He has done some awful things but I Do not love him any less or cry. For if I did, who would I be To with him cheat myself of eternity? Because when he dies, my heart he’ll take, And in paradise our home he’ll make. I did not mind much pain or poverty, For it assured us faithful sovereignty - We packed up and left and walked and sighed When we reached the land where angels fly. So there he is and here I am, Two dark souls forever wedded in Shaam.
My love, my wife, you’ve waited so long. Please join me in Firdaws, and sing your song.
What I mean is that I think we’ve turned it into a kind of fad. We hold up our index fingers and decorate things with the Shahada and crack erhabi jokes like it’s nothing, like we’re all part of some über-cool club. While I admit that we ARE part of a supercool club (Islam alhamdoulillah), our self-created erhabi subculture could be a dangerous thing. We run the risk of trivializing this vitally important element of our Deen to the point that jihad will be recognized as nothing more than some hand gestures, white-on-black Arabic calligraphy, and AK47s.
Jihad is struggle, it is fight, it is strive, it is dedication, it is honesty, it is selflessness, it is compassion, it is perseverance, it is battle. We must ask ourselves… are we properly representing what the mujahideen gave up their lives for? Are we acting with seriousness and sincerity? Or are we using symbols we made “trendy” to make ourselves feel as though we're actually contributing to the fight?
I understand that this could be taken the wrong way, but please know that this serves as a stern reminder to myself before anyone else. I must right my own wrongs individually and account for them in front of Allah SWT at the end of my life.
I would like to tell a Mujahid’s story, the story of a man and his friends who were here from the very beginning.
I know people think they know what is he, the Mujahid. But they don’t.
The Mujahid is a high school student. He loves to play video games and build his own computers and laugh at things on the Internet. But the laughter doesn’t always last long enough to distract him from the absence of his older brother who was martyred two years ago fighting against the people who invaded their land. Later he holds the rifle in his hands, out of school, standing on that same mountaintop for the same cause in Allah’s (SWT) name, and through remembrance, some of the pain goes away.
The Mujahid is a farmer. He works hard to make an honest living and is a very quiet, soft-spoken man. His words are slow and deliberate, and he pauses often, leaving you wondering what worlds of thought he is sorting out in his mind to let only a few out of his mouth. Fighting was going on several years ago and he hasn’t picked up a gun since then, but with the way things look now, he wonders if he’ll have to dust it off just one more time.
The Mujahid is a businessman. Well-dressed and normal-looking, he’s polite, diplomatic, and professional in his dealing with you. Because he is so personable and mild-mannered while discussing a preference of tea over coffee, you’re surprised when it is divulged that the quickest and least complicated way to enter Gaza may or may not include a checkpoint at all.
The Mujahid is a university student. His grades are impeccable, his speech eloquent, and his demeanor will put even the most nervous person at ease. He lives a relatively normal life with friends, a nice house, and two cats that fight with each other constantly. They are funny, he says, yet at the same masking what he felt about his parents’ divorce when he was a child. He has always lived with his mother and adores her, but he has to go soon. Something else is calling, and he must leave his university degree and plans for a career with the woman who raised him, her only son, alone.
The Mujahid is a construction worker. Though he’s still relatively young, he’s a veteran of a different kind, working every day beside men who will never know what he did in the war. Recently he swore off battle for the time being in an attempt to become a family man. But before he does that, he will have to rid his home of the personal demons that still take up most of the room. He hasn’t slept normally in about three years and nightmares plague him whenever he does manage to close his eyes. He is close to Allah (SWT), he knows this in his heart. The demons, however, do not.
These are only a few of the thousands of stories, threads in the tapestry of jihad woven from the lives lived by the mujahideen. There are thousands more to tell if only you turn off your television, silence your phone, put down your newspaper… and listen to me.