Join the Caravan
Abdullah Azzam was a mujahideen in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. He fought and served as a propaganda coordinator for the Islamist movement there. He was greatly admired, and until Bin Laden pulled off the raids on Washington and New York may have been the most important and famous mujahideen in the Islamist movement. He was assassinated by the "enemies of Islam" in Peshawar, Pakistan.A note on one of the titles: "Join the Caravan" doesn't mean join the caravan of muslims resisting the Soviet oppressor, it means join the caravan of mujahideen going to heaven after they have been killed. It is an invitation to martyrdom - nothing less than an invitaiton to death via warfare.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and blessings and peace be upon the noblest of all the Messengers. This is a small treatise that I wrote for those who are pining for Jihad and who hope for martyrdom in its way. The book is in two parts:
Part 1: Reasons for JihadPart 2: O' Islam!
I have concluded with a synopsis and observations. We hope that Allah will bring benefit by it, and will reform us and reform others by means of us, for surely He is the Hearer, the Near and the Answerer of Prayers. I intend the book as a reply to many letters that I receive asking for advice about coming to Afghanistan.
So come to Gardens of Eden, for they areYour original abode and therein are camping grounds;But we are captives of the enemy, so can we thenReturn to our home countries and surrender?
The Slave in Need of Allah,Abdullah Azzam
17 Shalban 1407 AH(15 April 1987 CE)
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
Praise be to Allah Alone, and blessings and peace be on Muhammad (SAWS) after whom there is no prophet.It did not pass through my mind while I was writing this treatise that it might bring about such a great revolution, so that our numbers would increase close to tenfold. Nor did it cross my mind that there are latent capabilities lying beneath the heaps of practices which are lethal to perception and intuition. These aptitudes have the ability to respond to the true call bursting forth from the depths of hearts wounded by the condition of the Muslims. We have become conscious, in the course of our profound experiment in Afghanistan over a time-span of seven years, that this Ummah is prolific and that it has not become barren of outstanding eras nor of the supply of men.
We have seen that the land of Islam is still fertile; giving its produce at all times by its Lord's leave, whenever the plantations find a person of insight to serve as a trustworthy administrator. This Ummah only lacks exemplars to lead the journey sincerely, who are well acquainted with mobilising an exploration, and who give priority to the conimissionings of leadership.
In proportion to the determined ones comes determination, And in proportion to noble people come noble deeds. In the eye of the little ones, the small misfortune appears tremendous,And diminished in the eye of the mighty are great distresses.
We have already seen lofty examples of new blossoms which Allah has steered until they ripened in the kiln of the battlefield, and matured by its heat. We found most of these people to be from among those of modest upbringing, good-heart and healthy character. We have seen that much education, with the accompanying suppression of good deeds, brings about a cold heart, a slackened determination and a greed for life which argues, unfeelingly and feebly, against evidence by way of barren disputation. The wise instructor should look down upon hysteria, recklessness, faltering from seeing evil, losing aim due to anger over the women who have been raped, and feelings of jealous torment on seeing such profound events; all this is haste.
It is possible for Islam to obtain many benefits from the school of the Afghan Jihad. It is also possible for loftier models, people with mature abilities and wiser, more mindftil propagators to come to the Land of Jihad. Thousands of such people could bring about a tremendous revolution in the reality of Afghanistan, and in the inhabited regions thereafter. Those thousands may change history.
We do not deny that a large number of arrivals, with simple thinking, shallow Islamic juristic knowledge drawn from diverse founts and different pedagogic schools, and disparity in levels of age and knowledge, has brought about a kind of convulsion in education. It has cast a great burden upon our shoulders. But what could we possibly do when so few mature people are coming, and thejoumey has incapacitated some of the sincere people of insight?
We have tried to face the problem in its actual proportion, and to call anybody who cares to listen to it while bearing witness to the truth. However, none have come to us other than simple youths, who were therefore our raw material. Of course, it was necessary to work on them so that they could make their ontribution and participate with their fortune in this noble, blessed activity.
Mature propagators to Islam are still the talk of the hour in the Islamic Jihad of Afghanistan, and the subject of pressing necessity and glaring need. There are still many solutions to problems in the hands of those who are not occupying the roles they should.
Perhaps I am more conscious than others of the abundant good in this place, which is veiled from those who are absent, and the great success that so many of the arrivals have attained. The encouraging words of our Lord to the Mujahideen suffices us:
"Not equal are those believers who sit back, except for those who are disabled, and those who fight in the Way ofAllah with their possessions and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who fight with their possessions and their lives, over those who sit back. And to all of them has Allah promised good (Paradise). But Allah has favoured the Mujahideen over those who sit at home by a tremendous reward, by higher grades from Him, and with Forgiveness and Mercy. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful" [Quran 4:9.5-96]
And also the encouraging words of the Prophet (SAWS):
"It was asked, 'Oh Messenger of Allah! Which of mankind is most excellent? He (SAWS) repIied, A believer who fights in the Path of Allah with his self and his wealth."7
"Standing for an hour in the ranks of battle in the Path of Allah is better than standing in prayer for sixty years."8
'A morning or evening spent in the Path ofallah is better than the World an all it contains. "9
"In Paradise are a hundred levels which Allah has prepared for those who fight in His Way. The distance between consecutive levels is like the distance between the heavens and the Earth."10
In any case, there are two duties which we are trying to establish: the duty of Jih,ad (fighting), and the duty of arousing the believers. If, in this way, we achieve success, it is from Allah, and should we miss it, it is because of ourselves and Satan. It suffices us that we have strived sincerely and drawn attention, with insight, to the terror of the situation. And we hope that Allah will provide us with sincerity and steadfastness and that He will accept our deeds from us, and bring us our end in martyrdom.
Abdullah Azzam1 Jumada Al-Awwal 1409 AH(9 December 1988 CE)