Hezbollah SG Sayyed Nasrallah’s Son, Jawad, Tells Al-Ahed Never before Heard Stories about Martyr Hadi
By Fatima Salami
Beirut – There are moments when we find ourselves unable to write. It just so happens that when we wish to describe a certain reality, we find it difficult to put into words. So, we write, and then we delete hoping that we find the suitable phrase for the right place. Of course, these moments do not occur when we are writing political or economic commentary.
These moments occur when we are in the presence of the martyrs! We ask ourselves where do we start when all the roads lead to beauty planted with chivalry and pride. These roads tell many stories that we have long sought with passion and longing. We have long waited for any details that would reveal to us the identity of these martyrs. Decades might pass and those details would continue to live inside of us, teaching us many lessons.
Who among us does not care to know more about the personality of martyr Sayyed Hadi Hassan Nasrallah?
22 years have passed since his martyrdom during the Jabal al-Rafi confrontations. Yet his memory awakens our hope in leaders who have sacrificed their loved ones on this path and put forth the interest of this path before fatherhood. They were steadfast and praised God for this offering.
As the 22nd anniversary of Sayyed Hadi’s martyrdom approaches, his brother Sayyed Jawad talks to al-Ahed News Website for the first time since 2007. He speaks in length about a martyr who possessed leadership characteristics. He was loved, decisive and charismatic.
Sayyed Jawad spoke about a young man who had not yet passed through adolescence but behaved well beyond his age. In the midst of a conversation in which Jawad evoked memories of more than two decades, the spirit of the martyr was present. The stories about Hadi the child, the teenager and the young man overlapped. He had the mind of a decisive leader. He was a compassionate brother who was kind and caring. He was the calm obedient son who was attached to his mother until the last breath. He was also attached to his relatives, neighbors and friends. Since he was a child, he was good in building relationships with his surroundings. He was the trustworthy Mujahid who kept the secrets of the Jihadi work and was loyal to it. He was a son who was identical to his father and took a lot of his traits.
Hadi was the heart of the household
Delving into Martyr Hadi’s character and capturing its details is no easy task. Jawad recalls martyr Hadi’s intelligence from a young age. He used to move everyone with his eyes as he was quiet and calm. He was quiet in nature during playtime as well. But he used to make up plans, which were carried out by his friends. When he suggested a particular game idea, everyone moved to implement it without questions. All this was because of the leadership characteristics the martyr possessed. He was labeled a “motor brain” despite his young age.
According to Jawad, Hadi can be called the “heart of the house”. He gave the house vitality and movement. He was very attached to his mother and she to him. He had an unspeakable eagerness in his heart for his mother and vice versa. He was highly energetic. He always woke up early to help his mother with house chores.
What distinguishes Hadi was also his obedience to his parents. For example, he once thought of buying a car. Sayyed [Hassan Nasrallah] told him at the time, “I’d rather you not buy a car, even if it was from your own money. We have to feel with the people and be equal to our neighbors. We should not be different from them when it comes to our financial matters.”
It did not take Sayyed a long time to convince Hadi, who quickly obeyed his father's wishes. He replaced the idea of a car with a motorcycle, which he used for transportation.
Hadi was very attached to his siblings, especially the youngest Muhammad Ali. Jawad recalls the beautiful noise Hadi used to make in the house. In spite of his calmness, he formed the dynamics of the household through his prevalent laughter, smile and energy. In his absence, there was stillness and calm. Jawad says that there was no energy in the house when he would go away to train especially that their father was absent most of the time because of his leadership role that preoccupied him. This left their mother with the task of raising them.
Hadi’s charisma and appeal
Hadi derived some of his charisma and appeal from His Eminence Sayyed [Nasrallah]. Jawad tells us how the neighbors distinguished Hadi from his peers. For example, when about 20 children were playing football in the neighborhood playground, the neighbors only called Hadi to drink water and rest. They asked him if he needed anything. They only called Hadi, given his beloved personality that he imposed on everyone and the eagerness that others had towards him.
He was affectionate to the family and sought to bring happiness to them.
Following his last Jihadi training session, a year before Hadi’s martyrdom, he came home bearing gifts for all the members of the family each according to what he/she liked. He did so since he was the eldest child. His mother also received a present. Martyr Hadi always made sure to make his family happy. His primary concern was to put a smile of the faces of his younger siblings.
The common hobbies
Jawad talks about the strong relationship with his brother. "One of the hobbies we shared was involved a trip to Baalbek where we competed in climbing the mountain. Since we were so attached to each other, if one of us falls behind in a place the other automatically grabs his hand and pulls him. This shows how much love we had for each other even when we were racing. Brotherhood always prevails. My relationship with Hadi was especially strong and very solid. We ate together; we played together; we went to school together; we did everything together since we were almost the same age. He was a year and a half older than me.”
Jawad recalls how pretending to be resistance fighters was their favorite game. Football was second on the list of hobbies. Jawad remembers in detail of how he played football and Hadi’s passion for this game. Hadi used to cheer for Ansar and Jawad for Nejmeh.
When competition ensued, Hadi – known for his fondness of drawing – would sketch a broken star and an arrow piercing it. The arrow was in reference to Ansar.
The conversations on the motorcycle
"On our last trip I went with him on the motorcycle to visit Grandma", Jawad says.
"Hadi began to talk to me about the world and that true happiness is gaining Allah Almighty’s pleasure. Nothing calls for the disobedience of the Creator. He told me that the peak of his happiness is when he was at the frontlines and when he was with God. He had unnatural kindness and purity. This was the talk of a 17-year-old shortly before his martyrdom. This intellectual and spiritual connection with Allah Almighty is very precious. We rarely find this among young people his age."
Proficiency in establishing relationships
According to Jawad, Hadi was keen on upholding family ties. He had a strong relationship with his relatives such as his paternal grandmother and his late aunt Zakiya, to whom Hadi was deeply attached. He was also keen on establishing relationships and friendships with the neighbors.
The martyr possessed a degree of kindness that is uncommon in any teenager his age. For example, he was eager to buy sweets and candy for the younger siblings of his friends. He was just 14 years old. The youngest among his friends had an unusual attachment to Hadi and his personality not because he was the son of Hezbollah's secretary-general, but because he had a special character.
Jawad cites one of Hadi’s friends concerning an incident involving the martyr and the “young men” [resistance fighters] in 1996. Back then, they were positioned along a river when they came under “Israeli” bombardment. At the time, their sole concern was to grab Hadi and jump into the river to protect him from danger. Because of his beloved personality, people would go out of their way to protect him and he broke barriers with others the very first time he meets them.
The humble person who loved life
Humility was a feature in Hadi's personality. His friends have always talked about it. Jawad points out that the martyr used to go to his friends' homes without informing their parents whose son he was. Moreover, when he was martyred, many of the families that Hadi had visited and sat with for hours were surprised because he did not reveal that he was the son of Hezbollah's secretary general.
Hadi was humble. On the other hand, he loved life. Jawad tells us how he always took care about his appearance and clothes, contrary to what is said about martyrs. He liked taking walks with his friends. Hadi had a charming childish smile, Jawad says.
He was mindful. He thought as a leader and was extremely smart. For example, he once underwent a computer course and became a teaching assistant. Hadi also had a strong method of persuasion that made others do what he liked willingly.
Because he was so humble, he never found it difficult to carry out house repairs with the help of Jawad. He was preparing to bid bachelorhood farewell. However, his martyrdom came two months before the planned occasion.
Jawad recounts the degree of certainty and sensation that the martyr had in his heart. In this context, he tells us about another incident. Hadi got accustomed to going to Hanaway in Tyre once a week to visit his fiancé's home. On one occasion, Jawad went into Hadi's room and found him ironing his shirt and preparing his clothes to go to the southern Lebanese city. He begins joking with his brother.
Suddenly Hadi tells Jawad, "Frankly, I feel very tired. I won't go." And then he went to bed. That night, the enemy raided the house of his in-laws in an effort to capture him after they documented his weekly appointments. However, they did not find him.
The last meeting
Jawad tells us about the last meeting with his brother Hadi. It was an unusual meeting. This was the only time the martyr warmly bid him farewell and kissed him saying, “I am going to work.” “I followed him down the stairs”, Jawad says, “to ask him when he will return.”
"It is supposed to be four to five days. But God willing I will be martyred and will not return,” Hadi replied.
During these moments, Hadi's face was unusually bright. He was not interested in worldly matters. He left everything and went on a journey of jihad.
The secretive and trustworthy Hadi at work
Jawad notes that Hadi embraced jihad willingly. He even sought it out, in the hope of being enlisted quickly. In 1995, he underwent an al-Moqatel [military training] course. The following year, he underwent a special forces training course. He was martyred in 1997.
Here, Jawad recounts an incident that highlights the level of secrecy Hadi practiced during his jihadi work. After Hadi’s martyrdom, Jawad accidentally found X-rays and [medical] tests. Jawad asked Hadi’s friends why his brother had gone to the hospital.
One of them told me that “once, we were working on extending internal lines to one of the military points in the Iqlim.”
“Hadi carried a roll of wire and crossed the mountain to deliver it. Because it was so heavy, Hadi got sick and had to visit the hospital on every time he was on leave.”
Hadi before martyrdom
"I was in Iran in 2013," says Jawad. “I met a prominent religious cleric. He told me, ‘I was on the battlefront, and I didn't know Hadi. So I got to know him and we started talking. I warned him to be careful and pay attention as he was the son of the secretary-general of Hezbollah. Hadi replied by saying, ‘do not worry. God willing, I will make my father proud’.”
Jawad conveys this particular exchange to underscore Hadi's insightful vision and strong ability to look to the future.
Jawad also quotes one of Hadi's comrades who spoke of his calmness minutes before he was martyred. One of his comrades asked him, "what is wrong, Hadi?"
"I look forward to things beyond this world," he replied.
News of the martyrdom
Jawad goes back 22 years, to the date of his brother's martyrdom. At the time, he was heading home, and an old lady asked for his name.
The lady spoke with a broken heart and in a loud voice
“What is your name?” she asked
“Jawad,” he replied.
She started beating one hand against the other said, "There is no power nor strength except through Allah."
“Then I understood that something happened to Hadi,” Jawad says. “I continued my way home. I knocked on the door. My sister Zainab opened the door with tears in her eyes. Then I was sure something had happened. I entered, and I was surprised to see Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine [Zulfiqar] and the late Sheikh Ali Khatun. My father was in his office alone. But he was calm and quiet. I kissed him and sat on the floor beside him. A minute had passed before Hajj Imad Mughniyeh called us to watch the video filmed by the ‘Israelis’ in Marjayoun. I immediately recognized Hadi and the body of martyr Ali Kawtharani. Hajj Radwan started boosting our morale.”
Jawad points out that Hajj Imad was kind and very patriarchal. He had a very strong relationship with Sayyed Nasrallah. The family was glad to see him because of the level of harmony, love and eagerness that existed between the two men.
“After his martyrdom, I saw Hadi in a dream,” Jawad adds. “He came to us at home. I was sitting next to my younger brother, Mohammad Ali. I told Hadi, ‘explain to me what happened to you with the Zionists.’ He pointed with his hand and said that there was a meter separating the martyr from the enemy. I asked him what he felt. He said, ‘nothing at all.’”
My father the mountain
In the end, Jawad talks about strength, power and determination that His Eminence possessed.
“I was a 16-year old athlete. I was unable to stand throughout the condolences service following Hadi’s martyrdom. However, my father stood tirelessly and calmly. He was eager to insure the comfort of those around him.”
There is no doubt that the above are just a few of the many characteristics of Hadi’s beautiful soul, which has left its mark that will not be erased by all these years.