Who Was Umar al-Mukhtar
This is a discussion on Who Was Umar al-Mukhtar within the Islam in General forums, part of the Main Topics category; Who Was Umar al-Mukhtar? We go back in history to 1862 where a young boy of a poor household was ...
- 18th March 2008 #1
Who Was Umar al-Mukhtar
Who Was Umar al-Mukhtar?
We go back in history to 1862 where a young boy of a poor household was born in a town controlled by the Uthmany Khilafa. This young man was brought under the care and tutelage of one of the Shuyookh in his home town when he was at the ripe age of 16 after the death of his father.
He eventually developed a lifestyle of not sleeping more than 3 hours every night in order to get up to pray to Allah at the last third of the night and recite Qur'an until fajr. He memorized the Qur'an (as all knowledgeable people begin their lives) eventually, and was known to have finished his revisions in its entirety every seven days, regardless of the sufferings he encountered in his life.
His courage and wisdom was pronounced, and was an example for people to follow. This was evident on one of his caravan trails to Sudan as a young man. A lion had deterred the people from entering a particular path. Caravans were veered else where for fear of this lion. To distract this lion, people would resort giving it one of their camels, a most prized possession, so they could pass safely. He learned of this lion during the journey, where upon he consequently took it upon himself to face this crisis head on. Unlike other men in the caravan who were dumbstruck by the situation, he carried his shot gun, rode his horse and went after the lion. He came back with the lion's head much to everyone's surprise and due gratitude. This earned him the name "Lion of Cyrenaica."
An upbringing of courage and upright religiosity had a massive effect on him. His character would not only change the course of his tribe, country and people, but also the world of Muslims in the Post Colonial Era.
In his twenties he was known for his maturity beyond his years as well as his wisdom, for he continued to solve tribal disputes. His people listened to him and took his regardless of village or region he found himself in. His manners were known to be great, for he was eloquent, balanced in his speech, and appealing to those who listened. This uniqueness helped him unite the tribes, and later on gather armies to fend off the colonizers.
His thirties was marked by dawn of the Colonial Era, as it began to spread its cancer to the rest of the world. At the time when the world was being ravaged by European nations, this man stood firm for Islam and faced colonizers with his valor. He fought fiercely against the French with a group called Banu Sanus, who would later be known as the Sanusies. For a brief moment, they also fought the British, who were marked by greed and attempted to conquer their land.
As part of a global feast on the so-called less civilized nations, Italy joined the European nations in causing havoc in the southern part of the hemisphere by colonizing North Africa. It was during this time, this man, in his fifties, gathered his forces in the face of an invasion attack against Libya, his homeland.
To pacify his resistance army, the Italians offered him high ranking positions and wealth. In return, they demanded that he surrendered and followed their Colonial decree. He responded in a famous quote saying, "I'm not a sweet bite of a meal anyone can swallow. No matter how long they try to change my belief and opinion, Allah is going to let them down."
They then offered him to leave his town to live closer to the ruling party complete with a monthly salary, but he again refused by saying, "No, I will not leave my country until I meet my lord. Death is closer to me than anything, I'm waiting for it by the minute."
This man, whose seventy more years of age had not prevented him from fighting, was the soul of his people's resistance against hopeless odds. He gave his people hope against an army thousands more than his own, equipped with more modern weapons, airplanes and armoury while he and his men starved in the mountains with nothing on their backs but their rifles and horses. After his firm position, as the Ummah is always in need of such legends to lead the people, people gathered around him. He successfully began to strike the Italians where it hurt. He hit firmly, swiftly, and harshly those who thought occupying Muslim lands, oppressing, imprisoning, and torturing Muslims, was going be effortless.
Another man in his nineties named Abu Karayyim, from the Jalu oasis, had fought with him in the deep south. Hunger and disease eventually decimated his people. The Italians soon stepped up operations by burning and pillaging villages. Women, children and the elderly were not spared. During their weakest point, people were gathered and placed in concentration camps.
The Sanusi, Muhammad az-Zaway, who once fought with him against the French, attempted to persuade him to retreat to Egypt with the rest of those who fought against the French. But, this man refused to turn his back on the enemy knowing well that his chances are dim against a force that was swelling by the minute.
When asked why he continued the fight, he stated that he fought for his religion, and he sought no other than to get the occupiers of his lands. As to fighting, he said that was a fard , regardless of the outcome as victory comes from Allah. He used to refuse any peace talks with the colonizers saying we have nothing but to fight the occupying enemies of Allah.
After countless battles, he was wounded and captured alive. He and his men defended themselves until he and one of his companions were left. At last
his horse was shot dead under him, causing him to fall to the ground. He was shackled and brought to a city called Suluq, where the Italian military post was established.
This man believed Jihad was ordained upon every able Muslim while his homeland was occupied by the colonizers. With his faith, heroism and courage he earned the respect of even his enemies.
Captured in his 70's.
The military officer who interrogated him said, "When he came to my office I imagined to see someone like the thousand of murabiteen who I met in the desert wars. His hands were shackeled, he had broken bones caused by fighting, dragging himself barely able to walk. He was a man not like normal men even though the affect that he was apprehended had shown upon him. He stood in my office as we asked him and he answered in a calm clear collective voice. When he gathered to leave, the brightness of his face like a sunshine amazed me and shook my heart. My lips shivered towards the end of the conversation whereby I ordered him back to his cell to stand before a court in the evening."
He was a legend who was firm in his religion at a time when the leaders of his country emigrated (as they do today ) to surrender to the Italians. The biggest scholars of his time from the Sanusies, who previously fought with him against the French and British, did not come to his aid in time. Instead, many of them became loyal to the Italians by giving them Muslim lands in exchange for clemency, montly salaries, and free taxation from the latter. Such is true for Muslims today.
On the contrary, this man took out his Qur'an, held it, he gave an oath to Allah that he would not stop fighting the occupying oppressors even if it meant fighting them alone until victory had been attained or he becomes a martyr. In the last twenty years of his life, he led and personally fought in 1000 battles.
In shackles, after his capture and brought to Saluq.
When the Italian general made him a final offer to make him their puppet and be allowed to live like the other leaders of his people, he answered, "I shall not cease to fight against thee and thy people until either you leave my country or I leave my life. And I swear by Him who knows whaht is in men's hearts that if my ands were not bound this very moment, I would fight you with my bare hands, old and broken as I am.."
It was then that the Italian general laughed and ordered him to be hung after a frontal saving face act of a mock trial. Even before the court was in session a hanging rope outside the court house had already been prepared for him.
His hanging took place before hundreds of tribes in 1931. With the intent to scare the Muslims, the Italians did not succeed in doing this. The opposite had taken place. His hanging shook the entire Muslim world, and numerous resistances took place specifically in North Africa.
May Allah raise his position in paradise.
The Italians took pictures of him in shackles, surrounded by smiling Italian generals, and those who expressed happiness for his hanging. They did not realize that it is those shackles and rope hanging around his neck in the hands of his enemies fighting for the sake of Allah that is the envy of every true Muslim.
The man, whose mug shot spoke his legacy, is none other than Omar AlMukhtar, whose legacy will live until the day of judgement, inshallah. With his blood, he drew the stories of victory, he became a legend of the legends, and a guide for those who wanted to live in honor at a time of humiliation.
The surrendered modernists and disbelieving scholars of his time were not imprisoned nor hung. They died a normal death, possibly even in luxury and wealth, under the protection of the occupying Italians. However, they died and their named died with them. And, jahannam is the abode of those who ally themselves with the kuffar colonizers over the Muslims. Omar AlMukhtar lived, and fought hard in the days of his life. He was shackled, imprisoned, then hung. But his legacy lives on and paradise, inshallah, is the resort of the martyrs.
September 16, 1931. His hanging in Saluq.
Omar AlMukhtar was attached to Allah, depending on Him, and accepting that which Allah had written upon him. He asked Allah to become a martyr and this what he has attained, inshAllah.
Written in the one third end of the night of Oct. 12, 2004
- 18th March 2008 #2
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
May Allah (azza wa jal) be pleased with him, he was a Lion of the Ummah and a courageous and brave shaheed.
Libya today has a population of about 6 million people, that is because half of its Muslim population was killed resisting the occupation.
It also proved a very expensive expedition for the Romans and in the end they were defeated and withdrew, despite the fact that Muslims were outmatched in every field, the spirit of Jihad and sacrifice was enough for the oppressive cowards who expected it to be a walk in the park after the destruction of the Usmani Khalifah.
It was the sacrifice of Lions like Umar al-Mukthar, as a result of which the Italian occupation itself did not survive but a decade after his Shahadah.
Some more history below...
In October 1911 the Italian fleet invaded Libya and the Libyans resisted the invaders with whatever little weapons they could get. The Italians first concentrated their attack on the coast cities, Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata and Derna. Major battles took place in Al-Hani near Tripoli (October 23, 1911) , Ar-Rmaila near Misrata, Al-Fwaihat near Benghazi (March 1912) and Wadi Ash-Shwaer near Derna. Other battles took place on the coast and in other cities, villages, mountains and desert. One of the major battles was Al-Gherthabiya near Sirt (April 1915) where the Italians lost thousands of their soldiers.
Although the Italians succeeded in controling most of Libya after years of resistance and struggle (Jihad), they could not control the whole country because the Libyan fighters (Mojahideen) left their homes and headed for the mountains where they planned their attacks against the Italian armies.
Some of the major Libyan fighters (Mojahideen) against the Italians were Omar Al-Moktar [see photo on the right] , Ramadan As-Swaihli, Mohammad Farhat Az-Zawi, Al-Fadeel Bo-Omar, Solaiman Al-Barouni and Silima An-Nailiah to name a few. Omar Al-Moktar is considered the great symbol for the Libyan resistance (Jihad) against the Italian occupation. He reorganized the Mojahideen in The Green Mountain (Aj-Jabal Al-Akdar) North East Libya and he re-ignited the resistance against Italy after World War I when the Italians thought that they succeeded in silencing the Libyan resistance.
Feeling that they may lose Libya to the Mojahideen, the Italian authorities sent one of their bloodiest high ranking officers Badolio who used the most inhuman measures to end the resistance. He did not just lead the fight against Omar Al-Moktar and his comrades, but he also punished even those who were living peacefully in the cities and villages accusing them of helping the Mojahideen.
Badolio was not the only one whome the Italian government thought able to end the Libyan resistance through using the most inhumane and blodiest measures. Mosoliny, the infamous Italian dictator, sent another high ranking officer to kill thousands and thousands of inocent Libyans, young and old. fighters and non-fighters.
Mosolini thought that the solution to the Libyan problem was Rodolfo Grasiani and by sending him to lead the fight against the Libyans he was telling his cabinet that anything and everything must be done to control Libya. Grasiani agreed to go to Libya if and only if Mosolini let him do the job without any consideration or respect for rules and laws in Italy or in the World and Mosolini agreed immediately.
Before coming to Libya, Grasiani went to Morj, Switzerland where he enjoyed a vacation in which he planned his murderous attack on the Libyans, all Libyans according to Mosoliny's Motto "If you are not with me, you are against me !" which means the only way to control the country is by killing almost half of its population and the Italians did cause the death of half of Libya's men, women, elderly and childern, directly through public hangings and shootings and indirectly (hunger, illness and horror) for the sake of one thing: showing the world that they have the power to invade and capture colonies just like the other powers in the world.
Grasiani's plan was: First to isolate Libya completely and prevent any direct or indirect contact between the Mojahideen and their neighbours who supply the Libyan Mojahideen with weapons and information. Grasiani built a wired wall 300 Kilometers long, 2 meters high and 3 meters wide from Bardiyat Slaiman port North Libya to Al-Jagboub South East Libya.
The second part of the plan was to built concentration camps where thousands of Libyans must live under complete control of the Italian army.
Grasiany built concentration camps in: Al-Aghaila, Al-Maghroun, Solouq and Al-Abiyar to name a few. By the end of November 1929 all Libyans who live in tents in Al-Jabal Al-Akdar, Mortaf-Aat Al-Thahir from Beneena North to Ash-Shlaithemiya South, from Tawkera to the southern desert of Balt Abdel-Hafeeth and all the members of any tribe that has one or more of its sons fighting with Mojahideen, all those and more, thousands and thousands of Libyans were forced to leave their land and live in one of the concentration camps mentioned above.
Outside the camps, in the mountains, the Mojahideen continued to fight the Italian occupation, but by the year 1931 the Mojahideen were out of food, out of information and out of ammunitions. The leader of the Mojahideen, Omar Al-Moktar, was ill couple of times and many of his comrades asked him to retire and leave the country, he was 80 years old. But he refused and kept fighting and he deserved a name given to him as "The Lion of the Desert."
In September 16, 1931 the Italians hanged Omar Al-Moktar in the city of Solouq and they forced the Libyans to watch their hero been hanged. No consideration to Omar Al-Moktar's old age, no consideration to international law and no consideration to world war treaties. But, remember that the Italians caused the death of half of Libya's population and killing Omar Al-Moktar to the Italians was ending the Libyan resistance which to them means finally taking control of the country after 20 years of struggle.
Yet it was short-lived, Allah facilitated the destruction of the Nazis by their own brothers, the British-French and finally the Muslims of Libya rid themselves of the crusaders in 1951.
- 6th November 2012 #3
Re: Who Was Umar al-Mukhtar
I know it's a long shot, anyone know of any books on him, in english and by a muslim author?
- 7th November 2012 #4
Re: Who Was Umar al-Mukhtar
- 7th November 2012 #5
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
Re: Who Was Umar al-Mukhtar
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The.Joshua.Redux (7th November 2012)
- 7th November 2012 #6
Re: Who Was Umar al-Mukhtar
Omar Al Mokhtar (Loin of the Desert) Shaikh " Umar al-Mukhtar" was born of ri
Omar al Mokhtar, Lion of the Desert
Translated work of Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Salabi
'The first installment of the series Islamic History in North Africa.
This book looks at the Sanussi Movement and its impact on the Libyan revolution against the Italian invasion of Libya. The book is an attempt to describe the life of the leader of this revolution famously known in history books as the lion of the desert Umar al Mukhtar.
This is a biography of a man who fought all odds to preserve his culture against a mighty foe. A story of a hero who should be reintrodued into the popular memory of the young muslims of the world in general and North Africans in particular as a positive role model. With the current political and economical turmoil in Libya this should be a breath of fresh air, it is important the young muslims of Libya revist the life and thoughts of this great exemplary to gain confidence and unite the Libyan people into the 21 Century.'
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muslima12 (7th November 2012)
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