Ameer-ul-Mumineen Mulla Muhammad Umar Mujahid belongs to a respected family of religious scholars. His family is renown for the religious services offered by it for centuries. His full name is Muhammad Umar Mujahid bin Maulwi Ghulam Nabi Akhwand bin Mulla Muhammad Rasool Akhwand bin Mulla Muhammad Ayaz Akhwand. He belongs to a well-known branch of the Hootak tribe, which has been living in Kandahar for about a hundred years. Mulla Muhammad Omar was born in 1960 in the 'Noori' village in Kandahar Province. Kandahar used to be the capital of the Indo-Subcontinent when it was justly ruled by the great Afghan Mujahid conqueror, Ahmad Shah Abdali. Mulla Umar's father, Maulwai Ghulam Nabi, was a religious scholar and the Imam at a mosque in Noori. His predecessors lived in the province of Zabul, in the districts of Shakay and Beirut, where, even today, a water stream is remembered by the name of one of Mulla Umar's respected elders. Mulla Umar's family has produced religious scholars in every generation, who have rendered countless services to Islam for centuries. His family is well known to have a great fervour for Islam. Almost all of his predecessors have been religious scholars, rendering religious services in the southern provinces of Kandahar, Zabul and Uruzgan. The people of Afghanistan have consulted his elders for centuries, seeking guidance on religious, economical and social issues.
ORPHAN AT THE AGE OF THREE
Mulla Omar was just three when his father, Maulwi Ghulam Nabee Akhwand, passed away at the age of forty. He was the only child of his parents. His younger brother and three elder sisters had passed away at a young age. Therefore, after his father's demise, he was not only an orphan but also the only child of his mother. Who could have thought at that time that this poor boy would go on to become the Ameer-ul-Mumineen of Afghanistan and a symbol of bravery, valour, patience, humbleness and Jihad in the Way of Allah (SWT)? After his father's death, his eldest paternal uncle, Maulwi Muhammad Anwar, married his mother and remains the head of the family. Allah (SWT) gave the family three sons and four daughters, who are still alive and waging Jihad in the Way of Allah (SWT). One of his brothers was martyred in 1998 when a massive bomb went off outside his office in Kandahar.
It was an assassination attempt on his life planned by both the CIA and the Northern Alliance Commander, Ahmad Shah Masood, who by the will of Allah (SWT), was assassinated on 9 September 2001. Other paternal uncles of Mulla Umar are Haji Mulla Muhammad Hanafiyyah Akhwand, Haji Mulla Muhammad Jumma Akhwand and Haji Mulla Muhammad Wali Akhwand. All of his uncles are known to have great fear of Allah (SWT) but Mulla Wali Muhammad Akhwand stands out for his excessive prayers and remembrance of Allah (SWT). All his family members live under the same roof with love and unity. The young men in the family are all participating in Jihad and are sacrificing their life and wealth to rid the world of Disbelief and Evil.
Mulla Umar received primary education from his benign guardian, loving stepfather and generous uncle, Maulwi Muhammad Anwar, who was a religious scholar and Imam at a mosque in the Beirut district of the Uruzgan province where he taught a mass of religious students. Other than his under his uncle, he studied the Quran, Hadith and Fiqh from many accomplished scholars whose names are not available. For a period he also remained a student of his other uncle, Mulla Muhammad Jumma Akhwand.
FAMILY HOUSE, LAND AND ESTATE
Mulla Muhammad Umar's family, a family of tribal scholars, never went after the attractions of this world. Instead they chose to devout their lives for the propagation of Islam and the imparting of religious knowledge. Their lives are a living symbol of patience and gratefulness towards Allah (SWT). Upholding the name of Islam and following its laws staunchly were goals superior to all worldly gains. Wealth and material possessions were never able to weaken their resolve. It was due to this disregard for the luxuries and life of this world that neither Mulla Umar nor any of his uncles own any houses, land or estates.
MARCHING TOWARDS THE BATTLEFIELDS AT EIGHTEEN
It was 1978CE (1398 AH) and Mulla Umar was studying the highest-level book of the Hanafi school, the 'Hidayah', when Afghanistan was stormed by Communist aggressors, followed by the Soviet Red Army in December 1979. Thousands of young Muslims with the fear of Allah (SWT) and honour, decided to quell the Red insurgence. Among these soldiers of Allah (SWT) was an energetic young man of no more than eighteen years of age: Mulla Muhammad Omar. Filled with religious fervor and love for Islam, he took up weapons and headed for the battlefield. At the height of his youth, he stepped forward against the disbelievers and terrorised their ranks. He had resolved to revive the forgotten duty of Jihad that Allah (SWT) and his Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) adored so much and whose real meaning was bygone for the Muslim Ummah. He actively participated in the Jihad from the very beginning and it was then that the foundations of the Taliban Islamic Movement and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan were laid, which were to serve as the source of light, hope and life for the dejected Muslim Ummah drowned in the darkness of apathy. It was, in effect, the beginning of the Islamic renaissance.
INJURIES SUSTAINED IN URUZGAN DURING JIHAD
At the onset of the Jihad against the Communists and the Russians, he was fighting the enemies of Allah (SWT) in the Beirut district of Uruzgan Province. It was whilst he was wrecking the ranks of the disbelieving invaders that he sustained serious injuries on two occasions. The first time was when his leg was badly inured by rocket shrapnel and the second time was when he came under intense machinegun fire, which left his body riddled with bullets. He received medical treatment for the extreme wounds inflicted on his body, which, though they wounded his body, never scratched his incessant will to wage Jihad against the forces of Satan. Soon, by the grace of Allah (SWT), he regained his health and was back in the battlefield to devastate the enemies of Allah (SWT).
His valour and gallantry filled the enemies with terror and his ceaseless attacks on the Communists raised alarm. His experienced and perceptive uncle anticipated the designs and conspiracies of the Communists and advised him to move the centre of his guerrilla operations to the South-Western district of Panjwai. Another reason for selecting this area was that the Kandahar-Herat highway passed through this district, which was a crucial supply line for the Communists. This busy road was an excellent target for guerrilla activities, so Mulla Umar moved his unit of Mujahideen to Panjwai. His excellence as a leader, competence as a tactician and unmatched fearlessness made him emerge as an exemplary guerrilla commander. His fellow Mujahideen admired him for his humble ways, good manners and virtuosity, whereas the oppressed Afghans adored him for being an honest and generous man. On the other hand, his presence was a nightmare for the Communists and the Russians. He paid occasional visits to his parents in Uruzgan during this period of Jihad.
GETTING INJURED FOR THE THIRD TIME
It was during the period when he was fighting the Russians in the area of Sangsar, that he was badly injured for the third time, in an intense encounter with the Soviets. This time he sacrificed his right eye in the Way of Allah (SWT). His companions said that he was taken to a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, due to the severity of his injury. After surgery, he was advised by the doctors to make Tayammum (ablution without water) instead of making Wudu (ablution with water) since water could have aggravated his wounds. Against the doctors' advice, he always used water for ablution and never prayed without proper Wudu. He used to say: "It is not possible for me to stop making Wudu for such minor wounds."
ON THE SIXTEENTH RPG, IT WENT UP IN FLAMES
Mulla Umar's companions during the Jihad against the Soviets and Communists included the Talibans' first and foremost Commander-in-Chief, Shaheed Mulla Muhammad (RA), Shaheed Mulla Naik Muhammad (RA), Shaheed Mulla Borjan (RA) and famous commanders, Mulla Bradar, Mulla Yaranah, Mulla Ubaidullah and Mulla Akhwandzadah. At that time he was associated with Maulwi Nabi Muhammad's group, Harakat-ul-Inqelab-al-Islami. He was the group's local commander and a sure shot with the RPG-7 (antitank weapon). Refreshing his memoirs of those days, one of his old time friends described an encounter with Russian armour. It was in the district of Panjwai where the Mujahideen under Mulla Umar's command were fighting the Russians. One of the Russian tanks was expertly hidden in the terrain and had inflicted substantial damage on the Mujahideen. This tank had martyred many of the Mujahideen therefore imposing on them considerable pressure. The tank was placed in its position with such skill thereby making it lethal for the Mujahideen to target. In order to tackle this hurdle and to ensure the safety of his fellow Mujahideen, Mulla Umar took the challenge. Armed with a RPG launcher and a supply of rockets, he moved to a position from where he could attack the menacing armour. He fired a sequence of rockets on the tank and at last, on the sixteenth RPG, by the will of Allah (SWT) it went up in flames.
INTERACTION WITH THE WORLD DURING JIHAD
During the Jihad neither Mulla Umar nor any of his family members migrated to Pakistan, Iran or any other country. They stood firm and chose to defend their faith and honour at the cost of their lives and wealth. On the rugged mountains they made their stand and from here they swooped on the Red Soviet Bear. During 14 years of Jihad against the Russians and after their defeat, Mulla Umar rarely travelled outside Afghanistan except for receiving medical treatment in the border town of Quetta. It was common practice among Afghan commanders to visit Pakistan every year and enjoy the luxuries of city life while they consulted their supporting governments and received aid. Mulla Umar, on the contrary, never made any such trips, which probably saved him from foreign influence and prejudice. Being a low-level commander, the needs of his unit were fulfilled locally and never demanded his absence from the battlefield. This turned out to be truly beneficial for the future of Islam and Jihad. Fortunately for the Muslim Ummah, all throughout his life he was exposed to only two elements: pure Islamic education and practical Jihad in the way of Allah (SWT). These exemplary fourteen years of his life are filled with purpose, chivalry, courage, vigour and perseverance in the way of Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) willed for him a country life filled with Islamic knowledge and Jihad battlefields. The Almighty never exposed him to the outside world filled with greed, egocentricity and corruption. He was gifted with a true understanding of Islam and Shariah (Islamic laws), which, upon implementation, transformed war torn Afghanistan into a depiction of the Islamic society during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his Companions (RAAH).
MARRIAGE AND RETURN TO EDUCATION
After the defeat and subsequent evacuation of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan, Mulla Umar went back to his religious studies. In a quiet and simple fashion, he got married at the age of 31. Allah (SWT) blessed him with two sons, Yaqub and Idris. There have been reports of Yaqub's martyrdom in the recent barbaric bombing by the Americans on Kandahar. While the Mujahideen commanders initiated a power struggle for Kabul, he started to teach at the local mosque.
With the passage of time, the post Communist era in Afghanistan saw even more destruction and oppression perpetrated by the so-called Mujahideen leaders. As the situation of law and order deteriorated, and the honour and property of the common man became even more insecure, the Afghans became dismayed with the power hungry commanders. Most of these commanders were Communists who had infiltrated the ranks of the Mujahideen to take advantage of their success. It was the survival of the fittest and the weak had no one to turn to for justice. The honour and chastity of women was neither safe inside their homes nor outside. Sick women were abducted from hospitals, never to be seen again. Parents smuggled their young sons to Pakistan just to save them from the paedophile commanders. The Governor of Kandahar, Gul Agha, married a boy in a well-set and publicised wedding. After every few kilometres was a commander's check post set up to dispossess the people of their livelihood and honour. Robbery and looting was commonplace. Human life became so cheap that people were killed on minor issues. Homes and businesses were ransacked and burned down. Allah (SWT) earth's was ravaged and plundered; there was no peace and all hopes of tranquillity were at an end. Then it seemed the blood of the Martyrs and the fruits of Jihad were going to be lost.
The following account was received from a reliable source and it unveils the Satanic face of the post Russian era commanders in Afghanistan:
A man was travelling in the province of Kandahar when he was stopped at a looting point set up by a Communist commander. When the poor man was harassed for money, he asked the commander's men why they were looting him and if Allah (SWT) and His Prophet, Muhammad (SAWS), had permitted them to do so. They said they would ask Allah (SWT) and Muhammad (SAW). He was taken inside the check post and one of the harassers addressed a satanic clean-shaven man as Allah (SWT) and asked if he had given him permission to loot the poor man. The man replied yes. Then another ugly clean-shaven man was addressed as the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), who also granted their claim. Then the commander's men told the unfortunate man to hand over his money as he had witnessed Allah (SWT) and the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) affirm their demand.
STARTING THE TALIBAN ISLAMIC MOVEMENT
Mulla Muhammad Umar's heart bled as he saw the misery of the Afghans. It was unbearable for him to sit in his mosque and teach while the land of Jihad was transformed into a living hell for his people. Islam was kicked aside by the commanders and the sanctity of Muslims were torn. Afghanistan was burning and the West warmed hands over it.
It was in 1993-94; at the age of 33, that Mulla Muhammad Umar Mujahid, with a group of around 15-30 religious students started the Tehreek-al-Islami-at- Taliban (the Taliban Islamic Movement). They attacked the local commanders' check posts in Kandahar and after securing them, took the border town of Spin Boldak in an amazing operation. After securing the area in and around Kandahar, they implemented the Shariah Laws and chased the Communists out of the province. More students joined them and the people welcomed the Taliban everywhere they went. Soon the oppressed people of other provinces invited them and the Taliban answered to their requests. One after the other, the Taliban took over the provinces of Afghanistan and by implementing Shariah, restored peace and order.
In 1996, the Taliban took over Kabul and Mulla Muhammad Umar was unanimously accepted as the 'Ameer-ul-Mumineen' (the Leader of the Believers) of Afghanistan. Thus the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan came into existence.
CONCLUDING GLIMPSE OF HIS CHARACTER
Once a delegation of guest came to visit Mulla Umar. Fresh bread, cream, tea and other delicacies were brought for the guests and they all began to eat heartily. All except Mulla Umar that is. He refused to touch the cream or the bread. His guests ushered him to eat with them but he refused. His advisors also urged him to eat with the guests, indicating that there was nothing wrong with him eating this food since it had not been brought especially for him; it was brought for the guests and he was the host. He still refused. A few moments later, a worker brought in a bowl of plain soup together with some hard, stale bread. Mulla Umar proceeded to break the hard bread with his hands and eat it with the soup. Upon being asked the reasons for his refusal to eat the cream, Mulla Umar said: "When the lowest person in my country eats this food, then I will eat it."
IN THE NEXT PART, INSHALLAH...
We will present Mulla Muhammad Umar Mujahid's achievements as Ameer-ul- Mumineen during the seven years of the Islamic Emirate. In addition, we will give more glimpses of his personality and virtues.
Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.
When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.