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ABS Special Interview With leader Sheikh Zakzaky on Zaria Massacre (1)

Host: In the name of Allah the beneficent the merciful.
Peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad and his holy progeny.
This is the sixth year commemoration of the Zaria massacre. At first, we will start by extending our condolences over this heinous massacre that occurred in the month of December, 2015. We are extending our condolences to the Sheikh over this tragedy that caused lost of lives and properties that worth millions.

Right from the beginning of this movement, there have been attacks (against the movement) from time to time, and sometimes Sheikh gets arrested and detained for a long time, and the Sheikh mostly spend years in detention, ranging from two, three years and above.
What is this movement that have this kind of enemies all about? What is its aim?
Sheikh Zakzaky: I seek refuge in Allah from Satan the accursed.
In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful.
Peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad and his pure progeny, especially the Imam of our time – Imam Mahdi – may our souls be sacrificed for him.
I would be surprised to hear someone asking about the aim of the movement at the time we’re talking about the Zaria massacre, but since you asked about it, I’ll answer you based on your questions.
Right from the beginning, we were enlightening ourselves on our responsibility as Muslims in the society we found ourselves. And this started since we were university students in the 70’s, 1977-1979.
At that time, we realized that people were grouped into three groups. There were some that were satisfied with the existing status quo, it pleased them, because they think that this thing that the white men brought is the right thing. He came with knowledge, civilization and development. And they do campaign by saying that the white men came and saw people without religion and proper clothing, and they practice barbaric acts based on their ancestral beliefs, such as abhorring twin children, to the extent that they even expel the mother of twin children from the city; they abhor anybody with smallpox, they also expel and send him/her to the bush; and the likes of that. You would see the books that were published by the white men filled with those kind of things.
And, of course there were some people that the white men met in that situation, but not everybody. They met some without religion and gave them theirs, they met them illiterate and made them literate, they met them ignorant and educated them, there were those set of people. Some don’t even have proper clothing and they gave them their clothes. We know there was something like that. But they didn’t do that to us. They met us with our civilization, our knowledge, our clothes, our culture, and most of all, our religion. They didn’t give us any of those, in fact, all they did was that they destroyed our heritage and imposed theirs on us, and equalised us with the rest.
Those they met uncivilized see that thing that the white men brought as development, it satisfied them. That is the first group people. Of course, I wouldn’t say all those that were satisfied with the existing status quo were non-muslims, there were Muslims that were also satisfied with the existing status quo.
And there were some that clamour for change, but according to them, they think that we should adopt the communist system. In their views, communism is the best ideology that would bring about civilization and development, and it is the solution to human problems.
But us, Alhamdulillah (thanks to Allah), we have religious background. We grew up into educated and religious families, so religion is everything to us. We see other perspectives as wrong perspectives. Others see religion as something that’s limited to one’s personal life, between him and his creator. It’s just a ‘ritual’ as they call it in English. Ritual doesn’t even translate the word ‘Ibadah’ (worship) appropriately. Because to us, ‘Ibadah’ has a wider scope, but to them, ‘Ibadah’ has a narrow scope. To them, it’s something that’s being done in a room either once in a week or something like that, that’s what they call ‘Ibadah’. But to us, religion encompasses the entire life of a person. So our view was that, as long as we’re looking for a solution for this country, Islam is the best solution. That’s the thing (system) that the colonialist came and met us on and took it away from us. That’s what we’re trying to return to, and I’m sure this is the wish of majority of the people we live with, even those that are not Muslims have that idea, that before the arrival of the white men, these (Muslims) are the ones guiding them on what to do.
So let me not lengthen my speech on this. I can tell you that if we were to be asked the aim of the movement, it is a call for returning to the religion of Islam, this is just it, in short. And I know people weren’t ignorant of this call right from the beginning in the 70’s. They clearly understood what we meant as soon as we started calling. And that was because they knew that they were adherents of the religion before something was imposed on them by force, and all they strive for is to return to that religion that they lost to the white colonialists. So, as soon as they heard this call, they quickly understood without any need for further explanations. So that’s the aim. If you say what’s the aim? (I would say) we’re enlightening ourselves on our responsibility as Muslims in the situation we find ourselves. Are we supposed to sit and fold our arms and say that’s all, religion is now gone and it has become history? Or it’s possible for us to stand up and clamour for the return of our religion and it would return?
Host: Looking into the fact that ever since Sheikh started this call, there have been several attacks on the movement, but this Zaria massacre became different from the previous ones, and it’s almost six years after the incident now. So how do Sheikh view this incident? What was the aim of this attack?
Sheikh Zakzaky: Right from the beginning, my perception is that it’s not even the problem of the Nigerian authority, it’s the problem of those that created the (Nigerian) state. They foresaw a threat in the movement from outside, right from the beginning, and they foresaw that threat since when we were university students. So at that time, they said in the future, this would become a threat. I know they saw this threat earlier, but they thought the threat was over, but now that they see the movement is growing bigger, it frightens them. That’s why they push those in authority here and tell them "you have to eliminate these people, if not, they will become a problem." To them it’s a problem, since we’re calling for the return of Islam. That’s why they didn’t take it lightly right from the beginning. But they sometimes act as if they were negligent at first, but it’s a lie. They started harassing, arresting, expelling some of us from the university, reducing our marks, compelling some to carry over courses and things like that since when we were university students, since 70’s. And when we entered 80’s, they started arrests, later on, they started opening fire. As time goes on, we entered 90’s, and that’s when they started thinking of eliminating us once and for all. They started sending soldiers to open fire. Eventually, they continue arresting some people, up to this 2000. This was something they planned long time ago, thinking that it’s something they can eliminate entirely, so that they’ll hear total silence, and there wouldn’t be any call for returning to Islam. And they tried to execute that plan through different ways, in their effort to derange the religion and portray it as something bad. That’s why they created something they called ‘Maitatsine’, and mocked Islam (in the name of ‘Maitatsine’.) Everyone knows that the issue of ‘Maitatsine’ was not related to Islam, it was as a result of lawlessness and lack of experience in social coexistence, and it was the fault of those in authority for not knowing how to rule people, but they attached it to Islam, and they formed a committee for investigation and asked a non-muslim to preside over it. They used to translate anything for him. They mocked Islam in newspapers, there wasn’t any form of mockery they didn’t do. And eventually, they came up with something called Boko Haram again, they also mocked Islam in its name, not only in this country, but in other parts of the world too. They kept creating different terrorist groups (especially) in the middle East, portraying Islam in a very bad image.
So they did all what they did (here) with the intention of eliminating this movement one day and be done with it. Just as they did to what they called ‘Maitatsine’ and those they call Boko Haram, and they tried thier possible best to tarnish our image in the eyes of the world, but they are late, because we live with the people, we’re more closer to the people that they’re. Most of the authorities are distanced from the people, but we’re close to them.
And don’t forget, we’re staying what they (the people) are yearning for, we’re saying what’s in their minds, it’s not that we came with something new. And the enemies tried by all means to paint it black, but they didn’t succeed. But still, they haven’t given up, and that’s why this time around, they tried to do what they called ‘final operation’. Meaning the operation that will eliminate us once and for all, so that and the end of the day, nobody would hear anything about Islam anymore, everything would be silenced. And even if one wants to practice Islam, it has to be the type of Islam they want, such as the groups they created that creat conflicts among Muslims, and incite Muslims to fight Christians, or incite and tribe against another, or incite a sect against another, they’re the ones that incite those conflicts.
But they realised that this movement is not like those groups, its aim is not to create discord, it’s not saying Muslims should fight their fellow Muslims, it’s not saying Muslims should fight Christians, it’s not saying a northerner should fight a southerner, it’s not saying this tribe should fight that tribe. What we’re saying is that we’re a society, and we have our religion and civilization, and we want to return to that. Even if we don’t share the same religious beliefs with someone, at least we live in one geographical area, and we’ll live peacefully with him/her, we’ll practice our religion and he/she will also practice his/her religion, without any discrimination. And that’s the voice they intented to eliminate by force. This how this attack differed from the rest. That is, this time around, they intended to finish us once and for all.
Host: This incident started from Hussainiyyah, and Sheikh was at home in Gyallesu at that time, and many things happened from Saturday to the day Sheikh was dragged out of his house, we would like to know what happened from Saturday to the day you were arrested.
Sheikh Zakzaky: This is really a long story. Perhaps I can say it wasn’t on Saturday that the incident started, it started before that time. Arba’in procession was held nine days before the attack. And when we were set for the Arba’in trek, we got information that they intended to descend on us, and they vowed that they would never allow the Arba’in trekkers to enter Zaria, and even if they (the trekkers) enter, they would finish them once and for all, and if some of them managed to get out of Zaria, they would make sure that they attack them on their way back and finish them. They made that plan.
And by the will of Allah, we managed to conduct the Arba’in. In my closing speech I even said: "You see, we managed to conduct our Arba’in trek, however, they detonated bombs on the Kano to Zaria road, where they killed around 23 people at the instance of the bomb blast, and one of the casualties later succumbed to his wounds, making it 24." So, you can see they planned it earlier, it didn’t started that Saturday. You know we conducted Arba’in on 20th Safar (Hijri calendar), so eight days after Arba’in was 28th Safar, which was the day of the Martyrdom of the holy Prophet (pbuh), and during the gathering on Thursday, I said Saturday would be either 30th Safar or 1st Rabi’ul Awwal, and we would change the black flag that was hoisted on the white tomb of Hussainiyyah – which symbolises mourning – with green flag that has inscription of ‘Labbaika Ya Rasulallah’.
Since then, we were informed that they hired thugs from different places in order to attack us, and they even started attacking some brothers since that Thursday in Gabari, a town in western Zaria. And we got information from some of the thugs who refused to be used to attack us, that they were planning on attacking us, they intended to move to Gyallesu from Gabari. And we got information that soldiers were prepared to come and attack also. Before that time, they had military exercise with sophisticated weapons in the night, and we found out that all that night exercise was meant for people to get used to the sound of gunshots, so that when they attack us, people would think that it’s just part of their military exercise. So we really got that information on what they planned.
They attacked brothers on Friday in Gabari, but they hired thugs to carry out the attack, but we noticed that some of them were not thugs, they were security agents, and they used dangerous weapons including digging bars, and they injured several brothers, and even killed three people from the information we got. So they brought them – both the injured and the dead bodies – to Hussainiyyah, and some Doctors and nurses took the charge of treating the injured in Hussainiyyah, it became like a hospital. And we were informed that they were planning to mercilessly descend on us, it wasn’t just a case of Gabari.
So on Saturday, when we were planning for the flag hoisting at Hussainiyyah, because the event was meant to take place between 5:00 – 5:39pm, and from then we would close and dispers, since we didn’t intended to reach ‘Maghrid’ there. But since 12:00pm, they came and started unloading their ammunitions, including war tanks opposite the gate of Hussainiyyah. So the brothers that were there got surprised and went and asked them what’s going on? So they said it was there commander that was going to pass, so the brothers continued with their activities. Meanwhile, the soldiers kept bringing additional ammunitions, and they kept increasing in numbers. In the blink of an eye, they besieged everywhere. At that time, the brothers observed that this is not just because their commander is passing, they’re up to something.
At that time, we were receiving information on what was happening through social media, people send the pictures of what was happening. On our part, we were planning on leaving home for Hussainiyyah before 5:00pm, around 15 minutes to 5:00pm, but they blocked all the roads that leads to Zaria, they even blocked the roads inside Zaria. They blocked Kubanni road, they blocked Kofar Doka road, soldiers were everywhere. So we said what’s happening! As time goes on, they started opening fire at Hussainiyyah before 4:00pm. Residents of those places can tell you what they saw with their eyes. Although they invited some hoodlums, I know that they gave those they invited five thousand naira to come with black/dark clothes and create uproar. That’s where they messed up, because on days like that, we wear white/light clothes, there were no people wearing black among us. Even when those hoodlums started the uproar, people noticed that they were not among us, and they were shouting. It’s the soldiers that gave them five-five thousand naira and invited them, very shameful.
So they continued with their uproar, and they (soldiers) started opening fire on them, I mean those same people they paid. So they (the hoodlums) started running away. Some managed to escape with their five thousand naira, while some were killed. That’s where they started their drama, meanwhile, they’re doing video coverage, claiming that their way was blocked. I hope you understand? And then they entered Hussainiyyah and opened fire on the people therein, killing 45 people at the spot. And they arrested 30 people and took them to the military depot, most of them were shot in the leg.
At that time, they blocked our way to Hussainiyyah, so when I came out, we went to Daru Rahma to visit our martyrs, and I put the ‘Labbaika Ya Rasulallah’ flag on their graves before going to Hussainiyyah (as supposed). It was at that time that Nasiru El-rufai called me and said he heard that something is happening in Zaria. I said I also heard that, just as he heard it. And I told him that they even killed three of our people yesterday in Gabari. He said: "but they told me it was two people that were killed?" But when I was leaving Daru Rahma, I saw Malam Shu’aibu Jushi digging two graves. So I asked were they not three dead? So he said they were two, the other person regained consciousness. From then, I realised that El-rufai even knew what was happening better than I do, since it’s their program. He knew it was two people that got killed in Gabari, while I thought they were three.
So when we came back home, we thought we could still go and hoist the flag, but that wasn’t possible, because they blocked all the roads. So later on, one soldier called us and told us that those that were taken to depot after been shot in the leg were all shot in the head. Afterwards, they took their corpses to A.B.U teaching hospital, and later on, they went to the hospital and took the corpses away. However, before then, some people were seen breathing amongst the corpses, and they were taken to emergency ward. And by Allah’s will, two of them survived, and they can tell that story.
Around 10:00pm, 10:30pm to be precise, we heard gunshots in Gyallesu. We were already told that they were on their way. Since on Saturday, we were told that they really planned to attack us in Gyallesu. I even said, their plan is something and implementing it is something else. But we were really told that they planned to launch an attack. So they started with Hussainiyyah, then they moved to Gyallesu around 10:30pm and started shooting. Already there were many brothers in the area, so they started chanting ‘Takbirs’. They opened fire in the night and killed 13 people before morning. But I observed that during the time they were shooting, they’ve been calling my cellphone. Someone would call and say he’s a brother, because they know our language. One would call and say, "Assalamu alaikum, I’m a brother, and it’s the cheif of staff that wants to talk to you, if you see a call from this number it’s the cheif of staff." Then I would say okay! And then the soldiers would continue shooting for a while, then they would call again and say, it’s the chief of staff that wants to talk to you. I would say okay! After a while, after the soldiers opened fire for some minutes, to the extent that the bullets started entering the house, they would call again. So I realised that the reason for the calls was to know if I was shot or not.
Because of that, around 2:00am, they started shooting since 10:30pm, so around 2:00am I told Malama Zeenah to pick the call and say I was killed when next they call. So someone called after a while and said he’s Colonel Yusuf, and it’s the chief of staff that wants to talk to "Sheikh". So she said, you want to talk to him after killing him? So the Colonel lowered his voice and was telling the person close to him that "she confirmed that he has been killed." So after a short while, maybe they signalled the soldiers to stop shooting, all the soldiers started shouting and the shooting stopped, since they accomplished their mission (to their own knowledge). So on my own part, I continue picking some calls, but I didn’t pick that particular one again. So till around twilight; as I said in that night, we confirmed that they killed 13 people, among which was Martyr Hamza Yawuri, who at that time, they (the soldiers) used speaker and said, "some of your elders should come and let’s talk." So Hamza Yawuri went together with some brothers including my son Hammad and asked them what they wanted to say? So they targeted Hamza’s head and shot him, and the rest of them immediately lied down when they heard the gunshot. When they checked him (Hamza), they realised that he was shot. So they managed to carry his corpse and brought it back. The soldiers really knew him, because it was through Hamza that we liaise with the soldiers. If they wanted to do something (military exercises), they call and tell him (so that people would not be afraid in in the course of their exercise). Even during the attack, there was a lieutenant that came to my house around 2:00pm (on Saturday), telling me that there way was blocked and the cheif of staff wanted to pass. So I said who blocked your way? He said there was a barricade. I said there wasn’t any barricade. I said where were you (at the time of the so-called road blockade)? And I knew that Hamza called him since 12:00pm (on Saturday), and told him that there were military tanks opposite Hussainiyyah, asking what was happening? But he said he didn’t know. And he said they were informed that some people attacked us in Gabari, they would definitely take action. So that’s it, I’m telling you the story in brief because it’s long.
On Sunday morning, during the Subhi prayer, I came out and we had a congregational prayer. So it was at that time that they (the soldiers) heard my voice and noticed that I was still alive. So they started shooting in the midst of the prayer as soon as they heard my voice. They kept shooting while we were praying. When we finished, I entered the house. But they were still shooting, although from time-to-time (not constantly), as if they were waiting for re-enforcement. Later in the afternoon, re-enforcement came, so they started shooting from every angle, killing everybody. They kept killing people to the extent that the bullets started penetrating the walls of my house. So they brought their tank and demolished the fence of the house and broke the front gate. So at that time, there were some people that were telling us what was happening outside through walkie-talkie. They often tell us so-so person was killed, so-so person was killed, until the soldiers entered the house. There was brother Anas who communicates with Hammad and tells him what was happening. So, you know the story is long, but I wouldn’t forget some things that happened, which I would like to mention. For instance, when they were telling us those that got killed, when they said Ruhullah son of Dr. Mustapha was killed, I saw Ali and Humaid (shockingly) saying, even Ruhullah was killed? Ali cried a lot and said, we don’t wish to live any longer because all our loved ones were killed. So also Humaid.
So after they killed everybody in the house, there was my elder sister Binta in the courtyard and some sisters, including Nusaiba daughter of Malam Shafi’u Kazaure and Sumayyah daughter of Professor Isa Mshelgaru and some other sisters and brothers as well. As I said we were talking with some of them through walkie-talkie, but we later stopped hearing from them. From then, I knew that Anas was also killed. At that time everybody (in the courtyard) was killed.
So later on, they couldn’t find us out of Allah’s wisdom. They searched everywhere in the house, but Allah prevented them from entering three rooms, (which were) my room, where we all gathered, and Malama Zeenah’s room and parlour, Allah prevented them from entering. And one could enter where I was through my parlour, but they entered the parlour and stole what they wanted, they destroyed my library and stole everything inside the room. But later on, we found out that the soldiers stole some things and asked area boys to steal some. And we were few miles away from the parlour, but they couldn’t enter.
The door to Malama Zeenah’s parlour was facing the courtyard, and the door was not strong, in the sense that if you give it a strong hit, it could break. But Allah prevented them from entering. Even when they demolished the wall of my room, bullets didn’t penetrate the walls of her room, and they shot at the fence, but they didn’t break the glass (of the window). And my room also had a fence, but nobody (among the soldiers) think of peeping through the fence, because at that time, we even opened the curtains, but I didn’t see anyone peeping. Allah prevented those places by his divine will. I didn’t know how they noticed that people were still in the house. So they made an announcement with a speaker and said, "those that are in this house should either come out, or we demolish the house on you. If you refuse to come out after the count of ten, we would demolish the house on you." So they started counting, (1,2,3…), so we bid farewell to each other before they reach ten, I was even saying, we would go and meet Ahmad.
There was something I noticed, which I didn’t mention before, which is important. I noticed all the faces of those we were together at that time, I noticed Malama Zeenah’s face, I noticed Zainab’s face, I noticed Sajida’s face, I noticed Suhaila’s face, I noticed the faces of Hammad, Ali and Humaid, I noticed all there faces at that time. And I didn’t see any sign of distress on their faces, as if nothing was happening, as if we were in our normal living circumstance with joy, nobody showed any worry at all. So I told them that I have ‘Zam-zam’ water in the fridge, someone should bring it for us to drink, so that it would be our last drink. (After drinking it), I asked everyone to prostrate so that we would die in a state of prostration, so we all prostrated. We remained in that position for more than ten minutes but nothing happened. You know at that time, since everyone is thinking of going, everyone would do as much prayer as he could, one would just be praying to Allah, asking Him to receive him with mercy. Having stayed in that position for long, then I got up and said what’s keeping them for long!? So when I got up, I heard some footsteps on the roof, as if some people were walking on the roof, so I thought it was the soldiers that were planting bombs before they detonate it and demolish the house on us. But we later realised that it was some brothers that climed the roof through an opening, when a grenade launcher was fired in the lobby, so they landed in the courtyard. So we realised they were not soldiers. But later on, we heard the sound of fire, so I opened the door and saw that the fire was about to reach where we were. The fire had already burnt the lobby (explaining how the lobby was). So I said, "let’s go out and be killed by their guns rather than sit here and get burnt." So we came to my parlour that already got burnt. It was at that time that we saw some brothers, so I asked Hammad who were those, he said it’s so and so, he knew them all, they were brothers. They were the ones that walked on the roof earlier, so I asked him to let them in. Luckily, we found the key to the parlour and opened it for them, so they entered. Among them was a boy that had sticks tied to his leg because he was shot in the leg. He later told us that he was in the courtyard when he got shot. He even asked his father is this a gunshot? You know by Allah’s will, one would get shot but he wouldn’t realise it, he would only see blood. So he asked his father if it was a gunshot, and the father said yes. But he told us that the father was later killed in front of him. The boy even told me that if we were to die, we would die together. Even them, they were as if nothing serious was happening. So we sat there, I said we should remain there until the fire reaches where we were before we go out. Because I wanted to delay the soldiers from shooting us for as long as possible, so that as soon as we go out, that’s all (they would kill us). So I checked my watch and saw it was 12:35pm, and Zawwal was precisely 12:30pm at that time. So I realised it was the time for Zuhr, so I started my prayers since I already had ablution. As I was praying, the smoke engulfed the room, and I overheard Malama saying nobody should go out until Malam finish his prayers, so I hurriedly completed the prayers and we went out. When we went out, we saw people lying down in the courtyard that was inside the house (which the children call ‘filin lilo’). There was one Muhammad Darazo, and Abdullah son of Abdullahi Abbas, as if they were sleeping. I didn’t see blood on their bodies, I looked at them and said are they sleeping? As if they would talk. Muhammad Darazo and Abbas son of Abdullahi Abbas, you know Abdullahi Abbas right? He was also killed in Hussainiyyah. Six of his children were also killed, so one of them is Abbas son of Abdullahi Abbas, who I initially referred to as Abdullah. He was lying down near where we call Mama’s room, all of them were as if they would talk, and I didn’t see blood on them, as if they were sleeping.
So we entered Mama’s room, and there was a window in the room. I even asked them not to open the curtain of the window because it’s the only demarcation between us and the soldiers, if we open it, they could see us. From there I said let’s go to sister Binta’s room, so we went there. I even lied down on her bed and slept for some a while. We were waiting until the fire reaches us, and eventually it reached where we were. The fire burnt everywhere and started burning the side where Mama’s room was. So we went out and lied down on the floor with the corpses of Abbas and Muhammad Auwal Darazo because of the smoke, and I opened the entrance door to the other courtyard. I later realised that Zainab tried to open the door but it didn’t open, and when we were in Mama’s room, they heard someone touching the door, perhaps a soldier intended to enter, but he couldn’t open it, but once I tried to open it, it opened there and then.
I skipped the part where I tried to go out through Malama’s parlour, and there was no demarcation between us and the soldiers there, I saw that they hit the door to the extent that the wall cracked, but it didn’t open. And when I also tried to go out through the door, it didn’t open. I’m telling you what happened earlier (what I skipped). So if I open the upper latch, the lower latch would lock and vise versa. Had we gone through that door, they would’ve seen us. So we left that door and move towards her parlour’s door, and we luckily found it key, as soon as we put the key, it opened. So we got out through the door. That is what I skipped.
So the entrance door to the other courtyard did the same, it didn’t open for others, but as soon as I tried, it opened. When I opened it, I checked outside and saw many people outside on the floor, all killed. I saw Malama’s car burning where we used to pray, and some people were also burnt near the car. So we entered laundry room, there used to be washing machine inside, but it was taken to repair shop, however there was ironing table and children’s dirty clothes inside, so we entered there. Some sat on the table, some under the table, and some by the sides, we were really tight. Because there were two big water tanks on the roof of the room, which contains 1000 litres each, and fire continued to engulf the house, to the extent that the fire touched the tanks and melted them, so the water poured out (and wet the room), and by the will of Allah, it helped to cool the place for us. So that’s it! The house continue burning in flames, and we heard the exploding of gas cylinders, as the fire increases. There was a big cylinder that exploded and it’s smoke filled the entire house including the room we were in, so we opened the door and the smoke went out, and we got lucky it went out with the mosquitoes in the room. There were plenty mosquitoes in the room before, you know mosquitoes find a place and hide in the afternoon, so they all went out, we then closed the door. But we continue hearing some sounds. There was a brother called Mustapha Auwal that said, "they’re throwing something in the fire", we would then hear boom! boom!! We later understood that they were firing grenade launchers in the fire. They kept firing grenades in the house, but by Allah’s will, we remained where we were till everywhere got burnt, and we could hear people talking. There were some people that were cheering the soldiers, saying, thank you, thank you! I even recognised the voice of one of them. If Allah wish for me to see him one day, I will tell him that I heard you saying thank you to the soldiers, he would know that I heard his voice. At that time, there were some abusive words that the soldiers were uttering, I wouldn’t like to mention them, the words are so unpleasing, but they didn’t know that we were hearing what they were saying.
Everywhere got burnt, including children and Hurras (guards) apartments. Car garages, and the classroom inside the house were also burnt down, everywhere was burnt to ashes. So, it was eventually night, I already prayed in that room. There was no water, but we just performed ‘taimama’ (tayammum) and say Maghrib and Isha prayers. This happened on Sunday. They thought they have finished everything on Sunday, meanwhile, we were busy making calls. I came out with one cellphone and left the rest, and even when we were about to leave my room, I heard someone calling through the other phones, but I left them, and they got burnt. But I came out with one in my pocket, Suhaila and the rest were also with their phones, so we were making calls with people, and they knew we were alive. All our children that were home and abroad knew we were alive, because we were speaking with them on that night. We spoke with Muhammad and Suhaila, oh we were together with Suhaila. I wanted to say Nusaiba that was in Dubai, and our children that were in Mashhad, Badiyyah and Zakiyyah, and some other people. We continue making calls in the night. But the soldiers often come with their torch lights and check the house to see if there were people inside. We saw them, but they didn’t see us. We pause the call when they enter, so that they wouldn’t hear our voices.
The end of first interview.

Translation Team , Academic Forum of the Islamic movement