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Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief 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 against Palestne.

[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 reward you.]

Our America

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 enter Congress.

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 and Hadith.

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]
Salaam alaikum,
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 email address.

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 public debate.
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.
'Social issue'
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 from since.

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 military-led government.

"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, General Musharraf.

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 denied holding.

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 hidden.
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 the better.
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 today!"
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 to leave.
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 migrants."
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 ribs.
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 dream.
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 Kenyan police.
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! 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 head open!"

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 (martyred).
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 beneath her.
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 before...I'm dead."
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 was unintentional.
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 fled.
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) instead.
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 is little.

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, ameen.

2007-09-22 Sat 02:45:06 cdt