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Palestine: The Story of a Gazan “Martyr”

MuminThe death of anyone close to you is painful, but how do you cope with it if that person has actively sought death? Gazan blogger Samaher Al Khazandar has written about her nephew, Mu’min Musa Al Khazandar, who joined the military wing of Hamas, and was determined to die as a martyr while fighting for Palestine.

Samaher says:

“يا أمي أنا نويت الشهادة في سيبل الله” “أنا قبلت في كتائب عز الدين القسام .. مش مهم أجاهد مع مين.. المهم النية .. نيتي أجاهد في سبيل الله وتحرير الوطن مع صحبة طيبة ولقيت الصحبة الطيبة مع إخواني في الكتائب” “الناس يا أمي تعيش عمر طويل تحاول تعيش ما عيش إلا عيش الآخرة.. أنا أحاول أخد طريق مختصرة واكسب أجر مضاعف” “نحن يا أمي ما بنرمي حالنا على الموت نحن نقاتل ونحسن القتال والله يختار منا من يشاء، لو كان الموضوع إهلاك النفس، كان ما رجع منا حدا” “الجهاد يا أمي يعني نصر أو استشهاد.. ادعي لي بواحدة منهم بس أنا بفضل الثانية” “الله يا أمي يصطفي الشهداء .. مش مين ما كان يختاره الله شهيد .. ادعي لي الله يختارني برضاك علي .. راضية عني؟” “لما أستشهد إنشاء الله راح أرجع لك محمل على الأكتاف من هذا الطريق” رنت كلمات مؤمن في أذني أمه التي كانت تقف شاردة في الشرفة تراقب الطريق، التي تضيئها انفجارات الغارات المتلاحقة. لفح هواء ليل شتاء غزة البارد وجهها وهي تهمس “18 يوم يا رب .. 18 يوم تحت رحمتك على أرضك وتحت سماك .. 18 يوم في البرد والطيارات بتقصف حواليه .. أكرمني بدفنه يا رب بس أشوفه وأدفنه بعدها.. عينك عليه يا رب تحميه .. أنا أودعتك إياه.. رجعه يبرِّد ناري قبل الفراق .. يا رب .. نوى الشهادة وصدقك يا رب .. اصدقه واجعله من الشهداء المكرمين ”
“Mother, I've made up my mind to be martyred for the cause of God.” “I've been accepted in the Izz Al Din Al Qassam Brigades…It's not important who I undertake jihad with, the important thing is the intention…My intention is to struggle for the cause of God, and liberate the nation with good comrades, and I have found good comrades with my brothers in the Brigades.” “Mother, people spend long lives trying to live, but there is no life but the afterlife; I am trying to take a shorter route and earn a double reward.” “Mother, we are not throwing ourselves towards death, we are fighting and doing well by fighting, and God will choose for us what He wishes. If it were a matter of self-destruction, none of us would have returned.” “Mother, jihad means victory or martyrdom…Pray for me to achieve one of them; I prefer the second.” “Mother, God chooses the martyrs…and not just anyone is chosen by God as a martyr. Pray for me that God will choose me, and that you will be pleased with me…Are you pleased with me?” “When I am martyred, God willing, I will come back to you by this street, carried on people's shoulders.” Mu'min's words rang in the ears of his mother who stood on the balcony, preoccupied, watching the street that was lit by the explosions of one attack after another. The air of Gaza's cold winter night burned, as did her face, and she whispered, “Lord, it's eighteen days…Eighteen days at Your mercy, on Your earth and under Your skies…Eighteen days in the cold, while the planes are bombing around him…Lord, by Your generosity I will bury him, just let me see him, and I will bury him after that…O Lord, Your eye is on him, protecting him…I have entrusted him to You…His return will cool the fire in me before the farewell…O Lord…He intended to be martyred and trusted You, o Lord…Believe him, and make him one of the honoured martyrs.”
?عادت الكهرباء تضيء الشارع بعد انقطاعها ليومين كاملين، فانطلقت تضيء التلفاز لتسمع الأخبار علها تأتي بما ينذر باقتراب انتهاء كربها الذي يصر على أن يطول.. على التلفاز كان رئيس وزراء العدو يقف بصلافته وبلاهته المعتادة، معلنا عن وقف لإطلاق النار من جانب واحد، قفزت بحركة عفوية، وراحت تصرخ “الحمد لله الحمد لله” .. قضت سوزان الليل تحضر بيتها لاستقبل إبنها الأوسط شهيداً محملاً على الأكتاف. كان قلبها يهوي كلما تذكرته يجري بكامل عتاده في الطريق الذي من المفترض أن يعود منه شهيداً .. خالجها حينها شعور بأنها المرة الأخيرة التي ستراه فيها .. لطالما كان متعجلاً للرحيل ..
The electricity came back, lighting the street after being cut for two whole days. She immediately switched on the television to listen to the news in the hope that she would get a sign that her misery which insisted on being prolonged would end soon. The enemy's prime minister was on the television, standing with his customary pomposity and stupidity, announcing a unilateral ceasefire. She automatically jumped up, and began to cry out, “Thanks be to God, thanks be to God!” Suzanne spent the night preparing her house to receive her middle son as a martyr carried on people's shoulders. Her heart sank whenever she remembered him running, fully armed, along the street by which he was supposed to return as a martyr…At that moment the feeling would pervade her that it was the last time she would see him…While he was hurrying towards death…
في آخر مرة نجا فيها من عملية اغتيال استهدفت مجموعته الفدائية، عاد للبيت بعصبية لم تكن أبداً من طباعه، كاد يبكي وهو يردد: “في شي غلط .. يا أنا مش مصفي النية أو إنت .. بتضلك تقولي أودعتك الله .. نفسي استشهد .. ادعيلي أنالها.. ادعي” رجف قلبها يومها وهي تقول بصوت دامع: “الله ينولك الي في بالك” شعرت بروحها تتمزق وهي تسترجع هذه الذكريات، وتبتلع لوعتها لعدم قدرتها على أن تلقي على ابنها نظرة وداع أخيرة مع غصة كبيرة مريرة..
The last time he got safely away from an assassination operation aimed at his group of fighters, he went home tense, which was not in his nature. He was almost crying as he said, “There is something wrong…Either I am not pure in my intention, or you aren't…Keep saying ‘I entrust you to God’…I want to be martyred…Pray that it is granted to me…Pray for me…”
Her heart fluttered that day when she said in a tearful voice, “May God grant you what is in your mind.” She felt that her soul was in shreds as she recalled these memories, and she swallowed her anguish for being unable to say a final farewell to her son, and felt choked with bitterness.
حين انتهت من تحضير بيتها المتواضع لاستقبال الشهيد، صلت الفجر وجلست تراقب الهاتف، وتنتظر طلوع صباح جديد بلا شمس، وبدلاً من أن يرن الهاتف، لتسمع أخبار العثور على مؤمن، ضربت أذنها أصوات عدة صواريخ جراد وأخرى محلية الصنع تنطلق متلاحقة فصرخت منهارة “لااااااااا .. رجعت الحرب رجعت .. آه يا مؤمن آاااااااااااه”. أفاق زوجها على صوتها فوجدها تبكي، لم تستطع أن تقول له أن الأمل وُلد أثناء نومه الطويل العميق وقتل منذ ثوانٍ فقط.. وقبل أن يفهم أبو الشهيد القصة رن هاتفه النقال، رفعت رأسها وراقبته وهي تنتفض كان يحاول أن يفهم كلمات المتصل المشوشة بسبب سوء الإرسال، وحاولت أن تصغي علها تستطيع أن تسمع ما لا يستطيع هو التقاطه، فانتبهت فجأة أن هناك أصوات عالية في الشارع، فقفزت بلوعة وهي تصرخ باسم مؤمن. وتحت الشرفة كان هناك أحد رفاق الشهيد يحاول الاتصال بهم عبر الجوال ليخبرهم أنهم قد عثروا على جثة مؤمن بعد انسحاب الجيش الإسرائيلي من عدة مناطق منها جبل الريس حيث كان يرابط قبل استشهاده، وأنه مع عدد من رفاقه الشهداء في مستشفى الشفاء.
When she had finished preparing her humble house to welcome the martyr, she prayed the dawn prayer, and sat watching the telephone, and waited for the arrival of a new morning, without sun. Instead of the telephone ringing, so that she could hear the news of Mu'min's discovery, her ears rang with the noise of some Grad missiles and other locally-made ones exploding one after another. She screamed angrily, “Noooooo…The war's started again, it's started again…Oh, Mu'min, ohhhhhhh…” Her husband woke up at her voice and found her crying, and she couldn't tell him that hope had been born during his long, deep sleep, and had been killed just seconds ago. Before the father of the martyr had understood the story his mobile phone rang, and she raised her head and looked at it. Shaking, she tried to understand the words of the caller that were unclear because of the bad connection. She tried listening to the conversation in the hope of hearing what her husband was not able to understand. She suddenly became aware of loud voices in the street, and jumped up anxiously, calling out Mu'min's name. Below the balcony one of the martyr's friends was trying to call them on his mobile to inform them that Mu'min's body had been found after the withdrawal of the Israeli army from a number of areas, including Jabal Al Rayyis [in eastern Jabaliya] where Mu'min had taken position before being killed. He was with several of his martyred comrades in Al Shifa Hospital.
مرت الدقائق كالساعات، وتوافد الأهل والأقارب والأصدقاء وامتلأ البيت الصغير بمحبي مؤمن وسوزان، وهي وقفت في الشرفة تنتظر حضور مؤمن، من الطريق الذي وعدها أن يعود منه، محملاً تنظر نظرة فارغة لنهاية الطريق، الذي بدا أطول بكثير مما كان عليه، أحاطتها أخواتها وشعرت بأن توتر ملحوظاً قد طرأ عليهن بعد مكالمة هاتفية، التفتت إليهن فوجدت عيونهن تحيطها بأسى وقالت إحداهن: “هذا ماجد بيقول إنه .. يعني .. أصله القسام أكدوا إن ما حدا ينكشف وجه مؤمن” نظرت لهن متشككة ورددت : “متحلل؟!” فاستدركت اختها قائلة: “لا لا .. والله قالوا إنه زي ما هو .. بس أصله .. أصله الصاروخ جاي برأسه .. ما في معالم بوجهه يا أختي .. كله صحيح بس الرأس.. قصدي .. خلي آخر ذكرى عنه حلوة .. هو أكيد ما راح يحب تشوفيه بهذا الشكل” أدارت بين وجوههن الباكية نظرة خاوية، وهمهمت بصوت منهك: “أنا أودعته الله .. الله ما راح يضيعه”
Minutes passed like hours, and family and relatives and friends arrived and filled the small house with those who cared for Mu'min and Suzanne. She stood on the balcony awaiting his arrival, from the street which he promised to return by, which seemed much longer than it was. Her sisters surrounded her and she felt that a noticeable tension had arisen after the phone call. She turned towards them and found their eyes upon her full of distress. One of them said, “That's Majid saying…I mean…that the Qassam Brigades have emphasised that no one was able to identify Mu’min's face…”
She looked at them doubtfully and replied, “His body was blown apart?”
Her sister clarified, “No, no… I swear they said he is just as he was…just that…the rocket hit his head…Sister, his face has no features…Everything is whole apart from his head…I mean…Keep another, better memory of him…He certainly would not have wanted you to see him like this.”
She looked round at all their weeping faces with a vacant expression, and mumbled in an exhausted voice, “I entrusted him to God…God would not let this be in vain…”
عادت تنظر إلى الطريق الذي بدأ يتحرك أخيراً .. طالعتها وجوه أصدقائه وأقاربه ورفاق دربه يحملونه على أكتافهم، مكفناً بعلم كتائب القسام الأبيض، تماماً كما أراد دائما، وورائه هرولت جماعات من الناس يهتف أحدهم ويردد الآخرين “لا إله إلا الله والشهيد حبيب الله” وحين اقترب الجمع من الباب، وأدخل النعش، دفعت سوزان من حولها وشقت طريقها بلهفة لتجد النعش قد وُضع على طاولة تتوسط غرفة المعيشة.. ألقت بنفسها على جسده المسجى، وراحت تتحسسه بيدها، حتى التقطت يده من تحت العلم الأبيض، تحسست أصابعه وثنت يده، ثم ابتسمت من بين دموعها، وهي تستنشق رائحة عطرة ملأت هواء الغرفة والبيت والشارع، تعالت صيحات لا إله إلا الله حولهما في حين صاحت هي بصوت مكتوم: “ما ضيعك الله يامًا ما ضيعك الله .. الحمد لله .. الحمد لله.. طلبتها ونلتها .. الحمد لله .. لا إله إلا الله .. لا إله إلا الله”
She looked again at the street which had finally started to move…She looked at the faces of his friends and relatives and comrades carrying him on their shoulders, wrapped in the white flag of the Qassam Brigades, exactly as he had always wanted. Behind him hurried groups of people; one man was shouting, and the others repeated, “There is no god but God and the martyr is favoured by God.” When the crowd got near the door, and the bier was brought inside, Suzanne pushed away those around her, clearing her way impatiently to find the bier that had been placed on a table in the centre of the living room. She found herself by his shrouded body, and started to run her hand over it until she came across his hand under the white flag. She felt his fingers and turned his hand, then smiled amidst her tears, as she inhaled the scent of the perfume that filled the air of the room, the house, the street. Cries of “There is no god but God” rang out around them, while she called out in a stifled voice, “This has not been in vain, my son, this has not been in vain…Thanks be to God…Thanks be to God…You requested it…And were granted it…Thanks be to God…There is no god but God…There is no god but God.”
ومن فوق الرؤوس الموحدة هبطت سكينة على القلوب الملتاعة، واتسعت ابتسامة رضى على وجه ودع الدنيا، وفي لحظات أخيرة تنظر عين راضية على الجسد الذي يستعد للفراق الأبدي ويحيط أمن بالعيون الدامعة، وهي تلقي آخر النظرات على النعش الذي عاد للأكتاف، وتنطلق قوة خفية في الأرجل الراكضة، وتتلاحق أنفاس اللاحقين المتزاحمين في الجنازة، مؤمن يستعجل الرحيل، يعود الجسد لبطن غزة، ترتقي الروح تودع، وداعاً ربماً ليس أخيراً، ما تبقى من أهل غزة ومن حارات غزة ومن مساجد غزة وكنائسها ومن ثبات غزة وحرائرها وجنائز الشهداء ودموع ثكالى وأرامل ويتامى غزة.. راحل يا مؤمن تتركنا وربما نظرت لنا روحك بحنانك المعتاد ورقة طبعك الجميل.. ربما نظرت لنا روحك وقالت: “أودعتكم الله”
From above the massed heads a calm settled in the tormented hearts, and a contented smile was spread on the face which had bid this life adieu. In the last moments she turned her satisfied eye to the body that was ready for its eternal farewell, surrounded in peace by tearful eyes, and threw a last glance at the bier which was back on the shoulders. A hidden power was unleashed in the running feet, and people crowded to catch up with the funeral procession. Mu’min was in a hurry to leave; the body returns to the belly of Gaza, the soul rises for farewell, perhaps not its last farewell, for what is left of the people of Gaza and its neighbourhouds, mosques and churches, its steadfastedness and funeral processions of its martyrs, and the tears of its bereaved and widows and orphans…Mu’min, you have departed, and left us behind. Maybe your soul will look upon us with its usual warmth and delicately beautiful manners. Perhaps your soul looked at us and said: “I have entrusted you to God.”
إن صدقنا الله يا مؤمن فلن يضيعنا، هكذا تعلمنا من رحيلك أيها الصغير الذي كبر في غفلة منا، وبعد أن ظننا أننا كبار، جئت لترينا كم صغرنا.. جاء سريعاً هذا الرحيل، قبل أن نشبع من وجودك، قبل أن نفهم حقيقة وجودك، قبل حتى أن نستطيع أن نفهمك.. ما زلت يا صغيري لغزاً محيراً، كيف استطعت أن تفهم وتقرر وتعمل وتنجز وتحقق في هذا الوقت القياسي من عمرك القصير في هذه الدنيا الفانية .. لو كان كل منا يتحرك بطريقتك وإن كان في طريق غير طريقك لما كان هذا الحال حالنا.. أرجو أن لا يكون هذا وداعاً يا مؤمن نحتسبك عند الله شهيداً لحقت بالأحبة محمد وصحبه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين ونرجو الله أن ننال ما نلت من الشرف والكرامة عند الله …
If we trust God, Mu’min, He will not let our lives be in vain. This is what we have learnt from your departure, o little one, who grew up without us realising, after we thought that we were grownups. You came to show us how much younger we had become. Your departure came too soon, before we had our fill of your presence, before we understood the reality of your existence, and even before we were able to understand you. My little one, you are still a puzzling mystery. How were you able to understand, decide, act, and achieve in a record period of your short life in this world…If everyone acted in such a way, even by taking a route other than yours, our situation wouldn't have been like this…I hope this is not a farewell, Mu’min, as we consider you to be a martyr with God. You are amongst those favoured by Mohammed and his companions and all those who have believed in them until the day of judgement. We pray to God that we are honoured and dignified by God in the way that you have been…

23 comments

  • Ibn Verga

    Hi Jay,
    I agree with your post I had posted something similar before “Stan R”, I have changed my on line name to Ibn Verga, he was 15th Century “wandering jew” in Italy after he was thrown from Spain, rationalist (Middle Ages atheist) who wrote a book ” Why are we (Jews) still hated?”
    Problem with Islam it still lives in Middle Ages. The Islamists are terrorizing average Arab or Muslim population. Look what happened in Pakistan. The Judaism changed from it’s violent past, Christianity same but Islam continues to be unreasonable, violent religion. Statistic shows that 26% of Muslim population subscribe literally to this type of violent, anti-woman, pedophile religion. Rest of the population is scared, terrorized to be quiet. Interestingly in Gaza cracks are appearing. The population is openly questioning the “welfare” program by the Islamic Hamas. They are proud people and they don’t want hand outs.
    No question this boy was brainwashed by offer of maybe money (Hamas pays 10K euros for “martyrdom”) or 72 “virgins” poor guys are sexually deprived. Maybe that the reason you have a large number in-family rape among muslim families.

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