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My first meeting with Shaykh Mansoor al Shami (رحمه الله), a Mujahid scholar and member of the Central Shariah Committee of Tandheem Qa’edatul Jihad, took place in Khurasan in 2005. I was participating in a course in the training camp when he came to
spend a day with the participants of the course. In this meeting, Al Qa’eda’s military head, Shaykh Khalid Habib was also accompanying Shaykh Mansoor al Shami (May Allah have mercy on them). After the Asr prayer, Shaykh Mansoor delivered a brief lecture and exhorted the brothers to rectify their deeds. After this an informal session of questions and answers started. During the discussion, a question was raised about takfeer. Shaykh Khalid Habib commented, “There are two words which irritate me greatly: Takfeer and Talaq (divorce).”

Hearing this, Shaykh Mansoor al Shami interrupted him and said: “What you have said is not correct. Both these words are terminologies given to us by the Shariah. If they are used at the right place and in the right manner, expressing distaste for them will not be right. Therefore, you should not express your distaste in such general terms.”

May Allah shower Shaykh Khalid Habib with His mercy! I saw that he was listening quietly and obediently to the words of the Shaykh with his head bowed down. There were no signs of displeasure on his face, despite the fact that he was senior to Shaykh Mansoor in terms of military leadership, experience and time spent in Jihad. Such immense respect for religious knowledge and scholars from a central military leader and showing such humility in front of a scholar was such a profound and practical lesson that could never be understood by reading lengthy books.

– The Story of a Tranquil Soul, Resurgence Magazine (Issue 1, Page – 23).

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