The Reign of Emir Abdullah Ibn Abu:

After Ibn Abu’s selection, the people of Al Bushra put a condition of rulership that, if the Uruj Ali Pasha, the Uthmani ruler of Algiers, approves his selection as Emir, then Ibn Abu would stay as Emir, otherwise he would presumably be removed as to find an emir that was suitable to Uruj Ali, and by proxy, the Uthmani khalifa, Salim II. Needless to say, the selection of Ibn Abu was approved by Algiers within three months, (ibid, 182). What Ibn Abu did have, that Ibn Ummaya apparently did not have, was greater popular approval of the people, however with dissension from some nobles. Ibn Abu got to work immediately and redrew the lines of his provinces, (or taha’s), and put in charge of each taha, a man that is native to it, (as to maintain cohesion among the people, negate any difference of tribe, language or kinship ties). He created a six man shura, to advise him on matters. The shura was not only local Muslims from Al Bushra, but included two Turkish Captains, Caracaj and Dali, (to make the opinions of the shura diverse and take all opinions into account). He appointed a local Muslim commander, Hernando Al Habaqi as his commander of his eastern forces in the provinces of Almeria, Bolodui, Al Mansura Valley, the mountains of Basta and Wadi Ash. While the commander of his western forces was another local Muslim, Shoaibi Al Waljari, (from the town of Waljar/Guejar, in the mountains of which the Spanish had just inflicted a massacre of Muslims), who controlled, Balsh Malaqa, Lecrin Valley, the Al Bushra mountains, Garnata and the White Mountains, (Sierra Nevada/Jibal Baydha which are north western sections of the Al Bushra Mountain range). As his second in command, he appointed his brother, Muhammad Ibn Abu, (ibid, 183). In the meantime, the Turkish captain, Caravaji went to the Maghrib, (probably Algiers), to recruit more mujahideen, while Husseini, (one of Ibn Abu’s Turkish field commanders), went off to Algiers with gifts and a request for more troops and weapons from him and the Uthmani khalifa.      

Ibn Abu reformed the army and reorganized his battalions and formed a standing army of 4000 Arqebusiers, of which 800 were his personal troops, and 200 of these were his bodyguard, (these men were stationed around his palace while 20 of these men were around Ibn Abu all the time), (ibid). He reorganized the intelligence system of the Muslims by sending many of his men as sentries to the borders of the areas of Muslim control to:

  1. Collect intelligence on troops movements
  2. Be continuously mobile, as to avoid detection or ambush and control access to roads leading into the Emirate.

They were to issue a challenge to anyone entering the kingdom with a call-sign. Those who did not know the counter-sign, were to be turned away. Those who knew were to be let through but told strictly only to use certain roads. If anyone violated this rule and went through unauthorized routes, and were found doing so, they would be detained and/or executed. This made it much harder for the Spanish to send in either spies to conduct espionage even if they were Muslim collaborators, (since only residents of Al Bushra knew the counter signs). Thus, the field of potential spies would be narrowed to the residents of Al Bushra, which, presumably, Ibn Abu would have taken care of by increased intelligence within the community, (i.e. placing spies within Al Bushra to find Spanish agents and flush them out). Guards were now placed on all the peaks 24 hours a day in ribaat[1] in order to provide advance warning of any enemy movement. The commanders of these guard units were given latitude and freedom to decide:

  1. The areas the guards patrol
  2. Who they would be replaced by at the end of a shift
  3. How to distribute and spread the troops
  4. Maintenance of discipline
  5. And locations of lodgings for the soldiers

It must be remembered that during this era, military leaders sometimes tended to micromanage every detail of their army, therefore overextending themselves to exhaustion and as a result of this and many other factors, resulting in failure. Ibn Abu’s approach was perhaps not revolutionary in devolving control to captains below him, (therefore allowing them better control of their units), but it was certainly out of the ordinary. As a result, his commanders probably felt a sense of ownership over their operations and felt they had a say in operational and tactical planning, which in turn would have raised morale and troop effectiveness. Moreover, the field commanders had a more intimate understanding of the variables of their environment, (i.e. geography and weather), their own troops, (i.e. their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses), and of enemy capability and tactics, (i.e. the enemies strengths and weakness and capabilities). Therefore, even if one designs the strategy of a campaign with upper level generals, it would only make sense to allow more control and flexibility of tactical and operational details to be in the hands of field commanders. Ibn Abu also fixed the wages of the local soldiers and foreigners, (Turks and Maghribi mujahideen).

Slowly but surely, Ibn Abu had managed to reequip his troops from arms coming in from Algiers and from spoils captured from Spanish forces. Now his army had almost doubled to almost 8000 Arquebusiermen, (ibid, 184). Ibn Abu decided on offensive operations to begin once again, and chose the strategic city of Orgiva and its garrison. On their way there a Muslim army ambushed the woefully organized and disunited barracks at Torvizcon, a few kilometers east of Orgiva. Only three Spanish soldiers escaped from the massacre, (ibid, 185):

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torvizcon

ambush 1

In the meantime Ibn Abu was sending arms, artillery and supplies down to the port city of Castel De Ferro, (see above illustration), and leaving a garrison of 50 Turks  under a local Muslim captain named Leandro. He was told to hold his position until Caravaji arrives back from Algiers with supplies, (with the aid of the Uthmani fleet based in Algiers) at the port. Ibn Abu and his Turkish commander Dali, marched on Orgiva themselves. With the new influx of military advisors from Turkey and Maghrib, the tactics of the mujahideen also improved, as in the raid on Orgiva they launched harassing attacks, (i.e. attack, retreat and attack again), while constructing trenches leading right up to the city. This paralyzed Spanish forces as they could neither repair damaged buildings nor have freedom of movement as the trenches surrounded the city. The mujahideen hoped to squeeze the Spanish into submission, (as opposed to frontally attacking them), in their garrison and increased the pressure by cutting the Spanish water supply, (ibid, 185). Word was relayed back to Spanish command that the siege was underway and it was decided by Don John to send a relief force to lift the siege. An initial force of 6000 infantry and 500 cavalry was sent under the command of the Duke of Sesa.

However, disaster loomed for the Spanish as improved intelligence on the Muslim side, (in the form of sentries that were posted on major peaks), led to Ibn Abu and his army at Orgiva to know all the movements of the Spanish forces. Ibn Abu decided to split his forces in two, to ambush the reinforcements coming from Lanjaron and to keep attacking Orgiva. The ambush team was led by Dali. He went uphill to engage 800 of the 6000 man Spanish reinforcements and engaged them. Dali cleverly and stealthily disengaged 600 men from the main body of his troops and placed 400 of them in the woods of the Spanish flank and 200 were placed at a spot called Qalat Al Hajr. Due to the narrowness of the pass, the mountain pass was an ideal place for an ambush and as darkness began setting in, Dali mounted a controlled retreat of some of his troops down to Orgiva to reinforce the group of troops fighting down there. The Spanish fell for the bait and began to chase downhill. His ambush troops trapped the Spanish troops in a tight kill zone and the Spanish began to panic and run uphill. Additional reinforcements began to arrive to rescue the reinforcements. The Spanish promptly retreated and then subsequently ran into the second ambush at Qalat Al Hajr. The final losses that the Muslims reported from these ambushes was 400 killed and a large quantity of spoils in the form of rifles. Deigo Hurtado De Mendoza says that the Spanish differed with this number and said that they, “…lost only sixty but then, in this war, we [the Spanish] have tended to lie to conceal our losses, (ibid, 188).” The distance of retreat for the battered Spanish troops was 17 km wherein they were harassed and attacked for 11km of that distance. The mujahideen were able to starve Orgiva and take possession of it. They also attempted to incite the Muslims of Lecrin Valley to rise up so that they would affect the supply chain of the Spanish and harass their rear guard which was located in the valley.

ambush2

Seeing the victory at Orgiva, the Muslims of Galera and Orcel, (far north east), rose up, followed by the Muslims of the Al Mansura valley villages of Purchena, Sierra de Filabres and Basta, (Baza). In fact, almost all of the cities of the province of Garnata had now joined the jihad and were actively fighting the Spanish. The only villages in Spanish hands were those in the mountains of Runda and Malaqa. During December 1569, the Spanish army marched upto Huescar to retake it with an enormous force of 40,000 infantrymen and 350 cavalry. Knowing the odds were against them, the Muslim commander called a meeting of the towns people to leave and mount a strategic retreat to a stronger location and where they would have more troops. However, the people said “…they wished to die in their houses, to which he answered that the time had not yet come to die nor was it their duty—rather it was their duty to save themselves if they could, for in this war there are many who were risking and giving their lives in order that as many Moors [Muslims]  as possible should survive, (ibid, 196).” SubhanAllāh! Look at the concern of the mujahideen for the Muslims first and foremost. What is more surprising however is the bravery of the people of the town who desired to fight the Christians and were not afraid, since only two things awaited them: victory or shahada. The commander realized the people were not leaving, so he left with 130 foreign mujahideen and retreated towards Guejar, where all the other commanders were based, (Guejar is east of Garnata and only a short distance away). From there they organized and sent raiding parties into Garnata for punitive raids and collected a large quantity of spoils. Don John sent more than 10,000 troops to take Guejar, and they easily captured it, only to find out that the Muslims had all escaped hours before, due to their sentries and spies knowing about Don John’s troop movements prior to his arrival at Guejar. A new strategy was formulated by Don John and that was to send one part of his massive army, under his command, northwards to Wadi Ash and Galera. While simultaneously he would send a second army through the south through Albuenales and Orgiva. This would split Muslim forces and it would be followed by both Spanish armies proceeding to hit the heart of the Al Bushra mountains to hit the Muslim base and those retreating to it.

garanatajhadmap2

Ibn Abu, seeing the reversal of fortune tried to compensate by raiding Spanish garrison towns but was unable to, sustaining heavy losses. It soon began to dawn on him that the Muslims were in a dire situation due to the battlefield reversals, their heavy losses and the lack of adequate help from the Uthmanis. He sent his Turkish commander, Hussaini to Algiers to tell Uruj Ali Pasha that they needed arms and men desperately, and if not, at least ships that would allow the Muslims to escape from Spain. He sent a family member of his to Istanbul to the khalifa with an identical message. In fact a desperate message from Ibn Abu is in Appendix X dated February 1570 where Ibn Abu bleakly states to Uruj Ali Pasha:

“We ask your majesty to inform the powerful Sultan[2] about our news and situation and about the great war which we are fighting and tell his majesty that if he wants to include us in the realm of his care and mercy then he should hurry to rescue us before we are destroyed.  There are two powerful armies coming towards us, attacking us from two sides. If we are defeated in the battle, then Allāh (سبحانه و تعلى) will give him a difficult reckoning for that on the Day of Resurrection- the day when power will be of no use against any excuse. Peace and blessings of Allāh upon you.”

So as the battle had intensified between the Christians and the mujahideen, this was the time chosen by the Uthmanis to withdraw any semblance of hope by invading Cyprus, (which was closer and a much richer prize), than save the Muslims of Andalus, (which was in far off Spain and would only be a devastatingly expensive adventure). In many ways the actions of the Uthmani Khalifa have to be analyzed not through a global prism but rather through the rubric of Uthmani domestic politics.  If we look at the letter of the Uthmani Sultan to Ibn Ummaya in January of 1569, he said:

“But the disbelievers of the island of Cyprus, which is near to my safeguarded domains, are those who have the covenant of protection [from us] since the time of my glorious ancestors -May Allāh enlighten their proofs- broke their covenants and started to attack the merchants, the Muslims, sea travelers on their way to circumambulate the sacred house of Allāh (Al-ka’ba), to visit the Masjid Al Nabawi…(Turkish National Archives).”

First of all, Cyprus was rich in Cotton production and Sugar which certainly provided a economic incentive to the Uthmanis by which to conquer it. Secondly, Cyprus was, at that time, a Venetian possession, and Venice was a rival of the Uthmanis. Nothing would be better than taking away a major staging base of the Venetians, (especially since Malta, another Venetian possession, had been taken in the early part of the 16th century CE). Moreover, since Venetian ships had started to harass Uthmani shipping and, especially, hujjaaj, how would the khalifa look to the average citizen of the khilaafa if he fails to safeguard the hujjaaj and, God forbid, would allow the Venetian kuffaar to mount hit and run attacks on the coast of Anatolia or near Istanbul? Thus we can see for partially domestic and partially international policy reasons, Cyprus was chosen as a better target for campaigning instead of Andalus, (which it would seem that the Uthmanis thought of the jihad in Al Bushra as, perhaps, a lost cause?).

At the same time, Pedro de Deza, the principal royal agent in Garnata for King Phillip II concocted a plan wherein Alonso Del Castillo, (the Spanish spy and Muslim traitor), would pose as a fortune teller, and would reinterpret the prophecies[3] of victory for the Muslims as defeat and would urge the Muslims to surrender. Thus on February 26th 1570, Alonso Del Castillo, wrote a letter to that effect and distributed it throughout the Al Bushra mountains by way of a Muslim agent of the Duke of Sesa. Castillo conjured up rebuttals to these prophecies by making prophecies of his own and answering falsehood with falsehood. One the other hand pay attention to what he says in the end of his letter:

“… And having awoken to find a way which makes it possible to maintain and continue what was begun, it is true that I am compelled by your great love, and what I owe as service to Allāh, The Almighty, to declare that which is the reality of the truth felt about this matter. Through which it is expected to achieve mercy before Allāh on the day that none can take advantage of their wealth nor the families, but purity of the heart from every blemishes and sin. And that which with my efforts to reach to understand [what it] is. What is very wrong and off the path of the truth and it is achieving that which you always hoped for. Convinced, miserable and our misfortunes, their [Mujahideen’s] flimsy excuses, non-existent forces and empty promises that cannot guide us in the end [to what] we desire. And if we look to them, be certain that we will lose faith in the relief of the Turks [Uthmanis], and making sure they, those who see clearly, that they tease and fool us, and we desire our ruin: because they have not gained as much as [they wished to] take advantage of our wealth and our women and daughters, as we have seen. And when they find riches, they will move [back] to their land and leave us laden with troubles and worries, using their usual tyranny and evil, which is their nature, and then they will laugh at us, since we have made and continue to do more than usual where they come. Certainly I tell you, that which has already happened; and many of them have told me that:

“If we do not come [across] more benefits for us than we have seen up to now, we have to loot and take however much we can, And will go [back]; And that [the loot] is worth more than to lead those who stay with the Christians

And they do not hesitate to do so, which they have already begun to do, because as these people are foreigners, barbarians, and lack any loyalty and mercy, and of tyrannical nature and very greedy: This is very normal in easterners[4] and the people of the Maghrib, and as our old proverb says, which approximately is:

“All who come from the east [levant] are good, apart from men and the air”

It is like that, and that the proof which can be seen is done every day [by them]; and for what they have done elsewhere, as in Algiers, where on the call of help by the King of that city, we saw all that was done with the kingdom, and subjugation of all its people, and until today their domain is in decline, [under] tyranny and tribute [i.e. paying tax to the rulers], and it is natural that some would like more to be a tax payer to another [i.e. a Muslim king] than any Christian  king. They did the same in Tunis, in the time of Khair Al Deen ‘Barbarrosa,’ who pretended to want to rescue a king of that city, won the kingdom and was the cause of the destruction of the Muslims, as we all know. These and other similar things have been done in our days…as our prophecy says that our generation will perish [in fighting] ‘Bayna Barbar wa Ajam[5],’ meaning between Berbers and non-arabs[6]

…these contrast to what is found in the Sunna about this [the prophecies], because it is our total destruction and perpetual triumph of the Christians that will subjegate the land of Europe, as is referred to by these words that our Prophet said…

Besides this, I do not know who puts in doubt the power of the great King of Spain, and we compare with him as a fly with an elephant.

And for the excesses that have been done, it can be said, as we have said, the language of the representation of this war, is that of a Mosquito talking to a very tall oak, that, having whispered into it [the Oak] a good time, asks forgiveness for the noise it appears to have made. The Oak responds: Certainly, you do not have to ask forgiveness, because I did not feel it when you entered among my branches, nor when you left them.

In truth I tell you, brothers, that this powerful king is not having [any] more of our madness, which is the noise of the mosquito, and some of us seek revenge, which in an hour would be the [cause of the] end of our lives. Eventhough they [the Spanish] do not send of their people other than the lame.[7] And if we are confident in their [Uthmani and Magrhibi] aid, who are liars, seducing us with promises, the more you get angry, and give cause [to King Philip] to do what Hercules did with the Pygmies[8], which left them all shocked seeing his [Hercules’s] contempt… As well [as that] I want to disappointment you, that in spite of all the relief of the Turks and Arabs and Kings of Africa arriving, it can not win anything [against] the King of Spain, because he is invincible, and today the kings of the east and west are all afraid, and we saw that none dared to attack him… and he [Philip] conquered their frontiers which they have been unable to recover with all the power they have,  staying within the limits of their kingdoms. So if this is so, what confidence do we have, or that which we can assume upon, to take what he [Philip] holds within in his own frontiers?

Considering  this as valid and convincing reasons, I believe, my brethren, to think very well about what we do, and raise the hand of war,[9] seeking some means which will be less damaging to us, to follow the doctrine of the sane which says:

Of two evils, choose the lesser as it is better being blind in one eye than completely blind[10]

I understand the great temperance and fairness that we have seen in this King, who will give us, trying with time, and not being very mad: because the impact of the error made was inconsiderable. In principle the door of remedy is held open, only to be then closed with perseverance and persistence, and as our old proverb says,

Whosoever can not win the game, Good is that which the dawn brings[11]

And forgive me that I do not declare to you who I am, in stating my intention, because I do so for fear of slander by those who want to follow this bad luck, and because the truth was always odious to those who don’t have pride in it. This is written in Al Bushra by one of your special friends, and the well wisher of all,

20th of the moon of Ramadan in the year of 977AH [26 February 1570].

May Allāh make us members of His goods and blessing for His infinite mercy.

(Ibid, 272-279)”

Regarding these ‘prophecies’ that were made, Alonso retorts:

“ ‘I give little credit to any of them [these prophecies of Muslim victory] because there is no mention of them in the Koran or in the Law [Shariah] approved by the Caliphs.’ No one dared to attack the might king of Spain overseas, so ‘how can we hope to take what he holds within in his own frontiers?’ The best course was to surrender and ‘perhaps the king will take pity on us,’ (Goodman, 39).”

Ultimately, Castillo is right in his subversiveness, that indeed the prophecies were not included in the Quran or Shariah. However, the rationale for Muslims to surrender was that, since the Muslim powers overseas, (i.e. the Uthmanis), are not fighting the Spanish, (and neither did they have the courage to fight), then why should the Andalusis? He implies the Uthmanis are not fighting Spain since the Uthmanis do not have the capabilities to defeat the Spanish. So then ‘how, O Andalusian can you defeat the mighty king Philip and the Spanish superpower?’ In fact he goes as far as saying the King Philip was ‘invincible.’ Moreover he plays on a devious but ingenius tactic, which was to divide the Muslims and making the Andalusis fear and despise the ‘foreigners’ and the ‘non-arabs.’ Moreover he eerily uses a concept that Muslims scholars and leaders use today in the current ‘War on terrorism,’ which is that of Maslaha in things where it is not applicable. Alonso De Castillo calls on the Muslims of Al Bushra to put down their arms, even though they might dislike Philip II and giving up jihad but, as Alonso says, “Of two evils, choose the lesser and it is better being blind in one eye than completely blind.” This has become our mantra today because we are told, that America and its NATO allies are ‘invincible,’ and can not be defeated. Men of the Deen now assume that Allāh can be defeated by men, be they American, China or Russia or any other kafir force! May Allāh save us from this tribulation and strengthen our resolve to fight to raise His word the highest. This is what the court scholars of the Muslim world argue, especially those of Pakistan, Saudi and Egypt, regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria and more recently in Gaza, (not to mention the dozen or so jihads going on around the world rejected by these scholars such as the Philipines, Kashmir, Chechnya, Somalia and in East Turkestan).

This tactic of using prophecies, as much falsehood as they are, has been used before, namely in World War II, when leaflets with false Nostradamus quatrains predicting the defeat of France were launched by German planes over European skies. The Allies led by America responded in kind, both with air-dropped leaflets and via the American film Nostradamus Says So. As for more current applications, one does not need to look further than the media during and after the Crusader invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. The media portrayed the American war machines as the greatest of all time and invincible. What could men with a mere Kalashnikov and RPG do against an army that is greater than the Roman Caesar’s? As Cofer Black, the former head of the CIA’s Counterterrorism center told his Russian counterpart before the war in 2001 that, “we’re going to kill them [the mujahideen/Al Qaeda]…were going to put their heads on sticks. Were going to rock their world, (Woodward, 103).” Moreover the same divide and conquer tactic was used during the ‘War on Terror’, as Bob Woodward, (who wrote Bush at War and had full access to the White House and President Bush prior to and during the war), said:

“Second, the CIA experts said it was important to make the war Afghan versus Arab, not some Westerners versus Afghans. It was critical to frame the war as one of liberation…The thousands of foreign born Arabs who had come to Afghanistan to train in Al Qaeda camps were the outsiders, the invaders. The war was against them…(ibid, 114).”

SubhanAllāh! The kuffaar are telling us with their own mouths they want to cause fitnah amongst us and use Muslims to fight Muslims, so then what do those people have that constantly criticize the mujahideen fighting their security forces of Muslim countries? These ‘armies’ have been the vanguard in the crusader army! Good Muslim brothers in these armies, (and there are quite a few), need to realize their grave mistake, repent, fight for the sake of Allāh and not for the sake of money or a job and join the mujahideen before it is too late. Examples of these propaganda devices are the following pamphlets dropped onto Afghanistan during the first phase of the war in 2001. This is the back and front of pamphlet # AFD 040f which attempts to scare the Al Qaeda and Taliban mujahideen into surrender due to the ‘awesome’ might of the American military machine:

pamphlet1

People of Al Qaida, We are Hunting you down (that is what it means roughly)

pamphlet2

People of Al Qaida, You are in our sights (rough translation)

The pamphlet below is AF D48a and encourages fighters to surrender and not fight, because if they do they will be obliterated:

pamphlet3

Stay on the Battlefield and die...

pamphlet4

Flee the battlefield and live to see another day

The pamphlet below is AF D51c and creates the false notion that Al Qaeda controls the Taliban and that ‘foreign’ forces are controlling Afghanistan:

”]pamphlet5

Or even pamphlet AF D24:

pamphlet 6

Kick out the foreign fighters from Afghanistan

To further this point, in a ‘Dateline’ documentary on the Australian SBS channel in circa 2005/2006, footage is shown by the embedded reporter showing US Special forces Psychological Operations men engaging in a PSYOP by broadcasting messages into villages such as where the Pashto speaking translator ask the people of the village (from 5:00-5:10):

“Ask them: who are you? What is your mission in Afghanistan?…When you look at them, these men, they are the servants of Pakistan and slaves to the Punjabis, (SBS, 2005/2006)”

Further footage is show of a PSYOPS team burning the bodies of Taliban Mujahideen and the presenter describes the scene while the burning bodies are in frame, (9:30-9:50):

“US soldiers have set fire to the bodies of the two Taliban killed the night before, the burning of the corpses and the fact they have laid out facing Mecca is a deliberate desecration of Muslims beliefs, (ibid).”

In their defence, the soldiers said they were merely burning the bodies for ‘hygiene purposes.’

Further in the documentary, a propaganda message was blasted into town below by a PSYOPS team while the bodies are still burning on hill above, (10:03-10:20):

“Attention Taliban: you are all cowardly dogs, you allowed your fellow fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You were too scared to come down and retrieve their bodies. This just proves that you are the lady-boys [a cute way of saying homosexuals in the metaphorical sense] we always believed you to be, (ibid).”

The other message from the PSYOPS commander announced into the village was, (10:30-10:46):

“ Attention [Taliban commanders] we know who you are and your time in Afghanistan is short, you attack and run away like women. You call yourself ‘Talibs’ but youre a disgrace to the Muslim religion and you bring shame upon your family. Come and fight like men, instead of the cowardly dogs you are, (ibid).”

So we can see that the Americans are certainly not the first nor the last to use either Islamic concepts, Islamic scholars and even fellow Muslims to fight the Mujahideen and Islam. Our response is that with Allāh is the judgement of those that collaborate with the Americans, NATO or any other Kafir power, but we will kill them here if they do not desist and leave their shameful status as slaves to the kuffaar, putting themselves in the position of losing their hereafter and their worldly possessions and status. As to the Americans, (and in fact to all kafir countries without exception), the accusation that the mujahideen are cowardly is an amazing leap of logic, when it is the American led crusaders who bomb our cities from 50,000 ft. in the sky with 7000 Lbs bombs. Whats the bravery in firing from the air? Come down to the ground if you want a fight. If not, then please spare us your stupidity and lies about your bravery which no one believes in any case, in fact not even your citizens believe it. You quiver when one mujahid with a car with a perhaps a mere 100 Kg of explosives hits one of your bases, which is packed with the latest military hardware, radars, APC’s, helicopters, Mortars and hundreds of men, (and Wifi internet might I add), you all start running around like headless chickens. In the words of Commander Abu al Hassan (رحمة الله عليه) during an interview he gave to Al Jazeera, under the very American jets that he was taunting during the American bombardment in 2001:

“O you Americans: If you are really men as you claim, and if you really are a superpower, then here we are, waiting for you! If you really are men, then come down to the battleground, and by Allāh! We shall seize you as if we were birds! Allāh is with us! And Allāh is our Patron! While you have no patron! And we are awaiting jannah, while you are awaiting the Fire in this world and the next![12]

We should learn from the mistakes of our past that people like Alsonso De Castillo still exist and are willing to sell their deen for a measly price and to earn the gratitude of their kafir masters. Namely these are the Army officials who openly collude with the Americans and kill and/or imprison mujahideen themselves. They are also the government officials of the Muslim world that have sold us all out for a measly price to be known as ‘true’ democracies, while abolishing whatever sembelance of Islamic law there was in our lands. They are those who supply supplies to the kafir troops such as oil, food and other supplies. They are also those translators who work for the kafir armies. All of these people should be killed for their treachery, (until and unless they desist, repent, and leave their positions and at the very least, not become an impediment to the mujahideen by way of their speech or actions).

Returning to Andalus, by March 1570, Galera and Wadi Ash were retaken, while the Duke of Sesa had already taken over Orgiva and Albuenales. Both armies now headed towards Al Bushra to crush the mujahideen. Ibn Abu decided to dispatch 800 men in multiple positions fom Andarash to Orgiva, an additional 1000 troops in various locations towards the south near Adra and Almeria and another 600 troops to harry Spanish forces all the way to Balsh-Malaqa. All these troops were meant to disrupt the Duke of Sesa’s supply and reinforcement columns. Ibn Abu kept with himself 4000 Arquebusiermen and crossbowmen at Andarash, while two thousand of these were sent ahead to keep an eye on the Duke of Sesa’s camp, which was nearby. In April 1570, (the specific date is unknown), it is reported that Al Habaqi, Muhammad Ibn Abu, (Ibn Abu’s deputy and brother), Musa Cache[13] and Al Husseini, (the Turkish captain), came out to negotiate, (against the wishes of and without the knowledge of Emir Ibn Abu), with the Spanish and offered to cease the jihad if the Spanish promised a royal pardon, freedom for Muslims to return to their homes and for the freedom for Muslims to leave Spain for the Maghrib. They also asked for safe passage for the foreign mujahideen, (Turks and Maghribis), and were granted it. As will be proved in a few pages, these negotiations were carried out against the wishes of Emir Ibn Abu. In due course, due to these negotiations, Husseini, Caravaji, Caracaj and Nabil[14] returned to their homelands soon after). The outcome of this jihad was beginning to look bleak as the foreign contingent of the mujahideen, specifically Al Habaqi, Caracaj, Musa Cache and Nabil had betrayed their commander and started negotiating for a surrender. Once again internal dissension and betrayal seemed poised to derail the jihad.

On April 16, 1570, The Duke of Sesa sent 1000 infantry and 100 cavalrymen with supplies from Garnata through the La Ravaha pass, (through the Al Bushra mountains), to reinforce his troops at La Calahorra, (which was located north of Andarash on the other side of the mountains). Ibn Abu received word of this convoy and sent one of his governors, Al-Arabi, with 500 men to follow the convoy and await orders. Al Arabi split his army into three divisions with 100 under his personal command while the other two divisions had 200 men each. The tactics for the ambush lay in the fact that the Spanish convoy consisted of a rearguard which was preceded by the supply convoy which was preceded by the vanguard. Al Arabi’s second division was meant to mount an attack to bracket the rearguard by mounting a frontal attack on the rearguard, separating them from the rest. Al Arabi’s third division would then mount a rear attack on the vanguard and separate them from the rest of the group, and in effect, the supply convoy would be left undefended and isolated, which Al Arabi would destroy:

Ambush 3

The attack was a resounding success and the supply convoy and the supporting troops were decimated. What was more shocking was that the Spanish vanguard did not come to the aid of their rearguard as they believed that the cavalry of their rearguard running was a sign of them successfully repulsing the attack of the mujahideen! The Spanish lost 1000 men and fifteen were taken as prisoner by the mujahideen. They also free seventy Muslim women that were taken by the Christians and had taken more than 300 horses and mules as spoils. Deigo Hurtado de Mendoza said of the mujahideen that “they did not have a single man wounded, killed or taken prisoner, (Mendoza, 225).” In light of this disaster, and the increased mujahideen presence in the key La Ravaha pass, (which was the main corridor for supplies from Granada to the northern end of the mountains), he decided to give up on receiving supplies and went to Berja to preempt any attempt by the mujahideen resupplying Andarash with supplies and men from the Maghrib, (Berja was on the road from the port city of Adra). Increasingly the Spanish were now turning to a ‘scorched earth’ policy, wherein, when they did not find the mujahideen they would burn the crops of the areas they passed through to deprive the Muslims who live there of a livelihood and food and slowly, but surely, starve them.

Disquiet and desertion was rising in the Duke of Sesa’s camp. He left a group of troops at Ugijar, (between Orgiva and Andarash), and they had moved south to Adra to resupply but soldiers were talking about mutinying against the Duke. In any case, 300 Arquebusiermen went out with a courier for messages, presumably, for King Phillip II and Don John. Al Arabi and another captain ambushed them, and killed 200 of them, while 70 were taken prisoner. In fact the garrison that the Duke had left at Ugijar had deserted and the Muslims picked up plentiful spoils including munitions and gunpowder, (ibid, 227). Ibn Abu’s success continued when they raided Salobrena, (a town close to the coast and south of the Lecrin Valley), and captured many Spanish and Italian, (probably Venetian), merchants and gained a large amount of spoils from them. Ibn Abu sent another ambush party towards Garnata and ambushed Don Deigo Osario, “…who was carrying dispatches from the king for Don John and the duke. These dispatches were highly secret containing…plans for finishing the war and information about our [Spanish] knowledge of the negotiations that El Habqui [Al Habaqi] had been conducting in Algiers with the Turks, (ibid).” Don Deigo escaped, but the intelligence was invaluable. The Spanish themselves were collecting intelligence, and captured Muslim communiqués and Spanish spies indicated that the Uthmanis wanted to resupply Ibn Abu by landing supplies at Castil de Ferro, (where a mujahideen garrison existed to secure supplies), and march them north towards the mountains. The Spanish decided to siege Castil de Ferro, and as was mentioned before, the Spanish were attacking a garrison that barely numbered 60 people. Knowing that they were outnumbered, the garrison held out till the night, wherein they escaped and regressed towards Andarash and joined up with Ibn Abu. Therein, Ibn Abu had lost his port which would allow for supply of men and arms and escape of women and children, (many wives of the Muslims were found in the garrison at Castil de Ferro awaiting escape to the Maghrib). Nevertheles, as we shall see later, the mujahideen managed to land at the port in spite of it being under control of the Spanish. The noose had begun to tighten.


[1] Standing guard or defending the borders of the territory of Islam

[2] Uthmani khalifa, Salim II

[3] Prophesizing events on the basis of omens was unfortunately a bidah that was prevalent at this time and before, in Andalus.

[4] levantiscos

[5] Actually it also means non Arab or Persian or Barbarian

[6] ‘Advenedizos.’ This translates as upstart or new comer, which would be wrong in the context. I have corrected it in the text

[7] The Spanish are destroying the Muslims even while fielding a sub par army. The best is yet to come according to this traitor, Alonso de Castillo. May Allah give him what he deserves.

[8] The Pygmies were a tribe of diminutive humans in Greek mythology. Their name in Greek was Pygmaioi, from pygmê, the length of the forearm. In the Greek legend in question, the Pygmies once encountered Hercules, and climbing all over the sleeping Hercules attempted to bind him down, but when he stood up they fell off.

[9] i.e. surrender

[10] A false and devious invitation to use Maslaha which is a concept invoked to prohibit or permit something on the basis of whether or not it serves the public’s benefit or welfare. In this case to give allegiance to the kuffaar and accept to be ruled over by a law other than the shariah.

[11] The meaning of this proverb is roughly, “If you cant win, quit and live to see another day”

[12] Al Sahab Media production, entitled “Commander Abu Al-Hassan: Jihad and Martyrdom”

[13] Another unknown entity, but he is likely a member of Ibn Abu’s Shura and a foreign mujahid as well, (i.e. from Turkey or the Maghrib)

[14] A heretofor unknown Turkish commander, but he shall be mentioned shortly in the context of peace negotiations with the Spanish.

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