Dialogue With Sheikh Abu Baseer At Tartousi (2)
21 June 2015
By Abu Abdullah Al Shaami
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
Returning to the Sheikh's article, we will carry out the discussion over the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
Written by Abu Abdullah Al Shaami