The deceased in this picture is a man by the name ‘Ali ‘Umar al-Tanani, who was killed on 13 January 2009. In a 2009 post/thread on (, an argument broke out among users on whether the picture was taken before or after his death (istishhad).

In the image, al-Tanani is wrapped with the green flag of Hamas bearing the text of takbir (the words “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is Great”) and the Qur’anic slogan (partially visible and only partially cited) Q 47:7: “in tansuru Allah yansurkum” (“if you assist, God will render you victorious”). The green of the flag resonates the idea of God’s benevolence, and is symbolic of creation, life and sustenance. Furthermore, green is considered the traditional color of the Prophet Muhammad’s tribe, and has been adopted as a sacred color based on Qur’anic verses (76:21; 18:65-82) and a reliable hadith (prophetic tradition or report) that associates green with “universally good things.” Finally, the color is related to jihadi doctrine, as it is believed that while the corpses of martyrs lay in their graves, their souls are to be put into the bodies of green birds that drink from the rivers of Eden and eat from its fruit.

More Information
Group Name Hamas
Group Type nationalist, religious
Dominant Colors Green
Secondary Colors White
Language Arabic
Isolated Phrases / Mottoes / Slogans 1) Allah Akbar 2) Q 47:7 in tansuru Allah yansurkum
Image Number 0376
Groups Region of Operation Middle East
Groups Country of Operation Israel/Palestine
Body Parts Face / Bust, Full Body / ies
Body Parts Analysis Body appears fake.
Geopolitical Symbols Non-country Flag, Symbol of party, movement or company, Slogan
Geopolitical Analysis Hamas banner. Hamas green banner bearing the partial text of Q 47:7 "in tansuru Allah yansurkum."
People Operative / Warrior (=mujahid), Man / Men
People Analysis Hamas militant `Ali `Umar al-Tanani (killed 1/13/2009).
Religious Textual References Quranic Text, Quranic Citations, Text manipulation, Takbir, Use of Calligraphy
Religious Textual References Analysis The Qur'anic context fits the new context of the quote by Hamas.
Visual Themes While participating in jihad gives a jihadist important religious credibility, it is believed that Muslim martyrs will be highly rewarded in the afterlife for their sacrifice and hold a special position in paradise. It is therefore not surprising that martyrdom is a central theme in jihadi visual propaganda.

This specific image has been added on numerous message boards to illustrate or discuss the popular notion of “ibtisamat al-shahid” (“a martyr’s smile”). A martyr’s face is believed to reflect what the soul witnesses upon ascension to heaven, namely, the beauty and majesty of paradise. Furthermore, even after the soul has left the body it is believed to continue to produce a sweet smell, like the smell of musk.

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