The leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, made his first public appearance on July 4, 2014, delivering the khutbat al-jum’a (Friday prayer) at the Great Mosque, also known as the Nuri Mosque or Zangi Mosque, in Mosul. A translation of al-Baghdadi’s speech was made by INSITE Blog on Terrorism and Extremism and is reproduced below.
All praise is due to Allah. We thank him and seek His assistance and His forgiveness. O Allah, defend us from the evil of our selves and the evils of our actions. Whoever is guided by Allah will never be misguided, and whoever is made lost by Allah will never be guided. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His worshiper and Messenger, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and upon his family and his Companions.
The most honest of talk is the talk of Allah, and the best guidance is that of Muhammad, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and the most evil of matters are those which are newly invented, and every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is loss, and every loss is in the hellfire.
O Muslims, reaching Ramadan is a great blessing and great grace from Allah. The beginning of the month is mercy, its middle is forgiveness, and its end is protection from the fire. Whoever fasts in it with faith and consideration will have his sins forgiven, and whoever arises in it with faith and consideration will have his sins forgiven. [Hadith]. It is a month during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed. It is a month during which one night is worth a thousand, and if one is barred from it then he has been barred from all goodness.
It is a month in which for Allah we are protected from hell, and this is every night – nights during which the marketplace of jihad is opened. The Messenger, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, would hold in it the brigades and arm the armies to fight the enemies of Allah to do jihad against the polytheists. So take advantage of this good month in obeying Allah, for in it the rewards are multiplied, and let the competitors compete.
O Muslims, Allah, blessed be He, created us to believe in Him alone and worship him and establish His religion. [Qur’anic verse]. And he ordered us to fight His enemies and do jihad in His cause to achieve this and establish the religion. [Qur’anic verse].
O people, the religion of Allah, blessed be He, is not established and this goal for which Allah created us is not achieved but by empowering the shari’a of Allah and being judged by it and establishing the restrictions, and this is only done with power and authority. Allah said: [Qur’anic verse]. This is the establishment of the religion: a Book that guides and a sword that supports. As for your mujahideen brothers, Allah has bestowed upon them the grace of victory and conquest, and enabled them, after many years of jihad, patience, and fighting the enemies of Allah, and granted them success and empowered them to achieve their goal. Therefore, they hastened to declare the Caliphate and place an imam, and this is a duty upon the Muslims—a duty that has been lost for centuries and absent from the reality of the world and so many Muslims were ignorant of it. The Muslims sin by losing it, and they must always seek to establish it, and they have done so, and all praise is due to Allah.
I have been plagued with this great matter, plagued with this responsibility, and it is a heavy responsibility. I was placed as your caretaker, and I am not better than you. So if you found me to be right then help me, and if you found me to be wrong then advise me and make me right and obey me in what I obey Allah through you. If I disobey Him then there is no obedience to me from you. I do not promise you, as the kings and rulers promise their followers and congregation, of luxury, security, and relaxation; instead, I promise you what Allah promised His faithful worshipers.[Qur’anic verses].
This is the promise of Allah. So if you want to the promise of Allah to be fulfilled, then fear Allah and obey Him. Obey Allah in every matter and every situation, and stick to righteousness and adhere to it in what you love and what you hate. And you want the promise of Allah to be fulfilled, then do jihad in the cause of Allah, incite the believers, and be patient in the face of this hardship. If you knew about the reward and dignity in this world and the hereafter through jihad, then none of you would delay in doing it, for it is the business that Allah indicated and used to save [people] from shame, and followed it with dignity in both houses. [Qur’anic verse].
I say these words and I seek forgiveness for and from you from Allah, so pray to Allah while you are certain of the answer.
Praise be to Allah alone. Peace and blessings be upon he who there is no prophet after him, and upon his family, his Companions, his party, and his soldiers and those who followed them with benevolence until the Day of Judgment. There is no god but Allah alone without a partner. He was honest with His promise, supported His soldiers, and defeated the Parties alone. There is no god but Allah alone without a partner, and loyalty is to Him with the religion even if the disbelievers hate it.
O worshipers of Allah, establish your religion and fear Allah, so that He may dignify you in this world and the hereafter. If you want security, fear Allah. If you want a living, fear Allah. If you want a good life, fear Allah and do jihad in the cause of Allah. We ask Allah, the Lord of the Great Throne, to unify your word and to reform between you, and to guide you to what He loves and approves of.
O Allah, dignify Islam and the Muslims and humiliate polytheism and the polytheists, and dignify your mujahideen all over the world. Make their foothold firm and bind their hearts and be a supporter and assistant for them. Make their aim true and their opinion true. Prepare for them good guidance and make Your good assistance to them reinforcement.
O Allah, O overturner of hearts, make our hearts steadfast on Your religion and Your obedience, purify our hearts of hypocrisy, our actions of competition, our mouths of lies, and our eyes of betrayal. We ask from You honest faith and accepted work. We ask from You health and to make our gathering here a merciful one and our scattering a protected one.
Our last supplication is that all praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad.