The image was scanned and posted on a website message board; it appears to be a leaflet distributed by Hamas (likely in the Gaza Strip) on the occasion of Usama bin Ladin’s death. On the left, the page reads from top to bottom: “usama b. ladin, ‘ishta qa’idan mujahidan wa-mutta shahidan muqbilan; harakat al-muqawama al-islamiyya hamas” (“Usama bin Ladin, you lived as a mujahid leader and died a martyr in battle [lit. facing (your enemy)]; Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas”). The green banner in the middle bears the shahada (Islamic testimony of faith holding that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger).
The page on the right contains elements of formal Muslim funerary epigraphy, which opens with the basmalah (the phrase “bi-smi Allah al-rahman al-rahim,” or “in the name of God the merciful and compassionate”), followed by the name of deceased and, often, the date of death and one or more quotes, paraphrases or allusions to a Qur’anic text. Here, the caption from top to bottom reads: “(basmala)-Q 3: 169 wa-la ta tahsabanna lladhina qutilu fi sabil Allah amwatan bal ahya’ ‘inda rabbihim yurzaqun-bi-asma ayat al-jihad wal-muqawama wa-bi-kull ayat al-‘izz wal-fikhar tahtasibu Hamas ‘inda Allah ta‘ala al-shahid al-mujahid al-shaykh al-imam/(sic.) usama b. ladin; nas’al Allah ta‘ala an yataqabbalahu wa-an yuskinuhi fasih jannatihi wa-an yulhima ahlahu wa-dhawihi al-sabr wal-silwan; Q 54:55 wa-ila al-multaqa fi jannat wa-nahr fi maq‘ad sidq ‘inda malik muqtadir; Hamas” (“In the name of the God the merciful and compassionate-Q 3:169 And do not consider those killed in the path of God dead, on the contrary, they are alive, being sustained by God-With the most sublime [Qur’anic] verses of jihad and resistance and with all the [Qur’anic] verses on strength and glory Hamas considers the mujahid [fighter] martyr, the shaykh, imam Usama b. Ladin to be with God, Exalted be He; we ask God Exalted be He that He accept him and place him in the most spacious of His heavenly gardens and that He grant his family and relatives patience and solace; Q 54:55 and so long, ‘till we meet again in a place of heavenly gardens and a river in a seat of truth by the Omnipotent King; Hamas”). In addition to the caption, Muslim funerary epigraphs commonly feature a shrine or holy site paired with other elements that are clearly an expression of death, such as white clouds, fauna, birds soaring in the sky and lightning. Here, the shrines in the image are the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque. Both are recognized and revered by all Muslims, but they are particularly a powerful symbol of Palestinian self-determination. The Dome of the Rock was built in 692 A.D. by the Umayyid caliph ‘Abd al-Malik on the site where Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven in his mi‘raj (night journey), and it is considered the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and al-Madina.