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
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
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
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
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.
in his 70's.
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.
after his capture and brought to Saluq.
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
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
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.
16, 1931. His hanging in Saluq.
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
Written in the one third end of the night of Oct. 12, 2004