JOIN THE CARAVAN
Imam Abdullah Azzam
Walhamdulillah Was Salaatu Was Salaam 'ala Rasulillah
be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. The Hereafter is for the pious,
and there is no enmity save toward the unjust. I bear witness
that there is none worthy of worship save Allah alone, and I
bear witness that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger. May Allah
bless him, his pure Household, his noble Companions, and all
those who follow them in goodness upto the day of Judgement.
I am pleased to present
this translation of the martyred Shaykh `Abdullah `Azzam's "Join
The Caravan" (Ilhaq bil-qawafilah) to our English-speaking
brothers and sisters. The Shaykh has done an excellent job of
informing Muslims about jihad, the topic which is so much misunderstood
and neglected today. The book focuses on Afghanistan, but most
of what is mentioned is applicable to jihad in general.
was born in Palestine, and earned a Ph.D. in Islamic studies
from Al-Azhar University in Egypt. He spent the early part of
his life in Palestine, participating in the jihad there. However,
matters there were not to his liking, for the people involved
in jihad were far removed from Islam. He told of how these people
used to spend the nights playing cards and listening to music,
under the illusion that they were performing jihad to liberate
Palestine. Shaykh `Abdullah mentioned that, out of the thousands
in the camp he was in, the number of people who offered their
salah in congregation were so few they could be counted on one
hand. He tried to steer them towards Islam, but they resisted
his attempts. One day he rhetorically asked one of the "Mujahideen"
what the religion behind the Palestinian revolution was, to
which the man replied, quite clearly and bluntly,
has no religion behind it."
This was the last
straw. Shaykh `Abdullah left Palestine, and went to Saudi Arabia
to teach in the universities there. When he learned about the
Afghan jihad, he left his teaching position at King `Abdul-`Aziz
University and went to Islamabad, Pakistan, in order to be able
to participate in the jihad. He travelled all over the world,
calling on Muslims to rally to the defence of their religion
and lands. He wrote a number of books on jihad. Moreover, he
himself participated bodily in the Afghan jihad, despite the
fact that he was in his sixties. He traversed Afghanistan, from
north to south, east and west, in snow, through the mountains,
in heat and in cold, riding donkeys and on foot.
Young men with him
used to tire from such exertions, but not Shaykh `Abdullah.
No other Arab has worked for the Afghan jihad in such a manner.
At an age of more than sixty years, he performed jihad in every
way possible, truly responding to the call of Allah,
"Go forth, light
and heavy, and strive with your selves and your wealth in the
path of Allah. That is better for you, if only you knew."
He reared his family
also, in the same spirit, so that his wife, for example, engaged
in orphan care and other humanitarian work in Afghanistan. He
refused teaching positions at a number of universities, declaring
that he would not quit jihad until he was either martyred or
assassinated. He used to reiterate that his ultimate goal was
still to liberate Palestine.
Naturally, such a
pride to Islam caused great distress to the enemies of this
religion, and they plotted to eliminate him. In 1989 CE, a lethal
amount of TNT explosive was placed beneath the pulpit from which
he delivered the sermon every Friday. It was such a formidable
quantity that if it had exploded, it would have destroyed the
mosque, together with everything and everybody in it. Hundreds
of Muslims would have been killed, but Allah provided protection
and the bomb did not explode. The enemies, determined to accomplish
their ugly task, tried another plot in Peshawar, shortly after
this in the same year.
They planted three
bombs on a road so narrow only a single car could travel on
it. It was the road Shaykh `Abdullah would use to drive to the
Friday prayer. That Friday, the Shaykh, together with two of
his sons, Ibrahim and Muhammad, along with one of the sons of
the late Shaykh Tamim `Adnani (another hero of the Afghan jihad),
drove along the road. The car stopped at the position of the
first bomb, and the Shaykh alighted to walk the remainder of
the way. The enemies, lying in wait, then exploded the bomb.
A loud explosion and a great thundering were heard all over
People emerged from
the mosque, and beheld a terrible scene. Only a small fragment
of the car remained; the young son Ibrahim flew 100 meters into
the air; the other two youths were thrown a similar distance
away, and their remains were scattered among the trees and power
lines. As for Shaykh `Abdullah himself, his body was found resting
against a wall, totally intact and not at all disfigured, except
that some blood was seen issuing from his mouth.
It was in
this way that this great hero and reformer of Islam departed
from the arena of jihad and from this world, never to return.
May Allah accept him as a martyr, and grant him the highest
station in Paradise. The struggle, which he stood for, continues,
despite the enemies of Islam.
"They seek to
extinguish the light of Allah by their mouths. But Allah refuses
save to perfect His light, even if the Disbelievers are averse.
It is He who has sent His messenger with the guidance and the
true religion, in order that He may make it prevail over all
religions, even if the pagans are averse." [Qur'an, 9:32-33]
Since the book was
written, the Soviets have been expelled from Afghanistan, by
Allah's grace, and the entire Soviet Union has disintegrated.
Yet, the fighting in Afghanistan continues, as those who are
striving to raise Allah's word battle against others whose motives
were not purely Islamic. Doubtless, the struggle must continue
until truth emerges distinct from falsehood, and the true Mujahideen
attain triumph and defeat the Communists and other enemies of
Islam who are trying to destroy the fruit of the Afghan jihad.
It is particularly important for Muslims to acquaint themselves
with the true state of affairs in Afghanistan before making
unjustified, rash statements and accusations. Let us remind
ourselves of the folly of speaking without being properly informed.
"When you were
propagating it with your tongues, your mouths uttering that
of which you had no knowledge, thinking it to be of little consequence,
whereas it was serious (indeed) before Allah" [Qur'an,
May Allah bring benefit
by means of this book, and grant us all the courage and ability
to respond to His call. May He grant success and victory to
all those who strive in His way the world over.
ONE: REASONS FOR JIHAD
TWO - OH ISLAM!
THREE: CLARIFICATIONS ABOUT THE ISSUE OF JIHAD TODAY
from the website www.al-haqq.org in December 2001.
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