New article from al-Maqālāt: "The Wild Card in Time of Necessity: Jabhat al-Nuṣrah – Their Perfect Timing For an Unpredicted Decision"

The issue of Jabhat Nusra breaking their ties with Al-Qaedah has busied friends and foes, everyone is sitting on the edge of their seat waiting patiently to hear from Shaykh Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani. This shows how big the political and military influence of Jabhat Nusra actually is, both inside and outside Syria. This news came very unexpected, the US clearly did not have a plan-B for Jabhat Nusra if they would break their ties with Al-Qaedah, while the secularist hypocrites and the demoralizing parrots on the internet are already looking for other excuses and accusations they can fire at Jabhat Nusra. I am not in the position to say whether Jabhat Nusra will break its ties or not, but let us assume that they will. Then there are a couple of quick observations I could like to make.
The factions and the Muslims in Shaam did not ask from Jabhat Nusra to change their strategy and methodology, they simple asked them to change their organizational ties. If Jabhat Nusra changed their ties and name, but still shared the same strategy and methodology as Al-Qaedah. Then this will actually be the initial plan of Al-Qaedah for Jabhat Nusra in Shaam, as Shaykh Ayman Zawahiri ordered his soldiers not declare any presence of Al-Qaedah in Shaam. So by changing the name, Jabhat Nusra is returning to the original strategy for Al-Qaedah in Shaam. We much rather have Mujahideen who share the same strategy and methodology as Al-Qaedah, even if they do not share the organizational ties and name of Al-Qaedah, then Mujahideen who claim to be part of Al-Qaedah and carry its name while they do not share their strategy nor methodology. We have seen how ISIS shared the organizational ties and name of Al-Qaedah under Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi but they did not share their strategy and methodology. There are numerous groups on various fronts throughout the world who share the strategy and methodology of Al-Qaedah and they could even have organizational ties with Al-Qaedah –in Mali, Tunisia and Egypt for example– but they did not openly declare these ties.
Like Ahmad Shawqi said:
خفي الأساس عن العيون تواضعا .. من بعد ما رفع البناء مشيدا
The modest foundations remain hidden for the eyes .. after firmly constructing the building.
Those who accuse Jabhat Nusra for declaring their ties with Al-Qaedah because this turned the Western powers against the people of Syria, should first of all know that Jabhat Nusra was put on the terror list before they declared these ties. Second of all, there was another danger which was more harmful for the revolution in Syria then the West at that time, which should not be ignored; the danger of the Khawarij. If Jabhat Nusra did not openly declare their ties with Al-Qaedah and confronted the deviant legitimacy of ISIS, then most of the Mujahideen in Syria would have joined ISIS. The damage was limited as mainly only factions from the FSA joined ISIS, while Jabhat Nusra kept resisting their deviance from the beginning. However this danger is now contained as the deviant methodology of the modern day Khawarij is exposed, and the clear methodology of Jabhat Nusra is known. So it is very unlikely that anyone would join ISIS now if Jabhat Nusra broke its ties with Al-Qaedah. The situation has changed, the Western powers have become a greater threat for the Syrian revolution than the Khawarij. After exposing the Khawarij and annulling their deviant legitimacy, until it is no longer a considerable threat, it became important to focus on the other growing threats. The recent treacherous agreement between the US and Russia signifies this growing threat.
The Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) said: “Fear the insight of the believer for he sees with the light of Allah.” Shaykh Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani announced his ties with Al-Qaedah due to the necessity of that moment, and now he will change these ties due to the necessity of this moment. The breaking of ties between Jabhat Nusra and Al-Qaedah will expose a lot of facts. The timing of this decision is no coincidence, it came right after the US agreement with Russia to cooperate and coordinate air strikes against Jabhat Nusra. Jabhat Nusra could not stand by and watch as the enemies unite against them. A major strategic move to counter and hinder this alliance, and a reorganization of their ranks within Syria was not really a matter of choice, it was an absolute military necessity.
Breaking their ties with Al-Qaedah will form a dilemma for the US. If the US insists on bombing Jabhat Nusra in cooperation and coordination with Russia despite them breaking ties with Al-Qaedah, then this will without a doubt proof that the US is aiding the Syrian regime, it will proof that this is not a war against terrorist organizations, but a war against Muslims and Islam. The factions who still refuse to unite with Jabhat Nusra will also be exposed, it will proof that they used the ties of Jabhat Nusra as an excuse to refrain from unity. It will also divide between the truthful factions who only objected to the name and the organizational ties with Al-Qaedah, and those factions who keep their agenda hidden and actually oppose the Sharia project of Jabhat Nusra rather then their ties.
There are two types of people who wanted to see the ties between Jabhat Nusra and Al-Qaedah disappear. The first are truthful Muslims who are of the opinion that this will benefit the revolution a great deal. The second are hypocrites who want to incite against Jabhat Nusra and weaken it; as if their lifeline was connected to these organizational ties. Jabhat Nusra does not seek to please either of them, but by breaking their ties with Al-Qaedah these two parties –who are very different– will not share any common ground.
Like Muhammad ibn Al-Qasim said:
إذا رضيت عني كرام عشيرتي .. فلا زال غضباناً عليّ لئامها
If I were to please the noble ones among my people .. then its lowly will stay angry at me.
ومن ذا يرضي كل نفس … وبين هوى النفوس مدى بعيد
And who is able to please every soul .. while the desires of souls vary enormously.
Allah said “Never will the Jews or the Christians be pleased with you until you follow their religion.” It is impossible to please everyone, even if you tried. If you would follow the religion of the Jews for example, then the Christian would be displeased. The same goes the other way around; if you would follow the religion of the Christians then the Jews would be displeased. So it is a wasteful effort from the very start. Pleasing people is not the goal we should aim for, rather certain benefits and harms must be considered and outweighed. This is the settling standard for sensitive decisions like these.
The recent‏ assembly of scholars in Shaam also influenced the decisions of Jabhat Nusra without a doubt. The unity of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan started with the gathering of students and scholars known as the Taliban. This blessed gathering united between the truthful Mujahideen and exposed the hypocrites who opposed the Sharia of Allah; while they initially fought alongside the Mujahideen against the Soviets. The blessed gathering of the Talibn united between all schools of thought. A similar scenario could very well be expected after the assembly of scholars in Shaam, the signs of unity are already beginning to show, true unity is always accompanied with knowledge.
The breaking of ties with Al-Qaedah will be a strong message to the factions who do not want to unite and to the Western powers who try to deceive the Ummah. The overall message of the break with Al-Qaedah will be that the US is not enemies with Al-Qaedah or any other so-called terrorist organization, but their animosity is against the Muslim Ummah as a whole, especially the Muslims who are seeking to establish the rule of Islam. Many Muslims have reached this awareness of course, but this awareness will grow further and reach every general and common Muslim. If the US insists on bombing Jabhat Nusra despite their broken ties with Al-Qaedah then the popular support for Jabhat Nusra will grow in a rapid speed. It were the people of Shaam who requested from Jabhat Nusra to break their ties with Al-Qaedah, Jabhat Nusra showed their loyalty to the Muslim Ummah, they proofed that they place the interest of the Ummah before the interest of an organization. If they are sidelined by the other factions despite this show of good will, and if they are bombed despite their decision to break ties with Al-Qaedah, then the popular support for Jabhat Nusra in Shaam and outside could be unstoppable. With such popular support the ideology, strategy and methodology of Al-Qaedah will reach far and wide within the Muslim communities and enter further into the heart of Muslim societies. This goal would be far more important then the organizational ties with Jabhat Nusra.
These facts are not hidden, it is obvious that this decision could work out brilliantly. As an intelligence site stated: “The prospect of a formal breaking of ties with al-Qaeda and formation of a new coalition body with al-Qaeda’s blessing arguably represents the worst outcome from the U.S. perspective, making targeting of terrorist figures much more difficult as they will be ever more deeply embedded in the wider insurgency. Further, in such a scenario, if the proposed U.S.-Russia coordination actually goes forward, it seems likely that a larger coalition between Jabhat al-Nusra and other groups would then quickly and easily dismantle many of the U.S.-backed groups among the Syrian rebels in the north, reducing any influence and leverage in so far as U.S. policy hopes for an eventual political transition in Syria. Or perhaps U.S.-backed groups would join this coalition.. Jabhat al-Nusra has effectively exploited the breakdown of the ‘cessation of hostilities’: it may well outsmart the U.S. further with the supposed breaking of ties with al-Qaeda, which, far from reflecting a change in the ideological end goals, could actually embody an al-Qaeda ideal of integrating more deeply into the local environment.” (Source: ‘Jabhat al-Nusra: Breaking ties with al-Qaeda?’ –
The secularist hypocrites and their parrots have been repeating that Jabhat Nusra is spoiling the revolution in Syria. But we will see that those who spoiled the revolution in Egypt and in Libya and tried to spoil the political attempt in Turkey, are the same wolves in sheep clothing who hide behind fake claims and weak excuses as they attempt- and wait for the right moment to spoil the revolution in Syria. These poisonous weeds must be rooted out, and Jabhat Nusra has proven to be the best remedy against this plague. Jabhat Nusra is very well aware of their threat, breaking ties with Al-Qaedah will not change this awareness. Rather, it will become an awareness shared by all the faction.
Like Abu Muslim Al-Khurasani said:
من رعى غنما في أرض مسبعة .. ونام عنها تولى رعيها الأسد
Those who herd sheep in a country of lions .. and falls asleep –then the lion will take over the herding.
Many people seem stunned and surprised by this strategic move, but this decision is actually nothing new if we were to look at the history of Al-Qaedah. It is not the first time that such a decision is made. Shaykh Abu Musab Zarqawi and after him Shaykh Abu Hamza Al-Mujahir were the leaders of Al-Qaedah in Iraq. Al-Qaedah in Iraq became part of the Mujahideen Shura Council, after that it merged with other groups in what was known as the Islamic State in Iraq, before it was hijacked and infiltrated by Baathis officers and deviated to what is now. When Al-Qaedah merged with the other groups in the Mujahideen Shura Council, the name Al-Qaedah disappeared in Iraq, and the loyalty and ties with Al-Qaedah became a hidden fact, while the strategy and the methodology stayed the same until ISIS deviated. This decision was made so that the groups in Iraq could unite. It is therefore very likely that we are going to witness a similar unity between the groups and factions in Syria very soon under Jabhat Fath Shaam.
The first priority of Al-Qaedah in Syria is to topple the Syrian regime, they share this goal and this enemy target with the other factions, but to achieve this goal Al-Qaedah and the rest of the Mujahideen must fully cooperate and completely coordinate their efforts and their operations with each other. The eyes of Shaykh Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani are set on Damascus, but he can not liberate Damascus without cooperating and coordinating with the other factions. Al-Qaedah has shown and proven that it is truthful in its claims and goals, it is now up to the rest of the Mujahideen to show the same sincerity. They must be willing to set aside any obstacle to unite and merge with the other factions.
I repeat what I said before: If the Islamic Sharia is implemented by all the factions, if the ties with the secret services of Turkey and Jordan is broken by all the factions, if all political solutions and all truces with the regime are scrapped, if all the factions unite in one army, if all foreign agendas are annulled in Syria, if the Mujahireen are left to stay and come into Shaam, if the corrupt ones are removed from the field in Shaam, and if all the fronts are reignited against the regime; in return for breaking of the ties between Jabhat Nusra and Al-Qaedah. If the other parties agree to any of these preconditions, then this would be the best deal in the history of Islam, or rather mankind. If the other parties agree to these preconditions, then the breaking of ties between Jabhat Nusra and Al-Qaedah will form a major backlash for the West, as this is everything they did not want in Shaam. Al-Qaedah is a message before it is an organization, and these mentioned goals and prerequisites are exactly what the message and Dawah of Al-Qaedah seeks to achieve. Goals are more important then the means, the mentioned goals are more important then the organizational means through which the Mujahideen are trying to achieve these goals.
The Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) erased the words “Messenger of Allah” from the treaty of Hudaybiyah; because it is not about names, rather it is about realities, it is about objectives. Erasing these words did not change the fact that he indeed was the Messenger of Allah, whether the pagan Arabs of Mekkah wanted to recognize this fact or not.
A Mujahid from Al-Qaedah wages Jihaad to support the religion and the Muslim Ummah as a whole, not only his own organization. His organization is merely a means to organize his actions on the battlefield. If his actions in Al-Qaedah could be organized better, and if his actions in Al-Qaedah are more beneficial for the Ummah, then it is obvious that staying in this organization is preferable. But if his actions could be organized better in another organizational setting and if his actions will be more beneficial for the Ummah in another organization setting, then this setting if of course more preferable. A Mujahid should not be blinded by partisanship, he should realize that organizations are mere stepping stones for a much larger project which encompassed the Ummah as a whole. He works within the most suitable, efficient and beneficial organizational setting. The Mujahideen from Al-Qaedah have clearly proven that they are not blinded by partisanship, they do not place their organizational love above the interest of the Ummah and the goals of Jihaad. A Mujahid from Al-Qaedah does not fight for organizational names, he fights to lift oppression from the Ummah and to raise the Word of Allah.
Al-Qaedah is a school and the noble Mujahideen of Shaam are some of its many graduates. The central command of Al-Qaedah is a center which spreads awareness, it spreads the message and the strategy of Al-Qaedah, it inspires and mobilizes the Ummah against the Western powers, whether they do so under the command of Al-Qaedah or independently. However it does not control area’s nor people. Unlike Jabhat Nusra, they are a guerilla movement who wage a defensive war against a local enemy, it is a movement who now controls vast area’s in Syria, it has all kinds of responsibilities towards the people they control. They must wage Jihaad and control land together with other factions with whom they eventually must merge and unite, while avoiding a confrontation with any additional enemies like the Western powers. So Jabhat Nusra needs to operate in a different organizational setting.
Al-Qaedah has declared an open war against the West, and calls for attacks against it, while it ordered Jabhat Nusra to focus on the Syrian regime and not to carry out any attacks against the West. The West however chose deliberately to ignore these organizational division of assignments, and accused Jabhat Nusra of planning attacks in the West; as an excuse to carry out coalition air strikes against Jabhat Nusra to aid the regime and prevent the establishment of an Islamic government in Syria. If Jabhat Nusra broke their organizational ties with Al-Qaedah the West will be left with no excuse. Their animosity against Jabhat Nusra will become a clear violation for everyone to see. This will turn the Muslim population against the West, it could even mobilize the Muslims against the West in long run –and this is exactly the goal of Al-Qaedah from the get-go.
The hypocrites and the enemies of the Ummah have been focusing their propaganda on the ties between Jabhat Nusra and Al-Qaedah to create a popular opinion against them, and to split and weaken the ranks within Jabhat Nusra. To avoid a growing popular opinion against them, and to avoid the weakening of ranks, the timing for breaking the ties with Al-Qaedah is chosen carefully, thus turning the tables completely. Popular support will turn against the enemies if they decide to attack Jabhat Nusra despite them breaking their ties. If Jabhat Nusra broke these ties a couple of years ago it could have created a weakening of the ranks. But the soldiers of Jabhat Nusra have reached a high level of trust in their leadership and the overall majority understands the benefits of this decision, many of them were even opting for it quite some time. So the seeming weakness of Jabhat Nusra has now become their strength, this decision was an unexpected wild card they were saving for the right moment; so it will work in the complete interest of the Muslim Ummah and against the enemies.
The enemies of the Ummah will of course try to misuse this decision as much as possible; the Russians, the Shia-Rawafid, the Nusayris, the West, the secularist hypocrites, and the Khawarij extremist. All of them will try to misuse this decision and turn it to their benefit. Maybe they could even gain some tactical gains, but the overall strategic gain will be in the benefit of the Mujahideen with the permission of Allah. Especially the extremist Khawarij will try to capitalize on this decision. As they tried to capitalize on the Fitnah in Shaam, and they indeed gained many followers through their deceiving methods. However the Mujahid leaders and scholars warned them for their reckless self-destructive behavior. Unfortunately many youths did not listen as their lives were wasted due to the terrible political, theological and strategic insight of their leadership. The rapid tactical gains in Iraq and Syria quickly vanished, everything they built on the backs and the limbs of the Muslims and the Mujahideen in Iraq and Syria collapsed. So tactical victories should not fool those with insight or those who learn from history.