By: Irem Ayyub
On 31st of October 2016, eight under trial prisoners were killed by Bhopal Police in a staged encounter. Among them was Mujeeb from Ahmedabad. I happen to visit Mujeeb’s family and here I am expressing my thoughts after meeting the grieved mother.
The word ‘Faqqul Aani’, in Arabic, means to release the prisoners and it has appeared many times in the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Allah commands the believers to strive to release the people who are imprisoned (It is in the context of those who are not convicted of any crime). However, in our society this word “releasing a prisoner” is like a burden. Leave aside striving to release the innocents from the prison, we don’t even talk to the families of those who are imprisoned. We delete the contact details from our phone memory and pretend that we don’t even know the person (however close friend he may be).
We only think of ourselves. We feel that we are safe if we stay away from such people. But, let me remind you, if you remain silent on such situations, others will also remain silent when you are in the firing line. Don’t expect others to raise voice for you when you choose to stay away from them. Today it is on them and tomorrow, for sure, it will be on you.
On 3rd November 2016, I went to meet the family of Mujeeb at Juhapura, Ahmedabad. I was expecting his mother to be very depressed and shaken. But to my surprise, the woman was totally in her sense and when she communicated with me, I was totally stunned. Normally, those who have the knowledge about Islam and have complete faith in Allah show such kind of steadfastness in these situations. Though she doesn’t have much knowledge of Islam - she has never studied the Quran in much detail - she believes that Allah must have planned something better for her and her son.
She used to meet her son four times in a year – At the time of Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, Raksha Bandhan, and Bhai Dooj – the day she went to take her son’s dead body was the day of Bhai Dooj and she was already planning to meet him. She reasoned that her son didn’t break the jail as he always waits for his mother to visit him and the ‘Bhai Dooj’ festival was on the very next day of the so called “Jail-Break” incident. “How can my son do this when he knew that his mother will come to meet him the very next day?” argued the grieved mother.
The saddened mother narrated saying, “When I was sitting outside of Hamidia Hospital while my husband went in to collect the Mujeeb’s body, few women of the local village visited me to express their condolences and said that my son didn’t break the jail. They were taken out of jail and dumped at one place. Then the police team announced in the village saying ‘few terrorists have broken the jail and are hiding in the village’. This made the people to come out of their homes and witness the brutal killing of those eight persons.” She also added saying, “I had to accompany my husband to collect the dead body of my son as there were no one who was willing to go with my husband.”
In a short period of time, as my conversation with her was not too long, she took me to the olden days of Islam where the death of a child for the sake of the deen was the reason of honor for the mother and not the cause of humiliation. She said, “Whatever I know of Islam, I have learnt it from my son Mujeeb.” He changed life style of all family members.
During the entire conversation, which was about one hour, I didn’t see a single tear in her eyes. That is why I say; it is the height of steadfastness. It is very difficult to be patient in this situation. No matter she didn’t flow her tears before me, but surely she uses those tears before Allah. As a helpless mother, she is patient. What else can she do when the Ummah is in the slumber?
Now, is it not our duty to support her? Let’s help her to know the truth behind her son’s killing. Let’s help those families who have lost their sons in this encounter. My dear sisters and brothers, fear Allah… One day you have to stand before Him and answer your deeds. What will you answer when Allah ask you about your role in eradicating oppression in the society? Today it is Mujeeb, tomorrow it could be anyone of us. Let’s join our hands before it’s too late.
Lastly, whether you help her or not, the brave mother has stood up to fight the challenges and know the fact behind her son’s killing so that others may not suffer in such fake encounters.