Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Profile: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

15 May 2015

From the section Middle East

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State (IS) militant group, has been careful to reveal little about himself and his whereabouts.

Rumours about his death surfaced earlier this year, after reports that he had been seriously wounded in an air strike in March by the US-led coalition that is opposing IS.

But the Pentagon said that Baghdadi’s fate remained unclear.

The IS chief allegedly broke a months-long silence in May by releasing an audio message in which he urged Muslims to emigrate to the “caliphate” that the group has proclaimed in areas of Syria and Iraq.

But his only public appearance on video has been to deliver a sermon in Mosul after IS took the northern Iraqi city last year.
Before then, there were only two authenticated photos of him.

The IS chief also appears to wear a mask to address his commanders, earning the nickname “the invisible sheikh”.

But Baghdadi – a nom de guerre, rather than his real name – has good reason to maintain a veil of mystery, says the BBC’s Security Correspondent, Frank Gardner.

One of his predecessors, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi who headed the most violent jihadist group in Iraq until his death, was a high-profile showman whose secret location was eventually tracked down. He was killed in a US bombing raid in 2006.

He may be a shadowy figure, but the organisation he leads is pulling in thousands of new recruits and has become one of the most cohesive militias in the Middle East, our correspondent adds.

Highly organised

Baghdadi is believed to have been born in Samarra, north of Baghdad, in 1971.

Reports suggest he was a cleric in a mosque in the city around the time of the US-led invasion in 2003.

Some believe he was already a militant jihadist during the rule of Saddam Hussein. Others suggest he was radicalised during the four years he was held at Camp Bucca, a US facility in southern Iraq where many al-Qaeda commanders were detained.

He emerged as the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, one of the groups that later became Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), in 2010, and rose to prominence during the attempted merger with al-Nusra Front in Syria.

He did not swear allegiance to the leader of the al-Qaeda network, Zawahiri, who had urged ISIS to focus on Iraq and leave Syria to al-Nusra.

Baghdadi and his fighters have openly defied the al-Qaeda chief, leading some commentators to believe he now holds higher prestige among many Islamist militants.

Zawahiri still has a lot of power by virtue of his franchises in Pakistan and the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa.

‘Terrorist’

But Baghdadi has a reputation as a highly organised and ruthless battlefield tactician, which analysts say makes his organisation more attractive to young jihadists than that of Zawahiri, an Islamic theologian.

In October 2011, the US officially designated Baghdadi as “terrorist” and offered a $10m (£5.8m; 7.3m euros) reward for information leading to his capture or death.

It notes Baghdadi’s aliases, including Abu Duaa and Dr Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai.

As well as the uncertainty surrounding his true identity, his whereabouts are also unclear with reports he was in Raqqa in Syria.

So there remain more questions than answers about the leader of one of the world’s most dangerous jihadist groups.

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Mossad-Trained Operative

Is ‘IS’ a CIA-Mossad Creation?

AUGUST 28, 2014   AFP   36 COMMENTS

By Pete Papaherakles —

The leader of the radical Islamic State (IS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been reputed to be a Mossad-trained operative whose real name is Elliot Shimon, the son of Jewish parents.

This information is said to have originated from 1.7 million pages of top-secret documents recently released by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and made public by Iranian intelligence. Arabic Internet radio website “Ajyal.com” and the Arabic news website “Egy-press” were also early sources before the news went viral. Although it cannot be conclusively verified at this point, evidence points in that direction.

IS remains an enigma, as it seems to change names every week. First proclaimed the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, it soon became the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, then became simply Islamic State and finally the Islamic Caliphate with the stated goal of conquering half the world in five years from India to Portugal.

The official story about al-Baghdadi is that he was born near Samara, Iraq, in 1971. He is reputed to have earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Islamic studies from the university of Baghdad and was a cleric at a major mosque in Samara during the U.S. led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

He was given the title of  Emir Daash and went by the false name of Ibrahim ibn Awad ibn Ibrahim Al Al Badri Arradoui Hoseini.

The leaked documents purportedly revealed that al-Baghdadi took intensive military training for a year from Mossad as well as courses in theology and Arabic speech.

Al-Baghdadi was reportedly a “civilian internee” at Camp Bucca, a United States military detention facility near Umm Qasr, Iraq. Key members of IS were also trained by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and U.S. Special Forces command at a secret camp in Jordan in 2012, near the Syrian and Iraqi border, according to Jordanian officials.

Some evidence suggests that al-Baghdadi may have been mind-controlled while held prisoner by the U.S. military in Iraq.

Nabil Na’eem, the founder of the Islamic Democratic Jihad Party and former top al-Qaeda commander has said that all current al-Qaeda affiliates, including ISIS, work for the CIA.

A recently released photograph shows al-Baghdadi along with half a dozen others, including Syrian rebel General Salim Idris, attending a secret meeting with neocon Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) in Syria in June 2013. A second photo shows al-Baghdadi posing with McCain and another “rebel.” McCain was instrumental in supporting terrorist forces fighting the Syrian government.

The Snowden documents supposedly reveal that British, American and Israeli intelligence worked together to create IS, “a terrorist organization capable of centralizing all extremist actions across the world,” using a strategy called Hornet’s Nest designed to “protect Israel.” According to the documents, “The only solution for the protection of the Jewish state is to create an enemy near its borders.”

After gathering the most fanatical terrorists in the world in one place, a veritable army of real terror was formed and filled with bloodthirsty murderers, who film their atrocities and post them to the Internet.

On August 19 IS posted a video that apparently shows an IS fighter beheading the American photojournalist James Wright Foley, in a message to the U.S. to end its intervention in Iraq.

IS is intended to be a provocative agent, which gives the West the justification to enter countries that are considered a threat to Israel in order to destroy them. This would then give Israel the opening it needs to take over a large swath of the Middle East and establish the Zionist dream of “Greater Israel” from the Nile to the Euphrates.

Pete Papaherakles is a writer and political cartoonist for AFP and is also AFP’s outreach director. Pete is interested in getting AFP writers and editors on the podium at patriotic events. Call him at 202-544-5977 if you know of an event you think AFP should attend.

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Allying with “Political Islam”

Allying with “Political Islam”: Washington’s Tactical Alliances with Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria

By Stephen Gowans
Global Research, July 18, 2016
what’s left 15 July 2016
Region: Middle East & North Africa
Theme: 9/11 & ‘War on Terrorism’, Intelligence
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

The New York Times reported that the United States has refrained from systematically attacking Al Qaeda’s franchise in Syria because US-backed fighters coordinate and are enmeshed with the outfit. The newspaper also reported that the Pentagon had refrained in 2015 from attacking ISIS militants in and around the Syrian city of Palmyra in order to further the US foreign policy goal of regime change in Damascus.

The United States has a long history of forming tactical alliances with political Islam to counter secular Arab nationalists, whom it views as inimical to its interests of dominating the Arab world, with its vast petroleum resources. Syria, whose constitution describes the country as “the beating heart of Arabism” and “bedrock of resistance against colonial hegemony on the Arab world,” is the last of the secular Arab nationalist states opposing US domination and control of the region.

A frank discussion in a July 14, 2016 New York Times article [1] acknowledged that US irritation over the Kremlin’s military intervention in Syria has been prompted by Russia focussing its attacks on Al Qaeda’s franchise in Syria, the Nusra Front, an outfit Washington views as an ally of convenience in pursuit of its goal of toppling the pro-independence Arab nationalist Assad government, at the same time it props up client state dictatorships in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar, while robustly providing military, economic and diplomatic support to the settler regime in colonized Palestine. [2]

The New York Times reported on July 14, 2016 that the United States “has refrained from systematic attacks against the Nusra Front” because US-backed fighters coordinate with the outfit. The United States has also refrained from attacking ISIS, for example, in and around Palmyra, in order to counter the Arab nationalist Syrian government, whose removal remains Washington’s top priority in Syria.

Unlike Russia, the United States “has refrained from systematic attacks against the Nusra Front,” the newspaper reported. That is because “United States-backed rebel groups often coordinate their activities” with Al Qaeda fighters, Times reporters Gardiner Harris and Anne Barnard wrote.

A myriad of articles in mainstream US newspapers, including the New York Times, have previously documented the existence of extensive combat coordination between al-Nusra and US-backed fighters, noting that so called “moderate” rebels are enmeshed with, cooperate with, are ideologically similar to, fight alongside of, coordinate with, share arms with, and operate under licence to, Al Qaeda in Syria. [3]

In fact, so highly integrated are US-backed fighters with Syrian Al Qaeda forces that Russian attacks on Nusra Front positions have amounted to attacks on US-proxies, raising objections from Washington, and denunciations of Moscow for what Washington says are actions to prop up the Syrian government rather than fight terrorists (creating a false narrative by implication that the forces on the ground acting to topple Arab nationalists in Damascus do not use terrorist methods.)

Yet, al-Nusra, the outfit the United States has refrained from systematically attacking, has been branded a terrorist organization by the United Nations Security Council. [4] The obvious implication is that if US-backed insurgents are fighting alongside of and coordinating with the terrorist Nusra Front, then they too are very likely using the same terrorist methods for which the Nusra fighters with whom they’re enmeshed have been condemned.

Moreover, the Security Council’s resolution “Calls upon Member States… to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by (ISIS)…as well as (al-Nusra), and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaeda” (emphasis added). Clearly, the US-backed insurgents’ coordinating with, cooperating with, fighting alongside of, sharing arms with, and operating under license to, Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, amounts to an association with the sanctioned organization. The US-backed fighters, then, fall within the ambit of actions prescribed for UN member states by the Security Council. This means that not only is Washington not complying with the resolution, it is actively subverting it, by supporting individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with the Osama bin Laden-founded group.

On July 14, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss a proposed agreement which would see the two countries coordinate their attacks “to ensure that strikes aimed at Nusra do not hit United States-backed groups.”

The proposed accord worries some members of the US political establishment, who believe Kerry has agreed to commit US forces to attacking the Nusra Front, which they see as a highly effective weapon against the Syrian Arab Republic. Since Arab nationalist-removal, not terrorist-removal, remains Washington’s principal goal in Syria, attacking the Qaeda fighters would militate against achievement of a key US foreign policy objective, these critics contend.

The Atlantic Council, for example, a US-based think tank funded by wealthy individuals and foundations, major corporations, and the US government, warns that combined US-Russian attacks on the Nusra Front could “effectively end the Syrian opposition,” an admission that the insurgency in Syria is dominated by Al Qaeda’s foot soldiers.

That there is no significant semblance of moderation in Syria’s armed opposition is indicated by concerns in Washington that weakening Al Qaeda will “effectively end the Syrian opposition,” and worries within the US political establishment that Kerry’s agreement with Putin could lead the United States to a point where it is “under Russian pressure to attack other rebel groups, like the Army of Islam,” an ideological cognate of al-Nusra, which also seeks to replace Syria’s secular republic with an Islamic state under Sharia law.

Washington has created a false dichotomy between terrorists and rebels, and the dichotomy has been adopted uncritically by the New York Times. Reporters Harris and Barnard wrote that,

“One of the great complications…is figuring out which groups should be considered rebels focused on ousting the Assad government — a goal the United States supports — and which are aligned with Al Qaeda or the Islamic State, organizations that Washington has designated as terrorist and has vowed to defeat.”

This draws a false distinction between rebels focused on ousting the Assad government (rebels who, it is implied, don’t use terrorist methods and aren’t committed to creating an Islamic state in Syria, though neither is true) and Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (who, Washington’s narrative implies, aren’t focussed on ousting the Assad government, which, of course, they are.) The reality is that Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Army of Islam, and a slew of other jihadist groups enmeshed with al-Nusra and backed by the United States do use terrorist methods, are focussed on ousting the Assad government, and do seek to create an Islamic state in its place. There is no dichotomy. When in 2012 the United States officially designated the Nusra Front a terrorist organization, “moderate” fighters launched a protest under the banner “We are all Jabhat al-Nusra,” [5] affirming the point.

As the veteran Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn wrote in 2014: The “Syrian military opposition is dominated by ISIS and by Jabhat al-Nusra… in addition to other extreme jihadi groups. In reality, there is no dividing wall between them and America’s supposedly moderate opposition allies.” [6]

Nusra Front is not the only UN Security Council-designated terrorist organization which the United States has been accused of refraining from attacking. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly argued that the United States is only managing ISIS—that is, attacking it enough to prevent it from threatening US oil interests in Iraq, but not so much that ISIS will be eliminated as a tool to counter secular Arab nationalists in Damascus. He cites as evidence the fact that ISIS continued to expand in Syria despite the United States leading a coalition of dozens of countries against the Al Qaeda break-away organization, and that Islamic States’ expansion was only halted and reversed when Russia intervened militarily in the country, with Damascus’s imprimatur. The United States, he concludes, lacks the political will to destroy ISIS, because the Islamist organization remains useful to Washington’s project of toppling the Syrian government. By contrast, Moscow, which doesn’t share Washington’s regime-change goal, has the political will to destroy ISIS, and therefore has been more effective against it. [7]

While it’s easy to dismiss Assad’s view as partial, it does resonate with mainstream Western sources. For example, on May 20, 2015, the New York Times’ Anne Barnard and Hwaida Saad reported that the United States refrained from attacking “Islamic State militants in and around Palmyra” in order “to avoid … aiding a leader whose ouster President Obama has called for.” [8] And the US Congressional Research Service has concluded that “US officials may be concerned that a more aggressive campaign against the Islamic State may take military pressure off the” Syrian government. [9]

Veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk summed up the US-led coalition’s campaign against ISIS this way: “And so we went to war against Isis in Syria—unless, of course, Isis was attacking (the Syrian republic), in which case we did nothing at all…” [10]

“Many people do not realize that the United States has had a long history of flirting with political Islam,” writes scholar Mohammed Ayoob. That flirtation goes back to at least the 1950s when Washington enlisted “Saudi Arabia, the ‘fundamentalist’ kingdom par excellence” to help counter “Arab nationalism as the unifying force in the Arab world. American policy makers perceived Arab nationalist regimes, such as Egypt, Syria and Iraq…to be…inimical to American interests.” [11] Those interests included US control of the Arab world’s vast petroleum resources.

Washington has had considerable success in eliminating secular opposition to its hegemony in the Middle East and North Africa, the Mashriq and the Maghreb. Egypt has been co-opted; the Anglo-American 2003 invasion of Iraq eliminated that country’s Arab nationalists, who are now proscribed from holding positions in government; and Arab nationalists in Libya were swept away by a combined NATO-Islamist assault in 2011. Syria remains as the last redoubt of secular Arab nationalism. (The country’s constitution defines Syria as the “beating heart of Arabism” and “the bedrock of resistance against colonial hegemony on the Arab world and its capabilities and wealth.”) And Washington seems intent on relying on its hoary tactic of forming tactical alliances with jihadists to crush the opposition of secular nationalists to the region’s domination by the United States and its Western allies.

The United States has a troubled relationship with terrorism and terrorists. It has a long history of pursuing state-terrorist activities, defined as the deliberate politically motivated infliction of harm on non-combatants by a state, including fire bombings of German and Japanese cities during WWII; the nuclear annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; massive terror bombing campaigns, including napalm use, during the Korean War; the carpet bombing of Indochina; the deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure during the first Gulf War and the 1999 air war on Yugoslavia; the 1990s sanctions of mass destruction against Iraqi civilians, which led to numberless deaths, reaching perhaps a million or more; the 2003 “shock and awe” campaign unleashed on Iraq, and on and on ad nauseam. This has been accompanied by temporary tactical alliances with non-state terrorists, including the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, the forerunners of Al Qaeda; the contras in Nicaragua; and today, a tactical alliance with ISIS, al-Nusra, and support for al-Nusra-embeds in Syria.

The US priority in Syria is Arab nationalist-elimination, and not the elimination of Islamist terrorists, who remain useful to Washington in clearing away the last of the Arab nationalist state obstacles to total US hegemony over the Arab world.

Notes

1. Gardiner Harris and Anne Barnard, “John Kerry meets Vladimir Putin to discuss new Syria plan,” The New York Times, July 14, 2016.

2. Journalist and writer Max Blumenthal has referred to Israel as JSIL, the Jewish State in the Levant. While the allusion to ISIL is intended facetiously, it does call to mind certain important parallels between Israel and the Islamic State.

First, both are founded on religion and give priority to anyone who adheres to the right one. Zionists go further than Islamists in referring to their co-religionists as a people whereas Islamists refer to Muslims only as members of a community. There exist no Jewish people, in the original sense of people as a group sharing a common language and territory.

Second, both ISIL and JSIL were founded on terrorism, that of the former obvious, and requiring no elaboration; that of the later, mostly absent from public discourse, but scholarly documented, all the same. Jewish irregulars, led by Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin, men who would later become prime ministers of the Jewish state, used terrorist methods against British Mandate authorities in Palestine, and against the indigenous Palestinians; in the first case, to compel the British to end their mandate and turn Palestine over to Jewish rule, and in the second, to drive Palestinians from their homes, to alter the demographic character of a future Jewish state in order to ensure it included a large majority of Jews.

Third, both are implacably opposed to Syrian Arab nationalism. ISIL opposes the Syrian republic because it is a secular state based on ethnic identity rather than an Islamic state based on religious identity. JSIL opposes the Syrian republic, because the latter insists that the settler state based on Jewish religious identity which was implanted by force and colonization on Arab territory be dismantled and the usurped territory it occupies be returned to its rightful owners and incorporated into a larger Arab secular state.

3. Jay Solomon, “U.S., Russia agree to implement Syria cease-fire,” The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2016; Karen de Young, “U.S. Russia hold Syria cease-fire talks as deadline passes without action,” The Washington Post, February 19, 2016; Karen Zraick and Anne Barnard, “Syrian war could turn on the battle for Aleppo,” The New York Times, February 12, 2016; Farnaz Fassihi, “U.N. Security Council unanimously votes to adopt France’s counterterrorism resolution,” The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2015; Sam Dagher, “Syria’s Bashar al-Assad Tries to Force the West to Choose Between Regime, Islamic State,” The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2015; Anne Barnard and Michael R. Gordon, “Goals diverge and perils remain as U.S. and Turkey take on ISIS,” The New York Times, July 27, 2015; Sam Dagher, “Militants seize oil field, expand Syrian domain”, The Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2014.

4. “Security Council ‘Unequivocally’ Condemns ISIL Terrorist Attacks, Unanimously Adopting Text that Determines Extremist Group Poses ‘Unprecedented’ Threat,” United Nations, November 20, 2015,http://www.un.org/press/en/2015/sc12132.doc.htm

5. Mark Landler, Michael R. Gordon and Anne Barnard, “US will grant recognition to Syrian rebels,” The New York Times, December 11, 2012.

6. Belen Fernandez, “Book review: The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising,” The Middle East Eye, September 3, 2014.

7. In a July 1, 2016 interview with Australian television Assad said: “Actually, we welcome any effort to fight terrorism in Syria, any effort, but this effort first of all should be genuine, not window-dressing like what’s happening now in northern Syria where 60 countries couldn’t prevent ISIS from expanding. Actually, when the Russian air support started, only at that time when ISIS stopped expanding.” “President al-Assad to SBS Australia: Western nations attack Syrian government openly and deal with secretly,” SANA, July 1, 2016.

8. “ISIS fighters seize control of Syrian city of Palmyra, and ancient ruins,” The New York Times, May 20, 2015.

9. Christopher M. Blanchard, Carla E. Humud Mary Beth D. Nikitin, “Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response,” Congressional Research Service,” October 9, 2015.

10. Robert Fisk, “I read the Chilcot report as I travelled across Syria this week and saw for myself what Blair’s actions caused,” The Independent, July 7, 2016.

11. Mohammed Ayoob, The Many Faces of Political Islam: Religion and Politics in the Muslim World, The University of Michigan Press, 2011, p. 164.

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Copyright © Stephen Gowans, what’s left, 2016

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Syria

Syria: It’s Not a Civil War and it Never Was

By Ulson Gunnar
Global Research, December 31, 2015
New Eastern Outlook 28 December 2015
Region: Middle East & North Africa
Theme: US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

The weapons are foreign, the fighters are foreign, the agenda is foreign. As Syrian forces fight to wrest control of their country back and restore order within their borders, the myth of the “Syrian civil war” continues on. Undoubtedly there are Syrians who oppose the Syrian government and even Syrians who have taken up arms against the government and in turn, against the Syrian people, but from the beginning (in fact before the beginning) this war has been driven from abroad. Calling it a “civil war” is a misnomer as much as calling those taking up arms “opposition.” It is not a “civil war,” and those fighting the Syrian government are not “opposition.”

Those calling this a civil war and the terrorists fighting the Syrian state “opposition” hope that their audience never wanders too far from their lies to understand the full context of this conflict, the moves made before it even started and where those moves were made from.

When did this all start?

It is a valid question to ask just when it all really started. The Cold War saw a see-sawing struggle between East and West between the United States and Europe (NATO) and not only the Soviet Union but also a growing China. But the Cold War itself was simply a continuation of geopolitical struggle that has carried on for centuries between various centers of power upon the planet. The primary centers include Europe’s Paris, London and Berlin, of course Moscow, and in the last two centuries, Washington.

In this context, however, we can see that what may be portrayed as a local conflict, may fit into a much larger geopolitical struggle between these prominent centers of special interests. Syria’s conflict is no different.

Syria had maintained close ties to the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War. That meant that even with the fall of the Soviet Union, Syria still had ties to Russia. It uses Russian weapons and tactics. It has economic, strategic and political ties to Russia and it shares mutual interests including the prevailing of a multipolar world order that emphasizes the primacy of national sovereignty.

Because of this, Western centers of power have sought for decades to draw Syria out of this orbit (along with many other nations). With the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the fractured Middle East was first dominated by colonial Europe before being swept by nationalist uprising seeking independence. Those seeking to keep the colonial ties cut that they had severed sought Soviet backing, while those seeking simply to rise to power at any cost often sought Western backing.

The 2011 conflict was not Syria’s first. The Muslim Brotherhood, a creation and cultivar of the British Empire since the fall of the Ottomans was backed in the late 70s and early 80s in an abortive attempt to overthrow then Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, father of current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The armed militants that took part in that conflict would be scattered in security crackdowns following in its wake, with many members of the Muslim Brotherhood forming a new US-Saudi initiative called Al Qaeda. Both the Brotherhood and now Al Qaeda would stalk and attempt to stunt the destiny of an independent Middle East from then on, up to and including present day.

There is nothing “civil” about Syria’s war.

In this context, we see clearly Syria’s most recent conflict is part of this wider struggle and is in no way a “civil war” unfolding in a vacuum, with outside interests being drawn in only after it began.

The Muslim Brotherhood and its Al Qaeda spin-off were present and accounted for since the word go in 2011. By the end of 2011, Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise (Al Nusra) would be carrying out nationwide operations on a scale dwarfing other so-called rebel groups. And they weren’t this successful because of the resources and support they found within Syria’s borders, but instead because of the immense resources and support flowing to them from beyond them.

Saudi Arabia openly arms, funds and provides political support for many of the militant groups operating in Syria since the beginning. In fact, recently, many of these groups, including allies of Al Qaeda itself, were present in Riyadh discussing with their Saudi sponsors the future of their joint endeavor.

Together with Al Nusra, there is the self-anointed Islamic State (IS). IS, like the Syrian conflict itself, was portrayed by the Western media for as long as possible as a creation within a vacuum. The source of its military and political strength was left a mystery by the otherwise omniscient Western intelligence community. Hints began to show as Russian increased its involvement in the conflict. When Russian warplanes began pounding convoys moving to and from Turkish territory, bound for IS, the mystery was finally solved. IS, like all other militant groups operating in Syria, were the recipients of generous, unending stockpiles of weapons, equipment, cash and fighters piped in from around the globe.

The Syrian conflict was borne of organizations created by centers of foreign interests decades ago who have since fought on and off not for the future of the Syrian people, but for a Syria that meshed more conveniently into the foreign global order that created them. The conflict has been fueled by a torrent of weapons, cash, support and even fighters drawn not from among the Syrian people, but from the very centers of these foreign special interests; in Riyadh, Ankara, London, Paris, Brussels and Washington.

How to settle a civil war that doesn’t exist?

If the Syrian conflict was created by foreign interests fueling militant groups it has used for decades as an instrument of executing foreign policy (in and out of Syria), amounting to what is essentially a proxy invasion, not a civil war, how exactly can a “settlement” be reached?

Who should the Syrian government be talking to in order to reach this settlement? Should it be talking to the heads of Al Nusra and IS who clearly dominate the militants fighting Damascus? Or should it be talking to those who have been the paramount factor in perpetuating the conflict, Riyadh, Ankara, London, Paris, Brussels and Washington, all of whom appear involved in supporting even the most extreme among these militant groups?

If Damascus finds itself talking with political leaders in these foreign capitals, is it settling a “civil war” or a war it is fighting with these foreign powers? Upon the world stage, it is clear that these foreign capitals speak entirely for the militants, and to no one’s surprise, these militants seem to want exactly what these foreign capitals want.

Being honest about what sort of conflict Syria is really fighting is the first step in finding a real solution to end it. The West continues to insist this is a “civil war.” This allows them to continue trying to influence the outcome of the conflict and the political state Syria will exist in upon its conclusion. By claiming that the Syrian government has lost all legitimacy, the West further strengthens its hand in this context.

Attempts to strip the government of legitimacy predicated on the fact that it stood and fought groups of armed militants arrayed against it by an axis of foreign interests would set a very dangerous and unacceptable precedent. It is no surprise that Syria finds itself with an increasing number of allies in this fight as other nations realize they will be next if the “Syria model” is a success.

Acknowledging that Syria’s ongoing conflict is the result of foreign aggression against Damascus would make the solution very simple. The solution would be to allow Damascus to restore order within its borders while taking action either at the UN or on the battlefield against those nations fueling violence aimed at Syria. Perhaps the clarity of this solution is why those behind this conflict have tried so hard to portray it as a civil war.

For those who have been trying to make sense of the Syrian “civil war” since 2011 with little luck, the explanation is simple, it isn’t a civil war and it never was. Understanding it as a proxy conflict from the very beginning (or even before it began) will give one a clarity in perception that will aid one immeasurably in understanding what the obvious solutions are, but only when they come to this understanding.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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Copyright © Ulson Gunnar, New Eastern Outlook, 2015
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 Created Him fFrom Nutfah

Abu’-d-Darda’ said, “If it had not been for three things, the sons of Adam would not have bowed their heads: poverty, illness and death. But in spite of that, he leaps up.”                                    ________________
﴿ أَنَّا خَلَقۡنَـٰهُ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ۬ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬ ﴾
(that We have created him from Nutfah. Yet behold he (stands forth) as an open opponent.) 
means, the one who is denying the resurrection, cannot see that the One Who initiated creation can re-create it. For Allah initiated the creation of man from semen of despised fluid, creating him from something insignificant, weak and despised, as Allah 
Nutfah
as Allah says:
﴿ أَلَمۡ نَخۡلُقكُّم مِّن مَّآءٍ۬ مَّهِينٍ۬ • فَجَعَلۡنَـٰهُ فِى قَرَارٍ۬ مَّكِينٍ • إِلَىٰ قَدَرٍ۬ مَّعۡلُومٍ۬ ﴾
(Did We not create you from a despised water Then We placed it in a place of safety, for a known period) (77:20-22)
﴿ إِنَّا خَلَقۡنَا ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ أَمۡشَاجٍ۬ ﴾
(Verily, We have created man from Nutfah) (76:2). which means, from a mixture of different fluids. The One Who created man from this weak Nutfah is not unable to re-create him after his death. Imam Ahmad recorded in his Musnad that Bishr bin Jahhash said, “One day the Messenger of Allah spat in his hand and put his finger on it, then the Messenger of Allah said:
« قَالَ اللهُ تَعَالَى: ابْنَ آدَمَ أَنَّى تُعْجِزُنِي وَقَدْ خَلَقْتُكَ مِنْ مِثْلِ هَذِهِ، حَتْى إِذَا سَوَّيْتُكَ وَعَدَلْتُكَ، مَشَيْتَ بَيْنَ بُرْدَيْكَ، وَلِلْأَرْضِ مِنْكَ وَئِيدٌ، فَجَمَعْتَ وَمَنَعْتَ، حَتْى إِذَا بَلَغَتِ التَّرَاقِيَ قُلْتَ: أَتَصَدَّقُ، وَأَنَّى أَوَانُ الصَّدَقَةِ؟ »
(Allah, may He be exalted, says: “Son of Adam, how can you outrun Me when I have created you from something like this, and when I have fashioned you and formed you, you walk in your cloak on the earth and it groans beneath your tread. You accumulate and do not spend until the death rattle reaches your throat, then you say, `I want to give in charity,’ but it is too late for charity.”)” It was also recorded by Ibn Majah. 
THE DENIAL OF LIFE AFTER DEATH, AND THE REFUTATION OF THIS IDEA
Allah says:
﴿ وَضَرَبَ لَنَا مَثَلاً۬ وَنَسِىَ خَلۡقَهُ ۥ‌ۖ قَالَ مَن يُحۡىِ ٱلۡعِظَـٰمَ وَهِىَ رَمِيمٌ۬ ﴾
(And he puts forth for Us a parable, and forgets his own creation. He says: “Who will give life to these bones after they are rotten and have become dust”) meaning, he thinks it unlikely that Allah, the Almighty Who created the heavens and the earth, will re-create these bodies and dry bones. Man forgets about himself, that Allah created him from nothing and brought him into existence, and he knows by looking at himself that there is something greater than that which he denies and thinks impossible. Allah says:
﴿ قُلۡ يُحۡيِيہَا ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنشَأَهَآ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ۬‌ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ خَلۡقٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴾
(Say: “He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation!”) 
meaning, He knows about the bones in all areas and regions of the earth, where they have gone when they disintegrated and dispersed. 

Imam Ahmad recorded that Rib`i said: “”Uqbah bin `Amr said to Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) `Will you not tell us what you heard from the Messenger of Allah ‘ He said, `I heard him say:
« إِنَّ رَجُلًا حَضَرَهُ الْمَوْتُ، فَلَمَّا أَيِسَ مِنَ الْحَيَاةِ أَوْصَى أَهْلَهُ: إِذَا أَنَا مُتُّ فَاجْمَعُوا لِي حَطَبًا كَثِيرًا جَزْلًا، ثُمَّ أَوْقِدُوا فِيهِ نَارًا، حَتْى إِذَا أَكَلَتْ لَحْمِي، وَخَلَصَتْ إِلَى عَظْمِي فَامْتُحِشْتُ، فَخُذُوهَا فَدُقُّوهَا فَذَرُّوهَا فِي الْيَمِّ، فَفَعَلُوا، فَجَمَعَهُ اللهُ تَعَالَى إِلَيْهِ، ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ: لِمَ فَعَلْتَ ذَلِكَ؟ قَالَ: مِنْ خَشْيَتِكَ، فَغَفَرَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَه »
(Death approached a man and when there was no longer any hope for him, he said to his family, “When I die, gather a lot of firewood, then set it ablaze until my flesh is consumed and it reaches my bones and they become brittle. Then take them and grind them, and scatter them in the sea.” So they did that, but Allah gathered him together and said to him: “Why did you do that” He said, “Because I feared You.” So Allah forgave him.)’ `Uqbah bin `Amr said, `I heard him say that, and the man was a gravedigger.”’ 
Many versions of this Hadith were recorded in the Two Sahihs. One of these versions mentions that he commanded his sons to burn him and then grind his remains into small pieces, and then scatter half of them on land and half of them on the sea on a windy day. So they did that, then Allah commanded the sea to gather together whatever remains were in it, and He commanded the land to do likewise, then he said to him, “Be!”, and he was a man, standing. Allah said to him. “What made you do what you did” He said, “The fear of You, and You know best.” Straight away He forgave him.
Mujahid, `Ikrimah, `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr, As-Suddi and Qatadah said, “Ubayy bin Khalaf, may Allah curse him, came to the Messenger of Allah with a dry bone in his hand, which he was crumbling and scattering in the air, saying, 
`O Muhammad! Are you claiming that Allah will resurrect this’ He said:
« نَعَمْ، يُمِيتُكَ اللهُ تَعَالَى، ثُمَّ يَبْعَثُكَ، ثُمَّ يَحْشُرُكَ إِلَى النَّار »
(Yes, Allah, may He be exalted, will cause you to die, then He will resurrect you and will gather you into the Fire.)” Then these Ayat at the end of Surah Ya Sin were revealed:
﴿ أَوَلَمۡ يَرَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ أَنَّا خَلَقۡنَـٰهُ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ۬ ﴾
(Does not man see that We have created him from Nutfah.) — until the end of the Surah. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Al-`As bin Wa’il took a bone from the bed of a valley and crumbled it in his hand, then he said to the Messenger of Allah: `Will Allah bring this back to life after it has disintegrated’ The Messenger of Allah said:
« نَعَمْ، يُمِيتُكَ اللهُ، ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكَ، ثُمَّ يُدْخِلُكَ جَهَنَّم »
(Yes, Allah will cause you to die, then He will bring you back to life, then He will make you enter Hell.) Then the Ayat at the end of Surah Ya Sin were revealed.” This was recorded by Ibn Jarir from Sa`id bin Jubayr. Whether these Ayat were revealed about Ubayy bin Khalaf or Al-`As bin Wa’il, or both of them, they apply to all those who deny the resurrection after death. The definite article “Al” in
﴿ أَوَلَمۡ يَرَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ ﴾
(Does not man (Al-Insan) see…) is generic, applying to all those who deny the Resurrection.
﴿ أَنَّا خَلَقۡنَـٰهُ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ۬ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬ ﴾
(that We have created him from Nutfah. Yet behold he (stands forth) as an open opponent.) means, the one who is denying the resurrection, cannot see that the One Who initiated creation can re-create it. For Allah initiated the creation of man from semen of despised fluid, creating him from something insignificant, weak and despised, as Allah says:
﴿ أَلَمۡ نَخۡلُقكُّم مِّن مَّآءٍ۬ مَّهِينٍ۬ • فَجَعَلۡنَـٰهُ فِى قَرَارٍ۬ مَّكِينٍ • إِلَىٰ قَدَرٍ۬ مَّعۡلُومٍ۬ ﴾
(Did We not create you from a despised water Then We placed it in a place of safety, for a known period) (77:20-22)

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YA-SIN: THE TRUMPET BLAST

THE MOUTHS OF THE DISBELIEVERS WILL BE SEALED ON THE DAY OF RESURRECTION

READ TAFSIR
36 YA-SIN

YA-SIN

Ibn Kathir – English
Verse 65

THE MOUTHS OF THE DISBELIEVERS WILL BE SEALED ON THE DAY OF RESURRECTION
ٱلۡيَوۡمَ نَخۡتِمُ عَلَىٰٓ أَفۡوَٲهِهِمۡ وَتُكَلِّمُنَآ أَيۡدِيہِمۡ وَتَشۡہَدُ أَرۡجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكۡسِبُونَ 

(65. This Day, We shall seal up their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their legs will bear witness to what they used to earn.) 
Page 444

THE TRUMPET BLAST OF THE RESURRECTION

This will be the third blast of the trumpet, the trumpet blast of the resurrection when people will come forth from their graves. Allah says:
﴿ فَإِذَا هُم مِّنَ ٱلۡأَجۡدَاثِ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمۡ يَنسِلُونَ ﴾

(and behold from the graves they will come out quickly to their Lord.) Yansilun means they will be walking quickly. This is like the Ayah:
﴿ يَوۡمَ يَخۡرُجُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡأَجۡدَاثِ سِرَاعً۬ا كَأَنَّہُمۡ إِلَىٰ نُصُبٍ۬ يُوفِضُونَ ﴾

(The Day when they will come out of the graves quickly as racing to a goal.) (70:43).
﴿ قَالُواْ يَـٰوَيۡلَنَا مَنۢ بَعَثَنَا مِن مَّرۡقَدِنَاۜ‌ۗ ﴾

(They will say: “Woe to us! Who has raised us up from our place of sleep.”) meaning, their graves, which in this world they thought they would never be raised from. When they see with their own eyes that in which they had disbelieved,
﴿ قَالُواْ يَـٰوَيۡلَنَا مَنۢ بَعَثَنَا مِن مَّرۡقَدِنَاۜ‌ۗ ﴾

(They will say: “Woe to us! Who has raised us up from our place of sleep.”) This does not contradict the fact that they will be punished in their graves, because in comparison to what is to come afterwards, that will seem like a nap. Ubayy bin Ka`b (may Allah be pleased with him) Mujahid, Al-Hasan and Qatadah said, “They will sleep before the Resurrection.” Qatadah said, “That will be between the two trumpet blasts, they will say, `Who has raised us up from our place of sleep”’ When they say that, the believers will respond. This was the view of more than one of the Salaf.
﴿ هَـٰذَا مَا وَعَدَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ وَصَدَقَ ٱلۡمُرۡسَلُونَ ﴾

[(It will be said to them): “This is what the Most Gracious had promised, and the Messengers spoke truth!”] Al-Hasan said, “The angels will reply to them in this manner. There is no contradiction because both are possible. And Allah knows best.
﴿ إِن ڪَانَتۡ إِلَّا صَيۡحَةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ فَإِذَا هُمۡ جَمِيعٌ۬ لَّدَيۡنَا مُحۡضَرُونَ ﴾

(It will be but a single Sayhah, so behold they will all be brought up before Us!) This is like the Ayat:
﴿ فَإِنَّمَا هِىَ زَجۡرَةٌ۬ وَٲحِدَةٌ۬ • فَإِذَا هُم بِٱلسَّاهِرَةِ ﴾

[But it will be only a single Zajrah, when behold, they find themselves (on the surface of the earth) alive (after their death).] (79:13-14),
﴿ وَمَآ أَمۡرُ ٱلسَّاعَةِ إِلَّا كَلَمۡحِ ٱلۡبَصَرِ أَوۡ هُوَ أَقۡرَبُ‌ۚ ﴾

[And the matter of the Hour is not but as a twinkling of the eye, or even nearer] (16:77), and
﴿ يَوۡمَ يَدۡعُوكُمۡ فَتَسۡتَجِيبُونَ بِحَمۡدِهِۦ وَتَظُنُّونَ إِن لَّبِثۡتُمۡ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬ ﴾

[On the Day when He will call you, and you will answer (His call) with (words of) His praise and obedience, and you will think that you have stayed (in this world) but a little while!] (17:52) which means, `We will issue but one command, and all of them will be gathered together.’
﴿ فَٱلۡيَوۡمَ لَا تُظۡلَمُ نَفۡسٌ۬ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا ﴾

(This Day, none will be wronged in anything,) means, with regard to his deeds.

﴿ وَلَا تُجۡزَوۡنَ إِلَّا مَا ڪُنتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُونَ ﴾

(nor will you be requited anything except that which you used to do.)
﴿ إِنَّ أَصۡحَـٰبَ ٱلۡجَنَّةِ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ فِى شُغُلٍ۬ فَـٰكِهُونَ • هُمۡ وَأَزۡوَٲجُهُمۡ فِى ظِلَـٰلٍ عَلَى ٱلۡأَرَآٮِٕكِ مُتَّكِـُٔونَ • لَهُمۡ فِيہَا فَـٰكِهَةٌ۬ وَلَهُم مَّا يَدَّعُونَ • سَلَـٰمٌ۬ قَوۡلاً۬ مِّن رَّبٍّ۬ رَّحِيمٍ۬ ﴾

(55. Verily, the dwellers of the Paradise, that Day, will be busy with joyful things.) 

(56. They and their wives will be in pleasant shade, reclining on thrones.) (57. They will have therein fruits and all that they ask for.) 

(58. (It will be said to them): “Salam (Peace!)” — a Word from the Lord, Most Merciful.)

THE LIFE OF THE PEOPLE OF PARADISE

Allah tells us that on the Day of Resurrection, when the people of Paradise have reached the arena of judgment, and have settled in the gardens of Paradise, they will be too preoccupied with their own victory and new life of eternal delights to worry about anyone else. Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Isma`il bin Abi Khalid said, “They will be too busy to think about the torment which the people of Hell are suffering. Mujahid said:
﴿ فِى شُغُلٍ۬ فَـٰكِهُونَ ﴾

(will be busy with joyful things.) “With the delights which they are enjoying.” This was also the view of Qatadah. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “This means that they will be rejoicing.”
﴿ هُمۡ وَأَزۡوَٲجُهُمۡ ﴾

(They and their wives) Mujahid said, “Their spouses,
﴿ فِى ظِلَـٰلٍ ﴾

(will be in pleasant shade,) means, in the shade of trees.”
﴿ عَلَى ٱلۡأَرَآٮِٕكِ مُتَّكِـُٔونَ ﴾

(reclining on thrones.) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Khusayf said:
﴿ ٱلۡأَرَآٮِٕكِ ﴾

(throne) means beds beneath canopies.
﴿ لَهُمۡ فِيہَا فَـٰكِهَةٌ۬ ﴾

(They will have therein fruits) means, of all kinds.
﴿ وَلَهُم مَّا يَدَّعُونَ ﴾

(and all that they ask for.) means, whatever they ask for, they will find it, all kinds and types.
﴿ سَلَـٰمٌ۬ قَوۡلاً۬ مِّن رَّبٍّ۬ رَّحِيمٍ۬ ﴾

[“Salam (Peace!]” — a Word from the Lord (Allah), Most Merciful.] 

Ibn Jurayj said, “Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, concerning this Ayah, Allah Himself, Who is the Peace (As-Salam) will grant peace to the people of Paradise. This view of Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) is like the Ayah:
﴿ تَحِيَّتُهُمۡ يَوۡمَ يَلۡقَوۡنَهُ ۥ سَلَـٰمٌ۬ۚ ﴾

[Their greeting on the Day they shall meet Him will be “Salam”] (33:44).
﴿ وَٱمۡتَـٰزُواْ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ أَيُّہَا ٱلۡمُجۡرِمُونَ • أَلَمۡ أَعۡهَدۡ إِلَيۡكُمۡ يَـٰبَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ أَن لَّا تَعۡبُدُواْ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ لَكُمۡ عَدُوٌّ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬ • وَأَنِ ٱعۡبُدُونِى‌ۚ هَـٰذَا صِرَٲطٌ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٌ۬ • وَلَقَدۡ أَضَلَّ مِنكُمۡ جِبِلاًّ۬ كَثِيرًا‌ۖ أَفَلَمۡ تَكُونُواْ تَعۡقِلُونَ ﴾

(59. (It will be said): “And O you the criminals! Get you apart this Day.”) (60. “Did I not command you, O Children of Adam, that you should not worship Shaytan Verily, he is a plain enemy to you.”) 

(61. “And that you should worship Me. That is the straight path.”) 

(62. “And indeed he did lead astray a great multitude of you. Did you not then understand”)

THE ISOLATION OF THE DISBELIEVERS AND THEIR REBUKE ON THE DAY OF RESURRECTION

Allah tells us what the end of the disbelievers will be on the Day of Resurrection, when He commands them to get apart from the believers, 

i.e., to stand apart from the believers. This is like the Ayat:
﴿ وَيَوۡمَ نَحۡشُرُهُمۡ جَمِيعً۬ا ثُمَّ نَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ أَشۡرَكُواْ مَكَانَكُمۡ أَنتُمۡ وَشُرَكَآؤُكُمۡ‌ۚ فَزَيَّلۡنَا بَيۡنَہُمۡ‌ۖ ﴾

(And the Day whereon We shall gather them all together, then We shall say to those who did set partners in worship with Us: “Stop at your place! You and your partners.” Then We shall separate them) [10:28].
﴿ وَيَوۡمَ تَقُومُ ٱلسَّاعَةُ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ يَتَفَرَّقُونَ ﴾

(And on the Day when the Hour will be established — that Day shall they be separated.) [30:14]
﴿ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ يَصَّدَّعُونَ ﴾

(On that Day they shall be divided) [30:43] which means, they will be divided into two separate groups.
﴿ ٱحۡشُرُواْ ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ وَأَزۡوَٲجَهُمۡ وَمَا كَانُواْ يَعۡبُدُونَ • مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ فَٱهۡدُوهُمۡ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطِ ٱلۡجَحِيمِ ﴾

[(It will be said to the angels): “Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions and what they used to worship, instead of Allah, and lead them on to the way of flaming Fire (Hell).”] (37:22-23).
﴿ أَلَمۡ أَعۡهَدۡ إِلَيۡكُمۡ يَـٰبَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ أَن لَّا تَعۡبُدُواْ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ لَكُمۡ عَدُوٌّ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬ ﴾

(Did I not command you, O Children of Adam, that you should not worship Shaytan Verily, he is a plain enemy to you.) This is a rebuke from Allah to the disbelievers among the sons of Adam, those who obey the Shaytan even though he was a plain enemy to them, and they disobeyed Ar-Rahman Who created them and granted them provision. Allah says:
﴿ وَأَنِ ٱعۡبُدُونِى‌ۚ هَـٰذَا صِرَٲطٌ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٌ۬ ﴾

(And that you should worship Me. That is the straight path.) meaning, `I commanded you in the world to disobey the Shaytan, and I commanded you to worship Me, and this is the straight path, but you followed a different path and you followed the commands of the Shaytan.’ Allah says:
﴿ وَلَقَدۡ أَضَلَّ مِنكُمۡ جِبِلاًّ۬ كَثِيرًا‌ۖ ﴾

(And indeed he did lead astray a great multitude of you.) meaning, a large number of people. This was the view of Mujahid, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Sufyan bin `Uyaynah.
﴿ أَفَلَمۡ تَكُونُواْ تَعۡقِلُونَ ﴾

(Did you not then understand) means, `did you not have any understanding, when you went against the command of your Lord to worship Him alone, with no partner or associate, and you preferred to follow the Shaytan’
﴿ هَـٰذِهِۦ جَهَنَّمُ ٱلَّتِى كُنتُمۡ تُوعَدُونَ • ٱصۡلَوۡهَا ٱلۡيَوۡمَ بِمَا كُنتُمۡ تَكۡفُرُونَ • ٱلۡيَوۡمَ نَخۡتِمُ عَلَىٰٓ أَفۡوَٲهِهِمۡ وَتُكَلِّمُنَآ أَيۡدِيہِمۡ وَتَشۡہَدُ أَرۡجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكۡسِبُونَ • وَلَوۡ نَشَآءُ لَطَمَسۡنَا عَلَىٰٓ أَعۡيُنِہِمۡ فَٱسۡتَبَقُواْ ٱلصِّرَٲطَ فَأَنَّىٰ يُبۡصِرُونَ • وَلَوۡ نَشَآءُ لَمَسَخۡنَـٰهُمۡ عَلَىٰ مَڪَانَتِهِمۡ فَمَا ٱسۡتَطَـٰعُواْ مُضِيًّ۬ا وَلَا يَرۡجِعُونَ ﴾

(63. This is Hell which you were promised!) 

(64. Burn (enter) therein this Day, for that you used to disbelieve.) 

(65. This Day, We shall seal up their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their legs will bear witness to what they used to earn.) 

(66. And if it had been Our will, We would surely have wiped out their eyes, so that they would struggle for the path, how then would they see) (67. And if it had been Our will, We could have transformed them in their places. Then they would have been unable to go forward (move about) nor they could have turned back.) On the Day of Resurrection, it will be said to the disbelievers among the sons of Adam, after Hell has been shown to them as a rebuke; and warning:
﴿ هَـٰذِهِۦ جَهَنَّمُ ٱلَّتِى كُنتُمۡ تُوعَدُونَ ﴾

(This is Hell which you were promised!) meaning, `this is what the Messengers warned you about, and you did not believe them.’
﴿ ٱصۡلَوۡهَا ٱلۡيَوۡمَ بِمَا كُنتُمۡ تَكۡفُرُونَ ﴾
[Burn (enter) therein this Day, for that you used to disbelieve]. This is like the Ayah:
﴿ يَوۡمَ يُدَعُّونَ إِلَىٰ نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ دَعًّا • هَـٰذِهِ ٱلنَّارُ ٱلَّتِى كُنتُم بِہَا تُكَذِّبُونَ • أَفَسِحۡرٌ هَـٰذَآ أَمۡ أَنتُمۡ لَا تُبۡصِرُونَ ﴾

[The Day when they will be pushed down by force to the fire of Hell, with a horrible, forceful pushing. This is the Fire which you used to belie. Is this magic or do you not see] (52:13-15)

THE MOUTHS OF THE DISBELIEVERS WILL BE SEALED ON THE DAY OF RESURRECTION
﴿ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ نَخۡتِمُ عَلَىٰٓ أَفۡوَٲهِهِمۡ وَتُكَلِّمُنَآ أَيۡدِيہِمۡ وَتَشۡہَدُ أَرۡجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكۡسِبُونَ ﴾

(This Day, We shall seal up their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their legs will bear witness to what they used to earn.) This will be the state of the disbelievers and hypocrites on the Day of Resurrection, when they deny the sins they committed in this world and swear that they did not do that. Allah will seal their mouths and cause their limbs to speak about what they did. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “We were with the Prophet and he smiled so broadly that his molar could be seen, then he said:
« أَتَدْرُونَ مِمَّ أَضْحَكُ؟ »

(Do you know why I am smiling) We said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said:
« مِنْ مُجَادَلَةِ الْعَبْدِ رَبَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، يَقُولُ: رَبِّ أَلَمْ تُجِرْنِي مِنَ الظُّلْمِ؟ فَيَقُولُ: بَلَى، فَيَقُولُ: لَا أُجِيزُ عَلَيَّ إِلَّا شَاهِدًا مِنْ نَفْسِي، فَيَقُولُ: كَفَى بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا، وَبِالْكِرَامِ الْكَاتِبِينَ شُهُودًا، فَيُخْتَمُ عَلَى فِيهِ، وَيُقَالُ لِأَرْكَانِهِ: انْطِقِي فَتَنْطِقَ بِعَمَلِهِ، ثُمَّ يُخَلَّى بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْكَلَامِ، فَيَقُولُ: بُعْدًا لَكُنَّ وَسُحْقًا، فَعَنْكُنَّ كُنْتُ أُنَاضِل »

(Because of the way a servant will argue with his Lord on the Day of Resurrection. He will say, “O Lord, will You not protect me from injustice” (Allah) will say, “Of course.” He will say, “I will not accept any witness against me except from myself.” ﴿Allah﴾ will say, “Today you will be a sufficient witness against yourself, and the honorable scribes will serve as witnesses against you.” Then his mouth will be sealed, and it will be said to his faculties, “Speak!” So they will speak of what he did. Then he will be permitted to speak, and he will say, “May you be doomed! It was for you that I was fighting.”)” This was recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa’i. Ibn Jarir narrated that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The believer will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection, and his Lord will show him his deeds, just between him and His Lord. He will admit it and will say, `Yes, O Lord, I did do that.’ Then Allah will forgive him his sins and conceal them, and no creature on earth will see any of those sins, but his good deeds will be seen, and he will want all the people to see them. Then the disbeliever and the hypocrite will be brought to account, and his Lord will show him his deeds and he will deny them, saying, `O Lord, by Your glory, this angel has written down things that I did not do.’ The angel will say to him, `Did you not do such and such on such a day and in such a place’ He will say, `No, by Your glory, I did not do that.’ When he says this, Allah will seal his mouth.” Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I think that the first part of his body to speak will be his right thigh.” Then he recited:
﴿ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ نَخۡتِمُ عَلَىٰٓ أَفۡوَٲهِهِمۡ وَتُكَلِّمُنَآ أَيۡدِيہِمۡ وَتَشۡہَدُ أَرۡجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكۡسِبُونَ ﴾

(This Day, We shall seal up their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their legs will bear witness to what they used to earn).
﴿ وَلَوۡ نَشَآءُ لَطَمَسۡنَا عَلَىٰٓ أَعۡيُنِہِمۡ فَٱسۡتَبَقُواْ ٱلصِّرَٲطَ فَأَنَّىٰ يُبۡصِرُونَ ﴾

(And if it had been Our will, We would surely have wiped out their eyes, so that they would struggle for the path, how then would they see) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) explained it: “Allah says, `If We willed, We could have misguided them all away from true guidance, so how could they be guided” And on one occasion he said, “`We could have blinded them.”’ Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “If Allah willed, He could have covered their eyes and made them blind, stumbling about.” Mujahid, Abu Salih, Qatadah and As-Suddi said, “So that they would struggle for the path, i.e., the right way.” Ibn Zayd said, “The meaning of path here is the truth — `How could they see when We have covered their eyes”’ Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him said:
﴿ فَأَنَّىٰ يُبۡصِرُونَ ﴾

(how then would they see) “They would not see the truth.”
﴿ وَلَوۡ نَشَآءُ لَمَسَخۡنَـٰهُمۡ عَلَىٰ مَڪَانَتِهِمۡ ﴾

(And if it had been Our will, We could have transformed them in their places.) Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said; “`We could have destroyed them.” As-Suddi said, “`We could have changed their form.” Abu Salih said, “`We could have turned them to stone.” Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Qatadah said, “`We could have caused them to sit on their feet.” Allah says:
﴿ فَمَا ٱسۡتَطَـٰعُواْ مُضِيًّ۬ا ﴾

(Then they would have been unable to go forward) meaning, move to the front,
﴿ وَلَا يَرۡجِعُونَ ﴾

(nor they could have turned back.) meaning, move backwards. They would have remained static, unable to move forwards or backwards.
﴿ وَمَن نُّعَمِّرۡهُ نُنَڪِّسۡهُ فِى ٱلۡخَلۡقِ‌ۖ أَفَلَا يَعۡقِلُونَ • وَمَا عَلَّمۡنَـٰهُ ٱلشِّعۡرَ وَمَا يَنۢبَغِى لَهُ ۥۤ‌ۚ إِنۡ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكۡرٌ۬ وَقُرۡءَانٌ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬ • لِّيُنذِرَ مَن كَانَ حَيًّ۬ا وَيَحِقَّ ٱلۡقَوۡلُ عَلَى ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ ﴾

(68. And he whom We grant long life — We reverse him in creation. Will they not then understand) 

(69. And We have not taught him poetry, nor is it suitable for him. This is only a Reminder and a plain Qur’an.) 

(70. That he or it may give warning to him who is living, and that Word may be justified against the disbelievers.)

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 The Ten Days of Dhul hijja

Imam An-Nawawī on the Ten Days of Dhul hijja

The chapter on the Adhkār of the first ten days of Dhul hijja[1]

Allah the Exalted has said: “so that they can invoke[2] Allah’s name on specific days.” [Al-ḤHajj 22:28]

Ibn ‘Abbās, Ash-Shāfi’ī and the majority say that these are the ten days of Dhul Ḥhijja.

Know that it is recommended to increase one’s dhikr in these ten days more than any other time, and it is recommended to do it more on the Day of ‘Arafa[3] than any of the remaining ten days.

504_We have related in Ṣsahīhḥ Al-Bukhārī on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbās, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “There are no better days than these in which to do good deeds.” They said: ‘And not even to strive in God’s way?’ He said: “Not even to strive in God’s way, except for a man who goes out and risks his life and his wealth and does not come back with either.” This is the wording of Al-Bukhārī, and it is authentic.[4] The wording in the collection of At-Tirmidhī is: “There are no days in which to do righteous action that are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” The wording in Abū Dāwūd’s narration is almost identical, except that his says: “than these days” i.e. the ten days.

We have related in the Musnad of Imam Abū ‘Abdillah Bin ‘Abdur Raḥmān Ad-Dāramī, with the chain of transmission of the two Ṣaḥīḥ collections, that he said regarding it: “There are no better days in which to do good deeds than the ten days of Dhū Al-hijja.” It was said: ‘Not even striving?’ The rest of the ḥhadīth was then quoted in full. In another narration it says: “the ten days of Al-Adhā.”[5]

505_We have related in the book of At-Tirmidhī, on the authority of ‘Amr Bin Shu’ayb, on the authority of his father, on the authority of his grandfather, that the Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “The best supplication[6] is the supplication on the Day of ‘Arafa, and the best thing that I and the Prophets before me have said is: ‘There is no god but Allah alone, He has no partner. He has the Dominion and He deserves all Praise, and He has power over everything.’[7]” At-Tirmidhī declared its chain of transmission to be weak.

506_We have related in the Muwattā’ of Imam Malik, with a chain of transmission that is mursal[8] and the wording of which is shorter, which is: “The best supplication is the supplication on the Day of ‘Arafa, and the best thing that I and the Prophets before me have said is: ‘There is no god but Allah alone, He has no partner.’”

507_It has reached us on the authority of Sālim Bin ‘Abdillah Bin ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, that he saw someone asking people on the Day of ‘Arafa, so he said: ‘O feeble one! Is other than Allah, Mighty and Majestic, asked on this day?’

508_Al-Bukhārī has said in his Ṣsahīhḥ: 

“‘Umar would make takbīr[9] in his dome in Minā, and the people in the masjid would hear him and do likewise. Then the people in the market would follow likewise until all of Minā was shaking with takbīr.

509_Al-Bukhārī said: ‘In these ten days, ‘Umar and Abū Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with both of them, would go out to the markets and make takbīr and the people would make takbīr with them.

Related Posts:

Dhūl hijjah, the Day of ‘Arafah and Fasting
[1] (Translator’s note: translated from Al-Adhkār lil Imām Abi Zakariyyā Yahyā Bin Sharaf An-Nawawī Ad-Dimashqi (Beirut: Mu’assasa Al-Ma’ārif, 2005) p.154-155

[2] (tn): i.e. dhikr

[3] (tn): i.e. the 9th of Dhul Ḥijja

[4] (tn): Ar. ṣsahīh

[5] (tn): i.e. the Sacrifice

[6] (tn): Ar. du’ā’

[7] (tn): Ar. La ilaha illa Allah, waḥdahu, la sharīka lah, lahu al-mulk, wa lahu al-ḥamd wa huwa ‘alā kulli shay’in qadīr. It should be noted that even though this ḥhadīth is weak per se, it is backed up by numerous other ṣsahīhḥ ḥhadīths that mention the praiseworthiness of this invocation. For example, there is the hadīth in the collections of Al-Bukhārī and Muslim in which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “Whoever says: ‘There is no god but Allah alone, He has no partner. He has the Dominion and He deserves all Praise, and He has power over everything’ one hundred times in a day, will have the reward of freeing ten slaves. Also, one hundred good deeds will be written down for him, one hundred evil deeds will be erased from his account and he will be protected from Shay’ṭān on that day until he turns in. No one can bring anything better than what this person has brought apart from the person who does more than that.”

[8] (tn): i.e. a ‘discontinued’ or ‘disconnected’ ḥhadīth, especially at the level of a Companion.

[9] (tn): i.e. saying Allah Akbar

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