London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Speaking from his prison in Egypt, founder of Al-Jihad Organization and Al-Qaeda ideologue, issued a call urging all jihadist and Islamist movements in the world to ensure that their jihadist operations are carried out in accordance with the rules of Shariaa.
Dr Fadl, also known as Sayyid Imam Abdulaziz al-Sharif stressed that his call is now necessary because of the rise in new forms of un-Islamic fighting and killing in the name of jihad that violate Shariaa law, like the of killing people based on their nationality, skin or hair color, or being affiliated with a certain sect, and also the killing innocent Muslims or non-Muslims.
Dr Fadl, who is serving a life sentence in connection with the 1999 “returnees from Albania” case, sent a letter by fax to Asharq Al-Awsat from Turrah prison. Muntasir al-Zayyat, legal representative of the fundamentalist movements in Egypt, confirmed that this letter was sent by Dr Fadl.
In the letter Dr Fadl urged jihadists not to use the excuse of human shields to expand the circle of killing, and to refrain from stealing and destroying property, as all these actions constitute aggression. God, he explained, prohibits aggression during jihad as illustrated by the Koranic injunction: “Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress the limits; for God loveth not transgressors.”
Dr Fadl, who was Al-Jihad Organization’s first leader, is currently arranging the papers of various Al-Jihad factions inside Egyptian jails pending the release of a collective declaration to halt all operations in Egypt within weeks.
He added in his letter: We are prohibited from committing aggression, even if the enemies of Islam do that. God described them as: “In a Believer they respect not the ties either of kinship or of covenant! It is they who have transgressed all bounds.”
Faction leaders of the fundamentalist Al-Jihad Organization are working on an initiative to halt all violence that they intend to make public on lines similar to the Islamic Group’s no-violence initiative of 1997.
Fadl authored the most important book on jihadist jurisprudence in the past quarter century, “The Basic Principles in Making Preparations for Jihad” This book is considered the jihadist movements’ constitution and all researchers use it as a reference. It lays down the rules of jurisprudence for combat operations for all jihadist groups. Al-Qaeda regards the book as its guide for combat.
Dr Fadl added: Jihad in the cause of God has been the continuous duty of the nation of Islam since God instituted it as a law and it will persist until the last of the Muslims fight alongside Christ, may God’s peace be upon him, against the False Messiah at the end of times. Jihad, as our prophet Muhammad informed us, is the pinnacle of the Islamic faith.
In his letter to Asharq al-Awsat, Dr Fadl admitted that numerous conflicts occurred in Muslim and non-Muslim countries on the basis of the books he wrote on jihadist jurisprudence, including “The Compendium of the Search for Shariaa Knowledge.”
This caused him to write a clarifying memorandum over this issue that he called: “Advice Regarding the conduct of Jihadist Action in Egypt and the World.” He asserted that the jihadist factions in Egypt have welcomed this recent document and have adopted it as a sign of their new inclination to peace in order to stop the conflict with the Egyptian Government, end the bloodshed, and fulfill important Shariaa interests. He pointed out that hundreds of Egyptian jihadists have signed this document.
Fadl, who was extradited to Egypt by Yemen in 2004, added: “This new document is not addressed to one particular group and does not criticize any particular party. It is a collection of rules to help jihadists avoid violating Shariaa during their conduct of jihad.”
He added: “It is not permissible to reject this document on the grounds that it was written in jail or by claiming that a captive has no authority over others. I do not pretend to have authority over anyone. I am not requiring anyone to accept my view in the name of obedience to the leader. This leadership does not exist. I am not pretending to be qualified to issue religious edicts or that I am deducing new rules of jurisprudence. I am merely a transmitter of religious knowledge. There is a form of obedience that is greater than the obedience accorded to any leader, namely, obedience to God and His messenger. God says: ‘If ye have a dispute over a certain matter, consult what God and the prophet say.’ What Shariaa requires us to do takes precedence over any human covenant.”
He said: “The place where the document was written has no importance. What is important is the proof on which the document rests. God’s prophet Yusuf gave advice to God’s people while he was imprisoned. Sheikh al-Islam Ibn-Taymiyah composed many of his writings while imprisoned in the fortress of Damascus. Was their imprisonment used as a pretext to reject their advice? As I said, the important thing is the proof on which the document rests, not where it was written. If there is anything in what I wrote that contradicts the true rules of Shariaa, I will take it back and adhere to the proofs of Shariaa. No one may attribute to me any statement other than those that I included in this document.”
It should be remembered that Muntasir al-Zayyat, the Egyptian Islamists’ lawyer, had earlier told Asharq al-Awsat that a certain tract would be soon published that should be regarded as an annex to “The Basic Principles in Making Preparations for Jihad.”
Islamists in London said that Dr Fadl is regarded as Al-Jihad Organization’s most important ideologue. He became emir of Al-Jihad in Peshawarin 1989 and was higher then in rank than Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, currently deputy to Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. The current revisions of Al-Jihad’s ideas enjoy the support of senior figures of the various Al-Jihad factions including Anwar Ukashah, Amir al-Juyush, Ahmad Yusuf Hamadallah, and Muhammad Hijazi.
Dr Fadl was born in Banu Suwayf in southern Egypt in 1950.He graduated with honors from Cairo University’s College of Medicine in 1970and worked as a resident surgeon at Al-Qasr al-Ayni’s Medical College. He obtained his master’s degree with high honors and became director of the Kuwaiti Crescent Hospital in Peshawar. In the wake of the separatist war in Yemen he worked as a volunteer physician at Yemen’s Al-Thawrah Hospital and then worked in Dar al-Shifa Hospital in the city of Ibb south of Sanaa until hewas finally arrested in 2003. Meanwhile he had married a Palestinian woman and had four children. He later married a Yemeni woman and had a daughter with her who is now four years old.
He fled Egypt after Al-Sadat’s assassination in 1981 when he was named as a suspect in the government’s major case against Al-Jihad Organization. He traveled to Pakistan to help treat the wounded and was then appointed director of the Kuwaiti Crescent Hospital in Peshawar. He left Pakistan in the wake of the famous campaign of arrests against the Arabs in Peshawar in 1993. He traveled to Sudan, but sensing that the Islamists were being harassed there, he left for Yemen. Yemen extradited him to Egypt on 28February 2004, putting him and five others who had death sentences passed against them in absentia on board a private aircraft that took off from the freight section at Sanaa Airport.
In April 1999 an Egyptian military tribunal sentenced him to life imprisonment in connection with the returnees from Albania case even though he had never visited Albania.