Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2015

17 July 2015

Friday


Ghani and Omar

Time flies, and once again it is Eid al-Fitr, a time of rejoicing in the Muslim world in celebration of the end of the Ramadan fast, and the time of year when we expect to receive another missive issued in the name of Mullah Mohammad Omar, Amir-ul-Momineen, by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and indeed a new statement was made available on 15 July 2015, Eid Felicitation Message of Amir-ul-Momineen, Mulla Mohammad Umar Mujahid. (As the link to last year’s Eid message on the same website is no longer functional, I will copy the complete text of the message below so that the reader can consult it if they wish to do so.)

Over the years I have made a practice of reading these statements carefully and offering an analysis of the content. Here are my past analyses in the series:

The Graveyard of Empires (2009)

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2010

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2011

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2012

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2013

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2014

There have been major developments in the region that makes this year’s statement of great interest, and the two developments in particular that I have in mind are the peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and the Kabul government, and the ongoing success of ISIS, which is transforming the unraveling political status quo of the Fertile Crescent that once provided a comfortable illusion of “stability” both to regional despots and to those western powers who wanted (quite earnestly) to believe in the stability of the region.

Before I consider content related to the above, I want to make two stylistic notes: 1) the opening paragraphs are a bit more refulgent than the usual statements attributed to Mullah Mohammad Omar, and 2) the text is liberally sprinkled with quotations from the Koran, appearing first in the original Arabic, and in the English text made available also translated into English. This opening appeal to emotion and the explicit appeals to faith give this statement a different tone than past statements, which had previously sounded like someone trying a little too hard to sound like one of the technocratic ruling elite.

Perhaps the emotional tone was consciously cultivated to make it easier to swallow item 2 of the text, which never comes out and explicitly says that the Taliban are negotiating terms with the Kabul government, but nevertheless makes it clear that this is what the Taliban are doing. It has been widely reported that Mullah Omar came out in favor of these peace talks, but there is nothing in the statement that makes this explicit. Everything in couched in terms of, “…peaceful interactions with the enemies is not prohibited,” and, “…political endeavors and peaceful pathways for achieving these sacred goals is a legitimate Islamic principle and an integral part of Prophetic politics.” Mullah Omar is giving the Taliban wiggle room sufficient for plausible deniability. (There is also the curious statement that, “…we are an integral part of human society and rely upon one another.” I suspect that something here was lost in translation.)

I find it rather telling that in one of the above-quoted lines Mullah Omar uses the phrase, “Prophetic politics.” This is an echo of ISIS rhetoric, as ISIS makes a habit of referring to, “Prophetic methodology.” I am not saying that Mullah Omar is copying ISIS, much less trying to identify with them, only that the use of “prophetic” as a adjective to describe a particular Islamic approach to social organization seems to now have become a talking point in the Islamic world. Whereas Islamic militants in the recent past have striven to present themselves as being in the vanguard of revolutionary Islam, now they strive with each other to demonstrate their bona fides through adherence to “Prophetic” principles.

Both items 3 and 4 are concerned with Jihadi unity, which seems to be primarily concerned with, on the one hand, exhortations to achieve and maintain this unity, and, on the other hand, assurances that Jihadi forces in Afghanistan do in fact possess this unity. The message is that “this time,” unlike “last time,” when the Taliban come to power Afghanistan is not going to be torn into the fiefs of warlords, as the fighting continues even while the invader and enemy pulls out.

Item 5 concerns charges that the Taliban are agents of Pakistan and Iran. Apart from the obvious motive of asserting the independence of the Afghan Taliban (therefore not puppets like the Kabul government), I assume this makes an appearance because Pakistan has been the host of the first round of talks between representatives of the Taliban and the Kabul government. Given the history of Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan, especially through ISI networks, and that some Pakistanis view Afghanistan as a part of “Greater Pakistan” (cf. Akhand Bharat and Ghazwa-e-hind: Conflicting Destinies in South Asia), the use of Pakistan as a venue could come to seem a bit too cozy and might suggest that the Taliban have been compromised. However, most of item 5 is concerned to demonstrate that the Kabul government is a failure despite its support from abroad, whereas the Taliban are strong and successful despite the lack of similar support.

Item 6 seeks to gainsay the image of the Taliban as exclusively retrograde, backward-looking primitivists, asserting that science is necessary to contemporary warfare (I agree) and that scientific medicine is necessary to treat injured Jihadis. There is a passing mention of dependence upon the scientific resources of the enemy, which pretty much sums up the whole problem. The Taliban understand the limits of their way of warfare, and they know they are dependent upon others to modernize their way of warfare, but they do not appear to have made the connection that scientific inquiry emerges from a particular kind of society, and this is not the kind of society that the Taliban seeks to create. Even if the Taliban were to return to power in a scenario such as Mullah Omar imagines in this statement, this problem of dependency would not go away. It may be exacerbated. And if the Taliban were to administer a nation-state in the twenty-first century without the tools of twenty-first century governance and warfare, they risk being pawns in a game played by others who do possess these tools. There is an awareness of the problem, then, but no sign that an effective way to meet the problem is available: science within “the light of our Holy Sharia law.” That may turn out to be irreconcilable.

Items 7, 8, 9, and 10 return to the emotional and religious tone of the opening section, with a series of appeals and exhortations to be on good behavior, to reform rather than kill enemies, to materially support the Mujahidin, and once again to avoid internal dissension.

The message of the many successes of the Jihadis in taking back Afghanistan for the IEA jars with the implicit message of peace talks with the Kabul government, as the message of Jihadi unity jars with the many assurances that, when the Taliban take over again, it won’t be like last time. But no one is going to grill Mullah Omar over these tensions in his statement. However, the tensions will be felt, and filed away on an unconscious level, even if they are not explicitly debated or addressed. The tensions implicit in the message will not be resolved by Taliban successes, whether on the battlefield or at the negotiating table.

Will the negotiations ever lead to Ashraf Ghani meeting Mullah Mohammad Omar over a peace table? It seems unlikely, simply because it seems unlikely that Mullah Omar would ever allow himself to be exposed to the glare of publicity in this way. Such a meeting would have great symbolic value, but in so far as the Taliban are successful, they will not have to negotiate, and in so far as they are unsuccessful, the negotiations would be perfunctory and “merely” symbolic. So the image of Ashraf Ghani and Mullah Omar facing each other over a table is as deceptive as it is elusive.

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Note added Wednesday 29 July 2015: Unconfirmed reports are now being investigated that Taliban Chief Mullah Mohammad Omar has died. Previous reports have turned out to be false, but several authorities are taking this report seriously. Time will tell.

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Note added Thursday 30 July 2015: Several major news organizations today stated that the Taliban had officially acknowledged the Mullah Mohammad Omar died in April 2013, which means that the last three Eid ul-Fitr messages attributed to Mullah Omar were published after his death. The IEA website does not yet acknowledge Mullah Omar’s death as of this writing. One suspects they do not know how exactly to report the news. Already there are contradictory conspiracy theories, either that that Afghan government knew about the death of Mullah Omar but kept it quiet, or that the Afghan intelligence services are so incompetent they knew nothing (an incompetency they apparently share with most of the world’s intelligence organizations).

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Note added Friday 31 July 2015: The official IEA website now has a statement on the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar, Declaration of the Leading Council of the Islamic Emirate regarding the appointment of new Amir (leader) of the Islamic Emirate, dated 30 July 2015.

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Grand Strategy Annex

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Eid Felicitation Message of Amir-ul-Momineen, Mulla Mohammad Umar Mujahid

15 July 2015

In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful.

الحمد لله رب العلمین و الصلوة والسلام علی سیدالأنبیاء والمرسلین محمد وعلی آله وأصحابه أجمعین وبعد

:قال الله تعالی

[أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَاتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوا وَإِنَّ اللهَ عَلَى نَصْرِهِمْ لَقَدِيرٌ ﴾ [الحج:39﴿

Translation: (Permission to take up arms is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged and Allah, indeed, has power to help them.) (Al-Hajj – 39)

To the whole Muslim Umma, particularly to the Muslim and Mujahid Masses of Afghanistan!

السلام علیکم ورحمة الله وبرکاته

(May peace and blessings of Allah be upon you!)

I would like to felicitate you on this auspicious occasions of both Eid-ul-Fitr and the significant conquests in the field of Jihad along with my sincere best wishes. May Allah, the Almighty, accept all your worships, donations and virtuous deeds related with the holy month of Ramadan! Amin.

All of these conquests are the result of perpetual support of Allah Almighty followed by the untold sacrifices, endeavors and backing of the Afghan Mujahid people. I pray to Allah, the Almighty, to remunerate all of them for their services and sacrifices.

It is a moment of deep gratitude and great honor for me to share my feelings with you concerning the sanctified and blessed days of the Holy Religion of Islam. The Muslims congratulate one another in these days, pray for their well-being and express their sincerity, brotherhood and sympathy in an atmosphere fraught with religious fraternity.

I would like, by seizing this occasion, to elucidate some issues about the previous and present on-going Jihadi struggle of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

1. The invasion of Afghanistan by the occupying alliance headed by America was in reality an explicit brutal aggression, contradicting all humane principles, on an integral part of the Muslim Umma and subsequently, the initiation of Holy Jihad against this aggression became a binding individual obligation upon us. As Allah Almighty says:

[ وَقَاتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ… ﴾ [البقرة:190 ﴿

Translation: (And fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Surely, Allah loves not the transgressors.) (Al-Baqarah – 190)

It was according to this religious obligation that more than fifteen hundred religious scholars of our country issued the decree of Holy Jihad to the Islamic Emirate which was subsequently approved by the righteous scholars around the world. In the light of this genuine religious decree, Jihad is as obligatory today as it was in the beginning of foreign occupation because our Muslim homeland Afghanistan is still under occupation and both its land and air space are controlled by the invaders. The only minor difference is that after suffering heavy casualties and financial losses, the foreign occupying forces have reduced their numbers and have confined themselves to heavily fortified bases, filling this void with some notorious figures of our society, mercenary forces trained by foreign intelligence agencies and some naive youngsters in the disguise of Afghan security forces who are financially, logistically and even directly supported by the very occupying forces when pressured by Mujahidin. It is therefore still obligatory upon us to continue our sacred Jihad to liberate our beloved homeland and restore an Islamic system.

It is true that large areas of the country are liberated by the Mujahidin but our Jihadi struggle will continue until the infidel occupation of our country has ended and a pure Islamic system is implemented.

2. Concurrently with armed Jihad, political endeavors and peaceful pathways for achieving these sacred goals is a legitimate Islamic principle and an integral part of Prophetic politics. As our holy leader, the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), was actively engaged in fighting the infidels in the fields of ‘Badr’ and ‘Khyber’, he simultaneously participated in agreements beneficial for Muslims, held meetings with envoys of infidels, sent messages and delegations to them and on various occasions even undertook the policy of face to face talks with warring infidel parties. If we look into our religious regulations, we can find that meetings and even peaceful interactions with the enemies is not prohibited but what is unlawful is to deviate from the lofty ideals of Islam and to violate religious decrees. Therefore the objective behind our political endeavors as well as contacts and interactions with countries of the world and our own Afghans is to bring an end to the occupation and to establish an independent Islamic system in our country. It is our legitimate right to utilize all legal pathways because being an organized and liable setup, we are responsible to our masses, we are an integral part of human society and rely upon one another. All Mujahidin and countrymen should be confident that in this process, I will unwaveringly defend our legal rights and viewpoint everywhere. We have established a ‘Political Office’ for political affairs, entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring and conducting all political activities.

3. We insist upon the unity of Jihadi front in Afghanistan because firstly, it is the command of Allah Almighty and secondly, the fruits of successful Jihad against the former Soviet Union were lost as an inevitable consequence of the multiplicity of factions.

Allah Almighty has said about the unity of Jihadi front:

( إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ صَفّاً كَأَنَّهُم بُنيَانٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ) (4 الصف)

Translation: (Verily, Allah loves those who fight in His cause arrayed in solid ranks, as though they were a strong structure cemented with molten lead.) (As-Saff – 4)

On another occasion, the Holy Quran unequivocally inhibits from all contentions, differences and mutual disputes in the following explicit words:

( وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَا تَنَازَعُوا فَتَفْشَلُوا وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ ۖ وَاصْبِرُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ) (46 الانفال)

Translation: (And obey Allah and His Messenger and dispute not with one another, lest you falter and your strength depart from you. And be steadfast; surely, Allah is with the steadfast.) (Al-Anfal – 46)

And our Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) says:

{لاَ يُلْدَغُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مِنْ جُحْرٍ وَاحِدٍ مَرَّتَيْنِ} {رواه البخاري}

Translation: (A believer is not stung twice from the same hole.) Narrated by Bukhari.

Since maintaining the unity of Jihadi front in our country is a religious obligation, we have therefore directed all our Mujahidin to preserve their unity and forcefully prevent all those elements who attempt to create differences, damage this Jihadi front or try to disperse the Mujahidin.

4. Our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has said:

الْمُسْلِمُ أَخُو الْمُسْلِمِ لَا يَظْلِمُهُ وَلَا يَخْذُلُهُ وَلَا يَحْقِرُهُ التَّقْوَى هَاهُنَا” وَيُشِيرُ إِلَى صَدْرِهِ ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ، “بِحَسْبِ امْرِئٍ مِن الشَّرِّ أَنْ يَحْقِرَ أَخَاهُ الْمُسْلِمَ كُلُّ الْمُسْلِمِ عَلَى الْمُسْلِمِ حَرَامٌ دَمُهُ وَمَالُهُ وَعِرْضُهُ ) رواه مسلم و احمد

Translation: (Every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He should neither oppress him, nor let him down, nor insult him. Piety is here, while pointing to his chest thrice. It is enough for a man’s mischief to look down upon his Muslim brother. The blood, property and honor of every Muslim is forbidden for another Muslim.) Narrated by Muslim and Ahmad.

In view of the above saying of our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and being a member of the Muslim society, we look upon every Muslim as our brother and we formally recognize the legitimate rights of all Afghans including minorities as our religious duty.

The formation of Islamic Emirate comprises of virtuous and erudite people from all areas and nations of our country, learning a lot from the experiences of previous 36 years especially from the responsibilities borne over the past twenty years hence no one should fear about what will happen if the Islamic Emirate comes to power. I assure you that the upcoming changes will in no way resemble the situation following the collapse of the communist regime when everything turned upside down. There are no such disagreements inside the Jihadi ranks as were in the past. This time every legal development around the country will be preserved, national assets and the achievements of private sector will be maintained, the dignity of all individuals and communities of the country will be honored, an accountable, transparent, professional and inclusive Afghan administration will be setup to meet both the worldly and religious needs of the Afghan masses. We have always tried, in light of Islamic principles and national interests, to maintain cordial and reciprocal relations with all neighboring, regional and world countries so that Afghanistan is secured both from external malice as well as internal differences.

5. Some circles accuse Mujahidin of being agents of Pakistan and Iran. This is an utterly unjust verdict because neither our past history nor the present prevailing circumstances attest to this statement and the forthcoming history will also be a witness against these false accusations, Insha-Allah (God-willing).

Nevertheless, it is a fact that we have sought cordial relations not only with Pakistan and Iran but also all other neighboring countries. Just like towards the people of Pakistan and Iran, we have been the well-wishers of all masses of all neighboring, regional and world countries and we are determined to pursue this wise policy.

We call upon all people with intellect not to be deceived by the baseless propaganda of the enemy intelligence. Do not attribute you’re extraordinary achievements to others. The vast areas spreading from Badakhshan to Kandahar, from Faryab to Paktia and from Herat to Nangarhar, which almost covers the entire country cannot be liberated with foreign support. If foreign aid were so effective then it would have treated the wounds of the Kabul administration which enjoys the unconstrained support of fifty countries. They freely get weapons and manpower from abroad, even their leaders are brought up and trained by the foreigners. But none of these provisions stabilized them rather they are losing ground on a daily basis. Therefore if we were not supported by Allah Almighty as well as our pious masses and Jihadi spirit, how could it be possible for us to have sustained this lopsided war for fourteen years against major world military powers with the insignificant and secret support of either one or two neighboring countries? Without a doubt, no sane mind would ever accept this nonsense.

Therefore our Muslim brothers, near and far, should not be victimized by the enemy propaganda because the enemy is not only devious but also shrewd and well-equipped, able to convey and spread rumors and propaganda against Muslims and Islamic movements to the world masses. Hence all Muslims should remain vigilant and discerning equipped with faith and spiritual perspicacity.

6. Some people, without having any sound proof, think that the Islamic Emirate is against all new developments, modern sciences and resources. This despite the overall expenditure on schools and higher educational institutions being higher than the traditional religious madrassas during the reign of the Islamic Emirate. Twenty percent of the budget was allocated for education and training. Contemporary studies are recommended by our religious scholars as they are obligatory according to Islamic teachings. Allah Almighty says in His Holy Book:

(وَأَعِدُّوا لَهُمْ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ مِنْ قُوَّةٍ وَمِنْ رِبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدُوَّ اللَّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ… )(الانفال 60)

Translation: (And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war, whereby you may frighten the enemy of Allah and your enemy…) (Al-Anfal – 60)

According to the above blessed verse which stresses upon every possible preparation against the enemy and since Jihad is an indispensable obligation for the Muslims today thus modern resources to combat the enemy can neither be had nor utilized without the prior knowledge of modern sciences and new experiences. Similarly treatment of injured Mujahidin and health-care of Muslim masses, freeing ourselves from enemy dependence in technical, industrial, agricultural and various other walks of life as well as properly serving the Muslims and self-sufficiency of Islamic society needs our excellence in modern knowledge. It is a well-established rule of Islamic jurisprudence that the requisite of an obligation is obligatory.

Therefore the Islamic Emirate realizes the value and importance of modern sciences and sources in the light of our Holy Sharia law. The proof is that Mujahidin are facilitating both religious and modern studies for the young generation of our beloved homeland in all the areas under their control.

7. I would like to remind all the Mujahidin that if they abide by two things then eventual victory will be theirs. First, they should aim for Allah’s pleasure in all their deeds. They should endure their allegiance with their creed, country, the Islamic Emirate and their leaders as guided by our Holy Book:

(يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَنصُرُواْ اللَّهَ یَنصُرْکمْ وَ یُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَکمْ.) (محمد 7)

Translation: (O ye who believe! if you help the cause of Allah, He will help you and will make your foothold firm.) (Muhammad – 7)

Secondly, our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) says:

( لَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ لَمْ يَرْحَمْ صَغِيرَنَا وَلم يُوَقِّرْ كَبِيرَنَا) (ترمذي)

Translation: (Those who do not have mercy on youngsters and not respectful to elders are not from us.) Narrated by Tirmidhi

So deal with your people gently, with love and good manners. Treat their elders as your own parents and their youngsters as your own brothers and children. The protection of lives and properties of ordinary people is your Islamic and human responsibility. Particularly in your military planning, take all possible measures to avoid civilian losses and casualties. If you glance over history, you will vividly see that the one who has betrayed the sacred religion of Allah or has looked down upon this pious Mujahid nation or ignored good ethics has failed at succeeding here. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) says:

( أکمل المؤمنين إيماناً أحسنهم خلقاً ) (رواه ابوداود)

Translation: (The most perfect amongst the pious people is the one whose behavior is sublime.) Narrated by Abu Daud

So win over your nation with good behavior.

8. O Mujahidin! As Allah Almighty has flung open the doors of victories to you, try your best to invite and guide the opponents to the right path and provide them with secured and honorable living conditions. Instead of killing them, it is better to reform (guide) them as our community will inevitably suffer due to their widows and orphans. The people who control their anger and pardon are held in high esteem by Allah Almighty as He says:

(وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ)‌ (آل عمران (134)

Translation: (And those who suppress anger, and pardon men; and Allah loves those who do good.) (Al-Imran – 134)

9. Muslims of the whole world and specially the pious masses of Afghanistan are requested to increase their physical and financial support to the Mujahidin amidst the current triumphant process as you constantly extended it over the past fourteen years. You should remember that Jihad is an individual obligation upon every single Muslim. If one cannot participate in the Jihadi fronts physically, he can discharge his duty by extending financial or political or cultural support to the Mujahidin. Our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) says:

(مَنْ جَهَّزَ غَازِياً فِي سَبِيلِ الله فَقَدْ غَزَا، وَمَنْ خَلَفَ غَازِياً فِي سَبِيلِ الله بِخَيْرٍ فَقَدْ غَزَا) (متفق علیه)

Translation: (Whosoever equipped a fighter in the path of Allah, and the one who looked after a fighter’s family behind, verily he participated in Jihad.) Agreed Upon

10. To end, I request all the leaders and masses of the Muslim world to maintain unity and fraternity among themselves and not allow internal differences to weaken their ranks. The policy of tolerance, patience, acumen and strict abidance by Islamic Sharia should be adopted. I would like to remind all the well-off sympathizing brothers to extend their complete support to the bereaved families of the martyrs, prisoners, disabled, poor and orphans of frontline Mujahidin during these happy days of Eid-ul-Fitr. They should not be left alone and must be encouraged because it is the source of success and prosperity in this world as well the world hereafter. Wish good for others as you seek it for yourselves as the Holy Quran says:

(وَافْعَلُوا الْخَيْرَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ) (الحج – 77)

Translation: (And do good deeds that you may prosper.) (Al-Hajj – 77)

I once again congratulate all of you on this happy occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr and pray to Allah Almighty that all your worship and services are rewarded.

Wassalam.

Servant of Islam

Amir-ul-Momineen

Mulla Mohammad Umar Mujahid

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