The leader of ISIS’ caliphate, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has appeared in public leading the jummah prayers at Mosul’s landmark mosque, Masjid Al-Nuri.
Speaking from the mimbar (pulpit) al-Baghdadi urged Muslims from around the world to make hijra to the “Islamic state” which was announced on Sunday 29 June, first day of Ramadan.
Dressed in a black thobe (robe) and turban he said to the congregation: “Your brothers the mujahideen, indeed did Allah, blessed and exalted, give them victories and conquests which came after many years of hardship and patience.
“And they were firm against the enemies of Allah, and He made them powerful in the land until the declaration of the Khilafah and selection of an imam. And this is a matter obligatory upon all Muslims. It is Waajib (obligatory)! And it must be applied upon the earth entirely. Yet most of the people are ignorant.
“And they established it, all glory and thanks is to Allah. And if you have forfeited this huge blessing, if you have forfeited this heavy burden, turn away from that, and you will have forfeited the blessing in you.“I’ve been tested by Allah in my election as caliph. It’s a heavy burden. I’m no better than you. Advise me when I err and follow me if I succeed. And assist me against the tawagheet (false deities).
“I am the wali (leader) who presides over you, though I am not the best of you, so if you see that I am right, assist me.
“If you see that I am wrong, advise me and put me on the right track, and obey me as long as I obey God in you.”
His public appearance in Mosul came just as Iraqi officials claimed that he had been severely injured in a raid by government forces in Anbar province and had since fled to Syria.
The decision to come out of hiding may have been aimed at disproving such claims, as well as demonstrating to numerous Islamist and jihadist organisations that have rejected the Islamic state on the basis of its lack of internal and external security.
The full khutbah can be viewed on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itu6NhED9Yk&feature=youtu.be
The full transcript of the speech can be read here: https://justpaste.it/g40p