Photo: ‘Omar al-Mukhṫār Muḥammad bin Farḥāṫ al-Manifī (20 August 1858 – 16 September 1931), called The Lion of the Desert, known among the colonial Italians as Matari of the Mnifa, was the leader of native resistance in Cyrenaica, currently Eastern Libya under the Senussids, against the Italian colonization of Libya. Omar was also a prominent figure of the Senussi movement, and he is considered the national hero of Libya and a symbol of resistance in the Arab and Islamic worlds. Beginning in 1911, he organised and, for nearly twenty years, led native resistance against the colonial Italians. After many attempts, the Italian Armed Forces managed to capture Al-Mukhtar near Solonta and hanged him in 1931. Omar al-Mukhtar also fought against the French colonization of Chad and the British occupation of Egypt.
A dialogue in between an Italian judge and Omar Mukhtar in 1931:
Judge: Did you fight against the Italian state?
Judge: Did you encourage people to fight against Italy?
Judge: Are you aware of penalty for what you did?
Judge: For how many years did you fight against Italy?
Omar: For 20 years already
Judge: Do you regret of what you have done?
Judge: Do you realize that you will be executed?
The judge remarked:
It's a dismal end for a man like you.
Hearing these words, Omar Mukhtar replied:
On the contrary, it is the best way to end my life!
The judge then wanted to acquit him and deport him from the country if he appeals to Mujahideen in a statement to stop the Jihad. Then Omar Mukhtar said his famous words:
My forefinger that admits in every prayer that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah cannot write a word of falsehood, we do not surrender, we win or die!
'A Portrait of the Prophet: As Seen by His Contemporaries Ash-Shama'Il Al-Muhammadiyya'
by Imam Muhammad ibn 'Isa at-Tirmidhi (Author)
In Islam, two sources are used to explain the religion and its laws: the Qur'an, a revered text, and the hadith, the sayings and activities of the Prophet Muhammad as reported by friends and followers during his lifetime. This skilled translation, which includes the Arabic of one of the key Islamic texts, long-awaited in English, presents a fascinating selection of hadith compiled by the ninth-century scholar at-Tirmidhi that humanizes the Prophet for modern audiences, presenting him through the eyes of contemporaries who comment not only on his spiritual demeanor and qualities but also on his physical appearance and mannerisms including his hairdressing, his sitting posture, his sandals and turban, his armor, his favorite condiments, and his jests and laughter.