Jonathan D. Halevi
Intelligence and Terrorism
Information Center at the
Center for Special Studies
Al- Farouq website affiliated with Al-Qaeda published a new book recently under the name “39 ways in the sake of the Jihad” written by Mohammad Bin Ahmad Al-Salem. According to the author’s preface, the book was completed on 19 July 2003 in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh....
... it is evident from Al-Salem’s manner of writing that he represents the “Salafi” outlook, originating from Ibn Taymia and Mohammad Abd Al-Wahhab’s school of thought as well as other Saudian and Palestinian scholars affiliated ideologically with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
“The Islam is under over-all attack waged by infidel forces”, the author asserts and finds in this the deep motive that urged him to write his book. The enemy, implying the U.S. and the Western world (including Israel), has taken over Moslem countries one after the other, thus pushing Islam into a defensive position.
The Islamic commandment of Jihad (holy war against the infidels) is the cure to the illness of the Islamic nation and in the eyes of Allah it is the first and foremost commandment for all Moslems striving to achieve victory and introduce the rule of Islam worldwide....
Al-Salem enumerates in his book 39 principles of the Jihad which one can take part in, and by doing so he gives the readers an opportunity to comprehend the broad meaning of the notion of Jihad as interpreted by Moslem scholars....
1. Preparing the mind to Jihad - Every Moslem has to obey the call for the Jihad against the infidels out of sheer belief and intention.
2. Sincere desire to attain martyrdom – Al-Salem, basing his arguments on Sheik Abdullah Azzam (the spiritual leader of Osama Bin Laden, killed in Afghanistan in 1989), emphasizes the importance of sincere endeavor in order to attain martyrdom from Allah. Thus, the believer can perform the commandment concerning the “preparation to the battle” (I’dad Al-‘oda) and gain a reward from Allah equivalent to the Shaheed’s reward (72 virgins and close proximity to the Divine presence in Heaven) even though he may die from natural causes.
3. Participating in Jihad – Every Moslem has to take an active part in the holy war against the infidels, being ready to self-sacrifice for the sake of Allah. Participation in the Jihad is the most distinguished action in the eyes of Allah.
4. Financing Jihad – Moslems can take part in Jihad by giving donations dedicated to the Jihad and the Mujahideen. The donation’s value is determined by its quality and destination and not only by the amount of money given.
5. Supplying the fighters’ needs – Believers who are unable to take part in the Jihad (for instance women and handicapped) can perform their duty by supplying the Mujahideens’ needs in money and equipment. By doing so, the donor is considered Mujaheed and deserves the same reward.
6. Taking care of the Mujaheed’s family - Believers who supply a Mujaheed’s family needs is considered Mujaheed and deserves half of his reward. On the other side, neglecting this may bring him misfortune and death by the hands of God.
7. Assisting the fallens’ families - by supplying the special needs of the orphans and widows.
8. Assisting the families of the prisoners and the wounded fighters - by supplying their necessities.
9. Collecting funds for the Mujahideen – Money is the lifeline of the Jihad. It’s importance stems also from the action of gathering donations that arouse the spirit of the Jihad in the believers’ hearts. There are many ways of carrying out this duty: in mosques, public venues, family gatherings, charity events, monthly donations or by urging the wealthy to open their hands to the Mujahideen.
10. Granting charity donations to the Mujahideens – who enjoy priority in Islam.
11. Financing medical treatment for the wounded Mujahideen
12. Praising the Mujahideen and their deeds – It is essential to educate the Islamic Nation on their values and to see them as a model for imitation.
13. Encouraging the Mujahideen to stick to their way – in order to strengthen their spirit and morale.
14. Protecting the Mujahideen – by refraining from publishing any information that may serve put them in jeopardy or spoil the spirit of Jihad. Al-Salem warns the readers of the Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (Saudi orientated, published in London) which conducts the “crusader – Jewish scheme” against Islam by publishing false information directed to destroy the steadfastness of the Islamic Nation and the Mujahideens’ spirit.
15. Publicizing the disgrace of the hypocrites and defeatists – who strive to weaken the Islamic Nation.
16. Preaching to Jihad – Great rewards are promised to every Moslem who drives other believers to commit the duty of the Jihad.
17. Giving good advise to the Mujahideen – Can be translated in many ways including supplying essential information on the enemy and his plans in order to be well prepared.
18. Maintaining secrecy concerning the Mujahideen
19. Prayers to Allah for the sake of the Mujahideen and for the defeat of the enemies.
20. Holding special prayer to avert misfortune and to strengthen the Moslem community.
21. Publishing the Mujahideens’ activities in order to arouse the notion of solidarity and strengthen proud and hope among the believers; Praise the ideal of self sacrifice for the sake of Allah and break the media siege imposed by the enemy. There are varied ways recommended for distributing the information praising the Jihad, including Internet websites and forums, distribution lists, circulating publications in public places (for instance mosques, schools), sending SMS etc.
22. Participating in publishing books on the Mujahideen
23. Publishing Islamic laws supporting the Jihad – This mission falls on the shoulders of the Moslem scholars who have the duty to guide the Islamic Nation in the light of Jihad and to call believers to join the Mujahideen and pray on their behalf. Their followers are demanded to urge the scholars to act. In this context, Al-Salem glorifies the role of Sheik Hamoud Al-Oqala Al-Shu’aybi (radical Saudi scholar, died 2 years ago, backed the Taliban regime and al-Qaeda) as a worthy scholar who strived to strengthen the Jihadi organizations worldwide by publishing Islamic laws justifying suicide attacks and the holy war against the infidels.
24. Maintaining constant contact with scholars and preachers in order to update them on the current happenings in connection with the Mujahideen. The believer is asked to assist the scholars who are on certain occasions under government pressure or influenced by false information. They have to update them regularly with reliable information, to support them and urge them to persist with the call for Jihad.
25. Physical training – Moslems who designate themselves to become Mujahideen have to gradually improve their physical fitness. Al-Salem elaborates in his book the recommended training program which includes improving the heart and lungs endurance and beefing up ones muscles etc.
26. Acquiring shooting skills – Al-Salem calls Moslems not to be satisfied only with tuition of the Jihad but to prepare to actually perform this duty by acquiring shooting skills.
27. Practicing swimming and riding horses – Riding Horses, explains Al-Salem is still relevant in the battlefields of Afghanistan, Chechnya and Iraq.
28. Learning first aid skills – to help injured Mujahudeen (splicing broken bones, performing infusion etc.).
29. Learning the doctrine of Jihad – Al-Salem recommends dozens of books, articles and Islamic laws published in recent years by Moslem radical leaders and scholars most of them Saudis by origin (Osama Bin Laden, Hamoud Al-Oqala Al-Shuaibi, Abd Aziz Jarbou’, Yusouf Al-‘ayyiri, Naser Al-Fahed, Ali Al-Khudier, Suliman Al-Olwan and more). One of them is the Al-Khudier’s Islamic law that justifies using mass destruction weapons against the U.S.
30. Supplying refuge and shelter to the Mujahideen
31. Expressing hostility and hatred toward infidels – A call for reconciliation or co-existence with the infidels might weaken the Mujahudeen.
32. Constant action to achieve the release of all prisoners - held in enemy jails, by all means.
33. Distributing current information on the prisoners in order to keep their morale high.
34. Performing electronic Jihad – Al-Salem attributes paramount importance to the Internet as a component of Jihad. He urges believers to join Jihad by participating Internet Forums to defend the Islam and Mujahideen, to preach Jihad and encourage Moslems to learn more about this sacred duty. The Internet affords an opportunity to reach vast target audiences and respond swiftly to false allegations. Computer experts are asked to use their skills and experience in destroying American, Jewish and secular websites as well as morally corrupted websites.
35. Alienation of infidels – Believers in other religions have to be isolated from Moslem communities to prevent them from committing hostile activity.
36. Educating the young generation to revere Jihad and the Mujahideen – The children, asserts Al-Salem are the “fuel” of the next stage of confrontation with the infidels. Parents have the duty to educate them to revere Jihad and the Mujahideen and to prepare themselves mentally for self-sacrifice for the sake of Allah. Al-Salem recommends the believers to tell their young stories about the life of the prophet Mohammad, his associates, the great Moslem conquerors and the Mujahideen in our time. In addition it is recommended to display to the children Jihadi films and taped sermons which praise martyrdom.
37. Abandoning luxury – which might weaken the spirit of Jihad.
38. Boycotting enemy’s commodities – as part of the economic Jihad.
39. Refraining from employing foreign workers – from enemy countries.
Sources: Mohammad Bin Ahmad Al-Salem, 39 wasila Li-Khidmat Al-Jihad Wa-Al-Musharaka Fihi, 2003.
Just for kicks, compare this to the (Jewish) "13 principles of faith," compiled by Maimonides. Wikipedia: Comparative religion is a field of religious studies that analyzes interpretive differences of common themes and ideas among the world's religions.