State of the Ummah

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Praise is to Allah the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings of Allah on His Messenger,
his family, companions and those who follow them until the Last Day
To proceed
“And what is the matter with you, that you fight not in the cause of Allah”
In the lecture Anwar Al-Awlaki gives the audience a much needed reminder, using the Quran
and Hadith, to give a solution to the humiliated Ummah. Reminding us that “our honour is in our
and so we should return to it, if we wish to see the return of Islam.
This is the transcription of the speech given by Sheikh Anwar Al Awlaki - May Allah preserve him.
Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki delivered this lecture entitled “State of the Ummah”
on 1st March 2009 via Teleconference to our brothers and sisters in Pakistan.
Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico. His parents are from Yemen, where he lived for
eleven years and received the early part of his Islamic education. He served as an Imam in Colorado,
California, and later in the Washington, D.C. area where he headed the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic
Center and was also the Muslim Chaplain at George Washington University. Currently he resides
in Yemen, where he was studying Shariah with prominent scholars, as he was banned from reentering
the United States despite being a U.S. citizen. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from
Colorado State University, a M.A. in Education Leadership from San Diego State University and
was working on a Doctorate degree in Human Resource Development at George Washington University
being denied entry into the U.S.
Further more, he has an ijaza in Quran recitation received from 3 of the highest isnaads, he also
has an ijaza allowing him to recite from the 6 books of hadith, and also has a general ijaza in
the sciences of Quran, Hadith, the sciences of Hadith, Tafsir, Fiqh, Usool al Fiqh and Arabic.
He authored many popular audio series including the “Lives of the Prophets”, “The Hereafter” and
“The Life of Muhammad”. May Allah reward his efforts.
We finish by saying that whoever spreads a good word has a share in the reward without the
reward of the work being reduced. We encourage everyone to publicize the material so that all
Muslims share the benefit of this work. There is no copyright, distribute at free will.
Wassalamou Alaykum WaRahmatullahi WaBarakatu
Victorious Media 2009
Dear brothers and sisters Assalamou Alaykum waRahmatullahi waBarakatu
I’m speaking to you from Yemen at the moment, and there are some similarities between Yemen
and Pakistan, so when speaking about one, it is like speaking about the other. Both countries
have a strong popular attachment and affiliation with Islam, both claim to be democratic republics,
both countries suffer from political instability and turmoil, both countries are important US partners
in the war on terror, both countries have lost their sovereignty to the US by having drones strike
within there territory and been used as supply stations for Americas war against Muslims and both
countries are ruled by crooks.
In fact all the way from Ribat to Kabul our landscape is littered by gangsters ruling over a passive
population, brothers and sisters, please bear with me I believe that as Muslims we should advise
each other sincerely and we should talk with honesty, sugar coating is not going to do anyone any
benefit, so if we want to change our situation we really need to sit down and think about it and
decide what the illness is, what the symptoms are, and how to cure it.
We need to get over the diseases of nationalism, tribalism, different ethnicities, different languages
that may lead to differences among us, when in reality they should be a reason for our strength as
an ummah. This variety that we have, the different backgrounds that we have, the different
ethnicities that we have, the different languages that we speak should be a source of strength for
us and not a source of weakness.
So I want to touch about some topics that might be perceived as sensitive by some but again as
I said I am saying this with sincerity and I want it as an advice for myself and for my brothers and
This is the state of the ummah today, we need to change it and change always in history depends
on the youth, when Allah (Azza wa jal) talked about Ibrahim (AS) when he did a monumental event
in his life which was the destruction of the idols, it says in Quran
“We heard a young man speak about them and his name is Ibrahim” [Al Anbiya’] so he was young
at the time. And the famous story of the youth of the cave, which a whole Surah is named after
them, the Surah of the cave, they were youth. Rasulallah (saws), his followers, were also youth,
so it is youth who always in history bear the burden of change.
Now to understand your role and your potential, in bringing change you need to first realize who
you are, and where you are.
Brothers and sisters, we are on the verge of an Islamic revival, and there is an evidence for this,
I’m not just speaking out of my good hope and good expectations for the ummah but there is
evidence for this.
Rasulallah (saws) says in the hadith that is authentic: Every century (100 years), Allah (Azza wa
jal), would send someone [or some people] who would revive the religion again.
If we go back and see when the Islamic khilafah officially fell down, its in year 1924 (AD). That is
when the last Islamic khilafah (the Ottoman khilafah) was ended. Since then we have not had a
khalifah but we have borrowed the western (actually we didn’t borrow it, but it was forced upon us)
concept of the nation state.
Since then as Muslims we have been living in such a political environment. If we take this hadith of
Rasulallah (saws) to mean that Allah will revive for us the aspects of our religion that need revival,
one of the most important aspects is governance. Rasulallah (saws) says: “The rituals/aspects of
Islam will fall down one after the other, the first one will be Governance and the last one would be
Salah (prayer).”
So if we will take the hadith to mean that Allah will revive for us the aspects of our religion that
need revival, one of the most important aspects is, as I mentioned, governance. Now since we
have been missing Islamic governance since 1924 we hope and we expect that 100 years since
that date will not pass until Allah will bring back Islamic rule for us in the form of a khilafah. And
that would mean that before the year 2024 Bi ithnillah, obviously no one knows the unseen except
Allah, but we can derive this meaning from the hadith that Allah (Azza wa jal) will not leave us for
more than a hundred years, without Islamic rule. So we are on the verge of an Islamic revival;
a revival not limited to the intellectual realm but a revival in governance, in jihad fi sabeelillah and
every area that needs to be revived.
There are more and more Muslims who are coming to the conclusion that jihad must be part of our
program of revival and change in the Muslim world, that the occupying enemy must be fought and
that the tyrants also must be fought.
Now Pakistan and Afghanistan with their long and steep history of Islam, their large populations,
and their location, are and will be charting the new history of this ummah. So you need to
realize where you are now, you are in a focal point, you are in centre stage, you are in a place
where probably you may have already recognized, that history has been made in that particular
part of the world, the world is watching it closely, and all of this instability and turmoil that is going
on is a reflection of this. This is one of the unintended or unwanted consequences of bring change
that is does bring, inevitably, with it turmoil and instability, but in the end the result is something
that we all need to strive for.
We can’t say lets not rock the boat and lets keep the status quo because the status quo is horrible,
so change is needed.
Now, as a Muslim, we see that our life in this world is a test for us, and life in this world is a conflict
between good and evil. That is the history of mankind. Since the dawn of creation until the Day of
Judgment, there are forces of good and there are forces of evil and they are conflicting with each
So brothers and sisters you need to realize your potential and ask yourself the question, will I be a
recipient of the great rewards from Allah granted to those who will revive Islam? Or will I be a mere
spectator passively watching while my brothers around me are booking for themselves the highest
stations in Jannah?
Because the ones who will revive Islam again, and will sacrifice their lives and their wealth, their
time and their belongings for Allah (Azza wa jal), will be given a lot of rewards from Allah (Azza
wa jal). The best from this ummah are the first and the last, because this is an ummah that started
with Mohammed (saws) and will end with Isa (as). So just as the best of the ummah are the ones
with Mohammed (saws) fighting under his banner, also the best of this ummah will be ones who
are with Isa ibn Maryam (as) and are fighting under his banner.
But in order to fulfill this role, there are some necessary concepts to hold. You see we suffer from
misconcepts and misunderstandings that have been spread among us for a long time, so there are
some concepts that we need to get a good grasp on and get a good understanding of in order to
bring the needed change.
The first concept is that Islam is a comprehensive religion. Islam is not limited to praying and
fasting, Islam is not a passive religion that restricts itself to rituals that are practiced on an
individual level and ‘renders onto God what is to God and unto ceaser what is to ceaser’.
There are large sections of Muslims who are content with some aspects of the religion, but they
have no role, no contribution and no participation in enjoining good and forbidding evil, in jihad,
in Islamic activism to return the ummah back to the rule of Allah.
There is a common misunderstanding that somehow Islam doesn’t have a say in a lot of what is
happening around us. It’s sort of separated between church and state. Brothers when a band of
criminals, hypocrites who are enemies of Allah and his religion, take over the affairs of this
ummah and set aside the law of Allah and replace it with man made laws; when their armies and
their police unleash their forces against Muslims to fulfill the imperialistic objectives of their
masters, the Jews and the Christians, When the wealth of the ummah is being plundered and
when oppression becomes widespread, do you think Islam has nothing to say about all of this?
We were created to worship Allah and therefore all of our actions need too fall in line with his commands.
Allah (Azza wa jal) says:
“And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, then it is those who are disbelievers”.
[Al Ma’idah 5:44].
Islam has a say in every aspect of our life, in politics, in economics, and in the spiritual and private
life, in family life; Quran is full of ahkam (rulings) and so is the sunnah of Rasulallah (saws).
Lets not forget that Rasulallah (saws) was a head of state and was a soldier. Rasulallah (saws)
prayed in the masjid, he was a teacher, he was a judge, he was a family man, he was a law giver
by the permission of Allah (Azza wa Jal), because we know that everything Rasulallah (saws)
says is from Allah. When one of the Sahaaba came to Rasulallah (saws) and said that Quraish
are making fun of me, [saying] how come I write everything that you say? Rasulallah (saws) said:
“Write down [and he pointed to his tongue] and said in the Name of Whom my soul is in His hand,
nothing comes out from here but it is the truth”.
So this leads to the second concept and that is that we need to struggle and strive to bring back
the rule of Allah (Azza wa Jal) on earth. If we believe that Islam is a comprehensive religion, then
we need to bring back the rule of Allah (Azza wa Jal), we need to bring back Sharia into our lives,
we need to bring back the Islamic khilafa. These are not voluntary things, these are things that
are obligations on us, we need to all strive together in unity, to bring back the rule of Allah (Azza
wa Jal) on land.
“The Rule belongs to Allah, and Allah has commanded that you worship none but Him”.
[Yusuf 12:40]
The third concept is what is referred to in our creed as Al Waraa’ Wal Baraa’. This is the creed that
a Muslim should have loyalty towards Allah, His Messenger and the believers, and should disavow
the disbelievers. People are divided into races and ethnicities, tribes and nations, but Quran divides
us into believer and non believers (mou’minoun wa kaafiroun). The believers, irrespective of
their ethnicities, are one nation and they are separate from the non believers.
Allah (Azza wa Jal) says:
“The believers are but brothers” [Al Hujraat 49:10], And Allah (Azza wa Jal) says:
“And indeed this nation of yours is one nation” [Al Anbiya’ 21:92] and And Allah (Azza wa Jal) says:
“The believing men and the believing women are allies of one another” [At Tawba 9:71] Allah says:
“And those who disbelieved are allies of one another” [Al Anfal 8:73].
So an Indian Muslim is your brother, while a Hindu Pakistani is not. This creed is not a voluntary or
complimentary part of our ‘aqeeda, but it is a central issue for a Muslim. If you look at the number
of verses and ahadith that cover this concept it would show its importance. Just as an example,
Allah (Azza wa Jal) says:
“Oh you who have believed, do not take My enemies and your enemies as allies, extending to
them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth. Having driven out the
Prophet and yourselves only because you believe in Allah, your Lord. If you have come out for
jihad in my cause, and seeking means to my approval, take them not as friends, you show them
affection, but I am most aware of what you have concealed and what you have declared.
And whoever does it among you has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way. If they gain
dominance over you, they would beat you as enemies and extend against you their hands and
their tongues with evil and they wish you would disbelieve” [Al Mumtahanah 60:1].
These are the words of Allah. Allah is telling us about the intentions of America, the intentions of
India, the intentions of the UK, their intention are if they gain dominance over you they would beat
you as enemies and extend against you their hand the their tongues with evil and they wish you
would disbelieve. This is what they want, they want Muslims to leave part of the religion, they don’t
like sharia, they don’t like jihad fi sabilillah, they don’t like walaa’ and baraa’, they want us to
change these aspects of our deen, are we going to allow them to do that?
Now even though the Jews and Christians are included in this verse, but Allah warns us
specifically about them because Allah knows in his ultimate knowledge what will happen in the future.
Allah (Azza wa Jal) knows that we will be in a state of conflict with them for a long part of our
history. Allah (Azza wa Jal) says:
“Oh you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies, they are in fact
allies of one another, and whoever is an ally to them among you, then indeed he is one of them,
indeed Allah guides not the wrong doing people” [Al Ma’ida 5:51]
Now our governments, have turned into stooges for the west, they are doing the dirty work of the
west. The prisons are full, Muslims are being killed in their own lands by their governments because
of the orders that the US would give them. And the excuse that the governments use in
justifying being stooges for America is that we must do so to protect our nations. But this excuse is
not acceptable to Allah.
Allah says:
“So you see those in whose hearts is a disease hastening into association with them saying we
are afraid that a misfortune may strike us” [Al Ma’ida 5:52]. What is the disease? Nifaaq,
hypocrisy, and they are afraid of the armies of the disbelievers, afraid they bomb them. Allah (Azza
wa Jal) says: “but perhaps Allah will bring a conquest or a decision from him” [Al Ma’ida 5:52].
Meaning Allah will punish these nation who are fighting against the Muslims, either a disaster or an
economic downfall or disunity among them and many other things as anything can be a soldier of
“Nobody knows the soldiers of Allah but him” [Al Muddathir 74:31]
Allah says:
“and they (these hypocrites) will become over what they have been concealing within themselves
regretful” [Al Ma’ida 5:52]. They will regret that they stood with the US, they will regret that they
stood against the Muslims, they will regret it in dounya and in akhira.
There is no excuse for any government in lending any support whatsoever to America today, and
any government that does so is a government of hypocrites that needs to be removed.
We talk about Tawakkul, we talk about having trust in Allah but if we truly have trust in Allah, we
would announce our disavowal of the enemies of Allah and we would depend on his help alone.
And then we would also depend and use the resources which Allah has bestowed upon us.
This ummah is not weak! This ummah is strong! It is very resourceful in terms of its population and
in terms of the fertile land and oil, and the important location that Allah (Azza wa Jal) has given the
Muslims. We need to stand up and unify and we need to follow the book of Allah (Azza wa Jal) and
the sunnah of Rasulallah (saws). We do not need the east or the west. We are not in need of the
US or the UN. If we put our trust in Allah, He will be sufficient for us.
Rasulallah (saws) was alone in Mecca and Allah protected him. He was surrounded in Madina
and he was given victory. Before him, was Mousa (as) faced the most powerful army of his time,
the army of Pharaoh, and he was granted victory. Abu Bakr (raa) faced the apostates and won, he
then fought against the two super powers of his day, the Persian empire and the Roman
empire, not one after the other but consecutively and he won against them. We are not weak we
are strong, but we are weak in our Iman. That’s our problem.
Rasulallah (saws) says: “One of you does not complete his Iman until he loves for Allah and
dislikes for Allah and gives for Allah and holds back for Allah”. When a believer reaches to that
stage where everything in his heart depends on what please Allah (Azza wa Jal) that is true Iman.
So you love for Allah not because this person is nice to me, not because I’m gaining some worldly
benefit from this person, but I love him because he is a Muslim, because he’s a believer, because
he’s close to Allah (Azza wa Jal) so I love him for the sake of Allah. And when you dislike for the
sake of Allah, you dislike a person not because he’s against me, not because he harmed me,
not because he brought you some worldly harm, but because this person is far away from the
commands of Allah (Azza wa Jal) you dislike him. And you give for the sake of Allah, you don’t
give someone in order to gain or benefit from him in dounya but you give him for the sake of Allah
(Azza wa Jal); because that person is in need; because that person is poor; because you’re
expecting the reward from Allah (Azza wa Jal). And when you hold back you also hold back for the
sake of Allah (Azza wa Jal). That’s the true high status of Iman. You do not have true Iman until
you reach to that level. Your world view is based on pleasing Allah (Azza wa Jal). The lenses that
you have over your eyes in which you see through tell you I like this because Allah likes it and
I dislike this because Allah dislikes it. How many of us are at that station? We need to strive to get
to that level.
The forth concept, and this is something that people don’t like to talk about; and this is jihad;
and specifically physical jihad. Jihad will continue till the Day of Judgment. This is the promise of
Rasulallah (saws), there was jihad yesterday, there is jihad today and there will be jihad tomorrow.
This is something that the west doesn’t like to hear about and our governments don’t like to hear
about either. But its part of Islam, there are hundreds of ayat in Quran that talk about it, hundreds
of ahadith of Rasulallah (saws) that talk about it and we’re not going to brush them away.
As Muslims, we will follow what ever Allah (Azza wa Jal) and Rasulallah (saws) want from us.
Because we are living in this dounya, this dounya is a bridge to Akhira. We’re not living for the
sake of this dounya because what is there in this dounya? It’s a very short life, it’s very limited in
what it can give us; as a Muslim who knows about Jannah and knows about Hellfire, it makes no
sense at all to limit our interest in this dounya to living for the sake of this dounya.
Forget about those who try to twist the meaning of jihad to exclude fighting. Forget about those
who say this is not the time of jihad because we are weak, leave them alone and fulfill your duties
towards Allah (Azza wa Jal) for your own benefit. Allah (Azza wa Jal) says:
“So fight in the cause of Allah, you are not held responsible except for yourself (forget about what
other people say), and encourage the believers to join you, (insight them towards jihad fi sabilillah),
That perhaps Allah will restrain the might of those who disbelieve” [Al Nisaa 4:84]. So Allah
says “the might of those who disbelieve”; their armies, because you see they comes to us in might,
their powerful aircrafts, their carriers in the ocean, their soldiers with there hi-tech weaponry and
their advanced missiles, this is might!
So how can we restrain their might? Is it through negotiations? Is it through giving up? Is it through
surrendering? Is it through bending backwards for them? Allah (Azza wa Jal) gives us the answer
in Quran: “Fight in the path of Allah, That is how Allah will restrain the might of those who
disbelieve. And Allah is Greater in Might, and Stronger in Punishment” [Al Nisaa 4:84].
Brothers and sisters, if we go back to Quran we’ll find the answers but the problem is that we
follows our whims, we follow our desires, we follow what we believe to be right and wrong, not
what Allah tells us to be right and wrong.
Brothers and sisters, if we are not going to fight today, then when will we fight?
Muslim land is occupied, oppression is wide spread, the laws of Quran are neglected, what other
time is better for jihad than today?
“And what is the matter with you, that you fight not in the cause of Allah and for the oppressed
among you; men, women, children who say: Our Lord take us out of this city of oppressive people
and appoint for us from yourself a protector and appoint for us from
yourself a helper”.
Rasulallah (saws) tells us about the disease and tells us about the cure. Rasulallah (saws) says:
“If you are busy with eyna (a form of business transaction), and you are busy with agriculture, and
you are busy with following the tails of cows (meaning that your busy with dounya), and you leave
jihad in His cause, Allah (Azza wa Jal) will humiliate you and that humiliation will not be lifted until
you go back to your religion”. Think about this hadith. It is telling us about our situation. We’re
busy with dounya, we’re following the tails of cows and we have left jihad in the path of Allah and
that’s why we are being humiliated now and this humiliation will not be lifted; it will be lifted through
technology, it will not be lifted by becoming engineers and medical doctors. I’m not saying that we
should not seek worldly knowledge, but I’m saying that we should not depend on it for our
salvation. We should not think that that is the way to get of the situation that we are in.
The way is to go back to the religion of Allah.
So finally I close by reminding you again with these concepts. The first concept is that Islam is a
comprehensive religion. The second concept is that we bring back the rule of Allah over our land,
we should bring back sharia. The third concept is that we should have the aqeeda of wala’ and
bara’. And the forth concept is that jihad is the path and it will continue until the day of Judgement.
I pray that Allah (Azza wa Jal) benefits us all from what we heard and I ask Allah (Azza wa Jal) to
forgive us all and I ask Allah (Azza wa Jal) to unify this ummah and to grant it victory. We ask Allah
(Azza wa Jal) to grant us Paradise and we seek refuge in Him from Hellfire. Rabbanaa ‘aatina fid
dounya hasana, wa fil akhirati hasana, wa qinaa athab an-nar. Wa salilah ‘ala Sayidina
Muhamad wa ‘ala alehi wa sahbihi wa salama tasliman kathira.
Wasalamou Alaykum waRahmatullahi waBarakatu
Question & Answer Session:
Question: As you said that jihad is the main solution of the Muslims problems, but we see that the
people of Afghanistan, they mostly stand against the enemy of Islam but still we have problems
over there, why?
AA: Jazak Allah Khair sister for this important point that sometimes we wonder how come people
fight and they don’t win or they don’t achieve victory. Now this is quite a detailed topic to talk about
which is the concept of victory is Islam. What does victory exactly mean in Islam? And I will briefly
mention a few points about it here to give room for some other questions. But as I said it does
need more elaboration. First of all Allah (Azza wa Jal) does not grant us victory except after we go
through a struggle. Allah (Azza wa Jal) wants us to keep on trying, wants us to keep on exerting
effort and also Allah (Azza wa Jal) sometimes would withhold victory from us because we have
some flaws and mistakes. Rasulallah (saws) was given victory in Badr but he and the sahaba
which were the best generation lost in the battle of Uhud. Why did they lose? Because there was
some disobedience going on. They won in the battle of al Khandaq, and they won not because of
their strength but because of interference by the Qadr of Allah (Azza wa Jal); Wind was on their
side and Angels were on their side. But then they lost in the battle of Hunayn, why? Because there
was a problem, Muslims were proud with their numbers, they said: “We are not going to lose today
because of our numbers, we’re 12,000”. So they were proud with the numbers, they lost. And Allah
(Azza wa Jal) says: “You were proud of you numbers and your numbers did you no good”.
Also Allah (Azza wa Jal) wants to test some of us to see how steadfast we are. The people of
Surat al Buruj, in Juz Amma, Allah tells us a story about the people of the trench. These were a
nation who became Muslim and the king wanted to force them to apostate and they refused. So he
dug for them trenches and he filled these trenches with wood and he set fire to them and he would
throw them one after the other in the fire until they would burn to death. They didn’t win, they were
all killed till the last man. Men, women and children were all burnt alive and they did not win. It was
the king who won against them. But what does Allah say about it in Quran? After he mentioned the
story Allah (Azza wa Jal) says: “That is the great victory”. Why is it called victory? Because they
were steadfast till the last moment, they didn’t give up. If they gave up, they would have lost. That
would have been considered a loss. So now Allah (Azza wa Jal) is testing the people in Afghanistan,
in Pakistan, in Iraq, in Yemen and all over the Muslim world we are being tested but the tests
are coming in different forms. In Afghanistan it’s in the form of a direct invasion. In other areas it’s
through poverty, and through indirect occupation. So the wholeummah is nowbeing tested and we
are not granted victory yet because we are probably not up to the level (per say) of being granted
that victory because of our mistakes and our sins and this is areminder for us to make tawbah to
Allah (Azza wa Jal) and to return to Allah (Azza wa Jal) and to improve our lives. And Allah knows
Question: I am a male and I can participate in jihad/Qital myself but how can my mother and my
sisters participate in Qital/physical jihad?
AA: There is a booklet that I wrote which you will find on my website, It’s called ’44 ways to support
jihad’ which I talk about some aspects of how we could support jihad in ways which are not
qital (ways which are not actual fighting in the battle field) and most of them as far as I recall are
aspects that can be practiced by the sisters. So I would encourage you to take a look at these 44
ways to support jihad. I’ll just mention a few that I remember from the top of my head. One of them
is by Da’wah. Another way is by having the right ’aqeeda and understanding of the conflict that is
happening now, financial support, teaching the next generation (the children), participating in the
‘media jihad’, the ‘internet jihad’. The discussions that are happening online and the discussion
that are happening in the media; this battle for the hearts and minds is a very important battle, because
we are not only fighting on the battlefield but we are also fighting in the realm of ideas, and
this is a very important area where the sisters can participate.
Question: How would you recommend for us in Pakistan (the people in Pakistan) to do this Qital
right now and what practical steps (should we take) because its not an individual ibadah, it’s a
group ibadah that has to be done in a jama’a. so how would you recommend us to do it and what
are the practical steps?
AA: My recommendation would be, for my brothers who are Pakistan to give support physically
and financially for their brothers in Afghanistan. Two of the most important battles that the ummah
is fighting today is the battle in Afghanistan, which is spilling over into Pakistan, and the battle of
Iraq. Whoever is capable and able to participate with themphysically, then that should happen, and
whoever is not able to participate physically should participate in all the other ways that are possible.
We are taking about a stage where this support is obligatory and not recommended or voluntary,
and when something is an obligation it becomes a sin and a shortcoming by not being a part
of it; and as Sheikh Abdullah Azzam has written a book on this issue, that the fighting today, the
qital, is a fardh (obligation) on all the Muslims today until they free the occupied Muslim lands from
the nations that are occupying them.
Question: My question is about in today’s world, Muslim states are nation states, they are divided,
and the enemy is taking us piece by piece. Really at this stage, regarding qital in any individual
country, they do not have the potential to fight them back. So under these conditions, the paradime
is destroyed, so what should be the practical steps for the Muslims visionaries and scholars like
you, we need to get them on one platform so that we have a strong reaction against the combined
AA: Jazak Allah khair for raising this concern. Obviously as an ummah we need to unify but the
question is do we withhold fighting back until we unite? The issue is that it has become an emergency
situation. Muslim land has been taken away piece by piece and we are also not only losing
our land but we are losing our identity. There is now a battle to change the concepts that the
Muslims have, the west is spending millions of dollars on the so called battle of the hearts and
minds to change the concepts that they do not particularly like. They want to bring forth a benign
form of Islam, a harmless form of Islam; an Islam that will allow them to carry on with imperialistic
objectives and goals in our area. So the question is, we don’t have the liberty or the leisure to wait
until we unify to fight back. I believe that we are in a stage that we need to fight back with all the
strength that we have and I want to add something else, even though we are disunited now and
we suffer from a lot of problems as an ummah, but still; with the very small numbers that are resisting
in Afghanistan, in Somalia, in Iraq, in Chechnya, we see that they are holding on and in some
situations they are winning. This is a sign that Allah (Azza wa Jal) is giving support to them and it
is a sign that if we stand up, Allah (Azza wa Jal) will give us victory. Even though it may take time,
but the mere fact that they are holding on and the west has been unable to stop them
or defeat them, is a sign that the ummah, with very small numbers and very limited resources can
do a lot. And Allah knows best.
Question: I wish scholars of your caliber would comment on the fact that there are a lot of groups
in Pakistan who are bombing schools, we’ve had 191 schools bombed Suat, and they are calling it
jihad, but they’ve killed their fellow citizens and there is a lot of bloodshed here so we really need
to know exactly what jihad is, that is always under a centralized leadership and you cant really
make little groups and start fighting the state. So if you could shed some light on this issue.
AA: I would make two points on this issue. The first is, whenever there is going to be fighting
fisabilillah, the media is, as we know, controlled by the west. With all what I read about the
situation and what is happening in Suat Is mostly through western media and its difficult for me
to make a judgement based on it. Obviously the side of the story which the west is saying is that
these are schools for girls and that they are against the education for females but then I read in
another report that is supposedly coming from the area is that they were being used as bunkers
for the government; but anyway for me to comment on the situation from far away without
knowing the exact details of it wouldn’t be correct, however generally speaking it is out duty to fight
in support of the mujahideen and to fight against the western interference in our lands. It is also an
obligation on us to develop our Muslim identity, a unique and separate identity, that is not watered
down or affected by what others want us to be; and it is also our duty to bring back the rule of
Allah (Azza wa Jal) on our lands. Now obviously in our process of doing so, we are not going to be
perfect. We are 1400 years away from Rasulallah (saws) and the Sahaba. So our work will have
shortcomings, every Islamic group has shortcomings as every one of us has shortcomings.
Therefore what ever we will do will notbe perfect but we need to try and improve, we need to try to
learn, and the shuyukh, students of knowledge and the scholars, need to give the naseeha and
advice and educate the mujahideen on how to improve and how to do things better. But when we
have scholars staying away from the field, and holding back their naseeha from the mujahideen,
then we should not blame young mujahideen when things go wrong. It is the obligation on the
scholars to teach and to give naseeha and to monitor the situation and advise their brothers based
on a good study of sharia and a good understanding of the reality of the situation.
Anwar Al Awlaki