NOT THE WAY TO DIE AS MUSLIMS
NOT THE WAY TO KILL AS MUSLIMS
Not passive but endless struggle
How Muslims live and die? The valour in the battlefield is ever legendary. A million examples can be sought but one of the most valiant is that of the MAHDIYA a history of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 1881-1899. Caliph Mahdi had declared a Muslim renaissance against the British, and great wars were fought by Caliph Mahdi, Usman Sheikh al-Din, Ali wad Hilu, and Usman Diqna. The British Generals were General Gordon, Sir Evelyn Baring, General Kitchner, and others. All the final battles took place at Omdurman in Khartoum.
It was a battle for history books. The Muslim Army was surrounded and there was no hope. They could have easily surrendered and saved their lives. But that was not be so. Out of arms and ammunition, they preferred death in battle. A British officer acknowledges this himself, when he says:
“Our men were perfect, but the Dervishes were superb beyond prefection. It was their largest, best, and bravest army that ever fought against us for Mahdism, and it died worthily of the huge empire that Mahdism won and kept for so long. Their riflemen, mangled by every kind of death and torment that man can devise, clung round their black flag and the green, emptying their poor, rotten, home-made cartridges dauntlessly. Their spearmen charged death at every minute hopelessly. Their horsemen led attack riding into the bullets till nothing was left.”
Nobody ran away from the battlefield. All the men faced death in the face, struggling till their last breath. Bravery was personified that day. History made forever.
The same was repeated elsewhere. The Caliph himself was cornered:
“For the last time could be heard the rolling of the Khalifa’s war drums and the booming of his great horns; for the last time, as the light gradually filled the sky, could be seen large bodies of jibba-clad Mahdists, advancing under their fluttering banners; and for the last time, disciplined fire smashed their gallant but hopeless attack.”
And when the bodies were found, it was seen that the Khalifa with his choicest men had sat down to prayer, as death had struck them all in ordered ranks. No thought of saving their lives, but ended their life gracefully and with dignity. And the British ruthless in their cruelty, even did the most unpleasant thing possible. Orders were given to demolish the tomb of the Mahdi by blowing it up with explosives, and the bones of the Mahdi thrown in the river Nile. The concession the skull was allowed to be buried in the Muslim cemetery at Wadi Halfa.
So when we see a body of men standing submissively in front of barbarians, knowing that they are going to be killed; we feel it is not Islamic to die like this. When you know death is coming, it was better to proclaim ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ and attack the barbarians, whatever may have been the result. Dying like sheep or dying like lions was in their grasp. Death would have come any way, but they may have taken an enemy or two with them. And that really mattered in the battle for Islam. Hearing ‘Allah-o-Akbar from the barbarians was an insult to Islamic valour.