Hamza bin Ladin, son of the late Usama, released an audio message today on behalf of al-Qaeda that placed Syria at the centre of the jihadists’ cause. An English transcript of Hamza’s message, entitled, “The Cause of al-Sham is the Cause of Islam” (or “The Cause of Syria is the Cause of Islam”)—echoing a statement in April by al-Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, that “The cause of Syria is the cause of the entire umma (Muslim community”—was produced by As-Sahab Media, and is reproduced below, with some important sections highlighted in bold.
Hamza returns repeatedly to the metaphor of the Muslims around the globe being one body and Syria a wound on that body, which all must work together to heal, lest it spread and kill the patient. Hamza portrays a global conspiracy—with the United States, Russia, and Iran in alignment—against the Syrian population that rose up against Bashar al-Asad’s regime. The calamitous Western response to the Syrian crisis, which has enabled the regime, with Iran and Russia behind it, to conduct atrocities unhindered, lends a measure of legitimacy to this tendentious presentation. The best disinformation always contains grains of truth. As in Bosnia previously, al-Qaeda is seeking to mobilize Muslims, religiously and politically, using the suffering of the Syrians—Hamza says that financial and even rhetorical support (as little as a tweet) is helpful; not everyone has to journey to Syria to join the jihad—and once al-Qaeda has people in this milieu it can socialize and indoctrinate them into its worldview. For as long as these conditions prevail, al-Qaeda will have the threads it needs to weave a narrative useful to its recruitment and legitimation campaigns.
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In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,
All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, the Benefactor of the Righteous. I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May peace be upon him, his family and all his Companions.
To my beloved Islamic umma [Islamic community or Islamic nation];
To our honorable people in our beloved Syria;
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu [May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you]!
To those who rose up in rebellion against the tyrant, and declared at the top of their voices that this is an uprising for the sake of Allah alone:
You have offered and sacrificed everything you treasured in the Way of Allah and for the sake of restoring your glory and honour. You have offered your hearts, the most precious of your souls, the gleam of your eyes. Your condition speaks for itself in these words:
I meet difficulties as they cross my way
With a heart cognizant and patient
The era of grief shall pass
Just as the era of bliss did
For it is impossible for the same situation to persist
In the extant of a life short in span
You have stunned the world with your patience, endurance and jihad, and with it you are writing a golden chapter in the contemporary history of the Muslim umma. Your patience has become a model to be emulated, your determination an example to be followed, and bravery is learned from you. May Allah reward you greatly on behalf of Islam and Muslims.
Our beloved people in Syria, the Land of jihad and ribat: We are with you. We support you. We support your blessed jihad to overthrow the tyrant, expel the occupier and establish the shari’a of Allah alone, with no partners to ascribe to Him.
We are with you. Your joy delights us, your happiness fills our hearts with pleasure, and your success and victories bring smiles and exuberance to our faces.
We are with you. Your hardship grieves us, your affliction makes our hearts bleed, and your pictures make our eyes overflow with tears. And we always ask Allah to bring you ease, give victory to you, support you, and help you with special assistance from Him.
So be patient; may Allah give you victory. And be determined; may Allah make you steadfast. “If you are suffering, they [too] are suffering just as you suffer, but you have hope of reward [i.e. Paradise] from Allah, which they cannot hope for. And verily, Allah is All-Knowing and All-Wise” [An-Nisa (4): 104]. As long as you hold on strongly to the two noble revelations [the Qur’an and the Sunna], all I would advise you is to persevere in patience, for your promised abode is Paradise, with the permission of Allah.
So do not waver, nor grieve. Do not accept half-baked solutions, nor stop mid-way in your path before you have reached your destination, for this will be nothing but a waste of your tremendous sacrifices and a premature termination of your brilliant revolution. Weigh your affairs in the scales of the Hereafter, your difficulties will seem trivial to you.
Do not be troubled by traversing the path of patience when the agony becomes intense
For today your patience is bitter, but tomorrow it will be sweet
How many overcame time with their patience, and achieved what they cherished
My mujahid brothers in Syria!
To those who have defended their religion, protected their people, lost their brothers and loved ones;
To those who have liberated imprisoned brothers and sisters;
To those who have eased the agony of their people;
To those who have broken the siege:
I wish to offer a word of sincere loving advice, so accept it. And I caution you, out of fear and sympathy for you, so listen carefully.
As for the advice: Follow the command of Allah, “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah [i.e. the Qur’an] and be not divided among yourselves” [Ali Imran (3): 103]. Stick to the guidance of scholars and the Shuyukh of jihad who want the best for you.
My beloved mujahid brothers: Give some consideration to the oppressed men and women in the refugee camps. The mere sight of the camps should sharply increase your sense of responsibility. The refugee camp calls out: Here is merciless hunger; here is sharp piercing cold; here is life at its hardest.
Yet it reminds you: My suffering is endured—for the sake of overthrowing the tyrant. My tragedy pales in significance—for establishing the lasting shari’a of Allah. My affliction is mitigated—in the hope that you may create the conditions for an honorable and respectable life for my inhabitants.
So do not lay waste to its aspirations, my honourable brothers.
As for a loving and sympathetic word of caution, it is as follows: The battle which you are waging today is of immense significance and momentous consequences. Your enemy is exceptionally cunning and schemes day in and day out to outwit you, divide your ranks, disperse your strength and sow discord and disputes amongst you to completely uproot you. The enemy picks on each one of you separately. This demands from you extreme vigilance, deliberation, holding tightly together to the rope of Allah, to His Book and the Sunna, and sidestepping the “initiatives” launched by the enemy, for these are nothing but conspiracies.
We have seen the murderous occupier, stained with the blood of our women and children, killing you relentlessly, only to appear the next day in the garb of a sympathetic doctor coming to the rescue of an injured victim, or putting up the façade of a sincere proponent of peace! Which peace, one may ask, for this is the same enemy that has killed thousands of your people! Which peace, for this is the same enemy that has destroyed homes with their residents inside, and obliterated entire cities along with their inhabitants! Which peace, for this very enemy has kept the tyrant Bashar [al-Asad] in power, rescued him from the brink of collapse, and boosted the ranks of the Rafidi [Shi’i, i.e. Iranian] occupier to stop your forces from taking Damascus.
The International System and the states of the West and the East that are fighting against you do so because you seek to establish a true Islamic government. They have divided the roles amongst themselves to deceive you. Do not obey them, for they are deceivers. Do not obey they, for they are criminals. Do not obey them, for they are insolent disbelievers who will break every oath and promise. Reflect on these noble verses:
O you who believe! If you obey those who disbelieve they will turn you back upon your heels, and you will turn back [from the faith] as losers.
But Allah is your Maula (Protector) and He is the best of the helpers.
We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, because they ascribe partners unto Allah, for which He has sent down [or revealed] no authority: their abode will be the fire [of Hell], and wretched is the abode of the wrong-doers.
Allah did indeed fulfil his promise to you when you, with His permission, were about to annihilate your enemy—until [the moment] your courage failed you, and you fell into disputing the order [given by the Prophet] and disobeyed after He had shown you that which you covet [i.e. ghanima (war booty)]. Among you are some who desire this world [dunya], and some that desire the Hereafter. Therefore, He made you flee from your foes in order to test you. But now, He has forgiven you. Allah is the Lord of Kindness to the believers [Ali Imran (3): 149-152].
These noble verses clearly explain that the initiative is in your hands. And the way to seize the initiative is by turning your back on the disbelievers and their allies and being on your guard against them; by making Allah alone, Who has no Partners, your Aide and Helper, besides everyone else; and by protecting your ranks from disputation, disagreement and disobedience of Allah. If you do so, Allah will strike fear in to the hearts of your enemy and fulfill His promise of giving you victory over them.
My mujahid brothers in our beloved Syria: We must be proud of our religion and seek honour in jihad. We must be proud of our enmity towards America and Russia, for they are the Pharaohs of this age. Anyone who stands up to them has a right to be proud; anyone who tries to appease them must be ashamed of himself. So let us be proud of the anger [against us from] the West and its hatred for us. Let us be proud of the West’s profiling of us as “terrorists”, for this is no allegation; it is a badge of honour. Let us be proud of having enraged them, because we will be rewarded by Allah for this, with His permission. Allah, the Glorious, says, “Nor do they take any step that raises the ire of the disbelievers, nor inflict any injury upon an enemy, but it is recorded for them as a righteous deed. Surely, Allah does not waste the reward of the Muhsinun (doers of good)” [al-Tawba (9): 120].
My Muslim umma, my Muslim brothers from Indonesia to the Maghreb and the Muslim lands that lie in between: this is not an ordeal for Syria; it is an ordeal targeting Islam itself. The enemy does not want to see Islam established in any form. The Crusader enemy, along with its Rafidi allies, are occupying our Islamic lands bit by bit. Ask Iraq and Yemen if you wish, and they will inform you about the reality of the matter. While in Syria, the Land of ribat and jihad, the enemy is exerting its fullest [effort] to annihilate our people, with its eyes firmly set on the occupation of the Land of the Two Sanctuaries [Saudi Arabia].
To enable the Muslims of Syria to stop this International Crusader-Rafidi aggression, Muslims—all Muslims—must stand shoulder to shoulder with them, and offer all kinds of help, support, and encouragement. The body of the Muslim umma—specifically its Syrian wound—has severely deteriorated, and is in need of urgent treatment. If we are able to treat this wound, we should be able to treat the other wounds as well. And if we ignore this wound, the injury will only spread and we will be left unable to treat the whole body.
Extreme vigilance and urgent, organized, serious action is needed to support the people of Syria before it’s too late. The cause of Syria must be the cause of the entire umma. We want Syria to emerge victorious over the tyrants. We want it to be ruled by the noble shari’a. We want its people to live a life of honour and dignity. We wish to see the armies of mujahideen setting out from Syria to liberate al-Quds [Jerusalem], with the permission of Allah, instead of Syria itself turning into another Palestine, God Forbid.
Faced with these hopes and fears, the mujahideen are in utmost need of your help, my Muslim brothers, so that they may continue their journey towards its destined goal.
O Muslims: Embody the meaning of a single body; embody the meaning of Islamic Brotherhood.
Will your brothers starve, while you are satiated?
Will your brothers live in fear, while you live in safety?
Your help for them is the oxygen which they cannot do without, and your setting out to join them is the nourishment without which they cannot survive, so do not cut off this supply of oxygen and nourishment.
Your participation in the jihad in Syria will be a source of blessing for you. Everything related to jihad in Syria assumes a heavenly dimension.
A young Muslim, even if he is among those who have transgressed against their selves, becomes a mujahid, Muhajir, and a hero merely by reaching the land of Syria, perhaps to be chosen by Allah as a martyr eventually. Every word spoken in support of the cause of Syria is not an ordinary word; it is the word of truth, a truthful tweet perhaps, which will be a source of reward in the Hereafter. Every Dirham spent for the cause of Syria assumes another dimension, becoming a mujahid, otherworldly Dirham which will rise to defend its owner on the Day of Judgment.
So every Muslim who truly believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment must support his brothers in Syria in whatever way he or she can.
O youth of Islam, make this your motto: Either Islam shall live honourably or we shall die.
O Allah, be a Helper and Supporter of our brothers in Syria.
And Allah is All-Powerful over His affairs, but most people know not.
And our last prayer is that all Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.