Bassel al-A’raj, or the “battling intellectual”, as known on social media, has proven that actions speak more than words.
The 31-year-old Palestinian engaged on Monday (March 6, 2017) in an individual battle with Israeli occupation forces in Ramallah. He heroically fought for two hours, ending his life with martyrdom.
Bassel was well-known for defending the Palestinian cause and the oppressed people across the region. He called the intellectuals in the Arab world to engage in battles in behalf of their beliefs.
In a video, Bassel appears during a lecture saying: “If you want to be an intellectual… You have to be a battling intellectual. If you were not so then your intellect is useless. The battling intellectual is the revolutionary intellectual.”
Imam Hussein’s Words Our Slogan
Talking about revolution, it was clear that Bassel was inspired by Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and Imam Hussein (a.s.).
In a post on his Facebook account, Bassel wrote: “My mom had taught me to love the battling prophet more than the peaceful prophet, and if (Prophet) Yusuf was her distinct one, that was because “bravery lies in patience.”
In his post, Bassel recalled the words of Imam Hussein as saying: “May his words remain our slogan in life and death: “Surely, the imposter – a son of an imposter – has [given us a choice] between death and disgrace. Surely, we will never bend to disgrace. God refuses that for us. So do his Messenger (s), the believers, noble ancestors, purified households, zealous souls, and proud spirits. None would prefer obedience to the wicked over a noble death.”
Go Look for the Answer
In his will, too, Bassel was talking about martyrdom with passion and conviction. He said that the wills of martyrs have bewildered him, stressing that there is nothing more eloquent than martyrs’ deeds.
“If you are reading this, it means that I have died and my soul has ascended to its Creator. I pray to Allah that I meet Him with a guiltless heart, willingly, not reluctantly, full of loyalty and free of any whit of hypocrisy.
How hard it is to write your own will. For years, I have been contemplating wills written by martyrs, they have constantly bewildered me. They were fast, short, and lacking eloquence. They did not satisfy our thirst to find answers about martyrdom. Now I am heading towards death satisfied as I have found my answers. Woe unto me, how dumb I am! Is there anything more eloquent than a martyr’s deed! I should have written this months ago, but what kept me from that was this question that you, the living beings, ask. So why should I answer on your behalf? Go look for the answer yourselves, as for us, the dead ones, we only seek Allah’s mercy.”