The image was posted on a message board to start a discussion on the popular topic of “ibtisamat al-shahid” (“a martyr’s smile”). The person who started the thread and posted the image (as well as other similar images) asks members to explain the reason behind this phenomenon. The traditional belief is that a martyr smiles at the sight of his place in heaven and the much-anticipated wives from among the virgins 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.
The green caption on top reads: “ahad shuhada’ al-falluja (“one of the Fallujah martyrs”). The caption at the bottom reads: “tara… li-madha yabtasim al-shahid ‘inda mawtihi, ma alladhi yarahu aw yasma‘uhu li-tabdu ‘alayhi hadhihi al-malahim al-ra’i‘a wal-sa‘ada, wa-ka’annahu ‘aris yazuffu fi laylat ‘ursihi?! hal ra’a maq‘adahu min al-janna? hal ra’a zawjatihi min al-hur al-‘ayn? ka-anna lisan halihi yuraddidu qawl Allah ta‘ala: Ya layta qawmi ya‘lamun bi-ma ghafira li rabbi wa-ja‘alani min al-mukramin” (“look… why does the martyr smile at the time of his death, what is it that he sees or hears that this splendid expression appears on him? and the happiness, it’s like he’s a bridegroom walking in the procession on his wedding night?! did he see his place in heaven? did he see his wives from among the virgins of paradise? it is like his state echoes the verse (Q 36:26-27): I wish my people would know that God has granted me pardon and has made me one of those treated nobly”).