In The Name Allah The Compassionate, the Merciful.
Dr.ABU MARYAM AL-MISRI

Dr Abu Maryam, from Egypt. Medical Doctor. Killed during a two-man operation against a Phillipines Army Base in South Phillipines, in April 1997. Aged late-twenties.
1st hand account.

“..but, by Allah, I yearn for Allah and the Paradise, more.”

Dr.Abu Maryam was a medical doctor from Egypt, who was a student of Islamic knowledge at the same time. He was married and had a young daughter by the name of Maryam, hence his name, Abu Maryam. Leaving his wife and daughter behind in Egypt, Abu Maryam came to the land of Jihad in the South of the Philippines and stayed there for two years to help the Muslims in their defence against oppression by the Philippines Governments.

The best way to describe Abu Maryam was a man who was few in words but plentiful in actions. He would teach Islamic knowledge to all the Mujahideen. At the same time, he would attend to the injured and sick. And at the same time, he would go to the front-lines and fight in the Way of Allah. Thus, he tried to attain the good from all directions and means.

And then there was his struggle and fatigue in hostile terrain in the hot, tropical weather of the Philippines. Despite this, he would be fasting on most days. His lips were constantly occupied in the remembrance of Allah. His hands were constantly filled with the Book of Allah. This was his concern, this was his pastime.

During Abu Maryam's stay in the Philippines, a rather unfortunate incident took place. The Philippines Government Army, under the direct command of the Commander-in-Chief of the Philippines Government Forces in the South of the Philippines, launched a massive artillery barrage against the hospital of the Mujahideen. They shelled it with mortars, artillery and rockets.
The damage done by this attack was severe: the whole hospital was destroyed, 22 Muslims were killed (amongst them injured Mujahideen and civilian women and children) and scores were injured. This was an act of war crime. Even in war, it is forbidden to attack hospitals, civilian or military. Abu Maryam was in the region when the attack took place and he tried his best to help the injured people from what remained of the hospital. Abu Maryam was very upset at what had happened.

That same evening, the Commander-in-Chief appeared on National Television and proudly announced, "Today, we have successfully destroyed a terrorist base. No civilians were killed and no hospitals were hit." When Abu Maryam saw this General on television, a very strange ambition entered his heart, an ambition so strange that it could only be aspired by one who had sold his soul to Allah, not in an ordinary transaction, but in a magnificent transaction.

That same evening, Abu Maryam began to ask about that General, his location, the whereabouts of his base and his headquarters. Weeks and weeks passed, and Abu Maryam continued to gather information about that General. With every piece of information he collected, he would take a camera, his weapon and some food, and would go out for days on end to carry out reconnaissance of those locations. He photographed the territories, bases and buildings of that General. He done this together with one other brother, Azzam, from the city of Taif, near Makkah, in the Arabian Peninsula.

A few months later, Abu Maryam decided that the time was now right for the disbelievers to pay for the Muslim blood that they had unlawfully spilt. Abu Maryam Al-Misri and Azzam At-Taifee took some weapons and supplies and head off towards their goal. A third Filipino Mujahid accompanied them, with the intention of only showing them the way, not to partake in any fighting. Their target: the Military Headquarters of the Philippines Government Army in the whole of the South Philippines, also the base of the Commander-in-Chief. This base was located in the centre of the capital of the South Philippines, next to the main International Airport of that region.
It housed a force of 2000 Government soldiers.

Abu Maryam, Azzam and the Filipino brother reached the base. The Filipino brother took up a position well outside the base, from where he could see everything that was happening inside the base. Meanwhile, Abu Maryam and Azzam headed off towards the entrance of the base. The first thing they did was to kill the sentries on the gates. Then they entered the base, killing reinforcing groups of soldiers, with hand grenades and automatic fire. This firefight went on for a few minutes until the Army soldiers were either killed or they fled. After this, Azzam took up a covering position on the outer boundary of the base and Abu Maryam entered the main part of the base, ALONE.

As soon as he entered, he fought his way through to the building at the centre of the base, which housed the officers and the administration. He entered this building, killing three officers who attacked him. After killing these officers, Abu Maryam ran out of the building and began making his way towards the outer boundary to meet Azzam Taifee. Between the two of them, Abu Maryam and Azzam had now held back the entire base, with its force of 2000 soldiers, for thirty minutes. The foot soldiers fled the battleground, to be replaced by tanks and armoured fighting vehicles from all directions. These vehicles began to fire at the two brothers with everything in their armoury. During this assault, Azzam took a direct hit by a tank round and went to meet his Lord (we hope).

Unaware that Azzam had fallen, Abu Maryam continued fighting and he single-handedly held up the entire base for another thirty minutes. He successfully destroyed an ammunition store and carried on killing the enemy soldiers one by one. Those who witnessed this scene said that Abu Maryam was, by now, laughing loudly. Fighting vehicles were now attacking Abu Maryam from
all directions as the infantrymen had fled the arena. Finally, he was hit by a burst of heavy machine-gun fire from the top of one tank and one of the large calibre bullets went through his head, sending Abu Maryam to join his brother Azzam in the Company of their Lord Most High (we ask Allah that it is so).

Seconds had not passed when a beautiful perfumed scent filled the atmosphere around the bodies of Abu Maryam and Azzam. All those present amongst the Muslims and the disbelievers smelt this scent. The next day, thousands of Muslims gathered from the nearby villages to bury their two heroes. All those witness at the procession bore witness to the continuing perfumed scent, which remained in the graveyard even after the two brothers had been buried. One Muslim tore a piece of blood-stained clothing from the bodies of one of the brothers to show it to the Muslims.
It was still smelling of perfume.

Later on that day, an official statement was released by the Philippines Government: in the attack on the Military Base on the previous day, 11 soldiers had been killed (including three senior-ranking officers) and dozens more had been injured. All of this had been carried out by two brothers, who were poor to their Lord, with the Permission of their Lord:

"How often a small group overcame a large force by Allah's Permission."
[Surah Baqarah(2), Verse 249]

I recall one day during the days I spent with Abu Maryam, that I went to the river to wash up.
I saw Abu Maryam there, standing beside the flowing river, with a photograph in his hand.
The photograph was that of his daughter, Maryam, who he had not seen for two years, and he was standing there looking at this photograph. I asked him,

"Do you not miss your daughter, Abu Maryam?"

Upon hearing my question, Abu Maryam began to weep, and he replied, with tears in his eyes:

"Yes, I yearn for my daughter, but, by Allah, I yearn for Allah and the Paradise, more."