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Ramadan 6, 1428. September 19, 2007. #72.
A Hispanic-American Muslim, his wife and 3 children
went to help Islamic community in Somalia. The U.S. and its
allies treated them as terrorists. We challenge readers not
to cry while reading this. We have never published a story
this long. This is a story of faith and love. Please
scroll all the way down.
A must read.
PERSONAL from the editor: September 18, 2007 was a unusual day
at Swarthmore college near Philadelphia. The local Muslim
students organized an iftar program to which non-Muslim
students were invited and linked it to a memorial for Tariq
Fischer. Tariq was a Swartmore student who died in a tragic
car crash with two other Muslim students near his hometown
Augusta, Georgia. The program attracted an impressive 100
non-Muslim students along with Muslim students. Dr. [Hajja]
Asma Fischer, Tariq's mother, was the central figure in the
gathering. The crowd was addressed by Imam Homsi from
Minneapolis, very low key "moderate" Muslim. Spice was added
by Ali Baba of "Flying While Muslim" fame. He was hilarious.
I would like to thank the students for their hospitality and
Islamic spirit. Some of the non-Muslims were fasting in
support of the Muslims.
Israel's Ramadan "Gift" to the Palestinians: September 19,
2007: Collective punishment has been imposed on Gaza by the
terrorist entity known as "Israel." All forms of needs of the
civilian population are being cut off. ONLY some WATER will be
allowed. The restrictions on travel and finance were already
quite severe. Israel is doing exactly what it claims the
Nazis used to do. This is a new step in the ongoing genocide
[Jamaat al-Muslimeen urges all Muslims to become more
sensitive to businesses which support Israel. Coca Cola is
still being served at Muslim gatherings. Muslims still go to
Starbucks and buy Nestle's products. Please stop. May Allah
Huge Washington DC Rally Condemns Bush and his War
A variety of organizations led by A.N.S.W.E.R organized a
massive gathering in Washington DC to condemn the regime's
ongoing war in Iraq.
The most important feature was the call by Ramsey Clark, in
front of the White House, to impeach Bush. The "Impeach Bush"
movement has taken root. The other most important speaker was
Cindy Sheehan. Numerous military veterans opposed to the war
led the demonstrations.
Nearly 5000 people carried out a "die in" on the steps of the
Capitol. Nearly 200 people were arrested when they tried to
Counterdemonstrators supporting the war were there in small
numbers but got good publicity from the media.
Islam Urges Muslims to oppose the Judaic Religion but the
Saudis connected Ramadan-Eid dates to Jewish system
[Editor's note: The following letter from Dr. Omar Afzal,
America's leading expert on crescent sighting should be a
real eye opener about the blunders of "Saudi" Arabia and
related groups like ISNA-CAIR.]
How can the Muslims not understand a simple fact?
Rosh Hashanah date in Israel (based on invisible New Moon in
Jerusalem) coincided with the First date of Ramadan in Saudi
Arabia (based on the "sighted" Hilal in Makkah)? [The Saudis
do not sight the crescent although it is required in Islam.]
Many well-meaning Muslims try to explain this coincidence in
Fiqhi arguments ignoring a physical fact. Either the Jewish
calendar date was WRONG or the Ramadan Date was moved a day
ahead to 30th Sha'ban. Saudis admitted that a Hilal was not
seen on Wednesday, Sep. 11 evening but they started Ramadan
from Thursday anyway, by quoting the "30 day-completed"
Hadith. This is what is called playing with the Qur'an
Here is a news item on CAIR net:
Because the Islamic calendar operates according to the lunar
year, Ramadan migrates throughout the months of the Gregorian
calendar, making the coincidence between the first date of
Ramadan and Rosh Hashanah uncommon. During Yom Kippur, the
Jewish High Holiday that follows Rosh Hashanah, Jews will
fast from this Friday at sunset to this Saturday at sunset.
Muslims also practice fasting, abstaining from food during
the daytime throughout Ramadan.
[Ed. note: CAIR is ignorant of the fact that Islamic events
are not to coinciude with Judaic events.]
Behind the Smokescreen of Iran-U.S. Hostility:
Iran helping Karzai-NATO to Fight Taliban,
Already given $560 million
[Editor's note: Iran cooperates with the U.S. in both Iraq and
Afghanistan against the Islamic resistance. The Zionists hate
Iran because it is competing with them to work with the U.S.
An Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, though it
would be a disaster for the U.S.-Iran relationship, is
possible. Remember that when Israel hit the Iraqi nuclear
facility, the U.S. was very friendly to Saddam and the
friendship continued despite the Israeli attack. In fact
Reagan condemned the Israeli attack.]
[The following text from a paper which reflects the views of
the Tehran government is quite diplomatic. For "Afghanistan"
please read "the U.S.-installed Karzai regime." For "security"
read "war on the Taliban." Notice that Iran does not blame
NATO or Karzai for the drug trade although all the roads out
of Afghanistan are controlled by NATO. -Editor]
September 16, 2007
Iran playing key role in rebuilding Afghanistan: envoy
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN -- Tehran spares no effort to help reinforce
security in Afghanistan, Iranian Ambassador to France Ali
Ahani said here on Friday.
Addressing the European Parliament, Ahani stated that Iran
considers the establishment of security in Afghanistan as
a foreign policy priority.
"It is natural that the reinforcement of security in
Afghanistan plays a key role in voluntary repatriation of
Afghan refugees," Ahani told MEPs.
The Iranian envoy, who attended the meeting upon an official
invitation by the Afghan-EU Friendship Group, stressed that
serious international attempts are required for reconstruction
of the Central Asian country.
Iran has allocated over 560 million dollars fund for
rebuilding Afghanistan and implementing various projects
in the war-torn country in recent years, Ahani explained.
He referred to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's latest trip
to Afghanistan which resulted in signing important
contracts between the two neighboring countries.
Tehran is prepared to provide Kabul with financial assistance
and expert knowledge, Ahani added.
He expressed Iran's interest in expansion of comprehensive
cooperation with the central Asian country.
Ahani also called for more aid from Europe to combat drug
trafficking in neighboring Afghanistan.
"Saudi" Arabia Denies Rights of Muslim Women to drive cars,
but Claims, through its fronts, that Science should be used to
Calculate Ramadan/Eid Crescent [Ignored Sunnah for a Decade.]
[From Br. Minhas, Saudi Arabia]
There might be more pressing needs for Muslims today, but if
you can take 2 minutes to send email to
it would be greatly appreciated. Show your support if you
believe in allowing women to drive cars in ksa to this
Saudi women challenge driving ban
A group of women in Saudi Arabia is for the first time to
lobby the kingdom's government for the right to drive cars.
Members of the Committee of Demanders of Women's Right to
Drive Cars plan to deliver a petition to King Abdullah by
Sunday, Saudi Arabia's National Day.
Correspondents say the demand is likely to be rejected, as
conservatives argue if women are allowed to drive, they will
be able to mix freely with men.
The issue of women driving has recently become the subject of
Two years ago, a member of the Consultative Council sparked a
heated debate when he pointed out there was nothing under
Islamic law or the constitution that justified the ban, and
that the council ought to discuss ways of lifting it.
Mohammed al-Zulfa's comments later prompted the Saudi interior
minister to dismiss calls for the ban to be lifted, saying the
country had other priorities.
The current driving ban applies to all women in Saudi Arabia,
whatever their nationality.
It was originally unofficial, but became law after an
incident in 1990, when 47 women challenged the authorities by
taking their families' cars out for a drive.
After strong criticism from the Saudi religious authorities,
the women were jailed for one day, their passports confiscated
and many lost their jobs.
A founding member of the Committee of Demanders of Women's
Right to Drive Cars, Fawzia al-Oyouni, said its electronic
petition would highlight what many Saudi men and women
consider a "stolen right".
"We would like to remind officials that this is, as many have
said, a social and not religious or political issue," she told
the Associated Press. "Since it's a social issue, we have the
right to lobby for it."
"This is a right that has been delayed for too long."
King Abdullah has in the past said that he thought a day would
eventually come when Saudi women were allowed drive.
PAKISTAN: GENERAL MUSHARRAF'S VICTIMS:
A Woman's Response [Courtesy Frontline World]
Amina Masood Janjua was an ordinary Pakistani housewife, proud
of her country and loyal to its military. But all that changed
on July 30, 2005, when her husband never came home. She would
later learn that he was detained by Pakistan's powerful
intelligence agency, the Inter-Service Intellignce (ISI), on
charges that have yet to be made clear. He was locked away in
an undisclosed location without a trial and has not been heard
International human rights groups estimate that several
hundred Pakistanis have disappeared under the government label
of "terrorism suspects" since September 11. Their families are
not informed of their whereabouts -- a flagrant violation of
Pakistan's constitution. For many, their crime was
apparently being either an overly devout Muslim or an
outspoken critic of President Pervez Musharraf, the
military general who seized power in 1999.
Most families of the disappeared have suffered silently, too
afraid to speak out. But this is the story of one woman who
dared to go in search of her husband, and in the process,
launched a movement that has shaken Pakistan's
"There's not a single country in the world that is targeting
its own people like Pakistan," Janjua, a mother of three, told
me. "I've been telling people that this is like a flood. If
you don't stand up today, you'll be taken away tomorrow."
I was a reporter with The Christian Science Monitor in
Pakistan between 2005 and 2007, and I met Janjua after reading
about her protests in the local newspapers. I began to follow
her story and the questions she has raised.
No country has been so indispensable an ally in the U.S. war
on terrorism as Pakistan. Nor has one been so handsomely
rewarded. Pakistan's government has handed over more terrorism
suspects -- several hundred, in fact -- than any other country
in the world. In return, it's received millions of dollars in
compensation. That's just a portion of the $1 billion it has
gotten annually from Washington for counter-terrorism
operations since September 11.
There are significant incentives for Pakistan to make arrests,
but who exactly has been arrested, and who makes the
determination whether these people are terrorists or not? Are
those in custody treated in accordance with the human rights
and due process standards that the constitutions of both
Pakistan and the United States firmly espouse? Asking these
questions publicly is dangerous in Pakistan, a country whose
intelligence agencies function like a state within a state and
whose government is ruled by a military dictator,
But that could be changing thanks to the courage of one woman.
Janjua has done the unthinkable in a country where women's
voices are routinely ignored and often suppressed: She's used
the weapons of democracy -- street protests, the free press
and the country's courts -- to launch the first direct public
campaign against the ISI, which has held sway in Pakistan as
a kind of shadow government.
What began as Janjua's private quest for her husband has
become a movement that has rocked Pakistan's military regime.
A case she filed against the government was taken up in
January 2007 by Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the chief justice
of Pakistan's Supreme Court.
Chaudhry was so outraged by the government's actions that, for
the first time in Pakistan's 60-year history, he forced the
ISI and police branches to release prisoners they had long
The response has been explosive: In March, Musharraf
unceremoniously sacked Chaudhry, sparking weeks of national
protests. Many believe that Musharraf, increasingly weakened
and abandoned by his allies, could eventually fall. And now,
after a long legal wrangle, the chief justice has been
reinstated, making Musharraf's hold on power look weaker than
ever. In a direct challenge to the regime, Chaudhry has
already ruled that the general's two main political opponents,
former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, can
return from exile abroad and challenge Musharraf in Pakistan's
national elections, scheduled for this fall.
Meanwhile, the case of the disappeared continues to gather
momentum. Many of the missing have been quietly released, and
they are now speaking out about their experience. I managed to
secure an interview with one such man, but only after Janjua
convinced him that meeting with me would be safe. He was small
and trim and soft spoken in a way that was oddly juxtaposed
against his gritty ordeal in prison. Held illegally by the
ISI for two years, the man told me that he'd been tortured and
warned not to speak about his detention. When I asked him
if Americans had ever interrogated him, he said he did not
want to answer. In interviews with the international print
media, several Pakistanis have said they were interrogated
by Americans and other foreigners. When I asked officials
at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad about this, they told me they
could not comment about the issue. They promised to forward my
request onto Washington, but said they doubted anyone would
respond. There still has been no response.
Janjua has helped pry back the lid on the most secretive
organization in Pakistan, the ISI, and its conduct since 9/11.
Along the way, she's inspired an unprecedented national
discourse. Today, Pakistani citizens who would never dare to
publicly criticize the ISI are doing so freely in newspaper
editorials, talk shows and tea stalls throughout the country.
To date, the Supreme Court has compelled the government to
release 60 missing persons. But as these detainees reunite
with their families for the first time in years, Janjua, the
woman who started the whole campaign, still has no word about
the fate of her own husband.
-- David Montero
With Thanks to Br. Abdul-Rashid Hamid
Hispanic-American Muslims in Somalia:
Read and Cry and bless them: This is Real Faith
Daniel Joseph Maldonado, an American convert, was
arrested by the Kenyan military in January 2007 and handed
over the US authorities. In April he pleaded guilty to a
charge of receiving training from a foreign terrorist
organization. He was sentenced to ten years in June. In this
exclusive first-hand account from his cell in Houston's
Federal Detention Centre he describes the circumstances around
his migration to Somalia, the tragic death of his wife Umm
Muhammad, his subsequent arrest in Kenya and imprisonment
there and in the US.
"In the name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful. Praise be
to Allah, Please and Blessings be Upon Muhammad.
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmahtullahi wa Barakatuhu.
Migration with Umm Muhammad (May Allah accept her):
Once my wife (may Allah accept her) and I found out that
an Islamic State was established in Somalia, especially
after the taking of Mogadishu, we decided to go and make
Hijra (migration) from Egypt. Immediately we made plans
and tried to sell everything in our apartment. After being
offered about $7,000–$8000, Umm Muhammad (May Allah accept
her) made such a beautiful statement. She said, "You know that
everything (in the apartment) is worth more than that
Daniel...But what Allah offers me is better!" So she gave away
everything in the apartment to someone to distribute to the
poor in a small village. If that wasn't enough, we had about
$2,800 cash after we had gotten tickets etc. She decided to
give $2,000 to a close friend in deep debt, so as to reap as
many blessings as possible for the trip ahead.
None of the above do I attribute to myself and Allah is a
Witness over what I say.
With only $800 we left for Somalia...Did that stop her? No,
she still gave to those in need! To this day, I don't even
know half of the good she did. Such was her custom to keep it
Something worth mentioning, we ended up staying in the airport
[at Dubai] for three days, waiting for a flight. What did Umm
Muhammad say about going out in Dubai? She said, "I lived with
poor people in Egypt; I am going to live with the poor in
Somalia. Dubai will be a fitnah (trial)"
Thus we slept in the airport. I can still see her (thinking
back) nodding off while nursing the baby under her abaya
(coat-like burqah) in secrecy.
She became extremely devout; everything about her changed for
Her faith was stronger than I have ever seen! She became so
pious, and put all her trust in Allah to the point I felt I
was no longer even on the same level as her...Not even close!
While I was away from her and the children, I would try to
call her and them as much as possible. We would constantly
entertain Allah's praise and express our deep love for one
another. Her patience was truly amazing!
After the bombing of Mogadishu airport, I advised that she and
the children leave to the South to meet me as soon as possible.
I remember asking her, "Did you hear it [the bombing]?" She
said, "Yes". I asked, "Were you scared?" She simply said, "No".
I met her and the children in a town between the area she had
left and the area we would head to before she would leave the
country. She had dirt all over her abaya from the difficult
trip; her eyes were tired and weary. I approached her and
said, "I swear, I have never seen you more beautiful than
So we went further, South. We would stay in a house with many
other families before we left (the next morning). After Fajr
(the pre-dawn prayer), the sisters started preparing to
evacuate. Umm Muhammad refused to go. After some talking to
by me and others, she – while weeping – listened and prepared
Knowing that the Ethiopians were coming and the women were
about to leave, she though that there was a great possibility
I would be killed. So we had a nice, long beautiful talk as
she prepared. We expressed our love and admiration for each
other. She thanked me by saying: "You are the greatest
teacher I have ever had! You are the only man who has stuck
around in my life! (Her father and grandfather etc were never
around for her. She grew up in a house of women.) You are a
real man! I love you so much!" She was weeping. Then she said
something that I will never forget: "Forgive me...I could not
ask Allah to make you a martyr. I love you too much to see you
go... So I asked Him to make me a martyr instead!"
After much loving talk, the S.U.V. (off-road-vehicle) started
to ride away.
Her eyes watered while it pulled off... Seeing it was pulling
off slowly by me, I said: "Peace be upon you oh women of
Paradise, insha'Allah!" She asked why I said such. I said "If
any women are the women of paradise, it is you, the women of
The S.U.V. pulled away and she recited a verse from Quran as
they drove off... It was Eid. That would be the last [time] I
would see my wife....May Allah accept my beloved and join me
with her in Paradise with our children.
Surviving in the Jungle
After my family had left to the border, I left with the
brothers. To make a long story short, we got bombed for half
a day from mid–afternoon to maghrib (sunset). The next day we
were ambushed...many died in that ambush...for those who
survived along with me, we ended up wandering in the jungle
with literally nothing to eat! Our water ran out as
well...The following day we were so very thirsty, we would
lick the dew of the leaves in the jungle! We would search for
water for two days since our last drink.
We would make du'a (supplication) for water while
walking...We, after not finding water, reminded each other
that we should seek forgiveness, for the one from sin will
have his du'a answered. Sure enough, about a mile ahead was
some water. I can remember all of us weeping and thanking
Allah while prostrating. I can still hear one of them panting
while saying "Allahul Kareem" (Allah is the Most Generous)
over and over again. We would sit on the edge of this
waterhole with a shell we'd found and use it as a cup. One
would fill it and pass it to another who would pass it to
another. There were to be many days like that...
For two weeks we did not eat at all except for one time at the
very beginning of our wanderings. One day we came out to a
Savannah area; it looked like something out of Lion King! We
were careful, as helicopters were still in the sky and we were
obviously being hunted by them. We would stay along the edge
of the jungle area until we felt it was safe to actually go
out into the long-grassed Savanna.
Suddenly one of the brothers caught a baby gazelle that seemed
to just stand there, waiting for us. A brother took out a
simple razor from his pocket. He pointed the animal towards
the Qibla (direction towards Makkah) and we slaughtered it
according to the noble shareeah (Islamic Law). We had one
lighter (which later broke), a few packs of season that my
wife had given me, and garlic that we used for antibiotics.
We praised Allah and ate. After this we would not eat anything
except leaves and an occasional snail for two weeks. Keeping
our tongues wet with the remembrance of Allah did more for us
than the occasional waterhole...and they were few. For those
two weeks we would go a day, sometimes two, without water. We
walked and walked, malnourished and thirsty. We became so
malnourished that our skin began to feel tight around our
We came to another open area one day, but this one had much
water. In fact, there was the jungle behind us and miles of
shallow water in front of us.
We needed to make it to the other end (where the jungle began
again). We walked through this chest-high water from
mid-afternoon to the next morning...It was extremely hard on
us, seeing that we could not rest or sit down, because the
water was chest-high! By the time we got out, it was almost
Fajr time. I don't think that I have ever been so cold in my
life! I remembered that Umm Muhammad (may Allah accept her)
had given me these packets that warm up when you open them.
So I used them with the brothers.
Strange, I remember asking her: "What in the world would I
need hand-warming packets for in Africa?" She simply said:
"You never know..."
A bit before this incident, I had a dream of her. (I didn't
know she had passed away). She was wearing a blue silk hijaab
and her face was uncovered (she always appeared veiled
outside). This hijaab stretched out as far as I could see. I
had to climb up it! I then lay next to her, stared into her
eyes and said: "I love you..." She replied "I love you 63
times." To this day, I wonder about the meaning of that
Some nights later, a brother told me that he had a dream
about my family –
although he had never met my wife. Mind you, I didn't know
about her death yet. He said that my wife was at a long white
table that had such beautiful food on it. My children were
running around playing. My wife then said to them, "Patience,
patience he will be with us very soon." In retrospect, I find
these dreams to be amazing.
Arrest and Imprisonment in Kenya
So it is that we would, after thirsting and starving for two
weeks, find a small village in Kenya. Being the villagers were
Muslims, [some] spoke Arabic. They fed us and gave us water. I
remember walking into the village with all the brothers and
falling prostrate to Allah crying and thanking Him for what
seemed like an hour!
We were brought to a Masjid (mosque) where we could finally
rest. After getting bombed, shot at with bullets whizzing by
my head, having friends die, starving and sleeping in ant and
tic infested areas, I barely noticed a rat in the masjid
crawling on my leg. "Akhee (brother), there's a rat!" I
brushed it off me like you would a fly; I was so exhausted.
Suddenly someone yelled out "Soldiers!" The Kenyan military
stormed in, pulled us out, laid us on the ground and beat many
of us. Then we were thrown half-naked onto a truck on top of
each other, to be driven through the jungle to the next town,
in the freezing cold night. Thrown out of the truck, we were
pushed around, beaten some more, laughed at, humiliated and
filmed, then thrown into a dark, dirty cell. Four walls and a
bucket, that's it. Suddenly I and a Yemeni brother started
singing "Ghurabaa" (The Strangers). We even wept. That night
we would be pushed around, beaten and interrogated by the
The next morning, we were woken up to be cable-tied,
blindfolded, mocked at and thrown into a truck that brought us
to a helicopter. We were thrown off the truck onto the ground
and put on the helicopter, then taken to an airport and put
on a plane. The whole flight we were mocked and threatened
whilst blindfolded and cable-tied. The brothers and I heard
a sister on the plane with kids. One brother asked: "Are
you okay, sister?" Suddenly one of the police or soldiers came
around and said, "Shut up!" Then he told her, "If you speak
again, I will tape your eyes shut." No one would utter a word
throughout the whole flight to Nairobi...Wondering if I could
sneak a peek to see what was going on, I noticed that the
baby and the little girl were my daughters! Frantically,
I would try to peer everywhere I could to see if my wife was
seated close by. All I could think was: "Oh Allah! Where is
she? She would never leave the baby with someone else. Where
is our son Muhammad?"
After landing, I would be pulled off the plane with the
others. I could not contain myself. I asked the sister while
being pulled off, "Sister! Do you know my wife?" She quickly
responded "Yes!" I asked where she was, and the sister
replied "Your daughters are fine." I exclaimed while being
roughly pulled off: "My wife and my son?" She again stated:
"Your daughters are fine; they are okay."
[Note: More can read about this sister and her imprisonment
alongside Daniel's children in a report by Cageprisoners:
I was thrown to the ground on my knees. I could hear cameras
snapping and people around me. One man came and asked where I
was from. After telling him, I said: "There is a woman on the
plane who knows my wife. Is my family okay?" He left, then
came back and said, "Your family is fine..."
The others and I were then shipped off to a prison barefoot,
malnourished and extremely dirty. The cell was cramped with
about twelve of us. It was very dirty, with just one bucket to
share as a toilet. We would pass the time by praising and
remembering Allah. I never made so much dhikr (remembrance)
in my life. Every night, you could find each of us standing
in prayer on and off – as if it were an intended rotation.
The police would constantly pull us out to interrogate us,
one at a time, every other day or night. Many of us were
threatened with death along with getting shipped back to
Somalia and being handed to the Ethiopians! The days seemed
to take forever...When we would ask about our embassies out
of curiosity, they would quickly reply: "Your embassies know
you are here.
They don't care about you."
The Tragic News Regarding My Wife...
One day, while sitting on the cold hard floor, I mentioned my
love for, and desire to see my wife and kids. I expressed my
worry about the situation on the plane, although I was told
all is well. One of the brothers stared at me and then stated
that he needed to pray. I wondered; it was not prayer time.
He finished and then told the brother next to me: "Tell
him..." A tear rolled down my cheek... I knew now what they
were about to disclose. I leaned closer to the brother, voice
cracking, heart torn but hesitant until confirmation. "Tell
me what?! What are you going to tell me?" I was crying.
He said, "We were told that an American woman with three
children got sick and died on the way. They buried her as a
martyr...I'm sorry brother..." I immediately stood up, tears
pouring like never before. My whole world felt as if it had
ended! I paced the cell and then leaned on the wall crying,
"Don't, not here! Don't tell me this here! No...no... Oh
Allah, Oh Allah..." One of the older brothers embraced me and
quietly repeated in Arabic: "Patience my brother...patience;
it is from Allah." I slumped down the wall on my back until I
was seated. Tears in my eyes, I looked up and noticed everyone
was crying with me. I asked about my son; no–one knew
anything. I jumped up and yelled for the guard. He proudly
came to the door. I said, "I found out just now that my wife
has died. I need to know whether or not you have all of my
kids." He said, "How do you know that?!"
He opened the door brandishing his night stick saying, "You
better get away from this door and shut up before I crack your
The Hardest Test
The hardest part of this whole ordeal was losing my best
friend, my wife, my beloved, my soul mate, the mother of my
children. May Allah accept her, ameen. She once told me in
Somalia that she never felt so close to Allah and that she
wished for shahaadah (martyrdom). "Whoever wishes to meet
Allah, Allah will wish to meet him." It is known that whoever
protects their life, property, family and religion and dies
while doing so is a martyr. She died while doing all of the
above! We know about the hadith (Prophetic tradition) about
the one who dies of fever and sickness or plague. We all know
about the one who migrates for Allah and dies doing such. I
cannot think of a reason that she wouldn't be shaheed
She got what she asked for: body not washed for burial [a
martyr's body is not washed for burial], buried in the land
she loved and did not want to leave.
You know, this comes as no surprise, as I have never known
Umm Muhammad (may Allah accept her) to raise her hands (in
supplication) except that Allah gave her exactly what she
asked for. For instance, after the birth of our son, the
doctors said she would not be able to have children again,
due to many complications. Praise be to Allah! She gave me
two beautiful daughters – exactly what she wanted!
She was simple and extremely humble, never making people feel
She was not the scholarly type, but she practiced what she
knew. If you could prove it from The Book (Quraan) and the
Sunnah (Prophetic Way), she would not argue, but submit to
the proofs. She feared Allah so much! I remember her telling
me while crying as if she had lost a beloved one, that she
committed a grave wrong when we first became Muslim. She
explained that she feared she would never be forgiven. I
asked her what it was.
She said that she once exclaimed "Jesus Christ!" when angry
or surprised. I asked, "Were you calling upon him (in
invocation)?" She cried, saying "No," explaining that it was
just something she grew up saying without meaning (as is
common among many a Westerner). I laughed in admiration and
told her not to worry, that she did nothing wrong, and the
fact that she feared Allah so much that she worried over
something that any new Muslim would do, made her even better!
I truly miss her. May Allah accept her and reunite me with
her and our children in Paradise, ameen.
Interrogated by the FBI
In the days after the news of my wife's death I would be
pulled out of my cell, blindfolded, shackled, ear muffed and
a bag put over my head. I was put in a car and driven away. I
could hardly breathe...all I could think was: "They are going
to shoot me." I believe I thought this because I could feel
the road change from pavement to dirt. I figured: "Bag over my
head, ear muffs, blindfold, dirt road, threats a day
I just repeated the shahadatain (Islamic testimonies
of faith) again and again. I would end up at a sort of safe
house where the FBI would question me. It became increasingly
obvious that someone had snitched on me, as they knew
everything. But what bewildered me was that this "someone"
had lied about a lot of things, unless that was just a
tactic. Nonetheless, that misinformation was to later be in
my paperwork, stating that they were given by a co-witness, a
close associate of mine! The details of the few truths made
it clear who did some of the talking. I understood then, that
one of my beloved brothers had turned on me...I forgive those
that did, as the conditions were unbearable. May Allah have
Mercy on them.
Reunited with my Children
I was brought to another prison to stay at and was joined by
my two daughters! I asked my four year old, while holding the
baby, "What happened to Mommy?" She said in a soft, yet very
hurt voice: "Mommy got hot with the fever.....She went to
Allah...They put her in the ground...." I burst into tears
and held her, telling her: "I'm sorry. Daddy's sorry..." Then
I asked her, "Where is your brother?" She paused and said,
"He ran away into the jungle...he only has one sandal
Daddy..." I asked the police if they had a little boy in
custody. They replied in the negative...
That night I was put in a cell while my daughters were kept
somewhere else. Perhaps they were with the woman whom they
were arrested with or with female police officers across the
street. I thanked Allah, praised him and asked Him for a
miracle regarding my family being put together. I called on
Him saying, "You are the One who gathers. Gather me and my family here!"
I later awoke to the sound of a voice at the reception desk.
It was a familiar voice, a young boy explaining why he wasn't
in school. It was the voice of my son! I jumped up and yelled
his name through the door. He ran past the police to the door
crying, "Dad? Is that you?" They opened the door and he
embraced me without any hesitation. We cried together in each
other's arms...The police asked me: "This is your son?" It
became obvious that their bringing him to that police station
I asked Muhammad what had happened. He told me that his mother
got sick and the brothers told him that they were taking her
to the hospital. This was miles and miles deep in the jungle
on the road to Kenya. They clearly said this not to upset him.
Muhammad had been with the men bringing the women over the
border. He told me that jets had attacked them and everyone
He said that he saw his "uncle" getting his stomach blown out.
He explained that he got down, and when they came again he
ran into the trees. The brothers called out to him, but he
couldn't find them. He got lost in the jungle for two nights,
surviving on berries and dirty water that he'd found. He would
retrace his steps back to where they were camped.
He told me that everything was black and burnt. Even the
wheels on the car were melted.
Muhammad found his way to a village where "a man with a cow"
took him in and fed him. Later this man handed him over to the
Kenyan military. The next day, all my children were reunited
with me, alhamdulillah!
I had to tell my son about his mother... I explained that I
had something to tell him that will be difficult. He stood
there awaiting this important news as if nothing was wrong. I
said, "Your mother has left this world my son." He said, "No
dad, they took her to the hospital." I told him: "Son, they
said that to you so you wouldn't get upset...I'm sorry; your
mother died." He looked at me weeping, and without a tear in
his eye he looked towards the heavens and said, "Allah has
willed it. InshaAllah I will see her in Paradise" I could not
believe how well he took it; how faithful a reply! I hugged
him and said, "I'm sorry." He told me, "It isn't your fault
Dad! You did the best you could do!" I am a 28 year old man
who has been through a lot, and my heroes are a woman who has
left this world and a nine year old boy...
Echoes of Guantanamo–Style Treatment
Eventually, my children and I were taken out of prison and
put on a plane heading for America. I had to sign papers to
temporarily grant custody to my parents seeing that I was "in
quite a bit of trouble" – as the FBI agent put it. We landed
at a military base where my children would be separated from
me. The agents let us say our goodbyes. They assured me that
my children would be taken good care of, and sent directly
to my parents. They did keep to their word.
I would stay at that base for three days. After starving in
the jungle and being imprisoned in Kenya, I felt like I was
in a 5 star hotel!
The agents explained that I would be leaving the next day and
that the people transporting me would be very strict. When
these new agents came, they told me I would not be allowed to
pray at all, or use the bathroom without the door being left
open. I praise Allah! I made salatul khawf (the Fear Prayer)
The next day I was blindfolded, ear plugged then ear muffed.
I was shackled – hands chained to my waist and ankles shackled
as well. For about a 24 hour flight I could not hear, see or
touch anything... One could never imagine what that's like
until one experiences it for themselves.
To pray, I would sneak my hand to wipe the bottom of my shoe
for the clean earth on it and make tayyamum (dry ablution
using mud or dust) in order to do salatul khawf. I praise
Allah! Never through this ordeal did I miss even one prayer.
And this is of the benefits of knowledge, even if it
Solitary Confinement and Conviction
We landed in Houston and I was immediately put in solitary
confinement with literally no human contact at all. I have
been here ever since. I pleaded guilty to "receiving training
from a foreign terrorist organization" in order that the
second charge of "conspiring to use an explosive device
outside the United States" be dropped. That charge carried a
maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of up to
$250,000. I have been sentenced to ten years in prison and
fined $1000. If I stay out of trouble in prison, it will only
be eight years. Since I am in a Federal prison, I cannot get
parole. So the least I will do is eight years, unless some
information comes up that could prove innocence etc. I never
went to Somalia to fight. I wouldn't have taken my wife and
three small children into a war zone. The situation just
erupted while we were there.
I pretty much sit in a cell with a bed, sink shower, toilet
and desk for 23 hours a day. I eat and receive all of my
"sanitary items" in my cell. I am only allowed outside for
one hour a day, the only exceptions to that being Friday and
Saturday. I spend my time reading Quraan or any other books
on Islaam and doing dhikr (remembrance of Allah). We were put
on this earth to worship Allah. As long as we are able to do
that, we have all we need!
"What can my enemies do to me? My Paradise is in my heart; it
goes with me wherever I am. If they kill me, it is martyrdom.
If they exile me from my land, it is a vacation in the Path
of Allah. If they imprison me, it is to allow me a private
devotion with Allah" Sheikh–ul–Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah"
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmahtullahi wa Barakatuhu.
Al Istiqamah: We ask all our readers to pray for a speedy
release for Daniel, that he is re-united with his family and
that he continues to remain firm upon his Deen (religion).
May Allah accept Umm Muhammad's death from malaria while
protecting her life, wealth and family as martyrdom,
2007-09-22 Sat 02:45:06 cdt