Chattanooga gunman Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez kept a "short-lived" blog that included only two posts that were written on July 13, according to the Daily Beast.
Both posts, which discuss themes pertaining to Islamic theology, Allah, and efforts to remain committed to the faith, were written on Monday, just days before the shooting rampage.
The first post titled, "A Prison Called Dunya," cites Abu Huraira, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, who said, "The world is a prison for the believer and a paradise for the unbeliever."
"Dunya" is a term that refers to the Earthly realm.
In addition to citing other Islamic doctrine, Abdulazeez reportedly wrote:
Imagine that you are taken by force and placed in a prison. Once in the prison you realize that the living arrangements in this prison really aren’t that bad. There is a sun room, a TV to watch, computer to use, phone, different kinds of food, and even a section for exercise. After spending a couple weeks in the prison you get used to it and develop a routine. You still aren’t sure why you are in prison, or how long you will be there, but you are comfortable in your life. At this time one of the guards enters with a large folder that he hands you. You open the folder and read its instructions, stating that you will be spending the next couple years in this prison, and at the end of this term you will be given a test at a random time. It could be in 2 years or it could be in 4. The instructions state that passing this exam will result in you being released to the city of your choice and your living expenses will be paid as well as an allowance. Failing will lead to your transfer to another prison cell, one that has no windows or accessories except a hole in the ground for you to relieve yourself, and your meals will be the same oats and water day after day until you die.
A study guide for the test is included in the folder, and you are left alone. Put yourself in this position. What would you do?
I would imagine that any sane person would devote their time to mastering the information on the study guide and stay patient with their studies, only giving time for the other things around to keep themselves focused on passing the exam. They would do this because they know and have been told that they will be rewarded with pleasures that they have never seen.
This post, which focuses on not being distracted by the things of this world, is intriguing considering that Abdulazeez was reportedly arrested in April for a DUI, among other related driving offenses.
A second post attributed to Abdulazeez titled, "Understanding Islam: The Story of the Three Blind Men," focuses on an illustration about three blind men who want to see what an elephant looks like, so they head to a zoo and are ushered over to a cage.
Being without sight, the individuals are forced to use their other senses — mainly touch — to try and figure out what the animal looks like:
They went around the elephant touching it from different parts. One of the blind men grabbed the ear of the elephant, the second one grabbed the foot, and the third one grabbed the tail of the elephant.
When they went back people were asking them, “what do you know about the elephant?” The one who grabbed the ear said, “Well the elephant is very wide and flat”. The other two became upset and said, “No, that is not correct”. The one who grabbed the foot said, “He’s wrong. It’s just like the trunk of a tree”. The third one said “Both of you don’t know what you are talking about, the elephant is like a long rope”. They continued arguing and could not come to an agreement on the appearance of the elephant.
This story was used to compare how some Muslims handle their faith, as the author noted that people might walk away with different interpretations of the same theological construct.
But then he moved on to discuss the Sahabah — companions of Muhammad who knew him or who saw him during his lifetime — and their devotion to Allah, noting that they became political leaders and soldiers at the end of their lives.
The text dismisses the notion that these individuals were "priests living in monasteries."
"We talk about their worshiping at night, making thikr, reading quran, fasting, sala. But did you ever notice that in one certain period towards the end of the lives of the Sahaba (RA), almost every one of the Sahaba (RA) was a political leader or an army general?" the post reads. "Every one of them fought Jihad for the sake of Allah. Every one of them had to make sacrifices in their lives and some even left all their wealth to make hijrah to Medina."
Screenshot from the blog allegedly belonging to Chattanooga shooter
The post explains that these Islamic leaders were extremely involved in ensuring that Islam spread across the globe, concluding with the following line: "We ask Allah to make us follow their path. To give us a complete understanding of the message of Islam, and the strength the live by this knowledge, and to know what role we need to play to establish Islam in the world."
The SITE Intelligence Group also maintains that the blog was kept by Abdulazeez.
(H/T: Daily Beast)