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Islamic State Training Camp Textbook: Excerpt and Analysis

17 July 2015

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

As mentioned in my previous post on Islamic State [IS] training camps and military divisions, the work Muqarrar fi al-Tawhid (Course/Stipulations in Tawhid [Monotheism]) is a book written by IS cleric Turki Binali- issued in the name of the Diwan al-Eftaa wa al-Buhuth that also deals with IS fatwas- and is the key textbook for Shari'a education for recruits to the training camps, who must memorize and understand the book. Below is a translation of the first lesson in the book. Note in particular the extensive quotation of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of the Wahhabi trend in Islam, as well as the appeals to more classical theology and jurisprudence in the citations of the likes of Ibn al-Qayyim and Imam al-Ajurri.


Praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and all his family and companions, and on the followers and whoso has followed them with ihsan till the Day of Judgment. As for what follows:

Indeed the principle of religion, and its basis and foundation are faith in God and disbelief in taghut. Man cannot be organised in the cadre of Islam and live in its protection and enjoy the blessing of its rule without the principle of religion and implementing it.

For tawheed is the principle of religion, its essence and foundation on which all religion is based, and faith cannot be sound and implementing cannot be accepted without realizing it and disavowing what is against it.

The people of disbelief and hypocrisy have tried to destroy the features of religion and distort its understandings so that the people of Islam may be far removed from the source of their power and unity.

And they have entrusted to their idolatrous tyrant overlords the task of distorting the religion and banishing the Muslims, so they have used their authority in shutting out the voice of truth in prison and liquidating the truth-telling 'ulama, and they have cooperated with the munafiqeen and 'ulama of error in spreading doctrinal and program error and deviation, until the features of truth have been wiped out. But God has sent to the Ummah of Islam one who should renew its religion and revive its doctrine, for they have come out openly with the truth, established the ritual of jihad, and fought against the people of disbelief and apostasy, until God realized for them the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate, ruling by God's law and reviving what had been effaced from the features of tawheed.

Today by God's favour we live in the shade of this lucky, blessed Caliphate. And to preserve it and its functioning, we have had to spread truth and call to it, that a monotheist, truth-telling generation may be established in whose hands God may revive the glories of our Ummah.

And this is a summary in the principle of religion that we have prepared for the Shari'a military camps, asking God to benefit us through it and our Muslim brothers in general and the mujahideen in particular.

Faith among the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jamaat

The Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jamaat: they are the ones upon whom what has similarly been upon the Prophet (God's peace and blessings be upon him: SAWS) and His companions, and they are the ones who adhere to the Sunna of the Prophet (SAWS) and they are the companions, the followers, the Imams of guidance who followed them, and they are the ones who have been right in following, and have rejected innovation in any time and place, remaining victorious till the Day of Judgment.

Thus they are called for their adherence to the Sunna of the Prophet (SAWS) and their gathering/consensus on taking it up outwardly and inwardly, in word, deed and conviction.

Faith as a word: believing to be true and confirmation.

In law: saying by tongue, believing in the heart and working with the limbs, for more or less.

Imam al-Ajuri (may God have mercy on him) said: "Faith is believing in the heart, confirming with the tongue, and working with the limbs, and one cannot be a believer until these three qualities are gathered in him."

Ibn Taymiyya (may God have mercy on him) says: "Those who have passed from our predecessors do not distinguish faith from deed, deed from faith, and faith from deed. Whoso believes with his tongue, knows in his heart, and has believed through his deeds, that is the indissoluble bond that cannot be broken. But whoso says with his tongue, doesn't know in his heart, and doesn't believe through his deeds, will be among the losers in the Hereafter." [Kitab al-Imaan pg. 250]

First of the Obligations

Know- may God have mercy on you- that the first of obligations on man that he learn and implement is disbelieving in taghut, and faith in God.

The Almighty has said: "Whoso disbelieves in taghut and believes in God, has adhered to the indissoluble bond that cannot be broken, and God is hearing, knowing."- al-Baqara 256 [Qur'an 2:256]

Disbelief in taghut has been presented because shirk [idolatry] is an impurity when it mixes with the heart having brought it out from its innate character and purity, and tawheed is the greatest purity that may not ever be mixed with the greatest shirk in the heart, so one must cleanse and purify the heart from the filth of shirk and filled with the purity of tawheed, so if one disbelieves in taghut and disavows it, one becomes ready to accept tawheed.

As for the quality of disbelieving in taghut: you believe in the falsehood of worshipping besides God, abandoning it, hating it and declaring its people to be disbelievers and being hostile to them.

Ibn al-Qayyim (may God have mercy on him) said: "Faith is not fulfilled except by showing hostility to these counterparts and strength of hatred for them and hatred of their people, being hostile to them and waging war on them. Thus did God send all his messengers and revealed all his books and created the hellfire for the people of this idolatrous affection, while creating Paradise for whosoever wages war on this people and shows hostility to them out of this [faith] and His contentment."- [al-Ruh Part I, pg. 254]

The meaning of Taghut and its types

Taghut: on the form fa'alut, from the word tughyan, tugha: said when one exceeds one's limit.

The Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (may God have mercy on him) said: "And taghut is all by which man exceeds his boundary from worship, following and obedience. So taghut is everyone to whom they appeal besides God and His Messenger (SAWS), or whom they worship without God, or whom they follow without enlightenment from God, or whom they obey in what they do not know that it is obedience to God. So these are the tawagheet of the world: when you consider them and consider the throngs of the people with them, you see that most of them have been turned from worship of God to worship of taghut, from appeal to God and His Messenger (SAWS) to appeal to taghut, and from obeying Him and following His Messenger (SAWS) to taghut and following it." ['Ilam al-Muwaqqa'in- Part I, pg. 50]

The Sheikh of Islam Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab- may God have mercy on him- said:

"And tawagheet- the majority of their heads are five:

First: Satan calling to worship besides God, and the evidence is the Almighty's words: "Did I not enjoin upon you- sons of Adam- not to worship Satan? He is a clear enemy for you" (Ya Sin 60: Qur'an 36:60).

Second: The despot ruler who assails the rulings of God. The evidence is the Almighty's words: "Did you not consider those who assert that they have believed in what has been revealed to you and what has been revealed before you? They want to appeal to taghut, even as they have been ordered to disbelieve in it. And Satan wants to lead them far astray." (Nisa 60: Qur'an 4:60).

Third: The one who judges not by what God has revealed, and the evidence is the Almighty's words: "And the one who judges not by what God has revealed: such people are the disbelievers." (al-Ma'ida 44: Qur'an 5:44).

Fourth: The one who claims knowledge of the unseen besides God, and the evidence is the Almighty's words: "[He] is knower of the unseen, and does not disclose the unseen to anyone, except whoso He has approved from His messengers. He sends before and behind them observers." (Jinn 26-27: Qur'an 72:26-27).

Fifth: The one who worships besides God and is content with the worship. And the evidence is the Almighty's words: "Whoso from them says: 'Indeed I am a god besides Him.' We will reward him with hell, just as we reward the wrongdoers." (Anbiya 29: Qur'an 21:29).

As for the meaning of faith in God: you believe that God is the worshipped One by right- Him alone- with none besides him, and sufficiency in all types of worship belonging wholly to God.

And you deny this to all worshipped except Him, and you love the people of purity and are their ally. And you hate and are hostile to the people of shirk.

And this is the path of Ibrahim by which one who loathes it discredits himself.

And this is the model God spoke of in the Almighty's words: "And there is a fine model for you in Ibrahim and those with him: when they said to their people: 'We disavow you and what you worship besides God. We have denied you and thus has begun hostility and hatred between us and you forever until you believe in God alone.'" (al-Mumtahanah 4: Qur'an 60:4)." 



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