By: Al Hajj Khair Badshah Zadran
My great Mujahid elder, late Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه), possessed such beautiful hidden traits that only Allah is aware of. I spent approximately 7 years accompanying Mawlawi Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) on his journeys, remaining in his company throughout the period of Jihad & assisting him in maintaining our garrisons. Throughout the Soviet invasion, I accompanied Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) day & night while aiding him as an assistant. In those instances of his life, I have some fond memories.
On the 2nd anniversary of his death, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you a few memoirs including some of the characteristics Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) preserved. Such characteristics that Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) embodied, are those that I believe every political & civilian leader, as well as Jihadi & military commander should possess.
Jihad against the USSR & the conquest of Khost:
After the defeat of the USSR, the fall of the communist regime was inked in history by the late Haqqani Sahib (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه). Khost was the first province in Afghanistan to be conquered by Haqqani Sahib (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه). One could assume that Haqqani Sahib (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) was the cause of the Soviet invasion. The reason being is that he commenced the first coup d’etat against the government of Sardar Dawud Khan on the 27th of April 1978 by taking over the reins of the local government. Six days later, under the command of Haqqani, Maulvi Aziz Khan conquered Ziruk district of Paktika province & seized a large amount of war booty. The offensive was the 1st military engagement against the communist government in Afghan history. This offensive, left the Afghan communists in a state of panic.
Prior to the current uprising, while the U.S. was preparing for the invasion of Afghanistan, a meeting on Afghanistan was held in Bonn, Germany (i.e. “Bonn Conference”).
A BBC reporter asked Haqqani Sahib (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه): “If the Americans invade Afghanistan, what would be your reaction?”
Haqqani Sahib (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) responded: “If the Americans invade Afghanistan, I would engage with the same weaponry that I utilized against the Russians.”
Patience & Perseverance:
Haqqani Sahib (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه), while on the Jihadi path, possessed several qualities such as sincerity, piety, patience & perseverance in hardships & trials which were acknowledged by many, including his fiercest enemies!
An Example for the Ummah:
In addition to his jihadist, political & social acumen, the late Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) sought to ensure that every act of his life such as sleeping, eating, conversing & interaction with the local people, was within the framework of the Islamic Shariah & Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).
He was very meticulous in maintaining the supererogatory prayers. It was customary for Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) to offer 12 rak’ahs of Tahajjud prayer late at night, irrespective of weather conditions or the danger of the enemy or whether he was sleepless or traveling.
He never gave it up!
Hatred for Boasting:
He constantly tried to keep every good deed hidden from the people. Sometimes, I would wake up in the middle of the night & notice Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) prostrating. I would hear a kind of painful voice of humility coming out of his chest. Whenever I heard this voice, I knew that Haqqani Sahib (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) rose for the prayer of Tahajjud.
During the war, he wasn’t concerned with his own safety & often prioritized the safety of his companions. He tried his utmost to protect & provide them with advice as well as address any concerns of his companions. If the Mujahideen were winning or losing a battle, though the battlefield was rough, Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) along with his men would remain, irrespective of the outcome.
Methodology during conquest:
He would often remind his men on the practices of Muhammad (ﷺ) & remind them of the Prophet’s speech to the Sahaba in the battles of Badr & Khandaq.
Caution with war spoils:
He would exercise meticulous care regarding war booty, in that, he would only appoint trustworthy men to distribute. Sometimes, he would choose me to assist with distribution, yet due to his thoroughness, he would be very cautious & fearful by constantly maintaining checks & balances. Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) would often give me a bit of his share out of his compassion & mercy. This was also done so that justice & fairness may be observed in the distribution of spoils.
Attention to Companions in War:
When I was in charge of supplies, he would repeatedly ask me about the Mujahideen’s supplies. Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) would keep constant watch on the provisions of his companions. He often would inquire to make sure that the Mujahideen were adequately supplied.
Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) was a tower of patience & perseverance on the battlefield. He always possessed high morale, maintaining his position on the frontline & taking part in various battles to boost the morale of the Mujahideen.
Haqqani Sahib (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) was noted as very skilled in designing war plans. Indeed, even the military generals of the Karmal administration were inspired by the efforts of Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه). Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) was known for working harder while having less resources at his disposal. Yet, Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) would always rely on Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ).
An American journalist once asked Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه): “If you were the commander of the Karmal government, by what plan would you open the Zadran road (a.k.a. Khost-Gardez road)?”
Haqqani smiled & replied: “Do you want me to give my enemies ideas on how to open up a road that I closed?
Compassion for the mentally challenged & poor:
He loved to assist the mentally challenged, whom we call in the local dialect paglan. Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) loved bringing them along with him & enjoyed their innocence very much. He would do his utmost in assisting & providing for the mentally-ill & the poor.
He was very generous in Jihadi affairs & would always advise his friends, don’t be stingy with the Mujahideen! Give them everything you have!
Don’t save & hoard it! If you do that, I will stop sharing & it may be that Allah will stop sharing with me!
So keep your hands free & give to those in need!
Dealings with locals:
He always talked to the locals, young & old and was very cheerful. Amazingly, he was faster than many of the Mujahideen on foot! He used to hold such gatherings during his journeys, while making sure he would provide lessons to his companions.
Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) constantly monitored his companions & was serious about removing companions if any action would harm the Jihadi rank. If such an action were to harm the Jihadi ranks, he would change his view. Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) would also punish & reward his companions depending on the circumstances. He would not accept anyone’s accusation against a criminal solely, but rather, he would reflect & convince others to not protect criminals & pass the Islamic decision. (In tribal culture, it is customary to protect a close tribal member, however, Haqqani advised not protecting a criminal & bringing them to Justice)
The story of Haqqani Sahib’s younger brother Khalil ur Rahman:
Haqqani Sahib (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) constantly put himself & his relatives on the frontline. Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) didn’t allow permission for his relatives to leave the frontline & visit their loved ones. On November 1981 in Shahi-Kot, there was a garrison where a dispute erupted between Zadran tribesmen. Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) left, along with his companions to Shahi-Kot to solve the dispute. Haqqani Sahib (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) appointed me as the commander of the Shahi-Kot garrison.
We were left with 35 Mujahideen, almost every one of whom had spent approx. 8-9 months in the garrison & had not been home for a long time, including Khalil-ur-Rahman (Haqqani’s younger brother). Yet, at the time, Khalil was newly married, however, he didn’t see his wife. Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه), at the time, did not give permission to Khalil to leave the frontline. When we learned that Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) arrived at the Sarani General Center, I told Khalil that now was a good time for him to go home & see his wife. I also informed him, that we will make excuses on his behalf to his brother, Haqqani Sahib (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه). So Khalil took Haqqani’s horses & said they needed to go home, as an excuse. When Khalil left, we went to the Sarani General Center.
When we met with Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه), he inquired about Khalil’s whereabouts. I said he had take the horses home due to the weather conditions & there was nothing available to feed the horses. Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) then informed that you couldn’t find anyone else to take the horses? At that moment, I was speechless & left the room. Afterwards, Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) did not speak to me for 2 days. Although I made many mistakes before, he never was angered to the point that he would stop speaking to me. Yet on that occasion, Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) was quite upset that I let Khalil go home. If I let other Mujahideen go, Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) would not inquire too much. However, when it came to his family members, he would constantly make sure they were on the front line.
Compassion & Mercy:
Whenever Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) captured a surrendering soldier, he would treat them very well & pardon them. Yet, most commanders of other groups who caught soldiers would have them killed. However, Haqqani on the other hand, would provide them with clothing & assistance, such as dresses, turbans & sandals.
He would say that these soldiers are forcefully conscripted into the communist ranks from their villages, by being banded together & brought into the communist army. He exhorted his companions to make sure POW’s are to be treated well (Afghan soldiers who were communists lacking a foundation in Deen, Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) would focus on providing them with Dawah)
Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) would even give some of the POW’s a weapon of his own with the intention of jihad. Thus, the wisdom of this idea would be revealed, perhaps, Allah (سبحانه وتعالىٰ) will make great use of them in the path of Jihad. Indeed, some of those soldiers who are now alive, who read my writing, will surely agree & testify to this experience & its success. Such methods of treatment is what distinguished Haqqani (رَحْمَةُ الله عليه) from other Mujahideen in other groups.