A-Imam ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubaarak while engaged in battle near Tarsus (in modern day Turkey), in the year 171 AH/787 CE, sent to his friend and colleague in Makkah, al-Imam al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh, the following verses of poetry that he composed:
O worshiper at the two most Sanctified Mosques, look at us,
And conclude that your worship (compared to ours) is but mere play.
If your cheeks are discolored by your tears (in worship),
Our necks are stained by our blood (in battle).
And whilst you exhaust your horse in frivolous pretense,
Our horses have been expended in the morning glory of the battlefield.
You have your fragrances, but our scent
Is the dust and dirt rising, more sweet indeed.
It has come to us from our noble Prophet (SAW),
These true and enduring words, no denying:
‘They cannot coexist: the dust kicked up by the Horses of Allah,
In the nostrils of a real man, and the smoke of a blazing fire (in Hell)’.
Here is the Book of Allah which speaks to us:
“Surely the martyr never dies!”; therein is no denying.