[This article was published in the 21st issue of Nida'ul Islam
magazine (), December-January 1997-1998]

PRISONS: The Dwelling of Our Scholars

So that our Ummah does not forget these mighty heros... and so that the sheikhs and scholars can be decorated with the attributes of the hard working devout scholars... So that their story will speak for them as upholders of Truth, we offer this report..


Introduction
Sheikh Abu Talal Al-Qasimy, Infatuated With the Pen and the Spear
Mohammad Masood: Pakistan's Mujahid Scholar
The Mujahid Sheikh Safar Al-Hawaly
The Mujahid Sheikh Salman Al'Awdah
Torture in the Saudi Prisons - As Related by a Muslim Prisoner


Sheikh Abu Talal Al-Qasimy,
Infatuated With the Pen and the Spear


By Sheikh Abu Ithar

Sheikh Abu Talal is the exemplary model of a Muslim, the enlightened author, the educator, the orator.

Abu Talal Al-Qasimy was infatuated with knowledge from a very young age. He had made great effort with good intellectual results in his high school studies. He then enrolled in the Engineering Faculty of the University of Al-Minya, where -as was the situation with all the Egyptian universities in the seventies- Islamic revival was beginning to increase throughout the country. Although this revival was still young, it was strong from its inception. The revival saw the youth confronting sin and evil with their words and their hands where required, driven to this by sweet faith which rested in willing pure hearts, and by minds which had found their missing elements after leading an astray and confused life. This was a time when all the leftist and secular ideologies had declared their bankruptcy and failure.

There was an exponential growth to the Islamic groups in Egyptian universities despite their clear distinction from other groups in existence at that time. This growth moved Al-Qasimy with hope and great expectations. Then came the social change within the universities at the hands of the Muslims, to find a brave and capable person with a daring fearless heart; Abu Talal is famous for all these attributes.

The man was to quickly immerse himself in a life of strong adherence to his faith. His religious upbringing played a major role in preparing him for this path. His strong memory, oratory skills, eloquence, and personality which won him the love and support of his colleagues made this effort very easy for him.

He became the leader of the Jama'a Islamia in his faculty, then became an Amir of the Jama'a for Al-Minya University during the years 1979 to 1981. At that time, the universities of Sa'eed had united under the leadership of one Shura council headed by Dr Najeh Ibrahim. Talat was chosen to be one of the members of this select council. At that time, the Muslim Brotherhood were able to reinstate their influence with some of the student leaders after their release from prison. Some of them were serving lengthy sentences including life sentences after the oppressive trials during the Naserite regime. They were keen to return to Islamic work through the university groups after their release from prison as these groups had won the affection of people. They looked to transform the movement to a public tide which will stretch beyond the walls of the university.

Al-Qasimy had a big role in preserving the Salafi direction of the Jama'a Islamia inside Al-Minya University at a time when the old leadership of the Jama'a had united some of the university mosques with the Brotherhood. Al-Qasimy also attempted to convince Jama'a leaders who had joined with the brotherhood to change their mind, however, it was too late at that stage.

On the 5th of September 1981, when Sadat had issued his emergency measures, Al-Qasimy was confined to his bed with his leg in gypsum. He was therefore unable to leave his home despite the news of these measures reaching him througone of the sympathizing government officers, who sent a letter warning the Jama'a leaders that they will be arrested within a few days. Whilst many of the leaders went into hiding, Al-Qasimy remained in his place until he was arrested. Through this event, Allah had Destined for him a different course, as his being in prison when Sadat was assassinated led to a reduced sentence to seven years. Otherwise, he would have been included in the charge of assassination as a member of the Shura council of the Jama'a.

After his release from prison, Al-Qasimy did not waste any time in returning to his role of inviting people to Allah, and to involve himself in youth care issues throughout Egypt. Al-Qasimy was arrested again within a few months from his release, and whilst being transferred between prisons, he escaped leaving his personal bag with his guard who did not think that Al-Qasimy would flee without it.

Al-Qasimy was able to prepare travel documents using a different identity so that he could leave Egypt, whilst praying for the day when Egypt would be liberated from the grip of the despots to become a happy place.

He had made an appointment with Jihad in the path of Allah, and over there, on Afghan land, he embraced the rifle. This was his hope and his dream, so he began gathering his brethren from the width and breadth of the land adamant to return to Egypt one day as liberators. Raf'at AlMahjoub, the famous apostate writer, met his end at the hands of one of those youths. They performed an operation which astonished the entire world, and dazzled the minds of the regime.

From Afghanistan came the first roving magazine which was written in the name of the Jama'a Islamia. Abu Talal chose for this magazine the name "Al-Murabeton." He would write most of it, he would give it with his blood beautiful eloquence, his writing had a secret which made it reach the hearts and made it readily acceptable to them.

When the situation changed in Afghanistan, Abu Talal felt compelled to leave. He stopped by several countries looking for a base for his message until he settled in Denmark, where he obtained political asylum. Through his presence, he began to expand his call until he became the most recognised scholars there, despite the fact that there were others there who had preceded him in these efforts. Through a clever maneouver, this ambitious man was able to produce the first Islamic television program through which he was able to put forward the ideology of the Jama'a Islamia in Egypt. Through this program Sheikh Abu Talal was able to clarify the outlook of the Jama'a and its reformative programs in their purity without the fabrications of the official media which had given it a bad name.

It was not unexpected that the evil regimes would conspire together to kidnap him - five secret service organisations from around the world worked together to organise his disappearance. If they have killed him, then we pray to Allah to immortalise him with the martyrs, and if he is alive, then we pray for his speedy release.


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