Jinnah’s Words Iqbal’s Thoughts Divided the Jewel of the World, Twice

I was motivated to research on the Fall of Dhaka after I had been convinced that Pakistan was created by the sweat and blood of “Bengali Muslims” as much as by any other ethnic Muslim group in Undivided Hindustan. Although Dr Iqbal did not dream of Bengal to be a part of his Pakistan, but that does not matter, because  in the elections of 1946, AIML (All India Muslim League) received its largest mandate from Bengal. By 1947, Bengalis managed to create their dream country Pakistan. Not on ethnic or linguistic basis, but on ideological grounds. Why then did the minority Pakistanis in the western half accuse the majority Bengali Muslims of being “traitors”, “separatists”, “un-civilized” and “un-Islamic”? What objective was the comparison serving, sir? If Faith and Ideology had been the cornerstones for Pakistan, then it defeats every intelligent thought to reduce that lofty ideal to a linguistic, cultural and racial comparison. Does that mean that those who used these Jahilii (illiterate) statements were just plain stupid?

I understand that the British-ness of the so-called aristocrats and zamindars of the landed elites must have had an appeal of majesty which the poor farmers and fishermen could only hold in awe, but that’s utter ignorance isn’t it sir to lift up and hold in esteem the culture of the usurpers against whom, we are supposed to believe, we struggled against to get independence? BTW, I don’t think any community “gets” independence until and unless the balance of power shifts. In 1947, the balance shifted away from the British and went to the Americans.

Pakistani Bengali Muslims had never accused their western rulers of anything but “economic” discrimination. That’s quite a brilliant stand if one thinks about it. Anybody can check that claim against the historical data to verify its authenticity. For eg, which wing got the lion share of the budget? Which wing got majority of development funds and foreign aid? which community benefited most from access to finance and private credit? From which part did the country get most of its foreign exchange from? Which wing was the “majority” and which wing was the more economically “prosperous” one?

Should the Pakistani Bengalis be guilty of fabrications, lies and deceits, with regard to the above Economic statistics, then by all means they should deserve the blame for splitting the country into two. But what if they had facts and figures and supporting documents (from Islamabad) to back up their claims about the policies of “discrimination” against them? What then, sir?

The fact is this, Pakistani Bengalis were pushed out FORCEFULLY by the elites. So long as Bengalis remained part of Pakistan it would be almost impossible by certain political dynasties to capture, subjugate and steal from the masses. Not a new game I’m afarid. The real traitors who pushed the majority Pakistanis out of Pakistan learned the particular art of from the partition of 1947.

You see, we Muslims did not leave Delhi because we disliked it after living there for 1000 years. Delhi was the heartbeat (and still is) of all Hindustani and non-Hindustani Muslims. Why did we leave Delhi? We were forcefully pushed out of Delhi. Muslims were exiled, thrown out, evacuated, displaced, having been fooled into believing that we were “migrating” (a holy concept from Islamic history). Well, in reality we were not migrating, we were being kicked out of our most magnificent city in the world!!

British trained lawyers Jinnah on one hand and the famous British knight Sir Iqbal the poet-philosopher of the British Empire sold the idea of “defeatspeak” to the Muslims. They basically said, “hey look, you guys, you Moslems will suffer under the Hindus, they will never ever give you what you truly deserve. So, its in your best interest to leave Delhi and Agra to the Hindus and you Moslems go as refugees to a new country. Don’t worry about our glorious 1000 year Islamic legacy. Leave India to the Hindus, just as it was under Hindus before our arrival. So come on now, pack up and leave!”.

Bloody insane. Muslims started to believe that Delhi and Agra really should be evacuated by them. They should become Refugees and that their 1000 year love affair with Delhi and Agra should be abandoned because these really smart guys Jinnah and Sir Iqbal said so.

Why did the Muslims not open their minds? The fact is that Jinnah and others were either poor copies of their British colonial masters or incredibly greedy for fame and peerage. They had no originality. On the other hand, it would have been in the best interest of Moslems to declare their loyalty, their 1000 year passion for Delhi, Agra, Calcutta and every other city in the breadth and corner of Hindustan with total devotion to all the people who lived in those cities and villages.

Every Hindu, Moslem, Budhist, religious and non religious man, woman, child should be cared for by a Moslem befitting his religious obligation commanded to him by the One Almighty Creator of all Humanity. Moslems should have said, “hey thanks Mr Jinnah and Sir Iqbal. But we are prepared to taste martyrdom for the defense of our cities and its diversities. Every child is ours to protect. Every inch of land is ours to defend. Every religion is ours to color. We are not leaving that which our forefathers built by their blood.”

Had the Moslems stood up for her Hindustan, every man, woman and child would have stood by her side also. Don’t believe me? Look up the War of Independence 1857 under Bahadur Shah Zafar. Look up the Khilafat Movement of Ali Brothers. Also, don’t forget to search upon the great Subhash Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army. You will see what I mean when I say that it was always Natural for Hindus and Muslims to be united. It was this forceful separation which was “un-natural” for the people and the wonderful land of Hindustan.

Allow me to expose the blunders of Jinnah and Iqbal. In undivided Hindustan, United Bengal today would have had a population of 220 million making Bengal, as it always was, the single largest legislative assembly, with the highest number of representatives to the Central Legislature in Delhi. Punjab and Maharashtra would be second and third. With the support of other states, especially Punjab, the ruler of Hindustan would have alternated between a Muslim from Dhaka or Calcutta, a Muslim or a Sikh from Punjab, a Muslim or a Hindu from Maharashtra. The chances of a Muslim ruler for undivided Hindustan would have been 60% – 70%. The British colonialists were smart cookies. They invented the Westminister Parliamentary system and they could figure out what was coming if United Hindustan became truly independent. India would once again climbed its way back to be the most important country in the world, in every possible sense! Under Mughals, India controlled 25% of world GDP. A feat recently matched only by the US. With a Muslim ruler, Undivided Hindustan would become the pre-eminent Muslim country and Muslim superpower in the world, the like of which the world had never seen before thanks to the educated Scientists and Educationists in India.

How to stop Muslims from obtaining superpower status? Push them out of Delhi and Calcutta, of-course. Pushing the Muslims away from their political, cultural and spiritual seats of Delhi and Calcutta was un-imaginable in the last 1000 years. But it became a reality in less than 10 (since the Lahore Resolution) thanks to the cunning lawyers and poets.

The partition of India followed by the Partition of Pakistan came after costly prices had to be paid in blood by Muslims for remaining “ignorant” and “stagnant” with regard to the universal, humanistic and transcending principles of Islam….

Broken Wings Indo-Pak-Bangla 1947-71

Today, after many years have passed, I have nothing left out of that beautiful dream except painful memories flapping like invisible wings around me, filling the depths of my heart with sorrow, and bringing tears to my eyes; and my beloved, beautiful Selma, is dead and nothing is left to commemorate her except my broken heart and tomb surrounded by cypress trees. That tomb and this heart are all that is left to bear witness of Selma.

The silence that guards the tomb does not reveal God’s secret in the obscurity of the coffin, and the rustling of the branches whose roots suck the body’s elements do not tell the mysteries of the grave, by the agonized sighs of my heart announce to the living the drama which love, beauty, and death have performed.

Oh, friends of my youth who are scattered in the city of Beirut, when you pass by the cemetery near the pine forest, enter it silently and walk slowly so the tramping of your feet will not disturb the slumber of the dead, and stop humbly by Selma’s tomb and greet the earth that encloses her corpse and mention my name with deep sigh and say to yourself, “here, all the hopes of Gibran, who is living as prisoner of love beyond the seas, were buried. On this spot he lost his happiness, drained his tears, and forgot his smile.”

Ay that tomb grows Gibran’s sorrow together with the cypress trees, and above the tomb his spirit flickers every night commemorating Selma, joining the branches of the trees in sorrowful wailing, mourning and lamenting the going of Selma, who, yesterday was a beautiful tune on the lips of life and today is a silent secret in the bosom of the earth.

Oh, comrades of my youth! I appeal to you in the names of those virgins whom your hearts have loved, to lay a wreath of flowers on the forsaken tomb of my beloved, for the flowers you lay on Selma’s tomb are like falling drops of dew for the eyes of dawn on the leaves of withering rose. (Khalil Gibran, Broken Wings).

I belong to the race that ranges from the Indus in the West to the Karnaphully in the East. I am South Asian. The history of my people is rather a sad one, images of blood, bodies, dishonor and many horrors I feel ashamed to pen down here flash immediately. This is how court historians painted our minds. The colors are thick and deep, looking nearly impossible to remove from the canvas of our minds. We have been forced to believe that we fought to liberate our wings so that the bird of freedom could fly high. We blamed the other wing for whatever went wrong. The blame game just repeats year after year. What does it matter, I ask, if I blame my right hand or left hand for my crimes? We killed ourselves, we humiliated ourselves, and now we blame ourselves for what we did to ourselves with our own hands. What could be more pathetic than this ridiculous suggestion for our future generations as a way to know their history.

In Khalil Gibran’s classic, Broken Wings, he paints a picture of a lovely woman Selma, a prisoner of priests and rulers due to her circumstances. Selma is the poet’s metaphor for our beloved country, as is the Indian sub-continent for perhaps almost a billion people. The murderous campaigns of death committed upon Selma of Hindustan in the last one hundred years scream in silence beneath the smoke of nationalism, socialism and other isms crafted by the priests and rulers, local and foreign.

1905 Dhaka, birthplace of the Muslim League, the party founded by British loyalist Sir Agha Khan to act as a “bridge” between Muslim community and the British imperialists. Did Selma know that this was the beginning of the Priest-Politician syndicate? Selma’s lover (read common people) was fooled by the slogans and the Royal certifications and peerage given to him by his slave master – the British Royalty. The lover was dumb enough to believe that the founding fathers of the Muslim League were really looking after the Muslim community’s interest, as opposed to the British Royal imperial interests.

British loyalists told the lover to separate Selma from her family (Hindustan) for good. Why? Because her family disallowed eating Beef amongst other things. Leaving the family, the lover was told, would be in the best interest of Selma and would ensure a bright future for her, Selma would get her Freedom, her right to self determination, and it was for Selma to make that happen by abandoning her past, that is, a very long past.

Selma separated. Left a 1000 year inheritance behind. Left her people, her admirers, her protectors, her jewels, her fortresses, her monuments, her history, her culture, her Taj Mahal, because her lover believed this was exactly what was needed for Selma for her happiness. Her screams got louder yet only her tears heard them, her eyes looked back at what she was leaving behind, the legacy of her family built on the sacrifices over a thousand years, all vanishing before her. No worries, the priest-ruler syndicate reminded, we will build hundreds of Taj Mahals, bigger and shinier than the old junk left behind.

Selma gained independence granted to her by the imperial masters (read owners) at the price of cutting herself into two. She did that. So did her lover. Two Selmas and two lovers. Hearts of lovers must be jealous hearts. Each wing wanted Selma all for itself. Once again, Selma was told, by the priest-ruler club to cut her wings into another two. Only one lover could have Selma all for himself. The other had to die. This was in Selma’s best interest, she was quickly reminded, again. So it was, just as planned, by the priest-ruler camp, Selma was cut into two. One lover died. But this time, so did Selma. Selma died out of grief. The dagger that killed Selma was made with the steel of pain, sharp as her spirit’s screams and pointed like her tear drops.

The lover that survived manages still to live with the memory of beautiful Selma. He built a mural in her honor, drops roses in her name and visits her tomb annually singing praises and hymns about Selma’s virtue, eminence and elegance.

The question that Khalil Gibran might want to ask his dedicated readers is this.

Who do you think truly loved Selma? Or did she ever have a true love?

A true love in my eyes is one who makes the self sacrifice for his beloved, not the other way round. The priest-ruler class loved Selma for their own selves, for their own self centric ambitions. True lover of Selma would have gladly sacrificed his desires to keep Selma spiritually together, to not cut her up into pieces again and again, to protect her history, her honor, her culture, her legacy, her smiles, her happiness and to ultimately protect Selma’s family and her people. That would have been true love for Selma, to fight for her, to remove the iron chains from her neck, and if necessary to offer Selma the lover’s ultimate sacrifice.

The legacy of blood in the Indo-Pak-Bangla sub-con reminds us of our history of betrayal by the priest-ruler classes, over and over again.

Explore More : https://www.dawn.com/news/1359141

Why Nawaz Sharif’s Economic Model Failed

South Asians (from India-Pakistan-Bangladesh) are well known for low wages, good work ethics and more importantly for delicious feasts. Investment Bankers from Europe and Americas like to congratulate South Asians for being at the center of global financial attraction and the preferred destination for investment. Especially since China, Singapore, Thailand, Korea and Malaysia have achieved their development objectives, its now time for South Asia to move up. South Asians however, disappointed the world and more importantly its citizens for repeated failures in Transparency, Governance and Rule of Law.

All this despite the fact that South Asia happens to be blessed with abundant resources ranging from the majestic Himalayas in the north to the beautiful blue waters of the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal in the south. Population of 1.5 billion people, mostly young and hard working. Large agricultural lands add to its growing industrial base enjoying a good portion of world textiles and garments production. Resources couldn’t help Pakistan from spiraling down to its current low. South Asians would like to know “is it because of the corrupt politicians, or is it because of the System itself?”

First, there was the war of 1971, until then Pakistan was the combination of West and East Pakistan and a shining star for Development Economics, before the generals decided it launch genocide on its own citizens in the country’s Eastern Wing, resulting in a humiliating defeat for the Pakistan Army, making way for the birth of independent Bangladesh.

In reality, West Pakistani generals in their utter brilliance managed to secede from the majority part of the country (East Pakistan), breaking up a united Pakistan into the new Pakistan and Bangladesh. Statistics will show that the economic progress of united Pakistan in the 60’s came mainly from the export of Jute (East Pakistan) and Cotton products (West Pakistan), whereas the distribution of wealth favored mostly the Western wing, regardless of East Pakistan’s contribution or its majority population.

It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out why the poor farmers and workers in the East would stand up to this economic injustice. But the generals knew better, they chose guns and bullets to do the talking. By December 1971, Pakistan was defeated, general Niazi surrendered half of Pakistan to India along with 90,000 soldiers.  The highly prosperous, populous, hard working wing of the country had been lost forever. The stupid generals still couldn’t get it.

Neither did the politicians rallying around Bhutto understand what they lost. For them, it was not possible for Mr Bhutto to loose an election to a nobody called Mujib from the backward farm land of Bengal (East Pakistan). Heck, Bhutto was UC Berkley, Oxford, UN, Foreign Minister, Nuclear Weapons and all that, and what did Mujib have – nothing! that was according to the enlightened men and women around Bhutto. Mujib did have something. Brains. Yup, he knew how to talk to his people, he knew to what extent his people would tolerate injustice, he knew how to break that tolerance level. That was the magic of Mujib which Bhutto’s ego refused to see, no matter the consequences.

In post 9171 scenario, the country went from being Divided Pakistan to Weakened Pakistan. For decades the country saw the rise and fall of one military dictator after another. Politicians lined up to the generals like models holding signs reading “Take me, I’ll be obedient!”. Generals chose. And the “models” delivered, faithfully. In the process, some “models” earned billions. Connections with other equally shameful and corrupt “royals” were established and exploited for mutual gains.

Business was booming. Except for the poor man who had to work harder than before for his tax and Vat had to bear the responsibility for filling up the deep pockets of the greedy top brass. Electricity generation, foreign currency reserve, current account deficit, devaluation of currency, unemployment and inflation joined hands in an unholy alliance to convert a Weakened Pakistan into a Bankrupt Pakistan. None of these economic causes qualify as anything other than man made, the  work of few elites abusing the mass people, while billions of dollars found their way into European banks, picking up multi million pound flats along the way.

Nawaz Sharif’s economic model rested on Chinese and Arabian investments in mega infrastructure projects. While that sounds very promising, the country’s ability to sustain long term foreign debt was deteriorating quickly. Country’s ability to service foreign debt depends on its foreign currency earnings and reserves, not on Chinese investments in roads although in the long run good infrastructure becomes essential. Pakistan’s foreign currency reserve as of writing stood at 2 weeks imports. It should be more like 3 to 6 months imports. Exports stagnated while imports increased. Are workers becoming more costly to hire?

Foreign buyers like the low wages in South Asia. But that’s not all. Low labor wages is but one of the many ingredients making up total production cost. Energy, shipment, insurance, technology, labor efficiency etc contribute just as well. More than anything else, lack of power hindered manufacturers from investing in export driven factories, on the other hand, due to higher production costs foreign buyers preferred to look east, leaving the country with stagnating foreign currency earnings. This could not have happened without the contribution of the C factor.

This political-economic model, its architecture, guarantees the enrichment (beyond our imagination) of few elites at the top while the “productive forces” will continue to break their backs – working, paying vat and taxes and finally be forced to vote (thereby legalize) in favor of a blood thirsty greed based corruption ridden “system” of hidden imperialism. Imran Khan may be clean, but him alone hardly stands a chance to rectify the grand old system of greed and corruption that plagues the administrative machinery.

When would be a good time to strengthen the argument for upscaling an alternative to this unjust and harsh political-economic abusive system? Have you given the “alternative” a thought, would you even like to know what the alternative is…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A King and the Moon – and the Beginning of a 1000 year Civilization from India

On my lunch break right now, so I can afford to share my thoughts. On my way to work I read the ARABIC Grammar book. Four English to Arabic phrases from this book knocked me off few hours ago. Here are the 4 lines:

  1. Al Hindu watanun Adheemun. India is a great country.
  2. Al Hindu watanee. India is my country.
  3. Uhibbu Watanee. I love my country.
  4. Al Hunudu kulluhum Ekhwatee wa Akhawatee. All Indians are my brothers and sisters.

The book was written by Mr Amanulla Vadakkangara, a respected educationist from Malappuram District in Kerala, India. The author taught Arabic in an international Indian school in Doha, Qatar. Are you surprised yet? If not, then let me explain this in bit more detail.

The outside world thinks that Muslims of India are basically north Indians speaking Urdu and having more in common with Central Asian cultures as in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan which produced raiders and conquerors whose very names still evoke some kind mixed feelings in the common people. Pakistani books usually credit a young general called Bin Qasem with the honor of bringing Islam by the sword to India going back to the 8th-9th century Umayyad dynasty. It is said that Bin Qasem in an effort to rescue a band of Muslims wrongly captured by Raja Dahir of Sind arrived with about a hundred soldiers defeating armies much more numerical superiority paving the way for the firm footing of Islamic governance in the western region of South Asia (basically Sind and Punjab to some extent in today’s Pakistan).

This story is refuted strongly by another Muslim community called the Shiites. They say that Bin Qasem was actually ordered by the great butcher Hajjaj ibn Yousuf to hunt down supporters of the Ahl-al-Bayt (peace be upon them) who had takn refuge in the court of Raja Dahir who himself being overtaken by the nobility of the Shiite Muslims refused to give them up to anyone and in the process lost his Kingdom to the young Muslim Arab general.

Now, let me tell you that there is yet another story which clouds both the narrations stated above. Islam is said to have arrived in India much earlier than Bin Qasem, if we follow the history of a certain king based in Kerala in the 7th century. Kerala boasts of an interesting geography located in the southwestern tip of India placed right next to Tamil Nadu in the east and the Arabian Sea in the west, basically the Malabar coast is the site of Kerala where natives speak Malayalam housing 56% Hindus and 26% Muslims in its state. The Kerala Muslims (or Malyallam Muslims) also called Mappas locally have a rich story to tell and it goes back to the 7th century at the time of the Holy Nabi Sallillahu alihi wa aalihi wa sallam.

According to legend a noble king called Cheraman Peruman was out at night when he witnessed the splitting of the moon. His amazement could not be explained by any scholar in his court except when he approached visiting Arab traders about it who only promised to search for answers in their journey on the sea. Years later, the Arab traders came back to him with answers, and the answer was in their desert country of Arabia itself for a man had arrived in their midst who declared his appointment as the leader of mankind being the last and final Prophet and Messenger of ALLAH Swt. It was the blessed Nabi sallillahu alihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam who had split the moon into pieces one day as his miracle for the doubters’ minds. The Prophet (swm) had split the moon by asking ALLAH SWT for a miracle and it was that miracle which the noble king had witnessed and it was this even t that was responsible for setting off waves of questions and thoughts in the heart of the noble king.

He had decided. He would go to Arabia, meet the blessed Messenger (swm) of ALLAH SWT so that he could become a Muslim at the hands of none other than the man who was the Ambassador of God. The noble King set out for Arabia with his Arab friends. He is said to have reached the kafela of Muslims during the time of the Farewell Pilgrimage. There, the King was given audience with the Noble Messenger of God (PBUH) where the king said his shahadah to enter the fold of Islam as a believer. How could this meeting take place without some exchange of gifts as India was famous in the world for its exquisite and extra-ordinary beauty and flavors. The noble king brought with him Garlic Pickle as a gift which the Noble Messenger (PBUH) accepted very happily choosing to share them with his companions.

On the return journey through Yemen, the noble king fell seriously ill, not being able to make it to his kingdom he summoned his Arab friends to take his money back to Kerala and inform his family of what had happened and instruct them to light up Islam in Kerala starting with a Masjid for which his money should be used completely. King Cheraman Peruman Radi Allahu Anhu rests in Yemen while the Cheraman Jama Masjid in Kodungallor stands today as a testament to the noble king’s legacy.

Lets come back to my Arabic lessons. The fact that Kerala currently is called home by 8.8 million Muslims makes them a Muslim community equal to the Hashemite Kingdom Jordan. The Malayallam language should also be considered as an Islamic language if only to honor the brilliance of the Malayallam culture for upholding the dignity of Islam when the courageous followers of the noble king constructed the Islamic mosque letting the drops of Islamic knowledge accumulate over centuries into an ocean of art, culture, knowledge and scholarship for the benefit of all mankind.

Mr Amanulla chose to write the four sentences in Arabic and English it seems with another greater agenda more noble than learning another language for the sake of it. The agenda, it would seem to me is this, the word Hindu is an Arabic Islamic word, this should be known to all the Muslims in South Asia. Al-Hindu is the Arabic translation for India. In Sanskrit, India is called Bharat not Hindustan. It was the Islamic world that called Bharat as Al-Hind and the Central Asian Muslims called it Hindustan (as in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan etc). Every Indian should therefore be a Hindu I terms of ethnicity, according to Arabic Islamic understanding. The plural form of Hindu is Al-Hunudu, that is all Indians which naturally includes Muslims and non Muslims also signifies the above statement which says that Hindu is a nationality not a religion as such. It were the colonialists British who had to severe the brotherhood between the natives by splitting the religious harmony through categorizing where the great Hindu brotherhood of Muslims and non-Muslims fell apart once the Hindu was given the religious shape and color. On the other hand Muslims were pulled away by another form of religion advocated by the British loyalist “Sir” Syed Ahmed Khan under the banner of the Two Nation Theory. It was a divisive theory that floated just after the First War of Independence conducted by the Sepoys in 1857 when Hindus and Muslims for the “second last” time united against a common foe. The “Last Time” for Hindu Muslim unity was under the banner of “KHILAFAT MOVEMENT” organized by Mawlana Mohammad Ali and his brother Mawlana Shawkat Ali, together called the Ali Brothers.

Islam’s forerunners were the noble companions among whom is the blessed king of Kerala Syedene Cheraman Peruman Radi Allahu Anhu. His travel to the Arabian peninsula in order to meet the Leader of all Mankind was the reason and the heavenly door for the entry of Islam in India, also known as Al-Hindu in the Islamic Arabic language. For 1000 years Islam contributed to the economic, social and educational advancement of Al-Hind. The cultural character of present day India can never be separated from its Islamic identity no matter how hard certain right wingers may try. The tear drop on the cheek of time, the greatest throne of the material world, the fort of jewels, the tomb of the emperor, and so on and so forth are the fruits of a work created in the mausoleum of love nurtured by the brotherhood of respect and dignity and long dreamed by a lonely king taking a night walk staring at the beautiful face of the moon.

 

 

 

 

Omar Mukhtar – the Lion of the Desert, the pride of Muslim Ummah

Lion of the Desert is the dramatic action epic of the struggle of Omar Mukhtar, leader of the Muslim resistance in North Africa in the 1920’s and 30’s, against the imperialism of Mussolini and the Italian army. Despite the challenge of overcoming the fascist Italian war machine with only faith and wisdom, the Muslims led by Mukhtar maintained their resistance and refused to be conquered.

We go back in history to 1862 where a young boy of a poor household was born in a town controlled by the Uthmany Khilafa. This young man was brought under the care and tutelage of one of the Shuyookh in his home town when he was at the ripe age of 16 after the death of his father.
He eventually developed a lifestyle of not sleeping more than 3 hours every night in order to get up to pray to Allah at the last third of the night and recite Qur’an until fajr. He memorized the Qur’an (as all knowledgeable people begin their lives) eventually, and was known to have finished his revisions in its entirety every seven days, regardless of the sufferings he encountered in his life.

His courage and wisdom was pronounced, and was an example for people to follow. This was evident on one of his caravan trails to Sudan as a young man. A lion had deterred the people from entering a particular path. Caravans were veered else where for fear of this lion. To distract this lion, people would resort giving it one of their camels, a most prized possession, so they could pass safely. He learned of this lion during the journey, where upon he consequently took it upon himself to face this crisis head on. Unlike other men in the caravan who were dumbstruck by the situation, he carried his shot gun, rode his horse and went after the lion. He came back with the lion’s head much to everyone’s surprise and due gratitude. This earned him the name “Lion of Cyrenaica.”

An upbringing of courage and upright religiosity had a massive effect on him. His character would not only change the course of his tribe, country and people, but also the world of Muslims in the Post Colonial Era.

In his twenties he was known for his maturity beyond his years as well as his wisdom, for he continued to solve tribal disputes. His people listened to him and took his counsel regardless of village or region he found himself in. His manners were known to be great, for he was eloquent, balanced in his speech, and appealing to those who listened. This uniqueness helped him unite the tribes, and later on gather armies to fend off the colonizers.

His thirties was marked by the dawn of the Colonial Era as it began to spread its cancer to the rest of the world. At the time when the world was being ravaged by European nations, this man stood firm for Islam and faced colonizers with his valor. He fought fiercely against the French with a group called Banu Sanus, who would later be known as the Sanusies. For a brief moment, they also fought the British, who were marked by greed and attempted to conquer their land.

As part of a global feast on the so-called less civilized nations, Italy joined the European nations in causing havoc in the southern part of the hemisphere by colonizing North Africa. It was during this time, this man, in his fifties, gathered his forces in the face of an invasion attack against Libya, his homeland.

To pacify his resistance army, the Italians offered him high ranking positions and wealth. In return, they demanded that he surrender and follow their Colonial decree. He responded in a famous quote saying, “I’m not a sweet bite of a meal anyone can swallow. No matter how long they try to change my belief and opinion, Allah is going to let them down.”

They then offered him to leave his town to live closer to the ruling party complete with a monthly salary, but he again refused by saying, “No, I will not leave my country until I meet my lord. Death is closer to me than anything, I’m waiting for it by the minute.”

This man, whose seventy more years of age had not prevented him from fighting, was the soul of his people’s resistance against hopeless odds. He gave his people hope against an army thousands more than his own, equipped with more modern weapons, airplanes and armoury while he and his men starved in the mountains with nothing on their backs but their rifles and horses. After his firm position, as the Ummah is always in need of such legends to lead the people, people gathered around him. He successfully began to strike the Italians where it hurt. He hit firmly, swiftly, and harshly those who thought occupying Muslim lands, oppressing, imprisoning, and torturing Muslims, was going be effortless.

Another man in his nineties named Abu Karayyim, from the Jalu oasis, had fought with him in the deep south. Hunger and disease eventually decimated his people. The Italians soon stepped up operations by burning and pillaging villages. Women, children and the elderly were not spared. During their weakest point, people were gathered and placed in concentration camps.

The Sanusi, Muhammad az-Zaway, who once fought with him against the French, attempted to persuade him to retreat to Egypt with the rest of those who fought against the French. But, this man refused to turn his back on the enemy knowing well that his chances are dim against a force that was swelling by the minute.

When asked why he continued the fight, he stated that he fought for his religion, and he sought no other than to get the occupiers of his lands. As to fighting, he said that was a fard , regardless of the outcome as victory comes from Allah. He used to refuse any peace talks with the colonizers saying we have nothing but to fight the occupying enemies of Allah.

After countless battles, he was wounded and captured alive. He and his men defended themselves until he and one of his companions were left. At last

his horse was shot dead under him, causing him to fall to the ground. He was shackled and brought to a city called Suluq, where the Italian military post was established.

This man believed Jihad was ordained upon every able Muslim while his homeland was occupied by the colonizers. With his faith, heroism and courage he earned the respect of even his enemies.

The military officer who interrogated him said, “When he came to my office I imagined to see someone like the thousand of murabiteen who I met in the desert wars. His hands were shackeled, he had broken bones caused by fighting, dragging himself barely able to walk. He was a man not like normal men even though the affect that he was apprehended had shown upon him. He stood in my office as we asked him and he answered in a calm clear collective voice. When he gathered to leave, the brightness of his face like a sunshine amazed me and shook my heart. My lips shivered towards the end of the conversation whereby I ordered him back to his cell to stand before a court in the evening.”

He was a legend who was firm in his religion at a time when the leaders of his country emigrated (as they do today ) to surrender to the Italians. The biggest scholars of his time from the Sanusies, who previously fought with him against the French and the British, did not come to his aid in time. Instead, many of them became loyal to the Italians by giving them Muslim lands in exchange for clemency, montly salaries, and freedom from taxation. Such is true for Muslims today.

On the contrary, this man took out his Qur’an, held it, and gave an oath to Allah that he would not stop fighting the occupying oppressors even if it meant fighting them alone until victory had been attained or that he becomes a martyr. In the last twenty years of his life, he led and personally fought in 1000 battles.

When the Italian general made him a final offer to make him their puppet and be allowed to live like the other leaders of his people, he answered, “I shall not cease to fight against thee and thy people until either you leave my country or I leave my life. And I swear by Him who knows whaht is in men’s hearts that if my ands were not bound this very moment, I would fight you with my bare hands, old and broken as I am..”

It was then that the Italian general laughed and ordered him to be hung after a frontal saving face act of a mock trial. Even before the court was in session a rope outside the court house hung waiting him.

His hanging took place before hundreds of tribes in 1931. With the intent to scare the Muslims, the Italians did not succeed in doing this. The opposite had taken place. His hanging shook the entire Muslim world, and numerous resistances took place specifically in North Africa.

May Allah raise his position in paradise.

The Italians took pictures of him in shackles, surrounded by smiling Italian generals, and those who expressed happiness for his hanging. They did not realize that it is those very same shackles and rope hanging around his neck in the hands of his enemies fighting for the sake of Allah that would become the envy of every true Muslim.

The man, whose mug shot spoke his legacy, is none other than Omar AlMukhtar. His legacy will live until the day of judgement, inshallah. With his blood, he drew the stories of victory, he became a legend of the legends, and a guide for those who wanted to live in honor at a time of humiliation.

The surrendered modernists and disbelieving scholars of his time were not imprisoned nor hung. They died a normal death, possibly even in luxury and wealth, under the protection of the occupying Italians. However, they died and their names died with them. Jahannam is the abode of those who ally themselves with the kuffar colonizers over the Muslims. Omar AlMukhtar lived, and fought hard in the days of his life. He was shackled, imprisoned, then hung. But his legacy lives on and paradise, inshallah, is the resort of the martyrs.

Omar AlMukhtar was attached to Allah, depending on Him, and accepting that which Allah had written for him. He asked Allah to become a martyr and this what he has attained, inshAllah.

Ahmad Jibril
Written in the one third end of the night of Oct. 12, 2004