Just Five Minutes Nine Years in the Prisons of Syria


This heartrending memoir unravels the most perilous period in Syria’s modern history, a time when President Asad’s notorious secret service agents, the Mukhabarat, hunted down and imprisoned anyone even remotely associated with political opposition. When a “wanted criminal” fled from the Mukhabarat’s clutches, they held hostages, like in the case of Heba Dabbagh. Heba Dabbagh’s story begins when Mukhabarat agents storm into her apartment and ask for “just five minutes” of her time. They drag her to a military interrogation unit where a long list of fabricated allegations awaits her. From there, Dabbagh takes us on a journey through the prisons of Syria and reveals the nightmares that come to life in the Mukhabarat interrogation and torture chambers. During her nine year imprisonment, Dabbagh shares cells and stories with members of the political opposition, communists, spies, children and even members of her own family. In this candid chronicle, Dabbagh exposes the oppression that thousands have lived but few dare to voice.



If knowledge had a face…


Ibn Al-Qayyim writes:

لو صُور العلم صورة ؛ لكانت أجمل من الشمس والقمر

“If knowledge had a face, it would have been more beautiful than the shams wal qamar (sun and the moon)”.
[“Rawdatul Muhibeen”].

Some deaths are just more convenient than others

recent trip to the Libyan capital.

“Life (imprisonment) in Guantanamo isn’t even a day in Abu Salim.” So reads the graffiti sprayed on the entrance to one of the main blocks in the Abu Salim prison south of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

Ordinarily I would have challenged such an assertion arguing the complete isolation of prisoners in Guantanamo, the abuses they’ve suffered and the inability to challenge their detention is enough to render that sentiment an exaggeration. However, some of the inmates of Abu Salim had been imprisoned in Afghanistan’s ‘Dark Prison‘, Kandahar, Bagram and Guantanamo, and they weren’t objecting to the statement.

A few weeks ago I walked into the recently liberated Abu Salim prison accompanied by a group of its former inmates. I was being given a prison tour after having spent the night in the same district, where Gadhafi loyalists were still resisting. I was first shown the part of the prison where 1200 men were herded together and shot dead during the 1996 massacre. Years later, several men held by US forces ended up here after being handed over to the Gadhafi government as a “gift” after the start of the war on terror.

For me visiting Abu Salim prison was the end of a journey that had begun as a captive of the US military in May 2002 in Bagram. That is where I was told by the CIA that a certain Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, allegedly a key Al-Qaeda lieutenant handed over to US forces for abounty, had been ‘playing games’ with them so they sent him to Egypt. If I failed to cooperate I too would be meeting his fate. That fate, which I later learned included water-boarding, had him “singing like a bird” within days of arrival, I was told.

Al-Libi was indeed sent to Egypt and tortured under the direction of intelligence chief Omar Sulaiman, the CIA’s man in Cario. It was there that Al-Libi gave the now discredited ‘confession’ that Al-Qaeda and Saddam’s Iraq were working together. After a few more secret rendition stops Al-Libi was sent to Libya where, unlike all the others handed over by the US and Britain as a favour to Gadhafi, on May10, 2009, he died in his cell . The official Guantanamo-like story was that he’d “committed suicide”. All the prisoners I spoke to differed: he’d died of neglect after years of torture and abuse. His Syrian wife and young daughter had been able to visit him a couple of times after years of absence. I learned this standing in his solitary cell, listening to the prisoners with whom he spent his last days.

It was later reported that Al-Libi’s death coincided with the first visit by Omar Suleiman to Tripoli. Al-Libi’s death was very convenient.

Another man I spoke to about his time in Abu Salim, Sami al-Saadi (Sheikh Abul Munthir), I’d met once in Afghanistan. Like most of the Libyans I’ve known over the decades his main interest was his own country and how to bring Islamic reform – which could not be achieved without the removal of Gadhafi. Many of the inmates of Abu Salim, like al-Saadi, had taken refuge in Afghanistan and had subsequently ended up on terrorism lists all over the world after 11 September.

In 2004, Al-Saadi was lured to Honk Kong by British authorities who suggested they would give him asylum in Britain. Instead, he was detained there with his family. He told me how he and his wife were hooded and shackled in front of the children and flown forcibly to Libya. The whole family was detained for two months while he was interrogated. He was then moved to Abu Salim where he remained for six years. He was briefly released by Gadhafi for a few months but re-imprisoned before the revolution. He’d been a free man for just a few weeks and had come out of prison having lost more than half his body weight when I met him.

The scars of Abu Salim are deep for Sami al-Saadi: he lost two of his brothers in the 1996 massacre where only now the remains of the mass grave are being uncovered. He was regularly tortured there with the use of cattle-prods and other techniques. He also had to grow accustomed to the sounds of others’ screams. All this while British Prime Minister Tony Blair was embracing Gadhafi – both physically and metaphorically – and signing all manner of deals with him about oil, and human beings.

Read on: http://www.cageprisoners.com/our-work/opinion-editorial/item/2425-some-deaths-are-more-convenient-than-others

The Biography of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq Dr. Ali M As-Sallaabee download

From the day he embraced Islam until the day he died, Abu Bakr As-Siddique ابو بكر الصدي (Radhi Allahu Anhu – May Allah be Pleased with Him) was the ideal Muslim, surpassing all other Companions in every sphere of life. During the Prophet’s lifetime, Abu Bakr was an exemplary soldier on the battlefield; upon the Prophet’s death, Abu Bakr (R) remained steadfast and, through the help of Allah, held this nation together. When others suggested keeping Usaamah’s army back, Abu Bakr insisted – and correctly so – that the army should continue the mission which the Prophet (S) had in mind. When people refused to pay Zakaat, and when the apostates threatened the stability of the Muslim nation, Abu Bakr was the one who remained firm and took decisive action against them. These are just some of the examples of Abu Bakr’s many wonderful achievements throughout his life. I have endeavored to describe all of the above in a clear and organized manner. But more so than anything else, I have tried to show how Abu Bakr’s methodology as a Muslim and as a ruler helped establish the foundations of a strong, stable, and prosperous country – one that began in Al-Madeenah, extended throughout the Arabian Peninsula, and then reached far-off lands outside of Arabia.

Throughout the brief period of his caliphate (about 2 years), Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (R) faced both internal and external challenges; the former mainly involved quelling the apostate factions of Arabia and establishing justice and peace among the citizens of the Muslim nation; and the latter mainly involved expanding the borders of the Muslim nation by spreading the message of Islam to foreign nations and conquering those nations that stood in the way of the propagation of Islam.

During the era of his caliphate, Khalifah Abu Bakr As Siddeeq (R) sent out armies that achieved important conquests; for example, under the command of Khaalid ibn Al-Waleed (R) the Muslim army gained an important victory in Iraq. And the Muslim army achieved other important victories under the commands of Al-Muthannah ibn Haarithah (R) and Al-Qa’qaa ibn ‘Amr (R). In short, the victories achieved during the era of Abu Bakr’s Caliphate paved the way for victories that later took place after Abu Bakr’s death. I have tried to analyze the above-mentioned conquests and to break down the reasons why they were such monumental successes. I particularly pointed out Abu Bakr’s contributions to those conquests: His military strategy, the leaders he chose, the letters through which he communicated with them, and so on.

Dr. Ali Muhammad As-Sallaabee

This remarkable research work will help readers appreciate how Abu Bakr, the first Khalifah of Muslims, was an examplary Muslim in all aspects of his life: in his Faith, his knowledge, his eloquence, and his manners.

It is divided into four major sections:

1- Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq in Makkah
2- The Prophet’s Death, and the Crucial Meeting that took place in the Courtyard of Banu Saa’idah
3- The Army of Usaamah, and Abu Bakr’s Jihaad against the Apostates
4- The Conquests of As-Siddeeq and His Appointment of Umar as the Next Khaleefah of Muslims.

View and download the book: http://abubakrassiddeeq.wordpress.co…-as-sallaabee/

The month of Muharram

“Wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and more sinful that wrongdoing at any other time. Wrongdoing at any time is a serious matter, but Allaah gives more weight to whichever of His commands He wants….” (Tafseer Ibn Katheer; 9:36)

Ibn ‘Abbaas said in the tafseer for the above Ayah, that good deeds done during the four sacred months bring a greater reward. (Ibn Katheer)

RasoolAllaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadaan is fasting Allaah’s month of Muharram.’” (Muslim).

Articles related to this month: http://www.islamicawakening.com/view…?articleID=983





Spring Foundation

Spring marks the transition from winter to summer. It is the time when the cold fades away, flowers start to bloom, and everything starts afresh. Spring is a time of growth, prosperity, change and renewal. The word for spring in ‘Arabic is ‘Rabi’ which again denotes a sense of freshness, tranquillity, growth and change. Just as spring brings about changes to our natural environment, sacred knowledge, acquired through the medium of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, has the potential to bring about tranquillity, freshness and renewal into our hearts, minds and souls. It is for this reason that the Messenger of Allah (saw), used to supplicate: “O Allah, make the Qur’an the spring [light] of my heart (Rabi’a Qalbi).” [Reported by Ahmad & Ibn Hibban on the authority of Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (ra)]


Tafseer surah kahf(cave) part 1 of 30 with Bilal philips

Enjoyed this, you can also download it as a podcast:

For tens of thousands of Babar Ahmad supporters they thought it was the light at the end of the tunnel.


They needed 100-thousand signatures on an online petition that would make his case against extradition eligible for debate in the House of Commons.
It would be an important step to stop him being sent to the U-S to face charges he’s not being accused of at home, in Britain.
When the petition closed, and signatures had hit over 140-thousand his supporters were quietly optimistic. Of all the petitions ever put up on this government website, spanning all issues of British life, Babar Ahmad’s is in the top three. One of only 6 to have ever got the needed number of signatures.
So his family and campaigners were disappointed and angry to hear that despite this public show of support, a parliamentary committe has refused to list Babar Ahmad’s case for a full debate in the main chamber of the House of Commons.
Babar Ahmad is a 37-year old British Muslim. A computer programmer, in December 2003 anti-terror police violently arrested him. He was left with 73 injuries to his body yet six days later released without charge. The police later admitted he had been victim of a serious and prolonged attack.
Just nine months later, on 5 August 2004, Ahmad was re-arrested. This time on a US extradition warrant that accused him of supporting Islamist terrorists.
He has been in jail for seven years fighting his extradition.
As of going to air we received no response from the bankbench business committee on our request for comment.
Campaigners have vowed to continue fighting. They will make urgent contact with every MP representing each of the 140,359 signatories to seek their support in securing a proper consideration of Babar’s plight. As they continue to campaign though, Babar Ahmad’s future remains in doubt. He remains in prison. The longest serving detainee without charge under Britain’s controversial terror laws.

The authority and importance of the sunnah

By: Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo. This book deals with the following topics: the meaning of “Sunnah” evidence for the authority of the Sunnah, the roles of the Prophet, the status of the sunnah vis-a-vis the Quran demonsrtating that the two go hand and hand as the foundation of Islam, ruling concerning one who rejects the authority of the Sunnah, the preservation of the sunnah and what it truly means to be following the Sunnah. This book is meant to clarify a number ofcommon misconceptions and encourages the correct following of the sunnah.

From the Back Cover:

The word “sunnah” is defined in detailed as it is used by scholars of different disciplines. The authority and importance of the Sunnah is determined via a discussion of about fifty verses of the Qur’an. The roles of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and the indispensability of this Sunnah are clearly spelled out. The Position of the Sunnah vis-a-vis the Qur’an is dealt with in detail, demonstrating that the two go hand in hand as the foundation of Islam. Allah’s promise to preserve the Sunnah and the ways and means by which the sunnah was preserved is also discussed. The ruling concerning one who denies the place of the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is given. It is shown herein that the sunnah-which is the true implementation of the Qur’an-is the only real “version and way of Islam. The final chapter discusses the real meaning of “adhering to the Sunnah” as well as a discussion of what a commitment that truly is.

Download: http://www.kalamullah.com/Books/The%20Authority%20and%20Importance%20of%20the%20Sunnah.pdf

And you honour your mother too….

Some fighters came from Syria, heading for Yemen, and ‘Umar had dishes of food that he would set out after Fajr. One of those men came and sat down, and started to eat, using his left. ‘Umar – who used to watch the people whilest they were eating – said to him: “Eat with your right hand,” but he did not respond ‘Umar repeated it, and he said, “O’ Ameer al-Mu’mineen, it is busy.” When he had finished eating, ‘Umar called him and said, “What kept your right hand busy?” He brought out his arm and the hand was cut off. ‘Umar said, “What is this?” He said, “I lost my hand on the day of al-Yarmook.” He said, “Who does wudoo’ for you?” He said, “I do wudoo’ with my left hand, and Allah helps me.” He said, “Where are you going?” He said, “Yemen, to my mother whom I have not seen for many years.” He said, “And you honour your mother too.” And he ordered that he be given a servant and five camels from the camels given in charity, and he loaded them up for him.”

‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab his life and times by Dr. ‘Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi.

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