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Profile: Controversial Jihad Theoretician Dr. Fadl - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- The name of Dr. Fadl finally shone and he became one of the most famous leaders of the Islamic movements in the world after being isolated, not known to many as the first practical jihadist leader to issue a comprehensive review of the jihadist organizations’ ideology. He is Al-Sayyid Imam Abd-al-Qadir Imam al-Sharif and known in the jihadist circles by the name of Dr. Fadl or Sheikh Abdul-Qadir Bin-Abdulaziz, leader and ideological theoretician of the Egyptian “Jihad” group some of whose members took part in the assassination of late Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda organization’s second-in-command at present, was one of the group’s most prominent leaders. Though real information about Dr. Fadl’s is not enough to dispel much of the mystery around this important figure, there are still seven places in his life which were full of important events and which recorded the career of this controversial and mysterious figure.

They are as follows:

* Bani Suwayf (Egypt): This city in Upper Egypt saw the birth of Fadl on 8 August 1950. Signs of his distinction appeared from his childhood when he was interested in learning and memorized God’s Book. He was among the top high school students in the republic but all those who knew him described him as an “introvert” from childhood, a character that helped him much in his study of the Shariaa.

* Cairo University: This educational distinction led him to the College of Medicine, Cairo University, where he earned the medicine and surgery degree in November 1974 with distinction and honor. He also earned a masters degree in general surgery in 1978 and worked as an intern in the surgery department of Qasr al-Ayni Medical College. Cairo University also witnessed noticeable activity by Fadl in the Islamic students’ groupings which formed the first nucleus of the Jihad organization in Egypt.

* Jeddah (Saudi Arabia): Following a series of violent acts and increased activities by the jihadist organizations in Egypt, Dr. Fadl and other members of the Jihad group were accused in the “Major Jihad” case in the aftermath of the assassination of President Al-Sadat in 1981. But he was able to escape in 1982 and settled for a short time in the United Arab Emirates where he worked. He then left it for the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia where he was joined by Ayman al-Zawahiri in 1986 who worked with him as the Ibn al-Nafis Clinic.

* Peshawar (Pakistan): This stage is considered the most dangerous in Fadl’s life. After meeting and working with Al-Zawahiri in Jeddah, they both left for the city of Peshawar on the Pakistani-Afghan borders where he worked as manager of the Kuwaiti Crescent Hospital in Pakistan’s Peshawar. The outlines of the global jihadist movement were still in their formative stage but quickly developed during the jihad against the Soviets to start a new phase of “jihadist” operations. The personality of Dr. Fadl became greatly prominent then in the Arab mujahidin camps when he was asked to act the Shariaa role among the youths there until he was chosen leader of the Jihad organization from 1987 until 1993. He completed there his first book “Al-Umdah fi I’dadal-Uddah” [The Fundamentals of Preparedness for Holy War] which was considered with his other book “Al-Jami fi Talab al-Ilm al-Sharif” [The Complete Guide to Seekers of Holy Science] as the “mujahidin’s constitution.”

* Sudan: Following a fundamental disagreement between him and Al-Zawahiri at the end of 1993, Fadl left Pakistan for Sudan. Imam’s departure from the “Jihad” organization had a profound role in Al-Zawahiri’s thinking and career as he rose to lead the group and strengthened his ties with Osama Bin Laden until the Al-Qaeda organization’s establishment was announced in Afghanistan in 1998. * Yemen: Fadl went from Sudan to Yemen in the middle of 1994 because of the harassment of Islamists. He worked as a doctor in the General Al-Thawrah Hospital and the specialist Dar Al-Shifa in Ibb Governorate until the Yemeni authorities arrested and handed him over to Egypt on 28 February 2004.

* Mazra’ah Turrah Prison (Cairo): He has been an inmate in this prison since that time (2004) serving a 25-year sentence in the “Returnees from Albania” case. The Higher State Security Court convicted him of the charge of leading the “Jihad” organization and participation in the work of the organization’s Shariaa committee. The prison apparently provided Dr. Fadl with the “lost opportunity” for reviewing his ideas. He started to review his jihadist career and the theories on which he based his ideology and began again to formulate his ideas for stopping the violence. In 2007, he issued his initiative for stopping the violence which he called “A Document for Rationalization of Jihad in Egypt and the World” in 111 pages. He recorded with this a major turning point in the history of all Islamic movements.

Though many Islamic Group leaders announced their initiative for stopping violence in1997 during their stay in jails, these reviews were no more than local and partial ones and there were deep doubts about them, unlike Fadl’s reviews which were seen as a new jurisprudent vision contrary to the former stand on jihadist operation. The document, which gained much credence among the jihadist circles, stressed in some parts that “all the jihadist movements in the world should rationalize their operations according to the Shariaa rules, especially after the appearance of updated versions of killing in the name of jihad which involved breaches of the Shariaa. For a Muslim to set out for himself a target, though originally a legitimate one, but which is beyond his capability and does not suit his conditions and then use any means to achieve his aim without being restricted by the Shariaa rules has nothing to do with Islam. Do not cancel your intellect and do not follow the internet heroes who are flying the statements inciting the youths.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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