Born in Algeria, Djamel Beghal was arrested in 2001 whilst on his way from Pakistan to Morocco making him one of the first victims of the “war on terror”. He has been the subject of several miscarriages of justice and has been tortured, gassed and kept in inhumane conditions. Despite today being kept within a French prison, his writings reveal the patience and solace he has found in the Qur’an.



In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficial, the Most Merciful,

May the peace, the mercy and the blessings of Allah (God) be upon you.

It was narrated that it is enough for a person afflicted by sadness to read surah Yusuf (pbuh) for his sadness to disappear.

I experienced this for myself when, already overcome with grief after I had been separated from my loved ones for so long and kept between four ominous walls, I read this surah and found tranquillity.

I recited the words of Allah, the Most Powerful, the Most Majestic:

“When Joseph said to his father, “O my father, indeed I have seen [in a dream] eleven stars and the sun and the moon; I saw them prostrating to me.”

IbnKathir (RA), the Imam and interpreter of the Qur’an – mentioned that forty years passed between the moment Yusuf told his dream to his father (pbut) and the realization of its interpretation. Another version mentions eighty years.

What an extraordinary attitude!

Their patience and endurance is unparalleled despite them facing separation, injustice, prison, and life among idol-worshippers for forty if not eighty years.

Nowadays, if one of us was sentenced to thirty years in prison, or even twenty or ten, we would likely become overwhelmed with despair. On the other hand Yusuf (pbuh) was slammed into the waves of solitude, exile, prison, debasement and contempt since a tender age, but never uttered a single word of complaint against the decree of Allah or against those responsible for his detention.

He never lost trust or hope in the help of Allah the Most High. Conversely, he remained charitable, thankful and patient, seeking His reward. He displayed gratitude for His blessings and recognised the favours Allah had bestowed upon him and his forefathers, namely tawheed (unity of Allah); knowledge and obedience to Allah through his worship; and the leading of his servants through prophethood.

“He (the father) said: “O my son! Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest they arrange a plot against you. Verily! Shaitân (Satan) is to man an open enemy!” (Surah Yusuf ayah 5).

Yaqoob, the father of Yusuf (pbut), feared that the 11 brothers of Yusuf would know the interpretation of this dream and understand that one day they would submit to their little brother and fall down in prostration before him in respect and honour.

He was afraid that if Yusuf shared it with his brothers they would envy and then plot against him. Therefore, in order to avoid the envy of the envious and the plotting of the plotters, it was better for it be kept secret until it became clear to everyone.

The Prophet salalahualaihiwasalam said: “Seek the help for the success of your needs by being quiet. For verily, everything that has a bounty in it is envied” (This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-JaamiAs-Saheeh.)

Many of our brothers imprisoned because of their religious convictions have been targets of the envy and deceit of some of the disbelievers, polytheists and hypocrites. They are envied because they believe in Allah The Almighty and His messengers, and choose to follow His straight path in all their actions.

Very few of our brothers pay attention to the nature of this envy which pervades the hearts of the enemies of Islam. Allah says:

“How much will those who disbelieve desire that they were Muslims” (Surah Al-Hijr ayah 2)

Although the above ayah is referring to the time of their death and in the hereafter, it describes the extent of the envy the enemies of Islam have against Muslims.

“And they had no fault except that they believed in Allâh, the All-Mighty, Worthy of all Praise! To Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth! And Allâh is Witness over everything.” Surah Al-Burooj ayah 7 – 8.

“Many of the people of the scripture wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of their own envy, even after the truth (that Muhammad Peace be upon him is Allâh’s Messenger) has become manifest to them. “ Al-Baqarah ayah 109.

This group of disbelievers see in us – all praise be to Allah – their failure in curbing their desires, controlling themselves and organising their lives according to the dictates of human nature and reason. Thus they feel pain and envy.

Their envy of us, and the subjugated condition of Muslims, has allowed them to legislate various laws in order to hide us from public life. Their envy has also driven them to endorse international conventions to disperse and separate us even from our families and children. Furthermore, they have come up with a variety of ways, means and plans to demoralise us and break our determination and will to remain on the truth. They have also sought to tear us from the flesh of our beliefs in order to overwhelm us with pain. But far away, far away, the Lord of Glory is the best of protectors and He is the Most Merciful!

CAGE Report: DJamal Beghal – British and French Complicity in Torture 

This original article in arabic can be viewed on the DjamelBeghal family blog here

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)