The Soul Shall Rise Tomorrow: The Story of Marwan Hadid

17 Jul

By ‘Abdullah ‘Azzam

“It was the year 1963 when it was announced in Damascus:
I believe in the Ba’th as a Lord, without any partners
And with Arabism as a religion, with no religion other than it”

And the Ba’this and Nusayris began to attack Islam. In Hamah, it happened that a professor spoke against Islam, so, one of the youth got up and hit him. The rest of the youth then got up and beat him to death inside the classroom. So, the police officer came and killed the youth. When Shaykh Marwan Hadid requested the officer so that he would implement the punishment of relatilation on him, they said to him: “One for one (meaning, the boy was killed for killing the teacher).” Marwan replied: “No, the boy was a Muslim, and the teacher was a disbeliever! His blood is permissible! As for the Muslim, then his blood must be avenged!”

The state refused, so, Marwan said: “OK,” and went and gathered the youth who were around him. There was a mosque right at the foot of his apartment building where the youth would usually sleep, as he would bring them up and teach them there. He went to Masjid as-Sultan and gathered them, each one of them carrying a grenade and a gun. Some of the youth were still in high school! They began saying ‘Allahu Akbar!’ and announcing their fight against the state. So, the tanks came to Masjid as-Sultan and fired on it, with the youth standing on the minaret. The minaret fell with the youth in it, and the mosque was demolished with them inside.

By Allah, some of the trustworthy residents of Hamah narrated to me – and Allah Knows best – that, after a few days, when they were removing the rubble from on top of these youth who had been killed, they could hear tasbih and takbir from underneath the rubble.

Anyway, it was Written for Shaykh Marwan that he remain alive, so, they took him to court. This was done in the open, so that the Ba’this could claim that they implement justice. They allowed some foreign journalists to attend the hearing. The judges in this case were Mustafa Tallas and Salah Jadid. Mustafa Tallas was the defense minister in Syria, and Salah Jadid was the most powerful Nusayri to have any position in the country.

They said to him: “Why did you carry weapons and go against the state?”

Shaykh Marwan answered: “Because there is a Nusayri dog named Salah Jadid – he is saying this to Salah Jadid! – and there is a dog who ascribes himself to Ahl as-Sunnah named Mustafa Tallas, and they desire to kill off Islam in this land, and we reject and will fight against Islam being wiped out in this land as long as we’re alive.”

He then dared the Revolutionary Guards to kill him inside the courthouse, but the police guarded Shaykh Marwan in front of the foreign journalists, so that it would not be said to the world that he was killed in the courthouse.

They said to him: “You are working for someone else.”

He replied: “I am working for Allah, the Mighty and Exalted. As for the one who is serving others, then he is the leader of your party.”

They said: “You say that Muhammad al-Hamid is with you, but he hates you.”

Marwan replied: “{“But if they turn away, then say: ‘Allah is sufficient for me. There is none worthy of worship except He. Upon Him I depend, and He is the Lord of the mighty Throne.'”} [at-Tawbah; 129]”

It was a powerful court case. He was sentenced to death along with a group of the youth. Some of the youth were acquitted, however. Those who were acquitted began to weep, and those who were sentenced to death began to smile. The foreign journalists were in a state of shock: those who are acquitted are weeping, and those who are sentenced to death are smiling? So, the youth sentenced to death said to them: “We are being granted Paradise, and they are being prevented from Paradise,” and they were taken to prison to await their executions.

Shaykh Marwan later said to me: “I never lived a time in my life that was sweeter to my heart and soul than those days in which the youth and I were awaiting our executions.” And it might have been during those days that Shaykh Marwan wrote:
The soul shall rise tomorrow * And it shall meet Allah at its appointed time
These are the words of Marwan Hadid. Anyway, one of the scholars of Hamah, Shaykh Muhammad al-Hamid, went to Amin al-Hafidh – who was the Syrian president at the time, from Hamah, as well – and said to him: “What do you want to do with Marwan Hadid?”

He replied: “We sentenced him to death.”

Muhammad al-Hamid said: “Are you saying this with a sane mind? Do you think that Hamah will remain silent against you if you execute Marwan Hadid? You will face unending problems!”

Amin replied: “What do you think, Shaykh?”

He said: “I think you should release him and acquit him.”

Amin said: “Go and release him yourself.”

Shaykh Marwan Hadid later said to me: “So, Shaykh Muhammad al-Hamid came and said: “My children – and he was their teacher, whom they all loved – come!” They said: “To where?” He said: “The state has acquitted you.” So, we said to him: “May Allah Forgive you, as you have prevented us from Paradise.””

Shaykh Marwan returned, and he knew no rest. He was basically a bomb about to explode…he was quite strange. In the year 1973, they announced a new constitution in which they officially abrogated that Syria is an Islamic republic. So, Marwan Hadid got up and said: “Who will give me the bay’ah for death in the mosque?” When Shaykh Marwan began to preach, the people began to exit the mosque, one by one, as his words were quite dangerous, and to hear his words were also dangerous. The mashayikh left, one after the other. Some of his followers, from the zeal that they had, pulled out guns and began firing off shots inside the mosque.

I heard the tape myself, yes. I can recognize those who fire guns who are from Hamah. The people of Hamah are just like the Afghans. They are bedouins who do not play around, just like the Afghans.

Anyway, after a while, he disappeared, only to reappear in Damascus. He lived in an apartment, and began to gather and collect weapons. Allahu Akbar – he did not know of something called free time or boredom, and he did not know of fear. He gathered machineguns and grenades. Whenever he would hear of a place in Damascus where there was a grenade available, he would send one of the youth to go purchase it.

At this time, the intelligence was searching for him – ya Salam! – and at this time, I was at the University of Damascus. I was seeking to complete my degree at the university; I got my Bachelor’s in Shari’ah from Damascus, and my Master’s and Doctorate from al-Azhar. While I was standing in the university, a youth – one of Shaykh Marwan’s students – came up to me and said: “Do you wish to see Shaykh Marwan?” I said: “What? Right away!” So, I went to him and entered his residence, and I looked at a face that did not belong to the people of this dunya. It was so pure and strange; the light emanating from his face. The first words he said to me – and he knew me from our days in Palestine – were: “O Abu Muhammad! Do you not long for Paradise?” And this was the last time I ever saw him.

Anyway, the police were searching for him, and what was he doing? Gathering weapons. He was searching for weapons that he could use to get rid of the Nusayris. One day, the intelligence discovered his apartment and surrounded it. Shaykh Marwan had two of his students with him, as well as his wife, with whom he had not yet consummated the marriage. He had said to her: “I do not wish to consummate with you, as I feel that this would prevent me from other things,” so, he remained a virgin. Yes, he married, but did not consummate.

One of his students went down to buy some breakfast for them. He saw the cars waiting outside, so, he retreated. He saw six cars used by the intelligence, waiting. He tried to go back into the apartment building, but they caught him. This youth was carrying a pocketknife – the residents of Hamah usually carry knives in their back pockets – and the car was filled with six intelligence officers. So, his youth stood next to them, pulled out his knife, slaughtered each one of them, then he escaped. The sirens then began going off all over Damascus. The police began chasing him until they finally caught up with him in a building, where he jumped from the third or fourth floor to escape. He managed to get away from them, finally making it to Jordan.

Back to Shaykh Marwan: the police cars began surrounding his apartment building after the Fajr, and they began calling out through the microphone: “O residents of this building! Get out, as there is an Iraqi spy who we wish to arrest!” – at this time, there were disputes between Syria and Iraq. So, Shaykh Marwan grabbed his own microphone (he had his own microphone that he would use to call to prayer), saying: “O intelligence officers! O police! O you who are surrounding the building! We will give you fifteen minutes, and you must leave within these fifteen minutes. After this, we will begin fighting you if you do not leave.” And he actually waited fifteen minutes, and after fifteen minutes, he began with the grenades and machinegun fire. Calls were being made to local police stations, and, eventually, over 1,000 police and intelligence officers were surrounding the house, against Marwan and one other brother with him, along with his wife. They tried entering the building, so, the other brother went down and met them at the entrance with some TNT. They then tried entering from above, landing on the building’s roof with a helicopter – but who would be the brave one to enter first? One thousand against two.

By the time it was afternoon, they were still unable to enter the apartment building. They would fire from below, and he would fire back from above. After the afternoon, they finally entered the apartment. This was the excuse of Shaykh Marwan: he became injured in his hand, rendering it useless. He came out with his head up high. They took along with them his wife, who he had not consummated his marriage with.

The news was relayed to Hafidh al-Asad, who went crazy, as many officers were killed in the process. Hafidh al-Asad said: “I wish to solve this with him personally.” So, he went to him personally, saying to him: “O Marwan! Let us open a new page with each other! Let Allah Forgive what has happened, and we will not take you to account for anything you did, with one condition: that you abandon your weapons.” Marwan replied: “I agree, with one condition: that you assist me in establishing an Islamic state in Syria.” Hafidh al-Asad gathered himself and left the room.

The Military Council gathered, including Naji Jamil – the commander of the Air Force – and Mustafa Tallas was also present, as well as a large group of the Nusayri officers and generals. They came to Shaykh Marwan. He sat down, looked to Naji Jamil and Mustafa Tallas, and said: “Woe to you, you dog, Naji Jamil! Do you think that we will let you live? I made the youth promise that they would start with you, you and Mustafa Tallas. Because of you, you dogs, we have been humiliated by these Nusayris; they violated our honor. As for you, you Nusayri generals, I made the youth promise that they would kill at least 5,000 of you.” Naji Jamil said: “Take this insane man; take him away from me.”

Afterwards, they would bring his wife into the cell next to him, trying to violate her while he was in captivity, and his soul began to tighten. Someone like this, with a free and honorable soul, sees her honor being violated, and he can do nothing about it. He is in captivity.

He lost so much weight that he reached 45 kg (99 lbs), and his weight used to be around 100 kg (around 220 lbs).

He finally died in prison, without anyone knowing whether he was killed or had died a natural death. Towards the end, his veins would not even accept glucose. When he died, they sent to his father to take his body. He asked them: “Did you kill him?” They replied: “No,” and they buried his body in a graveyard in Damascus, with a hundred soldiers guarding his funeral, out of fear that the youth would take his body and demonstrate in Damascus.”
[‘Fi Dhilal Surat at-Tawbah’; p. 21-25]

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