THIS is the story of the first day of our arrival in Lattakia, Syria. Thursday (5/4/2013), at that time we met two Arab men. The physical features of both men are different from the Syrian Arab people in general. “Must be fighters from other Arab countries,” said one of us.
When we wanted to greet them both, the younger one of them greeted us first, “How are you? Are you Indonesians?” he asked in Indonesian.
Of course we were shocked to find an Arab in a jihad land like this who could speak in Indonesian. The Indonesian language spoken with the accent typical of the Arabs sure sounds funny, but very pleasing.
After getting to know them both, only then we knew that they are fighters from Yemen. Both of them came to Syria together with a doctor named Abu Abdillah. The elder one of them introduced himself as Abu Utsman, while the younger one is named Abu Hamzah.
According to his story, Abu Utsman has four children, the oldest is 16 years old. This 45-year old man had been wandering the various lands of jihad.
He had been conducting jihad in Afghanistan, in the beginning of the American invasion of the Islamic state of the Taliban. He also had conducted jihad in Somalia and Bosnia. Before coming to Syria, he had for certain years conducted jihad helping his Muslim brothers in Chechnya against the Atheists who snatched the honour of the Muslimahs there and hunted their men.
The most difficult arena of jihad, according to Abu Utsman, is Chechnya. Why not? Every year, for almost five full months, the land of Chechnya is soaked in snow.
Whereas the other mujahid, Abu Hamzah, whose age is around 35-year old, had helped his brothers in Afghanistan expelling the American invaders. This father of one child turned out to have an Indonesian blood in him, or of an Acehnese descent to be exact.
“My mother is from Indonesia, my father from Yemen,” he said. No wonder he can speak Indonesian.
“What about the families of you both?” I asked. They replied simultaneously, “They have, with all sincerity, let us go to strive to help our oppressed brothers and sisters. As for their affairs, we leave it all to Allah, we put our tawakkal to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. He is the best guardian.”
For us, who have not really been honed in the realm of jihad and sacrifices, understanding the tawakkal as conceived by these two Mujahideen, is very difficult. But for the fighters in Syria, be they local or foreigners from the neighbouring countries, the term “tawakkal” is no longer a theory that is memorized and written, instead it has become a belief that is rooted firmly in the inner self.
When I asked, “Do you guys miss your families?” Both of them answered, “It is humane, but the sufferings endured by our brothers and sisters in this land of Sham, required us to be separated from our beloved families.”
The Region Of Lattakia, Syria
Abu Utsman continued, “The most difficult for the fighters is to make the Niyat (intention) sincere.” And then Abu Hamzah continued, “Whereas the the reward of jihad is very great, it is the highest peak of ibaadah in Islam.” And then he recited some verses and hadiths related to the grandness of jihad.
“May your presence here be written as the ibaadah of ribath and jihad in the sight of Allah,” said Abu Hamzah ending the dialogue with us after the maghrib prayer in congregation. “Aamiin ya Rabb,” we replied.