Dated: 13 June 2014
Original source (Video, Arabic):
This is my attempt at translating the fatwa that initiated al-hashd al-sha’bi in June 2014. Delivered by Sistani’s representative Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai.
Translation starts here:
Oh brothers and sisters… The situation that Iraq and its citizens are going through is very dangerous, we must be aware of the profound nature of the responsibility placed on our shoulders it is an important national duty and responsibility. Oh brothers and sisters, I want to make the following clear:
Firstly, Iraq and its people face a huge challenge, and a grave danger, for the terrorists are not seeking to take control of just a few provinces, such as Nineva and Salah ad Din, but they have declared they are targeting all of Iraq’s provinces, and especially Baghdad, Holy Karbala and Honourable Najaf, therefore they are targeting all Iraqis, wherever they live… the responsibility for confronting and fighting them [the terrorists] is the responsibility of all, not of one sect or one party alone.
Secondly, though the challenge is great, the Iraqi people are known for their courage and boldness, and bearing their national responsibilities and duties in difficult circumstances when they faced even greater challenges and dangers. In the present time, the responsibility is to protect our country, and our holy sites from danger, and this provides us with more incentive for sacrifice in the causes of preserving the unity of our country, its dignity, and the defence of its holy places from being disgraced by these aggressors. The citizens, pledged to patience and courage, must not allow fear and frustration to creep up in their minds, but this must be as an incentive to more sacrifice in the cause of preserving the country and its holy sites.
Thirdly, the political leadership faces a huge historical, national responsibility and duty, to leave behind the differences and rivalries of this difficult period, unify their position and words, and support for the Iraqi forces, and make this an additional strength for the Iraqi army, to make them steadfast and constant.
Fourthly, the defence performed by our armed Forces and security organs, is a holy defence against these terrorist aggressors. This is confirmed when we clearly see the methods of the methods of these terrorists are unjust methods far from the spirit of Islam, they reject co-existing with others in peace, depending on violence and the shedding of blood, and provoking sectarian strife, in order to advance their influence and domination over Iraq and other states.
Oh people of the armed forces, you face a historical, national responsibility and duty, your purpose, intention, and motive will be defending the sanctity of Iraq and its unity, preserving the safety of its citizens and protecting its holy places from dishonour, and pushing the evil away from this aggrieved country and its injured people.
The Marja’ia stressed its support for you, and urges you to show courage, bravery, fortitude, patience, and, this is an important point, he amongst you that sacrifices his life for his country, its people, and its land, will be a martyr, God willing. The father must encourage his son, the mother her son, the wife her husband, in steadfastness and constancy in defending the sanctity of this country and its citizens.
Fifthly, the nature of the imminent threat to Iraq in the present time requires defending the nation, its people, its land and citizens, and this is wajib kafai [collective duty], a duty incumbent on those capable of realizing the objective, which is preserving Iraq, its people and its holy sites. To clarify this with an example, if ten thousand take up the call and achieve the objective then the duty is not incumbent upon others, if the objective isn’t achieved then the duty remains.
Therefore, it is incumbent on citizens able to carry weapons and fight the terrorists, to defend their country, their people, and their holy sites, they should volunteer to serve in the security forces for this holy purpose.
Sixthly, many of the officers and soldiers have performed admirably in defending and remaining steadfast and have made sacrifices. The concerned bodies must honour these with special honour, so they obtain their entitlements so that this becomes an incentive to others to perform the national duty which rests on their shoulders.
We ask that God Almighty preserve Iraq, its people, and all people. “