Fakhri Pasha or "Umar Fakhr ud-Din Pasha" was the commander of Ottoman army and governor of
Medinafrom 1916 to 1919. During World War I, he was besieged by Arabforces but tenaciously he defended the holy city. With the resignation of the Ottoman Empire from the war with the Armistice of Mudrosbetween Turkeyand Ententeon October 30, 1918, it was expected that Fakhri would also surrender. But he refused to do so and simply refused to accept the armistice.
According to a Turkish authorwho, who quotes an eye-witness account, one Friday in the spring of 1918, after prayers in Masjid al-Nabawi (also known as the Prophet's Mosque), Pasha ascended the steps of the
pulpit, stopped halfway, and turned his face to the Prophet's tomb and said loud and clear:
"Prophet of God! I will never abandon you!"
He then addressed the men:
"Soldiers! I appeal to you in the name of the Prophet, my witness. I command you to defend him and his city to the last cartridge and the last
breath, irrespective of the strength of the enemy. May Allahhelp us, and may the spirit of Muhammadbe with us."
"Officers of the heroic Turkish army! O little Muhammads, come forward and promise me, before our Lord and the Prophet, to honor your faith with the supreme sacrifice of your lives."'
Fakhri Pasha had said that he had a vision in a dream that Prophet
Muhammadhad ordered him not to submit. In August 1918, he received a call to surrender from Sharif Husain of Mecca. Fakhri Pasha replied him in these words:citequote
"Fakhr-ud-Din, General, Defender of the Most Sacred City of
Medina. Servant of the Prophet."
"In the name of Allah, the Omnipotent. To him who broke the power of
Islam, caused bloodshed among Muslims, jeopardized the caliphateof the Commander of the Faithful, and exposed it to the domination of the British."
"On Thursday night the fourteenth of Dhu'l-Hijja, I was walking, tired and worn out, thinking of the protection and defense of Medina, when I found myself among unknown men working in a small square. Then I saw standing before me a man with a sublime countenance. He was the Prophet, may Allah's blessing be upon him! His left arm rested on his hip under his robe, and he said to me in a protective manner," 'Follow me.' "I followed him two or three paces and woke up. I immediately proceeded to his sacred mosque and prostrated myself in prayer and thanks [near his tomb] ."
"I am now under the protection of the Prophet, my Supreme Commander. I am busying myself with strengthening the defenses, building roads and squares in Medina. Trouble me not with useless offers."
He refused to hand over his sword even upon the receipt of a direct order from the Ottoman minister of war. The Ottoman government was upset upon his behavior and the Sultan Mehmed VI dismissed him from his post. He refused to do so and kept the flag of Ottoman Sultan high until 70 days after the end of the war.
Fakhri was arrested by his own men and brought to Abdullah on
January 9, 1919at Bir Darwish [Peters, Francis. (1994). "Mecca: A Literary History of the Muslim Holy Land". PP376-377. Princeton University Press. ISBN 069103267X ] [Wilson, Mary. (1987). "King Abdullah, Britain and the Making of Jordan". P36. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521399874] . Abdullah entered Medina shortly after the surrender, followed by Ali who entered the city on February 2, 1919[Wilson, Mary. (1987). "King Abdullah, Britain and the Making of Jordan". P36. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521399874] .
Life after siege
Fakhri Pasha lived as a prisoner of war in
Maltauntil 1921. After his release in 1921, he joined the Turkish forces under the command of Mustafa Kemal Atatürkand fought against the Greek and French armies occupying Anatolia. After the Turkish War of Independence, he became Turkey's ambassador to Kabul, Afghanistan. In 1936, he was promoted to major general and retired from the army. He died in 1948.
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=n706ShSYt-sC&pg=PA138&lpg=PA138&dq=fakhri+pasha&source=web&ots=cKtJcwge4l&sig=NgKQCSvWxYy7ImSJfYTKT4ym3Qw Picture of Fakhri Pasha]
* Public Record Office, London. F. O./371
* Emel Esin, Mecca The Blessed, Medinah The Radiant (London, 1963), p. 190
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