Abul-Mundhir Ash-Shareef (Mansoor Al-Barakaati), from the Ahlul-Bait (Direct Descendants of the Prophet (peace be upon him)'s family), Makkah, Arabian Peninsula. Killed during a Communist mortar attack on Qandahar, South Afghanistan, Summer 1990. 1st Hand Account.
"Never in my life have I seen one man love another man as much as I saw Abu Muhammad love Abul-Mundhir..." [Sheikh Abu Sulaiman]
Born into a family who were direct descendants of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Abul-Mundhir grew up in Makkah with his five younger brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, he found bad company even in Makkah itself and began to drink alcohol within the Sacred City of Makkah. By the time he reached his late teens, both of his parents had passed away and he was left with the responsibility to bring up his five younger brothers and sisters, being the eldest of them all.
In 1987, at the peak of the Afghan Jihad, one of his younger brothers left the house without Abul-Mundhir's permission and he travelled to Afghanistan to join his brothers in the Jihad there. When Abul-Mundhir found out, he was furious. He tried for several months in vain to get his brother to return, but it was no use. Having exhausted all other means, Abul-Mundhir was left with no choice but to travel to Afghanistan himself in order to bring his brother back personally. Full of anger, he travelled to Afghanistan in the summer of 1987 with the intention of bringing his younger brother back home. However, Allah had willed another purpose for his visit to Afghanistan.
The moment he crossed the Pak-Afghan border and entered Afghanistan, he felt his 'heart shake' as he himself later described. He experienced feelings of all types as he entered into Afghanistan, feelings that he was entering a divine and blessed place. Instead of searching for his brother, Abul-Mundhir decided that he may as well as get some military training whilst he was there and see for himself what all the uproar of Jihad was about. He thus travelled to Jalalabad and entered one of the training camps. He stayed there for approximately two months.
By the end of his training, his mind and heart and turned around 180 degrees. He was no longer interested in returning home himself, let alone search for his brother in order to send him home. As he left the training camp, he said to brothers with whom he had developed a close friendship:
"From Afghanistan, lights will shine all over the World."
After spending some time on the Front in Jalalabad, he travelled to the Southern city of Qandahar, where some of the most vicious fighting in the whole of Afghanistan was taking place, due to the vast open, barren areas around Qandahar, hardly containing any natural cover. He stayed in Qandahar, fighting the Russian Forces and displayed unbelievable feats of bravery and heroism.
During one reconnaissance patrol, he ventured alone to the positions of the Russians in order to obtain intelligence about them. As he was approaching their positions, he came across a Russian post manned by six Russian soldiers and one Afghan Communist. Undeterred, Abul-Mundhir removed the safety catch from his assault rifle and quietly crept up to the post, without the enemy noticing. Once he was within five or xi metres of them, he opened fire on them. With the Help of Allah and his advantage of surprise, Abul-Mundhir was able to kill all seven of the enemy soldiers without receiving a single scratch. He gathered their weapons and walked back to the Mujahideen camp.
It was similar feats to this, together with his lovable personality and incredible popularity amongst the Afghan Mujahideen, who would normally keep to themselves and not mix too much with the Arabs, that he was chosen to sit on the Mujahideen Command Council for the entire Qandahar region. It was only a matter of time before the Council, together with all the other Afghan and Foreign Mujahideen in Qandahar, decided who they wanted to be their leader. After all, who else could they choose for their leader, other than the direct descendant of the Prophet (peace be upon him), who was, at the same time, brave, wise, intelligent, lovable and an excellent leader? In late 1988, Abul-Mundhir was made Ameer of the entire Foreign Mujahideen forces in the Qandahar region.
At that time in Qandahar, there was not a single man loved by as many people than Abul-Mundhir. Both the Afghan and the Foreign Mujahideen used to jokingly say to him:
"You are the Mahdi! You are our Ameer and you are the Ameer-ul-Mumineen (Leader of the Believers) since you are from the Quraish Tribe and a direct descendant of the Prophet (peace be upon him)!"
Abul-Mundhir would become angry at the brothers for saying that to him and he would seek forgiveness from Allah for them attributing something to him which he felt he was not worthy of. The Mujahideen also made many poems and songs about him to this effect and they would tease him with them. Whenever a successful operation would be carried out against the enemy, the Mujahideen would jokingly say to each other that Allah gave the Mujahideen success in the battle because of the presence of the Mahdi (i.e. Abul-Mundir) in their ranks. Abul-Mundhir would become very angry at such suggestions and would leave their company to sit by himself and seek forgiveness from Allah for what they were saying.
And so, month after month passed and the Mujahideen witnessed victory after victory until the Soviet Red Army withdrew from Afghanistan in February 1989, defeated and humiliated. The Jihad continued against the Communists and was not much lighter than the Jihad against the Soviets, since the Communists were still being helped by Soviet weapons, officers and logistics. Abul-Mundhir remained with his brothers, patient under fierce aerial bombing attacks and harsh conditions.
Thus came the summer of 1990, by which time Abul-Mundhir had spent over two full years in Afghanistan of which one year was spent as the Ameer of the Mujahideen in Qandahar. Abu Muhammad, the beloved companion and best friend of Abul-Mundhir, describes what happened on that midsummer evening, just before Maghrib (sunset) time.
"I was on a motorbike and had just returned to the Mujahideen base from the village nearby. I glanced in the distance and about 30m away I saw Abul-Mundhir sitting alone on a chair on the roof of a small stone house. The sun was about to set and the sky was filled with the reddish glow of Maghrib time. Abul-Mundhir was alone on the roof of the house and he was looking at the sky, making the remembrance of Allah. I looked at him and shouted to him,
No sooner had I said that, that a 120mm mortar shell landed on the house and exploded. The force of the explosion knocked me off my motorbike and I fell to the floor. Once the dust and daze of the explosion had gone, I stopped worrying about myself, but immediately thought about Abul-Mundhir. I looked to the house and could only see rubble. All the brothers rushed to the house to see if Abul-Mundhir was OK. One of the brothers helped me to go there.
We reached the house, and there, in the midst of the rubble, Abul-Mundhir was lying, loudly shouting:
'Laa ilaaha illallah'.
Large chunks of shrapnel had sheared open the side of his stomach and his inner body parts had spilt out. He was bleeding heavily. Immediately, the brothers rushed him to the Mujahideen ambulance and began the journey to Quetta, across the Pakistan border, where he could receive expert medical attention."
One driver and two brothers accompanied Abul-Mundhir in the ambulance. One of these brothers was Julaybeeb, from Makkah, and the other one was Sheikh Abu Sulaiman, also from Makkah. Sheikh Abu Sulaiman describes the journey:
"Night had fallen and the sky was dark by the time we joined the main road to the Pakistan border. The driver was driving without lights, since the enemy would almost certainly have bombed us had they seen us. Abul-Mundhir had lost a lot of blood. He was still conscious, but in a daze. He was saying to me:
'O Abu Sulaiman! I love Allah! I love Allah! I love Allah! O Abu Sulaiman! I am fed up from this worldly life! I want to go to Allah and rest once and for all, away from this World! O Abu Sulaiman! I really love Allah! I really love Allah!'
I replied to him, 'O Abul-Mundhir! What are you saying?! You are the Ameer of the Mujahideen! You have only received a slight injury. Soon we will be in Quetta, have your injury attended to and then you'll come back!'
However, he kept on saying to me:
'No, O Abu Sulaiman! I have had enough of this world and want to rest! Abu Sulaiman, I really love Allah! I really love Allah!'
Saying this, he fell asleep. The journey was long and we had now been travelling for several hours into the night. A little distance before we reached the Afghan border town of Spin Boldak, I fell asleep but Julaybeeb remained awake."
Julaybeeb describes what happened next:
"Sheikh Abu Sulaiman was very tired and had dozed off to sleep. Abul-Mundhir was also asleep. A little while later, Abul-Mundhir suddenly opened his eyes. He stared into the distance, raised his right index finger and began to say:
'Laa ilaaha illallah Muhammadur-Rasoolullah', 'Laa ilaaha illallah Muhammadur-Rasoolullah', 'Laa ilaaha illallah Muhammadur-Rasoolullah'.
After saying that three times, he closed his eyes and his pure, innocent soul (we hope from Allah but do not sanctify anyone above him) left his body to join the One he was impatient to meet.
As that happened, I witnessed two things for which Allah is also Witness. The entire ambulance filled with a beautiful scent the likes of which I have never ever experienced before in my life. Secondly, I heard a sound inside the ambulance, similar to the sound of the humming of bees and the chirping of birds, even though we were in an ambulance in the middle of the Afghan desert, in the middle of the night."
Sheikh Abu Sulaiman later commented that this sound was probably the remembrance being made by the Special Angels of Mercy who descend and personally witness the great ceremony of the Shaheed's soul leaving his body to join its Creator.
The ambulance continued to the town of Spin Boldak, near the Pakistani border, where Abul-Mundhir was buried. Sheikh Abu Sulaiman himself placed Abul-Mundhir's body into his grave, where it remains to this day to be raised up infront of Allah on the Day of Judgement, from a blessed land; the land on which there fell the blood of caravans upon caravans of martyrs in order to bring life to the Muslim Ummah.
Sheikh Abu Sulaiman and Julaybeeb returned to Qandahar with the sad news. This news hit the Mujahideen like a thunderbolt that devastated them. The Mujahideen began to weep at the loss of their dear friend, brother, leader, fighter, warrior, example, and direct descendant of the Prophet (peace be upon him). That day was not the day that only the Foreign Mujahideen wept, but it was also the day when hundreds of the Afghan Mujahideen, who rarely weep even when their parents die, wept at the departure of Abul-Mundhir from this World on his journey to the Eternal Paradise in the Company of His Beloved.