The spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, gave a speech on 17 April 2014, “This Is Not Our Methodology, Nor Will It Ever Be”. This was released by al-Furqan Media, which also produced an English-language version, reproduced below.
Al-Adnani delivered the most ferocious attack from ISIS against al-Qaeda so far. Al-Adnani said that the dispute is not related to pledges of allegiance, which he says ISIS never had to al-Qaeda, but to al-Qaeda under Ayman al-Zawahiri deviating from the path of Usama bin Ladin, encouraging collaboration with heretics and unbelievers, and inciting divisions within the ranks of the jihadists, particularly by accepting the bay’a (pledge of allegiance) from the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, Abu Muhammad al-Jolani, whom al-Adnani says owed his allegiance to ISIS.
All praise is to Allah, the Mighty, the Strong, and may blessings and peace be upon the one sent with the sword as a mercy to the worlds.
As to what follows:
Allah the Almighty said, “O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed in defence [of your territory] and fear Allah that you may be successful.” [Ali Imran: 200]
We have seen from among those walking upon the path of jihad many different conditions. Some walked a little, but did not remain once a turn met him in the beginning of the road, and so he sat down upon the appearance first hardship. Of them are those who walked to the middle of the road and then did not continue on persevering due to harm and the likelihood of difficulties, and so he remained and stayed aside. And yet among them are those who arrived at the ends of the path and then lost patience and turned around. All of these share the same judgment of the one who did not walk upon this path, not even a single step, and among them are ones who Shaytan [the Devil] has seduced with desire or suspicion. So he deviates and is misled in his mission, and he thinks that he has done well. Also among them is the one whom Allah led astray upon knowledge. Few are the ones who walk upon the path of jihad and are patient and persevere until they meet Allah sincere upon what Allah had promised them, pious, neither changing nor altering in their way.
There was for us in the jihad in Iraq many signs and lessons. We read the Qur’an and so we see it walking ahead of us upon the Earth, and we live it as a reality every day, every hour, every moment, and none understands the Qur’an like the mujahid [jihadist], nor does any know the religion like the mujahid.
Allah favoured us and opened for us the door to jihad in Iraq, and so the muhajirun [“emigrants”; foreign fighters] raced to come and they flocked from all sides, and thus the flag of tawhid [monotheism] was raised, and the market of jihad was established, and a small group of muhajirun and the ansar [“supporters”; local jihadists] engaged the mightiest force known by history with outdated equipment, with bare chests, confident of Allah’s victory, determined to establish the Law of Allah. Their bodies in Iraq, their souls in the imprisoned city of Mecca, their hearts in Bayt al-Maqdis [Jerusalem], and their eyes upon Rome [i.e. the West].
So the war intensified, the flame was fuelled, the steadfast became firm in their way, those who would collapse began to fall and Allah gave victory to the mujahideen. The forearm was strengthened, the dream began to grow, and the mujahideen in Iraq were of the most careful of people upon the jama’a and the unity of the Muslims. Shaykh Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [Ahmad al-Khalayleh] hastened in giving the bay’a [pledge of allegiance] to Shaykh Usama [bin Ladin], may Allah have Mercy upon them both, in an effort to unite the word of the Muslims, to enrage the disbelievers and to raise the morale of the mujahideen. It was a blessed bay’a, many similar pledges of allegiance followed it in many of the regions. The believers rejoiced, the worries of the mujahideen were lifted from them, the dream became closer, fighting intensified, the battles heated up, the rows began to be differentiated, the disgraced became disgraced, the deviated began to deviate, the astray began to go astray, the mujahideen became steadfast and Allah granted them victory and the Mujahideen Shura Council was founded. It was only a matter of months until Allah enabled them to do so, and they then declared the Islamic State [in October 2006], they declared it with a high resonance and the dream became a reality. The mujahideen came out from the restrictiveness of the organisations to the emancipation of the State. The emir of the State [Hamid al-Zawi (Abu Umar al-Baghdadi)] and the Muhajir minister [Abdul Munim al-Badawi (Abu Hamza al-Muhajir)], may Allah have mercy on them both, announced the dissolution of al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia, thus it ceased to exist. Terror filled the hearts of the people of disbelief and they began to plot against the young State, night and day. They gathered all of their shares and threw them in all of their paths, yet it survived by the favour of Allah alone. Nothing was known of its leaders but clarity of vision and honesty in their speech, lucidity of their flag and purity in their manhaj [methodology]. They did not seek favour by flattering nor did they seek favour by attempting to please anyone on account of their religion. Not at all! Never, upon Allah, did they fear the blame of the blamers.
The battle is becoming fiercer day by day, and the State is becoming more powerful and solid, praise be to God. The muhajirun and the ansar gather under its flag, the disputation of the tribes, continuing upon the path of the caliphate. Steadfast and firm, the battle intensified and the state began to expand. The enemies and the opponents of the State began to shoot together from the one bow, in addition to the people of heresy, the evildoers, and the criminals. Yet the State remained throughout all of it, protecting the ones who preceded them from the mujahideen in their virtue and in their status, not preceding them in their speech, nor opposing their command or their opinions, protecting the unity of the ranks of the Muslims and respecting those who preceded it from the people of favour and jihad.
Yes, we respected and revered, and were protective of the jama’a, and we remained upon this patiently, despite what we heard and saw from the affairs of that which we hated. So we were patient and persevered, publishing that which was good and covering that which was shameful, until we began to see a deviation. We remained patient and we tried to make excuses for the people of favour who preceded us, however the matter grew and the deviation became clear.
Verily, we and what we deny in regards to our matter are like the bull when presented to the bearer of the sword,
Or like the one who is reckoned by her family, a young virgin in her ninth year of age,
We were protecting it yet it was torn, and big was the tearing for the one who sews patches
The leaders of al-Qaeda deviated from the right manhaj. We say this as sadness overwhelms us and bitterness fills our hearts. We say it with complete regret, and how much we would have loved to not say it, but we have taken it upon ourselves that we must say the truth and to not fear the blame of the blamer. Indeed the changing and the altering has become clear and blatant. Verily, al-Qaeda today is no longer the Qaeda of Jihad, and so it is not the base of jihad, the one praising it is of the lowest, and the tyrants flirt with it, and the deviants and the misguided attempt to woo it.
It is not the base of jihad, the one that entrenches itself among the ranks of the sahwat [U.S. aligned anti-ISIS Syrian rebels] and the secularists, the ones who just yesterday were against it yet today are pleased with it, and they fight against the mujahideen with their fatwa.
Verily al-Qaeda today has ceased to be the base of jihad, rather its leadership has become an axe supporting the destruction of the project of the Islamic State and the coming caliphate.
They have altered the manhaj, they became suspicious, they accepted the bay’a of the dissidents [i.e. Jabhat al-Nusra’s leader, Abu Muhammad al-Jolani], they split the ranks of the mujahideen, they began war against the Islamic State which was established upon the blood and skulls of the monotheists, the State which the leaders of jihad all praised and supported, and beheld its legitimacy year after year, secretly and openly, and even those who fight against it today. It reached the point that they would create poems praising its emir and its soldiers, recognising its favours and acknowledging the recent past, that every Muslim had a debt upon their necks to it.
What has changed? The emir is the same emir, the leadership is the same leadership, the soldiers are the same soldiers and the manhaj is the same manhaj! So what has changed to cause the leadership of al-Qaeda to cause us grief, and to label us as the descendants of Ibn Muljam [the Kharijite assassin of the fourth caliph, Ali], and to label us as Khawarij? Fear Allah regarding your selves! Fear Allah regarding the mujahideen! What is your evidence for this that you incite people against them, you cause their blood to flow, you work for the destruction of their State and standing in its way! Tell us, by your Lord, what is your evidence?! Verily, these charges are made without evidence, never will it save you before Allah, for you shall be asked about every drop of blood that flows from the muhajirun and the ansar because of you. Have you forgotten that you shall soon stand before Allah? And yet your enemies are the muhajirun and the ansar?! And that they will cling to your necks saying, “O Lord, verily these are the ones who accused us of being Khawarij, and they incited the Muslims against us, they killed the monotheist mujahideen in their fatwa, the ones who dedicated their souls to the victory of Your Religion, and they poured their blood to exalt Your Word, and they gave their dismembered bodies for the establishment of Your Law.”
O Lord, verily they in their actions caused the mujahideen to become weakened, and they made the disbelievers glee over their misfortune, they strengthened them against them and they increased the suffering of the oppressed Muslims.
O Lord, verily they sat in a city far away, they did not see with their own eyes nor did they hear with their own ears, they accused us of their unsubstantiated accusations without any proof or authorisation.
O Lord, verily they split the ranks of the mujahideen in every land.
O Lord, they themselves do an action yet accuse others of it.
O Lord, verily they consider our blood lawful to be spilled and they allow it to be spilled and they kill us, then if we leave them they destroy us, and if we defend ourselves and we respond to them they cry before the media and they label us as Khawarij.
O Lord, ask them why they did not weep for [the slain leader of Jund al-Aqsa] Shaykh Abu Abdul-Aziz [al-Qatari], may Allah have Mercy upon him? Why did they not incite against his murderer or demand his blood to be spilled, or that he perish in old age transferred between the squares and the prisons? Is it because it is certain that the State did not kill him? And would they have been silent if it were not known who his killer was? Or do they accuse the State?
O Lord, ask them why did they not revile in such terms the killers of the monotheists in Sinai? Why do they not incite the people against their killers? And why they praise their tyrants and pray for them?!
O Lord, verily they do not differentiate between the mujahideen, the sahwat, and the criminal highway robbers. They gathered them all together and they called them “the umma [Muslim community or nation],” they labelled them as mujahideen and they blessed them, supported them and assisted them, thus delaying the jihad by decades.
O Muslims! O mujahideen! We have endured oppression and remained patient so that the symbols would not fall and so the people would not be [too harshly] tested in their religion. We have been patient and endured for the sake of unifying the ranks, however we found no way available to do so, no way whatsoever! For al-Qaeda has deviated, it has altered and changed.
The difference between the State and al-Qaeda is not over any specific individual, nor is it about giving bay’a to any specific individual. The difference with them is not on fighting the sahwat who supported previously what they are upon in Iraq; but the matter is a matter of crooked religion and deviated manhaj, a manhaj which has replaced declaring the religion of Ibrahim, disbelieving in the Taghut [heretical tyrants], and declaring innocence from his supporters and their jihad; a manhaj which believes in pacifism and runs after majorities, a manhaj which is shy from mentioning jihad and declaring tawhid, and replaces it with: revolution, popularity, uprising striving, struggle, republicanism, secularism, and that the filthy Rafi.
Ah, polytheists are only but accused and they should be preached to, not fought!
Al-Qaeda now runs after the bandwagon of the majority and calls them as “the umma”; and softens in their stance at the expense of the religion, and the Taghut of the Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood, namely Mohamed Morsi], the one who fights the mujahideen, the one who rules without the Law of The Most Merciful, prayers are made for him and sympathised with, described as being a hope for the umma, a hero of its heroes, and we know not which umma they are talking about, nor which bitter reaping they await!
And now the Christians have become warriors, the people of idols from the Hindus and Sikhs and others have become “partners of the nation” and it is necessary to live with them in peace, tranquillity and mildness. By Allah, no! Never a day was this the manhaj of the State and never will it be! It is not for the State to follow the people. If they are to do good, then good shall be done, and if they are to do evil then so it shall be done. The manhaj of the State will remain: disbelieving in the Taghut, declaring innocence from him and his supporters and fighting them with swords and spearheads, and with conclusive argumentation and evidence. So, whoever agrees with it, it welcomes them, and whoever differs with it, it will give him no concern even if he were to call himself “the umma,” even if it were left alone in a tent and the world is in another tent.
O Muslims! This is our manhaj, which we will not deviate from by the will of Allah, even if al-Qaeda were to fight us upon it, even if we were eradicated and not but one man was left upon it. And O you mujahideen, O you mujahideen! It was asked of the Islamic State to return to Iraq, behind the covers of Sykes-Picot. They have not ceased in beautifying this request in their correspondence, up until three months ago, they threatened and bargained for this return to happen, until it insisted upon obeying its Lord, the orders of its Prophet and what the early leaders of jihad agreed upon. Then is it that its manhaj became a Khariji Haruri manhaj! No, even worse! It is said that it lies upon people, is hypocritical in its stances and that it uses taqiyya [dissimulation]. They searched for an excuse to openly declare war upon it, so they made the accusation of killing one man the door to destroying the project and burying alive the dream which thousands of muwahideen [strict monotheists] have migrated for, and in which its path thousands of souls and pure, kind lives have been given generously. So is this from the Book or the Sunna? Is it from reason or wisdom? Or what is beyond these conspiracies is far beyond that? And the manhaj has changed and been altered! So choose, O mujahideen, whose hand are you going to take? And from among whose ranks shall you be?
O Allah, we seek refuge in You from becoming weaker after having been united.
So be assured, O soldiers of the Islamic State, for we are by Allah’s Will progressing upon the manhaj of the Imam Shaykh Usama, and the emir of the martyrdom seekers Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and the founder of the state Abu Umar al-Baghdadi, and its Minister of war Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. We will never, by the Will of Allah, never alter our commitment, nor change it, until we taste what they tasted.
We are progressing upon the path of caliphate, nothing will harm us by the Will of Allah, for we will bring it to a return by Allah’s Will, and return its tower, return its glory, by our blood, skulls, dead bodies! So do not alter your commitment, nor change it. The muhajirun will continue to come in groups to the Islamic State, even if they were bind in chains, made unconscious in prisons, never will suspicion come between them and the Islamic State, not a Taghut will stop them nor will they be in obscurity by one who is misguided. Their Lord will bring them out, their Lord will guide them, and sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and Helper.
O Allah, if this State is a State of the Khawarij then break its back, kill its leaders, forgo its banner and guide its soldiers to the truth.
O Allah, if this is an Islamic State, ruling by Your Book and the Sunnah of Your Prophet, fighting Your enemies, then keep it firm, honour it, grant it victory, establish it upon the earth, and make it as the caliphate upon the prophetic method. So say ameen, O Muslims.
O Allah, deal with all of those who split the ranks of the mujahideen, and who divided the word of the Muslims, pleased the disbelievers, enraged the believers and delayed the jihad by many years.
O Allah, expose their secrets and hidden intentions, and send upon them Your Anger and Your Curse and show us in them the Miracles of Your Power and Might. Say ameen, O Muslims.