that we are truthful”… and after that it became clear that he was a liar. And Allah Says
“Oh you who believe, fear Allah and be with the truthful”
This verse was revealed while mentioning Jihad and the Mujahideen, and it is never appropriate that a person who is connected to Jihad be a liar.
Interviewer: The martyred pilot was burned to death, what’s your opinion on this action and the reason and the goal of this group from this ugly method?
Shaykh: These people have introduced many evil traditions.
The first tradition which they introduced and claimed that it was a sunnah of the Prophet, was the tradition of slaughtering that they set up in front of the people. They would slaughter their opponents and they slaughtered leaders and Mujahideen in Syria, until the people thought that slaughtering was a sunnah of the Prophet and they would use as an evidence the hadeeth of the Prophet, sallallahu alaihi wasallam “Oh people of Quraish, I have come to you with slaughter”.
When they (the Quraish) mocked the Messenger of Allah salallahu alayhi wa salam he said these words …… but they ignore how the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam treated the Quraish when they fell into his hand (ie he had power over them) in the year of the conquest. They forget how he treated them … Did he not say to tens and hundreds of them, “Go, for you are free” and as a result they changed from being enemies to followers.
They do not consider this example…. They take words which the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam said when he was mocked ….and they make slaughtering a tradition …. painting the Deen and the Jihadi movemenet with the colour red (ie of blood)
The people, all of them , thought that Jihad would not stay except with slaughter and killing… and the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam called the retreat of Khalid ibn Waleed in the battle of Mutah with the army and completely saving them and preserving their lives, he said about it “Allah has granted him victory” and he called it a victory .. And Allah Almighty called the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah ‘a victory’,
“Verily I have granted you a clear victory”
And they do not understand conquests and victories except with slaughtering and killing. They do not understand the attainment of the superior benefits that these are victories and these are Shariah benefits and that this is from Jihad.
And because of that the first time they began this tradition of slaughter, they slaughtered many of their opponents and they displayed it in front of television screens, until the people were shocked and asked “Is this what Islam is?
And we were forced to defend Islam and to make clear that this is not from Islam.
They slaughtered Mujahideen and they slaughtered many people…, youth like roses…, they did not clarify to the people who are these who they are slaughtering… The people do not see except slaughter and they would say “These are murtadeen”. The people do not see the judicial proceedings and they do not see the convictions… rather they see nothing but the slaughter. And they set up this evil tradition, and then after that they surprise us with the tradition of burning.. and the people will follow them now by burning and the Prophet salallau alayhi wa salam said “No one punishes by fire except the Lord of the fire”
They use as evidence a part of the statement of Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, cutting it off from what preceeds it and what comes after it. They place the statement of Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah above the statement of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam…..
Is this salafiyyah? They say Salafi Jihadi …. The Salafi Jihadis are free from these kinds of behaviour …Burning…. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam forbade it and he said “No one punishes with fire except the Lord of the fire” … And What did they achieve?… What benefit have they achieved from this?
Did they think that when they burn this pilot the bombing will stop and the war will stop?
Now I am sure that many of the rational people from their followers with us here in Jordan will know that this stupid action which they have done has caused many benefits to be lost.
And now when I knew of the execution of Sajida and Kurboli, I said that the greatest share of responsibility is on the necks of the group “Dawla”, because they were making deals using the name of Sajida and claiming that they wanted to free Sajida while they were not serious in that. They lied to me and swore solemn oaths, and then it became clear after that that they had already killed the pilot from before.
Why do you lie when Allah Said “Oh you who believe, fear Allah and be with the truthful”
Why did you not work deal with me with honesty in your communications?
Interviewer: Permit me, Daesh claims that they represent Islam and that they are a Khilafah State.. What is the position of the Salafi Jihadi movement in this, and do they consider it a khilafah?
Shaykh: We have spoken several times about their excesses and their mistakes… We have advised them in the beginning and showed compassion to them to the point that some people said .. they were angry with Muhammad and they said “you are flirting with the group “Dawla”, …our brothers who know the deviation of the group “Dawla” and their mistakes.
And my concern when I was soft in some words was that I know that a lot of the youth who leave their countries and undergo hardships and cross borders… they are deceived by these kinds of words: Khilafah and Islamic state… and they go and support anything whose name is Khilafa.
The people are eager, the sons of this movement are eager for Khilafah, they are eager for an Islamic State and the youth depart from the end of the earth towards them.
I do not doubt the sincerity of this poor youth who is fooled by it and join those people… Then when they are pushed to fight their brothers from the other Mujahid groups … some of them flee if they are able to flee .. some of them are killed and slaughtered if they manage to find the truth.
We have said to the people before, that the Khilafah is not like that
From the greatest goals of the Khilafah is gathering the Muslims with unity.
When the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam sent Muadh and Abu Musa al Ashari to Yemen, what did he say to them?
They were two people and it is not necessary for two people to appoint a leader. A leader is necessary on three or more …. when it was not necessary on them to appoint a leader, he advised them to have the fruits of leadership… He said to them “encourage and do not discourage”.. Look at the Prophetic advice… It is not necessary on them to appoint a leader, but he advised them towards its fruits: the reality is that attaining the fruits of leadership is more important than leadership itself… meaning leadership is not necessary on you, but standing by its fruits , uniting and not differing, making easy and not causing difficulty, encouraging and not discouraging … in the words of the hadeeth.
Now this fruit…., when I claim that I have a khilafa or that I have a state and I don’t come up with the fruits of this leadership, I split the unity of the Muslims and I characterized Islam with slaughtering and burning and I have not achieved the fruits, but yet I still want the people to give me bay’ah (pledge) and I break the rows of the Muslims in the east and west of the earth and I want them to give me bay’ah and I do not stand by the fruits of the khilafah…
You are splitting the rows of the Muslims and distorting the deen by these positions and this slaughtering and this burning
I was shocked. One of them communicates with me and he said says to me “My shaykh, my shaykh” and ” we are eager..” and he lies to me. They killed the pilot Muadh in the first week and he makes a solemn oath to me that he is serious, then it became clear to me after that that he was lying, clear lies… You say to me “My Shaykh” then after that you say that you were lying to the (Jordanian) state, but it was me that you were communicating with, me Muhammad. You did not communicate with the state… you communicated with me and you lied to me. Then after that I am being surprised with the burning of the pilot … burning? In which sunnah is this? The Prophet forbade this.. and you give precedence to the speech of Shaykh ul Islam over him..?.
I mentioned to them in my letter that Shaykh Ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said: The Scholar is not the one who distinguishes between the harm and the benefit. The scholar is the one who weighs between different benefits, and he weighs between which harm to remove when there are many harms, and this is the true scholar as shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyah stated.
They were not concerned with that, they take from the words of Shaykh ul Islam what agrees with their desires, they take from the statement of Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah that burning is allowed in a situation in which it repels an aggression.., did they repel the aggression? Their burning of Muadh al Kasasbeh.. did this repel that aggression that they wanted to repel?
The coalition are attacking you more and the people of Jordan now are asking to increase the bombing, because they saw a thing that neither Shareeah nor intellect justifies ..This burning, why do you burn? And you burnt with it the hopes of us, the Jurists, those who you used to call as Shaykhs, you burnt our hopes in liberating Sajida and you have caused her killing.
Interviewer: If the thinking of Daesh is far from Islam, then on what does the thinking of this group rely?
Shaykh: Sadly, from reading about the nature of the leadership that is found in them, there are those who are youngsters and people who are new to Islam.. Yesterday they were Baathists…, people who are senior in Daeesh, just a short while ago they where Baathists.
And they will say “Oh brother, the sword of Allah (Khalid bin Waleed) was with the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam and he was a leader from the leaders of Jihad and the day before that he was a fighter of the Quraish”.
We say that he did not become the sword of Allah until his Islam was sound and he was firmly established in Islam and the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam testified that he is the drawn sword of Allah.
As for yesterday you were a Baathist killing the Muslims and torturing them and today you have become a leader in “The khilafah”…..! What khilafah is this….?
Then as I have mentioned to you, the basic goal of the khilafah is bringing the Muslims together in unity, making matters easy and not making difficult, encouraging and not discouraging .. They are doing the very opposite of this. So the matter is not about names, it is about the reality.
I give the myself the name Khilafah… and after that I destroy everything that you want the Khilafah to establish…?
They play with the emotions of the youth.. I don’t doubt that there are youth who have been decieved by them coming from the far ends of the earth.. These are the ones who I intend when I was soft in my statements to them during a certain time and I have said that it was these deceived youth that I was concerned about that they undertand.
Because of that I say that these people have in reality distorted the Jihadi movement and harmed it a lot. And every day they introduce to us a bid’ah. They began with slaughtering and now burning.
I say in reality this is in no way connected to Islam and this is in no way connected to Salafi Jihadi, the Salafi jihadis are free from this matter.
And its not possible that a Mujahid be a liar, and I testify that they lied to me and they kept delaying things with me and tricking me during my communications with them which was for attaining this Shariah benefit, and they pretended to be concerned but by Allah they were not concerned.
And by Allah, I have with me the details to show that they were inconsiderate and not concerned about Sajida. And then towards the end, they began to pretend that they are concerned while they had actually killed the pilot and were lying.
Interviewer: Do you have any thing to add Shaykh Abu Muhammad before we end this interview?
Shaykh: Yes, I thank you for the sake of providing me this interview and I accepted your invitation directly to communicate with you because this is a Jordanian channel and I wanted these words of mine to reach the Jordanian people from whom a lot of reactions have now come forth after the images they have seen and the thing which they saw, so that they may know that the group “Dawla”, they do not represent the Salafi Jihadis and the Salafi Jihadi movement is free from these acts.
And I confirm to them that all of the people who understand amongst the Mujahideen from the Jurists and leaders of Jihad in the east and west of the earth, all of them were eager to achieve this prisoner exchange and they assisted me in contacting the group “dawla” in that, but the group “dawla” did not want that, because they had in fact already killed the pilot at an early time and they started lying to me while communicating with me.
Due to that I am saying one thing, the matter of people getting deceived by this group, its reason is that the Muslims desire for a thing whose name is Khilafah and Islamic state and those people (Dawla) know how to laugh at the youth by using these two great terms which are in the hearts of the Muslims. And I will give you an example with which I will close my talk.
When darkness becomes long…, and there is no doubt that the Muslims in the east and the west of the earth are surrounded by darkness and a lot of oppression falls upon them from their enemies and because of that that the darkness has caused confusion…, the people would long for the appearance of dawn. And the person who lives in darkness, he would think of any ray of light that he sees as dawn.
And the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam has stated that there are two dawns, the false dawn and the true dawn.
If they see the false dawn then it is not allowed for them to pray the salath.
And these people have thought that they are the true dawn and they thought that they are a khilafah and they went to them.
And in reality if they look with a discerning eye they will know that this is not the real dawn and it is just the false dawn.
And that whoever rushes for a thing before its actual time he will be punished by being deprived of it.
And we have not despaired and we are still waiting for the true dawn which will arrive by the permission of Allah, but not at the hands of the likes of these extremists, but at the hands of those who know the hadith of the Prophet salallahu alayhu alayi wa salam and honour it and do not give preference over it to the statements of humans.
Interviewer: Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al Maqdisi, theorist of the Salafi Jihadi movement, I thank you for attending the interview.