A meeting between Ibn Taymiyyah and ISIS in Jerusalem

18.05.2018
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict has been a significant issue on which the Jihadi organizations depend on to enlist new Jihadi members and to gain the legitimacy. But ISIS' view towards this conflict is to change or decrease its significance in order to cease the so-called "Muslims' Primary Issue" to be a mere normal issue like all the other arguments, causes, and issues by which the terrorists justify their actions.
In fact, ISIS' views were not the first of its kind. Ibn Taymiyyah, who is one of the most important references on which they depend on to finalize the jihadi organizations' legislation, has many views and opinions about "Beit Almikdas" and its value to Muslims. Ibn Taymiyyah's views meet and go in line with the ISIS' view; thus, if we re-discuses them, this will help us to understand the Nascent Jihadi Organizations' mind and ISIS' view, vision, and attitude towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
 
A meeting between Ibn Taymiyyah and ISIS in Jerusalem!
 
 Ibn Taymiyyah's views on the "Al-Aqsa Mosque" have been widely discussed and published in many articles and writings, but they are separated from some people as they may be somewhat shocking to the minds that used to elevate Beit Almikdas as the third holiest site in Islam. In fact, many writings depended on Ibn Taymiyyah's views as they tried to decrease the importance of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Beit Almikdas in Islam especially through his manuscript "Qa'adh Fi Zyaret  Beit Almikdas," other writings such as "Tahseel Al-ens L-Za'aer Al- Quds " for "Abdullah Ansari, the author, and "Musir al-Gharam Ela Zyaret Al- Quds W Ash-sham" for Shihab al-Din al-Maqdisi. 
 
Accurately, these writings didn't diminish the importance of Al-Aqsa mosque and Beit Almikdas in Islam, but they intend to discuss the exaggeration or the promotion of their position especially in terms of being the third holiest site in Islam.
 
In Majmu Al-fatawa Al-kubra, Ibn Taymiyyah has discussed the saying "Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam." It is concluded that there is no place to be called "Sanctuary". There is one place in the Beit Al-Maqdis to be called "Sanctuary", it is the same in Hebron and others sites in the world expect in three places as follows: 
  1. First: Mecca according to Muslims' consensus;
  2. Second: Prophet Mohammed's Sanctuary (PBUH) from Eir to Thor according to the majority of scholars such as Malek, Shafi'i, and Ahmad as there are authentic hadiths about the Prophet (PBUH).
  3. Third: Waj Valley in Taif. 
This hadith is narrated by Ahmad in al-Musnad, and not in Al-Sihah, and this is Sanctuary with regard to Al-Shaafa'i, because he believes that the hadith is authentic, and it is not Sanctuary according to most scholars. Ahmed didn't depend on this narrated hadith because it is weak according to his view. Any other place except these three sites is not a sanctuary according to Muslim scholars.The sanctuary is that in which Allah has forbidden hunting and cutting its plants, and Allah has not forbidden hunting and cutting plants in any places except these three.
 
Since the Al-Aqsa Mosque is not a " Sanctuary" according to Ibn Taymiyyah, and the majority of the Muslim scholars, Ibn Taymiyyah turned to say that stationing of Jihadi troops in spots (the places of Jihad) is most worthy to neighbor than neighboring the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as the two Holy Mosques according to the majority. This view shall be used to infer many similar situations.
 
In the 22nd Issue, Al-Naba'a, ISIS' newspaper, published an article entitled "Beit Al-Maqdis… a Shariah issue at the first place;" moreover, in the 109th Issue of the same newspaper, ISIS published another article entitled "Beit Al-Maqdis… its true guardians are not but the righteous;" it dealt with ISIS' attitude towards Jihad in Beit Al-Maqdis in terms of Shariah. 
 
Ibn Taymiyyah's views meet and go in line with the ISIS' view in terms of the exaggeration in the importance and talk about the Al-Aqsa Mosque; moreover arguing about it and giving it more importance than other is unlawful matter; this has been concluded according to their saying "the lawful Jihad is accomplished by fighting the Jews in Palestine and fighting the tyrants and their followers of apostates everywhere in the same time, Crusaders, and all other polytheists in the world. To limit the jihad to the Jews only is a change of the law of Allah, and following the whims of the tyrants who want to prevent the Muslims from fighting the polytheists and apostates in their countries."
 

ISIS' Legacy of the Nascent Jihadi Organizations

 
ISIS established several changes in the strategies of the terrorist groups; these changes could be seen as new trends for the upcoming years. The most important change is represented by reconsideration of the Palestinian issue again, and the extent to which it continues as a permanent cause to enlist new members. ISIS attributed the defense and dealing with the Jews and Israelis to the people of Palestine only as its role is to help, to cooperate, and not to interfere alone or speak independently without the Palestinians' approval. The objective is attributed not to revenge against the Jews but to establish the law of Allah; thus, this point needs more intensified explanation but it intends to provide more activity.
 
Another aspect of the changes introduced by ISIS is the decentralization of provinces administration. Unlike Al-Qaeda legacy that governs the provinces and its movements; the weakness of ISIS's central leadership created independence in the provinces administration; this weakness is shown through the declaration of Al-Baghdadi' death, the leader of the organization, more than once and the organization's disregard that accompanied the situation. Thus, they didn't confirm or deny his death.
 
Decentralization helped to introduce another change in the strategies of terrorism, which is the clash with the distant or adjacent enemy at the same time and the opening of multiple fronts.  Unlike the controversial issue that existed before and based on the Qur'anic text "O you who have believed, fight those adjacent to you of the disbelievers," the organization states that all the enemies are adjacent to Muslims in the region where they live. Therefore, whoever dwell any place must fight the regime there, whether in the West or the East. Unlike AL-Qada legacy that states that the significant purpose is to target and weaken the United States, and all operations should be directed towards it at the first place.
 
In addition, we conclude following the "local terrorist" trend is one of the most important changes introduced by ISIS; thus, it means that the organization is looking for an internal issue that would create an opportunity for the organization to exist within that state.
 
Some may see the changes introduced by ISIS as a barrier before the nascent organizations specially in terms of enlisting foreign fighters with regard to the Jerusalem Issue which has long been used in that regard reflecting the destruction of terrorist visions and strategies, but in fact it increases the enlisting and its opportunities under a purpose which not only serves Palestine, but also all Muslim countries.  The significant purpose it to establish fronts in all regions to liberate them and not to equip for a particular area. This aims at expanding the strategy to include fighting and confronting "the distant and adjacent enemy" at the same time. Therefore, ISIS wanted to encourage the people of each region to be able to establish and manage an organization there; moreover, they can develop the operations' plans which will achieve the noble purpose, "Apply and Follow Allah's law," rather than the disposal of a specific regime, group or state. 
 
Subsequently, we must ask: what will be the form of terrorism in the upcoming period?
 
The ISIS' legacy is more influential than the organization's itself. Thus, the military elimination of the organization in Syria and Iraq will not be very useful in making the world safe and terrorism-free in the upcoming years, but it will establish separate fighting fronts in different countries; they will be in a form of small groups not belonging to major global or polar organizations. On the other hand, there will be new uncontrolled organizations; subsequently, eliminating them will not have a significant and profound impact.
 
In the upcoming period, the fronts will extend and will be more stable; the operations of the remnants member of ISIS will be in the form of individual operations like wolves; the organizations and groups that belong to ISIS will be independent and form regional groups linked to a specific range. If they declare allegiance to Al-Qaeda, the organization will face a significant challenge to control them again.
 
On another level, we cannot ignore Al-Qaeda significance during the upcoming period. Despite the fact that the US policies and the Iranian tide contributed in a way or another to attract more sympathizers to the organization especially in Syria considering that the organization is the savior, who will end the Iranian tide, Al-Qaeda presence in Yemen, Al-Qaeda attempt to appear again in Syria by the organization of " Guardians of Religion" established a few days ago, and the other analyzes aimed at the next stage will be governed by Al-Qaeda,  the changes introduced by ISIS would cease the centralization of  Al-Qaeda and control the other states in several regions especially conflict areas. If centralization likely remains controlled, it will be limited to the Indian subcontinent as well as some separated regions such as Burma, the Caucasus, and Turkestan.
 
In addition, reliance on the "local terrorist" trend would emphasize that the upcoming period will be focused on establishing several fronts in separated areas led by internal organizations for an internal issue. Thus, this will increase the frequency and severity of conflicts and clashes; moreover, it will be hard to find a unified global strategy to deal with terrorist threats.