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Bidding Farewell to Our Father: On His Way Towards Martyrdom in the Path of Allah
Sunday, 07 February 2016

[Shaheed Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid was a prominent Islamic leader in Bangladesh, the Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, and a cabinet minister in the Bangladesh government during 2001-2006, who was executed on false trumped up charges related to 1971 war, by the tyrannical autocratic secularist government of Bangladesh on 21 November 2015 at 12:55 am. This is the account of his last meeting with his family and relatives in Dhaka Central Jail, written by his family members and collated by his youngest son. About 20 minutes after this meeting, Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid became a martyr]


November 21, 8pm. I was at our lawyer’s chamber at Purana Paltan in Dhaka. Rests of the family members were at our Uttara residence. Then, I received a call from home that our family has been instructed to visit our father for the last time. Deputy Jailer Mrs. Shirin has phoned and asked my eldest brother to go to the jail along with the family and nearest relatives before 9 pm. I told my family that I am already close to the jail area and should reach there very soon, the rest of the family should make their way promptly. I informed leaders of our party and tried to get any last message for my father. I informed our lawyers as well. Finally I made Wudu and left for the jail.

Altogether some 25 family members and relatives went to the jail on that day for the final adieu. We arrived there at 11 pm. After completing the security and checking procedures, we finally reached the condemned-cell, ‘Rajani Gondha’ at 11:20 pm. My father is in the rightmost room number 8. Before him, two of our previous martyrs, Shaheed Abdul Quader Mollah and Shaheed Muhammad Qamaruzzaman, were in that same room. Our visits to my father during last few months were held in that same place.

One of my father’s grandsons together with my mother and sister went to the cell first. Then I took rest of my family with me. I had thought that since so many of our family members were going to visit him for the last time he must have been expecting us eagerly. But we could not find him anywhere in his room or in the corridor outside his room. After some time we discovered him asleep inside his room. He was in a deep sleep in his usual position, on his right side placing his head on his right palm. There was no blanket, and he was sleeping on the prayer mat on the floor in his tiny room. There was no pillow either. We called him for several times but he did not respond for some time. It must have been a very deep sleep. After some more calling out he woke up looking a bit surprised, and when he recognized us he said, “So you have come! Why so late in the night? Have you been called in by the jail authority? Is this the final meeting?” By then he sat up and continued saying, “The jail authority has not said anything to me. Tawakkaltu ala Allah!” He remained sitting for some time. It seemed that he was organizing his thoughts and praying to Allah in his mind to give us his guidance.

We replied to him, “Yes our father, we have come to visit our honorable and prestigious father, destined to be a martyr shortly. We have come to our pride.” My sister said, “We have come to our great and dignified father. They called us to visit you for the final time.” He (Shaheed Mujahid) remained sitting for some time, and listened to us silently. My mother called him to come closer to us. He replied, “OK, Alhamdulillah.”

He stood up after a while. He was wearing a torques t-shirt and a white striped pyjama. He searched for his sandals initially, after wearing them came near to us. He enquired, “How many of you have come? Let me see all of you.” At that time the light was very dim and there was a net on the steel door, so we could not see inside of his room very clearly. My eldest brother opened the net door with the permission of the jail authority. They allowed him to do so as there is another iron made door which was locked. First the family members gave him (Shaheed Mujahid) salaam, then other relatives. My eldest brother was introducing each of us, but my father replied, ‘Wait, let me see, too.” Each of us was introducing ourselves in turn, and my father started to shake hands with each member through the window grills. He enquired about personal affairs of each of the individuals. Everyone touched his hands and some of them kissed his hands through the grills of the window. Finally he asked, “Have I left anyone out from shaking hands?”

Then I started a short introductory speech. I said, “Our beloved father, you are on your way to becoming a martyr. With this you will have honored yourself and our family in this world and in the hereafter. You have honored us in this life, and you will do so in the afterlife, too. So, please do not worry at all. Your late father and our grandfather had given you in the way of Allah when you were just a teenager. You were given by your father as an endowment for the cause of Allah. I believe such a person is going to meet the perfect ending tonight. After spending your whole student life, youth, mid-life, everything for the cause of Islam, now you are going to die for the sake of struggling to establish Allah’s Deen. Your father will be the happiest person with your martyrdom. Because, you are going from this world after spending your whole life in the way of Allah as your father had wished.”

My father responded by saying “Alhamdulillah.” Then he said, “May you be informed that till now the jail authority has not informed me about the fact that they are going to execute me tonight. What an injustice!” At that point the atmosphere was getting emotional, but my father calmed us down saying that “there is no need for tears. Let me say a few words.”

He started in his usual bold deep voice, raising his head up high like his usual public speaking mode, and said, “Nahmaduhu wa nusalli ala rasulihil kareem. Alhamdulillahi rabbil alameen. Assalatu wassalamu ala saiyedil mursaleen. wa ala ahlihi wa sahbihi ajmaeen. Amma ba’d. All praise be to Allah. I appreciate that the jail authority has facilitated this meeting. To be honest, the jail authority is powerless. They have shown good respect towards me according to best of their abilities throughout. They behaved well with me. They kept continuously pleading with me to write a written application to the President and said that they would be in trouble if I don't write such an application. At one point they told me to write whatever I wished. For this reason only I have written an application for their sake, even though I understood the full consequence of doing so.”

I asked him, “What did you exactly write in that letter, our father?”

He said in response, “I wrote to the President that, in addition to the ICT Act being illegal and contradictory with the constitution, moreover, during the trial process I was given very limited opportunity to defend myself. The CrPC (Code of Criminal procedure) and the Evidence Act were not applicable in my case. My constitutionally ensured fundamental rights were suspended as well.

The tribunal did not give me death penalty on charge 6 on its own. They merged charge 1 into charge 6 and sentenced death penalty based on combined charges. The appellate division has acquitted me from charge 1, but upheld death penalty for charge 6. But the tribunal did not give me death penalty on this charge separately.

The prosecution presented only one witness to prove this charge. That witness never claimed that I had killed any intellectuals. No member of any intellectual family ever claimed that I killed any intellectuals. After the declaration of the verdict in my case, no family member of the intellectuals said that they have got justice for their father’s death. The prosecution alleged that I had hold meetings with army officers. But the witness could not say when and where I hold those meetings. The witness claimed that he saw me together with Maulana Nizami and Professor Ghulam Azam. But he never knew us, only heard our names afterwards. However, this same charge was not produced against Professor Ghulam Azam. While, Maulana Nizami was given life term imprisonment for this charge. Only I was given the death sentence! I am certain that the government initiated the trial procedure against me after they had already confirmed a death sentence against me; all these trials were just a farce.

In order to humiliate me and prove me as a coward to my family, my party and my countrymen, the government staged this false drama of mercy petition throughout the day against me. There is no question of seeking mercy from this tyrannical and repressive government [At this point there was anger in his voice]. I am totally innocent, innocent, and innocent. They are going to kill us today unjustly.” [The government tried to convince Shaheed Ali Ahsan Mujahid to seek mercy from the President accepting his guilt. But he refused to do so. Previously, the government’s attempt to convince 2 other martyrs of his party to do the same went in vain and as a result they were executed too. Realizing that these executions are not taking the government anywhere, and they have failed to eliminate Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami even after executing its top leaders and subjecting its members to unprecedented torture and oppression, the government this time again tried to stage a drama, by falsely claiming that Shaheed Mujahid asked for mercy from the President. In this way, the government tried to humiliate him and his party to the nation. But very soon the truth came out. Shaheed Mujahid remained steadfast and maintained his innocence to the last moment of his life like his shaheed colleagues before’- Translator]

Shaheed Mujahid continued, “What an audacity that they are trying us for the so called crimes against humanity! But they posses no humanity within themselves. They wake a person up from his sleep at midnight and bring his family saying that this is their last meeting and the execution would be carried out soon afterwards! In the same manner they have waken up a honorable person like Mr Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury in the middle of the night, and called his family in for the last meeting. What sort of humanity is this? He was also obliged to write to the President in English to explain the contradictions and flaws of the trial process. Please be witness, if my execution is carried out tonight after your departure, that will be a cold-blooded murder of an innocent person.

But you must not become vengeful. You do not have to do anything in reaction. Soon after my execution tonight, the process of divine justice will be initiated in the court of Allah against those who were involved in this conspiracy against me. It may already have started. None of you will have to do anything.

Let me disclose my correct date of birth to you today. During our childhood, the dates of birth were not recorded correctly. Normally, our teachers used to record a random date of birth for us. My true date of birth is 14th August 1947, corresponding to 27th Ramadan. Sheikh Hasina (Prime Minister) is only one month younger than me. She knows me very well. She knows very well that I have never done anything wrong, because we have a long history of campaigning and struggling for democracy together.

I have done many Umrahs and done Hajj 7 or 8 times. My father is buried in the Jannatul Muwalla in Makkah, beside the grave of Ummul Mumineen Hajrat Khadizah (R) and few other sahabas (companion of prophets). It is said that even some Prophets are buried in the adjacent place. Whenever I was able to visit that place, I tried to show my father’s grave to my companions and tour mates.”

(His younger brother Ali Akram Md Ozaer at that time testified by saying, “Yes, My dear brother, you have taken me too to that place”)

Shaheed Mujahid continued, “My wish was to rest next to my father. But if i say this now the jail authority will be in a difficult situation. Anyways, I have given directions to my eldest son regarding my grave. He will finalize the issue after discussing with everyone.”

(By now the deputy jailer was pointing to the end of meeting time to my second brother, who informed my father that we have about five minutes remaining.) My father then said to the officers, “You know me very well. You have seen me closely. I expect a little humanity from you today. I will not take a single minute more after finishing what I have to say.” The officer replied, “We give testimony that you have always cooperated us and acted with dignity. We in turn tried our best to show respect towards you.”

Then my father continued, “My children are present here. Now I am going to say a few words to them.

1) Be very serious about your obligatory prayers.

2) Always live on halal (legal) income even if that means hardship. I was a full cabinet minister for five years. By the grace of Allah (repeated 3 times), I discharged my duties with absolute transparency and with hard work. No one can say that I have done anything wrong. My stomach (pointing to his body) never consumed even one haram Taka (a single penny with illegal income). You must remain on halal income. Allah will give barakah (blessings) even if that causes some hardships.

3) The relationship with relatives is called ‘Silai Rehmi’. You must maintain good relationships with relatives and live in harmony. Some of our relatives pray regularly, some are not that observant. Some are very strict about halal income, some are less strict. Our Sharia has two options- Azeemat and Rukhsat. Azeemat means being very strict, not to go near haram (illegal) things under any circumstance. Rukhsat means to allow some flexibility according to some situations. Hence, some relatives will have problems in their incomes and some will have weaknesses in their prayers. Our duty is to keep good relationships with them all and try to bring them to the right path. I have always maintained this policy and achieved good results. It is said in a Hadith that anyone breaking up relations with relatives will not enter paradise.

4) Give rights to neighbors. Maintain good relations with neighbors of my residence in Dhaka and home in Faridpur.

5) I have already given you written directions about my home in Uttara. There is no need for any fundamental changes. Just do some minor changes here and there [to comply with inheritance laws], retaining the original structure. Similarly, do as I have already told you about the home in Faridpur. We siblings never have had any problems about these issues like land demarcation. You also try to live in harmony. Never create any troubles about these things. For the sake of peace and harmony, accept gladly even if any of you will have to give up a portion of his or hers. But do not create any troubles.

6) Read Seerah (biographies) of the Prophet PBUH and of his companions as much as possible. I know that you already do so, but read again and again. Especially read ‘The Prophethood of Muhammad PBUH’, The Saviors of Mankind’ , ‘Seerate Sarware Alam’, ‘Seeratun Nabi’, ‘Seerate Ibn Hisham’, ‘The Revolutionary Life of the Messenger of Allah’. There are many good biographies of the companions. I know that you read many of them before, but read again and again.

I am pleased with my children. I am fully satisfied with your activities. I don't get newspapers here. But yet, whenever I wish for something or think of doing something, you seem to have done that already. Like the press conference that you did today. This was a very nice job. I am very pleased that you have done such a beautiful thing by consensus among yourselves, without my having to tell you to do so. To be honest, hearts can communicate with each other, they feel each other’s feelings. Whenever I think of doing something in my heart, you seem to have done that exact thing. Like this, you will always try to do everything together in harmony through mutual understanding.

Give my thanks and prayers to my lawyers. They have worked really hard. I am satisfied with their roles. It is unbelievable how hard they worked. If they demanded fees it would have been at least 5-10 crore. But they have done everything with great courage almost for free.

I believe that, there is no better blessing in the current world than Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chatra Shibir. To the best of my knowledge, these two are the best organizations in the world. I am satisfied about these two organizations. During the last few years many of them have sacrificed their lives, thousands became injured, and hundreds of thousands were imprisoned like me. Especially, the sacrifices of Islami Chatra Shibir during the last few years are exemplary. My martyrdom will speed up the Islamic Movement in this country thousands times more, and will bring positive changes in the national life, InshaAllah!

Those who gave false witness against me, all of them except two, are very poor. They were forced to give false testimony against me because of their severe poverty and coercion. I forgive them all. You too will not carry any grudges against them.

Look after your mother. She is a better Muslim than me, a good hearted person. I witness to this.”

Pointing to his mother-in-law who was present there, he remembered his parents-in-law with much appreciation. “Mother-in-law is like a real mother. The way you have shown kindness towards me is exemplary.”

He continued, “To my knowledge, there is no pain in the death of a martyr. You should pray to make my death easy and least painful. May the angels of Almighty Allah protect me during my departure.”

He calls his younger daughter Tamreena as ‘Ammu’. He said to her that, there are his parents, younger brother Shuaib, and elder daughter Mumtahina waiting for him. Shuaib was a very sound minded brother and was very close to his father. My sister replied to him, “O my father, Mumtahina (his elder daughter who died in infancy) will receive you very soon.” My second brother added, “She will come to welcome you with flowers, InshaAllah!” My mother added, “Give her my love!” My eldest brother then said, “You are gong to be a martyr very soon. You will have the opportunity to intercede for lots of people when you enter paradise as a martyr. Please keep us in that list of your chosen people.”

Then my father said to his three daughters-in-law, “I was not able to show love to my daughters-in-law that much. They are like my mother. He enquired about parents of his daughters-in-law, and asked them to convey his salaam to all of them. He continued, “I could not take care of you in the way I wished. Especially, my youngest daughter-in-law, I was not able to spend much time with her. I was arrested soon after her wedding.” He asked all his daughters-in-law for forgiveness, “I was not able to discharge my duties towards you properly. Please forgive me!”

“For the same reason I was not able to spend much time with my only son-in-law, Fuad, and my daughter. I did not have the opportunity to even have a single dinner with them together. I am pleased with my son-in-law. Give my salaam to your parents.” His son-in-law said in response, “I will try my best to carry out the responsibilities you had given to me.”

He thanked the jail authority for their cooperation. He said to them, “If I have done anything wrong in my behavior then please forgive me.” He remembered his caretakers in jails of Narayanganj and Dhaka Central Jail. He asked to distribute remaining money in his jail account to his care takers in those jails.

He said salaam to everyone including Maulana Nizami and Maulana Sayeedi.

He said salaam to the countrymen and asked for their prayers.

Then he prayed for the acceptance of his martyrdom by Allah. He started dua with everyone. He prayed for the destruction of oppressors. He termed Allah as the sole guardian and protector of his family.

Finally, he shook hands with everyone and bid farewell. We came out of the cell. The glimpse of him from backward as we were leaving is the very last image of him while he was still alive. We will never forget that moment, InshaAllah. It is impossible to forget that image. We ask everyone to pray for this person of such impeccable transparent heart. Please pray sincerely from the depth of your hearts.

-Ali Ahmad Mabrur 
  ******The End*****.