As-salaam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu.
I bear witness there is none worthy of worship except Allah alone and I bear witness that Muhammad ibn Abdullah (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah. It was to him the archangel Jibril (peace be upon him) revealed the Qur’an to serve as a guiding light for mankind for all time until the dawn of the final hour.
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon sayiddina Muhammad and upon his noble Ahlul-bayt. May His good pleasure be upon the righteous companions of the Messenger and upon all who follow in their path.
By Allah, the One besides whom there is no other, this is a difficult letter to write from many aspects. What I have seen of late has troubled my soul yet I am conscious of the danger of giving succour to those of the kuffar who seek to suppress and efface the rule of Islam from the face of the Earth. I choose my words carefully therefore and know that what follows is naseeha delivered in the spirit of brotherly love for our beloved Messenger (peace be upon him) said:
“Each one of you serves as a mirror to his brother. Hence, if you see any fault in your brother, eliminate it.” [Sunan Tirmidhi]
Furthermore he (peace be upon him said):
“The religion is naseeha (good advice)”. The people said: “To whom?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “To Allah and to His book and to His Messenger and to the leaders of the Muslims and to the common folk of Muslims.” [Sahih Muslim]
By Allah (swt) I bear witness that when the disbelieving nations, under the leadership of the accursed liars, Bush and Blair, gathered their armies to ravage the land of the two rivers, covetous of the wealth of the Ummah, it was only by the blood and sacrifice of the Islamic resistance that their plans were thwarted. I also know well who were foremost in that righteous struggle. Who can forget the heroism of those who, armed only with Klashnikovs and RPGs, faced off to the full might of the American military machine yet stood firm, fearing none but Allah and seeking His good pleasure thereby? By Allah (swt) I have not forgotten the sacrifices of those who fell defending Fallujah nor of those who suffered and perished at the hands of the rapacious occupiers (and subsequently their lackeys) in Abu Ghraib.
Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:
“Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.” [TMQ 2:190]
At this point I ask you, dear brothers, to recall an incident from the time of one of your earlier Amirs, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Recall the kidnapping of the dual British-Iraqi citizen, Margaret Hassan. This woman was a British citizen; a citizen of a nation that at the time was physically occupying Iraq and fully supported the US led invasion. In the videos her captors released she was forced to make statements calling on Britain to withdraw their troops. Amir Zarqawi’s response was to call for her release. Recall his words: “These people who are using this prisoner as a playing card didn’t know our religion very well…” Also: “We never kill people who we are not supposed to kill. We only kill those who fight us and kill our people.”
Now to turn to the reason I have written this letter. You currently have in your captivity a prisoner by the name of Alan Henning. The man is a taxi driver from the northern English town of Salford. He is a working class man with no discernible military or intelligence background and his purpose for travelling to Syria amongst a convoy of Muslim aid workers was to provide desperately needed humanitarian relief to our suffering innocent brother and sisters, including young children. For this noble purpose he gave up time with his family and put his life in jeopardy albeit I suspect he had anticipated the danger would emanate from the thugs of Assad not from those fighting against them. Though it may (or perhaps it doesn’t) surprise you that there are some amongst the kuffar who care for the physical welfare of downtrodden and oppressed Muslims I can assure you that this man is by no means alone.
Here in London the 2003 invasion of Iraq was presaged by the greatest demonstration this capital has ever witnessed. Approximately one million men, women and children of every race and creed marched in unison to demand that the criminals, Bush and Blair desist from their murderous plans. During the past 13 years we have witnessed countless demonstrations, appeals, interventions and extensive efforts by non-Muslims on behalf of our brothers unjustly imprisoned in Guantanamo and elsewhere. Though we adhere to the Islamic concept of Wala wal Bara we are nevertheless forced to acknowledge that amongst the disbelievers there are many who are inclined towards fairness – though obviously we disagree with their criteria for judgment. Naturally we continue to call such people to the aqeedah of Islam.
If we consider the example of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) we find it characterised by the spirit of mercy and forgiveness – even towards those who fought him and opposed him. Recount the incident of Hatib ibn Abi Balta’ah who despite having attempted to betray the plans of the Muslims to the Mushrikeen was forgiven by the Prophet (peace be upon him). What can we make of the general amnesty given by the Rasul (peace be upon him) to the mushrikeen of Makkah despite their repeated attempts to eradicate the nascent Islamic state? Even of those few Makkans who were proscribed after the conquest, most were subsequently pardoned. When Allah’s beloved (peace be upon him) was stoned by the mushrikeen of Taif and Jibril (as) offered to collapse the mountains upon them in recompense what was his (peace be upon him) answer?
Execution was always the last option for our beloved Rasul (peace be upon him), never the first – clemency was his default position. Perhaps the wider picture does not reach us here in the West but sadly the impression we are garnering is that for some this has become inverted and execution has become the default position with clemency the exception.
Ya ikhwaan! Be mindful that the shedding of innocent blood will have to be answered for on yaum al-hisab.
“Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.” [TMQ 5:32]
Alan Henning did not come to spread mischief in the land nor is he guilty of murder. He came to help the Muslims of Syria in their hour of need. The testimony of the Muslims who accompanied him should suffice for you and you cannot ask for more.
I have already quoted the ayah forbidding us from transgressing the limits and I ask you to bear in mind that executing a non-combatant aid worker cannot be counted as anything other than transgression. I urge you therefore to release this man and return him safely into the custody of those who will escort him back to his homeland and awaiting family.
It is my duty as your brother to warn you and to do my utmost to dissuade you from committing a major act of disobedience to Allah and His Messenger. I seek not the approbation of the disbelievers in doing this – I care not a jot for their approval or disapproval – rather I seek only to discharge a sacred obligation laid upon me by our beloved Nabi (peace be upon him).
“Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or is being oppressed.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, we help the one being oppressed but how do we help an oppressor?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “By seizing his hand.” [Sahih Bukhari, Muslim]
Though I am not in a position to seize your hand I can still move my fingers and my tongue, hence this petition. Please remember, dear brothers, that as Muslims we are bound by the law of Allah (swt) and we cannot violate its constraints even should such a course of action, on occasions, prove enticing.
I have written this open letter in my capacity as a simple member of the Ummah yet as your amir has declared himself as the Khaleefah and claimed the title of Amir ul-Momineen then you must consequently acknowledge my right as a Muslim to address him and his duty to at least hear my entreaty. I pray then that whosoever of you comes across this letter of mine takes the necessary steps to ensure it reaches your amir, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. If my identity is an issue then I (and undoubtedly others also) am prepared to present myself in person before your judges, placing my trust in Allah (swt) alone. I do not court publicity or attention in making such an offer (though doubtlessly some will suspect that) rather it is simply my sincere and earnest desire to prevent a tragedy from occurring; a tragedy that in my humble opinion will sully the reputation of the Muslim Ummah.
I wish to assure you once again that as your brother I wish only good for you and I ask Allah (swt) to protect all the Muslims of Iraq and Sham and relieve their burden and protect them from the scheming of the disbelievers.
May Allah (swt) forgive us our sins and guide us to that which pleases Him. Ameen.
May the peace and blessings of Allah (swt) be upon our master Muhammad.