ISIS Announces the Restoration of the Caliphate

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on June 29, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) announced that it had restored the caliphate on 29 June 2014. ISIS’s name was changed to simply the Islamic State (I.S.), and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, abandoned his kunya and proclaimed himself Caliph Ibrahim, his real name being Ibrahim al-Badri. The statement announcing that the areas I.S. rules in Syria and Iraq are now a caliphate, entitled “This Is The Promise of Allah [God],” was given by the group’s official spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, and was distributed by al-Hayat Media in Arabic, English, Russian, French, and German. The English version is reproduced below with some editions for transliteration and some interesting or important sections highlighted in bold. The speech lays out how the state should and will be governed—in other words, what I.S. envisions for its utopia.


This is the Promise of Allah

Praise be to Allah, the Mighty and Strong. And may peace and blessings be upon the one sent with the sword as a mercy to all creation. As for what follows:

Allah (the Exalted) said: “Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that—then those are the defiantly disobedient” [An-Nur:55].

Succession,[1] establishment, and safety—a promise from Allah reserved for the Muslims, but with a condition. “They worship me [Allah] and do not associate anything with me” [An-Nur: 55]. Having faith in Allah, keeping far from the gateways to shirk [idolatry or polytheism] and its various shades, along with submitting to Allah’s command in everything big and small, and giving Him the level of obedience that makes your lusts, inclinations, and desires comply with what the Prophet (peace be upon him) brought [i.e. the revelation (the Qur’an)]only after this condition is reached will the promise be fulfilled. For by fulfilling this condition comes the ability to build, reform, remove oppression, spread justice, and bring about safety and tranquillity. Only by meeting this condition, will there be the succession, which Allah informed the angels about.

Without this condition being met, authority becomes nothing more than kingship, dominance and rule, accompanied with destruction, corruption, oppression, subjugation, fear, and the decadence of the human being and his descent to the level of animals. That is the reality of succession, which Allah created us for. It is not simply kingship, subjugation, dominance, and rule. Rather, succession is to utilize all that for the purpose of compelling the people to do what the Sharia (Allah’s law) requires of them concerning their interests in the hereafter and worldly life, which can only be achieved by carrying out the command of Allah, establishing His religion, and referring to His law for judgment.

This succession, along with the aforementioned reality, is the purpose for which Allah sent His messengers and revealed His scriptures, and for which the swords of jihad were unsheathed.

Indeed, Allah (the Exalted) honoured the umma [Islamic community] of Muhammad and blessed them. He made them the best umma of all peoples.

“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah” [Al-Imran: 110].

And He promised to grant the umma succession to authority.

“Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them” [An-Nur: 55].

He also ordained leadership of the world and mastership over the earth for the umma, as long as it fulfilled the condition: “They worship me [Allah] and do not associate anything with me” [An-Nur: 55].

Allah (the Exalted) also gave honour to the umma.

“And to Allah belongs [all] honour, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know” [Al-Munafiqun: 8].

Yes, honour is for this umma. It is from the honour of Allah (the Exalted)—honour that mixes with the faith residing in the believer’s heart. Thus, if faith becomes firm in the heart, honour becomes firm along with it. It is honour that does not hunch, soften, or become disgraced regardless of how great the anguish and tribulation become. It is honour befitting the best umma—the umma of Muhammad (peace be upon him)—an umma that does not accept submission to anyone or anything other than Allah. It does not accept transgression nor oppression.

“And those who, when tyranny strikes them, they defend themselves” [Al-Shura: 39].

This is an honourable and noble umma, which does not sleep and ignore grievance. It does not accept degradation.

“So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers” [Al-Imran:139].

It is a mighty and powerful umma. How can it not be such, when Allah supports it and grants it victory? “That is because Allah is the protector of those who have believed and because the disbelievers have no protector” [Muhammad: 11].

This is the umma of Muhammad (peace be upon him) which, whenever it is truthful with Allah, He brings about His promise for them.

Allah (the Exalted) sent His Prophet (peace be upon him), while the Arabs were in the depths of ignorance and blinding darkness. They were the most naked, the hungriest, and the most backwards of peoples, sinking in depths of lowness. No one cared about them or gave them any regard. They submitted in humiliation to [the Sassanid (Iranian) monarch] Khosrow and Caesar, yielding to the conqueror.

Allah (the Exalted) said, “Although they were before in clear error” [Al-Jumu’ah: 2].

Allah (the Exalted) also said, “And remember when you were few and oppressed in the land, fearing that people might abduct you” [Al-Anfal: 26].

Qatadah (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in explanation of this verse, “These clans of Arabs were the most disgraced, the hungriest, the most ignorant, and the most naked. They were people who were eaten but did not eat. Whoever lived from them lived miserably. And whoever died from them fell into hellfire.” His words end here, may Allah have mercy upon him.

A group of the Sahaba (companions of the Prophet—peace be upon him) entered upon [the lands of] Yazdegerd on the day of the battle of al-Qadisiya to call him to Islam. He said to them, “I don’t know any nation on the earth that was more miserable, fewer in number, and more divided than you. We would entrust the people of the villages in the outskirts to hold you back. Persia did not wage war against you, nor did you ever hope to stand and face it.” So they were silenced. Then al-Mughirah Ibn Shu’bah (may Allah be pleased with him) responded to him, saying, “As for what you’ve mentioned of our poor condition, then there was no condition poorer than ours. As for our hunger, then it was unlike any hunger. We used to eat scarabs, beetles, scorpions, and snakes. We considered such as food. As for our homes, then they were nothing but the surface of the earth. We did not use to wear anything except what we made from the fur of our camels and sheep. Our religion was to kill each other and oppress each other. One of us would bury his daughter alive, hating the thought that she would eat from his food.”

This was the condition of the Arabs before Islam. They were in dispute and broken up; they were dispersed and had infighting, striking each other’s necks, suffering hunger, lack of unity, and capture. Then, when Allah blessed them with Islam and they believed, Allah unified them, united their ranks, honoured them after their humiliation, enriched them after their poverty, and brought their hearts together, all through Islam. Thus, by the grace of Allah, they became brothers.

Allah (the Exalted) said, “And He brought together their hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have brought their hearts together; but Allah brought them together” [Al-Anfal: 63].

So the animosity and hatred they had for each other vanished from their hearts. They were united by faith, and piety became their measuring scale. They did not differentiate between an Arab and a non-Arab, nor between an easterner and a westerner, nor between a white person and a black person, nor between a poor person and a rich person. They abandoned nationalism and the calls of jahiliyya [pre-Islamic ignorance], raised the flag of la ilaha ill Allah [there is no god but Allah] and carried out jihad in the path of Allah with truthfulness and sincerity. So Allah raised them through this religion and honoured them by having them carry its message. He bestowed His grace on them, and made them the kings and masters of the world.

Our dear umma—the best of peoples—Allah (the Exalted) decrees numerous victories for this umma to occur in a single year, which He does not grant others in many years or even centuries. This umma succeeded in ending two of the largest empires known to history in just twenty-five years, and then spent the treasures of those empires on jihad in the path of Allah. They put out the fire of the Magians[2] forever, and they forced the noses of the cross-worshippers onto the ground with the most miserable of weapons and weakest of numbers. Ibn Abi Shaybah reported in “al-Musannaf” that Husayn reported that Abu Wa’il said that when Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas had arrived and rested at al-Qadisiya with the people, he said, “I’m not sure if we were more than seven- or eight-thousand or so. The mushrikeen [idolaters and polytheists] were about sixty-thousand or so. They had elephants with them. When they arrived, they said to us, ‘Go back [to your land], because we don’t see with you any numbers, strength, or arms. So go back.’ We answered them saying, ‘We will not go back.’ Then they started mocking our arrows saying, ‘Duk, duk,’ [a Persian word] comparing our arrows to spindles.”

Yes, my umma, those barefoot, naked, shepherds who did not know good from evil, nor truth from falsehood, filled the earth with justice after it had been filled with oppression and tyranny, and ruled the world for centuries. This was neither through any means of strength that they possessed or numbers that they commanded, nor through their wisdom but rather, through their faith in Allah (the Exalted) and their adherence to the guidance of His Messenger (peace be upon him). O umma of Muhammad (peace be upon him), you continue to be the best umma and continue to have honour. Leadership will return to you. The God of this umma yesterday is the same God of the umma today, and the One who gave it victory yesterday is the One who will give it victory today.

The time has come for those generations that were drowning in oceans of disgrace, being nursed on the milk of humiliation, and being ruled by the vilest of all people, after their long slumber in the darkness of neglect—the time has come for them to rise. The time has come for the umma of Muhammad (peace be upon him) to wake up from its sleep, remove the garments of dishonour, and shake off the dust of humiliation and disgrace, for the era of lamenting and moaning has gone, and the dawn of honour has emerged anew. The sun of jihad has risen. The glad tidings of good are shining. Triumph looms on the horizon. The signs of victory have appeared.

Here the flag of the Islamic State, the flag of tawhid [monotheism], rises and flutters. Its shade covers land from Aleppo to Diyala. Beneath it, the walls of the tawaghit[3] have been demolished, their flags have fallen, and their borders have been destroyed. Their soldiers are either killed, imprisoned, or defeated. The Muslims are honoured. The kuffar [infidels] are disgraced. Ahl as-Sunna [the People of Orthodoxy (the Sunnis)] are masters and are esteemed. The people of bid’a[4]  are humiliated. The hudud [fixed shari’a penalties] are implemented—the hudud of Allah—all of them. The frontlines are defended.

Crosses and graves are demolished. Prisoners are released by the edge of the sword. The people in the lands of the State move about for their livelihood and journeys, feeling safe regarding their lives and wealth. Wulat[5] and judges have been appointed. Jizya has been enforced. Fay[6] and zakat have been collected. Courts have been established to resolve disputes and complaints. Evil has been removed. Lessons and classes have been held in the masajid[7] and, by the grace of Allah, the religion has become completely for Allah. There only remained one matter, a wajib kifa’i [collective obligation] that the umma sins by abandoning. It is a forgotten obligation. The umma has not tasted honour since they lost it. It is a dream that lives in the depths of every Muslim believer. It is a hope that flutters in the heart of every mujahid muwahid [monotheist].[8] It is the khilafa [caliphate]. It is the caliphate—the abandoned obligation of the era.

Allah (the Exalted) said, “And mention when your Lord said to the angels, ‘Indeed, I will make upon the earth a khalifa‘” [Al-Baqarah: 30].

Imam al-Qurtubi said in his tafsir [Quranic exegesis], “This verse is a fundamental basis for the appointment of a leader and khalifa [caliph] who is listened to and obeyed so that the umma is united by him and his orders are carried out. There is no dispute over this matter between the umma nor between the scholars, except for what has been reported from al-Asamm [the meaning of his name is “the deaf man”], for his deafness prevented him from hearing the shari’a.” That ends his words, may Allah have mercy upon him.

Therefore, the Shura [Consultation] Council of the Islamic State studied this matter after the Islamic State (by Allah’s grace) gained the essentials necessary for caliphate—which the Muslims are sinning if they do not try to establish—and in light of the fact that the Islamic State has no shar’i [legal] constraint or excuse that can justify delaying or neglecting the establishment of the caliphate such that it would not be sinful, the Islamic State—represented by ahlul-halli-wal-aqd,[9] consisting of its senior figures, leaders, and the Shura Council—resolved to announce the establishment of the Islamic caliphate, the appointment of a caliph for the Muslims, and the pledge of allegiance to the shaykh, the mujahid, the scholar who practices what he preaches, the worshipper, the leader, the warrior, the reviver, descendent from the family of the Prophet, the slave of Allah, Ibrahim Ibn Awwad Ibn Ibrahim Ibn Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Badri al-Hashimi al-Husayni al-Qurayshi by lineage, al-Samarra’i by birth and upbringing, al-Baghdadi by residence and scholarship. And he has accepted the bay’a [pledge of allegiance]. Thus, he is the imam and caliph for the Muslims everywhere. Accordingly, the “Iraq and Syria” in the name of the Islamic State is henceforth removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name is the Islamic State from the date of this declaration.[10]

We inform the Muslims that, with this declaration of caliphate, it is incumbent upon all Muslims to pledge allegiance to the caliph Ibrahim and support him (may Allah preserve him). The legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organizations, becomes null by the expansion of the caliphate’s authority and arrival of its troops to their areas. Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon him) said, as reported by Abdus Ibn Malik al-Attar, “It is not permissible for anyone who believes in Allah to sleep without considering as his leader whoever conquers them by the sword until he becomes caliph and is called Emir al-Mumineen,[11] whether this leader is righteous or sinful.”

The caliph Ibrahim (may Allah preserve him) has fulfilled all the conditions for caliphate mentioned by the scholars. He was given bay’a in Iraq by the people of authority in the Islamic State as the successor to Abu Umar al-Baghdadi (may Allah have mercy upon him). His authority has expanded over wide areas in Iraq and Syria. The land now submits to his order and authority from Aleppo to Diyala. So fear Allah, O slaves of Allah. Listen to your caliph and obey him. Support your state, which grows everyday—by Allah’s grace—with honour and loftiness, while its enemy increases in retreat and defeat.

So rush O Muslims and gather around your caliph, so that you may return to the way you once were for ages, kings of the earth and knights of war. Come so that you may be honoured and esteemed, living as masters with dignity. Know that we fight over a religion that Allah promised to support. We fight for an umma to which Allah has given honour, esteem, and leadership, promising it with empowerment and strength on the earth. Come, O Muslims, to your honour, to your victory. By Allah, if you disbelieve in democracy, secularism, nationalism, as well as all the other garbage and ideas from the West, and adhere to your religion and creed, then by Allah, you will own the earth, and the East and West will submit to you. This is the promise of Allah to you. This is the promise of Allah to you.

“So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are believers” [Al-mran: 139].

This is the promise of Allah to you.

“If Allah should aid you, no one can overcome you” [Al-Imran: 160].

This is the promise of Allah to you.

“So do not weaken and call for peace while you are superior; and Allah is with you and will never deprive you of [the reward of] your deeds” [Muhammad: 35].

This is the promise of Allah to you.

“Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them” [An-Nur: 55].

So come to the promise of your Lord.

“Indeed, Allah does not fail in His promise” [Al-Imran: 9]

And a message to all the platoons and groups on the face of the earth, consisting of mujahideen and people working to support the religion of Allah and raising the Islamic banners—a message to the heads and leaders of these groups—we say:

Fear Allah with regards to yourselves. Fear Allah with regards to your jihad. Fear Allah with regards to your umma.

“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims, and hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.” [Al-Imran: 102-103].

We—by Allah—do not find any legal excuse for you to justify withholding your support to this state. Take a stance on account of which Allah (the Exalted) will be pleased with you. The veil has been lifted and the truth has become clear. Indeed, it is ad-Dawla [the State]. It is the state for the Muslims—the oppressed of them, the orphans, the widows, and the impoverished. If you support it, then you do so for your own good.

Indeed, it is the State. Indeed, it is the caliphate! It is time for you to end this abhorrent partisanship, dispersion, and division, for this condition is not from the religion of Allah at all. And if you forsake the State or wage war against it, you will not harm it. You will only harm yourselves.

It is the State—the state for the Muslims. Sufficient for you should be what al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy upon him) reported from Muawiya (may Allah be pleased with him). He said that he heard Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) say, “This matter is for Quraysh. No one opposes them regarding it except that Allah throws him down on his face, as long as they establish the religion.”

As for you, O soldiers of the platoons and organizations, know that after this consolidation and the establishment of the caliphate, the legality of your groups and organizations is void. It is not permissible for a single person of you who believes in Allah to sleep without giving wala [loyalty] to the caliph. If your leaders whisper to you, claiming it is not a caliphate, then remember how long they whispered to you claiming that it was not a state but rather a fictional, cardboard entity, until its certain news reached you. It is a state. Its news will continue to reach you showing that it is a caliphate, even if there is a delay [in the news reaching you].

And know that nothing has delayed victory, and delays it still now, more than these organizations, because they are the cause of division and disagreements that ruin strength. Division is not from Islam at all. “Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects—you are not [associated] with them in anything. Their affair is only [left] to Allah; then He will inform them about what they used to do” [Al-An’am: 159].

“[Adhere to the religion], turning in repentance to Him, and fear Him and establish prayer and do not be of those who associate others with Allah, [or] of those who have divided their religion and become sects, every faction rejoicing in what it has.” [Ar-Rum: 31-32]

Know that your leaders will not find any arguments to keep you away from the jama’a[12], the caliphate, and this great good, except for two false and weak excuses. The first excuse is the same matter they have accused it with before, that it is a state of Khawarij and other accusations whose falseness has become apparent in the cities that are ruled by the State. Second, your leaders will assure both you and themselves saying, “This is just a gust of wind which will be extinguished, or a temporary whirlwind that will not last, and that the nations of kufr won’t allow it to remain, and they will gather against it so that it disappears quickly and soon. Those of its soldiers who survive will end up in mountaintops, caverns, deserts, and clandestine prisons. Thereafter, we will have to return to the jihad of the elite. We cannot handle jihad of the elite far away from hotels, conferences, offices, lights, and cameras. We want to lead the umma in the jihad of the umma …”

So let those leaders be ruined. And let that “umma” they want to unite be ruined—an “umma” of secularists, democrats, and nationalists;  an “umma” of Murji’a,[13] Ikhwan,[14] and Sururiyya.[15]

“Satan promises them and arouses desire in them. But Satan does not promise them except delusion” [An-Nisa: 120].

The State will remain, by Allah’s permission. Ask the parties in Iraq and their leaders. How much did they reassure themselves by claiming that the state would vanish?[16] They were greater than your parties in power and greater in accumulation of wealth.

“Have they not travelled through the earth and observed how was the end of those before them? They were greater than them in power” [Ar-Rum: 9]

As for you, O soldiers of the Islamic State, then congratulations to you. Congratulations on this clear victory, congratulations on this great triumph. Today the kafireen [unbelievers] are infuriated in such a manner after which there will be no similar infuriation. Many of them almost die from anger and sorrow. Today the believers rejoice with victory from Allah, feeling great happiness. Today the hypocrites are degraded. Today the Rafidah [derogatory term for the Shi’a], sahwat,[17] and murtadeen [apostates] are humiliated. Today the tawaghit in the East and West are frightened. Today the nations of kufr in the West are terrified. Today the flags of Shaytan [Satan] and his party have fallen. Today the flag of tawhid rises with its people. Today the Muslims are honoured. Today the Muslims are honoured. Now the caliphate has returned, humbling the necks of the enemy. Now the caliphate has returned in spite of its opponents. Now the caliphate has returned; we ask Allah (the Exalted) to make it [a caliphate] upon the prophetic methodology. Now hope is being actualized. Now the dream has become a reality. Congratulations to you. You spoke and were truthful. You promised and kept to your word.

O soldiers of the Islamic State, it is from the great blessings of Allah upon you that He allowed you to reach this day and witness this victory, which did not arrive except by the grace of Allah (the Exalted) and then by the blood and corpses of thousands of your brothers who preceded you from the best of mankind. We consider them such and Allah is their judge, and we do not presume to know better than Him. They are those who carried this banner and under it sacrificed everything. They offered everything generously, even their souls, to pass on this great banner to you. Indeed, they did so. May Allah have mercy upon them and reward them with every good on behalf of Islam. So protect this great trust. Raise this banner with strength. Water it with your blood. Raise it upon your corpses. Die under it, until you pass it on—if Allah wills—to Isa [Jesus] the son of Maryam [Mary], peace be upon him.

O soldiers of the Islamic State, Allah (the Exalted) ordered us with jihad and promised us with victory but He did not make us responsible for victory. Indeed, Allah (the Exalted) blessed you today with this victory, thus we announced the caliphate in compliance with the order of Allah (the Exalted). We announced it because—by Allah’s grace—we have its essentials. By Allah’s permission, we are capable of establishing the caliphate. So, we carry out the order of Allah (the Exalted) and we are justified—if Allah wills—and we do not care thereafter what happens, even if we only remain for one day or one hour, and to Allah belongs the matter before and after. If Allah (the Exalted) causes the caliphate to remain and gain strength, then such is by His grace and bounty alone, for victory is only from Him. And if it vanishes and weakens, then know that such is from ourselves and because of our deeds.


We will defend it—if Allah wills—as long as it exists and as long as one of us remains, and [if it vanishes]

we will bring it back—if Allah wills—upon the methodology of prophethood.

Whoever has the loftiest height as his own ambition,

Then everything he faces will be beloved.

O soldiers of the Islamic State, you will be facing malahim [fierce battles] that cause the children’s hair to become grey. You will be facing fitan [tribulations] and hardships of many different colours. You will be facing tests and quakes. No one will survive them except he whom Allah grants mercy. No one will be firm during these fitan except one whom Allah keeps firm. The worst of these fitan is that of the dunya [temporal, worldly life]. So be wary of competing over it. Be wary. Remember the greatest responsibility that is now on your backs. You are now the defenders of the land of Islam and its guards. You will not be able to preserve this trust and defend this land, except by fearing Allah secretly and publicly, then by sacrificing, being patient, and offering blood.


I am amazed by those who possess the stature of men and the sharpness of arrows,

Yet their command is not made nor executed.

I am amazed by those who find the path to lofty heights,

Yet do not traverse the path, wearing it down until no mounds are left.

And I have not found a fault in people like that of those

Who are capable of completing their effort, but instead abort it.

Also, know that one of the biggest factors that brought about this victory that Allah (the Exalted) has blessed you with is your support of each other, the absence of disagreement, your listening to and obedience of your leaders, and your patience with them. So keep this factor in mind and preserve it. Unite with each other and do not disagree with each other. Accept each other and do not argue with each other. Be very wary of breaking the ranks. For you to be snatched by birds would be better for you than to break the ranks or take part in doing so. And if anyone wants to break the ranks, split his head with bullets and empty its insides, whoever he may be.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “And whoever pledges allegiance to a leader giving his hand in oath with the sincerity of his heart, then he must obey him when he can. If someone else comes and tries to dispute with the leader [over leadership] then strike the neck of the latter.” This was reported by Muslim.

On the authority of Abdullah Ibn Amr (may Allah be pleased with them both) and Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever obeys me has obeyed Allah, and whoever disobeys me has disobeyed Allah. Whoever obeys the leader has obeyed me, and whoever disobeys the leader has disobeyed me. Indeed, the leader is a shield. Behind him fighting is carried out, and by him [the people] are defended. So if he orders the people to fear Allah and he is just, then he is rewarded. And if he orders with anything else, then he will be held accountable for that.” This was reported by al-Bukhari.

O soldiers of the Islamic State, there is one more matter that I wish to call your attention to. They will look for something to criticize and will attempt to raise misconceptions. So if they ask you, “How can you announce the caliphate when the umma has not rallied behind you? For your authority is not accepted by the groups, factions, detachments, brigades, corps, banners, sects, parties, assemblies, councils, institutions, coordination teams, leagues, coalitions, armies, fronts, movements, and organizations.” Then say to them,

“But they will not cease to differ except whom your Lord has given mercy” [Hud: 118-119].

They have never united on a single issue, nor will they ever unite on any issue except for those whom Allah has mercy upon. Furthermore, the Islamic State will bring together those who want unity.

If they tell you, “You have stepped over them and acted on your own judgment. Why did you not consult the other groups, pardon them, and tolerate them?” Then say to them, “The issue is too urgent.”

“And I hastened to You, my Lord, that You be pleased” [Taha: 84].

And say to them, “Whom would we consult? They never recognized the Islamic State to begin with, although America, Britain and France acknowledge its existence. Whom would we consult? Should we consult those who have abandoned us? Those who have betrayed us? Those who have disowned us and incited against us? Those who have become hostile towards us? Those who wage war against us? Whom would we consult, and whom did we step over?”

Indeed the difference between me and my brothers and cousins is very big.


They do not come to my aid, but if they called me for help I would come to their rescue.

And if they tell you, “We do not accept your authority”. Then say to them, “We had the ability to establish the caliphate, by the grace of Allah, so it became an obligation for us to do so. Therefore, we hastened in adherence to the command of Allah (the Exalted):

“It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair” [Al-Ahzab: 36].

And say to them, “We spilled rivers of our blood to water the seeds of the caliphate, laid its foundation with our skulls, and built its tower over our corpses. We were patient for years in the face of being killed, imprisoned, having our bones broken and our limbs severed. We drank all sorts of bitterness, dreaming of this day. Would we delay it for even a moment after having reached it?”

And say to them,


We took it forcibly at the point of a blade.

We brought it back conquered and compelled.

We established it in defiance of many.

And the people’s necks were violently struck,

With bombings, explosions, and destruction,

And soldiers that do not see hardship as being difficult,

And lions that are thirsty in battle,

Having greedily drunk the blood of kufr.

Our caliphate has indeed returned with certainty

And likewise our state, becoming a firm structure.

And the breasts of the believers have been healed,

While the hearts of kufr have been filled with terror.

In conclusion, we congratulate the Muslims on the advent of the blessed month of Ramadan. We ask Allah (the Exalted) to make it a month of victory, honour, and consolidation for the Muslims, and make its days and its nights a curse for the rafidah, the sahwat, and the murtadeen.

“And Allah is predominant over His affair, but most of the people do not know.” [Yusuf: 21]






[1] Succession refers to the Caliph—it is the literal meaning. The fuller expression is khilafat Allah (successor to god) or khilfat rasul Allah (successor to the Messenger of Allah).

[2] Magians refers to Zoroastrians. Zoroastrianism was the final state religion of Sassanid dynasty in Iran, a stern monotheism with strong Manichean and eschatological trends, intended to bolster a disintegrating Empire for a final confrontation with Byzantium, which had also abandoned its polytheistic cults in favour of monotheism (Christianity). There was also a significant Zoroastrian population in India. For Zoroastrians, fire is seen as a symbol of purity and a representative of some of the qualities of god; prayers are said either toward fire, the sun, or some other source of light signifying the divinity of Ahuramazda (the Zoroastrian god). This theology and practice often got misconveyed as Zoroastrians being “fire-worshippers”. During Saddam Husayn’s long war with the Iranian revolution the Iraqi propaganda regularly referred to the “fire-worshipping Persians”. Interestingly, there is a movement among Kurds to convert to Zoroastrianism as a, in the advocates’ telling, return to their original faith. Kurds originate in northern Iran, so will have at one point been Zoroastrians—cuius regio, eius religio ([he] whose realm [it is], his religion [rules]) as the Romans had it, or, “People follow the religion of their kings,” as I.S.’s founder Ahmad al-Khalayleh (Abu Musab az-Zarqawi) once put it—and as one of assertions of a distinct Kurdish identity there has been a move to break with “the Arabs’ Islam”.

[3] Tawaghit is the plural of taghut. Often translated as “tyrants,” the literal meaning refers to rulers who set up equivalents to god—i.e. commit shirk—by replacing areas of authority that properly belong to god with man-made “idols”. The primary complaint being the implementation of man-made laws rather than the shari’a.

[4] Bid’a means “innovation” and it came to have roughly the same connotation as “heresy” in the Western world.

[5] Wulat is the plural of wali (governor).

[6] Fay is money or wealth or property taken without fighting and used for the upkeep of the Islamic state, as opposed to ghanima (war booty), which is—in a regulated way—distributed among the fighters and then other individuals. There are a number of ways fay can come about, for example the arrival of non-Muslim refugees, whose property—and persons—might well be conscripted by the Islamic state.

[7] Masajid is the plural of masjid (mosque).

[8] ISIS or I.S. quite often refers to its fighters as muwahideen, as well as mujahideen. Muwahideen refers to those who interpret tawhid (the unity of god or monotheism) strictly, and the historical reference is to the movement led by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab that rose against the Ottomans in the name of restoring Islamic purity and orthodoxy.

[9] Also transliterated ahl al-hall wal-aqd, it literally means “the people who loose and bind,” sometimes more informally given as “the people of authority,” and refers to the people who have power and influence who must be consulted before establishing a caliphate.

[10] ISIS was formally ad-Dawla al-Islamiyah fil-Iraq wa-Sham. The word Sham is often translated as the Levant—hence ISIL—but it more properly means Greater Syria, and in common usage refers to Syria or sometimes Damascus.

[11] Emir al-Mumineen is variously translated as the prince or commander or leader of the faithful or believers.

[12] Jama’a refers to the Muslims community under a single leader.

[13] The Murji’ites were a school of thought arising in opposition to the Khawarij. The Murji’ites held that a Muslims’ faith could not be judged in the here-and-now—that actions that the Kharijites judged to have taken someone beyond the bounds of Islam were less important than somebody’s spiritual beliefs—and to god alone was the judgement of who was a Muslim. The Murji’ites’ ban on judging faith by deeds and the near-total ban on the use of takfir makes then figures of loathing for ISIS.

[14] The Ikhwan (Brothers) refers to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brethren are prepared to strive for an Islamic state by engagement with the existing political order—including participating in elections and making alliances that push politics in their direction. For Salafists in general this is anathema. The classic case is the alliance of the Brotherhood—except its Syrian branch—with the Iranian revolution (Tehran’s support for the House of Assad during and after the Hama atrocity meant the Syrian Brothers were never friendly to the Islamic Republic.) Salafists regard this as proof-positive that the Brotherhood’s focus on ends, rather than purity of means—of a Muslim’s individual practice—leads the faithful astray: buying into the pan-Islamist rhetoric of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his successors, when the Iranian regime was, in the Salafi telling, a Shi’a sectarian regime that has now exposed its true colours by helping Assad slaughter Sunni Muslims by the tens of thousands. For Jihadi-Salafists, the Brotherhood’s dalliance with the Shi’a is unforgiveable, and again the issue of method is key: I.S. regards the Brothers as heretics for dealing with these impious and illegitimate governments and trying to change them by increment, rather than trying to forcibly overthrow them.

[15] Sururiyya is an religious movement that combines the political-revolutionary ideas of Sayyid Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood with the doctrine of Salafism and its “father,” Ibn Taymiyya. It is named after Muhammad Surur Zayn al-Abedine, a member of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood until the 1960s when he broke with the party; later in Saudi Arabia he was influenced by that country’s state Salafism, known as Wahhabism. Surur adhered to Salafi ideas, notably the strict unity of god (tawhid) but he rejected the Salafi ideas on absolute obedience to an imam and rejected, too, the Salafi notions of focusing solely on perfecting the practice of individuals, bringing an explicit political dimension to the faith. Traditionalist Salafism is known as al-salafiyya al-ilmiya (scholarly Salafism), which is often rendered, incorrectly, as “quietist” Salafism in the West because it has the model more of a social-religious movement than a political one, and has a tendency not to explicitly challenge the state. A true quietism can be found with the Madkhalis, but the Salafis do engage where they can. In Saudi Arabia, Salafis are able to “advise” the government; in the terror-republics the Salafis went to ground and focused on daw’a and social services; once the dictatorship was gone in Egypt they ran in elections. Surur was part of a broader trend known as as-Sahwa al-Islamiyya (The Awakening Movement) that occurred in Arabia in the 1970s that saw the blending of Salafi ideas and Ikhwani methods, so that Salafism became politicized—al-salafiyya al-harakiyya (haraki-Salafism or activist Salafism)—and the Brotherhood got more conservative. For I.S., however, the Sururis still fall short of the necessary methodological purity because they do not advocate violent revolution as the primary means of changing the government. (Interestingly, “Sururi” is also a term of abuse from the other direction—traditionalist Islam regards the Sururis as extremists.)

[16] Taunting the Iraqi Sunnis who rose against the Islamic State and have tried to resist them is a favourite line of Adnani’s. In Adnani’s first speech as spokesman in August 2011, he asked, “How long will you live in fear? … Do you think we will vanish at some time? Do you think we will get bored or tired?”

[17] The Sahwat or Awakening militias were the Sunni forces in Iraq who worked with the Americans to purge ISIS from the cities in 2007-08, and this label—signifying, by ISIS’s lights, collusion with disbelievers against the true faith—is now applied by ISIS to the Syrian opposition.


7 thoughts on “ISIS Announces the Restoration of the Caliphate

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