The jihadist group Jama'at Ansar al-Islam, of Iraqi origin and primarily active in northwest Syria, is continuing to publicise its activities on social media. Though Jama'at Ansar al-Islam was part of the 'So Be Steadfast' operations room that clashed with Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the group subsequently reached an understanding with HTS and thus is allowed to operate in an independent capacity or within operations-rooms approved by HTS, apparently in contrast with the other groups that constituted the 'So Be Steadfast' operations room.
However, Jama'at Ansar al-Islam still holds the opinion that the solution for northwest Syria, unsurprisingly, lies in the 'continuation of the jihad,' warning against trusting in international agreements for the area. This line of reasoning is common among supporters of the factions that constituted the 'So Be Steadfast' operations room. The argument is illustrated in more depth in a new publication put out by Jama'at Ansar al-Islam that I have translated below.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
The continuation of the jihad: among the principles of faith among the Muslims
After the occurrence of any ceasefire or relative stability in Idlib, many forget the cause of jihad and the obligation of continuing it in order to liberate the land and free the prisoners, relying on the enjoyment of this worldly life or dealing with international agreements that strive to restore security and peace to the region as its people claim! And really strange are those who trust in or think well of ignorance that has arisen on principles of disbelief from secularism and nationalism, forgetting the words of God (Almighty and Exalted is He) on them: 'And they have liked that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so you should be the same'- (al-Nisa' 89). And the Muslim know knows the words of his Lord and the hadiths of his Messenger (SAWS) and what has come upon his Ummah from woes that are the result of relying on the enemies will have a more piercing and deeper view than being affected by croaking addresses and the current solutions that are suggested by some of those who are negligent ones in the interior or the evil ones from the outside.
Rather he sees that the divine obligation placed on his shoulders is to continue in his jihad, and this is not proceeding from the pressure of feelings and emotions but proceeding from his faith that goodness is in taking caution against the scheming of the enemies and continuing on the jihad and heeding the words of God (Almighty and Exalted is He): 'Oh you who have believed, take your caution and mobilise in companies or mobilise entirely.' Al-Sheikh al-Sa'adi says in his tafsir: The Almighty commands His believing servants to take their caution against their disbelieving enemies. and this includes taking up all of its causes in which help is sought to fight them and repel their scheming and force, from using the fortresses and trenches, learning shooting and riding, and learning the crafts that aid that, and that by which one knows their entrances and exists, and mobilising in the path of God. And therefore He has said: 'And mobilise in companies': i.e. divided in that a company or army mobilises, and those besides them stay put; 'or mobilise entirely' and all this is for the interest and inflicting damage, and the comfort for the Muslims is in their religion. And this verse is the counterpart of the Almighty's words: 'And prepare for them what you can from force.'
And how can the Muslim neglect the jihad and not be bothered about it and be slow when he knows the following hadith of the Messenger of God (SAWS)? On the authority of al-Tawas bin Sam'an who said: A conquest was granted to the Messenger of God (SAWS) so I came to him and said: oh Messenger, the horses have been released and they have laid aside the arms for the war has ended and they have said: no fighting. The Messenger of God (SAWS) said: 'They have lied. Now the fighting has come, now the fighting has come. Indeed God- Almighty and Exalted is He- causes the deviation of the hearts of peoples who fight them and nourishes them from them until the command of God comes upon that and the depth of the abode of the believers is al-Sham.' This hadith was brought out by Imam Ahmad and others. So jihad continues with the existence of the conquests- as has come in the hadith- so what is the matter with some who have refrained from the jihad and have despaired about the support of God when they are in the time of relapses and defeats for which the Ummah requires more sacrifice, steadfastness and jihad? And they have abandoned the field so it can be facilitated for the states of disbelief and their followers to implement what they want from agreements and deals!
So indeed the permanence of jihad and continuing on it is of the doctrinal principles among the Muslims. And Imam al-Bukhari (may God have mercy on him) entitled a chapter in his authentic collection that he called: 'Chapter: The jihad continues with the pious and immoral for the words of the Prophet (SAWS): 'Good remains bound in the forelocks of horses until the Day of Judgment.' And Ibn Hajar (may God have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the words of al-Bukhari: 'He was preceded in citing this by Imam Ahmad because SAWS mentioned the remaining of good in the forelocks of horses until the Day of Judgement and explained it in reward and booty. And the booty and spoils in reward are from the horses in jihad.' And say that you see one of the texts of the creed of the predecessors and its author has not established in it the belief of the Ahl al-Sunna in the permanence of jihad. And in the verses and hadiths and sayings of the predecessors is clear evidence that the endurance of Islam is closely continued with the continuing of the jihad, and therefore Ibn Hajr mentioned in the conclusion of his words about the prior hadith: 'And in the hadith is the invitation to expeditions on horses and in it also is glad tidings of the endurance of Islam and its people until the Day of Judgment because from the necessity of the endurance of jihad is the endurance of the mujahideen who are the Muslims and it is like the other hadith: a sect of my Ummah will continue fighting on truth.'
So congratulations to the people of jihad who are of the bearers of the glad tidings for the endurance of Islam and its people till the Day of Judgement, and oh Ahl al-Sunna in al-Sham, do not neglect your weapons that are the bearer of glad tidings for your oppressed Ummah at whose forefront are our prisoners whose hopes have hung after God on the mouths of your rifles. And beware of contentment with agriculture and taking up the tails of cows that makes us inherit humiliation and degradation. And praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds.
Awareness-Raising Report Number (1)
Dhu al-Hijja 1441