Sunday, April 22, 2007

Day Six: Bilal's Burial

'A's friend brought Bilal's body to his family today, because its dangerous for Sunni men to pick their dead up from the city morgue. They washed his body and prepared it for burial in our house. This might sound morbid to some people, but for me, I feel that my house has been honored by having this shaheed cleansed in it. They prayed the janazah prayer in another neighbor's yard.
Bilal had been in the morgue for three days, but not in a fridge, because the morgue had run out of space. He had no smell coming from him. InshaAllah, that is a sign that he is a shaheed, accepted by Allah. He has a smile on his face. Looks very serene and comfortable. Like he has rested from this world's burdens. I saw his picture. He is beautiful and shining.
His mother is holding up well. She's tough. She told us that she's patient on the outside, but her heart is burnt up on the inside, torn asunder. She told us that when she saw him, she kissed him and told him how much she missed him. She told him, "You don't have to study anymore, your finished with your college studies." And it seemed like he smiled. Then she told him, " And you are a shaheed- a martyr," and it seemed as if he smiled even more. Allahumma taqabbalahu.
They took him to bury him next to his grandfather, in a cemetary near Abu Ghraib- a very dangerous area to travel to now. My husband told me there were masked men with kalashinkovs along the way, with arbitrary check ups set up. My mother in law was afraid for them making this journey, but alhamdulillah, they came back safely. And Bilal was left behind buried under the ground. In a much better place.
I have a picture of his older brother, 'A', sitting near his grave, pondering at the ground. It's such a moving picture. It shakes me to see 'A' so sober, so worn out; 'A' who is always laughing, making jokes.
It's been six days, and the ordeal is finally over. Six hellish days. A week ago we never imagined that a week later we'd be left with broken hearts.

12 comments:

hala_s said...

I was hoping for good news and was so afraid to open your blog...
But it seems nothing absolutely nothing happy comes out of Iraq.
I cannot even recall one pleasant incidence for years and years.
I am sorry, very sorry indeed.
A young innocent life just gone like that.
There are no words of condolences to say. What is happening is beyond words and so sad.
Allah yisaburkum.

Magda said...

Fatima
I never thought it possible that a stranger’s words on a white page in space could ever convey this much unbearable pain and sorrow.
God give you and all his family strength

Artemis said...

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'oon. I read your entries about Bilal a few days ago, and like the first commenter was afraid to return to your blog again, for fear that the news would not be good. If you're in the United States right now, and especially living where you live, you must have heard about the VT tragedy. It really broke a lot of people's hearts because it was so close to home, and Americans could relate to it, even if they didn't know any of the victims. I thought last week about why I felt so sad about the VT victims, but not nearly so sad when I hear about tragedies in Iraq, which occur with greater casualties day after day. I've realized it's because I haven't been able to personalize the stories of the Iraqi victims as I was able to with the tragedy last week. There is not as much media coverage of the innocent lives lost in Iraq--if any at all--and there are no pictures and stories in the various news media to allow us a glimpse into their lives. But your posts about Bilal have done this, they've hit closer to home and they've really touched and saddened my heart. I will keep him in my du'aa inshaAllah, Allah yarhamhu, and may Allah grant patience and ultimately peace to all his family. Wasalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah.

Fatima said...

Thank you, hala, magda and artemis.
Artemis, about the VTech tragedy; you're right, I felt the same way, but in a reversed role. Vtech is not too far from where I live, but I was a little desensitized to it, because of what I've seen in Baghdad on a daily basis. But when I read one of the stories of one of the victims, it touched my heart. But then Bilal's tragedy started, and my heart has been heavy ever since. Jazakillahu khayran.

Anonymous said...

Assalama'laykum fatima,

has been a while since i read your blog. hope things are going well for you amidst all this bad news.

Your posts have been really sad but when I read this post, I could not hold back from bursting out crying. I can't even imagine what you guys must feel being so close to the deceased :-/

I hope to God that Allah accepts him as a martyr and gives you guys LOADS of reward for being patient with these trials.

Naureen

Fatima said...

jazakillahu khayran ya naureen. Ameen! May Allah forgive him and accept him. It's still hard thinking about how he was hunted down, his life bartered for, and then killed. May his killers get their due justice soon, and may his family find patience in this eternal museeba.

Anonymous said...

Dear Fatima, i was refrred to a blog which in turn listed yours....it is with great sadness that i read this. It is a common practice it seems as last year my best Iraqui friend suffered the same when his father was kidnapped....the ransom was paid and he never returned. No body was ever found either.
today i am faced with this yet again as my cousin has been kidnapped in Iraq. negotiations are slow and like a yo-yo..up and down and it has traumatised my family for 11 months. I have even met with one man who claims to have them but he cant provide proof of life...just demanding money. It was difficult facing this man knowing i am helpless and then only to be threatened with my kidnapping as well. Luckily i got out and have retruned home....but with no further advances on my cousin or his colleauges kidnapped in Dec 06. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families and friends. unfortunately i will reamin fairly anonymous for obvious reasons at this time. Ali

Fatima said...

Ali,
I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's father, and about your cousin. It's so hard to not have a body, to never know if they are alive or dead. To not have closure. We were lucky to find Bilal's body, Allah yirhamuh. At the end, when our minds knew he was gone, all his mom hoped for was a body to bury. Alhamdulillah, she got that wish.

About your cousin's situation, if the 'kidnappers' can't give you proof of life, then don't pay anything. Unfortunately, that means they don't have him. I've had at least three close experiences with kidnappings, and in each case, we were given proof of life. So, if they can't do it, then they are liars. In all cases, they are criminals.
I'm so sorry for all the sadness Iraqis are going through these days. May Allah bring happiness and security very soon.
Fatima

Anonymous said...

hi Fatima , this is "Ali" again . Well this guy raised the ransom to $1million on last thursday with a Fri deadline Unfortunately we are a poor family and will have to sell everything we own and our souls to get this type of Money to start with!! The last message I received was that I am obviously not serious in getting my family back alive!! This really hurts deep knowing that the demand is impossible to meet. I feel so helpless and like I have failed my family!! I am trying to figure out in my own mind what type of person actually does this? Kidnaps a loved one; one whom he has never met, one who has done him no harm and probably never will!! If he can just let them free, we will swear before him never to take revenge! Our God has always reminded us of the evils of revenge and never to believe in an eye for an eye!! Do you have the names of any other sites that I may visit or reveal my story? If there is someone out there please let me know
regards and Blessings to all
"Ali"

Aaysha Rheena said...

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun
Am speechless sis, I dont know where to start. Bilal reminds me of my friend, a college student. You brought tears in my eyes. yes indeed, Bilal wont go to college no more because he has won something that no one has ever seen before and no one has ever experience before. May Allah make us all strong to face all His trials and make our eeman even stronger after it, ameen.

Fatima said...

Jazakillahu khayran for your words Aaysha and ameen to them.

Noreen said...

Well said.