New release from Fursān al-Shām Media: "Interview With Abū Bakr al-Brīṭānī: About His Journey to the Levant"

What was it that made you take that step towards Hijrah?
Subhan’Allah living in the UK is very difficult, I felt as if I was imprisoned, you know you can’t really express your feelings, in case you’re being watched by the secret services or suspicion could be raised about you, it’s very difficult for someone who has such passion for the Muslim Ummah to be able to express his feelings.
So Subhan’Allah Ya’ani, it’s not easy to read news regarding Ahlu Sunnah in Syria where you are oppressed because you simply believe in Allah, follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). Watching videos of innocent and helpless Muslims getting tortured by the regime, similar to Iraq, Burma and other Muslim countries; alongside these I was inspired by a few Mashaikh who would always talk about the situation of the Muslim Ummah and had links with Jihad.
They spoke about how Jihad would bring back the pride of Islam that we once had – such as Shaikh Abu Qatada al-Filistini, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Shaikh al-Muhaysini, because he was active in Syria, may Allah preserve them, and Shaikh Anwar al-Awlaqi who really had a big impact on me, I used to watch him at a young age, my family would always watch his lectures until it got to a point where he went to Yemen to join al-Qaeda. My parents, may Allah protect them, would then discourage me to follow his videos.
How did you go about making preparations for Hijrah, and were your family aware about you leaving them?
In terms of planning the routes, Allah made it easy for me, very easy to find hotel bookings, finding the tickets were not really an obstacle, you know it maybe less than an hour to get everything sorted out. In terms of planning, Alhamdulillah, Allah سبحانه وتعالى made it easy.
In terms of navigating my way from Turkey to Syria, Allah سبحانه وتعالى made it easy. At times I thought to myself “that’s it I’m going to get caught and sent back” when I got my passport taken off me in Turkey and inspected by the police, I could feel my heart pounding intensely, my knees shaking but Subhan’Allah once I began remembering Allah and the verse in Surah Al-Baqarah: {Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil….} [Al-Baqarah; 2:7]. Allah blinded the Kuffar and I arrived safely.
In terms of letting my parents know, I told them whilst I was in Turkey that I was in Syria, because I got nervous when I accidentally answered a phone call from them. They wanted to know where I was because I was out of my house for so long, roughly four days.
Before I left I told them I went to visit my cousin in another city but unfortunately that failed because they contacted him. I really couldn’t say anything, when I spoke to my parents I kind of began to stutter, I got really nervous, they began to suspect so I just told them.
I told them I was in Syria with hope they wouldn’t call the police and they had known where I was and they wouldn’t panic as much but the opposite had occurred. If you really want to participate in Jihad Fi SabilAllah and your heart is pure and your niyyah is for the sake of Allah, Allah will find you a way out from every hardship. Alhamdulilah they constantly make Dua for me now.

What were the items you took when coming to Syria?

While preparing to come to Syria the expectations I had of it was that it was going to be similar to Afghanistan, as a result I brought with me many items which I didn’t need and some of which can be found in Syria. One thing which I overloaded in my luggage was clothes some of which I would not need later, as a fighter the best thing for one to wear is combat gear, which is provided here, or you can buy some using your own money. I also brought with me daily hygiene items which can be found in Syria.
An advice for those wanting to take part in Hijrah to Syria:
My first advice would be to not procrastinate and let the whispering of Shaitan hinder you from this path, if you’re not ready start preparations today, in terms of saving money, and even learning Arabic, [then] prepare yourself spiritually by increasing in good deeds and Dua for Allah to make things easy for you, take full measures to ensure your Hijrah goes well and put your trust in Allah سبحانه وتعالى .
Jazak’Allahu khair for conducting this interview with us.