Last week, much media coverage focused on ISIS’s capture of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul. ISIS, which stands for ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’ declare themselves not just a Jihad army, but an actual ‘Islamic State’, and claim they aim to establish a Caliphate. Many questions were raised – How could a force of roughly 800 defeat an army of 30,000 (1) in Mosul? Did this victory signify an existential threat to Iraq, the region, and ultimately the United States of America? And has the long-awaited Caliphate returned?
Like most media coverage, a lot of details have been, somewhat deliberately, obscured or under-reported, while others have been over-reported. Before we can discuss what the future holds, let us understand the situation and history of the very shadowy ISIS.
Iraq and the Origins of ISIS
The proto-ISIS group, Tawhid al-Jihad (TJ) arose during the Iraq war, as a group amongst a coalition of resistance fighters against Iraqi occupation. It changed its name a few times: under Ayad Zawahiri, becoming the ‘The organisation of the base of Jihad in the land of the two rivers’; then the ‘Islamic State of Iraq’ (ISI) in 2006 from a coalition of multiple resistance movements; and in 2013 it branched into Syria, and appended the title ‘The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’ (ISIS).
TJ, being mainly a home-grown Iraqi group, then strategically allied itself with the international Al-Qaeda franchise to attract funding, resources and Muslim volunteers from outside Iraq to bolster its ranks. However, it made a number of strategic mistakes, as well as adopting an un-Islamic methodology of deeming civilians to be acceptable targets in war.
The first strategic mistake was declaring war on Iraq’s Shia Muslims in response to Iraqi collaborators helping the U.S. forces attack and kill Iraqi civilians (who happened to be mainly Sunni). Despite such a war declaration being completely against Islam, it was also militarily and politically counter-productive and detrimental to the resistance. The resistance fighters of Iraq included Shia groups as well as Sunni groups, however TJ managed to ultimately incite Shias groups against Sunni groups, causing untold horror and misery upon Muslim civilians of both persuasions. This helped the U.S’s occupation of Iraq, as they could now portray themselves as the ‘lesser of two evils’ and ‘neutral’ to both sides. This sectarian war in Iraq got so bad that even Ayman Zawahiri had to plead with them to stop attacking Shia forces and populations, and focus on the U.S. occupation force. Some people even believed that the U.S. government deliberately gave enough leeway to TJ in order to ensure this exact result.
ISI’s relationship with Sunni resistance groups also fell apart due to their second strategic blunder, namely their inability to understand the nuances of Islamic laws of warfare, governance and a superficial and unsubtle understanding of Islamic law that made their application of it little different to vigilantes. Their zero-tolerance policy to any dissent caused the Iraqi Muslims who had been working with it to become deeply disaffected. ISI unilaterally (and without consultation of pledges of allegiance from other groups) declared themselves to be an ‘Islamic State’, and demanded all Muslims submit to their ‘authority’. ISIS used this pretense of being a ‘state’ as propaganda to declare that all who disagree with them, will be treated as ‘rebels’ and ‘apostates’ to the cause of Islam and would receive severe punishment. This led to summary executions, bombing attacks against Sunni Iraqi Muslim tribal chiefs, bombing of Sunni civilians and assassinations of fellow/rival resistance fighter commanders.
U.S. policy makers simply watched the besieged Sunni Iraq population, being squeezed between ISI, the Shia sectarian ‘death squad’ militias and the American military forces, until the right moment, where they then offered money and weapons to the Iraqi tribal chiefs and resistance fighters to stop fighting the U.S. and create their own ‘Awakening Councils’ to fight ISI and secure their own lands from marauding Shia militias (who had been brutalising and killing Sunni Iraqi civilians during the peak of the sectarian conflict). Thus the ISI lost their ‘allies’ en masse and were kicked out of many territories – forcing them to go underground.
However, after the elections, the political system of Iraq caused much oppression against its minorities by the majority backed political parties within Iraq. ISI’s come-back would be helped by the most divisive and socially destructive force known in politics – Secular Democracy.
Iraqi Democracy, and the return of ISIS
The Nouri al Maliki’s political party, Hizb ul Dawah, attained power in Iraq using the U.S-framed political system. It ignored the warning against using the system of democracy in the works of its highly respected, deceased founder Mohammed Baqir ul Sadr (killed by Saddam), an intellectual and scholar who advocated Caliphate in his works on Wilayet al Ummah. Sadr rejected democracy strongly when he said ‘democracy is a system destined for definite collapse and failure’ in his book, ‘Our Philosophy’. He predicted that democracy would lead to oppression of the minority by the majority (2), and creating a system of people in constant conflict with each other (3). Unfortunately, what he predicted came true – ironically, caused by the very organisation he founded.
Under the democratic system, Iraq’s already entrenched divisions (mostly created by a successful U.S. divide and rule strategy) became even more exacerbated and led to a land sharply divided between the ‘categories’ of ‘Sunni Muslims’, ‘Shia Muslims’ and ‘Kurds’ (despite Kurds being mostly ‘Sunni Muslims’). It should be mentioned that before the invasion of Iraq, the concept of one’s school of thought as defining a distinct community in Muslim society was mostly alien to Iraqis. However, the seeds of division were planted after the first gulf war, and compounded with the deliberate and differential treatment U.S. occupation forces gave to Iraqis based upon the ‘categories’ as part of their divide and rule strategy.
The Iraqi regime, being predominantly composed of ‘Shia Muslim’ politicians, then did what many a democratic government does when consisting of a majority, it sidelined its minorities, and ultimately treated them as second-class citizens, leading ultimately to a campaign of torture, killing, and severe persecution. ‘Sunni Muslim’ party politicians were harassed, threatened with prosecution who voicing dissent (4), imprisoned, assassinated or had to flee Iraq. The Vice-president Tariq al Hashemi, was accused of supporting terrorism, and he had to flee to Turkey. He was sentenced to death in absentia (5). Nouri al Maliki was a president as tyrannical as any of Iraq’s previous leaders – with one exception, the Iraqi army he commanded, mostly armed and trained by U.S. Army, was undisciplined and unprofessional – and very unreliable. They had mostly depended on U.S. military support to conduct their operations (and still do).
Under Iraq’s new democratic regime, the Sunni Muslims of the north became more and more aggrieved, and this offered the perfect opportunity ISI had been waiting to exploit, to return them back to prominence. ISI had never left Iraq, and had instead waged an underground terror campaign against mainly Shia Muslim population areas. The more civilians they killed, the more the Iraqi government clamped down on Sunnis, the more the Sunni population would have grievances, the more they could be potentially sympathetic to ISIS’s fight against the regime.
ISIS – a minority faction of the uprising against the Iraqi Regime
ISIS are not the only armed northern group, nor even the majority amongst the groups. There are thousands of armed former resistance fighters from a number of groups, like former Baathists military, armed Iraqi ‘Sunni tribes’ (a single tribe can command 10,000 men), The Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation (a coalition of 23 groups, led by the lead group ‘The Army of Men of the Order of Naqshaband’), Ansar ul Sunnah and many others. Many of these different groups have been resisting the Iraqi central government, and attempting to defend Iraqis in the north and west from government persecution. In fact, ‘pro-Sunni’ TV channels in Iraq like Al-Rafidain refer to the ‘Sunni armed forces’ as the General Military Council of Iraqi Revolutionaries, and NOT ISIS (6). This begs the question, why did virtually all Western media channels, and Western/Iraqi government politicians refer exclusively to the fighters as ISIS? This inadvertently puts ISIS has the face of the rebels, and (conveniently) obscures the other arguably less sectarian groups.
ISIS haveiraq been reported to have learnt lessons from their past about how to work with others in . They seem to have been making initial attempts to try and win hearts and minds of the Sunni populations by focusing on administering their territories, providing resources and facilities for the public. In their invasion of Mosul, we hear from a variety of sources, that they have to some extent been welcomed as ‘liberators’ (7) (8).
However, the disproportionate media attention on ISIS, as opposed to the majority (9) (10) of other groups fighting against oppression by the Iraqi central government, is notable and significant. The cause of the oppressed northern and western Sunni Arab Muslims has been played down, ignoring the years of brutal torture, grisly executions, and arbitrary detention these populations have endured. This seems to have the effect of leaving the only issue of notice in the wider public eye to be the ‘roving terrorists of ISIS’. This conveniently plays into the hands of both the Iraqi regime and the U.S., as the Iraqi opposition is tarred with the same brush, while simulatenously swelling the ranks of ISIS with people being made to believe that ISIS are and leading face of the prominent face of the Iraqi rebel forces. Of course, Bashar al Assad also deployed the ‘terror card’ to great success in the media to demonise the Syrian opposition in Syria, causing the Syrian opposition to becoming mortally crippled by the spread of ISIS and its seemingly single minded focus on only fighting the Syrian rebels.
ISIS are now using the media attention to carefully woo ‘Sunni tribes’, and other armed groups to ally with them to push back the generally perceived oppressive Iraqi regime. No doubt in time, after media and political coverage has
deliberately inadvertently caused ISIS to swell its ranks with volunteers attracted to its public prominence, it will successfully eliminate any groups that fail to join them, or seek to remain independent.
ISISm however, still retains much of its un-Islamic policies and practices. Its depiction of the fight as a general one against all ‘Shia Muslims’ will end up going against them – uniting the Muslims in the south under a banner of defence against sectarian opponents perceived as coming to kill them. Iran has used this perception to attempt to increase its influence in Iraq (being its neighbour, and having the ability to easily deploy troops there). This perception has also allowed Nouri al Maliki to rouse sectarian concerns to desperately recruit volunteers to his cause (and replace the defunct soldiers of the Iraqi army). Grand Ayatollah Sistani has rallied volunteers to join the Iraqi army to fight ISIS, believing, like most southern Iraqis do, that this is a war against sectarian terrorists hellbent on the destruction of all Shias in Iraq. This means that ISIS have been used by the political opponents of the Iraqi rebels, to rally a large amount of people against them and their allies (i.e. the rebels themselves). The allies of ISIS, northern and western ‘Sunni Iraqis’, who only wanted liberation from a tyrannical ‘democratic’ government, will now have to bare the brunt of enemies they really had no interest in fighting, let alone conquering, namely, the majority population of Shias in the South – who are innocent of the actions of the Iraqi government. The claimed ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani allegedly said:
“March towards Baghdad. The Shia are a disgraced people. God forbid that they become victorious over you. How can they when they are polytheists. Don’t stop until you reach Baghdad and Kerbala. Be prepared! Iraq will transform into a living hell for the Shia and other heretic.”
If this is true, than this represents the same gross misjudgment that led to ISIS’s previous failures and trouble-making for rebels and resistance fighters in Syria as well as Iraq.
Unwitting pawns of oppressive regimes
In 1991, an election in Algeria yielded a landslide victory to the FIS Islamic party in fair elections. Before the next round could take place, the Algerian government, backed by the U.S. and Europe, annulled the elections ‘to protect democracy’ and banned the FIS. This led to a popular uprising lasting 10 years and leading to thousands of deaths. An armed resistance formed, and many of the Algerian people supported it. How did the Algerian government deal with a popular rebellion? Simple, they infiltrated and promoted the most extreme fringe group amongst them, namely a group within the loosely organised GIA (Armed Islamic Group). The government then set a faction within the GIA to fight each other. This fringe group within the GIA then started ‘apparently’ killing their own supporters from amongst the civilian population, and fighting rival factions, like the pro-FIS AIS (Islamic Salvation Army). The fringe faction from the GIA committed so many massacres (with secret Algerian army help, and even instigation), that the non-fringe faction of GIA had to publicly separate from it and created their own group called GSPC (Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat). This tactic was a success for the Algerian government, who portrayed themselves as the ‘lesser of two evils’ (11) and won over the Algerian population to their cause.
In Syria, Bashar al Assad is claimed to have released ISI members in Syrian jails during the outset of the rebellion, in order to purposely divide the rebels. Assad also skillfully turned the conflict from being one of opposition to secular oppression, to one of sectarian warfare – allowing Iran, southern Iraqi volunteers, and Hezbollah the pretext to intervene to come to his aid.
Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri pleaded with the now rebranded ‘ISIS’ to stop sectarian attacks, and their zero-tolerance of dissent with other rebel groups – all to no avail. Of course, the problem of ISIS may be due to the Syrian government’s clever policies to divide and rule. The Syrian government had previously supported the Iraqi resistance against U.S. occupation, including ISI. Witnesses and reports coming from within Syria detail ISIS selling oil to the Syrian regime for money, as well as the fact that the Syrian regime do not bomb ISIS positions to the degree that they attack the other rebels (12) (some reports even say, no bombing at all). Furthermore, ISIS’s operations in Syria seem more focused on other rebels, then they do on the Syria regime itself. While this has deeply benefitted the Syrian regime, allowing it to claim it is the ‘lesser of two evils’, and sapping global support for the Syrian resistance – the benefits ISIS have gained from their power base in Syria has allowed it increased sources of funding to permit it to take a leading role in the Iraqi rebellion against the central government. Now, Nouri al Maliki can use ISIS to collectively demonise the entire northern uprising against his regime.
In conclusion, ISIS still retain their unIslamic, and strategically counter-productive policies that effectively and strategically undermine the Islamic resistance movements in both Syria and Iraq. ISIS’s gains in Iraq, also allows the U.S. to increase its influence in the region, as a weak Iraqi government must come back groveling for U.S. Military support. The U.S. withdrew all their forces in 2011, as they were unhappy with the Iraqi government’s terms to cease exempting U.S. forces from Iraqi judicial prosecution (13). ISIS has provided the perfect pretext (again) for the U.S, who have been reticent to help the Iraqi government with airstrikes months before, and may have given ISIS and the ‘Sunni insurgency’ the leeway it needed to become a problem for the Iraqi government, in order for the U.S. to have a renewed bargaining chip. This would fit the U.S. plan to perpetuate its access to Iraqi military facilities (14) and compete to increase their influence in Iraq and decrease Iran’s influence (15). This may be similar to how when the Pakistani government were forced, due to popular outrage, to request the U.S. to cease drone strikes in Pakistan last year – until the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) attack against Karachi airport allowed the Pakistani government the public support to allow U.S. to resume the drone strikes (16).
Saudi Arabia and ISIS
Pro-Bashar al Assad’s media platforms (17), and some in the Western media have speculated that ISIS may be indirectly funded by U.S. and their proxies (e.g. corrupt regimes like Saudi Arabia) in order to fight a proxy war against ‘shiites’ and Iran (18). However this narrative is part of exacerbating the Sunni/Shia conflict, rather than explaining it. This can be seen when the story is put to further scrutiny, it is simply not born out by actions or policy of the Saudi government, nor their interests. ISIS considers Saudi Arabia an illegitimate regime based upon non-Islamic law, that must be toppled. While many Muslim groups and pundits have argued the same – where ISIS differs, is that it believes the Saudi rulers to be apostates from Islam. Consequently, Saudi Arabia has declared ISIS along with Jabhat al Nusra and Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist groups (19). Saudi has also banned preaching, financing and exhorting Saudis to fight abroad or travel to these conflict zones to fight (20). Furthermore, ISIS affiliated cells in Saudi, have been caught planning to renewal a terror campaign against the regime (21). While Saudi and the U.S. does indeed fund groups like the Free Syrian Army and various Syrian rebel groups (22), Saudi Arabia would not support movements that openly promote its own downfall, and could blowback against it or be uncontrollable once they became successful. This does not mean that Saudi hasn’t been funding the other ‘Sunni groups’ in Iraq who are fighting alongside ISIS, but if so, it would only be those goals are more in line with Saudi policy (e.g. a secular nationalist Arab state against Iran). However, this doesn’t mean that ISIS aren’t receiving funds from anywhere. According to analysts and U.S. officials, many private citizens within the persian gulf countries may be illegally and quietly funding such groups (23).
ISIS and the ‘Phantom Caliphate’
ISIS’s call to establish a Caliphate, while attempting to play upon common Muslim sentiment, permits the Western media and the U.S. to demonise and depict the concept of a Caliphate as a sectarian and deeply ignorant and brutal regime. For example, just two days ago, a Channel 4 program (UK television) depicted the recent gain of Mosul by ISIS under the banner ‘Sunni vs Shia – A new Caliphate’. And a large number of media sites have arisen discussing the ISIS + the “Caliphate”. This may be the media’s attempts to create a ‘phantom caliphate’, an observation first proposed by professor Noman Hanif (24), which is essentially to damage the high esteem the concept held in the Muslim collective memory, and ultimately turn Muslims against it (and towards a Secular system). ISIS are not a Caliphate, as they are not even a state, nor are they able to effectively rule and secure the lands and boundaries supposedly under their control.
While many Muslims ardently engage in political work to re-establish the Caliphate, and many more eagerly await its return – it would be wrong and deeply unwise to expect anything from an irregular militia (i.e. ISIS) that not only lack the resources to establish a state, but are unIslamic in their practices, and strategically weak and vulnerable too on all fronts.
The U.S. policy in the region has been consistent, and should be borne in mind: it seeks to prevent the return of the Caliphate (25) (26), promote and spread the Western political system, and further U.S. influence and strengthen its foothold for it in the Middle east in order to control the region against other competitors (27).
Furthermore, the U.S. and other Western powers have an interest to keep Muslim states weak and divided from eachother. Not only does this prevent the re-unification of the Muslim world, but also allows each state to be contained and dealt with individually and easily. Therefore it is in U.S, Israel and other Western powers’ interests to keep the Muslim world divided as much as possible using the useful pretext of sectarian and ethnic lines. During the Iran-Iraq war, the U.S. successfully helped to reduce the military strength of two power nations, and it became known that it even supplied arms to both nations simultaneously to affect that goal. It is for that reason that politicians, pundits and the media all echo with the chorus of ‘sectarian war’, and ‘sunni vs shia’. Indeed, they would make the audience think that the Sunni vs Shia conflict had been an actively military one for 1,400 years, with no end in sight – except embracing secularism (which is ironic, considering it was secular identity politics borne out of the democratic system which put Iraqis in this position in the first place).
The Iraqi government, set up and propped up by the U.S. seeks to retain control of Iraq, and have proven an abysmal failure as protecting its Sunni Arab minorities, and also at controling a slowly growing insurgency against it. ISIS would now provide the perfect excuse to both undermine and obscure the legitimate grievances behind the rebellion, while at the same time garner domestic support for itself from the concerned and confused southern shia Iraqis (who have been made to believe that the northern rebellion is an existential threat to them), and will no doubt seek to obtain U.S. military support to finish off the dissenters on the ground.
Iran sees both the ISIS-labelled rebellion as an opportunity to increase its influence and control over Iraq, and constrain U.S. influence. It will attempt to mobilise to get some kind of military presence in Iraq under the pretext of ‘fighting the terrorists’, then ensure the Iraqi government dances more to its tune. It was already successful in rousing Iraqi public opinion against U.S. forces continued presence, leading to their withdrawal in 2011. Iran will also conveniently play the sectarian card, albeit depicting the conflict as a ‘Muslim vs extremism (takfiri)’ conflict. This allows it to rally Shias round its causes, without declaring war on Sunnis. While Iran doesn’t seek a ‘sunni/shia’ conflict, it will certainly take advantage of the Shias believing they are under attack, in order for them to ally themselves with Iran.
The Northern and Western Sunni (and Turkomen) Iraqi rebels, due to the inevitable flaws of democracy, have bracketed themselves as an oppressed minority defined loosely by their school of thought against an unjust and sectarian Iraqi government. While most rebel groups distrust ISIS, many may see them as either a ‘necessary evil’, or the ‘lesser of two evils’ (both being un-Islamic concepts). The rebels contain a mixture of secular nationalists, and pro-Islamic movements. Their most likeliest objective is either to force the Iraqi government to cease sectarian policies, or create a succession of the ‘Sunni areas’ away from southern control – much like the Kurdish semi-autonomous enclave. The Kurdish north have also voiced strong concerns about the unjust central Iraqi government, and have pursued a Kurdish nationalist agenda, recently taking the long-coveted Kirkuk and occupying it with Kurdish fighters (which the Iraqi army retreated from as well as Mosul, suspiciously despite no force attacking it – more evidence to ponder over). The Kurdish authorities will not be intending to relinquish Kirkuk anytime soon (if ever). The Kurdish authorities would prefer a weak central government, and may tolerate the new gains by the ‘Sunni Arab’ neighbours. However, they may be incited to attack ISIS if they are promised recognition of their control of Kirkuk.
The quick (and suspicious) retreat by 30,000 Iraqi troops from Mosul last week, may be just a weak and incompetent army, or it may be because the Iraqi army units and their commanders were recruited from the oppressed ‘Sunni minority’ in the North (who didn’t want to fight their own people (28) (29) ), or, as their retreat from unthreatened Kirkuk might indicate, there may be something more sinister (30). However, the retreat of the Iraqi troops has certainly created the image of the perceived ‘success’ of ‘extremists‘ which now will conveniently whip up the domestic and international political will for further intervention by foreign powers aimed at further subjugating and weakening the oppressed Muslims of Iraq. No doubt both the actions of the terrorist militia of ISIS, the Iraqi regime and foreign intervention will bring immense suffering to the Muslims in the region, and further weaken the previous Muslims effort for true independence, justice and the cause of Islam in the region.
As Muslims, we should not be fooled into sectarian feuding and fighting – this is just a distraction away from our Islamic obligations for unity. Indeed, the achievement of unity can only be attained via the (re)establishment of Caliphate. Iraq was ruled for centuries, peacefully under Ottoman rule, where Shias and Sunnis were considered to be under one ‘millet’, distinct from Christians, Jews and others. For most of the last 1,000 years, there had been no violence due to differing schools of thought, as the Caliphate state only cared about political allegiance, not points of theological doctrine. This neutral position on theological points of contention within Islam, allowed the Sunni Ottoman government to take responsibility for designated holy sites to the point where the Shia Iraqi shrines had been maintained for hundreds of years by Ottoman funding.
“And hold fast to the rope of Allah, and do not be divided amongst yourselves.”
The incitement to sectarian mindsets, and the constantly blind faith in Secular democracy to deliver success and unity, has been the root cause of the problems of the Iraqi people.
It was narrated that the Prophet Muhammed (saaw) said, ‘If the leaders do not govern according to the Book of Allah, you should realise that this has never happened without Allah making them into groups and making them fight one another’ [Hadith collection of Ibn Majah].
The Muslim world must not be fooled into thinking that the Islamic Caliphate resembles anything like any vigilante and cynical understanding ISIS could ever achieve. The historical Caliphates were enlightened, merciful and principled – unfortunately the current Muslim world suffers from a post-colonial amnesia and illiteracy when it comes to Islamic political thought (and jurisprudence). The Muslims of Iraq, and indeed the Muslim world must engage in political work to rid themselves of puppet, nationalistic and parochial governments, and establish for themselves just and accountable government that rules with Islamic laws, and liberates Muslims to be independent from foreign control.
Until such time, oppressed Muslims resisting the oppressive government regimes in Iraq and Syria will have difficult times ahead, as yet again, their cause is discredited and deliberately obscured by politicians and the media’s disproportionate and exclusive attention on a fringe group. A group whose ranks will now be considerably bolstered by the attention it is receiving, and who, in the end, will achieve nothing but being a convenient (if unwitting) pawn in a bigger game.
2 ‘If we wished to present the links in the chain of social tragedies that resulted from this system [of democracy], which is neither well studied, nor philosophically based, there would be no room for doing so in the space designated for the present discussion. Because of this, we will [only] make a brief allusion to this point. The first of these links is the following.
The majority governed the minority, their vital interests and affairs. Political freedom meant that the majority had the prerogative to lay down the system and its laws (p. 22), as well as their management. Let us imagine that the group which represents the nation’s majority seizes the reins of power and legislation, and adopts the capitalistic democratic mentality which is purely materialistic in its orientation, inclinations, purposes and desires.
What then would be the fate of the other group? Or what life would you expect for the minority under laws legislated with the majority and the preservation of its interests in mind? Would it be strange for the majority to legislate laws, particularly in light of its own welfare, to neglect the welfare of the minority, and to turn toward fulfilling its desires in a manner unjust to others? Then who would preserve the minority’s vital structure, and defend it against injustice, if personal interest is the [sole] concern of every individual, and if the majority’s social mentality lacks the notion of spiritual and moral values?
It is natural that under (this) system, the despotic rule continues as before, and that the phenomena of manipulation and neglect of the rights and interests of others persist in the social atmosphere of this system as they did in the old social atmosphere. Put briefly, the difference [between the present and the old systems] is that neglect of human dignity arose [in the older systems] because of individuals in the nation; while in the present system, it arises because of groups that represent majorities in relation to minorities. [But] the totality [of these minorities] constitutes a large number of people’ [Our Philosophy, Mohammed Baqir ul Sadr]
3 ‘Estimate for yourself the lot of a society established on the basis of this system…in it the individual lives feeling that he is responsible for himself alone, and that he is endangered by any interests of others that may clash with his. It is as if he is engaged in a constant struggle and a continuous fight, equipped with no weapons other than his personal powers, and provided with no purposes other than his personal interests’ [Our Philosophy, Mohammed Baqir ul Sadr]
7 ‘Mosul residents Ali Aziz, 35, a humanitarian worker, said: “We got statements by them confirming that they won’t cause harm to anyone and all the minorities will be protected by them. They are really welcomed and we are so happy to have them rather than having Maliki’s bloody, brutal forces…I feel we have been liberated of an awful nightmare that was suffocating us for 11 years. The army and the police never stopped arresting, detaining and killing people, let alone the bribes they were taken from the detainees’ families…Me and my neighbours are waiting for the news that the other six Sunni protesting provinces falling in the hand of the Isis fighters to declare our Sunni region like the three provinces in Kurdistan.”
8 Video allegedly depicting the reception of a ISIS convoy in Mosul
11 For more information on the algerian civil war, read further here
14 ‘establishing main operating airbases in Iraq is not politically desirable in the foreseeable future. However, the United States should not foreclose the option of access to Iraqi military facilities, if welcomed by a sovereign Iraqi government, which could be necessary to respond to future military contingencies in the Gulf’ [U.S. Strategy in the Muslim World After 9/11, RAND Corporation, 2004]
15 ‘The expectations of Iraqi Shi’ites for a greater say in the governance of their country presents an opportunity for the United States to align its policy with Shi’ite aspirations for greater freedom of religious and political expression, in Iraq and elsewhere. If this alignment can be brought about, it could be a powerful barrier to radical Iranian influence and a foundation for a stable U.S. position in the region. Of course, this alignment would not come about easily. A reversal of the U.S. commitment to de-Ba’athification in Iraq or a U.S. policy that is perceived as pro-Sunni would erode trust in the U.S. commitment to democracy and drive otherwise moderate Shi’ites into the arms of Iran’ [U.S. Strategy in the Muslim World After 9/11, RAND Corporation, 2004]
This link interesting contains a video produced by ISIS of a defector from FSA to ISIS, exposing Saudi and Western collaboration with other Syrian rebel groups – clearly as something blameworthy.
24 ‘Bearing in mind the RAND reports suggestion of US failure to derail political Islam in the Arab world and with the ever critical threat of regime collapse, the theory of the Western powers being forced to install a pliant Phantom Caliphate in order to suck the life out of the Caliphate movement has some resonance…This suggestion may seem extremely fanciful and conspiratorial at first, but it does have precedent’ [‘Hizb-ut-Tahrir Strategy and the Caliphate Conference in Indonesia’, 2007]
25 ‘We are up against a vicious enemy, the radical Islamists are there, they intend to try to create a caliphate in this world and fundamentally alter the nature of nation states’ Donald Rumsfeld, 2011
26 ‘We do not want to see a caliphate established” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, 2014
27 ‘Over the medium to long term, the impact of Iraq on the political evolution of the Greater Middle East will depend on whether the new Iraq emerges as a pluralistic and reasonably democratic and stable state or whether it reverts to authoritarianism or fragments into ethnic enclaves. The first outcome would challenge current negative perceptions of the United States’ role in the region, demonstrate that some form of democracy—what we call “democracy with Iraqi characteristics”—is possible in the Middle East, and undermine extremists and autocrats alike. However, any of the unfavorable outcomes would further destabilize the Middle East, diminish U.S. credibility and influence, discredit democracy-based policies, and open opportunities for encroachment by U.S. adversaries in a vital region of the world’ [U.S. Strategy in the Muslim World After 9/11, RAND Corporation, 2004]
30 Interview with senior kurdish politician: baghdad ‘wanted mosul to be captured by extremists’
Categories: ARTICLES, Muslim World / Middle East, NEWS COMMENTARY, Zara Faris
Hats off to you brother for coming up with such a commendable piece of work. You have done a lot of research and from many different angles too.
I request you to please deal with this topic of Shiites in Islam, especially Shias under a Sunni Caliphate because I have been discussing with a lot of Muslim brothers, and their viewpoints are constrained from their view that Shias are not muslims. Some kinds of Shias are Muslims and some are not. From my information, it is the ijma’ of the Sunni scholars that shiite scholars of some particular sects are non muslims while others and especially the lay Shias, we can’t really comment and we must avoid takfir of such persons unless there is unambiguous evidence to prove the same. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Besides this, it would be great to see some talk or article from you in the form of Minorities in Caliphate in general.
I also have a question to you, in your opinion, would an Islamic democracy be a legitimate form of government? I hate to use this terminology, but what if Muslims choose representatives to govern on the basis of Shariah, and choose a caliph without dictatorial powers, curtailed to a reasonable extent and elected for a particular term, is there anything in Islam which makes it prohibited? I am asking you because a very notable Muslim Scholar who passed away a couple of years ago, Dr Israr Ahmed was of this view. I request you to go through his videos, especially his six part Round Table Conference with Non Muslim scholars.
May Allah give you the best of both the worlds and unite us in the hereafter, Ameen
Assalamu alaikum wa rehmatullah
Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
Do talk about ISIL fighting Mujahideen in Syria,
The ISIS sounds a lot like the Khawarij.
It might be useful for people to study how the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and the Rightly Guided Caliphs dealt with them.
Some ahadeeth related to them:
Do you have any first hand account from both party’s or only concluding from reading articles or watching video clips, that they sound like Khawarij.
I will reminder you what the prophet saaw said (something like) to Ali RA when he was send to one of the tribes to judge between them, do not make any hastily judgements before you have heard both parties and you are labelling them as Khawarij with what Authority and you are also providing ahadeeth.
Did you know that it is alleged that the leader of Isis is a direct descendent of the prophet saaw, which this lengthy article failed to mention at all and it’s even acknowledged by some western media outlets also.
Are you insinuating that the Allah saw has made the Leader of the Kharwarij to be a direct descendants of the prophet saaw, May Allah saw forgive me for even writing that.
We have too many chiefs and not enough Indians in this Ummah in this day an age, Muslims don’t think how much weight some of the words carry even mountings can fall under those words.
From my experience with groups and organizations, I know that the individuals within any group are as diverse and different as the external diversity and differences between separate groups.
Another challenge when discussing groups is that it is not always clear who is specifically referred to.
While of course the offspring of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. must be treated with respect, people are treated according to their outward actions. While Allah only knows what is in their hearts. “Actions are judged on intentions”.
And I don’t know of any guarantee based on the Quran and Sunnah that guarantees each and every offspring of any of the Prophets Paradise. We see many examples in the Quran that family members of Prophets have not been given guidance. I don’t know of any exception for all of the Prophet Muhammad’s descendants on this.
You are correct in saying we should be careful in talking bad about other Muslims.
[49:12] “…Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins….”
Suspicions lead to bad speech, which leads to hate, which leads to conflict, which leads to Muslims killing each other; as described in the rest of that Surah (it describes it in the opposite order starting at [49:9]).
That whole Surah (Al-Hujurat #49) gives a lot of advice on this topic.
However when someone takes action and starts killing people, there isn’t much room for suspicion (in what they are planning to do).
I am not saying for certain that they are Khawarij, but
the description of them in the article resembles some characteristics of the Khawarij.
“ISI’s relationship with Sunni resistance groups also fell apart due to their second strategic blunder, namely their inability to understand the nuances of Islamic laws of warfare, governance and a superficial and unsubtle understanding of Islamic law that made their application of it little different to vigilantes. Their zero-tolerance policy to any dissent caused the Iraqi Muslims who had been working with it to become deeply disaffected. ISI unilaterally (and without consultation of pledges of allegiance from other groups) declared themselves to be an ‘Islamic State’, and viewed their work and political authority over all Muslims as Islamically mandatory. This led them to reason that any and all those who thereafter disagree with them, must be rebels and apostates to cause of Islam, and therefore deserved severe punishment. This led to summary executions, bombing attacks against Iraqi Muslim tribal chiefs, bombing of Sunni civilians and assassinations of fellow resistance fighter commanders.”
This information seems consistent with other sources. But Allah knows best.
If a certain group is known to have unjustly killed Muslims, this may not necessarily make them Khawarij, but that doesn’t mean we cannot learn from the history of how the Rightly Guided Caliph’s dealt with them.
Ali RA did not fight the Khawarij even when he knew they were deviant.
He only started fighting them when they started to kill Muslims.
Just as Ali RA did not immediately attack the rebels who assassinated Uthman RA.
And also said after the assassination on himself he ordered the people to not say that “they killed the Caliph”, but that it would just be one man for a man, to prevent another civil war.
The point with the hadith was to show that even if they are transgressing, The issue must be dealt with wisely as to not let any possible conflict escalate out of control.
As for giving a verdict on a specific people. It is wise not to give a verdict until you have listened to both sides. As in the famous case of the hasty judgment of Prophet Dawud and the two angels in the Quran
[38:24]. Even if judgments are not possible, some assessment may still be necessary.
Abstaining from assessment can be worse than giving an assessment even if perfect judgment is not possible.
Especially if otherwise the collective perspective becomes completely dominated by anti-Islamic narratives.
You ‘political analysis’ is awe-inspiring in its confused rhetoric. Due to the innate arrogance of a ‘certain party’, they believe that only THEY will have the right to establish Al Khilafah, hence they and their minions will seek to proclaim that any other Muslims who are on the verge or have established an Islamic State, must be agents or naive!
……I remeber the same slanders and rhetoric against the Taliban.
It’s unfortunate you feel that way, however I seem to remember that the Taliban refused to call their state a khilafah (settling for only an Islamic ‘Amirate’), and I also seem to recall that their state was completely unable to defend itself from being toppled relatively quickly. A ‘state’ that is easily toppled at the first encounter with an enemy, cannot be suitable for the establishment of the Khilafah.
As Muslims, it doesn’t matter which group from amongst the Ummah brings about the Khilafah, or what (halal) method they used, as long as it is a viable and Islamically legitimate state, based upon Islamic rules.
It was utterly dishonest of you to ‘edit’ my comment–FEAR ALLAH! Furthermore, it is both shallow and more seriously, Islamically-questionable of you to ‘declare’ the Taliban State unislamic, due to your perception of victory!
Very intelligently explained. Appreciate your work in describing the current situation as we Muslims worldwide were confused with the developments in Iraq. But you have explained it very good. Advice for readers, please read this article again if you didn’t get the point. good for for sunni and shia brothers.
As an Iraqi sunni I’m definitely no fan of Al-Maliki, he’s a terrible leader. However, I assure you that the Sunni and Kurd politicians in Iraq are just as corrupt. Its got less to do with Al-Maliki sidelining minorities, at the end of the day 10/30 ministers, the vice prime minister, and the head of parliament are Sunni arabs (aside from the president who is a sunni kurd). The problem stems from the fact the vast majority of politicians in iraq today are more concerned with power than the stability and good of the country. The likes of Al-Nujaifi brothers who are the face of sunni politicians today are the richest politicans in the country. They are living well, the ppl they are representing are not, and to make it further in politics they use sectarian language like “The shias are sidelining us”. The example u gave in Tariq Alhashimi is weak to say the least, the man was corrupt and he reportedly played a role in killing Mithal Al-Alusi (sunni politician and son of respected iraqi sunni scholar) children according to Mr. Alusi himself. And the way he got off and calls he made are disgraceful to say the least, look it up. ISIS are a bunch of barbaric savages, and AlMaliki needs to go ASAP but to think Al-Maliki is worse says a lot about how much u know abt iraq..
And as for its not ISIS or rather ISIS are not the majority. Look up the pictures of Mosul’s city hall, they are not in agreement with baathists, yet its ISIS flags that fly on the city hall, they also fly at the city borders and pretty much everywhere relevant..
US, UK Trained ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi along with Mossad
By Johnlee Varghese July 15, 2014 19:12 IST ibtimes.co.in
With the White House yet to give a full clarification on reports that the US trained ISIS recruits in 2012, another damning information has been leaked.
It has now emerged that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the terrorist group, was trained by Mossad, with the help of the US and the UK intelligence officials. The revelation was leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden.
As per a report in Gulf Daily News, Snowden revealed that the US, the UK and Israel drew up a plan to protect the Zionist entity, by using a strategy called “the hornet’s nest”.
The strategy was to get all the terrorists together in one place under an Islamic slogan and engaging them in a war far from Israel.
In the documents leaked by Snowden, it claims that the ISIS was made for “the protection of the Jewish state”, and thereby keeping the enemies of Israel engaged.
Snowden’s leak also revealed that ISIS leader and cleric al-Baghdadi was given intensive military training for a whole year by Mossad, besides lessons on Islam and public speaking.
US Trained ISIS Jihadists?
Multiple reports have stated that the US played a key role in training the recruits, who later become ISIS jihadists, who are currently controlling large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq.
The WND had reported back in February 2012 that the US, along with Turkey and Jordan, was running a training base for Syrian rebels. And these trained rebels reportedly turned against the US later and went on to form the ISIS.
Thousands of rebels were trained in 2012 and 2013 in Jordon, German weekly Der Spiegel reported.
The report went on to note that the organizers of the training camps wore US Marine uniforms, and the recruits were trained in anti-tank weaponry.
Snowden confirms that Al Baghdadi was trained by Israeli Intel Mossad
GULF DAILY NEWS Tuesday, July 15, 2014 WASHINGTON:
The former employee at US National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, has revealed that the British and American intelligence and the Mossad worked together to create the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Snowden said intelligence services of three countries created a terrorist organisation that is able to attract all extremists of the world to one place, using a strategy called “the hornet’s nest”.
NSA documents refer to recent implementation of the hornet’s nest to protect the Zionist entity by creating religious and Islamic slogans.
According to documents released by Snowden, “The only solution for the protection of the Jewish state “is to create an enemy near its borders”.
Leaks revealed that ISIS leader and cleric Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi took intensive military training for a whole year in the hands of Mossad, besides courses in theology and the art of speech.
About Edward Snowden;
The messenger of Allah (saws) mentions the Israli strategy in ahadith clearly:
“At the end of time there will be a trial in which people will be sorted in a similar way to that in which gold is sorted from metal. Therefore do not rebuke the people of Syria rather, rebuke the evil people among them, because amongst them are the Abdals (Awliya). Allah will send a flood from Heaven (an event) that will disperse their groups in a way that if foxes were to attack them they would be victorious. Then Allah will send a man from the perfumed musked children of the Messenger, praise and peace be upon him, amongst approximately 12-15,000 under three banners and their password is ‘Die, die!’ And they will be fought by the people of 7 banners under each is a man seeking the kingdom. They will be killed, defeated, then the Hashimite will appear, so Allah will restore unity and favors to the people and this will be the case until the Dajjaal (the lying, false messiah) comes.”
The Prophet mentions a flood would be sent, this is the Arab spring that swept to syria last and began this War, it dispersed its groups into factions, some fighting for the people of Syria, some fighting for Asad and some joining the terrorist factions fighting for themselves. this dispersion the prophet (saws) said about it “that if foxes were to attack them they would be victorious”, recently the foxes attacked they where victorious and claimed to have re-established the Khalifah only to be found out they are MOSSAD agents….the messenger of Allah (saws) goes on to say “Then Allah will send a man from the perfumed musked children of the Messenger”, this is not the Mahdi (r.a) but one of Ahl al Bayt. It is clear from this Hadith the only people who are going to win are the people of Syria, subhanna llah, wa alhamdullilah wa allahu akbar.
Other versions of the hadith state:
The Prophet (pbuh) Said: “So do not rebuke the people of Syria but rebuke the evil people among them because amongst them are the Abdals (Awliya). A flood is about to be sent down upon the people of Syria, which will disperse their groups in such a way, that if foxes attacked they would be beaten. At that time a man from the Family of my House will come under 3 banners; between 12-15,000 and their password is – ‘Die, die.’ Then, there will come 7 banners and under each will be one man seeking the kingdom. Allah will kill all of them and restore unity and favors upon the hearts of Muslims, and those who were far come close.”
Al-Hakim narrated from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib [radhiyallahu ‘anhu] that the Messenger of Allah [sallallahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam] said: “There will be at the end of time a trial that will sort out men as gold is sorted out from metal. So do not revile the people of Sham, but revile their evil ones, for among them are the Abdal [great righteous people]. A flood is about to be released upon the people of Sham that will split their unity, so that even if foxes attack them, they would defeat them. At that time, a man from my household will come out with three banners. The one who estimates highly will say that they are fifteen thousand. And the one who estimates lower will say that they are twelve thousand. Their sign will be: “Amit, amit [kill, kill].” They will meet in battle seven banners, and under each of those banners will be a man seeking the kingdom. Allah will kill all of them, and restore to the Muslims their unity and bounty, and their far ones and near ones.”
This is a more complete explanation of the Ahadith:
The trial is 9/11 which caused the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and literal dominance of the west over the Muslim world (not just economic), then the prophet mentions we should only rebuke the evil people of Syria, this is Asad and his people, the Prophet mentions a flood would be sent, this is the Arab spring that swept across the muslims world ending the era of dictators mention in ahadith then it went to syria last of all and began this War, it dispersed its groups into factions, some fighting for the people of Syria, some fighting for Asad and some joining the terrorist factions fighting for themselves. this dispersion the prophet (saws) said about it “that if foxes were to attack them they would be victorious”, recently the foxes (ISIS) attacked they where victorious and claimed to have re-established the Khalifah only to be found out they are MOSSAD agents….the messenger of Allah (saws) goes on to say “Then Allah will send a man from the perfumed musked children of the Messenger”, this is not the Mahdi (r.a) but one of Ahl al Bayt, the Mahdi is the Hashimi and will come soon after sanctions are placed on Egypt (mentioned in other ahadith). It is clear from this Hadith the only people who are going to win are the people of Syria, the people of Syria have one leader and under him are different banners while those who oppose them are different Bannaers with different leaders all hoping for the same thing just ike the hadith mentions, the Banners are Asad, Hizb Allah, al Qaeda are two groups with two different leaders, and 2 groups from the people of Syria have joined al Qaeda and their groups, making that 6 Banners so far. At the time ISIS claimed to have won they where about 10,000 fighters in that war, i don’t know the exact figure.
Ahadith on the sanctions that where placed on Iraq and the sanctions to be placed on Syria and then Egypt:
Ibn kathir (r.a) placed three of the following Ahadith with the Great trials that would befall this Ummah just before the time of the Mahdi in his work.
Abu Idrees Al-Joolaanee related that Hudhaifah ibn Al-Yamaan said, “By Allah, indeed I am the most knowledgeable of people regarding every trial that is to occur between me and the Hour… The Messenger of Allah was speaking about the trials in a gathering wherein I was present, and he was enumerating the trials, among which are three that will hardly leave anything. Among them are trials that are like the winds of the summer, among them are small trials, and among them are big ones. All from that group (who were present in that gathering) are gone except for me.” (Muslim)
Abu Nadhrah reported: “We were sitting in the company of Jabir bin Abdullah (r.a.) when he said: It May Happen that the People of Iraq may not send their Qafiz and Dirhams. We said, “Who would be responsible for it?” He Said, “The Non-Arabs would prevent them.” He again said, “There is the possibility that the people of Shaam (Syria) may not send their Dinar and Mudd.” We said, “Who would be responsible for it? He said, “Prevention would be made by the Romans.” He (Jabir b Abdulah) Kept Quiet for a while and then reported Allah’s Messenger (saws) having said: “There would be a caliph in the last (period) of my Ummah who would freely give out handfuls of wealth to the people without counting it”. I said to Abu Nadra and Abu al-Ala, “Do you mean ‘Umar bin Abd al Aziz?” They said “No (he would be al Mahdi)”. (Muslim, Book41, Number 6961)
Abu Nadhrah reported: “We were sitting in the company of Jabir bin Abdullah (r.a.) when he said: Soon the people of Iraq will neither receive any food (grain) nor any money.'” We asked, “Why would such a thing happen?” He replied, “Because of the non-Arabs.” He then said: “Soon the people of Shaam (Syria) will neither receive any money nor grain.” We asked as to why this would happen. He replied: “Because of the Romans.” And in the narration of al-Hakim there is the following addition: “Then he said: “By He in Whose Hand is my soul, the matter will return as it began. All Iman will return to al-Madinah, as it began from there, until all Iman will be in al-Madinah.” (Muslim, Volume 2, page 395, the book of tribulations and signs of the final hour)
After describing these events, Jabir [radhiyallahu ‘anhu] then brought the saying of the Messenger of Allah [sallallahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam]: “There will be in my Ummah a khalifah who will give out wealth in heaps, without counting it.”
Abu Hurairah related that the Messenger of Allah said, “Iraq will be prevented from its dirham (a currency) and its (Qifaz) measurement; Sham will be prevented from its (Mudd) measurement and its Dinar (a currency) and Egypt will be prevented from its Irdab (measurement) and its Dinar (currency). You will recoil to that position from where you started and you will recoil to that position from where you started, the bones and the flesh of Abu Huraira would bear testimony to it” (Muslim, Book 41 Hadith 6923)
We lived through the Sanctions of Iraq, the Non Arabs (U.N, U.S and the coalition) stopped trade and food from entering the country and during this period the Iraqi currency was de-evaluated so they couldn’t trade with it preventing them from their measurement, “Iraq will neither receive any food (grain) nor any money.'”, “It May Happen that the People of Iraq may not send their Qafiz and Dirhams”. A Dirham is a currency, 1 Dinar = 4.45grams of gold and 1 Dirham = 0.7 Dinar. While a Qafiz is a measure of Oil, the word Qafiz has been used throughout history for a measure of Oil, because of Arab influence over southern Italy which borrowed some words from Arabic, one word in the Sicilian language is “Cafisu” or a “Cafiso” a measure of Oil. This indicates that the Hadith specifies the sanctions imposed on Iraq would be about Money and Oil, the prophet (saws) mentioned this long before Oil had any significance in the world and is exactly what occurred when sanctions where placed on Iraq.
These sanctions have now been lifted, we are now living through the initial stages of the Syrian conflict and eventually we will see that country go through something similar to Iraq followed by Egypt.
“Syria would withhold it’s Mudd and Dinar”, Mudd is a measure of wheat or generally speaking food such as rice, barley, bread, etc. One Mudd equals 3/4 of a kilogram or 708 grams. A Mudd is also a measure translated in today’s language as a “Bushel”. The sanctions on Syria according to the Hadith will then be about Food and Money, different from the sanctions placed on Iraq. The Prophet (saws) indicated to us some 1400 years ago that Iraq would produce Oil over which sanctions would be placed on it.
Egypt will withhold it Irdab and Dinar, the word in the Hadith Irdab is a measurement specific to Egypt, 1 Irdab = 73Kg (of wheat), when referring to grain, Irdab generally means wheat free from dirt, rubbish and husks. More generally Irdab also refers to fruit in their dried state like dried dates and raisins. Therefor the sanctions on Egypt will impact the dinar (money) and the import of wheat and dried fruits. The measure of Irdab (73Kg) may indicate that the sanctions placed on Egypt may be more severe than those placed on Syria due to its large Quantity.
The Ahadith mention the dominance of the non-Arabs (U.N, U.S and the coalition who oppressed Iraq) and the Romans (Europeans who will oppress Syria) over the Muslim’s, it will continue to extend around the Muslim world until we only have the Arabian peninsula (“you will return from whence you began”),even then other Ahadith say at that time our “most distant frontier outpost will be Salah” and other similar places at the time of the Dajjaal.
The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: The Prophethood will remain amongst you for as long as Allah wills it to be. Then Allah will raise it when He wills to raise it (meaning the Prophet will die). Then there will be the Khalifah upon the Prophetic methodology. And it will last for as long as Allah wills it to last. Then Allah will raise it when He wills to raise it. Then there will be biting kingship, and it will remain for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then Allah will raise it when He wills to raise it. Then there will be tyrannical (forceful) kingship (era of dictators) and it will remain for as long as Allaah wills it to remain. Then He will raise it when He wills to raise it. Then there will be a Khalifah upon the Prophetic methodology. Then he (the Prophet) was silent. (Musnad Imam Ahmad (v/273)