Following on from my translation of the nasheed 'Madin kas-Sayf' by the famous Saudi munshid Abu Ali, I present to you another well-known composition of his in jihadist circles: "Baqaaya 'l-Majid" ("Remnants of Glory"). I first came across this nasheed via a small excerpt in an Ahrar al-Sham video on Youtube showing the destruction of a T-72 tank. However, the real credit goes to the academic Behnam Said who pointed me in the right direction as to the composer and name of the nasheed. Here is the full version in HD quality.
On this note, however, I must announce that I will be taking a hiatus from translating anasheed, and will be broadening the scope of Arabic translations to be made available on this site. Anasheed- particularly of the jihadist type (as is this one by Abu Ali)- constitute a very broad field of material but so little of it has been explored by the academic world. In providing some translations, I hope I have given the reader a sufficient sample to stimulate further exploration.
One conclusion that should be apparent is that the composers of these anasheed are by no means fools. They know how to play well with Arabic verse and rhyme, and Abu Ali in particular displays a high degree of sophistication. Indeed, as my friend and occasional co-writer Oskar Svadkovsky puts it, they simply live in a "parallel universe" entirely informed by their ideology.
I cannot claim to be an academic expert on anasheed, but I would like to make readers aware that this year my friend Phillip Smyth, who has researched the subject far more than I (particularly as regards militant Shi'a anasheed) and partly inspired me to get into translating a small selection of these anasheed, will be providing the culmination of his years-long research with some academic papers, and I recommend following his work more generally (see his Twitter account here). There is also Behnam Said- again worth following on Twitter. Coming to the field of wider jihadist material, I further recommend Aaron Zelin, "El Saltador" and Pieter Van Ostaeyen.
So, without further ado, here is the translation of "Remnants of Glory" by Abu Ali:
"Remnants of glory scar us, and the scab of their wound in us is scraped off
And recollection of it whispers in our ears. Yet where are the fortunate?
Yet where are those who, when death calls, come to us,
And when Jihad resounds through them, come as the best at our service?
They have humiliated the vermin of the enemy- indeed degradation and humiliation!
They have led the triumph of the world: civilizations and generations.
They have herded the nation of infidels like the herds in their ignorance.
And they have not ceased to be as what they were: as lions leading lion-cubs.
But we have come, destroying the glories; we did not care about our past.
And we did not care about history: might and strengthening have departed by night
And we were yielded to the infidels; we beg [as?] the servile ones
And we follow behind their track- bewildered, submissive.
But neither were they [our masters] nor were we [their subjects], when we as heroes did not go away,
Nor did we live a life of debasement. We fear the day as cowards.
So arise, and remove the shackles of subjugation, and buffet all who spring at you
For this glory is subject to the blood of the free man, if it flows."
scar us- The Arabic here is 'تكوينا', which I originally read as 'our education' (تكوين, which would be the masdar of the second derivative of كان [to be]), which might fit the context but as Diana Rudha Al-Shammary suggests, it is more plausible to take it as a form of the verb 'كوى' ('to burn') and the first person plural attached pronoun.
whispers in our ears- Originally, I thought that تناغينا might read 'we have whispered to each other', as a sixth derivative of نغى, but this is not attested in Hans Wehr. Accordingly, it is more plausible to take ذكرى as subject.