Bismillahi Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem
All praises to Allah, the Lord of the worlds; The Lord of Jinn and Mankind; The Lord of the free among us and captive among us. Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon the final Messenger and Most perfect slave of Allah, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, upon his family and upon his companions.
Allah (SWT) says,
“Do people think they will be left saying ‘we believe’ without to be tested?”
Verily one of the greatest tests of Allah (SWT) is imprisonment for our beliefs and Deen. It is the Sunnah of Yusuf (AS) and many Sahabah (RA) and countless heroes of our rich Islamic history. It is part of the filtering by Allah to distinguish between the firm truthful believers and the diseased and deceitful hypocrites and disbelievers; It is to justify the immense reward for the Muwahhideen, that they may never have reached or deserved by their own actions and efforts, and to justify the severe punishment for the Mushrikeen without leaving any excuse or argument to save them on the Day of Judgement. It is a test for both, us inside the prison and you who are free beyond our walls.
Everybody is brave to say what they think (or want others to think) they would do in times of hardship and Fitna; but claiming a thing is very different from truly doing it and Allah is giving us the chance to prove if our claims were sincere and true or simply a mask.
As for our situation, we are in prison, humiliated and derided by guards everyday; strip-searched regularly and vindictively and must even use the toilet in front of observation hatches, anxious we might be watched. We are blamed and oppressed for our religion and pressurized to give it up or compromise at every opportunity. We are accused of forming gangs If we pray in Jama’ah and of bullying if we invite other inmates to Islam (especially if they embrace Islam), we are prevented from seeing and speaking to our families except very little and we are subject to malice, spite and grudges that prisoners of other faiths are safe from. Nevertheless, the Muslims in prison are full of hope and Imaan, walk with smiles on their faces and enjoy generosity and brotherhood among each other that is envied and hated by prison staff who cannot comprehend or stand to witness our Sabr (patience and steadfastness), love for each other and happiness despite our mistreatment.
It is from this situation that I write my Naseehah (advice) to you, the Ummah of Muhammad enjoying liberty that we only pray for. Particularly those who are living freely in the west:
I advise you to Fear Allah the Most High and Most Dignified
First and foremost I advise you all to fear Allah (SWT) with regards to His rights. Do not worship other than Him nor follow other than His guidance, nor obey other than His laws nor love for other than His sake. Do not, in the hope for our freedom or seeking to ease our situation, compromise your Deen. Do not embrace their religion of freedom and democracy, nor play sycophant to the Kuffar and their Deen, fearing that our trials or captivity will be made more difficult. However much the Shaytaan may dazzle people with arguments of ‘Fitna’ and ‘Hikmah’, or ‘Fiqh of minorities’ or ‘Lesser of the two evils’ etc. Allah (SWT) says:
“The Fitna (Al Shirk [polytheism] as explained by Ibn Abbass and others) is worse than Killing.”
Even if they were to execute us, it would not be as harmful as compromising the Tawheed in a single matter. So do not compromise it for something far less than that such as our captivity or some insignificant benefit.
Fear Allah with regards to seeking help for us
Allah (SWT) tests us in order that we ask Him for His help exclusively; so that He can respond to our Du’a and reward us for it. Even the Mushrikeen in times of severe hardship turn to their Fitrah (natural disposition) and call upon Allah (SWT) exclusively, promising to give up idols if they are saved. But when Allah saves them and they return to ease, they forget Allah and rush again to their idols. This is why I found it so strange to find Muwahideen who worship none but Allah in times of ease, turning to Tawagheet for help in times of hardship! Fear Allah (SWT) in your Du’a (supplication) and Isti’aanah (seeking help), The prophet (SAW) said,
“If you ask, ask Allah; if you seek help, seek help from Allah (exclusively)…”
Do not seek help for our release, except from Allah (SWT). Do not plead with MP’s on our behalf, do not call for ‘Human Rights’ or the ‘UN’ or on any other Kufr law to argue our case or to secure our release. Do not use us as an excuse to stand as MP’s in Parliament or to vote for legislators besides Allah (SWT) in any democratic elections, seeking their help or intercession through their Shirk. Rather remember us in your Du’a and seek our release from the help of Allah (SWT), sincerely and exclusively.
Fear Allah regarding your Dawah
The Sunnah (tradition) of Muhammad (SAW) and every prophet before him was not only to keep a beard and trim their moustache. They were insulted, accused, blamed, stoned, spat at, slandered, imprisoned, chased and some were even killed for only one reason; they called to the Tawheed. It is the Sunnah of Allah (SWT) that nobody can avoid facing hardship and suffering while he carries this mighty obligation. So do not dare to compromise your Dawah or be silent about the Haq (truth) or abandon the duty of commanding good and forbidding evil and striving to establish the Shari’ah of Allah (SWT), simply on account of our imprisonment, or the fear of your own imprisonment.
Verily, we are oppressed and (we) sacrificed our liberty for the sake of Allah’s Deen to prevail after us, and for the Hujjjah (proof) to be established. So do not waste our sacrifice and belittle its value by contradicting our aspirations by compromising and neglecting this obligation out of fear from the Taghout or hope that the Kuffar might have mercy on us. Indeed the mercy of Allah is far better and prison is dearer to us than to see the Dawah stop and the Kufr go unchallenged.
Fear Allah regarding your Walaa’ and Baraa’
The prophet (SAW) said,
“The strongest knot of Imaan is to love for the sake of Allah and to hate for the sake of Allah”.
The believer loves Allah (SWT) and His messenger (SAW), the Sahabah (RA), the believers, the Tawheed, Imaan and good deeds etc. And they hate Shaytaan, his allies from the Kuffar and Munafiqeen, the Shirk and disobedience etc.
Do not compromise your Walaa’ and Baraa’ in the hope that the disbelievers will be kind to you or be kind to us, even if you foolishly believe that it will lead to our release or prevent other arrests. Know that the original rules for the Walaa’ and Baraa’ is to be apparent and open. It is especially important for people living in the west as the prophet (SAW) said,
“I am free from any Muslim that lives between the Mushrikeen without to distinguish his fire from theirs”.
If you cannot manifest your Deen and declare your Walaa’ and Baraa’ in this land, you should not remain here at all.
Fear Allah in relation to your Ummah
There are many Muslims suffering in the world today. Perhaps you remember us because we are close to you in blood, friendship or geography but there are countless innocent Muslim men, women and children imprisoned and/or suffering severely around the world at the hands of the west far more than we are. Our hearts and concerns should give them precedence over ourselves. Do not forget them just because you are thinking about us. Do not ignore Abu Ghuraib, Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, Fallujah, Gaza, Mogadishu, and countless other places around the world where Muslims are being oppressed. Do not let them down or fail to speak about them or neglect to condemn their torturers and oppressors in an attempt to ease our situations in here. Verily this Ummah is like one body, when its eye aches, the whole of it aches. The pain we feel for our Ummah far outweighs our own pain until we forget we are being oppressed ourselves sometimes.
The fact our hands are tied from rushing to their aid is what burns our hearts more than the grudge of the guards here. If you are silent about the plight of the Ummah around the world – that harms us more than these prison bars do.
Fear Allah regarding us
Do not abuse us by using us as an example to become a coward, leaving your duties and turning your back on the Ummah of Muhammad (SAW).
Fear Allah regarding us
Do not abuse us by using us as an example to violate your covenants. If you have a covenant, abide by it. Do not emulate us in things we have permits for but you do not. Our reality may be different to yours.
Fear Allah in relation to releasing us
There are clear Sunnan that govern the Islamic methods to release Muslims from captivity. Stick to them and do not stray from or neglect them. Do not disobey Allah (SWT) in order to release us. Be generous with your wealth in the path of Allah and in helping to release us, including by funding bail sureties, legal expense etc.
Fear Allah with regard to our families
They are our Amaanah (trust). Do not wash your hands from our families, wives and children fearing the anger and suspicion of the Kuffar. Keep in regular contact with them even when they appear to be coping well. Verily it is a greater hardship for them than upon ourselves, and the sight of our families suffering from our absence is the hardest test of all in prison.
Monitor their health, wealth and needs. Offer them help in big and small things and do not wait to be asked, it is more likely that you will not be. Provide for them in our absence, provide help with transport when they visit us. Encourage them to be patient and to have hope in Allah (SWT). Remind them of the rewards and Kaffarah (expiation) due to them for having Sabr (patience). Do not allow them to be depressed, defeated or deserted.
Fear Allah and do not forget us
Finally among the smallest deeds that have the greatest impact on our Imaan and easing our situation in prison, is a simple letter. Write to us even to briefly enquire about our health. A few lines are enough to lift our spirits, Imaan and morale and to assure us that we are being remembered by our Ummah.
Send us Ilm and advice and things to aid our Islamic study in prison. This allows us to benefit more from our Khalwah (seclusion) with Allah (SWT). It is the study and seeking knowledge that we miss and yearn for here as we have no access to resources by ourselves.
Also, please remember to make excuses for us, hide our mistakes and do not doubt us without evidence. Moreover if you hear evil about us, do not spread those rumours and think only the best about us.
If I have said anything good and beneficial then that is from Allah (SWT) and if I have said anything evil or wrong, then that is from my weakness and mistakes, so do not obey me or any other person in disobedience to Allah (SWT).
Muharram 1429 / January 2008