Abu Ja'far Al-Yamani
Imagine the person of Shaheed Abu Ja'far - a ferocious commander, whose bravery would make lions look meek, whose very name struck terror into the enemy, who knew no retreat and no defeat, and who, in his life, had become a legend of courage throughout Chechnya … what would he look like? Imagine! Do you see a well-built, tall, and muscular man with a loud commanding voice? If you do, know that you are dead wrong! If looks can be deceiving, that was surely the case with Shaheed Commander Abu Ja'far Al-Yamani. Like the nephew of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the "Door of knowledge", the "Lion of Allah", Ali bin Abu Taalib, Commander Abu Ja'far was short-statured; like the blessed companion of the Prophet, the great scholar and mujahid, Abdullah bin Mas'ud, he was slender of figure; and like the great General, the conqueror of Shaam, "The Ameen of the Ummah", Abu Ubayda bin Jarrah, he took nothing of the comforts of the dunya, and was so humble that people, upon meeting him, couldn't believe that he was the legendary figure they had heard about. Not only did Abu Ja'far have some physical resemblance to these men, he also took their other qualities: indomitable courage and intelligence, a great love for religious knowledge, and an exemplary character. Such was Shaheed Commander Abu Ja'far Al-Yamani - reminding us of the verse of the Qur'an:"Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and falling prostrate (in worship), seeking bounty from Allah and (His) acceptance…"
We pray that Allah accepts Abu Ja'far's martyrdom and places him in the company of the prophets, the noble companions, and the other martyrs in the highest levels of Paradise (aameen).A source of destruction, a symbol of terror
For Russians that surely was Abu Ja'far.
If you were to see him, a short, slender man
But within him was power, the strength of Eeman.
This power did surface during his attack
The faith and the courage that Russians did lack
He was good at business, the best deal he chose,
He sold all his comfort, desires, and rose…
Up high to the level where he also sold.
His soul to His Lord, more worthy than gold…
More worthy than all on the earth and within,
So Allah was generous and bought it from him.
O Abu Ja'far, courageous commander!
Your soul is now free to roam and to wander.
May Allah Have Mercy and shower His Love,
On you, in high stations of Heaven above. Personal and Family Background:
Abu Ja'far was from Yemen, the land honored by the prophet (s). He was born around the year 1380(H) and grew up in Al-Ta'if in Saudi Arabia. He later moved to Yemen, and subsequently went to Jihad. The lion-hearted Abu Ja'far was so short statured that when he stood amongst the Mujahideen, he barely reached their shoulders. He had a wheatish complexion with an unmistakable beard. He was very calm, quiet, extremely shy, and was seen constantly smiling. When he laughed, his voice didn't rise. Along with these qualities, he was a very serious and practical man.
We knew him as a man who loved Jihad - his heart filled with a burning desire to serve his religion. By Allah's Grace, he was not the only one in his family to have this zeal. Allah blessed him with a noble sister, who played a key role in his participation in Jihad.His Special Sister:
His sister was the one who paid for all his expenses related to Jihad. She sold all of her jewelry and paid for his preparation and trip from her money. Can we find similar women nowadays? Can we find such men? Abu Ja'far asked one of his poet brothers to write a poem thanking his sister. The poet symbolized Abu Ja'far talking to his sister and saying [paraphrased into English from the original Arabic version]:Some feelings expressed, more have I in store,
For you, they're like perfumes and roses so pure.
I wonder, my sister, so gracious, so shy.
Will I ever see you? With tears in my eye…
I tell you that I will forget you not ever,
The love that I have for you, end it will never.
To you do I owe this chance and this blessing,
To serve The AlMighty, through your offering.
You won my respect, when it was only you,
Who did what none else was willing to do.
Through your sacrifice am I here today,
So count on my help, for a difficult day.
You pushed my heart and my soul for Jihad,
You did fulfil your role for Jihad.
You kept your promise, so firm and strong,
May Allah protect you from all that is wrong!
O Fatima, if I don't see you again,
Don't cry, do not worry, do not feel pain.
For with the Will of the One in Control,
We will meet in Paradise - that is our goal!
Commander Abu Ja'far had married and it was very important to him that his wife earned Arabic. He demanded that she would speak to him in no language other than Arabic. Once she prepared some food and forgot and said the word "eat" in Russian. He got upset, refused to eat, and left the house for sometime. She thus learned Arabic extremely well. This was because of such carefulness on his behalf - may Allah have mercy upon him. Islamic Knowledge:
Abu Ja'far had memorized the Quran in his early days and studied some Islamic jurisprudence. One of his teachers was Shaikh Muqbil (Rahimahullah). However, his heavy involvement in the constant fighting took up most of his time, causing him to forget some of the Qur'an. Commander Abul-Waleed says "He told me that he planned to re-memorize it during the following Ramadan because he had forgotten the majority of it. And he did memorize half of it during Ramadan, 1421(h)."
Religious education was extremely important to Abu Ja'far. In some cases, he gave religious advice to other Mujahideen. Before he embarked on any journey for battle, he reminded his troops of Allah and the great rewards waiting for them. He himself usually got very moved by his words. He always spoke greatly of his Mujahideen brothers and remembered their sacrifice in the sake of Allah.Military Training:
Abu Ja'far had learned and perfected the use of the Haon. During the first Chechen war, when he was in the Khattab battalion, he was given the responsibility of using this rocket launcher. During the second war, he truly mastered it and slaughtered many Russians using it.
Along with religious knowledge, he considered military training to be extremely important. Thus, when the first war ended, he took on the responsibility of leading the training camp. He used to ask the educated Mujahideen to give lectures and lessons. If they were late, or if they excused themselves, he would get angry with them and used to say "Allah has entrusted you with spreading your knowledge, so do so." When the second war started, the Khattab unit got bigger, thus, the unit was broken into smaller units and new commanders were appointed. Abu Ja'far was recognized by his brothers for being the best in behaviour, patience, and command, and after the martyrdom of commander Hakeem, he was appointed as commander of a unit. Eventually, Abu Ja'far became a member of the Mujahideen Military Command Council.An Excellent Teacher:
Abu Ja'far was a great teacher. He would regularly inspect his unit, which primarily consisted of Arabs, Chechens, and Azerbaijans. If he would find remains of sugar on the ground, he would punish the guilty unit by not issuing them sugar for sometime. Similarly, if he would find breadcrumbs, he would say "How can you waste food when there are brothers who can't find anything to eat?"
He used to train the young men to command. He would meet with them and take their opinions, even in the case of the very new Mujahideen with no experience. Pointing at the map, he would ask "If we find the Russians here, should we attack from over there? How should we plan the attack?" He encouraged others to speak their ideas then discuss them. He would assign some to go out to gather intelligence and others to execute a mini-operation.
He always simplified problems and he would assign a responsibility in a simple way. He would say "You go with such and such group, you do so and so, and if you find the Russians, you kill them and Allahu-Akbar". That was his style. His soldiers used to be surprised with how simple he made things and as a result, they learnt to be good commanders. He would assign responsibilities; one would be responsible for rations (which is one of the most difficult ones), another would be responsible for ammunition, a third for something else. His unit seemed like a bee hive in efficiency even though he would not spend a lot of time with the Mujahideen in his unit because of his other responsibilities such as strategic planning and commanders' meetings.The Abu Ja'far Unit - Unit of the Courageous Martyrs:
Soon after its establishment, Abu Ja'far's unit became famous for bravery. The majority of the young Arabs desired his unit. Whenever there were changes, they always asked Allah to be put in Abu Ja'far's unit. The majority of the Arab martyrs came from his unit. One of his soldiers had a dream once that Abu Ja'far was driving a bus along the airport strip in Argun with his unit in the bus. Abu Ja'far started driving fast, and eventually, the bus took off heading towards heaven. We ask Allah to accept them all. At the time of this dream, the following Mujahideen were in his Argun unit and eventually earned martyrdom:
Abdullah (Al-Quds, Palestine)
Abu Habib Al-Qosaimy
Abul-Munthir (United Arab Imarets)
Abu Ubaidah (Yemen)
Abu Huthaifah (Egypt)
Abu Hamzah (Yemen)
Abu Malik (Yemen)
Ibad (Najd, Saudi Arabia)
Abu Saeed Al-Sharqi
Abu Dujanah (Yemen)
Abu Hafs (Egypt)
Abu Sumaiah (Najd, Saudi Arabia)
Abu Dhur (Ta'if, Saudi Arabia)
Abu Asim (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Abu Abdul-Aziz (Yemen)
Commander Abu Ja'far had married and it was very important to him that his wife earned Arabic. He demanded that she would speak to him in no language other than Arabic. Once she prepared some food and forgot and said the word "eat" in Russian. He got upset, refused to eat, and left the house for sometime. She thus learned Arabic extremely well. This was because of such carefulness on his behalf - may Allah have mercy upon him.The Kind-Hearted Shepherd:
Abu Ja'far was very kind and gentle with the Mujahideen - especially with those poor and weak Mujahideen who came from Uzbekistan. Relatively speaking, the Arab and Chechen Mujahideen have support and help from people in their home countries. As for the Uzbeks, they had no support from their home country. Once an Uzbek Mujahid eanted to marry, so he went to Abu Ja'far, who solicited help from other commanders and was able to assist him and buy him new clothes.
Abu Ja'far's caring and kindness was also evidenced during the withdrawal operation from Grozny. His unit was assigned to meet and support the withdrawing Mujahideen in some of the villages. Abu Ja'far was found running around non-stop serving them, as the majority of the Mujahideen were sick and they were all exhausted. That first day, he did not sleep at all, until it was 10:00 the next day. He even nursed the Mujahideens' feet which had gotten very swollen from the walking. One Mujahid says "Once during the winter, we had a very tough day and couldn't get to sleep until around 10:00pm. Everyone was exhausted. I happened to wake up around 12:30 and found Abu Ja'far talking to Khattab. The discussion went on for a long time. Khattab wanted Ja'far to wake up his unit and move. Ja'far said "That is fine but the men need to rest a little more." Khattab would then say, "They have rested enough," but Ja'far kept insisting "They are extremely tired and need some more rest". When Khattab left, I saw Ja'far lie down to sleep. Being unable to sleep, he got up after a short while, made Wudu, prayed two Rak'ahs, then started the car and went to get a head start on next day's preparation for his unit.
Abu Ja'far truly cared for the Mujahideen, never forgetting anyone's need. Once, a Mujahid needed boots. After a while, Abu Ja'far brought him a pair and did not forget. Once I asked him for a special rifle. About three weeks later, and after I had forgotten, he received a batch of new weapons and was handing them out. He called me and gave me what I wanted.
Abu Ja'far was very selfless and always placed others before himself. He made sure others ate before him and others had clothes before he did. Once the command issued new uniforms and he was one of the last ones who got his. Once we had to stay in the forests during the rainy season. The forests are at their worst during this time. The rain pours heavily, making the round muddy and slippery, and not to mention, a fire cannot be started either. Once the command gave out comfortable waterproof tents. They were wonderful to sleep in. They felt as comfortable as a hotel room. The Mujahideen entered the tents filling them up to the point where there was no place left for Abu Ja'far. Even though he was the commander, instead of asking his men to make room for him, he went to a nearby area with a couple of other Mujahideen and attached plastic tarp to tree limbs and slept. His selflessness is reminiscent of the noble companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, who are praised by Allah for such acts as follows:
"…They prefer them (their brothers in faith) over their own persons, even though they, themselves, may be in need. And whoever is saved from his own avarice, such are they who are successful." [59:9]Humble and Respectful:
Another exemplary quality of Abu Ja'far was his humility. Being a commander, he himself deserved to be honoured, but he always honoured and praised others instead. This was most notable in the case of those who had been his commanders. At different times, he had been commanded by Khattab, Hakeem (may Allah have mercy upon him), Yakoob, and Abul-Waleed. When one of his commanders visited the base, Ja'far would always walk behind them and if a Mujahid came and asked for anything -- even a bullet-- he would tell him, ask the commander (meaning the higher-ranking visitor). Even if he would be in the middle of talking and directing his troops and if a commander of a higher rank would walk in, he would stop talking and take a step back as if he were a common soldier.
His would not take credit for his achievements. He would plan and command an operation, but when asked to give the details, he would say "The brothers planned and did so and so".
When our talk was on honor, the subject respect. Your example, O Ja'far, we'd always select.
The Mujahideen who knew him all agreed that he never directly asked anyone to do anything for him. He could be surrounded with other Mujahideen yet when he needed a glass of water, he would get up and get it himself. And despite all of the responsibilities and demands of his position, he always took care of his own business, even during the battles and in the forests. For example, despite his high rank and busy schedule, he always washed his own clothes. Not only did he not order, but he never even allowed anyone to do his washing for him.
Another one of Allah's gifts to him was an amazing sixth sense. Once he woke up from sleep worried. He contacted the Mujahideen intelligence and found out that there was a Russian advance. Another time, the same thing happened but he was much more worried. He then learned there was also an advance and some Mujahideen were wounded.The Lion-Hearted Leopard:
Abu Ja'far was amazingly bold and courageous. Once, Sheikh Abu Umar Had remarked,
"In my opinion, this man should not be given command because I fear that he is too bold". He also used to say about Abu Ja'far, "The flames of the battles he leads are very hot".
He had terrorized the Russians and instilled a great fear in their hearts. Once on the Sergen-Yurt front, the Mujahideen intercepted the Russians' transmissions and heard them saying: "We have soldiers along the Sergen-Yurt front, and … and … and they are being confronted by a unit in the mountains that we estimate to be 25,000, commanded by General Ja'far". At that time, Abu Ja'far's unit was less than 140 Mujahideen. So much was his reputation for bravery and courage, that when some Chechen civilians met him for the first time and noticed his small stature, they couldn't believe what they saw and jokingly questioned "YOU are General Ja'far?"
Due to his courageousness, members of his unit reported never feeling afraid during an attack in which Abu Ja'far was also present. One Mujahid tells the following story:
"He did not know the term "withdraw" and if we absolutely had to do so, he would be the absolute last one. During the battle of Eid (documented in Russian Hell in 2000), he was in the operation of Argun and I was in his unit when we were preparing an ambush along
the Gudremes road. The ambush started at 7:45 am when a convoy consisting of 10 armoured vehicles and a BTR arrived. At that point, Abu Ja'far gave the order to begin. By Allah's grace, our shots hit the vehicles head on and burnt all of them. The Russians sent reinforcements consisting of one armoured vehicle and about 15 soldiers. My brother Imad and myself engaged the reinforcements. When Abu Ja'far heard the shooting, he came running and said "Allow me to join you and get some reward". He joined us in shooting them while about half his body was showing to the enemy. For about two hours, he kept on moving from one fox hall to another assisting the Mujahideen and killing off the remaining Russians. Allah blessed us with killing the majority of them and wounding others. More Russian reinforcements arrived. This time, it was three vehicles and about 45 soldiers. We engaged them from 10:00am until about 2:30pm. Abu Ja'far was consistently in the front and only came back to take some grenades from others and move forward to toss them at the Russians. Allah blessed us with a strong showing that day and we kept on killing them until we heard them yelling "Mommy" and "Help". After it was over, Abu Ja'far left the fox hall to kill off the injured and put them out of their worldly misery - only to be met with more after death. At that point, we could not believe what we saw. More reinforcements arrived, consisting of more than twenty six tanks, BMP's, and URALs full of soldiers. When we saw them, our voices raised with ALLAHU-AKBAR and LA ILAHA ILLA ALLAH. We really felt that our hearts reached our throats as Allah described in the Quraan. None of us thought that we would survive that surprise attack. A brother next to me said "What do we do?" I responded, "Remember Allah and ask Him to bestow steadfastness upon you". Another brother came and asked the same thing adding that the majority of the brothers have already left and that we should do the same. I said "We don't move until we get the command from the commander". For a while, I wasn't sure what to do. I left my fox hall and found Abu Ja'far saying to the brothers "Have fear of Allah and be steadfast". They came back. As for Abu Ja'far, he was running around in the battlefield and managed to burn 10 vehicles using some of their own diesel. Eventually, I withdrew with an injured brother. Four brothers stayed with Abu Ja'far and he was the last to leave the battlefield."Beloved to the Believers: "Indeed, those who believe and do good deeds, the Beneficent will appoint for them, love."
The Mujahideen under his command, as well as the Chechens all really loved Abu Ja'far, to the point where his name had become a household name in the country. Once he was among six Mujahideen in the forest and fell into a Russian ambush. A Mujahid of his unit, Abul-Muthanna, was fatally shot. Such was his love for Abu Ja'far, that, even on his
'death-bed', lying in a pool of his own blood, he was heard saying "Oh Allah, protect Abu Ja'far".
One of the Mujahideen reports the following incident:
"One night, I mistakenly left my unit and subsequently got lost. I kept going from one village to the next looking for my unit and trying to avoid the people. I met an elderly woman and finally decided to ask her. I started talking to her in very broken Russian. Her son appeared and realized that I was an Arab Mujahid. He asked me which unit I belonged to? I answered: Ja'far. His face lit up with happiness and he insisted on carrying my rifle for me and was very generous with me. He asked me about Ja'far and I told him he was injured at the time. He was very moved and I could see genuine sadness on his face. He did not leave me until he took me back to the Mujahideen."
Abu Ja'far had not only left the life of worldly ease and comfort for Jihad, he also took his full share of the reward of being injured and suffering hardships in the path of Allah. He got very sick a number of times and was wounded on several other occasions. Abu Ja'far was once shot in his right wrist (during the ambush in which Abul Muthanna was martyred), which hurt him for a while, especially when he ate. On another occasion, he was shot in his left arm, and on a third, he was shot in his back.
Finally, Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala released Abu Ja'far from this worldly prison, and took him insha'Allah as a martyr into the folds of His Infinite Mercy. He joined the caravans of martyrs on Saturday 2/18/1422 (H). On that fateful day, he had left with the engineers to plant some landmines along a road commonly used by the Russians. While planting one of them, it exploded, killing him and Abu Bakr (Turkey) and a third Chechen Mujahid. We ask Allah to accept them all as martyrs in the highest place in Paradise (aameen). The kind-hearted Shepherd
Through his acts a preacher,
A truly great teacher,
Beloved, no wonder!
Never of himself,
Always thinking of others.
Running here and there,
Busy serving his brothers.
Fulfilling their needs,
And amassing good deeds,
His own status he raised,
Like those Allah has praised.
Not surprising indeed,
Allah chose him Shaheed.
From this prison released.
With him Allah be pleased!
The kind-hearted Shepherd,
Whose name did cast terror,
Within those in error.
Instilled in them fear,
Whether far or near.
He knew no retreat
And never defeat.
Him no one could scare,
They could not even dare.
Like a solid rock, wall.
He was for them all.
Holding on to His rope.
A legend of courage,
A beacon of hope.
Not surprising indeed,
Allah chose him Shaheed.
From this prison released.
With him Allah be pleased!