[Translator's introduction: Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi]: At my suggestion, the Egyptian cleric Abu Shu'aib al-Masri (Talha al-Musayyar), who is based in northwest Syria and was previously affiliated with Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham but is now independent, has written an article on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and what it means for the global Muslim community (the Ummah). I feature the article in translation below:
The impact of the Ukrainian war on the Islamic Ummah.
The world is following today the events of the war in Ukraine between Russia and the Ukrainian government and its near and far developments and impacts, and among the most important impacts is the issue of interest in the impact of that war on the Islamic Ummah in general and the forces of jihad, revolution and liberation among it in particular, so on account of that, it is important to make clear some of those impacts:
1. The Islamic Ummah benefits in all circumstances
Whether the war stops, continues or the Russians win or the Ukrainians win with the West behind them, God- Exalted and Lofty is He- arranges the affair by His wisdom- Exalted and Lofty is He. Humans- however much they apply their minds- only realise part of this wisdom, while many of its resultant impacts on events remain hidden to them, so we are assured of the judgement of God and His decree, and so we alternate between thanks and praise, and let the enemies of consider how much they have done to wage war on Islam and prevent good from it, then their scheme has gone to loss.
The Islamic Ummah benefited from the Second World War as the armies of the Western states left most of the lands of the Islamic world, and the Islamic Ummah benefited from the stopping of the war in Europe through da'wa to God- Exalted and Lofty is He- as many of them entered into Islam, and it benefited from the Cold War between the East and West as it expelled the Soviet Union from a number of the Islamic countries, and the Ummah benefited from the arrogance of George Bush the son and his occupation of Afghanistan, as America suffered attrition, and it benefited from Biden's weakness as all of Afghanistan was liberated, and it benefited from the stupidity of Macron as the Muslims of Mali mobilised against the French presence, so the French have announced their withdrawal from Mali, so the Ummah benefits in all circumstances.
So the people waging war on each other in Ukraine must not try to take a decision in that war- whether in de-escalation or escalation- on the basis of their thinking that through this decision they can cut the path for the Islamic Ummah to benefit from that war, because we, by God's permission, will benefit in all circumstances. SAWS said: "And know that were the Ummah to come together on the basis that they should benefit you in something, they would not benefit you in anything except what God has decreed for you, and if they were to come together on the basis of harming you in something, they will not harm you in anything except what God has decreed against you."
2. Ordering of the priorities of enmity
There is a mutual historical enmity between the Islamic Ummah and the Eastern and Western camps, as well as a continual conflict since a long period of time. This is a firm historical truth, but it is not the sole enmity on this Earth. Indeed enmities are spread in every place, and the bloody conflict is renewed between the general mass of nations: a conflict of civilisations, a conflict of religions, a conflict of influence, a conflict of ethnicities, a conflict of interests. So the conflict between the Eastern and Western camps and inside each of the two camps has likewise been long and continual, so the conflict between the Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians and Armenians: this has a long history. And likewise the French conflict with Britain, and the French-British conflict with Germany, and the Japanese with China, and the America with the Vietnamese, the American with the Japanese, the North Korean with the South Korean.
And it is possible to say that all are in mutual conflict with all, according to the circumstances of each stage, but the important question is: what is the priority of the conflict among the Eastern and Western camp if they are reasonable?
Indeed the implacable more intense danger to those disbelieving nations is from their disbelieving enemies, for a simple and clear reason, namely that the Muslims are enemies to them, but they are chivalrous, noble and gallant enemies who have a religion that restrains them, and lofty aims for which they strive, as they are just in the land and do not sow corruption. As Gustav Le Bon said: "The truth is that the nations have not known tolerant conquerors like the Arabs, nor a magnanimous religion like their religion." And as the poet said: "Indeed I feel secure from a reasonable enemy, and I fear a fellow afflicted with madness."
For the Muslims are not the ones who exterminated millions of the red Indians, and kidnapped millions of Africans and killed them in order for them to build for them their foundling state, and struck Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear bombs, and did those awful exploits in Vietnam and the Philippines, but rather the Americans are the ones who did those dreadful crimes.
- And the Muslims are not the ones who lit the crematoria of the Holocaust, but rather the Germans.
- And the Muslims are not the ones who destroyed Europe's biggest cities and destroyed millions under their rubble in the Second World War, but rather the Europeans.
- And the Muslims are not the ones who killed millions in Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia in order to establish the Soviet Union, and caused the perishing of millions in the Holdomar famine in Ukraine, but rather the Russians.
- And the Muslims are not the ones who caused the Nanking massacre against the Chinese, but rather the Japanese.
- And the Muslims are not the ones who killed millions in the civil war in Rwanda, but rather the Rwandans.
- And the Muslims today are not the ones who possess the nuclear bombs and the chemical weapons and means of biological war, but rather well-known disbelieving states.
So the reasonable ones of the disbelieving nations must know that the priority of their conflict is against their enemy from the disbelieving nations, not against the Muslims, and they should make the priority of their caution what they fear most and they should prepare to confront it: namely, the danger coming from the disbelieving camps that do not know a humanitarian principle or value. And the crimes of the Russians in Syria and the Americans in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are not far removed, for these are their methods in war when it sets off.
3. The Ukrainian war is an opportunity for more liberation in the Islamic world:
The Islamic world is suffering from conspiracies of multiple global forces- the most prominent of them America, Russia, China and France; as those states are waging war on Islam, and occupying Islamic lands, and imposing collaborationist governments on Muslim peoples, and committing many crimes. This enmity has been confronted by multiple movements of jihad, liberation and revolutions that have worn out the transgressing occupier and cost it much.
And this weakness and attrition have led those states to the point where each of them is playing a waiting game against the other in order to take advantage of an opportunity of intense weakness of the latter so as to expand at its expense. So the Americans have found themselves after 20 years of Bush's Crusader campaign against the Islamic world in front of a Russian expansion and a Chinese transformation into a tiger, which threaten what has remained of its global hegemony.
And therefore it cannot be ruled out that those different forces will try to reduce their war on the Islamic world in an attempt to keep some of their enemies neutral out of concern for their current battle in Ukraine and what may follow it from expected battles.
And this mutual repulsion that is a matter of fate is one of the factors for the liberation of the peoples of the Ummah from its enemies in the Eastern, Wesern and Chinese camp, and the liberation of the Ummah from its occupiers is better for the occupiers than the continuation of their bleeding on our land so that they fall as pray of an existential threat from disbelieving nations that are lying in wait for them and have a long-standing accounting of revenge with them, and resentments and ambitions not hidden to anyone.
4. The participation of those claiming affiliation with Islam in the war:
The mutually conflicting disbelieving states in Ukraine and the rest of the places on fire strive to use and deploy groups of those claiming affiliation with Islam in those battles in order to benefit from their specialist power, or in order to be rid of those in whose existence they think there is a burden or danger to them, or in order to make the war one by proxy, among other motives. And some of the Chechens affiliated with the Russia collaborator Kadyrov have appeared participating with the Russians in the occupation of Ukraine, and likewise there have begun to appear those claiming affiliation with Islam participating in the fighting in Ukraine against the Russians. And despite the fact that most of these participations are forbidden and not permissible, because jihad in Islam is fighting so that the word of God should be the supreme one and not in affiliation or collaboration with a disbelieving side, nonetheless the results of the decrees of fate in it are reducing the burden on the Muslims in a number of states, and raising of the ceiling of their demands, and ridding the Islamic Ummah from some of the wicked ones in it.
- I ask God to make the account of the matters good, and praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds.