Jihad
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"They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty, rejoicing for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind (not yet martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve." [Al-Qur'an 3:170]

Ghazi describes the treacherous departure form occupied to Azad Kashmir.

"The route which we embarked upon was the one which Naeim (a guide) has recently been Shahid upon Insha'Allah, having fallen to his martyrdom. We consider it to be a mid lengthy one, spreading over a dangerous journey of approximately four to five days.

This notorious crossing, as most routes are, is known for the steep mountain faces that it harbors, ridges, some of which are located over and above cloud level, which the Mujahidin return would cover. Steep ledges coupled with river crossings that involve leaping over and onto huge boulders and small rocks, both of which can be wet, moss covered and dangerously slippery.

Under and around these rocks, fast flow rivers gush forth at white water rapid speed. This sort of river hopping will spread across entire nights, nights of profound desperate exhaustion and extreme chills, worse still when raining and the wind may be blowing powerfully. Exhaustion which cannot be confounded simply by resting because, not only are they on a minimal supply of sustenance, but also the bitter cold at this altitude does not allow resting for lengthy periods. This is to say one must constantly be on the move in order to preserve at least a minimal amount of body warmth at these levels.

Enemy camps and bunkers are strewn across the entire area with parts where the Mujahidin cannot even walk across, such as manmade tracks or the soft sand to be found on the riverbanks. This is for fear of leaving distinctive 'stud' marked indentations in the malleable ground with ones footprints.

Pont in case, stud tipped, ankle boot training shoes are worn by the fighters when crossing in or out of the Occupied state. The rest of the rime inside, they are usually fitted with flimsy plimsolls, the likes of which area commonly warn by primary school children in the west; unfortunately their resources do not reach much better then his in the Occupied Territories.

Most of the time the Mujahidin cannot simply go in a vertical or horizontal line, even if the landscape permits, rather they are forced to go around mountains, peak after peak. Unfortunately, these stretch to their very highest on the borders. Darting in and out and evading enemy camps I fact more then doubles the journey.

In fact in many ways it can be said that the return trips are even more perilous hen the ones to venture in. this is so because the weaponry which they emphatically struggled to bring inside initially will, rather then accompany them on reverting, be buried in a cache, stashed away in some safe haven as a back up for those staying inside. Hence, it is this that renders each man returning to be equipped with either a pistol or a grenade and dagger. The guides will probably be the bearers of one or two rifles (AK-47) with minimal ammunition all round.

It is a route not only littered with natural hardships such as the long sweeping sheets of ice, frozen and lying dormant mostly all year round, but also the manmade ones such as the anti personnel mines and trip wires.

It follows that even the most experienced of men can, if willed by their Lord, fall prey to a natural order, one that of course we cannot deem to be a disaster. Footing can all so easily be lost, mines can be stepped upon as of a surety they have in the past. Hazardous injuries of many sorts, including the fracturing of bones can easily happen; the list is long with the torments that can and do affect the zealot. It is the most soul searching experience one may envisage."

"And if you are killed or die in the way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better then all that they amass (of worldly wealth etc.)" [Al-Qur'an 3:157]

(s) The Army of Madinah in Kashmir, Maktabah Al-Ansar Publications

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'Umar ibn Al-Khattab (d. 23H), may Allah be pleased with him