An American Born Shaheed (Martyr), Abu Adam Jibreel
The inspiring story of a martyr in Kashmir.
Posted: 26 Safar 1422, 20 May 2001
I decided to write this as a reminder for myself and my brothers and sisters. If we see the present day examples of people following the way of our salaf in word and action it will only strengthen us to continue striving and cause us to see the lofty and high stations of Allah's beloved as not being unattainable and out of reach.
"All I want is shahadah in Kashmir. I don't want to be famous or well known." Those were the words of Abu Adam Jibreel al Amreekee as we walked around the center in Muridke, Pakistan. As we strolled around the giant masjid and school and looked at the horses at the horse stable we talked of the difficulties in training and jihad in general. Abu Adam was only nineteen years of age when he went to the killing fields of occupied Kashmir.
Born into a considerably wealthy family in Atlanta Georgia, Abu Adam had always excelled in most of his activities as a child. He used to go with his family to Ebenezer Baptist church, the church of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was known even before he accepted Islam to be a kind and caring person.
He would always try to excel at everything he did. At the age of sixteen, he even skydived. Allah in his infinite mercy saw something good in Abu Adam, so he had placed in his heart a desire to seek the truth as he was not completely satisfied with Christianity as a religion. He used to gather and read books on Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and other religions around the world. It was after his search for the truth that Allah the most High expanded his heart and guided him to Islam, Alhamdulillah.
Born into a considerably wealthy family in Atlanta Georgia, he first accepted Islam and then he accepted Shahadah.
Abu Adam was known to frequent the west end masjid in Atlanta, the masjid of Imam Jamil al-Amin, who is incarcerated for a crime he did not commit (even after the real assailant has now admitted guilt) and may Allah free him. He was known to keep to himself and read a lot. At this time he was still keeping dreadlocks as he was new to Islam and didn't know about its prohibition.
After graduating high school he left Atlanta to go to college in Durham, North Carolina about four hours away. It would be in Durham that he would gain a more detailed understanding of Islam and the reality of the situations faced in many of the Muslim lands.
Indeed Allah the most High had blessed Abu Adam with good companionship in Durham that he benefited from very much. It was with them that he learned the aqeedah of the Muslims in detail and it was with them that he learned the sunnah.
It was in this environment that Abu Adam began to read about the affairs of Muslims in places such as Bosnia, Burma, Kashmir, and Chechyna. He became very concerned about the oppression of his brothers and sisters and wanted to do something about it. It was at this crucial juncture of Abu Adam's development that he dropped out of college and began to prepare for the journey that most never think about- much less prepare for: Jihad.
The burning desire to wage jihad against the enemies of Allah soon overtook Abu Adam and thus he began a program of training to prepare himself for the extremely difficult battle conditions. Perhaps we may pay heed and take benefit from his program.
Abu Adam began to spend more and more time in the masjid. He would increase in his voluntary prayers and fasting. He began to read the Qur'an daily and memorize supplications of the Prophet for every occasion. He also began to lengthen his Salat and tried to build up his khushuu' (submissiveness and humility). Abu Adam even cut back on food and drinks and his amount of sleep so as to get himself ready for the hardships of jihad. May Allah have mercy on Abu Adam. He realized that jihad is directly connected to the tarbiyah (spiritual cultivation) of the person.
The preparation of Abu Adam for jihad was not relegated to the spiritual side alone. He also undertook physical preparation in the form of running, exercise and military tactics. He went one day to an army surplus store and bought a pair of danners. For those of you who do not know, danners are very heavy and very tough military and hunting boots that feel like a ton when worn. Abu Adam would run only in these boots, and he would refuse to wear running shoes. It was reported that he used to tie a long rope around his waist with a cinder block tied to the end running in this manner for conditioning.
Allah had also blessed Abu Adam with brothers in his area with prior military experience. He benefited greatly from one who was a former U.S. army ranger, the rangers being a group of elite forces in the U.S. army. After months of spiritual and physical training he was ready. In November of 1997 he went to Kashmir.
Abu Adam began his training in Ramadan of 1997 with the mujahideen of Lashkar Taiba. He chose to train at the hardest time of the year mid winter.
I firmly believe that the more difficulties you go through in training, the more barakah your training will have. The mujahid will go through things in the course of training that purify him as the gold is purified by the fire. He will sometimes go through things that cause him to say, "Ya Allah! You know that this is for You alone and I only go through this extreme difficulty for Your sake. If You do not help me I will not be able to continue!"
Oh Muslims, in order for you to grasp the intense hardships and trials that those like Abu Adam must go through you must understand the following facts:
Abu Adam opted for the intense training in winter while at the same time fasting. Abu Adam was known to carry extra weight and march on no matter what. He trained and remembered the promise of Allah, "If you help Allah, Allah will help you and make your feet firm." He would always try harder and make frequent du'a to Allah for firmness on the path of jihad. He would fast in the day while running miles in the cold Kashmiri mountain paths. He would train in military tactics while having numbed limbs from the intense cold of winter. He would continue to shout Allah Akbar even while his throat was dry and parched for lack of water due to his fast. He would climb through the beautiful snow covered Kashmiri mountains even while his body lacked nutrients because of his fasting. He would break his fast on dirty brown colored water taken from a running stream and he would eat the lentils that always gave him digestive and stomach problems. And it was he that would march out in the dark cold night with his mujahideen brothers from 8:00 pm until the time of fajr Salat while the rest of the Muslims slept in their cozy warm beds and forgetting that they will perhaps be in need of people like Abu Adam, like the Kashmiri people.
He went one day to an army surplus store and bought a pair of danners. He would run only in those boots, and he would refuse to wear running shoes.
Surely in training, a day is made to feel like a complete year. So after what seemed like 124 years or more aptly four months, Abu Adam successfully completed the Lashkar Taiba commando-training course. Abu Adam did not leave the training camp unscathed however. He had received frostbite on the extremities of his feet due to the intense cold. Even after springtime, the tips of his toes were still numb. He had also contracted a serious stomach illness that caused him to lose a lot of strength.
When I asked him about that he replied, "I'm going in regardless Insha Allah. I didn't go this far to stop now." I always admired his determination. After a few weeks of recovery and rest, Abu Adam received the news that he was long waiting for. The Amir told him, "Pack your bags, you are going to Jammuu to launch! Abu Adam was shining from happiness and delight, "I'm finally getting a chance to go and do jihad fee-sabeelilah!"
After two and a half weeks I met back up with Abu Adam at the launching sector to prepare to infiltrate with him into the occupied valley. We were only waiting for our slot to carefully infiltrate the occupied valley of Kashmir to strike down and destroy the enemies of Allah, the vile Hindus and Sikhs from the Indian army. This sometimes long waiting period is perhaps the most frustrating part of jihad, it is sometimes referred to as ribaat. It is at this point that a person must guard his thoughts and occupy his time before he goes to battle.
His Character and Manners
Abu Adam was quiet. He had a very simple and soft way about him. He never acted rude or argued licentiously with anyone.
In the early mornings after the fajr Salat, he would run for about a mile and a half with his backpack filled with 50 pounds worth of bricks and stones. He would climb up and down a tall water tower with the same backpack on. After his workout, he would return to the base and take a shower, eat breakfast with the brothers and then proceed to the small masjid we had and memorize the Qur'an and selected dua'as from the book Hisn ul Muslim.
Our brother was in my view, a true zaahid (one who abstains from the glitter of this worldly life). He was always giving sadaqah to those in need. He was always to be seen wearing a black and white checkered ghutrah (scarf) wrapped around his head. I saw a picture of him in America after he became Muslim and he had the same scarf around his head. I remember him as being the one that always reminded us of Allah and the last day.
One day there were some brothers sitting and talking vain talk, may Allah forgive them. When they began their vain talk Abu Adam stood up immediately and said to all of the brothers, "You guys are killing my imaan with this talk. Fear Allah!"
Abu Adam was always keen on praying in the last third of the night. May Allah have mercy upon him, I don't recall him ever missing the tahajjud, - not even once. One of the interesting occurrences that show us the virtue of Abu Adam (nahsabuhu kadhaalika wa la nuzzakee ala Allahi ahadan) was when we departed to test our weapons. We went to a far off area to test our weapons before the infiltration. Due to this we all sensed that our time was close. We were test firing the mounted grenade launcher on our kalashnikovs (AK-47 assault rifle).
We were firing old grenades that had been in storage for quite a long time. One brother shot the grenade and it simply shot out and landed about 3 feet in front of us (we were in one big crowd). After we had all dashed to take cover from the expected explosion that was only 3 feet away from us (it was a dud and never blew Al-hamdulillah) Abu Adam looked up at me and said, "We ran and didn't even remember Allah! What's up with us?"
I was totally amazed at his perception of things. When being around him one always wanted to do jihad and dhikr of Allah (at least myself), may Allah join us all together with the shuhadaa ameen.
I recall that when all of us were sleeping after dhuhur Salat, I woke up and proceeded to go outside for some fresh air. I walked outside only to see Abu Adam practicing his firing stances and maneuvers with his AK-47 in the hot sun. I said to myself, "Subhaanallah! When does he stop?" May Allah the most high grant us determination like Abu Adam, ameen.
And I will never forget when he was still suffering from his stomach illness (and stomach problems in that part of the world are dangerous). We all decided together to practice the sunnah of our beloved Prophet by performing cupping or in Arabic hijaamah. One of our brothers there, Abu Yahya an Arab who was a 48 year old veteran of Afghanistan performed the hijaamah on Abu Adam's two shoulder blades. After the hijaamah, Abu Adam recovered from his illness one hundred percent al-hamdulillah!
It was around July 5th that our group of ten brothers received what it was waiting for: the news of its launching into the occupied valley. After two days of preparation, the weapons were test fired, cleaned, and sighted. The equipment and gear were distributed. The magazines were loaded and the imaan was as high as ever awaiting the chance to please Allah. It was time to wage jihad and secure some expensive real-estate in the jannah. And as always, Abu Adam demanded that he carried more gear and ammo than anyone else in the group. Allahu Akbar!!!
Unfortunately, some of us were separated from Abu Adam and his group due to external factors, so at this launching point would be the last time I would see my brother Abu Adam may Allah have mercy upon him. Indeed, he was crying from happiness and at the same time, realizing that this is the last time we will see him for a long while.
Abu Yahya said about him, "When we were infiltrating in the pitch black darkness of the cloudy Kashmiri border area he (Abu Adam) was always at the front of the group never lagging at all. When we stopped for ten minutes of rest he sat next to me and looked to the heavens and sighed, 'Al-hamdulillah'. I then asked him, 'What is it that makes you say that right now?' to which he replied, 'All of my life I wanted a piece (American slang for a gun) and some grenades and a blade (knife) and now I have my piece (a Makarov 9mm pistol) and my rifle (AK-47 ) and I have my grenades and my blade. And its all fee-sabeelillah.'"
After five days of night movement and infiltration, Abu Adam with the rest of the brothers successfully entered into the occupied valley of Kashmir. It was there that Abu Adam would take an active part in laying ambushes and carrying out raid against the Indian oppressors. After two and a half months of guerilla jihad, Abu Adam finally achieved that which he strove for Insha-Allah: ash-shahadah (martyrdom) fee sabeelillah.
Abu Adam and his team of brothers launched a bloody raid on an army post in the Doda sector in the Jammuu region. Reports indicate that out of the thirty four Indians killed in the action, Abu Adam was responsible for killing seventeen. Allahu Akbar!
It was at the exact time of his shahadah (Insha-Allah) that I had a dream in which I saw Abu Adam at the launching sector base. He had returned from fighting. His hair had grown out and there was fresh blood on his clothes. He was shining in happiness to see me. I then asked him, "How was it?" to which he replied, "it was hard but worth it."
After this dream, I received news that my good friend, Abu Adam had beaten me to our respective goal ash-shahadah fee sabeelillah. (Insha-Allah) I remember him saying to me once, "I want to get shot in the chest so that my soul doesn't leave immediately and I can prostrate to Allah on the battlefield before my soul leaves my body."
I cannot help but wonder if he got his last wish or not.
Abu Adam Jibreel al Amreekee never did drugs before Islam and when he left this dunya he was still pure, something that is very rare for an American youth.
His news eventually reached his non-Muslim family in Atlanta. And it was after hearing this news that his older sister, Lisa took shahadah and entered into the fold of Islam. May Allah make her like her brother. Ameen. "And do not think those killed in the way of Allah as being dead. Nay they are alive with their Lord being provided for." [Al-i-'Imran 3:169]