Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, May 20th, 2019

Martyrs Make the History

Afghan nation made great sacrifices in safeguarding their freedom, dignity and territorial integrity throughout the history. Afghans’ blood was spilled to protect their honor. They embraced martyrdom with strong bravery and devoted their lives to keep their religious values, cultural norms and ethical code safe. People resisted against colonial powers and any elements that would pose threat to their societal values.   
The true spirit of jihad is to uphold humanity and say “no” to atrocities and oppression. Historical revolutions not only in Afghanistan but around the globe were carried out to cherish human rights and dignity and dismantle dictatorial regimes or invaders. That is to say, revolution, similar to jihad, bears sacred meaning and is intended to end cruelty and barbaric practices of merciless regimes or individuals.
In Islamic societies, jihad has a holy and altruistic goal. For instance, a number of people sacrifice their lives for the sake of their religious values or protection of their nation and homeland. Jihad, which is a sacred term for Muslims, tends to revive moral values and keep humanity safe from erosion. In terms of upholding honor, life is not deemed valuable enough.
In modern world, peaceful solution to challenges is underlined and international instruments put emphasis on respecting freedom and human rights and dignity and urge the world not to violate the integral integrity of any states. Nonetheless, sometimes blood is the only panacea for challenges imposed on a nation. Therefore, Afghan people carried out jihad throughout the history to save territorial integrity and deny to be subdued by violent forces or despotic regimes. The altruistic acts of martyrs which are recorded in the history must be respected. The objective of martyrs is not to bow down before those who lust for power, oppress people for their own political interests, spill the blood of individuals out of cruel nature, etc.
However, the true meaning of jihad is misconstrued recently. For example, warring factions that pay no heed to moral standard or humanity call their barbaric acts jihad which is, indeed, desecrating this term. They kill men, women and children in cold blood and trample upon the rights and liberty of people in the worst possible way. In other words, terrorist networks which are the products of religious radicalism seek to justify their acts of violence through religious term. Therefore, they have spread Islamophobia in many parts of the world.
Terrorist networks are believed to fight either for political or ideological reasons. But they use the sacred term of jihad for two main reasons: First to recruit a number of gullible people, particularly those who seek to fill their spiritual vacuum in modern world. Second, there are political brains behind the issue masterminding it in this manner not only to tarnish Islam but also to attract radical elements for continuing proxy wars so as to protect their political interests.
Jihad is a defensive strategy rather than offensive one. It is not to kill people out of cruelty but to save human and humanity at the cost of your life and blood. In the history of Islam, religious role model of Muslims and spiritual leaders sought to mitigate atrocities, injustice and moral turpitude through jihad and uphold the rights and dignity of people. So, jihad is a revolution against cruelty and dictatorship.
Afghan nation also has a glorious history and showed great bravery and heroism in fighting against cruelty and invasion. Afghans struggled to protect their national solidarity, honor and dignity. This nation has scores of martyrs who devoted their lives wholeheartedly for national values.
In spite of this fact, the true meaning of jihad and the good intention of martyrs are eroded to a great extent in the country. The days of national heroes and martyrs are celebrated with gunfire which is against the objective of martyrs. In addition, it shows that gun holds strong sway and violence prevails in the society. It also leads to social disorder and hurts the public feelings. The glorious jihad of real Mujahedeen will be reduced if this trend continues.
To value the blood of martyrs, our nation will have to follow their footsteps through supporting humanity and moral standards. Their followers should respect the rights and freedoms of all citizens. The reason behind celebrating the days of martyrs is to revive their sacred and altruistic aims and human commitments besides glorifying their heroism and selflessness.
St. John of Kronstadt has aptly said, “The candles lit before icons of saints reflect their ardent love for God for Whose sake they gave up everything that man prizes in life, including their very lives, as did the holy apostles, martyrs and others. These candles also mean that these saints are lamps burning for us and providing light for us by their own saintly living, their virtues and their ardent intercession for us before God through their constant prayers by day and night. The burning candles also stand for our ardent zeal and the sincere sacrifice we make out of reverence and gratitude to them for their solicitude on our behalf before God.”