Shaykh Abu Abdullah Al-Shami – A discussion with Shaykh Abu Baseer At-Tartosi (Part 2)

A discussion with Shaykh Abu Baseer At-Tartosi (Part 2)
Original Arabic: حوار مع الشيخ أبي بصير الطرطوسي – 2 

All praise is for Allah, the Lord of All that exists. The best of prayers and peace be on our Prophet Muhammad and his family and his companions.

We have previously discussed with Sheikh Abu Baseer regarding the reasons over which he had based his fatwa that does not allow joining Jabhatun Nusrah. And today inshallah we are presenting a discussion with the Sheikh regarding some of the thoughts in his letter entitled “A discussion over the doubts and responses over my article regarding joining Jabhatun Nusra”. As for the rest of the other issues, we may discuss them in the future separately from this subject, if Allah facilitates it, as distinct topics as they have come from more than one side. And so it would not be good to bring them in this discussion here as they need to be presented as a general response and not specifically addressed towards the Sheikh so that some may not think that the only purpose of this is to give a response to the Sheikh. And it is not for this reason that we write this but rather it is to clarify our point of view to the one who does not know it.

And some examples of the topics which we see it fit to postpone their discussion in a separate article:

1. The bay’ah (pledge) of Jabhat an Nusrah to Al Qaeda: its history, the reasons for its announcement and everything which is pertaining to this topic.

2.Does Jabhat an Nusrah or Qaidathul Jihad bear the responsibility for what was done and is still being done by Jamaat Dawlah (the Khawarij) based on the claim that these Khawarij came from beneath the cloak of Al Qaida, and other such topics.

Returning to the Sheikh’s article, we will carry out the discussion over the following points:

The First Point: What Sheikh Abu Baseer sees as a harm that will come as a result of what he named as “the AlQaidanisation of the Syrian revolution”, is not seen as such by us. This point has been given some refutation which is enough without any need for its repetition. And consequently, the hadiths which the Sheikh has mentioned as evidence are authentic hadiths but using them in our context here is incorrect.

As for the barbaric and evil ones and Khwaarij (ISIS), only a few have gone to them from An Nusrah and during that time when they were with An Nusrah, they were neither barbaric nor Khawarij nor evil, and if a domesticated animal may become beastly due to change in its environment then it is not impossible that even human being would become savage due to the change in his environment.

Jabhat un Nusrah does not contain such savagery and evil which you spoke about, and they cannot be blamed for what is being done by ISIS “and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another.” Surat An An’am 6:164.

As for your statement: “The Muslim people and the people that respect themselves laughed at America and the west when they categorized such groups (Hamas for example) as terrorists,” we ask you : Did not the Muslim people of Syria go out in massive demonstrations when America classified Jabhat an Nusrah in the terrorist list and they chanted “All of us are Jabhat an Nusrah, there is no terrorism, except the terrorism of Assad” and they raised banners such as “Jabhat an Nusrah represents me”

And your statement about the Taliban, that “The Taliban who appear as the host and caretaker of Al Qaeda appeared as though they are endorsed sponsoring Al Qaeda, not one of them cared about classifying them as terrorists and that due to their battle strategy being restricted to repelling the transgression of the assailing enemy inside their country …despite their ability to expand the struggle outside their country.

Have you seen Jabhat al Nusrah leaving this framework? What about America that has listed it as terrorists then placed it under Article VII?!!

As for the accusation that Al Qaeda shoots its arrows recklessly, we have already discussed this before and maybe this is a result of a lack of understanding of their strategy and conviction about it.

Then the Shaykh took a detour and mentioned the issue of covenants and treaties for the one who is called a Muahad (person with a covenant) or a Musta’amin (person with a guarantee of safety) and mentioned that Al Qaeda does not fulfil neither the covenant nor pledge of safety, here he did not explain in detail despite having done so in another place, briefly we say:) And in short we say: We do not recognize the covenants that the Apostate governments have concluded with the Christians, be it their governments or individuals. We do not recognise such covenants or treaties, rather they do not include what constitutes safety as stated by Shaykh Atiyatullah Al Libi, may Allah accept him, in “his answers to the Shabakatu Hosba forums”

As for the “visa” we do not agree with Shaykh Abu Baseer in his thoughts on this, and every state is not equal, and here is not the place to go into details as the Shaykh did not elaborate while he knows that this opinion of his is among those in which other Scholars have differed with him regarding, for a long time.

The Second point: The shaykh stated that Al Qaeda opposes the entire would and does not exclude a single state in the west, east,south or north, then he says “except Iran, despite their proximity to them they have not done anything against them”

Al Qaeda, oh Shaykh, do not challenge every state as you have stated, but there are many states which Al Qaeda have not approached , like China and Argentina and Brazil and the two Korea’s among other countries that span across countless ends of the earth.

Our enemies are clear and well known: The apostate rulers and those who stand behind them and support them from the Zionist-Christian organisation; however the other countries despite their Kufr (disbelief) Al Qaeda have not taken them as enemies as you have generalized oh Sheikh.

As for your saying “except Iran” By Allah it is a dangerous saying, and no matter how great our good thinking is, the accusation is still great, or it may to be taken to be an unfavourable take on words and the best excuse we can make for such a saying is: the Sheikh does not fully comprehend the strategy of AlQaida, but what exactly is it that you wanted to say? I will not put in your mouth what you didn’t say, but the mere mention of Iran here is very much unfavourable.

In any case: The reality of each state determines if they are dealt with calmly or harshly and like that geography (also plays a role), Syria for example was a lung from which the Jihad of the people of Iraq was breathing, it was not politically beneficial to carry out actions in it.

Today Turkey is also a lung, so it is not from wisdom for anything to occur therein. Iran is from this category as well in relation to the Jihad in Afghanistan, and the (areas) surrounding it, as well as Iraq and what surrounds it, the position of Iran has a role in that. Then Iran today is fighting via its branches, the Houthis in Yemen, have do you see Al Qaeda in Yemen failing in fighting the Houthis? As for Al Qaeda in Iraq they had fought the branches of Iran, and as for Al Qaeda in Shaam it is fighting the branches of Iran in Lebanon (Hezbollah), as it also fights a pillar of the pillars of Iran, the Nusayris. However have you known the motives of those who left targeting Iran itself, perhaps you would have excused them. And perhaps the situation will change thus bringing a change in strategy, but we have to think good of our brothers, not to throw words that may create in the soul of the general readers misgivings similar to the false accusations levelled by the enemies of Al Qaeda such as describing them
as agents.

And when the general reader understands our words to mean something of that sort and he makes it a conviction due to our unclear words,we must go on to explain to him that we meant not what he thought it to mean, And we start to blame him for his misunderstanding “you never tell a people a Hadith that they cannot comprehend except that it becomes a fitna for some of them”

The third point: The Sheikh mentioned that whoever the enemy decides to attack and fight, they try to place it into the circle of Al Qaeda, and dress them in the clothes of Al Qaeda and if they agree with them and come voluntarily into the circle of Al Qaeda, they (the enemy) then thank them for facilitating their task.

Oh Sheikh, the matter is a matter of Jihad and not a matter of Al Qaeda, anyone who fights in a way that does not appeal to the hypocritical International Community they shall take their war to him and try to eradicate him. It is possible not to mention Al Qaeda regarding this, in fact there are many (examples) that can be brought even from Non-Muslims, was Saddam Hussain Al Qaeda? Is Cuba Al Qaeda? Is Hamas, likewise The Islamic Jihad Al Qaeda? Is Morsi Al Qaeda? Are the Jihadi Groups in Mali Al Qaeda? Is Ansaar al Sunnah who have changed their name later to Ansaar al Islam Al Qaeda? Did having no links (with al-Qaeda) or the changing of their name benefit them in regards to America changing their perspective towards them?!

Thus: the focus of the war and the eradication is not due to the name Al Qaeda, rather it is something else that I have previously explained repeatedly. If you ponder your words ‘they dress him in the clothes of Al Qaeda’ you would have known that the focus is not the name (Al Qaeda).

The fourth point: The name Al-Qaeda or Jabhah or others is not the intent in itself, in fact these groups and their names are only means to perform the worship of Jihad according to the prescribed manner, and to reach the goals of this Jihad.

And the verse, ‘for which Allah has sent down no authority’ does not refer to its likes (the names Al-Qaeda, Jabhah) but instead to the names that are false at their very foundation.

As for these names (Al Qaeda, Jabahah etc), the principle regarding them is that it is permissible as long as they do not carry a meaning of Falsehood or are established on Falsehood.

We are sure that these names and these groups will disappear one day, and the great Islam and its major group shall remain. We do not ally, or take as an enemy, love or hate, give or withhold based on these names and groups – We seek protection from Allah- whoever does his is from the people of Ghuloo (extremism), whoever he may be. Likewise we try, striving to hold firm to the trench of Islam,the trench of the Ummah and the trench of the Muslim People. Not at the level of one region but at the level of the Ummah in actuality. Because the concept of an Ummah is greater than confining it to the Muslims of Syria with complete respect.

And the meaning of the Jama’ah is not limited to the Sunni factions of Sham, we are very keen on the idea of the Jama’ah on the level of the land and on the correct bases but without neglecting the meaning of the Jama’ah in its broadest sense meaning –The Ummah- that we join our group to the rest of the Ummah in other Jihadi arenas, as for requiring from us in exchange for unity at home that we disengage and separate from the rest of the Ummah and its struggles outside the Levant, and making disengagement a necessary condition which is obligatory for inside unity to be achieved, then what remains of the concept of “the Ummah” then? since we require “a Lack of association” with the Mujahideen of the Ummah outside of Sham???!!!!

Al Qaeda to us is not a name that we have blind loyalty to, rather it is a unification of the fundamentals, ideas and principles that the name has been established upon and has represented its Aqeedah (belief) of fighting and the foundation of its struggle.

The story of Hudaybiyah in which the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) made two changes such which did not affect the essence of the matter. He commanded that ‘In the name of Allah The Most Beneficent The Most Merciful’ be changed and written as ‘In Your Name Oh Allah’, and he commanded that ‘Muhammed The Messenger of Allah’ be changed and written as ‘Muhammed the son of Abdullah’ ,and both are true.

The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa salam) has introduced a type of political flexibility with his enemy that has not effect on the intent of the treaty. The difference between the case of Hudaybiyah and what the Sheikh Abu Baseer has called us is: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayi wa salam) displayed this leniency with his enemy that had been weakened by war, as proven in the Hadeeth, and this does not resemble our reality, and our enemy has not reached the extent which Rasoolullah (salallahu alayhi wa salam) said regarding: ‘By the Name of Him in whose Hand my soul is, if they (the Kufaar of the Quraish) ask me anything which will respect the ordinances of Allah, I will grant it to them.’ And this occurred when Qaswaa (the camel of Rasoolullah salallahu alayhi wa salam) sat down. In the same Hadeeth the Prophet(salallahu alayhi wa salam) said: ‘We have not come to fight anyone, but to perform the Umrah. No doubt the war has weakened Quraish and they have suffered great losses.’ (Reported by Bukhari).

Of course, this angle does not have a significant impact on what we are dealing with, but there is another matter which is of importance; there was no harm that resulted from the changes made by Rasoolullah (salallahu alayhi wa salam) at all. However in our case, the changing of the name shall result in numerous negative and harmful effects, the most significant is the advantage that the Khawaarij shall achieve, let alone the benefit that the enemy America and its allies shall gain – which shall be elaborated at another time by the permission of Allah – and will cause a setback – May Allah forbid – to the people of Jihad. Had it not been for these harmful effects we would have changed the name. Retaining this name is seen by some as having some harmful effects, but we see it as many great benefits in it not only for our group but for the Jihad in general. Had it not been that the resulting benefits of retaining the name outweigh the harms, and the resulting harms of changing it at this moment is far greater than the benefits, the change would have been possible. We say this till it becomes clear that the matter is not one of A’sabiyyah (brand partisanship) but rather looked at through the benefits, harms and outcomes.

Had the change that happened in Hudaybiyah benefitted the Quraish and harmed the Muslims, as in our case, Rasoolullah (salallahu alayhi wa salam) would not have gone through with it, may my mother and father be sacrificed for him. There is no doubt that Basmalah is more holy than the name Al Qaeda, there is no room for comparing the two, it is sufficient enough that Basmalah is an verse from the Quran. And there is no doubt that the fingernail of Rasoolullah (salallahu alayhi wa salam) is greater than us, our group, leaders and names, in fact we wish that we could be a hair on his body (salallahu alayhi wa salam), may my mother and father be sacrificed for him.

The fifth point: The Sheikh has differentiated between religious, ideological enmity and military enmity, and this is a correct distinction, but the Sheikh still thinks that we have taken the world as enemies militarily, and we continue to say to him: This is not so, Al Qaeda has not fought anyone except those whom have fought them, no matter what you have said, or what we have said regarding Al Qaeda, do you see Jabhat al Nusrah taking the world as enemies, or has their war been limited to the Nusayris and those allied to them?

And if Jabhat al Nusrah have not begun the fight against anyone – then this is antagonizing if it happens – rather it has concentrated its efforts in fighting the Nusayris and their allies, and were thus listed as a terrorist organisation. Our question to the Sheikh is: What should we do with those that prevent us from achieving what we intend like toppling the Regime and establishing an Islamic State in Shaam?

America shall take you as an enemy if you are a Mujahid present in Shaam in proximity to the boundaries of the Jews and declare your intention of establishing the Shari’ah (Islamic Law), and there is no way out of this.

We have not taken the world as enemies, but we believe that this world is established on a system which prevents the establishment a State for Islam once again. And once you merely consider the establishment of an Islamic State and strive towards this then you have taken it as an enemy. Your mere attempt at the revival of an Islamic State makes you an enemy to them – I do not mean religiously and ideologically only but militarily as well – here we talk regarding the leading figures of what is called the New World Order being led by America Nato and those surrounding them.

The Sixth point: The three choices that you said face Jabhat al-Nusra with the claim that there is no fourth choice: we see that you have strayed very far this time,not one is rejected by us, rather everyone is aware of the modus operandi of Jabhat al Nusra, wherein we participate with the other factions in both military and non-military operations. And Al Qaeda is not an obstacle on the road to agreement as portrayed by some. And we shall remain like this, Inshallah, as long as the factions remain as we know them, if some change then they are to blame and we are absolved as long as we do not change – We ask Allah to grant steadfastness to all. Sheikh al-Zawahiri May Allah protect him, has repeatedly announced that Al Qaeda is with whomever the people of Shaam agree upon through the system of Shura (consultation), [Ahl hal wal Aqd –people of influence], to rule by Islam. this was repaeated by Sheikh Jawlani May Allah protect him, in numerous sermons. Al Qaeda is not a stumbling block, and if Allah enables the people of Shaam and their state is established then al Qaeda will not interfere and Jabhat al Nusrah shall not be except a part of that state which shall be established upon Shura and the rule of Islam. on that day Jabhat al Nusrah shall listen and obey whichever Muslim ruler is chosen by the people of Shaam. They are not desirous except that the Shariah of Allah rules in this land after the blood of the Muhajireen and Ansaar have quenched it. We do not see any conflict between the subordination of Al Qaeda in this stage, and at that stage.

But what worries you of the high price, we do not begin aggression against anyone. Everyone knows that our enemy is Bashar, his lackeys and allies, but if the enemy succeeded in convincing some in waging war against us under the pretext that we are terrorists or extremists we will not stand idly by, we have the right to retaliate against all those that attack us. It is our right, in fact a duty upon us to defend the Jihadi project in Shaam against the projects of nationalism, democracy, secularism, half solutions and other things that are foreign to our religion.

The seventh point: The term breaking ties: The nature of the link between us and Tantheem al Qaeda Al jihad is a confirmed Bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) that we are bound to in listening and obeying to Sheikh Zawahiri –may Allah protect him- a Bay’ah on achieving the objectives of the Jihad, and this Bay’ah is compulsory to be fulfilled, it is not permissible for us, according to the Shari’ah not to fulfil it, or to be absolved from it as long as there is no Shari’ reason present which necessitates that. And if we do that in the absence of a Shari’ requirement there shall be a sin upon our necks due to the severity of the sin of breaking the Bay’ah and violating the pledge, and we do not think that that is what you request from us to begin with. Perhaps you are requesting from Sheikh Zawahiri to absolve us from the Bay’ah, and if this is so, then we do not see in this a Shari’ benefit which is acceptable. And if Jabhat al Nusrah – represented by its leaders, Shura council, those who are trusted by them, and counsel sought with the people of Knowledge and the seekers- see one day, that there is a Shari’ benefit of great weight, and are certain that Sheikh Zawahiri –May Allah protect him- shall give his blessing for our endeavour and absolve us of our Bay’ah to Al Qaeda, and Allah knows best.

The eighth point: Jabhat Al Nusrah is a Sunni Jihadi group and there is nothing in its methodology which makes it incorrect according to the Shari’ah to rally under its banner. And for as long as Jabhat Al Nusrah stands with its brothers in repelling the assailing enemy – the Taghoot Nusayris and its allies- and repelling them is a from of defensive Jihad that is compulsory on every individual, as the Ulaama are unanimous upon; Sheikh ul Islam said: ‘As for defensive fighting, it is the most severe type of repelling the assailant against the sanctity and religion, thus is compulsory unanimously. The assailing enemy corrupts the Religion as well as the Dunya, there is nothing more obligatory after Imaan than repelling the assailing enemy, there are no conditions set for it, rather defence is carried out according to capability.’ End quote – Al Fatawa Al Kubra 5/538. And the causes and reasons that Sheikh Abu Baseer based his words of the impermissibility of joining Jabhat Al Nusrah on, are not fit for justification, as we have clarified. Due to what is seen of a multitude of corruption and evil if we were to act upon his statement. The opinion of the permissibility of joining Jabhat Al Nusrah remains as is on its original basis, irrespective of whether it is part of Al Qaeda or not. Rather the opinion that it is incumbent to make Jihad under its banner or the banner of any Sunni Jihadi group to fulfill the individual incumbency of Jihad, this is the correct Fatwa and Allah Knows Best.

Before we conclude:

We would like to assure the Sheikh and the rest of the brothers reading -whether they are in agreement with us or not – our intention is not merely refutation, rather it is to clarify our point of view and for our words to reach the Sheikh and others, and we think that it has. And with that we shall not respond to the Sheikh, if he responds to us, unless there is a need – and we ask Allah that there is no need for that- the Sheikh had responded to our first discussion, which appeared on his official account in the social networking sites the article of Abu Abdullah entitled: “Condition of Nusrah to break the ties” filled with false accusations and false conditions built on misconceptions. We have not accused those that the writer of this article called “The Shami Mujahideen Battalions, especially the big ones” with associating with the Tawaqeet nor with complicity with them and being agents. We do not accuse the factions of being agents or declare them Kufaar, neither secretly nor openly if they receive aide.

We assure the Sheikh that we do not take lightly him or others of knowledge, but internally there are things that force one to act in a certain ways sometimes, which causes the observer to think that it is aimed at so and so, and the matter is not as such, And Allah is a witness over what we say.

We are awaiting the arrival of the Sheikh to Shaam, so that we may meet him and explain to him what cannot be elaborated here.

We ask Allah to have mercy on our weaknesses, to restore what has been broken, put our affairs in order, and reform our condition, as we ask Him SWT for righteousness and guidance, Taqwa and wisdom, reward and acceptance, verily He is the most noble of those that answer and the greatest respondent.

And May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our master Muhammed, his family and companions.

And Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

Written by Abu Abdullah Al Shaami

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