Jihad: The 39 Principles of Holy War

By | January 11, 2015


By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — UPDATED … January 10, 2015 … No media vehicle has proven more potent for the spread of the radical teachings of “Islamic Holy War” than the Internet.

And Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Iran, Palestinian Authority and Hamas know it.

In fact, one of the 39 principles of Al-Qaeda’s Jihad, which has been exposed in a private study by Israeli researcher IDF Col. Jonathan D. Halevi, explicitly illustrates a how-to chapter on Performing Electronic Jihad.

These people are not riding donkeys, rather these 21st century Jihadists have their fingers dancing on computer keyboards across the globe.

From the thousands of Islamic and Arabic Websites riding ISDN and ADSL, Halevi found the proverbial terror manual needle in the Islamic Web village haystack. He descended upon the Al- farouq Web site which is directly affiliated with Osama Bin-Laden’s Al-Qaeda terror network. The Web site bears the donkey and automatic rifle insignia of Al-Qaeda on its homepage.


Al- farouq published a newly written book on its Web site entitled: “The 39 Principles of Jihad”.

According to the author, Mohammad Bin Ahmad Al-Salem, the preface was completed on July 19, 2003 in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh. The author’s name Mohammad Bin Ahmad Al-Salem does not appear in other writings, suggesting the possibility that the author preferred to conceal his identity from the Saudi government. The Saudis are presently under intense American pressure and have hardened their grip in recent months on Islamic terror organizations and operatives.

“There has been a vast infrastructure for Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia,” said former UN Ambassador Dore Gold. “Saudi Arabia’s financial support for terrorism is well known and documented.”

Gold, who published Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, says that Halevi’s research illustrates the dangerous idealogical support for modern terrorism that is “spilling over into neighboring areas of the Middle-East including Iraq and the Gaza Strip.”

“It is evident from Al-Salem’s style that he represents the “Salafi” outlook originating from Ibn Taymia’s and Mohammad Abd Al-Wahhab’s school of thought and other Saudian, Palestinian scholars affiliated ideologically with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime in Afganistan,” said Halevi.

“Islam is under over-all attack waged by infidel forces,” Al-Salem states.
This was the underlying motive which prompted Al-Salem to set pen to paper, says Halevy. The enemy, which is directly implied as the United States, France and Western world (including Israel), is said to be dominating Muslim countries one after the other and forcing Islam into a defensive posture. The Islamic commandment of Jihad (holy war against the infidels) is injected as the cure to the illness which plaques the Islamic nation.

Jihad, in the eyes of Allah, is the first and foremost value for all Muslims seeking victory and is the choice weapon of delivery for the introduction of Islamic rule worldwide.

The study reports that there are several elements which have been created to facilitate Jihad by every Muslim regardless if they are financially or physically handicapped in approaching the implementation of carrying out the commandment of Jihad.

The Jihad transcends expressions of violence against infidels as it comprises of diverse acts for which every Muslim is commanded to perform in sustaining the Jihad. All of these activities are based on the Islamic religious fundamental of reward and punishment. The Muslim who executes these actions wins a reward equivalent to that of the Mujahid (The Muslim fighter) who takes part in battle. On the other hand, neglecting these activities will bring about punishment from God in this and the next world.

The favored activities which sustain the Jihad have varied aspects for which the most cherished is the gathering of money and donations to the Jihadi organizations and their fighters. The study reveals that these fund raising activities are performed on a private basis or by various Islamic non-profit associations. While asserting, “money is the lifeline of the Jihad” Al-Salem also unintentionally points out the “wicked spot” of currency.

Other aspects of Jihad mentioned in Al-Salem’s book are compatible with “Daawa” activity conducted by radical Islamic organizations which establish allegedly innocent civilian infrastructure that supports the Jihad. In most cases the Al- farouq Web site and Al-Salem note that these organizations possess separate and unique educational systems which supply generations of believers in Jihad and the organizational framework in which to spread Jihad throughout Islamic society. “This serves as its ideological and logistic backing,” said Halevi.

Al-Salem designates an important role to the academic community which does not confine itself solely to the planting of ideological foundations for Islamic organizations which practice terrorism but also includes “courageous” activity in avoiding any kind of submission to a government’s dictations, say Halevi. Therefore, Al-Salem gives legitimation to the Jihad against infidels as well to the defiance of local Muslim regimes which do not comply with the religious fundamentals set by the radicals.

Al-Salem’s book sheds light on the intimate ties between the political and ideological echelon of Islamic organizations and of their military wings which clarifies the importance of civil infrastructure in terrorist activity.

“Once again the remarkable role of the Saudi and Palestinian scholars in supporting terrorism is exposed,” says Halevi. “They still serve as the ideological source to radical Islam and the concept of waging constant Islamic holy war against the West and all democratic nations.”


Following are the 39 principles of Jihad as described by Al-Qaeda in Al-salem’s book:

1. Preparing and urging the mind for Jihad – Every Muslim must obey the call for the Jihad against the infidels out of sheer belief and intention.

2. Sincere desire to attain martyrdom – Al-Salem, basing his arguments on Sheik Abdallah Azzam (the spiritual leader of Osama Bin Laden, killed in Afghanistan in 1989), emphasizes the importance of the sincere endeavor in order to attain martyrdom from Allah. The believer can perform the commandment concerning the “preparation to the battle” (I’dad Al-‘oda) and gain a reward from Allah equivalent to the Saheed’s reward (72 virgins and secure a close place near the Divine presence in Heaven) even though he may die from natural causes.

3. Taking part in the Jihad – Every Muslim has to take an active role in holy war against the infidels, prepared to self sacrifice for the sake of Allah. Participation in Jihad is the most distinguished action in the eyes of Allah.

4. Financing Jihad – Muslims can take part in the Jihad by making donations dedicated to the Jihad and the Mujahideen. The donation’s value is determined by its quality and destination and not by the sum total which is donated.

5. Supplying the fighters’ needs – A believer who is unable to take part in the Jihad (for instance women and handicapped) can perform his duty by supplying the Mujahideens’ needs in money and equipment. By doing so the donator is considered Mujahid and deserves the same reward.

6. Taking care of the Mujahid’s family – A believer who supplies a Mujahid’s family needs is considered Mujahid and deserves half of his reward. If one neglects this act it may bring him misfortune and death by the hands of God.

7. Assisting the fallens’ families – by supplying the special needs of the orphans and widows.

8. Assisting the families of prisoners and wounded fighters – by supplying their necessities.

9. Fund raising for the Mujahideen – money is the lifeline of the Jihad. Its importance also stems from gathering donations which would arouse the spirit of Jihad in the believers’ hearts. There are many ways of carrying out this duty: in mosques, public places, family gatherings, charity events, monthly donation or by urging the wealthy to open their hands to the Mujahideen.

10. Granting charity donations to the Mujahideens – who enjoy priority status in Islam.

11. Financing medical treatment for wounded Mujahideen

12. Praising the Mujahideen and their deeds – It is essential to educate the
Islamic Nation on their values and to see them as a role model.

13. Encouraging the Mujahideen to stick to their ways – in order to
strengthen their spirit and moral.

14. Protecting the Mujahideen -avoid publishing any information that may place them in jeopardy or spoil the spirit of Jihad. Al-Salem warns his readers from the Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (Saudi orientated, published in London) which conducts the “crusader – Jewish scheme” against Islam by publishing false information designed to destroy the steadfastness of the Islamic Nation and the Mujahideens’ spirit.

15. Publicizing the disgrace of hypocrites and defeatists – who strive to weaken the Islamic Nation.

16. Preaching to Jihad – Enormous reward is promised to every Muslim who serves as a catalyst for other believers to commit the duty of the Jihad.

17. Providing strategic advice to the Mujahideen – This can be translated in many ways including the supply of essential information on the enemy and his plans in order to be well prepared.

18. Keeping secrecy concerning the Mujahideen

19. Prayers to Allah for the sake of the Mujahideen and for the defeat of
the enemies

20. Holding special prayer to avoid misfortune and to strengthen the Muslim community.

21. Publishing the Mujahideens’ activities in order to arouse the notion of solidarity and strengthen pride and hope among the believers, to praise the ideal of self sacrifice for the sake of Allah and to break the media siege imposed by the enemy. There are varied ways recommended for distributing information praising Jihad including Internet websites and forums, distribution lists, circulating publications in public places (for instance mosques, schools), sending SMS, etc.

22. Participating in the publishing process of books on the Mujahideen

23. Publishing Islamic laws supporting the Jihad – This mission falls on the shoulders of the Muslim scholars who have the duty to guide the Islamic Nation in the light of the Jihad and to call believers to join the Mujahideen and pray on their behalf. Their followers are demanded to urge the scholars to act. In this context, Al-Salem glorifies the role of Sheik Hamoud Al-Oqala Al-Shu’aybi (radical Saudi scholar, deceased 2 years ago, backed the Taliban regime and al-Qaeda) as an adorable scholar who thrived to strengthen the Jihadi organizations worldwide by publishing Islamic laws justifying terror suicide attacks and holy war against the infidels.

24. Keeping steady, consistent contact with scholars and preachers in order to update them about the current happenings in connection with the Mujahideen. The believer is asked to assist Islamic scholars who on certain occasion are under government pressure or influenced by false information. He has to update them regularly with reliable information, to support them and urge them to persist with the call to Jihad.

25. Physical practicing – A Muslim who designates himself to become a Mujaheed has to start gradually by improving his physical fitness. Al-Salem elaborates in his book a recommended practicing program which includes enhancing the endurance of both the heart and lungs, increasing muscle mass and strength.

26. Acquiring shooting skills – Al-Salem calls on Muslims not to be satisfied solely with the tuition of Jihad but to prepare in performing in this duty by acquiring shooting skills.

27. Practicing swimming and riding horses – riding horses, explains Al-Salem is still relevant in the battlefields of Afghanistan, Chechnya and Iraq.

28. Learning first aid skills – to help wounded Mujahudeen (splicing broken bones, providing infusions, etc.).

29. Learning the doctrine of Jihad – Al-Salem recommends dozens of books, articles and Islamic laws published in recent years by Muslim radical leaders and scholars most of them Saudis by origin (Osama Bin Laden, Hamoud Al-Oqala Al-Shuaibi, Abd Aziz Jarbou’, Yusouf Al-‘ayyiri, Naser Al-Fahed, Ali Al-Khudier, Suliman Al-Olwan and more). One of them is the Al-Khudier’s Islamic law which justifies the use of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S.

30. Supplying refuge and shelter to the Mujahideen

31. Expressing hostility and hatred toward infidels – A call for reconciliation or co-existence with the infidels might weaken the Mujahudeen. One may call for a Hudna, but to place it in practice is forbidden.

32. Constant action to achieve the release of all prisoners – held in enemy jails and to use all means for their escape or release.

33. Distributing current information on the prisoners in order to keep their high moral.

34. Performing electronic Jihad – Al-Salem attributes paramount importance to the Internet as a component for Jihad. He calls believers to join the Jihad by participating in Internet forums and social media to defend the Islam and Mujahideen, to preach Jihad and to encourage Muslims to learn more about this sacred duty. The Internet through Websites and real time social interaction on Facebook and Twitter, provides an opportunity to reach vast, target audiences and respond swiftly to false allegations. Computer experts are asked to use their skills and experience in destroying American, French, Jewish and secular websites as well as morally corrupt web sites.

35. Alienation of infidels – Believers in other religions have to be isolated from Muslim communities so they will be prevented from committing hostile actions.

36. Educating the younger generation to adore Jihad and the Mujahideen – The children, asserts Al-Salem are the “fuel” of the next stage of confrontation with the infidels. Parents have the duty to educate them to adore Jihad and the Mujahideen and to prepare themselves mentally for self-sacrifice for the sake of Allah. Al-Salem recommends believers to tell their young stories about the life of Prophet Mohammad, his associates, the great Muslim conquerors and the Mujahideen in our time. In addition it is recommended to display to the children Jihadi films and taped preaches which praise martyrdom.

37. Abandoning the luxuries of materialism – which might weaken the spirit of Jihad.

38. Boycotting enemy’s commodities – as part of the economic Jihad. Israelis know this as BDS or The Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Movement.

39. Avoiding the employment of foreign workers – from enemy countries. Foreign fighters are invited to engage with bullets and propaganda.


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