Some of the Tales of Patience & Victory
By His Eminence Sheikh Dr. Akram Barakat *
During the brutal Zionist aggression against Lebanon in July 2006, His Eminence Sheikh Akram Barakat was on a special mission to Syria.
The mission covered more than one dossier, including following up on the issue of the displaced. He was keen on looking after the people of resistance in the home of the resistance. His Eminence took honorable stances that must be recorded, remembered and used as a lesson. He chose to talk to Al-Ahed news about some of those. They begin with the following:
They will triumph, not the Ummah
In the middle of the July 2006 war, the decision was made to meet His Eminence Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Said al-Bouti.
Sheikh al-Bouti’s home in Damascus was not on the ground floor. It was a few stories higher. So it was necessary to climb an old staircase in a small building. We didn’t have to take the stairs because there was no electricity. There was no power outage – the sort we are used to in Lebanon. But we took the stairs because there was no elevator in that building.
Sheikh al-Bouti and one other gentleman received me in his small, modest reception room, welcoming me with his usual smile. One of his sons was with him. He had inherited his father’s kind features and calmness.
I began by thanking him for his supportive attitude towards the resistance, which stems from the purity of the heart and foresight. I made a distinction between him and the Saudi Sheikh Ibn al- Uthaymeen, who at that time forbade prayers for the resistance. The sheikh told me about his position on Shia Muslims as a Sunni scholar who was committed to what he believes. He surprised me when he asked: Do Shiites have a special project contrary to what they declare, as many claim, and therefore their motive does not stem from loyalty to Allah Almighty?
Suddenly the voice of the sheikh shuddered. His facial features changed, and as if talking to himself aloud, he said: Is it possible that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is unfaithful?
Is it right for me – a person sitting comfortably on this couch – to be wondering about his sincerity, while he is now on the battlefield?
I wonder where Sayed Hassan is now?
The old sheikh started crying, shedding tears. His son had to intervene to calm him down from that sincere, innate and emotional outburst.
But the Sheikh continued his speech. Shedding tears, with the hoarseness in his voice and the trembling of his slim body, he said, "Oh, how I wish I was one of Sayyed Hassan’s fingers!"
I do not know! Perhaps during his speech, he remembered Sayyed’s finger that gave the latter power while moving it during the Takbeer of Ihram [the utterance of Allahu akbar in prayer]. This power made the enemy tremble when he [Sayyed Nasrallah] waves his finger during his speeches. This finger is the Finger of Tawheed, the finger of threat, the finger of Tawalli and the finger of Tabbari. It is the finger of eminence and beauty.
The old scholar was not satisfied with mere words, but expressed his wish to meet Sayyed in a special meeting to kiss the grip of power, which is purified by the ablution of the knowledgeable, and the hand holding the sword that is defending the nation.
"Since the beginning of this war, I have traveled to Homs to meet one of the righteous awliya. I asked him to pray for the resistance in Lebanon. He replied: O Sheikh Said, since the beginning of this war, I have been repeating a special prayer for the victory of the resistance. Rejoice Sheikh Said. They will triumph, and not the Ummah,” Sheikh al-Bouti continued saying while shedding sincere tears.
After that, we bid the old Sheikh farewell. He made us feel ashamed because he refused to bid us farewell from his home. He walked us to the car despite his old age and his great stature, not to mention the added difficulty of going up and down the stairs without an elevator.
This was the degree of his morality. This is his love for Sayyed. The latter was deeply affected when I told him what happened in Damascus.
When I heard about the martyrdom of Sheikh al-Bouti while giving a religious lesson in a mosque, I was not surprised. After all, martyrdom suits him.
From Sayyed Hassan to Sayyed Hassan
A Syrian woman in her 70s went to a center for the Islamic Resistance Support Association. She opened her bag and took out a large swath of money in Syrian currency. She gave it to the representative of the Association, saying: "This is a donation for the Islamic Resistance."
The representative was surprised by this amount of money, as the woman did not look rich. He could not help himself and asked her the reason behind her donation. She replied confidently and calmly: "Today I received my full pension, and I came to donate it to the resistance. It deserves it more than me."
The representative of the association was surprised by what she said. That act made him emotional as he listened to her near the blessed Sayyeda Zainab shrine. Holding his pen, he asked the honorable lady: "Would you kindly tell me your name so I can write it down on the receipt of the donation?"
She replied with pride: “Write, From Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.”
Our women are in the service of your women
I was contacted by a Syrian deputy from the People's Council. He asked me to come to one of the buildings in al-Sham. He mentioned that these buildings were allocated for the families of the Mujahideen in the Islamic Resistance.
I arrived with the deputy and toured a new building, which was equipped with modern furniture. To my surprise, a cinema was set up, a cafeteria filled with things children love, and a prayer room equipped with clay tablets [Turbah] for prostration [sajda].
The ‘Sunni’ deputy carried the sajda tablet towards me and asked: Are these good?
What surprised me more is what I saw next-door to that building. There was a small playground for children. Alongside it was a Shawarma restaurant.
As we left the building, I noticed a few buses. The deputy told me that they were in the service of the Mujahideen’s families whenever they wished to travel to Damascus.
I thanked the deputy, asking him to convey my thanks to the person who came up with this idea and kind initiative. His answer was: This initiative is the least we can do for the families of the Mujahideen who are fighting the “Israeli” enemy in Lebanon and defend the whole nation. We hope to make the children of the Mujahideen and their wives comfortable, including in matters related to services. We do not want the wives of the Mujahideen to tire themselves, so "our women will serve the women of the men of God."
I am one of those women
Hours after the resounding victory of the July war, the Iranian ambassador to Damascus called me to ask me to attend a political celebration in the Syrian capital on the occasion of this divine victory. I arrived to the hall and found that it was filled with diverse political figures from more than one Arab and Islamic country.
His Eminence Sheikh al-Akhtari, the veteran Iranian Ambassador, informed me of the program of the celebration. The program included a speech by the Minister of Awqaf in Syria and another by the General Mufti. He asked me to speak on behalf of the Islamic Resistance and the Islamic Republic of Iran. I thought quickly about what was appropriate to say in this forum, and I thought that the speech should be about the culture of the resistance, which is what made this great divine victory possible. During my speech, I recalled some of the moments I experience in al-Sham with the beloved Syrian people during the war. One of the things I mentioned was my aforementioned exchange with the Syrian deputy who told me: "We do not want the wives of the Mujahideen to tire themselves, so our women will serve the wives of the resistance fighters."
When the ceremony ended, many of the attendees came to congratulate me. One of the attendees was a middle-aged woman. She told me with tears in her eyes: "I am a deputy in the Syrian People's Council. And I was one of those women you spoke about. I had the honor of serving the wives of the resistance fighters."
* Cultural Assistant to Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah