Interview with an Executioner



Our appointment was to carry an interview with the executioner or the hangman, also known as the "ashmawy") (عشماوي, as they call him in the Egyptian dialect who is the person directly assigned to carry out the death sentences.  It was exactly 6 pm in one of the many cafes that are spread out in the highly populated neighborhood which he lives in.  I arrived at the meeting place about 10 minutes ahead of time and the café was crowded as usual.  There were people of all different types who come to meet each other, to kill time firstly, and to stay away from their homes and families, secondly.  There was a big tape recorder which fill your ears with everything…tapes of music and dance, tapes of religious singing…old and new songs…comedy tapes…also Quranic recitation tapes among all of that.

I asked for the executor, so they showed me the place where he usually sits and preferred because it was also his father's preferred place.  His father was the Sheikh of the small mosque which was present beside the café and he was also the Imam of that mosque.  I sat down next to the table reserved for him and waited for him.  The essence carrier came to smoke the place with the essence and he said that our guest likes the smell of essence to be in the place.  He said that our guest loves essence because the angels love it.  And so he likes for the place to be smoked up before his arrival so that the angels await him when he arrives to the place. This is his habit for a long time.  As soon as it was 6 pm, I saw our guest entering as he was welcomed by greetings of the attendants.  He came towards me directly, and then the following conversation took place.


The Executioner:  Asalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah. Welcome, welcome!


Author:  Walaykum asalam.  I look forward to our conversation and meeting you, for there are a lot of questions which I'd like to pose to you.  And a lot of confusion, ambiguity, and question marks which need clarification, that is, if you don't mind of course.


The Executioner:  There is no problem of course, and I am happy to meet you.  I hope that I am not late, as I like to be on time in my appointments, and this is a matter which Allah (SWT) and His Prophet (SA) likes, as my father the Sheikh (may the mercy of Allah be upon him) has taught me.  As you know, not being timely in your appointment is from the attributes of hypocrisy (God forbid).  And now what would you like to drink?  Tea, coffee...anything?  (The waitress of the café came and greeted him, then asked him to take an order.  He whispered something in his ears which I couldn't hear.  After that, the waitress went directly to the tape recorder and changed the tape, and he played a tape of Quranic recitation.


Author:  Please permit me to start, for I don't want to take a lot of your time.


The Executioner:  Go ahead and depend on Allah.  Bismillah Al Rahman Al Raheem.  Excuse me for I do not start anything without reciting it.


Author:  First, I would like to know your name.


The Executioner:  With all delight, my name is Muhammad Abd Al Haqq Ahmad Abd Al Rahman.


Author:  What is the nature of your job?


The Executioner:  I am a sergeant in the police and assigned to carry out the death sentences on those who are sentenced on death row in the prison of the Court of Appeal.


Author:  Often times, you are accused of having no compassion or heart.  How do answer to that?


The Executioner:  It is a lie, for I am a human being with feelings and emotions just like any person, but that is my job.  Exactly like a butcher in the slaughterhouse, or a surgeon who amputates a body part that is defective.  My job may seem harsh in its outward appearance; however, it is important for the safety and security of the society and fulfillment of its needs.  Also, don't forget that Qasas (justice) is an order from Allah (SWT) that is mentioned in the Quran, so carrying it out is carrying out an order from Allah (SWT).


Author:  But tell me, how do you gather your courage when that terrible moment comes and you carry out the sentence by killing a human being and creature whom Allah (SWT) created and ordered us to respect and not hurt it, except according to his rules and regulations?


The Executioner:  I derive my courage at that time from three things.  First, executing the order which has been issued to me.  I am a policeman and obedience to the orders which are issued to me is a sacred obligation and that is what I get my pay and salary, which my children and I live from.  Second, I remember those victims whom the killer killed and their innocence.  He took away their lives, so he deserves the same punishment which is from the same act that he committed.  Third, I remember the order of Allah (SWT) regarding Qasas (justice) and when I remember the holy verses, everything becomes easy for me and I execute out the order.


Author:  Can you tell me about your household and your family life?


The Executioner:  Yes, I am married to a good, kind, religious woman and I have three sons and two daughters from her.  The eldest one is Mustafa and he is a military officer who ranks captain now.  The second is Zainab who is in law school.  The third is Umar and he is a lieutenant now in the central security forces. The fourth is Fatima who is in multimedia school.  And the last is my favorite because he fears his Lord and is religious.  He does not miss an obligatory prayer and he looks like his grandfather, who is my father (May Allah have mercy on him) whom I love and who raised me and my siblings on the obedience of Allah (SWT), His fear, and worship.  I have named him Husain, in honor of our master Husain…Madad ya Husain…he is a student in the first year of medical school this year and I am proud of him.  He is kind-hearted and well-mannered.  So, he holds a special place in my heart and in his mother’s also.  As I told you, he is the baby of the house and the last one.


Author:  I would like for you to give us some examples of the death sentences which you carried out in the past two days, so that we come to know better the type of your victims…sorry…I mean the sentenced ones.


The Executioner:  We do not carry out death sentences everyday, rather, every four or five days or sometimes more, depending on the number of those sentenced.  After the Judge issues the death sentence, the papers of the person sentenced are forwarded to the honorable Mufti to approve the sentence.  After the Mufti approves, the chief of the prison determines the exact date and time of execution.  And we carry out the sentence accordingly.  For example, the day before yesterday, I carried out the death sentence in three individuals.  The first person was accused of killing the husband of his lover so that he can have her to himself.  The second was a professional serial killer whose number of victims reached nearly fifty.  As for the third, he was convicted of kidnapping and rapping two young girls then killing and burying their bodies afterwards.  As you see, they are all atrocious crimes and everyone feels disgusted from them.  So, “an eye for eye” here is justice from Allah (SWT) and cure to the society, and vengeance for the innocent victims.


Author:  Could you tell us about the critical and tough moments during which you carry out the death sentence? 


The Executioner:  I know that this will be hard on you.  But I have no objections since you desire that.  The person sentenced to death is summoned from death row in special vehicles under strict security.  Then they enter the court of execution as they drag their legs and are tied in chains by their hands and legs.  Then the sentence is recited out loud including the details of their crime.   Following that, a religious figure proceeds to them, a sheikh or priest, and asks them to repent to Allah (SWT) before the execution takes place, so that they meet their Lord purified from their sins.  Afterwards, they come towards me and climb the execution stand.  Paralysis seem to affect their feet and they almost collapse as they are about to meet death.  I approach them first and I double check their identity and picture.  I make sure that their hands are feet are well tied.  Then I ask them the last question directed to them in their lives.  I ask them if they have a last request or desire which could be fulfilled to them.  Usually, that is a routine procedure and sometimes we carry out their last desire.  I remember that the last desire of the serial killer whom I mentioned to you was to smoke a cigarette.  So I lit up one for him, and he took two deeps puffs from it.  The last one wanted me to convey to his lover of his love and sincerity to her till the last moment.  And that he is ready to kill a hundred times for the sake of her eyes, and so on.  After that, I place a black blindfold over their heads which conceals the sight of the world from their eyes for the last time.  Then I place the hanging rope around their necks and I tighten it and make sure of its tightness and of the security of its knot.  I request them to be patient and remember Allah (SWT) and repent to Him.  Then I step away from them and stand beside the lever which will release the execution floor from beneath their feet.  I await the signal from the officer so that I pull the lever and carry out the execution.  I focus my eyes on the officer who is looking intently at his watch.  And on the exact time, he gives me the signal, and I pull the lever immediately, and the floor beneath them opens.  The bodies then hang in the air and move to and fro.  But it is only seconds when the bodies come to a stand still.  During that moment, I keep reciting verses from the holy Quran and repeating “There is no God but Allah”.  After about five min, the prison doctor comes to examine the executed person and makes sure that he has died.  Then the dead body is brought down and the chains are untied.  I take off the rope from their necks and the bodies are wrapped in a black sheet and carried on a stretcher.  They are taken out of the execution chamber to the room of preparing the dead for burial.  The bodies are handed over to their families, that is, if they have family to receive them.  Then I sign special papers for carrying out the execution under my direct responsibility.  Thus, my role in the whole process comes to an end.


Author:  Do any of them confess to you in their last moments of their lives that they really committed their crime or that they deserve the punishment?


The Executioner:  Sometimes and that is rare.  But what is worse is what happens at other times.  Some of they may whisper to me in their last moments that they are innocent and are sentenced unjustly.  To be honest with you, that makes my limb tremble in fear that maybe I will be killing an innocent person.  Where then, will I escape from Allah (SWT) and what will I answer Him on the Day of Judgment if He asks me about it?  However, I pacify myself at that time and say to myself that every criminal tries to vindicate himself falsely to escape punishment, even if in his last moments.  As soon as the officer issues the order, I forget everything and remember my duty as a soldier, my military honor, police rank, and my oath for loyalty and obedience in carrying out the orders issued to me.  I remember my job from which I earn from my salary and which Allah (SWT) will ask me about if I don't perform it in the best way.  That's how I carry out the order immediately and without hesitation.


Author:  Do you earn additional reward for every execution that you carry out?


The Executioner:  Yes, as they sometimes say "on each head".  We take a sum of money as a reward for our courage in carrying out the execution, or as compensation to what we suffer in carrying out this difficult task which many others are not able to do, due to its harshness.


Author:  Does that reward differ from one sentence to another or from one head to another.


The Executioner:  Sometime that happens.  Especially in those executed for specific or dangerous crimes.  And of course, crimes related to the security of the state, and conspiracy to overthrow the ruling regime.  The reward here is doubled or tripled and has other benefits too.  It is also noted as good performance in the yearly evaluation and personal files and of course this hastens your promotions and going to higher ranks as well as salary increase.


Author:  We were supposed to meet at 3 pm in the afternoon, but you asked to postpone it suddenly to 6 pm.  Can you tell us the reason for that?


The Executioner:  The reason is that we had an urgent and sudden mission to carry out which was not decided earlier, and that is, to carry out the execution of three sentenced individuals in cases of state security.


Author:  Can you tell us more about these three individuals and the nature of their crimes by which they deserved to die?


The Executioner:  They were young men who belong to some extreme radical Islamic groups which seek to overthrow the regime.  They have been accused of carrying out terror operations and assassinations of citizens and foreigners.


Author:  Is this the first time that you carry out death sentences in such sentenced individuals?


The Executioner:  No, it was not the first time.  This has happened more than once, especially during the past months.


Author:  What was the reason behind the rush in carrying out these sentences?


The Executioner:  I don't know.  These decisions are left for the officials and it is not my business.  But this does happen a lot in the crimes related to state security and carrying out the death sentence for it.  It looks like it is dictated by political circumstances which we have nothing to do with.


Author: Can you describe to us the condition of those young Muslims when they face death? And how do they differ from other criminals?  Do you personally feel a difference when you carry out this tough mission with them compared to others?


The Executioner:  Could you please excuse me from answering this question.


Author:  No, I will not excuse you because that is an important question for me and for the reader of course.


The Executioner:  The truth is that these youth are very different.  Their legs do not shake or tremble and they do not drag their steps.  Their beards are black and stimulate reverence in the hearts.  Signs of prostration to Allah (SWT) and divine light shine on their faces.  In their hearts, there is courage and the desire to face death which I envy them on.  They look like they are anxious to meet a dear and beloved one whom they long awaited to meet.  They are different, very different!


Author:  When you face them and take hold of them, do you feel that you are in front of a criminal and killer who deserve justice for his heinous crime?


The Executioner:  I don't know what to say, but honest to God, no.  Rather, I feel that I am in front of truthful people who have strong faith.  Sometimes, I fear them even though they are tied in their chains.


Author:  Do you know exactly what these young men want and what is their goal?


The Executioner:  I know that their goal is to establish an Islamic government that carries out the laws of Allah (SWT), stop corruption, and elevate the word of Allah (SWT).  I heard them say all of that more than once before carrying out the execution on them.


Author:  What is your opinion as a Muslim human being regarding such goals, as I see you a man of religion and faith?


The Executioner:  The goal here is beautiful and there is no argument over it, but not through killing the innocent.


Author:  Do your chiefs in the police agree with you on your opinion?  And does the government which you serve and give you your salary agree on establishing an Islamic government?


The Executioner:  I don't know, but I don’t think they want that exactly.  Anyways, many of the laws and rules of Allah (SWT) are being carried out in the country. 


Author: And many of them are not carried out either!  So what will you answer to your Lord if He asks you about the laws which He (SWT) legislated and has not been carried out?  What will your excuse be?!


The Executioner:  I don't know, but Allah (SWT) is forgiving and compassionate and we can't do anything about it.


Author:  You can't do anything!  But as for those Muslim youth, they were stronger than us.  They stood up and demanded and sacrificed their lives for that sake.


The Executioner:  But why then do they kill the innocent?


Author:  How do you know in the first place that they have killed anyone?  Did they confess that to you?  Furthermore, if they have been attacked by the army and the police, and if they have been killed as a punishment for saying the truth, and for demanding that the truth be followed, then what is required for them to do?  If someone came to you now and wanted to attack and kill you, will you stand still, or will you defend yourself?  Isn't that a lawful right which Allah (SWT) made permissible, at least for those who stand up for His sake?  Or else, why were the Muslims permitted to fight their enemies?!


The Executioner:  I don't know.  However, the supreme judge said his last word, so they must be guilty.


Author:  The case here is different.  The supreme judge whom you're referring to, is he Muslim and a sincere believer like you such that you put all your trust in him and in his sentence?  And that he rules justly and according to the laws and regulations of Allah (SWT)?!  Or is he a corrupted judge who has no religion or conscience, receives his orders from those who pay him his salary and have the power to fire him from his job?  Or is he a military judge who receives his orders from the supreme command of the armed forces?

Tell me, by God, what do you feel when you look at the faces of those people as they go through the same steps and routine which the vicious criminals and killers do?  Do you advice them also to have patience and remember and repent to Allah (SWT)?  Or do you start killing the believers by reciting Bismillah Al Rahman Al Raheem?!  Or do you recite the Quran while their bodies hang in the air in front of your eyes?!


The Executioner:  Honestly, I avoid looking at their eyes in order for me to carry out the sentence on them.  I truly feel that they are present at the wrong place.


Author:  Does the Sheikh also come to them to request them to repent to Allah (SWT).


The Executioner:  Yes, of course.


Author:  I can't believe this!  Repent from what?!  For having faith in Allah (SWT), or from loving Him, or from demanding to elevate His word and carry out His laws and rules?!


The Executioner:  Really, I don't know but this is what happens.


Author:  And what do you all feel as Muslim believers when you see other Muslim believers tied in chains, and wearing the red suit of the killer criminals?  And they are about to pay their precious lives as the price for the crime of faith…which you all commit!  And as a price for loving the God whom you yourselves worship, and a price for their anger for the sake of Allah (SWT), while you all desire His pleasure and are upset when He (SWT) is disobeyed!  Where are your feelings?!  And how do you accept that for yourself when you prostrate and remember Allah (SWT), and recite His Quran and fast and perform pilgrimage for His sake?  And now you kill innocent people who want to raise His word!  The ruler and government issue the sentences and orders only, but they do not kill with their own hands.  But you are the ones who execute, and you are the real criminals!  So what do you say about that?!  Don't you resemble by this action, the killers of the As-haab Al Okhdood (People of the Canyon)?  Refer back to Surat al Borooj and you’ll find the verse which says, “And they did not take vengeance on them for aught except that they believed in Allah, the Mighty, the Praised [85:8].” 


The Executioner:  What can we do sir?  There is nothing in our hands to do.


Author:  Aren't you Muslims?  Aren't you human beings?  You can certainly refuse carrying out this unjust and unfair order, and to escape from committing this great sin in front of Allah (SWT).  Go and review the Quran which you like to listen to so that you learn from it exactly what the punishment is for those who kill a believer intentionally.  Didn't your very religious wife forbid you from this act which is directed against Allah (SWT), His believers, soldiers, and party?  Didn't your children forbid you?


The Executioner:   If we ourselves don't carry it out, then others will.  We will be fired from service and our sustenance will stop.


Author:  First of all, your sustenance is in Allah's hands and He (SWT) guarantees that for you.  This is the beginning of true faith in Allah (SWT).  Getting fired from service may make you loose a worldly benefit, but it will protect your Hereafter and rescue you in it.  If the others carry out the unjust act, let them carry the sin and bear the consequences of that.  But you should rescue yourself from the punishment, that is, if you truly believe in Allah (SWT) and the Hereafter.  For Allah (SWT) is more worthy to be feared, and not the government or lack of sustenance, and killing, etc.  Why didn't these Muslim youth become frightened like you?  Why didn’t they prefer safety and not seek the life of this world and its sustenance?  Why didn’t they leave every corrupt person to do as he wants while they enjoy the grants and pleasure?  Instead, they exposed themselves to the outrage of the rulers and subjected themselves to imprisonment, torture, and being executed for the sake of Allah (SWT) and His religion and elevating His word.  Isn't Islam anything but that?  But listening to Quran in the cafés and enjoying the essence and all such acts will not benefit alone if the person does not sacrifice everything for the sake of His Lord and Creator!  This is the real meaning of worship which Allah (SWT) wants.  The rulers want to deceive you so that you see your Islam not in its true picture, but instead, see your religion and faith empty of its content.  And to live in fantasy which you will wake up from on the day you meet Allah (SWT) but there will be no rescue on that day.


The Executioner: (He lowers his head towards the floor and doesn't answer)


Author:  Can you inform me what the last wishes of those martyrs were?  Did they ask to smoke a cigarette?  Or did they send a message to a dear and loved woman?!


The Executioner:  No, of course.  They requested two minutes to perform two rakaats the Sunnah of martyrdom.  We can't do anything except to allow them, as we feel that there is a stronger force that is preventing us from rejecting that request.  After performing the two rakaats, they face death courageously. The last thing they recommend to us is to fear Allah (SWT) and to stop and refrain from His disobedience, and to follow His orders, and reject the orders of the tyrants.  Then they keep reciting verses from the Holy Quran until their voices stop once I pull the lever and the hanging rope is pulled around their necks and their bodies get hanged.


Author:  Oh Allah!  And how could you bear all of that, Oh man, while you claim to believe in Allah (SWT)!  And your father was a Sheikh (scholar) who raised you as you said on the obedience and fear of Allah (SWT)!!  Is it from the obedience and fear of Allah (SWT) to kill a believer who says "My Lord is Allah"?  What did they do to deserve this sentence?  You previously said that you remember the victims whom they have killed to make it easier for you to carry out the sentence.  But, do these innocent believers have any victims to begin with?  And if they had victims, are those victims innocent, or are they tyrants, hypocrites, nonbelievers, and disobedient to Allah (SWT)?  Or are among those who commit sin on earth, or they worship foreign super powers and international interests?  Didn't Allah (SWT) truly order us to kill all of those?  Don't you find in the Islamic legislation, Quran, and Sunnah which you follow, love, and read, what indicates that you should sentence a Muslim to death because he killed a nonbeliever, atheist, corrupt sinner, tyrant, aggressor, or a clear hypocrite? Or a polytheist or aggressive oppressor or those who go out of the religion, or known?  What is the matter with you man, and where is your mind?!  Where is your heart?!  Where is your soul and where is your religion?!   You claim that you are a man of faith and religion!  But, didn't you think of all that when you said that you remember the order of Allah (SWT) in carrying out justice and this makes it easy for you to carry out the death sentence?  Did Allah (SWT) order us to carry justice on believers if they killed the enemies of Allah (SWT) in all their types?  In that case, then go ahead and execute Hamza, Ali, Bilal, Ammar, Miqdad, Abi Dhar, Zaid, Jafar, and Salman!  Does executing these heroes of Islam considered to be Qasas (justice) by the order of Allah (SWT)?  In fact, those people did not kill except for Allah (SWT) and to raise His word and dignify His religion!  So how can executing them be considered Qasas (justice) to Allah (SWT) by His order?  Where is your mind and wisdom, Oh man?!


The Executioner: (hides his face between his hands and his tears start to fall on his cheeks)


Author:  There is nothing left which makes it easier for you to carry out the death sentence except the last thing, and that is that you are carrying out the orders of your chiefs, as they taught you in the police training.  While you tempt yourself with benefits, rewards, good evaluations, and promotions!  How do you make the order of a human being more obligatory upon you than the order of Allah (SWT)?  And how do you make your Hereafter lost because of your life of this world?  And do you buy the life of this world which is very temporary and instead sell your eternal Hereafter?  That is, of course, if you truly believe in Allah (SWT) or have one iota of faith in your heart!  Don't you read the Quran and its verses and understand it even for once at least to know the punishment of those who sell their religion for the sake of the life of this world, and buy the temporary life with the hereafter?  Or did you get addicted to listening to the Quran in the cafés and funerals, just as a beautiful tune which doesn’t pass by your heart?  And a good voice which doesn't cross your mind and beautiful resonance that is not interpreted or comprehended by your mind!  You allow yourself to kill the believers with your own hands while you claim to have faith.  You take away the lives of sincere Muslims with your own hands while you claim to be Muslim.  I don't know what happened to you, oh man!  By God (Allah) I really don't know what happened to you!!


The Executioner:  Sir, you are blaming me too much for I am not alone.  And where is the Mufti of Islam who approved, ratified, and signed these sentences?  Is he also mistaken and a sinner?!


Author:  No, he is the true hypocrite whom Allah (SWT) warned us of, and he is the real enemy who is at the lowest level of Hellfire.  Maybe you are confused and didn't understand.  After all, you didn't gain the religious knowledge and wisdom.  So you may do the mistake unintentionally or intentionally for the sake of gains from the life of this world.  As for him, that is not the case and he knows very well what he is doing.  He intentionally sells his religion for the life of this world and he does that with complete knowledge.  So he is one of the real criminals and he truly deserves to stand in front of you tied and bound, in the shoes of the criminals and killers.  So that you can tie the rope around his neck and carry out the justice of Allah (SWT) in him. And take revenge from him for all the believers whom he shed their blood by his approval of the death sentence, and took away their souls by his signature, and deprived them from life.  After all, wasn't the life of this world created for the true believers in Allah (SWT)?  When it comes to such people like this Mufti, you are not in need for something to pacify you when you carry out the Qasas (justice) of Allah SWT in him.  He is worse than he who has raped two young girls, and more evil than a serial killer, and more cursed than a lover of an unfaithful wife and the killer of her husband!  Such Mufti should not be obeyed or listened to since he is a speaker of misguidance and a puppet of the rulers.  His word should not be respected because he has no religion or honor and no truth coming out from his tongue.


The Executioner: To be honest with you, I really smell the scent of musk in that place at the same moment that I pull that cursed lever.  In every time, I deny myself.  Do you have an explanation for that?


Author:  The explanation is clear and you know it but try to avoid it.  They are the angels, oh executor, who descend to be in the honor of greeting the believing souls that are returning to its Lord gladly and willingly, after it did what it had to do, and sacrificed everything for the sake of their Lord.  He is Rasulullah (SA) and his household with him who welcome the martyrs.  They are the prophets, saint and devout believers who are there to receive the righteous believers whom you helped with your own hands the tyrants, arrogant rulers in killing and taking away their lives and getting rid of them.  This is the scent of musk which you smell from these clean bodies that preferred death over an undignified life.  Who preferred the Hereafter with its long-lasting pleasures over the temporary Dunya.  And who preferred the worship of Allah (SWT) alone with death and torture, over worship and obedience of others even if it is with pleasure and enjoyment of the life of this world. Don't hide from yourself, man, for you know the truth.  Woe be to you to what your hands committed, and woe be to you to what you presented to your Hereafter.  Where will you hide from your sin and how will you meet your Lord tomorrow?


The Executioner: (cries and wails out loud) How was I blind to this point, and how was I fooled and didn't realize these facts?  How did the truth become lost from my heart and mind?  And so I went on killing these innocent people with my own hands!  How can I repent from this great sin and recompense for it?


Author:  How were you fooled and deceived such that you didn't see your true religion, and didn't worship your Lord as He desired for you to worship Him?  And how didn't you recognize or know the nature of your Islam or what Allah (SWT) requests from you?  And why didn't you didn't or comprehend the wisdom of life or purpose of creation or reason for existence?  The answers to all these questions are: 1) the religious scholars like the Mufti, who sold their religion with their Dunya and bought the pleasure of their rulers and displeased their Lord, and traded guidance with misguidance.  They intentionally hide and conceal the truth to fulfill their desires and please their rulers and leaders.  This has happened since the beginning of Islam, and since the first day after the death of the Holy Prophet (SA) and till our day today.  Scholars and scholars, Sheikhs and Sheikhs, books and texts, names and names…all over the ages and throughout more than 14 centuries full of sorrow, misguidance, and fabrication.  All of that happened because these scholars want to enjoy the pleasure of this Dunya.  They help in spreading darkness, concealing the religion and fabricating the truth.  Exactly like the scholars of the sons of Israel did.  They made the important thing seem trivial and unmentioned.  They brought the minute and unimportant things and made it very important and big.  They made the Hiram (forbidden) look like unfavorable, and the unfavorable looks like (Halal) permissible and the permissible like the unfavorable, and the unfavorable as forbidden (Haram).  All of that is to serve their best interest and the interest of their rulers.  They pretended to be humble and righteous,  so  they deceived the people in such a way that those people made them sacred and leaders.  And symbols which should be respected and never denied, while those scholars are the real enemy of Allah (SWT) who demolished the religion and corrupted the life, and blinded the people and fabricate for them the way of their Lord to them.  May the curse of Allah (SWT) be upon them and those who follow them in their misguidance after knowing of their corruption.  Secondly, the rulers and king whom you gave them power and authority and leadership upon yourselves so they commit injustice to you, and were unfair and deviated from the religion.  They played with it then they came totally out of it.  Then, they open the Muslim countries to foreigners from everywhere to steal and take away its resources.  Those rulers then hold on to the necks of their people like the loyal dog who protects the sheep of his master.  They guard the benefits of imperialism and kill every noble man who is religious and refuses to follow or obey.  So repent, oh miserable man and stop your sin.  Return to your Lord and ask Him to purify and recompense and acceptance.


The Executioner:  (raises his head high and calls out loud …oh Lord…and his tears filled his eyes and flow on his cheeks)  Suddenly, a young man in the central security officer uniform entered the café quickly and came rushing towards our table.  He seemed very disturbed and depressed.  His clothes were not tidy and he had traces of dust.  He directed his words to the executor and said:


Policeman:  Father, father, a disaster. A disaster!


The Executioner:  What happened, Oh Umar?!!


The Son:  We were in a mission right now, and we attacked a center for radical Muslims whom we arrested a number of them.  One of them was….


The Executioner:  Talk my son…who was among them?!


The Son:  Husain my brother, Oh father…Husain my brother (He collapsed and sat while crying).


The Executioner:  Oh my God, and what is Husain doing with them…was he one of them and we didn't know?!


The Son:  It looks like that, Father, and we didn't know.  The charge is very grave, my father, as we found with them weapons and fliers against the government which calls for the establishment of the rules of Allah (SWT) and elevate His word and establishing an Islamic government.  Therefore, they have been charged of…


The Executioner:  Speak, what charge?!


The Son:  The charge of attempting to overthrow the regime.  (The father collapsed as he laments and cries, and screams and wines).  It is the execution then.  My son will be sentenced to death, oh my God…no my Lord…he is my favorite son…he is the good son and the good deed.  He is Husain, Husain…he is the best of youth and the beauty and faith of youth (he cries)


Author:  And those whom you killed with your own hands, and hung their necks on the hanging rope.  Weren't they children and good deeds, and they were the ornament, beauty and honor of Muslim believing youth who sacrificed for the sake of Allah (SWT)?  From where can we find somebody like them?  Surely, life rarely gives someone like them people.  So how can we sacrifice them so easily and kill them with our hands when they are the best of people and they are a gift from our Lord?  (translate verse) Surat Al Kahf) And they are a group of youth who believed in their Lord, so Allah (SWT) increased them in guidance?!


The Executioner:  (cries bitterly) But my son, no, no, no, I cannot bear it…I cannot stand it.


Author:  And the fathers whom you took away their lives unjustly and aggressively to carry out the order of the unjust from your masters, seeking more salary, reward, or promotion.  Didn't you think of them and the hurt and sorrow and pain you caused them when you hand to them the dead bodies of their beloved sons? 


The Executioner: (cries) Oh God, oh God…he is Husain…Husain.


Author:  And do you know who Husain was?  He is the Master of Martyrs who quenched with his purified blood the purified tree of oneness.  A group of those who claimed to have faith and belong to Islam like you slaughtered him, while the religion has vindicated itself from them.  Maybe, Allah (SWT) wants to cleanse your sin by the purified blood of Husain, who will continue to enlighten the life all over   the ages, as an example and model for sacrifice of self, family, money, and children, for the sake of raising the word of Allah (SWT) and confronting the tyrants and the arrogant.


The Executioner:  (cries and says) And your Lord is not unjust to His servants…you are the one who takes vengeance oh Allah.


Author:  Yes, and he is also the clement, merciful to those who repent and admit and confess to their sins and is regretful.


The Executioner:  I repent to Allah (SWT) and return to Allah and I regret what I committed and I intend never to return back to it.  After today, I will never be a helper to the oppressor.  And I will join the believers.  Let's go, my son to see what the oppressors will do with your brother and to reach out to him and try to see him, perhaps for the last time…let's go.  (He walks out taking the hand of his sons, looking down, and dragging his feet as he recites these verses):


And call not those who are slain in the way of Allah "dead." Nay, they are living, only ye perceive not [2:154].”

Rejoicing in what Allah has given them out of His grace and they rejoice for the sake of those who have not joined them but are left behind, that they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve. They rejoice on account of favor from Allah and (His) grace, and that Allah will not waste the reward of the believers [3:170-171].”


I gathered my papers, and when I got ready to leave the reciter of the Quran was reciting this verse:  Say: O my servants! who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah; surely Allah forgives the faults altogether; surely He is the Forgiving the Merciful [39:53].”  The tape recorder was turned off…and silence prevailed.  I noticed a piece of paper falling on the floor.  It looks like it fell from the officer, the son of the executor.  I picked it up and opened it.  It turned out to be a declaration from the Islamic movement which seemed to be among the fliers which were caught with the Muslims.  I read the declaration and it was an invitation to all the believers to unite and stand up against injustice and to reject oppressed and undignified life.  It urged to revolt against the unjust tyrants and corrupt government.  It reviews the present situation of the country which is painful, deteriorating, and is falling politically, economically, and socially.  It calls for the return back to true faith in Allah (SWT) and to the teachings of Islam which Allah (SWT) approved for the benefit of humanity and their flourishing, development and salvation in their Hereafter.  Because it is the only way to fix what is corrupt and save what is left.  It invites the people to unite to achieve this goal.  It calls upon the army and police forces to stand with Allah (SWT) and with Islam, and with the people and believers.  And to reject carrying out the orders of killing, terrorizing, imprisonment, torturing, and execution.  The declaration ended with these verses.  Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, whether he is slain or gets victory We shall grant him a mighty reward [4:74].”



I walked out while I wondered, is he who says these words really a criminal, terrorist, and fundamentalist who deserves imprisonment and torture, killing, and execution?!  Do such persons deserve to be punished, tortured, and killed while we leave the hypocrites, corrupt, and the nonbelievers and enemies of Allah enjoy and rule and kill the innocent? I questioned as Allah laid the question, What is the matter with you?  How do you judge [68:36]”!  I could not help but give a long sigh. Surely, there is no power or strength but with Allah (SWT)!