C. Letter to al-Baghdadi (slightly edited)
21 October 2014 / 27 Dhul Hijja 1435
Salaam Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi:
Being a Muslim means being obedient to Allah, that is, in English, being obedient to God. For this reason, Islam considers the Jewish kings David and Solomon, due to their obedience to God, to have been Muslims even though they were born well over a thousand years before Mohammed, peace be upon him. Likewise, Islam considers Jesus—who, too, was a Jew—to have been a Muslim because of his divine obedience. In this manner that it is possible to be both fully Jewish and fully Muslim, I am Jewish and Muslim in that I am a Jew with the goal of being 100% obedient to God.
In this way of being a Muslim . . . I come to you in the name of al-Haqq, “the Truth,” one of Allah’s 99 beautiful names. I write due to my concern for John Cantlie and Abdul-Rahman Kassig, who are being detained by your religious organization. A report that I read about Mr. Cantlie related that one of the people detaining him was nicknamed “Pinocchio” due to such person’s habit of lying. Immediately after reading this report, as I perceive God, that is, as I perceive Allah, He revealed Himself to me as al-Haqq, the Truth.
Then, as was made clear, Allah compelled me to write a letter to yourself wherein I was to mention that Islam is greatly defamed when any purportedly Islamic group has, in any manner, unjustifiable liars for authority figures. Therefore, and in line with your well-publicized request—“If you see me on the wrong path, advise me and halt me”—if the report about “Pinocchio” is accurate, a correction need be made to your organization. If the report is inaccurate, then the report need be disavowed by your organization.
My divine revelation of al-Haqq further revealed that this letter will be considered by Allah, Who is All-Merciful, of sufficient value to pay for the release of the mentioned two detainees (and, I pray, for the release of other detainees not named in this letter). This is because, whether the report about Pinocchio is accurate or inaccurate, this letter [as already explained in the last paragraph] compels a measure of your repentance for you to be obedient to Allah in His manifestation of al-Haqq.
Further, when at war, and then, coming to recognize personal fault in any amount, those with true Fear of God make peace overtures in appropriate measure to the fault. This is because the previously unrecognized fault, surely, contributed to the conflict; and, in that measure, the war could not have been justifiably waged. Moreover, Allah, Who supports war only when it is truly justified, opposes any degree of conflict that is unjust.
Importantly, while I did, as I have written, read the report about Mr. Cantlie and Pinocchio, I did not—a number of hours after first reading the report, which was the time of writing this letter’s second paragraph—remember either Mr. Cantlie’s first or second name. In fact, when I wrote the draft of the second paragraph, I left an empty space for his name, which I intended to fill out after searching the Internet for the report. (I did not, at that moment, have the Internet available on my computer.) Later, when I did a search, I saw that Mr. Cantlie’s name, literally, is Mr. “Can’t lie”; meaning, someone who cannot be false.
Some, who do not believe in Allah’s omnipresence and omnipotence, may scoff at this semantic and conceptual connection between al-Haqq, the Truth, and someone who “can’t lie.” However, to an authentic believer—someone who recognizes both that Allah is all things and that He may make Himself known in a simple way that even a child can understand—such a connection is not something over which to scoff. For this reason, when I saw this remarkable parallel, I took it as further evidence of the genuine nature of this divine message from al-Haqq.
Some may say that my subconscious must have been programmed by my first reading, which, thereby, triggered thoughts of truth and my perception of a message from “the Truth.” Nonetheless, and by whatever channel Allah used to reach the depth of my mind, I assuredly did not, at my first reading, consciously notice that Mr. Cantlie’s name could be read as “can’t lie.”
Theologically, it seems that legitimate journalists would have special protection under the name of al-Haqq. After all, journalists without bias are meant to report nothing less and nothing more than the truth. Therefore, it makes doctrinal sense that this message for the sake of a journalist would come through the divine name of al-Haqq. Moreover, this last point was not realized by myself until after the divine revelation. In fact, it was not fully realized until after I wrote an earlier draft of the previous paragraph! With that considered, this theological relationship, at first unrecognized, can be taken as additional evidence of this message from Allah being genuine.
As you surely know, not any portion of the universe, including all the space and matter that goes through each and every one of us, can be excluded from Allah’s omnipresence. Hence—even though Allah can never be destroyed because universal reality, which is omnipresence, will, in whatever way, always continue—defiling or destroying someone or something can be equated to defiling or destroying the divine in the way that the divine Omnipresent, Who is all space and matter, is Allah.
From the previous, the obligation to preserve Creation can be recognized, as can the obligation to justifiable war—which would be when there were a genuine need to stop someone or a group from destroying others. This is akin both to how criminals must be stopped to protect society and to how the Creator made it so that the body naturally fights off and kills a virus. Otherwise, were the body not to fight, it would perish.
However, when a person is in no way harming another, hurting such a person is wrong and is against Islam because such a person is a component of the divine in the way that all things are included in Allah’s omnipresence. Please consider this both in relation to Mr. Cantlie, whose social function, as a journalist, is to tell the truth, and in relation to Abdul-Rahman Kassig, who was in Syria not to harm but to help the injured.
Because there is nowhere that Allah is not,
those who love all people and things love Allah,
Who, omnipresent, is all people and things.
Finally, as a detainee, Mr. Cantlie recently made a statement that described militaristic consequences for your religious organization as a “win win.” I am perplexed by this “win win” assessment; and, I wonder, according to Islam, how can this be true? Allah is as-Salaam, “the Source of Peace”; and, as I know, even a war wholly justified [to bring future peace] is a lesser of two evils at the best. After all, even a theologically-sanctioned, military jihad causes damage and a loss of life; and, Allah, Most Merciful and the Creator of all, desires the best for all and that peace and justice reign on earth [in the future and, ideally, in the now].
Salaam and with peaceful hopes for both the upcoming holy month of Muharram and the new Islamic year of 1436,
Chaim Yehudah Gruber