My Experience Of Meeting Sheikh Usamah bin Ladin Part One And Part Two

25 December 2009

By Al-Ikhwah Al-Mujahidun

This is the story of an ikhwan who conducted jihad in the land of Afghanistan and had the rare opportunity to personally meet and see Sheikh Usamah bin Ladin. How was Sheikh Usamah bin Ladin like in the land of jihad? How is his akhlaq and manners? Here’s the narrative...!

Part One

In The Battle Arena

There were a number of jabhah (fronts) that I had plunged into and there were also a number of combat operations that I had participated in, but I feel it is of no use to tell about all of them here, especially for myself.

I am only here to recount a bit of my sweet experience, while at the Front of Joji, Paktia, Afghanistan, especially my meetings and acquaintanceship with Ash-Sheikh Usamah bin Ladin (rhm) around the middle of 1987.

Joji is a mountainous or hilly region located in the Paktia Province, in the South of Afghanistan. The borderline of Afghansitan-Pakistan is a very beautiful place compared to other places I had visited as it is filled with a type of fir or pine trees, whereas there are only rocks in other places, it is also cool there and during winter the snow could reach a height of two meters or more.

This mountainous and hilly region is a very strategic area for defense as well as for attacks for both sides, whether it be the Mujahideen or the kafir communist Russian forces.

It was strategic for the Mujahideen as it was the main access for the transportation of logistics, ammunitions, personnels, etc., and very strategic for attacks as it is made up of high grounds, very advantageous for the Mujahideen to attack the surrounding areas which had not been taken over whether with their infantry forces or artilleries.

As for the kafir communist Russian forces, the area was very important to them, they were prepared to buy the area for any price supposing that it could be bought because by controlling Joji, they would be able to block the movement of the Mujahideen in this area, in other words the Mujahideen would not be able to enter the Afghan territory, if they were to enter it they would be easily prevented and smashed, so the Mujahideen would be forced to position their base in the Pakistani territory.

If the Mujahideen could not enter the territory of Afghanistan, then they would not be able to launch attacks, especially with the artilleries as it was not possible to launch attacks from a neighboring country because it was certainly very sensitive then, in addition to the needs to take care of the neighborly ties with fellow Muslims in Pakistan especially that Pakistan was under the rule of the late Dhiya-Ul-Haq as the President of Pakistan at that time and it could be said that he was like a foster father for the Mujahideen.

Due to such importance of Joji for both fighting sides, the place had always become a battle field, be it on the land or in the airspace, until it was taken over completely by the Mujahideen and it became safe from enemy attacks as its surrounding areas could also be controlled in their entirity, if I am not mistaken it was sometime around the end of 1987 or early 1988.

The ground of Joji was also famous for its bunkers for almost every Mujahideen who were stationed in that front, their camps were made underground, there was a gigantic tunnel under the mountains built by the Mujahideen where thousands of weapons could be brought inside, in fact even dozens of heavy vehicles could also be brought inside.

Meeting Sheikh Usamah bin Ladin

The Arab Mujahideen brothers were writing brilliant records in the history of the Afghan war against the Red Bear kafir forces, then in fighting the bughot (rebellion in Islamic law) people and the munafiqeen, and later fighting the kafir Crusaders led by America today.

Indeed, their services were so significant in the development of the jabhahs (battle fronts) and defense of Joji. They built bunkers and trenches, and worked together with the tandzhims of the Afghan Mujahideen especially the Ittihad Al-Islamiyyah which was led by Ash-Sheikh AbdurRabbi Rasul Sayyaf, they were not only creditable in preparing the facilities but also even in every attack launched from that area, they were the ones who became “the head of the spear”.

Almost every frontal defense of Joji which was close to the enemies was occupied by the Arab brothers, though there were one or two camps which were occupied by the Afghan Mujahideen including those from the tandzhim of Hizbul Islam led by Al-Muhandis Ghulbuddin Hikmatyar, they managed to dig up trenches and build bunkers in the most frontal area which stretched into the enemies’ territory. They named this area "Ma'sadah" (the meeting point of the lions), which means the meeting points of the Mujahideen who were always ready to pounce and devour their enemies. It was in this area that Ash-Sheikh Usamah bin Ladin (hfz) was stationed, he was the general commander of all the Arab Mujahideen in that area, he was the one leading the fight personally.

It was in this Ma'sadah that I was introduced by Allah SWT to him i.e. in an underground bunker which was covered by very thick snow and in a dark condition, only lighted by a small oil lamp.

I did not expect beforehand that he was Ash-Sheikh Usamah bin Ladin, because I had not known him for certain or from near, sure I had seen him in a glance but only from a distance, besides that I did not hear any of the Arab brothers calling him by his name at that time, everybody called him by his Kuniyah name i.e. Abu Abdullah, whereas there were a lot of kuniyah name with the prefix Abu, including Abu Abdullah.

But alhamdulillah, there was one Arab Mujahid who slowly whispered to my ear, he said: "Ta'rif Anta ya Akhi?" (Do you know who that is, brother?), so I asked him back, "Maaza?" (What?), the Akhi said, "Haaza...Huwa Ash-Sheikh Usamah Ibnu Ladin." I was still a bit doubtful, so he added "Uqsimu Billah" (I swear by Allah), thus is the custom of the Arabs in order to convince people of what they say.

With that information, I did not waste the precious chance and opportunity, so I introduced my kuniah name to him with the extra familiar greetings like: "Kaifa Hallukum?", "Kaifa Shihatukum", "Kaifa Akhbarukum?" (how’s your condition, your health, your news), then he responded with a smile and his distinctive look while also asking, "Kaifa Hallukum?", "Kaifa Shihatukum", "Kaifa Akhbarukum?"

My acquaintanceship with him was only limited to this, thus was always the culture of getting to know each other amongst the Mujahideen, each one is guarding their own secrets mostly to the extent they did not know from which country the other was originating from, the most they could do would only be guesses, only certain people know, therefore not even one Mujahid would occupy themselves with asking, for example, "Where are you from?", "With whom?", "How did you come here?" and so on.

Normally, those who occupied themselves with these questions were the assigned intelligence, though not all of them. There were also those who did it due to habit or nature that was very difficult to change. Normally, if it was evident that the person was an assigned intelligence or munafiqeen, it could be seen for sure that he would not stay long in the Front. In fact, there were those who stayed for only a day or two because the bombardments of the enemies had made them cringed like a heated worm and they wanted to go back to their country or to a more secure place. There were even those who admitted that they were actually an intelligence while leaving in full humiliation.

From time to time, from moment to moment, from day to day, I observed Sheikh Usamah’s personality in silence because at that time, I had faith that Allah SWT had blessed my life by allowing me to meet the personage of a servant of Allah who has virtues and advantages not given to others.

Looking at him, I was as if looking at one of the companions of the Prophet SAW i.e. Utsman bin Affan (RA) or Abdurrahman bin Auf (RA) because there were on them (RA) similar characteristic i.e. plunging into the battlefields with their wealth and lives.

Ash-Sheikh Usamah bin Ladin (hfz), as is generally noted is not only a millionaire but a billionaire or even more than that, but he did not use his wealth like how the common wealthy people use their wealth. Instead, he plunged into the battle arena with his properties and life and was prepared to live zuhd (renunciation of the world or abstaining from the pleasures of this world) in the battle arena like the other Mujahideen. So my instinct told me that someone like him was a not just an average person, it might be that in one million there is not one like him and I, up to now, have not found anyone who equals him.

There is one natural character in me, may that character be good in the sight of Allah SWT i.e. I have a high regard for a servant of Allah who has virtues and excellence, especially in the matter of dien, even though that person does not have anything in the sight of others, in fact he could even be seen as insignificant, because it is too difficult to find someone who has advantages and then with those advantages is having an important role in a program, in accordance with his presence, to boost the progress for Islam and the Muslims.

Rasulullah SAW said:

"People are just like camels, out of one hundred, one can hardly find a single camel suitable to ride."

Therefore, if we observe mankind’s journey through history, there are actually not many people who had been given advantages by Allah SWT. The number of men chosen to become His Messengers is only 25. The number of As-Siddiqin, Ash-Shuhada' and As-Solihin is also small compared to the total number of the majority.

The number of fuqaha' ulama, tafseer experts (mufassirin) from the time of the Sahabas (RA), to the tabi'ut-tabi'in (followers of the tabiin) is also very small. The number of transmitters of hadiths with the given title of "mukhorrij" is only small, less than one hundred of them.

Part Two

...back to my story about meeting Sheikh Usamah bin Ladin as I had delivered earlier. I began to observe his personality and main characters, how he stands and sits, the way he speaks, the way he walks, the way he eats, his laughter, his smile, his mixing with others, how his language is, the way he dresses, the way he teaches his children, the advices he delivered and so on.

So my conclusion -Wallahu a'lam bis-sowwab- is that he is a man whose thoughts, speeches and actions, as well as movements did not produce anything except that they contain hikmah (wisdom). I am not saying that he is maksum, because the maksum one is only Rasulullah SAW, however thus was my assessment during my association with him and I do not deify anyone except Allah.

I was only assessing from the outside, as for the batin (inner side) Allah SWT is the Most Knowledgeable, and no one can monitor him continuously for 24 hours every day and night, it is something impossible for me to do, but from the association I had experienced, I could give some judgements and may this judgement be not excessive and also not too inadequate (not ifrath and tafrith).

The assessments are more or less as follows:

1. Aqeedah.

He follows the creed of the salaf, with the aqeedah of Ahlussunnah wal Jamaah. This is always expressed by him in his spoken words.

2. Fiqh Madzhab.

I don't have or have not obtained information about the Fiqh madzhab that he follows, whether he follows the Hanafi, Maliki, Syafi'i, Hambali or Dzhahiri, but what's obvious is that the way he performs ibaadah (acts of worship) especially the characteristic of his solat, follows the sunnah of the Prophet SAW.

3. Akhlaq (Morals) and Adab (Manners).

Just like what I have explained earlier, he is one of the people who maintains and observes the akhlaq and adab greatly, whether it be the fundamental akhlaqs or the akhlaq that seems small. Examples of fundamental Akhlaq:

Al-Wala wal Bara'

He loves the believers very much, where ever they are from or which ever Harakah or Jama'ah they belong to.

Hard on the kafirs. This is very prominent particularly towards the Jewish America and its allies, maybe this is why he is on the first ranking in the history of mankind -wallahu a'lam- to be the most feared and wanted human figure by the enemies of Islam, be it in the East or the West, be it the kafir or mushrik or munafiq and this becomes the virtue that Allah SWT gives him, his position makes the kafirs, who are under this sky, angry.

Allah SWT said in surat At-Taubah (9): 120.

" …nor do they tread on any ground that enrages the disbelievers, nor do they inflict upon an enemy any infliction but that it is registered for them as a righteous deed.."

Subhanallah – if he is ikhlas, how much reward of good deeds he could bag every second even by merely sleeping in his hiding place.

I also remember the virtues of the Ashabul Kahfi who were put to sleep by Allah for 300 years i.e. if we calculate by the AD year and 309 years if calculated using the Hijriyah year. They were feared even in their sleep.

See Allah’s verse in surat Al-Kahfi (18): 18.

"If you had looked at them, you would have turned from them in flight and been filled by them with terror."

As for us, even turning upside down would not make the enemies fear us. What is the secret? Because our Imans are weak and there is no ruhul Jihad (spirit of Jihad).

He also takes care of the adab, such as:

The Adab of Eating.

Most of the Arabs, as well as the Afghans and the majority of people on this earth except those who are blessed by Allah – are less attentive when it comes to clearing or finishing food or minding the food that falls while eating. Whereas, according to a hadith, we are ordered to clear the food that has fallen by eating them, we can’t leave food on its place because who knows there could be barakah (blessings) in them.

He, if he eats - Subhanallah – not even a crumb would fall and be wasted in front of me. I found this truly amazing as he can easily go against the convention that has been entrenched.

Daily Presentation.

He always carries a small mushaf (a copy of the Qur’an), a weapon (rifle of the AK [Automatic Kalashnikov] or Klashenkov type), as well as a stick or staff which is a part of the Sunnah.

The Adab of Speaking to Others.

He, if he speaks to others (not in a majelis) normally faces his entire body to the person he speaks to while giving a smile if required and sometimes becoming very serious with an intent look.

Wallahu'alam bis sowab!




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