al-Shaykh al-Adnani grew up with a love of mosques and was a prolific reader during his childhood as he was reading whatever stuff he could find, and was rarely seen at home without a book nearby. He memorized the Qur’an as a young, and became proficient in its recitation in less than a year!
Then he turned to al-Tafsir books, and started by “Tafsir ibn Kathir”, then moved onto “In the Shadow of the Qur’an” by Sayyid Qutb, and was on the verge to write “In the Shadows of the Shadows”. He then began the writing and studying of al-Hadith, he started by the Two Sahihs [al-Bukhari and Muslim] as the most correct ones after the Holy Qur’an since they followed the best method.
He also went into Fiqh al-Jihad and read “Mashari al-Ashwaq ila Masari al-Ushaq” more than three times! While in the books of al-Sira al-Nabawiyya (The Life of the Prophet) and History, that have a great importance in his life, he read “al-Bidaya wa’n-Nihaya” which he read six times. He got his great reputation for eloquence by read “‘al-Bayan wa al-Tabin” and “al-‘Iqd al-Farid”. Also he read all the poets of Mu’allaqat (a group of seven long Arabic poems) and their sharh (explanation), alongside memorizing much of their poetry. He has a close reading of Diwan al-Mutanabbi, of which he is very fond, and said about him, “He is nothing but the most eloquent poet in the Jahiliyyah and Islam”. Regarding al-Nahw (Arabic Grammar), he studied “Matn al-Ajrumiyyah”, “Qatr al-Nada” then “Alfiyat ibn Malik” and their explanation. In lexicographical field, he read “Lisan al-Arab” and many other books.
Shaykh Adnani’s Teachers:
Since the conditions of Syria were insecure due to the severe grip of the tyrants, al-Shaykh was meet privately with his peers to receive lessons on a regular basis for several years before he travel to Iraq. There he continued his studies and gained further knowledge:
- Shaykh Abu Anas al-Shami
- Shaykh Abu Maysara al-Gharib (spokesman for Tenzim Qa’adah al-Jihad)
- Amir al-Mu’umineen, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who said “I have never seen such memorization, except to xxx”, upon giving him Ijaza (recite the entire Qur’an to one’s shaykh from memory)
Some of His Works:
Due to his tight time limit, most of his writings are in some way rhymed, the most prominent among his works:
- Matn Fiqh al-Jihad which outlines the ruling of Jihad and its details
- Manzouma (poetic poem) in Fiqh al-Jiha but it was taken away by Americans in captivity
- The Golden Chain On the Spiritual Aspects, a series of versified poems attributing the deeds of the heart and related matters, (Play)
- Poem in Remembrance of the Second Battle of Fallujah, which exceeds more than two hundred verses
- Inspirational for Memorizers, a series of versified poems facilitating the memorization process of the Qur’an and other related issues
- A honourary poem entitled: “al-Qaedi”, which it is a response to those who criticize the old Qaeda
Lessons and Teaching
al-Shaykh al-Adnani was interested in education and teaching Muslims in general and especially for the Mujahideen for the sake of Allah, he used to give a series of lectures everyday (in some cases, up to 14 sessions were given daily) on Islamic Studies in general, with a focus on subjects: Qur’an, al-Aqida, Arabic language and Fiqh al-Jihad.
Regarding al-Aqida he teached most of Muttoun al-Tawheed:
- al-Osoul ath-Thalathah (The Three Fundamental Principles)
- al-Qawa’id al-Arba’a (The Four Rules)
- Shorout w Nawaqid La ilaha illa Allah (Conditions and Nullifiers of al-Islam)
He is especially interested in teaching matters of faith and disbelief, and other serious issues regarding this topic. Also al-Shaykh held classes in correct recitation and memorization. He was keen on teaching people who do not know how to read or write nor do know anything about their religion more than others.
Regarding the Arabic language he taught:
- Matn al-Ajroumiyya
al-Shaykh has a special way to teach al-Nahw (The Arabic Grammar) consisting of six stages that covers all points of al-Nahw, taken from his teachers over the years.
Regarding Fiqh al-Jihad he taught:
- His book in Fiqh al-Jihad and its related issues
- al-Umdah fi I’dadil Uddah (The Essentials of Making Ready [for Jihad]) and other books and texts
Some of His Most Important Positions:
al-Shaykh joined to the Jihadist Groups at the beginning of the millennium and pledged allegiance to Shaykh Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi in Syria with 35 others to begin fighting the Nusayri regime at that time (before the US military invasion of Iraq). After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, he went to Iraq to join the war against US (and its allies). While there, he met Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Lebnani and still struggling in Iraq and Sham since then.
- Military Training Instructor at Haditha Camp, Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in its early days
- Amir the city of Haditha (in the western of Wilayat al-Anbar), was inaugurated by al-Shaykh Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi himself
- Military Training Instructor at al-Jazira Camp
- Shar’i in Western Sector of Wilayat al-Anbar
- Official Spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq
- Official Spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham
- Official Spokesman of the Islamic State
Afflictions and Tribulations:
It is known that the path of Jihad is fraught with troubles, affliction and tribulations. In this path no one can be saved from tribulations, including amputations, fractures or captivity. But the winner is who can stand and handle these tribulations. Shaykh al-Adnani is not but one of sons of this road, who had suffered much for the sake of Allah and making His word supreme on earth, it has been said: “A hard beginning makes a good ending.”
- He was summoned by Nusayri’s security apparatus at the beginning of his youth and was interrogated multiple times
- He was arrested three times by Nusayri regime on the pretext of advocating for Jihad, including once in Abu Kamal, when he was on his way into Iraq for the first time. He was jailed for months then released for refusing to disclose information despite the injuries sustained during his capture due to torture
- He was imprisoned twice by Americans in Iraq – once for almost 6 years – and was put in “Tent of Zarqawis”, which included the most prominent names close to al-Shaykh Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi
- He wounded (in so many places) over most of his body, his skin was torn and his bones were shattered for the sake of Allah
Some Situations in His Life:
Allah has blessed al-Shaykh al-Adnani many blessings and countless graces while on transit in search for knowledge and while engaged in Jihad, such:
- He completed the memorization of Surat al-Ma’ida, in its entirety, in just one go
- He was the first one who started working in Jihad in Haditha (a city in the western eara of Wilayat al-Anbar) along with 13 others, then, the independence of the city was on their hands
- When he became an Amir of Haditha, Shaykh Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was under his command at that time, and Shaykh Adnani was always consulting him on matters of Jihad, and says “This man (means Shaykh Abu Omar) will be blessed with a prosperous future.” (and it was!)
- He was the last one to withdraw from the city of Fallujah in the Second Battle of al-Fallujah with al-Shaykh Abu Hamza al-Muhajir (Abu Ayyub al-Masri), Abu al-Ghadya, Abu al-Rabie, Abu Ja’far al-Maqdisi and Abu Asim al-Urduni
- He was holding capillary competitions between himself and al-Shaykh Abu Hamza al-Muhajir for long hours
- al-Shaykh Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi used to tell him, “Don’t consult me, just brief me (on matters of Jihad)” because of his privileged status that no one knows except Allah
- There were many students, who have taken prominent positions in the Islamic State, were affected by al-Shaykh Adnani (are many), one of those students was, al-Shaykh Manaf al-Rawi
- He was the first to develop a comprehensive program for prisoners that includes all aspects of prisoner’s life such Sharia, physical strength and military strength which have become routine matters for all prisoners
Written by: Sufyan al-Benali
1. Eulogy for the Imam from Across the Islamic State
July 18, 2011
A 18:08-minute video in which al-Shaykh al-Adnani presenting a eulogy for al-Shaykh Osama Bin Laden.
2. Five Years of the Islamic State
August 21, 2011
A 53:38-minute video shwoing the celebration of the 5th anniversary since the establishment of the Islamic State, in which al-Shaykh al-Adnani beautifully singing “The Islamic State Will Remain” nasheed from minute 149:27 to minute 51:47.
3. Spring of al-Anbar
January 17, 2012
A 51-minute video focusing on events in Wilayat al-Anbar, where al-Shaykh al-Adnani appearing on this video from minute 14:53 to 16:16 talking about Sultan scholars.
4. Breaking Of the Border
June 29, 2014
A 12:25-minute video featuring the restoration of the Khilafa, and the destruction of a border crossing between Wilayat al-Baraka in al-Sham and Wilayat Ninawa in Iraq, where al-Shaykh al-Adnani appearing from minute 02:55 to minute 04:36.
1. The State of Islam will Remain Safe
August 7, 2011
An hour-long audio speech stressing the continuity of the Islamic State’s Jihadi mission.
2. The Fighting Has Just Begun
January 25, 2011
A 41:50-minute audio speech declaring victory against the US in the Islamic Stete of Iraq and announcing the focus on the Safawi government.
Play | English Transcript
3. Iraq, Iraq, Oh Ahlu al-Sunnah
February 24, 2011
A 33-39-minute audio speech urging Sunni people to recognize the danger posed to Ahlu al-Sunnah by Shia.
Play | English Transcript
4. Oh, the Fragrance of al-Jannah
June 20, 2012
A 21-minute audio speech rallying al-Mujahideen of Wilayat Diyala for al-Jihad.
Play | English Transcript
5. I Only Advise You of One [thing]
May 21, 2012
A 32-39-minute audio speech defending the reputation of the Islamic State against portrayals of being blood-thirsty murders who kill innocent Muslims, and invited Sunni Iraqis to repent for supporting the enemy.
Play | English Transcript
6. Stormings Are More Painful
November 1, 2012
A 23:17-minute audio speech announcing the results of the “Destroying the Walls” military campaign during the month of Ramadan, announcing 667 operations killing and wounding thousands and rallying the Mujahideen in Wilayat Diyala for the Jihad.
7. Seven Facts
January 31, 2013
A 15:41-minute audio speech explaining to Sunni protestors seven facts about the Shia-led Iraqi government and apostate Sunni politicians, and urging them to take up arms.
8. Fight Them, for They are Polytheists
June 15, 2013
A 18:57-minute audio speech calling upon Ahlu al-Sunnah to turn anti-government demonstrations into armed protests and declare war on Shia.
9. So Leave Them Alone With their Devising
June 19, 2013
A 22:26-minute audio speech criticizeing the letter of al-Shaykh Ayman al-Zawahiri, General Command of al-Qaeda, settling the dispute between the Islamic State and the al-Nusra Front/al-Qaeda, and explained its faults.
10. They Shall by No Means Harm You but With a Slight Evil
July 30, 2013
A 35-39-minute audio speech responding to several accusations made against the Islamic State by its opposition, and announcing the Islamic State new military campaign in both al-Sham and Iraq.
11. Pacifism Is the Religion of Whom?
August 30, 2013
A 32:03-minute audio speech focusing on the recent crackdown by the Egyptian government and military on Mohamed Morsi supporters, inciting against them and asking Egyptians to take up weapons.
12. May Allah be With You O’ Oppressed State
September 30, 2013
A 21:37-minute audio speech explaining the reasons for the Islamic State’s Mujahideen with apostate factions in al-Sham, and explianing how the US and its allies promote discord in order to create Sahwa-like militias.
13. The Scout Doesn’t Lie to his People
January 7, 2014
A 37-minute audio speech discussing recent events in al-Sham and Iraq, and challenging Sahwa factions militias in al-Sham to fight.
14. Then Let Us Invoke the Curse of Allah Upon the Liars
March 7, 2014
A 22:09-minute audio speech explaining the great conspiracy against the Islamic State, and how the Islamic State is innocent of charges of extremism and wrongdoing against Muslims.
15. He Will Surely Establish for Them their Religion which He has Preferred for Them
April 3, 2014
A 16:21-minute audio speech rallying Mujahideen of Iraq to maintain their control over cities and towns in Iraq and urging Sunni civilians to support them.
16. This Is not Our Methodology, nor Will it Ever Be
April 17, 2014
A 17:33-minute audio speech denouncing al-Shaykh Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda, for having deviated from the path of al-Shaykh Osama bin Laden.
17. Apologies, Oh Amir of al-Qaeda
May 11, 2014
A 32:18-minute audio speech responding to Shaykh Ayman al-Zawahiri’s message in which he asked the Islamic State to withdraw from al-Sham to Iraq.
18. What Comes to You of Good Is from Allah
June 11, 2014
A 16:58-minute audio speech about the recent conquests by the Islamic State in Iraq, especially in Mosul, and urging the Mujahideen to march to Baghdad.
19. This Is the Promise of Allah
June 29, 2014
A 34:10-minute audio speech declaring the Khilafa, announcing the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham as the “Islamic State” and al-Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Caliph Ibrahim.
20. Indeed Your Lord Is Ever Watchful
September 21, 2014
A 41:43-minute audio speech rallying al-Mujahideen against the Crusader coalition against the Islamic State, and threatening US and its allies, as well as calling upon individual Muslims to launch attacks in allied countries.
21. Say, Die in Your Rage
January 26, 2015
A 09:37-minute audio Speech announcing the Islamic State’s expansion to Khurasan, mocking Western attempts to stem the attacks from the Islamic State and renewing calls to al-Muwahideen in Europe to target the crusaders by any means possible.
22. So They Kill and Are Killed
March 12, 2015
A 27:52-minutes audio speech accepting the Bay’a of Jama’a Ahlul Sunnah lil Da’wa wal Jihad in Nigeria, and making an offer for the Crusaders either becoming Muslims or paying al-Jizya after pulling their armies from all Muslim lands instead of loosing more money fighting the Islamic State.
23. Oh Our People, Respond to the Caller of Allah
June 23, 2015
A 28:36-minute audio speech by al-Shaykh al-Mujahid, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani al-Shami, calling on Ahlu al-Sunnah in Jordan, Lebanon and al-Jazira to rise against tyrannical leaders and warning them against al-Rafida, also he warning Obama that Islamic State would retaliate for the attacks against them.
24. Say to Those Who Disbelieve, You Will Be Overcome
October 13, 2015
A 40:51-minute long audio speech by al-Shaykh al-Mujahid, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani al-Shami, calling on Muslims everywhere to launch al-Jihad against the Russians and the Americans for their crusader war against Muslims, confirming the martyring of al-Shaykh, Abu Mu’taz al-Qurashi, and calling Obama a “dumb mule” who has drawn out the war as the Islamic State wanted by avoiding military intervention.
25. That They Live By Proof
May 21, 2016
A 31:25-minute statement by al-Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani directing threats to Jews and Christians, mocking US for failing to defeat the Islamic State and wondering have they eliminated the terrorism? He also urging Muslims in the United States and Europe to launch attacks during the month of Ramadan, calling for further attacks in their heartland, indicating that the smallest action in the West is better and more enduring to the Islamic State than making Hijra.