Married To An ISIS Fighter, A 26-Year-Old 'Muhajirah' Claims To Be A Malaysian Doctor
On 18 September, BuzzFeed ran a story about one of the most active ISIS members on the Internet. Named "Shams," she calls herself "Bird of Jannah" and runs a Tumblr called Diary of a Muhajirah. Going by her posts, Shams sounds quite intelligent.
According to her posts on social media platforms, Shams joined ISIS in February 2014. After initially responding that she is from Malaysia, the 26-year-old, through her responses, has since made it clear that she is not revealing her real information to anyone.
Using contacts made over social media to plan her journey, Shams, who by profession is a doctor, flew to Turkey and then crossed the Syrian border. Her parents, although upset at first as she didn't inform them, eventually supported her decision.
Shams wrote on her blog that she thought it was her duty to “make hijrah” to Syria and join the insurgents, since she is a doctor. “I made hijrah (pilgrimage) to Syria and my parents are not with me, but they are okay with my decision,” she said in one of her comments on Facebook.thestar.com.my
“I never spoke to them before I made the hijrah. I told them only after I have reached Turkey. They were quite upset at first but then they are very supportive and happy,” she responded to a question on social networking website, ask.fm. The account has been deactivated.astroawani.com
After two months in Syria, she started thinking about marriage, as living without a man was proving difficult. So she married an ISIS fighter, who was suggested to her by her best friend's husband. They both agreed to be married without having met each other.
One night, my best friend knocked my door and before I could answer her, she opened the door and jumped on me. She told me that her husband has spoken to his friend, and his friend is interested in marrying me even without looking at me. I was astonished, and I told her that, I too agreed for the marriage. She hugged me and cried and kept saying how much she’s happy with my decision. Wallahi, I felt she acted like my mother and it was an emotional night.tumblr.com
In accordance with a practice called "Nadra-Shar'eeah," Shams' future husband met her and saw her face before their wedding. Also, per Islamic law, she had to obtain permission from her wali (her father) who needed to give his consent to the match.
Because Shams and her future husband didn't share a common language on their wedding day, she later wrote that she and her Moroccan husband had to download dictionary apps on their phones to speak to each other in the early days of their marriage.
However, Shams was soon forced to confront the reality of being married to a 'mujaheed' when her friend's husband was killed. Visiting her , Shams found herself being comforted by the widow, who was celebrating her deceased husband's "martyrdom."
Shams returned home and begged her husband of four days, "Don't leave me too soon." But a week and a half after, her husband, Abu al Baraa, left for a militant operation, knowing that he might not return. "Jihad is my first wife, and you're my second."
Shams is currently pregnant with her first child. Since her pregnancy prevents her from working as a doctor, she has redoubled her efforts to spread "the truth" about ISIS, including defending the beheadings of Western journalists and aid workers.