"Clerics who advocate the concept of global jihad see coming to Syria in order to wage jihad as a personal duty incumbent upon all able Muslim men."
"Fatwas For The Land Of Jihad - Part II: Young Men From The Middle East, Europe And The U.S. Turn To Minbar Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad Clerics For Guidance Before Departing For Syria," MEMRI
The following report will review queries submitted by young men from the West and from Arab countries who sought guidance from the clerics of Minbar Al-Tawhid Wal Jihad before traveling to wage jihad in Syria and the clerics’ responses.
Generally speaking, many clerics have ruled that the situation in Syria constitutes a defensive jihad, a war to repel a non-Muslim enemy that invaded a Muslim country (jihad al-daf'). According to this ruling, clerics who advocate the concept of global jihad see coming to Syria in order to wage jihad as a personal duty incumbent upon all able Muslim men. This ruling is similar to rulings given in the past with regard to various conflicts by radical clerics, most prominently by Abdallah 'Azzam in the 1980s during the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. According to these clerics, this ruling overrides considerations that would normally limit the obligation, such as the need to receive permission from parents or debtors and so on. Still, despite this sweeping ruling, many youths who accept it and actively consider going to jihad have doubts or hesitations due to various reasons. They seek the guidance of a cleric, and a personal ruling for themselves. Therefore, they submit queries explaining their personal circumstances and considerations in favor of or against their going.
In past years, Minbar Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad (MTJ) clerics received dozens of such queries, most of which were answered on behalf of MTJ’s shari’a committee by Abu Mundhir Al-Shinqiti. 47 of these were compiled in a six-part series of fatwas titled “Questions on Moblization.”
Al-Shinqiti addressed personal, ideological, practical and moral issues raised by individuals who were weighing whether to join a jihad front, mainly Syria.
Where Do Jihadi Recruits Come From?
The kinds of men who submit mobilization questions appear to reflect the general makeup of the foreign fighters in Syria.