Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi "Caliph Ibrahim"

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
“Caliph Ibrahim”

Mahdiwatch.org (Timothy R. Furnish, PH.D.) reports the release by the Islamic State of its first issue of Dabiq Magazine, The Return of Khalifah, on the first day of Ramadan, this past Monday, July 14, 2014 (Muslim year 1435). According to Furnish, the overriding purpose of this first issue is “to legitimize the new caliphate, motivate the faithful, and reach out to (primarily) Western Muslims.”

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-appointed caliph of the self-declared Islamic State (formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) is “continuing his path for a single Khilafah that unites the Ummah [community of Muslims].”  Born in 1971 into a religious family, al-Baghdadi earned a doctorate in education from the University of Baghdad. His rise to lead the [tippy title=”Sunni Salafi-jihadist Muslims”]Sunni Salafi-jihadist Muslims are Sunni “Islamists.” An Islamist emphasizes the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law based on the Qur’an and Haddith) and the replacement of all non-Muslim, particularly Western, political, social, or cultural influences with Sharia law. [/tippy] as its caliph is astounding, particularly considering that Islam has not had a caliphate in the modern-day since 1924 when Ataturk of Turkey abolished it. The Dabiq magazine is professionally designed, with brilliant coloring, and filled with images, many of which are of those killed or wounded in jihad through Iraq and Syria. Throughout this first issue, there are quotes of hadiths (teachings or saying of Muhammad as reported by his “companions”) and the Qur’an supporting the underlying purpose of the issue, to legitimize al-Baghdadi’s claim as caliph and motivate Islamists around the world to join him by making [tippy title=”Hijrah”] Hirah is the migration or journey of Muhammad and his small bank of followers from Mecca to Medina in June 622 CE. Thereafter, Medina became the center of Muhammad’s base of operations and Islam expansion changed to a violent expansion through the sword. In 638 AD, the Muslim calendar was dated with the date of the first Hijrah so that the first year of the Muslim calendar is 622 AD. [/tippy] to Iraq. In al-Baghdadi’s claim, the meaning of “hijrah” is adapted to refer to the need for jihadis around the world to migrate to Iraq/Syria to join the Islamic State. The magazine goes to great lengths to document those victories of the Islamic State in recent days and weeks. One paragraph states,

“Then, by Allah’s grace, the mujahidin gained control over territory larger than many states claiming “legality” today, lands formerly under control of the historical Umawi khulafa’ of Sham and ‘Abbasi khulafa’ of Iraq. Thereafter the hopes of Khilafah became an undeniable reality one that allowed no room for anyone claiming any excuse to resist the authority of the imam except to be dealt with by the decisive law of Allah. The victories in Ninawa, al-Anbar, Salahuddin, al-Khayr, al-Barakah, and elsewhere, all aided the declaration made by the Islamic State on the first of Ramadan 1435H, in which the Khilafah was officially announced.

The success of Baghdadi’s Islamic State is the basis upon which the following hadith issued by Sahih Muslim is quoted: “This new condition [success in war] opens the path for the complete unification of all Muslim Peoples and lands under the single authority of the Khalifah. It also emphasizes the necessity for obeying the Messenger … in his order, “Whoever comes to you while your condition is united behind a single man, and intends to break your solidarity or disrupt your unity, then kill him. (Sahih Muslim).”

A primary focus of the magazine is Sahih Muslim’s hadith wherein he prophesies of a coming end-of-days battle at the modern-day city of Dabiq (located in northern Syria near the border with Turkey). “The Hour will not be established until the Romans land at … Dabiq. … Then an army from al-Madinah of the best people on the earth at that time will leave for them.”  The hadith continues with the battle between the two forces: “Then one-third of them [the Muslim fighters] will flee; Allah will never forgive them. One third will be killed; they will be the best martyrs with Allah. And one third will conquer them; they will never be afflicted with  fitnah [trial or temptation]. Then they will conquer Constantinople.” The balance of the hadith describes satan (the dijal in Islam, a false Messiah) who deceives the Muslims telling them their families are at risk (which is a lie). “Then while they are preparing for battle and filing their ranks, the prayer is called. So ‘Isa ibn Maryam [Jesus, “son of Mary” in Islam] will descend and lead them [the Muslims against the “Romans”].”

How fitting. Jesus will lead the mujahidin to victory over the “Romans” at Dabiq. I wonder if that will be before or after (according to Muslim eschatology) Jesus declares Christianity to be a false religion, requiring all crosses to be removed from churches, all pigs to be killed, all Christians to repent of their sin of proclaiming Jesus to be the Son of God (at command of Jesus, no less), and declaring Islam to be the only true religion. Either Christians submit to Allah renouncing their faith in Jesus, or they will die. Then, according to Muslim eschatology, Jesus will walk behind Muhammad al-Mahdi (how long before Caliph Ibrahim (al-Baghdadi) lays claim to this end-times Islamic “Messiah”)!

Jesus come quickly.