By Ahmed Al-Hamdan
Adnani says “If we knew that any of the righteous predecessors surrendered a hand span of land to the Kuffar, using the claim of popular support or to save buildings from being destroyed or to prevent bloodshed, or any other alleged interest, we would have done the same as the Qaida of the fool of the so called Ummah had done….But we will fight to death…Either we will live by the might of our religion as noble masters, or we will die for it with honour”.
You would understand from this text that “retreat” is a word that ISIS does not have in their dictionary, even if the cities get bombed, and even if homes get demolished and crops get destroyed! Adnani has restricted the solution as being only one and that is “we will fight until death”! And Adnani was not content with making this as the only choice, but rather he is even blaming and criticizing the one who does not choose to do this!
But you will be surprised and your surprise will be even greater!
Because these are matters that ISIS themselves have done and are still acknowledging that they have been doing even until the past few days!
For example, in the year 2011, Al Furqan foundation arranged an interview with Abu Ubaydah Al Iraqi who is a member of the Shura (advisory board) in the Islamic State of Iraq, and he said in it:
“Since the conspiracy of the Sahawaat (Awakening council) and the choice made by the brothers to abandon holding on to the territoriesin the city centers, the field military action is continuously developing both in quantity and quality”. (Page 22)
Also, they confirmed this in the publication of An-Naba in its fifth issue, and they said that “At that time there was no capability to compel those who withheld from removing it, ie. the satellite, due to the crusader and Rafidhi attacks and because the Muslims retreated from the citiesunder the pressure of this attack”. (Page 8)
So here they are admitting that they have abandoned (i.e retreated) and surrendered cities to the Kuffar!! And they did not fight until death!!
Your surprise will not cease at this point. Rather the statement itself contained within it a clear contradiction!!
“Or do you, O America, consider defeat to be the loss of a city or the loss of land? Were we defeated when we lost the cities in Iraq and were in the desert without any city or land? And would we be defeated and you be victorious if you were to take Mosul or Sirte or Raqqah or even take all the cities and we were to return to our initial condition?”
Here Adnani is speaking about losing the cities and retreating towards the deserts!!! Will a person who fights to death without retreating say such a statement?! That is, “I will retreat towards the deserts”?! Where was your statement which you made a short while ago in which you said that you will fight to death even if cities get destroyed in their entirety?!
Secondly, we are here putting forth another question– Is it true that there was no one from the Salaf (the predecessors) and the Sahaba who had retreated from a region that they controlled for the sake of a specific benefit?!
The answer is – No. Rather, the Sahaba had retreated at the time of the conquests during the period of the second Khalifa Umar Ibn Al Khattab. The Sahaba who were present in the city of Homs had all unanimously agreed to retreat, and Umar himself approved of that!!
It has come in the book “Mukhtasar Tareekh Dimashq” of Ibn Asakir that when Ameerul Mumineen Umar Ibn Al Khattab was informed about the decision for retreating from Homs, he disliked that. But Sufyan Bin Awf who is the one who was sent by the military commander in Homs, Abu Ubaydah Bin Jarraah, told him “The one who is present sees things that are not seen by the one who is absent. The ruler of Rome had gathered such a huge army, like of which neither he nor anyone before him had gathered to confront anyone before us”. So Umar asked him if this has been the viewpoint of all of them, so he said “yes”. At that, Umar concluded his talk by saying “Allah willing, Allah will not unite all of them on a viewpoint unless if it is good for them”.
So the Sahaba retreated from the city of Homs without fighting, and they did not say like how Adnani said: “But this is an honorable, noble Quran, a pure Sunnah and upright methodology, a monotheistic religion that does not accept concession or alteration. We will fight to death, even if crops are destroyed, houses are demolished, honor is disgraced, and people are killed”.
So either he understands the Quran and the Sunnah more than the Sahaba and Umar, or that he has predecessors (Salaf) who are other than the Sahaba, which then would be another matter.
Thirdly, retreating is a matter that is realistic, rational and logical for groups that are irregular and which engage in unequal wars with regular armies! Abu Ubayda Adam  the security official of Al Qaida in a message entitled “The notion of expansion and extension in guerilla warfare” says the following – “Rather, a lot of times the enemy would purposely evacuate from certain regions in order to put you in the trap of being defensive which will lead you to being encircled and then exterminated. This is the policy of the regular armies in their way of dealing with guerilla fighters, and so it is necessary to be very much alert about it”. (Page 3)
So the enemy wants to make you present in a specific region and wants you to defend it until the last breath in order to exterminate you since he possesses superior military advantage in terms of numbers and advantage. So you must not give him this opportunity, and you have to retreat and wage a war like that of the flea against the dog.
I had sat with Turki Bin’ali after he returned from Yemen in the year 2012, and I asked him why the Mujahideen in Yemen retreated so quickly?! So he replied by a wise statement “Preserving the men is more important than preserving the land, because it is with the men that lands are retaken back”.
So would it be reasonable for the Jihadi groups to give their enemies a chance and enable them to crush and terminate them by remaining in cities and fighting until the last breath without retreating when it is necessary?!
No one would say this except one who is stupid.
Adnani then says, “However, our Quran requires us to fight the entire world, without exception”.
But in a previous speech of his entitled “May Allah be with you, O oppressed State”, he said,
“It is wisdom to neutralize the enemies and reduce the fronts, and it is stupidity to open several fronts and fight against all the people”.
So the matter which is obligatory according to the texts of the Quran was previously stupidity according to Adnani! Or it may be that ISIS found a new Quran which lead to changing the rule! From being stupidity to being obligatory!
And the last point in this matter is – Adnani tried to downplay the matter of retreat. But what would it mean when they retreat and go back to the deserts once again?!
It would mean that one can use as evidence the supplication of Adnani “Oh Allah, if this state is a Khawarij state, then break its back, and bring down its banner, and Oh Allah, if this is an Islamic state, then make it firm and strengthen it, and support it, and grant it authority on earth”, as an evidence to prove that they are Khawarij.
Because Adnani said that if I win and my power increases, then it means that I am a person having the correct beliefs, and he made defeat and retreat as a proof of them being the Khawarij.
Secondly, it means that ISIS was not a Khilafa upon the Prophetic path that is mentioned in the Hadith!!
This is for a very simple reason! And that is that the Khilafa according to the Hadith, will be established after the period of the oppressive regimes,  due to the statement of the Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Then there will be oppressive regimes and it will remain for as long as Allah wills, and then Allah will lift it when He wills to lift it, and then there will be Khilafa on the Prophetic path”.
So Allah will lift these regimes “AND THEN” He will establish the Khilafa.
But this “khilafa” has been set up while the oppressive regimes are still existing, and even the regimes that ISIS fought against have not been brought down, let alone the remaining other regimes that ISIS have not harmed at all.
And if these regimes have been able to put an end to ISIS and send them back to the deserts, and cause them to lose stability which is a condition for governance, this means that we are still in the period of the oppressive regimes.
And the announcement of the Khilafa upon the Prophetic path was all non-sense that they said just to apply the Hadith of the Prophet over themselves in order to attract and entice the gullible people.
So them returning to the deserts is not a small matter even if Adnani tries to make it look small because of the implications which will be applicable on them.
 Abdullah Adam has a lengthy series of audio speeches named “Sann’aat Al Irhaab” (Producers of terrorism), and in its last part of the series, there is an explanation by Adam for the treatise on “Guerilla warfare” by the leader of AlQaida in Saudi Arabia, Abdul Azeez Al Muqrin, to which he refers to for a further reading. And this series when converted into a written text is of 600 pages, all of them being the narrations of the stories of the incidents that Al Adam had himself experienced in the security war against the enemies of AlQaida. Turki Bin’ali had informed me that Al Adam opposed the behavior of the Islamic State of Iraq even from its beginning days, and he used to criticize them a lot which made Bin’ali take a hard stance towards him and he even refused to invoke prayers of mercy upon him after his death!
 There is a prevailing belief amongst the Jihadi circles that the “oppressive regimes” are the regimes that rule the Muslim countries at present.