What follows was written by Ismail Kallam, one of the students of our Shaykh Abu Qatada Al Filistini after lies about him where published in a newspaper. The newspaper has since withdrawn the comments, however some of those with disease in their hearts where and are still happy to spread the comments even though they are untrue and they do this out of the enmity they have to the Shaykh for his opposition to extremism -MM
A sharp reply to the libel made against shaykh Abu Qatada
All praise is due to Allah, and Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon His Final Messenger.
A certain journalist namely Ali Younis published an article in The Arab Daily News claiming to have had an exclusive interview with the Shaykh. Some of the points mentioned in this article are indeed things we know the Shaykh to hold as his view. Anyone who has read any one of his books will know that the Shaykh indeed does hold these views. However there were other claims in this article relating to a critique of Shaykh Osamah Bin Laden. Stating that he was unqualified and unfit to lead. From both, an ideological and manhaji standpoint.
After looking through this article and despite its crass and shallow tabloidisation of the subject matter, I find that it does contain some truth pertaining to the beliefs of the Shaykh, That is until we reach the claims about his view and outlook towards Shaykh Osamah. It is worth mentioning that as a young man when first starting to practice this deen one of the first words I heard about Shaykh Osamah were form shaykh Abu Qatada they were words of praise for Shaykh Osamah words that brought tears to my eyes.
Knowing this I knew this article to contain a fabrication. I did a quick commentary on this publication and waited for my beloved Shaykh to reply to my doubts and questions pertaining to this article. It is from the many blessings that my Shaykh reads what I write and corrects my errors and explains that which confuses me. Hence it became apparent to me that this journalist at times misunderstood the Shaykh and at times lied and fabricated his words.
What follows is what the Shaykh has to say about the words attributed to him. Refuting the libel and lie made against him and making clear what is truth in the Shaykh’s position pertaining to this matter.
Our shaykh Abu Qatada said:
“My beloved brother I thank you for your awareness and understandings of the words written in this article. The only fabrication and lie this journalist made was pertaining to his words about Abu Abdullah (Osamah Bin Laden) Rahimahullah. All I said was that I refused to enter into allegiance with him prior to the events of September. After what happened in September things changed. Also before September many groups namely Shaykh Zarqawi and Shaykh Abu Iyaadh and the brothers of Algeria did not give allegiance till after what happened in September. I also told this journalist that these words are not to be published. I told him that this was some good that befell us at the hands of our enemies. Unifying the Ummah. The Ummah stood united in its stance against the United States. This is a matter no one can deny. This was mentioned as a reasoning as to why people flocked to ISIS. I told him how the Palestinians in their refugee camps ate and gave out sweets in celebration on the 11th of September.”
I said to my shaykh:
“My noble shaykh you asked me about giving an interview to Al Jazeera after they continued to persist in pestering you for such an interview. You told me that it is unwise to make any testament in the media at this time. I wish that your first appearance be on Al Jazeera and it be a live session to avoid any speculation or undue editing.”
He responded May Allah Protect him:
“Listen to me; I gave no such interview. He lied. Rather shaykh Abu Muhammad Al Maqdisi brought him to me at a social event. I had an intellectual discussion with him and another time I met him at a wedding and I spoke publicly in front of everyone and he recorded my words on paper. There were many questions asked of me, from him and a many other people. As you saw from the structure of his article there is no Q and A dialogue. It’s an essay about something he understood from my words.
The man is like all the other journalists I’ve encountered, he is no different. He understands nothing of what I put forth regarding the understanding of the ideal that is known as ‘Salafi Jihadi’. I reject the Salafis be the front of the jihad. Jihad today is the jihad of the Ummah not the jihad of a sect. Nor did I ever say that the people of jihad today are upon wrong. Rather I wholly reject the idea of elitist jihad. Today with the blessing of Allah we have surpassed the jihad of the elite. Jihad today has become the jihad of the Ummah.
The words in the article are clear. The man lied about my stance towards shaykh Osamah and claiming that I said Jihad is not only with weapons. I only understand the jihad from the Quran and Sunnah to not be anything other than physical fighting. What I see is that the groups carrying out jihad today need to broaden their horizons in terms of their previous understanding of their surroundings. This is because their situation and the reality they operate in has changed. This is in no way developing or changing Jihad. It is rather developing and changing these groups operations and application of jihad.
You know my beloved Shaykh that there are those who hate me even if all I say is laa ilaha illa Allah. As for those excited ignorant extremists that know nothing but to curse and slander, I do not care for them nor do I give them any heed, for they are smaller than to understand my words. I have lost hope that they might come to their senses or that they do me any justice.
What I find strange is that a man like Khalid Al Hayek comes forth with a headline saying that I said I am not a Salafi nor am I a Jihadi without understanding at all what I mean by my words.
I congratulate them on feasting on my flesh.”
I say this :
Mr Al Hayek further loses his credibility and the validity of his statements are put to further question. What he said is a hidden attack on the Shaykh as a person and an attack on his cause. He did not understand the shaykhs words. I leave those who follow this matter to decipher the intentions of what this man is stipulating, bearings in mind he is supposedly a man of understanding when it comes to narrations.
The shaykh continues:
” If I did not have love for you I would not have uttered a single word. I care deeply for you and your likes, perhaps your days will be better than mine. There is nothing we can do, this is our decree with people. Our crime is that we understand and wish for the people to understand. Instead of thanking us they turn to us with slander and curse. Some even want for us to disbelieve, just so that they can say that they were right. By Allah I feel that they wish that we disbelieve and comit kufr. Allaahulmusta’aan.
If they read the article in its entirety they would have no means of understanding my words except the way which you understood them. Which is that it was good except what was fabricated pertaining to shaykh Osamah. That would be the truth.
My beloved brother, I will speak the truth that people hate to hear, whoever they may be. Be they the governments, the extremists, my family, the people I love and my brothers.
I pondered on the biggest tests of Abu Bakr As’Sideeq, I believe it to be it his disagreement with Fatimah because of the great love he has for her and the love for her father, his test was that he angered her by the truth he knew.
That is what I have to write for you. I write this because you’re someone who wishes to follow the truth, your desire for it exceeds your love for me. You only love for me to say the truth and not err and I am one who oft errs and by the grace of Allah I return from my errors.
All praise is due to Allah the most graceful the most merciful”
Abu Mahmoud Al Filistinee’s (Ismail Kallam) dialogue with his shaykh Abu Qatada al Filistinee